Mishalish Insight

Friday, October 21, 2005

Module 7: WebQuests and Web awareness

I had no idea that WebQuest existed until this module! What a great tool for web based and inquiry orientated research. WebQuest is a practical set-up of lessons on the internet focusing on searching for information. It is set up in a way that allows students to still use the internet for research, but is more guided than yahoo or google, which is substantially more time efficient. Another great aspect of WebQuest is that is goes beyond the research and has instruction for working with the information (applying, evaluating, manipulating, etc). This allows students to automatically make connections and learn about the information they have found online, whic supports higher levels of thinking.

Internet safety is definately something that all teachers should be aware of. The internet is full of a lot of information, both good and bad. Sometimes is is hard to sift out innappropriate information simply within search engines. As a teacher I find it intimidating to feel responsible for an entire classroom of students on the internet when it is very easy to access innapproriate material whether intentionally or by accident. I think as a future teacher I will try to use pre-approved websites and programs such as WebQuest while using online learning. I also think it is important to educate students about keeping personal information disclosed and not giving out real names, addresses, and phone numbers in chatrooms or any other internet sites. I will do the best I can to educate students on proper internet usage. The internet is prominent in our society, therefore I might as well use it for educational benefits, while at the same tame taking safety precautions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Module 6- spreadsheets and graphing

I think spreadsheets and graphs are a great tool for the classrooms. It allows student self evaluations as well as visual representing and organizing of knowledge and work. I would use a variety of reasons such as timelines, tracking grades, and simple graphing. I think graphs are a good information organizer for economical, marketing, and research projects (which integrates real life situations into the classroom). Spreadsheets are great for math in the areas of problem solving, organizing formulas, probability, and statistics.

I would introduce the use of spreadsheets through a three part module. The first part would consist of a tutorial, which would be set up as a class activity with the focus on learning the skills collaboratively. Using Excel projected onto a screen, the class would monitor the teacher's steps as they together create a spreadsheet. The students would choose a fun topic such as "planning a party" to make the learning more fun and interesting.
Module 2 would utilize the following online tutorial instructing students how to make a spreadsheet:
http://www.internet4classrooms.com/excel_enter_edit.htm (using an excel worksheet- Entering and Editing Data)
Module 3 would require the student to apply the new knowledge of spreadsheets for a math lesson. For example:
"The local zoo requires the purchase of new animals. You have a budget of $20,000 to spend. You can choose from a list of animals:
Zebras- $500 each
Lions- $900 each
Penguins- $399 each
Deer- $50 each
Monkeys-$319 each
Crocodiles- $495 each
Pandas- $1000 each
Flamingos- $298 each

You are required to decided and budget how many of each animal you would like to purchase.
In Excel create a spreadsheet using this data. Make sure you use a title and your name. You must include proper columns and rows (such as animal of choice, the price, amount of animals, sum of purchase for each animal, and total purchase.) Make note not to go over budget."
I would also require the students to hand in a summary explaining their choices.


Just for extra fun: We (Krystal Ingold and myself) found a great website for creating graphs. You should check it out!!!!
http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/


**Please note- I worked with my classmate, Krystal Ingold, on this assignment, therefore; there will be similarities within our blogs for this module.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Module 4: Concept Maps

What is concept mapping?

Concept maps are a tool to represent knowledge for many different purposes in a graphlike form. These maps are a visual way to represent information in a broken down, categorized manner as well as showing the relationships between main concepts. By visually representing students are able to make a connection between their knowledge and how they are able to reprsent that knowledge. Concept maps can be used for several purposes such as:

* to create ideas (brain storming, etc.);
*to design a complex structure (long texts, hypermedia, large web sites, etc.);
*to effectively communicate complex ideas;
*to assist in connnecting old and new knowledge;
*to assess understanding or diagnose misunderstanding

Advantages:
-Concept mapping can better aid memory, rather than rote memorization of notes.
-Concept maps allow students to reiterate their ideas using their own words and patterns of thought.
-Concept maps allow students to brainstorm and better able to organize their thoughts
-Students are able to categorize and simplify complex information.
-Concept maps are a tool for measuring student growth and comprehension.
-Concept maps are flexible to various student styles.

