Category Archives: 2.4 Integrated Technologies

Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer.

No texting while driving…in Espanol

Wow…this app taught me quite a bit!  I am not sure I am completely understanding how to put it all together from scratch on my own, but I am learning.

The purpose of this app was to create a way for drivers to hear a text from someone and send them a response letting them know that I am unavailable.  This message can change depending on why I need to stop receiving texts.  The user also receives my location as well.  I don’t know if I would ever use that component myself as it seems kinda creepy that someone could always find out where I am.  But, maybe that is just me. 🙂

I wanted to see how difficult it was to change languages.  I created a component to change the language of the text to speech to spa (I had to look up the three letter code for spanish).  I think this could be useful to help sell the app to users all over the world.  I started to create a menu of languages the user could choose from (in the form of buttons), but realized that would be too much work.  The GPS used was not completely accurate.  My street name was correct, but my house number was not.

I am learning!  I am starting the app developing unit with my kids next week and I am excited to see what they do!

QR Code:

textingScreen Shot 2014-09-27 at 8.09.39 PM

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Mole Mash — aka Spartan Mash

Reflection:

As I reflect on the apps I create throughout this course, I am thinking of them both as an app developer for this course as well as a teacher.  I plan on teaching a little unit of app development in my Intro to Programming course so part of my thinking will be discussing that component.

The Mole Mash app asks the user to click on the mole.  When the user does so, a counter is added so he can see their score.  I learned how to create a counter by initializing both the misses and hits counter and then adding one when the object was hit or missed respectively.  I also learned how to do a countdown timer (by subtracting one).  At the end of the timer another screen (the game screen) was opened.  I couldn’t really figure out how to time it right.  It seems to go too quickly from the gunshot to the next screen.  I really wanted to end the game after the user had 10 misses, but that block of code did not work.  I tried an if/then/else loop stating if the misses counter = 10, then close screen else add one to the counter (if the spartan was missed only).   But, nothing seemed to happen.  Nothing closed and the spartan continued to move.

I wanted to add a more personal component on this app so I adapted it for our Homecoming game.  I changed the image sprite to a spartan and the background to a football field.  The idea behind it was that when you clicked the spartan you actually “tackled” him and the tiger roared.  I sent this on to our staff and for those who have Android devices, they were able to view it and enjoy it.  I have been researching ways to be able to take my App Inventor source code and adapt it for a Mac device (our school is very Mac oriented) but I could not find a way to do it.  There has to be some way as I see the same apps available for both platforms often.

I am starting to have many people in school ask me for apps!  I still have a lot to learn before I can conquer their requests, but I look forward to doing so.

spartan_mash

 

 

 

 

Multimedia Screencast Tutorial

I am a math and technology teacher so this is something I do everyday in my classroom.  This tutorial is a video for my animation class. If students need extra explanation or they are absent, they can refer to the video to gain further instruction.  The intention was to limit the amount of visual and audio interaction with the student.  I tried to limit the text used and explained the images with narration.

Shape Tween – Broadband from Beth Cerrone on Vimeo.

Digital Storytelling

In this assignment, we were asked to create a digital story.  The purpose was to explore different tools for digital storytelling.  I will certainly use digital storytelling in my classroom as it allows students to express themselves in a creative manner.  It gives students an opportunity for a different type of assessment.

I am in the process of recreating my school website.  Part of my website is an About Me page that describes me and my teaching experience.  To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to create a digital story about my journey into teaching to put on my website.  I wanted to keep it simple so I highlighted my education and work experience.  I plan to make another later on about my philosophy of teaching.  I felt two and a half minutes was enough information for my first one.

The video is below:

My Journey Into Teaching from Beth Cerrone on Vimeo.

Obstacles of Utilizing Technology in a Classroom

According to the National Council of Teaching Mathematics, (2000, p 24), “technology is essential to teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning.  Teachers’ attitudes play an important role in using technology in teaching and learning mathematics.”

