Monday, February 22, 2010

PLE Week 7

The role of technology is to enhance the learning experience. It needs to bring in some sort of element that couldn't be had without technology. Assignments should be more interesting and more dynamic with new tools. For example, the virtual tour gives a different perspective on the Earth and where things are located, that are different than just looking at a map. It is a given that with the good comes the bad. Students are so good with new technologies that it is possible they will become distracted by them. Texting is a huge problem in schools, and while on the computers, it is hard for students not to become sidetracked on meaningless sites while trying to complete assignments. I have seen multiple technologies used effectively in classes. The first is a simple camcorder. It always creates for a fun environment while the students get to show what they know about a subject. The second is an interactive movie that has the teacher stop every so often and have discussions about what was shown. A third technology that I have seen used is a smart board. I have only seen it once, but what a fun thing! It makes dynamic learning so much easier. Getting students moving around is always a good way to keep them alert and awake.

PLE Week 6 Post

Among the many sensory elements that would enhance a virtual tour, smell is at the top of my list. When one is at the zoo, the smells really come alive, however while watching a movie, or a computer screen, that is an important sense that is missed. Naturally, taste would be another experience that could ameliorate a tour. Food is one thing that can be so distinctly different one place to another. The other element I can think of is the element of touch. Maybe if the instructor could get a hold of some sort of example of what they will be studying, the students could each get to feel it.

I enjoyed the field trips I previewed, especially the one on volcanoes. It was quite solid, teaching many good lessons, while being very fun. Another one I watched was about the Civil War. Although it wasn't as direct and easy to orient I really enjoyed seeing the places they visited. The third tour I watched was on the Eiffel Tower. I specially enjoyed the fact that they asked the students a question and provided them with articles to use to find the answer.

There are many ups and downs of a virtual tour, and from a student perspective I think they are mainly positive. For no cost, the students can observe and experience to a degree an entirely different part of the world. On the other hand, certain sensory experiences as mentioned above are impossible to replicate with technology.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Digital Storytelling Project Finally Finished!

Watch it on YouTube here

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 5 PLE Post

So, the coolest thing about Google Earth is that I can just zoom right in on the area where I served my mission and actually see specific buildings! That is incredible! Another nifty gadget on this program is the option to measure the distance between any two points with just a couple of clicks. You can be taken instantly to any specific landmark or city in the world by just typing it in. Then you can observe the place from a myriad of angles. It's really a fascinating technology and as we have already discussed in class, it is perfect for making a virtual field-trip for the students. It could also be used to show students fun places you have traveled.

Pros and Cons of Digital Storyboarding

Seeing as how I'm not actually finished with the digital storyboard, I definitely have some cons to talk about with this technology. My main concern is that it just takes too much time to make it interesting. We hand-drew our pictures, and we have nobody to blame for that decision, although it did help us avoid any copyright issues. Other than that, I don't have any large concerns, the technology is rather straight forward and unique. A pro for this technology is that it mixes up the dynamic in class and can add a fun new element of teaching. It's always fun for students to learn through a new medium, and who doesn't love a home-made movie? Overall I think it's a great thing to do for the classroom, and after doing a few of them I'm sure I will be much quicker with the whole process.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Storyboards of my peers

I reviewed the storyboards of my peers and I am quite excited to see how they all turned out. I commented on five people's blogs, including; Morgan Thorup, Sheila Reynolds, Sarah Ure, Aubrey Barker, and Haley VandeMerwe. I'm sure the movies will turn out to be lots of fun.

When I think about making storyboards and movies for a classroom setting I definitely see the positive outcome of having the students learn from a different type of teaching style. I do however think it will be difficult to spend the time in making one that is long enough to take the place of just teaching. It seems like quite a bit of work for just a five minute video, and that isn't very much class time that is used for teaching a principle.