Thursday, September 29, 2005

Module 3: Searching The Internet & Backing It Up

Title Of Activity: Finding Our Landmarks!

Reference Section:
City Of Lethbridge. (2004.) City of Lethbridge: Landmarks. Retrieved September 28, 2005, from,
http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/Enjoying+Lethbridge/Picture+Gallery/Landmarks/Landmarks.htm

Grade Level: 1

Subject: Social Studies

Brief Description of Activity: Groups of two students will go to the website where they will find pictures of local landmarks for Lethbridge. The website students will visit is:
http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/Enjoying+Lethbridge/Picture+Gallery/Landmarks/Landmarks.htm. (But, because the students are in grade one and because the URL for this website is so long (and errors may occur in typing), students will open their internet browser, click on ‘favorites’ and then on the ‘favorite link’ labeled: Lethbridge Landmarks.) There, students will be able to discuss whether or not they recognize landmarks familiar to the city of Lethbridge. Students will be encouraged to click on the highlighted link below each picture for more and varied pictures of each landmark.

General Learner Outcome: Students will distinguish geographical features and landmarks to enhance sense of belonging.

Specific Learner Outcome: Students will discuss and be able to recognize familiar landmarks in and around the city of Lethbridge.

ICT Outcomes:
P.5.1.2: Access hyperlinked sites on intranet or internet.
C.4.1.1: Follow a plan to complete an inquiry.
C.7.1.1: Draw conclusions from organized information.

Rationale for Computer Integration: Computers have been integrated into this lesson so students have choices about the order in which they’d like to explore the local landmarks. I think that if students see something they recognize, they’ll choose that picture first. Therefore, using a website gives them the freedom to do so. If I had presented these with an overhead projector, students would not be given the choice to explore on their own at their own pace; a project would be my pace. Second, using the City of Lethbridge website allows for a wide variety of pictures to be viewed, much more selection than a book or a brochure about Lethbridge’s local landmarks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Module 2: Technology Integration Part 2

Related (specific) Technology Outcome being integrated: C.2.4.1 Consult a wide variety of sources that reflect varied viewpoints on particular topics.

Subject: Health Education (In British Columbia, we have CAPP- Career and Personal Planning. I'm not sure what the equivilant class is in Alberta.)

Grade: 12

Description: This techonoly outcome requires students in division four to seek alternative viewpoints using information technologies. I think, that in a Health Education class, this would be an excellent opportunity for students to explore and educate themselves and others about abortion and pro-life options.

Background: Students have already been made aware of alternatives to sex and safe-sex options. They are now learning about pregnany and their options with regards to continuing/not continuing pregnancy (adoption, abortion).

Task: Grade 12 students will be asked to use the internet to research both positive and negative opinions/viewpoints regarding abortion. Students must find four different resources for each viewpoint (eight resources in total). Four (two for positive and two for negative) of the eight resources should be credible resources (ie- government websites, health websites, online journal articles). After students have fully researched both positive and negative viewpoints/opinions concerning abortion, they will make a PowerPoint presentation to present the class with their findings. PowerPoint presentations should present both abortion and pro-life opinions making sure no biases to one or the other are present. (The purpose of this PowerPoint assignment is not to take sides or debate the issue, but to educate and raise awareness about different options.) As a final slide in their PowerPoint presentation, students will make a 'Resources' page/slide to depict websites used for their pressentation.

