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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Journal #5

Researching and Evaluating Internet Information

Focus Question: How can teachers and students thoughtfully evaluate online information resources, including the online encyclopedia Wikipedia?
This focus question struck my interest not only because I am interested in becoming a future educator but also because I am currently a student. Every day we use the internet for multiple uses, may it be for directions, email, search engines, social networks, ect. Interent safety is a crucial issue in today's world which is why it is important to know how to thoughtfully evaluate information on the web.
As I had mentioned before, interenet safety is a crucial, dangerous issue in today's world. Researchers Nicholas C. Burbules and Thomas A. Callister, Jr., state that "Different kinds of information problems plague the Internet" They have  categorizing such "troublesome content" under four terms beginning with the letter M:
  • Misinformation- Information that is "false, out of date, or incomplete in a misleading way"(Burbules & Callister,2000, p.96).  This type of information is everywhere on the Internet, but may be hard to identify. "Disinformation" is a particular type of misinformation where "knowingly false or malicious information" is posted online, often from unknown or unidentified authors, in an attempt to discredit individuals or organizations.
  • Malinformation- is what reasonable people might consider "bad" or harmful information and includes "sexual images or material, potentially dangerous or damaging information, political views from militant fringe groups, and so on"(Burbules & Callister,2000, p.98).
  • Messed-up information- Information that is "poorly organized and presented" such as long lists of data without synthesis or context, Web pages marked by "gratuitous logos or other graphics that distract or clutter,"or discussion boards and blogs that feature text rambling on without a clear focus or topic (Burbules & Callister, 2000, p.100). There may be so much messed-up information about a topic that a reader is overwhelmed by the data and unable to make sense of it.
  • Mostly useless information- Information that focuses on the trivial, the mundane, the eccentric. of course, what seems useless to one person may be vitally important to another.
By being able to identify "mis," "mal," "messed-up," and "most useless" information, people and organizations resort to one of the following informaton management and control strategies: censorship, filters, partitions, labeling, or critical reading. Each approach has important implications for both teachers and students.
  1. Censorship- Meaning that material labeled offensive is banned from a school. But banning material is a repeating slippery slope. Standards of what is inappropriate or indecent shift over time, and in a society dedicated to freedom of speech and expression,a legitimate concern exists whenever a single person or organization has the power to decide what to censor.
  2. Filtering software-  Software required in schools recieving federal funds by the Childeren's Internet Protection Act of 2000, attempts to block material from computers by identifying certain objectionable key words or phrases. "There is no way to prevent determined youth from finding their way to inapropriate material if they are pooling their skills and sharing things they find with one another".
  3. Partitions- Like fitering, "restrict access only through pages that are themselves lists of approved sites" (Burbules & Callister, 2000, p. 110). Teachers might partition material by using a Web-based bookmarking tool to place material for student use in a restricted online space. However, they wonder about the accountability of the people deciding what to allow in and what to rule out.
  4. Labels- Classifications in a system similar to the ratings used by movie companies, telephone and satelittle providers, video game makers, and other manufacturers of products and services for children. Labeling systems attempt to identify for consumers a stanard of safe material for children. Such systems have been less than successful in restricting access to poor material, and they do not educate children and adolescents about what represents good material.
  5. Critical reading- Different approach that teaches children, adolescents, and adults how to read online material and decide for themselves its usefulness or appropriatness (Sutton, 2005). Burbules and Callister refer to critical reading as "hyperreading" or "giving students the tools to identify, criticize, and resist what is dangerous and undesirable on the Internet" (2000, p.114). Some schools may include critical viewing skills in the curriculum so students become aware of the influences of media images on citizens. Critical reading incorporates both critical thinking and critical viewing to teach students about " selecting, evaluating, and questioning information" from the web (Burbules & Callister, 2000, p.82). Developing critical reading skills is a key information to literacy and is vially important to students' understanding about how to use and contribute to online resources, such as Wikipedia, our next topic in this chaper.
Wikipedia: Online Encyclopedia
In design, anyone can submit an entry to wikipedia by adding a new listing or revising an existing one. A core staff or 1,000 volunteers evaluate each entry and decide what material gets posted online. The idea of this website is that high levels of accuracy and informativeness will emerege from the interchange of ideas and information generated by multiple contributors. Wikipedia claims to make the presentation of knowledge an open and participatory process by inviting everyone online to be part of the writing. Many people, librarians and teachers among them, distrust Wikipedia because recognized experts do not serve as referees of the  knowledge selection process. Their reservation is that without such editoral control, the trustworthiness of the database cannot be real. Teachers in every subject area can have productive discussions with students about that merits and shortcomings of Wikiperdia. Consider the following criteria for evaluating web resources provided by the Association of College and Reseatch Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Associations; accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and converage (Kapoun, 1998).
Accuracy- refers to the overall reliability of the information on the site by providing a clear description of who authored the site and for what purposes.
Authority- indicates the credentials of the author or authors as well as the nature of the site itself.
Objectivity- tests whether the information on the site is fair and nonbiased, including being entirely or largely free of advertising.
Currency- means that the site is up-to-date with recent information and updates are clearly indicated.
Coverage- suggests that the information on the site can be viewed easily without difficulties.
Tech Tool Link: LibriVox
This website offers free audio recordings of published books in the pubic domain. These materials are read aloud into digital audio files by volunteers and then available to the general public of the web.  As a future teacher and a current student, having the option to listen to a recorded section or entire required book makes my life that much easier. I am able to pause, rewind, and fast forward the recordings as I take notes.  I like the option to easily volunteer and participate in the recordings, which allows us to get involved in our world. Below is a video that provides you wtih step-by-step directions for a first time LibriVox recorder!
Chapter Summary & Connection:

