Chapter 8 Reflection and Application

Some of the important take aways from this chapter, for me, came in the copyright section.  Knowing that educators and students are protected for all of their original content is important.  I also think that it is important to discuss with students that material found on the web cannot be reused without permission from the creator.  Because so much information can be found easily in Google searches, the value of that data seems to diminish.  It is important for educator to help students understand that digital versions content have just as much value as physical versions of content.  Copyright is one way to help students begin to understand the value of digital information.

Another important part of this chapter is the health related concerns as they relate to technology.  The more time we spend in front of computers and tablets, the more important it is to understand the best ways to do that without hurting our bodies.  Starting early students should be taught not just to sit up straight while typing, not only for good form, but also for body health.  When need to ensure we are not simply parking students in front of computers for long periods of time.

The last part that spoke to me from this chapter was the internet security portion.  I do believe that it is important, but I think sometimes we go a bit overboard and it creates people who are uncomfortable in an online environment.  It is important that we protect identity and private information, but going too far to the other side can also be detrimental.  Many computer viruses these days hide themselves as service to clear your computer from viruses or programs that will clear out bad data and make your computer run faster.  The best way for people to protect themselves and their identity online is to be informed exactly what people are looking for, and exactly how people actually get their information.  Otherwise people are simply taking steps that don’t so any good and not protecting themselves where they should.

Chapter 7 reflection

Another blog post for Education Technology class:

When looking at the evaluation of educational materials, I think it is important to keep in mind that adding technology just for technology sake to other content areas is not good practice.  Just using a computer program or app because it is easy or looks interesting does not help students.  To me, this is a good argument for having specific technology time/class in the curriculum.  With time to specifically focus on the use of technology by itself, you are asking other teachers to teach content that is outside their area, and give up instructional time to learn technology skills.  This also goes along with a conversation I was having at my LEA/RN group this week about new instructional methods.  The leader of the group was giving advice about starting a new instructional method with non-complex content to learn the strategy, and then proceeding to use it for more complex content later.  To me, this is directly applicable to technology, my impressions has been that there is an attitude of learning technology right alongside content, but that often leads to shallow or no understanding of either the content or the technology.  Planning how you are going to teach students to use a new technology resource, is as important as planning how they will use it to learn new content.

My 3 Favorite Educational Apps

This post is also being posted for an assignment in my educational technology class:

When I was teaching in the middle school, I was lucky enough to have the school provide me with an iPad to help me in the classroom.  I used quite a few apps for many different activities, but my three favorites were these:

Desmos: This app is wonderful.  It is not just a graphing program, but it will also solve quite a few complicated problems, and the user interface is very student friendly.  I used this heavily with my algebra 1 students, but I also got a lot of use with my pre-algebra students as well when we were learning geometry.  I particularly enjoyed letting them learn about the coordinate plane by putting in points to draw objects.  I still remember one of them drew a duck.

My Script Calculator: There are a ton of calculators for any number of different purposes in app form.  I particularly liked this one because the input was simply written mathematics, as opposed to punching button like other calculators.  This one would read when you wrote, and try to solve the equations for you.  It would even do algebra.

Five Dice: This was my favorite “game” I ever found for working with numbers.  Order of operations was never my favorite thing to teach (when we are apply mathematics, we mostly know what order we want to do operations), but I really enjoyed this app because it gave students an open middle of the problem to work.  They rolled 5 (or 3,4, or 6, I think) and then they used the four operation signs and the numbers on their dice to create an answer that was given by the app.  I think this forced them to do a little more computing, as them may have not gotten the correct number sentence right away, and they started to learn a little more about being strategic with numbers (like knowing multiplication was involved if the numbers got significantly bigger).