All About Me

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Hi! My name is Donna Smith and I am 25 years old. I have been married for almost seven years to a wonderful man named Dustin.  I live in Quitman, Ms. where I work as a first grade teacher assistant. I absolutely love my job! I have two wonderful children. Maddox is 6 years old and in the first grade. He is extremely smart and loves to read. I wish I could take the credit for him being so smart, but unfortunately I can’t. He has had amazing teachers over the past couple of years that have helped him.  Our school offers a preschool program that is wonderful! Maddox loves all sports. He takes after husband in that department. My daughter, Kylie, is four and is extremely funny! She is a daddy’s girl. She is very lovable and our little snuggle bunny.  She is currently in the preschool program at our school and is doing wonderful. My husband and I are expecting our second daughter on December 9th. We are very excited and very nervous about raising a third child. I have not always known that I wanted to be a teacher until I first got hired as a teacher assistant. I soon feel in love with my job and decided that I wanted more.  The children will make you fall in love with them. First graders are hilarious. I cannot see myself doing anything other than teaching. I often dream of the day that I can have my own classroom.

My experience

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There is so much that I have learned through this course throughout the semester.  I really enjoyed creating the PowerPoint for the students with disabilities. I think that it will be very beneficial in my future classroom. Through this class I have found out that I am a huge procrastinator.  This is defiantly a huge weak point of mine. I have been so busy this semester that I waited until the last minute to complete all of my assignments. I will not ever wait so long again.  I really enjoyed getting to interact with other classmates through the blog and Google chat. Everyone seemed to be so nice and helpful. Dr. Wang and Bessie also were extremely helpful in all situations. They tried their best to help me with my assignments and to stay on task. (It was very difficult) I really enjoyed creating by blogfolio. I just wish I would have completed the assignment sooner. It was extremely difficult for me to get the hang of navigating around the website. There were several tears shed. Once I got familiar with the website I really enjoyed it. I found it to be very informative and helpful!

concept mapping

I really enjoyed working on the concept mapping assignment. I struggled with the assignment at first. I thought for a very long time on the topic that I wanted to do the concept map on. I chose to do my concept map on ocean animals. I struggled trying to figure out how to link the different topics to each other. I eventually figured it out by using trial by error.

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Helping those in need

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There are some key strategies for integrating technology into social studies curricula. They are simulated problem-solving environment, graphic representations, virtual trips, adventure learning, digital storytelling, digital information critiques, electronic research, GIS and GPS lessons, practice of factual information and web-enrichment activities. Simulated problem-solving often let students interact with simulated events or locations. Graphic representations are used to help students visualize certain concepts. An example of this would be timeline generators. Virtual trips are as they sound. They allow students to visit different websites to see places that they would not normally get the opportunity to see. Adventure learning is a distance learning approach that gives students the opportunity to explore real world issues. Digital story telling is when stories are told by the use of images and audio. Digital information critiques is when students have the ability to review and critique digital information. Electronic research is when a student has the ability to research topics, such as, dates or events through a variety of different ways. GIS and GPS, also known as geospatial technologies allow students to see the world through multiple layering of data within a spatial environment, like Google earth. The practice of factual information is very useful. This is where students use drills-and-practice, instructional game software, or pay-to-view internet sites to help them learn better. Web-Enrichment activities such as news-2-you, social studies webquest or geocaching tutorials are great activities to use.

There are currently six issues affecting the acquisition and use of technology in special education classrooms. They are legal and policy directives, implication of the No Child Left Behind Act, need for trained personnel, requirements for Inclusive classrooms, universal design for learning and web accessibility. There are a lot of laws and policies that come into affect when dealing with special education. All school personnel are limited on what information they can share and also limited on how to act when certain situations may arise. There is the Technology-Related Assistance Act for Individuals with Disabilities that came into effect in 1998.  It provides the money for technology and devices to help those with disabilities. The Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act came into effect in 1997. It states that the IEP team looks for technology that will help each individual. The No Child Left Behind Act for special education makes every school provide documentation of each child’s progress. Every child has to have documentation even those with disabilities. The need for trained personnel is extremely important. Teachers dealing with special education children need to be knowable and understanding. There are requirements for inclusive classrooms. Instead of placing students with disabilities in a classroom all on their own, they are placed into regular classrooms with their peers. Although children with disabilities are placed into regular classroom certain accommodations need to be made. The universal design for learning allows physical accommodations for those students who need them. Web accessibility is when web sites are made more usable to students with disabilities. These things would include enlarged print or screen readers.

