What's IT all about?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hi and welcome back to whiteboard blabber!

While searching for a topic this week, I came across an article about electronic whiteboards and people with disabilities. It seems that whiteboards are not so "people with disability friendly", and when using them in the classroom, teachers must be prepared for this.

What are some of the problems? People with poor eyesight will not be able to see the screen. And people with poor motor skills may not be able to use the whiteboard because they can't manipulate its mouse.

The following article from AccessIT tells of these problems and how teachers can prepare for them. It is a short and interesting read, check it out:

http://www.washington.edu/accessit/articles?236

Alicia

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hi, and welcome back to whiteboard blabber. While trying to figure out what my topic would be for this week, I decided that it would be interesting to see some ways in which teachers are actually using electronic whiteboards in their classrooms.

I found a cool website called Kevin's playroom, which contains lesson ideas and links to curriculum friendly websites. I like this site because it is both teacher and student friendly, and because it contains links for all ages and subjects: from art to technology. One of my favorites was the link to the "British meat" site! :)

A promoter of the electronic whiteboard, Kevin features a "top interactive whiteboard site" and marks all whiteboard friendly lessons/sites with a WB symbol.

Check it out:
http://www.kevinsplayroom.co.uk/

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hello, everyone! Did you go shopping this morning? I was at Wal*Mart around 4:30!

This week we are discussing social networking and its educational benefits (though some seem to think that there are none).

I myself do not have any sort of MySpace or Friendster page, though my friend and I saw it once a month or so ago. I poked around the 3 major sites this week; MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook, but did not and probably will not set up my own account. It's not something I have the the time to do...when I have "free time" on the Internet nowadays I usually like to spend it browsing around ebay looking for presents.

I do like how you can use these sites to reconnect with old friends, however. Do any of you have a social networking account? If so, were you able to find a former buddy that you had lost touch with?

Alicia

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hi again! This week in class we have been discussing Google jockeying...another form of technology that I have no experience with. From what I understand, Google jockeying is a multi-media presentation in which the lecture is accompanied by the Internet.

Here is how it works. I stand around and talk about George Washington, and while I'm doing that I have a helper searching the web for George Washington related info (maybe go to the virtual tour of Mount Vernon, perhaps? :))

Anyway, it seems like a bit much to me. I don't think kids will pay much attention to the lecture as they would probably be more interested in what is going on on the screen. Also, I would worry that my helper would not be able to find relevant info. If I were to attempt this, it would have to be rehearsed and my websites planned out ahead of time.

I know you would be losing the spontaneity that way...but I'd rather have a plan.

Alicia

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hi and welcome back to whiteboard blabber! As promised, I tried to find out about the various types of whiteboards that exist:

Color Electronic Whiteboards--you can write, save, and print in color

Portable Electronic Whiteboards--can turn a normal whiteboard into an electronic one

Thermal Electronic Whiteboards--print in black and white and on thermal paper, come with a built in printer

Interactive Electronic Whiteboards--a dry erase whiteboard surface can capture and save what is written on it.

Front Projection Interactive Whiteboards--projector is in front of the whiteboard and projects images on to it.

Rear Projection Interactive Whiteboards--projector is behind the whiteboard, projects via a series of mirrors

Electronic Copyboards (color or b&w)--look like regular a whiteboard, but has a built in printer that prints images off of the screen

Until next time!
Alicia

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hi and welcome back to whiteboard blabber! Let me tell you...when I was researching clickers I could not find any "for sale". Now that I'm doing electronic whiteboards, I have to dig through the 75,000 "for sale" sites to find some good articles.

That being said, I thought I'd give you a few links to some whiteboards for sale:

http://www.electronicwhiteboardswarehouse.com/front_projection.htm

http://www.electronicwhiteboardswarehouse.com/color_copyboards.htm

http://www.officetronics.com/electronic-whiteboards-color-electronic-white-boards-c-41_43.html

While looking these up I discovered that there are many different kinds of electronic whiteboards...more on that next week!

Alicia

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This week in class we are discussing webinars...pretty interesting stuff. Once again, I am amazed at the things technology is allowing us to do. I think that is great that webinars/distance learning classes provide students a way to take courses that might not otherwise be available to them.

That being said, I am a bit weary of anything that is so dependent on technology. What happens if the system is fritzing out? How do you take a test? Is there someone around to monitor the students? How would a student make up any work/lectures/activities missed while absent?

I would like to learn more about this...maybe when I start looking for a place to do my practicum I can find a school which has some of this technology in the building.

Besides our SU online courses, have any of you had experience with this? I'm interested to hear what it is like and how well it works out in the "real world".

Alicia

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hi and welcome back to whiteboard blabber! I've been reading up on electronic whiteboards this week and am really impressed at how versatile they are. Not only do they work alone, they can be hooked up to computers and DVD players. From what I understand, some schools are replacing their old wall mounted TV's with electronic whiteboards (do they hook up to cable???).

Though I don't usually reference Wikipedia, I found an interesting article about electronic whiteboards there. It discusses everything e.w. from what they are and how they are being used in the classroom to available accessories (stands, printers...even student response systems, a.k.a. clickers!)and number in use.

Check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_whiteboard

Alicia

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hello everyone--

This week in class we are discussing Cyber Security and I am learning so much. Up until now, I have been very lax with putting my information out there. If I want to buy something online--I type my credit card number and address in, no questions asked. It doesn't matter if it is Old Navy, or some random little store in the boonies that is selling home made goods. After realizing that I have been playing Russian Roulette with my personal information, I now know that I need to be more careful.

Anyway, even though I'm bad, kids are much worse and they are not shy about telling anyone anything. One of the things that immediately comes to mind is Dateline NBC's "To catch a predator". It is amazing to me that after all this time, they are still catching tons of people trying to hook up with underage kids.

And with kids spending so much time on the Internet...who is responsible for teaching them about safety? I belive that that responsibility belongs to both teachers and parents. For example, at the middle school where I sub, the computer teacher is now doing a lesson about My Space and what info kids should and should not be giving out. In addition to lessons like this, I think parents should be very aware of the sites their kids are hanging out on, what they are downloading and who they are talking to.

Alicia