Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Post #11 - THE LAST ONE!!!

1)  Do not necessarily have a favorite tool, but was glad to become familiar with some of what is available out there to enhance the learning process for students.  Whether you apply tools/apps for lab groups to work with like moviemaker, or simple communication tools like Twitter, used properly the classroom can become a better extension into the technology used in the work place.

2)  My views have not changed, as it is the teacher who is first and foremost who going to be driving force for the student's learning.  Technology can greatly enhance that learning and make it even more student driven, which is the goal, but technology is only a tool.  It should not be the lesson. There must be purpose, an objective, that students follow to guide their learning.  Teachers must be the ones to set that up.  Even in online learning environments, this is still the case.

3)  The only surprise I had was the easy that some the tool were to use.  My reluctance (and time-constraints) to use some the these tools were unwarranted.  Will definitely use more of these tools in the classroom going forward.

Post #10

1. 3 Things students need to remember and understand
     a.  All content discussed and seen over the web can be construed on a positive and negative manner upon yourself, whether that is fair or not.
     b.  People will not always agree with your points of view.
     c.  Discussion of different perpectives is healthy when done appropriately.

2.Internet Safety and digital citizenship videos for students, parents and teachers is one i believe every person now needs to view.  Good points are brought up in these presentations.

3.  Couple of ways to do this.  Could set up a phony social account with questionable content and discuss with the class on a blog. Then you could further the lesson by posting negative comments back to students when their views are posted.  I also thought how Alan November showed us the website "honoring" Martin Luther King, Jr. was very effective.  Would definitely need some assistance with that, as that research into seeing that it was created by the KKK is more advanced. But I still remember that, and am sure that a lesson like that would resonate with students.

4. I would share this information on my syllubus and website, as well as discuss this at open house.  would also be effective for SBISD to create a sort of education campaign within the community highlighting this topic.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Post #9

1. What's the purpose of using technology in the classroom if it is not tied into the lesson being taught?  There may be times to give students an opportunities to play with the technology being provided to give the students opportunities to learn what the product is capable of.  But even doing this is should be tied into what you want the students to learn.  Time is too valuable in the classroom to let it be wasted, even without technology being involved.  Technology can be an invaluable tool in keeping students engaged and moving forward in a lesson, but if the use is not tied into an objective, tech. is just another tool for students to disengage themselves from learning.

2. In biology, we perform lab within groups of students where each member is accountable not only their own actions in the lab in terms of materials being used, demonstrating the proper procedures to ensure the safety of all members in their group and those around them, and just simply making sure that no one person is doing all the work.  The technology that's being introduced into the classroom is just an extention of rules and guidelines that already are established in science classrooms.  Much of our equipment is very costly, and so with these iPads and netbooks, same rules will apply, with some additional ones to follow.

3. PhET and Thinkfinity are both good sites for students. Numerous activities and lessons can help support a group's learning process.  They could also be used to help guide lab procedures, provide demonstrations which classes may not necessarily have time or resources to complete. you could even set classes up where a different procedure or lab process is viewed at every table that students rotate. Lots of possibilities.  There are also a number of websites run by universities and research institutions that also provide online lab activities and demonstrations.

4. a. Animoto or iMovie could be used to assist in presentations groups make in various projects done throughout the semester.  Videoscience also would be good to use in viewing quick lab demonstrations otherwise not doen in the classroom.

5. There are a variety of ways the iPads could be used in science classrooms.  As i become more familiar with the capabilities of the iPad, i can envision where groups use the iPad to not only type in data, but the iPad becomes the data collector, perhaps in measuring temperature change, sunlight intensity, etc. for a lab.

Post #8

 I learned of the differences between the netbooks and iPads that we will be receiving in the coming weeks. How netbooks have ports to set up projectors, monitors, etc. The different technologies that each incorporate allows for each to be used differently in the classroom.   This will be something that teachers will have to figure out, but i can definitely envision some possibilities in the biology classroom.  One easy application which could be done with both could be a video viewed where groups use as a guide video on a dissection.

