Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reflective Post



Introduction to Technology for Educators

The end of the semester has finally approached! After all the hard work, dedication, and stress put into this course, I can proudly say how thankful I am that I took this class. This class has helped prepare me for my future in educating.Teaching requires patience, guidence, and understanding, to reach each of your students in the most effective way, it is important to integrate technology into your lesson plans. While my time spent in this course was far too short, I had the opportunity to create a Teachers Webpage, which also included as our final project!

While in this class, I learned what it takes to be a phenomenal teacher. I was able to search within and figure out what type of teacher I was made to be.  There are mainly two teaching philosophies, Teacher-centered teaching and Student-centered teaching. I personally chose to focus on Student-centered teaching, which is also called "Constructivist", "Progressive", or "Problem-based teaching."
With the  help of the Web and its abundant amount of resources, creativity and individuality are able to shine bright within the classroom. I found that blogs and/or Wikis are a great amount of help when communicating with your students. With the help of technology, educators are able to reach their students in a unique and beneficial way!
Tools such as, creating a rubric, PowerPoint, WebQuest, and Webpage, are all packed with information throughout the book.

In closing, I originally was not planning on taking this course due to my lack of techy skills, but I am so glad I stuck with it! Without Transforning Learning with new Technologies I wouldn't nearly be as prepared as I am today for teaching!
Thank you all & Best Wishes!
Shelby Lundquist



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Journal # 11

Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

The advancements in technology in the classroom continues to grow at an exponential rate and it is important that we stay in tune with the 'times' of our world. Especially, if you are an educator. I found this chapter to be particulary useful in the fact that engaging our learners is the number one reason we are here to teach.
Digital portfolios offer efective ways for both students and teachers to assess their teaching and learning accomplishments. With a digital portfolio, you will be able to see a person's expansion of knowledge and skills over time. Unlike a paper portfolio, a digital portfolio is shared with many viewers in a variety of digital formats. Kathleen Blake Yancy distinguishes three different types of digital portfolios currently in use:
  1. "Online assessment systems" where "students store preselected pieces of work in a commercially or institutionally designed template."
  2. A "print-loaded" portfolio that takes a paper text and displays it electronically.
  3. A "Web-sensible" portfolio that takes a paper text and displays it electronically.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital portfolios are as follows;
Advantages                                                               Disadvantages
Accessibility                                                               Knowledge and skill requirements
Portability                                                                   Professional support
Creativity                                                                    Expensive equipment
Technological self-confidence                                   Time and energy
Community                                                                 Need for increased viewer skills and equipment
                                                                                    Presentation distracts from content
Curriculum theorist Lee Shulman foresaw five potential dangers of portfolios:
  • "Lamination," where the portfolio becomes an elaborately constructed collection of materials whose appearance dominates its substance
  • "Heavy lifting," where the time needed to make the portfolio distracts and discourages the maker.
  • "Trivialization," where unimportant materials dominate the collection
  • "Perversion," where a quantitative scoring system used by evaluators minimizes the process of personal reflection, resulting in the portfolio becoming another test-like measure of performance
  • "Misrepresentation," where the teachers include only their best materials rather than those that truly show what happens every day in the classroom
These dangers, argued Shulman, can be counterbalanced by the strengths of portfolios as a teacher assesment approach, including the following five major advantages:
  • First, portfolios permit the tracking and documentation of longer episodes of teaching and learning than happens in supervisory observations.
  • Second, portfolios encourage the reconnection between process and product.
  • Third, portfolios institutionalize norms of collaboration, reflection, and discussion.
  • Fourth, a portfolio can be seen as portable residence.
  • Fifth, the portfolio shifts the agency from an observer back to the teacher intern.
Tech Tool Link TaskStream
This is a great website for teachers! With the help of TaskStream, you are able to easily design e-portfolios, teacher lesson plans, and unit builders. You have to create an account in order to join for free. This website is easily accessible and would be a great tool for any educator. I plan on using this website in the years to come!
Chapter Summary & Connection
Once again, Transforming Learning with New Technologies has filled the chapter with useful educational ideas for both students and teachers! I learned what the best perfomance based assesment for teachers and students are, as well as how digital portfolios are great tools for learning, and how to actively involve students in participation- which is crucial!  One new technology tool that I learned about this chapter is a clicker- a remote control device used to respond to questions posed by teachers using student participation systems.
Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 11/ Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection/Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2011. 304-327. Print

Journal #10

Promoting Sucess for All Students through Technology

Focus Question: How can teachers use technology to create universally designed classrooms?