I really enjoyed this information- packed full chapter! I was able to clearly identify how to evaluate a website and verify the appropriatness of the information provided. I was pleased to hear of the different methods used by schools to promote internet safety. I peronally would like to trust the critical reading strategy, but I find that the partitions would be the more benefical resource. One issue I want to continue to learn about is, IT FITness. IT FITness is a when students are being able to evaulate, learn about, and use new information technologies both personally and professionally. Students learn not only technical skills but also develop technology-informed mindsets and engage real-world activies and accomplishments. I think IT FITness should be added to the curriculum in order to better prepare our students for the new technology advanced world.
Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 5/ Engaging Learners with Digital Tools." Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson, 2014. N. pag. Print.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Journal #4

Integrating Technology and Creating Change


Focus Question:  What are the key stages and pressing issues of technology integration?
I'm sure you are wondering, "what is technology integration?" as I too was.  Technology integration is defined as, The process of making technology a central feature of teaching and learning in schools or strategies for successfully using technology in and out of the classroom. Technology integration refers to ways that teachers build technology into all aspects of their professional work, while Educational change relates to innovations by teachers that create new patterns of teaching and learning in schools. Technology integration and educational change together make technology a central part of education, enabling the uniwue, powerful, and transforming impacts of computers and other tools to be part of every student's daily experience in schools. However, technology integration and educational change do not automatically occur by including computers in a lesson. There are two elements necessary for technology and instruction to create a successful learning enviroment, Teacher mindset and multiple pathways. Technology integration starts with the teachers mindset that asks how computer enables students to best meet the curriculum goals. The use of technology should be to help provide improvement in better understanding the lesson, not to do your job. Multiple pathways relates to the use of technology in the classroom. Teachers need more than computers to promote technology in the classroom.
There are five key stages dealing with Technology integration. The five key stages include, entry, adoption, adaption, appropriation, and invention.  Integrating technology into teaching takes patience, perseverance, and willingness to involve students in learning about technology. The first step in integrating technology is assessing where you are personally as a technology-using educator and then taking the following steps needed to move to the next level.
Entry- Teachers are beginning to learn information technologies, teachers need to gain specific skills in how to use computers and technologies before they are able to hink about how to apply new knowledge to classroom situations.
Adoption- at the adoption stage, a teacher knows enough to use technology in the classroom, but only at a basic level and only occasionally. "Teachers blend technology into their classroom practices without  making any significant changes to those practices."
Adaption-at the adaption stage, a teacher is using technology regulary as part of teaching. " Teachers fully integrate new technologies into traditional classroom practices."
Appropriation- at the appropriation stage, a teacher is using technology as both and inside-the classroom and outside-the-classroom tool.
Invention- at the invention stage, a teacher is exploring new ways to creatively use technology in and out of the clarroom as well as adding emerging technologies to a personal repertoire of professional skill and practices.
When teachers make technology a resource for learning, students benefit. K-12 students, the ACOT study found, demonstrated greater accomplishment with technology as well as improved problem solving skills as teachers move along the integration scale from the entry stage toward the invention stage.
Now, there are still issues in Technology integration that we as educators are continuing to tackle. Some of these issues involving Technology integration include,  unwillingness to change favorite lesson plans to include technology, reluctance to use technology when teaching new lesson plans, using computers as a reward or punishment for students, using computers as an add-on to other activities, and using computers as a way to seperate students by ability groups.
