Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Brief description of Effective Webquest and Usage in Classroom:
Webquests are inquiry-oriented, based on a doable, engaging tasks using pre-defined materials from the Web, and can be short-term or long-term for the purpose of gathering information. They are useful for teaching strategies in that they diminish the chances of kids aimlessly searching the net by giving them guided instructions as to what they should accomplish. Most Webquests include what some call "building blocks": Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation and Conclusion. They ususally begin with short paragraph that sets up the task such as a role or scenario, etc. This intro paragraph should include the main question(s).
I like the idea of using Webquests because:many kids enjoy computers these days, they are a wise use of computer time, they can be used in all subjects, they give students something hands-on and many different activities an info gathering can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time compared to just letting students search for the answer without any direction.
In grade four, one way I would use Webquests in the classroom would be for groups to find information about a Native Tribe. I would set out different categories like food, traditions, dress, roles, work, location, etc. and they would then each present what they found. Like I said, Webquests could be used in all subjects so what I like about them is that the teacher can be really creative in what they develop for assignments as long as they relate to the Program of Studies. There are endless possibilities for this tool.
Web Awareness Canada: Response to Internet safety in the Classroom:
It is not safe to assume all your students have been taught about internet safety. Maybe they do not have computers at home or maybe their parents are computer illiterate so they have never talked about sfety issues. There may also be kids in you class that are engaging in unsafe practices and are not aware of the dangers. For those reasons I think it is very important that interent safety is discussed as a proactive strategy instead of reacting to concerns as they arise.
If I had to alk to my students, these are the points I would touch on:
  • facts and opinions (misleading information
  • naked pictures
  • hate sites
  • personal privacy (registration, email)
  • chat rooms (predators)
  • email (junk mail)

I would also make clear expectations of how they use computers and the net and set out clear, predictable, consistent consequences of what would happen to a student if they were caught viewing inappropriate picture or info, chatting at school etc.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How I would use Spreadsheets in Education
Include: -How I would use online tutorials in the classroom
-A link

I have used spreadsheets before but only in a social statistics course. At first I thought it would be way too difficult to implement them into elementary school subjects because most of the things I learned how to do on spreadsheets were very complex and took me a long time to figure out. After reading through the links I have realized that spreadsheets have many other uses and that, yes, elementary students can make use of them just as good as university students but of course, in different ways.

For my own use, as a teacher, I would use spreadsheets for keeping track of marks, missed assignments, creating checklists and other class management ideas. I am always suspicious of technology though because sometimes things get erased (like at the university study centre when the system shuts down and people have to start all over again at 2 a.m.) so I think I would also have paper copies of really important information.

For the students, I would first use spreadsheets in Math. I do not know exactly how I would use them but after teaching some basic math concepts the pencil/paper way, I would then let the students use spreadsheets in a to add a little differentiated learning to math – more than often less people are good and math and even less people enjoy it so incorporating this tool would be beneficial to some students.

Other ways I would use spreadsheets would be for timelines, weather graphing, interview information, and having students manage finances if there was some type of fake store in the classroom or fundraiser going on. Those are all I can think of as of now. I wonder if my TA uses them in any way-because maybe I will have some other ideas when I do my practicum.

If I had to teach my students about spreadsheets I would send them to an online tutorial to help in explaining the basics. I would have it up on a screen and we would navigate it together. I have two favorites. The first is “School Spreadsheet Safari” at http://library.thinkquest.org/J0110054/ and the other one is called “The A to Z of Spreadsheets” found at http://www.mathsnet.net/a2zofssheets.html . The first is one to use in elementary because it is simple and has great graphics. The second link would be for older kids-maybe junior high.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Concept Mapping
1. What is it?
2. Advantages/Disadvantages
3. Integration example/Outcome(s)

1. Concept mapping is visually representing concepts and ideas, in the form of a web, which shows the connections between them. They are a way to organize information making the whole picture easier to understand. They have many uses: brainstorming, integrating new and old knowledge, communication of complex ideas, to support reading comprehension, etc.
2. Some advantages of concept mapping: They would be beneficial to visual learners. They would be useful in introducing new concepts, studying, organizing information as well as showing how different concepts relate to one another. They are also used to show different hierarchies. A huge advantage is that concept mapping could be used for any subject or topic if used appropriately, e.g. Drama: using it to show how all the characters are related to each other in a play, French: introduction of new vocabulary words, for example, starting with “body” in the middle and then all the body parts coming out of that word (in French of course). Another advantage would be that these maps could be done easily on the chalkboard, overhead and paper.
Some disadvantages would be: having too much information and links, making the whole map very cluttered and hard to read. With regards to the programs such as Kidspiration and Inspiration, maybe some schools cannot afford them or do not think they are necessary programs to incorporate. Another disadvantage may be that some kids cannot interpret them –they are not visual learners.
3. As an example of integrating concept mapping into my classroom, I would have the students make a rough concept map while having a few chapters form a new novel read to them aloud. They could put the main characters in the middle and others coming out of them. On the arrow they would state one word to describe the relationship of the people to the main character and to others. I guess it would be called a “character map”. This would be done on paper first as they were listening and then completed using Kidspiration.
Outcomes:
P.3(1.2) create visual images by using such tools as paint and draw programs for particular audiences and purposes.
P.4(1.2) balance text and graphics for visual effect.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Title: Alberta-It's People in History

