Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Power of the Internet in Education!

     This week's topics centered on extended and improving our use of the internet.
    First, we 'powered up' our internet searches with Google. I have always been a Google-Lover, but this was a new level of love. I have even created a board in Pinterest solely for Google information in the classroom, click here. I am referring you to my Pinterest board (which is a lot of YouTube tutorials) in lieu of embedding any videos to save space, and to not limit my post to my knowledge of today. Check it out, some of the titles/topics of the posts include but are not limited to:

  • Great Google Searches-learn how to expertly use the Google search engine to harvest the vast amounts of information on the web.
  • Google's Hidden Dictionary
  • Improving your Search Results
  • Filetype Searching-Extra Cool-this is my personal favorite, great if you are looking for a PowerPoint to tweak, sound file, document, etc.
  • Keep Up-to-Date with Google News-this would be great for a current events section in a Social Studies class.
  • Use Google as a Calculator-It All Adds Up!-watch out Math teachers I plan on sharing this in the lab.
  • Google Book Search-great resource I am going to share with my librarian and LA teachers. However, they are wonderful, so they may already know about it.
  • Searching a Single Site-I haven't used it yet and I am not sure of the application for me, but I added it to board for future review.
  • Google Search by Reading Level-Another great one to share with my librarian and LA teachers.
  • NonVideos
    • The Google Cheat Sheet-love it and a definite must have
    • EHow-actually more videos, but another nice concise collection
    Second, I was introduced to Wolfram/Alpha. According to my Google search: 

  1. Wolfram. | Alpha is an engine for computing answers and providing knowledge. It works by using its vast store of expert-level knowledge and algorithms to automatically answer questions, do analysis, and generate reports.
  2. This is an impressive site. Watch the video:

    With that being said, I didn't get it. I couldn't really get it to work, so I do not have any application ideas. However, I have not given up. We have a discovery day in my classroom periodically. I think I will post a link to the above video and the website, and see what my phenomenal students will do. In addition, I will create a collaborative document or slide in their Google drive, and have them respond to some reflective questions or prompts about the site. If you have suggestions or ideas, respond below.
    Next, we reviewed Creative Commons and how to find Google images that are in the public domain (see the videos below). I do a large unit at the beginning of my course with copyright, fair use, and public domain, because of the direct impact an validity in my course. Following through and giving them ample areas to find the correct image, sound, or video file to use is a challenge. I cannot wait to use this knowledge early and often next quarter/semester.
   Finally, we created a collaborative project.  Which is too cool, I do 1/2 slides of information, but gain more than 20 slides of information. All the information that has been submitted by my classmates has been added to my Google Pinterest board, and as more students complete I will add them. Here is a taste of the topics or click here to check out the presentation yourself:

  • Search within a Specific Website-using Google or the Google sponsored site
  • The Currency Calculator-I am hoping to be a world traveler soon and need this.
  • The Conversation Search-Caution: I had the microphone on and was talking to my daughter, scary things came up in my search. WHOOPS!
  • Google Scholar-
  • Measurement-
  • Using Symbols in searches
    Finally, Finally, as I reflect back over the last 7 weeks. I must say a big Thank You
to my instructor (get it, it was a big thank you). I am so glad to have a professional web presence in my blog, and I have great plans to continue. I can say this is the BEST class I have taken, while in my masters program.  This course has had a positive and a very significantly positive impact on my classroom. Again, Thank You. I hope you all enjoy and find the benefits as well.

Signing Off, put hopefully only temporarily,