Monday, March 29, 2010

Photo Editing How-to

This week we learned how to create screencasts in class and used a website called Screenr. I chose to make a screencast over how to edit photos online, using a favorite website called Picnik. I love editing photos and use this quick and easy website quite frequently!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life in 3D

This week for class we watched a video from the K12 Online Conference called Orientation in Second Life. This video gave new users tips on how to make their own avatars.

Alan Hudson is a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University who uses the program Second Life as an enjoyable way to help students learn. However, he and other lecturers see problems when new users become easily confused when entering the virtual world. They have introduced several interactive tools and volunteer helpers to enable new users to gain confidence in this new learning environment.

I must admit that I have very little education on virtual sites and avatars. This video was interesting for me because it helped me gain some insight into this world that I know so little about.

I think programs like Second Life may become more popular in the future, especially in areas of educational tools. I come from a small rural school, and had never heard of this alternative. However, I do see these becoming more popular in the future. I personally don't know that I would use this in my classroom-mainly because of my lack of knowledge and expertise. I think if I knew more about this then I would be more likely to integrate it into my classroom.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Summer Break Plans?

What are your summer break plans? This week in class, I learned how to create an online survey. I chose to poll others about their summer options. Take my survey and answer questions about what you will do THIS SUMMER.
This assignment was very interesting to me! I thought it was really neat to be able to do this. I even posted my survey to my Twitter account to gain some more feedback. My results showed that 3 out of 5 people will be away for most of their break and 5 out of 5 will have a job over the break. It was fun to see my results and hear others' opinions.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sam's Second Life

Sam, a 13-year-old girl from Illinois, spends nearly 12 hours on her computer when she isn't at school. No wonder she claims digital media is her second life! She highlights her passion for technology on her Edutopia Digital Youth Portrait Video.

Sam spends her time using a wide variety of technology-the computer, phone, ipod, video cameras, digital cameras, and video games are just to name a few. Her parents and teachers say that this passion has enabled her to learn many life skills and gain useful knowledge. Sam truly uses technology to benefit her everyday life. She uses her cell phone for communication and alarms, videos and text messaging as a form of communication, and her computer skills to help others learn.

From this video (and others we have watched in this class), I have learned to embrace technology. I think our society sometimes views becoming overly indulged in the technology world as negative. However, I have learned that digital media is something that can make my life easier-and that it's okay to take advantage of them!

As a future teacher, I want to help my students understand the importance and benefit of technology in their lives. I want to learn from them and give them adequate opportunities to use technology within my classroom. I think this fosters creativity and allows students to make learning more relatable to them.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wiki-world: Creative collaboration

This week in class, I watched a video over wikis and their usefulness within the classroom. Wikis can provide great collaboration and interaction among students. Paula White's video, Parallel Play or Collaboration–Leveraging the Wiki Platform for High Quality Work highlights the benefits of using a wiki within the classroom to promote student collaboration.

This video gave me a little more insight on wiki's. I must admit, I was a little confused about just what a wiki was... (and still am a bit for that matter). However, Paula's video gave good information on how to use wiki's more effectively.
Paula's video really made me consider using a wiki and/or other online tools in my future classroom. I love the idea that class information can be posted online for students to access at home. I think this concept is something that will become increasingly popular more common in the coming years.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wizard Remix

This week for class, I watched a video from the K12 Online Conference, called The Wizard of Apps. This video was very confusing at first, with the random break outs into Wizard of Oz song remixes. It was a long video and hard to follow. However, Joyce Valenza presented the video and gave many helpful websites throughout.

The Wizard of Oz Remix songs talked a lot about different internet lingo, mentioning many that I have become familiar with-such as diigo, skype, and flickr. One song went, "twitter and wikis and blogs, oh my!" I can totally relate to this song and being overwhelmed with so many different websites and online options.
From this video, I gained useful websites to use in the classroom. It was hard to follow and very long, so it was hard to stay interested. However, I do think the different websites Joyce mentioned would be helpful in the future as a teacher.
I visited the Wordle website that Joyce mentioned in her presentation. I had seen many of these images on student blogs that I have commented on, so it was interesting to see how these work! Now I can use them in my own blogs!

Wordle: kaleooo

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kaleo: The summer of my life!

Last summer, I went to a discipleship training program called Kaleo through a campus organization called Student Mobilization. Through this program, I was trained in how to effectively share my faith with others and how to apply Biblical truths to my life. It was truly the summer of my life! I created a video on VoiceThread about my summer 2009, called The Summer of My Life: Kaleo 2009. I hope this short video can help you catch a glimpse of how amazing my summer was. This next summer, I will return to Kaleo as a student leader, and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Digiteens: Digital Danger Alert!

