Posts Tagged ‘indt501’

New Technologies


04 Nov

I was really interested by the Sixth Sense Technology presented in the TedTalk video. It reminded me a lot of the SmartBoard technology: the idea that technology should be integrated seamlessly with everyday movements. I think students today would love this type of technology; anytime they can get information right at their fingertips, they seem more interested and engaged. I was especially interested in the book functions of this technology; the ability for students to have information about whatever book they are looking at, available right away. This would definitely be helpful for projects and lessons on novels in the classroom. I think students would respond well to having the book be interactive, with extra video and audio clips built in.

The virtual environment is also an interesting idea for an English classroom. The novels read in high school take place in different environments than the classroom. Some students might benefit from having a visual if they are having trouble picturing the environment in their heads. It gives them something to explore, and could really help to differentiate learning. I do have mixed feelings about this, I know some students could benefit from it, but I also believe that individual imagination is not something that can be replaced. I was interested by the assertion that “Research suggests that educational MUVEs should not focus solely on the virtual environment; learners still require and do best when they have ongoing support from the teacher and built-in time (and obligations) for self reflection” (Solomon & Schrum, 2013, p. 122). I like the idea that virtual environments can also be an outlet for student reflection.

Resources:

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2013).Web 2.0: how-to for educators. (1st ed.). Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education.

Mini-Projects: Part Deux


28 Oct

For my mini-projects this time I chose to look at Google Lit Trips and TimeToast, one of the timeline sites. All three timeline sites were listed in our book, and Solomon and Schrum described Timetoast as, “an online interactive timeline creation tool with which you can design your own or search for others’ timelines on many topics. You can also publish these timelines on Twitter or other social networking sites” (Solomon & Schrum, 2013, p. 261). I liked Timetoast because it was very user-friendly- it was very easy to add and edit text along with pictures. While I think a timeline could be more useful for a history class, sometimes it is helpful for students in an English class to place events in a novel on a timeline, especially if the novel includes flashbacks. I was frustrated by the fact that the timeline required the time to be recorded in days, not hours or minutes. For example. I was using the events from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” but these events take place over one day. In order to put these events in chronological order, I had to list them as happening on different days. It’s a small issue, but it would have been helpful to have more choices about the time for the timeline.

Google Lit Trips was a bit more work than the other mini-projects I’ve done, but it also seemed to be a rewarding project. Solomon & Schrum say, with regards to Google Earth, that it may be “…limited in scope, yet [it] provide[s] capabilities that really make a difference in classrooms” (Solomon & Schrum, 2013, p. 13). There is a specific purpose for using Google Lit Trips, but I really think it would be useful, especially in a high school setting.

I used Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love because I knew the plot featured many different places around the world, which students may not be familiar with. These places in Indonesia, India and Rome are integral to the plot but also not popular destinations for today’s high schoolers. I liked that Google Lit Trips allow the teacher to add relevant websites, questions, information, etc. I think I would definitely use this in my classroom, especially for novels that take place in foreign countries. This is a great way connect the students to the novels they are reading.

 

Resources:

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2013).Web 2.0: how-to for educators. (1st ed.). Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education.

Mini-Projects: Comic Life and Wordle


21 Oct

My first mini-project was with Comic Life. I created a comic about two students talking about the meaning of setting, conflict and resolution in novels. I liked this way of presenting the material to the students, because it’s informative but interesting at the same time. I could see teachers using this tool in the classroom to relate their topics to the students, but I can also see the students using this program to create their own projects. I think this would also be a great for the students to use to teach other students about topics being taught in class. I could see myself splitting students up into groups and having them create an informative comic aimed at a certain demographic or age group (maybe their peers, maybe younger students).

Wordle was incredibly simple to use; really it’s just a plug-and-chug kind of website. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I thought this site was interesting and would be really helpful for students who are visual learners. I think this would definitely be a great starter activity for a larger unit, but I see myself having trouble stretching it out into a longer activity. I do like the fact that students can submit their own words and see the words that come from their classmates; I think this is a great way to spread a feeling of classroom community and to allow students to check in with their peers.

Instructional Technologies

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