Sunday, September 25, 2005

Technology Outcomes

Related Technology Outcome Being Integrated:
C1 3.5: Analyze and Synthesize Information to Create a Product

Subject: Mathematics

Grade: 9

Description:
Using Powerpoint you could write a report, a product, on information that was analyzed and then synthesized. Making a project which would have been done and handed in on paper into an interactive and organized technological marvel. It also allows students to have a little fun with a curriculum that may have been deemed boring and gets them out using technology. They can include charts, graphs, and pictures to bring a project to life and help illustrate it more effectively. By utilizing Powerpoint, children gain an edge on technology and take a little of the tediousness out of something that may have been considered boring. Groups can even collaborate on Powerpoint projects and collectively add to a project of their own. It gives them a little creative license and allows them to make math their own for a time. Overall, a very useful tool in technology integration.

Technology Integration

Technology is as pervasive in our day to day lives as it is in society in general. From street lights being controlled by computers, to rail systems that are monitored to ensure safety, right up to pacemakers that keep people safe and secure. Technology is evident in business, commerce, medicine, and even education. Sometimes we take for granted that which technology has brought us. That being a link to the world around us, a fast access to information, a broad range of media coverage quickly and accurately, among other things.

Technology integration in our schools is not only important for students and teachers but also for the learning process. As information grows and each area gains that much more topic area it begins an ever increasing concern that coverage will not be concise of a subject and that we have to rush to cover "key" areas rather than giving a broad range of topics. An excellent example of good technology integration would be emailing and linking websites that students have the opportunity to browse and gather more information on topics they are interested in. The use of technology such as using interactive presentations, slideshows, Q&A, graphics, etc... leads to increased interest in the presented materials and keeps education fun and exciting, as it should be.

Bad uses of technology integration would be simply outlining course material in a dull, boring, chapter-like manner. If students wanted to read a book they should not be forced to in class. Reading should be done in a reading time, or at their leisure. Cluttering slides in Powerpoint or putting too much information in one lesson is both confusing and overwhelming. I have had this happen in some University courses and I don't like the way the material was presented.

Some barriers to technology integration would be disabled students, learning disability children, or even children who have trouble in their reading comprehension or english skills. These barriers are solved easily with help from peers and with a little encouragement and support from teachers and staff. Any barriers in technology integration might even be helped out with technology, as technology is another teaching medium.

All in all, technology is great for bringing in multiple subjects, and for expanding on conventional learning. You can bring many different media and text into one technology presentation, helping the learning process and fostering more questions to be asked. By having more people look for information and sources and bringing more information to light. Knowledge begets knowledge and in education... it can't be a bad thing!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blogging and Education: The Value of Keeping a Journal

Blogging, as described by many web forums and articles, has many many practical uses within Education. Students can keep web journals allowing them to keep track of projects they are working on (much like an agenda is used currently), to discuss personal ideas or beliefs with others, to discuss schoolwork with others, and to communicate with the teacher about the class or ideas presented therein. Teachers can use Blogs to keep assignments posted, to update news, ideas, list useful sites, discuss projects or problems, and to open a Question and Answer (Q&A) Forum. The practicality in Blogging also allows many elements of Education to enter the world of technology. In this way, we integrate technology in Education and allow students a chance to explore reading, writing, thinking, learning, and taking an active interest in their own Education.

Blogging also appears to be an acquired taste, some will use it while others will shy away from it or decide not to participate entirely. However, quiet students that may not have spoken directly in class may be much more comfortable expressing their ideas in a web form. They can also create their own Blogs and share ideas with the teacher and with their friends, creating a social atmosphere on the internet which may be a small step towards a more social outcome off the internet.

All in all, blogging seems like a way to show personal reflection, communicate ideas, discuss, and learn. Through blogging it allows a "Web Journal" that can instantly be shared with other people. When information becomes so excessable and can be shared so quickly it allows people to open themselves up more and in a world so full of information also allows people to experiment and explore. This diverse environment opens possibilities for students that may not have had them previously. In short, Blogs are a wonderful tool for Education. With so many practical applications, the usefulness of blogs cannot be denied.

Introduction

My name is Alec Hammond and I am in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge. My major is Mathematics and my minor is Drama. I have 3 main streams which are Mathematics, Computer Science, and Chemistry. My personal beliefs include: Everyone has potential, A book is never defined by its cover, You never fail as long as you try, and That which is accomplished has been accomplished, relish in your accomplishments. I like to take time out for family, friends, and recreation. Without having fun life becomes a little too much like business, and life should be fun. I look forward to learning to teach and teaching.