Monday, April 27, 2009

Man Vs. Machine

There are so many inventions that have been created to make life simpler, and fulfill the demands of every day life. These inventions can be as simple as a pencil and paper to record documents, to the refrigerator that keeps food cold and fresh. It is because of necessity that these inventions were created by man, and it is because of necessity that invention will continue to be constructed.

Machines are a great why to include the use of technology within the classroom setting. Machines help everyone with their day to day activities, and are constructed with the use of technology. In the classroom, you could discuss some of the inventions that have been made over the years, and what purpose they served or are serving to society. Then you could have them come up with a chore that they really didn’t like to do, and make a list of those chores. Then they would pick one of those chores, and make a model of a machine that would complete the chore for them. Now to incorporate technology further, it is better to have them construct their drawing using the computer with a software program, such as Microsoft Paint, or TuxPaint. Then you could have them save their picture and place it into a PowerPoint that would show and tell how the machine worked.

As a teacher you probably have some problems with keeping the students on task, especially when using a paint program on the computer. A good way to solve this problem is to have an outline of what tasks are going to be completed, and how much time they have to complete each task. This allows them to stay on task better, and allows them a better structured environment.

Finally, this activity is a great way to show their students that inventions have changed the way that people function within the world, and how the world would be if technology was not a source that people could use. This is a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom, which allows your students to be creative, and active within the lesson plan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Graphic Organizers

Have you ever wondered as a future educator, or an educator how to get your students to place on paper their thoughts, in an effective and structured fashion, that would be seen as fun in their eyes? Well the answer is graphic organizers. With the use of graphic organizer you can allow your students to excel in problem solving, decision making, and brainstorming. A graphic organizer is simply a way to organize your thoughts graphically. Graphic organizers can range anywhere from the simple story map chart, where you place what happened first, second and third in boxes to a more complex and creative organizer like a sense chart, where you put in different senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) in each box.

The best thing about graphic organizers is there free! That’s right you can go onto web and type in the hyperlink and there are tons of graphic organizers that you can upload and print out free! However to make the students get more involved and creative with the use of graphic organizers you can have them go to the website and look at all of the different types of graphic organizers, and then have them go into Microsoft word and have them make their own. Once the students understand how to you the draw toolbar in word they will soon be making their graphic organizers that are original, and that are full of vast information.

Not only are the students writing and expressing what they have learned already into the graphic organizer, but they are learning how to use the different functions and toolbars on Microsoft word, or any other type of application that is being used in the classroom. This helps them gain knowledge in the area of technology, and promotes them to use it more for educational purposes.

Another good idea to use with graphic organizers is to have everyone in the class print off their finished product, and the teacher can hang them up on the wall or in the hallway to show off the students work. So not only are the students having fun using technology, and expressing their thoughts and ideas, there are getting acknowledged for their work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Saving trees one piece of paper at a time

Using technology in the classroom with students can cut the cost of the use of paper, as well as teaching the students that technology can be a fun, fast, and easy way to complete a project. When using technology in the classroom, such as a computer and email access programs you can lower the damage done to the environment already. By cutting down on the use of paper in the classroom, and getting your fellow colleague to do the same.

So how can you cut down on the use of paper? Well it’s easy you can teach your lesson, and up load worksheets and activities for the student to complete on the web. You can have them go onto a website, and have the website calculate their grade and overall assessment, that will be at the teacher’s access later on. Or you can have the student email the document to you, and you can grade the document, by using Microsoft word and send the document back to the student to let the student see what he/she did or didn’t do correctly. Also by using the Microsoft word application you can actually remove and add words and comments to the paper, and show the student exactly what they should have done, if anything was done incorrect.

Also, by using technology instead of paper, really helps to cut down on the use of paper when having to write portfolio pieces. When writing portfolio pieces on paper over and over, you tend to use an abundance of paper. But if you have them do it from the beginning on a computer, tons of paper is saved during the process.

You may say that by using technology, takes away from creativity, but it adds more to the class. You have tons of different programs that can be used to help the mind grow. Also by using technology you have applications that read back what the student has written, and you can increase the font size of text, to allow the student to read and connect better.

So you see, technology can actually help the environment, and help the students grow at the same time. Technology doesn’t always have to be used to harm the environment, there are so many things that technology has supplied to the world that has allowed us as a people to better the environment, its just a matter of putting those applications into place.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese! That’s what you could be telling your students, by using a camera in your lesson plan. You can incorporate the use of a camera into any subject, and pretty much any lesson that you need to teach. Not only will the use of a camera show the students how to use that type of technology in not only the classroom but in the everyday world, but it will also allow you as the teacher to incorporate technology into the classroom in a fun way that can be used time and time again.

