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.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Using Digital Images

This week we have been working with digital images, and I feel that this has been my favorite of all the lessons that we have done so far. I have used digital images a long time and felt very comfortable in their use, but for so long I never new how to make an image smaller so that it would not take up so much memory space. By practicing this skill using photoshop, I feel that it will help me greatly as I make powerpoints in my class or as I prepare my class website. It will add a great deal to my curriculum area because young children are visual learners and will greatly benefit from being able to see what they are learning so that it makes the information real and meaningful for them. I have also learned many strategies for incorporating digital photography in my lessons so that the children may document what they are learning and use it for other activities. I cannot wait to use these in my own classroom in see what the children are able to experience.