Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I found WebQuest very interesting and exciting, practical and am looking forward to using it with my ESL students in Junior High.
Question b: Which elements did you find to be most effective?
I believe the introduction is most important as it lays the foundation and establishes the focus of the webquest.
Question c: What (if anything) about WebQuests did you hope to find out from this resource that you didn’t get adequate information about?
I found this to be a very complete resource, one that I am bookmarking to be able to refer back to it specifically when I plan a webquest assignment. I even noted the experts which can be referred to I later have a question about this.
How would you go about bringing WebQuests into your teaching practice?
I would like to introduce webquest to my middle school students. Technology is welcomed and regularly used at my school. I envision an exercise involving researching authors or artists from their respective countries. I have 2 from P.R., 4 from D.R. and one from Yemin, so I personally would find it interesting. Perhaps I can use webquests to complete projects on a monthly bases.
One approach would be for you to look through the very extensive libraries of existing WebQuests that other teachers have developed already and have posted online for colleagues like you to adopt and adapt and use as a model in creating their own. Here are some links to WebQuest collections (A Google search will certainly turn up more!)- eMints http://www.emints.org/webquest/3-5health.shtml- University of Richmond http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/- Kathy Schrock’s library http://kathyschrock.net/webquests/index.htm- Best WebQuests http://bestwebquests.com/Peruse the library and then choose one that you feel you could use ‘as is’ or better yet adapt for use in your own teaching practice.
Question d: Which one did you choose?
I selected Young Author's WebQuest, A WebQuest for Literature and Art, from the Richmond University website. This is a wonderful lesson plan because it frames the a writing project in a fun and interesting way which students should find more appealing. My students are difficult to motivate, and this should certainly help them in this process they find most difficult, writing. The link of my choice is below.
Question e: How would you adapt it? What would you create to support your special population students in using it?
I would want to include helps like a synonym list, because my students tend to use the simple words like mad, glad, sad, happy, etc. I am trying to get them to expand their vocabulary and become more comfortable using more selective words.
Another approach would be for you to create your own WebQuest from scratch. There are online tools to support teachers in doing this Here’s 1 – you’ll find others in the resources list below Let's start with a YouTube Tutorial on this approach and the recommended resource: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnJ2moNmbdk And the resource in the tutorial… http://webquest.sdsu.edu/designpatterns/all.htm
Question f: Watch the video, explore the resource, and give your opinion of both: (or select another WebQuest creation tool/resource and give your opinion of that.)
I personally like video for instruction. I want to mention that I have recently rediscovered you-tube, not only as a music video source but now as an instructional tool as well, thanks to this class. I have found that it is a great resource for teaching any subject. Therefore, my opinion is that this video on webquest creations is very helpful and useful to me personally. A visual, and audio help, this video demonstrates what you need to do, and I like to watch examples along with the explanation. It makes teaching in this new way, via webquests, more accessible.
You now have a good overview of what WebQuests are and why so many of your teaching colleagues have gravitated toward them as one of the first technology-based teaching practices of high value. One more thing before we wrap this up… Here’s a recently recorded podcast interview with Bernie Dodge the man who is credited with having invented the WebQuest back in 1995. In this interview (roughly 15 – 20 minutes) Bernie reflects back on the popularity, place, and future of the WebQuest. He also reflects on what’s going on in Education currently and the function technology will continue to have in providing value.Bernie Dodge Interview Podcast URL: http://www.intelligenic.com/blog/?p=103 Listen to the podcast and then share:
Question g: What did you hear Bernie Dodge say that you feel was enlightening, valuable, surprising to you?
I liked his explanation of the development of the webquest model which made me understand its purpose of it, which is structure, as opposed to the traditional way the internet was and probably still is used by the majority of teachers. The traditional internet assignments for the class are disconnected. Meanwhile, the webquest is a solidly focused approach to navigating an assignment on the web. Webquests have all the benefits and novelty of using the internet, without the vague, unfocused approach to just surfing the world wide web searching for answers to questions assigned by the teacher. The latter has the potential to distract the user and soon find the student in other unrelated websites. I agree with Dodge in his analysis of the traditional classroom education being a bit removed from the adult real world. Webquests are a good way to bridge this.
Question h: And, having spent a few hours now studying WebQuests, what do you feel about this practice?
