Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summary of Readings

Technology can enrich students' use of a variety of resources and help them gain understanding about their world. Assisted by teachers and peers in their growth as individual learners, students can use technology to enhance their work and increase their connections with resources outside school walls. However, computers are not inherently instructional tools, and most teachers need suggestions for using them.

Constructivism views learning as the product of experience and social discourse. Constructivists consider learning to be an individual and personal event. Every learner has experiences that influence his or her understanding of the world. Those unique experiences are the foundation for learning; they provide opportunities for personal connections with new content.

Computers can support the variety of ways learners construct their own understanding. Students who gather information from the Internet can be self-directed and independent. They can choose what sources to examine and what connections to pursue. Depending on the parameters set by teachers, the students may be in complete control of their topics and their explorations.

Students can build on their own understanding by using computers as resource tools, as work stations for individual learning, or as communication channels to share their ideas with other learners. Introducing technology into the learning environment can encourage cooperative learning and student collaboration. If they are allowed to converse, most students like to talk about their computer work and share their strategies.

Therefore the use of technology serves as an engaging way to apply student’s experiences to their learning.


Summary of Readings


According to Cuban, Kirkpatrick, and Peck (2001), students are not using all of the technological equipment that are in their schools. The reason for this is that teachers are not integrating technology in their lessons.  It may also be due to the fact that the technology that is offered in the school may be outdated, or there is not enough supply for every student. Although students of today have used the most technology than any other generation, the use of technology in schools is not as much as it should be. This is due to the lack of teachers’ knowledge of how to integrate technology into the curriculum.

Lack of teacher training or commitment, inadequate technology or technical support, structural barriers in school schedules and policies, and lack of administrative support, are the main reasons of teachers not implementing technology in the classroom. If teachers were required to attend technology professional development classes there would be more implementation of technology in the curriculum.

Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.

Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.

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Week 4: SQL Essential Training cont.



This is not as interesting as I thought it would be. I actually nodded off a few times while watching the tutorial. I don’t think I would enjoy this end of technology. Media design is far more interesting and fun. Much more creative.

Well this time around I learned how to view data in upper and lower case letters. Some of what I am learning reminds me much of excel. There are numeric functions and other types of functions. Actually of all the Microsoft Office programs I am less experienced in Microsoft Excel. I should have chosen to view that tutorial instead. For some reason Microsoft Excel is one of those programs that are used more in business than in teaching. Yes, I know that spreadsheets can be created and many other different documents with Excel but I have always found another program to use.
I think I would need more hands on experience with this program to really figure it out. The exercise files on this tutorial were not that useful. It’s more about practice. Just like everything else that is learned.

This time I learned about the CRUD (create, read, update, delete) application. The purpose of the CRUD application was to see how the SQL was used to perform all of the data base function. The functions of CRUD are exactly as stated. There is data created, updated, deleted, and made to read in different tables. There is a code that makes up the CRUD application

Overall SQL provides a way to input data and create tables. Knowledge of all the functions is essential in inputting the data.


Week 4: SQL Essential Training cont.


Now it’s time to learn how to use SQL. It seems to be very easy but I will find out as I go along. Being able to write down what I learn helps me to retain the information.

The tables used for this SQL example where countries and albums. Simple select data is used a lot in SQL. What it does is return all of the data entered from the table that contains that information. When placing an asterisk after the word select it will display all of the rows and columns for that query. When writing SQL it is important to write with single quotes. It is also important to be specific as possible in how you write your query. Understanding how a database is organized can tell you how to work with that database.

 The DBMS may require different SQL syntax, because it is vendor specific. SQL statements consist of different clauses and statements. White space is ignored in SQL. Every SQL statement must be terminated by a semi colon. It does not have to be there when writing just one statement. The insert statement is used to create a new row in the table. Join query will get information from more than one table.

