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!



  1. I like how you used GoAnimate for your graphics project. I think it is pretty self explanatory, but I wonder how much time the students would need to make a quality presentation out of it. How much time / support would you say is needed for a class of students to make a minute to a minute and a half long presentation using GoAnimate?

  2. Carl - I love your animation! I also am wondering how long it took you to do that? I think that often students get tired of seeing me in front of them all the time. This could be an alternative for me to use, instead of standing in front of them. It definitely would change up the classroom environment! It could also be helpful if I knew I was going to be gone. Instead of giving the sub "filler" work to give the students, they could still have class. There are lots of different ways to use some of these graphics programs. They could be very valuable.

  3. Hey Carl,
    It was a surprise to see your name on the list as well. I like the way you said that we learned how to use technology to complement your lessons. I think a lot of people think that they have to make technology take over what they're doing and that it is going to change everything they do. That doesn't have to be the case. In many cases it can just add to what teachers are already doing, or give students another way to present their information.

    As to the other stuff...I teach at Ronald Reagan High School in MPS. I teach history. I got the job by agreeing to go back and get a Library Media Specialist license because we didn't already have one in the building. That's what led me to this class, because I only really need this class for my masters now. I'm kind of disgruntled at the start of this class because I just finished all my LMS courses, and thought I could take a break for some time, then I decided to sign up right away for this class! Oh well, always good to see Rockets around!