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