Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day Four....Mixed Feelings...

Wow, it's almost over.  It has been a most draining day.  A lot of information has been gained, and even more has been written down.  I know that I won't remember everything, but I will remember the experience.  I've enjoyed my time in fellowship with Dr. Dunn and my fellow classmates.  I've tried to keep busy in class so that my mind stays focused.  I've discovered tools that I didn't even know existed.  Even though I am know where near a master of technology, I know that with time and patience I can figure anything out. 

I've also developed a new interest in the impact of technology on students.  In particular, virtual technology.  I have to wonder how benefical virtual technology is to the personal and academic growth of the At-Risk students.  The research I have done this week has piqued my interest in regards to pursuing this area in my study.  I feel it is an area that has yet to be explored and has a lot of potential for future research.  Especially since there are school systems that are opting to use virtual field trips to educate students in lieu of the more costly traditional field trips.  I will have to work on my research, and in developing my study proposal.

As the class comes to a close, I have mixed feelings about the end.  I have enjoyed my time on campus, and at the same time I can't wait to get home to my family friends, and especially my two adorable kitties.  Oh, and there is the best part...being able to sleep in my own bed.

I know leaving here will be sad, but I will be back.  I have made new friends, and I've had a chance to learn from a very talented, funny, and endearing professor. 

So, bring on day five....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day Three....Over Half Way There....

Mid-week and my mind seems to be blown. I've learned so much about technology this week.  The highlight of the day was the time that was spent outside discussing the dissertation process.  I've heard the same discussion before, and the process seems less scary each time I hear it.  Many things were clarified that were making me nervous.  My biggest fear was the defense of the dissertation.  Knowing that logistics of the process took the sting out my fearful expectations.

The biggest hurdle now is finishing the presentation.  The group finally came to a consensus regarding what should be done...Yippee!  Now we can move on!  We all have our way of doing things, and I'm glad that we were finally able to agree.

Two more days to go.  Looking forward to what's just around the corner....

Day Two...How did I miss that?

Today was a lot of fun in class.  There were a lot of "A HA" moments.  These moments were mostly in regards to word processing and power point skills.  I enjoyed learning about all of the fun things I can do with word 2007.  I have always wondered what all those tools were for, I just haven't bothered to find out.  Much of it is because I was too afraid to do so when working.  I usually stick to what I know.  I have a hard time in working outside of my comfort zone, especially in regards to technology.

I did have some moments of confusion and frustration.  Most of them had to do with this whole presentation.  I'm used to answers coming very easily to me.  In this case, what I know about the topic of gaming and constructivism is not necessarily what I need for the presentation.  Most of the time, I make things harder than they need to be.  I over think things way too much.

The day ended quietly.  I spent time working on research and the ppt for the presentation.  I spent time losing myself in my romance novel.  My brother and I went out to Long John Silvers for dinner. Not the best dinner.  Then again, I didn't expect a whole lot from the food.  I did like eating at La Carretta's on Monday.

Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Well, the class was not as bad as I thought.  I actually enjoyed the time I spent in class.  I have to say that I was a bit nervous about going into this class. As I said in my first post, I'm not a "techno geek".  I use this term endearingly.  I envy those who are technology savvy.  I know that it is up to me to do something about my short comings.  I feel that I have come a long way in the past few years.  It used to be that I feared the smart board, or computer program.  Now, I'm not so scared. If I don't know the answer the answer, I find someone who does.

There was a lot of discussion about how the internet has changed society.  I find computers a very helpful tool.  Honestly I don't buy into the social forums.  I fear having my personal information on the internet.  I am very careful when purchasing items online.  I didn't have a smartphone until 6 months ago.  Now, I can't imagine my life without my smartphone.  In regards to my classroom, I can't imagine teaching without a Smart board. 

Being a visual and kinesthetic learner, I'm happy to be on campus in a classroom.  For me, it is much easier to learn about technology while collaborating with people in person.  I look forward to having a lot of fun while I learn a more about being a "techno geek". 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Not a techno geek.....

I guess I should start by saying, "I'm not a blogger".  I can pretty much turn on a computer, and run all the general programs that I need on a day to day basis.  That really means that I can work Microsoft word, and that is about it.  You should have seen me when I was trying to figure out the SPSS program for statistics.  Now that was something to see.  I was so unsure of myself.  I did muddle my way through, as I do in most cases where computers are concerned.

I wouldn't say that I am computer illiterate.  I can identify all the computer components.  I can define RAM in the most general terms.  I can even change settings on the desk top and retrieve data.  I don't do well with Excel.  I do great with power point.  In fact, power point is my favorite program second to word processing.  For the most part, I stick to what I know and try not to worry about the rest.

Now, get me into the classroom, and I'm a little bit better.  I can pretty much find my way around an active board with very little trouble.  In fact, it is the only thing that I do use when I'm communicating ideas to my students.  I use all the bells and whistles that come along with the active board.  I love that I no longer have to go out and buy a dry erase graphic organizer.  I can simply use one on the active board that I can save or erase with a press of a pin or click of the mouse. 

I also love to get my students engaged.  They know about as much or more than I do about the active board.  I encourage this because it allows them to be independent learners.  I like being able to give them an assignment, telling them to go to it, and not having to hold their hand all of the time.  That is why I also train them how to operate a desktop computer from day one.  By mid year, my students can log on to the computer, search for information, and locate a specific web address.  They can also type up a short paper, and design their own power point. 

Some feel that technology in the classroom is a detriment to the instruction of children.  Personally, I feel it is up to the teacher to make sure that the students are able to articulate what they are learning when they use technology.  technology is a critical tool for a classroom in all grade levels.  It helps teachers to streamline and expedite the instructional process.  Technology also engages students at a more abstract level.  Students learn to think critically, and to become problem solvers.