Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Link to Science Challenge Report

Check out our project where 1st graders can have fun while learning about thermometers and temperature.

Click Here.

Week 10 PLE

  1. Prezi is a presentation tool that you can download online. You can create and present your ideas on a large canvas, like a whiteboard, instead of slides. Prezi has a zoom in and zoom out feature which allows the audience to see and remember details. It brings the presentation to life .
  2. Stellarium is like Google Earth, only for the sky. After downloading it to your computer, you can see a realistic sky in 3D. This is so useful for astronomy projects in class. The topics that are discussed in class can be brought to life using Stellarium .
  3. One technology that I explored (outside of class) is WikiSpaces. This is similar to a class blog where discussions can be lead, pictures, papers, etc. can be uploaded. It's a good tool for collborative projects, and the basic download is free .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Virtual Tour

Week 9 PLE

    • If the technology is on topic and the students are interested, you have successfully integrated it into the classroom. As long as the subject matter applies to the lesson (as long as it relates), it is good to use and can be incorporated into the lesson.
    • In order for technology to be a legitimate addition to a lesson, the students should not only learn the subject matter through the technology, but also they should learn how to use to the technology.
    • What indicators can tell you whether or not you have chosen an appropriate technology for your lesson? First and foremost, I think it is most important to keep the attention of the students. The attention of the students is needed so they can learn. If they aren't paying attention, they can't be learning. As long as the technology does not distract the students from learning, it is appropriate to use in the classroom.

Week 8 PLE

  • I thought the article was a bit tricky, maybe because I'm not TPACK savvy. Nonetheless, this is what I got from it:
  • One problem with learning TPACK skills is the need for not only taking the time to learn them, but also learning how to incorporate the technology into the classroom. The article stresses the importance that the activity types should be organized into functional subcategories.
  • The main idea of the article is the fact that TPACK can help meet the needs of students more fully. It claims that TPACK will allow a teacher to integrate technology into the classroom with "content-based learning activities."
  • The article says, "a logical approach to helping teachers to better integrate technologies in their teaching is to directly link students’ content-related learning needs." This supports the main idea because it proves that the technology activities are based on the topics the students are already learning. Thus, this TPACK process will aid to the learning success of the students.
  • This article is important for me as a teacher because it clearly explains the importance of technology in the classroom. It provides evidence and just reasoning behind why TPACK should be integrated into my teaching.

Project Plan Table

Directions: This table is intended to help you explicitly evaluate your options for selecting the best mix of pedagogy and technology to teach content. List the activity types you want to include in the lesson and 2-3 technology options that could work. Then list the affordances and constraints of each technology/activity type combination.

Activity Type

Possible Technologies

Used for this content/With these kids

Affordances-benefits, value


Virtual Field trip- to show different environments in which people live

Google Earth

Real life videos and pictures

Only covers 2 senses (sight and sound)

Slideshow of pictures

Real footage

Video Clips


Survivor- have students choose few items to survive with

PwrPt to introduce unit

Provide instructions

Not very much interaction for the students

Show video clip examples

Clear explanation given for project (good examples)

Finding/making the videos and having it be exactly what I’m looking for

Make video, students show each other how they would live in various environments

Lots of student participation

May not have all the props needed to make it more real

World Ecosystem Jeopardy

Computer- power point

Picture Puzzle- show picture and student’s have to find out where it is

Video with questions from real-life

Scavenger Hunt

Google Earth

Tourist paparazzi: Camera- “find something that…” and take picture

Power Point

Writing assignment- features of biome, fun things you could do there

Keep ecosystem blog

Internet research- facts about ecosystem

Skype with person in another ecosystem for hw assignment

Research Portfolio

Internet Research about ecosystem

Interview someone from ecosystem via Skype

Keep info on Blog

Field Trip Lesson Plan Table


Activity Description

Google Earth content

(what layer, tool, content

within Google Earth will you use)

1. Amazon Rainforest

Matching game: match the animal with their habitat. Then, pick and draw favorite animal. Cut into puzzle pieces, and exchange with partner.

L: Weather, Places of Interest

C: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyIyVsRo-qU

2. Nunavut

Create an informative postcard, including fun facts about Nunavut. Write to a friend describing your trip.

L: Weather, 3-D Buildings, Places of Interest


3. Atacama Desert

Survivor- Make a list of 10 items they need to survive. Write-up about why these items would be necessary (i.e. how the items would be used, etc.)

L: Weather, Places of Interest

C: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLN5uz42005

4. Great Barrier Reef

Vacation Time! Create an itinerary for a 2-day vacation here. Craft an advertisement for souvenirs found in nature.

L: Weather, Ocean, Places of Interest


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week 7 PLE

  1. I think technology plays a huge role in creating dynamic experiences for my students. It is through technology that, as a class, we can broaden our horizons. We can talk to people from different continents, and view images and real videos of life on other places in the world. Also, technology makes learning more interesting. Especially with Special Ed kids, we can use technology to meet their needs (i.e. visually, talking with other teachers and gaining ideas, pictures, etc).
  2. Technology might detract the students form learning if the activities are more fun than educational. Also, the students may get distracted with the other elements of the technology, and want to explore a different topic more. Although exploring is good, if it's not what we are focusing on in class, it is a distraction, and a student can get behind.
  3. One technology that I've used in the past is Wikispaces- this was a great classroom website where we could discuss different things that we read, and communicate easily with the teacher. Teacher feedback is very important, and getting fast responses through the discussion boards, etc. were very beneficial to my learning. Another effective technology is Google Earth. This is great for learning about the geography of our planet. There are so many features on this program that aid learning (i.e. weather, terrain, etc). Lastly, I think that PowerPoint presentations are beneficial, especially when a student can refer back to them. Students, myself included, do not remember everything that a teacher says, thus PowerPoints are a very good source for short hand notes. With Special Ed kids, I think the most effective technology is the type that is hands-on. Using all 5 senses to teach a concept is the most beneficial, and students can learn more in this fashion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week 6 PLE

Along with using a virtual tour in my classroom, the videos and photos can account for the sense of sight. Sounds of the various locations can be played using a CD player in order for the students to experience what they would hear if they were really visiting these places (i.e. Sounds of the Amazon). For the sense of smell, air freshener can be sprayed that resembles the scent of these locations (i.e. fish and salt water for the Great Barrier Reef). Also, the students could bring in food that would be found in these locations for the sense of taste (i.e. fish for Nunavut). Finally, the sense of touch can be covered by having props that feel like the land in the various locations (i.e. sand and rocks for Atacama).

For the virtual tour examples, I first viewed the Volcanoes tour. I liked how they had questions for the students to answer after watching the videos. I think this reminds the students to pay attention to the video. Also, having questions insures that the students are learning something. I also watched the Ancient Ruins tour, and I liked how the questions are super descriptive. This helps the students actually put themselves in the locations, and catch a glimpse of what it's like there. Lastly, I went through the WWII Holocaust Tour. I really liked all the medians hat were used to give the information (article, movie, pictures, etc.). I think this is a great way to keep the students interested because variety is good!

I think the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to implementing a virtual tour into my classroom. An upside to using the tour is that they students would stay interested. However, it is necessary to make sure the videos, etc. are educational. The downside is taking the time to teach Google Earth to the kids before they use the tour. Also, not all of the footage from Google Earth is a street view, thus it's hard to catch a glimpse of what the buildings, etc. look like in real life.