Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reflective Post

Reflective Post:

I have thoroughly enjoyed Intro to Technology! It has been a fantastic learning experience, and I truly can say that I have taken away so much from this course. At the beginning of the course, I did not realize how many tools were now available, through the use of technology, to teachers in our current day and time. I learned how to embed images, create online lesson plans, and discovered new applications and software that are not only helpful to teachers, but free! The Webquest and teacher portfolio were my favorite projects. They helped solidify my thoughts onto a space that can be accessed from any computer or smart phone, and was I was able to put into words and images my criteria for that particular learning plan. I also have come around in terms of allowing students to use their smart phones as a tool in the classroom. At the beginning of the semester, I felt they were just a distraction, but if I can reach my students on all levels, then I know they are learning.

Not only is the use of technology in the classroom good for teachers, but it allows the students to be creative and present their information in a whole new way. It helps integrate student centered classrooms, and allows the teacher to use all forms of strategies in their classroom. It also gives students with specials needs, disabilities, or English language learners a new opportunity to learn at the same pace as the others students.

Overall, I will definitely be using the tools I discovered here, and I look forward to becoming a teacher even more than before I took this class!

"Technology In the Classroom: Digital Media." Gabgorilla. Youtube.Web.Accessed 24 Apr.2014 from

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Focus Question: How can teachers use student participation systems as effective assessment methods?

Just like when a teacher begins discussing a topic, many times they will ask their students to raise their hand if they have heard of that topic. That is a form of pre-assessing, but the benefit of the modern classroom, is that teachers can engage their students through pre-assessing surveys or polls through technology. There are many apps and websites that will allow the students to be pre-assessed by taking these simple surveys. These are part of what Maloy, in her text Transforming learning with new technologies calls " prior knowledge-based learning." This is a way of encouraging thought from the students to understand the concept, and they end of realizing the know more about the topic than they realized. Teachers are then able to better connect their lesson plans with their students and the topic at hand. 

Tech Tool 11.2: Student centered learning is on the rise, and technology makes the classroom easier for this teaching method. There are several survey and poll resources listed in Tech Tool 11.2 including the one I investigated, called SurveyMonkey. This app allows students to create surveys and collect information among themselves. These tools are being used to pre-assess students, as well as encourage student discussions about a topic.

Chapter 11 is a way of involving technology to help teachers better connect their lesson plans to their students. Teachers are able to engage their students,and reach them on a deeper level of critical thought processes.Involving students in the assessment process, empowers them to be more involved in the classroom, and therefore allows them to learn more. The benefit of deeper learning, is the material being remembered longer, and the grades being higher.

"Precision Teaching:Student Self Assessment." Knatim, Youtube.11 Nov. 2010. Web.13 Apr.2014 from

Maloy, R. W., Verick-O'Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2014). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chapter 10

Chapter 10

Focus Question: How does Technology promote learning success for young writers?
Technology can help writers from start to finish on their ideas. Young writers will be able to express their ideas, research, and then develop their ideas into publication, all while using technology every step of the way. Our text book helps break down these technology tips for writers by each step of the writing process.Brainstorming and pre-writing can be accessed and encouraged by read-aloud applications or software. They are able to visit websites by authors that will help give them ideas and tips on how to write a good story, poem, etc. Students can also engage in groups by using microphones for read-aloud's to their class. The next step that can be easily done with technology is that of drafting. Word processors, or other word document software make the writing easy with text to speech software. Other tools include tape recorders, or even animation software. Revising and editing are made easy by word processors' spell check, thesaurus, as well as grammar check websites and software.Publishing and presentation is also made easy through the many software's available to students including power point, digital portfolio's, and other classroom websites. Technology has made life, and the writing process much easier, and more readily available to students.

Tech Tool 10.1: Interactive whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards have transformed the way teachers present their information to the students. Gone are the days of the old fashioned chalk board. These whiteboards are touch screen, and the teachers can write on the boards with digital pens. They are able to access the web, classroom files, lesson plan files, and more. These boards are also able to access software that allow students to earn extra points, check in and out of class for restroom breaks, and help keep attendance as well. These interactive boards have become the heart of the classroom, and make the information accessible quickly for the teacher.

Chapter 10 covers a multitude of information regarding the benefits of technology for the classroom. This chapter gave more specific details on how to apply these details into the classroom. There are so many benefits for adding technology into the classroom, whether it is for special needs children, English language learners using translators, or inspiring young writers to express their ideas through the ease of technology today.

"The Magical Classroom." Smartloveoflearning. 03 May. 2014. Youtube. Web. 06 April.2014. Accessed from

Maloy, R. W., Verick-O'Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2014). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Focus Question: How can teachers use video resources in their teaching?

Teachers can use this resource in an abundance of ways and it has many advantages. Many educators credit video resources to a unique way of learning, and being able to reach their students and deliver the information "multimodally" (Maloy.) It is also an opportunity for the teacher to take the attention off of themselves and move it to the screen, and help their students keep their focus and attention. In the current world of technology, it is also a relative way to teach the material to students.

There are several video resources available for lesson plans which include the infamous YouTube, Webcasts, streaming videos through various types of software like QuickTime, or Windows Media Player. Some additional advice that Maloy gives in the text is to pause and rewind, ask for students to write responses, and turn off either the sound or the picture itself.

