Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shared PREZI

Polleverywhere benefits

Teachers who have used found it helpful saving money and time and at the same time found their students learn more efficiently. By positing an instant question on the wall,  a Holy Trinity high school math teacher Matthew Dopira got the idea about what and how much his students has learned right away during his class. I can see how he can use the data collected for his next lesson plan preparation, and modification.
Moreover, if teachers have a hard time dealing with students using their smart phones, why not incorporate cell phones in teaching; make students use the best out of their personal mobile devices to enhance their learning. I believe that students will pay attention in the class since as a High school English teacher Valerie Williams stated that her students did not have to worry about taking notes but participated well in the class, " knowing that they will have a picture of the board to use for later reference."  Furthermore, a junior high school teacher, Kathy Peter agreed that "allowing mobile device use within clear parameters makes it less likely that students will use them inappropriately" Peter said "They (students) know that I will allow it when it is necessary." I think this is a great class management strategy.

How to avoid Powerpointlessness?

How to train our students use Powerpoint effectively without making their presentation Powerpointless?

I have assigned my students Powerpoint presentation projects in my Art class before. Most of my students put too much information in their slides which really distracted the audience and made their presentation powerpointless.  Furthermore, it was time consuming that I remember spending a lot of time editing, and writing specific comments and feedback for each group.
After reading the article, I am inspired by James McKenzie's Scoring Power Points and learned that showing my students a Powerpoint presentation rubric can really help them grasp my expectations.  Moreover, I will also provide good and bad examples of Powerpoint slides when I go through the rubric.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Using technology to learn collaboratively.

I agreed that in order to understand ideas deeply, there must be some interactive conversation take place.  The collaborative journal writing which mentioned in this online article sounds brilliant that it does not only provide a forum for students to share their learning process and strategies but also create an opportunity for students to have writing conversations back and forth with their peers. 

I have done similar activities with my students in a non-technology environment. I found it helpful since through the activities, students had chances to discuss what they learned and share what they missed from the contents that other students have found. The only disadvantage was that students had to wait until the next class to get their journals back,  then write back to their partners and exchange the next time again.

Therefore, I think online collaborative journal writing can really save both students and teachers a lot of time. Students can do their research while writing their journal as homework.

Furthermore, for teachers this is a great way to train "expert learners". Teachers can assign writing assignments following the order of  Planning Starters, Reflective Starters and Comment or Discussion Starters, mentioned on the site, Scaffolding For Deep Understanding.  
For example, every student will start a piece beginning with "I want to learn...", then read other people's writing online to write their reflections, for instance, "I learned...". After they have read other people's learning refections, each student will choose one colleauge's writing to write his/her response, such as "I disagree with you because...". Finally, all studnets have to write a work or artist's statement to conclude their project learning process and appreciate others cooperation.