Math is such a visual subject.  Technology can enhance the visualization of an otherwise complex topic.  For example, in geometry, Geometer’s Sketchpad can help students explore geometrical relationships and develop reasoning skills.  Olkun (2005), suggests that it is effective to integrate math content and technology in a manner that enable students to make math discoveries in a game or playful environment.

Obstacles to Integrating Technology in a Math Classroom

  1. Getting teachers on board — As mentioned above, technology is useless without teachers being on board.  How do we get teachers to buy in?  Providing thorough and continuous training is a first step.  Teachers are overwhelmed with work as it is, so the implementation needs to be as easy as possible.  Also, teachers need to be shown ways that technology can be used in the classroom.  There is no need to recreate the wheel, so providing a resource page of how particular pieces of equipment or software is used would be useful.
  2. Money — Technology is expensive.  However, there are many technology grants out there to help diffuse the cost.  Another important expense is technology support.  This is very important in ensuring that the equipment will be working consistently.  Teachers will not use equipment if it is not reliable.  Creating a technology expert, so to speak, within each department will help keep the costs down and have a go to person close by for all teachers.
  3. Filters — Many districts and school have filters on the internet to prevent students from accessing social media, youtube, etc.  This can restrict the use of technology within a classroom.  Removing these filters and providing students with knowledge of how to be a responsible digital citizen would alleviate this obstacle

The key to implementing technology in an effective way is to provide training and resources, show teachers the power of using it within their lessons, and collaborate together to share ideas.  Embracing technology for what it is — a means to enhance a lesson — will help alleviate the fear of the unknown.  It is not replacing teachers, it is helping us teach students in a way we could never do before.

 

References:

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000).  Principles and standards for school mathematics, Reston, VA.

Olkun, S., Altun, A., Smith G. (2005).  Computers and 2D geometric learning of Turkish fourth and fifth graders.  British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(2), 317-326.

Global Projects and Walled Garden Discussion

Here is my Voice Thread analysis of Global Projects and Walled Gardens.

References:

http://www.flatclassroomproject.org/

https://education.skype.com/

Using Multimedia in the Classroom

Using multimedia in the classroom can enhance instruction exponentially if used in an effective way.  The video below describes some benefits of using multimedia in the classroom.  I apologize for some of the stumbling within the video…this was my fourth attempt, so I had to kind of stick with it.

Vision Statement

Can you imagine a world without smart phones or computers?  Technology has increasingly become a more important part of our lives.  Because of this, preparing students for the workplace has changed dramatically.  We are immersed in a world where wikis, podcasts, blogs and moodles have become commonplace as a means to communicate. Integration of technology into the curriculum has become imperative to better prepare students for this new 21st century workplace.

Edutopia defines effective technology integration as “seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.”

How can technology integration help students?

Outside of school, students are presented and process information differently than in the past.  Television and the internet have created a very multimedia rich world. Everything is much more dynamic and engaging.

Technology in the classroom can provide a much more engaging learning environment as well.  Students are able to visualize concepts much more clearly with video and applets.  They can take the basic knowledge that they learn and apply it to real world applications in a much easier way. Students are able to use virtual field trips and like activities to transport themselves to other parts of the world to gain a better understanding of the plight of others.

It also can aid students in providing multiple resources for learning.  Computer based quizzes and clicker activities can provide instantaneous feedback allowing them to become more interactive and take ownership of their learning.

How can technology integration help teachers?

As mentioned above, our role as teachers has changed.  It is still imperative that we teach students the basic skills needed to be successful in the world.  However, it is also important that students leave high school feeling confident and comfortable with the different technologies and terminology they will encounter in the workplace.

According to the ICT (Roblyer, p 21) teachers are required to provide three sets of technological skills for students:

  1. Technology literacy:  Students need to be able to adapt to new technology.
  2. Knowledge deepening:  Students can take their prior knowledge to a new level utilizing technology.
  3. Knowledge creation:  Students can create concepts being innovative using technology.