Disadvantages:
-Concept mapping is geared towards visual learnes, and therefore might not appeal to students of with different learning styles (kinesthetic, logical, etc).
-Concept maps are only just a representation, and more in depth informationa and details is not represented in a map. This means concept maps cannot be used as a tool on its own, but as a complimentary to various modes of student learning.

Integration of concept mapping:

In grade 3 Health and Wellness the students are to learn to make responsble choices about maintaining good health, and one outcome is to learn the factors that affect choices for physical activity (ex. the impact on technology and media).
I would create a lesson with this focus by having the students brainstorm as a class various physical activities in their community. The students would then have to think about their own favorite activity and its connection with the media by following a guideline of questions such as:
* Is the sport covered on television?
* Is it featured in many ads?
* Is there any related clothing and name brands?
* Do you wear any of these brands? .....etc.......
The students would then discuss in small groups or pairs their thoughts. They would then research on the internet to look for ads, brand names, etc to see what sort of media coverage and influence is associated with their chosen sport.
Afterwards the students would create concepts maps about their sport and reasons they might or might not engage in the sport due to media influence.

Technology outcomes
C.1.1-1 Access and retrieve appropriate information from electronic source for specific inquiry
C.6.1-3 Use technololgy to support and present conclusions

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Learning Resources: Module 3

Title of Activity: Trees in our Region


Reference Section:

Missouri Botanical Garden. (2002). MBGnet.mobot. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2005 from
http://mbgnet.mobot.org/sets/temp/lftypes2.htm

Domatar Inc (2001-2003). Domtar. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2005 from
http://www.domtar.com/Navigateur_Standard/NEWS/EN/HTML/1671_EN.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1&flash=1

WWF (2005). Panda. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2005 from
http://www.panda.org/news_facts/education/middle_school/habitats/coniferous_forests.cfm
Wikipedia (2005). en.wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2005 from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encarta

Grade Level: 6

Subject: Science

Brief Description of Activity:
*note: This lesson will span over three periods (research, creations, and presentation).

The Task
The students will gather detailed information from internet sites provided by teacher about two trees of choice (one coniferous and one deciduous) and prepare a PowerPoint presentation to support this choice. The students will present this multi-media presentation to the rest of the class.

The General Procedure
The students will gather information using the sites below with the guidelines of: general appearance, location, size, leaves/needles, flowers, bark, wood characteristics, uses, threats to the tree, and unique features. In pairs the students will create a power point presentation of their chosen trees following teacher guidelines (ex. must include images of trees.).


http://mbgnet.mobot.org/sets/temp/lftypes2.htm (Leaf Types)
http://www.domtar.com/Navigateur_Standard/NEWS/EN/HTML/1671_EN.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1&flash=1 (Coniferous and Deciduous)
http://www.panda.org/news_facts/education/middle_school/habitats/coniferous_forests.cfm (Evergreen regions/ coniferous)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encarta (Reference)




General Learner Outcome:
Respect living things, the environment, and commitment to their care

Specific Learner Outcomes:
Identify characteristics of on coniferous and one deciduous tree in the local environment. (modified SLE from SLE 5 of Alberta Program of Studies).

ICT Outcomes:
C.4 – Students will use organizational processes and tools to manage inquiry. (2.1)
C.1 – Students will access, use and communicate information from a variety of technologies. (2.1, 2.2)
C.7 – Students will use electronic research techniques to construct personal knowledge and meaning. (2.1, 2.2)
P.5.1.2 access hyper linked sites on an intranet or the Internet
F.4 Students will become discerning consumers of mass media and electronic information. (2.1)


Rationale for Computer Integration:

Computer integration is used in this lesson because:
* it provides students with modern research tools.
* it provides updated information.
* it allows students to collaborate and synthesize information from non-linear text.
* it provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate professional presentation and showcase skills.

**Please note:
-Krystal Ingold and I worked together on this assignment
-Krystal and I used a few ideas from Shonna Barth, Bob Buday, and Jim Kuapp who have created various lesson plans regarding the environment.
http://www.mhcbe.ab.ca/ict/Projects/treesforest/treesForests.htm