Sunday, December 19, 2010

CEdO515 Session 2 Blog

This week in class we focused on where the internet comes from, search engines and how to use them properly. We also checked out online word processing programs. All of these lessons can be integrated into my teaching.

I really enjoyed reading the 20 things I Learned about the Internet article. It discusses where the internet comes from. It is something that I use every day but I never really gave it much thought. I definitely learned new information. I enjoyed reading about AJAX programming. It was a nice article and a I liked the book-like interface.

I also enjoyed comparing the search engines and search techniques. The biggest thing that I learned is that Google is NOT the only option. We read an interesting article called "choose the best search engine for your information need". It was pinpoints the search engine that you use should based on the type of information that you require. I also learned about new browser like Exalead, INFOMINE, and many others. The last thing that learned about was how to be more effective when doing searching. I found out that I was making a big mistake by not capitalizing AND, OR, and NOT when I was using them as part of my search. I also learned that if you put quotations around words it will keep them together as a phrase. I now can use the + and - symbols in my searches to further refine my needs. I really hope to pass these tips on to my students when we do research projects. Becoming a better online web researcher is a life skill that all students should obtain.

The last thing that we did this week was investigate online word processing programs. I love the idea of Online word processing for the classroom. It has so many positives. My favorite thing about online word processing is that it removes the common excuses that you hear from a student. Students can no longer say that they don't have word processing software available to them. These web based programs are free and available to anyone with an internet connection. It also removes the excuses of forgetting to save or not being able to print their document. These programs typically save your work as you use them which prevents students from losing their work. It is also nice because if a student is unable to print, the student can just share it with the teacher (this also reduces paper use - think green).

I checked out GoogleDocs, ThinkFree, WriteWith, and Zoho. I think that Google Docs is the most widely used product available thus far. My favorite feature with Google Docs is the forms feature. The forms feature compiles all of the users data. I can really see using this in the classroom. Students can complete surveys or compile data from a lab. Its an easy way to collaborate.

ThinkFree and Zoho both had an easy to use User Interface and remind me a lot of Microsoft Office. These programs should be easy for the students to use because they are typically familiar with Office. I can see using these as a place for collaboration on a lab report or presentation.

The WriteWith program is simple to use and would be great for in class collaboration and brainstorming. You can get the students to all join the document and add commentary all at once. This can be done anonymously or not. This is a great way to get feedback from all students and it provides the necessary wait time that some students need before providing an answer.

I think that each program has its own purpose and should be used for the proper need. I like that each program is free and the ability to collaborate and share.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 1 of CEdO515 - Using Productivity Tools Effective

During this week's lecture we discussed what this class would be about, what is technology, what is educational technology, and how does it affect student learning. We checked out chapters 1 and 2 of our book (Supporting Learning with Technology: Essentials of Classroom Practice), graphics programs, presentations programs, and type with me.

Technology includes everything from pencils and paper to computers and software. Educational technology is utilizing technology as an aide to enable learning. Educational technology is not limited to just the use of computers; however, the book and the class will focus on how computers can be used (hardware, software, connectivity, etc.) Each one of these tool allows students to learn and communicate in a different way. Technology can make it more possible for students to learn in ways that resemble natural learning by providing resources, support, and feedback that teachers alone may not be able to provide. The goal is to make technology use itself transparent, while examining the interactions, content, and process of the learning that occurs with technology.

In both our book and our class we discussed how technology should be seen as support for what teachers already know and do. It is about efficiency and effectiveness; not just a gimmick to catch student's attention. In order for real learning to occur teachers need to start with a focus on learning and then figure out a way to integrate technology. I have been interested in integrating technology into my curriculum for years. Now I have to look at the content and lessons that I have already created and figure out how I can use technology to complement my lessons.

The teachers role has changed with the use of technology because learning has become more student focused. I think that a lot of teachers are afraid of using technology because of the uncertainty that is associated with it. Teachers are uncertain if the students will learn the same skills that they would obtain from other lessons. There is also the inevitable technological difficulties that can ruin any lesson involving technology. I think that teachers need to realize that the integration of technology can be used to not only teach content, it can also teach various skills. Technology allows students to research, create, and collaborate. These are skills that are in some ways more valuable than the content itself.

