Reading/blog reflection

1.  Why should teachers embrace mobile learning?

Like the article states in the first paragraph 77% of teens have cell phones and this is a major jump up from previous years. Cell phones are just becoming a bigger part of students lives. It is in this situation that you can either fight the change that is happening, or embrace it and utilize it, integrating it into your overall lesson plans. It seems better to embrace is simply because a majority of kids have and fighting them on it may have adverse effects to their learning.

2.  What are some issues/challenges with mobile learning, and what are some possible solutions?

There are some issues with mobile learning. The biggest being that allowing cell phones inside the classroom could distract students from work. But a solution to this as the article states is to engage students, and have them ask about any problems to other students or teachers directly. By providing the help in learning at any time it is needed when it is needed, students are more likely to be engaged in the classroom and less likely to be distracted.

3.  What are some examples of best practices and practical uses for your desired age group/subject content?

I loved the socrative program. I couldn’t help but wish we had something like this when I was coming up through school. I think this type of group participation holds interest, holds students accountable so there is less likely to be distraction, and helps in the learning process. For someone like me who aims to teach high school biology this is an incredible program and saves the school a lot of money by eliminating the need to buy clickers.

4.  Discuss how you might use podcasting in your classroom.  Discuss three specific ways that you could use podcasting in your particular age group or content area.

I could not get my podcast to work, but i’m sure this will change in the future when I don’t have to work with a cell phone and an internet that works just a slight bit better than dial up. But I would use podcasting to repeat lessons for those that may be needing help with certain subjects and want to download them to make sure they didn’t miss any important points. I would also use them to do a review of the week and tell students about what’s due next to help students who may have missed a day to catch up. And I would use them to explain processes in concepts more in depth to help students get a better understanding of that concept, much like what is done by Kahn Academy.

Podcast

After 2 hours of trying there was no way to get my recording from my phone to my computer to online. If you truly want to hear what I had to say you can ask me. Lesson learned creating a podcast when you have no recording equipment and limited software is an incredibly daunting task and may be nearly impossible.

Use of Multimedia in the classroom

As we move forward with the types of technology available, the types of technology that can be used in a classroom setting also progresses. Multimedia is becoming a larger and larger part of education. Teachers can utilize multimedia through a number of different types including podcasts, videos, and live streaming. All of these can be fantastic learning tools especially to someone like me in the science field.

One of the most useful multimedia tools is podcasts. A podcast is like a radio show that can be uploaded and then listened to by any interested parties. What makes a podcast so great is that they are cheap and easy to make. This would be a great tool to use, especially for auditory learners, to review concepts you’ve covered in class. It would also allow students to use it at a later date like when they are preparing for a test. Or maybe a student was in your class and didn’t quite grasp the concept you were going over. making a podcast would allow them to go home and review it until they finally did understand.

Video casts are another useful multimedia tool that may be a little more expensive than podcasts, but are just as effective if not more effective. This is already in heavy use by organizations like Khan Academy who use videos to demonstrate different concepts across a wide rage of subjects. These may be the most informative tools out there because not only do you hear how something is done, but you get a full on visualization of what is actually going on. Say I was giving a lecture about mitosis. Hearing about it is a good thing but if you are not too keene on the subject it can get very confusing which is where a video comes in handy. With a video you could easily make connections between the process and the parts involved.

There does need to be some communication with the parents that videos and podcasts are being used inside the classroom. You do want parents to know that these are being downloaded by the kids and just what they contain. It would be good to inform parents that podcasts and videos are available for them to download also. This way they know that everything in the media is good, and it may have the added benefit of parents being able to help their kids further understand if they can pick it up and the child is still having trouble.

Text and visuals

In my previous ASSURE lesson plan I created a lesson plan to help sixth graders write a 3 page persuasive paper on a topic of their choice. This was also to be accompanied by a poster or presentation. In order to help students come up with ideas for this it seemed best to use an app that could act as a visual aid. I chose to use the program Flickr to help students in presenting visuals with their projects.

Flickr is a photo sharing app. It would allow students to share, organize, and collaborate on photos in a way that would help their final presentation. Students can create blogs or albums or even share videos. This could come in handy if they do something interesting and want to share with others about how it was done. If students may be having trouble they can also browse Flickr and find photos that they can use in their presentations.

This site has potential to help greatly with the NET-S standards. By sharing photos and helping other students they are collaborating and helping each other in a constructive way. Flickr is also open to experts or professionals. Being able to interact with them may help give them great ideas in how to employ digital media in their presentation. They would also be using digital tools to gather information. By gathering photos for this presentation they could plan strategies on where to go to find what they need, organize their photos, and even evaluate and see what would work for their specific presentation.

