Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reflective Essay

Reflective Essay

Susana Calero

Edison State College

I have learned a great variety of different skills in Introduction to Technology in Education this past semester. In my paper I will describe my thoughts about my course, I will also reflect on the activities, assignments, discussions, textbook, and the learning objectives. I came into the classroom with a belief that I already knew about the world of technology, however, once the class began, I was submerged in a world of technology that I had no prior knowledge, thanks to this course, and my professor, Marie Coleman, I will be able to enhance my skills and use the tools that I acquired in this course as a future teacher.

                                                           Reflective Essay                
           When I signed up for the course Introduction to Technology, without much depth in thought, I expected it to be class where I would be taught how to use technology to be able to teach my future students, on the basic level.
        Once I was in the classroom, I quickly realized that there wasn’t anything basic about Introduction to Technology considering that my first assignment was to create a rubric on an educational website. I wasn’t sure what the approach would be for this assignment, I had never created one, and therefore, I did some research on the assignment. This class allowed me to discover, to be able to go beyond the assignment that professor Coleman had assigned to her students. In the class time that we shared as a classroom on Thursday nights, Professor Coleman described her projects very thorough, and covering different areas of the project where her students may have had a problem.
         I knew from the beginning that I would be a class that you can not afford to be absent, due to the fact that there would be so much material being covered.  I had to miss one class this semester, however, that did not intimidate me because on the Wiki Page that is on the web, I was able to complete the assignment, thanks to how well the descriptions are on Professor Coleman’s Wiki Page. Rubrics were always available for all assignments, which was very beneficial as a student completely the assignment to be able to determine exactly the areas professor wanted us to cover.
        The projects varied in this class, from creating our own twenty slide PowerPoint, to a collaborative lesson plan, to creating a collaborative Wiki page, I was always so indulged in the assignments, I truly enjoyed doing each assignment and receiving feedback from my professor, the feedback always helped because I was able to determine where my strengths and my weaknesses were. My overall favorite assignment was the PowerPoint Presentation, in the beginning I thought it would be difficult to decide on a topic that I would be able to stretch to twenty slides, however, I decided upon a topic that would be beneficial for myself to go over, so much information needed to be covered, that I did not have a problem making twenty slides to present to my class.
When I presented my PowerPoint to my class, I really felt like the teacher, I made my PowerPoint on Sugar Gliders, just as I learned about Sugar Gliders by owning them, I wanted to teach my classmates and teacher about these great creatures.
      The final project was a to create a Teacher’s Portfolio, this was a great assignment because we could become any teacher, teach any level, any material, and it was a great approach to really making a webpage for the students in the classroom, as well as for the parents of the students. I have a prodigious experience making my Portfolio because  I was able to create my “future” classroom through the internet.
            Through the semester, and in between class assignments, we had to create our own Journal Posts blogs, on Blogger, I enjoyed making these blogs because it was a reinforcement about the chapter for myself, at least the first few post were based on the chapters on the book, and as week six approached, I started branching out on the blogs and wrote on different topics including: WebQuest, evaluating educational blog post, and to watch educational videos, the fact that the blog post were designated for us to be able to express and summarize what we have watched, evaluated or read, became very beneficial to create a strong foundation.
         The textbook: Transforming Learning with New Technologies, was a book that I felt was truly dedicated for an individual with little knowledge of the technology that teachers are using, and will be using in the future, which made it easy to understand with little questioning.
       Discussion posts were meant for the students to create a post on Canvas, and I am glad that we had that transition to canvas, because it made it accessible for all the students to read and post regarding the subject, the post in my opinion were not my favorite, I enjoyed reading the opinions of my classmates and I did enjoy being able to give my opinion on the topic, but I believe that I learned more in the classroom, creating projects or reading the textbook and creating blogs.
             In between all of the assignments, projects, creative commons, blog posts, and everything in between, I had my grade for the class with a quick look at the website that we had been provided, this was my first class that my professor provided the grade throughout the semester. The access to our grades was a great way to know how we did on the assignment, as well as the feedback that professor Coleman provided, as I mentioned earlier.
        I appreciated learning about the many different websites that I had never heard of before, or the different names for a slide show: Pecha Kucha PowerPoint Presentation.
 I took this class because it is a requirement for the teaching bachelors, however, even if I didn’t have this class as a requirement, I would have enjoyed taking it to be able to be knowledge in the technology that we have at our fingertips in the society we live in. To end the reflection as this course was started, Professor Coleman said the first class: “ You will only get out of this class, what you put in.”