I have bookmarked four impressive Webquests sites with full complete lesson plans which I hope to complete as part of my curriculum this coming fall. Bernie Dodge’s webquest.org and the three mentioned in this assignment. Needless to say, this model is a wonderful gift to teachers with much merit and practicality. It is also gift to students, as ultimately it will enrich their education experience.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
A podcast for the school would be a lovely idea that would certainly create pride and a feeling of accomplishments both to faculty and students alike. Our school can use this inspiration to motivate the students to put the most effort and complete their best work. If I were to initiate and be responsible for a podcast at say my middle school, I do work for three schools, I would broadcast weekly. Since the middle school, the School of Essence, IS 311 where I work is organized in a way that there is a teacher for each subject, I would ask each teacher to have an input in every episode. We would meet to discuss and record a summary of the lessons for the week. The Week’s Focus would be the name of this segment, in which teachers basically, in 2 minutes or less, discuss what they taught in their respective classes for that week. We have a math, science, social studies, art and technology and English teacher for each grade. The 15 teachers will briefly highlight the important lessons for the week. It would be like a mini-lesson that students can catch up on. Also, students can be aware of what their adjacent students are studying. Total section running time should be about 30 minutes.
Another segment can be called: The Students in Focus and this would reveal the students that excelled in the week. This student can be given an opportunity to discuss his work which the teacher helps selects. A total of 3 students will be selected weekly, one per grade (6th, 7th and 8th grade) which the teachers will choose by vote. Total section should be about 7-8 minutes, giving each student a little over 2 minutes each.
The final segment of the podcast can be named Community in Focus and should feature any active community project, interesting field trips, awards or commendation received by the school by an outside source. Any grants, or parent involvement can be mentioned here. This final section can be about 7-8 minutes, completing a 45 minutes episode.
Episodes can be uploaded onto a blog or school website available to students, parents, teachers and other educators for downloading regularly or automatically as part of a free subscription. If the program is successful, it can be expanded to include video clips also downloadable to I-pods and onto computer, emailed and shared. A blog can be available to all for comments, suggestions, questions. Announcement can be posted there with any applicable links.
This would tie in our community of educators, students, parents, and leaders. Everyone can be aware of what the students are learning in their respective grades and content and who is excelling in their fields of study. Teachers can cross compare of what content should be included or might be lacking. People can also be informed and or involved in what is happening in their community through the Community in Focus segment. This would help motivate students to do their best work so they can be mentioned in the Students in Focus section. The impact would be positive.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Part 1.b Read Chapter 10 in Meaningful Learning with Technology "Assessing Meaningful Learning"
Write a 250 word response for each and draw connections between the 2 chapters if you can.
1.a I was impressed with the idea of University professors using the podcasting technology to make available the class lectures online. Although the negative results of using this new technology included a decrease in class student attendance, I believe that the positive educational values outweigh the negatives. There is much that goes on in class that perhaps being able to listen once again to a lecture you are much more able to absorb the material presented in class. It is free of distraction, and you can listen to it as often as you wish. I myself have a terrible memory, and am not an efficient note taker, would thus find this to be very useful. In addition, I can listen and study the lectures on the road, on my I-pod, while exercising or running errands. It expands on moments of study that would not otherwise be there if I only had paper notes to study and rely on. Another good reason to have this available would be for students who were not able to attend class on a particular date. As this chapter points, students who have a preference to learning in an auditory manner will benefit from this approach. Students can take advantage of the most current information posted on blogs, any last minute changes or emergencies.
1.b Chapter 10 in Meaningful Learning with Technology "Assessing Meaningful Learning" was mostly about assessments; specifically, how to use computer technology as an assessment tool. Pros and cons considered, I think, once again, all technology is good. Technology applied to all areas of education is a positive thing as improvements can be garnered through the use of it. Assessment is important, but difficult to achieve accurately and effectively. Once proper assessment is administered, which in my opinion is a trial and error process perfected with experience, then only can we differentiate instruction and make use of the results. As teachers, we must use the results of the assessment to change and direct our instruction, gearing towards correcting deficiencies in our students education. Computer assessment would be fun for the student and more efficient for the teacher, once the teacher has learned how to use this software.
Drawing similarities or comparisons between these two readings, I find it difficult other than to point out the obvious that computer technology and such is improving education on every spectrum. From test taking, to planning, to implementing lessons, to displaying to homework assignments, special projects and tasks, and now follow up activities through the online lectures and assessments, it should be streamlining and organizing the information we are processing in the process of education. Computers allow us to organize and process much more effectively and therefore reach more children and have a higher level of achievement than ever before the computer age.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Please listen to the 32 Adjectives song and pick 10 words to use in sentences.
