Final Blog

business-1012761__180.jpgWow!!! Where has the time gone? This class has gone by so fast!   I must say I learned a lot and really enjoyed the process!  When I looked at the syllabus the first week I wanted to cry and drop the class. I had no idea what half of any of the technology language even meant let alone how to navigate blackboard.   After some motivation from my husband I decided to jump in feet first and realized that the modules clearly explained what to do and how to do the assignments.  I found both text books helpful especiallyscience-1182713__180.jpg Retool Your School.   Honestly, I didn’t use google docs before this class, I was still a faithful Microsoft Word user.  My monthly Microsoft subscription has been cancelled since the first week using google docs.  Even though I was terrified to begin this class, it really moved along nicely and appropriately.   What I realized is I am actually capable of doing so much more then I gave myself credit for. I will use all the tools I have learned when I teach.  My favorite assignment we did was the cool tool.  I discovered technology based educational tools I had no idea even existed.   I enjoyed learning how to use the wiki page with my group and using the snagit to screen-cast other projects we did.  I plan to continue to blog in the future in order to keep parents informed of what our class is doing, and even let the students get in on the fun!  Lastly, as the class comes to an end and I work on my WebQuest I have decided to create project based learning assignment I can use in my future classroom or share on websites such as sharemylesson.com.

Copyright Law

 

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Copyright Laws kind of make me want to scream!  I am happy laws are in place to help protect others work, but at the same time the law is confusing and understanding all the aspects is hard.  The teacher side of me definitely understands the importance that I know the basics of copyright laws, so that I can be a good example to my students as well as educate them about the law!  Needless to say, monitoring students for copyright infringements and teaching them about the law will not be an easy task.  From a personal stand point I am thankful there are copyright laws in place to protect people.  I happen to be somewhat familiar with one aspect of copyright law when it pertains to artwork.  My husband and his brother own a men’s clothing line and they design their own T-shirts with a logo that they have trademarked.  Each time they draw a new design it is automatically copyrighted at the moment of its completion, but they still have to register the copyright due to the fact the design is mass marketed and likely to be infringed.  This is really the only law that I was aware of until this module.  I was not familiar with the fair use part of the copyright act at all.  In fact, I was surprised to find out that a teacher can make multiple copies of something for a classroom use as long as the poems are less than 250 words and two pages prose is less than 2,500 words or an excerpt, and only one diagram/picture is copied from a single work. Thankfully, according to righthubeducation.com, “the Copyright Act contains a special exception for the educational use of copyrighted materials. This is part of the “fair use” rule, and it allows someone other than the copyright holder to make limited use of a copyrighted work without permission for purposes such as teaching, research, scholarship, criticism, parody and news reporting.”

10 Things you should know about copyright law 

Social Media in the Classroom

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I LOVE social media… There I said it!!!  I love connecting with old friends on Facebook, reading tweets on Twitter, my hashtag game is on point (most of the time), and I enjoy looking at Instagram posts just as much as I enjoy posting!  I also adore watching my daughter and her friends create Musical.ly videos.  My husband and I have been known to watch an embarrassingly amount of YouTube videos just to get a few good laughs in!   Because of this Tech class I even plan on continuing to blog while teaching in order to keep the parents involved and up to date on what we are doing in class!  Technology has a snowballing presence in our lives so it only makes sense to have more technology in the classroom.  The more technology we have in the classroom the more we can teach our children how to use it responsibly, as well as to use it for success in the future. In my classroom I plan to let the students use Wikispaces Classroom for group projects. I really feel using Edublogs would be a blast for the students, and I would like to work this in to my curriculum for creative writing projects.  Edublogs is also a great way to teach students how to address a particular audience.  YouTube for schools also is a social media platform I would like to sue in order for my students to have access to info on TED Talks and Kahn Academy.  Students get excited about being able to use technology in the classroom and with the ever evolving world of technology students also don’t get bored with it!

