Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blog # 5

I used a fun website that students can go and learn about all aspects of science from any discipline. The website is called Science Spot, and is found at What I like about this website is that it offers various ways of learning about big topics in science besides just reading. There are games, challenges, flip books, puzzles and many other formats for learning about science in a fun and engaging manner. Having students who are scientifically literate is an important skill in the world today. With many socio-scientific issues impacting our world today, it is crucial that students to be knowledgeable about what is good science versus pseudo-science, and becoming conscientious citizens about what political agendas being thrown at them should be voted for or against is vital the country's future. I see that my job as a teacher is to provide the basis of that learning, and I choose to implement many technologies in the classroom to bring my goal of creating scientifically literate students to fruition.

I remember as a student I loved trivia, and I know maybe not all students may like it, but it is a great way to learning some facts that may be topics in my classroom. The students can go on this site and learn so much about American History, which I find important because the history of America needs to be learned by every student in the country. Knowing our history and understanding it, helps students relate to why the country is the way it is today. Also, the teens can post their own trivia about the topics we covered in class that day.

I think that presentation software can be very beneficial tool in the classroom, however there are some advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that presentation software allows the presenter to get ideas out to an audience in a succinct way and then discuss it further. The presenter can use many techniques to create a presentation that can be visually and audibly engaging. One can use many graphics, designs, animations, and sound effects. And although these are pretty cool there can be some drawbacks to using this kind of technology. For example, a presenter should not rely solely on the presentation as a way to teach or share ideas. If one just reads the information to the students, or audience, then teaching is ineffective, in my opinion. Also, all technology has the potential of being problematic. If the LCD presenter should fail, or a computer problem arise, then what? One must be able to have a "backup" plan in order to be prepared because no matter how wonderful technology is, it has the potential to fail. One last disadvantage would be that students have grown accustom to PowerPoint presentations, and sit through them constantly fighting fatigue and sleep awaiting the next slide and drone presentation. So, I think a better strategy that is advantageous would be to offer a few slides and then discuss why it all matters, and try to make the presentation more interactive with the students. Having students listen, take notes, and watch the teacher can be somewhat daunting and should be minimized as much as possible in my opinion. I believe that having this approach will make the class more effective.

As a teacher, I use PowerPoint (PP) quite often to create presentations that cover the scientific content within my curriculum. What I enjoy about PP is that I get highlight the main objectives in a way that is concise, which can then be added to my school web page. I will post the PP notes on my website prior to going over the material so that students can print them off and bring to class and make additional notes. This prevents me "losing" students who are just focused on writing down everything they see instead of being engaged in discussion. Furthermore, it allows me to show videos that can be a demonstration or a reinforcement about the day's topic, which certainly helps my visual learners. There are so many aspects about PP that I can use to help instruct my students from mere lecture notes to cool story boards with animations. It can also be a great way to create review games that are fun and engaging as well.

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