Monday, July 14, 2008
1. Concept maps are very popular with teachers of students of all ages. I myself have many different types of formal maps I have come across and regularly use. We brainstorm topics we will cover in themes in our stories we read. For example, when I read the Hungry Caterpillar, we brainstormed caterpillar then wrote everything we could think of relating to that topic. Another mapped approach I use to expand on a topic is the "spider" concept map, organized by placing the central theme in the center of the map surrounded by outwardly radiating subthemes. Flow charts provide a linear view of information and I normally use it for sequencing events. Mapping is a very useful tool for managing information. It is a contributor to the educational success of students. According to The Teaching for Student Achievement Guidebook, which we were all given from our Fellows department, using mapping tools are considered “HITS”, or High Impact Teaching Strategies which when employed result in a remarkable increase in student achievement. Specifically categorizing and organizing information into charts is a very effective teaching strategy. I already employ this method of teaching and transferring that usage online is worth trying. Recently we learned about the website readwritethink.org where these types of mapping tools are pre-arranged. By selecting a map the computer prompts you to enter in information which is automatically mapped. This is, once again, a more appealing and attractive way to use this high impact strategy than simply presented on paper.
2. Instructions for Student Assignment:
A. Please go to this link: http://www.etseverywhere.com/category/grammar-songs
B. Read and listen to the story: Extremely True Facts About Cats
C. Please print out the section to be filled in.
D. Please complete the sentences with adjectives about cats.
E. Draw a picture of a cat using paint.
F. Watch the cat video above and write a few sentences to describe its contents. Did you hear any adjectives in the song? Please list.
G. Listen to the link, 32 Adjectives Song and pick 10 words to write sentences for.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Read Chapter 14 "Curricular Connections" in our book Podcasting for Teachers. One focus for ELL students is to learn English (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) - another is to succeed beyond learning English through demonstrating English language competencies across the curriculum. How may podcasting play a role in helping students achieve these goals?
Listen to the Podcast "Principle 1 of 5 Principles of Effective English Language Instruction." What is your reaction to this? Can you think of ways that podcasting might support this approach? http://ells.podomatic.com/ Write a reaction (approx. 250 words) for each of the above.
1. I agree 110 percent with the author on his view about the writing process. Taking note that even with my advanced ELL students, writing persists on being difficult. The same students who have tackled the listening, speaking and reading aspects of the English language are still struggling to pen their thoughts, ideas, and reactions on paper. I have literally struggled with these bright students to edit and improve their writing. In spite of providing many helpful tools to cross this barrier like sparkling synonym lists, grammar reminder hints, and writing process pointers to facilitate their writing more easily. The problem as I see it, is that the students find the task of writing tedious, and boring even when I try to make the topic interesting. Another thing I keep in mind is that a lot of these children feel unmotivated because they feel they are unable to write. The task of expressing themselves correctly in writing is beyond their reach. Therefore, I constantly remind them that they are able to achieve anything they put their mind, and effort into. Motivation is key in my opinion. Once we can empower them through confidence in their ability to achieve, we mobilize them to action and to begin this journey. The ideas presented in this chapter are very interesting and worth pursuing. One thing already practiced at my Middle school is making presentations using Powerpoint. At the end of the year the students are given access to the computers, one thing they love, in order to accomplish this. The students work individually and are motivated to be creative once they are exposed to the capabilities of this software. These methods of instruction and task assignments, have proven to be very inspiring given the outcomes of their work. Working with students in other districts concerning real life events while interesting sounds like it would be difficult, but once again, worth giving it a shot. I am not sure however, if my students possess the emotional maturity to deal with writing about the events of Katrina, Columbine, etc. They barely can write a few lines about something far more simplistic, this task would be more appropriate for High School, not Junior High where I teach.
2. Chapter 14 of Podcasting for Teachers had some insightful suggestions I liked regarding the uses for podcasting in the classroom. I can think of no better way to turn on enthusiasm and motivation in our students than by combining the things kids most enjoy at that age: computer paraphernalia, the internet, music, showing off, and being creative. I found the ideas listed on page 213, very useful and exciting. In particular the task of interviewing family members followed by online uploading sounds very practical. That is an activity I intend on trying, now that I’m learning how to use podcasting in education. As for incorporating podcasting as part of my teaching strategy, I do see it as a reinforcement and extension to the classroom instruction that is well worth the effort. Students who are apt and really interested in quickly acquiring and perfecting their English ability will certainly benefit from this follow up activity. As a current educator, first as a substitute for several years, and now as a certified teacher, I am used to the conventional style of teaching. Teaching with these new methods will certainly take some adjustment and time to learn, prepare and organize. I also believe that every generation becomes more and more comfortable with computers. Each new generation of students is more computer literate than the prior. Bringing these new insights into teaching is the wave of the future, and will serve to improve our educational system and will also be well received by the children. Podcasting will contribute to the improvement of education by motivating kids in a way only new technology can inspire. This is central to learning, engaging students in their education. Ell’s in particular benefit from kinesthetic learning activities, and this approach is very much a “hands on“ approach that will support their learning and that they will very much enjoy to participate in.
