Saturday, May 2, 2009

Things I have learned and will take with me

We covered lots of material in class this semester. As a class we learned many new things, some of which I will forget and some that I will continue to use. Let me start with Google. I never took the time to explore all the things that Google has to offer. In Google you can create an iGoogle page with gadgets that you will use or are interested in, and you can take it with you. Where ever you are with an internet connection you can access your iGoogle page. You can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Google. The documents are useful, as are the spreadsheets, but I was less than impressed with the presentation part. It lacks the things that Power Point has that allow you to make a presentation "pretty", and I like to make things "pretty"! Google Earth was absolutely amazing. It is something that I plan to use in my classroom. I believe that using it will give the students a better understanding of where we are in relation to other people. It will be even better when I am able to blog with another classroom in another part of the world.

Learning to blog and creating a podcast was very interesting to me. I think that both of these tools will be useful in my classroom. I hope to be able to keep up a class blog, as well as my professional blog, and be able to connect with other classes around the world. In addition to blogging with my class, I would love to be able to help them create podcasts on different subjects we are learning about. I want to do video podcasts as well!

Twitter presents a greater challenge to me when finding uses for it in the classroom. I will continue to research and learn about it, so when the time comes I will be better prepared to make a decision on whether or not to use it in the classroom. I do not believe I will use Picasa in the classroom, although I do use it for my own personal photos. I can not see a use for it, yet. I might prove myself wrong in the future and I will keep an open mind about it.

I honestly do not think there was anything I wanted to learn and didn't this semester. Dr. Strange is an excellent teacher and I feel privileged to have benefited from his experience with technology. I can not think of anything that I wish I had not learned. All knowledge is important, even if it is not used on a regular basis. I will admit to not liking Google presentation, but it is helpful to know about it. If I am ever in need of a presentation and I do not have access to Power Point, Google presentation will work in a pinch. I am also not fond of spreadsheets, but it is a good skill to have, especially when you need to create databases.

Overall, I am glad that I had the opportunity to take this class. I think the things we learned are beneficial to everyone. The things we learned are free tools, and what teacher doesn't like free? So I want to thank Dr. Strange for his time and experience that he put into making this class a class that we can take the information with us into our own classrooms.

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