You can incorporate the use of a camera, by taking the time needed to show the students how to actually use a camera and the different functions that they have. It would also be a good idea, at this time to show the students the type of software that they are going to be using to update and work with the pictures that they take. Some software that you may be using is iphoto, in which case you should show them how to use the software, and what it is capable of doing.

Next you need to give instructions to the student to exactly what they are going to do with the camera to incorporate with the lesson being taught. This can be incorporate with any age. But for example if you what to teach first or second grade spelling with the alphabet, you could give everyone in the class a letter, such as A, B, C and so on. Then you would tell them that they need to find an object that starts with their letter, and have someone take a picture of them holding that item (It would be best to do this in partners that way everyone gets to take a picture and use the camera). After the picture has been taken the students can go back to the computer and upload their photo, and by using photo technology they will be able to view their photo(s). Then they would insert a text box under their photo and spell out the object. This shows that the student not only knows the beginning letter of an object but also how to spell it as well.

Using a camera in the classroom is a great idea, and should be taken full advantage of when teaching lesson. This allows the students to use creativity and technology to learn more about the subject, and understand what is being taught better by performing hands on tasks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Technology Surrounds Us: Educational Blog

When some people think of technology, they think of fancy gadgets. However, some people forget that the definition of technology is tools that are developed and made to help make life simpler. Because of this people forget that pencils, paper, scissors, along with so much more, is considered technology. A good way to demonstrate this in the classroom setting is to discuss what technology is, and how it is used in everyday situation, and no one even considers the technology used, due to the human adaptations to our surroundings.

One of the best ways to have the students understand and apply their knowledge and understanding of technology is to have them make a craft, and then state what type of technology was used in making the craft. You would have everyone explain what type of technology they used, and have the next student add technology to that, without repeating what was stated before hand. This allows the students to see just how much technology is used in the everyday setting to perform a simple task.

For example in my Integrating Technology in the Classroom class, we all made hats that dealt with Easter/spring and M&M’s. However you could use anything that you wanted to when doing this project. With this project, almost everyone used paper, scissors, pencils, markers. However when going deeper into the question of what technology did you use in completing the assignment, the issue of lighting, going to the store to buy supplies, which used transportation, and the use of doors, along with so much more was discussed.

This assignment is a good way for students to realize that technology surrounds them everyday, but people are so used to technology that they forget how much technology is actually out there for them to use at their disposal. This exercise allows students to understand that their computer isn’t the only type of technology that is out there, and without technology there wouldn’t be much left to work with on everyday situations, and life would be much harder for man or woman to survive. So, not only does this exercise allow students to understand what type of technology that surrounds them, but how technology is used, and helped to make human life easier and more efficient.

Do you have a backup plan?

Have you ever wondered what would happen to everyone’s grades that are stored in a central database, if it were to malfunction or shut down? Well the answer is simple, if the teacher of the students didn’t have a backup file stored somewhere, then the grades would simply be lost, and the process to rerecord those grades would involve into a long strenuous process. Don’t think it could happen? Well it has happened, and is more than likely to happen again. The best solution to this is to have a backup file that is stored on a hard drive, or other type of resource that will be available to you, the teacher that way if the central database were to crash or be down at a “bad” time, you would have a backup, and would save yourself all of the hassle of tracking down the grades earned by individual students.

So exactly, how would you go about storing the student’s data in a safe and reliable source? Well the best way that I believe to do this is to use the Microsoft Excel Application to store the information on. With the use of this application you can set up every student with their grades for individual activities, quizzes, papers, tests, and more on. With this application not only will you have a backup when needed, but you will be able to figure out the class, and total points received with just a few formulas typed into the application.

But that’s not all you can do with the Excel program. The Excel program also allows the teacher to put important data that needs to be compared, in order to help the overall progress of the class. It does this by allowing you to put what ever data you chose into charts and tables that allow you to see trends in the data easily. Along with building upon the viewing of the data within the Excel program, is the way to demonstrate the data to the parents/guardians of the students. With the Excel program you are able to hide all of the student’s grades except for the one(s) that need to be shown to the parent/guardian when parent/teacher conferences need to be addressed.

All in all the Excel program can be considered a life saver to those teachers that find they need a backup plan, or need to display student data in a clean cut professional way, that is quick and easy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a boy!

Here it comes, the age old question, is it a boy or a girl? This question is the mostly asked question that parents want to know, in order to prepare properly for the arrival of their newly born son or daughter. In the early 1950’s the ultrasound was invented, and with this invention not only would parents be able to find out what their baby would be, but they would have a better idea as to the health and well-being of their baby. With this vital piece of technology that was created, it has helped to not only help the survival of the unborn infant, but the pregnant mother as well.

