Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Emerging Technologies: Picasa

For this emerging technology, I used Picasa.
Picasa is a software application for organizing and editing digital photos from your own computer. Picasa uses your own pictures that you may upload from your digital camera or computer. You can edit pictures, create collages, create movies, send them to friends and family, tag them to your facebook/myspace.

Using this application was very simple. I just went to the Picasa website and downloaded it to my computer for free. The setup was easy and was very fast. I then was able to upload different pictures from my camera, google, and my facebook. All of this was very painfree and easy to do. This software is very helpful for creating fast picture collages (which is what i made)and would be very useful in the classroom. Students could even make, and edit their own pictures to present during class. I would recomend this software to anyone who is interested in editing and creating new things with their pictures.

Tips: 1. When downloading, be sure you know what it is you are downloading. There are different websites that offer the FREE download of this software, others may charge money.
2. Read carefuly through the setup process, it will tell you how the application works with your computer.
3. When editing and creating on Picasa, make sure to save everything before closing the software.
4. Before printing, or sending your creation to facebook/myspace/email, make sure to "preview" the finished product.

My Picasa Creation: I decided to make a collage of pictures dealing with different issues in education.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Social Bookmarking: MY URL


Friday, June 4, 2010

Critical Thinking Paper

June 4, 2010
Critical Thinking Paper
Article: "Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No."
Link to read article:

The article I read was “Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No”, written by Patricia Duebel (2008). This piece focused mainly on standardized testing and the controversy that surrounds this issue in education. The article discusses the importance of accountability and students meeting certain standards, but also argues how test results are used. One quote stood out to me while reading this article. “Are we helping students and teachers with our assessment practices, or contributing to their problems?” (Duebel, 2008). This is also the main question that came to mind when reading the article. Who is benefitting from these tests, and who is suffering?

Much of the controversy spiraling from this issue is due to the existing system authorized by No Child Left Behind. According to Duebel (2008), “Students are caught in the middle. In some cases, teachers voice fears about losing their jobs, if their students don't perform well on those standardized tests. Unfortunately, such testing has become synonymous with NCLB”. This issue is one that affects nearly everyone in education. As a future educator it is important to be aware of standards, laws, and testing issues. Teachers generate many different thoughts and opinions on standardized testing and accountability movements. How does this affect their own teaching? Duebel (2008) states, “I cringe when I hear teachers say they find themselves teaching to their state test, when instruction should to be focused on the standards”. It is true that many important subjects and information are being lost in the classroom as teachers are more and more focused on students passing a single test.

Standardized testing is something that most students can relate to. Personally, I have had my own experiences with testing and also dealing with teachers who simply “teach to the test”. High school was full of tests to assess certain subjects and even tests to graduate, such as the GQE. Many teachers were mainly worried about how test scores would reflect on them as an educator, or the school as a whole. I feel that standardized tests put too much pressure on both the teacher and the student. The article states, “We hear of increased teacher stress as they work with students to prepare them for those tests and their frustrations when students fail again. Yet, those same students might have made great strides with their teacher when you make the comparison to what students knew at the beginning of their courses” (Duebel, 2008). There is no way that one test can show the progress a student has made over the course of a school year. What are the different options schools could use for assessing the student?

I have discussed this issue in various classes over the last two semesters, as this is a very important and controversial subject in education. It has made me question the different possibilities of assessing students in other ways. I believe it is important to know how students are learning and progressing in different subjects, but other measures should be taken to evaluate them. From the article, I gained the idea of students using portfolio and project based learning for teachers to assess growth. I believe that some testing should still be involved, but it should not be the core source of all judgment. Teachers need to incorporate all types of learning into the classroom that not only covers test taking skills, but standards and valuable life experiences. How do other teachers feel about this issue?

