Response to Web 2.0 Tools

Kid Blog: The first resource from the list that caught my eye was Kid Blog. After exploring Kid Blog, I think it would be a very useful tool to use in the classroom. As I have really started to enjoy blogging through this course, I have realized it is something I would want to use in my classroom. WordPress is a great site but I think it could get confusing for students at times. Kid Blog is a site that is student friendly. This is important when teaching a class because it allows students to post their thoughts and opinions as well as the teachers. Kid Blog would be easily understood and simple for the student’s to navigate around. I think this would be a great resource because it is friendly to all the appropriate users, including teachers, students, and parents.

Teacher Tube: I like the idea of Teacher Tube because it is completely appropriate. YouTube is a great resource but at times can have inappropriate messages and videos. I have always been scared that I am going to open a link and some awful advertisement is going to pop up.  By using Teacher Tube, teachers are able to avoid this problem. I think this would be a resource I would use frequently as a classroom teacher because even now I often refer to You Tube for helpful information.

Brain POP: When I saw the catchy name BrainPOP, I immediately had to check it out. This would be a resource teachers could use to make learning fun. BrainPOP is an animated site that covers many different subjects. This could be a useful tool for students who have extra time. It would allow them to relax and have fun while at the same time still doing school work. They are able to choose a subject and also an activity to go with that subject when they are using BrainPOP. I also think this would be a good resource to use when students are struggling with a subject because it allows them to learn new information in a fun and interesting way.


Module 6 Reflections

As much as I have enjoyed completing modules and exploring different parts of technology, I was also very relieved to have completed the last module in this course. I found module 6 to be interesting and also fun. Starting out the module by learning about the Technology Integration Matrix and making my own Voki was a fun task to complete. The TIM is something I will continue to use and make beneficial for myself as a future educator. The matrix made it visual for me to see how using technology within classrooms benefits students. I also really enjoyed making my Voki. I thought it was a fun and cool way to display information.

As discussed throughout this module, the purpose of technology in a classroom is to use the technology to teach the outcome rather than teaching how to use the technology. For teachers to be successful and to be able to teach through technology at high levels they have to be sure they make use of the appropriate tools and resources. Integrating technology that students are already familiar with will be more beneficial than using new forms of technology. When students are already familiar with what they are using, the teacher doesn’t have to take the time to teach about the technology and can focus directly on the outcome. I also think it is important for teachers to keep up with the growing advances in technology. If the teacher is out dated this may cause problems with the use of technology they are trying to implement into their classroom.

Lastly, I would like to reflect on the use of Rubistar. I enjoyed making my own rubric and this site made it even more enjoyable for me. As a future teacher, this is definitely something I want to keep in mind. I also think using something like Rubistar would help when I am planning lesson using the backward by design model and planning assessment first.

Module 6: TIM (Technology Integration Matrix)

I really enjoyed exploring the TIM and I definitely think it is something I would make use of as a developing teacher. It took me awhile to go through the matrix and understand it completely but after reading and watching the videos, I was able to see benefits of applying technology in the classroom for both the students as well as teachers. The matrix also shows great real life examples that leave more of an impact.

To start with I really took a lot of information out of the videos. I liked the ideas presented in many videos but a few of them stood out to me more than others. There were a few different videos in the matrix that encouraged differentiated instruction. I really liked these videos because they showed how integrating technology helped challenge students at their personal levels and how technology can help meet the needs of each individual student. I also watched a number of videos that presented learning ideas that stood out to me. By watching these I was not only able to see how the different types of instruction benefit students in their learning but also learn different ways to integrate technology into my future classroom. These videos will come in handy to me as I continue to grow into a future educator.

Other than the videos, I also found the resources to be very beneficial. I never realized that teachers used so many different resources in planning lessons. The large variety of resources listed in the matrix will be extremely useful for me in the future. As I was going through the resources, I noticed that I was looking at ideas of other teachers and professionals. This made me realize the importance of collaboration.

Collaborating with other professionals allows us to continue learning. As teachers, I think it is important that we are always assessing ourselves and learning new techniques. By watching and reading about other educators ideas and lessons, it will be helpful in my own teaching and also allow me to continue learning.

Module 5 Reflections

This module, just like mostly all the other ones, has been very informational and interesting to me. The BYOD topic has made me think about many different things and also has got me curious as to how it will play out in the end. I think it is crazy how the world of education has changed from not allowing any type of technology to encouraging the use of technology in almost any way possible.

I took a step in this module and tried something new. As crazy as this is, I have never made a Prezi until the other day when I was doing my reading responses. I not only made my first Prezi in this module, but I also figured out how to put it onto my blog. I was quite happy with my results after I was finished this!

Planning my online lesson was my favorite part of this module. I really enjoyed exploring the different online resources that are available and brainstorming different ways I could use them in a lesson. I think that having the option to learn in different ways is something students are really going to enjoy. It makes it more exciting for them as well as may make it easier for them to learn with their own personal learning style.

Just like anything that is new in society, the topic of personal devices in the classroom is going to have mixed opinions and view points. After finishing this module I think that there are both benefits to BYOD as well as issues. Although, just like anything else, the issues can be worked out and the process will get easier. For example, I am not nearly as frustrated with this course as I was at the beginning. I am finding it easier to learn new apps and to work new programs.

Response to Task 2..

Now that you have had an opportunity to explore issues, ideas and thinking around BYOD, what is your opinion and or experiences regarding students bringing their own devices to school?

The topic of using devices in the classroom has a large amount of mixed feelings from people in our society. Some people feel that personal devices are a great way to incorporate technology into teaching and that they are very beneficial, while other people feel they do nothing but cause problems and distractions. BYOD is something I had never looked into until I started working on this module. I have come to realize that there are both pros and cons to the trend and it all depends on how it is used.

I think having devices at hand while students are learning is something that has potential to be extremely useful for both the students and the teachers. The problem comes in when the students don’t know how to properly use their device for the appropriate reasons. For example, at the end of my high school career we were allowed to have our cell phones in certain classes as a research tool. This only lasted for a short period of time because students abused the privilege by texting and going on social media sites instead of doing their school work. This is something I think teachers would see all the time. Another problem may occur if not all students have personal devices. Although this may not be a problem in the higher grades, what about the students in elementary school? We don’t see as many of them walking about with an Ipad or a cell phone, especially if their parents are against technology.

I have mixed feelings about this topic. I feel that BYOD should be something that is implemented in schools, but at the same time I have concerns about how it would work properly without distractions.