Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photo credit: Glen Lake
My experience during my EME2040 online class has been extremely informative and challenging at the same time. I haven’t always been the strongest when it came to computers and electronics but after taking this course my knowledge has increased greatly. The skills I have gained from this class are skills I can actually use in my classroom someday. I have gained knowledge especially in critical thinking, communication, and technology/ information management. I really enjoyed creating the weekly blogs which allowed me to become engaged in the chapters as well as learning how to embed videos and hyperlinks. Blogs aren't something I was familiar with until I took this online course. The reflective posts allowed me to read others responses and look at different viewpoints. I enjoyed responding to others posts and getting feedback from others as well. I really debated on whether I wanted to take EME2040 online or on campus but I ‘m overall very happy that I chose to take it online. It has allowed me to work at my own pace and explore on my own. The videos were extremely helpful in giving guidance on how to do the bigger assignments. For the future I would defiantly recommend this course to others who need this course. Creating lesson plans, wikis, blog sites, power points, etc. are all skills I can use in my future classroom. This class has really opened my mind in seeing how advanced the world we live in is actually becoming. Technology is rapidly being incorporated into the classrooms. According to our textbook Transforming Learning With New Technologies "Computers are no longer stand-alone devices that sit on desks or in labs. Lightweight, ultraportable laptops and powerful smartphones provide teachers and students with anywhere, anytime learning opportunities." I would say my overall favorite assignment was creating the teacher webpage ePortfolio. Using the website Weebly made the project simple but gave the overall finished product a professional look. I’m really looking forward to have my own class one day, and this class has been a great step in the right direction!

Barney is a classic Elementary show that was a favorite when I was a child. This is a video that shows a positive school/ classroom environment which is what I will strive for as a teacher!

Maloy, R. (2011). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chapter 11

Focus Question
How can teachers and students use digital portfolios as tools for learning?
Digital portfolios are a collection of educational materials stored in an electronic format such as a CD-ROM, website, or computer file. Teachers can incorporate digital portfolios as a way to encourage new and creative work in the classroom. Also working with digital portfolios can increase a student’s technological skills and confidence. These portfolios can open a giant door for learning possibilities.
Photo credit: Pinellas School

Chapter eleven starts off by letting new teachers aware of the teacher assessment that they will be evaluated on. Teachers are continually assessed and evaluated by faculty who coordinate teacher license programs and by teachers and administrators in the schools. As well as teachers, students are also assessed. Student assessment is the ongoing evaluation of students, and is fundamental to the work of elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Finally there is the student involvement in learning and assessment, this assessment is how students will participate in the assessment process. All 3 of these assessments are important to consider when entering the Education field. A effective tool that teachers can use to assess their teaching is with a device called a digital portfolio. Broadly speaking, a digital portfolio is a goal driven, organized collection of artifacts that demonstrates a person’s expansion of knowledge and skills over time. Digital portfolios are a great tool to consider incorporating into the classroom. With these portfolios as a teacher you can ask students to hyperlink documents, create navigation systems, and embed images from multimedia. This is allowing students to become hands on with their learning. There are disadvantages to digital portfolios though. Digital portfolios require builders to know or learn to use computers, cameras, scanners, photo, and illustrating software, and other tools. Teachers may have to go out of their way to get professional supposed to build a portfolio template. This all involves time and money. Although these may take time and energy teachers have found this extremely helpful when monitoring their teaching. It’s important for future educators to know that assembling a portfolio is a structure for examining your teaching practices, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making plans to improve or change certain aspects in the future. Changing ideas a little, democratic schools and classrooms is a term that every educator should be aware of. Democratic schools and classrooms are places where students and teachers together make substantive decisions about important aspect of educational operations, from the academic curriculum to school climate and rules. Input and involvement require teachers and students to engage in open and frank discussions about how their classroom operates. This is a way to really get your students involved in the classroom. While self-proclaimed democratic schools represent only a time number of the schools in the United States, many schools and teachers see themselves as teaching democratically, and they find many ways to do this within the framework of a more traditionally structured school organization. Before introducing any topic to the class some type of assessment should be given to see where the students are at. Preassessments, prior knowledge-based learning, and online surveys are all great ways to determine where your students are at. The ultimate goal for every teacher is to get these students to succeed. There are a number of ways you can about this and one way teachers are doing this is by student participation systems. These tools are handheld and wireless tools that offer interactive learning options for teachers and students. This chapter finishes off by saying it’s important to change the classroom experience and really get students involved in the learning which will ultimately help them exceed, especially on those high-stakes test.
This is a great video that generates an overview on Electronic Portfolios.

Tech-Tool Question
The tech tool link I checked out was Survey Monkey. This web site is set up very professionally and is very well organized. At the top of the web page it gives web-users the option to get instruction on how the page works, examples of other surveys created, survey services, and plans and pricing. I will be sure to keep this website in mind if I ever need to make surveys! On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate this site a 10.