 

Integrating the Internet into the curriculum

There are several web-based activities. They are electronic pen pals, electronic mentoring, electronic field trips, electronic publishing, group product development, problem-based learning and social action projects. Electronic pen pals help students or teachers interact with different people from different places. A good website to find electronic pen pals is http://ePals.com. I think that this would be a motivation for writing for the students.  Electronic mentoring are people who work closely with other students. This helps provide support for students and their research. They can discuss different topic and have conversations via chat or discussion groups. Electronic publishing is when students can turn in their work where other students can view their work. This is good with practicing with a student’s literacy skills. Electronic field trips allow students to see different places without actually leaving their classroom. I think that virtual field trips allow students to visually learn though different problems. Group product development is when teachers develop products by using an online group. Students use different sites to explore different writing. Social action projects are where students have the responsibility for their individual learning. This will help students development of collaboration skills.

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Web Tools

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I really enjoyed working on this assignment. I enjoyed getting to make my own test. I think that this is something that I will incorporate into my classroom. I did not run into any complications when working on the web tools assignment; however, when I turned in my assignment Dr. Wang informed me that she was unable to open my rubric. I enjoyed getting to create my online bookmark. I found it to be very informative. 

My experiences of creating a multimedia project

I really enjoyed creating my multimedia project. I thought making the movie was very fun and interactive. I have to admit; when I first read the instructions for the assignment I was very nervous. My nerves were put to ease when I thought of my brother’s graduation.  It was a very important time of his life that I felt comfortable with sharing. One of the problems that I encountered when creating my movie was trying to make my voice sound loud enough to hear. I am not sure if my microphone was not working correctly or if the problem was my computer.  I had to try several times before my voice was loud enough on the movie. I think that this would be a wonderful tool to use in my classroom. I believe that the students would really enjoy making a movie. Since I plan on teacher smaller children this is a project we could work on as a class. Image

Technology at its finest

The definition of instructional software according to its categories and their usages in classroom
Instructional software is software and applications that were designed particularly for education purposes. These applications can either assist the student or the teacher. Instructional software should not be used as the only form of teaching. It is there only to assist in teaching. These applications may include: drill and practice tutorial, simulation, instructional game, or problem solving programs. All of these applications can be used in a Varity of ways. For example, drill and practice programs are great practice simple math problems such as adding and subtracting. They can be flash cards, branching drills, or extensive feedback activities. They give instant feedback that is encouraging to the student. Tutorials are wonderful ways to help students visually see what they are suppose to do. These would include linear tutorials or branching tutorials. Simulations are ways to explore and demonstrate different topics. These simulations could be physical or interactive. Instructional games are a good way to practice a particular skill in a fun enjoyable way.  These could often be used as a reward for the student. Problem solving is a good way to practice skills by solving different problems. These could include content-area skills content-free skills.
The features and capabilities of word processing, spreadsheet, and database software tool program, and my suggestions for how to use them in classroom
Word processing, spreadsheet, and database software are good tools to use in a classroom. Word processing is able to make documents as a stream of text. It is able to store documents for use in the future, erase and insert different information and search for certain words or phrases within a document. Word processing also allows you to insert pictures or word art to make documents visually appealing. An important part of word processing that would be beneficial to students is the grammar and spell check options. Word processing is a wonderful thing to use for older students. It saves time and has the opportunity to improve the appearance of documents and reports. I do not think that elementary age student would benefit from using word processing. Spreadsheets are programs that are designed to help organize information. Spreadsheets can help save time and organize information. They often help students “see” math. Databases are programs that help students organize, store, and manipulate information. Databases are often used when working with numbers and calculations.  In my opinion, databases are extremely difficult to use. There are pre-made databases that are often beneficial to teachers and educators.
Teaching and learning tasks for both teachers and students that planning and organizing tools can support
Planning and organizing tools can help both teachers and students. They can include lesson planning, schedule/ time management, concept mapping or outlining software. Lesson planning software are great resources for teachers and educators to use. In most cases these premade lesson plans have been used many time and perfected over time. Outlining tools are used for writers to help them to develop their main ideas and help to prompt writers. Concept mapping software helps people develop and explore ideas. They are often are a visual representation of concepts.

