Monday, May 5, 2014

Technology in the Classroom: CamScanner

Camscanner is a secure application that you can download for your tablet or smartphone that allows you to create PDF or JPEG files in an easy way in which you only have to take a picture of the document and will extract the text from the document and enhances to image to be made into a PDF or JPEG that is easy to share and print. From the app you are able to share the file straight to an email or other social networking sites. The documents can also be stored on the app so you are able to organize the files and the app also has a quick search which makes looking for documents even easier. It is as easy as taking a picture and takes the hassle out of using a scanner, all you have to do is take a picture of the document and Camscanner does most of the work. The application is free, but if wanting to store large quantities of documents, there is a charge of $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. However, educators and students get a free upgrade from Camscanner, so there is no cost for the teacher to use the app, only the price of his or her smartphone or tablet.
The application is really beneficial, especially to teachers. It is a way of organizing papers as well as other documents. The scanned documents are easy to share and can be uploaded to programs such as Dropbox and Evernote. You as well as anyone you share the document with are able to annotate the document and the version of the annotated document is saved. It is convenient for teachers because it is a great organization tool for worksheets, handouts, and other documents. It is compatible with other applications and programs that teachers use so that the Camscanned documents can be easily uploaded and worked on with other programs like Evernote and Google Drive. It also helps that it has could integration so teachers can easily document the work which results in prompt times to pass back papers. There are some limitations when it comes to Camscanner. There is only a limited amount of space you can have and faxing images is not free. Also, the quality of the file relies heavily on the quality of the camera that the device has and the watermarks are only created when the file becomes a PDF. But other than that the application is very useful, including in the educational environment.  
The Camscanner application is a quick and easy tool that allows documents to be scanned and organized. It is another tool that will be positive in the classroom and it appeals to teachers because of the free upgraded price for working in the educational field.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reading Reflection 8

In the article, Testing Kurzweil 3000, authors Barbara Green and Joan Thormann give insight on a software called Kurzweil 3000, which is targeted to help aid those with special needs. Kurzweil as a number of different functions including text to speech, voice adjustment, word prediction, note taking, test tools, and other resources for the students. The program was tested in a number of different school settings, including a variety of different aged-students to see how it could benefit them in their learning environments. Graduate students at Lesley University were the ones conducting the research and they looked at ways the program could be improved by listening to teachers and students about what they liked and did not like about the program. What the graduate students saw was a number of benefits from the program. Some of them being that students who had the program were more likely to take tests with their peers rather than having to be placed in a different testing setting. Also, the program encourages independence with the students as well as promoting more critical and higher-order thinking. But there were some issues with the program. Those issues were costs of the program and how well the students would be able to adapt and understand the program.

I think this is a great article that looks at students who would really benefit from technology in the classroom. Kurzweil 3000 will be a tool that can be utilized in classrooms where there are students with special needs. Working with a special needs child regularly, I have seen and heard his frustrations with working in the classroom and I think that this program would really aid him in being able to be more a part of his class and not feel that he cannot participate.

This does not meet ISTE NETS. 

Green, B., & Thormann, J. (2009, March 1). Kurzweil 3000. Learning and Leading with Technology36.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reading Reflection 7

In Blogging in Ancient Rome, discusses the introduction of blogging into classrooms, focusing on the middle school ages. They used the program kidblog, or, so that the teacher is able to go over all the posts and comments before they are put into the web as well as having little risks of inappropriate content being put in the blogs. The assignments were based around stories they read that had to do with the culture and history of ancient Rome. The students were to write from the perspective of a character from one of the stories they read. Before the students began writing the blogs, there was instruction and guidelines put in play for handling the blogs and Internet safety. This assignment really allowed students to be creative with their work while learning about Ancient Roman society.

I really liked the idea of the assignment. Being a history teacher, I see this assignment as doing a great job with connecting the students of today with a culture that was thousands of years ago. With just a textbook, a student can have a hard time finding the material interesting. But adding technology to it makes it more fun for the student and they are more likely to absorb the material. This assignment had its guidelines, but room for the students to be more creative. I am a firm believer that students learn a great deal by being creative and going beyond the textbook with their learning.

This follows the ISTE NETS Performance Indicators for students because the assignment uses technology to allow creativity and innovation. The students’ creativity with their blogs and acting as a character from ancient Rome helps them learn more about technology but history and culture as well.  

Barrett, J., & Goldsby, C. (2013, November 1). Blogging in Ancient Rome. Learning and Leading Through Technology, 41.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mobile Learning

Part 1: Seven Rules of IPad Use

1.     Please no personal social media use (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) while instructions are being given as well as if a task is at hand
2.     Be respectful of the Ipads. Treat them as if they were your own. That means no tossing or being rough with them
3.     No taking pictures/videos that are not assignment-related
4.     No eating or drinking when on the Ipad and make sure your area is free of drinks/food that may spill on it
5.     No going to web sites that are inappropriate or not school friendly
6.     No downloading apps without receiving permission by a teacher


Part 2: App Evaluations 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reflection 6

In the article, PE: Bring Your Sneakers, Rackets, and iPad? Kevin Felker talks about how technology is even coming into Physical Education classrooms. Technology can be often seen as physical activity’s worst nightmare because many fear that all this technology is taking away from children being active, but it actually has the opportunity to teach students about health as well as get them to be more physically fit.
The article uses Felker’s wife as an example. She is a PE teacher who is starting to incorporate iPads into her own classes. Since the iPad is portable, students are able to take it anywhere and are able to access their apps, even if it is outside. This allows for convenience that they are able to take it outside and work on it while doing their physical activity. The article also gives examples of what kind of apps there are that can be seen as useful for PE classes. Some of these apps work great for the health portion of the class, like calorie counters, fast food nutritional information, and health news articles. The other apps work for the physical activity aspect of PE class, such as a BMI counter, yoga poses, fitness trackers, and other ideas for activities. This will get the students engaged and excited about fitness without having to spend all of their time in a classroom or out on the field listening to a lecture. I really hope that more schools get on board with this idea because I see it being a very useful tool in PE classes.

This article works with ISTE NETS performance indicators with students because it allows for creativity and innovation. By using these apps, they will be able to complete projects in their PE class by using the apps and information that those apps give them to create their own personalized PE class.     

Felker, K. (2011, May). Pe: Bring your sneakers, rackets, and ipads?. Learning and Leading with Technology,38(7), 32-33.

Reflection 5

From watching the video as well as reading the article “Building an Assistive Technology Toolkit”, I was able to get insight on how to better help students and work with their different types of learning strategies. Like the video said, all students learn differently and each learning strategy is unique to that student. It is important to recognize those strategies by getting them motivated and excited to learn. As a teacher, we can try and aid as many learning strategies as possible through technology. The article gives a list of free programs and ideas that will channel students’ learning strategies and have them work where they have their strengths. Something as simple as online books can be something to help out a student. With ebooks, you are able to annotate them, look up words easily, and even for students who have trouble seeing, you can create larger fonts for them to read better.
I also liked the idea of mind mapping. Mind maps are good in the sense that it can organize a student. When writing a paper or starting a project, students often become overwhelmed with information and do not know what to put down or where to start. Mind maps give students the ability to work with their own thoughts and organize them in the best way they see fit. What is nice about doing it on the computer is that they are so easy to change. The student can move things around, add or take away things without having to start over. This is perfect for visual learners because they can see how their work is to be organized.
This article also gives tips on how to work with your IT department to get these tools as well as make the programs more efficient when installing or updating. I found this article to be very helpful and I plan on using these ideas when I become a teacher.