Monday, December 13, 2010

CEP 811 Reflection

Some things I have learned about effective teaching strategies when integrating technology are that technology should assist curriculum in being as barrier free as possible, according to the Universal Design for Learning. When planning lessons, it is important to consider all learners, and learning styles to ensure that the material and lesson is not disabling some of the learners. Another thing I have learned is that it is important to use technology to share your knowledge and lessons with peers. With all of the resources available such as wikis, Merlot, and blog sites, it is easy to share and reflect on each others lessons and contributions to education. Using these web-based technologies, it becomes more second nature to think about and constantly evaluate uses of technology and how they can be helpful to me in the classroom.
I feel that I have made adequate progress on my personal technology goals while completing this course. Mainly, my goal is to simply become more familiar with more areas of technology, and to be able to effectively integrate those into my classroom. In particular, I really enjoyed the Stair project, as I think that will be something I can easily create for my students for many science curriculum standards. My new goals, or continued goal I should say would be to continue on my path to technology certification, and to perhaps set an instructional goal for myself to integrate one new technology piece into my lessons each week. This may be as simple as a Teacher Tub clip, or even something more complicated like a Stair. Either way, I think this will really help me to constantly grow in my technology abilities.

Monday, December 6, 2010

MMC Online Experience

Talk about how you could use one of the technologies that qualify as an online experience with your students.
• What content could this help you teach?
• What type of pedagogical strategies might you use with your students?
• What technologies do you think would be harder to use with your students? Why?

The online experience that I would use the most with my students I think would be the webquest. My students have a very hard time staying on task, completing tasks in a timely and orderly fashion, and completing research without a very guided study. The webquest could help me teach many topics in my sixth grade science curriculum. The one thing in particular that I am thinking of is the biomes research project we do each year.

The webquest would particularly help with the simulation pedagogical strategy because there are many online simulations that students could easily click on to access demos and simulations to assist in learning the material.

The technologies that would be harder for me to use would be the educational blog. This would be difficult for me because I think that with my district’s AUP, it would be difficult to get students access to these kinds of sites, and for the students to have an email address to submit to it. We also have very limited computer access, so this would be difficult to do on a regular basis.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

MERLOT Material Evaluation

The resource I chose to evaluate is a lesson plan on plate tectonics.  The URL is .

This is a great differentiated plan that allows the teacher to get a quick snapshot of students' levels at the beginning of the lesson, group the kids, and then put them into different groups with different activities according to their level.  The following is my eval using the MERLOT criteria:

Quality of Content
1. The software does present valid concepts, models, and skills.  I would easily be able to recreate this in my own classroom.
2. The software does present educationally significant concepts, models and skills.  It accurately addresses state standards and benchmarks, and also presents an easy assessment model for the teacher to ensure competency.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching-Learning Tool:

1. This lesson plan could easily be used at all stages in the learning process.
Explanation/Demonstration: A model of the plate boundaries is to be presented by the teacher on the white board.
Practice: Whole group plate activity using the graham crackers, pudding and fruit roll ups.
Applying: Students are placed in differentiated groups according to their skill level and apply the concepts in a new activity.

2. Learning Objectives:Students identify and are able to describe the three primary types of plate boundaries and landforms associated with each: divergent boundaries, convergent boundaries, and transform boundaries. A different type of plate movement occurs along each type of boundary.

3. The target learners are middle school students at all skill levels.

4. Yes, the interactive and media rich presentation of material improves faculty and students abilities to teach and learn.  A video demo of each plate boundary is shown to students and is referenced in the plan.

5. The use of software can be readily integrated.  Really, just a projector needs to be used.

6. The lesson plan could be used in a variety of ways to achieve teaching and learning.  This is shown by all the differentiated instruction.

7. The teaching and learning goals are easy to identify.

8. NA

Ease of Use
1. The text and formatting is easy to use.
2. The user does not get trapped in the material.
3. The material is easily laid out so that the user does not get lost in the material.
4. There is a model for student assessment that would easily be able to provide feedback to the students.
5. The lesson is flexible.
6. The learning material does require documentation of student progress, but this easily can be done using the student 'exit slips' described in the lesson.
7. Students LOVE using food, so yes, the material is presented in a way that students could easily complete it and be (8) attracted to it.

I WILL be using this lesson this year!  How fun!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Blog!

Here is my first blog!  What would you like to know about me and my classroom?