Created by me using iPiccy

Getting my learners to think about the information they find on the web:

After exploring the information for this week’s module I came up with the idea of making and putting up the following posters in my future classroom: “Remember not everything you find on the internet is TRUE. Your JOB is to search, evaluate, and analyze the information for accuracy”. My job as a teacher is to inform students that the web pages on the Internet are used for a variety of purposes. Our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom emphasizes the following questions good researchers ask themselves when they click on a webpage, “is it to inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Next, what about the content? Has it been updated? Is the information presented in a nonbiased way or is there some commercial intent build in? Is it free from errors? Is it professionally presented? (Coffman, 2013, p. 42). These questions make students aware that some of the information on the Internet can be inaccurate and this is why they need to analyze and evaluate websites and the information they provide. Students need to be active participants when they are searching for information on the web because anybody can add their opinions, ideas into websites however the information they post can be bias or incorrect.

It is important for me as a teacher to model the behavior and skills I want my students to acquire. It is fundamental to tell students why the source I decide to use in an activity is a good, credible source. In our 21st century classrooms we cannot longer feed our students with information because now we need our students to be active. I want my students to know how to find credible sources through evaluation, questioning and analysis because these are important skills that my students will need when they graduate from high school and find a job in the real world. Creating a custom search engine for my students and allowing them to search through specific websites is a good activity because students can become familiarize with good, credible sources. It is also important for students to know the difference between primary and secondary sources. Perhaps for a research project I can ask my students to provide three primary and three secondary sources.

A custom search engine also helps students to not become distracted by other websites that are not relevant to the topic of the assignment.

Getting started on my PLN  (professional learning network)

I am excited to beginning building my PLN because I know I am going to learn from my colleagues especially those who teach Spanish and English as a second language. As our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators explains,  “teachers are very happy to share their favorite websites and their reasons for joining together through social networks and electronic learning communities (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 87). In addition, I know I need to be an active participant because by asking questions, searching for information, and reading I will continue to enhance my professional development and knowledge. Also I know as a teacher it is important to be aware of current information and tools that can assist and improve my students’ learning and engagement.

I am still exploring all of the tools that Dr. Coffman informed us about, however I know Delicious and Evernote are going to be beneficial for me. Delicious is going to help me organize all of the bookmarks I have gathered for projects and lesson plans. Evernote reminds me of program dropbox and I find it beneficial that I can access my notes from any computer or iPhone.

Another tool that I am exploring is Techonarati. I found a couple of blogs about Hispanic/ latino culture that may be interesting to use in my advance Spanish classes but I still haven’t found anything that is generally in-line with my interests. However, I will continue to surf this site till I do.

Creating a computer program

I created a program about colors in Spanish. Check it out!

This is the process I went through when creating my program: I watched the tutorial video on Canvas that Dr. Coffman provided to us.  Then, I went to the scratch website and I watched a couple of videos related to my content area (Spanish). After watching the videos I made a list of ideas about what I wanted to do however, I had to make sure my ideas were realistic and I could execute them with the codes that the Scrach program provided me with. After choosing an idea I became frustrated because I didn’t know which code to add and every time I added a code line my sprite wouldn’t do anything. However, after an hour or so of playing with the codes I became more comfortable using them. I also downloaded a video from Scratch and the code from the video helped me write my code. The code that I downloaded was advance but some parts assisted me when I was creating my program. A problem that I encountered while creating my program was that since I was writing in Spanish I had to look up the keyboard codes of how to write an inverted question marks, accent marks, and inverted exclamation points because I couldn’t paste sentences into the program. It took me about 2 hours to create my program because I had to constantly review every code line making sure that the code line I added was doing what I wanted it to do.

It is interesting to know that behind computer games and programs there is a code doing all the work. I am very proud of my creation and my take-a-ways from this activity are to be patient, read information from a variety of sources and view examples. Also to not be hesitant to try new and unfamiliar tasks.  I was taken away from my comfort zone when I was creating my program because I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I didn’t know if my idea was going to come through. This experience is going to aid my teaching because now I am aware of how my students might feel when I give them an assignment that takes them away from their comfort zone  (especially in a foreign language classroom). My students might become frustrated but I must remind them to be patient and to practice regularly.

I will attempt to create more programs using Scratch using different lines of code to see what I can come up with.

References

Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education

TheHartnessLibrary (2012, August 8.) Primary vs. Secondary Sources [Video file]. Retrived from  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0plq2E9ZjQ