Monday, April 22, 2013

Reflective Essay

            When the idea of sending the first email was introduced to the masses I wonder if the difficulty to come was ever thought through. This course would prove to be the most difficult, frustrating, mind blowing and intriguing college course that I have ever signed up for and come committed myself to. Introduction to Technology is more like an introduction to what life will be like in 3 years. There were times and moments where the complete irritation of just logging into certain websites seemed nearly impossible and life ending. But then there were times (Digital Story Telling), and Pecha Kucha, where I could think to myself “there has to be a catch to this because its way to easy, prehistorically easy”. Along the course I discovered that it was not what you didn’t know but more along the lines of how much you were willing to learn. I myself “through in the towel” on several occasions due to the fact that my “mastery” of basic computer knowledge were not sufficing like I thought they would. But persistence and dedication allowed me to reevaluate the course and gather myself and succeed (by my terms) in completing and passing the course.

            The engagement aspect of the course was at times a little strenuous but more intimidating if anything. Working with groups of individuals whom sometimes know more about websites and social networks than others could be difficult but it’s very much needed. They only critique that I could find myself having with the course would be the amount of information presented at one time. I understand that it was a course designed for one day a week but if the more important aspect of the course could be covered with a few pace breakers thrown in, I believe the course has the potential to be a top class freshman through senior year.
            Overall I found that I thoroughly enjoyed Introduction to technology on an extremely high level. The wix website creation gave me the most confidence in developing lesson plans and communicating effectively with students and parents. I came in confused but I am finishing extremely confident and complete.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


1-Focus Question: 
How can teachers and students use digital portfolios as tools for learning?
        Digital portfolio, described by Kilbane and Milman, as quoted by Maloy, is a “goal-driven, organized collection of artifacts that demonstrates a person’s expansion of knowledge and skills over time“(Maloy, Verock-O’Loughlin, Edwards, Woolf, 2012, p. 309)). Teachers, as well as students who are engaged in a portfolio-building process, manipulate a tool that has the potential to allow a direct evaluation of their knowledge, and also to give rise to serious thoughts. How can digital portfolio be used for both of them as tools for learning?
          Educators generally build their portfolios with elements that display academics, teaching, talents, and accomplishments. Students on the other hand demonstrate in portfolios their knowledge and skills. Either one, when organizing a portfolio, has the opportunity to assess and reflect on their knowledge. Lee A. Montgomery, Education researcher, noted that portfolios can be useful for new teachers and veterans as well, to reflect about their progress and objectives. Otherwise stated, while a digital portfolio is used as a guide to show credentials, knowledge, and experience, it also offers the opportunity to appraise them. It is an occasion for the portfolio builder to think critically and creatively about himself, and to make opportune choices.
          Putting together a portfolio gives teachers or students a unique chance to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and make plans to improve themselves. Consequently, a particular feature of digital portfolios is to promote learning through personal reflection.
DIGITAL                                        Picture Credit to: jpeg from
2-Tech Tool.
          Different options ranging from do-it-yourself templates to use free, modest, and expensive products are available to portfolios builders. The following are common choices:
·         TaskStream – It is a popular digital tool used for Web design and portfolio building. Users can find a variety of design options such as presentation portfolios and resource portfolio. They can be accessed by the world or specified closed community. Document can be set in these portfolios showing the learning process of the user.
·         Life – iLife ’09 is software created by Apple for Macintosh computers. Its various features (import of photo images into versions of iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD or Web) allow adding sound effects and professional quality cinematographic to the portfolio.
·         EduTools – It is a website sponsored by Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET). Besides finding template for e-portfolios, EduTools provide online assistance to those interested in using e-tools. Moreover, it provides reviews of online college, advanced placement, and high school courses.
      The different options offered by EduTools in addition to the fact that it is free, constitute an essential tool that I would not hesitate to use to build online digital portfolios.
        3- Summary.
               Chapter eleven surveys how digital portfolios facilitate assessment of knowledge and promote reflection to teachers and students. Montgomery & Wiley state that “Digital portfolios offer an effective way for students and teachers alike to assess their teaching and learning accomplishments” (Maloy, et al., 2012, p. 309). The experiences, teaching activities, and accomplishments of an educator gathered in a digital portfolio, show his skills and background experience using interactive technologies (Web 2.0) in teaching.
                Digital portfolios offer many advantages as well as disadvantages. Curriculum theorist Shulman although he foresaw potential dangers of portfolios, argued that “the dangers can be more than counterbalanced by the strengths of portfolios as a teacher assessment approach” (Maloy, et al., 2012, p. 311).
                Teaching portfolios design by teachers are setup in different and creative ways, but almost all combine elements about resume, philosophy of education, unit plan, academic courses and research experiences, teaching experience, personal talents and accomplishments, reflections, resource links, video, and pictorial segments.
               Students, with the use of portfolios, can also demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
               A unique feature of portfolios is that they allow learning through personal reflection. It is a guide to gauge teaching abilities; it stimulates thinking critically and creatively about being effective, and its content can be constantly updated.
               Students have also to practice digital portfolios for learning to be successful. They need to bring input to rules of school conduct, topics to study, and the assessment process. An advocate for greater involvement of students in educational decision making process is the movement for democratic schools and classrooms. They are places were students and teachers interrelate in active engagement and willing participation, as they conduct learning together. Democratic schools have a schoolwide mission, particular teaching practices, and ample use of technology.
                Teachers need to find out what students already know about a topic before introducing a lesson. Thus, Preassessments allow teachers to connect new concept to prior knowledge, to demonstrate that teachers care, and also create a sense of collaborative learning. Online surveys offer an effective way to involve students in preassessment process and activate prior knowledge. Some resources are available online to conduct preassessment with students.
·         Zoomerang, provides prompts and templates, and categorizes a diversity of themes. It allows modifying the design and personalizing it, keeping an archive and it is a free basic membership.
·          SurveyMonkey, is an easy survey tool.
·         Poll Builder, is from the History and New Media at George Mason University, it does not have many options, but it is free and can be useful.
               Handheld wireless tools called, clickers, stimulate students’ participation. They “offer interactive learning options for teachers and students” (Maloy, et al., 2012, p. 318). These tools have numerous advantages: active learning, student involvement, real-time feedback, question-driven instruction. A characteristic example is the CPSPulse Clicker from elnstruction. “Clicker change the classroom experience, encouraging student individually while giving them active roles and reasons to participate in discussions” (Maloy, et al., 2012, p. 320).
                 Technology also transform lesson plan as shown in Documenting Student Learning Using Digitals Portfolios in ENCYCLO-ME-DIA.
Maloy, R.W., Verock-O’Loughlin, R., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2012). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Pearson Education, Inc.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chapter 10

