Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chapter Six Journal

Focus Question

1)      How can teachers benefit from using information management technologies such as bookmarking, social bookmarking, information alerts, and e-newsletters?

a.      Teachers can benefit from using these services because it makes sure that they have everything needed and then some. By having all of their online information stored that can easily pull it up to teach their lessons. Or if they find something at home, they don’t have to remember the address for later use. In fact if they use social bookmarking, their students could, if given the link, look up their teacher’s public shown links and get study help or essay writing help, and then in return add their own helpful links to the pool of information just causing it to grow (pg 134-135).


               In this chapter we are talking about the many way teachers can manage their information online, online learning, the different types of educational websites that are out there for students and teacher alike, and finally how the educational websites interact and engage the students. Teachers can organize their online information through bookmarking, which is saving an address to your computer. However, this method is being taken over cloud computing because it can be accessed anywhere on any type of device as long as it has the cloud, or the information needed to get to it (pg 134). Then there is social bookmarking, which is multiple people adding to a pool of information on a subject (pg 135). This is one that I think would be best use for teachers and students. It isn’t just a teacher giving the students link. Both parties can put in links, and see what others in the world thought were important. This teaches the children about networking.

               The book mentioned other, but I don’t find them as important as these two. After talking about the multiple ways of on how to keep track of the online resources teachers can use, the books talks about how to organize them. One that is talked about is a tag cloud which shows the words, or tags, that are most used. The ones that are most often used are bolded and towards the front while the less used ones are not bolded and towards the end of the list (pg 139). I think this a great way to organize links because if someone is looking for links talking about Robert Frost, they would look for a tag that has that name on it, and up will pop all the links that the person has tagged Robert Frost in.

               The book then talks about WebQuests, which is pretty much a fancy name for an online class or element to a class. A teach sets up the lesson and the students proceed to do the work set up for them (pg 139). Honestly, I don’t quite understand why this is such a big deal. It is all sense an online class. The way the book makes it sound it is some huge difference from schooling. Instead of a teacher giving the student the paper work, they give the students websites. It is the same concept, just portrayed in a different way.  If I were to give my students papers on Robert Frost, they would still have to look up information on him. With the WebQuests, I am giving them the links on Robert Frost. The end result will still be a paper written about Robert Frost, with information gather from the internet. This is not something that I would use in my classroom, unless told I had to do so.

               Next the book mentions Virtual field trips. This is when students go on a computer and get to view some historical event “in person”, for lack of better phrasing (pg 140). This is something I see as being useful for younger students. However, I could use this form of teaching if I asked the students to write about something they see, such as the cathedrals or art museum that the book mentions (pg 141). Following this the book talks about videoconferencing, which is when a student and teacher video call each other (pg 141). This is something that I see as being very helpful if a student is homebound, or if it I am teaching an all online class. For a student to get behind in high school could be a tragic event. If I can get the information to that student, and teach them what they missed, it will end up helping me in the long run. I don’t have to hold back the rest of my class to help out one or two who missed an important part of a lesson. Also with the amount of students who are on teams and clubs that travel, this could be a great tool to make sure they understand the lesson while they are away from the classroom.

               Finally to end the chapter, for my purposes anyway, the book talks about online learning and virtual schools. Before I state what the book says on the debate going on with this who ideal, I hate the idea of virtual school. For students that are homebound, this is a great substitute. But, for those who can go and decided not to, I think they are cheating themselves out of an education. One of the only reasons I am taking an online course is because they don’t offer EME 2040 or AML 2020 on campus. There are some things that just can’t be read, they have to be taught. The book states on page 143, “… virtual schools employ fewer teachers at generally lower salaries and offer fewer employment benefits to employees, factors which contribute to an improved profit margin…”. This is after page 142 states that between 2000 and 2011, virtual school have seen a 3.5 million increase! This is insane to think about.

 Tech Tools 6.2 Page 137

               For this tech tool it talks about the website Delicious. We are currently using this, and I have found it very helpful. While I know that it is something that is going to be shown I haven’t been using the site to the fullest of its capabilities. Because of this I just downloaded the app for the site. Knowing myself I know that I will use it more if it at my fingertips. This is a much saver way of saving my links than just not closing a tab until I do what I need to do with it. I think I may also use this site for my other course and create separate tags for each course. Included I a link to my Delicious account.


Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chapter Five Journal Post


     This chapter talks about how the internet is becoming our major way of getting and reporting information. While students of the past just needed to be able to read and write to be consider literate, we now must have a a new form of literacy - Digital and information literacy - which focuses ona  students ability to locate, gather, and organize the information they find on the internet. With this they must also obtain media literacy which is how they analyze, evaluate, and communicate the information in different ways (pg 100-101). 
     While many believe those in college and in high school are superior when it comes to technology, many are not considered media literate because they don't use all the skills with it. These students rely on Google or other search engine websites rather than government based websites or research databases (pg 101). This is not something that I'm surprised by. Being both a college and high school student, I use Google for all of my papers. Rarely do I go to any government run website. I type it into Google and look at the first thing it tells me to look at. This is something that I have been trying to change by looking closer into the subject matter and exploring the website it gives me.
     It then speaks of e-Books/Readers. Not many student-aged children read books anymore. They are on the computer reading books on their Kindle or iPad. This is not just students who read online though, it is also everyday adults. No one leaves the house without their electronic devices anymore, so they have hundreds of books at their finger-tips rather than carrying a large, "heavy", chunky book in their bag; they have a series on their phone in their pocket. Research is being done as to how this type of reading is affecting the children's want to read (pg101-102). I honestly think it helps build a child's desire to read. I know I read non-stop now since I received my iPad.
     Following this the book talks about search engines and how they work. This is something that I have known, so I skimmed it. Thus leading us to how students and teachers should conduct online research. I found out about Google's Search Education. I think it is the coolest thing I have ever heard of. It has lessons plans based on NETS-S, Common Core, and American Association, which helps not only the students in seeing what these test are looking for, but also the teacher when it comes to teaching these subjects (pg 105). The site also has puzzles that challenge the student to discover information through research. This will be something I use in my class as a bell-work activity.
     The text then talks about electronic note-taking. This is something that i personally disagree with because I think the more you write something the more you remember it. I believe you should copy by hand first, then if you wish to type it up, feel free too. I understand students use it so they have the notes whenever they need it, I just don't agree with it (pg 106).
      There are three types of searches: free-text - which looks at the tittle, keywords, and description; keyword/exact match - which finds what you type in and only what you type in; and finally Boolean - which searches with terms "and" "or" and "not" (pg 109-110). With that we also talk about how to evaluate informaion through: misinformation, malinformation, mess-up information, and mostly useless information. Then there are controls: censorship, filtering software, partitions, labels, and critical reading. All of these things together can help tell if a website's information can be used in a paper or project (pg 113-114).
     There are five things that should always be kept in mind though when looking into a website though: Accuracy, Authority, Objectivity, Currency, and Coverage (pg 115). "Who is telling the story, and why are they to be trust? Why are they telling the world this, and how long ago was it? Does it cover all sides to a point?" Are all questions people should ask themselves when they look into a website. Teachers should also look into copyrights, Creative Commons, plagiaris, and over-all cheating. These are all massive offensives and could end in fines if not done properly (pg 118-119). 

Focus Question

2) What are search engines and how do they work?

     Search engines are part of a web sites or tool bar that let you get information from all across the Internet. It is a type of software program that works through networks on diffferent computers that find thousands of entries that match your search in a matter of seconds through the help of keywords (pg103-104)

Tech Tools 5.2 Page 109
Customizing Your Web Browser with iGoogle

      iGoogle is another form of social media, much in a way like Google+. However having an iGoogle account for the simple use of teaching doesn't sound like a bad idea. You can add gadgets which is a tyoe of data-managing software used to customize many other social media sites, even one like this. Their intended purpose is to help the person incharge of the page give information in a more organized way. If there is a gadget for Google-a-Day, I would get one right away. Speaking of which: 

This is a video describing what Google-a-Day is and how you can link it with Google+.

Google. (Producer) (2012, June 12). The new A Google A Day on Google+ is here YouTube. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chapter Four Journal Post

