Ed 3508

Monday, October 31, 2005

Webquests can be an effective teaching tool if used properly. A good webquest needs to be easy to use for the student. Because the idea is for students to guide themselves through the research process on their own using the links provided, the more detailed and specific you make your instructions the more student friendly it will be. A clear introduction and task will start students on their way to success, a structured process will make it possible for students to learn and discover independently and at their own pace. It is also wonderful to have the way that students will be evaluated with all of their other links so that you are not hiding the grading process and students have a clearer picture of what you want, and what they are working towards. Really the more basic and user friendly you can make it the more effective it will be with your students.

One way that I could use webquests in my classroom is as a part of a novel study. Individually or in groups you could have students research the author of the book, the time period in which it was written, and even get them to analyze the plot and theme within the novel. They could also be used in any subjects research projects. As a part of students research if you want them to use many kinds of sources or as the entire thing. For example in grade 6 social if you were studying Greece you could have your class in groups and have each person research a different aspect of the Greek culture such as government, religion, or so on. At the end the group could come together and make a travel brochure for ancient Greece using all of the information collected. If you have more time available to your class on computers you could also have them all do this individually.
Internet safety is becoming increasingly important in today's technology savvy classroom. One key aspect to this is student awareness. One thing that children need to learn at a young age is how easy it is for personal information to become public over the internet. They also need to understand the negative consequences that this could lead to. Making them aware of the negative ways in which their information could be being used is especially important if you encourage using websites as research resources. Some sites out for commercial gain could hurt them. As well when using the internet as a research tool students need to be aware that what they read isn't always true. They need to be taught to think critically about the sources that they use, and be able to distinguish fact from fiction. Other issues in internet safety include cyber bullying and online predators. Children need to know that such people do exist and the steps that they should take if they encounter such a person. It is important to think critically about all information on the internet and all users of the internet. Not everyone is out to hurt you, but constant awareness is the best way to ensure that no one does.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Spreadsheets in Education

There are a number of ways to use spreadsheets in education, especially using excel. There are two main things that I especially like. One is to use it for a time line. It would be agreat way to integrate technology into the social studies classroom, and a way to get students excited about the topic. They get to create something new and creative on the computer and for many it could actually inspire them to do a good job on the project. Another thing I like it for is making graphs. It is a simple way for students to create more difficult graphs to draw, such as the pie chart. They can easily see the relation between the numbers in graph form. This would assist in integrating teachnology into the math curriculum. Online tutorials would be very helpful with those struggling with the program because they can learn at their own pace and practise a concept as many times as nessecary before moving on. One link that I like that further explains some of the things that you can do with excel is http://support.microsoft.com/kb/214094 . It explains the conepts of using dates and times in excel really well.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Concept mapping is a way to visually represent the interrelation of ideas and how they affect one another. When using concept mapping technology in a classroom there are advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is for children who may not have any prior knowledge of computers, especially in K-2. Those children who have no support from home or are uncomfortable on computers may need more time than is available in a computer lab to finish the assignment and therefore they could be penalised for circumstances beyond their control. An advantage of concept mapping technology is that it could interest students in their schoolwork once again. In high school those students who are ready to drop out may find the integration of computers as a reason to stay especially if technology interests them. It could be a way to keep students in schools. One way to use a concept map in a classroom is to visually represent the different forms of energy to grade 6 students. They could be assigned to visually represent the forms using inspiration. In doing so they would be fulfilling to ICT learning outcomes for grade 6. One would be C.6.4.2 investigate and solve problems of organization and manipulation of information, which would be done in the actual creating of the map, the second would be C.6.4.4 generate new understandings of problematic situations by using some form of technology to facilitate the process, which would be done as they learn about ways to understand the new challenging information presented to them in the assignment.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Title of Activity: Investigating Ancient Greece

Reference Section

Olivier, M., Gabrual, J., Fuller, T. (2005). WebQuest. Retrieved October 2, 2005, from

Grade Level: 6

Subject: Social Studies

Brief Description of Activity:

Students will be divided into groups of 3 or 4 and then be given the topic which they will research. Students will then visit http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/webquests/ancientgreece/index.html and use the links provided to complete their research. A graphic organizer is also linked in which students will creatively organize their ideas. A story will then be written based on what they have learned on their topic using PowerPoint.

General Learner Outcome:

Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which physical, social, and psychological needs are met have varied over time and from place to place.

Specific Learner Outcome:

Use computer programs to collect and organize information, and to write a paragraph or report.

ICT Outcomes:

C.1.2.1 - access and retrieve appropriate information from the Internet by using a specific search path or from given uniform resource locations (URLs)

C.1.2.2 - organize information gathered from the Internet, or an electronic source, by selecting and recording the data in logical files or categories; and by communicating effectively, through appropriate forms, such as speeches, reports and multimedia presentations, applying information technologies that serve particular audiences and purposes

Rational For Integration:
Students will be using a variety of sources from which to collect their information, and through using a website all group members can access the same information at the same time. PowerPoint will be used as a way to publish the student’s work and present it.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Related (specific) technology outcome:
select and use, independently, multimedia capabilities for presentations in various subject areas

Subject: English Language Arts

Grade: 10

Description: Power point is a great way for students to blend text, images, and sound in a presentation. They have access to many different layouts and designs which will allow them to personalize thier projects.The students who have a lesser understanding of technology will still be able to use this program effectively, though not in such a creative way as those who are familiar with it. The result will be a sophisticated multimedia presentation combining all required elements.
Technology integration can be a very useful tool in the classroom. However, that is only if it is used properly. Bad teachnology integration occurs when it becomes the primary focus, using teachnology just for the sake of using it. Some example could be using a spreadsheet document independantly just to show the use of a spread sheet, or creating a powerpoint just to show that you can use the program. Programs change at such a rapid rate that this is not advisable. Instead you need to use good technology integration, where technology is the means to the end. This could be using an internet site to show children communities outside there own to compare and contrast them for a social studies unit. They are using technology just to use it, they are using it to expand thier knowledge of communities and what makes up a community. Some barriers to technology integration in the classroom can sometimes be teacher ignorance to the programs available to them, but it could also be an unwillingness to change. Some teachers like a certain structured way of doing things and new tachnology means having to step out of their comfort zone. It could also be that a tecaher just doesn't know how to implement a program successfully in their classroom even though they can personally use it and are not opposed to change.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

After starting my own blog I can see how blogging could be used in the classroom. I found this program relitively easy to navigate and think that younger students could do the same. Within the classroom there are many different ways in which blogs could be incorporated. If in your classroom you do not have a school email system and you wish to reach your students over the internet, you could create a blog for the class where they could get class assignments online. This would provide an oppertunity for those who my have lost the assignment requirements a way to still get the assignment done. Also with parental or student permission you could use blogs to publish student work. As we are studying in our Language and Learning class it is very important to be able to publish your students work in some way as it increases thier ambition to do the best that they possibly can. Publishing a students work through blogs could increase thier desire to learn and therefore assist classroom teaching.
My name is Jennifer MacNeill and I am from Grande Prairie. I'm a drama major and I also love to dance. I danced for 13 years in the disciplines of ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip hop. I am the middle child of seven and the only girl and as a result have a quite loud and outgoing personality. My mom is a teacher along with five of my aunts and uncles, and one of my cousins, it seems to run in the family. I am not a very tech savy person and hope to learn a lot from this course.