One Computer Classroom

1) How will you ensure that all students have an opportunity to use the computer? 1a)How will you manage the taking of turns?  (be very specific, would you have groups, popsicle sticks??)

I think this really depends on the size and nature of the class. In the High School setting, classes can range anywhere from 40+ in a general studies class, to 10 a specified elective class. For larger classes, I like the idea of small group work just for its practicality, as well as for its usefulness. Students would have to plan and write up a rough draft of what they will be using the computer for whether it be research based, or design based, so they can tackle it efficiently when their turn comes to use the computer. In either setting, I think a randomized system works best.

As an idea, I think I would use a dice rolling app, and have students assigned numbers. Either myself, or a student can be assigned to do the “rolling.” In this way, students are also taught how to utilize a randomization program which can be very useful for many different applications. It can be edited to not repeat numbers, or go up to a set number. Whichever number it “lands” on, would be the small group who goes in the assigned time slot.
2) Think of a topic you would like to teach in class and identify three ways you could have students use computers to study this topic?—Please provide detailed information.

Admittedly, I’m having a hard time thinking of a way that a single topic could be studied in three separate ways….

But to wing it, let’s say current events is a topic I could teach. We could do 1.) individual work and have students use the computer to print out a single article of interest from a local newspaper. Students could, 2.) in a small group, find trending news videos to watch together and discuss. Or we could, as a class, decide on a topic of interest and use the computer to find 3 different perspectives on the issue, and use the information to do a quick write on their stance.
3) The computer can also be a tool for instruction (by you). How might you use the computer as an instructional tool?

One of the topics I stumbled upon that had a wealth of resources online was in poetry such as Edgar Allan Poe. As his works can be quite lengthy and thus have copyright issues that restrict printing, the internet has multiple resources for teachers to assist in teaching his works. For example, there are recordings of voice acted recitations of “The Raven” that can help in setting the ambiance for absorbing such a dark poem. We could watch short documentaries of his work, or even clips from the movie made after his life.

4) In what ways may use the computer to assist you with your job of being a teacher, beyond what you’ve answered above?

Charts! Excel is a necessary resource. It makes recording grades, attendance, tardies, class participation a piece of cake. Grades can be entered and calculated in an instant. Everything can be seen on one screen. Also, communication and consultation with other teachers and staff can be accomplished with ease and efficiency. Rather than using a disruptive phone call, for example, an instant messaging app can be used to communicate across classroom walls.

Excel in the classroom

The assignment for this post is regarding the use of Excel spreadsheets in the classroom as an activity that engages the students as a cognitive tool that can aid them in gathering and effectively organizing data. Playing off of the example found here in our assigned reading, I like the idea of using excel to track daily activities. It’s grid format makes it quite easy to do so.

Putting myself in the hypothetical classroom, I could imagine having students use a spreadsheet to track time spent in daily activities, including amount of sleep. Students would input the amount of time in hours, and calculate in the adjacent row the % of daily time used. After a set amount of days or weeks observed, students would average the time in a total row and thus be able to see, concretely, what they spend most of their time accomplishing.

I think this would be a great example of  cognitive tool that a student can use to learn with. Although can be done with a pen and paper, the ability to turn the information into graphs and percentages aids the learning process into seeing the data they record visualized for them.

Personally, I think it can teach a necessary life lesson on budgeting and using time wisely and seeing the finite nature of time when put in numerical expressions. Many a good discussion could come out of this lesson. I know it has changed my perspective of my time when I think of how much of my day I spent on certain tasks.

What think you, reader?

Evaluating a Website

evaluating a website

Taken from a video seen here on how to evaluate information found on the internet. The above graphic design was made using a program called Inspiration. You can download and use a free trial of this program, and it is great for use in educational settings.

Most of the information provided is pretty standard for people who have used the internet for information. In the example used in the video, if you go to martinlutherking.org, it’s pretty obvious to most people that this is not a website one would want to use in a research paper. As I jokingly said to my husband: “I’m pretty sure any website that has a “Rap Lyrics!” link under a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. is not a reputable site.”

With all jokes aside, I do think the 4 key categories of judgement are useful in arguments. For example, I will see to this day many people use blatantly biased sites as their “proof” that their argument is valid. We see this a lot when it comes to controversial, emotion driven topics such as the abortion debate, or gay marriage.

The other points are also very useful in discerning a website’s validity. Is it current? Information and science is continually changing, and a website from 2001 may contain obsolete information. Can the author of the website be clearly identified? What are his or her credentials and what authority does he/she have on the subject?

What about sources? Are there any? Are they reputable? Are they clearly linked? A good argument will always have sources to back it up, and these sources will follow the same guidelines we use for judging the quality of a website.

Debrief

So quick debrief for blog followers:

It was a long process, but I finally came to realize that what I really wanted to do with my academic career was to teach. So I found an amazing program at a local University that ends in a M.A., teaching Credential, and finished Internship in about 18-months time.

I am excited about it! Sure, I’ve been talking about going for Doctoral work in Philosophy or Theology for some time, but I’ve also always only wanted to teach with it and most of doctoral work is in the research. The research part, although I enjoy doing, isn’t necessarily what I wanted to do with my life, it was the teaching.

For now I’m pursuing an English Credential, but Social Studies calls to me as well so down the road I might either switch to that, or tack it on as a second credential.

Where does Philosophy fall? A way of life and thinking. A critical awareness with a desire for continual lifelong search for knowledge and wisdom. What better way to use that than to impart knowledge learned into young people’s minds?

With all that being said:

I’m taking a 100 level technical class this semester which required us to learn to set up a blog. As I already have one, I can use this one for my assignments so figured I would. So look forward to blog posts with new technology stuff that I’ll be using to present in class. Yay!