Digiteens are a group of teenagers who promote online awareness through various digital approaches. The Digital Citizenship video shows different examples of students who are informing others about "digital dangers"

I learned a lot about the power of informing people through digital media with this video. Images, voices, and music can all combine to make a very persuasive video like most of these students created. Informative videos can be very beneficial in helping others understand concepts of an issue.
I found this video to be very interesting regarding the information I learned about digital dangers. To be quite honest, I felt convicted about some of my digital habits-most in particular about texting while driving. It also made me think more about my online safety. I am very familiar with Facebook and other social websites, but often don't think about my safety while on there.
As a future teacher, I would love to incorporate a video project in my teaching curriculum. This type of project proves to be beneficial not only for the students, but others who are listening to it as well. The main problem I see with this idea is the fact that resources may not be available to the school where I may be teaching. Digital equipment can be very expensive. Hopefully schools will continue to encourage technology within their schools and provide the resources needed for these types of projects.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Project vs. Traditional Learning

Building racecars. Studying worms. Designing high school buildings. Examining oral reef ecosystems. Investigating cystic fibrosis. Field trips. Each of these items are an example of techniques used by teachers who believe in project based learning. The purpose of this style is to put students at the center of the learning process. The video, Project Learning: An Overview gives additional information on this increasingly popular teaching style.

My most significant thought after watching this video was how the idea of incorporating projects into teaching is so broad. Teachers have countless options on how to present a certain concept to their students. There are so many opportunities to present these concepts in the form of projects and hands-on learning activities. It may take a little extra effort and creativity, but this teaching style can certainly be integrated.
When I think back on different concepts taught to me, I remember things I was actively involved in much more vividly. From a class several semesters ago, I can remember the different "theories of leadership." I attribute this recollection to the fact that we learned this information by presenting it to the class through skits, activities, and games that helped us teach each theory. Even in high school, I significantly remember concepts taught through projects more rather than traditional lecture presentation-for example physics experiments on light, speed, and air; presenting english literature in the form of plays; and making miniature quilts in geometry class.
As a future Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, most of my assignments will indeed be more project based. I will be able to teach my students through food experiments, sewing projects, and many more hands-on activities. It may be more of a challenge for me to incorporate lecture and other traditional forms of teaching to keep things balanced within the classroom. I also may need to think about forming one larger project instead of having multiple small projects. I love that I have the opportunity to teach students through active learning!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creation: A World of Beliefs

How do you think our incredible world was created?
People around the world hold countless beliefs, ideas, theories, and views on this issue. This week, I had the opportunity to view an informational slideshow by a student in the 21st Century Global Leadership class. Cynthia created a powerpoint, How the World Was Created, that showed many different cultures' belief about this topic.

So what's your view? Personally, my beliefs are based purely off what the Bible has to say. I believe in the Bible as truth, so I believe that God is the Creator of all things. You can read the creation story, found in Genesis 1-2 of the Bible.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Meet Luis

I just watched a video from Edutopia over Luis, an 18-year-old boy from Oregon. Luis has a passion for technology and loves to use it to benefit others.

I really liked that Luis had such a desire to share his knowledge with others. He didn't keep his passions for himself, but shared them with his family, friends, and younger students-a true teacher at heart! Luis really challenged me to look at technology in a light that is beneficial for others and not just myself.
I also liked that Luis took the time to sit down with his mother and use the internet to help his parents pay bills. Just a few weeks ago, my father called me for help writing a paper. I had mentioned to him that he could use an online bibliography website, and he called-many times-for help with this. I think it's great that I have the opportunity to help my parents learn about new things in the world of technology. However, I would like to be able to help them and others even more so.
I want to make it a point to use technology to help others. As a future teacher, it will be important for me to be open minded about using technology within the classroom. What are some ways I can use technology for the benefit of others right now? I could send an encouraging email to my missionary friend in India. I could tell my friend about a new running website I found on Diigo so she can check it out for her marathon training. I could also create a digital photo album to share with my mom so she can keep up with what I'm up to while off at college.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tech-y Teacher

I just watched a video about an interesting class in New Zealand from the K12 Online Conference. Rachel Boyd is the teacher over a classroom of 6-year-old students. They take in interesting spin on education by using technology to the max.

By watching this presentation, my eyes were opened to the world of technology within the classroom. Mrs. Boyd uses technology in a way that her students seem to understand and even enjoy. It allows them to apply what they are learning by participating in hands-on learning activities. I can't get over how useful she made technology seem!

I certainly haven't had as much technological experience within the classroom as these students do. However, being in the T4T class here at UCO has definitely opened my eyes up to the positive uses this kind of equipment can have in a classroom. The T4T class seems a lot like what Mrs. Boyd is doing in here classes-stretching students to learn differently by introducing them to the wide world of technology.