The Ultrasound as came a long way within the years, to the point where you can see your baby in 4D mode, this is a mode that always the doctor and parents of the baby to see the baby’s features, almost to the point as if you were looking at them outside of the womb.

Why is this creation of technology so important? Well it allows the parents of the unborn baby or babies to make sure that their baby is growing correctly, and that everything is forming in the right portion. If the doctor does find a problem, it can sometimes be fixed and the baby can then have a clean bill of health once again.

I am 25 weeks pregnant, and the advancements in medical technology have impacted my experiences greatly. I just recently found out the not only is my baby developing good, but is also a baby boy! I couldn’t imagine not being able to know if my baby was okay for the entire 40 weeks of pregnancy. With the use of the ultrasound, I have been able to hear my baby boy’s heart beat, see the development of his body, and have the reassurance that everything is going according to plan.

Finally, I would like to state that technology is not only making life easier and more efficient for the average person. But technology is also allowing human life to exist in a such a way that not only are baby’s being born healthier, but as they continue their lives technology allows them to live longer, healthier lives

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Interactive Bulletin Board: Make learning fun!

This week, I have found many ways to incorporate bulletin boards in with the classroom lesson plan that are not only interactive, but allow the students to use them as another learning technique for the students to learn certain material. Given any subject such as mathematics, reading, english, science, social studies, etc. a bulletin board can be made for the students to use to incorporate with a lesson plan. For example take mathematics for example, if you were teaching the concept of money or place value, you could make a bulletin board that shown different types of coins and have them move the coins to show different money values and different place values with dollars and cents.

However, you don’t just have to constrict the use of an interactive bulletin board to the younger ages but you can use interactive bulletin boards just as effectively in middle and high school age students as well. For example an interactive bulletin board can be made in social studies during Women’s history month on important and influential women in history that the students would be able to match certain characteristics up with the woman in history. Or given the subject of science you could show the phrases of mitosis, as a summative assessment for the students, as a review before a test.

You can also use interactive bulletin boards for the younger student by incorporating english/reading with the alphabet. You could do this by having the student match up the upper case letters with the lower case letters and vise versa.

Of course the making of an interactive bulletin board wouldn’t be possible without the use of technology. With the use of the computer to find and expand ideas, print out pictures and information, to the use of plain paper, technology takes regular bulletin boards and helps to make them interactive. With technology not only are the bulletin boards interactive, but they also become more attractive, accurate, and appealing to the students learning the material being taught by the teacher.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Creating a Web Quest

This past week in my EDEL 302 class we learned how to make a web quest using Microsoft Office Power Point. The web quest is a useful tool that can be used in the classroom for the students to use technology hands on and perform an activity that could take 30 minutes to 2 weeks. A web quest can be designed for any age level or content area. There are seven things that you need when you make your own web quest. Those seven things include: Introduction, Task, Process, Resources, Teachers Guide, Evaluation, and Conclusion. There can be more added to your web quest depending upon what you would like to achieve. But those seven listed above are vital to have in order to have a good and correct web quest.

An Introduction is the first thing that should be shown on your web quest, and is for the students and not for other teachers or higher administration to read. The introduction is the first thing that the student will read, and it should capture the student and make him/her want to go further into the web quest. It should be interesting, and should be appropriate for the audience.

The Task is where you will state what the goal of the student will be, and what they will need to accomplish. This will also have someone stated what the final product will look like at the end of the web quest.

The Process is how they are to complete the task that they were given. In the process section you can include all of the sources that they will need to use to get to the final product. If you would prefer to put these links separately you can place them on the Resource page of your web quest.

The Teacher’s Guide is made for other teachers or higher administration to tell the teacher what they would need in order to complete the web quest. This would also include the national standard, grade level, and how long it the web quest will take to complete.

Then you have the evaluation page, which tells the students how they will get graded on the web quest.

Finally you would have the Conclusion page which is made also for the student, and should tie in with your introduction page, and should make the student feel a sense of accomplishment.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

SMART Boards: Educational Blog

From chalk boards to marker boards, technology has done it again by changing over head projectors to an all in one SMART Board. SMART Boards allow not only the teacher to provide information to the students, with a variety of learning styles, but it also allows the students to use the technology to learn and grow as well. Because of this the SMART Board has allowed for many advantages and advancements in the world of education as we view it today.

