Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Journal Post #11 Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

Photo Credit to misternorris on Flickr

Tech Tool 11.1 Digital Portfolio Building Resources

     Tech Tool 11.1 discusses the importance of using digital portfolios. Not only can you completely make your own but you can use pre-made templates as well. TaskStream, iLife and EduTools are all examples of sites you can use. TaskStream involves portfolios, lesson plans, and tools to create classroom units. iLife is software that allows you to alter your images to include text and transitions. EduTools is a site that includes online reviews for educators. These include reviews for different ePortfolio programs as well as various courses. 

Photo Credit to sreffler on Flickr

Focus Question: What is performance-based assessment for teachers and for students?

     It's important for educators to assess both each other and their students based on their performance. These assessments are based solely on the work that has been finished as oppose to the entire course. For example, one week an educator might want to assess student growth with writing, and another week it could be how well students work in a group. This section also mentions dual focus- educators being evaluated by higher ups as they're evaluating their own students.

Photo Credit to vandycft on Flickr

Chapter Summary

     Chapter eleven focuses heavily on the importance of evaluating ourselves and our students in order to measure our learning growth. While educators are evaluating students, educators themselves are being evaluated by their bosses and so on and so forth. It also discusses the importance of using ePortfolios and presentations to assess students. Additionally, the chapter touches on surveys, student participation and how to increase overall engagement.


Maloy, R. W. (2011). Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 304-329). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Journal Post #10 Promoting Success for All Students through Technology

Photo Credit to nawat on Flickr

Tech Tool 10.1 Extra-Large and Online Calculators

     Tech Tool 10.1 first discusses the popularity of extra-large calculators. Though large in size, these calculators do not weigh much. They also have large, visible, easy to use buttons. The section continues on to discuss the creation of place value using objects and giving symbols to numbers (1, 2, 3, etc). Using calculators allows students to understand the relationship between place value and written equations. The section then discusses the importance of making written equations applicable to everyday student's lives. For example, how many boxes of cereal can you buy with this month's paycheck, etc. Finally, Tech Tool 10.1 briefly mentions the use of online calculators. Specifically, it mentions using an online site with thousands of different programs for making calculations. This is a great way to tie in technology and computer use.

Photo Credit to jiscinfonet on Flickr

Focus Question: How does assistive technology support efforts by teachers to reach all learners?

     Assistive technology supports efforts by teachers to reach all learners in many ways. Assistive technologies are exactly that -- assistive. Not only for competent students but for those with learning disabilities as well. Things like large calculators, audiobooks, dictionaries, and screen enlargers can be incredibly helpful in a classroom setting. Aside from in the classroom, these technologies can also be helpful when students are doing homework at home, without the immediate aid of a teacher.

Photo Credit to phil_g on Flickr

Chapter Summary

Chapter ten discusses reaching all students, despite various learning styles and disabilities, through the use of technology. Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design for Learning are discussed in depth, followed by assistive technology and a tech tool. Multiple NETS-T standards are discussed as integrating technology and applying it to a curriculum for diverse learners encourages student success via technology. 


Maloy, R. W. (2011). Promoting Success for All Students through Technology. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 274-303). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Journal Post #9 Creating and Sharing Information with Multimedia Technologies

Photo Credit to mrjorgen on Flickr

Tech Tool 9.1 Visual Learning with Digital Projectors and Interactive Whiteboards

     Digital projectors are great because they display the information from your computer on a wider scale. This is imperative for students with visual impairments, as well as students sitting in the back of the classroom. You don't have to worry about your handwriting being illegible or changing sheets like you do with an overhead projector. Similarly, interactive whiteboards are a great tool within the classroom setting. Not only do they display your information on a wider scale, but they also allow student interaction and participation. Not only does the advanced technology interest them, but it gives professors more of an outlet with which to display their information. This is engaging and encourages students to think critically about the many methods with which to present.

Photo Credit to whartz on Flickr

Focus Question How can teachers create PowerPoint presentations for maximum teaching potential and learning impact?

     Teachers can use PowerPoints in many ways; the most important question is who is the audience. The design of the information has a huge impact on how it's perceived and hopefully retained. It's important to keep educational PowerPoints clean and organized with few words on each slide in order to maintain focus. I think it's a great idea to keep it to one topic per slide so things don't get confusing. It's also important to use graphics, videos, or animations to ensure student interest and make the slides a bit more colorful. Using slides as attention-getters is a great way to keep your audience in check, and adding a question or two at the end of some of your slides is also a great way to see who's paying attention. It's also a nice idea to give a handout to students to further explain your presentation point.

