Archive for March, 2013

IDNT Mini Projects Week #2

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

This week’s mini projects continued to be helpful, and efficient ways to use technology. These technologies once again would be very easy to adapt for students’ use for different projects and assignments. For my mini projects this week I chose the timeline by Time Toast and the Google Trek. As far as the mini projects offered this week I thought that both of these would have good use in a social studies classroom.

Time Toast Timelines present material in a concise and clear way and allow for extra information to be linked. I like how you can choose multiple presentation styles. This would be a classic social studies classroom activity with a spin on it. This would be a great way once again for students to review dates for exams and see visually how one event leads to another. I do not always think that dates need to be obsessed over in a history classroom, but for the important dates I think that a Time Toast timeline would be a great way for students to learn.

For a while now I have thought that Google was going to take over the world and I think that Google Trek is further evidence of that. As a future educator, I love Google and all of the helpful products that they offer. Google Trek would be a great way for students to map out things. Or to create their own interpretation of something that they have learned in class. It would be VERY helpful for a geography unit and for when we are talking about current events. I know that some people despise Google, but I am so thankful for its helpfulness as an educator.

These mini projects have been very helpful and have opened my eyes to so many more technologies that I can use in my classroom. I think that the mini-projects is a great title for it since so many of these projects take such a short time to produce. I will be putting these to use in my future classroom.

IDNT 501 Mini Projects Week 1

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

In recent weeks I have developed a comfort with the technology that we have been using. I am more confident when going to use a new technology. This week’s mini projects gave us an opportunity to explore several different technologies. They were all applicable for the classroom as teachers, they were also able to be used by our students to complete projects for themselves. I chose the Voki and the Wordle this week since I think that they would be helpful on a class website as well as for students to study and review.

The Voki is a great example of a telecollaborative activity. Students would be able to put their voice to material and then share it with their classmates and other students. I also like the idea of using the Voki on a class website to give instructions and introduce students to material. I would love to have a page on a US History 11 class website that had different Vokis for the different presidents. I think that students would have a lot of fun creating them and it would make for an easy way to submit the projects. I think that the strengths of telecollaborative activities are summed up well in Coffman’s book, “the telecollaborative activity facilitates active student participation from all students, regardless of location. In addition, it is meaningful and allows for hands-on participation and engagement from all students”(Coffman, 2013. p. 115).

I appreciated the Wordle activity because of its use in the analysis of different texts. As a social studies teacher, I will often be showing my students various documents. It will be hard at times to communicate some of the documents but Wordle will help students pull out various main ideas since it emphasizes words with high word counts. I also like that it makes a visual for students since I think that it would be helpful for students with different learning styles. Students that are visual learners would be able to remember text better if they were viewing Wordles throughout the course of learning new material.

These different mini projects help expose us to a variety of technologies and help us learn more about how we can involve our students in the classroom. I am excited to explore more in the coming weeks and add to my knowledge of technology in the classroom.

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom. (2 ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

INDT Week 7

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

This week’s use of the Wallwisher technology might be my favorite thus far. In minutes I was able to create a discussion board which can be found here¬†http://padlet.com/wall/JCEducation and have friends, family, and classmates post about a topic that I have been thinking about a lot lately, homeschooling. I think that this tool would have great usage in my future classroom as a forum about different topics for students to discuss or just as a place to answer students questions. I chose to have my posts come up in a stream as opposed to stickies because I wanted something more symmetrical and orderly.

Not only could I set up walls for my future classroom but I think it would be a great way for students to set up their own walls and projects to be able to gain feedback from their classmates and the general public. I liked that there were options to change the privacy settings as well as the ability to moderate different comments. Sometimes technology can be overwhelming as I have mentioned in previous reflections but this was so easy to use and practical as well! I also think that because it is so easy to use that it provides an amount of efficiency that not all technology offers.

Students will retain much more of what they discover on their own to what they will learn from a teacher lecturing for hours. “As with any inquiry-oriented activity, your goal as the teacher is to engage your students with a ‘big idea’ question and then let them discover workable answers”(Coffman, 2013. p. 104). Through these types of walls and other telecollaborative activities students are able to engage with each other and the material more actively.

Coffman, T. (2013). Using Inquiry in the Classroom. (2 ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education.