What I have learnt!

After the last seven weeks I have been playing around with different types of technology that can be beneficial in the classroom. At first I was quite reluctant at starting my very own blog and I found it quite daunting! But once I got my head around everything I worked it out and I would now encourage using blogs in the classroom or even for everyday use.

Edmodo was the first program I signed up to and I like it because it can be very beneficial for teachers to interact with their students and even exchange resources and ideas with other teachers. It would be especially good to use in the classroom because you can create assignments and even submit grades on there.

Google reader and Diigo were two programs I found slightly confusing to use and as I think they would definitely be good to use in the classroom. I believe they would be more beneficial to older students rather than the early years.

However, Audacity, Photostory and Picasa are three programs I would strongly agree to any teacher that they should use this in their classroom. It encourages the students to be more creative and keeps them engaged in the learning. Children are then able to take assignments/tasks into their own hands and upload creative podcasts, image videos and editing photos. I didn’t find Flickr as appealing because it didn’t have as many features to use and students would find it harder to make their work creative.

There were a few extra little applications I came across in my travels that really appealed to me and I think would work great in the classroom. Students at any age would love to use Wordle and Goanimate for assignments or tasks, I believe it would increase their motivation to learn and encourage them to strive.

Before entering this unit I had no idea what the internet and technology had to offer and I wasn’t exposed to these programs. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about all these different types of technology and I will certainly consider using them in my classroom.

But for now I will be leaving my blog to continue on with my further study but I would definitely consider using it in the future when I have started my career as a teacher.

 

Goodbye, for now!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ten tips for using technology in the classroom!

Over the last few weeks I have been researching various different types of technology that you can use in your classroom, to promote learning. Technology is a huge part of all children’s lives and I can see it will increase in the future. So why not start incorporating all these different types of technology in your lessons?

I have found this very interesting video about technology in the classroom. After watching this video I have found that every type of technology I have been posting about is in this video, I think it would be very beneficial to watch. The video backs up all of my ideas and made me realise how important these technologies can be. The video talks about the benefits of videos (youtube, teachers tv), music, teleconferencing (skype), interactive exercises, Interactive White Board, Podcasts (Audacity), blog or wiki, social networking, internet tools (voki and animoto) and iphones/mobile phones.

I really feel like I have learnt so much about technology in the classroom and how beneficial it can be to students. It keeps them engaged and all technologies are something they can relate to well, we all know that technology can only grow and it will be a important part for the children of the future.

Click on the link below to view the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiisteObuhk

How did I create my wordle?

My Wordle was almost too easy to design all I had to do was go to www.wordle.net/create, this is what the website should look like

 

 

 

 

 

 

After logging into the website above all I needed to do was add the relevant words that I wanted to use, as below.

 

 

 

 

 

And then its easy as pressing ‘Go’.. which is located just under that red red as above.

Once you have clicked ‘Go’ the image creates itself and you are then able to change the colour, font and layout of your wordle, as shown below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Save and its as easy as that, I know what your thinking..

Its so easy and I believe it would be a fantastic tool to use in the classroom to help students with assignments and even in the younger years to help them with their spelling. It would be engaging for the students as its a short, easy to use tool that will keep them interested in the selected topic of learning.

Wordle, What is Wordle?

I have noticed many people posting blogs about Wordle, at first I had no idea what this was. So I decided to explore what this ‘Wordle’ has to offer, It sounds interesting enough.

I love how easy it is to research things on the internet! I found out what this ‘Wordle’ is.

Wordle is a toy for generating ‘word clouds’  from text that you can provide yourself. You can also tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts and colour schemes. I have noticed that wordle’s are typically used to describe the content of websites.

Guess what? Without even realising I had already myself seen a wordle as one is shown in my Photostory, woops! Here I have created my very own wordle.

 

I prefer Picasa over Flickr. What do you think?

As a part of my EST430 studies we are now playing around with images.

After having a look at a few different programs I started having a look at the Flickr account which is supported by Yahoo. I found Flickr way too confusing and the copyright issue worried me. Whilst hearing about Flickr from my fellow classmates in the unit I thought I would give it a go and sign up. At first I had to create my own Yahoo email account, I wasn’t quite sure about this because I currently already have 3 other email accounts and an extra one would just make things all too confusing. I went ahead anyway and created my Flickr account, once I got into the program I was unenthusiastic about it all. I noticed that it just shows the photos on a wall and you can share the images with your friends! I decided to delete my Flickr account (sorry guys), It just wasn’t my thing. I would rather a program that can be more creative.

So, I had a look around our wiki and found another program called Picasa. Picasa is an image organiser and image viewer for organising and editing digital photos, plus an integrated photo-sharing website. I found that this program offers editing feature, which can enhance your photos to make them look more attractive and this can be more appealing to your viewers.

