Sunday, December 15, 2013

Technology Tools for Teachers: Presentation

As a pre-candidacy teacher, this blog post is a collection of my favorite technology tools to be presented as a fulfillment for EDUC 315: Technology Tools for Teachers. This presentation includes links to 3 valuable education websites as well as a link to the Educational Technology GLE's from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Five visuals serving different purposes are included in this blog post because they are meaningful to me in the area of teaching and/or technology. Concluding this presentation is my Conceptual Framework visual with a descriptive essay. These pieces reflect my philosophy of teaching as they are influenced by my life experiences and observations.

As a service project this quarter, I helped coach a fabulous group of young people called the Awesome Onions. This is a Lego Robotics team that learns together, works together, and has a lot of fun. I learned a lot and hope to continue working with and learning from the Awesome Onions throughout the year.

1. Purpose Games is a website where learning games can be created and used for free. Teachers can set up weekly quizzes for their class and even create tournaments to throw in a little challenge and healthy competition. Purpose Game quizzes can be integrated into almost any subject.

2. Pinterest is like a bulletin board in a website form. For educational purposes, this is fantastic because there is a plethera of ideas out there and educators can choose whatever they'd like to replicate or use and "pin" it to their board. Pinterest as a tool for the educator, is home to crafts, activities, lesson plan ideas, and much, much more. 

3. Google Earth is a virtual globe used for learning, exploring, connecting, researching, and having fun. It's an excellent, realistic tool to have in the classroom for students to learn about the world they live in and use modern technologies to do so. 

Picture by

       Google Earth is an incredible technology tool that can be used for many different purposes. The way in which it inspires me most is in the realm of teaching. The world is an enormous place and the amount of learning available is unending. God’s creation is vast and it’s at our fingertips to explore! Google Earth provides a way to explore it by learning facts about cities, landscape, culture, climate, and travel. Even the vast outer space can be explored and researched using Google Earth. Through the amazing sites it offers, learning activities, and virtual travel, I believe Google Earth is an excellent tool that can be integrated into any subject. 
      Google Earth provides historical imagery in the 3D Viewer menu by choosing the “clock” button. Using the time slider, students can view interesting place marks throughout history.  In a history class, students could be assigned to choose a location and research several historical facts. They could compare them to the same location today by looking at the pictures provided by Google Earth. There are also links to informational web pages containing historical facts. 

In a science class, students could use the 3D viewer to see the realistic terrain of specific areas like the Grand Canyon or the rocky terrain of a Utah desert. Hilly and mountainous terrain is well portrayed in the 3D viewer so students can get a reasonable feel for the terrain even if they’ve never seen it in real life. 
       One of the most valuable features of Google Earth for students is planning a trip or a specific route to, from, or through a chosen place. As a teacher, I could assign a trip for the students to plan. This trip would be through a city or country the class is currently studying. They can pin point locations to spend the night, log the costs, find activities to do during the day and decide modes of transportation. Planning a trip is an extremely valuable and practical experience for students. 

     I plan to incorporate Google Earth in any future upper-elementary class I teach. The satellite footage is extraordinary and I would hope that it would peak the curiosity of the students to want to learn more about the world God made and the people in it. 

 Link to Educational Technology GLEs from Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) website

6th grade classroom at Kilimani Primary School, Tanzania. This classroom is an example of one with a complete lack of technology.
Question for thought: Is technology necessary for successful learning to occur? What are its benefits?

Maasai Women watching a video of themselves singing on an iPod touch, Tanzania.
Question for thought: How can technology be used in schools to raise awareness, respect, and interest in other cultures? How can technology be used to partner with schools around the world to create and connect students forming one world-wide learning community? 

Conceptual Framework

“It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny and the mind will expand and strengthen.”
(White, Education p. 17)

       “Be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 There are two perspectives represented in this photograph. The scene captures a tree that’s grounded firmly and, though the water isn’t completely still, it provides a reflection that is crystal clear and connected to the original. God calls us to imitate Him; to reflect His character. As this water reflects the tree, we also are to reflect our Father. Reflection is also defined as a period of time taken to think, ponder, and consider. The school of Education stands for excellence in thought, generosity in service, faith in God, and beauty in expression. In order to obtain all of these aspects of education, the process of reflection is vital for both teachers and students.

       True education must train students to think and reflect on what they’ve learned, not simply to glean information from other human sources. In order to foster excellence in thought, the teacher must learn to, first, reflect on their relationship with God. They must also reflect on the effectiveness of their methods of teaching, as well as their example and relationship with students, faculty members, and families. In a similar way, students must be taught to reflect on their learning, the way they treat others and themselves, and their personal walk with God. Until students develop a pattern of reflection, they will not reach excellence in thought.

       Generosity in service lends itself to a reflection of Jesus’ earthly work. The School of Education at Walla Walla University stands for service to others as a reflection of Christ’s attitude of service. The school displays service that is visible through the actions of teachers. Teachers should encourage students to make choices throughout the day to serve others. The school supports and provides organized service opportunities for students to experience group service.

       As an Adventist institution, faith in God is a consistent, underlying value of utmost importance. As educators walk with God, their fruits will be apparent and their actions will reflect their faith. The Walla Walla University school of Education encourages students and pre-candidacy teachers to stay connected to the source of Jesus Christ so they may reflect His character clearly. Faith in God is like a torch passed on to the students so they may also learn to walk with God and reflect His character to the world.

       “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20 Before words and actions may be expressed with beauty, time for reflection must take place. Hasty words and actions only result in negative effects. When time isn’t taken for reflection, words, thoughts, and actions are released without filtration. Expression in this manner can break down others and cause for rash decision making and hasty words. When teachers and students reflect on what they believe and on what they’ve learned and taught, the expressions that may then come fourth are thought-through and beautiful. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Three days in London

On our way back home, Brooklyn and I had a 3 day stop in London, England! This was a culture shock from Tanzania, but also a treat since neither of us had been there before and visiting Europe is just something we dream about. We were met by Robby and Randy who have been traveling through Europe for the past 5 weeks. It rained a lot and was pretty grey, however, we made the most of it and enjoyed our time there immensely. A big thank you goes out to our tour guides, Robs and Randy! It was so fun to follow you well-worn travelers about! You gave us a great little taste of England. 

My travel buddies at the train station :)
reading on the train

Brook & Buckingham
look at these travelers!

Big Ben

Where the opening scene from "My Fair Lady" was filmed
too cute!
Westminster Abbey 
Robs & his hero
Brooklyn looking at the artifacts in the cute little Shere Museum 

old puppets

quaint little town of Shere
perfect colors
Beautiful old church in Shere built in the 1300's or even before!

plums right off the trees

peaceful countryside

Other than my socks and flip-flops, I love this picture!
Randy's getting really good at selfies 

Brooklyn's photo idea :)



Oreo Cows

Paddington Station
On the train! 
this beard is one-of-a-kind
Brooklyn and Windsor Castle

Just moments before, we saw the Queen's Corgi out getting some fresh air in this courtyard 

no smiles from this guy...

The Chapel we didn't get to enter :( We heard organ music drifting from it, though
3 characters right here
This umbrella got a lot of use!

this picture was too sweet to pass by

To say I was happy to see Robby again after a summer apart would be a major understatement!

The End