Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflections- Day Three!

Today started off with a jolt... or lack therof. The starter in the car was malfunctioning. It sounded like grinding metal when the key was turned in the ignition. Apparently there is something wrong with the starter itself or the ignition switch in the console. Enough with the boring car issues! I made it!
I will have to look into Promethian Planet and brush up on the board itself but it will be done!
Once my exciting training day got rolling Gabe, Drew, Marian and I created a story involving George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and an English Cat Burglar. It was a very interesting fictional tale on Thomas Jefferson's (T.J.'s) entrepenurial skills and his obstacles caused by a cat burglar stealing his start-up funds from his ATM. The only clue left behind by this CATastrophic action was a handkerchief of a union jack. T.J. then wrote an op-ed enlisting the help on any who would undertake the task of getting his missing funds (and precious china tea set) back. George Washington, a seasoned private investigator accepted the mission; Washington and his "Tea Party" tamed the cat burglar and lay dormant his thievish ways... but for how long?
- We used PhotoStory to upload photos, add text, record vocals and import songs into "T.J. and the Cat."
It was interesting to juxtapose history and creativity. Even though the story itself was not historically accurate it was a good showcase of historical figures and how children can be excited to learn more about these key peoples.
After returning from a lunch break we were introduced to Stellarium, TuxMath,, OpenOffice, and open-source softwares in general. In addition we discussed the proper use of social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. My concern is how am I to introduce a site such as this to a teacher who is used to interacting with students face to face?

check this out! SkyGlobe! Like Stellarium. It's from an Astronomer with a very lage telescope who is usually parked in front of Cafe du Monde!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reflections on: Day Two

Training day two was very entertaining and unified the training group as a whole. Our first activity was to remember each person's name as well as one word which starts with the same letter as their name. I was surprised and proud that I could remember each name! Our next activity was to utilize our name remembrance by calling out a persons name and throwing a ball to them. At one point there were so many balls flying about I couldn't tell which ball went to which person! This was a very interesting activity, awakening the group and testing our name knowledge.
Our next activity was to create a 30 second elevator introduction. i never realized how difficult it is to introduce yourself. Lynn mentioned that perhaps we should act as if we were to run into Bill Gates and we had 30 seconds to tell him about ourselves. My recording was 19 seconds and in addition to describing my DOT internship i went into my volunteering at a community based library. Despite my added information the introduction still needed improvement. I then recorded Phylicia and her ideas of recording in the elevator and in front of the water cooler were very unique.
My favorite activity of the day was recording an instructional video of "teamwork." Within my group were Pia and Brett; we went outside to utilize our teamwork skills by doing something together that showcases teamwork - changing a tire. Brett was the superhero to the rescue, complete with a beach towel cape.Pia, the star of the show rolling a tire... in HEELS! It was quit a bit of fun collaborating and coming up with ideas. Brainstorming after filming was a challenge especially when overcoming our MovieMaker malfunctions. Brittany came to the rescue and completed our task of "teamwork" thus showcasing it to the fullest extent. Thanks Brittany!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reflections On: Training Day One

Today was a very informative and inspirational training day! We compared peoples' personalities to that of an iceberg. We can only see 10-20 percent of an iceberg above the surface. Human personalities are very similar with things such as experience, attitude, knowledge, religion, beliefs, skills, fears, habits etc. hidden from plain sight. In order to "lower the water line" with our fellow interns we created a podcast using Audacity. We introduced each other within small groups and recorded what we learned about each other. Within my group were Justin and Aaron who have an array of interests and skills. This will be an interesting time of intellectual exploration for all interns!
In addition to podcasting we learned about blabberize and Voki avatar programs.
Using Voki I created an avatar of the Buddha with some information on the three schools and three jewels of Buddhism. These types of avatars could be particularly useful in teaching students about different cultures and religions in addition to other lessons.
I am interested our upcoming classroom observational meeting to see how these various technologies can help teachers. Hopefully the teachers and we, the interns can collaborate on the best and most interesting way to reach the students and mutually expand our knowledge base.

To learn is to grow

Learning is a process that is never ending. Looking back on my younger years I remember being introduced to new ways of learning through computers, projections, and various artistic mediums. Learning in this manner increased my attention span and assisted me in remembering the required information. I hope to assist teachers in implementing new and dynamic ways of instructing their students. I hope to learn better communication skills, improve my patience, and increasing my knowledge in the various technological systems used. With technology doubling every 72 hours any form of technological knowledge is extremely important within our schools and within ourselves.