Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm Finished

I have officially turned in everything that has to do with my website for class, and it's a great feeling. I really liked my final project and feel like it says a lot about who I am and what I want to accomplish as a teacher. Overall, the process wasn't terrible. Of course there were things I didn't know how to do, but that's because I was working with a software that I was unfamiliar with.

I forwarded my website to some family members and everyone loved it! They thought my classroom rules were a little tough, but I think they were just messing with me. My husband is interested in going into business for himself and likes the idea of creating a website through Dreamweaver to promote his business. I hope I learned enough to help him!

This is probably the last entry in "My Tech Blog" because this is the last day of class. It was a great four months of class and I know that we all learned a lot! I enjoyed our class and plan on using what I've learned when I am interning and have my own classroom. Many thanks to Jeff for providing a positive experience in our classroom. He was patient, calm, and available ALL of the time, in and out of class.

Technology is crucial to live in the 21st century. If our lives revolve around it, then we should be incorporating it in our classrooms too. Although other learning styles are beneficial in the classroom, technology can enhance lessons in ways the traditional methods cannot.

This is a very exciting time we live in!

Peace Out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So I am still excited about the idea of my website, but the creation of it is not all it's cracked up to be. I'm frustrated by little things like moving pictures and moving the sizing bars up and down. Some things that I think should work are not and it's a little stressful. I think it's mostly because I don't know anything about Dreamweaver, and boy do I wish that I did!

I am going to have all of my sites and pictures ready to go for Monday, so hopefully that will help me out a little. I'm worried about the time that we have left, three classes, and that I will feel uncomfortable and unprepared with my final/semi-final project.

Oh well, we'll see what this week brings.....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Fun is Just Beginning!

Well, right now I have no idea about the work that lies ahead of me in creating my personal website, so I am excited and not yet frustrated by the thought of it all. I do think that our websites will be useful and give us a leg up on other incoming teachers who maybe didn't have the exposure to such technology. This is definitely something that we can all take with us and use everyday in our professional career.

The thought of my own classroom is maddening enough, but to think that I can keep in contact with my students and their parents through my own website that I get to maintain is very exciting. Have a question? Just reference the website! How nice! Also this is a tool that I will be able to submit when I'm searching far and wide for the perfect teaching position. This website will be a direct reflection of me and say a lot about who I am before someone even meets me.

I may be writing again in 24 hours to express my deep hatred for web authoring, but for now, I'm ready! I just need to remember to be patient, use my time wisely, and do with it what I want because like I said, this website is a direct reflection of me!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Power Point

Ahhhh.............. That is a sigh of relief because I just completed my interactive Power Point presentation. After 13+ hours, I feel like I created a project that I am proud of, that I would share with others, and most importantly that I would use in my own classroom. I chose the topic of the Solar System and connected it with the 3rd grade Science TN state standards. I included slides on each of the current planets, a summary slide, an interactive quiz with awesome pictures, and cool website that kids can visit after they've studied the Solar System.

This project was helpful to me in another class that I am currently taking. Unfortunately I am in Astronomy 151 now, but because of my power point presentation I now understand the planets a little bit better.

Overall, I enjoyed working with Power Point and learning about URL's, hyperlinks, adding digital images, and everything else that went into creating this masterpiece. I believe interactive presentations can be very powerful in the classroom and look forward to a time where I can implement something like this to make a subject more interesting and fun for my students.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More about Wikis

Well, I have just completed adding my websites to the 486 wiki and I feel pretty good about them. I've been putting it off because I knew it would take a while and it did. But, now that I'm finished, I feel good about the sites that I added to the collaborative (Jeff's favorite word) list and know they will be great resources for me and the other students using the wiki. All of the sites are interactive and provide information for both teachers and students. Education World even has several WebQuests listed on it and I posted it for that reason. The websites I used are:

Peep and the Big Wide World
Kidsites for Science
Education World - WebQuests
Scholastic. com.

I look forward to using our wiki in the future and am excited to use some of the activities and ideas presented on these sites.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Interactive Spreadsheets

This week was spreadsheets and they were not the boring rows and columns of black and white numbers that you think of when you think of Excel or spreadsheets. We created our own interactive spreadsheets which were tailored to a subject and grade level of our interest. By adding logic statements, students could fill in the blanks to the questions and get a "Yay" or "Boo" response, which also had a point value associated with it. Also, we were able to change fonts, colors, add cool headings, and pictures to make them look fun, inviting, and age appropriate.

It was a good experience working with Excel even though I've used it before. What we did in class was more useful as far as using them in a classroom. I now know that it would be relatively easy to create a review or quiz for my students using Excel and that it would be something they would enjoy doing too. When other teachers are handing out xeroxed worksheets, my students will be doing theirs on the computer and personally, I think that is very COOL! Another use for Excel in the classroom would be a grade book/attendance sheet.

This was another experience where I had to step outside of my comfort zone to work on a project, but overall it was a positive experience and I enjoyed it. Spreadsheets are definitely more than words and numbers in columns, they are also another way to incorporate technology into my classroom.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Inspired by Inspiration

This week in IT 486, we worked with digital diagrams through a software called Inspiration. Although I had not heard of Inspiration nor worked with it, I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know what it's all about. Our assignment was to create our own digital diagram and I chose 'Dinosaurs' as my topic. Once you have a topic, a diagram can be created however you see that it would be most useful for the topic or the students who will be using it. I chose my main three branches to be 'kinds of dinosaurs', so I labeled them 'Herbivores', 'Carnivores', and 'Avian Reptiles'. To each of the three branches I added facts, that I found via the Internet, that differentiated the three groups of dinosaurs. I was able to change the background color, font, and add pictures to help bring the diagram together and make it make sense.

The good thing about digital diagrams is that they can be useful for students of all ages no matter what they are studying. First grade or even eleventh grade classrooms are always studying something that could be enhanced by technology.

Face it, digital diagrams are just fun to look at!