Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where the heck have I been?

Hi everybody!  I cannot believe it's been 2 years since I last posted! :(  It has been a crazy 2 years filled with broken ankles, sorrow, failure, success, redemption and rollerskates.  Mind you not necessarily in that order.  I promise I will post a blog to fill you in on the last 2 years, but in the meantime, this post is dedicated to my assignment for W200 Chapter 7 check.  The ONLY person who will want to read this will be dear Dr. Spitzer (and really him "wanting to" might be stretching it a bit).  That being said, this is a great class and I am learning so much in it, and I am not saying that JUST because I want to suck up.  P.S. This is my 2nd time doing this & it will be way worse as I accidentally deleted the first when I was almost done & now I have little time left!!  So, on with ch. 7......

Problems Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools

If you thought you were going to get a lame outline on my blog, forgetaboutit.  We are going to blog this chapter 7 out.  We are in this together and I only have an hour, so it's going to be fast & nasty with a little bitterness (I told you I almost had it done!).

What is going on is Software.  Educational Software that can be web based tools for teacher, like I'd like to use one day...HOLLA!  There is System software (the stuff that runs the computer) & Application software (specific functions in special ways)  these might be the programs you get in Microsoft Office like; Excel, Word, PowerPoint... These are all "standard."  "Open source software" is free to the public to use, copy & recreate.  I am all about that, I used this for my crossword puzzle generator for another chapter check.  There are TONS of things out there, but the trick is to make sure they are legit & not going to make it so the teacher gets angry calls from parents.  Seriously, there is even online software to evaluate online software (for reals, check out EvaluTech).  Always ask yourself this when choosing software:  "Will the child program the computer or will the computer program the child?"  I just thought of that, how smart am I?  Ha, no the text book "Transforming Learning with New Technologies" by Malloy et al. quotes Papert saying that.  Whew!  Plagiarism avoided!  (FYI, I had to Google how to spell that.  Stupid i) Also, note all this info. comes from Malloy, except my witty on dites, of course.  

Okay, moving on (10:24 now),  there is higher order & lower order thinking.  That's all I am going to say about that, figure out which order of thinking THAT falls into!

Entertainment Software Rating Board.  Same as the music one?  Thanks Tipper Gore, who knew it would be so useful?  I just thought you were batshit crazy trying to sensor artists.  Am I off base on this?  Maybe, but the software rating board labels age groups to the software so teachers know if it's age appropriate or not.

Educational Software for Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning.  Composing& Calculating Software,  Excel & Word falls in this category.  Digital writing, may become a standard soon, who knows?  It would teach writing & communicating on web based mediums.

Creating Softwares, awesome!  Think of the skills legos & blocks teach kids, but in software that allow them to build & manipulate software?  Check out Kid Pix & Google Earth.  

Visual thinking & Concept Mapping Software.  Check out Kidspiration and Inspiration (like we did in class BAM).  Computer games as learning resources can be good & bad.  Certainly there are violent games out there that "numb" children to real life horrors.  On the other hand, there are good games that promote "virtual worlds of learning."  They develop another form of literacy.  (I think this is why my children are so smart).  There's math games, "House games, and digital games & virtual worlds.  Here are some strategies to use games with your students:

  • Minimize games the use minimal skills
  • scrutinize games that function solely on points won or loss
  • Discuss games & their content
  • Play together
Sorry this is so thin, but I have to turn in now!  :(  See you in class tomorrow

Wow.  I can't believe it's been 2 years since I posted on my blog.  How do you know how long it's been since last posting? When the whole site has changed and you realize your blog now looks sad and behind the times.  Well, I guess I better get on that, but first some things to do.

This blog entry is going to be devoted to my W200 class assignment of Ch. 7 Chapter check.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, but dear Dr. Spitzer is going to want to read this!  Although it is an excellent class and has taught me so much (and I am NOT just saying that because he is reading it right now).  But my long lost friends, if any of you are still out there, I promise I will follow this one with another that brings you up to date with me.  Am I still on track?  I wish I could tell you yes, but my tale is not as "Hollywood happy" as that.  But I promise it is filled with injury, struggle, defeat, recovery, strength and triumph.  So stay tuned, but for now....

Ch. 7 Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning With Software and Web Tools

Problem Solving and Inquiry learning begin with real world situations and issues to actively engage students.

Educational software refers to computer products and Web-based tools that are designed to promote students learning in schools and home.  Most educational software is sold as brand name products by computer software firms.

   To show how teachers can promote problem solving and inquiry learning using educational software, several types are examined, including composing and calculating software; building, inventing, and creating software; visual thinking and brainstorming software; computer games, virtual worlds, and digital games for learning; and intelligent tutoring systems.

Computers & Software

Hardware refers to the basic machinery and circuitry of a computer.  Software is the term for computer instructions, a collection of codes that tell a computer’s hardware to perform specific functions.  The two together make computer technologies work.

Types of Software

There are two main types of software:

System Software is responsible for the overall functioning  and control of a computer.  It includes the operating system, network operating system, database managers, and TP monitor.

Application Software performs specific functions in specialized ways to produce a variety of services, including word processing, databases, spreadsheets, slides and presentations, Internet browsing, email management, movie making, or DVD burning.

Standard Software Applications

Most likely your personal or school computer has the following standard software applications:

Word processing- Microsoft Word
Electronic databases- Microsoft Access
Spreadsheets- Microsoft Excel
Web-browsing software- Google Chrome
Communications software- Microsoft Outlook
Presentation software- Microsoft PowerPoint
Antivirus software- Norton
Specialized software- Adobe Dreamweaver

I have pretty much used all the above, with the exception of Dreamweaver.

Open Sources Software

"Open" for the public to use, copy, and recreate, usually at little or no cost.

Like the free crossword puzzle generator I used for another chapter check.

Choosing and Evaluating Educational Software

Okay, I am not an editing genius...yet, but this gives you the idea!

Criteria for Evaluating Educational Software

If you don't want angry parents or virused up computers, pay close attention.

Identifying good software is to be able to recognize bad software.

3 bad features of software:
  • the program, not the child, controls the activity
  • the game promotes competition, stereotyping or violence
  • the software favors quick reactions over  long-term thinking
First always ask yourself before buying software, "will the child program the computer or will the computer program the child?"

Online Software Selection Resources for Teachers

EvaluTech is a free online software review service for teachers sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board.

  How I will use educational software for problem solving and inquiry learning

Composing and Calculating Software

Using software like MicroSoft's Word and Excel is the easiest, and most common way of using these types of software.  Digital writing is composing, covers not only writing on a computer instead of using pen or pencil, but writing for a website, communicating by email or instant messaging, contributing to a blog or a wiki, or expressing one's ideas through another technology-based communication outlet.

Building, Inventing, and Creating Software

Like hands on materials like Legos, blocks or dolls; building, inventing and creating software function in the same way. They provide students the same opportunities except using the computer as a medium.

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