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

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chapter 5

Focus Question: What are search engines and how do they work?

The best way to describe a search engine in layman's terms is this: think of a large, thick textbook. The textbook itself is the Internet and inside is millions on words. A search engine is like the glossary of the textbook, it will tell you the word you are searching for, and then give you the page number and chapter to find more information on this word. A search engine is a computer program that uses networks of computers to access databases and search the entire Internet for the key word or phrased that you are searching. An example is Google, Bing, Chrome, etc.

Links to my favorite search engines:

Tech Tool 5.1: There are several websites that teachers can use to help enhance their lesson plans through pictures and audio clips. In 5.1's tech tool, they have provided three of these websites that are open to the public to help bring these lesson plans to life. Flickr, Libriox, and Creative Commons. While Flickr and Libriox are for the photo and audio enhancements, the Creative Commons website is the best of both worlds, but also helps avoid copyright infringement, and still gives recognition to the authors whom created the images or videos. Check out this powerful image from Flickr relating to education and technology: 

Search engines and the Internet in general, are great tools and revolutionary technologies that have now become essential in the classroom. Just like everything else, it is important to teach students how to use the  Internet, which also includes how to determine credible resources, and the importance of citation and education on plagiarism. Educators must take advantage of these resources to help create engaging lesson plans, and stay current with how their students can have the world at the their finger tips. Literally.

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

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Focus Question: How are lesson planning and student assessment enhanced by technology?

Lesson planning has become a breeze for most educators due to technology. There are thousands of websites available to help inspire lesson planning and creativity for educators to know" what to teach." There are many educator websites that are a compiled list of worksheets, lesson plan ideas, and other information so that teachers do not have to "reinvent the wheel," for every lesson plan. Assessment has also become easier through software, discussion boards, blogs, and electronic tests and quizzes. A great example of this software is Edison's own Canvas, or MyMathLabs.

Tech Tool 4.1: Web Resources and Apps for Lesson Planning: This section mentions PBS Teachers. ( This is an awesome website full of lesson plans, worksheets, blogs, videos and more. The best part- its free! There are so many resources, thanks to technology that allow teachers to plan their lessons and reach every style of learning for each of their students.

In conclusion, this chapter provides a fantastic overview for educators to find resources available to help them create lesson plans, assess their students while integrating technology, and also allows the teachers to reach each of the learning standards efficiently. Rubrics provide a great overview and goal for students to reach for when working on a paper or project, and it also allows the teachers to reach each of the learning standards that the lesson plans strives to teach. Lets say it together- TECHNOLOGY IS OUR FRIEND!

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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Focus Question: What are the essential ideas for teachers from research on the science of learning?
The main science theory of learning is that of "constructivism." Students will learn or construct new ideas, based off of what they already know. Another main idea is that of active learning, or what I like to call "hands on learning." I have found the best way to learn something new, especially with technology is taking the time to sit down and practice. These theories suggest that educators must teach more with examples, rather just lecturing alone. Some examples of this would be to suggest several ways to learn whether it be through groups or even individual instruction.

Tech Tool 3.1: This section of Tech Tools, suggest websites and applications that can be used to approach these learning styles as mentioned above to give the student a more hands on approach to a subject. I especially thought one website was very interesting, which is the This simulation game allows the user to help problem solve through different disasters, while teaching how to avoid or how to cope with the disasters. I just finished watching the movie, "2012," which is the ultimate disaster movie, so this website jumped out at me.

In conclusion to this chapter, it has taught that students must be engaged in the classroom, and the technology offered today is a perfect relevant way to reach students. It has also has suggested science of learning that teachers can use to help reach their students. There are also several websites and applications, and other technology tools to help activate the minds of students to learn. It does not have to boring or mundane for students, but it can be fun and engaging.

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Focus Question: How can teachers more closely connect learning to the experiences of the digital natives who are their students?

Teachers that offer the ease and use of technology in the classroom will be able to better connect with their students and be able to better relate to the classroom of today. In the table labeled figure 2.3 in our text book, there is a bar graph listing the student engagement using various teaching tools- including technology. The highest scoring engagement was discussion and debate, as well as a close second between group projects and art and drama activities. These students need to be engaged to learn, and if they are engaged, they will be more likely not to miss school, be more plugged in (no pun intended) with classroom activities, and the ease of the scheduling of submission of assignments through email, Google docs, etc. is more beneficial also to the teachers.

The best example of using technology in the classroom is the ability to complete assignments, quizzes, etc. online. Edison State College has now implemented the use of Canvas or some other form of software as a part of a learning tool to go along with the classroom as a blended classroom. The text book can be accessed electronically as well as keeping tabs on grades, assignments, etc.  

Tech Tool 2.1: "There's an app for that." Apps are a fantastic way to specialize on a subject from the convenience of a smart phone or tablet. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed something, and it hits me to search my apps. I now have a tape measure, thermometer, and ruler on my IPhone. However, convenient tools aren't the only reason for apps. There is now application offering specific instruction on multiple subjects such as science, math, and history, etc. They offer games, notes and information that would be interesting for the students to use and research.

Overall, it is important to take advantage of the easy tools to engage with students in the classroom. We must stay relevant to our students, and it is not hard to do so! Although, there are some glitches in the campaign to encourage more use of technology in the classroom which includes time, money, attitude, and support, we must stop living in the past and step into the 21st century as it is rapidly changing our student’s way before we have the chance to help them learn.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chapter 1

Jennifer McMahon

Chapter 1

Focus Question: What roles does technology play in the lives of students and teachers?

In this day and age, technology plays one of the main roles in education. Spell check, word processing, books on tablets, grades- you name the topic regarding school- somehow technology is involved.

Just the other day, I enrolled my daughter into kindergarten online, and filled out all of the required paperwork. I needed the information regarding her medical history and guess what I can now access from my smartphone- her entire medical record. At her current school- they have an app for my computer where I can view her grades, attendance and any notes her teacher needed to translate to me.

The question is no longer how technology is involved in the classroom- but how is it not involved? Teachers rely on technology to work as the testing and assignment submission center now. Fifth graders are using tablets in the classroom, and textbooks are now becoming electronic.  

In conclusion, I would say that technology is the main role in education today and will stay that way.

Tech Tool 1.1: The smartphone is also listed as a tech tool, and I am against the use of smartphones in the classroom. I believe this would be too tempting to encourage texting, social media and will also encourage a lack of focus for both the student and the teacher.

Chapter 1 was a great way to splash into this class and educate on how quickly technology has made its prominent role in education. It is imperative to current and future educators that they stay updated on technology and how will not only improve the classroom, but could possibly be negatively affecting a student’s attention, outlook, and ability to learn in the classroom. I felt behind and not knowing that schools are already using technology as a tool in the classroom, and things are not at all how they were in the early 2000’s I am excited to continue to learn new information, and be able to communicate, relate, and help give my future students the abilities to use modern technology to learn at full capacity.

Photo below courtesy of:H.(2013,May29.)”Will You Flip For Flipped Teaching?”.The Art of Ed RSS. Retrieved from