Thursday, June 30, 2011

Special Assignment #2

Kahn Academy
Kahn Academy is a nonprofit website that is a great learning device for students to use. It is a way to access videos, or any learning material. If you want to practice math problems-- any kind of math problems, then you just go to the math portion of the website and start working. The problems can be broken down step by step and problems are randomly generated so you won't get the same question twice. The student can also get a progress report because the site records everything they have done on here. Kahn Academy will also let the student know when they need to review materials. For teachers, they can look at how their class is progressing with a statistics report. They can also look at individual students to see how they are doing and what they need work on.

iTunesU is a way for students to view teachers lectures and other assignments that teachers want their students to see. Teachers set up a class site where the class can see what all the teacher posts for them. Students will then download the lectures that the teachers post, straight to their computer, iPhone, or iPod. Teachers can make this website private, so only students in the class can see, or they can make it public for anyone in the world to view.

Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED was first an annual conference, later developed into a website. There are numbers of inspirational speakers videoed at these conferences and then posted to this website for the world to see. The videos are subtitled in many different languages so people anywhere can understand what is being said. These videos are there to change attitudes, lives, and ideas of everyone.

Kahn Academy has many different ways in which a student can learn. Kahn covers every subject that you can think of and everything about the subject. Teachers could easily use this tool to their advantage. This is a great way for students to learn and get practice at what they are learning. The great thing for teachers is that you can see the progress that each of your students are making.

iTunesU would be great for teacher to use. It is a way for teachers to share their lectures through the internet and to control who gets to see them. It is also good for students because it can automatically download without them doing anything. One major way this can help the teachers is with time management. A teacher can use iTunesU to upload a video/podcast etc. of a math problem for example. They wouldn't have to repeat them self over and over because the student could just watch the video multiple times if needed.

Teachers could use TED to show to their class of uninspired students. This might help the students to feel more motivated to do better at school. Teachers could send a specific video to each individual student who they think needs to see that. This could be a better way for teachers to get across their point of what they want to say to the students, without having to say it them self and sound like a broken record.

Kahn Academy provides many different links to a video explanation from different subjects. I chose to watch a brain teaser exercise, liar or truth teller. The problem in this video was this: there are two doors. Behind one there is a prize and behind the other there is despair and horrible things. There are two people, a liar and a truth teller and they both know whats behind both of the doors. You only have one question to ask to one of the people. What do you ask? He then tells you to wait a little while before continuing the video-- but of course I didn't. The answer is "what would the other guy say is the correct door to open?" If you ask the liar this then he will tell you the incorrect door, and if you ask the truth teller this he will say what the liar will say, which is actually the incorrect door. Therefore, you know to open the opposite of whatever one of the people tell you. These exercises could be great to stimulate the students brain and get them thinking. There are also many more videos that explain different subjects that would also be great to use!

My Class 2.0 by Marc Coleman can be found under the K-12 section of iTunesU. In this video, Marc discusses using the online website, Evernote. Evernote is a place where you can write notes and then search each note by key word. You can then send those notes out to other people if needed. You can also use Evernote to take pictures. Evernote can read writing in pictures and use those words in each picture as keywords. Evernote can connect directly to your accounts (twitter, facebook etc) so you can update via Evernote. This is an easier way to have all of your information into one organized spot and I'm sure it is very useful to a lot of people.

The hidden power of smiling by Ron Gutman is about the positive effects of smiling. He took older year book photos and tracked the life of each of the people. He could actually tell from each photo who's life was good, who's marriage was happy and so on. Gutman goes on to tell a lot of statistics about smiling and how its good for your life. He says to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, then smile! Although I wasn't crazy about this video in particular, I can see the good that this website can do through spreading inspirational videos like this.

I believe that Kahn Academy will be used to a great extent in my classroom. I can see myself using this as an extra learning device for the students to learn. I think that it is so great to have extra material and extra problems for the students to participate in if they are having a hard time. I also like the fact that the teacher can track the progress of the class to see what needs more improvement and what is working.

iTunesU is a great way to share your podcasts and videos. I think this device can help students learn more by having each lecture right there at their finger tips. It is good to have this because they can access it anytime from anywhere whenever they feel as if they need help.

TED is probably not something I would use regularly in my classroom. Although it is a great site, I can't see too many benefits this has in the classroom, but to motivate unwilling students. So, whenever I have a student who is slacking, I will find the perfect video and show it to them!

I think this assignment has surprised me. What surprised me the most was Kahn Academy. I didn't even know a website like this existed! It is such a great tool and teachers would be crazy not to use it. It is free and easily accessible. It isn't a hard website to work so the "computer illiterate" teachers could work it easily.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll have to watch liar or truth teller. It sounds fascinating.

    Well done. I think these resources are rather amazing. Make good use of them when you become an educator.