Sunday, November 29, 2009

Technology Helps Teaching and Learning

I am currently taking an instructional technology class as I believe I mentioned in my first blog. Anyways, I have learned a lot about technology and how it can be used in the classroom, and there are some pieces of technology that I never knew existed. There were also a few things I already knew about, but never realized how they were associated with teaching and learning.

To make a long story short, there are many different types of technology that can be used to teach and also help student learn.

Internet- allows communication between parents, teachers, and students. It also allows students to gain information about a topic easily on their own.

WebQuests- allow teaching to extend outside of the classroom, and can be fairly engaging for students. Allows the students to learn information without it being directly taught to them. It allows them to do some work for themselves.

Podcasting- allows teachers to teach untraditionally, and engage the students. It also allows the students to learn as they DO rather than just WATCHING. \

PowerPoint- a great tool to help teachers teach a lesson. It also provide a visual aid for the students who learn best visually.

Microsoft Word- allows teacher to create graphic organizers for students to use during a lesson. It also allows the teachers to communicate with parents, teachers, and students. It allows students to create and present information in a neat and orderly fashion, along with being quicker andmore efficient.

Others include: Excel, Scavenger Hunts, and movies (still and motion)...
ALL of these types of technology are great ways to help teachers teach and students learn!


Podcasting is literally making a short movie, and adding a sound clip to it. It is a great tool for teachers to use in the classroom because it can provide a new means of instruction both when the teacher makes the podcast and also when the student makes their own. Teachers can use them for any subject in order to teach students, and it is a great way to engage students in the classroom. It is definitely different from an 'normal' and 'average' lesson.

PROS: Teachers can make an engaging lesson for the students using technology. Students can make their own podcast and actually learn while doing the hands on activity. Podcasts can be used for any subject, so they are versitile and not just focused on one subject.

CONS: They do take some time to make, and teachers do not always have the time to create one. Sometimes students do not have the knowledge of podcasts in order to use them or create them properly.

Here's a wesite that shows students making a podcst together, discussing frog dissections. You can see they are learning lots of information about dissections and frogs in general from making their own podcast. They get to DO rather then just WATCH.

Check it out!!


Ethics in general usually refers to doing the right thing, or the moral principles a person has. When dealing with technology, it is important to carry oneself with a code of ethics. With that said, when using the internet or technology, one needs to be careful to used these tools in the correct manner.

As a teacher it is important to use good moral ans ethics when using technology because you are a model for the children in your classroom. You must respect the technology in order to show the students to respect the technology as well. It is also important that students understand what the internet should and should not be used for. One exmaple would be research, and writing papers. Students need to understand how to give credit to an author or publisher of something they found online. You as a teacher also need to be sure that the student is writing their own paper, and not getting a previously done paper online. All in all, teachers and students alike need to be aware of what is available through technology and world wide web, but they also need to respect it and use it for its proper use.

PROS: It does provide easy access to information for students. It also provides a way for teachers to communicate with parents, students, and other faculty.

CONS: Some teacher may overstep some boundaries when it comes to communication with a student, parent, or another faculty member. Students can also easily steal others work- with takes away the credit from someone else, and also allows them to get away with out doing any work.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What is a virtual tour?

A virtual tour is basically a three dimensional feeling that comes from a series of pictures taken in a panoramic fashion. They usually give the feeling of being that perticular spot while looking through a computer screen.

Virtual tours can be used within the classroom, and can be very helpful and productive in the education process. One major way that a virtual tour can be used within the classroom would be to give a virtual field trip. This to me is a wonderful idea because teachers can then "take their students on a field trip" but do it without all the hassle. With a virtual field trip, there is no need for permission slips to be signed by parents, and the teacher does not have to worry about the safety of students while away from the school building. Antoher way a virtual tour can be used would be possibly to teach a history lesson. A teacher could use a virtual tour in order to help the student understand and grasp concepts that may be foreign to them.

This website is an example of a virtual tour:
Check it out!!

PROS of a virtual tour: the number on thing to me would be safety for students, concerning field trips. They are a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom.
CONS of a virtual tour: The technology does take away from the social aspect of a field trip. Teachers shold be careful to not lose social interactions for the sake of incorporating technology within the classroom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teacher Web Pages

What is a teacher webpage?

A teacher webpage is a teacher's personal website in which students, parents, and other colleagues can get helpful information. Webpages are a great way to keep information available for student's who are sick or absent. They are also a great tool for parents to use to keep great communication with the teacher.

Teacher Webpages should include:
  • teacher information
  • school information
  • contact information
  • classroom rules and procedures
  • resources
All of this is important to have available on a webpage because it keeps good communication between the students, parents, and teachers.

PROS: great communication tools, very helpful for students that are absent, great information for parents (definitely needed), great information for teachers (teachers can share information with each other).
CONS: not everything can be done through the internet, and not every person has a personal computer- this can lead to miscommunication!

One great webpage to check out would be this webpage created by a fourth grade teacher, check it out!!


First of all, I would like to start off with what a webquest actually is. A webquest is an "inquiry- oriented activity where information is drawn from the web". There are two different kinds of webquests- one that is SHORT and only last a few class periods, and one that is LONG and can last weeks or even a month. So why is it important for a teacher to use a webquest in his/her instruction??? Webquests are a great tool for teachers that like the well-organized web environment. Webquests are also usually challenging and something that students enjoy. Students do tend to enjoy interesting, meaningful, and organizing problem-solving tasks that are given through webquests.

PROS: incorporates technology into the classroom, challenging, focuses time on the information instead of looking for it, support's learners thinking.

CONS: not every student has a computer at home and may not have the same amount of access to the webquest as other students.

So... what do you think about webquests??? Do you like them or not? Do you think they are useful in the classroom?

Check out these websites to see what belongs in a webquest, and also hoe to make your own!

** both of these websites were given to me by a professor, so they are credible!! :)