Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ed School in a flash

Thought it'd be easier to find this way.

Non-linear powerpoint
So you ask, what is a non-linear powerpoint?A powerpoint that is nonlinear means that you have some freedom to move about the presentation. Instead of going 1-2-3-4-5 it can go 1-5-3-2-4. Someone likened it to a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story and since I used to love those I happen to agree. It means that you could see this powerpoint 2 or 3 times and it play out differently each time. This helps the teacher out for there is sense of unpredictablity and at the same time, a structure. Maybe the best term to describe this is called: controlled chaos. It is fun for the students too, because they have a choice in the outcome of the powerpoint. This leads to greater interest and probably better learning because of it. That may be a simple, watered down definition but it is still fairly accurate.
History site
For this assignment, I checked out the HSI website or looks like a very promising website. The cases are certainly interesting, the problem was the ones that really interested me had BROKEN LINKS (My dreams were shattered). Those that I did get to explore were fun, and for a history dork like me kind of exciting. I could enjoy them both as a student and a teacher. Exploring primary and secondary documents are important tools that students will need, especially on AP tests, but for their own critical thinking skills as well. These archives are interesting but still need much work. When they get more cases that fill in the gaps of time (from the Civil War to Elvis), and fix their links, this website will prove to be a useful tool for the classroom.

Powerpoint ideas
For my non-linear powerpoint presentation I'd like to deal with my field in secondary Social Studies. Specifically I will focus on post 1877 U.S. history. One SOL i found interesting is a) describing racial segregation, the rise of “Jim Crow,” and other constraints faced by African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South. My instruction will probably be a gameshow after the fact review type of presentation. Also, with these three prongs already given, it could be easy to make categories for this review. It is obviously an important topic, one that has reprecussions even today. Maybe even more important is that this topic goes beyond simple facts to actual concepts and abstract thought. With this type of subject matter, powerpoints usefulness is expanded beyond the simple: fact, fact, picture model. My model can hopefully serve for other types of history SOLs as well. If you feel me, holla back.YAY EDUCATION
Brainstorm on Lesson Plan
I will probably do the same SOL I did my PowerPoint on, dealing with the Jim Crow South. This way I incorporate PowerPoint technology into what would originally be a bland presentation (Plus recycling is fun). In my dream world I will ty to incorporate everything we have discussed and then some. That means students can make their own websites and create multiple presentations about history. As for this design, I think it is very useful but I will need to really investigate some models to fully graps the concept. Words like assessment, objectives are interesting words but they are too ambiguous for little old me. It'll be nice to have some concrete examples.

# posted by Ben G @ 6:18 PM 1 comments

Feedback Exercise
It was nice to get some feedback on my project but I anticipated most of it. I was glad someone noticed one of my cool transition effects, and I realized that timing was an issue. It was a rather ROUGH cut but they helped me out. Offering their advice a little, but more importantly pointing out the good and pointing out the bad. That way I know what to keep and that helped make the refining process much easier. I hope my students will be able to handle such an exercise, I guess only time will tell.

# posted by Ben G @ 1:30 PM 0 comments

I really liked the design of most people's websites. I need to spend more time on my portfolio in terms of the visual as well as description. I will write more later, but he let me go.As for the online discussion, it certainly was interesting. As a teacher I would worry about things quickly going out of control. However, if proper guidelins were set and it was a class I knew well and could trust, then I would see the practicality of such an excursion. After all, as we discussed it helps some people who would not normall speak up during class a chance to say their part. While it certainly has flaws, I would not be shocked if it did not become more and more a part of our lives (though not complete replacement). I remember when I was in late middle/early high school, I thought chat rooms were the greatest thing since sliced bread. I would spend hours after school because I had no life. Therefore, if all kids are like me (God hopes not) then I could see this tool being usd to bring private and school life together.

# posted by Ben G @ 6:39 PM 0 comments

Technology in the Classroom
I think it's easy to say that technology is usually considered a good thing....when used well. Countless times class has been needlessly stalled for a PowerPoint or thrown off by a real media file not working. Which is why this class exists. Teachers need to learn the good, the bad and the ugly of technology. We now have more tools at our disposal than many of us AIM users ever dreamed possible. Blogs, PowerPoints, Tapped In, Flickr, Audacity, Movie Maker and GIMP all give something extra to the classroom. These programs are something new, in a profession that might be the most resistant to change. Nevertheless, it helps make the world of education and the real world one and the same. Without technology, kids will become more and more isolated from school, and more prevalent to say "Why do I have to learn this stuff?" It is not an easy transition, nor a clean one, but it is a necessary one. Technology brings an audio and a visual element into subjects like history and English that are really necessary for comprehension. Why else are history scores so much lower than they should be? Is it that much harder than science, or is it we have yet to adopt a good teaching strategy for history? If history could become real, either through audio or personalized projects using these new and powerful tools, it won't just be this event written on paper. The event will become something of importance, something tangible. Technology is not just there to make things look better, or to hide the fact that we're not teaching what we should. Technology is there because without it education will be mired in a world that has outlived the classroom's usefulness. However, when used properly technology will put education not just current with the new era, but produce individuals ready and willing to take the world into the next era.

Checklist for Project
Record lesson on Tuesday November 8th.Over the weekend get it on my computer, and check it.Following week: Break it down into segments and categorize each one.Before Thanksgiving, burn to CD.After Thanksgiving, fix website and link all projects. Do Tech Bio revisited before Finals and complete resubmitted Midterm before Dec. 1st.


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