Megan's Classroom Connection

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Homeschooling April 19, 2010

I read a blog done by a mother who homeschools her children. While this mother does in fact seem to be doing a great job, as far as I can tell, it makes me wonder, are her children losing out on the typical school experience?

This mother seems to have great resources that are rich and educational and she also blogs that her children are involved in various activities with other children in the community, but I still feel like they are missing out. Some studies have shown that homeschooling is a great way for children to learn and I agree to an extent. I think that there are some children out there, children with speical needs or who have been through a particulary intense trauma,  who would benefit from a more private education. But I think the goal should be to get that student back into mainstream education.

Another question about homeschooling I have is how does the parent know she or he is actually capeable of teaching a student who is perhaps past the middle school level.  How will that student cope when he or she enters the real world? Will the social skills needed to succeed be there?

I have never talked to a home schooled parent or child and I supose that is the real place I should be directing my questions.  🙂

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Technology of choice- Smartboards April 13, 2010

Filed under: Technology in the Classroom — meganmeyering @ 8:08 am
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I chose to look at smartboards for my tech of choice this week.  I know that they will be discussed more in-depth in class, but since I’m not going I figured I should research the technology anyhow.

In all the placements I have had I have only seem smartboards in one classroom. The teacher uses it to grade math problems, show you tube clips and other images that relate to class. It seems like a great tool, but I wasn’t sure of the extent of possibilities before this post.

I did a small amount of research (the majority being from Wikipedia, since we established last week that it was a credible source) and learned that smartboards were actually created in 1991! Maybe it was naive of me, but I assumed it was a very new technology. Since it is over ten years old I am surprised more classrooms do not have them. I also learned that smartboards are primarily used in education as a means of easily differentiating instruction, I had assumed that they were also used in business meetings and such. Another great feature of the smartboards is the pen tray. Once a pen is picked up the tray can sense what color it is and then the pen will write in that color, which is great for group work and individual student accountability.  I was also unaware of the wealth of software available specifically to increase the useability of the smartboard in the classroom.

Smartboards have also been shown to really help ESL and special needs students since the children can learn in a variety of ways. The stmartboard allows the students to touch and see (not to mention the size and colors available for instruction) the combination of touch and sight is vital for most special needs as well as ESL students. Smartboards have also shown to decrease teacher stress. Studies have also shown that the touch screen capability comes more naturally to students, increasing it’s use and success with younger (preschool age) students.

One of the ways I would first use a smartboard would be in a math lesson. The smartboard allows different pages to be created and then ‘saved’ for later. I would take a problem and break it into different chunks on each page and have the students solve it from there. I also like the interactive grammar tool options that are available.

 

Ughh Technology April 12, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture,Technology in the Classroom,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 6:52 pm
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So as much as I may LOVE  technology right now is a time I definitely DO NOT!.

Last week I found out my hard drive was about to crash. Hate. But I was able to upload all my documents to google reader and burn pictures onto dics. Love. I was able to keep all my bookmarks from delicious.  Love.

My mom took my computer home and my boyfriend is lending me his, but when I went to reply to Jeff, Lauren and Emily’s blog I was unable to. Hate.

This is jsut a little rant, probably being shared, when it really shoudn’t, but I had to express my frusteration somewhere and where better than a blog shared with other students, who most likely have expereinced something similar or the same!

I’ll restart the computer and try replying later- wish me luck!

 

wikis in general April 8, 2010

I tend to think of wikis more as actual websites compared to weebly or blog websites. Wikis are great resources for group work as well as individual work for students. It allows them to colloborate when nessicary as well as work on the project from virtually anywhere. Wikis are also very user friendly and allow work to be divied well, for instance each person could be repsonsible for a page.The students are also learning authentically as they create the page, by determining what is necessary information as well as how to organize it.

One of the most important features of a wiki is the history feature of it. It is essential to be able to view the history and edit changed made for the product to be successful. The history tool is also a great resource for te teacher to monitor student accountability and contribution.

I also like that the teacher can grade and monitor the wikis from anywhere and throughout the whole creation process. The wikis are also great becasue it gives the students ownership and the feeling of real accomplishment when they are done. One last great feature is that the information can be shared with grandparents and aunts and uncles, etc.  anywhere, as long as they have access to the internet!

 

Language Arts Genre Wiki

Here is the wiki I created. It focuses on language arts and genres of reading, which is what my second lesson will focus on!

 

Google Docs- a potential lifesaver

I think about this class often. I try and think in interesting blog topics that also relate to class in someway and I think of of the technology too.

The other day, last Tuesday to be exact I learned my computer was about to crash. Great- all my documents (I was mainly concerned with word docuemtns and pictures) would be lost forever.  That is until I remembered Google Reader. I uploaded ALL my documents and presto- they are safe. Any other word documents I may need to create before the dreaded crash happens I am doing in Google Docs and they are safe!

What a great resource for students to use, not only to protect documents, but also to have the ability to access them from anywhere! I just thought I share my first non CEP class use of Google Docs!

 

Technology for Week 11 March 30, 2010

Filed under: Reading/Literacy,Technology in the Classroom — meganmeyering @ 9:43 pm
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For this week’s blog post I decided to explore wiki spaces.  I was first introduced to wiki spaces last semester and helped create one, this semester I actually created my own.

Wiki spaces are designed for people to essentially create their own web page.  It is very user friendly and the layout makes it quite easy to figure out. The only negative side is that there are not many creative options.

For younger students I could see this used as a teacher based resource, teachers create a wiki then have the students use it as a resource.

It would be great and beneficial for older students to create their own wiki spaces. It is a great way for students to learn how to research and organize data. It also gives the students a really concrete final project that they can display to others.

I also see wiki spaces as a useful way for teachers to communicate with parents ans students since it is a site that can be accessed from any computer.  It can be a place for students and parents to look at for news as well as educational links ans activities.

Here is a link to one of the wikis I created.