Below will be the items we are using in the first day of class.
Hello! Welcome to Natural Science Biology Lecture.
Below will be the items we are using in the first day of class.
What to do today?•Log on to Biologywithtechnology.com •Make sure that you can view the syllabus and clicker registration guide. •Register your clicker •Make a comment on the first day’s post. –What would you like to hear about in a Biology class? –Can animals be superstitious? – Please use your real name and UA email.
Will you be able to help your son, daughter, peer, student, co-workers, or teachers innovate for the future?
From First Post to Now
As I looked back at my first post, I feel like I'm still in the same place. I've always been pretty techie, I've always used tons of technology applications, and the course I took enhanced my knowledge. I also looked at using technology from other viewpoints - How do you manage a class of students who are using technology? How do you convince teachers to try new things? How do you deal with tech support? What do you do when you see teachers or students who are doing it wrong. A big issue of mine is being too critical. I need to let people do their thing. Of course there is a learning curve, and I need to be more willing to accept people who are trying to do something new.
I really enjoyed this class, and I really liked doing something I think I'm pretty good at. I liked looking at it from a Professional Development standpoint - How would I teach teachers how to do this in their classrooms? Since a lot of the students in my class hadn't been teachers before, I think they will be surprised at how students are willing to try anything that gets them away from watching lectures and doing handouts. Ultimately, who does me learning how to implement technology in the classroom benefit the mo
Innovate, or Get Out of the Way!
I was reading Garth Holman's (my professor and now friend) blog, TeachersForTomorrow.Net, and he had an interesting article about his time teaching Grad Students. It was especially interesting to me, in that I've taught students, worked with Graduate Biology Teaching Assistants, taught high school, and been in the position of being in grad school. He talked about his student's reflections on technology, and you can read the article, but here's the comment I left -
"The new teachers, the successful teachers, the teachers who are going to make the big bucks in the future, are going to be those that are not only WITH the times, but AHEAD of the times. No longer will the old geezer teacher be able to use his mimeographs from 1976 to teach.... Teaching is going from "teacher-centered" to teacher-led, and the teachers who just want to stand up in front of the room and do a powerpoint are going to be short lived. I get excited with each new contact I make, each website that has a new technology I can tinker with, and with the innovation that our 21st century promises. Whenever I hear a teacher say, "I don't know how to do that! Help me." I think, "You better learn how to figure out the answer to your questions without asking the teacher! Google it, youtube, it, collaborate - DO SOMETHING, but if you sit back and helplessly hand raise - you're going to be out of a job!" And our students are not dependent on us as "the keepers of the information" anymore. It's exciting, it's scary, and it's the future. Teachers need to innovate, or they need to get out of the way!!!"
I've been in the reality of having a teacher-peer who used mimeographs from the 70's. It even had the domains of the animal kingdom wrong! He was sitting in his classroom, doing what was easy. And I know some, if not a lot, of teachers who are making the big bucks at the end of their careers, who want to just ride it out. And riding it out is not working for our students. In order for our students to innovate, to make money, and to compete on a global level, we have to get away from what's easy. We have to use new technology. We have to collaborate GLOBALLY! There is a change in the system that has to occur. I'm not saying I can single-handedly fix education, but I sure can sit back and be quiet and easy about it! Technology makes information available to every child in America, and it's moving globally. Teachers have a DUTY to be ahead of the game. We have a duty to not take the easy road, we have a duty to do what's best for our kids. I love education, I love that I have a platform to share my ideas, and I LOVE technology!
In the past, each section of my Natural Science Biology Lab was divided into 8 groups of 5 each. Each of the groups works together for the labs, and they also put together a presentation for the final lab session. I do this presentation because I think it keeps the students coming to lab, they learn to collaborate, and they develop a social network. It does what I’ve intended it to, for the most part, but with the imaginable gripes - some students drop the class, some students stop participating, some do all the work while others do none.
