WOW! I think I made it…

 

 

I seriously can’t believe I made it after all that hard work and enhancing learning experiences. When I first singed up for this course I had no idea what the course was really going to be about, when I saw that first video of Sugata Miltra explaining his Hole in the Wall Project, I was blown away. I always thought about the concept of technology based learning, but I didn’t know the level of acceptance in today’s schools. I realized now that the framework for 21st century learning is becoming more and more accepted by not only private schools, but also public schools. The thought that I’m part of this 21st century learning method really gives me confidence that I will do a great job as an educator.

I really enjoyed all the aspects of Project Based Learning which is under the umbrella of the 21rst century learning framework. Schools have been using Project Base Learning methods for quite a while, and have been using limited available technologies. But with the growing trend of computer applications as well as education based websites, Project Based Learning has been taken to a different level. I particularly enjoyed the use of the Google Applications to complete and share assignments and information because they save so much time and I never have to worry about saving my work. Everything is automatically saved on the “cloud”. That’s the kind of piece of mind that I would like my future students to have when completing their projects and assignments.

The wiki page method of collaborating with teachers and teammates was very new to me. The first time I heard “wiki” I thought it was referring to Wikipedia, and I became very confused about the whole process of creating one. Now that I understand the process of creating pages and editing them, I can see a wiki page being very useful in the classroom.

I’m very glad that I was able to learn so much more about technological teaching methods. I plan to use as much as what I learned in the classroom, and I will continue to expand my knowledge of technology. I know technology will make an easy and fun teaching experience for me!

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Cool Ed Tech Tool

 

 

Take a quiz by clicking on the link below:

https://docs.google.com/a/laverne.edu/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfDSKdBwmvcpWF9GJ-UOqpbYFru-BmZD11x7n0P5nU5P4KRHg/viewform

I was introduced to Google Classroom by the English teacher I work with at Central High School in Barstow CA. Even though I would see her using it to assign classwork to the students, I never got hands-on experience with it. So I decided to choose it so I can learn more about it. I believe Google Classroom will stay relevant for years to come. They will make many modifications to its interface, but I don’t see it going anywhere soon. It seems to be one of the most used technology tools in educational settings in recent years.

One of the major advantages that I find about the tool is its time saving features. A teacher can quickly create an assignment with detail instructions and appropriate documents attached. Students can easily join the classroom with the use of a code. The teacher can conveniently view the process of the students and can respond to any questions. It will definitely help save paper clutter if everything is done through Google Docs. Students can submit their work as web-links instead of printing it out.

A disadvantage with using Google Classroom is that you must have strong internet connection. Especially if you live in a rural area. For example, people that live in places like Crestline CA, a mountain community where the internet connection is limited.

Even though, I didn’t get to use all of its features because I didn’t have any joined students, and I didn’t actually grade any work, I found it really easy to use. It was very easy to navigate and create information. I particularly enjoyed the Calendar feature because it allowed you to see when everything is due.

My son Tyson said that it is really easy for him to use at school. He says that they log on to their Google Classroom account every morning, and immediately start working on their assignment right on application. I can just imagine the class schedule going real smoothly with the use if such technology.

Google Classroom is definitely working for schools and it’s here to stay.

ePortfolios

 

There are many benefits to creating an ePortfolio. The first benefit is that an employer or a university can easily access the URL to my ePortfolio. It is much easier for potential employers to view my work and introductory statement online rather than dealing with tedious file formats such as PDFs and RTFs or JPGs. I’ve had experiences before where the hiring manager could not view my resume because it wasn’t in the correct file format.

The ePortfolio can include not only my resume and personal statement, but also samples of my work such as videos, images, letters of recommendation. I can easily share this content via email or post a link of it to my professional FB profile or Linkedin profile. I can also conveniently link the URL to an online application of some sort. In the Graphic Design field, most employers require an online portfolio or ePortfolio along with a resume. They don’t want to deal with the file formats that I mentioned earlier, instead they want to simply click on a web link and have have all the information they need right at their fingertips. I’m sure we will start to see this requirement in the education field as well.

ePortfolios can be applied to my future K-12 classrooms in several ways. My ePortfolio can be viewed by my students and colleagues as a way to get acquainted with me. I can also teach my students how to create one for themselves so they can use for scholarship applications, competitions, and academic applications. It is beneficial to the students to familiarize themselves with these online tools at a young age.

The following link explains ePortfolios in more detail:

http://teachlearn.commons.gc.cuny.edu/?p=137

Project-Based Learning

 

 

 

I can safely say that Project-Base Learning is in its beginning stages; even though schools are starting to adopt it, there is still room for growth. I was wondering if my son’s school practiced PBL, so I asked him how many projects he did in his third grade class as a group. He said he did one group project where he had to draw the floor plan of their room and write proper dimensions without the use of technology. He said he really enjoyed working with his peers and learning a little more about the area of a room. I was really glad to know that he did get involved with some aspects of PBL, but I wish he would have done more group projects and used more digital tools. My son’s class is an example of the lack of PBL practices in some schools. Moreover, in the classrooms I see day to day at work, there is absolutely no Project-Based Learning. It would be really exiting to see the introduction of PBL at my place of work, maybe that’s something I can bring up at the staff meetings. Because the students I work with are English Learners; therefore, they can really benefit from working in groups and using technology to complete their projects.

