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Technology in education

Every time we hear about “using technology in education” In schools, universities, conferences and in many places. However, always we wonder about what technology is? , and why we need to use it in education ?!!

Most of people think that technology is a devices or machine created by humans to make their live more easier , while those people see the technology in one side only. In fact, the word technology means science or knowledge performance of application. In addition, Technology is a comprehensive process and application in several areas of science and knowledge. In a simple way, technology is a hardware and software .

The need of using technology in education increases day after day because of the rapid development and changes in the world and in other fields like medicine ,science and engineering .so, we can say that the importance of using technology in education is related to the importance of education itself .
We can summarize this importance in some points :
 – Increase the quality of instruction
 – Engages students and motivate them to learn .
 – Construct and Build knowledge .
 – Enhance learning .
 – Make students ready to deal with the real world in future .
 – Makes teachers jobs easier to deliver the content of subjects to the students .
 – Help teachers to meet learning objectives that they designed for their students.

Actually, not only students and teacher use technology in education world, also administrators and parents can use it to have an integrated educational process between all of these four aspects .

Examples of devices that can be used in education :
 Computers
 Digital projector
 Interactive white board
 Audiovisual equipment ( i.e. type recorders, televisions …)
 Portable devises ( i.e. iPads, computer tabs, smart phones ..)

After we did know all these thing about using technology in education, there is an important question comes to our minds.. is technology activated in our schools or universities ?!
In my opinion, the answer is : not really !

there are many impediments that impede using technology in education
for examples: lack of devices and equipment, Lack of awareness about using these technologies ,fear of using something new, Intolerance of traditional education and many things. All these things and more can delay using technology in education. And this is the truth that most things in our life have limitation which lead us to think and invent to overcome or decrease the limitation.

In the future, as an IT teachers, we have to be updated with the rapid developments and changes in this field, and try to use all technologies that can affect students’ learning positively. also we should encourage other teachers and give them some procedures and ideas for applying technology in lessons .
Another idea is to make a campaign for teachers to use specific kind of technology in every month, and during that month we can conduct many workshops about that technology and make all teacher apply this technology in their lessons. In addition, we can make workshops about different program and technology to help them in designing interesting lesson and other things which make the content more interesting and suitable for students.

In “introduction in educational technology course” we have learned many useful technologies that we can use it to help us in learning or to support our teaching in future.
For example, we learn how to use Interactive whiteboard, google docs to design a simple activity, mobile phones as a tool for learning, digital storytelling, creating presentation using Prezi, webquest activity and more ..

I really enjoy using these technologies , It was very useful experience.

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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Interactive whiteboard

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One of the most amazing instructional tool that the technology bring to our educational field is Interactive whiteboard. It define as: “is a large interactive display that connects to a computer. A projector projects the computer’s desktop onto the board’s surface where users control the computer using a pen, finger, stylus, or other device” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_whiteboard)

The word “interactive” for the IWB means interaction among students. Students are working together to collectively construct knowledge, explain their reasoning processes, and get feedback from the teacher and each other. Students are interacting with each other in small groups when preparing the whiteboards.
(http://fnoschese.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/the-2-interactive-whiteboard)

Interactive whiteboard help teachers to develop interactive material in easy way and also have a lot of benefits for students such as:
1- capture and increase student attention.
2- Engage student and motivate them to learn.
3- improve their achievement.
4- allowing the integration of media content into the lecture and supporting collaborative learning .
5- Promotes strongly coherent conceptual understanding .
6- Acquiring students higher order thinking skills.
7- Acquiring students group work skills.
8- Acquiring students Problem solving skills .
9- Convenient for students who have different learning styles:
• Tactile learners get to touch and move things around the board. They can also make notes and highlight elements.
• Visual learners benefit from a clear view of what is happening on the board.
• Audio learners can participate in a class discussion.

Most of interactive whiteboards are supplied with software that designed to provides tools and features help to maximize interaction opportunities. Example of these features :
– Give you the ability to create virtual versions of paper flipcharts.
– pen and highlighter options.
– virtual rulers, protractors, and compasses—instruments that would be used in traditional classroom teaching.
– Items can be dragged, clicked and copied by your finger or the pen.
– handwriting notes can be transformed into text and saved.

