Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Final Reflective Post

I have learned so much valuable information this semester in the EME2040 class that will help me in the future as a teacher.  Before this class I was uncertain how integrating technology into the classroom would benefit students.  But I now realize that if technology is used appropriately and correctly it helps students grasp concepts and stimulates learning at a higher level.  Technology allows teachers to reach those students who have learning difficulties or who may not be interested in a certain subject.  Learning becomes more interesting and fun when technology is added.  The YouTube video below explains how technology in an elementary classroom can benefit students in a number of ways.  

This class was challenging, but I enjoyed working on the different assignments.  My favorites were the Webquest and the Collaborative Lesson Plan.  When a normal lesson plan is transformed and built into a Webquest students learn at a higher level.  I know that this will be a valuable tool for my classroom and I believe students will benefit and enjoy learning with Webquests.  

I enjoyed working on the Collaborative Lesson Plan because it involved preparing a lesson for students who may be in your class that do not fully understand English.  I became interested in this area of teaching when I learned how students who come to America from other countries struggle in the classroom to learn.  They have the capability to learn but due to the language barrier they often fall behind and feel intimidated.  I hope I can make a difference and help these students be successful. 

There are so many useful technology recourses available to teachers than can make their jobs easier and more efficient.  Some of my favorites are:

Delicious.com:  This website allows you to save valuable links in one place and access them anywhere you have an internet connection. 

Weebly.com:  This website allows teachers to easily create a class website that both students and parents can access to keep up with what is going on in the classroom.

Student Participation System:  This tools allows students to participate in a discussion by answering questions using a clicker.  The teacher immediately sees the responses and knows whether to go over a particular point in the lesson or to continue.  This gives opportunity for feedback which allows the student to better process the information that is being taught at that moment. 

Teachers also can use:

Social Media
Educational websites
Lesson planning websites

And the list goes on.....

Teachers have such an important job in educating children.  I believe some people are just meant to be teachers.  As teachers what are some of the most important things to teach, to be, to do?  I found this interesting article on teachthought.com: Teacher: This is What I Need From You that answers these questions from a student’s perspective.     

This poem by William Arthur Ward says it all:

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.

-- William Arthur Ward

Krehbiel, Kelsey, (2014, March 25). Technology in Elementary Classrooms.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoR9j6i6mKA

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Nichols, Jennifer. (2014, December 3). Teacher: This is What I Need From You. Retrived from http://www.teachthought.com/learning/10-things-your-students-need-from-you/

San Diego State University. (2009, July 31).  What is a WebQuest.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7UynehA_l0

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Digital Badge L

Because chapter 12 focuses on integrating technology and creating change in the classroom, I feel it is important to stay informed of the latest technology tools.  On page 300 of the textbook, there are a number of good resources that could help.  I found that ICT Magic has a lot of useful web tool suggestions that could be used in the classroom.  But it takes more than just having a list of tools to refer to, according to Maloy on page 298, teachers need to have the correct mindset to ask how computers, the internet and any other technology tools can help students meet their learning goals. 

I believe that integrating technology in the classroom may be easier to implement for a beginning teacher.  This is because they have not yet delivered any lessons, so it would be easier to plan lessons around different technology tools.  Although, on page 303 of the textbook, to integrate technology smoothly, teachers need administrative support and professional development training and the necessary resources.  The use of technology is intended to enhance learning, therefore, as stated on page 304 when technology it used as a reward or punishment it no longer is a valuable tool in the classroom.  I believe is better for students to be taught to have intrinsic motivation to complete their assignments or have good behavior because this is more fulfilling and provides a sense of self-satisfaction.  

Even if I stay informed with the latest technology tools and am prepared to use them in my lesson plans; if I do not have access to them then I will have to make the best with what I am given.  It will be important for me to be creative so that the students will benefit from what is available to them in the classroom.  While doing observations, most of the elementary classrooms I visited only had 4 or 5 computers.  The idea of centers helps the teacher so that she has more time to spend with the students and can address the different learning styles plus the students get equal time on the computers which can enhance whatever lesson was taught for that day. 

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Digital Badge K

I like the idea of receiving information alerts and RSS feeds as described on page 135 in the textbook.  After reading how busy first year teachers are in the beginning of this chapter, these tools will be very helpful.  I just created two alerts in Google to see how it works.  The first alerts I chose was 21st century technologies for the classroom and the second alert I created was tips to help teachers stay organized.  I know I have a lot of work ahead of me before becoming a teacher so I want to start now learning all I can to help me be prepared for my first classroom.  I am sure as I go along I may think of other alerts to create or change, but I feel this is a good place to start. 

