Final Reflection

What did you learn about the intersection of technology and instruction? What was your progress on becoming a “tech-savvy” teacher?

I really enjoyed this class because I learned many useful ways to encourage students to want to participate in class activities. Many students today are captivated by technology. The various programs that we learned about are perfect for getting students interested in a topic. My favorite programs that we experimented with were Adobe Spark Post, Sway, EDPuzzle, Padlet, and Google Sites. This class not only taught me about valuable tech programs but also how to make the lesson meaningful for both the students and the teacher by giving students the chance to be involved in the lesson. At the beginning of this course, I was not aware of the majority of different tech tools that were available for teachers. I was excited to learn that they are all user-friendly, fun, different, and allow the students to become involved, hands-on, in their learning experience.

This class was driven by mini-projects instead of test and papers. How did you respond? What does that tell you about student motivation?

I really enjoyed the set up of this class. I learn best through hands-on activities, so the different assignments we created engaged me and made me excited to learn about the different programs. I was also able to understand the content more throughly and then apply it in my own way. Because the class was student motivated, I had an appreciation for what we were learning and therefore put more effort into the class because I wanted to know about the different programs. This class has further encouraged me to create lessons in which students are able to participate in ways that allow them to be creative, use different materials, and work with peers.

Final Reflection

Upon starting this course, I knew very little about the use of technology in the classroom. I originally had some reservations about its effectiveness. I assumed that it would be difficult to ensure all students are on task. However, we discovered many online resources and websites that are engaging to students and easy for the teacher to monitor. A lot of the online lessons we created were easy to make and could easily be implemented in the classroom. Allowing access to visuals and study tools ensures that students actually learn and understand the material, as most people are visual learners. With the increase access to technology in the classroom, we should take advantage of this resource to diversify our curriculum. From this course, I feel like I have become a tech savvy teacher. Before, I didn’t even know how to embed videos into Google slides. I hadn’t realized just how easy most of the Google resources are to use. Now I have many lessons I can incorporate in my future classroom.

            I thought that it was important that this class was project based instead of essay driven. It was more effective to learn how to use these websites through trial and error. We got 15 different lessons and ideas we can implement in our own classrooms. This is a lot more helpful than solely essays. It made the class much more engaging and I personally felt more likely to do my best work. I felt that all the projects we completed had a purpose, it wasn’t just busy work. This is something that I will take into account in my own classroom. I want students to enjoy and be actively engaged in what we are doing. I will make sure to assign lessons that are meaningful so that their motivation does not diminish.

Final Project

By Lauren Alvarez and Audrey Muller

Our final project aims to help students practice their debate skills in the form of a meme. This lesson is designed for fourth grade students including a variety of research materials. Students will be able to form an opinion on the morality of zoos, create a visual defending this, and share it with the class. Before class, students will read, watch videos, and take notes about the pros and cons of zoos. They will take a stance on either side and find a partner in class. Pairs will create the meme together, using Adobe Spark, sharing it onto Padlet when finished. Adobe Spark allows for students to practice these skills in a non-conventional way. Debates do not have to be verbal, these memes can be just as moving as words. This website would be a great resource for accommodations so all students can demonstrate their learning. Padlet allows for the class to see everyone’s opinions on the zoo debate and see if more students are pro or against zoos. All the memes will be in one place and easily accessible. This lesson could be built upon resulting in a persuasive essay or research project.

TEDED: Oceans and Climate Change

TEDED is a fun app that enables you to take a video from YouTube and add questions about the content. You are able to write multiple choice questions and free response questions for the students to answer. These questions are designed to be answered after the students have already viewed the video. If they get the question incorrect, a hint is provided, sending the student to the correct place in the video to find the answer. Within this app, there is a discussion portion. Students can add comments about what they learned and bounce ideas off of one another.

At first I was disappointed that the questions did not pop up as the video played, however this is a good way to test student comprehension at the end.

I created a TEDED video about our oceans and how climate change is affecting them. Enjoy! 🙂

Teaching with QuickTime

We chose to use QuickTime to create a video about how to use Adobe Spark, specifically how to make a meme. We recorded the entire screen and explained the step by step process while we worked. We enjoyed using this medium of recording the screen because it was simple, quick, and effective. In addition to using QuickTime, we also used iMovie to add background music. We found that this minimized awkward pauses and keeps the viewers engaged while systems loaded.

Hope you enjoy!! 🙂

Audrey and Lauren

Using Tour Creator

I enjoyed using Tour Creator to create a presentation about the National Parks around the world. I love the 360 degree feature of this program. It enhances the learning experience and shows the extent of the topic and the specific features of each detail. I did find this program to be a bit limiting in terms of what you can post to each slide. Enjoy learning about some of the top National Parks in the world!

Adobe Spark v Sway

Adobe Spark and Sway are two different programs that can be used to create engaging presentations. I like both formats and the different aesthetic appeal that they have. I personally think working with Adobe Spark is easier and a bit more fun. I think it would also be easier for students to work with Adobe Spark. There is more variability and creativity that students can choose from.

Smiling Sea Otters

A Boy and His Dog

This video was made using Adobe Spark Video. It is a lighthearted story about a boy and a dog. This program is helpful for teachers looking to make fun and informational videos for the classroom.

The only struggle I had when using this program was the limitation on picture options. I would suggest having all of the pictures on your desktop, instead of trying to look them up within the program. I do like the feature of adding music to make the video more engaging to the audience.

What do we know about The Ocean – Padlet

Padlet is an online program that allows several individuals to collaborate on ideas, sharing, commenting, and contributing. After logging into an account, you have the option to create a Padlet from scratch, or use of the many existing templates, such as KWL chart (as seen below), a storyboard, a question and answer chart, and a flow chart.

Click for link to Padlet KWL About The Ocean

This program can be used in a classroom to encourage students to share their ideas. It allows for all students to be able to see what their classmates are thinking, yet provides independent work time. It also gives students who are quiet, the opportunity to feel comfortable sharing their opinions. I highly recommend this site for classroom conversations and to enhance the learning experience.

Our Mini Lessons

By Lauren Alvarez & Audrey Muller

Here is a collection of mini lessons we have created. They range from discovering glaciers around the world to English lessons about pigs and pancakes. Included is an instructional video comparing different baking styles and their results- helping you find your perfect recipe!

The Largest Glaciers in the World

Created by Audrey Muller and Lauren Alvarez.

Glaciers are disappearing fast! Learn about them while you can! This neat interactive tool makes learning fun. 🙂

Students can use this map to view the largest glaciers left on Earth. Many glaciers are receding over the years due to global warming. Students can interact with each glacier through pictures and videos.