Friday, October 30, 2009

Lights, Camera, Learning!

By Glen Bull and Lynn Bell

In this article it talks about how we have make the switch from analog to digital formats. This all happened from the 20th to the 21st century. All just this year broadcasting network has all changed from analog to digital. An interesting fact the article brought up was that from “1948 to 2008, NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcast more than a million hours of programming. In the past six months, individuals posted more than a million hours of original video on You Tube alone – more than the networks broadcast in the previous 60 years combined”. This is incredible, are youth has been able to produce more video than the TV stations have in 60 years. The article said that most of the videos are 2 to 3 minutes of length and they are for more for friends to see. Another thing that the digital age has brought is the capability of intriguing the students. They talk about how you can include digital media in every class you teach. For example, in history you can show a documentary and educational videos, in science you can show in slow motion and fast motion how things grow and work around us. In math you can show videos about concepts that are challenging. This way students can learn concepts in more than one way. And the most special way to use digital video is in language arts. The students are able to make videos about what they are learning about. They are able to use the form of drama to get their point across.

I had no idea that are youth has been able to produce more digital video than three of the major television broadcasts. It is interesting that teachers have always been able to incorporate digital media in school. It is a way to keep kids engaged. Now that the students are able to create their own video, and the media industry is growing it gives the students a chance to see if they like working with the digital world to become part of the digital era. It is incredible to what point we have gotten to with the technology. Something that I would use the digital technology in our benefit is, having the students create their own videos. This could work in any subject. One thing that you could have the students do is have them explain a concept that is challenging. This way they can work in groups and work through the problem and come up with different ways to express their ideas.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Graphic Design Online

By Jill M. Olthouse

In the article it talks about a new program that helps teachers with free online art programs. As most of us know most art programs like, photo shop and fire works are very expensive for schools to by. But is this article gives you the chance to look up some web cites that are free. They are almost like using the Photoshop or fire works program. “Students used Fotoflexer to change colors, sharpen lines, delete portions of images, and apply filters. Students can import the original photos from Facebook and MySpace, and post the finished creations on those sites as well”. Imagine all the kinds of thing that they can do with freedom working with programs that help them do so much and no cost to the school. Another program that the article talks about is, The ArtZone. It offers exploration in collage design, 3D objects, kinetic art, and much more. Kids have the chance of being creative with out limits. Here are the web addresses for some of the cites they offer:

The art Zone

Splash Up:


They are easy and have step-by-step instruction. The last web address is more or for the advanced middle school students. They even offer a two-week training for kids to use the program. And this program hopes to offer more free apps soon to improve the quality of the web cite. You no longer need to by the super expencive programs. As long as your connected to the internet you have the chance to work in programs that are the same or even better than Photoshop or Fire Works.

I personally had to check this web cite out for my self before posting this blog.  It is amazing what these programs can do and you don’t have to pay for them. They show example of what the kids have done and they look amazing. It shows you what kids can do if they have the resource. This is something that I would love to use in a classroom and personally. I love to work on computers and images. And the web cites that are afford in this article are great and useful. This is something that all teachers need to learn to use. This will make teaching more exiting. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Are We There Yet? Changing Trends in Online Learning and Internet Use

By Christine Greenhow

In the article that I read, it had an astonishing statistic. “Since the mid1990s, the percentage of public schools connected to the Internet skyrocketed from 35% to 100%”. This is a huge progress for all school. They are able to have the connection that they need to make sure that their kids are educated. This means that in only ten years every school has been able to be connected to the Internet. They also said that the percent of people having Internet access at home has gone up. About 60% of people have Internet at home. But the low income and minority have been working on having the Internet in the home. But if they have been able to make the Internet affordable for all school to have it, you can only imagine that very soon they will be able to make it affordable for every one. You also have to look into the company being able to the connection reach each family. Something that they article brought up was that the access of the Internet makes it easier for students to make connections with other people that they would usually not be able to connect with. This gives them the chance to learn about other and make life long connections. If the children are shown and given the opportunity to explore sites that will help them with school and even with expressing themselves they are able to grow individually. Something that the article said was, “However, it will be a while yet before we accumulate the research needed to understand the significance and impact of this for the field of education as it moves forward”. Meaning technology and the Internet.