Unwillingness to change favorite lesson plan to include technology- Many busy teachers have a set lesson plan and curriculum in which they are too comfortable with to want to change to incorporate technology.
Reluctance to use technology when teaching new lesson plans- Disincentives to use technology occur when teachers are asked to teach material they  have not taught before. It takes thought and energy to organize new lesson plans so infuising technology may seem like an added burden, so teachers avoid spending the extra time needed to include it.
Using technology as a reward or punishment-As educators most of us are aware that youngsters gravitate toward computers and other electronic devices. Some teachers are using use of technology as a reward or punishment for students. In these instances, students are not using technology for academic ourposes; it is not central to the completion of assignments or the learning of knowledge. The potential power of technology to produce unique, powerful, and transforming learning is minimized.
Using Technology as an Add-On to other activities- Teachers use technology whether it enhances or detracts from learning. For example, students may watch movies or videos rather than researching a topic of conducting a real-world investigations. Using videos all the time creates a situation where the technology is replacing the opportunity for hands on/ minds-on learning by students.
Using technology to seperate students by ability groups- Seperate programs seem to make sense because they appear to challenge the high achievers while not frustrating the lower achievers. But dividing the class according to percieved ability groups means, high achievers and low achievers rarely are together for the same learning activities. This reinforces a sense of haves and have-nots in academic achievement.
Tech Tool Link: NETS
This website has an abundant amount of resources for teachers, students, coaches, and administrators. NETS for teachers include, the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society. This website helps prepare you for the ever changing technology in our world. You are able to create a membership and order books and tools for your needs. This website promotes advocacy with ISTE, ISTE's dedication to bringing the voice of educators to policy makers regarding educational technology and digital age learning.  I found this website to be extremely useful and beneficial to educators and students.
Chapter Summary & Connection
I loved this chapter! I was able to investigate and study the uses of integrating technology in and outside of the classroom. I enjoyed exploring the issues within Technology integration, and hope to be able to better tackle those issues now that I am aware.  I was intrigued to learn more about Digital inequality, the idea that access to the latest computer technology varies greatly within society with low-income and non-white Americans less likely to be able to afford and use the newest tools.  I find the subject of digital divide very important in the schools. How can we as educators help incorporate technology in our lessons while being fair to the class as a whole? 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Journal #3

Focus Question:  How can teachers evaluate and assess their students?
Planning, teaching, and assessing are directly connected. Choosing academic content and creating engaging activities seems rocket science when beginning a lesson, with an assesment at the lessons end. Not suprisingly, new teachers are unaware or unsure of the different ways they might asess students' learning. There are three factors that strongly influence how teachers think about assesment; personal experience, standardized testing, and teacher tests. However, we may not be aware of the substantial benefits that technology can also provide in assessing our students.

Technology provides multiple ways to conduct tests and performance assessments with supporting performance measures such as, portfolios, exhibitions, and students writing. Many times, teachers will assess their students similiar to the way they were tested in the past. Teachers who took multiple-choice tests and quizzes in elementary and secondary school, often assume these tests are the best way to measure te learning of their students. Teachers do not automatically envision using porfolios, creative writing, groupwork, or other assessment tools with studens if these techniques were not part of their own experience K-12.

