Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blog Post # 1

I believe that education has been replete with various types of reforms, but I feel that true educational reform will not be possible without the inclusion of technology. As education moves into the 21st century it is paramount that students and educators be versatile with their understanding of computers and other technologies. For educators, it is a way to enhance their style of teaching by bringing in new methodologies that will engage student learning and participation. Furthermore, teachers should set the example for their students by staying current with the times. I agree with what the textbook mentioned how it is unacceptable to have a student "show how to cut and paste" in a word document or some other software. In other words, if we expect our students to continuously learn then teachers must as well. In my class, I have seen the benefits of utilizing technology in the class from creating jeopardy review games to having students work in groups to create a PowerPoint presentation. Technology is leading education today and teachers need to keep up or they will find themselves being passed over by their colleagues and students.

I have been using technology in my class consistently for the past 5 years. In fact, I have several projects that I assign throughout the year requiring students to use that require computer programs. I have had them use excel to create data sheets based on their science lab data, and then they have to analyze and explain the results. I also have them work in groups to create PowerPoint presentations, which even I have learned a couple of tricks from my students for future lectures that I create in PowerPoint. Also, I have implemented various technologies for science labs such as digital microscopes, Texas Instrument Calculators, and LCD projector for displaying videos off the internet. Finally, I have a webpage that I update weekly that shows the weekly lesson plans, homework assignments, and any announcements of upcoming events that I want parents to know, which is very useful. What I hope to gain in addition to my repertoire of technology tools is anything newer that I can utilize in the classroom. I have already learned about Jing, which I am practicing with in order to be more proficient with it. Furthermore, I know that I will learn new ways of doing something that has gotten old. I am interested in finding out more about podcasts, as well. How can I use them in the classroom? So, I am excited to see what things I will learn about in the coming months that will make my classroom an updated technologically saavy science classroom.

I am proud to say that I will be able to apply for my professional certification with FLDOE after this semester, and will be certified to teach science for grades 6 - 12, which I could not be happier. Teaching has been a wonderful experience and career, and I have seen the intangible benefits of making a difference in my students' education and lives. That is why I am looking forward to taking this course; to see what new things I can bring into my classroom to help teach, and inspire students to learn. I feel that my first day in this course has proven itself already since I created my first blog ever. This is a new area for me, and I believe in time, I will get better at using this tool in my classroom. So, I will look forward to learning new skills over this semester that I will be able to impart to my students.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Journal # 0

I have been working with various types of technology such as PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel (limited usage), United Streaming videos for science class, Microsoft Movie Maker, and often use my overhead LCD projector. I have also used Texas Instrument calculators (TI-83) with various types of Vernier probes, which my students have a great time using. However, I have had no experience writing any blogs, nor have I had experience creating HTMLs, but I am looking forward to learning about how to use these technology resources within my classroom.

I hope to learn new technology applications that I can bring into my classroom to allow my students additional options for learning. I envision incorporating the use of blogs to allow my students to work on science homework, as well as different science projects. I believe technology is something that needs to be in the classroom to engage the students in their own learning, and is an alternative resource for teachers to help stimulate student motivation within the science classroom. I feel that this course will equip me with the opportunity to engage my students with new ways of disseminating knowledge about scientific concepts.

I realize that I am a kinesthetic learner. I work best when I can actually do the task as I am learning. I am confident in how I learn best and in what modality best suits my learning style. I was surprised by one aspect of the learning styles survey, which determined that I do not look at the big picture first when deciding how to approach a problem. I typically think that I do, so I will refer to an old musical lyrics from the 90's which is "Things that make you go....hmmmmm."