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Journal # 11

Digital Portfolio's For Teachers.

A New Teacher's Portfolio:

 "  " Finish your online teacher portfolio," her cooperating teacher replied. " That way everyone in the hiring process can see your ideas and accomplishments. Your choice of lesson plans, student work, and other materials for display will help you descrive your teaching and show what you can do in the classroom as a tteacher." As she began posting her materials electronically, Tracy decided that portfolios would be valuable to use with her students. All semester, she had been puzzled by how some students refused to prepare for multiple-choice and fill in the blank exams. These students seemed totally disconnected from learning, going through the motions of attending class but not putting any effort into studying of participating." " ( 306, Maloy)

In retrospect, I can understand exactly what it is like as a student to be able to walk into a classroom, and physically be there, however, mentally you may be else where. As a young college student, I currently understand the importance of now only showing up to class to be present while the lecture is in session, but it is important to the highest degree to fully understand what an educator is lecturing. Being able to walk out of a classroom and understand the lesson makes us, as individuals confident on what the test, or next lecture, or next assignment may be about, however, some students leave the classroom in a state of confusion where they never fully absorbed the material that was being taught.

In this day in age, individuals in society are running around with mini computers in their pockets, the ability of an iPod or an iPad is astronomical. I like to think of it as a version of having a part of the world at your finger tips. Since students, teachers, educators, and many parents are up to date on our society that is ran by technology, I believe that every educator should be required to have their own digital teacher porfolio. Before last week, April 4, 2013, to be exact, I had minor knowledge on what a teachers portfolio should contain, however, when my professor, Marie Coleman, displayed her sample, teacher portfolio to her Introduction to Technology for Educator Class, I felt like I really needed to see an example of a teacher's portfolio to have a deep understanding. Reading about portfolios, and all the wonderful digital advances that we have today may only get us, as educators so far, but being able to learn from another individual is what usually teaches us so well, that we can teach it our self.

My understanding of a digital portfolio to be able to have your class, away from class. Meaning, students attend class, learn the material, do their classwork, and once they are out of class they may sometimes have a question or concern of the next weeks test, or the homework that was assigned that day. A teachers portfolio is very helpful for the student, having access to their portfolio by "surfing" the web, may help that student fully understand the concept that he had lacked or the concept that he forgot after he left the classroom.

The digital portfolio is very useful for the students parents as well, many times, students come home to parents asking them: " So Sally, what are you learning in school this week?" And little Sally may not really know exactly how to respond, and if she does, it may be a very vague answer. The fact that the parents of the students also have access to their child's teacher digital portfolio may help the parent in more than one occasion. Parents, as well as educators have very busy lives, between, school and work, and every detail in between, there may or may not be enough time to meet their child's teacher, unless it was the first few days for the orientation, but what about throughout the year when the parents are questioning their child's work? That's a perfect time to log in to the digital portfolio that the teacher has very adequately put up for viewing purposes.

