Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weekly Blog 10/22/09 - 10/27/09

a. The most significant thing I learn in class this week was how to create digital stories. We talked with the other students that are not taking math endorsements and told us the benefits of using digital stories in class. We see that it makes it easier for teachers to keep student's attention by creating almost a show. I also learned of some sites that would be available to me for free.
b. I have some potential questions for digital how to use it, is it user friendly? However, I figure that eventually I will encounter this technology when we start creating our digital stories.
c. Digital stories would be valuable in class because it is another tool to present information. Or it can be a way for students to display the information they have learned and therefore have them become the teachers.

Useful Websites for Teachers

Some blogs that will be useful to make classes more tech integrated:
1. This site gives other sites that are subject oriented. It is a blog of a current teacher. There are other valuable links on this blog that is updated daily.
2. this site provides a calculator game that tests a student's ability to manipulate numbers available to get a certian value.
3. creating flash cards
4. useful for uploading class videos for those students who miss class. This would make lessons available for those students who cannot attend.
5. I found that having a wiki page makes it easy for students to access school assignments and notes from class or posting messages to students from the teachers.
6. allows teachers to post relevant subject info from that otherwise will blocked due to security features put on computers at school. You can convert youtube videos to the video compatible file to your computer.
7. This site gives applets of certain math concepts that students can manipulate for themselves. Good way to give a hands on experience less the paper and pencil.
8. This website gives free teaching resources on different websites. Good way to find worksheets that would be valuable as a learning piece in class. Also gives other misc. math facts.
9. a way to present information via video. Can do short 30-sec videos for free or if purchased, can do full length videos. Can edit videos by choosing pictures and music to put on digital video.
10. or would be valuable because you can create your own websites for class or personal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Math Endorsement Applet

1. Title: Computing Pi

Purpose: The general purpose of this applet is to see how pi is calculated using polygons and a circle. The circle is inscribed and circumscribed by polygons , students have the opportunity to vary the number of sides of each polygon and see how that affects the relationship to the circle.

Target Audience: Students from 6th - 12th grade. (However, I learned this exact method in college during my study of limits.)

2. This applet gives a brief description of the history of pi and how it was approximated by Archimedes. The instructions are quite simple in that all the student has to do is move the bar to the left and right to change the number of sides of each inscribed and circumscribed polygons. Two images show the area and the circumference of each circle and how the number of sides of the polygon increase approaches pi. The blue numbers represent the area and circumference of the circle and the red numbers represent the area and circumference of the polygons. Asthe student changes the number of sides, they can see that the larger the number of sides of a polygon the area and circumference of a circle reach the same value which is pi. I think that this model works spectacularly well because it makes it much easier to see the effects of changing the number of sides of each polygon, versus having to always draw and redraw each polygon. This applet is very easy to use and portrays a lot of information with very little movement at all. All the student needs to recognize is the kind of pattern that emerges as they manipulate the variables. If the student needs some kind of direction to help their thinking process, the down tab for the "Exploration" gives students questions to consider as they play around with the model.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekly Blog 10/16/09 - 10/21/09

a. The most significant thing I learned in class this week was Geometry Sketchpad. I find that sketchpad would have helped me a lot in trying to teach geometry and lines to students that I had tutored previously. I felt that I had to take a lot of class time drawing versus teaching, but having this kind of program would cut that drawing time drastically. The only issue is having computers and projectors all available in every single classroom.
b. I don't have any questions really at this point, but I would LOVE to discover more websites useful to teachers and other programs available.
c. I can't see why NOT Geometry sketchpad wouldn't be integrated into classroom lesson plans. I think that using this kind of technology makes math exciting and enables students to become their own teachers in being able to manipulate shapes and figures themselves.

