Friday, February 22, 2013

Teaching with Educational Websites

Focus Questions: How are information management technologies such as bookmarking, social bookmarking, and information alerts useful to teachers?

Bookmarking, social bookmarking, and information alert technologies enable teachers and their students to manage information electronically. Bookmarking refers to saving websites addresses on your computer to access them easily, rather than looking them up repeatedly.
Social bookmarking occurs when groups of interested people share their web links electronically using a public web space.
Information alerts are electronic notices that teachers receive on their personal computers advising them that material on requested topics has become available in an online format. 

I find bookmarking to be one of the most beneficial assets when using a computer, whether it be a teacher, student, or anyone for that matter. Bookmarking allows for someone to quickly access their most commonly used webpages with just a click of a button. For example, when I open my web browser the first page lists nine of my top websites I visit on a daily basis (the picture on the right is a snapshot of my web page). I am positive that teachers have bookmarked their favorite websites that they would like to share with their students.

 Social bookmarking is basically the same concept, but it differs in some ways. Social bookmarking involves a group of people interested in the same topic coming together and sharing comments, ideas, web pages, media, and many other things. I took it upon myself to research which of the social medias were the most popular for social bookmarking and this is what I found: Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites
I use Twitter myself to stay up-to-date on anything that interests me. All I have to do when I find something that I am interested in is click "Follow" and then anything that is posted on their behalf will show up on my news feed. The possibilities are endless, you can follow celebrities, politicians, a certain news crew (Fox, CNN, etc.), universities, research, and many more. I was really surprised to find that Delicious was number six on the list, being that I had never heard of it. This just shows that no matter how technologically savvy you may think you are, there are many more things to learn out there.

Tech Tool Link: Delicious

I was recently introduced to a social bookmarking website called Delicious. I had never heard of this website until I enrolled in an Intro to Technology for Educators class. This website allows the user to bookmark any website that they find interesting and it also allows them to place tags on the webpage that was bookmarked in order for the user to remember what they liked about it. For example, if I come across a website that discovered a new species of marine life in the depths of the ocean, I would bookmark that website and tag it "Amazing new marine life". This tools is great for organization if the user has a numerous amount of bookmarks. It helps keep everything in order and also great for a quick find.

Summary & Conclusion:

In general, bookmarking is a great tool for anyone. It allows us to have a customized and efficient way of accessing the things we love the most. Everyone likes to be made aware of new and upcoming information on the topics they are most passionate about. Moreover, not everyone is the same so bookmarking whether it be on the computer or on social networking websites will differ from person to person. It is so amazing the things that can be discovered in this world, but it's even more amazing that we can have access to that information with just a few clicks.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chapter 5: Researching & Evaluating Internet Info.

Focus Question: What pieces of information do students need to know about Internet searching?

To start off, students should know that the most popular search engine in the world, known as Google, does not only search for webpages by keywords, but also by popularity and cross-listings with other sites. Although, Google is very well-established in today's generation, I do believe that there are more appropriate search engines that can increase accreditation in students work and also provide a more informative learning experience for students. 

Searching the Web involved one of three search strategies:
(1) Free-text
(2) keyword/exact match
(3) Boolean

I believe that it is crucial for students to be introduced to writing and researching at an early age. Some students in today's world reach high school without having the knowledge to adequately write a research paper and use accredited sources. I have come across research papers in college where at least one of there sources was Wikipedia. Now I don't really have anything against Wikipedia other than anyone being able to post anything about anything. Eventually the posts are reviewed and if found to be inappropriate or inaccurate  they will be removed.

Students need to be able to recognize an accredited site from one that is not. For example, I was taught at an early age to never use Wikipedia or Google as part of my resources, but that doesn't mean that they should be banned from being used. I, myself, use Google to direct me to pages that are relative to the subject I am researching. Most of the time, the results from Google's search engine will lead me to an accredited site and vuala!

There is also something called a Boolean search. Most search engines, such as Google, have an advanced search section. This means that it will allow the researcher to narrow down or broaden the search with a few key words such as "OR", "AND", and "NOT". This will make a world of a difference when searching for something on an enormous database, such as Google or Bing.

Tech Tool Link: Customize Your Web Browser With iGoogle

I personally like to customize websites that I use online. I have a Google account and every time I go online it automatically takes me to my homepage. You are conveniently shown everything that you have chosen to be on your homepage, whether it be the news, weather, fashion, the time in Japan, whatever you want, it's there.  This can be extremely helpful to be kept up-to-date on select topics. I could see myself using this as an attention grabber for my students; when they walk into the classroom they'll have something to read and look at. Sometimes, I might even add a video or an audio so it can be a little more interactive.

