Monday, October 26, 2009

Blog #6

I decided to do my PowerPoint assignment #1 on metric conversion. I felt that my presentation did an excellent job of discussing the learning objectives and assessing the student's ability to demonstrate their knowledge of converting one metric unit to the next. I even included animation that showed a step by step process for the conversion. For example, I demonstrated how to do the problem and then I provided an opportunity for students to work on a problem as I supervised them. Then I used the presentation to show how to correctly carry out the problem.

Here's an example of a problem that the students have to solve. So, I place it up on the screen and give the students time to work on the problem while I walk around the classroom observing:

The next photos show the presentation animation for how to solve the problem.

This was a great way to show how to do metric conversions, and enabled me to see how students progressed with each problem that was projected on the screen. It was interactive, the color scheme was not distracting, and the animation gave a clear explanation as to how metric conversion works. The only thing that might make a slight improvement would be adding some sound effects, but I wasn't sure if that would have caused a distraction, so I left it out.

Sometimes using computers in the classroom is not always a viable option. In such cases, there are other ways to integrate them in the classroom. For example, I have used overhead projectors to display graphs and tables that I created on a computer, but was not able to project them using an LCD projector. So, the next "best" thing was to print them out and make transparencies. I also have students do research projects and require them to put their data and results on a presentation board. These are some options that are possible if computers aren't available in sufficient quantities in the classroom.

Some ways that I could integrate peripherals and audio-visual technologies with computer-based technologies is by allowing students to work on projects together cooperatively and enable them to create a PowerPoint presentation for their peers. Another useful and fun, creative way is by having them create a podcast. There are numbers computer-based technologies that can be integrated in the classroom to enhance learning. In fact, there are software companies who design educational games that focus on big concepts in science. All are excellent methods to help engage students to explore more about the topics they're learning about in class.

In the last week, I learned how to improve my animation skills with PowerPoint. I was not aware that so many features were availabe on PowerPoint, and would have probably never known had I not taken a course. The "help" option usually yields very little explanations on how to use the program to do certain functions, so I felt that this was very beneficial if I wanted to make an animation that showed difficult science concepts such as diffusion or osmosis.