3. This is a nice blog with regular updates by Tony, a college professor at the University of Tampa. This pod entitled, Five Principles for Effective Second Language Instruction was the first of a series that stirred interest for me in listening to the rest of the series. This first podcast of the series really only was about developing the first point: give English language learners many opportunities to read, write and listen to and to discuss oral and written English text expressed in a variety of ways. This first point is about “creating a language rich environment” in the author’s own words. Podcasting enables this by providing a new exciting avenue for the student to read in English on a blog or website or podcast where activities such as class assignments, homework, extra credit work, special projects, announcements and tests can be posted. There can be assignments centered around reading things like online poems, short stories, news, and different types of passages all posed on the blog, website or podcast. This new innovative approach to teaching English also supports writing. Students can be given writing assignments which can be typed and posted online by the students. Additionally, students can listen to dictation online and assigned tasks based on the reading. Tasks such as answering questions about the reading, and expressing their own thoughts and opinions about the readying can be used to support language development. Clips that can be posted on a podcast for listening online and, or later downloaded include, but are not limited to songs, short stories, class lectures, interviews, and assignments. Any form of communication, be it reading, or listening, can be accompanied by an assignment that supports writing, and speaking. Podcasting provides many stimulating opportunities for language to be explored, practiced and perfected in all modes, listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
2) Read Chapter 3 of Meaningful Learning with Technology. From the perspective that ESL/ELL education is not solely the teaching of language, but the establishment of a supportive environment in which students with language challenges succeed in learning across the curriculum, select one practice or resource given in the chapter and discuss the language issues and solutions that apply to it.
Discussion: Go to the NYS Department of Education/Office of Bilingual Education website that presents the standards for ESL. http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/biling/resource/ESL/standards.html
Also: Go to the website of ISTE (International Society of Technology Educators) that presents the NETS (National Educational Technology Standards)http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForStudents/2007Standards/NETS_for_Students_2007.htm Assignment: Select a standards document (ESL) that’s the appropriate level for your teaching position (or anticipated position) and address the following:1) How and where do you see alignments between these 2 sets of standards (ESL and NETS)?2) Describe an activity that you would do in your class that is emblematic of how the 2 sets of standards overlap.Doing:Using Google or (another search engine) find 3 (or more) podcasts for ESL teachers or students – listen to them – and review on for your classmates and colleagues. Relate where you found the podcast (who produces it? – give the URL). Write a short review (roughly 100 words) describing the content, the audience for who it is intended, how it is to be used, etc. Also, do you see value in this podcast? What do you feel would make it more valuable as a resource? etc.Suggestion for presenting the above: Present this as a post on your new blog and embed a link to the podcast. You may then provide a short message in Blackboard with a link to your blog post.
1. I reviewed the blogs listed below. The first blog was Mrs. Borchert’s Health Class from the Podcasting for Teachers book. There were 4 categories, one being PE, Health, Drivers Ed, which contained an interesting video named “Your Drugs on the Brain”. Once you click on it you can see some animations that go along with the dictated speech about the topic. I liked this blog because it was simple, user friendly and manageable. Unlike the next blog, Creativity in Education, which was too simplistic and the last entry, the Future of Education, which was way too complicated for my students to navigate, I thought the makeup of the Teacher’s Podcast was very age level appropriate for junior high and high school. I would tweak the creativity in education blog by making it more interesting. It was rather simple, with very little information posted and no links to other sources or videos to view. The future of education blog is clearly too advanced for my audience and would need to contain far less information to be accessible to my audience.
