Software Usage Blog

The “Basic Three” programs, word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software, are all extremely useful tools to use in the classroom (Roblyer & Doering, 2010). They can make learning in the classroom, exciting, engaging and more interactive. When students master these different software programs, they then have the ability to take learning into their own hands. Growing up, I used all three as part of my learning experience and will use the in the future when I am a teacher.

According to Roblyer and Doering (2010), word processing can be used for supporting languages exercises. They say teachers use this software because it “saves time, enhances document appearance, allows sharing of documents, allows collaboration and supports student writing and language learning” (page 114 – 115). I agree with all these reasons. When I am a teacher I will use it for myself when it comes to creating tests, worksheets, take-home letters and lesson plans. Word processing, I feel, has become the backbone of how many teachers run their classrooms. In terms of how I will use it with the students, depending on the grade level, I will introduce it to them as being a using essay writing tool. I will teach them how to use basic features of the software to make sure their document is, for the most part, error free. I will also use it for homework assignments. On the word software , one can make graphs, charts, and other illustrations as part of  projects and other assignments.

The authors of the textbook also mention that spreadsheets are used for mathematics, science and business education (Roblyer & Doering, 2010). Some reasons teachers use spreadsheet software is to “save time, display information, and increase the motivation to work with mathematics” (page 121). Again, I feel this software can only be used for certain grade levels. I think it would be most useful being introduced to older grade levels. As a teacher, I will use it as a way to organize assignments and grades to keep track of student records. I can also use it to create call logs for when I reach out to parents. It’s important to document every action taken to reach out to parents and students about each child’s performance. In terms of how students can use this software, I can teach them how to use it to create graphs and teach them how to convert numerical date into graphs and pie charts. I remember when I was learning to use spreadsheet software, I enjoyed seeing the numbers be interpreted into a pie chart. Lastly, students can use what they learn and apply it to a science project.

Lastly, the textbook also mentions that presentation software can be used for graphics and to share concepts in a “clear and persuasive manner” (Roblyer & Doering, 2010). Presentation software was heavily used and introduced when I entered middle school and then was used throughout high school. Every class I had from grade 6 to college used PowerPoint presentation software. Presentation software is highly useful but needs to be used in moderation and as a supplementation to the teaching material. When I am a teacher, I will use presentation software as a fun, colorful, and interactive way to convey information to students. I will utilize many different features of the presentation software such as graphics, video clips and sound. This can make learning fun and less tedious for the teacher and students. In terms of how I will allow students to use it, again according to grade level, the students can take what I teach them and create their own lecture PowerPoints to summarize the main points and then hey can teach the class using their presentation. Also, students can use it as part of a research project which can also include word processing and spreadsheet software. Research projects are a good way to utilize all three software tools.

It’s important for students t use all software programs and technology honestly. In order to make sure students don’t plagiarize and follow copyright laws, I will keep up to date with the latest laws and regulations. I will require my students to cite their sources for every assignment that they research and use information from other books and/or online sources. There is also plagiarism software that can scan a document and highlight when material might have been copied. If students plagiarize there will be consequences enforced and they will understand the importance of citing work.

Resources:

Roblyer, M. (n.d.). Technology Tools for 21st Century Teaching. In Integrating educational technology into teaching (Seventh ed.).
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Technology Usage Blog

Technology has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years. It seems as if all of a sudden we went from jumbo bulk computers to computers that are the size of our hands. We live in a time where there is more access than ever to technology, but is that a good or bad thing? As the textbook, Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching by M.D. Roblyer, states that the high usage of technology brings a series of issues including: social, educational, cultural,equity, legal and ethical problems. My primary focus in the post will be on those issues because I feel, as an up and coming teacher, those issues will become more prevalent as time goes on.

Growing up, technology wasn’t in the hands of every child at all times. Though there was a lot of technology, it seemed as though there were still limits as to what a child could have in terms of phones, iPods, iPads and laptops. Now, I see second graders running around with an iPhone and 3 year-olds knowing how to work an iPad.  It begins with using these highly advanced tools for educational reasons but as children grow up they learn how to bypass all the security settings to possibly misuse technology. These habits then may enter the classroom through what is thought to be the innocent usage of electronics for learning purposes. Technology can be both a super learning tool or a major distraction. The increase in technology in schools calls for more faculty who know how to monitor and protect the technological devices of the school, teachers to pay more attention to what students are doing and an increase in awareness and funds for new technology, as well as the changes that privacy and devices are constantly undergoing. There need to be very specific rules and students need to have a clear understanding of what is tolerated and what is prohibited. Children across the globe need to learn what responsible usage of technology is and most of that is learned at home, not at school.

Resources:

Roblyer, M. (n.d.). Integrating educational technology into teaching (Seventh ed.).

