Monday, August 20, 2007

My Future Classroom

There are many things I learned about in my ECMP 455 class that I would like to carry on into my internship and future classroom. I am going to do my best to include as much technology in my internship as I can but ultimately it is not my classroom. I showed my co-op teacher Kathy Cassidy's classroom blog and she thought it was great if you had the time to do that. I agree that having a classroom blog would take time and if the students had not blogged before then teaching them the ins and outs of blogging would take time but a blog is such a great tool for communication I think it would be worth the effort.

My dream classroom would include a laptop for each student. I often think of lessons to do on the computer but then quite honestly forget about them quickly because of all the juggling I would have to do to get my students on a computer. The school I am interning at has one computer in the classroom, a set of traveling laptops and about 8 computers in the library (which the librarian does not like to share). I like the advice someone gave me previously about getting donated computers for my classroom, this is something I am going to do for sure when I get my own classroom. There are still a lot of things you can do with only one computer but imagine having 10 in the classroom, that would open up so many more opportunities.

One thing I learned about in ECMP 455 that I will really use in my classroom is all of the free video editing programs online. I really could have used these sites in my pre-internship.

I also really like the idea of hooking up with other classrooms around the world and doing some sort of collaborative project with them. There are so many options and it doesn't matter if you are in Regina, Rome or Reno.

Every time I look online I find at least one great resource or something that sparks my imagination. I think I can use the internet and technology in general to spark students imaginations. I do think that everything needs to be balanced though, students still need to do work that is not online.

Reading other peoples blogs has made me aware of different issues and important things to think about such as privacy online and how far is too far when you are online. I would never think of adding students to my facebook account because it is personal and you never know what kinds of posts my friends may make or what kind of presents they may be sending.

Bottom line is technology can be used for many purposes and is used to connect the world. I would like to use it to connect my students, their families and possibly students from around the globe. I would like my students to grow from using technology and I would like to grow along with them. One piece of advice I will take from this class and share with others is to master one thing at a time, to make things seem less overwhelming.

Helpful Resources

Here are a few kid/teacher friendly websites from right here in Saskatchewan:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laptops For Learning - UK

A couple months ago my sister-in-law who lives in England called me and was complaining about the new school her daughter has to go to. This new school is technology based, every child in the school has to purchase a laptop through a special program the school has set up. The students will do the majority of their work on their laptops. These were a few of my sister-in-laws complaints:

1. Her daughter is 11 and my SIL does not think she is ready to have the responsibility of a laptop.

2. Her daughter does not get bused to school, she has to walk a mile each way to get to and from school. Which means she is going to have to carry the laptop to and from school each day.

3. She has no option but to buy the new laptop through the school even if she could find a better
deal somewhere else.

4. She feels that because it is a government funded school they should be paying for the laptops
because they are making it mandatory.

5. She is a single parent and can not really afford to make the payments on the laptop and she
will also have to pay now for internet at her home so her daughter can do homework.

She does agree that technology is an important part of today's society and thinks her daughter will benefit from the skills she learns she just has a few concerns.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Arts Ed Resource

As part of my ECMP455 class Nicole Hofer and I have been putting together a wiki for Arts Ed Resources. On this wiki you will find lesson plans, links to helpful websites, information on artist's, how to videos and more. Check it out and please feel free to add anything you can.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Only One Computer In The Classroom?

I came across an article on the web today that gives tips on what to do if you only have one computer in your classroom. This is the situation that I will be in when I intern in the Fall. I want to use technology in the classroom but was feeling very limited because of only having one computer. The article gives some good pointers, some I already knew, but some were helpful. I think what it boils down to is being organized and having a good plan set up. The article was called:

That's Not a Drinking Fountain or How to Survive in a One Computer Classroom by Whit Anderson

Some of the tips were to:

Have stations set up for the students to rotate through.

Have students print off information that they may need instead of sitting at the computer reading it.

Get a projector or a large monitor for the whole class to view together.

Plan ahead, have students brainstorm what they need before they get on the computer.

Beg, Borrow and Trade, see if any other classrooms have free computers, send some students to work in the library at the computers, have the school put computers on rolling carts so they are mobile.

Match Task and Resource. If there is an old computer sitting around have students use that for doing reports. Use programs such as AlphaSmart and Dreamwriter for word processing to be uploaded later.

Alternate Access Times, have computers available at different times each week such as before school or at lunch.
Another thing they mention is not to let the children use the computer as a 'reward' for getting there work done fast because slower students also need the computer. I think if you know your students well enough you will be able to judge this for yourself.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Trying to Embed my Video!

Hopefully I can figure out how to embed my video here:

Making this video took me about 4 hours. I did not see any tutorials on the Eyespot website so it wasn't until the end of this video that I started to figure out how do add different effects.
One thing I did not like was that I could only add one effect to each frame. I would have liked to add say 'slow motion' and 'rotate the video' to one frame but I could not figure out if that was possible.
Also it would have been nice to have the option to change fonts and do more fun things with text. I would have liked to use text on actual pictures as I saw Nicole use in her video Tribute.
It took a while for my videos to upload to my account but I was glad to have the option of using both video and stills in my mixes.
Overall using eyespot was simple and I think easy enough for probably grade 4 and up to use too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eyespot Video

So here is a link (hopefully!) to my very first edited video: What you are about to see...

I played around with some different effects and am pretty happy with my first video. I am sure they will get better though!