One of the assignments for this week was to check out one of these graphics programs: Roxik, Draw Greetings, Queeky, ToonDoo, Toonlet, ImageChef, ZCubes, Shidonni, Mr. Picassohead, Face in Hole, GoAnimate, MagMyPic. I chose GoAnimate and made my first animation. I can see using this to have the students do a presentation. It allows students to present without having to worry about standing up in front of their classmates. Stritch Graphic by cmbauhs

We also need to make a presentation using one of the following programs Google, Slideboom, 280 Slides, Slideroll, authorStream, SlideShare, PreZentit, Empressr, or another possibilities. I have already used Google so I will most likely use one of the other options. I like that these are internet based presentation programs. This allows the students to create a presentation without having to worry about the cost of the software. It also saves their work online and allows them to share it in multiple ways (embeded, links, emails, social networking, etc.).

The last thing we explored in class this week was type with me. It is a pretty cool site that allows users to create a document that multiple users can work on at the same time. It would be a great way to get anonymous feedback from students in class. It also provides extra time for students that may require longer processing time.

I definitely think that I picked up some new strategies and techniques for my classroom. I hope to be able to find a way that these strategies will complement what I already do in class.

Thanks for reading my long post!


Monday, November 22, 2010

How does CED 510, and its content, connect to me?

This course has given me the chance to reevaluate my own personal computer knowledge and use. The most valuable things this course has taught me are: Live cds, pen drive applications, computer back up plans, and knowledge about computer components. I now know more about computer applications and its hardware.

What if complete computer failure occurred? While complete computer failure seems unlikely, I could not imagine the devastation that such an event would create. The biggest scare to me deals with money. I rarely use cash. If a computer virus wiped out all bank records I would loose all of my money. I put a lot of trust into banks and computer security and I would like to believe that this is virtually impossible, but the truth is that I have no idea what companies are doing to protect my information. It is pretty scary to think about.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What I am Learning in CEDO 510 and How it Applies to my World Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, the class that I am currently taking at Cardinal Stritch is called Computer Systems: How they work. In this class we will discuss the history of the computer, the different components of computers, the role of an operating system, the various operating systems available, viruses, and what makes up an ideal computer.

Last time I blogged about how the content in this course will give me the knowledge to become a better consumer and user of computers. This time I will focus on how I use technology now and how this course will affect my future usage.

I use technology everyday. I use it for all my work needs and I use it at home for social networking, media download and storage, and research. I have become technology reliant and I would freak if I were to lose my computer as a tool and resource. The most beneficial part of this course is that it has forced me to look at ways to prevent losing my valuable information due to a technology disaster. We will be researching a variety Linux OS and live cds,viruses and virus protection, a backup plan for a technology diaster, and various computer components.

I heard about Linux before this course started but I had not used it. This class required us to try out two different Linux operating systems. I was impressed with their ease of use and responsiveness. The best part about this project was that I learned how to make a live cd so that I can boot the OS directly from the cd without installing it. This is incredibly useful if the operating system on a computer fails because it will still allow you to access your harddrive and retrieve your files (this can also be done with an external hard drive case). I also liked that you can boot the OS directly from a usb drive. This lets you take your personal operating system with you wherever you go and on whatever computer you use.

Viruses have always been a threat to a computer and I have always tried to take the proper actions to prevent them from affecting my computer's performance. I am sure that when we discuss and research more about viruses, I will learn more information about them and how to prevent them.

The backup plan for a disaster will be a great assignment that forces me to rethink my plan in the event of a computer disaster. I will research uninterruptible power supplies, online storage, and networked storage devices. This will definitely prevent me from having a heart attack in case something goes wrong with my computer. I could not imagine losing all my work and media files.

The component research project will provide information on computer cases, power supplies, motherboards, graphic cards, monitors, windows hardware, digital cameras, network adapters, mouse and keyboard options, cd/dvd burners, sound cards, printers,processors, removable memory, storage devices, uninterruptible power supplies, and apple and microsoft operation systems. This information will help me troubleshoot any problems and replace any component if I have an issue.

All of the information that we will learn in the course will improve my usage of technology and prevent me from a freak out if it fails.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What I am Learning in CEDO 510 and How it Applies to My World

The class that I am currently taking at Cardinal Stritch is called Computer Systems: How they work. In this class we will discuss the history of the computer, the different components of computers, the role of an operating system, the various operating systems available, viruses, and what makes up an ideal computer.