What are differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL)?
Every student within the same classroom can benefit from strategies that are able to strengthen their learning and help them overcome their weaknesses. Differentiated Instruction (DI) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offer to teachers essential structures to adapt the curriculum and adjust their teaching style to reach all type of students.
-DI is a teaching approach that allows several options to students for receiving instruction and understand ideas. Therefore, educators have the latitude to create and  improvise different educational experiences to meet students’ specific needs. Integrate this strategy in their teaching, require from teachers to start up a lesson with interesting points engaging their students and stimulating their participations. A History teacher for example, may organize his class by having some students working on a segment of the lesson to create a Power Point,  another small group may be working on summarizing the chapter in a Word document, a third group may represent it with a colorful drawing, and a fourth group may prepare a skit to perform for the class. The teacher needs to know the strong and weak points of the students, to allow the activity to succeed and the entire class to benefit from it. Also diverse groups, such as ELL, ESE, Gifted and Talented Students may be mixed with the regular population. Choosing to pair an ELL (English Language Learner)  with a bilingual student will allow the one having language impairment to find a translator, and also learn by observing the other student. Moreover, several students may work on the creation of the lesson’s summary, and the one with better spelling and technical skill would do the typing. Creative students with better artistic abilities would present a poster to the class, and kinetic and/or extrovert students may work together to perform in a skit.
DI presents to educators the challenge to get the necessary tools, the time and the resources to diversify instruction in ways that will meet the different learning styles and preferences of students.

