me-now

This is me-now, Josh Krikke on Blogger. I hope you enjoy my reflections.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

MODULE Three: Searching the Internet and Backing up

1. References:

Buset, P., Bjørnstad, A., Erlandsen, A. (2001). Ash Rain: The Story of the Nazi’s Death Camps. Retrieved September 29, 2005, from ThinkQuest website:
http://library.thinkquest.org/28260/english/english2.html

Jordan, Kushal, Mike. (2003). The Holocaust: A Tragic Legacy. Retrieved September 29, 2005, from ThinkQuest website: http://library.thinkquest.org/12663/

World War II. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2005, from ThinkQuest website: http://library.thinkquest.org/19090/

2. Grade: 4

3. Activity: Students complete a Know, Wonder and Learned (KWL) chart on "World War II and Jewish people" by sharing their ideas orally while the teacher records the student's ideas on chart paper. Students will copy the chart into their notebooks. The teacher will prompt students to orate the following ideas: Europe, Germany, Adolf Hitler, hatred of Jews, prison camps, hiding, 1940. The teacher then introduces the novel study by Lois Lowry, entitled: Number the Stars, and gives a brief summary of the novel. Students will then work in pairs and choose one idea or question from their KWL charts and use the Internet to find information on their selected topic. Students must go to at least one website provided by the teacher. Students may link to other sites or search for other sites related to their selected topic. Students will record 3 facts from websites that are relevant to their selected topic. Students will record these 3 facts in their notebooks, record the site URL, and then present this information to the class.

4. General Learning Outcome 1: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences.

5. Specific Learning Outcome 1.2: Extend Understanding: Students will explore ways to find additional ideas and information to extend understanding.

6. Relevant ICT Outcomes, Division 2:
C.1- Students will access, use and communicate information from a variety of technologies.
Specific Outcomes:
2.1 Students will access and retrieve appropriate information from the Internet by using a specific search path or from given uniform resource locations (URLs).
2.2 Students will organize information gathered from the Internet, or an electronic source, by selecting and recording the data in logical files or categories; and by communicating effectively, through appropriate forms, such as speeches, reports and multimedia presentations, applying information technologies that serve particular audiences and purposes.

7. Rationale: For this activity, integrating computer technology is good because students will be able to search for answers to their own ideas and questions in a time efficient manner. Searching websites can offer information that is readable for Gr. 4 students and allows them to follow their inquisitive minds in choosing to view relevant links. Web-based searching is inclusive: it allows students who differ in performance levels to participate in this activity at a level equal with their fluency.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Related (specific) Technology Outcome being integrated: C.1 3.5 Students will be able to analyze and synthesize information to create a product.

