Sunday, January 30, 2011

Last Post for CED 515- what did I learn about?

This post will summarize the experience that I had in CED 515. This course was all about using productivity tools. We examined a variety of tools that I believe will be useful for me and my students. Below is an outline of what we have covered for CED 515 and some examples of my work.

In this class we discussed the use of Graphics. We took a look at the following programs: (Roxik, Draw Greetings, Queeky, ToonDoo, Toonlet, ImageChef, ZCubes, Shidonni, Mr. Picassohead, Face in Hole, GoAnimate, MagMyPic). I hope to have my students create some sort of a graphic that illustrates a concept that we discussed in class.

Here was the graphic that I created using GoAnimate: Stritch Graphic by cmbauhs

We also investigated a variety presentation programs. We took a look at the following presentation programs: (Google Apps, Slideboom, 280 Slides, Slideroll, authorStream, SlideShare, PreZentit, Empressr). These are all free presentation tools that I hope to have my students use to present on a topic we cover in class.

I used 280 slides to make a presentation for class. Here is my presentation:

A lot of people use the Internet or computer tools but they don't really think about how they work. I really liked that we examined how the Internet and web browsers really work. We read the article 20 Things I learned about Browsers and the Web. I thought it was really informative.

Another lesson that we had was on search engines and how to properly use them. We read the article Seven Stupid Searching Mistakes. I found out that I was making some of those common mistakes and I learned how to search more effectively. We also compared several search engines (google, yahoo, bing, exalead). I learned that I should really choose the search engine that I use based on what I am searching for. These are also tips and ideas that I hope to convey to my students.

Another useful lesson we had was on online word processing. We examined the programs think free, write with, and zoho writer. These are great free options for students. The ability to share their work also leads to great collaboration opportunities.

I really found the spreadsheets lesson to be beneficial. We created a recipe using the spreadsheet option of Google Apps. I reccently embeded a Google Form into my Edmodo website for my students. The form will combine all of my students data. Because it is in a spreadsheet we will be able to determine our averages and our percent error. This is a great way of using student data.

Another tool we investigated was NetTrekker. This is a great search engine for teachers. It allows users to find reliable sites and lessons by utilizing a variety of filters. I have used it a couple of times to find new lessons since I was introduced to it.

We also examined how different people go through the process of software evaluation. I have done this at my school when I purchased some new technology for my class room. I really liked Sun Prairie's evaluation process and I used this to evaluate the SMART response PE system.

I have been using google calendars for a while and we also discussed using this in class. I think that this would be very beneficial for my school district to use. We can use this for computer labs, gym use, and the use of other common areas.

I was really glad that we got to make a Google Site because I have always wanted to create a website for my High School Science students. I have worked with wikis and moodle in the past but I have always stopped mid-production due to time constraints. Another problem that I had was that the moodle interface was pretty complicated. So far, Google sites seems like a pretty easy way to put together a functional website. I have enjoyed putting together the multiple pages of my website and embedding my work. I can really see myself using Google sites to put together a website for my students. The site would contain uploaded notes, labs, homework, discussions, links, and videos related to our content. It would be a great way for the students to obtain and interact with what they are learning in class.

Overall, I feel like I have learned a lot about different web 2.0 tools that I can use in my classroom. I have started to integrate google forms/spreadsheets and I have already utilized NetTrekker. I hope to do develop a project this semester that uses one of the graphics programs. Little by little I hope to integrate more and more technology into my curriculum.

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