For example the SMART Board is a whiteboard with tons of extra features, such as sound, visual effects, and the power at your finger tips to show any type of image, PowerPoint, website, or any other type of media. This allows for example to show the words to a chapter book with a PowerPoint for visual learners and have sound project from the screen for audio learners. Also you could work in a quiz or small test at the end of the power point to access what the students have learned, and what else is needed to be done to improve the teaching technique.

But not only could you incorporate the SMART Board in with the younger age group, but also for the older student, such as the middle, high or college age level. You can do this by showing a group of students a website and have them critique the websites reliability, currency, or accuracy to show that not all website are the same and you have to be careful when selecting information to backup an option or position.

Also, the SMART Board can be used just like a whiteboard, by setting up the drawing function on the whiteboard and having the students or teacher draw and introduce notes and facts to the class. This is also better than the original white board because, you can save the work that was put up on the SMART Board for later use, and you can wipe it clean with a click of a button and it goes back to a clean slate without having to take the time and clean it by hand.

These are just I few ways that I have seen technology be used in the classroom effectively and helped the students learn in a better up to date society. With the implementation of the SMART Board students can share and receive information in a fast efficient way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Educational Programs

In today’s society education is developing more and more as more software and advancements in teaching are arising. Today there is tons of free educational software that you can download and apply in the classroom setting for students as well as the faulty to use to their advantage. These programs are available for you and me to use free of charge thanks to the creators of such programs that believe that teachers as well as learners need to have tools at their grasp that are free and can help them perform task more efficiently with the ability to use to incorporate technology in their learning.

To illustrate just how useful these free educational programs can be, I will tell of a story of just this past week when I downloaded Tux Paint. Tux Paint is educational software that can be use with many lessons. It has the ability to create wonderful artwork and really let the student become creative in their ideas. The learner can use the Tux Paint application to perform math, science, reading, social studies and many more assignments with the use of this software. I recently used the Tux Paint application to model the idea way to set up computers in the classroom setting. Not only did Tux Paint allow me to model what I wanted the idea setting to look like, but it also allowed me to label the different things in my drawing with the text tool bar.

The Tux paint application is available to download on the internet, all you need to do is type in Tux paint in Google or your favorite search engine and it will come up and will show you the icon you need to click on to download the program, along with other programs that available to you free of charge. It is all because people realize that teachers need a break, they have to buy so much already for their students, why not get something free for a change that will help the students become more aware of the technology that surrounds them in a fun interactive environment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

One click away

With all of the information out there today, it is so convenient to be able to go to the nearest computer and have access to a world full of information that is just a click away. I have found the internet to be very useful when it comes to college, and getting assignments done in an effective way, that takes more time.

In my EDEL 302 class, the class is starting to work on interactive bulletin boards for certain subjects of academics given to them. My group has to do a bulletin board over the content area of mathematics. We have come up with a couple of cute ideas that would work for the content area given, which dealt with the issues of time and money.

But with any idea dealing with education you have to make sure that it applies to the Kentucky Standards, which is were the internet can play a big part in how you would go about planning how you would construct the bulletin board of your choosing. To help the teacher or student preparing to become a teacher match up the idea with the information needed to match the Kentucky standards. The website on the internet that is very useful when planning not only a bulletin board, but anything pertaining to education is This website is full of useful information pertaining to education such as teaching tools, the core content needed to be included within lesson plans, testing scores, along with so much more useful information.

With the website provided above you can easily go to the core content section of the website, and look up what the Kentucky standards and core content you must cover given a certain grade, and content level. With this the group of mine were able to search and find what the core content was for math for the primary grades, and find the ones that pertained to time and money. Without the wonderful world of technology at are finger tips there would be a lot of wasted paper, because the information would have to be printed out in magnitudes of great numbers, instead of being stored in one neat location that can be found at any given time quite and efficiently.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ever Changing Technology

In the world of today, technology is advancing continuously, and if you are ill equipment with the resources or the knowledge to use those resources you can become over whelmed, and feel left in the dark.

In my experiences with technology, I have been lucky. I have gained knowledge over my life on how to use technology, and have acquired the skills necessary to have knowledge of the world around me. However, there is still millions of information that I have yet to gather, and the knowledge that I do know is continuously changing with the advances in technology.

For example in my Math 232 class, we’re learning about statistics. Just recently I had to complete a statistics project were data was collect on the Kentucky Performance Result of Cats Testing in the areas of reading and math. In this project we had to construct different types of representations of the data, for example, a box and whisker plot, stem and leaf plot, histogram, along with many other representations. But, we also had to include a double bar graph and a circle graph of data that we were to collect on the internet and construction in Excel. This was a new thing for me to learn, I was used to construction this types of graphs by hand with pencil and paper. But as technology advances, and makes life easier the way of doing tasks changes as well. After using the Excel program to construct my data, I realized that this was a lot easier, and efficient way to show a clean cut representation of the data. Not only did I expand my knowledge of technology, but I found an easier, faster way to complete a task.

