search engines

I never realized how many search engines there are out there!

I have always used google or yahoo and occasionally ask jeves, but the rest of these are a whole new thing to me. It is weird that there are so many, I kind of do not see the point. Some are so unreliable, and who is to say the information you find is true. For example, I use wikopedia to look up random things I want to know, but it can be edited by anyone-so who is to say it is truthful information?

Also in class, some people found some very inappropriate things on the web while looking in search engines! It is all so strange to me as to why they are there?

How do we know as teachers which is the best engine to direct our students too? And why do you think there are so many of them?

clickers

Today we learned about clickers. The presentation was very well done and I liked that the whole class got involved. I am not too sure how I feel about them though.

I have used clickers before in my study and although it may sound imature I found myself always wanting to push the buttons just to see what would happen-while this sounds childish-if you give these things to a group of middle schoolers, I gaurentee they would do the same thing!

I like the idea of saving paper and doing things on the bored and it is good that it will save the teacher time on grading, but part of me thinks that is part of being a teacher. I fear teachers will become too lazy and chose to use these for all testing rather than just when needed. I fear grades will go from essays and short answers where the kids have to think about what they are doing into all multiple choice so it is easier on the teacher.

Also what if two classrooms side by side are using the clickers-could the machines get confused and pick up mixed signals?

What if someone wants to go back and change there answer?

I think they sound good in theory but they just seem slightly lazy to me. I don’t know if I would be a fan-and from what the boys said it seems like a hastle to get it all set up.

It is cool though to do group things and get to know everyone activities with.

ipods and mp3s

I really liked the lesson on ipod’s and mp3s. I have an ipod that I recently got but I know NOTHING about them. On my flight over from America I discovered mine has games (some pretty fun ones) and other things like calculator and timers. I use my ipod when I am riding my bike and I use it with the Nike Plus kit. Otherwise I am not to big into it.

I thought it was a cool idea of making a quiz on there though. One of the games that comes with my ipod is a quiz on movies and tv shows-and I see how they could be good for kids to do in their spare time. However, I still believe ipods are way to expensive to be given out and although kids can use them for testing, loading the different quizes and erasing the data could be quiet a hassle. I have had my ipod (not that I’m a computer whiz) but since I got it about a year ago I have not added or deleted music, because I honestly don’t know how. I could see kids getting frustrarted and using this expensive item more as a toy that a learning tool.

Does anyone agree-disagree?

podcasting

this past week we heard all about podcasting-and even got to make our own garage band music.

It was interesting to me because I have never used podcasting or thought of it ourside of the show One Tree Hill-where he podcast the local high school basketball games. I still am not familiar with it-and I do not know if I would use it in a classroom. But it is an interesting thing that is quickly becoming more and more popular.

Does anyone use pod casting regularly for anything?

twitter

I hate I missed the presentation on Twitter but after reviewing it and reading about it a bit I am not so sure what I think. It reminds me of status’s on facebook. Does that correspond with what others think?

I think it works well as what it does but I find it a bit pointless. I do not want people to know what I am doing every second or what book I just finished reading. I understand it is good for people who live far apart maybe, but I still think a personal e-mail would be a nicer way to go about sharing things.

I do not think I would use twitter and I think people need to spend less time in front of the computer–but hey I guess it is everyones own decision to make.

What do you think? Does anyone use Twitter regularly?

whiteboards and podcasting

Today we learned about whiteboards and podcasting-

I have used whiteboards back home and LOVE them. I actually worked at a charter school for technology and saw them used in so many ways, with second graders! One thing that stood out while I worked there was that we had someone from the local aquairium come and bring different animals, the whiteboard can come with a microscope device and they used it to enlarge the animal and have it on the board-it was so great you could see the creature breathing!- The presentation was very good and I liked how we got to play with the whiteboard application outself!

The other presentation was on podcasting. I have never used podcasting or really heard of it except on One Tree Hill and commercials about having it on your telephone. I thought it was cool we could use the garage recording device and the presentation video’s were interesting–I would like to take more time and explore podcasting myself. 🙂

teaching a new student

So I found some bad news out the other day that I am failing a class over here in Australia. I find it upseting considering that I have never made below a B in my life and I have not had a difficult time in any class thus far in my university experience. As far as I know I am doing well in the rest of my classes, and I thought I was doing just fine in the class I am failing too. I found out the bad news on Tuesday and stayed after class (I have not missed a class the whole year) to talk with the teacher. However, she was not much help and didn’t seem to think much of my problem. I have a huge assignment due in a week for her class that counts as 50% of my grade, and after recieving a failing grade for my last assignment I figured she would understand my delima. Instead she told me she had somewhere she had to be and good luck with my research. Now as a future teacher I was not only upset by the way she handled the situation but very angry that she honestly did not care about her students. I cannot affor to fail a class seeing that I am an exchange student and grades are very important to get transfer credit and graduate on time.

But what do you think? Should she have helped me more or should I have realized that things in another country are different and I shouldn’t worry with it? How else could I get help for my next assignment?

google docs-my presentation

Last Thursday Lauren and I had our presentation of google docs. Now I wish I had used this blog to see if anyone had any key imput on google docs before I had my presentation but maybe next time. The presentation went very well from what I could tell and I was actually really glad there were bumps along the way because it went along to prove that google docs has a lot of kinks it needs to work out. I like the idea of google docs as i said in my presentation but they were a pain to work with and I would not use them again.

has anyone else used them or have any thoughts about them?

facebook and myspace-

Last Thursday we learned about facebook and myspace, I have never used myspace but thought of myself as pretty well informed as far as facebook goes. I had never thought of either of these tools being anyway connected with education until i heard the presentation. I guess there is always the fact of privacy and the dangers that come along with it but they are still great networking tools. I do think you have to read through the fine print of “terms and conditions” or at least read it because it talks a good bit about privacy and how once you post something it is the websites material. I guess this goes with any website but it is always dangerous to expose kids to these things.

I know people who have been fired from jobs because of their facebook pictures (granite I am from America) but I strongly belivee it is important to monitor what is posted on these sites. I do overall think they are great websites though and I use them regularly. Actually when I came over from America I used facebook to meet people and get an idea of what the weather would be like, what people do on the weekends, etc. It was good to have a little knowledge coming into this experience and since people are connected by networks, I typed in the name of the university and got a whole list of people in the network!

what do you think? any preference of facebook vs. myspace?

now I understand blogs–

so today I had an epiphany, I have previously thought of blogs as talking back and forth between two people, so if someone hadn’t posted on my blog, I therefore didn’t have a response, hence why I havn’t hardly written on here since I started it. But today I realized I can use the blog to write about my feelings, my day, how class is going etc. I have no idea how I missed that whole concept until now half way through the semester but it’s never too late.

So I have read through a good many of the blogs of people in my classroom and they are all pretty similar and a lot of people seem to be getting into the whole idea of bloging which makes me excited to get started. I don’t have any big news of sad story to publish that will enspire readers but I do look forward to being more active on here!