Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reflective Journal Post


Introduction to Technology for Educators

Here we are the end of the semester, and after reflecting on this class, after all of the hard work, stress and frustration at times, I am so happy that I took this class. What I have learned, experienced and been able to share from this class has been well worth it all. I see now how all that we have learned through out the semester was sort of a blueprint for the final project. Which by the way was my favorite project! It wasn't easy but I have to say I am so please with how it turned out!

I really enjoyed this class. Not just the information and assignments, but I a great opportunity to meet some great people and work together with them to create a couple of projects. I even made a great friend from this class as well! I want to discuss some of my favorite parts of this class. 

In this class, I learned about many different types of technology that can be used in the classroom. How technology will help us teach and help students learn. In chapter one I learned about using technology, how to develop lesson plans, and obstacles faced. As you read through my blog I felt that knowing the six key issues a teacher should consider when looking to intergrate technology. The entire chapter is important and everyone should read it and use that information. This chapter also discussed teaching philosophy which if you were not aware, I believe in a student centered teaching. As teachers we all create our own style of teaching, and decide on the type of style of teaching that we will used. Either teacher centered or student centered. The tech tools were interesting as well. Great chapter!
In Chapter 2 I learned that I am a visual learner. As many are, we learn by see and doing. Lecture doesn't do that much for us. With the use of technology and implementing technology into the classroom we are able engage the students more and give them great hands on learning. One of my favorite examples in this chapter was a constructivist teaching and learning example. 

The teacher takes the students outside early in the morning, and asks the to draw the shadows of different sized shapes using sidewalk chalk. An hour later they return, and trace the shadows of those same shapes with a different colored chalk. They do this several times throughout the day. Three or four days of this going on, they learn that they are making an outdoor clock. This used along with learning resources like online simulations, newspaper weather pages, to spinning tops to simulate planets rotating in their orbits around the sun. Great example of active learning and metacognition.
I hope that at some point in my teaching I have the opportunity to use this lesson. 
This chapter discusses how to  engage students in lessons. 
The first tech tool in this chapter had a variety of websites and tools to use. I think one of my favorite was the e-skeleton. It's such a fun website! I encourage you to check it out!

I think that every chapter had a important role in my learning this semester. The group projects were interesting. Working with the teams was a great experience.  The collaberation lesson plan was a great project that helped me personally learn how to build a lesson plan and how to use technology to create one and use technology in the lesson plan. The Wiki project was also very interesting. I had never done one before, used wiki at all, so it was very new to me and a great experience overall. The clickers was an interesting bit of information that was never aware of. But it's pretty cool. Smart boards is a great tool to have inside the classroom. It creates such a great learning environment for the students.

The WebQuest was also something that I have not heard of before. It was interesting to see how one is build, designed and implemented. I enjoyed creating one and then sharing it with others. I also was unaware of Rubric builders and not really sure how to build those. I fund it challenging to create a rubric for the website evaluation. It's a learning process that I think with time I will improve with. 

Still my favorite again was the final project. It was so much fun! And I really loved how it turned out. So much learned in this class about introducing technology into the classroom! I really did enjoy it!
So there you have it, my semester of learning in a great and fun filled class that I am so happy I took and really really enjoyed! The information that I learned I will take with me as I continue this journey and as I become a teacher. Until next time! 


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5    


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Journal Post #11

Post 11 and the last one of the class. What a journey! This chapter Engaging teachers and students in learning and self-reflection is an interesting chapter. And this weeks focus question I chose is question two.

How can teachers and students use digital portfolios as tools for learning?

Interesting that this question is around the same time that we are now working on our own portfolios for this class. Digital portfolios offer an effective way for students and teachers alike to assess their teaching and learning accomplishments (Montgomery & wiley, 2008).

What is a digital portfolio?

