Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Final Exam Part 4

What changes should I make to the class next semester?

This class was supposed to focused on group interaction and I feel like we did more individual work than group work. Maybe an online group assignment or more class discussions would make the experience a little more exciting because just reading articles and blogging every class can honestly get a little boring and redundant. Other than that, this class gave me a lot of free time to get my thoughts out into the open and also to focus on other things that don't necessarily have to relate to school.

Final Exam Part 3

I would like a blogpost or an e-mail discussing your feelings on web 2.0 and the connections you see for education. You can speak from a supportive point of view, a
negative point of view, or a balanced point of view. You can choose to answer the
following questions in your response or not. They are food for thought in case you need it
to get started. Do you think web 2.0 tools can help teachers better engage students in
their learning? What specific tools would you use? What questions, thoughts, concerns,
or insights did you make from your experience this semester? (This should be 3-5
paragraphs minimum)

Web 2.0 is a class that is focused on getting students more active in their classes. This is done by using various programs online. During this semester, our web 2.0 class has experimented a lot with Google docs, twitter, Facebook, and other mini websites. Wallwisher was one of the first tools we have used in this class. We stay connected through Gmail and we post our recent works on twitter. This class was definitely great. It was a little foreshadowing of what is coming next year and I have to say, the students have a lot to look forward to.

These tools that we have experimented with in our class are more than just ways to post thoughts. With a little creativity, these online tools can be used to complete various projects. For my world history class, we made twitter accounts with the names of historical figures and then we had a little class conversation from the point of view of different characters. These programs are limited in what they can do, but we can manipulate them and use them for a completely different reason. I think Wallwisher could be more than a place to post thoughts. I think it could be used for the teacher to post assignments and also a place for class questions. Everything we have used so far can be used for so much more and classes can be better for learning if there is an aspect of fun added from using technology.

Overall, I think the change to 1:1 next year will be a great step into the future. Technology is evolving everyday and we could really use it to make class more fun. It will be great for group interaction because this is a way that even the shy students can contribute their thoughts. The countless programs, apps, widgets, websites, and other things we can use will really make class easier and an overall greater learning experience. I am for this change and the only problems I can see are the wifi running a little slow from everyone being connected at the same time and students playing games more than working. In conclusion, this is definitely something for the students to look forward to.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Final Exam Part 2

Please construct a list of classroom expectations for students for next year when everyone has a device. ( Include ramifications for students who do not follow guidelines. Please look at some other Acceptable Use Policies as a reference - Let me know three that you utilized as a reference, but also remember that most of these are written by adults).

In order for this change to work well next year, we need to use our devices properly. If we all just play games and don't stay focused during class, we turn an amazing change into a disaster. I think the best AUP to follow is to keep the device powered off or on standby while the teacher is talking, in order to prevent distractions. This is a good idea until you realize that the students can't take notes without a device. So I think the teachers should have electronic notes, since we're all going 1:1 anyways, why shouldn't the notes be pre written online? Some AUPs say that the device should be OFF until there is an assignment that needs to be completed. I don't think they should be off, because they pretty much are our textbooks and notebooks. It would be easier just to turn the wifi off during the class. Every laptop gives you the option to turn your wifi on or off. If it's off, teachers can feel safer about what students are doing. Some people put out AUPs that say you can’t use electronic devices at all throughout the day. I think this is just a terrible idea. We are living in a world where technology is constantly changing so why should we shun it from our learning environment? I think, instead of following the AUPs that other schools put out, we should make our own and create a new path for our school to follow. We need to be able to lay down rules that will allow us to have technology and also allow us to learn.
-Akash Patel

Final Exam Part 1

 What are your thoughts on last week’s classes? With each student having a device in our wireless network, how do things change? Also thoughts on the iPad. (e-mail or blogpost)

This class has been a great experience. It was definitely a little foreshadowing of things to expect next year. There have been some times where people would play games or do things that weren't part of the assignment, but honestly, who wouldn't. There is a source of unlimited entertainment and information right in front of us. We are definitely going to experiment with it with every chance we get. There are a few things that would change with all of the students having a device in our wireless network. Right now, our network works pretty fast, but we have no idea how fast or slow it will work with almost everyone using the network at the same exact time. However, there are positives to this change. Everyone will have everything they need, in one device. This makes organization a lot better and people will always be on task because all of the worksheets and books will be on the device. The iPad is also pretty great. It has the apps and things we could use for class, but it is in no way a replacement for a laptop. I think it would be a lot better if everyone got a laptop because then we could load textbooks on it with CDs and we could also keep our notes organized in documents rather than a note taking app. Also, teachers need flash player. Flash player is especially important in science classes where they normally show examples from the internet in their PowerPoint presentations. This change is going to be a great one and I will definitely have to come back next year to see how it goes.-Akash Patel

Friday, January 7, 2011

More Apps

The musical instrument apps could be useful. They sure aren't a replacement for the real thing but they can be a fun music class tool. I also liked all of the metric conversion apps. They would definitely be useful for science because there are always units that need to be converted in order to find the correct final answer. The fifth and final app that I thought was useful was the scientific calculator app. This combined with the graphing app that I wrote about in the last post would make a great combo. The calculator does everything, even trigonometry functions but it doesn't graph so it would be a great combo. These are the five apps that I think will actually think the students would use in class, other than the countless games of course.

-Akash Patel

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Useful Apps For the iPad

iBooks is the first app I looked at and I definitely think it'll be useful for English class. If we do have iPads next year, we won't have to worry about carrying books around. The books we need will be right on the iBooks app. This is good because countless people forget their books and have to run and get one during class or share with someone else. The second app I think was useful were the graphing calculator apps. The lite versions were awful but the pro versions could actually be used in class. They do what most new calculators do and, me being an ap calculus student, think it could come in handy even though we do need the actual ti 84 for the ap exam. Other than this there wasn't anything that seemed useful for the classroom. All of the apps seemed like they were there for entertainment. If you get bored, these apps are definitely your way into entertainment. Other than that, they're pretty useless to be honest. The iPad can be used as a good note taker and a good resource for information but other than that it seems like it will mainly be used for it's fun and exciting apps.

-Akash Patel

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


This is actually my first blog post from an iPad. It's not that bad. It looks like a giant iPod touch but it's a lot better in some ways. I myself have never been a big fan of apple. I don't like having to download a bunch of apple products in order to sync things to your device. This keyboard though is very well made. The keys are all spaced out well and they respond very well. This browser has been running exceptionally fast. I haven't encountered many problems with this thing so far. I've used iPod touches and iPhones so I'm pretty familiar with the way apple products work. I have to say I would definitely pick this iPad over the computer for this class. The computers tend to freeze a lot and it takes A while to get things done but this iPad has been working fine. I'm actually looking forward to experimenting with this as we move forward.

-Akash Patel