By creating an informative PowerPoint on different abortion opinions/viewpoints, students can effectively exhibit that they've consulted a wide variety of resources that reflect varied viewpoints on particular topics.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Module 2: Technology Integration Part 1

Here we are in 2005 and technology integration in the classroom is still being termed as 'new' and something that will happen in the 'future'. But, for as much as computers are being used at home by both teachers and students, we shouldn't be talking about technology integration as something distant; it should be effectively established and used in the classroom already. Why isn't it? One reason that I can think of that wasn't suggested in the articles is fear of change. Many teachers are most likely comfortable with the current status of their classroom and don't feel/see the need to assist learning with technology. (The fear that what cited is that there is no correct answer for teachers to 'grade' when students use techology to support learning... Teachers have to evaluate the process, not neccessarily the product.) One mentioned and researched barrier to technology integration is the experience teachers have with technology. Even though teachers are going to workshops to keep up-to-date regarding new computer resources and programs, they aren't being taught how to effectively integrate technology into their classroom and their daily lessons. Teachers who know how to record keep and use programs such as WordPro aren't neccessarily going to use that knowledge to use technology in the classroom, and students can't benefit. Accordingly, when teachers are given the skills to employ technology as a tool for authentic learning, it's shown that students move through material faster than expected.

There are many good examples of good technology integration in the classroom. Students can use a wide variety of government and science based websites to further topic research beyond the classroom. (In science, students can use The Weather Network,
www.theweathernetwork.com, to find trends in local weather. In socials, students can use government websites to update themselves on political issues and current bills being passed.) After a novel study, students can research themes discussed in the book, discover more about the author's life and even contact the author via email to ask questions regarding the novel. My favorite technology integration idea that was suggested was the idea of joining Journey North. It allows students at different schools to collect information and then compare results and statistics between schools and classes. Students can use technology to record keep year-to-year, find trends in data between classes, and even go beyond whats required of them in class to answer their own inquiries.

Unfortunately, there are also poor examples of technology integration. Sending students to their block of 'computer time' to type out an essay for social studies is not INTEGRATING technology. This example, seperates learning from technology and places them in seperate skill categories. Students need to be aware that techology can be used to help them find more answers and allow them to explore 'beyond the box'.

Technology integration can positively occur in classrooms and allow teachers to build on student skills that are already present. When technology integration is present, student involvement in the learning process is enhanced, not deterred.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Self Introduction & Module 1 Requirements

Hi!

My name is Lainey Frederickson and I am absolutely thrilled to be in the Education program at the UofL. I've been at the Univeristy of Lethbridge for four years and have a few more years to go before I completely finish my degree. I'm am also currently using my fourth year of elegibility swimming for the ProngHorn swim team. The varsity swim team is one of the main reasons why I chose Lethbridge when I finished highschool, the Education Program is a HUGE bonus! I was born and raised in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia; a small town in a busy valley that thrives on tourism year-round. I'm the oldest of three children. I have both a younger sister and brother. My mom and dad own their own business, my sister goes to the University of Calgary, and my brother is currently in grade 11 after returning from a year long Rotary exchange in Brasil. I believe I am extremely fortunate to be raised in a small community and I plan on eventually returning one day to live, work, and raise a family of my own.

This was my first ever experience 'blogging'. And, in all honest truth, I'm not exactly sure what I think of the entire process yet. When it comes to pen and paper... I'm absolutely horrible at keeping a journal. It's one of my goals every year, to write a journal, I go and buy a new book and a nice pen, and then I just don't do it. I can't commit to writing in something everyday when I have what feels like a million other things to do. So, I'm hoping this assigned blog will be a huge learning experience for me. And, maybe it will make me more interested in and more able to write in a journal daily (or weekly). I hadn't ever considered the use of blogs in the classroom until reading the posted articles for this assignment. I think it's an absolutely incredible idea and hope that, if I acquire enough experience with blogs, I can someday use them in a classroom of my own. I really like the idea of class discussions, poetry/essay postings, and group projects. But, I can also see a few drawbacks. In smaller communities, not everyone has a computer or internet at home and small schools with little funding don't have enough computer access for every student within classes. And, in some households, parents don't have the skills to communicate via computers and blogs with and to teachers. It would take some clever problem solving to address and resolve issues pertaining to both computer shortages and lack of parental involvement. All in all, I think blogging in the classroom is an amazing new idea for education programs. Although it may have one or two pitfalls along the way, I think it's anticipated permanence in future classrooms will get teachers and students excited about work in the classroom and encourage them to think outside to box!