Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Final Reflection - Instructor Derby

As this class draws to an end, I reflect on all the ways we have discussed influencing our colleagues to make a change more towards using technology in their class. I also reflect on the learning activity and implementation plans I have developed regarding integrating more technology into my classroom. I set up an on-line classroom using Moodle. This particular use of technology allows teachers to incorporate a lot of different technologies and put them on a page for easy access and use. Moodle also allows for class discussions, on-line quizzes or tests, class blogs and wiki’s and much more. The main idea I took from this class was to use technology that was fun and interesting, but at the same time very easy to use and access. Using Moodle is definitely a technology that my students have never used before and it definitely helps to prepare them for their lives beyond high school because on-line education is only going to get more popular due to busy schedules.

Immediate adjustments I plan on making to identify emerging technologies with the potential to transform teaching and learning is to keep sharing what I have learned about with my colleagues. I also plan on incorporating more of what we have learned about by using Moodle. Blogs and Wiki’s can be great resources and Moodle allows the use of those technologies without overloading students with numerous sites to join and passwords to keep track of.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

DI and UDL Reflection

As a result of this course, I have found that integrating technology to differentiate instruction is really not as difficult as one may have thought. There are so many resources available through the internet that differentiation usually happens naturally. The resources my classmates and I have found provide numerous opportunities for me to help all of my students understand a concept. These resources will also help me determine how my students learn best, their likes and their dislikes. Integrating the resources into my instruction will allow my students to have choices and guide their own learning.

The adjustments I have made to my instructional practice regarding the use of technology include using my Smart board. Smart has incorporated Smart Response Controllers that allow students to use the controllers to answer questions and the teacher gets immediate results. This allows me to move more quickly or slow down and re-teach a concept. I also use on-line surveys at the beginning of each year to determine how my students learn best. Another adjustment I have made is allowing my students to have a choice in how they learn. Some like guided notes, some like writing the notes out in their notebooks, others like just listening to me explain how to work out a problem.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Reflection on my GAME Plan

As this course comes to an end, I think about how my GAME Plan finally fell into place. Using the new technology that is available I understand how important it is to incorporate it into my everyday lessons. My students really enjoy using the SMART Response controllers because they get immediate feedback. These controllers really help to drive my instruction too. I have my students use them at the beginning of each class to review the lesson from the day before. If the majority of the class answers the questions correctly, I know I am safe to move on to the next lesson. If the majority of the class does poorly, I know I need to spend more time on that concept.

This course has also opened my eyes to a few new technological resources too. I really enjoyed learning about Digital Storytelling. This is a great way for students to present information and for me to present a lesson in different way. I could also create a Digital Story for a sub to use.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GAME Plan ...... continued

Well as much as I love using the SMART Response controllers, I have run across a few things that could use some "tweaks". Besides not having a "math" toolbar to use to type in questions, my students have to be very aware of what they are typing into the controllers. The technology is not "smart" enough to realize that 4 and 4.0 are the same answer. If I type the answer as 4 and they type it in as 4.0, they get it marked wrong.

As much as I love the fact that the computer grades everything for me instantly, it doesn't leave much room for errors or differences in answers. If I were grading it myself, I would give students the benefit of the doubt. 4.0 and 4 in my eyes are the same answer.

Maybe I just need to stop giving students the benefit of the doubt. If the directions do not specify to round to the nearest tenth, then 4.0 technically is wrong. Maybe, I should just be happy with where the technology is at this point in time. It's funny, some people are so against moving along with the times, where others like me, want things to move along faster.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The continuation of my GAME Plan

Well I FINALLY got to use the controllers. THEY ARE AWESOME!!! My kids loved using them. They got their results as soon as everyone finished and I was able to use the instant results to guide my lessons for the following day. I realized that there were two types of problems that were the most missed, so I focused on those problems and made up some new study tools so my students could start to perfect their skills. I am going to give a quiz again on Friday using the controllers so I can get instant results again.

So now that everything is starting to fall into place, the only "problem" I have is we only have two sets of controllers in the building and 75 teachers that want to use them. I have been fortunate enough to use them quite a bit because not everyone has the software installed on their computers yet. As soon as they do though, we'll be "fighting" for control of them. Hopefully our principal will follow through on his word, and get more sets.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Snag in my GAME Plan

Well it's official ... Computers hate me. Obviously, I am being over dramatic, but sometimes I really feel like these inanimate objects, these machines, are out to get me and make my life miserable. I was all set to get my SMART Response controllers up and running and the software on my computer became inactive and I had no way to use them. Apparently the software was not installed correctly in the first place, this was after the update to the original software that I had to persistently beg for.

I had to put in another request to our IT Department (who is severely understaffed and in the middle of updating every computer in the district to Office 07) and explain to them that I needed them to uninstall the Response software and then re-install it. It took about 3 days for someone to finally get over to my classroom to fix the problem. As of 3:00 this afternoon, it was supposed to be fixed so I will be able to FINALLY use the response system tomorrow for the first time. I am super pumped about this. I know, it's the little things in life, but it's something new for me and my kids and it's instant feedback. We are also finally having an in-service on this product so I will be able to use even more effectively.

Here's hoping my computer realizes how much I really do love it and hopefully it will work for me from now on ..... wishful thinking?