Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Goodbye and good luck!

Our final in IPT 286 was so crazy with all of you presenting in different rooms, that I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye and thank you for what you have taught me this semester and for your participation in the class. I then tried to email everybody, but all of your emails have been purged from my Blackboard course (which is weird - that's never happened before. BTW, that's one reason we did blogs this semester instead of Blackboard discussions, because at the end of the semester, all of the knowledge we've accumulated in a Bb discussion is lost and locked away).

Anyway, so the only way I can communicate with you is to post something on my blog and hope you are still using your aggregators. So consider this my final goodbye! Thank you for being my students, and for your thoughts, ideas, and good work. I love teaching because I learn so much from my students, and this last semester was another example of this. I hope you also found our class useful to you.

I would like to stay in contact with any of you who are interested in doing so. I'm still subscribed to your blogs, and will still read your thoughts and posts, if you continue to do this. If you have questions, you can always ask me and I'll try to help you. I'll also be posting frequently on my blog, because for me blogging has become an essential part of my learning. However, I won't be posting on this blog anymore--this blog is more for my teaching, and I'm not teaching this semester. All of my blogging will now happen on my other blog, which is at This, for now, is where I think, and write my thoughts. I feel a lot like Robert Millett, who said (roughly) that he writes so he can learn something. That's (roughly) why I blog. On my Edu-blogger blog, I post on many subjects related to my graduate field of study, but many times I talk about educational technology issues, so you may still want to subscribe to it and read it occasionally. I hope you do -- and I hope you drop me a comment if you have one!

See y'all later, and have a great teaching career!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Edublog award winners!

The results are in! Here are the best edublogs of 2004! Go check them out!

You heard it first at T2E

More confirmation that Internet Explorer is bad news. This article reports that Penn State has discouraged everyone on campus from using IE. They suggest using ... Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, or something else to protect against viruses and poor internet security.

What should we learn from this as teachers? Using what everyone else uses is not always smart. Just because IE is popular doesn't mean we should be using it. I know teachers have a lot they need to be concerned with, but staying up to date on the technology and what works best should be one of these.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Final takeaways from the class

Shauna, in another section, left her final "rules of thumb" for using technology effectively.

1) Technology should enhance the lesson plan.
2) There will be a learning curve when you first teach a technology. Don't be bothered by that if you feel that in the long run that technology will be beneficial.
3) Technology will fail sometimes. Keep backups of files and have backup ideas on what your students can do if the technology is rendered useless at any given time.
4) It's important to keep up to date on technology. Don't be afraid to try new technologies, but make sure you try them out on your own before you bring them into the classroom.

If any of you would like to leave your final "rules of thumb" or main suggestions for good technology integration, please leave them as a comment here! I'd love to hear these and what else you learned this semester that was most useful.

Home Ec idea

Jessica had this idea for using PowerPoint in Home Ec that she wanted to share. Since she's not a Home Ec major, none of the home ec girls would see her idea, so I'm posting it here. It's a good one, and actually we've had a couple of Home Ec teachers do similar ideas for their lesson plans -- so here's a confirmation that your idea was a good one!

Now I know that I'm not a home economics teacher but I do teach a cooking class at BYU in the Home and Family Living department. Lately I have been playing around with powerpoint and I came up with this wonderful idea for a class project using powerpoint. It's a technology cookbook. You could separate the class into groups and have them choose a particular category to come up with recipes to contribute to a class cookbook. An example could be: a poultry section, casseroles, family meals, kids recipes, etc. They can be totally creative. Then each person in the group needs to come up with a recipe that they have made or that is a family recipe and the group can create their own powerpoint slides for that category. Then at the end of the semester the students could choose one recipe from their category and make it for the class. When each group does this they could present their section of the cookbook with their recipe and the class can have a huge potluck dinner. The teacher could take all of the slides and create cookbooks for each person in the class with every groups categories in it. It would be fun and educational for the students while implementing technology into their presentation and learning

Upcoming final: This is fun!

