Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chapter 5

Chapter 5- Researching and Evaluating Internet Information

Focus Question- What are search engines and how do they work?

In todays world there are other resources besides the traditional book that information can be pulled from. One of the biggest and easiest resources today is the internet and the use of its search engines which retrieve information from the internet. A search engine is a software program that uses networks of computers to access information about a topic from its database. Search engines are remarkably fast and can instantly connect you with millions of web pages from just a key word or phrase. You can see with this tool available, people are able to access much more information, faster, and with out leaving their house. This makes research papers, studying, and even a simple question easier to do and answer.

Basically, all search engines customize explorations of the web using keywords which are words or phrases used by search engines to locate matching web ages. By using keywords it limit searches by focusing on specific categories, narrowing a search to specific rather then genera categories. There are search engines available for both general and specialized searching. Each kind of search engine allows you to restrict or expand your searching criteria. and provides you with tips on modifying your searches to try to make sure you get all you'll need. The most popular search engine currently is google with others like Yahoo!, Bing, MSN, AOL, and Ask close behind. Even with these, teachers and students benefit more form directly focused academic topics, educational standards, and learning materials. Two really good specialized search engines are Flickr and LibriVox, which allows you to locate photo and audio resources on the web.

Tech Tool Link: In this video there is a tutorial to how to use LibriVox. This goes into detail and is quite useful to watch prior to working with LibriVox.

Search engines are a useful tool to use to gather information. Using keywords you can narrow down the websites shown to you to only the ones that would be useful to you. As valuable as those general search engines are, teachers and students benefit more from search tools that focus on academic topics and LibriVox is a good example of that.

Franklin, T., Duran, M. & Kariuki, M. (2001). Mentoring Overcomes Barriers to Technology Integration. In J. Price et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2001 (pp. 848-849). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chapter 4

Chapter 4- Integrating Technology and Creating Change

Focus question- How can teachers use the technology they already have to promote successful learning?

Regardless if your teaching at a low income small town district or at an affluent suburban system, successfully using the technology available efficiently as possible is an ongoing challenge for teachers. Classrooms with out computers are becoming less and less common each year, but there is still a few schools where theres still only access in the principles office and the computer library. During my observational hours I observed classes in two different schools and I saw two different situations. At the high school level there was only one computer at the teachers desk with a large computer lab in a room attached to the library. At the middle school level, I saw that they had one computer at the teachers desk, two computers in the back of the room, and a classroom size count of computers in their library called the computer lab. Weather the computers at either school were up to date is doubtful.

Regardless if the classroom has a single computer or multiple computers, there are a few strategies that can be used to make the classroom more efficient. Information, students can access educational information all day, any day, any time  with internet sites providing dictionaries, thesauruses, maps, weather, video, stories read out loud, games, science demonstrations and writing examples. Interaction,  online resources allow students to interact with programs such as read-out-louds, interactive tutoring (like learn to be where I am a math tutor), and the national library of virtual manipulative that is almost unlimited in scope. Presentation, the computer can become a large or small group presentation tool when used with a projector or tv as might be needed in a single computer classroom. Rotation, students can be divided into groups that can do learning modules on the computer, independent work with minimal observation, or receive direct academic instruction. The small groups can rotate between the three experiences either in a single class or in my own preference though the course of several days depending on the learning objective.

Tech Tool:

This video taken from the Edutopia site suggested in the textbook that I believe goes hand in hand with the material discussed in the chapter and shows some cool applications students can use.  

Regardless of the technology you do or don't have access to there are ways to make due and make it efficient though the steps listed above. Teachers need to be prepared to use the technology they have. Even a single computer, when projected can be used for every student as a learning resource. 

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

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chapter 3 - Developing Lessons with Technology

Chapter 3- Developing Lessons with technology

Focus Question: How can teachers evaluate and assess their students?

Evaluation and Assessment have no single definition that precisely explains the concepts of each. Generally speaking Evaluation is usually done at the end of a lesson or unit to grade on student performance while assessment by contrast happens though out a lesson or unit to determine whether a student comprehends the material and whether they may need additional help.Along with lesson planning and delivering information to students, teachers need to have a way to asses what students are learning.This task can be difficult for new teachers because they are unaware or unsure of the possible ways to assess student learning.

