Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Photo Credit to Todd Fong on Flickr
Introduction To Technology For Educators was an extremely informative and valuable college course for a potential high school teacher. Understanding and appreciating the critical role of technology in the classroom will guide my methods of teaching for the duration of my career and help me connect with my students to a higher degree.There were multiple areas to gather Transforming Learning With New Technologies by Maloy, Verock‐O'Loughlin, Edwards, and Woolf. The "Learning Outcomes" section of the syllabus were accomplished fully and learning APA style citation was made possible. All of this and more was made possible through taking Introduction To Technology For Educators. 

Photo Credit To rightsreaders on Flickr
The "Discussions" section of the class portal was a great area to discuss information that was leaned and to share ideas with other students. I was able to learn about the other students' plans for teaching, where they were born, where they may have worked or are currently working, and what drew them to teaching in the first "Introduction" discussion. In posts that followed I learned about the the most informative teaching websites and the most effective technology to use in diverse classrooms where students with disabilities my attend. I was also able to learn about what technology may help with students who have English as a second language and what ethical or legal issues students may encounter without using proper citations, privacy issues, or cyberbullying. 

Photo Credit To Christy Nelson on Flickr
Class projects were also a major source for gaining information from how to accurately evaluate a website, to creating a lesson plan while including multimedia resources, and creating a Wiki and Webquest. Learning how evaluating a website was hugely important because it instructed the class what to look for in a valid website. Knowing to check for an author and reputable sponsor, information that is reliable and fact-checked, unbiased and updated facts, and a wide range of topics with unique insights is vastly helpful and important to know. Understanding how to create a lesson plan with multiple multimedia resources was crucial to learn to ensure students have crystal clear instructions and expectations. Finally, collaboratively designing a Wiki will help considerably in creating a personel class Wiki in the future and learning to create a Webquest was extremely valuable when constructing creative innovative and stylish lesson plans for the students for the future. 

Transforming Technology With New Technologies was surprisingly a very good read with great quotes and useful information; albeit with information overload. There was great insight on the different teaching methods and the benefits of multimedia resources to enhance lesson plans. Useful information on how to exactly gauge a student's progress without having to rely solely on tests. Great suggestions on how to use technology to assist a lesson plan and not let technology control it. Finally, the book offered beneficial informative on hoe exactly teaching may be evaluated and how to institute a "Democratic Classroom".

Through the projects and discussions I was able to complete the lesson goals that were stated in the syllabus. The information in the discussion posts made it possible for me to understand the link between technology and strategies for effectively teaching students with English as a second language. I am also now capable of creating a portfolio online with samples reflecting ways technology can support classroom management. Lastly, I can now evaluate and critique various software and hardware tools determine effectiveness in the classroom setting. All while using APA citing for the information that was used. 

Photo Credit To Emiliano on Flickr
Introduction To Technology For Educators was a very informative class to take and the information I gathered will be useful for many years to come. There were however some areas of improvement that may enhance the class. Less range of information could be viewed as an improvement. There seemed to be too much data about too many topics. More information on fewer topics could make the book less overwhelming. Also, the amount of assignments, journal and discussion posts, and projects was a tad on the extreme side. It would have been preferably to work on a single project or assignment for a longer period of time to really get a good understanding on how to use it fully. It seemed that it was one thing after to another with little time to breathe. All in all the class was very good but the workload could have been less life consuming.

Thank you for everything.

Maloy, R. W., Verock-O, R. E., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2010). Transforming learning with new technologies. Allyn & Bacon.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Chapter 11: Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

Focus Question: How can teachers use student participation systems as effective assessment methods?
Photo Credit to Luluk on Flickr
Student can use participation systems, such as remote control devices known as clickers, to allow members of a class to respond collectively to questions posed by teachers. Participation systems are ways to actively engage students with academic material and to conduct quick assessments of what students know or still need to learn about a topic. Designing interesting open-ended questions is key to using student participation systems successfully with your students.

Tech Tool: Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey is a very innovative tool to gather results of a poll that the user created. It can be used to gather information, opinions, feedback, or results on certain personalized questions. It can also be used as a great tool to get students involved in lesson plans and determine what students may already know prior to a lesson plan. Survey Monkey is easy to use and apply to various websites, blogs, or Facebook. Although I am using the free version and assume there are limitations that I have yet to run into, I would be more than happy to pay for the upgrade once I have a larger need for the online tool.
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Summary and Connection:
Chapter 10 of the text book had great information on how teachers will be evaluated and how closely that evaluation is to how students are evaluated. The most important and interesting section of the chapter however was on "Democratic Schools and Classrooms". The text offered information on how to adapt to a more democratic system in the classroom and that I plan to use in my classroom to some extent.
  • Shared decision-making among the students and the staff
  • A learner-centered approach in which students choose their daily activities.
  • Equality among staff and students
  • Using the community as an extension of the classroom
I will definitely attempt to institute these methods while maintaining my own identity and strong opinions for what I feel is important for the education of my students. Another topic in the chapter that I felt was interesting was how to use technology to assist students to participate more in the classroom. The use of a clicker, more specifically the CSPulse, will help students become active and enthusiastic when questions are asked and a "game" format is used to get the competitive juices flowing and results are shown immediately. Finally, the information on preassessments was also useful because it reiterated what I believe to be important; to build on knowledge that students already possess about the lesson that is being taught. To get to the core of what the students already know the text book recommends to use surveys, which can be taken from online tools, pre-tests, and basic questions and discussions.
Photo Credit To Howard Hall on Flickr

Friday, April 5, 2013

Promoting Success For All Students Through Technology

Photo Credit to Stephanie Richard
Focus Question: How can teachers use technology to create universally designed classrooms?
Creating a universally designed classroom using technology involves designing learning environment and/or changing the way curriculum is delivered. A teacher's technology choices for universal design can be organized in three tool kits: Low Tech, Middle Tech, and High Tech.

Tech Tool: Extra Large and Online Calculators
There are many, many online calculators to choose from on the internet. Whether solving or graphing equations, addition or subtraction of simple numbers, or ascertaining a quarterback rating using the NFL standards there is a calculator to help. Fooling around with these different online calculators is actually pretty fun and could be useful when the Windows or Mac calculator is not enough and splashing out $100 for a graphing calculator is out of the budget.
Photo Credit to Youssef Abdelaal

Summary and Connection:
Chapter 10 was another really informative chapter that will come in very handy when I have my own classroom and want to implement my own technological resources. Differential Instruction, the idea that there are multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas, was interesting to read about and than contemplate how I can help my students who take in and assess information differently still understand the same subject matter. The chapter referenced a great quote by Thomas Hehir, "Minimizing the impact of disability and maximizing the opportunity to participate in the world" which I plan to instill in my students daily. There were great charts, such as the "Classroom Organization Tools" that offered great examples of how to utilize Low Tech, Middle Tech, and High Tech in the classroom and "Writing Process Fit For Young Writers" chart offered useful examples of a particular writing process stage and how the teacher's role using technology or no technology will associate with the process.

Maloy, R. W., Verock-O, R. E., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2010). Transforming learning with new technologies. Allyn & Bacon.