  • A digital portfolio  also known as a multimedia portfoliom electronic portfolio, e-portfolio,  or webfolio, is a collection of educational materials stored in an electronic format such as a CD-ROM, website, or computer file. 
Three types of digital or electronic portfolios in use:
  1. Online Assessment Systems- where students store preselected pieces of work in a commerically or institutionally designed template. 
  2. Print Loaded- portfolio that takes a paper text and displays it electronically.
  3. Web Sensible-  portfolio that uses "text boxes, hyperlinking, visuals, audio texts and design elements to convey a teacher's materials. 
As with anything there are advantages and disadvantages to digital/electronic portfolios-

  • Accessibility
  • Portability
  • Creativity
  • Technological self-confidence
  • Community
  • Knowledge and skill requirements
  • Professional support
  • Expensive equipment
  • Time and energy
  • Need for increased viewer skills and equipment
  • Presentation distracts from content

Portfolios for Teachers follow patterns established in other professions. Teachers design their teaching portfolios in many different and creative ways. But most collections include certain elements that document one's academics, teaching, and talents and accomplishments.
  • Resume
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Lesson Plans or Unit Plan
  • Academic Courses and Research Experiences
  • Teaching Experience
  • Personal Talents and Accomplishments
  • References
  • Reflections
  • Video and Pictorial Segments
  • Resource Links

Ironically while there is two tech tools, I chose Tech Tool 11.1 and of course this tool is also about Digital portfolio building resources.  

TaskStream- popular digital archiving tool used for web design and portfolio. Provides users with a variety of design options including presentation portfolios, learning or work portfolios tailored to document one's learning process, and resource portfolios that can access by both the world and specified closed communities. Other features include a standards manager, lesson plan and unit builders, and customizable measurement tools. 

iLife- iLife is a software created by Apple. After importing photo images into the latest versions of iphoto, imovie, ect.,  you can add text, titiels, keywords and sound effects to your photographs and digital video files.

EduTools- a website sponsored by the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET). Provides online reviews and comparisons and consultations for teachers and schools interested in using e-learning tools, including e-portfolios. it also provides reviews of online college, advanced placement, and high school courses.

The above links are great places to start with an digital portfolio. The idea of having a digital profile is the way things will be in the future. And for teachers and students this is a great tool to use in order to house and share all of your work. 

Alot of information is out there about digital portfolios. And while I am beginning my own e-portfolio for this very class it was a very useful chapter for me, a useful question to answer and a useful tech tool. Overall this was yet another great chapter of information of assessments, evaluations and digital portfolios. 

Overall since this is the last post for this class/book, throughout the book there has been great information that helped me learn about technology and how I can use it in my own classroom. I know that technology is constantly changing and as a teacher I will need to keep up the with the changes in technology and how to implement it into the classroom and of course make sure that what ever technology is introduced it meets the needs of all of my students in the classroom. I have enjoyed writing these posts, I hope that you have enjoyed reading them! 

And lastly  Chau! 

Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5   

Journal Post #10

Here we are post number ten! It's hard to believe that we are coming to the end of the class almost. What a journey it's been. So in chapter ten there are many interesting bits of information. All four of the focus questions were great. One in particular which I have spoken about not only in this class but in other classes is assistive technology. But to be honest, I really want to discuss something outside of the areas that I know about and go with something that I really don't know much about, so I chose focus question #2.

How can teachers use technology to create universally designed classrooms?

As a teacher or course we design our classroom, from where the desks go to decorations in classroom. We place things specifically and buy things that go into our classrooms that will serve a specific purpose. So how do we create a universally designed classroom? 
In designing a universally designed classroom no detail is too small in the classroom, because even the smallest detail can make the difference between a student paying attention or drifting away from the focus of the class. There are two main routes when designing a classroom using technology. 
  • Changing the classroom learning environment.
  • Changing how the curriculum is delivered.
As you begin thinking about designing your classroom, imagine ways to differentiate your teaching. There are three ranges 
  • Low-tech- refers to changes that are made easily, inexpensively, and without applying digital or electronic materials.
  • Mid-tech- involves substantive shifts in organization and delivery of curriculum that may include the use of electronic materials.
  • High-tech- introduced changes associated with the intergration of computers and other specialized information technologies in the classroom. 
Examples: A couple of examples are below.
Chairs and Desks: 
  1. Low-tech: Provide desk and chair with adjustable3 heights for different sized students. 
  2. Mid-tech: Provide specially designed seat cushion or "positioning aids" for students who need them.
  3. High-tech: alternative seating, such as ball chairs.
Whiteboards, chalkboards, chart paper

