Saturday, April 30, 2011

Collaborative Tools

During this class I have learned a lot of new collaborative tools. The one that I enjoyed using most was Google Docs. I think that this is the coolest thing ever! I use it for almost all my group projects now. Most people have not heard of it so I have to explain to them what it is. I simply saw that it is a way for all of us to collaborate together on the project at the same time from the confides of our own homes. The own home part is usually what gets them all :). After that I just say it is like a regular word processing software. Google Docs has made those dreaded group projects ten times easier! :D

Another collaborative tool that I have heard of but don't use that often is Wikispaces. I believe that this collaboration tool will come in excellent use in my future. I will probably use it to keep parents involved in my classroom. It is a sure way to know that parents got the information and it wasn't lost in the back pack or thrown out. Most everyone has internet access now a days so having a classroom WIKI would not be difficult.

Two things that I thought I would never use in a classroom were Facebook and Twiiter. Most teachers frown upon these two things in the classroom, they say they are just eating away at their students brains. Well Dr. Z thinks differently! We made a Facebook group and talked about projects, problems, and any thing else that was related to the class. We all made a Twitter account to stay in touch with one another and to get our information out for our projects. We used Twitter to send the links for our surveys and just used the classes hashtag. This allowed everyone to find everyone's surveys. I thought that I would never ever get a Twitter account but now that I have one I love it!

I really enjoyed learning about collaboration tools because they are something we can use in our future and in our other classes now. These will be very helpful in every aspect in my life! :D

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Group PBL Learning Lesson

For our final project we were to explain a new technology to the class and use it in our lesson plan. The technology that my group chose was Google SketchUp. For our lesson students were asked to create a breakfast invention that made breakfast faster but have it still be healthy. I liked having the other students in the class actually go through and do the assignment and create their invention. We created a Wiki for the students to post their ideas, projects, blue prints, and collaborate with each other. It was a great learning experience, we could actually see problem-based learning in action with our own ideas.

I enjoyed doing the other groups projects as well. I learned about some new technologies that I didn't even know existed, like Artsonia this is a website where teachers are able to post their students art work and also their regular school work. Another technology I learned about is Edmodo this is a website that allows teachers to post their assignments on the internet and have their students post their assignments on the website also. This will allow for student's parents to be involved in their students school life as well.

When I become a teacher I will probably be using Project-Based Learning, so this experience was very helpful. Seeing how these technologies can be used in the classroom was also helpful and gave me lots of ideas. This project was very informative and helpful in a lot of aspects in the classroom!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Interactive Whiteboards and Flipcharts

In Classroom Computer Applications we had to make a flipchart lesson plan. We downloaded the software ActivInspire. This software allows you to create your own flipcharts to use with an interactive whiteboard in your classroom. It comes with many tools, clipart, and gadgets to help make your lesson fun and interactive for your students. There are many resources available to teachers at Promethean Planet website. My partner and I found a lot of nutrition lessons for all ages. The lessons are from other teachers who belong to Promethean Planet, and they have used the lessons in their classrooms.

The software is very easy to figure out for the most part. Colleen and I ran into some problems figuring out how to get the magnify glass to work. There are a lot of tutorial videos, maybe to many, that you can watch to help you figure the software out. As I stated before there are a lot of them so Colleen Googled our question and got the answer right away.

This activity was by far one of my favorites. It would have been cool to see it actually be used on an interactive whiteboard because I thought Colleen and I did a really good job on it. The activities were really easy to make with the software. The clicker question was a breeze due to it being in the software and you just have to click a few buttons and its done. I highly enjoyed this and even told my sister ( who is a teacher) about the software and she downloaded it and is now trying to use it in her classroom!