I also like the idea of using www.portaportal.com to manage websites for students to use in the classroom.  This way you are sure students will be more apt to read and learn from the content you decide is appropriate and relevant to the subject being taught.  I have already created a portaportal account of my own and set up a few categories so I can start adding relevant links as I find them.  This website could also be used to organize web resources that are tied to Florida standards as discussed on page 138.  The only thing I don’t like are the ads that are constantly displayed, but those can be deleted if you are willing to upgrade to a paid account.  While researching online I found a good example of a 4th grade teacher that is using portaportal.com for her students. I like how the content is organized which makes it easy for students to quickly find just what they are looking for. 

I am beginning to see more and more how technology certainly does enhance education.  There are so many possibilities that teachers can use to create a great learning environment.  For example, a virtual field trip is an excellent way for students to see a new place and learn about that location without leaving the classroom.  On page 141, there is quite a list of online trips that are available to visit and plenty of opportunities to go exploring and learn about other parts of the world.  

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Digital Badge J

On page 277, “The Role of Assessment in Teaching and Learning”, the author discusses the importance of new teacher assessment.  I know it will be important for me to have a support system, have an open mind for constructive criticism and be willing to learn from experienced teachers who understand what it takes to be an effective teacher.  I found this YouTube video of a 6th grade math teacher, teaching a lesson, and this YouTube video is the actual assessment and feedback after the lesson was completed.  I really enjoyed watching this teacher, she had some really good ideas that seemed to work well with the students.  This was very helpful and I now have a better understanding of what an actual assessment may entail.

Another topic of importance is Student self-assessment. On page 278, the author discusses that teachers should be continuously evaluating themselves and make improvements based on student’s needs to be a successful teacher.  This type of evaluation can be something students can do as well, to do to make learning more meaningful.  According to assessmenttolearning.edu, students who are encouraged to evaluate their learning have an increased motivation for learning, experience greater self-esteem, and they also have a better understanding of how they learn versus what they learn.  This is a useful tool for teachers because the feedback from the students gives an understanding to the teacher on how each student is performing and what she needs to do to help the learning process continue.   This link provides a list of useful tips and ideas for student self-assessment that could be used in the classroom. 

This chapter was very interesting.  I learned there are numerous things that teachers can do to increase their effectiveness as a quality teacher that students can also do to improve the learning process.  I guess a good teacher is someone who never stops learning and is willing to make changes to help their students grow and enjoy learning.  For example, the use of digital portfolios is something that is beneficial to both the students as well as the teacher.    On page 276, the author states that “building digital portfolios affected Tracy (who is the student teacher) and the students’ growth as learners.”  This is because both the students and teachers go through a process of self-reflection as they decide what should be included in their portfolio and this process involves evaluating what they have learned.  Also, by creating a digital portfolio it is incorporating what was previously learned using technology which offers reinforcement of what was previously learned.  For teachers, digital portfolios is an excellent way to show growth and that you are willing to learn from past experiences. 

My digital tool for this assignment was completed using infuselearning.com.  

Education Services Austrailia. (n.d.). Assessment for Learning.  Retrieved from http://www.assessmentforlearning.edu.au/professional_learning/modules/student_self-assessment/student_research_background.html

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Digital Badge I

On page 86 of the textbook, the section entitled New Approaches to Assessment talks about how “tests are driving the curriculum instead of the curriculum driving the tests.  While completing some observations in a math class at one of the local middle schools, the teacher was teaching to the FCAT test.  There were several occasions where she actually said these types of problems will be on the test and they will try to trick you.  There has to be a better way of teaching math to these students.  With this type of environment, the students probably will not remember what was taught after the test because it was not delivered in a memorable and engaging manner.  Because each student learns in a different way and has different levels of knowledge, it is the teacher’s responsibility to assess the students prior to preparing and delivering a lesson based on each of the students’ needs.  If students are taught based on their needs and engage students with the use of technology they will know the material that will be given on the tests. 

How can teachers evaluate and assess students’ learning?  It is very important to determine what the students know prior to developing a lesson and after a lesson has been presented.   On page 77 of the textbook there are numerous examples that a teacher can use to test for student knowledge.  I did not understand what and how a digital portfolio could be used to test for knowledge.  According to edutopia.org a digital portfolio can be used to store and display a student’s work and is a place for a teacher to assess and offer feedback.  eBackpack is one example of a website that allows for students and teachers to create and maintain their own digital portfolio. 

On page 76 of the textbook, a teacher’s lesson design and development refers to knowing and understand what and how to teach a particular academic subject and then assessing what the students have learned from that lesson.  According to Stiliana Milkova with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, there are six steps to follow to create a lesson plan:  1) outline learning objectives and determine what you want the students to learn.   2)  Develop an introduction that will grab the students’ attention and if necessary find out what the students already know about the topic.  3) Plan learning activities to help the students understand what is being taught.  This may include real-life examples, visuals, some form of technology could be integrated to reinforce the lesson. 4) Check for students’ understanding with some sort of activity or by asking questions that allows you to see what the students learned from the lesson. 5)  Develop a conclusion by going over the main points of the lesson and explain what they learned will prepare them for the next lesson.  6) Create a realistic timeline by calculating how much time you think is needed to cover each point of the lesson.  Sometimes teachers have to deviate from their prepared lesson due to a students’ needs. 

