Friday, November 20, 2009

Technology Project and Seniors

My technology project is about to wind up. I must admit it has been a struggle. My seniors entered class in August with the attitude that they are seniors; therefore, they have a right to warm the seats and do no work. Wrong. I have persevered in having them complete this project completely and to a standard.

The first day of presentations was disappointing, but today went much better, probably because the presenters had a bit more time and have learned from the presenters on the first day. Their biggest problem is meeting deadlines. The presentations today were more thorough and thoughtfully put together.

I have learned a tremendous amount about PowerPoints. Because most of the students have Microsoft 2007, and the school has Microsoft 2003, two students (and my son) explained how to convert the presentations so they could be shown on the school's outdated software. Daily, I feel less and less intimidated by the computer, but my students still know more than I know. Today, when I started to click the wrong document, the boys (interestingly not the girls) started to yell, "No!" I caught myself at the same time and corrected my error. They were not being rude; it is that they have learned to help us elders, and in the process, they feel somewhat empowered when they do. I know I am thankful for their guidance.

I just learned that an LCD projector is going to be installed in my classroom. I am excited that I will be able to use it when the mood hits me, contrary to now. Now I have to secure the portable one from the library.

Yes, I'm beginning to lose my "I'm old school" excuse and get with the times. Soon my overhead projector may just have to be retired. Along with the LCD projector, my next technological tool will be a document camera; however, this purchase will have to be out-of-pocket. I haven't decided if I want to let loose of the money. Maybe I can go on-line and find a donor or a bargain.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Technology in the classroom update

I have been trying to infuse more technology into my teaching. One thing I did about two weeks ago was make a PowerPoint presentation for the Gothic novel devices, Hawthorne's literary devices, and the devices Hawthorne borrowed from Sir Walter Scott. This information is foundational for the students to know before they read The Scarlet Letter. I usually use the overhead projector for explaining this information. I also enhanced the presentation with pictures I found through google images. I really enjoyed making the PowerPoint, and the students seemed to appreciate my efforts. They even clapped when it was over. I have been wanting to do this project for over five years, but I could never get my son to show me how to do it. He hates helping me because I get easily confused and usually "screw up" what I am doing. He has rescued me many times. Wow, I can't believe I did it all by myself...a small victory for me.

My tech project for the tech class is coming along fine. The students have read and annotated their articles, and next week they will turn in at least 1/2 of the notes they will use for their PowerPoint presentations. The following week they will turn in the remainder of the notes and present their PowerPoints. Today I gave the students the rubric I will use to grade their presentations, so there should be no excuse for them not to do a good job, other than procrastination. I gave them a schedule of all the due dates (benchmark/check-off style) so that they would not wait to create the presentation the night before. I can't stand it when students turn out shoddy work. I hope they enjoy doing this project, plus learn something. I am so glad I have added this assignment into my curriculum.

I am going to continue to step out of my comfort zone so as to introduce even more technology into my classes.