I really like the idea of doing this through Google Docs (and I kind of kick myself because I’ve known and used Google Docs for so long, but never thought to have the students use their UA accounts to do this - doh!), simply for the revision history. If I hear one more student complain about someone not doing their part, I will lose it. But, this very obviously, and factually, lets me know who did their part and who didn’t. And it eliminates the lost flash drives, the paper being on someone else’s computer, or work being lost. No one gets to “own” the work - all students in the group have equal access to the project, and I love that.
Here is the link to my Presentation Information -
Here is a link to the Rubric for the project
Using Visuals in the Classroom
Using visuals in the classroom is an important and vital piece of pedagogy. In my experience, kids remember the concepts much better when they can visualize the concepts, tie them together with pictures and videos, or form concept maps. I have looked at several tools for creating mental maps - one of my favorites is FreeMind. You can use Powerpoint to put text boxes into shapes or connect concepts.
http://www.mindmapart.com has beautiful examples of mind maps, artists who have created maps, and tips and tricks to create mind maps.
Using pictures and videos in your maps, through programs like Inspiration, can make your maps clickable and even more useful.
When I taught in Eagle Pass, I was a Thinking Maps trainer. Different types of maps could be used to show different ways of thinking about concepts. Some of the benefits of thinking maps:
Based on thorough and well-accepted academic study and brain research, the eight Thinking Map tools correspond with eight fundamental thinking processes. More than simple task-specific graphic organizers, our tools can be utilized individually or in various combinations to form a Common Visual Language for students and teachers at all grade levels, in all subjects.
What's a Ning???
Ning is the world's largest platform to create powerful, custom social websites. Top organizers, marketers, influencers and activists use Ning to create social experiences that inspire action.
How would I use Ning in education?
Ning has partnered with the education and technology company Pearson as an exclusive Ning Sponsor Partner. Pearson will make Ning Mini free for eligible North American K-12 and Higher-Ed Ning Networks. Ning Mini is a great way to get your educational institution online. With Ning Mini, you can add up to 150 members, and enhance your classroom, educational institution or your learning group with customized, online, social networking features like blogs, forums and photos. Read more about Ning Mini.
Ning looks like it can provide educators with a safe, social networking type of website. Teachers can set up the permissions in their classrooms, and students can talk with each other about the things they need, outside of class. The teacher can monitor and step in, if necessary. And, it is not open, like Facebook or Twitter, which could lead to students getting involved with strangers or using the technology for ulterior purposes. Facebook and Twitter are usually blocked at schools, and Ning can be allowed by the technology director.
Because I have not used Ning personally in my class, here are some links to people who have great resources:
Guidelines for using Ning in a school setting
Using Ning in the classroom: What advice can you give a graduate teacher?
Why is it important for students, teachers and administrators to have technology standards?
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) offers a framework for students, teachers, and administrators to improve teaching, learning, and leadership through technology in education. The site describes the digital age we live in, and how - as society changes - education must change. Students have to be prepared to collaborate beyond the walls of their classrooms, just as today’s business leaders reach out globally. And to keep up with the changing world, teachers and administrators have to prepare the students for jobs that may not have even been thought of yet. Teachers and administrators must lead in new, innovative ways - and they have a duty to keep up with professional development and changing technologies.
Standards for Global Learning in the Digital Age
"Educational technology standards are the roadmap to teaching effectively and growing professionally in an increasingly digital world. Technology literacy is a crucial component of modern society. In fact, the globalizing economy and technological advances continue to place a premium on a highly skilled labor force.
Education Must Change
As technology dramatically changes our society, educators need to demonstrate the skills and behaviors of digital-age professionals. Competence with technology is the foundation.