And as we see it spread around the school system, the Internet is something that is growing very fast and something that is being included in very child’s schooling and personal life. We as teachers will need to keep up with all the technology that comes with it. But of course the technology will help us understand and teach the children that we work with. I can only in what direction it will take us with the technology that we have so far. But I hope that everyone thinks that the growing of technology is going in a good direction and that it will truly benefit us in the long run. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Do Your Teachers Need a Personal Trainer? By Aileen M. Owens

In this article it talks about how teachers need help with the new technology that is coming out. And that they have one person at their school that is able to work all the programs. The problem is that there are 356 teachers and the one technology person. So what the school decided to do was find a way to have more people come in and teach the teachers about the new technology. There was a program of master students that were still going through their training. The school decided to see if they could have a few of the students come in and help the teachers. They first had the teachers all have in intense training with the students. Then they pared up the students with the teacher so that they could be in a classroom to assist when the teacher was using the new technology. On of the pieces of technology that the teachers had trouble using was the smart whiteboard.

Some of the students stayed longer to work with the children. Some of the kids had problems working on Word. They would right a paragraph and then they would want to change the font size and style, but they would forget to highlight the paragraph. It was very frustrating for the young children. This was something that they noticed that all the kids did. So having the helpers made it easier for the teachers to teach the kids how to work on programs.  The teachers were so happy to have someone come in and help them with their technology problems.

I think this is great, being able to have helpers in the class assist with technology is great. I don’t think that any one or any school would give up the opportunity to have free help. And if you have someone to brainstorm with about great new lesson plans even better. Technology is hard and challenging and working with others makes it easier. They didn’t really say what kinds of technology problems they had besides the smart whiteboards, but whatever new technology they had it is always a challenge when you first work with it. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Choosing the Perfect Tools for One-to-One, By Brian Bouterse, Jenifer O. Corn, and Elizabeth O. Halstead

             This article talks about what kinds of computers and software your school or district should invest in. As we all know, Windows and Mac’s are the most popular software that are used in school because they are the more friendly, and this is all around the country. There are six basic steps that you can go through to see what is a good choice for your school.

There are three categories, thick, ultraportable and thin. Most schools use the category thick, they are the ones where us use the word, excel and power point application. The ultraportable can be divided into two groups, those that support Windows and those that don’t. And the thin devices are computers that cannot be used unless connected to a network, and they are not portable. These would be the computer that the kids use in a computer lab.

Now that six steps to see what kind of computer is best for your school are, Purpose, Operating system, applications, content, peripheral equipment, robustness, additional considerations. The article goes into depth of what each of these are and has a chart that shows what kinds of computers are out their and which once would be best for your school. Most of the computers that they show, I have never seen. But it all depends on what you need to do with them and what class your going to use them for. They even go into calculators as being a form of a computer.

I think this is very interesting, if gives you a chance to explore what kinds of technology is out their. And think about what kind of computer is best for you and the school that you might work at. The one way that you can incorporate this into your classroom is if you have the chance to pick out what kind of computer you would like to use. Being able to see what kinds of computers are out there before you get even asked is great. You’re ahead to the game and you can even incorporate more of the use of them in if you know which one is better for your classroom.  

Friday, September 25, 2009

Assessment Made Easy, By Andrew A. Zucker

In the article they talk about a school in Denver Colorado. At this school children can use a laptop every day or how ever many times a week a teacher would like to use them. The teachers have the children take their test and quizzes on them and they get the feed back right after the test is submitted. This helps the children know what they have done wrong, and they don’t have to wait a week to find out their test scores. This program also lets the teacher know the problems the kids over all did bad on and they can go over them right after the test. It also allows the teachers to have the students write short answer or essays. But it only gives the scores for the multiple choice, true and false, and matching. Of course any grading that the teacher does not have to do is a great help. It gives the teacher more time to work with the students. And it allows students to get comfortable with using technology. All the teachers at this high school have been able to adapt the use of the laptops to their classrooms to make a difference in these children’s lives.

Now your probably wondering how a school can get laptops for all of their students. The school was given a million dollars worth of laptop through a drawing from the company HP. It is incredible what has happened at this school. Ever since all the students have the access to the one to one laptops, as students graduate they all have been emitted to a four-year university. This is something that has never been done or heard of.

I have to say that it is amazing that something likes this has happened. I could not even imagine being able to have ever student in the school have a laptop that could be used at any time. This must be the best thing that could happen to these children. Of course there is always the down side to this, technology does not always work and something could happen to the computers. One thing that I was wondering is, what happens if a laptop does not work? Does the school have to pay to fix it, or does the company come out and fix. What kind of warranty do all the laptops have. I know that it would be expensive if the school had to switch them out if they don’t work. But what a benefit it would be to be able to have that technology at your fingertips. If something likes this would happen in any district of southern California test scores would go up and the students would be able to have a better education. When having to adapt this to a classroom, the article covers all the way that any teacher could use the laptops to their advantages. I have to say that this is something that would keep the kids interested in school and help better their education. I hope that one day all students have the opportunity that this school has. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Build your Own Board Bright, By Keith Vallis and Peter Williamson