Subject: Social Studies

Grade: 7

Description: Learning about culture in their own immediate environment, students will recognize that communication in all its forms is the means by which culture is formed. One large communicator today is mainstream media that effects it's viewers. Television, movies, and the Internet have effected popular culture and influenced what Canadians value.
In response to their analysis of today's popular culture, students will generate a Power Point presentation in order to "sell" a product they've designed. The student's presentation is a live advertisement using Power Point as a mode for the class to view their product. The product is something the students have invented based on their reflections on what is marketable in today's culture. In their presentation, students must include rationale for why their product is a "must buy" and what benefits their product offers to society or to the individual. The Power Point presentation will be assessed on creativity of product, plausibility of product in today's popular culture, effective use of Power Point to display their product, and clarity of presentation.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I was amazed today when the members in my Evaluation in Learning group exchanged information for our presentation and I walked away with no papers in my hand. Surely, I realized, we have reached an age in computer technology where print is on the out and digitized files are on the in.
In my opinion, integration of technology in the classroom is of utmost importance for upcoming teachers in the profession. I will share with you good integration strategies, bad integration strategies, and barriers associated with technology integration in the classroom.
Proper technology integration in the classroom is that used as a tool for authentic learning. In authentic learning, technology is used as a tool where right and wrong answers are less important, and student inquisition and investigation leading to critical thinking is most important. Perhaps teachers ought to relax while integrating computer technology in the classroom, for students do learn by following their curiosity. It is the teacher's position to initiate wonderings in their students. As an upcoming teacher, I ought to let students have time on computers so they feel comfortable with them and then implement interesting assignments like comparison studies with other schools in the world, collaborating with other teachers to do joint projects, and saving files in archives for upcoming students to view. If school administration is committed to updating curriculum so that consistent use of technology is integrated from grade to grade, students and teachers would be able to implement computer technology in their learning.
Improper technology integration in the classroom is teaching that models how to use computers without allowing students to discover these skills. So often, ill-prepared teachers use computer technology to "kill time" in their classrooms, rather teachers ought to develop creative methods and strategies for using technology in the classroom. I believe students will be excited and interested in joining blog groups or in conferencing with other students around the world and all this interaction is on the tips of our keyboard bound fingers! Teachers may be trained in certain software programs but so often these skills are not finding their way into the classroom. This inefficiency is a great waste of time for professional development.
Some of the barriers to technology integration in the classroom are teachers (like me!) with low computer self-efficacy. Studies have shown that teachers with confidence in working with computers are more apt to implement their skills in the classroom. However, do not fear those who are computer disabled! (like me!) A teacher need only be a facilitator of technology in a classroom, not a computer programmer who can hack into any mainframe. The idea that one who integrates computers in the classroom must be a computer mastermind is another barrier to computer integration.
Clearly, computer integration in the classroom is of utmost importance. I can say for myself that practice makes perfect in many areas in life and in my experience, once I learn a software program, I gain confidence quickly and my trust in computer technology increases. As for today, I am not so scared to walk away from a group project meeting with no information in my hands. I just check my email and all the information my group members mailed me is at my viewing disposal. The times they are a changin' and I, for one, see the need to keep up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hello, my name is Josh Krikke and I am pleased to meet you on this my first Blog. Just before I wrote this I was laying down on the bank of a Coulee amidst some leafless prairie shrub. I saw the sun drop behind some low-hanging clouds and looking across the green lines of Coulee crests I sure was glad to be alive. Me-now, here in Lethbridge, AB for a two-year stint getting my Education Degree.
I am excited to be on this stage of my journey, a journey that started with my upbringing in Rural-Ontario and led towards me obtaining a B.A in English at The King's University College in Edmonton, AB. Then, I had a life-changing experience teaching English at Global English School in Nonthaburi, Thailand. It seems strange that little over four months ago the beautiful landscape I'd come to love, the palm trees and white sand beaches, have been replaced by Southern Alberta grasslands. This is me-now, here in Lethbridge and as my journey continues I recall the lyrics of singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn, who says: "Even the best map will not guide you/For you can't see around the bend."
I couldn't see around the bend when I started my Ed Degree just last week and here I am writing a blog. Publishing a blog is huge for a non-computer type like myself. I enjoyed reading the website required for Ed 3508 for as the author on www.weblog-ed.com/stories/storyReader$24 says: "...we need to make (students) connect what they do for fun with writing and reading and learning. Weblogs can do that." I thought that was a great quote encapsulating how students today have grown up using the Internet for fun. Students like to join chat rooms, use Messenger, and surf the net and they can do it skillfully. However, students fail to link these skills with literacy. Blogging is one way to incorporate what students love into their education.
The greatest thing about the Web is it "enables individual participation in the marketplace of ideas" (www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/47), and this is truly the place of the teacher: to facilitate student wonderings. Am I limiting student generated ideas and wonderings by my ignorance of all things Web related? It's a good question for any future educator. I think if I could incorporate Weblogs into my curriculum it would motivate non-participators in the classroom and provide a forum for collaboration and discussion. Blogs can initiate reader-response within a classroom and, in a larger sense, in the global community. Published Blogs would be something students could own on the World Wide Web. I think students would get excited about blogging and without even recognizing it, participate in literacy.
While volunteering in a grade 2 class this summer I seem to remember the students going crazy when it was their time in the computer lab. Fights ceased and recess was forgotten for those precious minutes playing online word games and math games. I see now how students are excited to operate computers. I also see how it is part of my responsibility as a future teacher to incorporate computer technology into learning. Learning ought to be fun and perhaps blogging could be a fun-factor in my future English classes.