In order to create a fully functioning universally designed classroom using technology will no doubt take patience from the teacher. To have a universally designed classroom means to adapt to the needs of all students learning needs with technology.

For teachers concerned about universal design and learning sucess, no aspect of the classroom environment is too small to address because even little items may amke the difference between a student paying attention or drifting away from the focus of the class. For this reason, teachers must constantly design or redesign both classroom setting and curriculum content to meet the needs of students.
To begin thinking about designing your classroom, imagine ways to differentiate your teaching. You can use a range of low-tech, mid-tech, and high-tech tools such as;
  • Low tech involves changes that are made easily, inexpensively, and without applying digital or electronic materials.(Basic educational tools)
  • Mid tech involves substantive shifts in organization and delivery of curriculum that may include the use of electronic materials.( have some advancement in educational tools)
  • High tech introduces changes involved with the integration of computers and other specialized information technologies in the classroom.( advanced technology for maximum educational tools)
With the help of Assistive technology we are able to reach all students, including ones with disabilities, to our full potential. Assitive technologies make it possible for individuals with hearing, sight, mobility, or cognitive challenges to translate text and understand spoken words and data with the aid of a supportive tool. The following ideas are important for teachers to consider when using assistive technologies in the classroom;

  • Assistive technology by itself does not always provide positve learning supports for sutdents. A student may become reliant on the device so it is important that educators also incorporate the use of technology with the active involvement of the classroom.
  • While commonly used to support students with disabilities, assitive technologies create extraordinary learning opportunities for all students. It is important to remember that assistive technologies help improve all students learning abilities. Be sure to stress the importance that it is normal for everyone to be involved.
  • When used creatively by teachers, many electronic and computer-based tools can serve as assistive teachnologies. The computer/web is filled with hidden helpful tools to make learning more fun and unique!

Tech Tool Link: Online Calculator

This tech tool link provides you with the help of calculations and beyond! Anything you can imagine that you may need help on calculating, this website can help. Unfortuantly I could not find an active video to show you, but I did find some awesome useful calculator links!
Need help calculating your GPA?
Need help with your banking?
Trying to go green?
These are just a few incredibly useful calculations that this website offers help with. I found this website slightly difficult to manuever around, but with some patience, many people will surely find this a useful tool to use!

Chapter Summary & Connection

Throughout this chapter I found myself getting stumped at the lack of information given. I had to dig deep to truly understand the concepts of this chapter.  I enjoyed learning about the different levels of technologies provided for the classroom and the ways to incorporate them with technology. One thing I found interesting in this chapter was the idea of Electronic speller and dictionary, A small hand-held device that provides standard spellings and meanings for common English language words. I think this would be a great asset to my future classroom.


Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 10/ Promoting Success for All Students through Technology/Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2011. 276-301. Print

