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!