Final Assignments

Over the past few weeks I have been able to create many projects utilizing technology.

I was able to create Spreadsheets and Forms through Google Docs. Spreadsheets can help educators organize data and aid in the development of content. When students use spreadsheets, they can make new discoveries in data and save can time, when used appropriately. My spreadsheet shows how might organize grades as a teacher.

EDCI 505 Spreadsheet (1)EDCI 505 Spreadsheet (2) EDCI 505 Spreadsheet (3)

Forms are an excellent resource for teachers to make a tests or surveys for students. Teachers can create a form through google docs and student responses automatically become encoded in a spreadsheet.Screen shot 2014-08-11 at 1.06.23 AM

I also learned about HyperMedia. HyperMedia features material that jumps from one subject to the next in a non-linear way. Teachers use tools such as PowerPoint to make presentations and lessons come to life. My PowerPoint served to teach students about the Parts of Speech.

We learned that there are many presentation tools online that enable users to do more than Powerpoint. Prezi, Slideshare, and VoiceThread are three technologies that create new and different presentations. I used Inspiration to layout the positive and negative aspects of each presentation tool and compare the technology to PowerPoint.

One of my favorite projects was on Digital Storytelling. Digital storytelling is tool that allows users to create their own videos. Teachers can use movies to convey information that helps their students understand a topic. I created my own movie that brought a lesson to life. My video is on the parts of speech and can be viewed below.

As this class is wrapping up, I feel that it has helped me learn invaluable information about various tools, technologies and websites that will help me become better educators. I look forward to putting all that I have learned to use in my future classroom and I am excited to continue to learn different ways I can incorporate technology into my future classroom.


Interactive Posters and Visual Learning

Since our initial assignments, I have been able to actively create projects with the new technology we’ve learned about.

Screen shot 2014-08-10 at 11.05.30 PMIn the last week, I was able to create an interactive poster. There are many different types of interactive posters on the internet, but I used Glogster to create one. The technology enables the user to make not only a visual aid, but also a creative source of links for students to use to explore a subject. Students can use interactive posters to make creative individual projects, or can collaborate to make the poster as a group project. The software enables teachers to have more options in the classroom and keep students involved in the learning. I used Glogster to create an interactive poster that explains the steps of the writing processThis is an interactive way for students to learn about how to write properly.  In the Glogster Poster, students can click on each of the images to find out more about each step in the writing process. They can also listen to a podcast on writing and watch a video on the process through attachments on the poster.

INTIMATIONI was also able to learn about incorporating visual learning into the classroom through Inspiration. Inspiration is a tool that aids visual learners by helping students can organize their thoughts. It allows teachers and students to map out their work in any format they see fit. I created an Inspiration on the vocabulary word “intimation.” I was able to create a graphic organizer that included the definition, derivation, synonyms, antonyms and sentence examples of the word. It is definitely a technology I would use as a future teacher.

Integrating Educational Technology

I am surprised at how much I’ve learned about educational technology in such a short amount of time. It is only one week into my Intro to Educational Technology class, yet I’ve already done an extensive amount of research and completed several projects, which have deeply expanded my knowledge on the topic.

I learned the benefits and downfalls of integrating technology in the classroom. Technology is a crucial component of education and allows students to be more engaged as classroom management flows much easier. Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s article “5 Reasons for Integrating Technology” and Adam S. Bellow’s speech “The 7 Golden Rules of Using Technology in Schools,” disproved typical arguments against integrating technology in the classroom by giving better reasons supporting technology in schools. Wolpert-Gawron believes policymakers are hindering the accessibility to technology by to denying schools funding; Bellow, however, says that money should not be the issue, as teachers have access to thousands of free web tools. Bellow also suggests that one piece of technology could replace several expensive items such as cameras, calculators and reference books. Wolpert-Gawron gives a solution to the debate over technology training by suggesting that teachers train other teachers. Bellow discusses a solution to content monitoring by stating that the blocking of websites is counterproductive and propose that instead students should be trained on things such as Creative Commons and copyright rules.

After learning about the importance of integrating technology, I educated myselfNETS-S_Logo_Refresh on the NETS Standards, which allowed me to imagine how I could apply technology in my own classroom. NETS’ Implementation wiki was a helpful resource for discovering real-life lesson plans that I can apply to my grade level and subject area. Through one scenario, I was inspired to build my own mock lesson plan, which included technology such as iMovie and podcasts, which I never would have come up with otherwise.

A large part of technology in schools today is social media. Social media can be a powerful tool to build professional communities with colleagues, students, parents and the community. However, there are some issues that must be closely monitored; when using social media professionally and for extending the classroom there are certain considerations and policies a teacher should implement. After reading several articles on this subject, I discovered several positive benefits of utilizing social media in schools: it lowers the cost of producing written material essentially to zero; it encourages engagement, discussion and collaboration between students; it promotes creativity by allowing passionate interest and personal expression; and it makes it easy to connect with others and form relationships over several different platforms. Despite the positive benefits of social media, I learned there are some issues that teachers must take into consideration. Social media can create legal liabilities for schools in regards to student exposure to inappropriate material and potential predators. Students must be made aware that the content the post on the internet could affect future employers, school admissions officials, identity thieves, spammers and stalkers.

Incorporating Blogging Into the Classroom:

Once I developed a genuine understanding of the importance of integrating technology into the classroom, the NETS standards that are involved with this technology and the appropriate way to incorporate social media, I was able to develop a wiki that included several educational tech tools. First, I researched LivebinderLive Binders, which is a tech tool that is much like a real-life three ring binder; it allows you to collect and organize resources. Live Binders are a step above a binder, however, as the site comes with tools to collect and collaborate and features a virtual whiteboard. Live Binders offer a way for teachers and students to collect their resources, organize them cleanly and neatly, and make an impression. Google-DocsI also wrote about Google Docs, which gives teachers to be ablity to create and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets with students and colleagues. The application also enables teachers to be able to give feedback on projects created by students. Google Docs gives teachers the ability to access, create and edit documents anywhere and at anytime, even when they are offline. Like Live Binders, it also helps keep teachers organized with “add-ons” that can do things such as create labels and name tags. The final Haiku Learningeducational tech tool I included in my wiki was Haiku Learning, which is a full suite of cloud-based tools designed for quick digital learning. The lesson-centric Learning Management system helps schools launch blended and virtual learning. The software is focused on content, and is able to provide a medium for efficient exchange of information between teachers, students and parents. Through Haiku Learning, teachers can organize and deliver course content such as assessments and assignments. Teachers are able to manage their class and deliver a full range of curriculum online through this technology. It also gives teachers a convenient way to collect homework, grade assignments and take attendance. Instructors can creatively lay out and rearrange lessons with images, audio and video. All of these technologies support any educational content area and grade level, so I will definitely be utilizing them in my future classroom.

This past week of activities has completely opened my eyes to just how important technology is in school. In addition, I learned the standards for this technology, specific ways to incorporate it, concerns to be aware of and specific tools I can use. I look forward to delving deeper into the discussion of educational technology in this class and learning ways to apply it in my future teaching career.