There were several key words to learn when submitting a query. Words such as: Select, Where. Like, In, Distinct.  SQL is a way to create reports for several reasons. This assists in inputting and retrieving data whenever needed.  In the data base world and index is a quick way to search what you are inquiring about. SQL operates on strings and a string is a set of characters. Different platforms may require a slightly different way to input the string. Using the trim function will delete all of the extra spaces in a query.

I have learned a lot this time around on the different applications of SQL.



Week 4: SQL


I have heard that learning SQL is easy and I have seen it posted when searching for jobs in the computer field. Many times they place all of these acronyms that seem as if they are so complicated to understand. Well since I’ve seen so much of SQL I thought that it would be something interesting to learn.

SQL(Structured Query Language) is a language for describing and operating on relational databases. A relational database is a database that is capable of representing relationships between different sets of data. For example if  a database has a customer with different addresses  or a single address is used for more than one customer the features of SQL will handle it. SQL will control or manipulate the database.
The database will consist of rows and columns. The column will represent all like items. Rows will contain specific information. Columns will be fields and rows will be sometimes called records. CRUD stands for create, read, update, delete. These are the basic for functions of a database application.

To begin my learning experience with SQL I first had to install a testing environment called XAMPP. This was a personal database not a world wide one. Then I had to install my exercise files so that I could follow along with the exercises and take tests.
Once I completed all of the downloads I was ready to begin learning how to work with SQL.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 4: Fundamentals of Web Design AJAX, SQL, Certificate of Completion

Viewing the tutorial The Fundamentals of Web Design on Lynda.com has increased my knowledge of the various technological terms. A couple of new terms I would like to share are AJAX and SQL. I have seen those acronyms many times and have always wondered what they are.

AJAX. No it's not the all purpose cleaner that comes in handy when a scrubbing solution is needed, and relatively inexpensive. In technical terms AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, a technique used in web application development. It is a specific approach in web development that focuses on building engaging user experiences.

So what about SQL? Lately I've been noticing that acronym appear in all of the technology job postings. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is a standard language used to access data in Database Management Systems. Almost all databases implement the standard version of SQL, making it portable across database management systems.

The tutorial was quite interesting. Each day I viewed it I learned something new.  Lynda.com provides great tutorials on web designing. Once I viewed the Fundamentals of Web Design it really got me into viewing other tutorials. I am very interested in learning the Adobe Flash, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver programs. The hard part is just finding the time to do it all. I suppose I will replace my one favorite TV show with viewing tutorials at Lynda.com.

Week 4: Fundamentals of Web Design JIF, PNG, GIF

Every time I save a picture I see those three common acronyms JPG, GIF, and PNG. Always wondered what they meant, but I never delved into finding out. The video Fundamentals of Web Design introduced me to all of them. Those three acronyms are web graphing formats. Each format can be used for a different function. It all depends on what you need to use it for.

With several browsers available it is a good idea to know how each browser will support the quality of the viewed image. This can be achieved by keeping file images small, but image quality must always be kept in mind because the viewer wants a clear picture. Almost all browsers support JPG, GIF, and PNG. These are the standard formats for web graphics.

The most common format I have used is JPG. The acronym JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group.It supports millions of colors and uses lossy compression to reduce image files.  It can reduce files to about 5% of their original file size. However, the more you compress a jpeg the more detail is lost. Although I use it the most it is recommended not to because each time an image is saved in this format more and more detail is lost.

GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format. It is bit-mapped graphics file format used extensively on the World Wide Web. GIF supports color and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, but because it is limited to 256 colors, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations, icons, or logos rather than color photos.

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. A file format used as a portable way of describing graphics.They use lossless compression and use millions of colors. It is ideal for keeping the subtle tones in the image. The disadvantage of PNG is that they have larger files sizes than JPG and GIF.


When deciding which format to use you must take into consideration the file size, the clarity of the image you want to save, and the browser type you are using,

Week 4: Fundamentals of Web Design


So I'm learning all of these new ways to use different technology tools in education and for myself. Most of them have been great to learn. A couple I could have done without, but the exposure to even these not so interesting tools is good to know.

