Friday, May 9, 2008

Final Thoughts on Tech Class

Taking UCB's Extended Ed's Integrating Technologies into the Classroom was far more interesting and helpful than I imagined. The original reason the I signed up for the class was, well, I had to to clear my Level II Mild/Moderate Special Education Credential. So, when I signed up I was actually irked that I had to take yet another class. However, after the first class I realized that the class was actually going to force me to become comfortable with using technology in the classroom, and have fun at the same time. This was a good a thing.

The first valuable thing that I learned is how much you can do with Google. Setting up an IGoogle page was fabulous. I now keep my daily schedule on on my IGoogle page, along with my favorite websites, Google chat, as well as my Gmail. I love IGoogle! Next, learning how to create Google Presentations was very helpful. I found it easier than using Power Point. Learning this tool was helpful because now I can try using this when leading professional developments instead of Power Point. I also liked the activity we did in class with Google Presentations. Creating postcards is a great activity that could also be done in the classroom. I know my students would love doing this activity.

Next, I was glad that we went over many websites that my students are already using, such as MySpace, Facebook, and blogging. It is so important to understand these websites for both personal knowledge, and to understand what our students are getting into. I also found it helpful to read articles on web safety for children. I thought this information was very important, and it is something that we must explicitly teach our students because the web can be a dangerous place.

Being introduced to podcasts was also great. I love the variety of podcastst that are out there, and I especially love NPR's podcasts. This is another great tool teachers can use in the classroom. We can play lectures, or even record our own podcasts for students to listen to.

One of my favorite activities was using Shutterfly to create a digital photobook. This was fun to do as an adult, and would be a great activity for students to do. I also enjoyed working with Inspiration to create graphic organizers. It is a wonderful resource that I will continue to use since I love to create visuals for students and teachers. Next, creating a Hotlist through Filamentality was also a great tool to have as an educator. I was able to create a Hotlist about ADHD that both students and teachers can use to learn more about ADHD. Making a Hotlist is such a wonderful web-based activity that students will love. I definitely plan on using these activities in the future.

I must say, one of the more entertaining activities was creating a Utube video with my partner Jodi. The experience itself was fun, and I'm sure my students will love to do this. I am shocked that anyone can put almost anything on the Internet. I am very excited to help my students create Utube videos.

Finally, creating Webquests through Questgarden was time consuming, but definitely a great activity to use with students.

If I had to pick one acivitiy that was the most valuable, and the one which I will use the most it will most likely be creating Hotlists. They are fun, easy, and can be very informative.

Overall, I thought the class was incredibly helpful. I think all teachers should take this class because it was so informative. I will definitely be using many of the above mentioned activities and websites with my students. I only wish that I had more time to spend working on some of the above mentioned projects. Considering I am taking two classes through Sonoma State as well as this technology course, I didn't have enought time to spend really examining and playing around with more of the websites. Ideally, I would have loved to have taken this class when I wasn't taking other classes at the same time. That being said, it was a great class!

No comments: