Tuesday, August 3, 2010

11 Tools Reflection

Whew...I did it!

1. My favorite activity has to be the digital graphics (thing #3) lesson. I think the students would enjoy exploring these programs to create end results for projects in class.

2. These 11 things have cleared up some of my own thoughts about how technology can be used in any classroom particulary a math classroom.

3. Ha/Ha...what surprised me the most was yet again, just how much I DON'T know. I love technology, and everytime I think I have a thorough grasp of it, I realize I only a know a miniscule piece of the puzzle.

Thing #11 Digital Citizenship

This is such an important issue today. From my experience with the students, they really cannot see that copying something straight from the computer is considered plagarism. I think that getting students (and teachers) to understand copyright is going to be a big issue in the next year or so. I have had to look into copyright for several classes that I have taken and everytime I look into copyright issues I learn something new. I think this is an area that we as a campus need to focus on. Playing off of the copyright laws, we truly need to be teaching our students how to find and disseminate information that they find online. There is so much information for a person to find on any topic of their choosing. Where in the world does one begin, not to mention a teenager. We need to be teaching the students how to find information that is valid and reliable. Quality websites are often difficult for students (and adults) to identify. That last issue that is imperative to our students is safety on the internet. I am truly shocked by the number of students who think it is acceptable to just confirm anyone as a friend on social networking sites, such as Facebook, without knowing who the people are. It is critical that we teach our kids to protect themselves online just as they would when walking down the street. They feel such anonimity behind the computer screen, but then end up telling strangers everything and anything about themselves. I would like to see some video interviews of students who have found themselves in over their heads after revealing too much about themselves online. I think the students would learn this lesson from hearing true examples from their peers about this problem, instead of adults telling them "what not to do."

Thing #10 Exploring Mobile Technology and Apps

I'm amazed by just the amount of applications available for this one tool. I was at the AMDM conference last week and half of the room pulled out their iPhone to share this "really cool app". Of course, if you aren't a math teacher I very much doubt that you would think it is cool. One of the teachers then hooked their iPhone up to the projector and showed the rest of the class the "math ref" app. Anything you wanted to know about math could be found at this on app. The teacher commented that the students in his class ask him if they can check to see if they are doing their work correctly by opening up "math ref" on their own phones. I love the way that he described his students using the tools in the their own back pocket to help them succeed in class.
I did like the fact that there was also a graphing calculator app for the students that do not have their own graphing calcualtors.

I really enjoyed looking through all of the apps available for the i-products. I didn't find many free ones for math that I really liked, though. However, the most expensive app I saw was $1.99.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thing #9 Sharing Information Through Jing & Skype

Ok, how have I never known about Jing? That is awesome! I think Jing would be a great way to create tutorial videos for students. Students could even create their own "how to" videos for their classmates, so we would have a class tutorial bank.

I think that the use of Skype could open up the possibilites of working with classes all over the world. I have seen online service projects with schools from not only different states but different countries working together in all of the core content areas. I think the possibilities for WAIS to move in the direction of working with classes from different parts of the world is incredibly exciting.

Thing #8 Video Resources

The first place website I go to when looking for a video in the math classroom is http://www.thefutureschannel.com/. These videos take real life situations and show how math and science play a part in everyday activities. The following is a video on inventing toys: http://www.thefutureschannel.com/dockets/realworld/inventing_toys/

I tend to find that a lot of the math videos are basic "how to" solve math problems videos. Which tend to be pretty boring. Anthother great site to go to for math videos is http://science.discovery.com. Here is one on Pythagoras. http://science.discovery.com/videos/what-the-ancients-knew-pythagoras-the-music-and-math.html

"Winnie Cooper" loves math!

Thing #7 Digital Storytelling

I love digital storytelling. I don't think that there are naturally a lot of opportunities to do this in the math classroom. However, I was able to take a story that I loved to introduce my measurement unit with and turn it into a digital story. I had more fun finding the pictures and creating a cohesive program. I think this is truly something that the students would enjoy doing as a review or introduction to a unit of study.

Thing #6 Wikis

I have used wiki's in a professional setting, but never in a classroom. I think this would be a great way for students to get give and receive help on homework assignments. I think it would also be a great place for students to really begin to develop their ability to communicate about mathematics. I just don't know how to feasibly keep up with all of the students wikis. Any ideas?

Thing #5 Tagging and Social Bookmarking

I love Delicious. I have used Delicious for a year now, keeping track of my bookmarks in one spot. I have a friend that uses Delicious in her classroom for webquests for her students to follow. She also find online games and tags them with the names of topics that are being covered, so students have extra practice that they can do at home.

Two of the sites that I have bookmarked in Delicious are:

1. Manga High http://www.mangahigh.com/en_us/ Great motivational math games over a variety of topics
2. Math Bits High School Resources http://mathbits.com/ Caching

Thing #4 Cool Google Tools

I created this very simple googledoc to show how teachers could collaborate on planning without actually having to actually be in the same room together. The benefits of planning this way, will allow team members to already come to the planning meeting with ideas in their mind of what they are wanting to accomplish. Too many times, planning time is wasted with fleshing out ideas that could have been done in a googledoc. We have never used anything like this before in planning , but I would be interested to see if it would work.


Thing #3 Image Generators and Mashups

I went to comicstripgenerator.com to create this cartoon. I use pictures like this in my classroom to give to students who are doing a good job. Unfortunately I have been doing this the hard way for years now. This was an absolute breeze to create! I could very easily become addicted to create pictures and cartoons from these sites.

I made the above image at imagechef.com using the word mosiac feature. I like how you can show vocabulary words in an interesting way. I would like to add my own shapes instead of using the stock ones that were provided on this site. I could have also gone to wordle.net and done something similar. I played around with both but liked this picture best.

Thing #2 Building Community and Comments

I think creating and joining a PLN are good for a small school like WAIS where we all have so much going on, but rarely have time to sit down and meet. I believe that a PLN can provide the collegial conversations and reflection time that are sometimes missing in the busy world of education. What stood out the most to me was making sure that I was open ended enough to ilicit comments. When I write, I tend to provide just the facts. I don't necessarily open up a topic for debate. This will be something that I will definitely need to work on.

I commented on the following blogs:

Chatty Patty
Dawson Daily
Wegs Online
Mo's Blog

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tool #1 Blog Set-Up and Registration

This is probably the 4th or 5th blog that I have had to set up for various classes that I have taken, so I did not encounter any problems. However, Voki was new to me...so I had some fun playing around with that. I think that blogging can be a good tool to have students share ideas with other students. I also like the possibility of going outside of the classroom walls and students from other schools being able to work together. I still have difficulties figuring out how blogs can be truly put to good use in the math classroom though.