Tuesday, March 27, 2012


There are many activities that can be done to incorporate Excel into our curriculum. There are many ways to have our students be up to date with the current technology that is being used. Teachers in all different subject areas can help students work on their computer skills by teaching them the basics to Excel. Excel can be used in Science, English, Math, and History classes. Some activities that can be done in the classroom are as followed:

In Science, students can use excel to compile data that they have collected from projects. Such as in physics students can track the velocity of different objects as they move across different surfaces and calculate the average rates by using the excel formulas. This will also allow students to keep accurate notes of changes in data.

An activity that can be done in History classes would be to create a graph or compile statistical notes about a population during a certain time period. This will allow students to see the correlation between different time eras between population size, ethnicity, death rates,  and economic status and so on.

Another activity that can be done in History would be for an economics class. Students can put in data about supply and demand and study the economic growth. They can study the economic history during times such as the Great Depression and compare to that of the economic status of today.

For English students can use Excel to create organized reading lists of books for class or of characters that appear in books as they read. Excel can also be used to make grammar charts. Excel can be used for students learning tenses, antonyms, and synonyms. It is a great program to create study sheets and make table for words that should the same but have a different spelling such as, There, Their, and They’re.

There are many activities that can be done in Excel for Math. Students can use it to help organize math problems. It can also be used to create graphs for statistics. Students can use it to learn fractions like how many pieces of the pie make a whole. For this activity they could use a pie chart and put in different sets of data and see the graph change.

There are many other activities that can be done for each class in Excel. It is our job to think of creative ways to integrate this technology into our classrooms so that students receive the basic knowledge of Excel.

NETS-S Standards for these activities:

1.      Creativity and Innovation

2.      c. Use models and simulations to explore complex

3.      systems and issues

2. Communication and Collaboration

c. Develop cultural understanding and global

awareness by engaging with learners of

other cultures

3. Research and Information Fluency

b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize,

and ethically use information from a variety of

sources and media

d. Process data and report results

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving,

and Decision Making

a. Identify and define authentic problems and

significant questions for investigation

b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution

or complete a project

c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions

and/or make informed decisions

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Copyright Laws

The copyrights for teachers are in place for specific materials that can be copied if they fit into the curriculum. For example if a teacher is to copy articles, stories or essays less than 2,500 words it can be done as long as it is used in the classroom, although these copies can only be made if they are made from legally acquired originals. Another thing I learned was about videotapes either purchased or rented also DVDs and Laserdiscs, Teachers may use these materials in the classroom and copies may be made if the copy is to replace the one lost or damaged. Like all the other materials it must be acquired legally and in a classroom or in a nonprofit environment. I never realized how many restricts there were on copy rights and how much that affects the materials acquired by the teacher they may want to use or share with their students.

Now looking back at my education I have seen a few copyright violations or some that were very borderline. There have been teachers that have made several copies of short stories or of other articles that have been given to every student. Although that is allowed is the copying of those articles by all the teachers and sharing them together I see as being borderline in copyright. Although they have a legally acquired copy of the short story or article the spreading of them around to other teacher seems to be on the edge of violating copyright.

I have observed several copyright violations outside of school, especially of the movie and music industries. Not only are there fights about who had the right to similar song titles or similar lyrics but people download music and movies illegally. I have seen several people either watch a movie that is in the movie theater at that time either online or have it on a “bootlegged” DVD. I also know many people who have download music illegally too either from sites such as “Limewire” or going through “YouTube” and using a special program to transfer it into a music document file. All of these actions are in violation of the copyright laws. They are taking property that is not theirs and the artist is not receiving any credit for the work that they have done. I have also seen many of these people receive letters from the government ordering them to stop the illegal downloads or there would be further consequences. I have also seen people end their illegal downloading because they had received computer viruses through illegal downloading.