" Portfolios, unlike standardized multiple-choice exams, emply performance-based,{ such as lesson plans, work logs, student work smaples, relectice essays, and video materials) as a basis for assessin skills and accomplishments. In California, beginning in July 2008, every student in a teacher education program must pass a performance assessment before receing a licesnse to teach (Rothman, 2008).
"Creating a portfolio positively affects the growth of a new teacher, and the growth of their students as learners in two ways. First portfolio building involved everyone in reflectively assessing learning. As a portfolio builder weighs the merits of materials to be included in an online collection, he or she evaluates what has been learned. Self-reflection, invaluable for teachers, is an important skill to convey to students at every grade level. Being able to clearly state or demonstrate what was been learned indicates deep and lasting understanding." ( 306, 307 Maloy)

Browsing the internet, I wanted to see some " pro's " of a digital portfolio, so I found the benefits of a digital portfolio, and just as there is good, the website did point out some of the "con's", which I can point on how they are not even that much of a " con."

On E Portfolios Pro's and Cons | Faculty of Education, I found the following:
Under the disadvantages, it states that it can be time consuming, which can be a project that involves time out of your day, but when a teacher weighs out the time she will put in to the portfolio and not rephrasing or e-mailing or receiving phone calls from home, that is when you out weigh the time consumption on the digital portfolio and come to a conclusion that it would actually save some time.

Under the second bullet, it states, that in a interview situation, you may want a hard copy version. A hard copy version would be as easy as saving it to our little disk drives, and now we're on our way, and what exactly what place doesn't have internet connections? No a days, wifi seems to accessible almost anywhere, therefore, having access to the portfolio should not be an issue, if you have one of the two options.

The third bulletin may be true, not everybody who wants to interview you may have the time to view your portfolio, but the ones who do have the time, will. If you end up getting the job, is a high chance that one day, maybe not the day of the interview, but  later on they may come across your portfolio, and after all it is a useful and beneficial tool for yourself, as an educator, or aspiring educator.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Journal # 10

Growing And Leading With Technology.

Robert's " This I Believe" Essay Lesson.

The professor, Mr.Robert's is preparing his students, tenth- and eleventh-graders for  the state's English/language arts high school graduation test.  These students have struggled in school with writing and reading, for some, this graduation test is not their first time. To encourage and boost his students confidence, Mr. Roberts is having them compose" "This I believe" essays, these essays are statements of core values and personal philosophies made popular by public broadcasting's "This I believe" radio show, itself a revibal of a 1950s radio program of the same name that was hosted by the legandary writer and journalist, Edward R. Murrow ( Allison & Gediman, 2007)"

Mr.Robert's is helping his students using three basic, yet very important tasks. He has three different goals for his students to reach, he wants each student to "1) read and hear different types of "This I believe" essays composed by well-known ordinary Americans, including other high school students from around the country. 2) write a "This I believe" essay expressing important personal values and ideas and share it with other members of the class. 3) Develop greater confidence and improved skill as a creative and expressive writer who can then perform successfully on the English/language arts high school graduation exam."

As the professor of these students with struggles in reading and writing, he wants them to succeed, and with that, he is starting off with the correct steps. When working with students who may be at a disadvantage, an individual may want to step back, and take a look at the situation from a different perspective. Using the same tactics as before, may have not been the best result for these students, considering how they are students that have had trouble with the subject. I find Mr.Roberts ideology very useful because he is starting with a clean slate with his students. He wants to have his students build themselves a strong platform and continue creating on top of it, therefore, they will feel confident and useful by creating the " This I believe" essay, giving them the extra boost and skills that they had lacked in the past.

Advantages for his students is that they are in a school that has provides them with multiple internet-accessible computers and easy access to a large computer lab just down the hall. (Maloy, 303)
Which is to Mr.Roberts advantage, as well as his students. Some students may have trouble understand the teachers lessons when the student is getting lectured. When a professor uses internet, graphics, charts, and videos, this engages the students to stay tuned in. For Mr. Robert to help create successful students, with his " This I believe" Essay assignment, he may want to do a PowerPoint presentation with an example, as mentioned in the story. Show the students how another individuals essay may be like. Help the student with a "skeleton" of the essay, and have them to an online activity where they have to " fill in the skeleton."