Tech Tool 9.2: This Tech Tool helps give some more resources for my focus question, "Streaming video resources for teachers."  There are many tools, websites, and more that offer streaming video for lesson plans. PBS Learning Media, Youtube for schools, SnagLearning, and Common Craft. One of these resources that I have not heard of before is that of Common Craft, ( These videos use handcrafted cut outs or other drawings to help teach the information, and is a cute easy way to help relate the lesson plan. (Maloy.)

There are many resources available for teaching lesson plans using multimedia technology. These resources are also a great way for the teachers to allow the students to take the lesson plans into their own hands, and create projects using these resources to help present their knowledge on the subject at hand. In a recent student observation in a fourth grade classroom, the teacher was teaching on the subject of Metamorphosis. The teacher integrated a YouTube video showing a caterpillar going through the stages of metamorphosis and turning into a butterfly. The video was a hit among the students, and really helped to teach the information. This chapter is a must read for teachers looking to help find resources for student projects and creating lesson plans.

Maloy, R. W., Verick-O'Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2014). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson

Scott, Duncan. Complete Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Web. Youtube.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Focus Question: How will teacher communication systems create positive learning experiences for you and your students?

I plan on engaging with my students through many relevant communication tools including social media, email, online discussions and blogs. All of these tools not only engage the student and teacher through the use of technological devices, but it makes it easier for both the student and the teacher to respond at the ease of their schedule. It also allows the student to learn the technology, and keeps the teachers up to date on the latest technology.

In the past week, a friend of mine who is a high school history teacher- had the pleasure of teaching her students a unique lesson on social media. She had assigned a project that may require the students to work on during their spring break, and some of the students took to Twitter to vent. Some of the students were very rude and disrespectful on their tweets and hash-tags, so she took the opportunity to print the tweets and write them on her smart board for them to see when they came into her classroom the next day. She also responded to the tweets with her own witty hash-tags. She explained to them that social media can be used against them even if they are venting, and if she was their employer- they would be fired. She laughed at the rude tweets, but she said the look on their faces was priceless.

Tech Tool 8.1: Approach 1 (website and blog building software) This tech tool discusses the use of blog building software that teachers can use to communicate or use for lesson plans. The text mentions Dreamweavers and Frontpage. I did not either of those software, but Blogger seems to work pretty effectively for blogs.

Overall, this chapter helps discuss multiple ways for teachers to reach their students and use technology for lesson plans. The students can use the websites or software at home, and it makes it easier for a teacher to access and grade.

Maloy, R. W., Verick-O'Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2014). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Focus Question: What are the standard and open-source software applications available on most computers?

Standard software applications are the basic, most standard software on computers for a particular field. In an office, it is most common to hear of Microsoft office suite, or Word Processing in order to type a document or other important information.

Open-source software would be an application like Adobe reader. It is pretty commonly installed on most computers, but it also has features that you may upgrade for a price, and must always install the updates to continue to use the software universally. Open source is exactly as it sounds- open to the public, but it is constantly evolving.

Tech Tool 7.1: It is important to integrate problem solving into the learning experience in the classrooms. A technological tool that would help enhance this experience for students is suggested in the Tech Tool 7.1, and one of the applications that seemed most interested was that of Scratch. It is an open source software, that students are able to engage in creating their own art, stories, and games. Students are able to use their own rules and creativity to develop these activities to help stimulate their own learning pace and problem solving skills.

Chapter 7 was immensely educational for myself. I did not know there was a difference between software's and classifications such as standard vs. open sourced. I also enjoyed playing computer games, and there was one game in particular that I remember playing on our Windows 95 computer, and it was through some kind of encyclopedia software. I do not remember the name, but I was able to guide a court jester through the different mazes to stop and learn about the many topics of my choice. I remember sitting for hours, listening to different audio clips or reading various articles on random subjects that I controlled.

Another game that comes to mind, that involved great problem solving skills was that of Oregon Trail. I remember in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade going into the computer lab and playing this game. Believe it or not, it is still around! Check out the official website!

Maloy, R. W., Verick-O'Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2014). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Focus Question: What are the advantages and complexities of online learning and virtual schools?
There are many advantages to online learning and virtual schools. Some of those being the flexibility, creativity through technology, and the ease of anxiety and pressures that some students may experience in the classroom. Students can also go at their own pace (within reason.) According to the text, the amount of online students for K-12 has grown so large in recent years, that it could be classified as one of the top 30 school districts in the nation. As with anything, however; there are critics. Some of the issues that are in debate are the social deprivation that students may experience. Students attending an actual class are able to experience social conformity's, friendships and basic social skills. Another problem is the decrease in needs of teachers. Online classes can be handled by less staff than that of regular schools. It has also been noticed that the students were testing lower on  standardized tests than those students attend school.

Tech Tool 6.1: There are several apps that will allow interactive learning experiences. One of interest for myself, and is also listed in the tech tools, is the favorite poem project app. This was created by a poet for students to watch videos of poets performing and reading their poetry, but they also have the opportunity to read through many different poems. I am a huge fan of poetry, and will definitely check this app out!

Chapter 6 had a lot of great information regarding the online learning capabilities, and the information management needed in both the virtual classroom and actual classroom. Learning does not have to be put into a box, and with technology growing as rapidly as it is, students now have the opportunity to choose how and when they want to learn. Although there are advantages and some issues at question, it does not stifle a trend that is continuing to grow.

Maloy, R. W., Verick-O'Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2014). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson