Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reflective Blog

       Education is very important and I believe that each child is a unique person who needs to grow and mature socially, physically, intellectually, and emotionally.  I also believe that my teacher Mrs. Coleman has allowed us to do just that, which is why she is such an inspiration to me.  Even though I am a grown adult, I feel as though she helped me become more socially mature, and more emotionally stable with my assignments, especially, when I when two of her classes; i felt  so behind. She gave me the chance to catch up in class and allowed me to think for myself. It's a good strategy, because in the long run no one's going to do the work for you, only you. 
       My experience in the classroom was great because it was all about technology and completing assignments in class that was fun and very time consuming. She made the effort by always giving us a tutorial on how to do certain projects. I had so much fun being able to learn about technology because this class made me realizes how much of it I had been missing out on. I learned that if you’re going to be an educator, you have to educate yourself in technology. Technology is never looking back, it’s always moving forward and we all have to grab on and go with it too or else we’ll be behind completely. Since I want to be an elementary school teacher, I learned how to make my own digital story, and I was also able to create my own website and call it Marly's Kinder Class.  I want to be able to use these resources for my future classroom! Marly's Kinder Class website has all of my assignments and projects i did for the class.  I never thought I was able to create so many things from technology.

       I learned how to use my blogger as a way to do my homework and communicate. Mentioning communication,  I believe a future teacher, communicating electronically might be good for engaging and creating productive activities. Technology is also a good way to socially network. I cannot believe that amount of students who use it for social networking and meeting new friends. I learned so many good things about technology that it really opened my eyes to a whole new level of teaching. I like the fact that im learning how to use technology so that in the future, I'll be able to teach my students about technology and give them the best experience in that classroom; perhaps they'll teach me too. 

      Here are several of my thoughts and experiences in the classroom and within the projects as well. First, the Wiki Project with my group was good. Everyone did their own assignment, but I belive because of time issues, not everyone in the group go to make their wiki page ellaborate. Very few of us in my group communicated through the wiki and even though there was barely any communication, everyone learned the new technology on their own; which was very good. Another thing I really enjoyed in the class was the assignments. Being able to create a webpage or even a story was so much fun; there was no text book, just technology.  Although, time was crucial, all the assignments were very helpful and motivational because it allowed me to think about all of the things i can do for myself through the assignements. Prof. Coleman opened a new window for me and I very grateful. All the of projects, whether it was the Collaboration Lesson Plan or the Instructional Wiki, I had a great experience. I don't recall any negative experiences, because everyone, I believe did their own part and were responsible enough to do it. All of the projects seemed very positive and I had so much fun working with my teams.  

       Technology just keeps growing and I can't believe how far we've come and in my opinion, a great teacher should always a how the importance of fun and in life. I love having fun and being able to include that in learning is why i would enjoy teaching, especially about technology; it's all the kids know! As a future teacher I want to show my students that i can have fun while getting work done. Having an ipad in the classroom or keeping them engaged in other forms of technology helps them become multitaskers and learn to stay focused. We all have to start somewhere and having these positive attributes and many more, I know will help me become a good teacher in the future. Just because this class is going to be over does not mean i am going to stop learning about technology. Im going to school for special education and I want to learn about all the technologies and new assisstive technologies coming out so that I may be able to make my students' life easier. 

     I remember coming into the classroom and starting off on a bad note, but I caught up quite quickly and Im very glad I did. This class was definitely a challenging one, but I believe the hard classes are better because they make you do more for yourself; it's a place where you earn your grade, it's just not given. Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn and focus on matters that are truly important. "Good teachers are costly, but bad teacher cost more"- Bob Talbert. This quote made me think on the importance of a good teacher, and having a positive outlook everyday in the classroom.  

                            Since technology is growing everyday, here's a cool video app below for kids using the ipad. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chapter 11 'The Final Chapter'

FOCUS QUESTION:  How can teachers and students use digital portfolios as tools for learning?
* According to Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 327 *

  • A digital portfolio for a teacher is an individually prepared collection of work that communicates who a teacher is and what that teacher knows and is able to do in academic subjects
  • A standards-based digital portfolio serves as a way for new teacher candidates to connect lesson plans, teaching evaluations, and other work done in the classroom to the specific professional teaching standards they are required to meet in order to earn a teacher license. 
  • The advntages of digital portfolios include easy access, ready-made portability, creative information displays, experience in developing technology skills, and sharing of information with a wider educational community.
  • The disadvantages of digital portfolios include the need for technical knowledge and skill, ongoing support, computer access, and time, as well as the possibility that style will override substance in the presentation of information. 
~This is very interesting information because teachers can actually design their teaching portfolios  in many different and creative ways. Having an e-portfolio will eliminate stress and a lot of paper work. Here's a fun video on what having an e-portfolio really means and how it can help you! and me:) 
                                                               For E-Portfolio Starters:


This website is so amazing! All you have to do is sign up and based on what you're interested in doing, even if it's just for fun, you can create your own website absolutely free! There are so many pages and themes to choose from! Since Im going into teaching, I created my own teacher portfolio online. There are also many features and wix is completely google friendly and very easy to customize. I would recommend this website for anyone who's trying to learn about the digital world to check this website out. As I was doing my reseach, I came upon this website as well called Teacher Tap, it talks about technology and electronic portfolios and even gives you some examples so you can start your own. It's a very interesting website, check this one out too!


The final chapter to this book, really reflects on all the teaching styles and creative ways to use technology. It's engaging teachers and students in learning and self- reflection that really matters. As long as we're all trying our best to understand technology, we cannot go wrong. I believe learning about technology is about exploring and not being afraid of trying something new, especially when you have to do it:) Technology is carefree and easy to be with, as long as it's not giving you a hard time. This chapter talks a lot about teachers and students on how to be active participants in evaluating and assessing their own development as learners using todays future technolog! As a future teacher I know the importance of having technology now, because our whole world is based on technology!  I know i'll have to create professional- based portfolios, presentations, and even publications so that my students can see me as role-model in learning new technology. Using technology will allow myself to participate and promote student invovelment in many ways than ever before! In my world, technology is my progression and my purpose for living an organized life.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chapter 10

Focus Question: What are differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL)?

According to "Transforming Learning with New Technologies"

  • every student benefits from a wide and varied range of educational experiences that can activate his or her talents and potentials as a learner. 
  • Teachers are crucial gatekeepers in how learning proceeds in schools and classrooms. They either mover students forward with lively and demanding instruction or they separate students according to perceived needs and talents.
  • Differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL) involve changing institutional practices and classroom structures to promote learning success for every student.   

UDL Model          

Since not all students are the same, I really find it important that the differentiated instuction theory can vary and be adapted to every diverse student in the classroom. Very child should experience a sense of success in the classroom. The purpose of universal design in school is "full participation and access for students with disabilities while providing individualized options for all" (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg 279) and (Hehir, 2005, p.99). UDL applies recent advances in the understanding of how the brain processes information to the design of curriculum that can accommodate broad student needs (Tranforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 278) and (Rose & Meyer, 2002, 2006) 

According to the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) in the Transforming Learning with New Technologies Book, has defined UDL in the following terms:
  • Multiple means of representation, to give learner various ways of aquiring information and knowledge
  • Multiple means of expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know
  • Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation. (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 279) and ( Center for Applied Special Technology, 2006) 

Tech Tool LinkCAST- Teaching Every Student  (Click on "watch a video" and then click on "Principles of Universal Design for Learning)

At researchers  have developed an organization that helps all students further their education by expanding their learning opportunites, especially for those through the Universal Design for Learning. This website is dedicated to pure education learning for every child, because they believe that every child has capability to succeed in the classroom; no child is left behind. CAST explains who they are, what they do, and what they offer. I recommend this website because it offers services and support to all learners.

Summary and Connection:
It's amazing how Transforming Learning with New Technologies Book has many links to great resources, such as CAST. Chapter 10 promotes success through experience in the classroom, to also promoting success for all students through technology ( Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 274) It also examines how the computer technologies expand the experience of every student in the classroom and expand their opportunites for teacher to meet the learning needs of all students. (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 275). I know it's going to be a challenge for me as a future teacher in finding the time, resources, and the many tools out their necessary to engage the multiple learning styles. Im sure that each of one of my students will be able to adapt to new learning styles of their own and experience life breaking technology in the classroom!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chapter 9

Focus Question: What is multimedia technology and how can teachers use it to effectively create and share visual information dynamically in their teaching? 

     Multimedia technology applies to interactive computer elements, such as graphics, text, video, sound and animation, to deliver a message, and to communicate information through learning. Schools have shown the importance of not using non-interactive learning because they feel like mutlimedia has drawn us away from the true way of learning (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg.271). We've become so used to multimedia helping us in various ways and feels like it's another way of perhaps being lazy. Multimedia classrooms however, integrates multiple  technologies for teaching and learning (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 271). Multimedia is not so bad actually; here's a link that explains how multimedia helps us remember things a lot faster, it's called the Cognitive Load Theory. 'Everything' is fast-paced, we rely on technology so much! and 'everyone' is required to know technology, because technology is the way of the future. 

Tech Tool link: Have Fun Teaching

     This website is full of FUN activities for students of all ages! Not only does this promote students to become interactive, but it's a great resource for teachers who need help on having multimedia in the classroom. Students can click on the eight choice Have Fun Teaching has to offer, such as worksheets, coloring, flash cards (on almost anything), activities, and so much more! Students will have a great time on this website; it's not intimidating! When I become a teacher, I will definitely use this website as a resource! Multimedia is so important as well as non-interactive learning, so i believe the use of both learning styles is very important in the classroom. 

     Here's an example of one of the videos from the Have Fun Teaching website. Have fun with the counting down from twenty song! 

Summary & Connection:
Chapter 9 focuses on creating and sharing information with multimedia technologies (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 240). This chapter transforms your learning from boring to absolute fun! It's all about how important it is to use multimedia in the classroom, because technology includes all the technology used to view pictures, games, interactive websites, and so much more! Multimedia technology also promotes learning and creativity, and the sharing of information thru communication. This chapter also calls for students to learn ways to interact and work together electronically (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 241).  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chapter 8

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

     Teachers can use a website or blog to improve teaching and learning by allowing the students to do their homework by accessing the website or blog the teacher provided for them. Websites and blogs are becoming apparent as one of the most important things a teacher can allow their students to use. It allows teacher to communicate with their students, families, and colleagues. (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg 236) Three basic types of education-related blogs: 1.) "official face" blogs, 2.) single-purpose blogs, and 3.) active learning blogs. Plus, teachers have the option of creating their own website or even their own classblog. There are three options a teacher has to keep in mind: 1.) a do-it-yourself option, 2.) a commercially available option, or 3.) an open source option (according to Transforming Learning with New Technology book, pg 236).        

Tech Tool link: Fact Monster

     There is a lot of great information on fact monster! Many teachers can use this website to create an imaginative virtual experience for students who are having trouble with a certain subject. There's even a homework center where students can click on any subject, and a skills section where the studetns can acquire better listening skills, studying skills, writing, and researching skills. This website has a reference desk which includes a dictionar, an almanac, an atlas, and more! It's an amazing resource! Talking about technology and how we can go to websites to help students further their academic goals, there's also blogs! Blogs are liek journal enteries, students can record homework and research which is a good way for teachers to know if their students are actually doing their work. Teachers can go to Kidblog where they can create a blog for their class! for free! Teachers can access kidblog to view their class anywhere. Thank man for technology! Here's a small tutorial on Mr. Bellow's kidblog,  showing you how to create a class blog, and the many things 'Kidblog' has to offer.

Summary & Connection:

     Chapter 8 is a chapter that points out the importance of communicating and networking with websites, blogs, wikis, and more! This chapter explains the many ways a teacher can use technology to contact students, by using computers and other technologies to share ideas and information in classrooms. Teacher can also communicate via the internet by having classroom blogs. These are 'home grown' by teachers and students working together. (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 207) It's a great chapter for those of you who don't know much about creating webites or blogs. Technology is emerging everyday with new and bright ideas, so let's make sure we're all in the 'know'.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chapter 7

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

      Intelligent tutors are basically computer teachers that track a student's performance in getting the correct answers. The intelligent tutors modify their teaching style based on how well or how poorly the student does and of course, on their learning needs. The tutors use a story line with characters and request feedback which should promote inquiry learning and problem solving. This system was bulit on the need to help the student become a better academic learner. It is said, that the intelligent tutor would be similar to having one teacher for very one to three students (Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 197) This system is effective and has shown improvement in student learning. I feel as though one day, our teachers really will be computers- it's a crazy thought, but look at how amazingly far we've come in technology. Intelligent tutoring systems is only the beginning. 

Photo credited by Chris Daly from Learning Solutions Magazine

Summary & Connection:

      This Chapter focuses on problem solving and using technology as a tool for learning. With so many software and web tools, we can create a dynamic form of learning that takes learning to a whole new level, especially, with the Intelligent Tutoring System, a new software program where students learn through computer responses to student actions! (Transforming Learning with New Technology, pg. 197) Children tend to have a natural attraction to things that stand out and are totally unique for them. This chapter sticks to the NETS-T Standard 1, part b where teachers "engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems" (Transforming Learning with New Technolgies pg.175) This is a cool chapter and I really enjoyed it. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chapter 6

Focus Question: What are WebQuests and virtual field trips?

      WebQuests is information that bring alive the language, drama, comedy, and history of Shakespeare- as well as hundreds of other playwrights, poets, and authors( Transforming Learning with New Technologies, pg. 153, 2012). WebQuests are very innovative and take on Web-based teaching methods that can help all grde levels. WebQuests allow th students to visit groups of preselected websites to learn about academic topics by pictures, audio, video, and even online digital text. The virtual field trips are also innovative and quite interesting because the students are taken virtuallly to places all over the world without leaving the classroom, as part of their academic studies.

Tech Tool link: The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc

The Interactive online field trip of The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc shows some of fthe earlier painting. It goes on explaining how early humans inhabited the cave some 31,000 years ago. There's a map of the whole entire cave with buttons linking to that particular spot, that actually presents pictures. A lot of these paintings inspire students to draw their own paintings, drawings, even writings. This also inpires students to visit a local history museum and find out about other past civilizations. I recommend this site for those who have never heard about this cave. It's a very beautiful discovery. This video shows a little bit of the cave and what to expect when you go to the website itself. 

Summary and Connection:

This whole chapter is about teaching with educational websites and other online resources. It presents new way of educating students by showing WebQuest and virtual field trips. This chapter also talks about bookmarking and information alerts that help teachers organize and prepare lesson plans. I enjoyed this chapter because it focused on educational websites and different ways to teach children online at home or in class. I wonder where technology is going to take us next time...?