Saturday, April 20, 2013

ISTE Standards and Resources

1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter,

teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate

experiences that advance student learning,

creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face

and virtual environments.

a. Promote, support, and model creative

and innovative thinking and inventiveness


Description: is an online resource that allows students and teachers an easy way to brainstorm ideas and create virtual concept maps. This can also been used collaboratively where teachers and students can work together to brainstorm. This allows several individuals to contribute their ideas to the creation of one concept map. This is a good way to share ideas.

Grade: High School

b. Engage students in exploring real-world issues

and solving authentic problems using digital tools

and resources

Name: Kidtopia

Description: Kidtopia is an excellent website for elementary age students to locate information. It is easy to use and it provides links to safe websites. This prevents younger students from using search engine sites such as Google, Bing, etc. where they could potentially come across information that would be unsafe or unreliable.

Grade: Elementary

c. Promote student reflection using collaborative

tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual

understanding and thinking, planning, and

creative processes

Name: Slideshare

Description: Slideshare allows teachers and students to post presentations online and share. This can then be viewed on the web at any time. This enables teachers and students access to view not only their peers work on the related subject but also the work of others around the world. As a future teacher, I found a wide variety of great presentations that suggested many helpful tools. Viewing others’ presentations can also provide ideas that spark you or your students imagination when creating your own work. 

Grade: Middle/High School

d. Model collaborative knowledge construction by

engaging in learning with students, colleagues,

and others in face-to-face and virtual environments

Name: Edmodo

Description: Edmodo is a social network site specifically designed for use in education. It is a safe way classrooms can interact together via the web. Teachers and students can create their own profile. Teachers can post assignments and important messages. Students can post questions and share ideas with peers.

Grade: Middle/High School 

2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic

learning experiences and assessment incorporating

contemporary tools and resources to maximize content

learning in context and to develop the knowledge,

skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS·S.

a. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that

incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student

learning and creativity

Name: Teacher Tap

Description: This website provides a large amount of links to internet resources for both teachers and students. It classifies the links into categories to help individuals easily locate exactly what they are searching for. It can be used as a reference leading to helpful educational sites and online tools.

Grades: All Grades

b. Develop technology-enriched learning environments

that enable all students to pursue their individual

curiosities and become active participants in setting

their own educational goals, managing their own

learning, and assessing their own progress

Name: Wordpress

Description: Wordpress is a website that allows individuals to create their own personal blogs. Students can use this digital tool to publish their own creative works. Students can also view each others work which can inspire creativity and peer critique.

Grade: Middle/High School

c. Customize and personalize learning activities

to address students’ diverse learning styles,

working strategies, and abilities using digital tools

and resources

Name: CAST

Description: This site is designed by CAST, a nonprofit research and development program that works to create effective learning experiences for all students using the Universal Design for Learning. It offers several free online tools for student, teachers, and parents to use. Some of these tools include: Book Builder that allows teachers and students to create their own individual books, Science Writer that guides students through the creation of a science report, and a Strategy Tutor that helps teachers and students doing online research.

Grade: All Grades

d. Provide students with multiple and varied formative

and summative assessments aligned with content

and technology standards and use resulting data

to inform learning and teaching

Name: StudyBlue

Description: StudyBlue is an online tool that allows students to create their own digital flashcards that can help them when reviewing for test or quizzes. There is also a StudyBlue app that allows students to view and study their flashcards at any time, any place.

Grades: Middle/High School

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning

Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work

processes representative of an innovative professional

in a global and digital society.

 a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the

transfer of current knowledge to new technologies

and situations

Name: PBS Learning Media

Description: This site is offered by PBS. It allows teachers to create an account and access a wide variety of educational resources. Students can also create an account and view a wide assortment of educational games and activities.

Grades: All Grades

 b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents,

and community members using digital tools

and resources to support student success

and innovation

Name: Twitter

Desciption: Twitter is a form of a social networking site that allows individuals to post ideas, opinions, quotes, etc. using no more than 140 characters. Essentially it is a “mini-blog”. Users are allowed to comment on others posts and so forth. This could be serve as an additional way teachers, students, and parents could share ideas.

Grades: Middle/High School

 c. Communicate relevant information and ideas

effectively to students, parents, and peers using

a variety of digital age media and formats

Name: Skype

Description: Skype is an online tool that allows individuals to communicate with one another visually and audibly. Through the use of a microphone and webcam, individuals can view and speak to one another from any location (with internet access) at any time. Teacher, students, and parents can use this tool to communicate and conference in situations where they are not physically able to meet. 

Grades: All Grades

 d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and

emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate,

and use information resources to support research

and learning

Name: Wolfram Alpha

Description: Wolfram Alpha is an online tool is a computational knowledge engine. It allows students to submit equations and calculations. It will then provide the answer and an explanation.

Grades: Middle/High School

 4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Teachers understand local and global societal

issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital

culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in

their professional practices.

 a. Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical

use of digital information and technology, including

respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the

appropriate documentation of sources

Name: EasyBib

Description: This site provides free citations that teachers and students alike can use when they need to site borrowed sources. You can type in the name of a book or a link to a website and this site will generate a citation. You also have a variety of formats (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, etc.)

Grades: Middle/High School

 b. Address the diverse needs of all learners by using

learner-centered strategies providing equitable access

to appropriate digital tools and resources

Name: flickr

Description: Flickr is a website that allows users to easily share photos online. Teachers could have students post photos on this site for a project. This would allow students to easily view each others’ photos. This could be beneficial for visual learners as well as students who prefer to express themselves beyond the average means school usually allows.

Grades: Middle/High School

 c. Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible

social interactions related to the use of technology

and information

Name: VoiceThread

Description: VoiceThread allows individuals to create slides that contain comments in the form of audio or text. The unique aspect about VoiceThread is that it enables individuals watching the slides to additionally add their own comments. This is an excellent tool for teachers and students alike to share ideas and collaborate with one another.

Grade: Middle/High School

 d. Develop and model cultural understanding and

global awareness by engaging with colleagues

and students of other cultures using digital age

communication and collaboration tools

Name: Poll Everywhere

Description: This website allows teachers to conduct polls with instant results within the classroom. The teacher can create their own poll on the website. Then the students use their cell phones to text their response. The results are shown immediately.

Grades: Middle/High School

 5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Teachers continuously improve their professional

practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit

leadership in their school and professional

community by promoting and demonstrating

the effective use of digital tools and resources.

 a. Participate in local and global learning communities

to explore creative applications of technology to

improve student learning

Name: Pinterest

Description: The Pinterest website is equivalent to an online pin board where individuals can post images and links found anywhere online. It is an excellent website where individuals can share and view creative and inventive ideas about an array of topics including education.

Grades: All Grades

 b. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of

technology infusion, participating in shared decision

making and community building, and developing the

leadership and technology skills of others

Name: EtherPad


Description: EtherPad allows individuals to work on the same document at the same time. This would be beneficial for students working on a group project. It would also be a good tool for educators who are collaborating.

Grades: All Grades

 c. Evaluate and reflect on current research and

professional practice on a regular basis to make

effective use of existing and emerging digital tools

and resources in support of student learning

Name: Survey Monkey


Description: Survey Monkey allows individuals to create their own surveys online. These could be used to survey teachers opinions and techniques in the classroom.

Grades: Middle/High School

 d. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self renewal

of the teaching profession and of their

school and community

Description: Offered by the popular Scholastic Company, this resource is designed specifically for teachers. It offers twenty different links to blogs of other teachers. In these blogs, the teachers discuss their own classroom experiences. This can be an encouragement for teachers and an inspiration for them to create their own blogs to share their teaching experiences.

Grades: All Grades





Media Technolofy Reflection

Get Creative in School with Digital Media

This article was written by Julie Nightingale and discusses the use of digital media in UK classrooms. Because this article is based off UK classrooms, the statistics do not necessarily correlate to American classrooms. However, much of the information in the article can be applicable to American classrooms. Nightingale claims that the creative capacities of students need to be addressed more within the classroom. She says this is so important because employment in the creative industries has steadily increased even in the difficult economic times. Nightingale believes that incorporating media technology into the classroom can help flourish the student’s creativity. At a school in Britain, students spend entire school days learning how to use video, animation, and digital imaging. The teachers claim that the incorporation of digital media into the classroom has helped all different types of students flourish. One of the teachers said, "One student, one of the lowest ability boys I've ever taught, couldn't really read and write properly and staff spent more time talking to him about his behavior than his work. He particularly flourished when I gave him control of the tools and told him that he could actually teach himself.” The goal of this school is to incorporate creativity into the curriculum and connect it to real-world applications. The way they incorporate creativity is through the use of technology. The school has been manipulated to form something like a town with student-ran companies, a town council (student council, and even a bank. In one project, one of the student-ran companies had to sponsor a charity. Through the use of digital media, the students created commercials and a website and things of this sort to set up a campaign for the charity.

I found this article to be very interesting. I agree that creativity needs to be addressed more frequently within classrooms. I believe that it is a disadvantage of the students to decrease funding for art classes. Unfortunately, this is often the case for schools who are receiving a decrease in funds. For this reason, I do believe that core subject teachers need to incorporate creativity more within their classrooms. However, I do not necessarily believe that creativity is something that can be taught. I believe that all students have their own unique abilities. Some students may succeed in academics, some in arts, some in athletics, and so forth. However, it is the school’s responsibility to supply students with the resources to help them succeed. I believe that incorporating digital media into the classroom is an excellent way for students to combine their interests with their academics. Digital media allows students to explore various topics through a wide array of different resources. This also can allow students to guide their own learning and creates a more authentic learning environment. For this reason, I plan on incorporating projects like the one described above in my own classroom.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Web Technology Reflection

Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom

            This article was written by a veteran teacher of 22 years who found the web technology of blogging to be a very successful tool in the classroom. A blog is an online tool that allows individuals to easily publish written texts, pictures, links, etc. onto their own webpage. The article addresses four main ways that blogs can be beneficial to students. These include: 1) highly motivating for students who might not otherwise participate 2) excellent opportunities for students to read and write 3) effective form of collaboration and discussion 4) enables scaffolding and mentoring to occur. In the classroom, they can be used by teachers and students alike. However, it is important to remember that anytime students are on the internet a risk is involved. For this reason, it is important to remember some main points before allowing students to enter the blogging world. These include: 1) inform parents and receive permission 2) teach students safe and appropriate behavior as online readers and authors 3) review rules of student access 4) warn students about not posting complete names, email addresses, or so forth that might reveal identity or location. 

            When the time is appropriate, there is a number of different ways that blogs can be used in the classroom. The article lists several main ways which include: 1) classroom management: teachers can post assignments, handouts, notices, and classroom assignments on blogs 2) collaboration: teachers can post feedback to students’ writing and students can peer review each other’s work 3) discussions: teachers and students can post ideas and comment on other’s ideas 4) student portfolios: students can display and store all of their classwork on a single webpage that is easily accessible and can be viewed by teachers and peers. I believe that blogging can be used with a wide variety of students in grades ranging from K-12. However, for lower grades, I believe that it would be more beneficial for the teacher to create a blog and the students make contributions with the teacher’s help. However, higher grades would be more able to create their own individual blogs as they would have more computer skills. As a future high school social studies teacher, I could definitely use the web technology of blogging in my classroom in a variety of ways. I really liked the idea of using blogs as a way to create a student portfolio. Teachers often require students to create their own portfolios on paper. However, a blog would reduce the use of paper and make the students work easily accessible. It also would allow students to view each other’s work which I believe sparks even more imagination. If I wanted to use blogging on a smaller scale, then I could just incorporate it into a class project. For example, a student would have to create a blog about a historical figure or event. In any shape or form, blogging is an excellent tool that should definitely be taken advantage of in the classroom.

Mobile Technology Reflection

Mobile Learning Technologies for 21st Century Classrooms

This article focuses on the advantageous use of mobile devices within today’s classrooms. It begins by stating that mobile devices allowing learning with the use of technology to occur not only in the classroom but also outside of the classroom. For example, this could include using technology to learn on field trips, in the school yard, gym, study hall, and so on. In addition, the article addresses how today’s students are being exposed to more technology than ever. A majority of these students use technology on a daily basis outside of school especially through cell phones. This article proposes that students will relate better to learning if it is presented in familiar ways. It is thought that this can be done by incorporating technology into the classroom.