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Journal #9

Creating and Shari ng Information with Multimedia Technologies

Focus Question: How can teachers create PowerPoint presentations for maximum teaching potential and learning impact?
I am focusing on this question mainly because of my interest in bettering my technology skills.  I find that PowerPoint presentations are useful and have the ability to reach students in a unique and creative way.
PowerPoint, a multimedia presentation software package that is used at home and in schools. For teachers,who must continually present information to students in ways that will engage and inspire, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of PowerPoint is essential.PowerPoint is not the only presentation software program, Open Office Impress, Keynote, and Corel Presentations produce high-quality presentations as well.
Multimedia technologies such as the ones I previously listed, offer ways for teachers to incorporate dynamic information presentations into a fun and engaging way to teach your students!
Powerpoint has detractors as well as admirers. In a short pamphlet, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint, information theorist Edward R. Tufte argued that the " ready-made designs" or templates that come with this software "usually weaken verbal and spatial reasoning, and almost always corrupt statistical analysis."  Tufte argued that PowerPoint is "presenter-oriented", and "not content-oriented, not audience oriented". Successful teaching involves skillfully weaving interactive, engaging approaches to presentations with substantive academic content that matches the needs and interests of your students.
Tufte offers three main suggestions for improving the quality of electronic presentation:
  • Present meaningful content that matters to your audience; "audience boredom is usually a content failure, not a decoration failure."
  • "Use PowerPoint as a projector for showing low-resolution color images, graphics, and videos."
  • Include paper handouts in your presentation as a way to "effectively show text, numbers, data, graphics and images." -( to save paper, I would personally suggest having the students take personal notes).
Strategies for Using PowerPoint with Your Students
Educators think about PowerPoint in terms of information presentation design- the arrangement of written and pictorial information so that its intended audiences can easily and clearly understand it.  Information presentation design is a lot like graphic design, which is the process of arranging type and images to communicate information visually.
When using PowerPoint, it is important to ask yourself two questions:
  • Who is my audience
  • What do I want my audience to leave knowing or remembering?    
 Be sure to stay focused on your students and what you want them to learn, it is easy to get caught up in the mechanics of the PowerPoint tool itself. Creating interactive PowerPoint presentations involves the following strategies.
Make visual presentations interactive, varied, and memorable
Use Visual Text to Generate Class Discussion; Students respond actively to visual images that convey academic content.
Promote Visual Analysis of Discussion Topics.
Display Questions or Comments for Short Writing Assignments.
Use the Slides as Attention-Getters;rather than reading information aloud to a class, PowerPoint slides should be attention-getting devices to focus students' minds on the topic at hand.
Develop Your Own PowerPoint Learning Games; Homemade PowerPoint Games is a website developed by World Wide Interactive Learning Design to provide teachers with a collection of PowerPoint based templates so they and their students can construct learning games together.
Tech Tool Link: TeacherTube
TeacherTube, launched in March 2007 as an educational version of the popular YouTube video site, provides free online space for sharing instuctionally and educationally themed videos made by other teachers and students! This site is educator friendly and easy to navigate. I had little confusion finding this site and think it is a great online-resource for both teachers and students.
Chapter Summary & Connection:
This chapter allowed me to edit previous PowerPoints, so that they were educational friendly and substancial. I think PowerPoints are a great way for teachers and students to express an idea and engage the leaners in the lesson plan in a unique way. One term I was not familiar with in this chapter is, Vodcast. Vodcast is a podcast that contains video images, delivered via the internet.
Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 9/ Creating and Sharing Information with multimedia TechnologiesTransforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2011. 242-273. Print

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Journal #8

Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis, and More

Focus Question: How can teachers use a website or blog to improve teaching and learning?
I chose to elaborate on this focus question because ironically I am in college and have interacted with teachers through blogs (wink wink)! I have found it very interesting as well as intriguing to work with professors/ other students via online. I imagine that being an educator via online has its acquired etiquette and I wanted to find out just that!
With the exponential growth of technology, teachers are now producing "home-grown" websites or blogs to reach and teach students. Teachers generally build one of two kinds of online sites:
  1. Teacher/classroom website incorporates who you are as a educator and including information about your classes and work done by your students. A classroom website is primarily devoted to the activities of your classroom, it differs from the teacher website by giving more attention to work of the students than to the work of the teacher.
  2. Teacher Blog serves as an online journal where you post information and ideas related to your teaching strategies. Blogs can also be a site for online interactions between teachers and students, allowing communication to be at its finest. " Students can comment on items posted. Teachers can post questions and ask students to respond. Students can also read other students' comments" (Risinger, 2006)
Differences between Websites and Blogs: One major distinction between the two is the  ease of site creation and management. Blog technology is designed to offer a direct route to maintaining a constantly updated site. It offers many resources that appear whenever the blog opens: a calendar, active links to other websites, an archive of past blog postings, a podcasting list, a place to publish student work,and an online discussion forum.
Another difference is a blogger's ability to interject a personal voice by sharing information and opinions in an informal style. While websites can also feature personal voice, they have tended to utilize the formal tone of news reports.
Teachers typically have three options for creating their own blog or website:
  1. Do-it-yourself (Website and Blog-Building Software) software's such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage enable teachers to build personal websites that range in personal preferences.
  2. Commercially Available Template commercially available website or blog builder such as, TaskStream, Go Daddy, or eBlogger that allow users to create many features and function, although programs such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage provide more variety. Commercially available programs have the added feature of being password protected while offering you a ready-made publication portal for your site on the Internet.
  3. Open Source Software course management system for educators such as Moodle that provides email, online discussion boards, instant messaging, and discussion forums for school districts and classrooms. Open source programs generally are not password protected, which may be a drawback to use in schools.
Communicating with your students needs to be done tactfully as well as providing an educational purpose. There are three basic types of education-related blogs:
  1. "Official face" blogs serve as formal information centers for schools. some of these organizational blogs include contributions by teachers and students.
  2. Single-purpose blogs address one subject area within a school, such as science or language arts.
  3. Active learning blogs involve students and teachers in conversations around parts of the curriculum (Harris, 2006).
Tech Tool Link: Moodle
As previously discussed, Moodle is online course management system for educators. Moodle offers several differenet administrative functions including grade record keeping and posting,selective content releases, and various filtering options. This system is free of charge and easily manageable. There were no distractions on the site, very straight forward with several links to various webpages with different information. I never thought so many online resources were available for educators and students, I can not wait to start trying these abundant resources out!