Many studies showed that using interactive whiteboards has an effect on improving student performance. for example, The BECTA (UK) commissioned a study into the impact of Interactive Whiteboards over a two-year period. This study showed a very significant learning gains, particularly with second cohorts of students, where they benefited from the teacher’s experience with the device.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_whiteboard)

It was the first time for me to use interactive whiteboard in this course. We used it (my group and me) to present our lesson which we have designed for grade two by Active Inspire software .At the beginning we learned many things about interactive whiteboard in the class, the importance of interactive whiteboard, features and how can we use it. Also, we read more about it through many internet resources. Then, we started to design a lesson for student in grade two in math. The lesson was about shapes. we used the features or the tools that related to math in Active Inspire software such as: ruler, compass and protractor. Therefore, we added some interesting songs and activities to encourage students to learn. we tried to make the lesson clear and attractive as much as possible. ( you will find the lesson in the attachment )

As an IT teachers in the future, we will use interactive whiteboard:
– In our lesson because it is really make teaching easily.
– For entertainment purpose, show students videos or make an exciting activities or competition between them in their free time.

Actually, in Oman we have an interactive whiteboard in most of schools ,but it is not really used yet. As many teachers don’t know how to use it and don’t have enough skill to deal with it .
As an IT teacher, We can activate using of interactive whiteboard in our schools by encouraging other teacher to use it in teaching, and help them to design a lesson using any kind of software that supplied with interactive whiteboards. Also, It is a good idea to conduct workshop to the teachers to acquire them the enough skills to use it.
In addition, we can create an electronic store (e-store) that include various lessons designed by any interactive software for different subjects and grade levels.so teachers can use it in teaching .

Attachment:
interactive lesson- math

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

M-learning

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No one can deny the value of technology devices in nowadays.it became a part of our life. Portable devices became as important tool that can be used for learning. M-learning define as :” the use of mobile and handheld IT devices, such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), mobile telephones, laptops and tablet PC technologies, in teaching and learning”.(http://archive.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=ferl.aclearn.page.id958)

This type of learning give the students opportunities to learn any time any place and depend on their pace and their style. But there are some factors the limit our use of m-learning such as; limited storage capacities for mobiles and PDAs, the small screen ,and low Batteries life.
Because of m-learning program is not really applied in schools. many organization focus on providing effective ideas or conditions to apply this technology in all schools.
One of these organization is Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).it released many comprehensive reports about the state of mobile learning around the world .also, it suggested five key conditions that must exist for a mobile learning initiative to succeed: visionary leadership and commitment, robust technology capacity, professional development, scalability, and policies that promote and support the initiative.
For more details about these conditions, visit this website:
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/07/what-it-takes-to-launch-a-mobile-learning-program-in-schools/

WhatsApp-Logo
In this course, we applied m-learning by using “WhatsApp technology” as a tool to communicate with each other and discuss an important topic which is “syber safety” .the instructor divided us into groups of 5-6 students and he chose a leader for each group. Each leader should create a group in WhatsApp and add other group’s member. It was an interesting and new experience for sharing information and exchange the knowledge.

I’m very excited to use this technology with my students in the future. because it give me opportunities to use more teaching method so that attract student attention and engage student to learn. Here is some idea about how can i apply m-leaning with my students:
1- Develop some tutorial for some skills that I see my student need more practice and share it with them.
2- enhance their learning by seeking for addition information ,searching for other resources and watching instructional videos related to the lesson .
3- creating groups to discuss different IT topics.
4- give them list of useful application related to my subject matter.

here are some useful application for mobiles phone that can students use it :
for android
https://play.google.com/store/apps/category/EDUCATION/collection/topselling_free
for iphone
http://www.apple.com/education/apps/ipodtouch-iphone.html

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Syber safety

The rapid development of information and communication technologies in recent years has differently changed our life styles and became an Indispensable things in all parts of our life, But the expansion or increase access to these technologies make people especially children and adolescents in danger and exposed to any forms of cyber violence (i.e. hate-speech, threats, stalking, harassment, sexual remarks, vulgar language and cyber bullying). (Hanewald,2008).
Cyber bullying is the most common form of cyber violence which defined as: “the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others”.( Bill Belsey ).

Cyber bullying take a wide range of forms including hitting, pushing, holding, hostile gesturing, threatening, humiliating, degrading, teasing, name calling, put downs, sarcasm, taunting, staring, sticking out the tongue, eye rolling, silent treatment, manipulating friendship and ostracising (Ma, 2001).

In the United States, the Foundation for Internet Safety Education conducted a nationwide study with a younger group. During 2004, a total of 1,566 elementary students (from grades four to eight) were probed. The results of this National i-Safe Survey uncovered that 57 % of students had experienced hurtful comments, 35 % of students had been threatened and 42 % had been bullied. Astonishingly, more than half (58 %) of the cyber victims did not tell their parents or another adult of their online experiences.

from that we understand the importance of syber safety which defined as “the safe and responsible use or practices and precautions you should observe when using Information and Communication Technologies(ICT), so as to ensure that your personal information and your computer remain safe”.

