Reflections for MSU 812 Project:

Ø     Setbacks & Solutions

Ø     Positive Aspects

Ø     Teaching Perspective

 

Setback

Reason

Affect

Solution

Email accounts not set-up, along with passwords not being given, or not working properly

Beginning of the new school year chaos, and new students enrolling faster than we can plug them in

Students were not able to receive documents sent to their email accounts from the teacher to view for instruction purposes

Middle school Tech. Personnel were informed and they came to the rescue right away, ever so available

Student passwords do not function in order for them to log on to the main server

Server was down!

Students were not able to save their work. Plus, many did not heed the strong suggestion of obtaining a zip-disk for this very situation

Tech. Personnel taught me the minor trick of restarting the computer so it could reconnect to the net work, fixing the problem many times

I have no jurisdiction to fix minor problems dealing with computer difficulties or alterations to settings

Fool Proof!

Wasted time and energy having to get some one else who knows the password to help out

Call for help even when it is a minor ordeal

I do not have a computer in my classroom with which to work from and create my lesson plans

I teach three classes of PE, one math, & one computer class. Not a priority

I had to venture around the school looking for an empty computer to create my PP presentations with for my IT class

I purchased a lap top, got it wired to the net work, and all is more then great now!

Microsoft ’95 &’98 are very different & many times in- compatible

Our outdated computers do not have the memory, nor the capacity to handle high-tech graphics from the Internet 

 

 

The subtleties can be significant when you desire a certain effect such as using animation, thus limiting students’ creativity

Show them how to down load such graphics, so they could at least work with them at home

First time I ever taught an IT class!

A teacher was needed and I volunteered!

Objectives were unclear, procedures a touch rocky, & I was just one step ahead of my students, learning right long with them

I reorganized, tailored, & refocused my purpose, & objectives taking littler steps, increasing hands on assignments

Having students transfer into my class half way through the quarter

Late registration

Student feels completely lost, and so incapable

Made sure that they were screened first in regards to their working knowledge of Power Point. If they were deficient they had to chose a different class

Teachers not following up on having their students present their StAIRs

Lack of time, organization, driving curriculum,

Too many other distractions. Or lack of comfort with technology

Feedback form did not get filled out

Gentle reminders via email, & positive encouragement telling them they could do it. Arranged for our Tech. Staff to help out when possible

Having at least half of my classes being ESL students

They don’t have to know much English to be able to use a computer

They were not always sure what it was they were supposed to be doing or creating. The concept of creating an educational tool for them to use to teach their peers with was quite confusing at first

Had to rely on showing more so than telling, then have them show me. Most of them are so far advanced when it comes to manipulating computers that I really did not have to worry about their capabilities.  They always caught on!

Teachers are concerned that having students create a StAIR just takes up too much time

 

 

 

 

Positive Aspects:

1.      Our class has a folder all our own on the BBS where I can send messages, assignments and instructions to my students, and they can send me completed assignments for checking, or share their creations with one another, making it a paperless society.

2.      I use a Power Point presentation everyday to give them a heads up, inform them of our daily objectives, and to teach them step by step exactly what they need to know for that day, so they can see how it actually works.

3.      During Open House Night parents seemed impress that their students were going to teach other students what they know. I was also able to show them some of their student’s work via Power Point, which impressed them.

4.      The students really are buying into the whole StAIR idea. They love to know that they are the ones teaching others, and programming the buttons to do what they want.

5.      Mr. Hing is the one teachers who really has taken a huge interest in this concept. He mentioned that he wanted to use this program to take the place of a basic bulletin board as means for his 6th graders to demonstrate their knowledge about their Special Number that they chose. He said that a bulletin board is silent and can gives you no feedback. He would much rather have he’s students be engaged in interaction with the computer. Thus, we set it up where I taught his all his 6th grade math classes how to create a StAIR of their own, showing the wonders of their Special Number. From there they had to share theirs with each other, and evaluate another student’s creation. It was a huge success! We have all of the StAIRs that they developed displayed on a community drive for teachers, students, parents, and administrators to view!

6.      We are taking our StAIRs, beyond ISKL, out into the world to such places as Salt Lake City, Utah, and Hong Kong International School.

7.      ESL students are teaching their peers how to learn English with some of their StAIRs! The ESL teachers are very enthusiastic about the prospects of this tool as it relates to their classes specifically.

 

 

Teaching Aspects:

 

 

1.      It is frustrating knowing that with 18 students they truly are at incredible diverse levels of their knowledge in using the various programs. Plus, they are middle schoolers becoming bored easily. Too funny.

2.      With computers, just because you showed them what you want them to do via the Power Point explanation that does not equate understanding to say the least. They have so many more options that get them off track, then frustrated! They are all over the place, from those who can’t log on to the network, to those who know so much more than you, and are getting lost in their own world without you!

3.      Need to be so much more detailed in my instruction!!!! Every little step counts when teaching computers! If you forget one option you have lost the whole class to,  “Cyber infinity and beyond!”

4.      Need to be more specific and create more exact rubrics, so that students know what is expected of them and how they measure up.

5.      Topics: Magic number in math, Sweden, teaching English to ESL peers, Kuala Lumpur, Korea, Chemicals, The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

6.      Using the BBS (intra school email program) is a huge benefit for communicating with students, for having them turn in assignments, for feedback on assignments, for collecting and saving their work. This has been accomplished by creating a folder that only our class has access to. It works perfectly! At least when their passwords work!

7.      Created a document in Microsoft Word for cutting a pasting the website to that we use in class. From there they click on the site and away they go. They can go on using this document for other classes. This is a truly great way to have them be that much more self sufficient and paperless.

8.      Another grand tool was creating an Excel Worksheet for them to keep a running tally of their grades on, and then putting in a formula for them to calculate their grade. Perfect for those who are truly concerned with their progress.

9.      Second time around is ideal. The steps that I have to take are so much clearer obviously.  I feel ever so much more confidant I believe these stairs are going to turn out so much better than the first group as well. This is a great feeling.