Learning to design media is actually fun, but I also feel as if I should know what all of those tech terms mean.  Oh, and let me not forget all of the acronyms that come with those tech terms. Just when you thought you got most of all the acronyms down packed in education, here comes all of the acronyms in technology. There are so many it can get confusing. Acronyms such as HTML, SQL, Java, CSS, JPG, GIF, PNG, etc. You get the idea.

Well that is why I have decided to view a tutorial on the fundamentals of web design.
The video tutorial introduces you to various web development tools, server-side software solutions, content management solutions, and cloud-based software, providing an overview of the world of Web publishing. It also informs you of all of the technological terms, developmental techniques and technologies.

So if you are interested in learning the fundamentals of web design you should visit http://www.lynda.com/home/DisplayCourse.aspx?lpk2=619. The video is about two and a half hours long but it full of great information. Especially if you want to know what all of those technological terms mean. Let's not forget all of those confusing acronyms. Funny thing is that after a while you know the acronyms and forget what they stand for.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BP10_Comment to Curtis

Follow me to this link so that you can read and maybe share Curtis' information on how to keep the school band events organized.

BP9_Comment to Janice

Follow this link to my comments on Janice's blog.

BP8_Twisty Noodle

Web Tools 4U2 use gave me so much information. I added it to my iGoogle PLE.
 During my search of the various types of Web Tools I found Twisty Noodle. For those teachers who are teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten, or first grade Twisty Noodle is wonderful! Twisty Noodle has coloring pages and handwriting worksheets for every holiday or lesson that is being taught. There is a tab for coloring pages and handwriting pages. There are also links to many types of worksheets. Furthermore it has time telling worksheets that can be customized. Twisty Noodle is user friendly and the best part of it all is that it is free.
 These worksheets give you the option to personalize the text and put students' names on the worksheets. There is also an option to change the fonts.  There are also fill in the letter worksheets. Worksheets come not only in English but also in Spanish. Which is great for dual language learning classes or ESOL students. Twisty Noodle can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BP11_OMM

Twisty noodle for early childhood learning.


video

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

BP6_Comment to Ken

Follow this link to Ken's blog.

BP5_Comment to Sarah

Follow this link to my comments on Sarah's blog.

Sarah's Blog

BP4_GoAnimate

GoAnimate is a fun Web 2.0 tool for students and even for adults. During my exploration of this site I discovered how to create a character, apply different background setting, add music, text, movements, and many other applications to create an animation.
This Web 2.0 tool can be used in the classroom in several ways. I thought a good idea was to use it for researching a subject or just having the students create an animation as a review of what has been taught. You can even use it for teaching. For example, a student may do research on a famous historian and create an animation with facts about that person. It can be used to teach verbs, nouns, even poetry. You just have to be creative. This is a great way to keep students engaged in learning. They can even work with a partner to create an animation on any subject and then present it to the class. I really enjoyed exploring this Web 2.0 tool.
The animation can be publicly or privately shared. There is even a channel that shows other peoples creation. If you are interested in Go Bucks you can purchase extra special effects to use for your animation.
Really great Web 2.0 tool!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

BP2_iGoogleScreenShots



Okay this was a bit confusing at first, but I finally got it. Once I get it's easy. I have posted my four iGoogle screen shots for viewing.
Home Page



ETC Page

AR/CBL Page

FSO Page





























































Thursday, September 2, 2010

BP1_Google Reader

Trying to figure everything out could get a bit frustrating, but once I get it it's fun! I was able to explore Google Reader and share some sites with my peers. The sites I shared are sites I would personally use or use with students. Optimizing web media for learning is a good website for my AR research. With this web site I can get ideas of how to integrate media into my lessons. I also found the web site How to Integrate Multimedia for effective learning another web site I can use for reference. Designing with Mind Maps are types of maps that can be used for brainstorming in writing. Comments on Storyboarding give tips and ideas from students who use storyboarding templates to create a story. News Bites...National Geographic gives up to date news from the website.
Storyboard Template