Monday, March 28, 2011

Google Docs is the Way to Go!

For my Educational Technology and Design class we have been required to use the Google Docs to for many of our assignments.  At first I was a little leary about using them because I had never heard of them let alone used them before.  I didn't think that I would be able to use them as well as I can use the different Microsoft programs, but surprisingly I found that the different Google Docs programs were easy to manipulate and had a variety of programs that I can use that you can't do with the normal Microsoft programs.  Because the Google Docs programs are so simple to use and they provide a variety of options I believe they would be a great asset for a teacher to use in a classroom.  Now a days students are very much connected to the internet and they love to share their lives with their friends through the Internet.  Because the Google Docs is an Internet based program the users of the programs are able to publish their work so that others can view it.  There are a variety of programs that a teacher can incorporate in their classroom.  One of the programs a teacher could use is the traditional Google docs.  What's great about this documents page is that once a students completes their writing in the program they are able to share it with a peer or their teacher and they will be able to view and read it and write comments on it for the original writer to view and be able to make changes in their writing.  Another program they could use is the Google sites.  The Google sites is easy to maneuver and the students will be able to make a web page for an assignment very easily.  Another program the students can use is the spreadsheet version of the Google docs.  One feature that I just learned about that you can use with the spreadsheet program is that you can make an online survey.  I think that this is a great option to use in the classroom because it is a way to poll your class and to get everyones opinion on a particular concept.  Because I liked the survey tool so much I am going to display it for you.  The survey I made for this blog relates to the thematic unit on health and nutrition that I am currently working on.  Here is a link to my survey so you can view it yourself. 

Image form flickr.com by dannysullivan

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bringing Technology to the Students

Today in my Educational Technology and Design class we had a guest speaker come in and speak to us about mobile and 1:1 learning.  To be completely honest I had never heard of these terms before.  For those of you who don't know what mobile and 1:1 learning is it is a method of teaching students that is technology based where each student has their own laptop or technological device that they would use frequently in and outside of class to use in their learning.  By having technology readily available for each of the students to use in their classrooms the students will be able to take charge of their own learning instead of the old fashioned way where the teacher is the primary source of education.  After listening to this lecture and seeing how much technology is benefiting the students I believe that when I graduate and am looking for a teaching position I would want to find a school that has adopted the mobile and 1:1 learning method. With technology advancing so much and the amount of time students spend using these new devices it seems completely ridiculous to me to teach in the old ways of pencil and paper and dry erase boards.  Students get bored when they are learning through these archaic methods.  If you want students to learn and to even want to learn you need to adjust your methods with the times.  And right now the times are telling you that technology is the way to teach.  More and more technology is coming available to the public and I'm sure more is on the way and it won't ever stop.  It is your job as educators to educate yourself on these new advancements so that you are able to implement them daily in your teaching.  We are living in a digital age and we need to use these new technologies to better our teaching.  I know that this seems like it may be a daunting task to educate yourselves about all of these new advancements but in the long run you will be glad that you did.  I myself am not very good when it comes to technology and I am only 20 and grew up in this digital age that we are in.  But, if training myself to learn these new technological advancements means I will be a better teacher to my students and that my students will get more out of my teaching then I'm glad that I took the time to better my teaching. I believe in teaching my students in a way that best fits them and technology is the way to do it.  For more information about mobile and 1:1 learning this class that I am currently taking has us do these RWLDs to prepare us for our lectures.  Here is the cite to a particular RWLD that will help you gain a better understanding of this topic. 

Image from flickr.com:  by One Laptop per Child