Sunday, May 29, 2011

Standards Lab

3-5.RI Research and Information Literacy- By the end of grade 5 each student will:
3-5.RI.4 understand that using information from a single Internet source might result in the reporting of erroneous facts and that multiple sources should always be researched.
My 5th grade students are doing a research project on Spanish speaking countries. They have several facts that they need to look up about the country they are researching.  I have gotten on them many times about the sites they have been using because many of them just use or sites where anyone can answer questions that are asked. I remind them that there are several fact websites like National Geographic or Yahoo Kids for information. The first lesson would be on how to identify trust worthy websites, like how they have the green check next to the search result to say that is a trusted site or the certificates that are in the address bars.  I could create a lesson where I show students an answer on one of these question and answer websites and then go through the process of searching other reputable websites to see if the information is correct or not. I would also incorporate books that have been published on the country just to use a source that they are not familiar with looking at. I did get the opportunity to use the information that I learned about the search lab to help my students when they began their research.  At first they continued to type in every word for each question I had them to delete the bulk of what they wrote with a little grumbling and just put in most important parts of the question.  They were surprised that the results that came up were very relevant and they found the answers right away.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blog Response Comment #2

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog 1 EDT 619

I have two personal laptops at home. There are four laptops in total at our house. We have a wonderful DVR that we use regularly. There are other miscellaneous technologies that we really don’t use a desktop, three or four mp3 players, digital cameras, gaming systems, and much more.
I have the pleasure of being the first teacher for a pilot program at both of the charter schools that I work at.  I will use LA and WA for the two different schools. LA has 29 desktop computers, they don’t have CD drives and I believe they don’t have fans in them either. We have or are supposed to have headphones with microphones at each computer but nearly all of the microphones are broken off.  I had a smart board for about 6 months but I have no projector and the computers needed a software update that never got done so I lost my board.  WA has nearly the same setup minus one computer and way less working headphones. I store the AV carts and smart board a room in my room but something is wrong with the setup and there is not image on the smart board. The cart has a projector (WA), digital viewer and speakers.
I do not have all of the technology that I need, I would love a wireless microphone at both campuses, I have a double room and it is very hard to hear. I would love to have working smart boards at both campuses because I am limited with board space at one campus I can’t really reach the chalk boards. If I had working smart boards at both campuses it would be easier for me to do whole class instruction. I am fairly short and students struggle to see over the computers and dividers when I am at the board. I could be a little more mobile and I could go back to where I left off.
At LA we get emails all the time reminding us to integrate technology in to our classroom then we get emails saying don’t take the carts out or not to keep them for an extended period of time. This of course makes it very difficult to try new things when you can only use it a short amount of time and they have to be returned at the end of the day. It feels like something they feel they have to say but don’t really mean it, enforce it or really sincerely value it.
Honestly there is not that much talk about technology amongst the staff. When I see teachers with the carts in their rooms at LA they express how much they love it. We always make little comments like, what, you brought out the smart board! I think most teachers don’t want to deal with the headache of checking the equipment out.  I have many coworkers that are pretty old school and don’t really want to deal with it mainly because of negative experiences. There are also teachers who really want technology but because we are a public school and aren’t always sure where money is coming from they feel they may never get the technology they want.
My students love computer class at LA, they love going on paint and think that the teacher is great. I have two students in my class as I type this (it’s my prep) and I asked them why they like computers, a summary of their answers: I like computers, I love computers because I like technology. I asked them to elaborate. “I like computers because it teaches me about technology and technology is the new thing and I have never learned about it before”. So it seems they know it is important but not necessarily what it is.
My teaching unfortunately has not been to different now that I have more access to technology. There are many factors that I have to deal with that surpasses the technology available to me.
What I hope to get out of this class is knowledge. One of the things that I hate is being dependent on other people to do my job. I want to be able to solve some of the everyday problems that I come across and also use the technology available to me more effectively.   I would also like creative but simple ways to use technology to pass this knowledge on to my students so as the years go on they can be more productive learners and users of technology.
My 5th grade is researching Spanish speaking countries and thankfully I did my lab and
 I was able to help them do their research more affectively!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week 1 Discussion

1.) What is your attitude toward integrating technology into the curriculum? What do you think is the attitude of other teachers in your building or district?

Technology is the main part of my curriculum because this is my school’s first year with a pilot program for the world language curriculum. But I am responsible for the av cart and smart board check out for the second floor that has 9 teachers who can access it. After mandatory staff training session on how to use the equipment so far this year only three teachers have taken them out. One has one full time in their room and the other two it was just for one time use.  I believe that integrating technology into the curriculum can be a valuable and useful tool when used effectively. I believe that all teachers have felt the desire to do something different, great, and innovative but lack the motivation or know how. Just think of when you go to conferences or professional development, you walk out of there all inspired but nine times out of ten you will not  implement any of those inspiring things in your classroom because of the work that it would require.

2.) According to the study, attitude is the biggest predictor of technology use. Is there any truth to this in your opinion? Does the age of the teacher ever make a difference in attitude? Is there a teacher that has surprised you with his or her attitude toward technology, either positive or negative?

I definitely believe that age is a factor in technology use many people from older generations have negative attitudes towards technology or simply have no desire to learn how to use it. But attitude is the biggest factor in technology use if people don’t want to deal with it they simply will not use it. I know how complicated some school technology can be and this really puts people off especially when they have a room full of students who don’t handle technology mishaps well.  The computer teacher at my school can be very standoffish and not very helpful when it comes to technology. She is the head of the tech team for our school but she is most often locked in her lab with the lights off. I do believe this has contributed to some of the negative sentiments that some of the teachers in the building share.

3.) What do you think the best way to change teachers’ attitude towards technology from a negative one to a positive one? Is it a long-term process or can it be a short-term one?
I believe that it is a long term process to change teachers’ attitudes towards technology. I think that only through this process of preparing teachers and getting them more comfortable with the technology will be the only way they use it more. If it were mandatory by the administration for teachers to have a certain amount of technology in the classroom something like this would force teachers to be more creative and step out of their comfort zone.