Chapter Summary & Connection:
I seem to say this every chapter, but I mean it this time, this chapter was by far the most interesting to read and most resourceful to me as a student/teacher! This chapter offered advice as well as instruction to creating your own Wikitext, blogs and websites. One thing I wouldn't mind investigating in the chapter would be Digital image scanner, a tool that will assist you greatly in creating your blogs.
Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 8/ Communicating and Networking with Websites,Blogs,Wikis, and More." Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2011. 208-38. Print

Journal #7

Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools

Focus Question: What are the standard software applications found on most computers today and what open source software alternatives are there?
As technology continues to advance, it is important that we stay in touch and up-to-date on all software updates and resources. As educators, it is vital that we know what is going on with any software update because we are responsible for the growth of education and molding of incorporating technology within the lesson. Understanding what all this means can seem like a foreign concept, which is why I am going to elaborate on this subject.
You have heard the terms harware and software, but what exactly does that mean? Hardware" refers to the basic machinery and circuitry of a computer" while software is the "term for computer instructions, a collection of codes that tell a computer's hardware to perform specific functions". Meaning hardware and software are compatible with each other. The two together make computer technologies work properly.
There are two main types of software. System software, which is responsible for the overall functioning and control of a computer. System software includes the operating system, network operating system, database managers, and TP monitor. Application software, performs specific functions in specialized ways to produce a variety of services, including, word processing, databases, spreadsheets, slides and presentations, Internet browsing, email, movie making, or DVD burning, ect.  You are probably most familiar with the commerical names: Microsft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Adobe, Photoshop, Norton Antivirus, and so on.
Standard Software Applications- Indespensable tools that we rely on heavily to preform tasks with ease. Most likely your personal or school computer has the following standard software applications:
  • Word Processing enables writers to enter data into a word processing document. These text-based documents have replaced the idea of typewriters by allowing users to create digital documents that can be drafted, edited, and shared electronically.
  • Electronic databases are data-organizing programs that allow information to be entered, passed, and retrieved. Many teachers use electronic databases to manage their grading systems and other academic records.
  • Spreadsheets are documents designed like paper ledgers in which you can place numerical values in horizontal and vertical columns. Because the document is digital, spreadsheet software will calculate data based on formulas that users enter into the software.
  • Web-browsing software allows access to favorite websites or search for information online. Popular Web-browsing softwares include; Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.
  • Communications software enables users to write or talk to other users by email, instant messaging, Internet chat, and other programs.
  • Presentation software such as PowerPoint, gives computer users many creative ways to construct digitial slideshows and other displays to incorporate text, sound, voice, and pictures.
  • Antivirus software scans the computer for dangerous programs that deliberatly interfere with its operation. a virus can be spread when one computer communicates with another computer. Antivirus software is an essential tool to protect your computer againt the constant threat of these potentally dangerous programs.
  • Specialized software allows users to do functions at a high degree of specialty. Such as Dreamweaver, a popular Web-authoring program.
It is important to know what open source software alternatives are available when educating students. Open source software is "open" for the public to use, copy, and recreate, for little or no cost. In the open source community, individuals and organizations deliberately make the source codes available free to users and software developers with the idea that new and improved applications will emerge. Linux is a widely used open source operating system. Some technology educators consider open source software to be safer to run on computers because it is more secure in terms of privacy.
Some open-source alternatives include;
 Operating Sytem
  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
Integrated applicatons package
  • OpenOffice
  Web browser
  • Mozilla Firefox
Word processing
  • OpenOffice Writer
Presentation graphics
  • OpenOffice Impress
  • Xess Spreadsheet
Electronic mail
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Mozilla Camino
  • Eudora
Instant messaging
  • Gaim Instant Messanger
  • Jabber
Image editing
  • GIMP Image Editor
Tech Tool Link: Scratch
This Website draws you in by the colorful, fun look it promotes. Scratch allows students to create their own games, stories, and art while providing the support and interaction to other users. Scratch was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group and the MIT lab. The idea of this website is to learn important mathematical and computional ideas while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. I think this website is an awesome resource for educators to look into because lets face it, kids like games!
Chapter Summary & Connection
This chapter consits of the different types of computer softwares available to the public and also how educators can use these different sytem softwares to help teach their students. I was interested in reading more about presentation software, an application that enables computer users to construct digital presentation, because I find that as a current student and future educator, presentations will be a essential part of my everyday life. After reading this chapter, my mind is filled with creative future ideas for my classroom and I guarentee I will be incorpating games to involve my students in the lesson.
Verock-O'Lougin, Ruth-Ellen, Sharon A. Edwards, A, and Beverly Park Woolf. "Chapter 7/ Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools." Transforming Learning with New Technologies. By Robert W. Maloy. N.p.: Allyn & Bacon, n.d. 176+. Print.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Journal #6

