Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
1. Make sure technology is fully understood before incorporating it into the classroom.
I can feel the apprehension in this statement.....Using something that is not "fully understood" is scary. Especially when you're a teacher and you need to present to a group of young, impressionable students. This class, however, has stretched my comfort zone. I think I'd be okay incorporating a tool without complete comprehension. Thinking back over the past few weeks, I learned more from the process than the final output at times. I think there are benefits to including students in this process at times....
2. Make sure this technology is standardized (i.e. compatible on all types of machines).
Still agree with this one.
3. Students must be given clear directions, goals, and expectations for all projects incorporating new technology.
Agree with this still. Looking over many final project blogs for this class, many incorporated a "tips on commenting page". Info on these types of pages included suggestions on how to start a comment; what types of info to include; appropriate etiquette of blogging; and also grading criteria. I think this baseline is very important to work off of. This type of framework allows for a common jumping off place. I like this.
4. Technology use should enrich material being covered, and not just be incorporated because it’s available.
5. Use technology to help better explain processes/material (videos and simulations can be highly affective).
I feel like this is just another way of stating principle #4....next time I would condense them. I would however emphasize the importance of this principle when talking about blog posts. Use of technology in this case can be very helpful!
6. Technology use should be interactive and allow for creative thought.
Yes, yes, yes!!!!
7. Technology should be used to supply data sets and incorporate a real-world/current events component to material being covered.
And thanks to this class my resources in this area have expanded exponentially!!!
8. Technology should be used to make material covered more “relatable” or “relevant” to students.
I feel that this relevance can usually be achieved through online collaboration and discussion.
I am still in the midst of planning out an assignment for one of my older classes this coming fall using a similar format to the one we just completed. Here's how it shapes up so far:
To introduce the class blog and the year-long assignment of up-keeping their own blogs, I plan on showing them a series of videos (most likely a few of the ones we've been exposed to in class....) and then asking them to come up with their own principles for how they plan to use the their blog he upcoming year. It might then be nice to revisit this post at the end of the year (sound familiar?!?)
Creating my own set up principles really helped me take ownership of my experience in this class. With the help of a variety of reading supplements, online examples, and a newly established PLN I have feel refreshed and renewed as a teacher.
Though I hate to think ahead now (a need to enjoy this last little bit of summer!) I am very excited about the upcoming school year. I think that the guiding principles outlined above will truly enhance my teaching; I am also excited to share my new toolbox with my colleagues!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
- Many expressed their hope to be more creative in the classroom; incorporating more collaboration, and student-driven discussion.
- Everyone is in agreement that the web 2.0 tools we have been exposed to will benefit our teaching. The specific tools that people hope to take advantage of seem to vary.
- Everyone also seemed to agree that teaching science in a 21st century classroom has a continuous learning curve.
- Because of this PLNs and social networking forums are essential. Teachers have a lot to teach each other.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Here are just a few ways I see myself using this tool next year:
- As a "check in" after a reading/video viewing assignment. It's a great paper-free way to make sure that everyone is doing their homework.
- This would be an awesome way to collect lab results. Because results are collected in an excel spreadsheet form. I could easily take all of the results and run any necessary statistics.
- Collect discussion questions. Sometimes students have great thoughts that for whatever reason they do not want to share with the class as a whole. A discussion via blog commenting would publicize everyone's thoughts. A form would send their thoughts right to me...
- Class feedback/evaluation. A great way to see how people like the class and find out what's working/what's not.
- Self evaluation. You could create a rubric and get student input on have them grade themselves. I feel that this is always a great way to have students truly understand assessment expectations.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
So Much More than a "Shiny Object": A stream of consciousness reflection on the benefits of blogging in the classroom
- Commenting on a Blog Makes Participation Mandatory. So many times in class discussions can become "teacher-talk" heavy and or they are run by a few assertive students. When commenting is a requirement, all students are given an equal opportunity to speak their mind. I think this could really take discussions to the next level.
- Blogging Cultivates Collaboration. Through commenting as well as posting students are building on the thoughts/inputs of one another. Everyone has a say. In the journal article mentioned above, E. Brunsell and C. Cimino talk about a blog as a "collaborative space within a traditional classroom structure". I like this a lot.
- Working together on a Class Blog Fosters a Feeling of Community. Students get to take an active role in their own learning. Their comments and posts drive the discussion and help steer the curriculum. They are "co-creating knowledge" (to steal a line from Eric's journal article...) So many times I have written in comments at the end of a marking period that a student needs to take a more pro-active role in his or her own learning. I think this is the perfect forum for students to do this.
- A Blog Helps Keeps Thoughts Organized. Everything you need is at easy access. Students can quickly look back at content covered/reflected on and also review feedback/comments from fellow classmates.
- A Class Blog is a Great Way to Share the Opinions of that Class with Others. Again...it's all right there. Everyone's posts and comments are easily accessible and at the fingertips of the reader. Sharing this type of consolidated information might be a great means of initiating collaboration with an outside source (parents? an expert in the field that is being discussed? another science class??)