Reference: Lethbridge: History of A Prairie Community. (1996). Natives. Retrieved October 2, 2005, from <
http://collections.ic.gc.ca/prairie/ethchpt8.htm>.

Grade Level: 4

Subject: Social Studies

Description of Activity:

This activity could be for the Introduction of this new topic. For this activity, the students will individually access and read the online article, “Natives”, provided by the Galt Museum. Or they can choose to find the information from books the teacher librarian found for them. Either way, they will be answering two “Questions of Inquiry” from the Program of Studies: “What was the Native people’s way of life before the coming of the Europeans?” and “How did the Europeans influence the Native people’s way of life? (What changes happened to the Blackfoot after the Europeans came?). The questions would be the headings on their worksheet along with sub-headings underneath such as: Under the first question; traditional food, traditional clothing, traditional work, traditional land, traditional health, etc. and Under the second question; disease, alcohol, food, work, land, etc. ” As they read through the article or books and answer the questions as best they can (in point form) they will also record any questions they might be wondering about that there was not an answer too. Then they will get into pairs and share their information, writing anything they missed and decide on something else they would like to know about the topic (write it down).The class will then come back together and one person from each pair will share an aspect of traditional Blackfoot life and how it was changed after the Europeans and the other person in the pair will share one thing they would both like to know about the Blackfoot’s way of life before or after the coming of the Europeans. The worksheets would then be collected and the teacher could then use them as a resource to make a susequent worksheet with the unanswered questions, for the next day. The students could then do their own internet or library search to find those answers.

GLO's: Students will demonstrate an understanding that contact between the Natives, fur traders and the settlers in Alberta's history brought changes to their lifestyles. The focus for this activity will be on Native lifestyles before and after European influence.

SLO's: Students will be able to:
~gather information by identifying the sequence of events
~organize information by classifying facts and events under main headings
~participate cooperatively in group work by helping to make the rules, divide up tasks and evaluate group's performance

ICT Outcomes:
C1(2.1): access and retrieve appropriate information from the Internet by using a specific search path or from given uniform resource locations (URLs).
C4(1.2): formulate new questions as research progresses
C5(1.1): share information collected from electronic sources to add to a group task

Integration Rationale:
Accessing and retrieving information from a provided website gives the student who likes computers more motivation to complete the assignment. Those who prefer using books could do that as well. Finding information in both these ways, and then collaborating their answers, helps the students to realize the Internet and books sometimes provide information that the other does not. Using both these sources may present a more well rounded view of the topic. For the teacher they can guide and monitor the use of the Internet by choosing an appropriate site for them to go to- the next day when they do their own search they will have a sense of the direction they need to go (what type of words to search for, etc.)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Technology Outcomes

Specific Technology Outcome:P.3.3.2. create multimedia presentations that incorporate meaningful graphics, audio, video and text gathered from remote sources.

Subject: Social Studies

Grade: 8

Description:
The assignment is for students to better understand how the interactions of people with their physical environment continues to influence patterns of life in Brazil.
The student will pretend he/she is a travel agent and has been asked by their boss to create a PowerPoint presentation for a region of Brazil. Using Microsoft PowerPoint, design a presentation that shows the physical and human geography of the region. Use sources such as the Internet, CD-ROM or scanners to acquire images to include in the presentation. The presentation should also include complementary textual information related to the images.

