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April 2009



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Apr. 24th, 2009


Final Reflection

Final: a reflection on the semester as a whole, including your growth as a future teacher and your rating of your proficiency with the Texas Technology Applications for all Teachers.

I was truly surprised at how much I learned this semester.  I thought that a lot of the assignments would be similar to CUIN 3111 and that I wouldn't learn many new programs. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. I did use some of the familiar Microsoft Office tools, but in a whole new way. I was mostly excited about learning Windows Movie Maker and PhotoStory 3.  The Digital Story project pushed me the furthest in terms of technological growth.  I had never used PhotoStory 3 before, nor had I ever recorded myself using a microphone. I was surprised at how very simple using the microphone was and the set up of the digital story.  That doesn't mean it wasn't time consuming or challenging, it just wan't as difficult as I would have presumed. It was sort of funny hearing myself speaking!  I think that tool in particular will be great for subsitutes.  If I know I am going to be out and there is a concept I really need my students to get, doing a Digital Story would be a really creative way to teach - even when I'm not there!  I also think the students would have a blast creating their own Digital Stories. 

I think my proficiency with technology has greatly increased since the beginning of the semester.  I know about a wider range or programs and am more comfortable trying new kinds of technologies. I was much more timid before about using programs, such as PhotoStory 3 that I had never opened and played with.  Being confident and knowledge about technology is so important in the classroom.  I think I can do this now. 

Mar. 9th, 2009


Midterm Reflection

Midterm: a reflection on your progress with learning about technology and teaching, especially as it relates to learning in your other courses and how it might relate in your teaching.

We have covered a lot of programs I am already familiar with, but using them in an educational capacity has really expanded my understanding and familiarity of them.  I have learned new functions and ways to use PowerPoint, Word, and other pieces of technology.  Mostly, it has just got me THINKING of how to incorporate technology in to my classroom - something I wasn't very concerned with before.  I have always thought - and to some degree still do - that English is not as conducive to technology as other subjects, like math or science.  I have had to stretch the way I view technology and English in order to come up with a lot of my assignments. 

Feb. 3rd, 2009


Content TEKS for Tech Lesson Support Projects

English Language Arts & Reading - Grade 6


TEK 1:

(2)  Reading/Vocabulary Development. Students understand new vocabulary and use it when reading and writing. Students are expected to:
(B)  use context (e.g., cause and effect or compare and contrast organizational text structures) to determine or clarify the meaning of unfamiliar or multiple meaning words;

 It’s important that students can understand a piece of text without having to look up every new word they come across. Knowing how to use context clues is very important when it comes to reading new material.


TEK 2:
(15) Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to:
       (A) write imaginative stories

In these narratives the students are learning how to create characters and develop plot. This requires making up believable characters and settings using sensory details as well as have a clearly defined focus or point to the story.  They will also need to develop dialogue.




TEK 3:

(18)  Writing/Persuasive Texts. Students write persuasive texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues. Students are expected to write persuasive essays for appropriate audiences that establish a position and include sound reasoning, detailed and relevant evidence, and consideration of alternatives.


Many times in life you have to write an essay or brief describing your beliefs and declaring why it is you feel this way.  You might be running for an office, sending a suggestion about a product to a company or simply trying to convince your parents to raise your allowance.  It is important that students know the fundamentals of a persuasive paper.




TEK 4:

(23)  Research/Gathering Sources. Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather.


This TEK goes on to say that students must pick a topic to research, generate questions about that topic, and using multiple sources – books, magazines, website, articles, etc. – make a paper or presentation on their findings. It will be important to be able to use technology to record their data and present it.




Feb. 2nd, 2009


Beginning Reflection

Beginning: a self-assessment of your technology proficiency as compared with the Texas Technology Applications for all Teachers at the beginning of the semester; perception of a technology-enriched learning environment.



-          Standard 1.3s  “select and use software for a defined task according appropriateness, effectiveness, and efficiency”:  I think I am effectively capable at this task.  I am very familiar with Microsoft Office and can make all sorts of documents: handouts, fliers, postcards, Excel sheets, etc.  I know how important it is to pick the right program in order to efficiently do your work.  There’s no reason to waste time designing a flier from scratch on Word, when Publisher already has hundreds to choose from.

-          Standard 1.11s, 1.12s “demonstrate keyboarding proficiency in technique and posture while building speed”; and “use digital keyboarding standards for data input such as one space after punctuation, the use of em/en dashes, and smart quotation marks”:  I am a pretty fast typist and writing up documents does not take me long.  I always use good spacing and have proper use of commas, quotations, and dashes.

-           Standard 3.12s   “complete tasks using technological collaboration such as sharing information through on-line communications”:  This will be no problem for me.  I am very efficient with emails and other online communications. I can send documents and know a little about doing websites (from CUIN 3111).  I am familiar with online chatting and Facebook/ MySpace.  I think a lot of these can be great educational tools



-          Standard 2.3s, 2.4s  “identify, create, and use files in various appropriate formats such as text, bitmapped/vector graphics, image, video, and audio files” and  “access, manage, and manipulate information from secondary storage and remote devices;”:  I would not say my skills are perfectly adequate in this area.  I have trouble sometimes saving picture documents in the right format and accessing them later.  Although I am able to use flash and zip drives very easily, I do not know much about manipulating information in external hard drives on lap tops.

-          Standard 3.5s  “plan, create, and edit a document using desktop publishing techniques including, but not limited to, the creation of multicolumn or multisection documents with a variety of text-wrapped frame formats”:  The fact that this statement is confusing to me obviously means I’m not sure how to do it!  I think I know how to create and edit documents, but the lingo of “multicolumn”, “multisection”, and ‘text-wrapping” seems foreign to me.  I first need to acquire the skills to understand more technology vocabulary.

-          Standard 4.7s “design and create interdisciplinary multimedia presentations that include audio, video, text, and graphics for defined audiences”:  I could use some help here.  It’s not that I’m not capable for doing multimedia presentations, but I am not confident in my skills.  Getting the audio and video in synch when using projectors can sometimes be a problem for me.