There many ways to keep our children safe online and protect them from dangers.For example we should increase there awarnees about using the internet in corrct way, tell them that they should never give out personal information online -like your phone number; parent’s work number; addres; name or location of your school or your password.In addition, they should check with their parents before downloading or installing software.

what I liked it in this course “Introduction to educational technology” that we had an opportunity to discuss this topic using “Whatsapp technology” and share some information about forms of cyber violence and some ideas about how to prevent our children from this problem .It was useful experience for us. We integrated the technology in education .
Actually, this topic must be discussed in all schools and universities to increase the awareness of this issues and prevent them from these dangers .
In our societies we have a problem which is most of old parents and guardians do not know how to use internet or modern technologies. so, we have to inform them about these technologies: how we use it , why we use it (benefits),what the risks that we might face it when we use these technologies and how we can deal with is in a good way because they do a significant role to protect their children and adolescents from any kind of cyber violence .
As an IT teacher in the future, I will try to do my best to increase the awareness of people in my society about cyber safety issues by holding meeting with parents and guardians in school to discuss this topic and tell them how they can protect their children and keep them safe online .
In addition ,I will discuss this topic with my students ,not only to provid information and facts about this topic, but also teach them how to be a responsible user online . and provide different kind of resource to increase their awareness.

Here are some websites that provide information about internet safety..
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/02/free-tools-and-resources-about-internet.html

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Supporting teaching by creating presentation

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Using different strategies in education process make it more interesting and help teacher to motivate students . there are many types of effective strategies that we can use in teaching .Presentation is one of these effective strategies .Which is refer to the practice of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience or learner. However, how it make the teaching and learning more interesting?! and how we make it in correct way? All answers of these question  and more you will find in the next lines.

 knowledge may or may not translate into behavior, but by virtue of learning it becomes available for use, stored in memory and many researches confirmed that the person can remember about 20% of what he had heard, and 40% of what he had heard and see. but this percentage will increase to more than 70% if the person see, hear and interact with what he learn . (Traci, 2001)

using presentations with supporting material within a topic act as learning objects that reinforce subject matter or can be a catalyst for an activity at that point or further in the material. The use of embedded presentations can help be a visual stimulus to “encourage curiosity” Holmes and Gardner (2006).

:To creating an effective and unforgettable presentation there are many principles you should follow

:When creating

Frist : choosing software program for creating presentations

Choose any software allows you to include text, audio, images, videos and animations.

Popular software programs include:

•  Microsoft PowerPoint

•  Smart board notepad.

Second: designing

Slide :

    –          Make your slides appealing and simple .

    –          Use dark text on Dark background or light text on dark background .

    –           Try to repeat the same colors or elements in all slides .

    –           Don’t use more than 6 lines x 7 words per slide

Fonts:

  • Size: Make your text big and readable; not smaller than 24 points .
  • Style:

    –          don’t use too many Fonts and Styles .

    –          All capital letters are difficult to read; using upper and lower case letters are better.

    –          Use Sanserif fonts instead of Serif fonts.

    –          Use Normal or bold fonts; don’t use Italics because it difficult to read on screen.

    –          Use numbers for lists with sequence and bullets to show a list without Priority, Sequence, Hierarchy.

  • Color:

    –          Use contrasting colours ( Light on dark vs dark on light ) .

    –          don’t use too many colours.

    –          use colours to emphasis Instead of using underlines .

Transitions

Too many transitions are annoying, only use it in necessity .

Multimedia

Support your presentation by using various multimedia especially high quality pictures, images or diagrams that reinforce your verbal message.

research has shown that communication is enhanced when a verbal message  is combined with a powerful image on the screen .

when presenting:

–          practice your presentation before the time of presentation .

–          Speak loudly and clearly .

–          Maintain eye contact with your audience .

–          Don’t read the slides word-for-word, use them for reference .

In this course, I learned how to design unforgettable presentation the principles of designing presentation. also, we did a practice in designing a presentation in an online program called Prezi. Then, each one of us chose a topic and started to design his/her own presentation on this program .my presentation is about animals’ groups .( you will find it in attachment with another one which I’ve designed for another subject).

As a teachers in the future , we need to use this useful strategy for different purpose in our teaching .especially to deliver the information and make it unforgettable .

It is not important to just use it but how to make it effective is matter ..

You find a list of 20 free tools teachers and students can use to create awesome slideshow and presentations such as Prezi, Slideshare, slidestaxx and more in this website: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/05/list-of-20-free-tools-for-teachers-to.html

attachment:
presentation-animals’ groups
presentation-technology for people with special needs

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized