Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool # 10

Digital Citizenship is not just about treating other web inhabitants with respect, but is also about being careful not expose oneself to dangerous situations. There are several "rules" that students must understand about entering web space. The web is not to be used to abuse and belittle peers or adults. It is important that they understand that anything that happens on the web can come back in the future. It is not unusual for comments that are written without malice can be misinterpreted by anyone reading them. So it is very important not write comments that are directed at specific groups or people. Another important "rule" is to remember that one is not alone in cyber space. There are people out there who can be a danger to students and are looking looking for innocent victims. Students should be aware of their vulnerability and provide as little private information as possible to anybody who is not well known to the student. Students should also understand that the internet is like a community. Another important factor that each person should understand is that just because it's on the internet does not necessarily mean that it is one hundred percent true. Students must learn how to discern trustworthy sources from dubious contributors.
I subscribed to Common Sense Media  and hope to use many of the lessons about digital citizenship which are provided there. At the beginning of each year, I will teach a short section on digital citizenship prior to using any technology in the classroom. Not only will I teach about digital citizenship, but I will try to model it throughout all the information and sources that I provide the students.
I feel that information about digital citizenship should be provided to parents on my teacher web site. I will also provide a link to Common Sense so that parents can also visit the site and be aware of all resources that it offers.

Tool # 9

Technology is everywhere. Students even text each other when they are in the same room. Students today are very used to learning new technology every day. They will buy a different phone and have to learn the new operating system. Technology "is what they do." Incorporating technology to the curriculum is the obvious course to take. It will not only make use of their current skills and hopefully teach them new technology skills. Technology is not going to become less important in the future.
Students should be held accountable for the technology centers which are located in the classroom to promote a sense of responsibility for the equipment. They must understand that equipment that is well taken care of can be useful for longer periods of time. They should also understand that if a work area is not clean when they leave; there is no reason for the person before them to insure that the equipment is serviceable. Eventually when they enter the workplace, it will be easier to create a more comfortable working environment.
Boy! There are a lot of web sites out there that have a variety of interactive lessons. PhET has many interactive applications that are very specific to chemistry. There is one application which deals specifically on solutions and concentration of solutions. Another application demonstrate the different molecular structures which molecules can have. Both of these could be used in a classroom to have students  explore different aspects of chemistry. Thinkfinity offers a wide variety of interactive sites for chemistry. Both of these sites could be very useful to create a "thinking section." In one part of the room students can gather information on a specific topic; then can apply some of this information in the application station.
There a couple of applications for the iPad that look promising. The Discovery Channel has an application for the iPad which can show a variety of videos. This application could be used in a station in the lab where student gather the information. After gathering information, students must some how record all of this data. All their data could be condensed into a series of flash cards, which can be created using gFlash.

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Tool #8

At the moment it looks like the both the ipad and the netbooks will be very helpful. I found it interesting that the ipads and the web books, will create a small sub-network in the classroom and the laptops will be used like a server. It is very convenient that all apps need to be downloaded once and then can be passed on to the ipads by linking the ipads to the laptops. I also found that the ipads can be linked to the lap tops without an actual physical connection. Both the ipads and the netbooks can connect to the internet and can be used to have students collaborate and contribute through Google Docs.
I will place all my wireless devices in the cabinets after each use. At first, I will lock the cabinets between periods to discourage students from using one of the devices without proper permission.

Tool # 11

1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.

My favorite tools are the ones that allow me to download video clips. In teaching chemistry it is extremely important to show visual representations of concepts. Even though videos are very important in teaching chemistry, they must also be used with a tool, such as Google Docs, to encourage students to comment on the video presentation. Students can not just watch they must participate.

2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?

I think the most important thing is to change me before I change what is happening in the classroom. There is such a large number of possible tools for teaching that a cursory glance in the tool chest is not going to make me an expert. I first have to experiment with most of the tools for a while so that I can in a  sense understand all that can be done. Once I have all the tools organized in my head, I plan to create more lessons where the students work on their own and are evaluated by their peers. There are endless possibilities for self assessment. My vision for my classroom has not changed; I still want students to learn to the best of their abilities and become self motivated. I have more educational aids than before but the mission is still the same.

3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I think most teachers agree that this process was more time consuming than advertised. To really give each tool the proper amount of time, was nearly impossible. Some tools required a very high degree of concentration and examination. This takes time. After I stopped talking to myself after a couple of sleepless nights, I realized that I was slightly more tech savvy. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tool # 7

I would like to have a collaborative lab with another chemistry teacher possibly in a different school. The lab would be done normally and the students would share all the data collected in their experiments with the students from the other school. The data from the other students would also be shared with my students. The students would then analyse their results and compare the error analysis of the data using their data with the error analysis with all the data collected. The data could be shared using GoogleDocs. Skype could also be used share the data.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tool # 6
There are way too many tools available for interacting with students to learn in just a couple of weeks. I chose voice thread because is very flexible. It can be used as a review tool where students can log on an check to see if the recognize and equation, a piece of equipment or just vocabulary words.

Tool #4

I can see Google docs as method for students to communicate with me and with other students. I could use the idea given by Alan November in which suggests having one or more students take notes and posting them. Google docs would be ideal for this because the documents are editable.