-UDL derived from an architectural concept of design that allow functionality for all types of users. Examples are features giving access to slanted levels, like a ramp and wheelchair access. Apply to learning, this concept means to facilitate students with special needs by helping them understand any concepts regardless of their impediments. Extensive research in Neuroscience and special technologies available today, facilitate the application of UDL. Three primary aspects are defined by the Center for Applied Special Technology (2006).
·         Multiple means of representation: Present information and content in different ways.
·         Multiple means of expression: Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know.
·         Multiple means of engagement: Stimulate interest and motivation for learning.
The goal of UDL is to decrease the barriers to learning, and increase the learning
opportunities to all students. Hehir stated that the purpose of UDL is, “full participation and access for students with disabilities while providing individualized options for all” (Hehir, 2005, p. 99).  As an example, in an English class a teacher might use PowerPoint to present vocabulary words and definitions that are discussed by the regular students, while the hearing impaired child can see, read, and take notes. Such a strategy may also be  beneficial for any students who might have unrecognized challenges, as well as for many regular students who can better recall the information due to the integration of visual, and auditory tools in the lesson.

Extra-Large and Online Calculators.
Extra large calculators created by Kikkerland are lightweight, provide basic mathematical functions, and are easier to use than regular small hand held calculators. Their large function keys help students with visual impairments, and also many regular students because their easy to spot keys allow faster clicking.
On-line calculators are used daily in today's classrooms, due to their easy access from cell phones and iPhones. They can serve to stimulate Math learning, because they connect written equations with what students can do by hand using physical objects. Jim Martindale’s Calculators On-line Center feature links to several calculation programs, many with simulations and teaching modules.
I can see the good use of  the extra large calculator by Kikkerland and the Jim Martindale’s calculator on-line Center, in an ESE, an ELL, or a diverse population classroom.
One of the most important aspect of teaching is that all students must have equal opportunity to learn. Therefore teachers have to fashion the experience in a way that every student in a classroom learns to the best of their abilities. Several new resources offer by technology and by the progress of Neuroscience, give to educators many tools to take advantage of.
-Differentiated Instruction (DI), means educational experiences modified in a way that students with different abilities can understand and learn concepts taught in class. It includes teachers using different methods and technology to provide for the special needs of the students.
-Universal Design for Learning (UDL) includes the different tools used in a classroom that enable educators to reach out to a diverse population of learners.
Learning concepts is not the only area of importance in the school. Writing is also considered as a neglected area in education. The process of writing that gave successful results are pre-writing/brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
The idea of having a group of learners with different abilities working together on a subject, might create a positive influence on each of them.
All the opportunities offer by technology can be exploited by teachers as resources to improve gaps and transform different areas of the education field. Most of all, teachers can be more effective by using the abundant resources of technology, and accommodate all students in the learning environment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

chapter 9. Journal

                1)      FOCUS QUESTION:  How can teachers use video resources in their teaching?

Videos are easy tools to be found in a school environment. They can be set on TV monitors and be ready for use in classrooms. Videos can come from different sources such as a school library, TV programs, Public libraries, websites, museums, educational organizations. They can even be created by teachers and students.  How to use as
Resources to promote teaching and learning?
Television has always been present in the life of the youth, and they are already inclined to accept it instead of any printed material or lecture form teachers. Teachers can take advantage of that natural attraction and incorporate videos to engage students.  Consequently, some techniques are developed to use videos effectively.
·         The features of pause, rewind, and stop allow the educator to control the information given to the students, and also engage them in an interactive open discussion that will promote critical thinking.
·         The previous features facilitate note taking, and better viewing. These two elements play together to enhance students' involvement.
·         Teachers can opt to show a small amount of a video to keep students’ interest. Long viewing periods risk loosing their attention and opportunities to interact and learn from it.
·         The video experience can be modified by turning the sound off, giving the students a chance to come up with their understanding of the visual input only. This one could be eliminated instead, and students could try to imagine the scenes using only the sound of it.
            The most important aspect about videos is that educators can use them to enhance the
            students’ learning experience, enriching a lesson, and providing an auditive and visual
             feature to serve students with different learning styles.

2)      TECH TOOL: Film, Video, and Streaming Video Resources For Teachers.

            I believe that items that have the potential to stimulate learning, should be among the
            teachers’ priorities tools. Based on the fact that students are more enthusiast to learn
            when a visual input is used, I would take advantage, as an educator, of the following
             resources which are easily accessible, and able of engaging learners.

