Aug 31 2007

Michigan State University

Filed under Uncategorized

This is a map of MSU

Sorry! This map has been removed : (

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Jul 23 2007

TechQuest Project Evaluation

Filed under MSU EdTech

Project Evaluation

I feel that I have come quite a long way with my project. I feel a great accomplishment in doing something I have not done before in my career. Making a proposal for the purchase of a software license was a huge step in moving into a leadership position in educational technology.

I would approach the proposal of a particular technology that I would be interested in getting into my district in the opposite fashion that I did this one. I would first seek out local input in my district and see if anyone else knows about the technology and what his or her input is on it. I would then look at where the county stands on that particular technology, knowing that the more local (both district and county) support that I have for the particular technology, then the better influence I would have on key people in my district who are in charge of curriculum, technology and finances.

I think that I would like to be more of an expert in the technology before proposing purchase. Perhaps, I would write a grant for my classroom for a technology. If it is shown to be successful in one classroom in the district, then the school would be more likely to “share the wealth”. It seems to be the “get your foot (or technology) in the door” approach would work best.

Another important factor that I would have liked to have more research on is assessment. How will we know that the software/hardware is making a difference? I have found this to be one of my weaknesses and I hope to work on developing better ways to show “chance with difference”. One nice component of Key Curriculum Press’ Geometer’s Sketchpad is that there are so many resources and documentation located on its web site!

I look forward to continuing working on this project in the fall. I hope to find a new technology that I would be interested in and look at finding the financing for the project on my own by receiving a grant! Perhaps I could get computers for my students to use Geometer’s Sketchpad in the classroom instead of in a lab!

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Jul 23 2007

Project Implementation

Filed under MSU EdTech,Podcasts

Here is a podcast giving detail to the implementation of my TechQuest project.

Project Implementation

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Jun 11 2007

Internet Research for TechQuest

Filed under MSU EdTech

I found many different resources for my research of Key Curriculum Press’ Geometer’s Sketchpad. I started with information found at the Sketchpad Resource Center. This page provided the direction to help learn about how the product is used. There is an evaluation edition for educators looking at implementing the software in his/her district.

The company also offers a professional development workshop guide as a means to demonstrate the software for potential purchase.

I will use this information as well as the sample activities that the company offers to create a lesson to demonstrate to key people in my district.

I also spoke to a colleague, Cresta Wright, and she commented on the importance of administrative and technical support in the implementation of the software.

Key Curriculum Press offers different types of professional development for their software. Some of this may be purchased with the software and others are tutorials. Cresta spoke on how she has her students use the tutorials in her classes.

I found that I had to be creative when searching for information on the internet about this software. Many of the key phrases I first used (Geometer’s Sketchpad, dynamic math software, Sketchpad articles) would lead me to resources within Key Curriculum Press’ site. I found that they have many of the articles and research written about the software linked to their site.

Since, I do not teach Geometry, I wanted to find some information on using this software in non-geometry classes. I knew that Key Curriculum Press had information, but I looked elsewhere as well.

I found it would be important to play devil’s advocate and find any “negative” information about the software. I found a good article, but it is from out of the country.

Finally, I found that I had to get creative in looking for the resources I really wanted. I mainly used Google to begin with. Then, I would search within different math organizations such as NCTM for articles on Sketchpad or dynamic geometry software. I also found that there are many forums out there with plans, activities, and help besides what is offered at Key Curriculum Press. I was very excited to see so much positive. As you will hear in my implementation, I quickly found that I had more places to look that I didn’t even think of…

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Jun 02 2007

My first podcast!

Filed under Podcasts

My first podcast. What a beautiful voice!

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May 24 2007

TechQuest Problem

Filed under MSU EdTech

I currently teach high school algebra and algebra II (advanced algebra). The problem I would like to address in my classroom, I believe, is fairly common to many math classes. My students struggle to truly understand many of the concepts in class. In particular, students struggle to keep in line all of the equations/forms and definitions there are to know for quadratic relations (conic sections). Now that Michigan has laid out new requirements for its math courses, I find that I have an opportunity to “fix” my algebra II curriculum to include new ways for students to “see” what the different conic sections are and why they are so important. Also, revising the curriculum is key to have every student be successful in algebra II. Isn’t every math student’s favorite question, “but why do I have to know this.” I would not only like to preempt that question, but have the success of feeling/knowing that my students have a better understanding. Not only could I present the concepts in a new way, I will be able to create new assessments for the objectives. I feel that if I can make this small step with my conic sections unit that I could apply this to other units as well.