What is Technology Integration?
Integrating technology means using technology as a tool for teaching not as something separate. Integrating technology in this way enhances student learning. Technology integration must be carefully guided and structured so students do not end up just "playing around" with it.
Good Technology integration will help address different learning styles. Also, good technology integration is when students' own interests drive the learning process. They will work longer and harder and become more engaged in their learning. Some examples of good technology integration are: Use the computer as a station or learning center having kids rotate through the room doing many activities - the computer is just one part of it, have students do group or pair projects and activities on computers, use blogging to do book review's, discussions, etc., have students use search engines for research projects, and have students use simple drawing programs like Windows Paint to draw pictures related to the unit you're studying. Spreadsheets could be used for students to chronologically order events from the historical period being studied. Two other ways would be to have children type their stories up or to do presentations using Power Point. There are many, many ways to use technology in the classroom. Even with as much as I know now (not much) I am certain there are numerous ways to inegrate technology in EVERY subject. The effectiveness of it depends on exactly HOW it is implemented. The grade level and technological experience of the children must be taken into consideration before the decision of what is going to be integrated is made.
Bad technology integration would be: only using one type of technology, not explaining the purpose of using it, letting children just "surf the net" with no guidelines, using technology that is too difficult for the grade level (or way too easy), and leaving technology in its own separate period of the day. Many other ways of bad technology inegration could be mentioned but it is basically viewing technology as a separate subject and not having a purpose as to why it is being used.
Barriers to technology integration in the classroom: Cost would be a barrier. Technology is expensive. Having technology in the classroom is partly the teachers decision, so if the teacher does not want it there, it won't be. Time is a barrier because teacher's may not take time to teach the children how to use it or have the time to plan how to integrate it and learn about the technology themselves. It seems the biggest barrier would have to be the teacher. If they are not willing to integrate it and be excited about it, it will not be there for the children.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Impression of Blogging in Education
When I first read over the material, before the orientation day, I was frightened. I had never heard the term "blog" before. I thought it would be quite complicated, especially since I have not taken a computer course in 5 years. Now, as I have followed the steps and am actually "blogging", I feel amazed at how easy it was to set this web log up. Unfortunately, at this point, I have now realized that the difficult part of this class will be to think about, reflect, and understand what technology means for education and what types of technology integration I will incorporate into my classroom's teaching and learning environment. This is new to me. I did not realize the course that technology has been taking - going from being an option within schools to being required (not just as a separate subject but part of all subjects).
After reading over the information, going to all the links, as well as, searching Google, I have come to believe that most importantly and more often, communication is happening on-screen (whether it's email, cell phone text, or blogging). It is true that younger people know more about technology than older people do, making it a goal of mine to always be on the same page as my students when it comes to technology. If my students know how to use a certain technology, I should be thinking of ways I can use it to help them learn better and to help me teach better.
Not knowing much about blogging as of now, I cannot think of many ways it could be used in the classroom. One way it could be used, I think, is for discussion or almost as a journal. A teacher could give the student's a topic or a question to write on each week. The teacher could ask the kids to do a book review for their blog, students could communicate with their teachers telling them what they liked or didn't like about the lessons that day, etc.
Some advantages to blogging are that it can be worked on anytime and it is easy to use. It may be motivating for students who do not like speaking aloud in class, do not like hand-writing or for students who just love computers. For students who lack in computer skills, they could learn to type better. It creates a community of learners, something the kids would have in common and get excited about. It creates opportunites for students to read more, discuss topics and most importantly gives everyone an equal opportunity to express their own thoughts.
Disadvantages might be, because it is public domain, people may be inappropriate or offend others with their words. Also, information may not be factual. Blogging may also make some teachers forget about the importance of reading and writing off line by having students do too much work on their blogs.
I may not have said everything I learned about blogging but I feel I have learned a huge amount by doing this first assignment. Different ways of using blogging in the classroom keep popping into my head...

Personal Introduction
Hello. My name is Lindsay Ann Gibson. I have grown up in Lethbridge, Alberta all my life and have lived in the same house all that time as well (still living with the parents). I have a mom who is a Registered Nurse and a dad who works for Alberta Environment dealing with Southern Alberta's irrigation projects. My brother, Luc, has just recently moved out to Calgary after finishing Criminal Justice at the college, to gain some practical experience as a security guard before he applies to the Police force. I do not have any pets, although, I would like a dog.
I attended Mike Mountian Horse Elementary School for grades k-6 as well as for my Ed 2500 practicum experience, Father Leonard Van Tighem for junior high, Catholic Central for high school and the Lethbridge Community College for 1 year. I have been at the U of L for 4.5 years and am excited to have finally been accepted to the Faculty of Education.
During the wonderful 23 years of my life I have come to love children. My experiences with them range from teaching Sunday School, various camps, VBS, being a nanny for the last 3.5 years, and going to Brazil to work with abandoned children.
I am excited about everything we are going to learn in PS1. This class should be very interesting and informative. It will be neat to think about using technology for teaching and learning and not think about the technology itself for once.
Lindsay