Watching Mrs. Boyd and her students integrate technology into their classroom in such a positive way really motivates me to do the same when I have a class of my own. There are so many options with technology and it is easily accessible. I think the groups on the Diigo website will definitely be a big help for me as a future teacher in finding useful material for the classroom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nafiza-This Girl Got Game!

Nafiza is certainly a girl who knows her game! We watched her story from Edutopia's Digital Youth Portrait interview. Nafiza is an 18-year-old girl from NY and is very technologically savvy. She enjoys online virutal games, DDR, and making videos.

I was most intrigued by the first part of the video where Nafiza listed off the many different ways technology is implemented into her day. Just like Nafiza, technology is an important part of my day.

I can relate to Nafiza with the fact that I use technology "from the moment I wake up." Just like Nafiza, I use my cell phone as an alarm clock, have my ipod with me at all times, and usually check my facebook whenever I get home. I don't notice technology being such a large part of my day-it's just second nature. When Nafiza went into detail about how technology affects her day, it really made me think about mine as well. I use my cell phone as an alarm clock and to text friends during the day. I use my ipod for music, notes, photos, internet, and an online Bible. Computers are also important-I use them for class assignments, photo editing, music, to keep in touch with long distant friends, and so much more!

Just as technology is becoming more of an essential part of our personal lives, it is also becoming an essential part of education. As a future teacher, I think it is important to integrate technology into my classroom. I could do this by allowing my students make video "lessons," finding online games that relate to materials covered in class, and participating in a class blog. Technology is making skyrocket advancements each day, but I believe we will only see this continue in future years!

Blog Away!

It's week 2 of class, and I feel like I'm going to be a professional blogger by the time this semester is over! The class has been really interesting so far and I'm ready to see what next week has in store. This week, I had the opportunity to read 2 blogs from my classmates, Elizabeth and Christy. I also discovered Tracy Muller's elementary classroom. Her students blog frequently for within the class and seem to be learning quite a bit from the process! I was able to follow the progress of two of her students, Rain and Flamesman to see what they have been learning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blogging Buddies-The Broncho Way

Watching this video really gave me insight on how blogging can be used for educational purposes within the classroom. It made me more aware that blogging-as well as other new forms of digital media can be used for purposes other than personal entertainment. Our world of online technology and social networks is definitely changing, but I have never thought of using them within the classroom. Students are becoming more and more familiar with these types of websites and forms of media, so it only makes sense to develop ways to use them witin the classroom in a positive way.

I am fairly familiar with online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. However, I have used them minimally for educational purposes. When I came to college, Facebook was used as a communication tool between myself and other classmates, as well as for student organization groups. It has been a very large part of my communication with peers during my years here at UCO. I have used Facebook to communicate with other students to organize group projects, events, and raise awareness. I have used digital media and websites very minimally for educational purposes, but see that they could become a large part of educational curriculum in the future.

The Blogging Buddies project is a really great idea and makes me interested in trying something similar here at UCO. As a future teacher, I believe using digital media could be very beneficial for my students. I intend to teach Family and Consumer Science courses, which will allow me to teach on a wide variety of subjects. I could use online Food Blogs or Trackers when teaching a section on nutrition. This would allow my students to keep a record of the foods they eat weekly and learn how to make healthier choices.

Cameron's Tech Talents

Cameron is one talented kid. The most significant thing I took away from watching this video was the passion and interest this young boy has. The talent he has at such an age really blows my mind. Myself, like most other adults, look at Cameron and think there is no way he can be that talented at such a young age. But Cameron definitely taught me to pursue my passions and dreams with all my heart. What if everyone approached their interests with such a passion?!

Cameron and his deep passion for technology reminds me of the few others I know who have a passion for technology. A friend from UCO, Logan Pennington, is extremely talented in this area. I admire Logan's creativity and his initiative to try new things. He is constantly making videos, posters, and other digital forms of media. In fact, just this week he produced his first version of a Pike newsletter in video form! Both Logan and Cameron encourage me to pursue my passions whole heartedly. In the digital world, I am most interested in photography. They challenge me to take my interests to the next level and really engage in them.

As far as applying this video to my teaching career, I believe I could take some pointers from the educators who wree interviewed. One teacher allowed Cameron to make a video of a lesson and then shared it with the class. What a great idea! Why not let one of my students gather research and use their own talents to "teach" my class? This type of approach also encourages hands-on learning, which enforces greater understanding of the content. After watching this video, I think I will look for more personal strengths in my students and allow them to use those strengths to benefit and teach the rest of the class.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Brooke's Bio

My name is Brooke Switzer and I am a junior Family and Consumer Science Education Major at UCO. I am originally from Thomas, a small town located in western Oklahoma. I grew up in the country living on a farm but have also learned to love the more fast-paced life here in Edmond. After graduation I would love to teach in a high school FACS class position. I am excited about being able to teach young people the importance of a wide variety of topics-such as leadership, finances, family, nutrition, parenting, and so much more!