Using Comics in Education

Posted October 21, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Fluency, Teaching ideas

When is the last time that you picked up the comic section of the newspaper? Be honest. Despite of age, most people enjoy reading comics. Therefore, why not use comics in the classroom for educational purposes.  According to Gene Yang, comics are motivational. He claims, “By far, the most frequently mentioned asset of comics as an educational tool is its ability to motivate students.” They can be used in various ways to teach various subjects. Not only are comics motivational for students, but they can also help students improve their reading fluency and comprehension. Visit this site for more information. Comics are also reach various student learning styles.

This site provides teachers with lessons on using comics in the classroom. It provides comics and evaluation forms to use with comics. This is a rubric that could be used with level 3-12, college.

Still need ideas on how to use comics in the classroom. Here is an idea to get you started. 

Using Audacity to Help Increase Reading Fluency

Posted October 9, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Audacity, Fluency

Throughout elementary schools in Frederick County, Maryland teachers are asked to assess students’ fluency. During the process, teachers often tape record students while they are reading. They do this in order for students to hear themselves read. They also do this so that the teacher and student can analyze and reflect on the student’s reading.

After learning about the program Audacity, a program that  “allows users to quickly create, delete and modify voice recording,” (FCPS Audacity Instruction and Use) I thought about the value of using this program to promote reading fluency. Students would be able to record themselves, listen to it, and edit the recording. Using this program would also be encouraged by the school system because it covers many of Maryland’s teacher and student technology standards.

Some ideas that I came up with for using the program to increase reading fluency include the following. Teachers could record themselves in order to model fluent reading for students. Fluent Readers in the class could also record themselves and then have less fluent readers  listen to the recordings. This could be very motivating for all students involved. Lastly, students could  take turns reading, recording, and listening to each other’s reading. During this time, they could discuss their efforts (sharing what was done well while reading and what could be worked on).  

Here’s another way to use it and Here is a guide to help.

Social Bookmarking

Posted October 8, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Educational Technology, Social Bookmarking

Have you ever saved a favorite website address on a disk and then forgot to take it with you when you needed it? Have you ever saved something to a hard drive, had your computer crash, and loose important web addresses? Last question. Have you ever been on a computer somewhere and found a very useful site, but wasn’t able to remember it at a later date? I can honestly answer yes to each of these questions. Therefore, when I learned about Social Bookmarking, I had to share the finding with everyone I knew. Social bookmarking is a service where you “can save links, annotate them with unique keywords, or tags to organize them with the world” (Will Richardson).  Click here to find the Who, What, How, and Why about Social Bookmarking. These are just a few reasons that I use Social Bookmarking.

Another reason includes sharing great sites with others. Often I have visited my college professor’s site and found very useful web addresses. With the use of tags, I have been able to connect to others that share the same sites and interest. What a great way to collaborate with others Professionally. “And in doing so, you’re creating your own community of researchers that is gathering relevant information for you” (Will Richardson).

Now that I have goteen you excited about Social Bookmarking, it’s time to choose a site to use. Here are some Social Bookmarking sites to get you started.

Where can information be found quickly? Wikipedia

Posted October 7, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Educational Technology, Wikipedia

How are people currently conducting research and/or finding information on particular subjects quickly?

Rather the topic being researched is something current or historical, many people are referring to Wikipedia, or Wikis. This is an online encyclopedia, but unlike other encyclopedias, it can be edited, added to, and/or deleted. It “houses more than 865,000 separate entries,” according to Will Richardson. It sounds like a great resource to use in the classroom with students. Not only can students use it to access information quickly, they can too edit information and insert their own post. For example, if a class is studying Historical St. Mary’s City, they can search for the topic and view what is posted. If information that they want to find is not posted, they can learn about it and then create and publish their own post.  “Like blogs, they could also post PowerPoint presentations, video and audio files, and spreadsheets” (Will Richardson). Refere to this site for examples of students and teachers entries.  

Will Richardson also provided school Wikis possibilities. They include: book reports, What I did this summer, brainstorming, poetry, notes from class, history of the school/community, and formula.

Sounds like a great classroom tool. I’m ready to start using it in the classroom. How about you?

Changes in Writing

Posted October 7, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Blogging, Educational Technology, Writing

When is the last time you bought stationary and a stamp, wrote a letter, and then sent the letter to someone through the mail? For me, it’s been a very long time. With the use of technology and the Internet, I can send emails in order to communicate in a much faster and more convenient way. For example,  I am  able to keep in touch with friends and relatives who live great distances away from me through email. On a positive note, this change in writing has helped me increase my communication with friends, family, and educators.

In the education world, writing is also changing with use of technology and the Internet. Teachers are using Blogs in order for students to communicate their ideas. Will Richardson says, “Students can write about personal reactions to topics covered in class, post links, write reflectively, and summarize on annotate readings.”  Instead of using the traditional paper and pencil for journaling and free writing, they can use Blogs to do so.   The possibilities truly are endless.  

This site is a great resource for teachers who are looking for ways to use technology with their students in order to improve writing skills.

Preventing Cheating

Posted October 3, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Preventing Cheating

          Cheating has always been an issue that teachers, parents, and students have had to face. Unfortunately, the issue is continuing and  increasing at a rapid pace. Some people claim that the use of technology is one of the causes. Two ways students are using technology as a way of cheating include: programing formulas into calculators and using cellphones to search on-line for information. The problem is that many students believe that it is “OK” to cheat.

       There are ways to decrease or even eliminate the problems at hand. Many teachers do not allow anything to be on desks during testing, such as cellphones. Also, some teachers are are using this site to check student work with content that is on the Internet.

Comforting Those Reluctant Parents

Posted October 2, 2007 by mmcateer
Categories: Educational Technology, Internet Safety

       Using technology in the classroom has a lot of “Bells and Whistles” for students and teachers, alike. It makes learning enjoyable and keeps children and teachers in tune with current educational and work trends.  With all of this in mind,  why are some parents so reluctant to have students participate in these trends? Safety!

       Before using the Web with students, there are a lot of precautions to consider. “This is about more than not publishing children’s names and pictures on the Internet or permitting students to access obscene content online” (Will Richardson).

     First of all, educators need to filter and monitor content being seen/used in the educational setting. In Frederick County, elementary students are not permitted to search the Web freely. View this sitefor more information. Also, most school systems have some form of filter being used so that inappropriate content isn’t being viewed. This eliminates the possibility of students viewing sites that are not appropriate for school children. Lastly, using multimedia can be used to teach safely issues, such as “PointSmartClickSafe” (a interactive site that is to help children stay safe while using the Internet). This site includes video clips and a”guidebook.” View this site for more information about the interactive.

    Therefore, parents being aware of the technology precautions that teachers are taking may increase parents understanding and comfort level of student technology use.