Maloy, R. (2011) Transforming learning with technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 10

Focus Question
What are differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning?
Differentiated instruction (DT) is an instructional approach that gives students “multiple options for talking in information and making sense of ideas.” Differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL) are frameworks for teachers to use in adjusting their curriculum and instruction away from a one-size-fits all model toward approaches that address the needs of students within the same class.
Photo credit: New World of Education

Chapter ten starts off talking about differentiated instruction and universal design for learning. DI and UDL are often associated with instructional changes designed to meet the needs of students with special educational needs, gifted and talented learners, or English language learners. It’s important as a future educator to become aware of all the different technology resources that can be incorporated into the classroom. There are two main routes for designing your classroom using technology: changing the classroom learning environment or changing how the curriculum is delivered. All teachers need to be prepared for students who will need assistive technologies. Assistive technologies are tools that make academic material more accessible to students by minimizing barriers to learning. An example of an assistive technology is an electronic speller and dictionary. This device can find correct spellings, listen to words spoken aloud, and check the accuracy of their spelling without adult help. By plugging headphones into the machine, students with hearing impairments can see and hear words they may not be able to sound out phonetically. Another assistive technology is the calculator. A calculator is a basic device that we all use as we continue our education process. Speech recognition software translates a person’s spoken words into written text on a computer screen. For students who have been unwilling or unsuccessful writers, speech recognition software offers a new way to record their thoughts that then becomes their writing. Text reading software is another example of an assistive technology that lets computer users hear written text aloud by the computer. The last assistive technology that book talks about is the interactive electronic storybook. There is some debate about the storybook. Educators have differing views about the usefulness of electronic storybooks for young readers. Some see interactive storybooks as open ended classroom resources. Other educators, concerned about students becoming overly dependent on computers, they wonder if the interactive features of electronic storybooks may distract students from the process of reading by decoding written words. There are tons of opportunities to involve students with technology based tools.
This is a video on how Speech recognition software is used.
Tech-Tool Link
The tech tool link I checked out was “Jim Martindale’s calculator’s on-line center.” Martindale’s calculator’s on-line center features links to more than 22,000 calculation programs. The website is what I would consider to be information overload. The background is a royal blue color with a page full of hundreds of links to click on. The site is extremely overwhelming and in my opinion not easy to navigate.

Maloy, R. (2011). Transforming learning with technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chapter Nine

Focus Questions

How can teachers create power point presentations for maximum teaching potential and learning impact?

Teachers can use power point to create slideshows of academic material and include text, pictures, charts, graphs, audio, video and animations. It is known that successful teaching involves interactive presentation that engages students. Although power point is one the most popular presentation software programs there others known as Keynote, and Corel presentations. The more time a teacher puts into creating the power point the more opportunity it gives the teacher to make the power point visually engaging and appealing. Just as important as the visual aspect the academic content is just as important. If a teacher is willing to create a successful power point presentation it can only maximize teaching and learning potential.

Photo credit to: Guides & Tutorials


Chapter nine starts off by focusing on multimedia technologies in classrooms. There are two important techniques in teaching, one being single-mode learning and the other being multimodal learning. Single-mode learning is simply “when a teacher talks”. Multimodal learning is when a teacher combines spoken words  with visuals or written text with audio or utilize simulations models. Multimodal learning through media has found that students who get this method of teaching outperform students who learn using traditional approaches with single modes. Multimedia technologies open a giant door of opportunities for students to succeed. Power point is a great tool to use to engage and inspire students. Power point is a multimedia presentation that is featured on many of today’s computers. Power point is a way for teachers to create a lesson using technology.  When power point is used well, it communicates information memorably to students. It’s important as an educator to keep two key questions in mind when creating a power point. “Who is my audience?” “What do I want my audience to leave knowing or remembering?” There are many ways to enhance a power point presentation but the key to success is by incorporating these attributes: visual text, visual analysis, create questions, use attention getters, and develop your own learning games. As well as incorporating power point, including videos are just as important. Incorporating video into the classroom can be done in any grade level. There are an abundance number of educational videos that can be found just within the school itself. Videos are easy to get ahold of and students become interested in these. Student’s response to video images is different from their response to printed text or teacher talk. Some teachers simply just turn the TV on and have their students watch whatever has been assigned, but there is a way for the teacher to become active and engaged in the student learning. While showing a movie a teacher can be active with the students by: using the pause and rewind buttons often, asking students to write responses, minimizing the time video is shown in the classroom, and turning off the sound or the picture. Another powerful multimedia technology that be incorporated into the classroom is digital cameras. Digital cameras are small but powerful tools capable of taking still photographs and video images that can be downloaded to a computer for printing, editing, and viewing. There are four important reasons for a teacher photographer: enhances student’s experiences, document learning, become active with learning and students become creative. Teachers and students can inexpensively photograph virtually any instructional activity from every subject area. In today’s generation there are so many ways to effectively incorporate technology. Chapter 9 finishes off by talking about podcasts and vodcasts. Podcast is an audio recording distributed online and accessed on computers or portable media plays. Educational podcasts are everywhere in the web. Major news organizations including PBS and the New York Times provide podcasts of key stories and current events. Vodcast on the other hand is a just an extension of podcasting. Teachers in the school setting can incorporate podcasts/vodcasts for creative experimentation and innovation.
In todays generation we are known as "Digital Natives". This is a great video that shows how educators can incorporate podcasts into the classroom.

