Sunday, July 3, 2011

Special Assignment 2

TED, iTunesU, and Kahn Academy

1. The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit that gives education to anyone who is willing to learn. People everywhere can access this website and watch lectures from educators everywhere, the website it easy to navigate as well. There are examples of all kinds of worked algebra problems and all sorts of history lessons and interviews to watch. This site is amazing and I would have loved to have had such a source when I was in high school. Since the site is free it provides a great resource to those who don’t have the funds for a tutor.

iTunesU is a wonderful tool to be used in the classroom in many ways. As an educator one can use iTunesU to post lectures for all to view. This is great for your own classroom or to share with classes across the globe. It can be used to allow students to review a lecture outside of school, for parents to watch and see what their children are learning, or for students that may miss class on a review day. Also, iTunesU can be used to show lectures from other educators at other schools and universities. Another one of the many advantages is that students can use iTunesU on their mobile devices and ipods; this comes in handy for students on the go. What could be better than learning while jogging or driving?

TED is another non-profit site full of material to be shared. From bird watching to second hand shopping, this site has a lot to offer. “Ideas worth sharing” is the statement for TED. It couldn’t be summed up better. There are so many great videos that I wasn’t sure where to even start. You can navigate through the site by choosing between the categories of themes, speakers, talks, and translations. Once choosing your category you are then given hundreds of videos to choose from. This “free knowledge” is great for all classrooms. Teachers can now share ideas with their students from real people across the world.

2. Kahn Academy offers collections of Algebra practice problems and equations. There are several topics to choose form like, science, algebra, humanities and other, test prep, and talks and interviews. There are many sub-categories under these topics. There are videos offered that show how to work different sorts of math problems and videos explaining the current unemployment dilemma. Teachers should take advantage of this site by using the videos in the classroom to enhance the learning on any particular topic. For example, in chemistry the teacher could show a video on electron configurations before the lecture to give the students a better understanding.

There are some great collections on iTunesU, this makes it difficult to sum up what it has to offer. I decided to search education and received hundreds of results. Everything from special education to education in Ireland popped up. One can basically search any subject and receive results. These collections can be used to by the students to extend their learning on particular topics. They can watch and listen to these videos on their ipods and bring them anywhere. Teachers can also easily use these videos in their classes to help students on a difficult part of a lesson.

The TED site has so many ideas to share that it is almost overwhelming. I personally found it hard to navigate this site and find exactly what I was looking for. I came across some very inspirational talks and some enlightening videos. I think that this site is great for adding some fun in the classroom. The selection is quite broad. There is no doubt that one could find something on any particular topic, they may just have to look hard to find it. 

3. On the Kahn Academy site I watched a video on Chinese Inflation. The video begins with the definition of different types on inflation and then explains how inflation works. The video is basically breaking down an article from the New York Times. This is extremely helpful. I understand inflation but did not grasp all of the terminology until watching this video. It explained that China is printing more money in order to keep it devalued but this raises the question, "is this causing inflation?" I found this video to be very educational and I would use it to explain inflation to my students. Student may be more apt to grasp the concept of inflation if it were related to the current economy, as done in this video. 

On iTunesU I watched a video on Earth. There are many other videos on the other planets and each gives particular facts on that planet. I would have loved to know about this when I was in geography. Watching the video puts it more into perspective. It shows the sun rising while the earth is on it's axis and shows the orbit of the moon around the earth. This video would be very helpful for students, along with the videos on the other planets. Watching it, to me, rather than reading about it in a book is much more helpful. 

I watched the video Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock on TED. Bill Ford's great grandfather was Henry Ford. Bill Ford speaks of his experiences throughout life and working for Ford. He mentions that his grand-father wanted to make cars affordable for the everyday person. Bill has had a passion for cars since he was a boy, and now has an environmental passion that he wants to combine with his passion for cars. After being accused of being the enemy and creating so much pollution, Bill decided to join Ford and make his cars green like never before. Being able to watch the Henry Ford's grandson speak really makes you pay attention. I believe that it will do the same for students. Also, sharing the ambition of Bill with students can really make an impact on them. 

4. With the Khan Academy site I could all sorts of information with my students. This site gives educators endless opportunities to enlighten our students and give them an exciting learning experience. I would use this site to put more emphasis on harder topics being discussed in class. Some find civics to be difficult to understand and with the large number of videos on this site I could show my student videos on our current government to better explain how everything works. 

As an educator, I would use  iTunesU to post some of my lectures so that students can review at home. This will give students a better chance at succeeding in the classroom. Posting my lectures will also help parents know what their child is learning in school and help them help their children. Another tool that is great on iTunesU are the videos posted by renowned professors all over the world. These can be used to elaborate on any given topic and gather another perspective. 

I would use TED to keep my student interested in what they are learning. There are some great videos on so many different topics. I would love to use this site to possibly show a different video every week to inspire my students in different way or to give them an "idea". Sharing the ideas of others could be fun for the class and hopefully keep them motivated. 

5. This assignment has in fact surprised me. The information gathered through this assignment has surprised me. What great tools to be used in the classroom! This is a great example of why technology is important in the classroom. These sites will, with out a doubt, help students excel in school. Students are able to have their own private tutor on their computer or watch their own teacher give a lecture they may have missed. Once I become a teacher I will use these sites in my classroom and share them with my students so that they have to opportunity to learn and have fun using these sites. 

1 comment:

  1. Surprise, surprise, surprise. I am surprised as well. These resources are rather amazing. Make good use of them when you become an educator.

    Well done!