Friday, April 22, 2011

Ch 8 & 9

- When and how do teachers act as designers?
Teachers are always acting as designers. Teachers must design lesson plans, assignments and activities. The teacher assesses the student’s needs and creates a lesson that will meet their needs. A teacher can use several design tools such as computer programs to aid classroom instruction.

- Select one of the followings and explain what it is and how it can be used in classroom: SketchUp, Trebuchet Simulator, Model Car Design, Scratch, iStopMotion, Impromptu. 
iStopMotion is a computer program that enables students to create animated movies. The students can manipulate clay figures on the screen to create a story or they can record a video on a camera and use the program to edit the story. The good thing about this program is that it is easy to use and can be used by students in elementary school. Students can create a story a present it to the classroom.

- Explain "Digital Storytelling by Kate Kemker." What do you think it would work in your classroom?
Digital storytelling is creating a video in three steps. First the student makes an outline of their story on a piece of paper. Then they use a camcorder to shoot the video. Finally the student uses a computer program to edit the video. This project encourages students to use critical thinking and it is a fun and creative way for a student to share their assignment with the class. I could use digital storytelling in my high school Spanish class. I would tell students to draft a story in Spanish on a piece of paper and then create the video and share it with the class.

- Mathematics is one of the most abstract subject-matter domains. Helping students to visualize mathematical concepts is very useful in helping students make math real. What other methods suggested in the textbook will also help make math more real to students?
The book suggests using some technological tools for visual aid in mathematics. There are several computer programs such as Mathematica and Mathlab that show visual representations of the problem. I actually have experience with Mathlab and it is a very helpful program because it shows examples, videos and online lessons. The book also suggests using graphing calculators, data sets and statistics software.

- Is it possible to learn from TV alone?--that is, learn how to do something merely from watching TV instruction? 
I think that television can be a very helpful tool for learning but I do not think that someone can learn how to do something merely from watching TV. I think face-to-face instruction is very important because the teacher can tell when a student does not understand something and they can go back and explain the material again. Classroom activities and student interaction are also very important for learning.

Jonassen, David H., and David H. Jonassen. Meaningful Learning with Technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week 12

I think voicethread is a very useful educational tool because it allows students and teachers to interact with each other outside of the classroom. Everyone can post comments in the form of a document file, video, voice recording or they can just write a comment. This program is great because everyone is able to share their ideas with one another and provide feedback for each other. I think voice thread is a lot better than traditional online discussions because there are several different tools that the students can use. Teachers can make videos for the students to view which can be much more helpful than simply reading written instructions. Voicethread is great because it encourages students to be creative. Another great thing about Voicethread is that it is very convenient and accessible. Students can participate in the discussion when they have time. The program can be accessed at home, at the library or at school as long as there is a computer and Internet access.

I would use this program in my lesson plan because students could share their work with each other in a fun and interactive way. For my lesson plan I had students take photos of Hispanic foods and write sentences about them. The students could post their photos on voicethread write the sentences and share them with the class. Everyone would be able to read each other’s findings and learn new sentences and vocabulary.

I would use this program in my classroom for a few assignments but I don’t think that I would use it on a regular basis. This program is good for sharing and discussing but I think that this program is more beneficial for online classes because students in online classes don’t get the face-to-face student-teacher interaction that students in a classroom have.

What's a voicethread anyway? (2007). [Web]. Retrieved from

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gee's Principles and Simulations

