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