Teaching with Educational Websites and Other Online Resources

Focus Question- How are information management technologies such as bookmarking, social bookmarking, and information alerts useful to teachers?
Educators have several responsibilities to uphold and organize. Teachers of earlier generations used file folders, notebooks, and other types of paper organizing systems to maintain order, but this type of system is inefficient because they become too large, depend on constant refiling of material used, new material must be continually copied and stored. Simply put, managing paper flow becomes hugely time consuming (teachers don't have much spare time). This is why new generation teachers are provided with information management technologies such as bookmarking, social bookmarking, and information alerts.
Bookmarking(Bookmarks)-  Offers teachers an easier way to locate information and organize it effectively using computers and the Web. Bookmarking refers to the capacity of computers through Web browsers to remember the website addresses that you visit most frequently. Bookmarks allow you to electronically catalog and access Web pages with just one simple command. With the help of Bookmarking, teachers are able to focus more time on teaching then searching. For teachers,  locating and bookmarking Web resources is just part of information management. The next step involves learning how to use Web Resources with students while teaching.
Social Bookmarking- Expands the concept of individual bookmarking from one user to a community of users on many computers. One individual's favorite "bookmark" sites become available on a public site where they can be accessed and added to by others interested in the same topics. By posting your bookmark on a social bookmarking site, you provide other users of that site with access to your resource. In return, you get access to all the resources that everyone else has posted on the site. The advantages for teachers are immense because you are becoming  apart of a community of users who are continually identifying their own structure of resources about key areas of school curriculum. Online tools such as Delicious, Backflip, and Connotea are useful social bookmarking tools for teachers.  Bookmarking services for teacher-student interactions are provided. Such as, Portaportal and Filamentality which allow teachers to bookmark a group of Web sites in a secure space for use by students.
Information Alerts- An electronic notice that new information about a topic has just become available in some electronic publication format. Information Alerts provide busy teachers with a convenient system of announcements about new information online.Google Alerts, a free service for Google accounts, is one type of information alert. For information alerts using Google, you enter a keyword and the Google search engine automatically sends you an email whenever there are new results for your term. Using Google Alerts saves a great amount of time for teachers. Rather than searching yourself, Google does the job for you, generating five types of alerts: news, Web, blog, group, and comprehensive. Another source of information alerts is called ProQuest, which offers search options (e-library), dealing with current issues in society (SIRS), and reports on different countries from a cultural and historical perspective (CultureGrams). The EdITLib Education Information Technology Library also provides email alerts for teachers interested in technology-related topics. This fee-based service will notify you whenever peer-reviewed papers and articles on topics you select are published in one of AACE's journals. RSS feeds are another way for teachers to access information they need for curriculum and instruction. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a term for Web content that is being frequently updated. To read RSS feed reader you will need a RSS feed reader or news aggregator.
Tech Tool Link: GoodReads
GoodReads is a interaction website that requires you to sign up free of cost in order to participate. This website offers several genres of books and allows you to see what is the "Top Ten" most read books are. I like that this website is interactive so you can see what books your friends have read and what they recommend. Choosing a good book can be difficult, and with the help of GoodReads finding a book I will like won't be nearly as difficult. I think this Web site is more for personal pleasure than educationally focused.  I do think students and teachers would find this Web site resourceful if they need to find a book online or are looking for an appropriate book.
Chapter Summary & Connection

Chapter 6 was by far the most resourceful to me personally.  I loved how it offered useful information about Bookmarking and Information Alerts. I will use this today as a college student and continue to use as a educator. Saving time on searching so I can focus  my energy on learning and teaching is a gift from the teaching gods!Being currently enrolled in online classes I was curious to learn more about WebQuests and virtual field trips. WebQuests are virtual journeys where students can visit a group of preselected websites in order to explore academic topics by accessing online digital text, pictures, audio, and video. While Virtual field trips allow teachers and students to visit places around the world as part of their academic studies!
Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 6/ Engaging Learners with Digital Tools." Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson, 2014. N. pag. Print.