Enjoy "Gracias a la Vida", which in English means "Thanks to Life". This is one of the most
famous songs in my country, Chile.
-You must have Word software to access the following links: Top Ten List, Inspiration Lesson Plan, Pamphlet, and Final Project Proposal.
-To access the Concept Map in Inspiration, you need Inspiration software. If you do not have it, you can see the Concept Map in Microsoft Word.
-To access the PowerPoint Presentation, you need PowerPoint software.
-To access the Self-Portrait Collage, you may use Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
Our first asignment was to choose a topic and find the best ten Web sites to make our Top Ten List. I chose "High school career counseling with technology" because I think that technological resources could be a valuable tool in this area. We could not just use Web sites about technology or about our topic, instead, we had to find information about technology integration projects. In addition, we had to submit this Top Ten List in the course Wiki, which was a new tool for the majority of the class. Also, we had to provide a short explanation about every Web site. Therefore, we had the opportunity to learn about internet research, technology integration in educational projects, and this new way to participate in the World Wide Web (the wiki).
We had to create a lesson plan using Inspiration software as a learning resource. Also, we had to build a map with Inspiration as a model for the students, presenting the content that the lesson plan was designed to teach. This assignment was so useful for me, because I could learn about software that is a valuable tool to work with the constructivist approach.
We were asked to create a tri-fold Pamphlet to present the content of our research topic (the Top Ten List). To achieve this task, we had to use several tools in Microsoft Word, such as graphics and columns. The last challenge was the printing step to obtain the copies for our classmates. Believe it or not, printing a letter and printing a pamphlet is not the same! With this work I rediscovered the value of the pamphlet as a powerful resource to communicate.
Using the same topic we researched for our Top Ten List, we had to create a short PowerPoint Slide Show to share our findings with our classmates. For this task we used some PowerPoint software features such as layouts, text and graphics. I also included some links and I could realize that the last version is really friendly.
Using the Photoshop sofware, we made a collage including a digital picture, an image from the Internet, and some scanned items. We had to play with this tool to discover and use several features, such as layers and drawing/painting. Personally, I am so proud that I could do an animation! As a visual learner, I enjoyed doing this assignment so much.
In this not graded assignment, we were asked to write a proposal describing the technology-rich classroom project that we would like to develop, using a specific instructional approach. I decided to use the WebQuest structure to incorporate technology in career counseling. In addition, I chose the constructivist approach, because in my country currently we are using it to improve the educational process at every level.
We had to design a technology-rich classroom project/unit or WebQuest aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks to demonstrate how we integrate technology appropriately into diverse learning environments. I chose to develop a WebQuest about career counseling at the high school, because I think it could be a valuable and useful tool for students in the career exploration and decision-making process.
|Using Technology||Final Project Idea|
In our first virtual class we had to introduce ourselves, writing a short essay. Also we were asked to describe our reasons to take this course and our personal learning goals. This was a very good opportunity to learn about everyone in the class.
In this discussion we had to give our opinion as a teacher or instructional technologist, about purchase Turnitin or not in an educational institution. We justified our answer describing strategies to encourage original work and discourage plagiarism. Also, we had to explain how the technology supports those strategies. This topic was so interesting, because we could interchange opinions about the relation between technology and life values in the educational context.
We were asked to explain the role of PowerPoint as an instructional tool, from our point of view. I think that PowerPoint is still definitely the best resource to support an oral presentation.
Using diverse readings and our own experience, we described one instance where we have observed technology being used well and one instance where it was used poorly. With this discussion I could compare diverse experiences, and I concluded that having technological resources is not enough to achieve technology integration in education; it is necesary to change the user's mindset.
We were asked to think of an idea that we would like to develop into our final project. We had to describe that idea and share it, in order to provide feedback between us. Also, we had to use that feedback to develop a final project proposal. It was so useful this last virtual class, because I chose a WebQuest like a final project, which is a new tool for me.