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