Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thing 11.5: Evaluation

1. My favorite discoveries were screencasting, slideshare, and virtual gaming. I was surprised at how simple screencasting and slideshares are to create and I can definitely apply them right away in the classroom. Second life was an eye opener. I loved the Genome place and am looking forward to see further developments in this field. I have used virtual lab software before, but SL takes it to a new level. I hope that SL will eventually have the same level of detail of virtual lab software.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
This program has allowed me to learn new technology tools and to reflect on which tools are relevant to my classroom and how I might be able to integrate these technologies into teacher directed activities and student directed activities. For example, students can share presentations with each other using slideshare. Or, they might use screencasting to solve a genetics problem and present it to the class or share with others.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I really started to brainstorm about potential classroom activities when I learned how easy it is to use slidesharing and screencasting. I spend a lot of time on SL in the genomics room because I really wanted to figure out if I could integrate it into a lesson. I'm going to discuss it with my team and see what they think. I'm sure they will be blown away. Overall, once I make the initial time investment of figuring out a new technology, all of the possibilities emerge.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
You may want to include an estimated time to complete each task :) It was an interesting course. I learned some great new tech tools!! I am definitely more literate now than I was before the course. Thanks for all you do!

Thing #11: Digital Citizenship

I would include the following points in a library orientation lesson:
1. Learn how to use the school's library website and links to properly document all resources when used to create papers, presentations, pictures etc. Do not plagiarize! I cannot tell you how many direct copy/paste projects I have received.
2. Avoid inappropriate websites and be cautious on the Internet to avoid predators. Never post personal information such as address, phone number, etc.
3. Be courteous to all, especially in emails and on social networking sites.
4. Do not use technology in an inappropriate manner, for example, cheating.
5. Use technology wisely. Time management is important. Avoid spending countless hours playing games and chatting with friends.
6. When searching for information, use reliable sources and evaluate all sources carefully.

Thing #10: Virtual Worlds - Second Life, Gaming

The listed advantages of using Second Life include simulation, modeling, data visualization, and virtual field trips. After reviewing one particular area, I can say that this is true. It did take some time to figure out how to find educational places to visit. I had to go back to the SL site to find them, after having no success using the search option within SL. I finally figured out how to get to a place called Genome, which sounded relevant to the subject that I teach. I got a free T-shirt, too, which I eventually figured out how to put on!

The Genome location is amazing! A considerable amount of effort has been put into the place (built by Texas Weslayan U) and it is definitely designed to teach students. I flew over to Mendel's garden and explored activities there. I felt that the Mendel pea experiments were a bit confusing unless the students read the the instructions very carefully. There were also slideshows of genetics concepts. I flew over to a protein synthesis activity, which was informative, but too complex for my audience. There was a video to watch there, but I could not figure out how to get it to play. I next visited a cell and was able to click on different organelles and read about their function. The graphic and detail of cell model left a bit to be desired. I also visited a DNA tower that had stations to review the history of DNA and famous experiments. At the top, is all 23 human chromosomes and when you click on each one, a notecard explains certain disorders that are found on that chromosome.

Overall, I think that this is an interesting way to engage students! Will I use this site as a teaching tool??? I might use the cell site as an opener or closer to a lesson about cells. I think that students may want to explore this site on their own time if they are interested in genetics. They can use this as an extension activity for review and further depth. I think that it will be too difficult for me to guide them through the activities without a significant time investment on my part to figure everything out.

Thing #9: Slideshare

Would it be important for students to use Slideshare? If so, why?

Slideshare will be a nice way to share my powerpoints with students. I can post them to my teacher website if students need to review information from class. Absent students might find this quite helpful. I also like the fact that others cannot save or modify the presentation! Also, students can review other student presentations from class using slideshare. This will be a great way for them to go back and review points from teacher or student presentations that they may have missed during class.

The drawback to viewing some of the posted powerpoints from is that the presentation is not always easy to follow without having heard the actual presentation. I don't think this will be helpful for teacher to teacher sharing because we generally just share the actual files. I am attaching a presentation that I came across when surfing around the slidshare website...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thing #8: Screen capture

I used to record instructions for signing up and exploring an online textbook. I always have a large number of students who never sign up each year due to problems with registering online. Hopefully this video will help them register and utilize the video and various interactive features of their textbook this year. I will post this screencast to my teacher website. You will have to turn your sound way up to hear my voice. I was trying not to disturb napping kiddos.

Thing #7: TV sources, Hulu, etc…

Select two videos and discuss how you would be able to use them in your library or classroom:
I found this using google video search. This is a great way to introduce or review cellular organelles and appreciate the complexity of cells.

2. PBS video is an excellent resource for teachers. The site makes it very easy to search for videos by subject and topic. This link takes you to a video clip titled "Switching Genes On and Off" I will use this to introduce how genes are turned off and on and the concept of introns and exons in DNA. It also incorporates genetic engineering. Love it! Also, love the fact that it is short and to the point and the fact that the subject is fruit flies, because my students breed fruit flies for a genetics study during the school year. is another excellent resource for lecture-type videos from famous professors, scientists, etc. I have shown parts of James Watson's lecture about his life and his discovery of the structure of DNA.

Also, I noticed that Hulu was blocked from SBISD when I tried to view.

Thing #6: I touch apps

This is a list of some apps that might be useful for students:

2. Create a list of ways to use the I touch in the Library by multiple students:

  • In groups, students can ask a presenter questions or make comments on presentations using back-channeling.
  • Groups can view a video using an I touch and post comments or questions.
  • Students might also have an electronic review session where they get into small groups, each group having an I Pod touch and ask group-to-group questions.