All right, I know "fun" and "final" aren't allowed in the same subject line, but we did the final for Dr. Allen's IPT 286 students yesterday, and it went really well (at least I thought so, and so did many of the students). Some students from our class also presented that day, and Roxana blogged about it:
"I liked the way that we did the final. I was a little nervous before I went in, but then it turned out not to be so bad. I liked telling about what I had learned about technology even if it was just power point. Plus I really liked seeing what the other students did. When they showed it as their presentation it didn't seem so impossible to do. It gave me a little bet of comfort that I might be able to do some of the things that they did as well. It was a good way to do a final, especially since that is what we'd been learning about."

So, don't let it stress you out, and I look forward to seeing all of your projects! Here are some lessons learned and suggestions from the groups that went Friday:
- Even if you're scheduled for 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., come at 5:30 if you can. Many of the groups went faster than we expected, and it was disappointing to have them come late and only get to see a couple of people present. So if you can, ignore the schedule and everyone come at 5:30. If your group doesn't get done in two hours, you're free to go if you wish after two hours anyway.

- Follow the schedule posted on the door of each classroom. Just go in the order that everyone is listed there.

- If you're in the microteaching rooms, we'll be recording you, but not to evaluate you (that wouldn't be fair anyway because we're not recording those downstairs). It's more to evaluate US and how well this type of a final went so we can improve it for next year.

- When it's your turn to teach/present, please write your name on the whiteboard. I know ya (even though I still get some names wrong, I do know most of you), but Dr. Allen doesn't. Having your name on the whiteboard helps her know who you are so we can tell if we're getting behind the schedule (which shouldn't be a problem anyway)

- Ab0ut 15-20 minutes per person

See you all there!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A SAD delivery

Molly expresses well some of the consternation we all feel at times with teachers who use PowerPoint ineffectively,
"I don't understand why teachers always make the classic black-and-white PowerPoints with a dash of a picture here and there. Everytime a teacher pulls up one of these presentations, it is my key signal to zone out."

Don't be this kind of teacher! I totally agree with Molly--don't give signals to your students to "zone out." A SAD (Stand And Deliver) style of teaching will often do that.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ha! Ha! The difference between generations

Funny comic over at Will's blog about the difference between how our parents get news, and how many students get their news (i.e. through blogs, the internet). Go check it out!

BTW- BYU often blocks Will's blog and I don't know why! It's safe, and I've sent a request to BYU to unblock it.

More examples of educational uses of blogs

In case you like blogging and think it has potential in YOUR classroom but don't know how to do it, here are some examples of good educational weblogs, compiled by Will Richardson:

Galileo Web--The starting point for exporation of Pat's school site. I've highlighted a couple below, but spend some time clicking through the "Tech Integration Links" in the left column. Really well done stuff.

Developing Writers--This is a great example at Pat's school of how to use a Weblog to provide articulation materials for teachers. I wish my school would jump on this idea more, have Expository Composition teachers, for example, create a site that provides instructional materials, rubrics and models for the different essay genres they teach.

Ms. Chiang--Teaching Chinese with a blog. Nice example of class portal and materials/homework archive. More examples here.

The National Writing Project Blog Project
also lists some educational uses of Weblogs on various levels. (See the "Tour of WP Blogs" in the left column.) Some highlights:

The Sequoia Sentinel--The homepage for the Sequoia School site.

IHMS 103--A beautiful middle school site with lots of student writing and feedback. We use this model at our school as well.

Hidden Histories-- A collaborative blog between two sixth grade classrooms 300 miles apart.

East Side Bloggers--High school bloggers in every grade. Try the "sort by students" drop down to get the scope of what they're doing.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Eating the elephant (and other thoughts)

There have been a few interesting posts the last couple of days that I'd like to highlight. The first is from the "overwhelmed" category, I think. Hayley mentions that
"I have been wondering about what I am going to do as a teacher. Though I do know a lot about technology, there is a lot that I am unsure about. I am worried about using technology only for the sake of using it. I am not necessarily a technology minded person, but I do know that technology is a very important teaching tool for my students. I am just trying to think about more that I can do in my English Classes"
To Hayley and others feeling this way -- don't worry and don't be overwhelmed! Rome wasn't conquered in a day! Elephants aren't eaten in one bite! (and on, and on, insert your favorite cliche here). Seriously, you don't need to become a master at every technology to be successful. Rather, first recognize that technology IS valuable, and then make a decision each summer as you look ahead to your school year to ponder what educational technologies might help your new students. The technologies you use may change from year to year, and maybe you'll only learn one or two new technologies each year -- but if they are good ones, those tools will still be valuable.

