Webquest tour: Biomes

Here is my webquest….Enjoy!

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Wow! It is hard to believe it’s over…

ULV   Wow! It is hard to believe that 10 weeks flew by so quickly, but I learn a lot throughout this class, Learning Technology for Educators…

From the beginning tackling the complexity of the “shift” in the use of technology in the classroom and how I as an educator would fit into that role by creating a WebQuest to be used in my future classroom.  Let’s start back at the beginning when we found out the World was not flat because the wall had come down, the Internet had launched, and the global platform was being driven universal collaboration.ups  Outsource, Offshore, Open source, Supply chaining, In sourcing, and Informing

These flatteners became the way to do business for companies like UPS and Wal-Mart.  We were no longer connected vertically but now horizontally. Society was plugging in and playing with the Internet.  China, India, and the former USSR were connected globally with the touch of a mouse.  Computers were becoming a trend and the individual was using it to globalize the world.  Jobs and trends shifted and even children in third world countries were exploring “the hole in the wall” theory.

Project Based Learning (PBL) was entering the 21st century classroom through teachers who were embracing technology as a new platform for teaching and learning.  When students are engaged they learn because they want to so using technology to spark interest can be the entry event you are looking for to open new avenues of learning.  Having a Twitter account or using your YouTube channel can lead to all sorts of inquiry and even help to spark a driving question. The driving question can spark the project and get at the heart of what the students will be investigating or interpreting through their own learning.  The advantages to PBL is that students are learning real world skills of collaboration, communicating, and team work to solve real world problems. The audience in the end of a project based activity is not just the teacher and students but the community.  PBL can only work if inquiry-based learning is taking place in the classroom throughout all disciplines and being given opportunity to thrive.  Students should drive their own learning and we as teacher should guide them in this journey to ensure that real world skills are being developed.  PBL is changing the role of both the teacher and the student in today’s classroom.  Both are learning to collaborate, communicate, and inspire.

cloud The use of Cloudware is definitely going to be an ongoing venture for me because I find these programs are tools for both professional and personal uses as an educator in today’s world.  The use of programs to collaborate and communicate with one another can aid in building a cooperative learning classroom.  Many programs such as Google Drive or Pretzi can allow for presentations and documents to be edited and shared with colleagues from other schools in your district.  Programs such as Picasa and Fliker would allow for archiving of photos to be used in later lessons.  Cloudware aids in planning by uploading each interval of the weekly plan into small jings for my class to watch.  The ability to upload and be able to review is beneficial for me, the teacher because I can find pitfalls in my lesson before presenting it.

twitterThe use of social media is part of our culture and therefore a part of your classroom like it or not.  So embrace it and use it to your advantage. It is not good or bad just different, but it has changed the way we teach and it means inquiry based questioning has to occur to make students ponder who, what, where, why, and how?  This should be the goal when using social media and technology in the classroom. So get out there and tweet, friend and befriended just don’t give away all your tickets on Candy Crush.

youtube

 I will Snagit and upload it to my YouTube channel via my Screencast  borrowing some Fliker pics from the Commons and giving copyright credit, so be warned I will use the Cool Tools we have heard about and be sure to Google that doc you sent as soon as I am finished with my WebQuest final.  Thank you, Prof. Decker

http://www.techsmith.com/snagit-gslp.html?gclid=COTt39rrt7cCFS9dQgodfAoADQ

http://www.google.com/sites/help/intl/en/overview.html

The future of a cool tool…

I posed these questions to my current classroom students: How do you see technology being used in this classroom in the future?  The Promethean interactive board and accessories would be included, but how do you think they would be different from today?  Some students drew their answers while others describe to me verbally their thoughts.

In the year 2020, the classroom will no longer be using pen and paper for students to record their work.  The teacher will be the data collector of all data collectors because he or she will have to be one with the mainframe.  The Promethean interactive board will be designed into each classroom as one  wall.  Each student will have a desk top with built-in Activtablet and pen.ActivSlate

ActicPen  The pen will be assigned by the student’s thumbprint and have a memory chip embedded to store data.  Each student will be held accountable for their own work because the teacher will be able to upload the data chip daily or weekly.  Work done by that pen would be evaluated for that student’s grades .

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The clickers would be built into the desk as well so that recording test and multiple choice answers could be collected throughout the lesson and at the end of a chapter or section of the e-book.  The mainframe would allow for Google docs and sites to be shared from classroom to classroom and site to site within a district.  The Promethean boards would take the placed of all whiteboards and chalkboards, no more allergy problems due to chalk dust or the ink of dry erase markers.

Every classroom will have to have an interactive board.  All students will need to be exposed to technology because they will be using it for life.  We will move away from some traditional trends but still have plenty of hands-on collaborative activity to make learning engaging and fun.

Links:

http://www.prometheanworld.com/us/english/education/home

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/

Are we ready for social media in the classroom?

I can see the importance as an educator in knowing about social media and helping my students make informed choices in using it.  The students of today are “digital natives” who have grown up with computers in their everyday lives.  It is true that not all students have access outside of the classroom but that is changing daily due to public access in libraries, sharing cell phones and laptops, to various other means.  These students need to be able to navigate the social media because it is accessible and becoming a part of daily life.  We use it for news, shopping, uploads, voting for our favorite whatever or whomever and everything in between.  Today, students are inundated with digital information from all over the world and they have to learn not only to consume it, but to become participants and share within this digital society.  They are a part of the bigger picture and they need to understand that with that comes some responsibility for what output you produce.  Their digital footprint starts from the day they join social media networks and will follow them throughout their lifetime.  As educators we need to use technology and social media in positive ways so that we are leaving impressions with our students that live on and guide them in their use of this societal change that is occurring and growing around them.

