Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Week 14 Internet Safety

For this part of the assignment I decided to talk to my mom and then talk to my dad after. When I talked to my mom I was really surprised at how much she knew about the internet and what goes on. I think she did a really great job with helping her children know how to use the internet in a safe way. We talked about a few things that she wasn't aware of and I showed her the video that BYU made for kids and internet safety. We also talked about the need for parents to let their children know and understand what goes on on the internet and how they can avoid dangerous situations.

When I talked to my dad I was surprised at how much he knew and how much I learned from him while talking. He had a lot of great insights about the internet. We talked about how it is important to let children know about it so that when the situation comes up they aren't clueless. Children need to be aware of what can happen and how to handle the situation. We talked about how the internet is such a wonderful thing, but can be very harmful at the same time. Kids need to know how to use the internet so it isn't practical to say that we will keep them away from it. The internet is a wonderful tool when used correctly.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

10 Hour Project

I chose to learn a new song on the violin throughout the semester. I have been playing the same song for quite a while now, and I haven’t made much progress. I decided that I would start a new song this semester and see how much progress I could make. The song I decided to do was the first movement of Concerto 3 by San Saens. I knew that there wasn’t any way I would be able to finish the whole movement in 10 hours, but I wanted to see how much progress I could make.
Listening to the song was the first step I took. By listening to it, I knew that I would be able to get a feel of how it sounded. Next I tried playing through as much as I could. I made a million mistakes but it helped me get a feel of the song. Next I decided I would take a section at a time and try to master that section. I was very surprised at the amount of time it took to perfect one section.
Through out the semester I went to my violin lessons and got feedback from my teacher. He would give me things to work on and I would go home and work on those specific aspects of the piece for the next week. As I went back to my lessons, it was apparent that I had focused on specific things in the piece, but there was always something new to work on.
By listening to the piece, working section by section and receiving feedback from a more knowledgeable other, I was able to perfect a few sections of the piece within these 10 hours. I know that I still have a lot of work to do and that it will take many more hours, but I am excited to have the whole piece perfected!

Learning Log
February 16 – 10 min
February 19 – 20 min
February 24 – 90 min
March 3 – 120 min
March 9 – 45 min
March 10 – 60 min
March 16 – 45 min
April 6 – 60 min
April 9 – 60 min
April 10 – 90 min

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Personal Learning Theory

As I was thinking about my learning theory, I realized that it is a combination of both the behavioral learning theory and the cognitive learning theory. The behavioral learning theory focuses on events that happen to the child. The outcome of learning is a change in the child’s behavior. On the other hand, the cognitive learning theory focuses on mental processes. It is using the understanding that we already have. Learning cannot be directly observed. My learning theory consists of both of these theories mixed together. I believe that learning takes place when a change in behavior takes place, but I also believe that learning occurs inside the child. Sometimes learning can’t be directly observed.
One of the main aspects of the behavioral view is reinforcing the students. While I was in the schools I noticed that students reinforcement was a huge deal to get them motivated. The best way to motivate the children was to have a variable ratio reinforcement schedule. When the teacher reinforces after a varying number of responses, the students won’t know when it is going to happen. This will help them work for longer periods of time. I think that this is extremely important in the classroom because the students are motivated, but they aren’t being reinforced constantly. This allows for some intrinsic motivation. This type of reinforcement is positive reinforcement because the teacher is presenting a desired stimulus after the behavior.
Another behaviorist point of view that I completely agree with is the Premack Principle. This principle states that a more-preferred activity can serve as a reinforcer for a less-preferred activity. This is a great way to help motivate children. It is saying that as soon as the students finish the worksheet or test, the students may participate in an activity that they enjoy. Some students in a classroom need to be reinforced after each step of a task. This is called shaping. These students may have a hard time concentrating unless they are constantly being motivated. Teachers may even need to make a task analysis, a task broken down into steps, so the students know exactly what is expected of them.
Students can also be reinforced when they see other students succeed and be reinforced for a task. This is called vicarious reinforcement. When teachers are constantly praising and reinforcing their students there will be a positive attitude in the classroom. One aspect of reinforcement that I have noticed is the fact that it changes through out the grades. First graders will need to be reinforced a lot more than sixth graders. Sixth graders are more likely to be intrinsically motivated.
There are also many aspects of the cognitive view of learning that I think are crucial aspects of the classroom. Since learning has to do with mental processes, teachers need to be aware of all of the different parts of the Information Processing System so they can help students move information from the sensory memory, where information from your senses is held, to the working memory, where the information is only help for a short amount of time. To remember the information the students need to know how to move the information from their working memory to their long-term memory.
There are different strategies I believe should be practiced within the classroom to help students remember material more efficiently. One of the most important ones to me is elaboration. When students connect new knowledge to already existing knowledge they are more likely to remember it. They are coming up with their own way to remember it and it becomes more meaningful to them. There are many other mnemonic strategies that are used to remember information. Examples of these are loci method or associating items with places, and acronyms. Teaching your students these methods and understanding them yourself with result in more learning and growing in the classroom.
In conclusion, learning may be observable and it may not be. Learning is frequently taking place as students are interacting with their peers, a more knowledgeable other, and even by themselves. They are constantly connecting new knowledge with prior knowledge and making meaning for themselves. I believe that is important to incorporate both types of learning theories in the classroom. Each student is different and unique. We as teachers need to learn how to adapt and incorporate different types of teaching styles to best help all the students in our class.

Week 14

While watching many of the presentations in my group I realized that there are multiple ways to use technology. One way I heard that I hadn't thought of before was recording the class singing the song. She said that they really enjoyed it and loved hearing themselves sing. I also really liked the interactive PowerPoints that were used. Seems like those would be really fun for the students and the teachers. Rachelle said that everyone in her class understood R controlled vowels after the first lesson. She said that isn't normal for her class, but the PowerPoint really enhanced their learning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Week 13

I learned a lot of new ideas from watching all of these different PowerPoints. While watching them, I was very impressed with the creativity of the lessons using technology. I would have never thought to use Iclickers! I also noticed that PowerPoints seem to be the most popular technology to enhance lessons.

Technology Integration

Monday, April 6, 2009

Week 13

Internet Safety Questions

1. For my fourth article I decided to read Fighting Internet Filth by: Mario Hipol. It was a great article on what you can do to prevent your family from viewing filth on the internet. It also gave great tips on what to do if you or your children do come across offensive material.

2. The most important thing I learned from the reading is that we shouldn't keep our children from using the internet, but that we should keep them informed about how to use it. There are so many helpful aspects of the internet that are essential to know, but there are also many negative aspects to the radio that we need to be aware of as we are parents and teachers. We need to stay updated, and keep our children informed on how to use the internet in a safe way.

3. What I have read has made me more aware of all of the dangers of the internet. My parents were really good at limiting my time and keeping me informed about what is safe and what I should stay away from. I want to do the same thing for my children so they can stay safe. As time goes on, there are more and more things that we need to be aware of. As a teacher and parent I want to help my children and students stay safe while using the internet. I want them to know that there are many useful things on the internet, but that they need to be careful. In my home I will put my computer in a high traffic area and have limits to the time they can spend on the internet every day. I will also check the history often so I can monitor where they have been.

4. I can use what I have learned to help my friends and family by sharing it with them. I have already shared a lot of the information with my parents and friends because there are many things that I read and watched about the internet that I wasn't aware of. It is important that those who know about the dangers of the internet share it with not only their children, but with everyone they know. It is important than everyone is educated about the dangers of the internet.