Category Archives: 3.1 Media Utilization

Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.

Hello Purr — App Creation 1

Basics

In this first app, I created a label for the app entitling it Pet the Kitty as instructed. We were asked the change the properties of this label (background and font color). We inserted a button and a cat image to serve as the button’s image. I stretched the label and image to center both items on the canvas. It distorts the image a bit which I don’t like, but overall it looks ok. I don’t like everything left justified. The goal was to have the cat meow and purr (phone vibrates) as if to emulate a cat being petted. We added a meow mp3 file and embedded that action within a block that asked the user to click on the cat. Once the cat was clicked, the cat meowed and the phone vibrated. There was also a block created that made the cat meow if the phone was shaken.

Things added…

As mentioned above, the label, image, button and text boxes were stretched to fit the canvas to appear centered. The second addition I made was to create a text to speech effect. When the button was pushed, the instructions from the text box were communication to the user in speech. I started to add more, but I realized it was better to take one step at a time. This is going to be fun!

The evolution of my app creation

I tend to be one to like to play around with a new tool.  I also tend to play around for hours on end.  Given I have a full time job, I did not allow myself to do that this time.  I am very excited to learn more and more about app development.  In this first exercise I learned about uploading and creating images, buttons, text to speech and labels.  I learned about designer view and blocks view.  It seems similar to software like Alice where the user becomes familiar about the concepts of coding, but has to do very little coding itself.  I am excited to apply this to use in my math classroom as well as in my Intro to Programming class!

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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.

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.

Tech Trends Assignment

Games have been around for certainly as long as I can remember.  Even the term “game” itself tends to describe a positive and fun experience.  Years ago, I would not have described myself as a “gamer” (still am not really).  Back then (15 years ago), I thought gaming was a waste of time and brain power.  I had one experience years ago that changed my thinking.

As a new teacher, I was asked by students to be a “computer group” sponsor.  So, as with any new teacher wanting to get involved, I agreed.  When I went to the first meeting that day, I encountered not a “computer” group but a “gaming” group.  I don’t even remember what game they were playing, but I have never seen a group of kids (most of whom were not great students) so ENGAGED!!  I could barely get their attention.  My first thought was to turn off the game right away, but I decided to jump in and see what they were doing.  I hate violence in games, but the strategy needed was incredible!  It required a lot of analytical and algorithmic thinking to be successful.  At that point, I remember thinking I need to work with this and use it in my classroom.  Have I?  Well, not exactly.  Time has gone by and I haven’t done much with the concept of integrating game based learning into the classroom.  My hope is that will change.

Alice is a 3D programming environment that helps students visualize the ideas of Object Oriented Programming — objects, functions, methods, etc.  I just started using it in my Intro to Programming class last year as an intro to Java and the kids love it.

The lesson I have created below is not for my programming class, but for my Algebra class.  For my Programming final last year, students were asked to create an interactive quiz in Alice (on any subject).  I created one to quiz my students on systems of equations.  I used it last year and now my students always want to be quizzed in that method.  If I had the time, I would absolutely mix in more games.  It tests the same material but in a much more engaging and interactive way.

Here is a demo of the quiz:

Standards Implementation:
1.1 Analyzing instruction to deliver better methods for presenting material.
3.1 Using resources (Horizon Report) to improve learning.