Students at any age want to be active and involved, as students get older, and approach the graduation date, it almost seems like they want to slack, and they don't care.. "Senioritis"  ( College Board)
When a teacher feels that their students are wanting to back off from their lessons and activities, they should change the equation, to get a different result. Involve the students, students at any age want to be a part of something..FUN. Make it fun, make it rewarding, not literally giving them a physical prize, but to teach these young individuals that the fact of learning is a reward on its own.

In chapter ten, there are many different type of technologies to help students and help teachers, on page 290, the storybooks come into play. There are many advantages to have a storybook, if students find their own mistakes by listening to their own essays, rather than reading it (or skimming it) they will " hear" that it doesn't " sound " right.
" Other educators, concerened about students becoming overly dependent on computer, wonder if the interactive features of electronic stroybooks may distract students from the process of reading by decoding written words ( Cuban,2001; Healy 1999.)

These may be a concern for educators, but in this case, Mr.Roberts will be having his students read other examples of " This I believe" essays, where they will be brushing this skills on decoding and reading. Since Mr. Robert owns his own iPod, as well as a few of his students, yet his students only use these for music players, Mr. Robert can educate them in using these iPods for educational purposes as well... Say what? 

I know, I know, you're thinking.. " iPods for school?" Definitely, Mr. Roberts can assign his students to work with their iPods and download their essay to a storybook, and have their personal storybook on a computer, to download it to their iPod. Students can do anything now a days with the technology we carry, they can " bump" their iPods, with certain Apps to share their ideas and essays.

When students can teach themselves, not only does it help the teacher, but students sometimes seem to understand another student on their same intelligence level, as well as the same level of understanding.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Journal Post # 9

Looking through the different choices that I had for typing this post, I clicked on the link: 2012 K-12 Online Conference, and stumbled upon the event: Student Voices Keynotes  as if the title on student keynotes didn't capture enough of my attention, the following text: " Kids Teaching Kids" really got my full attention. I was always told that an individual doesn't truly understand something, until he/she can teach it.

The short, sixteen minute clip, is by a young girl named Tiana Kadkhoda, who is a senior in a High School, in Santa Monica, California, has been participating in since she was in the sixth grade, 2006, under the name of " Paul."

This website is a forum,  where teachers may post homework assignments, class work and any other miscellaneous math related work for his/her students.Tiana says that she enjoys using this website for homework questions to the teacher, as well as being able to use the instant messaging function on the website to be able to communicate with her classmates about the class or a homework question.

As a 6th grader, Tiana remembers instant messaging her teacher about a math problem, and within the hour not only did Tiana get a reponse, but the reply happened to be a great video on how to do the math problem that she was asking her teacher about. The video was a recording of the screen while the professor, Mr. Marco's worked on solving the problem while he was explaining it through audio. By this point, Mr. Marco's inspired his students to get involved in creating their own videos to teach other students. Tiana says that now, if one logs on to the website, all the websites are done by students, and Mr. Marco's no longer creates them, thanks to his students efforts. She loved getting treated as an "equal" and was more engaged and encouraged by being able to use one of Mr. Marco's computer/tablet to create the student videos.

Tiana says a very important point in her video: "I am forced to think outloud, by making this video, I am able to master the concept." As I mentioned earlier in my blog, when we are able to teach somebody else something we had learned, that's when we truly know how to do/make something. She says that it is great to teach other students by her videos, and having over thirty-thousand views on one of her videos, really motivates her, and really makes her realize how helpful these videos are to another student who may be having problems with homework, or their math class overall. 

A screen shot of Tiana speaking from her video:

Not all students have parents at home who can teach their children, and tutors are not always available due to various reasons. What this young girl does is absolutely amazing, as an aspiring teacher, I believe that students can really teach their friends,classmates, peers, at a different level. This picture is a screen shot of what Tiana's math videos look like :

As Tiana mentions in her video, students have a different language, sometimes. There are times where a teacher may be trying to have their student understand a concept, but the teacher may not change the teaching style for the student to understand, therefore the student may feel "stuck" not knowing the concept. A student who does understand the subject may be able to teach the student who feels stuck because they are standing on a similar intelligence level, and being able to communicate with each other in a similar language within themselves.