Gee's principle of probing (p. 54) states that learning is a cycle of probing the world (doing something) and reflecting in and on this action and forming a hypothesis. Select 3 principles you think it would be important for education.
The three principles that I think are most important for education are the practice principal, the multiple routes principle and the insider principal. The practice principal is important because the student comes into contact with the material over a long period of time. Practicing in a fun way allows students to learn and memorize the material. I think that the multiple routes principle is important because there is always different ways to solve a problem and students can explore these variations and pick a method that works best for them. The insider principle is important because it gives the student some control over their learning. Students are able to customize their learning environment and create something new.
Good simulations are hard to create. If you were creating a simulation for your class, what activity would you support? What variables could students manipulate? How would they affect each other?
Simulations are great because they allow the teacher to put the student in a real life situation. Showing students how the material is relevant to real life makes learning fun and interesting. For my classroom I could use a computer video game called Los Sims (Spanish version of The Sims) to teach students different aspects of the Spanish language. Students would be able to create their sim which would teach them different descriptive adjectives in Spanish. They would then be able to give a description of their sim to the class. They would also be able to have everyday interactions in Spanish through the game. It would be a fun way for my students to strengthen their vocabulary and learn the Spanish language. 
There are several ways to teach a class. Gee’s principals teach us several principals that can be used in the classroom. Although I have picked three principals as the most important I think using a combination the principals would have the best effect on the student. Simulations are also very helpful in engaging students in learning. Simulations allow students to have fun while they are learning which I think is very important. If the student is enjoying what they are doing they are more likely to learn.

Jonassens, D., Howland, J., Marra, R. M.,Grismond, D. (2008).  Meaningful
           learning with technology. Columbus: Pearson, Merrill Prentice Hall.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Writing & Powerpoint

Paragraph 1: What types of writing activities would you make the best use of technology in your classrooms? 
Organization and planning, presenting and collaborative writing activities can all be supplemented by technology. Software such as: AXON idea processor, Semantica, Inspiration/Kidspiration, and Mindjet allow students create diagrams to plot their ideas before writing. Powerpoint can be used to organize and present writing assignments. There are many ways to customize presentations through powerpoint and the program is very user friendly. Collaborative writing is also improved with technology. Students can work on different parts of the writing process and share documents through the internet. Emailing and the internet also helps with peer editing. All of these activities would be relevant in my Spanish classroom when the students write papers.
Paragraph 2: We are creating PowerPoint this week, how would you Not let PowerPoint presentation distract your audience? Do you think you can follow the potential pitfalls from the textbook? 
It is important to be consistent with fonts because using several different fonts can distract the audience and may make some of the material hard to understand. The transitions should also be consistent and subtle so they do not become a distraction. Choosing a template that matches the information in the slide is also important and the number of slides should be kept concise. 
Paragraph 3: Conclusion 
Technology can be a great aid to the writing process. There are several programs that make organizing, sharing and presenting fun and creative. When students are given the chance to create they become more engaged in learning. Powerpoint is a simple and effective way to present information. Although it can be very beneficial, it is important to use it correctly so the information reaches the audience in the intended manor. 

Jonassen, D., Howland, J., Marra, R., & Crismond, D.(2008). Meaningful 
    Learning with Technology (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Personal Digital Assistants and Online Surveys

Personal Digital Assistants
What are Personal Digital Assistants? How do you use them in classrooms?
Personal Digital Assistants, more commonly known as PDA’s, are portable handheld computers. They offer a variety of organization tools such as calendar, task list and memos. They can either run on a palm operating system of a windows operating system. Some of these devices have features such as: digital cameras, audio recording, USB ports, GPS, wireless internet and bluetooth. Applications can also be downloaded onto the PDA’s from the internet and can also be shared with others through bluetooth. PDA’s can be used in the classroom by using the educational applications such as “Count It” to teach students new skills. PDA’s can also be used in the classroom as an easy and quick way to record and share information. They can be used in scientific experiments to record and save data. The GPS function can be used in geocaching which is a real life treasure hunt that utilizes students’ problem-solving skills, mathematical thinking and mapping abilities. My mom actually uses a PDA in her kindergarten classroom to assess the student’s knowledge on the material. The students record their answers in the PDA and the information is sent to a computer. This ensures that the information is gathered quickly and accurately and that it is safely stored
Online Surveys
Why do we use online survey tools? How does it help us in our classrooms? What are 2 good rules for writing good surveys in your opinion? 
We use online survey tools because they are easily accessible and they reach a large audience. The first rule for writing good surveys is making sure that each question is stated clearly so that the person taking the survey understands the question and answers accurately. The second rule I would give for writing good surveys is to remain objective when creating survey questions and be careful to not word the questions in a way that will produce your desired answer. Providing clear and unbiased survey questions will result in more accurate data.
Using the tools listed above in the classroom will ensure that your students will be engaged in learning. PDA’s give students a chance to explore and use hands-on experiences to strengthen their problem-solving skills and help other students. Online Surveys allow teachers to get the opinions of students in a fast and efficient way. Students are given anonymity which gives them the comfort to respond truthfully to the questions asked. The use of PDA’s and Online Surveys in the classroom can be very beneficial to both the teacher and the student.
Jonassen, D., Howland, J., Mara, R. M., & Crismond, D. (2008). Meaningful Learning with Technology. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education. Print.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Inspiration & Webspiration Classroom

