Archive | April 2013

PLN Activity 8

Online Classes

http://moocadventures.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/the-evolution-of-online-classes/

As we move forward with technology, more classes are being taught online. This blog post called “The Evolution of Online Classes” talks about how their English department is moving towards a team taught online course set-up.  The program is trying to move towards a Multimodal approach which incorporates other forms of media such as images, audio, video, links, and other digital objects.  The writer of this blog talks about after her first day of teaching this type of new class.  She felt overwhelmed and felt it did not lead to enough interaction with those that actually understand the importance concepts being presented.  Although she felt like this more and more classes are still being given the option of taking it online. This is crazy to think about what is going to happen in the future.  The video below shows some expectations of education expanding through online classes.

 

I feel like some classes can be taught online like gen eds or easy classes for college students, but online classes I do not think should be the prime way to receive and education.  Technology is a great way to expand on education, but it is not a reliable source.  Not everyone has an internet connection all the time, and it is expensive to have  nice computer to run all the different programs.  Like we experienced in trying online teaching today in class, many students were getting kicked of the site, and when we all tried to use video, the program got super slow.  I think for me teaching online would be very difficult because I do not know if I can trust that my students are actively paying attention and doing the appropriate work. Also, like the blog said I think it is difficult for a student who is struggling to interact with others and bounce ideas of one another while participating.

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PLN Activity 7

http://dalbalawi.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/technology-and-teaching/

The link provided above is a blog about teaching and technology to go along with what we have been learning in our classroom. This blog talks about how technology cannot only open the doors for students, but teachers as well. For teachers who have a higher knowledge of technology in a classroom, it is shown that they receive promotions more and get an increase in their income as well. Not only are those good incentives to want to learn and use more technology, but also it is exciting for the teacher to be more creative and also get excited about a lesson. If a teacher is teaching the same thing over and over without technology it could be so repetitive and boring, but technology is always changing and new advances can make a lesson interesting. Technology helps students remember more, understand it easier, help them apply the information learned, analyze, evaluate, and create new projects based of the information given by a teacher. Skype is now even a big thing teachers use to create a fun filled class. Next week, even in our class we are going to try an online communications class. This gives students the opportunity that cannot physically come to class maybe because of a disability to participate or students from all over the world can take the same class through this online program.

Technology needs to be used more in the classrooms because it not only helps the students, but the teachers as well. Teachers need to be encouraged to use technology because many still do not want to use it. Some teachers either doubt that technology works or they do not use it because they are not skilled in it. This link, http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech159.shtml , can give teachers some incentives and tips for using technology in the classroom. Hopefully soon more and more teachers will be using it in the classroom.

Assessments

Yesterday during class, we were taught about five different assessment tools to help us as teachers learn different techniques to use with children. The first one that I looked at was DIBELS, which is an individually administered test of accuracy and fluency with connected text. The student reads a passage out loud to a teacher for a minute while the teacher has the same passage in front of them. As the student reads the passage, the teachers puts a slash over the word that they have omitted, substituted, and have hesitations on for more than three seconds. Every word that is wrong is calculated at the end where it is the total of words read subtracted by the errors. When we listened to the recording of the child’s voice online to see where he/she made errors, it was nice because we were allowed to go back and listen again if we felt we missed something. Whereas if the child was simply reading it in front of us, we could not ask them to reread it again without them changing what they previously said or feeling nervous because they know they did something wrong. This website https://dibels.uoregon.edu/measures/orf.php gives a full description of what DIBELS are. I felt as if DIBELS were kind of like a running record in the sense that the teacher is looking for the errors the students had said.

The next assessment tool that we learned about was the TurningPoint. The TurningPoint was a computer program that allowed the teacher to make up different types of questions for the students to respond to through clickers that each would have at their desks. I think this is a great thing to get students participation because no one has to know who put the right and wrong answers so students will not feel shy to try to make a guess. Also, it gets the whole class involved at a time and helps the teacher see what percentage of the students put what. Sometimes this is a good indicator that the teacher may need to go and reiterate what she/he was trying to say. The video below shows how the TurningPoint has been a helpful tool in the classroom and students like it a lot.

Another way that uses technology to see how the students did on the assessment was the Graphing in Excel and Data Analysis, which was an app on the IPad. This app had the teacher enter in the different data from each different session of the tests and the results from that session. For each test, a different graph is made and then the teacher puts a best-fit line to show the slope. Once that is done, the teacher takes a picture of the screen to keep the graph to compare it to the other ones. When comparing the graphs, the teacher wants to look at the graphs and whichever one has the best positive correlation shows that, that test was the best for the students because they responded so well. This method is good because it is not just going off one test session, but multiples to give a better accuracy.

One whole table was assigned for showing us the different types of assessment through different tests. This was a nice thing because not only is it important to learn information on it, but having the different tests in front of you gives you a better hands on feeling of what everything actually means. Also, we needed to not only see and learn about the different test, but also be able to navigate through results when given to us. This was taught to us at another table with the website discoveryeducation.com. People take very expensive classes to learn how to navigate through this system and we were taught how to do it in class, which will help us out tremendously in the future. If a teacher can give a test, but does not know how to interpret it or find it than there is no point in giving a test. A teacher has to be very knowledgeable about the types of assessment and tools he/she uses because not every student learns the same way and a teacher needs to be able to accommodate to their needs. He/she also needs to know the different types of assessment to help show how the students are doing and if the teacher is doing his/her job and teaching the information in the right way.