The digital tool I created this week was done using Padlet. 

Hertz, Mary Beth. (2013, May 20). Using E-Portfolios in the Classroom.  Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/e-portfolios-in-the-classroom-mary-beth-hertz.

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Milkova, Stiliana. (2014). Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning.  Retrieved from http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/p2_5   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Digital Badge H

I had never heard of Multimodal learning prior to reading this chapter.  According to David Lazear, at davidlazeargroup.com “the more different ways you learn something the more you will really learn it, remember it and understand it.”  For the most part, schools do not teach in all the different ways students really learn making it more difficult for some students to grasp the information.  Multimodal learning is a combination of “spoken words, visuals, written text, audio and models or some other type of simulations.” (Maloy, 217).  An example of this could be a list of spelling words spoken orally by the teacher and displayed on the smart board.  They could be turned in to a poem, the poems then could be written out and posted in the classroom as well as recorded digitally and uploaded to the classroom website.   

I like the idea of using images to generate class discussion.  In my humanities class last semester, we would look at a piece of artwork and discuss orally what each thought about the piece.  It was very interesting and I enjoyed listening to what each student’s interpretation was.  From Tefl.net there are an endless list of questions that a teacher could ask about an image.  This promotes whole group discussion and gives opportunities for all students to participate in the discussion.  This could be a picture from a book the class is reading together or a picture related to a history assignment. 

On page 230 of the textbook, the author states that making alphabet books is a good way for all younger students to learn letter-sound association, what types of nouns should be capitalized and the correct way to use apostrophe’s.  This would also be helpful for ELL students.  According, to Jennifer Atkinson on Scholastic.com a first grade teacher in Texas, she recommends doing this activity because it is an enjoyable learning experience for the students.  With the student’s photograph’s in the book, it becomes more meaningful and memorable; they also enjoy making the books.  The photos could also be displayed in the classroom or on a classroom website.   

 Atkinson, Jennifer. (2014). Creating Class Made ABC Books. Retrieved from http://blogs.scholastic.com/1_2/2009/04/creating-class-made-abc-books.html

Case, Alex. (1998-2014). Discussion questions using images. Retrieved from http://edition.tefl.net/ideas/speak/discussion-questions-images/

Lazear, David. (2003-2008). A Different Kind of Smart! A Different Kind of Learning. Retrieved from http://www.davidlazeargroup.com/free_articles/multi-modal.html

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Digital Badge G

According to the School District of LeeCounty website, Lee County schools has students in regular attendance from 159 different countries and speak approximately 124 different languages. Because of this vast amount of students from different countries it is important for teachers to understand and about the different cultures that may be present in her classroom.  Students also need to know that the teacher has respect for their differences.  On page 246 of the textbook it explains how students benefit when their school assignments somehow connect with issues and concerns that they may be experiencing in their own lives.  Teachers need to understand each of their students’ background and culture so she can better reach them when teaching lessons.  Lessons can be taught that are inclusive of the different cultures so learning becomes more meaningful to these students.

With the use of an interactive whiteboard teachers have many more opportunities to transform lessons to meet the different needs of students.  On page 251 of the textbook, it explains how even students who have difficulty learning respond to the whiteboard as it provides visual, auditory and hands-on learning activities.  According to neamd.com, research shows that students learn better with hands-on activities.  Interactive whiteboards offer so many possibilities because it is combing two types of technologies into one.  After teaching a geography lesson a teacher can open GoogleEarth on her computer and display the appropriate map on the interactive whiteboard to reinforce a geography lesson.   Or students can solve math problems on the whiteboard using dry erase markers and get feedback from other students as well as the teacher.  With the use of clickers, students can respond to questions raised by the teacher and instantly see how the class did as a whole. 

With the use of word clouds, there are some different possibilities to help students and teachers in the classroom.  Word clouds can be used to find the main idea in a particular reading assignment; this may be helpful for those students who have difficulty with reading comprehension.  With the use of these online tools, students can also get creative by playing with different fonts, colors and arrangement of the words.  Teachers can use word clouds to display a learning objective or goal, classroom rules or student’s names in the class.  It can also be used to display the week’s spelling or vocabulary words.   I used abcya.com to create the word cloud below from this paragraph.

For my digital tool this week I used Flip Quiz.  Here is the link to a Flip Quiz that I created.

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Nea Member Benefits. (2014). Interactive Whiteboards Enhance Classroom Instruction and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.neamb.com/professional-resources/benefits-of-interactive-whiteboards.htm.

The School District of Lee County. (2013 November). Interesting District Factoids. Retrieved from http://www.leeschools.net/about/factoids.htm.