Technology is the key to becoming successful. I feel that the integration of a dynamic software, such as Geometer’s Sketchpad, will make a huge impact on student learning. Research has shown that students have deeper learning and are more engaged when ideas are developed from students’ prior knowledge. Sketchpad offers a dynamic way to develop the definitions of these conic sections. Paired with a constructivist approach these lessons can become very powerful ones.

GSPMy plan is to download a trial of Sketchpad to work on a lesson to be implemented in the future. I would like to include this in a proposal for my district to purchase a site license for the software. Ideally, lessons using the software will be lead by the teacher as students become more familiar with using it. Later, students may use the software to create their own graphs or problems to solve or to show relationships to real objects. The possibilities with this software are really endless.

Geometer’s Sketchpad is not only a solution to my students’ learning conic sections, but for other math units as well. Sketchpad has been around for quiet a few years now and has nothing but positive reports on effectiveness in the classroom. Please, read one of the many examples of the research of effectiveness of this software in the classroom from professor Dr. John Goulet of Secondary Educations Math students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

As Dr. Goulet notes there are many concepts that could not be illustrated without this technology!

Key Curriculum Press offers a range of workshops to support Sketchpad users, from a one-day implementation workshop included with the purchase of a Site License/Professional Development Package to custom workshops designed to meet the specific needs of your school or district.
Professional editions of Sketchpad include a copy of Teaching Mathematics with The Geometer’s Sketchpad, a book of classroom activities showing you how to use Sketchpad throughout the high school mathematics curriculum. There is also a Workshop Guide.
Key also offers a six-week online class Teaching Geometry with The Geometer’s Sketchpad Geometers’ Sketchpad has many recognitions and awards

Moyer, Todd O. “Non-Geometry Mathematics and The Geometer’s Sketchpad.” Mathematics Teacher, Vol. 99 (7) (March 2006) 490-495

The Most Valuable
Software for Students

The “Teaching, Learning, and Computing” national survey of mathematics teachers

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May 14 2007


Filed under MSU EdTech

Welcome to my blog. As you can see, I have written in here on more than one occasion, but have not truly made great use of the resource. I am looking forward to sharing ideas and making better use of my blog!

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Mar 22 2007


Filed under In General

I wanted to share my blog with all of you. I’ve had it for a while, but I will just be starting to use it as a resource for my students. I am no Will Richardson, but I am pretty good at expressing myself. (If you are not sure who this is be sure to check out his blog. See the weblogg-ed link on the right.) It was very easy to set up and only took a little bit of exploring to figure out the settings I wanted. This blog is open to comments, and I will be able to approve all comments before they are posted. Until I get more information about Moodle and I know that I can use it in the classroom, this is where I will post resources.

Anyway, I have been influenced by my graduate instructor and all of her resources.  I want to pass that influence on to others and help you to learn more about the technology and teaching. Don’t hesitate to ask! Things are so different now from when any of us went to school! Learning is global. Our students will not be able to compete in the world if we do not guide them in how to find and manage all of the information that is out there. We need to communicate with each other on how we will change for the better for educating our students.

Now, I venture off of my soapbox and ask for your help. I am always looking for ideas, especially for math, on how to use my blog. Do you have any ideas for me? Comments? Let me know!

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Mar 20 2007

Once again!

I am still here and have worked out some bugs. I would like to start posting here, including links to assignments/lessons that you can retrieve if you are absent. Let me know if you think this will be beneficial for you. Don’t forget to visit my homepage!

My question to my algebra II…Exponential Growth and Decay…What does it have to do with you? Find some “good” information and post it here! Maybe we can create our own lessons for this chapter!

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Jan 23 2007

A new semester

Filed under In General

pc270027_edited.JPGStarting over!

It is almost the beginning of a new semester for me.  I’ve had a busy first one and have been learning many new things in my technology classes.  I’ve implemented many new ideas, but am still trying to find ways to do more.  I would really love it if I could do more with my Algebra II class and the web.  I’m working on new units and innovative ways for the students to participate. 

The first thing I would like to do is to start involving my students in the learning process.  If they would be able to participate in this blog, then I could learn from them as well as them learning from me.  I’m not exactly sure how it will all work with math, since I see many educators who teach language arts classes and not so many teaching math using edublogs.  Or, perhaps I just haven’t found them, yet!

I’m new to this world of blogging!  I hope that it can become something not quite so new, but more regular!

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