2. Chapter three of Meaningful Learning with Technology presents the use of games, online simulations, virtual worlds, etc. to develop thinking using reasoning, speculation, hypothesizing etc. This is a good idea, it is most necessary with the Ell. Since abstract thinking and idioms tend to be difficult for the English Language Learner to grasp, these types of exercises are suitable for developing of upper mental functions as described in Blooms Taxonomy. The challenge that I face as an ESL teacher is that I am not given access to the resources that the traditional classroom teacher has at her disposal in my settings. I presently work at three schools. At one school I push-in, therefore, I pretty much help the student with whatever the classroom teacher is teaching. At the other two schools where I pull-out and have an opportunity to teach my own material, I do not have my own room. Rather, I share the room with one other cluster teacher at one school. At the other school, we have to share between 2 counselors and one other cluster teacher. Priority is given to the classroom teachers who all use rooms equipped with smart boards, connected to internet ready laptops. I bring in my personal laptop and therefore I am able to access certain educational websites to share information about any topic we discuss ready at my fingertips. Some of them are already sponsored by my school, for example, Bookflix, A to Z Reading and Urban Development. These are websites that have online printable lesson plans. However, with Bookflix, they offer animated stories, paired with fictional and nonfiction together on many topics. That has proven to be very enjoyable to the children.
1) How and where do you see alignments between these 2 sets of standards (ESL and NETS)?
Taking into account standard one of the NYS Department of Education/Office of Bilingual Education which states: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for information and understanding. Specific indicators 13 and 14; Indicator 13 which makes use of collaborative groups to engage the students in active English communication through listening, speaking, reading and writing; and performance indicator 14 involves listening, speaking and reading utilizing print or non-print (audio, media, etc) for practicing the English language.
Performance Indicator 13.
Engage in collaborative activities through a variety of student groupings to read, gather, share, discuss, interpret, organize, and present information. Such groupings include small groups, cooperative learning groups, process writing groups, research groups, and interest groups. (L, S, R, W)
Performance Indicator 14.
Consult print and nonprint resources (e.g., audio/visual media, family) in the native language when needed. (L, S, R)
Taking into account standard #3 of the National Educational Technology, which involves research and information fluency, calls for students to apply the use of digital tools to research information. The NETS detailed standard is listed below.
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
d. process data and report results.
These two standards overlap because they both aim to improve the learner’s communication in English, including the listening, speaking reading and writing. Through the process of completing tasks involving locating, gathering, discussing and interpreting and reporting results, these two standards overlap. One key element common to both goals is that a non print resource can be utilized. While the ESL standard states that either a printed or non-print resources (e.g., audio/visual media, family) maybe consulted, the NETS standard recommends the use of digital tools and information processing from media sources. Therefore they can both be satisfied by completing a research assignment on the internet such as the one I detail for the next answer.
2) Describe an activity that you would do in your class that is emblematic of how the 2 sets of standards overlap.
I teach k-8, and this type of assignment is most conducive for the middle or upper grade student. With my Junior High School Students in mind, I would assign a presentation of their nation. My students are somewhat diverse. At the middle school where I support 6 students, one is from Yemin, one from Puerto and four from Dominican Republic. I would encourage the use of the internet to research interesting facts about their country, heritage, demographics, population, climate, religion, food, dance, idioms/expressions, government, and pictures. I would also request a recorded interview to be uploaded on a blog, where the entire presentation can be kept. A separate entry for each category could help keep it organized and coherent. Links pertaining to their country can also be included, along with clips on typical music from their country and pictures should be uploaded to make the presentation interesting and authentic. I would encourage the use of Powerpoint to make a slide of the photos, or Animoto for an extra boost. Finally the students gather the information, interview a family member, upload the video, and other links and photos to a blog they create and type a paper and make a presentation to the rest of the class. In this way, the standards are satisfied because they are gathering information from online sources, and using other media methodologies (links, music, pictures video uploads). They are using all modes of communication, (L, S, R, W) and finally reporting the collected data to the rest of the class. I would also request for them to view each others presentations and make a comment to each on their blog.
3) Using Google or (another search engine) find 3 (or more) podcasts for ESL teachers or students – listen to them – and review on for your classmates and colleagues.
I was impressed with this website as a teaching source, not only as a podcast. I actually do plan on using this website this coming September. It has many sections all immediately usable for the beginner to intermediate ELL. There are over 20 categories such as vocabulary list songs, which has short educational songs like The 10 Biggest Countries, and The 32-Adjective Song which I know will be very enjoyable to my students. I noticed that the section called Student Songs consists of all original compositions by young students that are even pictured next to the microphones. It was quite charming. Included with each song is the link to listen and the lyrics are spelled out. Songs like the Cockroach, the Monkey, and the Lovely Lively Mouse sung by these ESL students as young as 11 years of age is sure to inspire curiosity. My criticism is that some of the songs were a bit hard to hear because of it sounded scratchy and with much echo. But there is a lot of good stuff, nicely organized. It is definitely worth reviewing in my opinion.