The difficult problem will be ensuring that students use and treat these tools accordingly.  Would like to setup guidelines where student are responsible for their own use.  However, will be interesting to see how students will actually treat the stuff that is not their own.  Usually deal with the rougher students in my biology classes, and it is hard enough to keep them in line with materials that are relatively cheap.  Now we are talking about $$$ with the iPads and NetBooks we are getting.  Will be good that all received items will be synced to my laptop to monitor the use by groups.

Post #7

Content Objective: Students will analyze data from various growths of bacteria collected by Biology students around the school campus.

When implemented: Students will be introduced to this project at the beginning of our bacteria and viruses unit as a form of independent practice of the skills they will learn. This will illustrate how bacterial growth in its appearance represents different strains/organisms.

Tools used: Edmodo to communicate info between myself and the students, as well as peer-peer communication. Could also use this to find other classrooms across the world that would like to share data - maybe couple with Skype???; Google Docs for data collection spreadsheets & creating presentations.

Description: Students will collect strains of bacteria from various locations in the school by swabbing surfaces and placing collections in a petri dish, where they will then grow in a controlled state within an incubator for a 24-48 hour period.. Students will use Google Docs to record data into spreadsheets that can be shared with me, each other, and other classes both in our school and outside of it. Presentations of the findings can be made in Google Docs as well.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Post #6

I am already using twitter.com in communicating with the Boys Soccer program here at MHS. The intended use is for both players and parents to get up to date information within the soccer team.  It has especially become beneficial in regards to game changes, practice reminders and changes, so whatever else needs to be communicated.  We have dealt with two game changes this season due to weather, and instead of trying to communicate through a phone tree, email and text, followers are just simply tweeted the changes.  Very simple.

Also tried out Wallwisher. Thought it has some cool possibilites. Could be used as a reminder board for soccer program, but see much more potential in creating a discussion board of sorts for academic classes.  can see different post laid out. Similar to a comments section on a blog, but the layout has some potential to become something different.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Saw some cools things to use with this Tool #.  Tried out Stupeflix and Animoto, creating an "Oscar" worthy film production of..... well, I'll just let you enjoy!!

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

There were a number of other tools that i liked, especially with Google.  Being able to use these tools to help students in creating different presentations, exhibiting various forms of instruction for students to incorporate into their own learning.  Using these tools could certainly help in creating a student-centered learning environment for educators, where it empowers them to learn.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Post #4

In our biology dept., we have already started using Google Docs as a place to have students work together in create and collaborating  on lab writeups and assignments.  I can definitely see some great value in using this tool. Teachers must be careful however of students copying other students work, and files in the GDocs account are accessible to anyone.  Students can access another students work and claim it for themselves, or revise one's work for their own without really having to do a thing.

The forms tool also looks promising.  There are a number of tools which i have not even seen, and am sure they could also have some good application purposes in the classroom.

The worry I have in my academic classes is how many of my students lack the financial means to access this technology.  I know that there libraries, and our iPads now, but what about when they get home?  Technology assignments expected to be accomplished at home is going to be a big challenge going forward, and it will only become more so in the future.  The divide between the haves and have-nots.

Post #3

I love how we have to meet these deadlines, but the links that are supposed to work within SBISD's network are not allowing me to learn how to embed videos.  but i am making an attempt to see if this works.

For my soccer teams, sometimes during pre-games to get their on soccer and nothing else, i'll show them a highlight clip of something deals with soccer, usually top highlights of all-time.  Below is one i found using Blinkx.com.

I'll also use video streaming for my science classes. I find this to be very useful to provide visuals for many of the processes we discuss in Biology. Here's a short clip on Mitosis.

Ensuring that whatever you use, whether images or videos, as long as they're being viewed for educational purposes, you're good.

Dropbox is also a good tool as it allows users to create a place where students co-workers can turn in assignments or work into a central location. Your dropping it off, hence the name, DROPBOX.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Post #2

PLNs are a great resource in terms of linking and sharing ideas with a large group of people.  Depending on the type of information being shared, I certainly would have no reservations about posting information online for the public to see.  I already use twitter.com for communication with my soccer teams, and it has made a huge difference in relaying information very quickly.