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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm sure I had quite a different experience with the collaboration assignment as I wasn't able to make it to class. I found it interesting that I was still able to participate with out actually talking to the other students. It gave me some pretty good insight into the idea that if a student was going to be out of town, or was otherwise unable to attend school, if they had access to a computer with internet, they could still participate in classwork. Even in a class like mathematics, the teacher could have a technology day and run the notes/lesson through the computer and the absent student could ask questions, or work problems and be able to get feed back right away.
On a more text based idea, (like a Literature or Composition class) I would use a Google doc to allow students to work collaboratively on stories or something like that. I think the Google docs are great tools to allow students to learn from each other.

While perusing Derek's blog I noticed a particular post about an HP Touch Screen Computer. The listed uses immediately made my synapses fire and think about how I could twist this to a math bend (I'm getting really good at doing this!). What I came up with is using Geometer's Sketchpad in concert with the touch screen to give the students MORE tactile interaction with it (actually getting to pull the figure around with your fingers, lots more fun than a mouse) as well as making it into a notes/homework repository. The students could (similarly to the Tablet PC) do all their homework on the computer and e-mail it to the teacher so *GASP* its legible! (They can convert it to text and send a copy of the 'hand written' so the teacher knows its their work.)

Reading multiple postings of Tiffany's blog I can really tell how excited she gets about Second Life. Due to my computer's limitations I haven't gotten to play with it very well, but I can think up a couple uses for it. For example, I've heard students constantly whining about 'when are we going to use this?' in relation to math. Imagine if I had a boundless net work of people who could get me individuals around the world who know exactly how different branches of mathematics can be applied to everyday life and work. I could then arrange for them to get on Second Life and meet with me and my students during class time (and maybe outside of class time as an extra credit incentive too) to discuss these things. It would give the students a much broader scope of what could be done with math, and maybe even get some of them interested in doing more with it. (It would also spark an interest in technology, I'm sure.)
Reading through Sarah L's blog and what she mentions about how blogs can be used in the classroom (as well as what she's mentioned in class) have made me think about how I could use blogs in my future classrooms. I think it would be a great place to put up further explanations of the day's lessons as well as linking to scanned notes and other useful sites. It would also be an additional way for students to get in touch with me if they're working on homework and get stuck (sorry, parents aren't always great at helping with math homework). Plus it would be a way to get the students more interested in learning.
I can just see it now, me telling students all the usual things on the first day of school, then adding that I have a blog that will give further insight into the day's lesson, list homework, and that kind of thing. I'm sure they would all just stare at me in shock, not sure if they can believe that an adult could be so cool. :D Okay, I'm pushing it a bit, but I'm sure some students will think its nifty.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sarah D.'s blog about Cell Phones in the classroom made me remember when I was observing and interning in high school math classrooms and the most common excuse for having their cell phone out in class was that they needed the calculator. I always thought it was a kind of tricky way for the kids to try to use their phone in class.
I can see however, that in the future, cell phones, especially ones like the iPhone will be an asset to learning. This does however give the students more chances to cheat on tests (its easier to send other students the answers when they have something like a cell phone available). If a way can be found to limit this availability, then I think cell phones will have a place in the classroom.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I had to chuckle a little when I read Regine's blog about being overwhelmed by all the passwords and sites we're supposed to cover. I tend to agree with her a little. So many passwords are required and of course you don't want to use the same one because if somebody figures it out they can get at everything. When I searched the web through Google for ideas to help remember passwords (as opposed to just writing them down) I came across an article on the Apple page about choosing good passwords and what to do if you just have too many to remember. It talks about encrypting or locking up your passwords to keep them safe, if you don't want to run the risk of forgetting your password or having someone get at that particular account. Good thing to look at for this day and age.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I was very intrigued by Lois' blog about talking to her niece about technology. Seeing the how surprised the younger generations can be by the non-digital natives' use of technology is a little bit surprising. As I read, I was nodding my head to all of the things Lois mentioned her niece did because I do a lot of the same thing. (Often all at once too!) It made me think about the fact that Digital Natives are considered anyone born after 1985 and Digital Immigrants are people born before 1985. So where does that leave poor people like me, who were born IN 1985? There are times when I consider myself a digital native, but there are times when I stare at something technological in complete and utter dismay.
I have often thought about this fact and have decided that the people born in 1985 must be something like a swinging door. We can go into one room that is filled with computers and technology, but we can also go into the room filled with papers and pens and older things. I think my bedroom is kind of like that. I have a desk top, a laptop, webcam, optic mouse, etc. But I also have tons of books and loose paper. I prefer to look on the internet and find my information for papers, but then I'll print it off and use a high lighter on it (this is also easier on my eyes).
I guess I've kind of got the best of both worlds. I know how to multi-task and I can figure out just about any technology, but I can also disconnect and turn off all the technology and just relax. Makes me feel a little better about technically being left out of the digital immigrant/digital native label.