Monday, November 10, 2008


I need to post another update, but unfortunately I do not have much to report. I missed both Wednesday's and Monday's classes because I was/am sick. I am almost finished with my PowerPoint though! I actually was at this stage last Friday night, but I lost the document when my hard drive stopped working. Thank the Lord for the Apple Store here in Knoxville because they were able to install a new hard drive this morning in under 1 hour. I was unwise and did not have the original project backed up so I started over last night on one of the university's computers. The project was not that difficult, but I still do not understand the purpose of the separate "directions" and "homepage" pages. I also don't know how much I would ever use this type of project in my class because it is SO time consuming. I can't imagine creating more than one or two a year for my classes. I also never quite figured out the "master slide" concept. That could be because I could not find any of the buttons we used in class when I was recreating my PowerPoint because I had to use the 2007 version.

I actually might like 2007 better than 2004 (which is currently on my computer). 2007 is definitely much more aesthetically pleasing than 2004, but it does not have the same pull down menus at the top so it was difficult to get used to the different format after using the 2004 format for so long (aka all of college and the latter half of high school).

I am looking forward to finishing the project tonight, especially after the epic fail that was losing the first draft.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Storyboards and Interactive Powerpoint

I really like the idea of the interactive powerpoint. I have worked with powerpoint many, many times before so this software is not so stressful for me to use. This is another good way to incorporate review into computer center time.

I am now finished with my storyboard, and in the long run it was very helpful. it will definitely make creating the actual powerpoint go by very quickly.

I am going to play with the master slide a little to see whether or not I actually want to use it.

i'm excited to see how the final project turns out!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Storyboard: start up

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little intimidated by the next project. The storyboard seems like an intense way of doing this. I am, however, excited to figure out how to do all these cool things with powerpoint! All I can do right now are the basic presentations. So far this has been satisfactory, but something tells me that a room full of first graders and computers would not stay calm very long if I tried to lecture off of a basic powerpoint... I can imagine the chaos now.

On the upside, at least I will know if my project idea will work before I actually start the powerpoint since my storyboard has to be approved. :) I feel like I will need to take notes diligently if I want to remember how to do any of this later. I know the point of this class is to raise my awareness of the capabilities of software, types of software and the like. However, if I really like doing one type of thing, if I think that it will be helpful in my future classroom, I would like to have general directions so I can get to the right toolbars to change the settings.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

and more excel

I finally finished the interactive worksheet on excel. It really wasn't that difficult to master- excel is just very tedious. Many of the items on the rubric are too exacting (on several projects/assignments). Often times the hardest part of finishing assignments is meeting the rubric's exact guidelines. In some ways it is good because teaching guidelines are often very strict as well.

I was a little disappointed with the directions in our course packet. They focused too much on finishing this exact project and not enough on using excel in general. Learning how to use the software is always the most helpful part for me!

All in all, I was pleased with my final project. It might actually be able to be used in a classroom one day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I am really excited to begin learning how to use Excel. My dad asks me if I know how to use it anytime he tries to get me to organize anything. I'm not exaggerating. I'm pretty sure he has said the phrase "You know how to use Excel, right?" at least once a month since I was 12 or 13. He tried to teach me once, and I think I left more confused than when I started. Oh well.

I think Excel would be great to use when creating worksheets to be printed off or for use on the computer, like the interactive worksheet on compound words we created. I probably will never actually create an interactive worksheet for my students to do unless I have have a classroom set of computers. I would rather my students do a more interactive, research-based, or game-based assignment on the computer than a glorified worksheet. These interactive worksheets are just too similar to regular worksheets to be worth the trouble and precious computer time. (I say precious because I'm not holding my breath to have a full set of computers in my classroom.)

Monday, October 6, 2008


Today was really fun in class. I have always been way too overwhelmed to use any of the really cool features on my macbook (iMovie, GarageBand, etc), so this class was really interesting for me because I realized that iMovie is really user-friendly. I'm so excited to use this to make movies about vacations and about events in life. I think that I will actually use this because it is so simple! I'm really glad we went over this in class.
I think this would be great to use in my classroom for parents' night to play a slideshow/movie of what the class has been doing. I think it would be really fun to have videos of fieldtrips and other class projects on my class website so that parents could see what their children are doing in school. I think I might have to find a way to encrypt or password protect the videos so strangers couldn't watch videos of other people's children... I would also have to get releases from the parents I'm sure to even take video/pictures.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Digital Scavenger Hunt

This Wednesday my curriculum team did a digital scavenger hunt of the first half of the alphabet. I really enjoyed getting to use some of the skills we practiced at the beginning of the week outside of the classroom. We got off to a rough start because our camera had a bad memory stick (we think); however, I did get to explore the resources upstairs, like the diecut machines. It was much more difficult than we thought to find creative pictures beginning with the letters A-L. I was surprised that we were able to finish the powerpoint in enough time after our technological setback at the beginning. I truly enjoyed this assignment and think it should be kept for future classes.