The topics that we will discuss in this class apply to my life in various ways. Computers have become part of my daily life. I use them to socialize, research, collaborate, share, and organize. After learning more about computers and how they work, I will be able to make informed decisions about computers. I will be able to evaluate the various types of computers, components, and software that is available. I will be able to determine what computers offer the best option for my personal use.

This course will also help me protect my information and my computer. I will be able to learn how to prevent viruses and keep my computer secure. This will help ensure that I do not lose important personal information or affect the functionality of my computer.

This class should also help me increase the longevity of my computer. I will be able to keep my operating system running smoothly and I will be able to troubleshoot issues with the components inside my computer.

All of these topics will help protect my investment and make sure that I can maximize the use of my personal computer.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Computer history for Carl Bauhs

I can remember using computers all the way back to my elementary school days. I was fortunate enough to have access to an Apple IIGs in our home. The elementary school that I attended also had Apple computers and we would play games like "Oregon Trail" and "Number Munchers". The computer lab was primarily used for these type of interactive learning games. This definitely caught my attention and it did actually help motivate me to do better in my math classes (I didn't want to be the kid with the lowest score in number munchers). I also have fond memories of my cousin's IBM machine. We would spend hours playing "Kings Quest" which was a logic story type of a game.

As I got older the technology definitely changed. I remember when we got a new computer and a subscription to AOL. Our phone line was always busy as I was chatting with friends on the computer and sending emails. This allowed the computer to be used as a social tool and a research aide. Once we got rid of dial-up I remember becoming obsessed with Napster. This even got me to install my first CD-Burner.

When I look back and remember the "good old days" I have to laugh. I can now do more with my phone than I could have ever dreamed possible. The technology has changed so fast and has become so accessible that the possibilities seem endless. It has definitely simplified life and can be incorporated in everything that we do on a daily basis. Possibilities such as Pranav Mitry's "6th sense" (see earlier post) integrates technology seamlessly and makes information available to us at any moment. I can't imagine what the next generation will be experiencing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense | Video on

This is a must see. Using the internet as a 6th sense. Interacting with your world via a webcam, projector, and phone to obtain information and achieve a variety of tasks accomplished by only using gestures from your own two hands. UNREAL!

Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense | Video on

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quality assurance team

I just met with the members of my quality assurance team to discuss how we use technology in our school district. The members of the team are going to return to their departments to collect artifacts that demonstrate the use of technology within our school. We hope to gain insight on what we are currently providing and how we can expand the use of technology in the classroom.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.2

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I have been checking out diigo. I really like the idea of highlighting/annotating websites. I can totally see this being something that teachers and students could use to extract the important info from a webpage. I like the idea of collaboration and using it as a smarter search engine. I look forward to using this from now on.

South Milwaukee School District Professional Development Day

On Monday, my school district, South Milwaukee School District, had a professional development day. The first part of the day was a break-out session where teachers attended two inservice meetings of their own choice. I checked out an inservice on Adobe Photoshop. The inservice contained information on how to upload photos from various sources and how to do some basic editing. I hope to some day utilize student photos within lab reports. The second inservice that I attended was on social networking. We discussed how prevalent social networking is and its lasting power. The inservice demonstrated a variety of social networking sites and discussed safety issues and school use. Currently our school district blocks all social networking sites but has started to allow a few select teachers to utilize facebook to connect with students and relay information. After the inservice I met with some co-workers and discussed the possibility of starting our own facebook page for our chemistry students. We discussed the pros and cons and we also compared it to the wiki which we currently have. I look forward to seeing how our school district decides to integrate social networking.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Using flock to upload to my blog

This is a test to see if I can upload a post from flock directly to my blogger account.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I hope to learn and how it is connected to what I do.

My goal is to learn about how to integrate technology into my daily life and also into my classrooms. I  would like to learn more about web 2.0 tools, communication outlets, and other resources that I may not be aware of yet. I am hoping to utilize these new tools and resources to expand my personal experiences and help simplify my life.

I also hope to use these tools and resources within my classroom. I am currently a high school science teacher and I have used tools such as: wikis, moodle, voicethread, glogster, smartboard, smart response, and notebook. I actually took the time last year to research and setup my own interactive whiteboard using a nintendo wiimote and an infrared pen (wiimote interactive whiteboard). I am excited to learn about new tools and methods to increase student interaction and productivity through the use of technology.