Attempting to Create a Webquest

I have already started planning for the upcoming school year. It is an obsessive quality that I just cannot seem to help. I like being prepared. In the past, I have found that most of my students really enjoy doing webquests. As I beginning planning for the Woodland Indian unit, I searched for the webquest that I have used the past two years to find a broken link. Sigh. Research for another webquest was needed. I searched many webquest lists and couldn’t find the exact one I needed or wanted, so I decided to create one. I am figuring it out as I go. In my search I came across a wonderful webquest maker that is making designing a webquest fairly easy. They also have a great list of webquest made by others. Take a look at http://www.zunal.com/ if you are interested. I let everyone know how it develops. If I like it, I’ll share it with you all. I know there are a couple 4th grade teachers in the midsts.

A Reflection on Virtual Learning

Education has come a long way since 1985 when I graduated from high school. 1985 was the first year that computer credits were required for graduation. I learned basic programming that year on a Commodore 64. The internet was available to us at that time. When I went to college at Georgia Southern I didn’t take a laptop, I took an electronic typewriter to type papers along with a lot of correction fluid.

Later when I went back to school in 1999 at Northern Virginia Community College, computer fluency was required. At the time I had two sons in elementary school and needed to take NVCC ELI courses. I used a PC from Radio Shack that had a floppy disk drive. It was the first time I experencied Blackboard and a lot of the course work required the student to post in a forum. It was very impersonal. I never really knew who was in my class or even the professor.

Time went by and I transferred to George Mason to complete my BA. This is when I really needed a laptop. I was so excited to have my own laptop. Everyone in school brought theirs and took notes. I rarely used in the classroom, because I felt it was rude to the professors to be typing on your computer when they were speaking. Mostly I used it for course work and research. My use of computers really broadened at Mason. I had courses where I blogged, kept a portfolio, numerous PowerPoint Presentations, and further my relationship with internet research and Microsoft Word. One project I worked on at Mason was a research project on the Invisible Children of Uganda. This project opened my eyes, inspired me, and made me cry. Watch the video below. Look at the faces of those standing up against the war–children. Those brave American college students who first made us more aware and start a foundation to help the Invisible Children were able to expand their network by using the internet and technology.

Now as I take ED 554 at Marymount, my computer literacy broadens more. Overall, I really loved taking a virtual class. It helped that we knew each other and could speak if we wanted or just post a comment. There was some serious multi-tasking going on. I think it would be useful software to the teacher, not just admin. I have had students who were out for a week or a month and allowing a student to be involved with the class virtually may help keep those students from getting to far behind. I think it would be useful for a PLN too. Teachers could meet online and discuss issues and solutions, as well as share ideas from the comfort of their homes or classroom. It would add to the global PLN.

Reflection on the Virtual Classroom

Education has come a long way since 1985 when I graduated from high school. 1985 was the first year that computer credits were required for gradution. I learned basic programming that year on a Commodore 64. The internet was availabe to us at that time. When I went to college at Georgia Southern I didn’t take a laptop, I took an electronic typewriter to type papers along with a lot of correction fluid.

Later when I went back to school in 1999 at Northern Virginia Community College, computer fluency was required. At the time I had two sons in elementary school and needed to take NVCC ELI courses. I used a PC from Radio Shack that had a floppy disk drive. It was the first time I experencied Blackboard and a lot of the course work required the student to post in a forum. It was very impersonal. I never really knew who was in my class or even the professor.

Time went by and I transferred to George Mason to complete my BA. This is when I really needed a laptop. I was so excited to have my own laptop. Everyone in school brought theirs and took notes. I rarely used in the classroom, because I felt it was rude to the professors to be typing on your computer when they were speaking. Mostly I used it for course work and research. My use of computers really broadened at Mason. I had courses where I blogged, kept a portfolio, numerous PowerPoint Prentations, and further my relationship with internet research and Microsoft Word. One project I worked on at Mason was a research project on the Invisible Children of Uganda. This project opened my eyes, inspired me, and made me cry. Watch the video below. Look at the faces of those standing up against the war–children. Those brave American college students who first made us more aware and start a foundation to help the Invisible Children were able to expand their network by using the internet and technology.

Now as I take ED 554 at Marymount, my computer literacy broadens more. Overall, I really loved taking a virtual class. It helped that we knew each other and could speak if we wanted or just post a comment. There was some serious multi-tasking going on. I think it would be useful software to the teacher, not just admin. I have had students who were out for a week or a month and allowing a student to be involved with the class virtually may help keep those students from getting to far behind. I think it would be useful for a PLN too. Teachers could meet online and discuss issues and solutions, as well as share ideas from the comfort of their homes or classroom. It would add to the global PLN.

Virtual Literacy

 

 

Art and Social Media for Kids: Start them now

The author of this video expresses how social media can develop the creative side of students. She uses her development as an artist to demonstate how the ability to use social media opens doors for self-expression and learning.  She implores the viewer to allow children to be allowed to use social media and makes a convincing arguement.  I do have to admit I’m an easy sell on it though.

The school I work at is a magnet school for the arts and sciences.  It is part of our curriculum to integrate art into other content areas.  Last year I took a CETA course called Visual Art and Writing.  Part of the objective is to look at a piece of art and view it through the lens of the elements of art.  Students are guided through the process of viewing and begin to build a description vocabulary.  The next step is to write a poem about the piece of art using the vocabulary.  The final piece in the production is to create a podcast.  I didn’t get to the podcast stage.  Next year, I’ll use the whole lesson and have the students create a podcast.