The wikis that Shirkey spoke about are outlets for people to consume, produce, and share.  We are social being and this is our new avenue for connecting with one another.  The digital age has arrived and you can take a backseat but be left out of it if all you do is consume it.  The point of social media is to be heard not just seen.  As educators we are the front line of how are students “see” their world and learn to interpret it, so doesn’t that render us the guide.  Society is evolving all the time this is just the next phase.

There can be downsides to social media.  Our society as a whole has a need for instant gratification because of the possibilities right at the palm of your hands.  In education I see that the use of the Internet has changed how students research and find answer to questions.   It is not good or bad just different, but it has changed the way we teach and it means inquiry based questioning has to occur to make students ponder who, what, where, why, and how?  This should be the goal when using social media and technology in the classroom.51dyzXg+NdL

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_Shirky

http://edge.org/memberbio/clay_shirky

Equality in education at the palm of your hands…

If my students had equal access to a hand held device that had the capabilities of a Smartphone device than technology would be the avenue for driving inquiry lessons in the classroom.  The students would be able to connect to the Internet and access websites, join collaborative learning sites, and create webpages or wikis.  The benefits of having the capability to explore, learn, and refine their skills daily would build on knowledge needed to compete in the world.

The size and capability of the device would replace the huge computers and allow for physical space in the classroom setting itself.  The cost would be an issue at most schools who are struggling with the balancing of budgets every year.  The federal government and states would have to devise a plan of how to make it economically sounds but it could be possible with private corporations sharing in the big picture through educational grants.

As a teacher it would be my job to help navigate the  Internet, it would have to be used for educational access not entertainment.  The Internet can be fun and educational at the same time.  The students would be gaining a global education because the world would be accessible and the possibilities endless.  One pitfall would be how to monitor students’ activities while safeguarding them against possible dangers that could be encountered on the Internet.  This is a morale issue as well as an educational one because part of learning is making mistakes and taking risks. Safety of the device could be another pitfall because cost for replacing items that are broken or destroyed would be a concern from the school as far as how liable a student would be for misuse or destruction of the device.  In the end the pitfalls can be minimized so that the greater good can persevere and technology can be used to enhance our students’ lives.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/27/students-use-cellphones-as-part-of-classroom-lessons/1794883/

http://www.teachthought.com/technology/44-better-ways-to-use-smartphones-in-the-classroom/

Cloudware at a “Freedium” price

cloud

Cloudware programs are tools for both professional and personal uses as an educator in today’s world.  The use of programs to collaborate and communicate with one another can aid in building a cooperative learning classroom.  Many programs such as Google Drive can allow for presentations and documents to be edited and shared with colleagues from other schools in your district.  Programs such as Picasa and Fliker would allow for archiving of photos to be used in later lessons.  The use of collaborative tools like Cloudware in everyday activities would allow students to obtain the technology skills necessary for college and future jobs.

A wiki is a Web resource that allows users to add and edit content collectively and online, from any computer with an Internet connection. (Boss and Krauss, Reinventing Project-Based Learning, Ch. 3, p. 45)  Having the ability to give and receive feedback on lesson planning, project ideas, or more would allow the teacher not to be isolated.  The idea of creating something and letting others add to or subtract is liberating because we do not teach on an island, we are connected by the Internet and should use the resources available to enhance our classroom.

If collaboration is one goal of  education then we as the guides need to be open to new ideas and all types of Cloudware in our future classrooms.  The adventure that will lead to the next generation of students becoming the future innovators.

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium

Project-Based Learning components

http://www.edutopia.org/pbl-research-evidence-based-components

The components of Project-Based Learning (PBL) can be examined from the point of view of the project, the student, and the teacher.  The first component is the project design which begins with a driving question to engage students in exploring potential problems and finding real-world solutions.  Students become engaged through cooperative learning while the teacher allows for this to occur in line with standards and a set goal. The next component is collaboration through cooperative learning.  Student collaboration allows for teamwork to help build the individual student’s skills and knowledge.  The teacher will ensure through feedback and various revision of work that each student is held accountable for their input and growth throughout the project.  Students working at various levels in homogeneous (mixed) groups will provide success to the team as a whole because student will be sharing various ideas in a variety of ways with one another.  The teacher will be able to evaluate and allow students to evaluate one another using clearly defined rubrics during the project.  Another strong component of PBL is professional networking for the teacher. Using blogs and Internet access to gain ideas and strategies is important.  Developing a driving question as a team can help to ensure greater success of the project from the beginning by providing a clear learning objective.  The role of the teacher in PBL is to collaborate, teach, and reflect.  To teach is to learn and therefore reflection during and after a project can ensure changes to be made and lessons to be enhanced in the future.

PBL can only work if inquiry-based learning is taking place in the classroom throughout all disciplines and being given opportunity to thrive.  Students should drive their own learning and we as teacher should guide them in this journey to ensure that real world skills are being developed.  PBL is changing the role of both the teacher and the student in today’s classroom.  Both are learning to collaborate, communicate, and inspire.