The Inspiration program is truly amazing. It provides both students and teachers with the resources to improve the learning and teaching process of writing. This program allows students to take notes, organize information and structure their writing by using a hands-on approach. The visual diagrams help students formulate ideas and organize those ideas. Teachers can modify the diagrams and use them as a visual aid for their students. I would use Inspiration in my classroom because I know first hand how helpful outlines and idea webs can be. Every time I sit down to write a paper I brainstorm some ideas and put them down on paper. Inspiration would allow my students to brainstorm their ideas and apply them to a diagram. It also makes learning fun because it allows students to create and share. I think that Webspiration Classroom is also a very helpful resource because almost everybody has access to the internet and it allows the students and the teachers to be connected 24/7. Webspiration has some of the same concepts as Inspiration but it is based online. The projects made by the students can be shared with other students which is great because the students can learn from each other. Webspiration Classroom also allows the teacher to provide feedback in a timely manor. 
The type of writing activities that would make the best use of technology are the planning, organizing and peer editing activities. Programs like Inspiration enhance the planning and organizing steps of writing by allowing students to jot down their ideas and add them to a visual diagram. The peer editing process can be greatly improved by implementing technology such as Webspiration Classroom. Students can post their ideas online and have other students view their work and critique it. This can also be done through blogs, online discussion boards and email. Technology allows students to share information where ever and whenever. Teaching or presenting a subject to others not only benefits the audience but it also benefits the presenter. In high school my geometry teacher left to go to another school so we would have substitutes and replacements almost every week. It was very hard to learn from all of the different instructors so I taught myself out of the book then taught my classmates the concepts after class. After explaining each step to my peers several times I knew the material better than I had before. 
Technology can be very helpful when teaching and learning about the writing process. There are programs designed to engage students in their writing and allow them to create something that will help them learn and also help their peers learn. Web based programs like Webspiration allow students and teachers to interact with each other even when they are at home. Technology has become prevalent in our society and it is important that we use it in a positive way that will encourage learning and educate our students. 

Inspiration Software (2011, February 2). Inspiration videos and webcasts for
    using visual learning in your classroom [Video file]. Retrieved from

Inspiration Software (2011, February 2). Webspiration classroom service: 
   Improve writing and thinking skills [Video file]. Retrieved from 
Jonassen, D., Howland, J., Marra, R., & Crismond, D.(2008). Meaningful 
    Learning with Technology (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson. 

Friday, January 28, 2011


What do you think about using blogs?   What and how do you think blogs would be useful for education? Some people think using blogs in classrooms is a waste of students’ time. How would you respond?
What are some ways that you could use he technology ideas in Chapter 6 to support your curriculum and student learners?
This is actually the first time I have ever used a blog before and so far I am enjoying it. I think using blogs is a very efficient way to share information. Blogs can be used in professional, personal or educational settings. Blogs allow people with common interests to share their ideas with each other and comment on other blogger’s thoughts on a certain subject.  Blogs can be very useful in education because it allows students, teachers and even parents to share information and do online activities. I don’t think that using blogs in classrooms is a waste of time. I know from personal experience that speaking up in a classroom setting can be very intimidating. Having online discussions like these allow students to participate without feeling self conscious. Blogging can be fun and creative and students like that. Having a personal blog allows students to customize their page, add their classmates and share ideas with one another.