They wouldn’t have to do a lot of work prior to using Flickr as the site seems fairly easy to use. The students should have some basic knowledge of computers but that is about all they’ll need to be able to insert files and type descriptions. They may want to know what makes a good photo and bad photo to help in choosing what they need for their project.

Flickr is easy to use and easy to navigate which may be its biggest strength. Its also and app that has little trouble in keeping attention because of the endless amount of photos on almost anything you can imagine. That same endless amount of photos can also be extremely helpful in coming up with ideas.

While the endless photos can be a source of ideas it can also be a source of distraction. This becomes the one major limitation in using the app.

It is easy enough to use that Flickr could be picked up at an early age which would definitely help in the use of digital technology into their high school years. But right around sixth grade seems like it would be a perfect age to pick up the ability to use an app like this.

Web 2.0

1.  Brief Description- what is the site?  What is it supposed to do?

For this I chose GRID. GRID is a spreadsheet program. It can help in organizing, people, places, information, and projects. It works like a spreadsheet and like the name suggests is allows you to put information into an easy to read grid.

2.  What standards (NETS-S or content) could using this site help to achieve?

GRID can help students collaborate on info by allowing all students to put their information into the grid and having it in an easy to read format that other students can easily read. It differs from making a powerpoint as all information can be presented at once. It also has a cool flowing look to it that could help when giving a presentation on whatever information was put in.

3.  Prerequisites- what do you need to know before using the site?

It would be helpful to have at least a minimal background in excel, but it is not necessary. The program itself is pretty easy to use. Anyone with a basic knowledge of computer function could get the hang of using it in a relatively short time. This quality would be extremely helpful for not wasting time in the classroom.

4.  Strengths- good things that the site does

The site puts things in and easy to read grid with a very appealing format. It also allows for collaboration on projects through the use of iPads. Students can even keep track of lists of things that have been done and things that still need to be done.

5.  Limitations-

Students may not like the grid format. It may be too obscure a content for them to put all this info onto one page and collaborate on ideas. The ability to collaborate may also open up the ability to cheat or mess with other students content. Having an open program like this does create that potential drawback.

6.  Best guess on age group/grade level the site is intended for-

This seems like it was meant for an older crowd maybe around freshman level. The program is easy enough to use though kids could begin learning earlier than that going down to about the 6th grade level. It would be helpful to have them learn these things at an earlier age as it would increase their digital literacy and prepare them for much more complicated programs in their future.

1.  Brief Description- what is the site?  What is it supposed to do?

The next site I reviewed was Barc. Barc is just an open chatroom that allows all users of a site to communicate with eachother.

2.  What standards (NETS-S or content) could using this site help to achieve?

Barc contributes to classroom collaboration by allowing students ability to talk to each other and share ideas and thoughts.

3.  Prerequisites- what do you need to know before using the site?

Barc is extremely easy to use. Anyone with basic computing knowledge could use it. It leaves a chatroom open so all that needs to be done is click and type a message.

4.  Strengths- good things that the site does

Barc allows students to communicate very efficiently and share their thoughts easily in a chatroom that anyone on the site can access. It also has a language filter to prevent the use of profanities and other phrases that could be a problem in a chatroom.

5.  Limitations-

I am not sure just how open this chatroom can be. If its open to the entire world there is a chance that unwanted guests could be a problem in these. Kids that are embarrassed of their work or ideas might have a hard time sharing too providing another limitation. And with cyberbullying and the ability to access from different accounts this could make for trouble.

6.  Best guess on age group/grade level the site is intended for-

This is so easy to use that nearly any grade level could pick it up with ease. In order for this program to be as constructive as possible though the best grade level for it is probably 8th grade to freshman year.

1.  Brief Description- what is the site?  What is it supposed to do?

Last site I looked at was Kickresume. Like you would imagine kickresume helps in creating resumes. It helps in making the process much easier by providing people with a template and allowing you to enter the data.

2.  What standards (NETS-S or content) could using this site help to achieve?

This site helps in the practical concept of creating a resume. Preparing students for the professional world and this is becoming more useful as exit interviews in high schools are becoming more popular.

3.  Prerequisites- what do you need to know before using the site?

This is another program made easy, but it would help very much to have a background in Word or in another typing program just to create some ease in entering data. Having a background in Word may also help in knowing what a quality resume looks like.

4.  Strengths- good things that the site does

This site creates excellent templates for presumes and can serve to help students in their professional futures

5.  Limitations-

The only limitation I can think of would be that it makes things too easy and may make it hard for students to create resumes without the use of this program.

6.  Best guess on age group/grade level the site is intended for-

This app is for resumes and the time to start working on those is around the age of 16, so this app is probably meant for those around their sophomore year.