Course Websites may be one of the most useful things a teacher could create. Educators really do not know how much course websites actually help students out. Like Blackboard for FSU helps me stay so much more organized than I would be without Blackboard. Honestly I do not even think I would be passing some of my classes if it was not for Blackboard. As long as I check it everyday, I will always know what I have to do for my classes. That is why I think all teachers should use a course website.
Last semester, when I observed classes at FSUS, the teachers were always letting their students come to the front of the class and use the Smart Board. The students loved using it and it got them really interested in learning. I strongly believe that when I am a teacher, a Smart Board will be used in my classroom in order to stimulate the learning of my students.
I really liked this week’s assignment with the WikiSpaces. It was definitely a challenge, but I really enjoyed navigating through it and creating my own website. It was fun working with my group members trying to figure out exactly how to format things on the site and to find what we should use in our Website Evaluation Form. Below there Is a Print Screen of our home page but I could not fit the whole thing in it. So If you would like to also go to our site you can at http://historysiteevaluation.wikispaces.com/Group+Page.
I spent most of my time this week evaluating and using Diigo which is basically like a web help tool. Personally, I loved using it. I had actually planned on testing out a few others along with Diigo but after I started using it, I did not want to even try anything else. It is very capable and much more helpful than search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
While Diigo is very useful, it is certainly not necessary to have. What I am saying is, You do not absolutely have to have it in order to be an efficient surfer of the web or researcher. For advanced internet users, Diigo would not be as helpful, but for beginners it is amazing. The bookmarking tool, sticky notes, and highlighting tool it uses are all great helpers when using the internet.
I think a lot of Web 2.0 technologies should be used in K-12 education. It is a great change up for kids to learn through good search sites such as Ted Talks. It is easy for them to learn and definitely educational. There are some sites that are not as helpful though such as Youtube. I would tend to stay away from these sites when education K-12 grade levels.
The Web Hunt assignment was particularly easy just because my generation has been using search engines all our lives. It was really simple to find what I was looking for just because I know where to search and how to search it. There was nothing hard about the Web Hunt at all.
There are many ways to stimulate student learning by using online web sources. Specifically for students in public schools in Florida there are many tools that are made to help students prepare for the FCAT. One website that I remember using as a kid was http://www.Riverdeep.net. In elementary school we used to use this all the time. In high school, my teachers taught me to use the servers in the media center, such as Gail that the school paid for so the kids can get 100% fact based research.
Using the internet for research can be dangerous, but helpful. There will always be things that you look up on Google.com that are not backed up by facts, but if you use the right kind of search database such as Google Scholar, or Gail then the internet can be very helpful when doing research.
When I am doing a research paper, I always use Google Scholar because it has never failed me or given me any false information. I am sure that the methods mentioned in the podcast work well, but Google Scholar has never let me down in the 4 years I have been using it.
This week in class we learned about Inspiration. I had never used it before we did it in class. Now, I absolutely love Inspiration. It is simple and easy to use, and it gives you an organized and well structured outline within minutes. I was fascinated by how easy it was to use and configure. I loved using it and plan on using it for several classes in the future.
You know, a lot of people have told me not to use wikipedia.com. They say that while it can be helpful information, anyone can go on there and put whatever information they want so it usually is not reliable information. But I have to say, I have gotten a lot of greg information off of http://www.wikipedia.com. Although I would never list it as a source on a research paper, I think it is one of the most informative we sites out their. The information on this website is so easy to find that if you can use a computer, you can use wikipedia.
Wikipedia is what we call an open source material website because anyone can go on and edit it. I think teachers should use open source material as long as they make sure that the information is true using other closed sources. I certainly would contribute to them because it is always good to get knowledge out there no matter what website it is on. It is easy to check the validity of the materials using other websites or books. So as long as you are smart about using them, open source websites can be very helpful.
This week in our education technology class, I learned about some new tools that I could use to help me in Microsoft Word. Honestly, I thought that a few of the things we learned were not as useful to me as the other things we learned about Microsoft Word in the previous class. It was very hard to create the Word document I created because so many different parts were supposed to be in different columns and what not. I have never had a etcher send out a form like this and I cannot say that I will be likely to send out anything like this when I have my own classroom. I think I will end up sticking to a basic document without pictures or columns.