Saturday, November 22, 2008

Classroom Webpages

This week we have been getting started on our classroom webpages. I was very excited and very nervous about working with the webpages. I have always felt that classroom webpages are an essential tool in the classroom. They are a great way to communicate with parents and to let them know about everything that goes on in the classroom. A webpage for my classroom would allow parents to know what we are doing in the classroom, our daily schedule, upcoming trips and events, educational resources for parents and students, etc. It will also provide parents with multiple ways to contact me if they have any questions, comments, or concerns. On the other hand, I was very nervous aboout creating webpages because I never have before and after Monday's class, I was very confused and frustrated with the webpage creation. I still dont know if I could set one up on my own without assistance but that is something I will just have to research once I have my own classroom. Wednesday was better because it is not quite as confusing to edit the page once you have created it. I look forward to continue working on these and hope that it will be a great way of knowing how to create my own.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finishing and Presenting the Powerpoint Tutorials

We finally finished up the PowerPoint tutorials this week. I am very proud of how my tutorial turned out. I was worried that it would be very hard to make and would not function properly, but as I worked and progressed through the program, I found that it was very easy to work and very easy to set up the hyperlinks within the program. The only problem I had with PowerPoint tutorial is that they take a really long time to create. It seems very impractical to spend ten hours working on a six question quiz that will only take the children a few minutes to complete. I can see these however being very useful for a unit lesson review. They could be set up as a game that the children play to review a great deal of material that they cover over an extended period of time. They would not be used everyday for every topic covered, but they could be used as a fun and engaging way to practice and review the material or even as a good way to study for a test.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Powerpoint Tutorials

This week in IT 486, we have been working on our PowerPoint tutorials. For my tutorial, I selected the topic of Famous Tennesseans. The children were allowed to explore and learn about six famous Tennesseans in history, and then I can take a brief quiz over the material to see what they have learned. I have had a fairly extensive background using PowerPoint so I felt very comfortable in its use. The only aspect of PowerPoint that I had not used yet was the hyperlink, but following Jeff's demonstration on how to create the links throughout the PowerPoint, I found it very easy to use and actually kind of fun. I see how these could be very valuable in the classroom. It could provide children with fun and new ways to learn the content. These could also be used to make games that the children can play individually or as a classroom. This would encourage children in interactive activities as opposed to simply listening to me talk. As useful as these activities would be, I feel it would be too time-consuming to spend eight or more hours to create a six question quiz. I do see these as being useful to present other material maybe in the format of a jeopardy game or other large group activity, but it would be difficult to make them for each and every topic that is covered in class.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Beginning our work on Multimedia Tutorials

Last week, we began work with multimedia tutorials using PowerPoint. I can already tell that these will be valuable tools to use in the classroom. They can be used to present any form of information to the students, and they can be fun for them at the same time. I know that I am REALLY going to have to practice and work to become skilled at creating these, but as with everything we have done in this class, it simply takes time and a willingness to try things and make mistakes. I feel confident in my use of PowerPoint so I thing that this new way of using PowerPoint will only further my abilities and will help me create the best presentations possible for my students.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Interactive Spreadsheets

This week, we worked on interactive spreadsheets in class. I found them to be very difficult and I was confused through most of the process. They took a great deal of time to learn and take a very long to make. I do, however, see the usefulness of using these in the classroom. They can be a great deal of fun and would be very interesting to the children. The spreadsheets allow the students to practice and reinforce everything that they are learning in the classroom. I hope to be able to use these in the classroom, but I will need much more practice to be effective at producing them and creating them without many mistakes. Spreadsheets have been the first topic that has really confused me and frustrated me, but I know that anything worth doing is going to take time to learn so I hope to improve on this .

Friday, October 17, 2008

Inspiration and Web Creation

With each new program we work with, I am becoming amazed with how much I can do and how much I will be able to implement into my classroom. Inspiration is a very interesting software. I know that children are very much visual learners, and it will be important that i provide them with visuals and other concrete materials because it is through the use of these materials that I will be able to help the children to fully understand the material and make it something real and meaningful for them to learn. Using these webbing materials would also help them interconnect the concepts and further understand how they all fit together. I see many ways that I will be able to implement these into the classroom. I greatly enjoyed creating the butterfly web. I especially enjoyed being able to make links to the web to give the children further information. Butterflies have always been a deep interest of mine and I did a summer investigation with the preschool students at the Early Learning Center during my practicum experience. It would have been very beneficial to me to have known about inspiration at that time. This would have greatly assisted during the development of our investigation and would help the children track all that they have been learning. I am continually amazed at all that I am learning in this class, and sorting through the many resources that I will have as a teacher. Coming into this class, I felt very computer illiterate, but I am quickly becoming more confident in my abilities, and I look forward to getting into the classroom.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Digital Images and Imovies

This past week and the week before we have been working with digital images and Imovies, and I have to say that these are my two favorite topics. I love taking pictures and I have been using a digital camera for years. My friends know me as the guy who always has his camera handy and is always taking pictures. I have made many powerpoints for my pictures but have lost interest with the lack of options that it offers. I have always wanted to try other programs but never had the knowledge or the software to do so. I greatly enjoyed getting to learn about and try out Imovie. I do not think I would have been comfortable exploring it on my own outside of class, but it was nice to be able to ask questions and to watch the examples presented by Jeff. I am sure his children do not enjoy being examples, but they were very well done and showed me many different ways that Imovie could be used. I was amazed by of all of the options and effects that can be applied to videos and pictures. I never thought I would be able to do these by myself, but now I feel much more confident in its use and I know of many ways that i could incoporate this into my classroom as opposed to the traditional powerpoint slideshow. Imovies will allow me to do more than I ever have before, and the differences will be obvious. I look forward to further developing and practicing this skill in my future career.