  1. Low-tech: Write in colors that are visible to individuals who may be colorblind. 
  2. Mid-tech: Use audio recordings made by classmates of the notes from the board or chart paper. Students can access these audio recordings and listen to the notes or directions via headphones.
  3. High-tech: Use an interactive whiteboard that offers a printout of notes and directions from the board and allows the font to be enlarged. 

So since there is one tech tool for chapter ten, I will discuss Tech Tool 10.1 extra large and online calculators. While many of us have used calculators at some point in our lives and I am sure many times in our lifetimes, how many of us thought about what the purpose of those extra large calculators were. I always assumed, so we can see the numbers better, maybe someone with poor eye sight would need a larger sized button calculator. But no. It's  an attention-engaging tool for exploring the four mathmatical operations-adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.  Don't get me wrong, I am sure that it can be used for someone who has poor eye sight, but for education view points it's an attention getter. Now of course there are online calculators. If you have a phone, ipod, ipad or a computer those have some really cool calculators as well. Itunes has applications for any kind of calculator you can think of. With that said, in the tech tool it does discuss online calculators and a website to go to and use.  
Jim Martindale's Calculators On-Line Center

Well, another week done, and we are almost nearing the end of our journey. I hope that the information in this blog, as in all my previous ones, take the information in them, use it and gather more information and share it with others. Until next time! 


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Journal Post #9

Already at 9!!! Well this is of course an interesting chapter. I first would love to talk about my focus question. 

While I wanted to learn the answers to all of the focus questions (and ultimately did) I chose that I wanted to discuss Focus Question #5. I chose this question because I honestly thought, "hmmm, I would like to know how to do that.."

How can teachers integrate podcasts and vodcasts into their teaching?

What are podcasts and vodcasts? Let's answer that question first. Podcasts are online audio recordings that can be accessed by computers or portable media players (ipods/ipads/iphones). Vodcasts are video and audio recordings. 

How do we find/access podcasts and vodcasts? 

Educational Podcasts are all over the web. Many places on the web offer podcasts or you can go to iTunes and search for a podcast on any subject. 

  • Browse all categories on iTunes store
  • Power search by iTunes by keyword, author, or title. 
  • Search Apple's iTunesU using the terms education and podcasts
  • Go to specific educational, news or science organization site and find out what podcasts they are offering for download.
  • The Education Podcast Network maintains an extensive inventory of podcast programming for teachers.
  • Go to Podcast Alley and consult it's comprehensive podcast directory 
  • Other sites are Podcast Pickle and Podcast Ready 

When teachers and students produce their own podcasts, vodcasts, they make new opportunities to learn academic material outside of the classroom by hearing or viewing lectures, dicussions, demonstrations, and summaries. This opens a variety of opportunities to teachers and students. A teacher can record the lectures. Students that were either absent or needed to get something they may have missed in the lecture can listen to those lectures and benefit from them. By adding podcasts to the teachers website is yet another tool teachers have to help give all their students a great education.

How do we create a podcast/vodcast?

As you can tell I got very interested in this subject, so while I am sure I could go on and on about this subject, but I think I will go on to the Tech Tool. I chose Tech Tool 1. 


Back when I was in school, yes a very long long time ago it feels like, we didn't have interactive whiteboards or digital projectors that they have now. We had these projectors that you would put a paper on and it would project it on the wall. You would wheel it around to different rooms. So no there wasn't one in every room. 

In all of my classes at Edison, we have the digital projectors. The white screen that comes down, a mounted projector to the ceiling, attached to the computer. It's great to have. And if this tool is available you can use this for anything you can use the computer for. Think of it as a huge screen attached to the computer. Now interactive whiteboards are really cool. They can do that and more! Most Lee County Schools have the interactive whiteboards. Using these you can actually touch the boards. This is a great tool to have because the students can go up to the board and interact with the class. This is an amazing tool to have. I don't think even now after using them often I will know all that can be done with them. All the teachers that have used them love them.