As I have decided I didn’t like the Flickr program I wouldn’t recommend that you use this one in your classroom. Picasa on the other hand would be a very useful tool to use in the classroom and can be used to share visual information. I’ve been trying to think where and what age this program would be more effective and I have decided that it would be more useful for students in the upper primary.

 

Here are two photos that I was playing around with in Picasa! For both of these photos I had a play around with the different options including, the contrast, colour temperature, shadows, colour and contrast. I had a go at a few of the effects aswell but I found that using the other options was easier because you could choose how light or dark you wanted to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you use Ipads in the classroom?

Hey there!

As I was scrolling through Edmodo and exploring my fellow classmates ideas and interests, I came across a question that asked ‘Would you use Ipads in the classroom?’ This question really made me think because of course I would definitely use them in my classroom but I noticed that a few people had selected ‘No, they wouldn’t use ipads in the classroom’.. So I thought I’d ask myself why?

Ipads are streamlined and look very attractive, kids love them.

I believe Ipads are very beneficial for students because it encourages them to connect, communicate and create. The Ipads are a tool to aid learning and keeps the students engaged. Ipads can be used for books, movies, music, games and web content. The Ipad appeals to the auditory, kinesthetic and visual learners and its gives the learners the responsibility to choose how they learn.

Hmm.. would these comments change the minds of the small percent that said no to using Ipads in the classroom..??

I hope so!

Ipads can be used by anyone at any age, so why not use them?. The Ipad is also easy to use and is a powerful tool, the learning tool can be very useful for learners who have learning difficulties aswell.

Whilst on my teaching rounds I got to observe a prep classroom playing around with the Ipads for a maths lesson, I was informed after the lesson that the classroom had two students that were always easily distracted and are constantly off task. I had no idea that this was the case because each student using the Ipads were completely engaged in the activities and they were all focused. Thus, explaining why Ipads are beneficial for students with learning difficulties.

So, ask yourself this question again..

Would you use Ipads in your classroom???

What does Photo Story have to offer?

I have been exploring Photo Story, this is an application that allows you to create a visual story from your very own digital photos. These visual stories help you to show and tell a presentation that you are interested in or want your viewers to learn about. Once you have created your video with your selected image you are them able to record a narration, different effects and background music. Once you are happy with your video and created it accordingly you are then able to play it on your PC. If you have the correct software you are then able to put your video onto a DVD, I am not up to date with this technology so I won’t be creating a DVD.

 

Photo Story is a great software tool to use in the classroom as it is engaging and would help students with their creativity. An example of how this technology could be used in the classroom would be during a literacy writing lesson where the students would create a story using images they have found or photos they have taken themselves. This helps the students to understand how a story is created and it will broaden their knowledge of how a story is structured.

 

I believe this technology would be beneficial in a classroom because it is hands on. Keep yourself posted as I will be loading a Photo Story video once I have got my head around how to use it properly.

Customising my blog

I have been trying to work out how to customise my own blog without using the pre-made themes.

This has taken me a very long time and it was quite confusing. At first I had a look through the current and premium themes that are already available on the Edublogs website, I was interested in a few of these but I wanted to make mine represent me as an individual. I picked a very basic theme for my blog that would enable me to change my background and header. So off I went searching for different types of blog backgrounds and headers, this was the part that took the most time. After choosing the appropriate images I had to save them in a file and then load them into the appearance tab located at the top of your Edublog screen and under backgrounds and headers. The images I choose best represent me as green is my favourite colour and it is said to be that green is the colour of nature which is soothing and safe. This gives my blog a welcoming feel and keeps the readers calm and collected.

Here I have provided an image to show you what my background and header looks like now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I found myself getting quite frustrated whilst creating and customising my blog I am glad I pushed through because I think it looks just great!

Thankyou, Edublogs for being so creative

Audacity!!

Hi there!

So I have now signed up and downloaded the Audacity program which means I can now create my own podcasts.

 

 

 

To Start off I had to find the relevant software and download it to my laptop, which only takes a few very simply and quick steps to do. Downloading this software was made easy because my tutor John Pearce had provided it for us.

 

Now to tell you a bit about Audacity! It is a free software which allows you to record and edit sounds on your computer/laptop. It is very easy to use and you can overlap your recordings and edit it to be heard as one recording. Below is a picture to explain the point I made about having several recordings in one 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have no idea what to put into my very own podcast and I’m worried about what I will sound like. I wouldn’t usually do things like this but as a requirement of my studies it’s something I will work on.

I have been thinking about whether podcasting would be good to use in the classroom and I guess it depends on the task. I could see it being a good idea for older students completing an assignment that has certain requirements and it can make it more interesting and be used to share ideas with the class.

I will work on a podcast and post it to my blog when I feel comfortable doing so, Thankyou!..