Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter Seven
Focus Question

What are intelligent tutoring systems and how can students and teachers use them successfully?

-Intelligent tutoring systems are powerful new software programs that promote inquiry learning by students through computer responses to student actions. This tool can be used successfully when a teacher notices a student struggling in a certain area. This source of technology is basically replacing the human tutor, a computer-based tutor can provide children with the structured practice they need to become better academic learners and test takers.
                                                       Photo Credit: Chris Daly


Chapter seven starts off by giving us an understanding of computers and software. It’s important to know that computers consist of hardware’s and software’s. Hardware is the basic machinery and circuitry of a computer and the software is what tells a computer’s hardware to perform specific functions. Almost all computers now come with the Standard Software Applications. These applications are what make all of our lives easier. Some examples of these software applications are: word processing, electronic databases, spreadsheets, web-browsing software, communications software, presentation software, and specialization software. Each of these software programs has their own individual tasks that benefit the user. It can be a challenge choosing educational software to install on classroom computers. Teachers need to make sure that the child is controlling the activities and not the other way around. Also teachers need to be aware that the software does not promote competition, stereotyping or violence. Finally, teachers want the game to favor some kind of long-term thinking over quick reactions. These are all very important factors when choosing in class software programs. Bloom’s taxonomy is another way to evaluate educational software. Blooms taxonomy assesses the extent to which a particular program encourages higher order thinking by students. The original list of Blooms taxonomy consisted of: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. It had now been revised to: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. If teachers are still having a hard time choosing software there are numerous educational organizations that have online resources that assist teachers in selecting software. Examples for a couple of them are: Educational software preview guide, Entertainment software rating board, EvaluTech, and

Students are now turning towards expressing and organizing themselves through using visual thinking and concept mapping software. There are students who do not find brainstorming on paper an inspiring way to evoke ideas or solve problems. Students sometimes find their handwriting too messy, or either too confining or time consuming.  Programs such as inspiration eliminate these problems for students. Chapter seven finishes off focusing on intelligent tutoring systems. Intelligent tutoring systems are powerful new software programs that promote inquiry learning by students through computer responses to student actions. Because the system is computerized, information can be gathered and presented almost instantaneously so adults and students can see how learning is progressing at any time. These systems are starting to positively impact students, therefore we might see more of these incorporated in the classrooms in the near future!
This is a fun video that gives examples of Blooms Taxonomgy from the show Seinfeld.

Tech Tool Link

-The tech tool link I checked out was "Scratch". Scratch is on online web page for elementary school students to create their own online games. I could see this program being incorporated into student-center philosophy classrooms. Although this web-page isn’t necessarily educational, it could be something offered to students during a free time. On the webpage, kids are able to download the program to create the games or they are able to select already programed games. The site is very easy to navigate through and is well organized for easy access for young children.
Lifelong Kindergraden Group. (n.d.). Scratch .
Edwards, S. A. (2011). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Focus Question
What are webquests and virtual field trips?
-Webquests are online educational experiences where students go to one or more websites to obtain academic information or engage in other inquiry-based learning activities. Virtual field trips are online learning adventures where students are able to visit far-away places using their classroom computers.
Photo credit to Ed Web

Chapter six starts out by focusing on managing information electronically. Digital content is becoming widely used by teachers. Digital content is an easily accessible source of academic information and new knowledge. Teachers can use this web-based information to teach the school curriculum. As well as teaching school curriculum, the internet is useful for meeting local, state, and national curriculum frameworks. Since using the internet has become such an important tool for teachers, tasks mangers have created bookmarks to make locating and organizing web information easier. Bookmarks remember the website addresses that are frequently visited. In addition to book marking there is social bookmarking. Social bookmarking is an information management process where groups of interested people share their web links electronically in an open public web space. The difference between the two is that one is a private library of resources seen by one person as the other one is a public list that can be viewed by many readers. Information alerts and RSS feeds also can greatly impact an active online teacher. Information alerts can assist busy teachers with a system of announcements about new information online. Google is one provider to these alerts. Google can generate five types of alerts: news, web, blog, group, and comprehensive. This can be a real time saver for teachers! RSS feeds are another way for teachers to access the information they need for curriculum and instruction. The New York Times, Yahoo! News: Technology, BBC News, and the Washington post are widely accessed RSS feeds.
As teachers are becoming more efficient online, webquests and virtual field trips are becoming more frequently incorporated into the classrooms. As a teacher it is important to involve the students in the classroom and make them become interested in the topics. Webquests are online educational experiences where students go to one or more websites to obtain academic information or engage in other inquiry-based learning activities. Virtual field trips on the other hand take students to places all over the world without ever leaving their school’s classroom or computer lab. Although virtual field trips are still relatively new, they are looking promising in helping raise students test scores. There was a small student study done that involved 400 students in two middle schools, and studies show that the middle school students had higher reading comprehension scores after participating in online field trips. Interactive videoconferencing is very similar to virtual field trips. Videoconferencing is a distance learning technology that offers real-time access to people and places that students are unable to visit. I have personally seen video conferences used in my former high school. Chapter six finishes off by talking about different kinds of educational websites. There are thousands of these different types of educational websites but they all have the common ground of being interactive and engaging to students. A few examples the book gives are: Lesson plan websites, student-to-expert communication websites, real-time and recorded data websites, archival and primary source websites, and skills/practice websites.