Photo Credit to 29233640@N07 on Flickr

Chapter Summary

     Overall this chapter discusses many methods for relaying information with multimedia technology. It's incredibly important to integrate technology into the classroom to encourage student engagement. PowerPoints are a great way for professors to relay their information and digital projectors and interactive whiteboards are a great way to share those PowerPoints with their students. Additionally, video in the classroom is an interesting way to encourage student engagement as digital storytelling can be quite interesting. Having students create film is an even better way to ensure that a) you're integrating technology into your lesson and b) you're encouraging student participation. Podcasts are also a great way to share information, especially if you conduct a Podcast for your class prior to an upcoming quiz or exam. This chapter follows the NETS standards really well as it discusses teaching with digital tools and collaborating with students.

Maloy, R. W. (2011). Creating and Sharing Information with Multimedia Technologies. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 240-273). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Journal Post #8 Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis, and More

Photo Credit to skokiepl on Flickr

Tech Tool 8.2 Posting and Publishing with Digital Image Scanners

     This tech tool discusses the use of digital image scanners. When notes or images are created by hand on paper, we only have that one copy of them. While a photocopy machine would be useful, this tech tool explains why a digital image scanner is the way to go. Not only does the scanner transfer the image to a digital copy, but it can then be uploaded to anything. Not only can I attach this image to an email, but I could put it on Canvas for my students to see. I could also save this image to my desktop for future use. Overall, digital image scanners are a great way to publish your handwritten work online. Additionally, if you only have one copy of something, handwritten or not, the scanner allows you to digitize it so you can then make multiple copies or simply upload it somewhere online. This is a great tech tool to be applied to the classroom. 

Photo Credit to etamil on Flickr

Focus Question How can teachers use a website or blog to improve teaching and learning?

     The first most important factor to address when considering blogs is that they are both free and easily accessible. A teacher/classroom blog would involve the various day to day activities within the classroom as well as teacher planning and lesson templates. A teacher blog can be a bit more personal, including interaction between students and/or other teachers. The beauty of a blog is the ability for outsiders to be involved. Others are generally able to comment on specific areas of the blog with their own personal questions and thoughts. 
     Websites on the other hand are a bit more professional. These are loaded with information and comment sections are generally disabled. The benefit to websites is that they are informational and a great resource to students. However, when it comes to the classroom, I would suggest the use of blogs to encourage student interaction and to increase overall classroom participation. The use of websites and blogs is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom.

Photo Credit to shufgy on Flickr

Chapter Summary

     Chapter eight discusses the use of websites, blogs,and wikis. It's important to use technology in the classroom because it's so widely known and used outside of the classroom. Using websites and wikis to communicate with students is a great way to encourage their participation as most of them are tech savvy these days. The first section of the chapter discusses the important of communicating electronically as a teacher. The use of social networking and electronic communication is great because students can access classroom information from any computer. Emailing and instant messaging are other ways the students can receive classroom help outside of the classroom. This is incredibly influential in the learning environment as it is both simple and convenient. The next section of the chapter discusses the use of teacher websites and blogs. I prefer the idea of teacher blogs as students are then able to contribute to the page as it is fully interactive. Another great thing to look into is the use of wikis. Wikis are great for collaborative group work as anyone is capable of editing the information displayed within the webpage. Collaborative online projects like these allow students to complete their portion of the assignment whenever they find most convenient. This is the beauty of technology; the ability to work at your own pace without having to be in any specific classroom to complete your work. 

Maloy, R. W. (2011). Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis, and More. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 206-239). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Journal Post #7 Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools

Focus Question: What are intelligent tutoring systems and how can students and teachers use them successfully?

Photo Credit to yish on Flickr

      Intelligent tutoring systems are computer programs that allow students to be tutored without human interaction. As students answer questions shown to them, the program tracks their answers and then provides the next question based on previous answers and observed skill level and/or learning style. The lack of human interaction has been proven to affect overall self-confidence which I find fascinating. The fact that the computer program can track and display results not only quickly but objectively is incredible.
      Intelligent tutoring systems are not all inquiry based but many are. This is accomplished with the use of real-life scenarios ie) math problems involving world hunger. Creating stories and asking for feedback is a great way to promote inquiry based learning. Overall I think these programs are a great way to keep students on track but as a former tutor I really do enjoy the human interaction involved with tutoring. However, because these online programs have been proven to work, I think they're really beneficial in a classroom setting.

