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Introduction to Computer Based Education

Dr. Lloyd Rieber

Fall 2002

Task 1
  Word Processing Project
Task 2
PowerPoint Project
Task 3
Cognitive Tool Project
Task 4
WebQuest Project
Task 5
Open-Ended Project


Word Processing Project

     I can still remember being in middle school and needing to type a paper with this awful computer program that would only let you type with one font, in one size, only single spaced and, of course, nothing extra what-so-ever (not even italics or underlining!). I first started using MS Word when I got to college five years ago. Every time I use it, I learn something new that this wonderful program can do. Now, I usually open Word at least three times a week! This program was great to write my lesson plans in and make student study guides/worksheets when I was student teaching. It amazes me how far word processing has come in such a short time.

     Around the time my Word Processing Project was due, I also needed to type a form for my fraternities upcoming Karaoke-A-Thon (which by the way, was a huge success and lots of fun!). I decided to join the two tasks together, and voila, I completed my assignment and my fraternity got an awesome pledge/donation sheet. Check it out by selecting the title of this section.

PowerPoint Project

     I have to admit this is the first time I've ever created a PowerPoint presentation - and it was so simple! I don't know what I was afraid of! When I get back into the classroom, I hope to be able to do a few lessons using PowerPoint and maybe even have some student projects where the students can use it as well.

     Around the time my PowerPoint Project was due, I also needed to start my PowerPoint presentation for my Introduction to Instructional Technology class. I again decided to join the two tasks together, and voila, I completed my EDIT 6150 assignment and got a good start on my EDIT 6100 presentation. Check it out by selecting the title of this section. For the complete presentation for my other class, check out Task 2 under the EDIT 6100 page. The presentation is on a leader in Instructional Technology, Dr. Ann E. Barron.

Cognitive Tool Project & Corresponding Lesson Plan

     I have used Excel many times for personal tasks and school assignments, but have never thought about using Excel in the classroom as a teacher trying to help my students learn. I have now learned another successful way to integrate technology into the classroom.

     I must admit I got a little carried away with the detail of this project. The lesson taught is "An Investigation of an Ant on a Wheel." This is a math experiment geared for a trigonometry class, however it can be used in earlier classes provided the trigonometric functions have already been taught. The Word and Excel documents available for download are the teacher's version of this lesson. Check them out by selecting the two titles of this section. The "Cognitive Tool Project" has the Excel document and the "Corresponding Lesson Plan" has the Word document.

     Excel plays a very important part in this experiment for a few reasons. First, it is a computerized (therefore clear & neat) way to organize the student generated data and then allows students to check the accuracy of their hand graphs with the graph Excel makes. Second, Excel generates data using the formula that students have discovered through the experiment and then Excel generates graphs using this formula & data. Students were able to graph in seconds with Excel whereas it may have taken hours by hand.

WebQuest Project

     Prior to taking this class, I had never even heard of a WebQuest, which is a real shame cause they are awesome! I had a lot of fun creating my WebQuest and even more fun implementing it.

     For the last year or so, I have been slightly obsessed with the television show Trading Spaces. It always amazes me how the designer can completely redo a room for under $1000 and the room is gorgeous. When we were assigned to create a WebQuest, I thought that it might be fun to let students design the interior of a room. There are so many online stores where they can 'buy' items for their room.

     The most beautiful aspect about this WebQuest idea, however, is that students don't realize that this is a mathematics project hidden in an art project. So many students graduate high school without enough basic math skills to even go shopping at the super market. They also always think that math is boring and never used in real life. Well this WebQuest proves just the opposite. To check out my WebQuest on Trading Spaces & math, select the title of this section.

To see my implementation results, click here.

To see photos from the implementation, click here.

Open-Ended Project

     At first I was not looking forward to my Open-Ended Project becuase I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. Then, Dr. Rieber mentioned Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP) in class one day, and I remembered an exercise we did in one of my undergraduate mathematics education classes about triangle centers. I then thought that it would be really great if I had a lesson plan about the triangle centers and GSP to use one day in my mathematics classroom.

     I am so glad that I decided to use GSP to explore triangle centers! My students had a great time doing the four activities and especially using GSP to help them understand and locate the triangle centers. This will be a very valuable resource to me (and any other geometry teacher) in the future. To check out my lesson plan on triangle centers using GSP, select the title of this section.

To see my implementation results, click here.

To see photos from the implementation, click here.