Monday, August 8, 2011

Test Post

Welcome to Kindergarten!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Blog-My Vision #10

It is very difficult for me to choose just one aha moment throughout this course. One of the biggest has to be my Blog. It has made a huge impact on my belief of social networking and the purpose of them. If fact it has made such an impact it inspired me to create a Face Book account! Using my Blog I have found it to be very convenient to post information and receive information in a central location. I can't say I'm ready to replace a weekly newsletter with it yet, but it will most certainly be an additional tool I use for next year for my parents and administration.

During the readings of my journal articles I learned of two software programs that are geared more for early childhood education. Kid Pix and Kidspiration are two programs that are geared more for early childhood age students. I have just recently learned about this software so I am not familiar with it yet, but I am very hopeful that it will be something my students can use to enhance and engage them in learning.

Learning about new software and web 2.0 applications have greatly influenced my beliefs and practices relating to technology. I am very grateful and excited to know that I CAN work different technologies and even more excited to continue using them in my classroom and in my personal life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I hope to harness the power of technology by first exploring technology and become more educated and comfortable about it's on-goings. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I will enrich my lessons by utilizing different programs and software such as PowerPoint, Kid Pix, and Kidspiration. Although I have just learned of the latter two programs I hope to spend time this summer becoming familiar with them and planning how to implement them for next year. In the meantime I hope to integrate a PowerPoint lesson with a small group for a presentation to the rest of the class. I have even expanded the use of technology as an extension for my parents! I have been working on a CD (from Movie Maker) as a gift to my parents of pictures I have taken throughout the year!

As you can tell I am rather excited about the technologies that are applicable to my current teaching position. I am very much looking forward to utilizing them and implementing them in my classroom setting. So, here's to exciting learning experiences with five and six year olds!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Overcoming Technology Fears

As an educator in a rural, Title 1 school district I strive to give my students all opportunities affordable to them. Technology is one of the top priorities of implementation for my kindergarten classroom. However, as you well know that the funds are not always conducive to our goals. Some of my worst fears of technology implementation are ‘something’ not working (whatever ‘something’ is) and the lack of knowledge to appropriately engage my students. The old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ applies so well with the practice of overcoming my fears of technology. I have found myself playing more and more when I am working on the computer and as a result learning more and more. This class has most definitely inspired, and lovingly forced me to step out on a limb and learn more about how technology can be used in the classroom to both develop activities and communicate with my parents and administration more efficiently. Some of what we have learned has been incredibly easy to use and very applicable to every aspect of what I do. I can’t wait for this summer when I will have more time to really get some of what we have learned applied to my classroom practices.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Post 6: Online Learning – Facilitating Interaction Online

Personally, when it comes to learning in a ‘formal environment’, I prefer the classroom setting as opposed to sitting at a computer (and such). This is partly because of my dependence on visuals,and voiced instruction; mostly because old habits are hard to break. Because I believe there is something to learn in everything we do I used the words ‘formal environment’ to indicate a classroom setting. Having said that, I greatly appreciate the flexibility of online learning. For a mother of two very active children and a husband who is at work twenty-four hours every third day scheduling can become somewhat of a nightmare. Online courses allow me to stay at home to complete assignments and report to ‘class’ within the guidelines given.

The courses I have taken thus far have incorporated all three types of interactions: learner-learner, learner-content, and learner-instruction. As Moore stated, learner-content is the most significant of the three interactions. ‘Without it there cannot be education’. As you can guess I usually prefer the learner-instruction interaction, but I am quickly becoming very fond of the learner-learner interaction that takes place in an online course (and many classroom settings). It seems rather bizarre to say that my education philosophy is viewed as a constructivist after having made the previous statement. But when it comes to me learning I prefer learner-instruction (with visuals), but when I teach I prefer learner-learner interactions.

Post 7: Online Learning-The Student

When this course is complete I will have taken four online courses toward my masters degree, or supported online courses with A&M-Commerce. I would consider myself comfortable and therefore successful in my ability to complete an online course. Now I may become frustrated, nervous, and at the point of tears but I have not allowed that to hinder my completion of the course (yet!). In regards to virtual learning in K-12 schools I would have to say I completely support this movement. However, being a kindergarten teacher it leaves me in a quandary as to how this works with five and six year old children. They need the technical skills, but they also need the social interaction that goes along with a classroom setting. Finding the balance between the two is somewhat of a challenge when you are trying to meet the needs of every student in your classroom. Being a constructivist I struggle with the lack of a tangible product in a virtual classroom, but certainly see the benefit of a technology in an online learning environment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Desktop Publishing, Movie Maker and Photo Story 3

Just about the time I think it can't get any better with what there is to offer out there in regards to technology something new comes along. To be honest I am a little familiar with publishing and movie maker, but still very much enjoyed playing around with both. Photo Story 3 is the new application that just 'wowed' me this time. After showing it to my family I began to think of all the possibilities is has. We'll talk more about that later.

Utilizing these skills empowers me in that I can communicate with my parents, colleagues, and administration more effectively. DTP is a tool I use almost every week to send classroom news to my families. It is easy to use and very effective because the options available to organize the information. Movie maker is fun to produce pictures and video slide shows coinciding with music for a personal effect. I hope to produce a movie by the end of the year as a gift to my students that include all the picture I have taken so far of their kindergarten year. But now that I've learned a little about Photo Story 3 I'm not sure which is the better way to go. It appears that Photo Story 3 allows you to personalize even more, but in shorter increments.

The use of Movie Maker, Desktop Publishing and such is expanding. The ability to use images, sometimes your own images, to produce a product allows the user to gain ownership, and in turn pride in their work. They are able to customize to their own specification using their creativity and imagination. In an educational setting this ability is very motivating and rewarding for the students.

These skills align with my vision in that the use of any technology is good for me to learn and utilize. However, these skills are particularly interesting because they are pertinent to obtaining and maintaining communication with parents. They allow me to personalize my message, and sometimes, give a souvenir of their child's educational experiences in my classroom.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Web 2.0 (Blog #4)

Web 2.0 technologies do and should have a huge impact on education. These technologies, as best as I understand, enhance the delivery of information through many different means. It allows us, the users, to interact more and find a multitude of data files.

This week my school district required us to complete a study on technology in the classroom called the Starchart report. As I am responding to each questions I could not help but to reflect on this course and everything we have learned up to this point and how much more there is out there to discover. My district is supportive of technology and how it is delivered. We strive to be up-to-date and compliant to support the requirements set before us. I would hope that there is not a district out there that does not place a large value on technology and support every measure. Technology, especially Web 2.0, is a expanding and ever changing world that allows us to stay informed and to assist educators/students in delivery methods. In education you can never have to much. Therefore, opening the door wide gives us an advantage to deliver meaningful and educational lessons.

At this point my Wiki is a sad case. I plan to play with it more as the semester rolls along to include more information about my classroom. Right now I would describe my Wiki as an introduction to me. I have a few family photos posted and a very small message. Stay tuned there's more to come! I have to be honest though, I am trying to decide which application to use; my blogline or the wiki. As of now, I am more comfortable with the blogline. I discussed the blogline with my principal and she wants to learn more about it as well!