Friday, April 22, 2011

Group PBL

Early in the semester, The Freudian Slip made a mini-PBL on healthy breakfast inventions. As a final PBL project our group decided to expand on the earlier PBL so that our classmates could have a chance to show us their creativity.

We decided to collaborate again on Google Docs to make sure we were able to keep everything in line and so we could talk to each other and work from home. We collaborated on a our Final Project doc to ensure we all had the same information and were able to add to it when we weren't together. I am a big advocate of Google Docs after using it so much this semester. I love it. :)

We then proceed to assign roles for everyone in the group. I was in charge of making the RWLD for the class so that our classmate knew what we wanted them to do before class. I put links to all of our videos, tutorials, and rubric. We had a tutorial of the Basics of Google Sketch-Up as that was what we wanted the class to use to sketch their inventions.

The project for the class was to make a breakfast invention that made breakfast fast and healthy. The students were asked to make a sketch on Google Sketch-Up of what they wanted their invention to looks like and how it would run. We then asked them to make a replica our of household materials so we could see what it would look like.

The students were also asked to collaborate on the Breakfast Invention Wiki where they could come up with ideas, upload their sketches, and explain how the invention worked. After they had loaded all the information, we had them share their inventions with the rest of the class.

I had a lot of fun with this final project and also throughout the whole semester. I definitely learned a lot of new technologies to use in my future classroom. I can't wait to use them all! :)

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interactive Whiteboards

We got to experiment with interactive whiteboards this week. After going to Lincoln Elementary School, we were able to play around with a whiteboard at UNI and see what features it had. We explored Promethean Planet to find out how to make flip charts for interactive whiteboards and how to use ActivInspire.

Emily and I decided to do our flip chart on Nutrition and make activities to go along with nutrition. We had some troubles at first when we made a PowerPoint first with our information before copying it onto ActivInspire. Some of the information got lost and some of it was incorrect. We were able to refer back to some of the help videos to help us figure out our problem and continue working.

One thing I had a huge problem with was trying to get the magnifying glass to work. It took me an hour or two to figure it out. I had to ask people from the class, watch videos, and took in the help manual for ActivInspire before finally asking Google. I should have started with Google. It gave me the answer right away. Note to self: Google knows everything. :)

After figuring out the problems we were able to make a great flip chart and have great activities for elementary students to do to help them learn about Nutrition. I hope I get an interactive whiteboard in my classroom. They are amazing!!! :)

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Lincoln Elementary School

This week we went to Lincoln Elementary School in Cedar Falls, Iowa where we talked to the school librarian, Colleen Nelson. Ms Nelson talked to us about the Promethean boards in the library and how teachers have them in their classrooms at this school. The white boards were able to connect to the internet just by touching on the screen, without a computer! It was amazing to see how it worked and learn about all the great features on it.

We then went into the computer lab where students were working on Google Sketch-Up to create their own convenience stores and buildings. These students were in elementary school and making buildings in a digital designer! I was amazed at how creativity and innovative the students were. They told us that they were teaching the teacher new things everyday. He admitted to not knowing everything about Google Sketch-Up and how we loved when the students taught him new things. I think it is great when a teacher can admit to not knowing something when they are asked. I hope one day my students will be teaching me about the new technologies that are coming out and keep me up to date on them.

After watching the students with Google Sketch-Up, we went into a kindergarten classroom where the students were using the interactive whiteboards. Kindergartners!!! I was amazed at how well the students could maneuver the whiteboard and pen to show us all the activities they do in class. It was truly amazing!

I hope one day to be able to have an interactive whiteboard in my classroom. I think they are really handy for teachers and the students love them. The students feel like they are having fun, which they are, but they are also learning. I hope I can achieve that in my classroom one day. :)

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Collaborative Tools

I definitely enjoyed this past project using Collaborative tools. I have not used Google Docs so much in my life than I have these semester. I really enjoy working on groups projects on Google Docs because it's really hard for everyone in the group to meet at a certain time and place. I was able to work from the comfort of my home while still in the group setting online.

My group, Freudian Slip, decided to do our collaborative project on favorite places to eat on the Hill. We started by organizing our group on a Google Doc called Research Project where we were able to assign roles and talk to each other, even though we were sitting right next to each other. We spent most of class talking to each other on the Google Doc instead of face to face.