Goggle Cardboard

images (1)Recently I was introduced to Google Cardboard!  Google Cardboard is an app. for smartphones that allows users to download for free, and in turn it will deliver a variety of virtual reality experiences viewed through a cardboard viewer. The platform was created by two google engineers, David Coz and Damien Henry and introduced it in 2014.  By January 2016, over 5 million Cardboard viewers had been purchased and over 1,000 compatible applications had been published. Google Cardboard is available using three different operating systems android, Unity, and iOS.

I am sure you are asking yourself how expensive is the viewer?  It can cost nothing!  Google offers downloadable instructions to make your own viewer at home using cardboard material!  If you don’t have the time to make your own viewer you can purchase one for roughly ten dollars online.  Once the app has been set up, a viewer has either been imagespurchased or made, you can download virtual reality videos, and start to enjoy your new experiences.  There are a number of different apps available such as travel, concerts, games, and even a camera app that allows users to turn images from their own life into virtual memories.

One of the great advantages of Google Cardboard is that teachers can use the software to take their students on virtual field trips.  This app also allows students to take virtual tours and experience recreations of historical and geographical places!  I believe that Google will continue to release versions that will be compatible with more operating systems. This is an app that is here to stay and I will not be surprised if in the future we see many classrooms using is it just as we see laptops today!  In fact, classroom kits are available in various packages that typically include synchronized Cardboard viewers, smartphones, and tablet for the teacher to act as tour guide.

Take the Google Cardboard quiz!!!

Cloudware

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Cloudware in schools is definitely a newer concept to me, and from what I have experienced is to many teachers as well!  I have used forms of cloudware when I was in the business world, but not so much as a student.  I am new to this way of learning, and just recently have been introduced to it.  When I finished college online classes were a brand new thing, and in my opinion online schools were somewhat frowned upon.  However, since then times have changed and it appears online in really the way education is headed. One thing that I really love about cloudware is the fact that the cost of textbook are so much less due to the fact that digital content is less expensive than printed.  This will help offset some of the high cost to purchase new text books for students of all ages.  This also solves the problem of outdated learning materials in grades K-12.  With so many cutbacks to the education department in California I can imagine purchasing new textbooks would not be high on the priority list. I had started to notice so many of the books being used in some of the school I sub in were so old the student would laugh at the pictures because they really could not relate.  Another advantage of cloudware is applications such as google docs store students work for free, and all them to get their own project virtually from anywhere that has a smart device or computer.  Honestly, I was still using Microsoft Word until I began this class. The last thing that I find fascinating about cloudware is that now students who do not do well in a traditional classroom setting have options to finish school.  It gives these student access to education and resources they may not have.. Personally, I have friends that I believe would have done so much better in school if they could have taken some of the classes online.

http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/use-cloud-based-technologies-classroom

Project Based Learning

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In most of today’s classrooms assignments are not necessarily project based like what most real life situations look like.  Most adults are presented with challenges, and need to have skills to know how to come up with solutions to those challenges.  Solutions such as creating a timeline, making at budget, and etc.  Project based learning (PBL) is much different than the traditional way schools typically teach.  In most of today’s classrooms, and even past generations students would be given a study guide, to memorize answers from, and then take a test.  After the test is completed the students typically move on to the next section.  This type of teaching/learning does not necessarily set students up to be successful adults.  However, PBL focuses on helping students practice critical thinking skills, collaboration, and communication.

As a prior student I don’t really ever remember doing any group projects, besides the oral language which really isn’t even considered a project.  My fourth grader also has yet to work on a group project.  In fact, my daughter did the same exact projects I did at her age.  Those projects are the mission report, and a science fair.  Both of those assignments were sent home with a timeline, and she had to return them in steps back to her teacher to look over.  I laughed when we sat down to work on the dreaded missions report, because I remembered the terrible experience I had as a child doing that project.  I can honestly say I don’t remember anything about my mission, nor do I remember anything about her mission either.

I find PBL to be a very fascinating forward moving way of educating our future students, and I believe it will improve academic achievement.  I also feel that students will enjoy problem solving and being able to collaborate with their peers.  Working with peers on projects will also motivate the students to want to try more.  Of course some challenges will arise, and I believe the biggest challenge will be with the group work.  Students and teachers may find it hard to handle conflicts within a group, and free-riding by individual students.