For students to be able to make these videos, and teach themselves, and their classmates, helps the students become engaged in the classroom, not only to come into the classroom to get lectured, but to truly understand, to truly grasp the concept. Tiana says that making these videos helped her work collaboratively with her teachers, it also allowed her to understand how hard educators work for their students. Many students don't look past the fact that they have " so much homework" or " how tired they are", giving students the opportunity, as Mr. Marco's gave Tiana, really helps the students understand what their fellow educators have to do in order to be successful in educating others.

As I watched this video, I kept going back to it to hear it again, ( I watched it three times, to make sure I was really understanding it, while I was typing). I was motivated and inspired just as the young girl, Tiana. I believe that her professor, Mr. Marco's did a wonderful thing by letting Tiana become " Paul " on the website and be able to create videos to teach other students, and not only motivate herself to learn, but motivate others to learn, and motivate others to learn it so well that they too want to create their own videos, such as her friend " Bob."


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Journal Post 8

Moving at the speed of creativity.

Prepping a new iPad Mini for 3rd Grade

ByWesley FryerOn  

 This short article by Wesley Fryer is about him wanting to give his daughter's third grade teacher an iPad Mini for the rest of their semester. He says that he believes that this iPad mini will be providing the teachers and their students the adequate help and guidance for learning new concepts as a third grader.  As a third grader, I believe that this will be a great help for students, young children adapt to technology to quickly, it's unbelievable. Sometimes even learn it quicker than adults do when it comes to new technology.

Mr. Wesley shows screen shots of his iPad Mini, in his screen shots he has the following apps: Book creator, My Story, Story Wheel, SL for School, ShowMe, Educreations..etc.

I think he is very generous as a father to be providing his daughter's teacher which such a wonderful tool fr the classroom.
Since this article was a little bit on the short side, I have found another article/post by Wesley Fryer:

Using Tweetchat to follow educational twitter charts.

Wesley has a twitter account in which he uses to have meetings with other fellow Oklahoma residents, he uses twitter for businesses and is very strongly suggesting as an individual one can use this very conveniently because of the fact that it is so popular. The app he has downloaded he uses to have meetings about many educational conferences. He says that his group meets at 8 pm on Sunday Evenings. The app is called Tweetchat and it works with you as you communicate with others because you do not have to use the hashtag each time, the hashtag appears in the twitter conversation in case you have forgotten it. This link is an example of his meeting on Tweetchat.

Wesley Fryer's Blog.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Journal Post 7

The serious online learning game.
Hangman Game: The Solar System and Planets

I was playing a few serious learning games before I came upon this game, the reason that this specific game called my attention was because of the title: Planets and Solar System. My major being Biology for Middle School Education, I thought to myself how adequate this game would be for my sixth grade classroom. As a student myself, I had a hard time remembering the solar system and all the planets when I was in middle school, aware that some students may have trouble remembering the correct names and their positions, playing this game would help my students have fun while learning. 

As I continue to play this game of hangman, the following question goes: _______ is the largest planet in our solar system, the next question is :_____ is often called the red planet. I believe this game is very well rounded in the all the aspects of the solar system, but not very in depth, which is good. I am not looking for profundity at this time in the school year. I am looking for a foundation for my students to build on and this game his my students the proper first steps to approach a year of solar system and planets with the correct understanding. 

If my lesson for the week is for my students to learn the planets and the solar system, I will have them play the solar system game and have them make their own PowerPoint presentations on what they learned from the game, while adding pictures to their slideshow to represent that they understood the lesson and will be ready for the upcoming quiz. My students will be informed after the first time that they play this game, that I will be quizzing them on the planets and the solar system, therefore, they know that not only do they have to play around, but they really have to absorb the information in order to complete the assignment with the PowerPoint presentation. 