All in all technology is proving itself to be a useful piece of equipment to use that is better than the old fashioned way of completing activities. From the sewing machine that make sewing by hand a thing of the pass, to research on the human body, technology has served society in many different ways.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lights Out

When looking at the world that surrounds me, and seeing how fully society depends on technology not only to communicate with each other, but to live their every day lives in light, and warmth. The winter storm that happened last week has opened my eyes, and has made me see that people take for granted the sample privileges that they use on a day to day basis. This is all mainly because of the power outages that resulted from the effects of the winter storm that included a mixture of snow, ice, and sleet. Due to this snow storm it left a vast majorly of people without electric. Without electric most people lose the use of light, heat, the ability to have a warm meal, and all food that needs to be keep refrigerated. Because of these facts the many of people that lost their electric and are still without that precious commodity, understand the importance of having technology and how it makes everyone’s life run smoother.

This proves that if everyone in the entire world was striped away from their privilege to have electricity, the society in this given time would simply not understand what to do. This is because so many things run off of electricity. Without electricity you wouldn’t be about to run a computer which means that communication with people around the world would be nearly impossible and defiantly harder then a click of a button. Technology in one sense has made the world lose the face to face part of communication, but look at everything that technology has given us, the ability to travel around the world while seating comfortably at home. If people were striped away from this privilege many conflicts’ would arise. Therefore, this experience has made me appreciate, and value the technology that society has at its disposal, and the advancement that are made in technology are only proving to make society stronger, united, and making for a better, easier way of living.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

E2campus Alert system

My encounters with technology this week seems to be quite useful! This week I seen a link on blackboard, where you can have e2campus where Morehead State University sends you a text message alerting the user of invents that could take place that could cause a threat to attend school, and therefore would be put on 2 hour delays, or closed. For example, I just used this technology this morning, because Morehead State University alerted me that Morehead State University would be closed, and the offices would not be open, this was due to the vast amount of snow that covered the roads and caused for danger transportation.

The Alert system is set up on a Plan A, B, or C system. Plan A means that Morehead State University is closed, and administrative offices will also be closed. Plan B, means that Administrative offices will open at 10:00a.m. and students will start their classes at 10:30a.m. Finally Plan C means that offices will open at regular time, but classes will not start until 10:30.
To get this wonderful technology, go to, and double-click on the Sign up for alerts by text message or email. Then a sign up screen will appear upon the screen and that is where you put all your information, and where you want the alert to be sent where it be through email or phone. Then the website will send a text message for an email to your account for you to verify your service is ready to receive alerts.

Finally, the system is so simple that I wish that I had done it sooner. It easy, fast, and you no longer have to wonder if there will be school because as soon as the decision is made about attending school, a text or email will be sent to you. So if you go to Morehead State University as a student or a faculty member, and haven’t yet signed up for the Morehead State University alert system I advise you to do so, you wont regret it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The pro's and con's of Technology in a Classroom Setting

As I took part in the first class of the new spring semester in EDEL 302 I learned many ways technology can be used in the classroom and the effects of those uses in the classroom. To my findings the pro's out way the con's. There are many wonderful uses for technology in the classroom that is seen to be beneficial to the students as well as the teachers. For example technology allows students to learn in a structured way that can still be fun and creative for the student. Examples of ways that students can learn in a fun structured environment is using software that allows the student to learn, and have fun doing so. When the classroom environment can incorporate fun settings the students are more likely to be involved and participation freely within the class lesson. Also, a way that technology is useful in the classroom is that it allows for the teacher to implement the lesson to each students way of learning such as visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners. The computer is a great resource for this because it allows the teacher to set up programs in such a way for students who need to hear instructions, and learn through audio. The computer also allows for tons of visual aids that allow the students to get their minds thinking. 
However their are cons to having technology in the classroom, as there are good and bad sides to everything. This would include working a lengthy time on a project only to have it lost, deleted, and with younger children it is hard to get them to remember to save their work, allowing their work to be deleted. Also, computers are very expensive and it is hard for every one to have access to the computer. However contradicting to that fact, there are grants and programs available for schools that do not have the money or the resources for the technology needed to provide a better learning environment for the students.
All, and all today in my first class for integrating technology in the classroom I learned more than just the pro's and con's to technology. I learned that not only do you need to know now to use technology but to teach the students and allow them to use it as well as the technology in the classroom is mainly for the students to learn.