·         PBS: “Public Broadcasting Station”.
PBS stations provide many varieties of television programs that can be used as resources to enhance lessons on different topics. Also, many programs comes with websites that provide lesson plans, interactive timelines, additional resource materials, etc. TV for Teachers is part of the PBS TeacherSource ( that provide more than 3,000 lesson plans for all school courses and grade levels. PBS also gives  information on research about technologies used in K-12. It allows as well bloggers to exchange information and ideas about the influence of technology and internet on teaching and learning in school, etc.

·         NTTI: “National Teacher Training Institute”.
The National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI) is a video resource for teacher that contain several lesson plans written by teachers.The site offers also strategies for integrating video in teaching.

·         TeacherTube/
TeacherTube is similar to the popular YouTube video site, but it has educational content. is the version created by the British. Both sites provide resources that can be used in classrooms. They are well organized, and up to date.

·         The Futures Channel:
It offers a collection of video clips on careers, jobs, and future opportunities. They show students various application of class content in real life situations. It includes also an extensive variety of lessons plans and other teaching resources.

·         Annenberg Media Learner.Org:
It is a website that provides streaming videos (simultaneous transfer of video, voice, and data from one computer to another) with educational content in several subject areas.

3)      SUMMARY:

Chapter 9 explains how educators can instill learning by using presentation tools such as PowerPoint software, videos and DVDs, digital camera, movie-making software, and podcasts/vodcasts.
A term such as multimedia is introduced as “the presentation of material using both words and pictures” (Mayer 2001 p.2). Multimodal learning is described as happening when teachers combine lecture with visuals or text with audio. The advantages for teachers to incorporate multiple interactive media into instruction are expressed, as well as the benefits of having a multimedia classroom. Usefulness, critique, and strategies of using PowerPoint are debated. Also, video, photo taking and movie making, digital videos, and tactic for using cameras, are outlined as tools for teaching. Even lesson plan utilizes technology (digital cameras, digital videos cameras, or camera phones with video capabilities) to inspire students of different grade level.
The focus of chapter 9 is on using multimedia technologies interactively with students to stimulate enthusiasm for learning, actively engage them, and also conjointly with them or not to create and to deliver information.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chapter 5 Journal

What are search engines and how do they work?

Search engines are software programs that use networks of computers to acquire and assess information about a topic from its databases. We often use search engines because we want to receive information about a specific topic on the internet. Search engines are brilliant, because by typing a single word or phrase you can receive millions of webpages regarding your topic within milliseconds. For example, there are sites that I utilize on a daily basis like Google and Bing. These sites allow you to search specific topics and often will populate frequently searched topics as you begin typing in what you're looking for. Search engines are also available for educational resources which provide more options for school-related topics and offer more scholarly resources.

This video was provided YouTube user socialmediadd

Tech Tool 5.1 Photo and Audio Resources on the Web 

Tech tool 5.1 demonstrates Flickr which is a photo managing and sharing tool on the web. Many educators use this locate and organize their photos. Although Im not real big on photo sharing and screaming online this tool is neat because not only can you put your own photos on there, you could use the photos that people have shared if you're looking for something specific. Tech Tool 5.1 also shows LibriVox which offers free audio recording of published books and other random material. I would definitely utilize this site for my students and myself. I could either use it in class reading or for students that have difficulty reading on their own.

Chapter 5 Summary Researching and Evaluating Internet Information

Chapter 5 basically states how to make the internet a useful source by eliminating all the garbage. ICT Literacy means to be able to use digital information, communication tools, and networks appropriately to correct and solve information problems.Therefore, educators take this serious and they teach their student how to be IT Fluent. For example, the goal of an educator is to make sure the student knows how to approach and use the internet as if they were an expert. Search engines like Google have become a popular resource where student and other go to get information but if the student understands how it works and how to navigate it they are able to use as if they were experts, which is the ultimate goal. Chapter 5 also explains the differences between a free-text search, keyword/exact match search, and a Boolean search.It provides strategies on engaging the students and showing the student how to use these resources as well. When using the variety of searches you might come across different problems and receive different responses like misinformation and useless information. It also talks about Wikipedia and how it compares to a paper encyclopedia.

Journal Post 6

What are WebQuests and virtual field trips? 