     This chapter is about lesson planning and setting up curriculum with technology. Lesson development comes from three different parts, academic content, teaching goals/methods, and learning assessments. In other words, what to teach, how to teach, and what the students have learned. These can be enhanced with technology through the software available for presentations and flowcharts and such, along with digital portfolois, online surveys, and electronic tests (pg 76-77).
     After the stages for lesson development we have lesson planning and the ways that it can be done. It usually comes in during the teaching goals and methods stage during the lesson development. The teachers focus on who, what, when, how much.often, and measuremnt and evaulations. These are the details when it comes to teaching. The book talks about Understanding by Design (UBD) which is a three stage approach to setting up a lesson plan. Stage 1: identify the results, Step 2: determine acceptable evidence, and Step 3: plan learning ecperiences and instruction (pg 79).
     The book then moves onto teacher meeting educational standards. This is something that I feel should have been a longer section. There are so many different standards around the country. While the government is trying to set up the nation-wide policy, it is far from happening right now. There are many different organizations who run a different concept in the core studies. This is seen on page 82 on table 4.1. English and math alone have two different councils running the standards (pg 82).
     Of course with standards, the teachers must also worry about testing. The book talks about the three tests that teachers and students must deal with. Norm-referenced tests, which compare students' performances with others in their grade/age, Criterion-referenced tests, which compare students' performances to certain standards/ objectives, and finally Standard-based assessments, which is a combination of both (pg 84-85).
     To end the chapter, the book talks about the use of rubrics and performance assessments. Performance assessments are when a teacher grades an assignment on real-world terms. It is more or less the assessments that actually measure a students knowledge. With so many high-risk tests now being presented to our students, a simply math test or oral presentation seems likes nothing; these are performance assessments (pg 88). Rubrics are not only a way for teachers to organize their own grading thoughts, but also allow students their own checklist as to what they must include in their assignments (pg 90).

Focus Question
1) How are lesson planning and student assessment enhanced by technology?
      Lesson planning is enhanced by technology because of the many sources now availiable at a simply keystroke. Now teachers have webquests, blogs, wikis, thread discussions, and multiple softewares that make there lectures more usefull to students who learn visually or audiblly (pg 77)
      Assessments are also enhanced through the different ways teachers can assign them. Teachers can now give electronic quizzes and tests, which can give the students their grade right away. They can also have students set up their own online portfolois, or the teacher can creat one for themself. Finally they can set up gradekeeping online which can be helpful when it comes to tracking because it is clearly seen (pg 77).

Tech Tools: Web Resources and Apps for Teaching (page 81)
       I looked into the Teaching Channel webpage. It seems to be very helpful with helping teachers come up with lesson plans and providing help when it comes to understnading the new common core set up. This website paired with the Cram app would be a great combo. After I have some help planning the lesson, I can quiz my students on subject as well. 
(The photo below is from my IPad, just before I registered for the channel.)

Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chapter Three Post

We start off the chapter talking about the different learning styles, and how students learn. Students learn based off prior knowledge and building from it (47). I personally see myself teaching from the Behaviorism and Constructivism learning styles. Behaviorism basis learning in a teacher-centered ideal, where I would choice how slides came up, and what information is chosen to talk about. Constructivism is based on the student's creating their own form of how they learn, in other words student-centered. With having both these in mind, I plan on using both to help the students best I can. I would want to start of with the student-center, so then I could grasp and idea of where the student are. Following this I would then include what information I thought needed to be enhanced or jsut reviewed. The best of both worlds.
Following this the textbook talks about critical thinking, problem solving, information and digital literacies, and how groupwork/collaboration are greatly enhanced when teachers' intergrate technology into them. Then we come to a section based on creativity. This section surprised me because I apparently knew the least about this section. Creativity is not just thinking outside the box anymore, it is now defined as something that changes the soceity or with-stands the times (pg 62). I don't agree with this idea at all. How could someone say that a child is not creative if they think or do something completely different from the rest of the group?
We end this section talking about digital citizenships, and how teahcers are incharge of teaching it to their students. I agree with this idea because the teachers are pretty much the ones who "force" the students onto the interwebs for projects and essays, so they should be the ones who help and teach the students the essentials of them. However, I do believe parents should have a part in teaching these essentials as well. Therefore, I suggest that parents and students be given "cheat-sheets" on the essentials, so if they forget them or need help they are right there. 

Focus Question:
1) What are the essential ideas for teachers from research on the science of learning?
The most important concept from the research is that students, well all human beings, learn from prior knowledge. With that in mind teachers should try and relate their topics to that of which students already know (pg 47). If teachers do this, students will be more likely to understadn the topics better because they already have some idea of what they are learning.

Tech Tool 3.2
Web Resources and Apps for Developing Digital Literacies (page 60)
Since I want to become an English teacher, I found The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore app and the website Dipity to be extremly interesting ways of intergrating technology into my lessons. While Mr. Lessmore is considered off grade-level for high school students, I believe that it could be used to get the students to remember the basics of fictional story writing, and review the basic concepts. As for Dipity, I think this would be a perfect tool for story mapping novels for the reading projects, and just everyday essays. The students are able to add music and video that makes them remember the information they just viewed, which goes back to enhancing learning through prior knowledge. 

Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.