Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Final Blog

              I think incorporating technology in the classroom is very important. The possible lessons and activities are endless when you can use technology. Using technology in the classroom can benefit me because it can make things so much easier, and it gives me an opportunity to be more creative with lessons. Students benefit as well, there are so many activities that students can participate in using technology.  Technology can make lessons more engaging for students, often times students are eager to use technology in the classroom. This creates a positive learning environment. Some of the challenges with using technology is that it doesn't always work properly. It is important to always have a back up plan, in case something does not work. Technology can also be very frustrating to use at times. You have to be able to know how to use the technology properly in order for it to work.

              Video editing is a very important tool I will take with me from this class. There are many ways you can incorporate video taping into lessons, and now that I know how to use the software it will be a pleasure to teach with this tool. I am also glad that we were given many pointers in excel and Microsoft word. There were many things I was unfamiliar with, and now I feel that I can do so much more in these programs. Also, our e-portfolios will be very important to us in the future. I am very glad we got to learn about the different programs involved, and then to actually make our own portfolios.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Video Project Reflections & Video Lesson

  1)   I really enjoyed doing the group video project. I think working in groups of two ( in my case 3) worked really well, because it would be a challenge to film this project by yourself. I also think using an Iphone worked well. It was very easy to record the clips and to carry around. We could have improved on saving the files. We had a lot of trouble with this. We first brought all of the clips into Movie Maker and then edited them, but had no sound, we discovered that it was due to how we added them to Movie Maker. So we had to go back and re add and edit the clips again.  We also had issues with sound when we tried opening it on a different computer, but eventually we got it to work. Next time, we will know how to open the clips and where to save them too. I will take away many skills from this project. I now know how to add videos into Movie Maker live and then edit them. I thought it was really cool that you could cut certain parts of clips out and than add animation and text to the clips.

2)    Weather Project- Science   5th grade
   Students will be put into groups of four and making a video about different weather patterns. Students will have to act as a meteorologist and talk about a particular weather pattern. Prior to this project I will select different regions of the United States to give to each group. I will give each group a different region and time of year to research that particular regions weather pattern. Students will then construct a five day forecast for that particular area being sure to include:
 -Temperature  (high and low)
-Wind (in MPH)
-Humidity level
-Chance of rain (percentage)

 Students will then use the computer to create a visual of the weather forecast. When this is complete the students will then use a video camera to record the meteorologist presenting the weather. Students could take turns being the meteorologist by spiting the number of days in half, and students could also take turns using the video camera.  Students will then have to add their videos to the computer and edit them using a software. Students will be required to add animation, and text.
Once the students are done editing we will then add all of the videos to my computer. I will share each video with the class and they will be required to take notes on the characteristics of each region.

Some of the challenges that this project may present are that for some students it could be rather challenging to find this information. I could have a prepared list of websites to use with the students that shows where they could get their information,=.

Project time line and checklist
Monday- Split into groups, assign regions, explain project
Tuesday- Research weather patterns                                  Complete?_______
Wednesday- Create visual, practice for filming                   Complete?________
Thursday- practice, then record film                                   Complete?________
Friday- edit film                                                                 Complete?_______
Monday- Present, take notes                                             Complete?________

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Learning the Photoshop software was all new to me. Until then, I have never used a photo editing program like this. I found it very cool that you could crop out images and cut around images to get the desired image. I also found the cloning tool very cool to use. Now that I know how to use this software I will be able to make graphic such as, banners for my teaching page. I can also create posters or signs to hang up in my classroom. I think a Photoshop course should be required for certain majors such as, business, education, art, fashion, and many more. I believe we use images in many different fields and it would be very beneficial to have Photoshop knowledge. I don't think it is necessary to have a Photoshop course in middle or high school unless it is an elective course. I believe that middle and high school teachers are to concerned with 'teaching to the test' to worry about the students having a required Photoshop course. If in high school it was taught as an elective, then students who have the interest could take the course. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Copyright Laws

     Before learning about copyright laws for teachers I was unaware that teachers had to follow such strict rules. Teachers are only allowed to show 10% of a video or 3 minutes, which ever is shorter. This includes materials such as showing videos, music, pictures, etc. Teachers need to be very careful when presenting this kind of information to the class. I was very surprised to learn this law. I guess I just kind of figured that teachers have free choice to show anything in the classroom. Copyright laws never concerned me, until now. 
     I know many of my teachers violate this law almost everyday. Many of my teachers show youtube videos in my classrooms. Many of my teachers print things right off the internet and hand them out to us (the students) without ever giving credit to the source. I know this law is also violated outside of school in places such as restaurants. I often see signs to follow people on Facebook and the restaurants usually have the Facebook logo printed on the menus.
     I believe it is my job to educate my students about the copyright law. In sense this could be related to plagiarism, which is a huge problem. Children need to be aware that it is not okay to copy other peoples work, or to share videos online, without getting the proper permission. I could educate students about this topic by asking them to place themselves in the shoes of someone who put a lot of hard work into creating a video for website. I would then tell them to pretend they found out this video is being shared to other people, without your permission, or without giving you credit. The students would most likely respond that they would become very upset. I would then explain that this is why it is not okay to do this to other peoples work.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interactive Whiteboards