Tech Tool 7.1: Discovery Learning Using Squeak and Scratch

Photo Credit to hunter0405 on Flickr

      This Tech Tool discusses two web tools, Squeak etoys and Scratch. Squeak etoys is a program that allows elementary and middle school aged students to participate in problem solving activities. This program is specifically targeted towards math and science students, but it can be used for many academic endeavors.
      The second web tool discussed is Scratch. Scratch is actually a toolkit that's incredibly interactive. Students are able to create their own games and software. Very similar to an easy to use version of Photoshop, students are able to work in both 2D and 3D while they create stories, pictures, videos, websites, and a plethora of other things.
      The main reason these two programs are discussed is because they allow students to create their own rules and build/create/invent anything assuming they have the support of their educators. These are great tools as they really enable the student and remove the stigma of following mundane rules to create someone else's idea. I'm now a big fan of both of these programs and I look forward to exploring them in depth.

Chapter Summary: Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools

Photo Credit to zstasiuk on Flickr

      Chapter seven consists of multiple topics that contribute to the overall idea of integrating technology into inquiry based classrooms. The first section is about using computers and software that's educational. It discusses Word, Excel, Databases, etc. The section continues on to explain the process of evaluating the aforementioned software to ensure it's educational and not invasive.
      The first computer program I remember using in school was a typing program that I hated. Now that I type almost 100 wpm I suppose I owe it a thank you, but at the time I despised it. Once I got to my technology class in middle school and learned how to create blueprints and spill my thoughts onto a page it became much easier to accept the idea of educational computer software. The lack of limitations always encouraged me to continue creating.
      The next section is about using this software with inquiry based learning. It discusses software that involves composing and calculating ie) Word and Excel. These allow students to build, invent, and create – a process which doesn't have one correct answer. These programs are very hands-on and visual which means the process in it's entirety has very few limitations. I personally find it much easier to think when I'm sitting in front of a blank Word document than with a pen in my hand – something about that flashing cursor makes me want to keep trying.
      Additionally, the chapter discusses computer games used in the classroom. I've seen a lot of this during my observations at local schools. Many classrooms have computer “stations” that groups of students visit during “station rotations”. These games involve a lot of interaction and promote problem solving skills as most games have goals and objectives.
      The rest of the chapter discusses intelligent tutoring systems. These systems are essentially in-person tutors without the human-to-human interaction. The systems track student responses and asks the following questions based on tracked information and potential skill levels. Hints appear with problem solving tips to encourage students to think analytically. These programs are a great way to keep students up to speed with the rest of the class and promote inquiry based learning throughout the entire process.

Photo Credit to thomasgegenhuber on Flickr

Maloy, R. W. (2011). Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 175-205). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Journal Post #6 Teaching with Educational Websites and Other Online Resources

Photo Credit to Violinha on Flickr

What are WebQuests and virtual field trips?

      The definition of a WebQuest is very similar to it's title. It's a trek via a website that then leads you to one site after the other in order to gather the information you're trying to accumulate. Similar to searching a library and copying excerpts of multiple books to review for a research project, WebQuests differ in that they are solely electronic. Rather than searching book by book, students are told to visit website after website. This is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom and it also ensures that the sites the WebQuests link to are professor approved. Assuming there is a specific task at hand and an understood process, students are able to complete their projects by exploring the world wide web. The rapidity of internet search results encourages students to continue as there tends to be a lack of search frustration. I love the idea of a WebQuest, though I've never had a professor that's assigned one. I think they're a great way to encourage student interest and involvement. 

      Virtual field trips are exactly as they sound as well. Though students may have to be in school six and a half hours a day, virtual field trips can take away from the mundane classroom setting and enhance reading comprehension, studies say. Many companies including “museums, science centers, and historical sites have developed online field trip programs that do not require any human-to-human interaction, so no reservation is needed.” This allows students to not only learn about various organizations, but to begin to comprehend other cultures as well. For example, sites like “ePals” allow classrooms from across the world to connect with each other. After connecting, professors can work together to have students join forces and complete projects. Projects like these are much more possible with the presence of virtual field trips and even WebQuests. I wish that virtual field trips had been around when I was in high school, I feel as though I could have gained a lot of insight on outside perspectives. Overall virtual field trips are a great way to expose students to places they might not otherwise be able to attend.