We then decided to make a survey on Google Form for the rest of our class to fill out. We posted to link to the form on Twitter with the class hashtag. We were able to have the results sent right to a spreadsheet where we could review the answers. We then complied the answers and made a presentation for the class to show them what the final tallies were on what the favorite place to eat on the hill was amongst the class.

I really enjoyed using the new collaborative tools on Google Docs because I had never really used them until now. I definitely will be using these for group projects in the future so I can stay in the comfort of my dorm, in my sweats, with a cup of coffee. :)

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Intro Preso Experience

Last week we did our introduction presentations with a partner. My partner dropped the class after the first day so I had to present someone that wasn't there. It was quite depressing. But I thought I did a good job on my half. I wish I would have made the PowerPoint about myself but that's okay.

My partner and I decided to use PowerPoint on the first day because that was the only medium he knew how to use. I really enjoyed seeing people use Prezi because it got me really interested and now I want to use it for future presentations I may have.

I think if I had added more pictures of myself and partner it would of looked a little nicer and more fun. I also wish I would of spoken up during the presentation and scanned the room. I sat in front of the computer to do my presentation so one half of the room couldn't hear what I was saying.

Overall I think I did a great job at presenting. I would make a few changes to my PowerPoint and probably use a different form of media if I were to share this information with someone else. I would also add more pictures and speak up while presenting. I would also choose a partner that was still in the class. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Libraries in Second Life

Libraries in Second Life

Since I want to be a librarian, I wanted to find really interesting libraries with facts about new information or educational tools. I found a lot of libraries that did not have information cards or ways for students to find new information. the list I have complied is a great resource for teachers wanting to find books or new information on the web.

1. Ivory Tower Library of Primitives

This library had great information on math concept. It had great notecards with a lot of information. Most of the information includes prisims and building new shapes. This resource will help students learn new math concepts or help them understand math in the real world.

2. Cybrary City II Public Library

This public library has one hundred great books and famous authors. Students can come here and find interesting and famous books. When they click on the book, they are taken to a website where they can download the book for free. This is great for teachers who are on a budget and cannot order print books. It's also interesting for the students since most live on the internet now a days.

3. Within Ten Years

This site in Second life has a library with free informationon a wide varitey of subjects. The island includes many sites to see and information of professionals. Students can learn about a variety of things.

4. International Schools Island

This is mostly just a building with a list of most of the libraries in Second Life. I find this really helpful when wanting to travel and find information around the world. Students can pick a library and research what they have to offer.

5. American Library Association

This is the main source of information of anything dealing with libraries. It is the Library Association and it is widespread across America. All the librarians have to get their masters with a school accredited by the ALA. Students can come here and find great information about books and the library. They also have a site of banned books.

6. Special Libraries Association

This island also a database of libraries of special interest. Some of the libraries include archices land, pet bereavement center, library studies, and wine library. Students can use this to find information about special areas.

7. Tisch Library and Wright Center Climate Change Education Center

This is a great resource for science teachers to use in the classroom. Most of the information includes weather and climate. Students can come and learn about clouds or weather in their area. This is a great interactive land for students and teachers.

8. Rockcliffe Library

This is another great science library for teachers in that field. There are notecareds with information on science, medicine, and law. Students can click on the notcards and find information on a variety of subject areas.

9. Anteater Island

The libraries in this site are all from the University of California-Irvine. This island has great resources from UC Irvine Libraries. There are many libraries to choose from and students can pick from a selection of topics. They can reserch topics life science and law. Great resource for teacher and also college students who may be interested in UCI.

10. Eduislands Information and Services Center

This island is a group of island for educational needs. There are island with information on technology, libraries, schools, and churches. Students can learn about different real life places in the world and find facts to use in papers. Teachers can also find great sources online from this site.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Libraries Across America. Are they needed?

While I was reading Cool Cat Teachers blog I came across a blog that talked about libraries and how the internet is becoming our new library system. I think that is true that the internet is the new place to find information but libraries are still opened around the United States. The internet has a lot of offer and can help with researching information. But this is not helpful to people who don't have internet at home. I read an article called Stupid Question of the Day: Do we still need libraries? that the blogger added at the end of her blog and really enjoyed it. It caught my interest because I want to work in a library someday and it makes me sad that people think libraries are not needed anymore. The internet is very useful in finding information but people who don't have internet at home need a place to go and people to ask that know a lot about different resources they can use. Librarians can tell you more about finding resources and new information than a computer could. They know the ins and outs of new technology and can be helpful in your research.

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