Steps To Cut Out Processed Foods

This breaks down the steps to eating cleaner very well!

Eat well, Live well

Sometimes it’s good for our bodies to cut out processed foods every once in awhile. It’s easier to take small steps rather than doing it all at once. Here are some great tips by Lisa Leake to cut out processed foods in weeks.

Week one: Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.

Week two: Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup)

Week three: All meat consumed this week will be locally raised and will be limited to 3-4 times per week

Week four: No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.

Week five: Try a minimum of two new whole foods that you’ve never had before.

Week six: Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced…

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Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Pyramid

Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian Pyramid

I learned of this from the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” documentary

http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/foodpyramid.aspx
https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article17.aspx

“You Are What You Eat”

“You are what you eat” How true is that statement? If you really sit back and analyze your diet (more so your lifestyle), what do you eat on a regular basis? What is your food made of? Is it even food? The documentary “Food Matters”, the TV show, My 600 lb. Life, and my biology lab class has brought me to some realizations.

For most “diets” a rule is if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. However, what if you can pronounce it? Chemicals are given different names and such to make it easier to read and talk about for those who aren’t knowledgeable in science topics. How about you get rid of the cheesy quote and just literally get back to basics. Just because you can pronounce the “ingredients” in your meal replacement protein bar doesn’t mean you should be eating it. On top of that, does a meal in a bar sound right? Why not just eat REAL food? Real food is where you get all the nutrients you need to survive every day, the real nutrients – not the chemical nutrients. In a sense, it’s common sense. We’re humans whose bodies were made to consume fruits, vegetables and real proteins. By getting back to basics you’ll feel better and feel more satisfied after each meal rather than craving another bar or drink.

The whole idea of chemical foods brought me to another conclusion. “Approximately 12.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime.” (http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html). If you look around, most people are related or know someone with breast cancer. Since 1975 to 2010 breast cancer has steadily been on the rise. Why? Now, I’m not a genius and can’t say this for fact but this is a hypothesis I have made. Look at most Americans lifestyles these days. People are constantly on go, never pausing. Family meals, from what it seems, now consist of fast food and in the car, instead of, sitting around the table at home eating real food and sharing meaningful conversation. Now granted, fruits and veggies and animals are protected by pesticides and what else, but taking the risk with those (or going organic) is better than a lifetime of processed, unnaturally fatty, and chemically created foods. If you really think about it, it’s scary what we’re putting in our bodies. So, my theory, with the increased consumption of processed foods and fried foods comes the increase of odd, foreign chemicals to our bodies which can’t use them to benefit us. My theory is the increase of chemicals leads to an increased possibility of illnesses and cancer. If that’s not incentive to change your eating habits, I don’t know what is!!

Another point “Food Matters” brought up was the topic of vitamins and medication. Some of us let us go so much, eating poorly and not participating in activities. We get sore, we get pains in places we never thought we would, and we get weak. The so-called cure, take this Advil! Why? Why not fix the problem at its core, your gut. Losing weight and just exercising and getting stronger helps alleviate those pains. Not only will it not hurt to roll around with your kids but you’ll feel better and have more energy. Why do people take vitamins? Sure, a bag of chips may have iron and calcium, fried chicken nuggets may have protein, but that “version” of the nutrient isn’t what you need. It’s chemically manipulated to taste like cheese or whatever, IT’S NOT REAL! The real stuff you get from eating real food. Spinach has Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron, your body will receive that better than a chip. Sure it may not “taste as good” but that’s an experimental and mental change.

Now on a personal note, I’m working on making these changes in my own routine. Before my diet and lifestyle re-awakening, I was eating pizza, chips, candy, a lot of breads and grease. Cut that out and it doesn’t take long to feel like you have control of your own body again. It’s only been 2 days and I’ve already lost 5 lbs. In addition to the weight loss, however, more importantly I feel great! I have the energy to wake up for my 9 am class without a struggle, I’m sleeping better, I feel perkier, I don’t have random pains in my back or knees and I just feel stronger. My diet consists of 2 raw salads a day, lean proteins (turkey or tuna), an apple, and a protein shake with chia seeds for breakfast. I’m already at a point where just thinking about going back to my old ways makes me want to be sick.

In order to make these changes, you have to want to do it for YOURSELF. No statistic or “fun fact” can make a person decide to change their lifestyle habits. But I want you to know that if you’re struggling to keep a healthy lifestyle, YOU CAN DO IT, and, if you’re struggling to change your lifestyle, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!! The important thing is to be healthy on the inside and the results will show on the outside and in your smile. People will see a change! 🙂 Truth of the matter is, you are what you eat, so, EAT WELL FEEL WELL.

My salads for today!

My salads for today!