On the other hand, I do remember experiencing PBL as a student in high school as well as in college. During my senior year in high school, for my English class, we had to create a radio station show. I remembered we all took a part in the show and for some reason created name tags for each member. I remember enjoying the project very much, as far as learning; however, I might of improved social skills and English language skills. Additionally, in college I remember being involved in a group project where we had to take pictures of Downtown L.A and create an infographic presentation. I enjoyed working in teams, and I remember taking the role of the group leader. I remember my professor complementing me on my leadership skills; and honestly boosted my self-esteem.

My experience with my college group project leads me to my next point which is that I find PBL to be a very fun and engaging way of learning. The students can learn to work with technology for research and project management with the use of digital tools such as google classroom suite, and  http://www.d2l.com. As far as disadvantages is concerned, the students that are not very interested in the topic can become bored and result in a lack of learning.

http://www.d2l.com/

https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/classroom/

 

 

Screencasting in the Classroom

 

Screencasting

My experience with using a screecasting program like Snagit has been exiting, and I plan to continue using it throughout my career. This was my second time using Sangit this month; I made an introductory video for Educ 458. I’m glad I had a bit of experience with the program before this assignment, because the first time I used it, it took me a long time to figure some things out. At first, I had trouble with the microphone because my desktop doesn’t have an embedded one. Thank goodness my husband has the headphones that have the microphone, that he uses to play online games.

I really like this program because it’s very user friendly. I like the countdown before it starts to record, because it allows you to take a deep breath and relax a little before the presentation. I also like the fact fact that you can stop recording and resume recording at any time, without making the video sound choppy.

The first educational use of the screencasting program would be an introductory video on the first day of class. Students love to learn more about their teacher, and it also helps to break the ice. I would show pictures of my family and pets. I would show them the places I’ve traveled. I would show them pictures of where I grew up as a child. I also would share with them some of my dreams and goals from childhood. This would allow the students to warm up to me and see me as much more than just their teacher.

The second educational use would be to show videos on how to improve their math skills with different websites. I would show the safest websites for children. I would pick the ones that are very interactive and full of graphics, specially the ones explaining fractions and geometry.

The third educational use would be a video showing them my rules and expectations. The video would introduce them to positive re-enforcement techniques as a way to manage behavior. The students will learn how to earn points and rewards for good behavior. I would use animation with the help of goanimate.com; a website to  create professional animation videos.

The fourth educational use would be to show them how to use graphic design programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, so they can use them as presentation tools. They can learn how to take ordinary photos and enhance them by taking them out of the backdrop, or change the colors on them. They can learn how to create magazines, posters or pamphlets so they can present their work. They can even learn how to create websites using these programs.

The fifth educational use for the screencasting programs would be to create a video on emergency preparedness. It can include preparedness tips and guidelines for earthquakes and active shooters. It would include YouTube videos, websites with tips and information, and images.

I would use the following links on my screencast videos:

https://goanimate.com/

http://www.coolmath-games.com/

http://www.realworldsurvivor.com/2014/09/27/students-can-survive-school-shooting/

Child Driven Education

David Thornburg, an educational visionary, elaborated upon an Arthur C. Clarke sentiment when he wrote, “Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be.

According to David Thornburg, computers should be viewed as a tool for teaching rather than a threat. Technology should help educators do things that were impossible to do before. It can help achieve educational goals while improving new ways of teaching. Educators should focus on knowledge and understanding when it comes to technology rather than data and information. In the past, teachers had to worry about providing the trivia facts rather than providing a full understanding of events and facts. Now, with the use of the Google search engine, students can easily access those minor details, while teachers can provide the information that computers cannot.

Thornburg also believes, that the traditional teaching structure in the classroom has been proven to be ineffective. Meaning that sitting the children in roles in front of one instructor is not the best arrangement for teaching, and that we should take a more technological approach when it comes to creating an effective teaching environment.

 

Iterview with David Thornburg is Out of this World

Can Computers Replace Teachers?

 

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The message that a future educator should take from Mitra’s Hole in the Wall experiments is that children can learn from one another if they are motivated by curiosity and peer interest. Students learn better if they chose what they wanna learn. A future educator should think of how an instruction can implement all aspects of a mandatory curriculum and the use of innovated teaching techniques.

Technology is important to me, it always has been. I chose Graphic Design as my first major because I have a passion for both art and technology. I plan to use technology as much as I can in my classroom. I plan on staying current and relevant with the emerging mediums of technology.