Observing a Child

The adolescent I viewed was in a home setting at a personal computer. I observed that he was doing a homework assignment, however he also had multiple tabs open as well. Aside from the one tab designated to his homework, he also had a tab for Facebook, one for his music play list and the last was a website that listed streaming Japanese animations that are available for viewing. The adolescent also had music playing as he was on the computer (supposedly doing homework), he was chatting with someone on AIM and every once in a while he would answer texts on his phone as they were received. He frequently switched between tasks--from doing homework to changing his music selection and keeping up with his social lively social life and back to doing his homework again. I left the adolescent before he completed his homework but I would assume that he would eventually complete his assignment although his progress would be slow.
Based on what I observed from the adolescent there are many skills needed to be successful in this kind of technology. First and most important, any person who is using all these various technologies at the same time needs to be a multitasker. A person can be easily steered away from a task if they have multiple windows up. However, a person who is able to multitask in this manner must also then be able to prioritize. From what I observed from the adolescent was that although there were so many other distractions, he was still able to return to doing his homework. The adolescent also needs the ability to navigate through all of the web pages that is up, which in itself takes a lot of skill because each page has it's own set of information and data. For example, a person would need to know where to go to search for a certain Japanese anime that they would like to watch, or the kind of information they want to find out about a person on Facebook. Also in order to be successful in this kind of technology is to have it readily available for you to use and therefore be able to practice. Since the adolescent was using his own personal computer, I assumed that all the programs he was using was very familiar to him.
In order to continue his success in this current technology, he would continually need to visit the websites to see what is new and adapt to these new improvements. Websites change all the time and new features are added, such as adding the availability of a classroom discussion board or a new link in Facebook that can connect you to family members. Like most technology it is fluid and continually advancing and changing, therefore in order to continue to be successful with any technology is to become familiar with it by using it often.
When I look back on my observation I feel that adolescents in this generation are much more able to use technology better than I did at their age, or even at my age now. But at the same time, I become concerned about the amount of concentration that some students may have doing their homework online, there are so many other potential distractions that a student can easily deter for just a moment and hours later still have their homework to do. However, I find that there is great value in using technology as a learning tool because students can do their own research to find solutions to problems and in a sense become their own teachers. Plus technology gives us the ability to communicate with students outside of the classroom environment such as on a teacher website or a classroom discussion board that would allow students to ask questions. I know that I will use technology in my teaching, especially now after learning the new programs in class, however my only concern would be how my concentration would my students dedicate to my assignments which other distractions lurking. After learning about the kind of programs available for math teachers, it would help a lot in class by giving students a visual representation of math lessons and also keeps math somewhat exciting.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekly Blog 10/8/09 -10/15/09

1. I have learned that blogging is difficult to do on a daily basis. I feel that whenever I'm in front of the computer is only out of necessity, I don't really web surf because I get bored easily. However, one thing that I was really excited to be introduced to was Fathom. I remember when I was tutoring math, I wanted to create grids or show how a slope can change. This would have been most advantageous for those students who are visual learners and also for those students who for example are learning lines for the first time.
2. I would love to work more with Fathom and discover and experiment with the kind of operations it can do. I would like to know how to access it, or is it possible to access it if you are not a certified teacher?
3. I can see Fathom used in the classroom, I think it will make a lot of applications easier and help visual learners to remain captivated in class.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily Blogging Tuesday 10/13-Wednesday 10/14

(I'm sorry I find it very difficult to keep up with blogging every day.)

Tuesday 10.13.09
Today my encounter with technology was more via dicussion, or the frustration that another person had with technology. This gentleman was on vacation and was not aware that we sent out letters letting our clients know that their debit cards had been compromised and they will be reissued new card in the following weeks. So he came into the bank frustrated that he could not access funds using his debit card and I had to make him aware that a new card was issued to him and he should have received it already. So, the card he currently had was automatically closed and cannot be reopened unless he could not locate the new card. The gentleman was not rude about the situation but more frustrated about his predicament. This just goes to show how much we rely on technology...even a simple debit card can alter the way we go about the day.

Wednesday 10.14.09
I receive email from one of my email accounts to my phone so I can be updated on emails--especially the important ones, where I would need to respond back right away. I didn't leave my phone home today however, I recall a time where I did leave it home and I felt "naked". It's the feeling that you left your shoes behind and won't be able to function without it, this concept may seem silly but I goes to show that I know for a fact that I rely heavily on technology to get me through the day. If I do leave my phone home then I have to find other means of communication such as emailing and IMing...which all revolve around the need for techonolgy for means of communication (for me at least).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Daily Blogging for Thursday 10/9-Monday 10/12

(I would like to apologize, I went on vacation for this entire weekend and was not able to be around a computer to blog daily for this assignment, I hope this will not penalize me...I can account for my experiences with technology for these days.)

Thursday 10.8.09
The first thing I thought of when I had to do this assignment was using technology for school. I see that schools/teachers are relying more on technology to post information about their classes and assignments. I feel that high school introduces the concept of using technology in the classroom however, it is not until college that this integration of technology and education is becomes fully exposed. I feel that schools using technology is very convenient (for myself) and environmentally friendly. I like the fact that if I needed to look up my assignments they are provided for me in a website or via email, however the only downfall is that I am not always around a computer and cannot access my assignments, therefore I always keep a hardcopy somewhere.