      I think interactive whiteboards enhance learning in so many ways. There are so many activities you can do with the interactive whiteboards. Lessons can now be more hands on and can involve students coming up to the board to many things, besides just using a marker to write. Students and teachers can use the interactive tools to measure,  match states, draw letters, watch videos, play games, and so much more. This technology was a little difficult to learn how to use. The Smartboard can be very picky about certain things, so sometimes this can be very frustrating.
     There are many benefits of having a Smartboard installed in your classroom. Learning can be fun for the students, with using all the different interactives. Interactive whiteboards can also be used as a center activity in the classroom. Students could go to the whiteboard during center time to do an activity that the teacher has set up.  I think the magic pen could be very beneficial to use when teaching a geography lesson, you could zoom in on certain areas. Downfalls to having an interactive whiteboard in the classroom could be that sometimes the whiteboard will act up, so you have to think on your feet to alter the lesson, or fix the problem. Also, sometimes the pens can be a little tricky to use so the students and the teachers need to learn how to use them. 
          In the past I did a current event lesson on Chile. I could have used the whiteboard to show pictures of Chile and to zoom in on certain areas. I have done a lesson on the Underground Railroad, the interactive whiteboard could have been used to play videos, show pictures, and as a post assessment tool using the games. I have also done a counting lesson for kindergarten. I could have used the Smartboard to show the students the order of the numbers. Then I could of had them come up and drag the correct numbers into position.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New skills that I learned..

      I think it was very beneficial to take the time to learn these skills. I was really surprised with how much I didn't know about word and publisher.  Now that I learned these new skills it will take me a lot less time to complete many tasks. I think publisher will be the most helpful for me. Publisher has many templates to choose from, which I know I will be using in the classroom. I really like the newsletter templates because there are many to choose from, and they help you organize the information you have to share. As a teacher I know I will use microsoft word almost daily in my classroom so I can apply many of the skills I learned to this. I know I will also be using publisher to create many things such as, newsletters, flyers, certificates, calendars, and many other things. Now that I know that making concept maps can be done in a much easier way, I am sure I will use Inspiration in my classroom, and I will probably even have the students use it to create their own concept maps.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inspiration, PLNs, and Social Bookmarking

I would most likely purchase Inspiration for the classroom, it is very beneficial in many ways.
How I could incorporate it into my classroom..
-Concept maps can be used for students to organize their thoughts when writing a story
-Can be used in science to show what certain things are made up of
-Can be used in mathematics to show ways to solve a problem
-Foreign languages can also benefit because teachers could use concept maps to show the different forms of verbs
- The picture tool in Inspiration can help younger kids learn new vocabulary
- Teachers can use concept maps to help break down instructions for kids that have a hard time understanding
- Diagrams can also be made by the students so they can help keep track of their thoughts
-There are many different diagrams to choose from, depending on what subject you need
-  Students can use concept maps to make a story web about particular stories they are reading in class
- When having to make a concept map for anything, I will never again spend hours in word trying to create the lines and circles!

Personal Learning Networks
     I tend to ask my other elementary education peers for their input on questions that I seem to be struggling with. Sometimes I even ask my professors for answers that I am not sure about. I also look a lot of information up online. For example,  I am always looking up new lesson plan ideas. While online I always search in Google for the information I need. I have just recently became a huge fan of Pinterst.com. I am finding tons of education ideas on this website. I think I will start using this website more often to look up education ideas (and many other ideas for that matter).

Social Bookmarking
       I believe social bookmarking does indeed have an application in my classroom. Social bookmarking can effect me and my students in many ways. Social bookmarking allows you to bookmark sites and then use the handy tool of tagging, so you can later find a website relating to a certain topic. This could also benefit children. If children were to have their on social bookmarking account then they could also bookmark and tag their favorite websites. As  a teacher, tagging websites dramatically cuts down on the amount of time you would spend searching for particular websites in your favorites. Often times, people add 'important' websites to their favorites and forget they even exist, but with social bookmarking websites can be added and then later searched for by the tag description. Another fantastic thing about social bookmarking is that it is portable, no matter what computer you are at, or where you are at, you can always access your bookmarked websites.
   As a student, social bookmarking can and will help me. I can now find lesson plans and save them under certain tags and then later search for them.Websites will no longer just be put into one folder under my favorites. They will now have multiple tags, so when I go to search a topic I will have many things to choose from.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just had to share..

For those of you who haven't heard of pinterest.com , read this website. I just became a member today and LOVE it. There are soooooo many awesome ideas for teachers... and really anything! 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blogs & Google Docs

1.       There are many ways I could incorporate blogs into my classroom. At the day care I work at we just studied the migration pattern of the Whooping Crane, and everyday we would go online to track their progress. This could have easily been turned into a blogging activity. I could have had the kids reflect on how far the birds traveled within a specific day and they could have even talked about there responses to some of the questions I asked in class.
         Another way I could use blogs in the classroom could be for language arts and reading. I could instruct the kids to make up a story (with certain requirements) and then have them type their story onto their blog. I would then give them the opportunity to read their blog to the class. Each day I could have the students make up mini stories that would require them to use their imagination and to be creative.

Advantages of using technology in the classroom
  • Gets students involved
  • Makes learning fun
  • More students are growing up with technology, so it would be weird for them not to use it in the classroom
  • More ways to teach lessons

  • Can get easily sidetracked
  • Not enough teachers use it
  • Technology can break/ not work


2. Google Docs is a very helpful tool, especially when it comes to working on group projects. From the reading I learned the Google Docs is accessed from your browser, so you can use it with any operating system. There is also no need to install upgrades, because it is accessed online there is no need to do this. So therefore, because everyone is using the same version there won't be any difficulties with saving and opening docs then having to convert the file.

Advantages of using Google Docs over traditional Word
  • Sharing the document, then having other people edit it on their own time
  • Being able to open it anywhere
  • Creating slideshows and spreadsheets
  • Just like Microsoft Word, a lot of the same options
  • Can  get instant feedback from other group members
  • Don't have to meet with groups to create a power point
  • Don't have to save to USB.. can just save right on Google Docs and open it anywhere
  • If someone else edits the doc and erases your work, it's gone...right?
  • Not everyone is familiar with it.. or even knows about it