Tech Tool Link

The tech tool link I checked out was Digital Story Telling. The website is very well organized with different featured tabs making the navigation process easy. As you scroll toward the bottom of the page the site highlights on different digital stories that people have created. The goal of this site is to serve as a useful resource for educators and students who are interested in how digital storytelling works. I would rate this webpage an overall 10. The site is very detailed when describing how to create your own storyboard.
Maloy,R. (2011).Tranforming learning with new technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chapter 8
Focus Question

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

Teachers can create a blog account that would allow students to become actively engaged online. Teachers can pose questions and ask students to respond. This allows for online discussions to take place. Blogs are a great way for English teachers to promote literacy learning through writing and the analysis of language. Blogs are also a great way to make parents feel involved and connected. These blogs are able to update parents and share what is going on in the classroom. As well as staying connected with the parents it also allows teachers to communicate with other teachers. This way teachers are able to support one another and ask question. Blogs are great and should be incorporated into the classrooms to improve teaching/ learning!
Photo Credit: Paul T. McCain


Chapter eight starts off by focusing on how teachers can communicate electronically. As a teacher the major components of communication that are used are: classroom websites, email, instant messaging, discussion boards, blogs, and wikis. They each have their own purpose, but are all as equally important. There are two different types of communications, Synchronous and Asynchronous. Synchronous communications occur in real times, as with cell phone conversations or instant message exchanges. Asynchronous communications involve a time delay, i.e. email messages, threaded discussions, or blogs. Incorporating electronic communications in the classroom is very important for success. This allows for teaching interactively, sharing info, building learning communities, publishing student work, and energizing student writing. Email may be the most useful communication tool for teachers, because it has its own built-in recordkeeping system. Everyone involved in the emailing is accountable for anything he/she says. Email is consider to be more proper in the school setting compared to instant messaging which provides immediate feedback. With Email you are able to spell check and create a thoughtful reply as instant messaging most people tend to use “textspeak”. Textspeak is abbreviated collection of symbols and letters that are used for quick communication. Blogging is an immensely popular online activity. Reading a blog can be best described as reading someone’s journal/ diary. Blogs are great to incorporate into the classroom because, it enhances student learning, promotes student/family communications and professional networking. It is important to keep in mind the four key designs when creating a teacher blog. The key designs are: content posting, reader response, audience, and authorship. Wikis have also become a popular online learning tool. In schools, wikis allow students to use technology in meaningful ways, collaborate with peers, synthesis and explain content, publish their writing, and receive feedback about their learning both inside and outside the classroom. Wikis are great because they allow users to edit the same webpage. This method of blogging has greatly grown over the years.
The video below shares 10 reasons why students enjoy using blogs. Some of the examples they use are ones the book uses as well! In the video each student states why the Blog is benefitical to them.

Tech tool question

The tech tool link I checked out was "Go Daddy". Go daddy is an online site that allows users to create their own websites and host their own accounts. This site is used mainly for business purposes and costs money depending on the package that’s purchased. There are positive feedback comments on the home page from active users of the site. The site seems very user friendly and is very  bright and colorful which is engaging for any user online.

Maloy, R. (2011). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston: Pearson

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter Seven
Focus Question

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

-Intelligent tutoring systems are powerful new software programs that promote inquiry learning by students through computer responses to student actions. This tool can be used successfully when a teacher notices a student struggling in a certain area. This source of technology is basically replacing the human tutor, a computer-based tutor can provide children with the structured practice they need to become better academic learners and test takers.
                                                       Photo Credit: Chris Daly


Chapter seven starts off by giving us an understanding of computers and software. It’s important to know that computers consist of hardware’s and software’s. Hardware is the basic machinery and circuitry of a computer and the software is what tells a computer’s hardware to perform specific functions. Almost all computers now come with the Standard Software Applications. These applications are what make all of our lives easier. Some examples of these software applications are: word processing, electronic databases, spreadsheets, web-browsing software, communications software, presentation software, and specialization software. Each of these software programs has their own individual tasks that benefit the user. It can be a challenge choosing educational software to install on classroom computers. Teachers need to make sure that the child is controlling the activities and not the other way around. Also teachers need to be aware that the software does not promote competition, stereotyping or violence. Finally, teachers want the game to favor some kind of long-term thinking over quick reactions. These are all very important factors when choosing in class software programs. Bloom’s taxonomy is another way to evaluate educational software. Blooms taxonomy assesses the extent to which a particular program encourages higher order thinking by students. The original list of Blooms taxonomy consisted of: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. It had now been revised to: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. If teachers are still having a hard time choosing software there are numerous educational organizations that have online resources that assist teachers in selecting software. Examples for a couple of them are: Educational software preview guide, Entertainment software rating board, EvaluTech, and