There are three strong influences to how teachers approach assessment which are personal experiences, standardize testing, and teacher tests. Most teachers tend to teach the way they found easiest to be taught and assess the way they were assessed as students. Since the no child left behind law passed in 2001 there has been an influx in standardized testing nation wide. Based on personal experiences, I am not a fan of this method because these tests are usually a high stakes tests meaning grade-level promotion or school graduation is depending on a passing score. In my opinion this is just a way to enter a cycle of failure. Teacher tests are simply tests to make sure teachers are capable and are able to show competency of the subject to teach it.

When I was on my observational time at a middle school I noticed that they had smart boards and one program the teacher used was called class dojo where the students were assigned a monster and based on academic and behavioral performance the student was awarded points. After a certain amount of points was awarded to an individual student they were given a passcode and was able to log on the site at home and change there monster and play more interactive games. This with plus a 'race' to see which of her classes would perform the highest every week with an award. They used clickers and to anonymously vote their answers in which I though allowed the students to feel included, and participate while eliminating fear or anxiety of being called upon.

This is a great video that talks about the different programs that are out there to asses student progress and the interactive benefits with them.

Using technology in performance assessment has become easier with new technology like the smart board and clickers. There are a variety of ways now that a teacher can assess the classrooms progress though interactive activities. Unfortunately there will always be standardized testing.

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

Chapter 1- Becoming an E-Teacher

Chapter 1 - Becoming an e-teacher  

Focus Question: What six key issues should a teacher consider when looking to integrate technology?

The six key issues are 1) Using technology in teaching, 2) Motivating factors, 3) Barriers to technology use, 4) Ideas for technology use, 5) Teaching methods, and 6) Students and technologies

When it comes to the first key issue of using technology in teaching, Id like to think that I would be very accepting and open to most any technology that would make my classroom more interactive and motivating to the students. According to the Rogers Innovation Curve I would rate myself as someone who is "quick to follow proven success" and thus an 'early adopter' because I am eager to integrate computers into teaching and do see a major benefit to doing so. We are living in the digital age and it's only progressing more so day by day. I believe that the old saying, 'keep up or get left behind' in this case holds true. Applying the new technology to the class room can aid in the classroom by offering different learning experiences, motivating otherwise disengaged students, creating situations of cooperative learning, and granting access to academic information from various sources. 

Not every road is an easy path to take and like all things there maybe some obstacles for teachers. Although the growth in internet-connection schools have doubled , technology spending has dropped twenty-four percent between 2001-2003 and has yet to rebound. It seems many classroom technology is locked in the past with computers that are out of date, limited program access, and software and even hardware incapability due to differences in memory and operating systems. As Henry Becker identified in the late 1990's, the factors preventing computer integration in classrooms are access, teaching schedules, curriculum coverage, and technology skills. Student centered teaching is a philosophy continuum where the goal is to create different experiences for students so the role of the teacher changes from that of the traditional style teacher centered philosophy, to where teachers create puzzles, ask questions, and engage in conversations with students. This allows students to learn key skills through their own exploration and discovery. As time passes more and more teachers are adapting the student centered teaching philosophy. Technology opens doors to otherwise unavailable in a traditional setting and since technology is a part of most every day life now students are more accepting of using new technologies.  

Tech tool:
This video is from a podcast thats all about technology. All though there are commercials at the beginning of the videos, their suggestions are very useful and there are a ton of videos with wide arrange of information. 


This chapter was very broad and covered many topics at once. Although this seemed overwhelming at times its also very insightful and informative. I understand the boundaries and difficulties a lower income school might have with acquiring access to technology with the decrease in spending over the past few years but with the new and strong movements of the digital age its necessary to have in classrooms. I hope to be able to implement a student centered teaching style to my classroom some day and with the aid of technology I believe it will be a positive experience for students. 


Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2011). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:10 0-13-159611-X, ISBN:13 978-0-13-159611-5