Google Group Project

The Google group assignment was particularly difficult for me.  I have always disliked doing group assignments, so I was extremely nervous! I always have the fear that I am going to make a mistake that will cost my group members a good grade. I had amazing group members who done the majority of the work. I am a HUGE procrastinator.  The part of the assignment that I had to complete was coming up with one of the three questions that needed to be answered. All of the group members responded right away and we were able to create a conversation. I think that group assignments are good for students.  They build team work skills. At a young age it is very important to learn to get along with your peers and be able to work together.

Group discussion

Google list survey

 Group story

Excel spreadsheet

 Powerpoint

 Survey

 

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Copyright and Plagiarism

Copyright and Plagiarism

There are a lot of helpful strategies that teachers can use in order to help with several Internet related problems. The Internet provides a great way for students to easily research helpful information; however, easily access to inappropriate material is a big concern for many teachers. There are many resources teachers can use to help protect their students. There is firewall or filtering software that is very easy to install. Firewall or filtering software can prevent access to inappropriate material. Filtering software prevents access to certain websites based on keywords or a list of sites that are considered to be off limits. Threats to safety and privacy are also a growing problem when it comes to the Internet. Chatrooms often are a gateway for online predators. It is extremely important that teachers teach their student to never tell anyone their full name or any other personal information, especially their phone number or address. Cookies is a great way to protect people of their privacy. Cookies is able to track inappropriate behavior on the internet. Teachers should be very cautious of what they post on the Internet. It is important to never mention a student’s full name or give out any personal information. There are many ways that a virus can be easily spread over the Internet. Downloading email attachments and files are a very common way to get a virus on your computer. Teachers should tell their students to never open any file or email from an unknown person. There are some good virus protection software that can be easily downloaded. All computers should have some type of virus protection software. Hackers love the internet! Hackers can get personal information, steal or corrupt data. Firewalls can help protect computers from hackers. Schools have to have firewalls; however it is very difficult because it limits a student’s access to the internet. Copyright and plagiarism is a huge issue for students. The internet is full of helpful information, documents, photographs or other resources. This makes it extremely easy for students for copy from the Internet rather than using the information as sources. There are some good strategies that help with copyrighting and plagiarism problems. It is important to request the owner’s permission before copying anything from the internet or using the website as a source.

The resources and skills required for multimedia/hypermedia design, development, and integration

The resources and skills required for multimedia/hypermedia design, development, and integration

Multimedia is the use of a combination of media. Media can be anything from movies, pictures, or text. It is an easy way to incorporate information in multiple and creative ways. Hypermedia is referred to as “interactive media”. Multimedia and hypermedia design and development is very easy to use and considered to be very beneficial in a classroom setting. There are five different kinds of multimedia/hypermedia design and tools that are beneficial to both teachers and students, such as, presentation software, video production and editing systems, hypermedia development software, virtual environments and immersion tools, and web 2.0 authoring tools. There are authoring skills that are beneficial when using multimedia and hypermedia design and development. Using visual aids and music shows to be very a very effective way of learning. It takes time and practice when using visual aids and audio. Students seem to get overwhelmed when seeing all of the different colors and graphics. Video projects seem to be a great way to teach information; however it takes time and practice when using a camera and editing tools.

Educational Technology

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Educational technology is when an educator or student uses any type of technology. Often teachers look to the internet when finding good activities for the students to complete. The internet is full of useful lesson plans, materials, and sources. Computers are also a form of educational technology.  There are a ton of websites and programs that can benefit students. Promethean boards are also a fun interactive form of technology. The technology integration planning model or the TIP Model is beneficial to teachers. It gives them a general approach to problems that may arise. The TIP model contains six phases.  Each phase has an outline to make sure that each teacher makes the best use of technology in the classroom that might help to fix problems. Phase one is where teachers have to use their prior use of knowledge of technology. Phase two is where teachers look at their current problems that they are having and ask themselves how technology might help them. Phase three is where teachers have to decide if the technology has helped their students. Phase four where the teacher has to decide on instructional technology strategy and how to carry out that strategy. Phase five is where teachers organize and prepare for their instructional environment.  Phase six is where teachers get to evaluate and see what works and what doesn’t work for their students. I think that technology is a wonderful thing to incorporate into the classroom on an everyday basis. I believe that technology is beneficial to both the teacher and the student.