Protected: Reflective Post # 5

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Risdon Square

Here is a link to all these photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiadarnall/

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Quizlet

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There are a variety of online education websites to help individuals learn a new subject, language, or help keep their minds sharp. I came across a very useful website, Quizlet, the largest study site in the United States, providing learning tools and games to over 7 million students and educators each month!

Here are some cool features of Quizlet:

– It’s FREE

– Individuals can study anything. Either by using existing quizzes, searching the subject area or creating their own material.

– Flashcards

– Progress Trackers

– Tests

– Scatter–matching words to definitions

– Study with friends: Join your classroom, use in the classroom for exercies, and share your scores with others

– Browse by subject: Languages/Vocabulary, Standardized Tests, Math/Science, History/Geography, Arts/Literature, Professional/Career

How Teachers can use Quizlet: 

– Choose area of focus

– Create interactive games/activities for the classroom

– Use differentiated learning– setting the pace for each student

– Use animated flashcards that students can view in class and at home

– Create study guides/quizzes that are available anytime/anywhere (in school, at home, on the computer/other devices)

– Encourage students to study and learn on their own by creating their own flashcards and quizzes, as well as interact with other students from their class.

This website allows individuals to exhibit memory of previously learned materials by using flashcards/quizzes to recall facts, terms and basic concepts learned in class. It also allows individuals to comprehend material/ ideas by organizing and comparing facts/concepts in ways that allow them to digest and learn the material. This website also allows them to evaluate and track their progress. Showing them what they need work on.

(Cognitive Domain: Knowledge, Comprehension, Evaluation)

This is a very useful tool for both teachers and students.

http://quizlet.com/

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Brain Trainer by Lumosity.com

The world of technology is growing quicker than ever. The use of Ipads in classrooms is also growing. The appeal of using Ipads in the classroom is that it’s a hands on approach to learning. Another appealing factor is that you can browse and download hundreds of applications (games, programs, etc.) for free.

One educational app that is free, is called “Brain Trainer” by lumosity.com.

It’s an educational game that improves memory, enhances mood, helps individuals solve problems quicker and helps with one’s ability to think quicker.

This game could be used in education by special education teachers, general education teachers and small group instructors. They could have students play these fun interactive games, while they are using all parts of the brain. It is a cognitive based game that makes individuals analyze and evaluate problems quickly.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-trainer-by-lumosity.com/id338945375?mt=8

http://www.lumosity.com/

Attribution to photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/5323985069/sizes/s/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/erikbenson/524074200/

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Voki

Voki is a good way to have students share and organize their knowledge with other students. It is a free service that lets you create customized avatars. Students do not have to sign-up. Teachers can manage classes, students and lesson plans. 

Voki motivates students to participate because it is viewed by students as a fun “game”. Voki can be used in a classroom setting by both teachers and students. Teachers can use Voki to go over new lesson plans, share notes, and even give quizzes/tests. Students can use Voki to share and organize their thoughts with other students, as well as give presentations. Voki is an innovative online tool that combines entertainment and learning! 

http://www.voki.com/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/croland/3675204388/

 

 

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The TeacherCast Podcast

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The TeacherCast Podcast is a podcast for Teachers to help other Teachers. It is a Roundtable style show featuring educators, and administrators discussing educational technology in their classrooms and schools. Jeff Bradbury is the creator of the podcast. One of the podcast’s I listened to is #55 “BYOTChat”. This podcast discusses how schools can incorporate a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) atmosphere into classrooms safely. In this podcast, four educators join Jeff in the BYOT discussion:

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– Jeremy Angoff: Director of Academic Technology at OunceIT, LLC, a small start-up consulting firm that specializes in technology for academia.

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– Steve Hayes: Director of Bands for the Roanoke-Benson School District.

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-James DiGloia: Social Media Coordinator at Time To Know, an education technology company leading the knowledge revolution in the classroom.

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– Nathan Stevens: Assistant Director of the College of Education Media Center at North Carolina State University.

I found this particular podcast to be very helpful. The school I work at has a BYOT day, but it is very limited. Here are some tips and topics that I found to be both helpful and interesting:

Steve (Band Teacher) stated BYOT is a tool that can be used in small group lessons. I- pads are used to listen to recordings and used to hear what needs to be fixed. Students also use technology to tune instruments. I think that many schools limit the use of technology in certain subjects. Technology can be very useful in music and art classes.

There is a lot of dispute over the idea of BYOT because of the safety of the students/control over what they view online, as well as classroom management. Teachers need to remember they are in charge. Teachers should be able to control students and make sure they are using technology in the correct manner.

Jeremy stated: leave it up to your students and leave it up to the teachers to decide what tool/device they are using; I pad, I phone, I pad, tablets, computers, etc.

The only time technology can be a distraction, if you don’t use proper classroom management.

Both students and teachers learn. Students can teach teachers new tricks; teachers don’t have to be tech experts. They can rely on the students using the devices to help each other if there are problems. I think a lot of teachers disregard the idea of BYOT because they aren’t updated with new technology. There’s no better way to learn about technology than being hand’s on.

In this podcast they talk about what schools need to check into before incorporating BYOT. What schools need for a BYOT environment:

  • Strong reliable, secure network (no filters on internet).
  • Can network sustain the amount of use (5,000+ devices)?
  • Acceptable Use Policy

As I mentioned earlier, the school I work at has a BYOT day, however it is very limited. After listening to this podcast, I realized why it is so limited. The school does not have a wireless connection. It is also a private school, so all of the computers in the school have filters for the Internet. I also think that classroom management is a huge reason why BYOT isn’t done more. Teachers and administration are concerned with what students will be viewing on their devices. I think that BYOT is something that every school should begin incorporating into their classrooms.

Here is the link to The TeacherCast Podcast: 

http://podcast.teachercast.net/category/teachercastpodcast/

http://podcast.teachercast.net/teachercast-podcast-55-byotchat/

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Real Simple Syndication

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is a useful tool in the world of Weblogs. RSS collects feed from multiple blogs and puts the feed in one location. This allows individuals that follow multiple blogs to check the feeds they follow in one location, instead of going to each individual Weblog to check updates. RSS is convenient and easy.

RSS is beneficial to me because it allows me to check updated feed(s) in one easy step. I am less likely to check all my Weblogs on a daily basis because it requires a lot of time going from blog to blog to check updated feeds. With RSS all I have to do is log onto one site and it aggregates all my weblogs into one place. It shows all updated feeds and comments. Without RSS I wouldn’t check the blogs I follow as much, which means that I might miss out on learning new things. What’s the point in following Weblogs if you never read them?

The RSS feed reader I use is Bloglines.com.

http://www.bloglines.com/

This Web-based service is very user friendly. The layout is simple and it is easy to navigate around the site. Bloglines.com allows you to follow feeds you are already subscribed to and it also has a listing of popular subscriptions that you can browse through.

 

Here are some Blogs that I follow:

Lauren Faine @ http://laurenfaine.wordpress.com/

Deanna Allen @ http://didiallen.wordpress.com/ 

Amanda Schutz @ http://schutza1.wordpress.com/ 

Travis Wise @ http://wiset1.wordpress.com/

Kaylan Griffith @ http://kaylangriffith.wordpress.com/ 

Alvin Trusty @ http://alvintrusty.wordpress.com

 

**Most of the Weblogs I follow are related to early childhood education, however there are a couple that I follow because I am interested in learning more about their area of licensure. 

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Smart Board…The NEW Chalkboard!

      

Technology in the classroom is a growing topic in the educational field. When I was growing up the only source of technology in the school was a computer lab. I didn’t start noticing computers in individual classrooms until I was in junior-high/high-school. Today there are computers in every classroom, as well as “smart boards”, I-Pads, I-Pods and other forms of interactive technology. Incorporating technology into the classroom is very beneficial, it allows teachers to educate students in an unorthodox context. Not every student learns in the same manner; some students are visual learners. Technology allows teachers to teach subjects in a variety of ways.

I myself am a visual learner. I can read a subject out of a textbook and learn the material, but I find it easier to see pictures/hear audio on the subject to really connect and understand the subject. Technology allows visual learners to learn in a way that is more suitable to them. The school I teach at uses both “smart boards” and I-Pads in the classroom on a daily basis. I think both of these tools are very beneficial to both the student(s) and teacher(s). Incorporating technology such as these allows a little bit of “excitement” and variety to the daily routine. It breaks things up, and allows students to learn in a visual sense/using different parts of the brain.

When I teach, I want to use technology on a daily basis. I think “smart boards” are a great invention! Smart boards (interactive white board) allow teachers to convey lessons, share notes, and involve students in the teaching/learning process. With this board you can pull pictures, videos, and text from the Internet, as well as write on the board with a special pen. Everything added or corrected during the lesson is then saved to a computer. Smart boards also allow students to be involved in the learning process. Most of the interactive white boards have remote clickers for the students. This allows students to answer questions from the lesson and allows teachers to collect information on the percentage of students learning the material. Students can go up to the board, add ideas, solve problems and play games with the smart board pen. This allows students to learn while having fun. Smart Boards are also very user friendly. If you can operate a computer, you can operate a Smart Board!

Here are some links to Smart Board websites:

http://smarttech.com/smartboard

http://www.scholastic.com/smarttech/teachers.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U05WeXPGlk

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