Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photo credit: Glen Lake
My experience during my EME2040 online class has been extremely informative and challenging at the same time. I haven’t always been the strongest when it came to computers and electronics but after taking this course my knowledge has increased greatly. The skills I have gained from this class are skills I can actually use in my classroom someday. I have gained knowledge especially in critical thinking, communication, and technology/ information management. I really enjoyed creating the weekly blogs which allowed me to become engaged in the chapters as well as learning how to embed videos and hyperlinks. Blogs aren't something I was familiar with until I took this online course. The reflective posts allowed me to read others responses and look at different viewpoints. I enjoyed responding to others posts and getting feedback from others as well. I really debated on whether I wanted to take EME2040 online or on campus but I ‘m overall very happy that I chose to take it online. It has allowed me to work at my own pace and explore on my own. The videos were extremely helpful in giving guidance on how to do the bigger assignments. For the future I would defiantly recommend this course to others who need this course. Creating lesson plans, wikis, blog sites, power points, etc. are all skills I can use in my future classroom. This class has really opened my mind in seeing how advanced the world we live in is actually becoming. Technology is rapidly being incorporated into the classrooms. According to our textbook Transforming Learning With New Technologies "Computers are no longer stand-alone devices that sit on desks or in labs. Lightweight, ultraportable laptops and powerful smartphones provide teachers and students with anywhere, anytime learning opportunities." I would say my overall favorite assignment was creating the teacher webpage ePortfolio. Using the website Weebly made the project simple but gave the overall finished product a professional look. I’m really looking forward to have my own class one day, and this class has been a great step in the right direction!

Barney is a classic Elementary show that was a favorite when I was a child. This is a video that shows a positive school/ classroom environment which is what I will strive for as a teacher!

Maloy, R. (2011). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chapter 11

Focus Question
How can teachers and students use digital portfolios as tools for learning?
Digital portfolios are a collection of educational materials stored in an electronic format such as a CD-ROM, website, or computer file. Teachers can incorporate digital portfolios as a way to encourage new and creative work in the classroom. Also working with digital portfolios can increase a student’s technological skills and confidence. These portfolios can open a giant door for learning possibilities.
Photo credit: Pinellas School

Chapter eleven starts off by letting new teachers aware of the teacher assessment that they will be evaluated on. Teachers are continually assessed and evaluated by faculty who coordinate teacher license programs and by teachers and administrators in the schools. As well as teachers, students are also assessed. Student assessment is the ongoing evaluation of students, and is fundamental to the work of elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Finally there is the student involvement in learning and assessment, this assessment is how students will participate in the assessment process. All 3 of these assessments are important to consider when entering the Education field. A effective tool that teachers can use to assess their teaching is with a device called a digital portfolio. Broadly speaking, a digital portfolio is a goal driven, organized collection of artifacts that demonstrates a person’s expansion of knowledge and skills over time. Digital portfolios are a great tool to consider incorporating into the classroom. With these portfolios as a teacher you can ask students to hyperlink documents, create navigation systems, and embed images from multimedia. This is allowing students to become hands on with their learning. There are disadvantages to digital portfolios though. Digital portfolios require builders to know or learn to use computers, cameras, scanners, photo, and illustrating software, and other tools. Teachers may have to go out of their way to get professional supposed to build a portfolio template. This all involves time and money. Although these may take time and energy teachers have found this extremely helpful when monitoring their teaching. It’s important for future educators to know that assembling a portfolio is a structure for examining your teaching practices, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making plans to improve or change certain aspects in the future. Changing ideas a little, democratic schools and classrooms is a term that every educator should be aware of. Democratic schools and classrooms are places where students and teachers together make substantive decisions about important aspect of educational operations, from the academic curriculum to school climate and rules. Input and involvement require teachers and students to engage in open and frank discussions about how their classroom operates. This is a way to really get your students involved in the classroom. While self-proclaimed democratic schools represent only a time number of the schools in the United States, many schools and teachers see themselves as teaching democratically, and they find many ways to do this within the framework of a more traditionally structured school organization. Before introducing any topic to the class some type of assessment should be given to see where the students are at. Preassessments, prior knowledge-based learning, and online surveys are all great ways to determine where your students are at. The ultimate goal for every teacher is to get these students to succeed. There are a number of ways you can about this and one way teachers are doing this is by student participation systems. These tools are handheld and wireless tools that offer interactive learning options for teachers and students. This chapter finishes off by saying it’s important to change the classroom experience and really get students involved in the learning which will ultimately help them exceed, especially on those high-stakes test.
This is a great video that generates an overview on Electronic Portfolios.

Tech-Tool Question
The tech tool link I checked out was Survey Monkey. This web site is set up very professionally and is very well organized. At the top of the web page it gives web-users the option to get instruction on how the page works, examples of other surveys created, survey services, and plans and pricing. I will be sure to keep this website in mind if I ever need to make surveys! On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate this site a 10.

Maloy, R. (2011) Transforming learning with technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 10

Focus Question
What are differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning?
Differentiated instruction (DT) is an instructional approach that gives students “multiple options for talking in information and making sense of ideas.” Differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL) are frameworks for teachers to use in adjusting their curriculum and instruction away from a one-size-fits all model toward approaches that address the needs of students within the same class.
Photo credit: New World of Education

Chapter ten starts off talking about differentiated instruction and universal design for learning. DI and UDL are often associated with instructional changes designed to meet the needs of students with special educational needs, gifted and talented learners, or English language learners. It’s important as a future educator to become aware of all the different technology resources that can be incorporated into the classroom. There are two main routes for designing your classroom using technology: changing the classroom learning environment or changing how the curriculum is delivered. All teachers need to be prepared for students who will need assistive technologies. Assistive technologies are tools that make academic material more accessible to students by minimizing barriers to learning. An example of an assistive technology is an electronic speller and dictionary. This device can find correct spellings, listen to words spoken aloud, and check the accuracy of their spelling without adult help. By plugging headphones into the machine, students with hearing impairments can see and hear words they may not be able to sound out phonetically. Another assistive technology is the calculator. A calculator is a basic device that we all use as we continue our education process. Speech recognition software translates a person’s spoken words into written text on a computer screen. For students who have been unwilling or unsuccessful writers, speech recognition software offers a new way to record their thoughts that then becomes their writing. Text reading software is another example of an assistive technology that lets computer users hear written text aloud by the computer. The last assistive technology that book talks about is the interactive electronic storybook. There is some debate about the storybook. Educators have differing views about the usefulness of electronic storybooks for young readers. Some see interactive storybooks as open ended classroom resources. Other educators, concerned about students becoming overly dependent on computers, they wonder if the interactive features of electronic storybooks may distract students from the process of reading by decoding written words. There are tons of opportunities to involve students with technology based tools.
This is a video on how Speech recognition software is used.
Tech-Tool Link
The tech tool link I checked out was “Jim Martindale’s calculator’s on-line center.” Martindale’s calculator’s on-line center features links to more than 22,000 calculation programs. The website is what I would consider to be information overload. The background is a royal blue color with a page full of hundreds of links to click on. The site is extremely overwhelming and in my opinion not easy to navigate.

Maloy, R. (2011). Transforming learning with technologies. Boston: Pearson.