From the book, To Teach, William Ayers (2001) discusses his journey through teaching and his own experiences with standardized tests and assessment. He says, “The root of the word ‘evaluation’ is ‘value’, and authentic assessment includes understanding first what students value and then building from there” (Ayers, 2001, p, 109). He goes on to say that he had spent most of his professional life criticizing standardized tests and he held them in low regard. Although he criticized these tests, he admitted that they could not be easy dismissed from the lives of students, families, teachers, and principals. He also speaks of substitutes for standardized tests. Ayers (2001) writes, “Alternatives to standardized tests can be thought of as the three p’s: projects, portfolios, and performance” (p. 116). He believes in authentic assessment that is more student-centered. Ayers encourages teachers to keep track of their own teaching, to collect valuable information and data, and to assess success.

I agree with the article when it concludes by saying that most people agree with accountability. It is important to have proof that students have met certain standards and are progressing in their learning. I have learned many new things from reading the article and I have also confirmed ideas and thoughts I had prior to reading. Our current system has many flaws and I agree with Duebel in saying that the most important factor is having a system that allows students to achieve and be successful.

Ayers, W. (2001). To teach: The journey of a teacher. New York: Teachers College Press
Deubel, P. (2008). Accountability, yes. Teaching to the test, no. The Journal. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emerging Technologies: Podcast

My Podcast!

I used Gabcast to create my first podcast.
Summary: A podcast can be aduio or video and is a series of files that are downloaded through the web. Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the internet. Anyone can create a podcast! Podcasts are useful for distributing imformation to poeple. Many people use podcasts to listen to music or even watch videos.
My experience.....

This was my first experience with creating my own podcast. The process was fairly easy, but I was confused when setting up my account and channel. Once I figured out how to create everything on the actual website, creating the podcast was simple. I called a number from my cellphone and recorded my podcast from there. The directions were east to follow and it took me less than 5 minutes to create and publish my podcast! These podcasts can be very helpful for sharing informarion and connecting with other people. You can even have a conference call on gabcast! Overall, this experience was a postive one and I learned how to use a new technology!

Tips for creating your own podcast!

1. Read through information carefully when creating your account and channel.

2. Make sure to create a password that is easy to type into your cell phone when recording your podcast.

3. Be aware of how many minutes you have used when recording your podcast. With Gabcast, you are given 5 free minutes to start out with. If you go over these minutes you have to purchase new ones!

Show and tell-----> my podcast!

Gabcast! W200 Podcast #1

'>http://www.gabcast.com/index.php?a=episodes&b=play&id=35085&cast=161218" target="_BLANK">W200 Podcast #1

W200 Podcast #1

'>http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0"> name="movie" value="W200 Podcast #1

'>http://www.gabcast.com/mp3play/mp3player.swf?file=http://www.gabcast.com/casts/35085/episodes/1274986537.mp3&config=http://www.gabcast.com/mp3play/config.php?ini=mini.0.l" />W200 Podcast #1

'>http://www.gabcast.com/mp3play/mp3player.swf?file=http://www.gabcast.com/casts/35085/episodes/1274986537.mp3&config=http://www.gabcast.com/mp3play/config.php?ini=mini.0.l" allowScriptAccess="always" wmode="transparent" width="150" height="76" name="mp3player" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="W200 Podcast #1


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome to my blog! :)

If you haven't already noticed, my name is Courtney Cunningham! I am 19 years old and I am from Kokomo, IN. I graduated from Kokomo High School in 2009. I have just completed my first year of college at IUPUI, and I am majoring in Elementary Education. I hope to learn more about education, technology, and my fellow classmates through this blog experience!
Creating this blog was a very pain free and simple process. All of the directions were very clear and easy to follow. I was able to quickly create a username, password, and URL without any trouble. This was probably one of the simplest online setups I have done. I enjoyed that you could pick your own color scheme, font, and layout for the blog. It makes the blog feel more unique and personal.

Here are some tips for creating your own blog!
1. Be sure to carefully read through directions when setting up your email and password for your blogger account. Make sure to use a password that you can easily remember!
2. Always read through information that will be posted on your blog. There are always certain things that you can include or leave out of your blog/profile.
3. Be creative and pick a color scheme and layout! It makes your blog more interesting and inviting.
4. Adding a picture is easy too! Just go to your profile and upload and picture from your own computer.

I hope these tips and suggestions for your own blog are helpful! -Don't forget to follow me! :)