This podcast is definitely for the more advanced English Language Learner or for the upper grades. The stories are within 5 to 10 minutes long and have reflection questions that can be assigned or discussed. There were two sections with audio clips called Audio of Easy Writer Stories and Activities for Listening Comprehension. These contain links to stories with actual activities to respond to stories, by either answering questions or completing a close activity. I found them excellent but limited. This can be used as an additional source of lesson planning or to diversify teaching approach and include internet usage in teaching. One nice feature is that the stories are labeled (B) for Beginner, (I) for Intermediate and, (A) for advanced.
This interesting podcast is sure to fascinate. It includes a real life interviews with people located overseas. The transcripts of the interviews are available along with worksheets and vocabulary tasks. It is beautifully spoken in a British accent, but the problem is you must become a member to use the written portions. I was able to listen to various audio clips which were very realistic. It provides glimpses into life overseas from various perspectives. Ell’s are sure to find it engaging to listen to. The levels progress within each section and there are three listening sections in total containing about 35 clips each. There is much material very well organized.
Responding: For chapters 1 and 2 (of Meaningful Learning with Technology) write a half page response (approx. 200 -250 words) for each chapter. Write a single, combined response for the 3 articles (blog posts, video) approx. 200 -250 words. Please do not summarize. Rather, give a response that:· reflects whether or not you agree with the position taken by the author,· have concerns with any of the facts or supporting ideas presented,· have insights about how this point relates in particular to your teaching assignment (job), and or philosophy of education· Other (type of response that reveals how your understanding has shifted, been reinforced, or expanded).
Student Response: This widely debated topic of the validity of student testing is ongoing and legitimate. The author takes a negative endorsement towards standardized testing claiming the results produce ineffective teaching techniques. I agree that there is a disconnect between the materials taught and the materials presented in standardized tests. That gap must be bridged by more appropriate measures of teaching, not limited to teaching to the tests, but also doing drills that enhance the actual skills being tested. I agree that learning is acquired when students are engaged in the task and current learning activity, therefore, using material that is interesting and appealing to the age group at hand is important to retain the students maximum attention and increase learning success.
As far as using technology to teach, I believe it is a natural progression for education. Everything is influenced by technology. When computers were invented, everything was revolutionized and improved by incorporating the usage of computer technology. Likewise, I believe that education is equally impacted by the application of computers to teaching. Children are naturally drawn to new and sophisticated technology. There is a great lesson I like to teach about this based on Thomas Edison. When my students start to see all the things they would not be able to do if there were no electricity, they realize how important the initial foundations of knowledge is. Because of the natural gravitation of students towards all things electronic, like I-pods, Cell phones, computer games and computers, it is a wonderful tool to enhance a student’s interest, motivation and increase learning potential.
Using the internet for research is excellent. I concur the author’s sentiments in this second chapter. Information gathering via the internet is a useful tool. The task of finding and collecting data on any given research topic from countries to animals to statistics figures is both fun and educational. In a fraction of the time that it takes to use a traditional encyclopedia, the information can be gathered much more rapidly on the internet. In much less time, much more can be researched, documented and learned. Not only is it faster to use the internet for research, it is also more precise, accurate and time sensitive. The most up to date information will be available online, while a book is published as of a certain date, with no updates available until the next printed edition. The book could already be outdated by the time it is printed with some breakthrough in any area not captured at the time of production. Moreover, using reputable sources on the internet and an online encyclopedia will be much more reliable in obtaining the most reliable and timely information than information on print. These types of information tasks also affords opportunities to make real world connections and learning which is authentic and intentional like the book states can be realized. It is also very important because it satisfies the NYSED standards and performance indicators.
I found the video of the ESL students interesting. The new ways of learning keep increasing and improving. Using the internet as a means to teach ESL is amazing. Giving students the ability to keep track of their work in a blog is fun and different, and motivating, I know from my own experience in creating and keeping a blog for this current class. The students feel validated and accomplished by using this revolutionary new teaching However, I teach grades K – 8, and I foresee that only the upper grades have the typing ability needed to complete such a task. The younger students are still learning to write and their dexterity is still developing. This year my third grade students at PS190 had to write 4 paragraphs about the end of the year reflection. They started with a four-square and ended with a typed paper. It was painful to watch how difficult it was for them to type it. Therefore, I think that certain uses of this type of technology is more appropriate and effective for the mature student. That has to be considered for it to be an effective learning tool.