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Final Blog Post: 10/17/16

Well, it looks like this is the last blog post for the semester! (Maybe, I’m seriously considering keeping this bad boy rolling. I like it so far.)

The last few weeks, we have been doing some of my favorite projects of the year. The interactive, non-linear presentation may be the best thing we do all year, just because of its usefulness in the classroom. Even though it took a long time to make, I never minded it, I actually enjoyed writing in all of the different answers, and creating the entire quiz. I used it in class with my students when we talked about figurative language late last week, and I could tell that they enjoyed it because it was interactive, something they could do as a class. What I enjoyed the most from it was that it made the students I had actually stop and think about their answers, because they didn’t want to click the wrong answer and be wrong in front of the whole class. That peer pressure and public exposure sometimes can be a good thing when it comes to students, because it makes them SLOW DOWN, and take their time answering questions. Interactive presentations will absolutely be making a comeback in our classroom in the near future.

Something I saw a lot of potential in was the iMovie/podcast module, I just think it would take time to PREPARE. If I had the time, it would be fun and interesting to make a lecture through iMovie, and then throw in a few slides, a few pictures, and make it an entire interactive lecture. That might be something I try in the near future! (time permitting.)

I feel as the year has progressed, the technology we have covered has gone from things I’ll hardly ever use, to things I could use in class every day if I could. I’m sad we are wrapping up, because surely there is more out there for us to cover!!

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Blog Post #2: Technology Usage in Real Life

So we’re hitting the home stretch of our technology class, and I’m really beginning to understand and totally seize control of everything we have been learning this semester so far. I wouldn’t say I’ve “mastered” anything yet, but we’re getting closer and closer.

I really am enjoying the last few weeks of class, and getting re-familiarized with some of my favorite online tools, excel and online presentations. I always felt like growing up these were the two big tools we used in school, and even though I knew how to use them, I never really knew how to use them to their fullest potential.

In the last I don’t know, week or so, I’ve been using excel and google sheets for EVERYTHING. Monitoring weight loss, statistical information for my football team, making graphs and figures for my students at school, just really tapping into the program far more than simply crunching numbers. It’s a fairly practical tool that’s usage goes much farther than the classroom, and I’m absolutely taking advantage of it.

With last weeks module being Online Presentation Tools, I figured I would make a PowerPoint or Google Slides and be done with it. Wrong! I’m currently putting the finishing touches on an awesome Prezi, and I had an absolute blast doing so. This unit challenged us to look past our familiar tools and reach out, and play with some new ones. Even though I didn’t like all of them (looking at you, VoiceThread) I did have fun experimenting with them, and seeing what would be fun and useful in my classrooms. I’m actually going to be using a SlideShare presentation that I found today in class. I’m excited to see how the students like something that’s a little different.

I’m looking forward to the last few weeks of class, wrapping up, and seeing all of the projects that I’ve worked on come together in one place. Here’s to hoping I get one or two more useful tools between now and then!

First Blog Post: 9/18/17- My thoughts so far!

So far, we’re about three weeks into class, and I have to say, I believe I’m learning quite a bit that will help me have success in the classroom in the future.

I’ve always been pretty good with technology, and when we began this class, I didn’t think I was going to learn much of anything new, that is, nothing that I didn’t already know about technology in a classroom setting. The school that I work in is full of smartboards, ipads, the latest and greatest in technology. Of course I knew how to use it.

But I didn’t know how to REALLY use it. I didn’t know how to use it to benefit not just myself, but the students that I work with. All of the different modules we are doing are helping me really fine tune my familiarity with technology that I’ve already seen and used before, but now know how to maximize it for the best possible usage in the classroom.

Take, for example, SMARTboards. Every classroom in the building I work within has a smartboard. Every student knows it’s basic functions, and every teacher might have a slightly advanced understanding of it. But when I did the research for our wiki pages, I found myself really learning about it for what felt like the first time, and figuring out that we as workers in my disctrict had only scratched the surface of what we could do with what we had! The same goes for Skype, the other topic I researched. We had a student missing in class last week, and instead of just going on without him, we were able to successfully skype him in for a few classes that day! I know he enjoyed not being left behind, and it was fun to take something I had learned and use it immeditely.

The tools that we are being armed with now are practical, and will almost absolutely be used in classrooms everywhere moving forward. It feels nice to get a jump on other teachers, or older teachers who might not have gotten with the times yet. I’m really looking forward to continuing getting familiar with Web 2.0 tools, and seeing what else is going to be added to our aresenal before class concludes.