Students are now turning towards expressing and organizing themselves through using visual thinking and concept mapping software. There are students who do not find brainstorming on paper an inspiring way to evoke ideas or solve problems. Students sometimes find their handwriting too messy, or either too confining or time consuming.  Programs such as inspiration eliminate these problems for students. Chapter seven finishes off focusing on intelligent tutoring systems. Intelligent tutoring systems are powerful new software programs that promote inquiry learning by students through computer responses to student actions. Because the system is computerized, information can be gathered and presented almost instantaneously so adults and students can see how learning is progressing at any time. These systems are starting to positively impact students, therefore we might see more of these incorporated in the classrooms in the near future!
This is a fun video that gives examples of Blooms Taxonomgy from the show Seinfeld.

Tech Tool Link

-The tech tool link I checked out was "Scratch". Scratch is on online web page for elementary school students to create their own online games. I could see this program being incorporated into student-center philosophy classrooms. Although this web-page isn’t necessarily educational, it could be something offered to students during a free time. On the webpage, kids are able to download the program to create the games or they are able to select already programed games. The site is very easy to navigate through and is well organized for easy access for young children.
Lifelong Kindergraden Group. (n.d.). Scratch .
Edwards, S. A. (2011). Transforming learning with new technologies. Boston: Pearson.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Focus Question
What are webquests and virtual field trips?
-Webquests are online educational experiences where students go to one or more websites to obtain academic information or engage in other inquiry-based learning activities. Virtual field trips are online learning adventures where students are able to visit far-away places using their classroom computers.
Photo credit to Ed Web

Chapter six starts out by focusing on managing information electronically. Digital content is becoming widely used by teachers. Digital content is an easily accessible source of academic information and new knowledge. Teachers can use this web-based information to teach the school curriculum. As well as teaching school curriculum, the internet is useful for meeting local, state, and national curriculum frameworks. Since using the internet has become such an important tool for teachers, tasks mangers have created bookmarks to make locating and organizing web information easier. Bookmarks remember the website addresses that are frequently visited. In addition to book marking there is social bookmarking. Social bookmarking is an information management process where groups of interested people share their web links electronically in an open public web space. The difference between the two is that one is a private library of resources seen by one person as the other one is a public list that can be viewed by many readers. Information alerts and RSS feeds also can greatly impact an active online teacher. Information alerts can assist busy teachers with a system of announcements about new information online. Google is one provider to these alerts. Google can generate five types of alerts: news, web, blog, group, and comprehensive. This can be a real time saver for teachers! RSS feeds are another way for teachers to access the information they need for curriculum and instruction. The New York Times, Yahoo! News: Technology, BBC News, and the Washington post are widely accessed RSS feeds.
As teachers are becoming more efficient online, webquests and virtual field trips are becoming more frequently incorporated into the classrooms. As a teacher it is important to involve the students in the classroom and make them become interested in the topics. Webquests are online educational experiences where students go to one or more websites to obtain academic information or engage in other inquiry-based learning activities. Virtual field trips on the other hand take students to places all over the world without ever leaving their school’s classroom or computer lab. Although virtual field trips are still relatively new, they are looking promising in helping raise students test scores. There was a small student study done that involved 400 students in two middle schools, and studies show that the middle school students had higher reading comprehension scores after participating in online field trips. Interactive videoconferencing is very similar to virtual field trips. Videoconferencing is a distance learning technology that offers real-time access to people and places that students are unable to visit. I have personally seen video conferences used in my former high school. Chapter six finishes off by talking about different kinds of educational websites. There are thousands of these different types of educational websites but they all have the common ground of being interactive and engaging to students. A few examples the book gives are: Lesson plan websites, student-to-expert communication websites, real-time and recorded data websites, archival and primary source websites, and skills/practice websites.

The video below is a demonstration of a virtual field trip that  Fall River Elementary School took. In the video you are able to see just how active and engaged the students are.

Tech-Tool Question
The tech tool link I checked out was “Goodreads”. Goodreads is a very professional and organized webpage. After creating a quick account you are able to organize all your favorite books online. This webpage is virtually keeping you organized, which is very important for all future educators. The great thing about this website is that you can log into any computer and your library can be accessed. I personally love to read, and this would be a great site I would consider using!