Friday, April 26, 2013

Reflective Post

In reflection upon my most recent course of Intro to Technology for Educators, I learned things that I did not think I would encounter in such a course. I can say that there have been times I have sat and scratched my head about issue I had just read about in our book, Transforming learning with new technologies, or maybe I was excited on an article I recently read and tagged it to my Delicious account.

I did like the fact that the Intro to Technology course itself was a challenge for me. The most challenging part for me was that although I am young, I am not what people would call a technologically savvy person. I mean sure I can Google, Facebook, Twitter and use Instagram, but I was never taught to build a website. For the first time in my life, I built my own website from the layout to what I felt it should convey. It was truly an exciting experience and I was very proud of myself and what my efforts had accomplished.

Another very exciting assignment I enjoyed was building a lesson plan online using WebQuest. The simple idea of being able to share lesson plans with others is amazing. I could easily find a lesson plan online that was made by another individual and use it in my classroom, just as easily as they could use mine. This gives teachers endless possibilities when making a lesson plans.

The most instructional assignment that I feel will aid me in the future would have to be the rubric evaluation/critique. One of the most important things as a teacher is making sure the students thoroughly understand what is expected of them in each project, research paper, presentation, etc. The best way to convey this to students, is to allow them to see for themselves by using rubrics. Rubristar is an awesome resource for anyone who is need of making a rubric for any reason.


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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chapter 11 - Engaging Teacher and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection

Focus Question: How can teachers and students use digital portfolios as tools for learning?

A digital portfolio for a teacher is an individually prepared collection of work that communicates who a teacher is and what that teacher knows and is able to do in academic subjects and classroom teaching.

A standard-based digital portfolio serves as a way for new teacher candidates to connect lesson plans, teaching evaluations, and other work done in the classroom to the specific professional teaching standards they are required to meet in order to earn a teacher license. The advantages of digital portfolios include easy access, ready-made portability, creative information display, experience in developing technology skills, and the sharing of information with a wider educational community. The disadvantages of digital portfolios include the need for technical knowledge and skill, ongoing support, computer access, and time, as well as the possibility that style will override substance in the presentation of information.

I took a little tour of SurveryMonkey and I am quite fond of it. SurveyMonkey is an easy-to-use online survey tool with multiple ways to formulate questions and collect information. It allows one to choose their own layout, to input their own questions, and also to send your survey out to a select group of people. Along with allowing you to design your own survey, it also lets one collect the responses and when collected it also analyzes the results.

Summary & Conclusion

All in all, there are many ways that teachers and students can use digital portfolios as tools for learning. There are many ways that a teacher can allow students to view their progress over time. For example, when I was finishing up my observation hours I noticed the students keeping records of their AR scores in a folder since the beginning of their school year. I have also seen teachers keep flash drives with student work and compared the improvement overtime. It is truly an amazing tool for both teachers and students. It gives the students an inside look of their own achievement and also allows for parents to view the progress of their child.

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

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chapter 10 - Promoting Success for All Students through Technology

Focus Questions: How does assistive technology support efforts by teachers to reach all learners?

Every student benefits from a wide and carried range of educational experiences that can activate her or his talents and potentials as a learner. Teachers are crucial gatekeepers in how learning proceeds in schools and classrooms. They either move students forward with lively and demanding instructions or they separate students according to perceived needs and talents. Differentiated instruction (DI) and universal design for learning (UDL) involve changing institutional practices and classroom structures to promote learning success for every student.

 In today's educational system, we are able to construct an entire lesson plan that will effectively introduce a topic while making it appealing to all the different types of learners in a classroom. I believe that getting the attention of the "audience" is by far one of the most important aspects of introducing new material. Being able to snatch an entire classrooms attention is all made possible by these assistive technologies. These technologies allow us to bend and twist the ways of teaching and learning for both students and teachers. By doing so, we have allowed for students to find their niche.

 Students can then build on their new personal findings and perhaps accommodate themselves not only in school, but outside of school as well. For instance, I was exposed to different forms of teaching while in middle school and found that I was mainly an auditory learner. I was not aware of how important it is to know what kind of learner one is until I enrolled in college. I was then able to build on this and to this day I use my cellphone as an audio recorder to record my lectures. During my down time, I either play the lecture aloud or plug in my earphones. I find myself recalling almost every detail of the lecture, but most importantly I am able to understand the basis and meaning behind the lecture rather than just the words.  

Tech Tools:
While browsing the internet searching for ways to assist students who are fairly new to the writing process, I came across a Wiki page that elaborates on "Writing Process to Fit Young Writers". This concept was introduced in our book and I found it to be a coincidence that we had just learned how to manage and publish a Wiki page. This Wiki seemed very thorough and well-written as it briefly covers almost every subject imaginable in a primary school setting. 

I also came across a computer software that teaches students to put thoughts together. The student can chose to make a flow chart to encourage brainstorming. When the student is ready, they can move on and start making sentences, which are usually accompanied with pictures. The software also has a built in dictionary and thesaurus that allows the student to select a word that he or she may want to learn more about. I find this to be an efficient yet easy-to-navigate way to introduce students to writing. Being a child that struggled with writing, this tool would have been an excellent way to help me with my writers block.

Summary & Conclusion:

With these assistive technologies we are able to provide pictures and videos to those who are visual and auditory learners and models for those who are kinesthetic learners. Although this new technology is readily available for us to use in such cases, as teachers we must not forget our cause. Unfortunately, I have recently seen cases where the technology has basically replaced the presence and purpose of the teacher. Sure, the technology makes it much easier to accommodate students, but we need not forget that the we must remain actively involved in the students progress and learning development. 


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