The video below is a demonstration of a virtual field trip that  Fall River Elementary School took. In the video you are able to see just how active and engaged the students are.

Tech-Tool Question
The tech tool link I checked out was “Goodreads”. Goodreads is a very professional and organized webpage. After creating a quick account you are able to organize all your favorite books online. This webpage is virtually keeping you organized, which is very important for all future educators. The great thing about this website is that you can log into any computer and your library can be accessed. I personally love to read, and this would be a great site I would consider using!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Focus Question

What are search engines and how do they work?

Search engines retrieve information from the internet using keywords. They are also able to go through millions of web pages to locate topic-related websites at a high speed. Teachers and students benefit from search tools that focus more directly on academic topics, educational standards, and learning material.
Photo credit to Michael Johnson


Chapter five focuses on how teachers and students can use and analyze the powerful took known as the internet. It is extremely important that everyone, especially future educators know how to access and assess information. The capacity to access and assess information online is known as information literacy. The standards of what students need to know have changed greatly through out the years. The national council of teachers of English (NCTE) has issued its own definition of the skills students will need in the future, called 21st- century literacies. Students will need to learn a handful of new technology-based literacies. Search engines will be a tool that every student will need to know how to use proficiently. A search engine is a software program that uses networks of computers to access information about a topic from its databases. Search engines are a great tool for school work espically when it comes to research. When I was in middle and highschool my peers and I would hand write out our notes but today they are now incorporating electronic note taking. This tool uses computer technologies to organize and expedite note taking. While taking notes online it is extremely important to determine the accuracy of the information you are reviewing. Quantity does not always mean quality, so often internet searcher must shift through pages of wrong information to find the valid data. As a future educator it will be my job to help my students understand the different types of academic content resources that they will find online. It will be my job to teach them about the information contained in web addresses and about the concept of cognitive load. With such easy access to the internet now, students tend to find plagiarism easier. The direct copying and misrepresenting of someone else’s work is considered plagiarism. The three main factors that contribute to plagiarism today are; the web, high-stakes testing, and misassumptions by students. Some schools check plagrism by using services such as , should make students aware of plagrism and how it can be avoided.
                    The video below explains the top ten reasons  why to use techonology in education.
 "Teachers will not be replaced by technology, but teachers who don't use technology will be replaced by those who do."    Sheryl Nussbaum- Beach


Tech Tool Question

The tech-tool link I checked out from chapter five was Flickr. Flickr allows for people to upload, discover, and share photos. This could be a great resource that would add to visual learning resources to a classroom curriculum. After looking through the webpage I found it to be very similar to Instagram and a little bit like Pinterest. On Flickr you are able to create discussion boards which would be useful for communicating with colleague and picture sharing. Flickr can serve many different purposes such as: making cards, making photo books, slideshows, calendars, and postage stamps. The web-page is very easy to navigate. I would consider using this site in the future.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Focus Question

What are “digital inequality” and the “participation gap”?

Digital inequality is the idea that access to the latest computer technology varies greatly within society with low-income and non-white Americans less likely to be able to afford and use the newest tools.
Participation gap is students who lack 24/7 access to the latest technologies lag behind their peers technologically and educationally.
                                                      Photo credit to pupilteacher

Chapter four starts off by talking about the integration of technology in the classroom. There are so many ways to make technologies an internal part of the classroom. A few examples of this would be: creating power points, viewing video recordings, posting and accessing course assignments online, researching political parties, and so much more! The way teachers use technology can be subdivided into three primary ways, those being: inside-the-classroom teaching tools, outside-the-classroom professional resources, and inside-and outside- the classroom learning resources for students. Chapter four subdivides five important technology bases that we are now seeing in schools. There now are technology-based libraries, technology- based textbooks, technology based learning environments, technology based teaching tools, and technology based offices. Technology is highly becoming integrated in our schools and classrooms. Future educators need to know that integrating technology into teaching takes patience, perseverance, and willingness to involve students in learning about technology. The book gives examples of a digital pen and a digital notepad. In theory, digital pens and digital notepads can change how teachers manage the notes and writing applications that occupy a major portion of their work time. Incorporating these into all classrooms in the future will be a great advancement then what our society used learning in classrooms. Technology is evolving fast therefore, future educators need to be ready for change and adaption.
The video below demonstrates technology being integrated in the elementry schools. Teachers are incorporating ipads to teach students basic concepts such as math and spelling.

Tech Tool Link

The tech tool link I checked out was the (NETS) website. NETS stands for National Educational Technology Standards for students. (NETS) has been created to set standards for excellence and best practices in learning, teaching, and leading with technology in education. On the site you are able to click on one of the “Net” families. For example you are able to choose among: “Nets for students”, “Nets for teachers”, “Nets for administrators”, “Nets for coaches”, and “Nets for computer science educators.” These links then will send you to a website where you can purchase books that go along with the net family that you have chosen. There are several different tabs that enable users to do different things. There are rubric forms to use that asses how effectively you’re integrating technology in the classrooms as well as video case studies that show how teachers integrated technology in the classroom. I found this site to be a bit overwhelming with information and with the several different tabs.