Thursday, June 25, 2015

I'm Loving It! Technology, That Is...

On Monday, I finished my WebQuest.  This was my first experience working with WebQuests, and my son and daughter had no previous experience with them either.  With this in mind, I didn't know what to expect.  But, I have to say that I really like the concept.  I felt like I was building an online module for a class (something I actually do have experience with), so the students can work on their own to complete a project.  I like the idea of the student taking an active role in the learning process and working through steps at their own pace to complete an assignment.  I also like the fact that the students are given some choice and flexibility during the WebQuest as they progress through the steps/guidelines to create an end product that is unique in some way.

On Wednesday, I finished my Mobile App Design.  At first, I wasn't even sure where to begin.  I definitely had used a lot of apps, but never thought of creating one.  I had an idea in my mind (which can be a scary place to be), but I wasn't sure how to take my concept and put into a visual form for others to understand.  I decided to use Excel, and it worked perfectly for me.  After adding lots of features and tweaking the capabilities of the app over multiple days, I can honestly say I love it.  It is definitely an app I would purchase and use if it was actually available.   Now, onto the next new tool... the podcast.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It Will All Be Worth It... Trust Me.

It's 11:00 PM on Father's Day, and I have been diligently working on my homework for my two grad classes for most of the day.  Today is suppose to be a holiday.  A day to spend with my husband and kids.  But, the homework must get done, and procrastination is definitely not helping.  It will all be worth it, right?  I often get that nagging question in the back of my mind when I am up late at night or missing a fun event with family or friends to study for a test, write a paper, or complete a project.  I want to answer that question with a resounding "YES!" but I sometimes wonder what I am missing out on while on this educational journey.  Will I miss an important memory with my family?  Will my friends stop inviting me out because I am often too busy with homework?  I may never know the answers to these questions, but I do know this degree is important to me, so I will continue on.  I know sacrifices must be made... and, in the end, it will be worth it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wikis! Let's All Work Together...

In my Instructional Applications class, I have been collaboratively working with other classmates on a Google Apps wiki.  This is my first experience with wikis, and I am starting to see the many benefits they provide.  Students have an opportunity to work together in an online environment to develop, modify, and finalize a project.   Students can digitally chat to discuss options, pose questions, and provide assistance to one another.  In the past, I have had my students use Google Docs for collaborative projects, but I am definitely starting to move over to the wiki side of the room.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

You're a Know-It-All! I Wish...

I have been working in technology for over 25 years.  After I graduated from college in 1993, I started teaching computer applications class for a software training company.  I was required to learn all of the current computer applications from the basics to the most advanced features, and as a trainer, you needed to know it all.  After I earned my Master's Degree in Instructional Technology, I transitioned into a Technology Integration Specialist position in my district.  I trained teachers on how to use technology in their classrooms.  And once again, I really had to know my stuff to be prepared to provide the training needed by teachers who taught a variety of subjects and grade levels.  Now, I am in higher education, and I am working hard to help future educators get the tech skills they will need in their own classrooms.  But, can we will really know it all?  There are so many digital resources out there that can be used for educational purposes that I believe it is impossible.  I am constantly researching new instructional tools, but I am often introduced to new resources by colleagues and students, as well.  And, the Instructional Applications course has already exposed me to some resources that I didn't know existed.  Maybe the best solution is to select a few resources that really work for you, find fun, effective, and innovated ways to use them, and don't worry about the ones you might be missing out on.  When you are ready to freshen up your lessons with a new tech idea, there will always be a new program or app waiting for you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Am I a Blogger Now?

This is my first blog post.  I have read many blogs (usually sports or entertainment related), but I have not taken the initiative to post to an existing blog, let alone create my own.  So, can I consider myself a "blogger" now that I have created a blog and officially posted to it?  I hope so.  I am looking forward to introducing myself at the next social gathering and saying, "Yeah, I blog..."  That would be cool...