WebQuests and virtual field trip are online tools designed to get the student more involved and interested in learning. WebQuests are designed by students, students make their inquiries and then teachers guide them. In a WebQuest, students navigate through a web resource to gather and learn information on a topic. Once they've learned about a topic, they will then assess what they find or prepare a presentation based on their findings. There are many sites and resources teacher can use in order to create a successful WebQuest. In comparison to WebQuest, virtual field trips work in a similar way but differ because these are designed to take a student on a field trip anywhere in the world without ever having to leave their schools. Multiple computers are required for virtual field trips because students can explore museums and historical places anywhere. Virtual field trips are still new therefore, a lot of research is still being done but student so far have shown higher reading comprehension skills in a recent study done.

Video provided by feythdemacedo

This tech tool is all about online field trips. This site takes you right to the source while adding the interesting facts and history behind the cave paintings. It also enhances the site by showing some amazing pictures. The idea is to take students on a field trip without the "field" aspect of it. A great idea when used on rainy days or at times where every students wouldn't be able to physically make the trip. The only downside would be that every aspect of the tool depends on technology working. 

Chapter 6 Summary Teaching with Educational Websites and Other Online Resources 

This chapter introduces online resources, book marking, social book marking, and information alerts used for organizing. It provides information for managing information electronically and gathering the information to make your lesson fun and interesting. It provides bookmarking tools and provides education on how to use them appropriately like on Portaportal. It also gives the information needed on how to use social book marking as well.

The standard connector simplifies and stores state standards which helps keep teachers organized and calm. Being a teacher can get a little chaotic at times and having a tool such as this helps keeps things calm and organized.

Next, it talks about WebQuest and virtual field trips. Also, it provides information on educational websites as teaching resources and how to utilize them. Using educational websites interactively to engage a student is extremely important because you want to be able to keep your students interested and you want them to absorb the information your teaching as an educator. This chapter explains how to do this in an effective manner.

Finally, it show educators how to use technology transformation on their lesson plans. A

Chapter 7 Journal Post

How can teachers evaluate the effectiveness of educational software?

 Teachers can evaluate the effectiveness of educational software in many ways, but first they must be able to identify the things that make up poor software. Poor software usually lets the students control the activity oppose to a good one were the software controls the activity. Finally, the software must provide critical thinking. This day in age a student must be able to critically think not only about problems and answers but about the part taken to get that point. Once the teachers have identified these basics on a software they will be able to determine if it is an effective educational software.

Tech Tool 7.2 A Math Learning Game- Zoombinis Logical Journey 

Tech Tool 7.1 is a great math learning game. I found that it was extremely easy to understand, especially being that math can sometimes be overwhelming. The level of  interaction was simple enough for a small child to understand and remain entertained. The simplicity of the tool will keep students engaged, it also plays as a game more than a learning tech tool which will encourage younger students to participate.

Chapter 7 Summary Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools 

Chapter 7 does an overview on how educational software supports and promotes problem solving and inquiry learning from students in all elementary, middle, and high school levels.It approaches the areas educators have most difficulties with in computers and software and how to find out their effectiveness. It explains the two types of software. First, there is system software, system software is responsible for the overall functioning and control of a computer and includes an operating system, database managing, and TP monitor. The second type of software is application software that performs specific functions in specialized ways to produce different services. These services include word processing, spreadsheets, slides, etc. Next, it talks about open sources software is available to the public at little or no cost. 

With all the types of software available, chapter 7 discusses how to evaluate different software and gives a general criteria to determine whether they are valuable or a wasteful source for learning. It also provides online software resources for teachers and how to use educational software for problem solving and inquiry learning in order to meet educational goals. Also, Chapter 7 gives information to the educator on how to build, invent and create software. 

Chapter 7 gives information on educational games as a learning resource. For example, tech tool 7.2 provided a great, fun, and interactive learning game for student and this is just one of many ways to show a student a fun and interactive way of learning through educational games. Even though there has been many debates on games and gaming, I feel like educational games are a great way to get a student involve, especially for those who have a hard time paying attention in class or even those students with ADD because in involves the student in many more ways then one. I love the fact that this chapter also provides the strategies on how to include games in their curriculum because we live in a technology


world therefore, students must know how to approach technology properly.