Frau's Blog

Archive for June 2009

  • Reflect on the “Personal Theory of Learning” you developed in Week 1. Summarize any modifications to your personal theory of learning you have made as a result of your learning in this course. 

I have not really changed my personal theory of learning, I just learned how to use each method more effectively and using new activities in my classroom. My personal learning theory consisted of a combination on behaviorist, cognitive and constructivist learning theories. I use positive and negative reinforcement as a part of behaviorism. I spend most of my time dealing with constructivist theory because it suggests that students learn what is meaningful to them. I like to make my classroom activities as meaningful to my students as possible so that they are active and engaged learners and that is what makes for more successful students. When new information is not meaningful, that is where cognitive learning thoery comes in. Cognitive theory focuses on how the brain learns new information. Cognitive learning techniques are what I have to do when material is not as meaningful to students. Even though something might not be meaningful (for example: German dative prepositions) it is still important for students to learn and retain the information.

  • Describe any immediate adjustments you will make to your instructional practice regarding technology integration as a result of your learning in this course. Identify two technology tools you would like to use with your students and how the tools will support or enhance your students’ learning.

I would like to immediately bring as much technology in the classroom as possible. This is easier said than done, but I am very excited about using new technologies used in this course, like VoiceThread and blogging, but also to make better use of technologies I was already using, like Power Point.

I learned several ways to make Power Point presentations more effective, like making them interactive and incorporating more pictures and less text to the presentation. VoiceThread is such a cool internet resource to use in the classroom. I would really like for students to make VoiceThread presentations and I am looking forward to implementing them into my lessons for next school year. I already have a great idea planned for my German II classes using VoiceThreads to make virtual field trips of German cities. It will be interesting to see what ideas I can come up with to use VoiceThread in the other levels of German. Something basic that was used as a part of this course was this very blog. Although we did not learn specifically about blogs, I really hope to have a classroom blog for my classes next year. I would like to use it as a class update system, with schedules, notes, and make up work, but also use it to post links to articles or important websites. Students can visit the links via the blog and then leave blog comments and reflections to the blog. The only problem here is clearing a blog site that will not be blocked by my school’s internet filter!

  • List two long-term goal changes you would like to make to your instructional practice regarding technology integration and outline a strategy for achieving them.

My first goal is somewhat vague, and that is to incorporate more technology into the classroom. I currently use some technology, like Power Point and the internet, frequently in the classroom, but this is only the beginning. There are so many more web resources to use with students and I am not using enough of them on a regular basis at school. This course introduced new technologies that I was not familiar with, like virtual field trips and VoiceThread, and I would like to use more and more technologies like these as much as possible. It will be difficult to get more time in the computer labs but it is very important to me that students can familiarize themselves with these new resources as well. Many students use technology mostly for Facebook and instant messaging and occassionally for researching school projects. I want my students to use these resources for more than communication and making meaningful projects to do in class will help with that.

My second goal is related to the first, and that is for students to use more and more of the technology themselves. Making a Power Point presentation so that students can take notes is fine, but it is better if the students are able to make the presentations themselves and teach each other. I want the integration of technology to focus more on the students and less on me showing them how do use the technology or using it myself. The best way to achieve this goal is also just to try it. I hope to provide more opportunities to my students to use technology and only by doing this can the students use more technolgy themselves.

Social learning theory suggests that what we learn is learned from social interactions with other people. I think this is a pretty accurate representation of how people learn, especially children. I have mentioned on the Walden discussion board that I have a 20-month-old daughter and everything she learns is from watching other people. All he new words that she says she hears from someone else first. The same is true of a lot of her actions. She mimics her father and me and wants to do what we are doing and how we are doing it. She wants to eat what we are eating and sit where we are sitting. She is soaking up new information like a sponge right now and again, most of it is learned from watching  and interacting with other people.

Social learning theory requires students to work with each other and cooperative learning embraces that. The course text says that to be prepared for the technologically advanced “real world” that we have today, it is very important that students learn to collaborate with others. Cooperative learning can be done in many ways, but the common aspect to all of these is keeping the groups at a manageable size.

Any activity where students are working in partnerships or small groups qualifies as cooperative learning. They are many ways that technology can be used in cooperative learning as well. The text suggests students making a video together, but really any type of presentation will work for this including a Power Point presentation or making their own websites. The internet also has many valuable resources that encourage cooperative learning like setting up online pen pals with other students from all over the world.

I use cooperative learning practically every day in my classroom. The text says that while cooperative learning should be encouraged in the classroom, it also should not be overused. I can see how cooperative learning can be overused and I think with certain groups of students it has been in my classroom too. I like students to work together on most assignments because I like for them to help each other out, but over time students become less and less focused on their work. In addition to that, there are also the students who figure out that they do not need to do anything and can just copy their partners’ worksheets. Although the school year has ended, I am going to be better prepared to handle cooperative learning next year. I need to better monitor how students are working together and also give some independant work for the students to complete as well.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

http://voicethread.com/share/527405/

Here is my Voice Thread. I hope that everything works correctly!!!



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  • Stephanie: Thanks Cesar! It is wonderful to have such support through our cohort. I appreciate your comments and kind words.
  • Cesar Rubio: Hi Stephanie, You are making great strides in completing your GAME Plan. I'm so jealous! I haven't gotten mine off the ground because I don't know
  • Toni Malvestuto: I hope you have a better week this week. I know how stressful it can be when you don't have the resources you need at hand. I have also learned not

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