Roxana has a thoughtful post about our discussion of Christ as the perfect teacher. She says that
"I thought that it was interesting that in class today we talked about Christ as the perfect example of a perfect teacher and why. He was the teacher that I would like to be. He taught the people simply and built upon their previous knowledge so that they could follow along. He taught line upon line, precept upon precept. I will not be able to expect that all my students will be able to understand everything at the same time. I will need to take my teaching at a pace that they can follow and build on their past knowledge.

He was also a very patient teacher. This is also something that I will need to do in order to become a good teacher. A lot of times the people that he taught didn't understand what he said, but he didn't yell at them or tell them they should've been paying attention. He just loved them and tried to teach them again. I need to be patient with the students that don't understand what I teach right away. I need to have patience and continue to try and teach them.

It is also important for me to love all my students. Christ loved everyone, even those who messed up and he didn't hold it against them. I need to do the same thing. Even if a student drives me crazy I can't hold it against them for the rest of the semester or always think of that student as the difficult one. I need to love that student anyways.
These are just different thoughts that I had about the discussion that we had in class today."

Jill continues with her thoughts on this discussion:
"I really enjoyed our discussion in class yesterday. I researched it a little more deeply and here are some of my thoughts:
"What manner of teachers ought we to be?" If we are to become like Christ and to be successful teachers, we must emulate him as a teacher and as our savior. Some qualities of a Master Teacher are:
Faith- We must have faith in ourselves, that we can accomplish our ideals with a lot of work and some divine assistance. We also must have faith in our students. All too often, students and people in general rise (or fall) to the level of expectation placed on them. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we show our students that we expect great things of them, they will be more willing to do so, and develop faith in themselves.
Virtue - It can become a teacher's greatest ally and source of strength. Christ was virtuous in every sense of the word. A virtuous teacher is kind, true to their purpose, loyal to themself and their students, will not permit wrong, seeks after the "virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy", is respectful (and respected). Though we cannot teach the gospel in our classrooms, we can be an example of what we believe and thus create a spirit of learning and unity that will bless.
Knowledge - The Savior has a perfect knowledge of everything he teaches. We should also "seek learning even by study and also by faith". Teachers must be ever learning in both spiritual and secular matters in order to be effective. It is always comforting to me to remember, "blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness . . ."
Temperance and Patience - I'm sure there will be days when we feel like our classes are in utter chaos and the walls are falling down around us. Temperance and patience lend the composure and calm that we will need to know that things will work out. If we keep working at it and plead for the Lord's help, things will be ok. Temperance and patience also help us to remain focused on our goals and what is most important. Perhaps the most important help that these virtues confer is to be patient and understanding of others and their faults.
Kindness and Charity - Christ taught that we should love all men - even the annoying, the difficult, and the contentuous ones. "Charity seeketh not her own", but rather the greater good and edification of others. This is at the very heart of the work and calling of a teacher.
Teaching is difficult, and even painful at times, but I think, that if we seek to be a Master Teacher, even as the Master is, it will be the most joyous work of all. "

Lindsay said
"I have learned a lot in all my classes but I feel like I have learned a lot in my technology class. I was thinking what I had learned after class today and I realized that I really have learned a lot about technology and how to intergrate it into my classroom. ... I hope that I have the accessibility to technology when I am a teacher."

I know a lot of you are worried about accessibility and wonder, "Yes, this is all good, but will I really have technology in my school?" Maybe, maybe not. I just interviewed a first-year student who graduated from BYU and is in Kansas. His first school had nothing, absolutely nothing. He is now transfering to a school that has lots of technology opportunities and is even issuing him a laptop. I think most of your schools will be in-between these extremes, but technology will be much more prevalent in the coming years so even if you don't have many computers and such yet, you may soon.

Great posts all!