Well this is my very first blog ever! Not too difficult to set up and kind of neat to have my own space on the web. Here are my thoughts on the first week:
Inspiration - I've used it before in other tech classes and did not learn nearly enough about it until last Thursday. I found the outline feature which is very useful and now know how to add images to make the concept map more meaningful and relevant to my subject - science. Concept maps are a great tool for determining prior knowledge, summarizing lessons and as a "getting-to-know-you" activity. I have my students do concept maps from time to time but would utilize this strategy more if Inspiration was readily available. That's something to think about asking for.
Blogging - Not hard, not really sure who's going to read this or come across this, but I like it so far.
Technology in my classroom - Students are so computer savvy anymore so having technology available is a wonderful resource. Our school is part of a program called "classrooms of the future" where we incorporate all this new technology into our lessons to enhance learning and achievement. So far we have projectors in every room, subscriptions to Google Earth, United Streaming videos and SMART boards (those are the neatest things). Students respond well to using technology in their work and to having technologies in class. Incorporating technology into the classroom is the logical progression of things in this day and age. With differing ability levels and learning styles, using various technologies reaches all students and all learning styles. It takes my job so much further if I can pause to show a quick video clip, link to the internet to find a website to show an example of the lecture material, show animations on a big screen (rather than showing my artistic inability) and the list goes on. I feel students take more from my classroom now than ever before. I can enhance labs by using animations to show lab procedures or project the screens of our palm pilots during a palms lab to show students how to graph their results or set their equipment up etc. I'm excited to learn more about technologies in this course in hopes of transfering that knowledge to my classroom and my students.