As a future teacher I feel it should be part of our responsibility to make students aware that violating copyright laws is wrong and that there will be consequences. There is always someone watching your every move and can get you into some serious trouble if caught breaking the law. I know for secondary there will be a great deal to talk about with those students especially because they think they will not get caught downloading a song or movie. Violators will be caught and there are ways to go about getting permits to use someone else's work. We also go about teaching this through giving credit to other when writing essays either quoting a source directly or using it in a generalization everything must be given it recognition so not to be consider “plagiarism.” There is only so much teachers can teach students about copyright laws and how to prevent the violations in schools its making them aware of the consequences they can face when they are outside of school.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Interactive Whiteboard

The use of interactive whiteboard technology is becoming increasing more common in the classroom. Its use is intended to enhance teaching and learning. The use of the interactive whiteboards allows teachers’ to have creative and interactive lessons with the goal of making learning more fun and participatory.  The programs tools enable lesson to accommodate different types of learning all the while keeping students engaged in learning. The hands on applications permit student to physically get out of their classroom seats and respond with hands on applications. These interactive lessons utilizing a white board are creative and fun; encouraging students to be engaged, focused and learning. The program enables teachers to create fun quizzes, activities and lessons due the readily available resources such as maps and pictures

The use of this newer technology is relatively easy; I like to think of it as an interactive power point. Its advanced capabilities allow it to be interactive and fun. The ability for students to interact and answer questions far outweighs days of repetitive note taking. This newer technology is to the classroom what an over head projector was years ago to the classroom. It enhances the teacher’s ability to create lessons which make learning come alive. Learning the terminology connected to white board technology can be incorporated into lessons. Students readily adapt to this technology because of their personal use of other highly evolved technology. The use during lessons allows teachers to highlight important things enabling students to make connections within a lesson and utilize the program concurrently.

There are many pros and cons to the use of interactive whiteboards. The costs and installation are high; additionally the placement of the board is often difficult due to the differences in height. Easy access is important but can be difficult to attain in a class setting where several people of varying heights utilize the board. A shorter person will have difficult accessing the buttons if placed too high and a tall person will feel bent in half or block the display if too low. It also should not be placed in close proximity to a chalk board due to chalk residue damaging the board or a dry erase marker marring the surface. Additionally, like all technology it can malfunction and be unavailable for a daily lesson if inoperable.   It is important as whiteboards become incorporated into learning that the whiteboard be a supplement to enhance learning not be the focus of it. The pros far outweigh the cons; white boards integrate learning into the hands of students as they physically participate.  Additionally the many tools readily available making creating fun and interesting lesson much easier. It allows students to interact while learning; this helps develop an atmosphere where students want to participate. Whiteboards with practice are easy to use; they also enhance and diversify lesson types making them both more fun and interactive.

I wish I had had this technology in some of my past lessons. I would have enjoyed creating an interactive whiteboard lesson while creating lesson plans on the three branches of government the use of an interactive board to illustrate the connections between the branches and their powers would have enhanced and clearly illustrated my intended outcomes. The use of the whiteboard to demonstrate the passing of a Bill in the legislature would have enabled the students to interact with the process and step by step application of a classroom Bill. The ability to illustrate the movement of a bill from the house to senate and the president.  Some history lessons would benefit from the utilization of a timeline; a white board would enable this with demographics and pictures to enhance the experience and relevance. It would also allow students to form outlines relevant to their participation in interactive activities based in historical events, timelines and war battle specifics; such as war outcomes, occupation of territories or death totals.

In my dream classroom environment there would exist a whiteboard. It would provide me the opportunity to be even more creative and create interactive lessons. It would provide an additional avenue to explore history; one that would pop out of the pages of a history book and into an interactive lesson with students physically engaged. It would also allow kinesthetic learners to experience lessons that involved them; alternative learners of auditory or more analytical learners a more hands on learning experience. A whiteboard when utilized fully will benefit all students by enhancing a traditional formatted lesson into a creative and interactive lesson with many enriched resources.