There has been a huge incline in standardized testing since the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. With standardized testing, students are continuously being testing K-12 in English, Math, Science, and History. Within a climate of test score accountability, teachers can easily conclude that the only tests that matter are the ones that rank order students according to their numerical score on local, state, and national exams.Teacher tests are tests for teachers to see how they think about assessments. Most states require new teachers to pass a test before earning a teacher license. Many states use Praxis, an exam developed by the Educational Testing Service, while other states use customized teacher exams from Pearson The goal of teacher testsis to ensure anywone recieving a license to teach has the competencies needed to do the work.  New teachers might assume that students must be assessed in the same way that they themselves were assessed and that passing a standardized test is the only true valid assessment format.

Tech Tool Link: 4Teachers
Loved this website! Very insightful for new and experienced educators! This website helps teachers find creative ways to incorporate technology in their lessons. 4Teachers offers online tools and resources helping teachers locate and create ready-to-use Web lessons, quizzes, rubrics and classroom calendars. There are also tools for the students to use. Not only does this webstite offer the teachers and students creative ways to use technology in their work, but it also provides valuable professional development resources addressing issues such as equity, ELL, technology planning, and at-risk or special-needs students.  I would suggest this website to any future or present educator and I will most definently be using this website in my future career.

Chapter Summary & Connection:

I really enjoyed studying this chapter. I was reminded the importance of technology in today's world inside and outside of the classroom.  I loved learning about the different ways educators assess their students and I plan to use more than just one skill to test my students.  One issue I was intrigued to continue studying was, Electronic grading software. Electronic grading software is a software that allows teachers to quickly calculate and record students grades on a computer. I am so happy to hear about a more simple way to record this information! Technology is truly a gift to educators.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Transforming Learning with Unique,Powerful Technology

Chapter 2-

Focus Question: How can students express their creativity using technology?

Students can express their creativity using technology through, Word processing, desktop publishing, design tools, digital cameras, digital video movies, and podcasts.

Creativity is a much-prized quality in society-but it is not always clearly understood in schools. What defines one being creative? Children express creativity in many ways, some by drawing, painting, or sculpting; some build with blocks or clay; or explore outdoors. Others express themselves on bikes, skateboards, roller blades, or sports. Still, others play musical instruments, act in plays, or write stories and poetry. To be creative, children do not need to design, compose, or develop something no one has done before, they may need to say or do things they have not thought or done before in quite the same way or style. Being creative is what is new to the individual, not new to the world.

Computers give novelists, essayists, poets, journalists, and everyday writers a different experience from working on paper and pen. noted one art critic:
            The computer had enabled artists to create works,and new types of work, never before possible: intricate images that could not be created by hand; sculptures formed in three-dimensional databases rather than in stone or metal; interactive installations taht involve Internet participation from around the globe; and virtually worlds within which artificial life forms live and die. (Wands,2006,p.8)

When students incorporate technology with creativity, it allows them to open up many more ideas. By using Word Processing and desktop publishing, students are able to freely write on the computer with the added help of sentence structure and spell check. These programs are not only beneficial but also almost required in all schools and businesses around the globe. With the help of design tools, digital cameras, digitial videos, and podcasts, students are able to express creativity through visual and action.

Tech Tool Link:  Bridge Building Contest
WOW! This website is packed with creative ideas waiting to be heard. The website is designed for making of the West Point Bridge Design Contest.  All you have to do is download the West Point Bridge Designer 2007 software and submit as many designs as you would like! This website allows the opportunity to use design tools and incorprate ones creative design skills.  This website is easy to maneuver and self- explanitory. I think this website would be a fun, new, educational way for students to get involved with their community and in touch with their creative side.

Summary & Connection:
This chapter was full of great ideas and setbacks of learning with technology.  Learning about the NETS-T and NETS-S was very useful the issue of visual learning was intriguing.  Visual learning is gaining knowledge through the use of pictures, drawings, video, animation, and other visual sources of information. I can see myself as a future educator using the practice of visual learning because it increases instructional options for teachers and the students. Visual technology offers multidimensional ways of seeing the world.

I am interested in learning more about visual literacy, defined as; "study of visualization in all of its aspects of communication and education" (Braden,1996, p.491) Visual literacy involves giving students the skills needed to critically read color and form and asess the many types of visual presentations they will encounter in school and society.  I find this to be a very crucual subject matter for educators to understand.

Maloy, R. W., Verock-O, R. E., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2010). Transforming learning with new technologies. Allyn & Bacon.