Transforming Learning Environments with Technology
Today’s educators must provide a learning environment that takes students beyond the walls of their classrooms and into a world of endless opportunities. Technology standards promote this classroom transformation by ensuring that digital-age students are empowered to learn, live, and work successfully today and tomorrow. "
How I feel about The Standards
I have always been a HUGE advocate of standards - technology based or otherwise. If you don't have a map, sure, you'll drive around for a while, you might happen upon some cool stuff, but how do you KNOW what is out there? When I used to teach Biology at a high school in Texas, there was another teacher who was considered to be one of the best Biology teachers. Whenever you walked into her room, her students were doing some project or pasting leaves on the walls or drawing something cool. Come to realize, she taught her students about plants the whole year. She loved plants, and she never taught anything else. Sure - it WAS Biology, but what about all the other aspects of Biology like cells, DNA, the environment, ecology, etc??? And just because her students were cutting out pictures of leaves, and drawing plants, doesn't mean they know anything about plants biologically.
Just because the students are banging away at a laptop, doesn't mean they are "becoming proficient at technology." Students, teachers, and administrators need to know what other people are doing. They need guidance and activities. They need ideas and inspiration. And they need to know how to launch our students into learning with 21st Century skills.
Teaching is not just standing in front of the students, lecturing and memorizing facts. Teaching is a whole new profession, where we are learning coaches - facilitating the students as they think critically about real world problems, and collaborate to solve the problems.
Everyone knows how to Google something - but Google provides a lot of revolutionary ways to search for things. Today, we learned about searches such as Google Scholar and searching for blogs. There's a great resource for Google searches and Hacks at Geekology. Google Educator also offers classroom lessons and resources for teachers.
Another resource that has recently jumped onto the scene is "social bookmarking."
Any time you want to learn to use a new technology, there is usually a great youtube video to go along with it. Delicious is no different. Delicious bills itself as "a Social Bookmarking service, which means you can save all your bookmarks online, share them with other people, and see what other people are bookmarking. It also means that we can show you the most popular bookmarks being saved right now across many areas of interest. In addition, our search and tagging tools help you keep track of your entire bookmark collection and find tasty new bookmarks from people like you." When used in an educational setting, and sharing bookmarks among educators, Delicious can lead you to new methods, technology, or tips for your field.
I looked for information about Biology, Technology, and Education on Delicious. Here are my bookmarks that I have shared. You'll also notice some political stuff, and viral videos, because that's things I am interested in, in my personal life. Each of these things I looked for would be considered a "tag." A tag is simply a term for something you a looking for. I looked for Biology, Education, and Technology. As I look at each tag, it takes me to something on the web that has been bookmarked, that has the term associated with it. The bookmarks would be pages on the web that have good information on them.
First Day Blogging on Weebly!
I'm excited to try a new blogging site. I had previously used Blogger for my personal blog amyandguppy.com and my professional blog The Thesis Therapist.
Why technology? Why is technology important for my students and me?
The link to the uatech site for creating blogs is here.
The blog rubric is here. Here is a brief synopsis of how we will be graded for out blog:
1. Title (1pts)
2. Explanation of the topic (s) you are going to address (3pts)
3. Reflections on what you learned about teaching, learning and technology (6 Pts)
4. Images--topic or your work (3pts)
5. Links, downloads, or film clip of what you are learning (2pts)
6. Statements of how or why this is important to you and your classroom or students (2pts)
7. Teachersfortomorrow.net blog reading/comment and statement of your comment (1 pt)
8. Add categories tag to each blog (1pt)
9. Comment on your blog buddies posts --Sunday at 12:00 AM (1pt)
I feel that blogging is an excellent method of understanding how students work. When students detail how assignments made them feel, how their though-processes occur, and their likes and dislikes, it can help me as a teacher create better, more inclusive assignments. This is like when teachers used to have you keep a paper journal - but the technology has made it so teachers and students have access to the materials at any time of day or night, students can't forget their assignment at home, and feedback can be immediate.
I could use a method like this type of blog in my classroom at UA for understanding how students feel about their labs, finding out what they find challenging or useful, and brainstorming. Rather than turning in a handwritten worksheet, my students could create a blog post each time they come to lab. They could also post videos or picture of themselves doing the assignments.
Amy Hollingsworth is The Natural Science Biology Lab Coordinator and Part-time Lecturer. She is also working on a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on STEM education