Overall this chapter discusses digital technology and multimedia and how we can use it. Powerpoint is a great tool for teachers especially in higher grades. I again love the whiteboards. Podcasts is something I think will take time for me to learn but find it exciting to learn about. While that is only a few things that we can use, this chapter covers a variety of them.

Well there it is for this week... I hope you enjoyed it, and of course take this information and explore even more.....


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Journal Post #8

Week 8 has come and gone! So sorry that this is so delayed. Chapter 8 was a very interesting chapter that gave us great focus questions to discuss. I chose focus question 2 as the one that I would discuss with you today.

Focus question #2

How can teachers use email or instant messaging to foster information exchanges with and among students?

First let's discuss what the book says:

  • Children and adolescents are the larger users of email and instant messaging (IM) technologies.
  • Many teachers use email as a way to communicate with students, families, and professional colleagues.
  • Fewer teachers use instant messaging because the kind of informal language found in IM can be misunderstood or misused.
Strategies for using email and IM with your students:
  • Use password-protected student communication systems to email and IM.
  • Use email and instant messaging to teach about spelling.
  • Establish email connections to libraries, museums, and universities.
  • Initiate email correspondence with elected officials and other other public policy makers.
  • Hold online office hours.

On a personal note: I don't understand alot of what my teen nephews and nieces say when they are texting. And when asked they tell me look it up in the Urban Dictionary. Which by the way is a great website if you want to understand what all those little codes mean. For a parent and/or teacher.  I know that Lee County School district has a policy about contact with students outside of the classroom. Email is used but they are not allowed to be "friends" on Facebook or any other social networking site. So just make sure that you know the guidelines for the school district and follow those. While electronic communications can make communication between teacher, students and others easier and more effective be careful.

Now let's discuss the the Tech Tool. I chose Tech Tool 8.1: Teacher Website and Blog-Building Resources

I love the idea of having a personal website that students and their parents can log into to get homework information, grades and communicate with myself as well as other students. In my first semester here at Edison State, one of my professors had a webpage that we were to go to and gather information, communicate with other students, send her messages but also to upload assignments that she assigned through her site. If I am not mistaken it was Ning. If you go to the website you can create and build your own community through there.

Of course you can use Blogger as well as I am using currently. It's very user friendly.

There are three approaches to teacher website and blog-building resources
  • Approach 1: Website and blog building software. This is something that you will purchase and download to your computer. Examples are Dreamweaver and FrontPage. These are really design programs, you need more tools to use for communication and so forth. 
  • Approach 2: Commercially available templates. Access to commerically available website or blog builders for example, TaskStream, GoDaddy, or eBlogger, allow users to create many features and functions but the quality doesn't compare to Dreamweaver. 
  • Approach 3: Open Source software. Using a free online management system for educators such as Moodle that provides email, online discussion boards, instant messaging, and discussion forums for school districts and individual classrooms. Numerous administrative functions, like grade keeping, and posting, selective content releases, and various filtering options. These systems are also free of charge and fairly easy to use. 
Of course after reviewing all three personally I would go with approach 3 for myself and many schools and teachers do as well. I recommend that you do research on all three types and decide which approach works best for you and your needs as a teacher. I hope this helps!

Overall this chapter offered a variety of information that will help each of us determine what we will use in our own teaching careers. The information in Chapter 8 is something that I personally will carry with me into my teaching career. And I hope that you will as well.

Again thank you for reading! And until next time! Chau!

Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5    

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Journal Post #7

Week 7 is upon us! As I read through chapter  seven, contemplating which focus question to do, I found myself interested in all the questions. I decided to discus focus question two.

How can teachers evaluate the different types of educational software available today?

I think that this an important question and something that we all as teachers should know this information.

