Monday, October 7, 2013

WEB 2.0 (It's pretty awesome)

I have had the awesome opportunity to sit in on a tweet chat for my Emerging Instructional Technologies class.  One could say, that I am obsessed with Twitter.  I am on Twitter all the time, but I did not know that Twitter had things like Tweet Chats.  The tweet chat I participated in the tweet chat with the hashtag edtechchat.  Fitting, right?

After I saw that this chat ran weekly on Sundays, I thought, why not?  This is right up my alley, I love technology, I like tweeting, my minor is educational technology, so go for it!  And boy was I in for a treat.  I did not know all the possibilities teachers are including technology in the classroom.  Teachers are becoming more and more versatile in their teaching that using technology is like looking at the back of their hand.  There wasn't really a common goal other than to talk about technology in the classroom and how people are implementing this "new" sensation.

Tweet chat is something that I could see using in my classroom for things such as classroom discussions.  It is simple for the classroom to follow, all you have to do is find a hashtag that you would want to follow for the time being.  I use to think that technology could only be used in certain content areas, but now I think that I can implement it in almost every content area!

Here is the link to the calendar of scheduled tweet chats that are coming up.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gaming-Is It Appropriate in the Calssroom?

I will be the first to admit that I am horrible at gaming.  I download apps because everybody else has them, I try them out for a few day, realize I am horrible and delete most likely within the same week.  So, gaming is not my forte.  However, gaming is becoming increasingly popular in classrooms across the nation today.  Well, that puts me in a sticky situation.  Because I am not good at them, I do not actively look for games that I could use in my classroom.

Gaming can be so helpful in so many ways in the classroom.  For example, in Social Studies, when talking about land formations and how things change over time, many teachers would like to use Minecraft, which allows students to dictate how to build something and change the layout of the land features.  In Science, students can use games such as "Stargazing" to get a new perspective on the constellations and stars in the sky.  These games allow students to succeed in all mediums because a student who may have difficulty doing something within the classroom, may be successful online.

Collaboration in gaming is something that is always being improved.  For example,with Kingdom Rush, there is no real collaboration portion, but having a way of contacting someone else who may be better at the game than you are is one way of collaborating.  Another way of collaborating is by providing kids a chance to create something (i.e. Sims, Minecraft, etc.) and having someone else play these games that the children have created.  The students who play the game can provide feedback to the students who created it.  This would allow the students to be critical about what is wrong and what isn't.

This being said, I think it is great that teachers are trying to include gaming into the classroom because it provides an extension for those students who are constantly finishing early.  Therefore, I feel as though gaming is appropriate in the classroom because it allows many different people to use any form of collaboration and communication.  Games are designed to help further the knowledge of the students, so as long as the games are acceptable, gaming is appropriate.