Summary & Conclusion:
When it comes down to it, students do as they are taught. If we (teachers and upcoming teachers) do not make it a priority to teach these students how to distinguish and navigate the world wide web, then they will continue to use these search engines instead of maybe using a peer reviewed article or even a book! And yes, using books is still an option when researching. Although, it might seem a bit Neanderthal, it is and will always will be the most educational source of information.


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


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chapter 4 - Integrating Technology and Creating Change

Focus Questions: How can teachers integrate technology into their work as educators?

  •  Teacher can incorporate computer and other information  technologies into three major parts of their professional work:
                 1) Using classroom insructures 
                 2) Outside-the-classroom activities
                 3) Inside-the-classroom learning activities

  • Computers and other new technologies can function in one of five possible formats for teachers:

                 1) Technology-based library
                 2) Technology-based workbook
                 3) Technology-based learning environments
                 4) Technology-based teaching tool
                 5) Technology-based office

 There are many ways that a teacher can incorporate technology into the classroom, no matter what subject they teach. After reading this chapter, I learned that some teachers are unwilling to change their lesson plan to integrate technology or sometimes they believe that there is no way to incorporate technology because of their subject. As a pro-technology person, I do believe that if teachers were to give technology a chance, they would realize how a students interest in the coursework will skyrocket. 

There are many outside-the-classroom activities that teachers themselves use technology to manage the administrative and professionals demand they face in schools. Some examples include using the internet browser to come up with new and exciting activities for the students or to manage their daily activities and keep track of their grade book. One of my favorite part was reading about inside-the-classroom activities. It seems to me that there are countless activities that could be incorporated into any lesson plan. There are research papers, projects, homework, etc. The possibilities to keep students up-to-date on technology are limitless.

Tech Tool Link:

After reading this middle school teachers blog (in the link above) I found her writing to be eye-opening. I feel that she has some brilliant ideas to keep her students constantly on the edge of their seats. I could imagine being a student in her classroom. She always has something unique and unpredictable to offer her students. All teachers should aspire to be as creative and motivated as she is with her students.

Summary & Conclusions:

Throughout this chapter, I was able to relate with the good and the bad. I could recall my time in school where I had teachers that would surpass my expectations in order to accommodate us and to keep us interested in the course. But I also had teachers that would never assess assignments that would allow us to use technology and keep a bland and boring routine. As a young students that was quite frustrating and I told myself that if I were ever to pursue a career in teaching I would always do my best to keep my students up-to-date and interested in my classroom, so here I am. The reason I am pursuing a teaching career is to try to make a difference in the lives of my students, no matter how small.


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

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chapter 3 - Developing Lessons


Focus Questions: What is meant by "lesson development using technology"?

Lesson development refers to all the activities that teachers do as they create, teach, and evaluate lessons with students. Lesson development involves a teacher's decision about three interrelated elements of teaching lessons:

1) Academic content (what to teach)
2) Teaching goals, methods, and procedures (how to teach)
3) Learning assessments (how to know what students have learned)

Lesson development using technology involved how teachers use electronic resources to facilitate these procedures. 

 Tech Tool : 

I absolutely love this website! I made some entries into the search engine and had countless results. The results were full of activities that teachers could use in a classroom, lesson plans, experiments, etc. 
One of the neat things that I found is that it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up and lay out any experiments or activities. For example, I was interested in an activity for stem cell research and it explained every question I needed to ask, how to efficiently communicate the topic to the students, and how to summarize the activity. I find this to be an excellent tool when in need of an activity to tie things together towards the end of a lesson plan.

Summary and Conclusion: 

All in all I do believe that technology plays a big role in the making and integrating of lesson plans in the classroom. Teachers do have lesson plans that they have to make, standards that they have to meet and yet they find the time to make things exciting all thanks to the power of technology. Teachers have a tremendous amount of help using the internet to access lesson plans and also with assessing their students. Many teacher use programs online to assess their students with online quizzes and exams. I appreciate the fact that some teachers also allow the students to monitor their progress in the classroom online. I have always been a big fan of allowing students to monitor themselves and let them be aware of their academic standing. This chapter has opened my eyes to a lot of material that I did not know was incorporated into teachers daily lives.


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