·      Educational software commonly used by teachers and students include skills-based learning software, educational games, composing and calculating software, inquiry and discovery learning software, visual thinking and concept mapping software, simulations and virtual reality environments, and digital games for learning.
·      School systems purchase software and install copies on every computer in a school or a districts, thereby largely establishing what software teachers and students can use in their classrooms.
·      The delivery of educational software is becoming increasingly Web-based.

As teachers we use educational software to meet multiple instructional goals. Let’s break these down. Starting with the educational software, let’s discuss the different kinds of software.

·      Composing and Calculating Software-  Microsoft Word and Excel would be considered composing and calculating software. Writing and math are considered core parts of everyday curriculum. This software is considered to be essential.
·      Building, Inventing and Creating Software- building, inventing and creating happen when students engage in open-ended explorations of topics and items that interest them.  Building, inventing and creating software can function to provide students with environments for interactive and engaging explorations. The key to this outcome is the students’ efforts not to be determined by the software. The most effective programs are those that do not require a single right way to use them or a single right answer. Kid Pix and Google Earth of two examples of this software.
o   Kid Pix- A widely used educational program for more than twenty years. It began as a paint program and has evolved into a multimedia online art studio with an extensive collection of features. In addition to letting you draw, paint and collage on the computer screen, you can import text and images from other files, add sound effects, resize images and other visual materials, record your own voice, or build a slideshow to show viewers.  Instructionally, teachers can use Kid Pix across the curriculum to accomplish creative learning. Much of what elementary school students do on a paper worksheet can be uniquely done in Kid Pix. In Math, Kid Pix invites K-6 students to make their own books and posters illustrating math facts and concepts.
o   Google Earth- It’s composed of photographs taken by satellites and aircraft of virtually every location in the world over the past three years. It lets users zoom down from the sky to explore landmarks, paces and points of interest and study. Teachers at every grade level can make use of the resources in Google Earth. Students can take virtual journeys throughout their community or across the country. Such journey’s are unique opportunities for thoughtful discussions between teachers and students. 

·      Visual Thinking and Concept Mapping Software- Allows teachers and students organize and outline their ideas visually on a computer. Inspiration Software, Inc. has created three highly flexible visual thinking programs. Tools in these programs include graphs, symbols, charts, voice, and other organizing devices, that are catlysts for creative self expression by students.
o   Kidspiration- Elementary students
o   Inspire Date- Middle and High school students
o   Inspiration-High school and adults
·      Computer Games as Learning Resources- Computer games are computer, video and web-based game software applications that are immediately popular among children and adolescents today. Computer games and simulations range from relatively simple programs to highly interactive and dynamic multimedia experiences where the users have multiple ways to interact with the computer.
o   Computer games share six basic characteristics-
§  Rules
§  Goals and objectives
§  Outcomes and feedback
§  Conflict/competition/challenge/opposition
§  Interaction
§  Representation or story
·      Skills Learning Games- Use elements of game play to involve in learning academic material.
·      Virtual Words and Digital Games-
o   Virtual Worlds are online computer based environments where users adopt online identities (avatars) and interact with other game players. Virtual worlds however do not always have game structure with formal rules, specific outcomes, or defined winners or losers. Sesame Workshop would be a great example of an Education virtual world.

o   Digital games for learning is a computer and web-based game that is designed with educational rather than entertainment goals in mind. 

The information in this area is vast. As teachers we should continue to educate ourselves in technology and digital learning.

Now let’s talk about the Tech Tool. There were only two in this chapter and I felt that while the second one had great information and worth reading and learning about, I chose the first tech tool.

Tech Tool 7.1

Discovery Learning using Squeak and Scratch

Squeak etoys is an open source, free, downloadable software that supports inquiry learning and problem solving by elementary and middle school students, especially in math and science

Scratch is an electronic toolkit that enables students to make their own games, animated stories and interactive art.

As you can see with the information and videos that this chapter is full of information, that included here and as I said before there is much more in this chapter that I would love to share. Using the technology in the classroom is becoming more and more prominent and accessible to us. Knowing how to use this technology inside the classroom is essential. Knowing the different types of technology and how to use it will help me as a teacher.

As we come to a close of yet another week and another chapter, enjoy and until next time!


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5