In this article it talks about how getting yourself your own smart board for the fraction of the price. Most school will give you a computer and they might even have a projector for each classroom or you can check one out at the school library. All you have to get are portable writhing tablets. You would think that these tablets are very expensive, but they are really not. You can get 10 portable tablets for the price of one white board. This is a great way to get students in control of the lesson, if you can get a tablet you can pass it around to the students. That way they don’t feel like they have to be in the spot light up in front of the class. Now you probably are thinking but you also would need a screen to project the image on to, but you don’t. If you already have a white board you can project it on that or you can also project it on a white wall. Another great ways to incorporate this technology into the classroom is by showing big screen movies, or finding some great free computer programs that they offer online that will complement the lesson that you teach. And they have even made all kinds of different software that is specifically made to project on the screen and teach students about dimensions and many other subjects. And engage the students, and make them want to participate more in the classroom activities because they are made to be fun. This is also a cheaper way to incorporate technology into the classroom. This keeps the students interested in learning and shows them how they can also be in control of the class.

This is something that I would love to use in a classroom. One thing that I would make sure when setting up the classroom is that I would have a blank wall or that I had a white board in the classroom. Some school still have blackboard and if you try to project the light on the blackboard you can’t always see the writing on it. But other wise this is a great idea. And if the school did not have the money to get tablets for the classroom another way is to get a wireless mouse and key board and connect them to the computer so that you can pass those around that classroom. That way all you have to deal with is the computer and the projector. Now you have to make sure that if you decide to take it this route of using technology to do a lesson plan that you have a back up plan also. As you know it doesn’t always work, or you could have problems with it. So always make sure before you do use it that it works properly or that you can teach the same lesson with out using the computer. But over all I would suggest that everyone tries to get something like this in their classroom. This will make teaching fun and more personal if you can get the students to teach each other and I even bet that they time will fly by because you will be having fun. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

The ABCs of Privacy Practices for Educators, By Melissa J. Dark, Clewin McPherson, and Joanne Troutne

In this article it talks about how, “Over the last year the number of reported cases of confidential information lost because of stolen laptops, lost USB flash drives, misplaced PDAs and simple human error has significantly increased.“ it also tells you what kinds of things should be protected and how to protect. The article goes through the steps that you need to do to protect your information and they children’s information. The two major documents that a teacher need to protect are word and excel documents and any personal information that one has about a student. You should also make sure that you have a back up system for anything that you do. For example, when doing your grades they recommend that you input them on the computer and keep a hand written form of it also. This will insure you that if the computers are down or if the computer is hacked into you still have a written form of your grades or any other kind of information. As time goes by and we use more and more technology we as teachers will need to make sure that we keep the information of the children confidential. They also talk about how one can send the information online to the parents and still be locked so that only the teacher and the parents can open it.

This is one of the most important things that a teacher needs to learn. How to make sure that the important and confidential information does not get lost or hacked into. Every teacher and person should learn how to do this. As an educator all you can do is enforce it when you do grades and important information that need to be stored. This will help you make sure that you don’t lose information and that you protect the important information. This is something that is not hard to learn and all teachers should do this. Having the information secure and in proper place will make us not have to think about paper work and grades, but instead we can focus on teaching. 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Walk, Fly, or Teleport to Learning Virtual Worlds in the Classroom

Walk, Fly, or Teleport to Learning Virtual Worlds in the Classroom, by Maureen Brown Yoder

            In her article she talks about two new computer program called MUVEs and Global Kids. MUVEs teaches kids, teens, and adults about different life experiences around the world and it has realistic-looking cities to imaginative fantasy lands. They can travel to different places in the world and learn about the way of life and help people along the way to their destiny. This is all done by playing games, socializing and shopping. They get to talk to other people and see their points of view. In Global Kids their mission is "to educate and inspire urban youth to become successful”. The way they do this is by having them do a variety of projects that teach and promote global understanding. One example that they gave was the game Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City. In this game the student learns about real life situation in which they take the part of a child looking for their mother after the hurricane. They have to travel across New Orleans and along the way the student talks to others and might even have the chance to help others along the way. I think that these two games are a great new way to keep kids, teens and adults captivated in learning. They get to play and learn all at the same time. It teaches them about things that have happened in the past and life long skills.  

One way that we as teacher could use these programs to their benefits is by relating the computer game to history and building there own character in the game. If the school has laptops that you can check out for the class you could make a lesson plan out of it or you could also reserve a day at the computer lab.