Friday 10.9.09
At work we rely on using computers to do all transactions, I currently work at a bank and the way I see it if our computer systems fail then the whole bank cannot function at all. Or perhaps the process becomes much slower and more difficult when we don't have our systems running properly. We encounter difficulties with technology all the time...we even have a saying at work..."that's technology for you" just because it's so common for something at work to not be running correctly be it a fax machine, the ATM, or our systems won't upload fast enough. We rely on the function of our technology so much that if they fail to work correctly it becomes incredibly frustrating.

Saturday 10.10.09
We were on our way to Oregon and we knew it was going to be a long ride. As part of our music we attached our phone to the car's stereo system to listen to the streaming radio system that is provided by our Blackberrys. There was a tape deck that has a cord that connects to the headset part of the Blackberry and then also a Blackberry charger, the streaming radio station playing on the phone is called Slacker mobile. The cool thing about this streaming radio station was that you can choose the kind of music genre you want to listen to and it will only play music from that genre, it will go as far as to give a selection of a year (if applicable). So for the entire car ride we listened to was taped comedians during their sets and it was a great way to pass time. I think this is much more convenient that having to purchase many CDs or even downloading and then uploading into a music player. The downside that we had with using our Blackberry's was the radio would stop playing when we lost reception which was really annoying when we were listening to a comedian who had a really funny set.

Sunday 10.11.09
We played golf today and my encounter with technology was the golf carts that we used. =) I don't like carrying my bags around the course especially since we were playing all 18 holes today. I feel that using a golf cart is very advantageous because I don't have to worry about being tired with dragging my clubs around and having to walk for the entire 18 holes. But since these carts are battery powered we had a minor scare that we wouldn't finish the course before the battery runs out---you see there were many hills and the weight that each cart was carrying wasn't the extremely light so the cart was eating the battery as we slowly climbed each mound at about 4 mph...we can tell that the cart was struggling to get up seeing as though we had "the pedal to the metal" over each hill.

Monday 10.12.09
We visited the Tillamook factory on the way home from Oregon, the technology I encountered here was the actual cheese factory. We got to see the factory workers as they turned out cheese on the cheese lines...we basically saw large blocks of cheese cut down into smaller blocks that are then packaged and labeled into marketable items (as we see in grocery stores). They also play a video of how cheese was made before it became mass processed and with this comparison it can be easily seen how technology had made it possible for companies to expand and become profitable.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

48 Hours of Twittering

This was my first time twittering, and as I posted on my first comment on was a whole new experience for me. The things I gained from this experience was being able to learn some of the things that my fellow classmates enjoy or do not enjoy in life. For those who are good at conveying their feelings in words--I gained incite towards their personalities. This assignment made it so that those people who would most likely keep to themselves in class had the equal opportunity to post comments, or made it so that there is enough anonymity that we don't have to feel awkward about posting comments. Yet at the same time, I believe that this assignment took me outside of my bubble--a little outside my comfort level. I've found that I'm not one to make public the events of my life or perhaps my feelings about something that happened to me on a certain day-why would anyone care? But the value that I can find in Twitter, is that we can open lines of communication without trying to formulate some kind of 'ice breaker' or creating awkwardness. Twitter is easily available and not a complicated tool to used, therefore it is easy for people of all ages to participate. If I were to keep my Twitter account, I would have the option of talking to my fellow classmates without the exchange of phone numbers or if I had a question...I could address the whole class--where one person is bound to know the answer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekly Blog 10/2/09-10/7/09

a) What is the most significant thing I learned in class this week? I learned how to create a blog and officially started 'twittering'...I would consider this significant because I've never done either's......................................(trying to find the right word)...................................different.
b) What questions do you have and what do you want to learn more about? At this point I am curious as to what else I'm going to learn in this class. I'm still trying to figure out how 'twittering' will factor into my teaching in the future? Or perhaps this is just a practice as to see how I can relate to students within this tech-age? I find it fascinating that my sister who is only 3 years younger than me is all over this blogging and twittering and to me this is foreign. I would like to learn how blogging is used in education--besides this class of course.
c) What applications do you see to classroom practice based on what you learned? I can see perhaps that these applications or forms of communication can be used by students to help them communicate during problem-solving. It encourages students to help each other out as well as gives them the opportunity to become the 'teachers'. But to what extent can we use this application before it is abused for socializing?...hmm...

What kind of animal would I be?

I remember being asked this question when I was in grade school-and for some reason I have not changed my answer since. If I could be any (existing) animal in the world--I wouldn't be the fastest--I wouldn't be the strongest--I probably wouldn't be the smartest either--I'd be a giraffe! WHY? Because they're TALL and I have always wanted to be tall.'s a bit childish, I know, but I they have their when they compete for a mate their 'fighting' can be considered 'necking' =D haha (at least to me).