This is a screen shot of what the game looks like while it is being played, as you can see, I was typing in "VEN" for the planet Venus, which would be the correct answer, but I wanted to demonstrate what it looked like when a letter would be incorrect and how the stick figure would develop on the left hand side of the board.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bernie Dodge's Quest Garden

 "Does smart technology contribute to smart minds???? or NOT? What is your final answer??"

by Amy Vaughn, Standard Midle


This question seems to be one of those that haunts us, as students and as educators. Educators who do not want to move from their personal comfort zone in teacher, stay beneath their "forever shelf" of what they feel like has worked throughout the years in their lessons, and have no desire to branch out. In the 21st century that we live in today, we as humans in the society have technology to our full advantage, and yet, student's still get written up, criticized and even "kicked out" of class for using any device. Why are these devices looked down upon?

Educators need to put down their walls on why it is "bad" to use technology, go out with the old, and bring in the new knowledge all while using technology.

There multiple intelligences, according to Gardner's Theory, 

"The seven intelligences Gardner defines are:

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence--consists of the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
Linguistic Intelligence-- involves having a mastery of language. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively manipulate language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically. It also allows one to use language as a means to remember information.
Spatial Intelligence-- gives one the ability to manipulate and create mental images in order to solve problems. This intelligence is not limited to visual domains-- Gardner notes that spatial intelligence is also formed in blind children.
Musical Intelligence-- encompasses the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. (Auditory functions are required for a person to develop this intelligence in relation to pitch and tone, but it is not needed for the knowledge of rhythm.)
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence-- is the ability to use one's mental abilities to coordinate one's own bodily movements. This intelligence challenges the popular belief that mental and physical activity are unrelated.
The Personal Intelligences-- includes interpersonal intelligence -- the ability to understand and discern the feelings and intentions of others-- and intrapersonal intelligence --the ability to understand one's own feelings and motivations. These two intelligences are separate from each other. Nevertheless, because of their close association in most cultures, they are often linked together."
 (1999-2012 Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation)

Not all students learn the same, one while may find it more comfortable learning the old way by copying it from a chalkboard onto a paper with a pencil, one may utilize it better when it is already on a module on the web and the student can edit it or modify through his or her iPad, or any mobile tablet. Ofcourse there are pro's and con's to using technology when it comes to school, student's rather play games online or text their friends, or even take pictures...but what about if as educators we made the assignment so incredibly indulgent that the students wouldn't even think about doing anything else but the assignment it self. Having the freedom as a student to go onto other websites, but having the knowledge that one should do their school work rather than plays builds a strong foundation for any student.

If as educators we taught our students how crucial it is to stay in school and to learn, rather than getting our students in trouble because they don't want to work, would make an overall better society.
Everybody wants to learn, learning is interesting, new and adds meaning to life, the way that the past has morphed the idea of "learning" has scared the younger generation to want to learn. Distractions seem to be an issue, but as I have stated before, make the student want to learn and learn from the student on which type of intelligence they are and use it to your advantage as a educator to teach them, how they learn.

Link used wit a Flickr Commense License

Students can use technology to communicate, organize, search and research anything, with that ability they can find many different ideas and all contribute to each individual assigned lesson.

When it comes to using iPad and expensive technological equipment, there are those sticky fingers that come around. When one first purchases an iPad or another device, now a days, I know at least with my phone, I can tract it. Anywhere, anytime, whenever I lose my phone, I have created an account which I have easy access to and I can find my phone with the help of a computer. Lesson that needs to be taught to students can also be a very important one about stealing others belongings, learning the consequences, and for when those times occur, if they do, there are ways into retrieving it if having the correct set-up.

Link Used a Flickr Commense License
 Human beings have  came a long way, we have the ability to create a world wiser than we think we can. Technology has came a very long way and in a very short amount of time, knowing what we are capable with technology makes me wonder how far we could truly go. Wise minds come from within and with that being said, I do believe that technology would have a great contribution to intelligent minds.