This article focuses specifically on the use of mobile technologies including the Ipod Touch, e-reader, Ipad, and cell phones. It describes different ways that these devices can be used to enhance the learning experience. Concerning the Ipod Touch and Ipad, there are a variety of educational apps that can be downloaded and used. Apps provide a wide variety of resources. For example, The Elements is an interactive periodic table, Alphabet Fun teaches handwriting and letter recognition, and the Beautiful Planet HD gives virtual tours of countries. Next, e-readers have revolutionized the world of books, including textbooks. These devices allow students to carry their books anywhere and have access to with the touch of a finger. Finally cell phones are gaining a new reputation within schools. In past years, they have been forbidden within schools; however, more recently benefits of in school use are being recognized. One way cell phones can be incorporated within the learning of the classroom is through websites like Poll Everywhere. This site allows teachers to create questionnaires that the students can respond to via text messages. In addition, most all of these devices (with the exception of e-readers) allow wifi internet that is accessible to students at almost any location imaginable.

As a future teacher, I believe that it is ideal to incorporate technology within the classroom whenever possible. All of the various ways this can be done would be very beneficial to all students in the learning process. Having mobile devices takes learning through technology to a whole new level within the schools. I will one day be a high school history teacher. I can use mobile devices to allow students to be exposed to a wide variety of tools that can help them in learning, researching, creating, and displaying.

Educational Technology Reflection

Beyond Gaming: A Technology Explosion in Early Childhood Classes

            This article by Nancy Hertzog and Marjorie Klein focuses on the impact of technology on learning within early childhood classrooms. It is based off of research proving technology, specifically computers, has lasting effects on five different areas in young learners including:  social and emotional development, cognitive development and learning, creativity, language and reading, and mathematics. Through such research, the authors of this article claim that the use of computers in instruction open new possibilities for students’ learning and creativity. The article reads, “When computers are used as “Mindtools,” students must “conceptualize, organize, and solve problems.” The article’s authors work at a primary school where they have implemented a system of inquiry to help guide the students’ learning. This system is made up of three phases which include: Phase 1 – students share information and experiences about topic; Phase 2 – students are allowed to investigate any questions they have about topic; Phase 3 – students create ways to present information to other classmates. Through this entire process, students are provided technological resources to help them. This certain primary school emphasizes the use of computers using softwares that include Microsoft Word, Reader Rabbit, Power Point, and Internet Explorer.

Overall I felt that this article made adequate claims about the use of technology within the classroom. Computers have been proven to have a great impact on students learning. They provide a wide variety of resources and means of expression for students. Besides the research that has been made on this topic, I know it is true from personal experience being a recent high school graduate and current college student. However, I did find that this article appeared to be somewhat dated. There are currently many more technology resources to use in classrooms. This article focused mainly on computers with students using the Microsoft, PowerPoint, and so forth. These are great tools; however, there have been additional resources that have recently become available that students can use to express their creativity. For example, there are Prezis, microphones for recording, cameras, video cameras, and so forth.  

I hope to be able to use these different technologies within my own classroom in various means of instruction. This article was directed at children in primary schools. I am going to be a high school teacher. However, I believe that technology is useful and important to incorporate in all grades from kindergarten to high school. I can use it in direct instruction and my students can use it their independent work.  

Personal Technology Reflection

Personal Technology Reflection
In today’s society, technology is ever growing and becoming more relevant and important in the modern world. Almost every career path requires a basic understanding of how and when to use appropriate means of technology. It was not until I entered college that I realized how big of a role technology plays in the field of education. Now more than ever teachers are encouraged to incorporate technology in the classroom to ensure students have various avenues toward learning. As a future educator, I feel that I have a basic understanding of technology so that I am able to accomplish certain tasks. However, I feel that I could have a better grasp in this area so I can help all of my students excel in the classroom with the help of technology.
On the technology skills assessment, my results showed that I am overall competent enough to take part in online learning. However, I showed a somewhat weak score on the technology at home section. This is not surprising as my personal computer is several years old and I honestly do not put much effort into keeping it updated and protected. This is probably because I am not very educated on how to do so. In the rest of the sections, I scored mainly proficient in my technology skills. This helped demonstrate that I do have the means and capabilities of completing work technologically.
I do have the confidence that I am able to use basic technology and complete work in this manner. However, besides this, I do not have much confidence in this area. I know that there exists a great amount of technological resources that will enhance my work as both a student and future teacher. I am excited to learn about such resources and glad I get the opportunity to do so in this course!