Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Google, how I love thee

I had a group presentation today, and we did our whole presentation collaboratively on Google docs! It was such a great tool to be able to access from anywhere and all of us could use it. We accessed our power point through the internet! No need to bring in a USB or our own computer... It was there waiting for us. Where were Google documents when I was in high school? I can just imagine how much more simple group projects would have been if we could have used Google documents. How easy would homework have been in group projects if we could have all worked together through Google documents? Thank you Zoe for introducing me to this amazing Google tool that I can use in my classroom! How great is it that you can monitor recent activity and find out just how much work is being posted by different members of the group. If you haven’t tried Google documents, do it NOW! 

I'm also a fan of the igoogle website. I've got my website set up mostly for keeping track of my fellow peers blogging websites. It updates the latest posts they created. It's a great place to keep all of my information in one place! Not to mention it has all sorts of neat gadgets. I have one that gives me a new quote every time I go online, I can play hangman, get the weather, a joke, and some useless knowledge! It's a great tool to enjoy! 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

12 Most Important Things

In many of my classes we have been talking about what qualities the best teachers have. When my classmates and I toss around ideas our list of qualities looked something like this: fair, knowledgeable, gives specific expectations, effective communicator, and interesting. According to my psychology text book, the top five things students’ love the most about teachers are when they have a sense of humour, make class interesting, are knowledge, able to explain things clearly and spend time helping students. 12 most important things

While I’m sure my textbook has lots of research to back up its statements, it turns out it’s those small things that we do which students notice and love the most.  My Virtual Associate Teacher had this link on her blog about the 12 most important things children want from their teachers. All of the things on the list seem like common sense, yet when my class was listing off qualities we didn’t hit very many of them. It put a smile on my face to read them...I got to see how my simple actions will make all the difference in the classroom!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hesitation to Technology

This week I have been preparing for my micro lesson, which I taught today. It took me 8 minutes to teach the lesson and approximately 4 hours to prepare. When I was preparing for my lesson I tried to implement a variety of way to teach the lesson to accommodate for different learning styles. I created a handout which had step by step instructions on it. Then I decided I needed visual pictures to go along with the written descriptions. Finally, I demonstrated the activity with the class.  I searched the internet for the visual aids and even watched a couple you tube videos to give me some ideas on the best approach. I was thinking about where I would have been without technology... I wouldn’t have had the ability to check out other people’s ideas and I would have had to create the visual aids myself on the computer. Suddenly, a lesson that took 4 hours to prepare would have probably taken me 6 or more.  

After I thought about this, I realized that even though I utilized technology in my lesson preparation, I didn’t use it at all in my actual teaching. It got me wondering why it is so easy for teachers to use technology but so hard for us to implement it into our classrooms. I realize that my lesson was only 8 minutes but there are ways I could have used some technology. I could have used a projector that would allow that class to see my demonstrations on screen or even played an audio clip on how the game is played while the class was still working. With all these tools available what makes us hesitate?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thoughts on Technology in Education

When I tell people I’m taking an optional course, they always ask me why I want to burden myself with extra courses. My response is always that it isn’t a burden if you’re interested in the topic you’re taking. I opted to take 8Y59: 21st Century Learning- Teaching the Digital Generation because I’m completely aware that the children in my classroom will be up to date with the current technology. I would like to prepare myself so I can be as up to date as possible.  I took this course, so I could learn ways of integrating technology into my classrooms. 

Wordle: 21st century learning
It’s my belief that technology should be implemented in the classrooms. The students we will be teaching are interested in technology! Since we have found something they like, we should implement it in our teaching practices in order to keep them more interested. Half of teaching is learning about your students, finding out what they like, and using this information to keep them engaged in the classroom. We already know that high school students are interested in technology, therefore, we should do our very best to use it in our classrooms. My wordle up above describes some of the new devices and approaches we should be implementing into our own classrooms one day.