Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26th, Roll playing

Today we did roll playing. It would have been really fun if we would have been able to use Science Sim to roll play our parts. Unfortunately we had some technical difficulties with Science Sim so we were not able to do the roll plays. I think that it would have been really fun to discuss on Sci Sim. It would be a great way to evaluate and discuss for those children in your class who may be a little bit more quiet and shy. This is a way for children to express their thoughts and feelings without feeling the pressure of being recorded. By the time I become a teacher I this program will probably have some of the quirks out of it so that it would be very efficient to use in a classroom. I think that this program has potential. It is still just in the process of being revised.
I think that using recorders in your classroom and other devices is very useful and very motivational for your students. I think that they would really enjoy it and it would be a fun way to assess your students without them really knowing. Although today was kind of frustrating I think that it will be very useful in the future.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Edith Bowen and Website Evaluation

Today we had the opportunity to go to Edith Bowen Elementary School and talk with a teacher and students about the technology they use in their classroom. This was really fun and helpful. I never thought of some of the things that this teacher used. He used I-pods computers and even a Nintendo WII in his classroom. I was really impressed with the young girl who showed me some of the programs they use on the computer. I never realized how useful some of the resources out there could be. We have always been taught that small group is a great way to learn and using these technologies is a great way to be able to do a lot of small group in your classroom. I was impressed with the excitement and the engagement that the teacher said was present in the room when the children were allowed to use the I-pods or the computers. I think that using these technologies in the classroom can be very helpful and I look forward to using them in the classroom.

Upon arrival back in the classroom we did website evaluations. We had four different forms that we used to evaluate 4 different types of websites. Although I feel like these forms were not very applicable to the websites we were looking up I feel that the Jericho Middle School Library Evaluation was my favorite. It was a quick easy checklist that helped me to really see a simple view of the website. I felt that all of the evaluations gave a brief overview but I think that there are better evaluations out there. It was hard to use such generic forms to evaluate the different varieties of websites. I think that there is probably a forms out there that would be more specific to each of the different types of websites we looked up.
I was very impressed with the NASA website. It passed almost every aspect of the evaluation. I never realized how important it is to make sure that the website is valid and that it has an author posted. I would have never thought to look for that in the websites. I was surprised to find out that most of the websites had an email link to send questions or concerns to but not a phone number or address. I think that this is becoming more and more common because of the increased use of technology in our world today. This evaluation helped me to learn what is important to look for on a website you are thinking about using in your classroom.
There is a lot of value to using a web site evaluation. It helps you to make sure that you are looking at every aspect of a website. It also helps you to look deeper into a website rather than just seeing something you like and assuming that it is good and credible. I think that website evaluation forms really open the eyes of a teacher and help them to understand the importance of finding good, useful and credible websites.
There are definitely times that I would not use a formal evaluation. I think that there are several sites that have parts to them that are good and useful and other parts that are not. If we use a website evaluation we might rule out the website in whole when really there is valuable resources on the website. I think that as a teacher we really need to look deep into the websites we are thinking about using and make sure that they are credible and that they will really be useful for our students. I think that we should not quickly overlook websites but instead dive deep into them and find those aspects that will be useful to us in our classrooms.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Instructional Architect

Today we had a visitor come in and talk to us about Utah States Instructional Architect website. It was awesome to learn about this resource. I will definitely use this in my classroom. It is really easy to navigate through and a great way to develop projects for your students. It is a way for you as a teacher to use your own ideas and what you know interests your students. I think that there are many great resources that you can use already present on this website. Just by doing a simple search of the topic that you want you get many different lesson plans that other teachers have created. This is a great website to go to and get ideas to use in your classroom. I also think that it would be a good idea to post your students responses under the activity so that other teachers can have an idea of what students have developed based on the directions. I think that this is a great website that is valuable to you as a teacher in more than one way. I am really excited to get ideas, create lesson plans and use the lesson plans already present with my students.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Web Quest and Inquiry Based Learning

Today was a very helpful day. We started off talking about inquiry based learning where children ask questions and then answer them. This is a great way to promote process learning rather than just product. The children are required to figure out the answer for themselves using the wide variety of resources we have today. We then went into talking about Web Quests. This is such a cool site. I will definitely use this in my future classroom. I think that it is a great way to encourage process and that it is an easy way for the teacher to evaluate whether the students are understanding. I really like the wide array of activities. I looked up several different topics and there were activities for every topic. I like that they are arranged in several different ways general subjects and specific topics. I think that this website is a great resource and very user friendly. I think that this would be a great activity to use for a center. This way all of your students can do the same activity in small groups. It is also a great center that would not have to have a teacher present to conduct. This is a great way to accommodate if you only have a couple of computers in your classroom. You can extend Web Quest by having your students present their results to the class. I think that Web Quest is a great extension to concepts as well. It is a great way to do a hands on review for your students. I think that overall this is a great resource that I look forward to using in my classroom. One more thing that I really like is quest garden because we can try this out as a teacher for free to see how it works in our classroom. Then we can know if we really want to pay the money for it. Overall I think that this program is good. It is very user friendly and I will definitely consider using it in my future classroom.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Virtual World March 29, 2010

Today we learned how to use virtual world. This program is really cool. It took us a while to get the class into the program but once we were in we had a fun time exploring. This program is very engaging. You could use this in your classroom to have discussions that were more engaging. Your students would be able to move themselves around to the different areas of the program and discuss different things at each area. This would also be a good program to use when learning about other countries and cultures. You could create the countries that you were talking about and add some things to demonstrate what is common in the culture of that country. The students could then visit those countries and learn a little bit about each one in an engaging way.
This program was frustrating at first but once we learned how to use it we really enjoyed it. I think that this is a great program that you could bring into your classroom to provide variety and to help your students be more engaged.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Google Survey

Today was a really fun day of class. We learned how to make a survey on Google Docs. These surveys are great. In class we were able to ask whatever questions we wanted to. These surveys would be a great way to do a short quiz in your classroom. It would be a great way to question students about their likes and dislikes. I think that I will use this on the first day of class to find out what my students like and dislike and what they expect from me as their teacher. I think that this is a great way to get to know your students. This program gives you results so that you can refer back to them frequently. I think that this could also be a fun get to know you thing for the students in your classroom. Each student could come up with a question and then as a teacher I could combine them all and put them into a survey. The class could then answer the questions and we could discuss them in class. I think this would be a fun get to know you activity. I think this program would be fun. The link to my survey is

My first survey

Amber Kohler My first survey

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