Word has been the go-to program for both me and my teachers. I’ve used it mostly for essays and papers; sometimes including pictures in them. I often use the word count feature since most of my essays have a required minimum or maximum number of words. My teachers mostly use word to type up instructions for assignments and for their class syllabus. When I was in elementary school we would hand-write rough drafts but type our final draft so that it is more legible and edited. I realized a few activities I could do with my class using Word when reading chapter 9. Creating a newspaper or brochure is a great way for students to take information and put it into their own words and sentences in a creative way. Word also makes their writing more legible and organized and is many times faster than handwriting. To teach my students how to use Word and other computer features, putting them into groups is a great idea. Those who are experts on one topic can help others and also learn from others. One thing I didn’t think of before is to create matching activities for them using a table. Another great way to use the table feature is to have students record their grades and track their progress. At the end of the year or quarter they can graph the data.
I have heard many times from my teachers that they can’t put something on blackboard or they can’t make copies for everyone because it violates copyright laws. The podcast on copyright and fair use guidelines helps explain the reasons for such laws. As a teacher I will need to read and review these guidelines and make sure that I have permission to use certain items and works in my classroom. It is also important to teach my students about copyrighting and plagiarism so they don’t make the mistake of taking someone else’s work.
Through the Word & Graphics 1 assignment I learned that there are ways to edit a picture inside a word document, there is a feature to view two documents side by side, and under references there is an easy way to insert a citation. I think I will use these features a lot more now that I know where to find them and how to use them. I already knew how to make a table, but now I will use it to evenly space and organize information or test questions. Most of the tools we learned about in class were tools that I already use daily or have figured out how to use when I need them.
I think computers are good tools to utilize in a classroom; however, I do not think they are the only tools. Computers allow for a different way of teaching and sharing information. Teachers can display information in interesting ways using programs or scavenger hunts on the computers. Students can construct their own learning and make presentations to share with the class. Many students will already know how to use a computer before they enter the classroom and some will not have had access to one. Students can then use their own knowledge to create interesting projects as well as share with their peers the different things they have learned. Using computers at a young age will better prepare them for the real world in this technological age. I do not think computers should or could replace teachers entirely because there are always problems that arise with technology or a need for further explanation on a topic that only human to human contact would fix. I also do not think that textbooks should completely go digital. Though I applaud the “green” approach, digital technology, such as computers or iPads, pose new problems that textbooks did not. For instance, staring at a screen for hours is bad for one’s eyes and, unlike a traditional textbook, the digital textbook could potentially run out of battery. Also, the technology (that has the ability to play games) could be a major distraction both in the classroom and during work time at home. Computers are a great tool to learn and present information, but should not be used as the sole tool.
I think it is important for students to have fun while they are learning. Educational games on the computer could therefore be a great way for children to learn. I will also teach my students how to use various programs, such as Word and Powerpoint, and have them use those programs for class projects. Before a test or quiz I could have them use a drill-and-practice program so they could receive immediate feedback and focus on the concepts that they need the most help on. I will also have them do computer scavenger hunts in order to quickly gather and analyze information as well as give them a break from regular classroom activities. I hope to find more ways to use technology in my classroom and learn how to effectively teach elementary school students about computers.
The label given to today’s youth is “digital native.” A digital native is someone who has grown up with technology. I think that accurately describes most but not all of today’s youth because not everyone has access to technology. I would consider myself a digital native because I have grown up using and figuring out how computers and other technology work. I think in most situations there is a visible difference between a digital native (i.e. student) and a digital immigrant (i.e. teacher). I can recall many times when my peers and I have taught our teacher how to do something on the computer. I think it is because we (as digital natives) have gradually learned how to use various programs and technologies whereas digital immigrants had to learn everything and apply it to their workplace almost immediately. Also, when people learn something at a young age it is easier to build from. I think there will always be differences among generations, especially due to growing technology. I don’t see this as a huge problem as long as the teacher knows how to use the programs and devices that they will be teaching and utilizing in the classroom. Since teachers (or people in general) cannot know everything about technology, this can provide an opportunity for students to become the teachers; whether it be to the teacher herself or to their peers. I don’t think that disqualifies or makes a teacher look bad, it allows the students to develop leadership skills.
Grade Level: 4-5
Topic: Coral Reefs/Marine Ecosystem
Objective: To learn about an ecosystem and build vocabulary
Coral Reefs are an important part of the marine ecosystem. “Marine” is a fancy word for ocean and an “ecosystem” is the environment or surrounding area. Coral reefs are generally located in tropical areas, like the Florida Keys or Australia. Reefs in a marine ecosystem can act as a habitat, or a home, to many different types of animals. This habitat, as well as others, also provides food. Every ecosystem has its own food chain or food web, which basically describes what eats what. Some animals can even live inside the corals and build a symbiotic relationship with them called mutualism. “Mutualism” means that both the coral and the animal benefit from each other. For example, the organism gets a safe home and the coral gets its color, oxygen, and energy. Another relationship is called “parasitism” which is when one organism benefits while the other is harmed. Think about the two different relationships and some examples for each. Coral reefs act as a home and food source to many different kinds of animals. It is important to protect our environment, like reefs and other ecosystems.
Podcasts are a good way to reinforce information learned in class; however I don’t think that it should replace face to face teaching. It could also be used as an interesting way to introduce a topic, but further instruction by a teacher is necessary for maximum student understanding. Podcasts are beneficial to verbal learners, but they do not benefit a wide variety of learners, such as visual and active learners.
I would consider myself technologically savvy. I have grown up using computers and taught myself how to use various programs. I used to make newsletters for fun and for my class in elementary school and worked on secondary school newspapers and yearbooks. I have also taken a web design class so I know the basics of HTML. I use my computer and iPhone almost everyday, but there is always something more I can learn!
I hope to learn more about how I can use technology as an aid in my future classroom in order for my students to get a well rounded education. I am also looking forward to learning more about excel, since I have never learned much about it.
It was interesting to take a survey and read about my learning style. I was fairly well balanced in the areas of “active and reflective” and “sensing and intuitive” although I was leaning more towards active and sensing. I do believe that I am, for the most part, balanced in those areas. I like to think about each detail as well as working hands-on and memorizing information. I am more of a visual learner according to the survey. I work best with lectures and taking notes, however I think the act of seeing the words in a textbook or seeing a picture/diagram is more helpful than listening to someone speaking. I would definitely consider myself more of a sequential learner than a global learner. I like to think out each step or detail to find a solution or understand a general concept. Overall I think the survey results reflected my personal learning style.