Photo Credit to Orphanjones on Flickr

Tech Tool 6.1 Using Bookmarks in Your Teaching Portaportal and Filamentality

      Tech Tool 6.1 discusses teacher approved sites for students and giving them easy access to a list of links. In class we've used both Symbaloo and Delicious, both great examples of this kind of technology. With a site called Portaportal educators are able to create a compilation of teacher-approved sites for their students to use. By doing this, the possibility of both distraction and using unreliable sites is heavily lessened. A great advantage to sites like Portaportal is that users can access their favorites from any computer. This eliminates all issues involved with bookmarking on home computers, as links are saved to an account that can then be logged into by accessing the site's homepage. I didn't expect to use my Symbaloo and Delicious accounts to the extent that I have but I've found them to be incredibly helpful with my schooling. When professors bring up sites in class, I go ahead and bookmark them just in case I'd like to access them when I'm studying later on. I've found sites like these to be a bit of a lifesaver, I just wish they were better advertised!

Photo Credit to Hdz on Flickr


      In short, chapter six discusses integrating online resources in the classroom and using educational sites within the curriculum. A big portion of the chapter discusses online bookmarking, which involves sites like Portaportal, Delicious, and Symbaloo. These sites allow users to keep all of their favorite links on one account, easily accessible from any computer. This eliminates confusion and allows students to access sites used in class while studying later on. Another section of the chapter discussed WebQuests and virtual field trips. Both of these encourage students to use the internet to research for their projects. However, they especially encourage the use of professor approved websites that follow the rules of AAOCC (Accuracy, Authority, Objectivity, Currency, and Coverage). Aside from virtual field trips and WebQuests the chapter includes a short section on videoconferencing with others whether they be a block away or five countries. This too is a good method for enhancing student's understanding of various cultures and ethnicities whilst integrating technology into the classroom. The chapter then goes on to discuss educational websites and their many uses. Not only does the section mention websites for teachers to use but it mentions potential classroom activities as well. Overall the chapter provided multiple methods for using educational websites in the classroom and simple ways to keep track of them. I especially enjoyed the section on WebQuests and virtual field trips and would love to try either or in the near future. 

Maloy, R. W. (2011). Teaching with Educational Websites and Other Online Resources. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 155). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Journal Post #5 Researching and Evaluating Internet Information

Photo Credit to David Erickson on Flickr

Focus Question
What are search engines and how do they work?
According to the book, a search engine “retrieves information from the internet”. When you type something into the search bar of Google or Bing, what comes up? Generally a compilation of various sites that include your search terms will be listed.  The major benefit of search engines is that they are incredibly fast. The time that it would take you to search through hundreds of library books is no longer necessary. In a matter of seconds you’re provided a plethora of search results to choose from. If you’re looking for more education based results, you can always use library database search engines or refer to education blog sites such as Edutopia.

Photo Credit to Nando Quintana on Flickr

Tech Tool 5.2
                Tech Tool 5.2 is titled “customizing your web browser with iGoogle.” iGoogle allows you to make your homepage more relevant to your own personal interests. You are able to link to the sites you use daily, so that when you open your browser the links are already there and you’re ready to go. This eliminates any time wasted trying to remember the various sites you use weekly. Additionally, you’re able to choose your own theme which changes the background and the colors of the page. You can also add search engines for easier access to the internet. To me this seems very similar to the Symbaloo and Delicious sites we’ve used in class. Personally I think I’d prefer Symbaloo and Delicious because you’re able to log into them from any computer no matter where you are. Overall I think that iGoogle is great for your home computer, but I definitely think that there are better options.

Photo Credit to Astronomy Blog on Flickr

                Chapter five discusses researching and evaluating internet information. The first section discusses search engines and how they work. The books goes into detail about how to use keywords and how to find results that are relevant to the information you’re looking for. Another big section in this chapter discusses plagiarism. While it is okay to use someone else’s work, we must give them due credit by using quotation marks and listing references. This section of the chapter discusses the importance of discussing plagiarism with students prior to having them complete assignments. By mentioning the issues caused by plagiarism prior to having them turn things in, teachers are hopefully able to stop some of the issues before they get a chance to occur. Aside from plagiarism, another big issue discussed is misinformation and using sites that aren’t credible. It is important to mention that sites that aren’t current or accurate are not to be used. A good way to discuss this is by teaching the acronym “AAOCC” (Accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage). The chapter then ends with a potentional lesson plan involving technology in the classroom at a middle school or high school level.


Maloy, R. W. (2011). Researching and Evaluating Internet Information. Transforming learning with new technologies (p. 112). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.