Monday, January 23, 2012

In the Clouds

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          title="Wordle: Algae Research"><img
          alt="Wordle: Algae Research"
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This week has truly been a challenge for me. Somehow I opened another blog account with a different email and then clicked the box that kept me logged in. I was able to find my original account, but not able to access it for any updates. It took a great deal of time and moving back and forth through the screens and using different passwords, but I finally figured out what happened. Although this has been a very challenging week, I can say without a doubt it has also been very rewarding in the fact that I feel more confident using technology.

As I was browsing around the cloud educational sites I was looking something I could use now in my classroom. I found Collaborize Classroom:Online Education Technology for Teachers and Students, . This site allowed me to set-up classes and communicate assignments. This site also allows communication between students, teachers and parents. I see how students could use this for group projects or to discuss ideas. This site could be used for students absent or days missed because of whether delays. I joined the site and looked around, but I did not actually take this back to my classroom. This site works much like the Edmodo site. Once again this technology leaves me wishing all of my students had access to technology so I could effectively implement this into my classroom.

Another site I found Algae-Fuel-Research-Oilage-Blog, I choose this site because of my involvement with the LEADERS program and alternative energy. I am extremely interested in the research being done with algae. My Biology II class is going to begin to do a project with algae and I want them to learn various means of gathering data. I think reading the most current work being completed by scientist in different parts of the world and throughout various industries helps our students to realize the magnitude of the need and work that goes into changing our world.

The third site I am sharing is Free Gradebook for Teachers -LearnBoost
Although I am using a web-based gradebook through TPS, I wanted to see a if another site would offer a more flexible method of recording and maintaining attendance and grades. I set-up two classes and added on assignment. I would have to use it more to see if I would recommend using it on a regular basis. I am giving OGT work now in my classes and I do not want to add a grade everyday in the TPS system, but I do want to add a grade for the quarter. I am going to use this site to keep track of the student work, instead of using paper and pencil. I will let you know what I think of the product in about 6 weeks.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I found this week's assignment very challenging; however, I feel becoming familiar with using clouds and bookmarking would be a great time saver for teachers and students. The use of Clouds in the classroom would allow us to save material in the library when we are there using the computers and then access the material later at another computer. The students can begin word documents and save them. They can also work on documents in groups without having to start over or copy and paste materials into another document. I think teachers and students would benefit by using bookmarking because we could go instantly to the site of interest, instead of searching for the information. The use of tagging would allow us to group our work into catagories so it is easier to find.

I feel this is a huge step in the right direction to use technology, but we all know if you don't use it you loose it. Therefore, I am going to incorporate these techniques into my research and lesson planning.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Theresa,
    I can relate to this week being challenging! I had a tough time figuring out some of the assignments as well.
    I found your description of the Collaborize Classroom very interesting and I bookmarked it to check it out later. I am working on creating a collaborative online environment for my students. I am taking baby steps as it is brand new for me and for the students as well!
    I have been using Moodle in my classes for the last three years at the basic level: uploading files, posting homework, having links to interesting websites. This class actually gave me the courage to “poke around” Moodle and see how it can be used for student collaboration. This week I have posted a forum question and students had to post a response and also respond to one other classmate’s posting. I was very impressed with the quality of responses and courteous manner my students treated each other! (They are freshmen honor students.) In the future I will explore the wiki and the quiz features of Moodle.
    My school uses “Powerschool” as our web-based gradebook. It is a great tool and our students and parents have become accustomed to it. The school no longer sends out paper copies of quarter or semester grades.
    I do like the idea of cloud computing, too and what it can offer for the future. One thing that comes to my mind right away is cost-savings and reduction in my school’s paper usage. My school has a Google account and besides using the e-mail and the calendar I have not explored any other features. As it is a type of cloud computing, I think I am brave enough to go exploring now…