Technology adds so much to a teacher’s repertoire.  It brings a lesson to life.  In the past, we might have taught about the work of Shakespeare having students read and analyze his work.  Today, we can have students create a video depicting the plot of a particular play.  This is just one example that can assess a much higher level of understanding.  In Geometry, students can use an interactive white board to manipulate a polygon to actually see that the measurement of the angles stay the same.  Seeing it to be true is so much more valuable than just believing it is true because it was read in a  textbook.

The future?

The sky is the limit when it comes to utilizing technology.  We are teaching in an exciting time.  Learning has become so much more comprehensive and dynamic.  It is changing the culture of education for the better.

References:

Doering, Aaron H., & Roblyer, M.D. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson

Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

Digital Inequality Assignment

This assignment asked us to create a hypothetical task force to research the issue of Digital Inequality.  We chose to research the issue as it pertained to the state of Tennessee.

Throughout the last decade, internet use has opened up a wide spectrum of opportunities.  We are able to communicate, research, shop, look for employment, etc. more easily.  Can I imagine living without it?  Never!  I am one of the fortunate ones.  This assignment opened my eyes to the Digital Divide and the Digital Inequality that exists in our world today.

According to numbers released last year by the Department of Commerce, 40% with annual household incomes below $25,000 in 2010 reported having wired Internet access at home, compared with the vast majority — 93 percent — of households with incomes exceeding $100,000.  That is incredible when you think about it.  So, what do we do?  As part of the task force, we were asked to look at seven possible options for reform. The options (as well as our rankings) are listed below:

  1. Install computers in all public libraries in the state and expand the hours when the computers are available. (Ranked #3)
  2. Expand staffing and other resources so that public schools can be open to the public after normal school hours, on weekends, and during the summer months. (Ranked #7)
  3. Provide individuals in disadvantaged communities with computers. (Ranked #6)
  4. Provide high-speed Internet and mobile access for all state residents.(Ranked #1)
  5. Subsidize Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost Internet to all state residents. (Ranked #2)
  6. Provide information literacy courses to enhance computer skills and enable knowledgeable use of digital technologies.(Ranked #4)
  7. Develop free online educational content, giving first priority to content most relevant to lower socio-economic groups before content that is relevant to the rest of the public. (Ranked #5)

Our task force evaluated each option and ranked accordingly.  Our general feeling was that the majority of options were much more realistic if coupled with another option.  The goal of our task force was to provide access (reducing the Digital Divide) as well as providing instruction for use (reducing the Digital Inequality).  One without the other is pointless in my opinion. As you can see with our rankings, our priority was to provide access to the infrastructure first and foremost.  We chose to offer internet at users homes first as opposed to extending the hours of public facilities for convenience purposes.  Our second priority is to provide courses to help the public use the internet to its best capability.

So, how many of my own students are in this situation?  I don’t know, but I need to find out.  I teach in a relatively rural area in a lower-middle socioeconomic area.  We definitely have a “haves” and “have nots” differentiation between many of our students.  My plan is to somehow incorporate a survey within a lesson in our English classes (they see all students) to determine my next step.

I really enjoyed collaborating with others (our alpha group) from all over North America on this project.  That is incredible in itself.  It is very easy to use and can definitely extend the learning of us and our students as well.  We had planned on using narration (either Camtasia or VoiceThread) for our project, but ran out of time.  I am having my students use Voice Thread as part of a Linear Programming group project and it has been a great tool to learn for myself and my students.

Standards Addressed:

2.4 Integrated Technologies:  We integrated different technologies (email, chat, videoconferencing) to produce and present information.

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations: We identified strategies to implement change.

4.2 Resource Management:  We discussed the cost effectiveness of different strategies and prioritized them accordingly.

Accessibility Page

As the internet becomes more and more important, it becomes imperative that we ensure all people (including people with disabilities) are able to have equal access.  This assignment explored different ways web designers can make web pages more accessible.  I chose to take a look at screen readers.  Screen readers allow people with sight issues to utilize the software to hear the website as they scroll over the website.

Accessibility Page