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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Excel Crossword Puzzel NETS 1, 2, and 3

Creating the crossword puzzle in Excel was difficult for me because I never used Excel before. Once I listened to the directions a couple of times though I was able to complete the puzzle and felt good about my accomplishment. I think this is very useful for students because they should familiarize themselves with excel and it's uses.

Internet Safety Collaborative Resource - NETS 3, 4 and 5

Reading the information about Internet Safety and Copyright showed me how devastating the effects can be on students from illegal practices of piracy, identity theft, cyberbullying, and sharing of inappropriate material. As a teacher I will demonstrate the seriousness of this because it is important for instructors to instill appropriate behavior in their students in an early grade level. I plan to share with my students the devastating results of what can happen from these activities on both sides because there are repercussions from the law that they will have to face.

Meuse Copyright

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Journal #10 NETS 1, 2 and 3

Lawler, J. (2010). Let the kids do the work. L&L—Learning & Leading with Technology, (6), Retrieved from

The article, “Let the kids do the work” is about a teacher who discovers that through the access of the internet, via the program wiki, the students in his class have a more effective voice on their peer’s work than he does and are not only self taught but become teachers to the rest of the class including him. He found that because wiki is an online program which the student’s love to use, they are interested in communicating and reading one another’s assignments which allows them to critique one another more effectively. Students respect the opinion of their peers more than the opinion of their teacher and since most students are internet savvy they spend hours talking with each other more honestly about their projects.

This teacher is amazed at how quickly the student’s picked up the concepts of Wiki and he didn’t really have to teach them how to use it. One student even criticized his Wiki design and showed him how to improve its appearance. He let that student teach the class on how to design their Wiki. Another student wrote an essay posting it online and the student’s gave her negative feedback which inspired her to improve it. The teacher believes she would not have cared to develop her essay if it weren’t for the student’s opinions which she took to heart assured that his comments would have been meaningless to her and not motivating enough for her to improve upon.

This teacher goes on to say that one day he forgot to post a lesson on the class wiki for the next day and one of his student’s took the initiative to do it for him. She figured out on her own what needed to be done to post the pages with information on the wiki for the class and he never had to show her how. Another student helped hundreds of other students get their homework done by way of the wiki. This teacher realized that not only are the student’s listening more to their peers, responding to each other about school work, but they are also finding an avenue of communication through the Wiki that surpasses texting, emailing and phone calling. Wiki enables student’s, who normally would be too shy to speak out in class, have an interactive voice in cyberspace where every one carries equal weight.

Question #1: Do you think it is a good idea to let students in your classroom act as instructors? Answer: Yes, because there is much evidence that children of all ages learn best from their peers as they seem to relate to them more so are given more attention. I also think at the same time the teacher should act as the coach along with the student as they instruct a particular lesson, as in this case the child was more technologically experienced than the teacher.

Question #2: Do you think it is important to teach technology in the early grades? Yes, in my experience as a classroom observer, I saw a 3rd grade class go to the computer lab and log on to the web as they created a PowerPoint presentation. I was impressed at how efficient they were and realized that if they can do that at age 9 they can also take on more complicated technological projects and be better prepared for their futures in the work place.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wiki Page: Create a Book (Class Tools) - NETS 1, 2, and 3

Creating this Wiki page was an enlightening experience. It is a great tool to go to for an instructor to use to help implement fun and education for students. I am amazed at how ingenuousness the creators of the software are. There are so many choices to pick from to help students and I had fun making a virtual book for student's to use in homework assignments.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Journal #6 NETS 1, 2 ,3 and 5

Journal #6: Interactive Boards;(iboards)

The leader in Interactive boards is the SmartBoard and the Promethean which are used in the classroom as a tool for interaction amongst the teacher and student and have been arounf for 15 years. These brands have interactive software that is only compatible with its own brand. These Interactive Boards are great for opening up discussions via the internet in a classroom setting in the format of a digital notebook. They are a large screen like a white board but have the capacity of a touch screen to accesses the World Wide Web for additional online information to share instantaneously with the classroom. It is basically a public computer for the class which is on a large sized projected computer screen that allows the class to virtually go on field trips. Teacher and students can share their thinking and explorations and increase knowledge in an open group format. There is also a recording device that many teachers use along with it which can be converted to Quicktime for posting research projects.

The Smart notebook has copyright rules where as the Promethean does not. A SmartBoard costs around $1120 for just the board, no mounting, and if you want a Bluetooth that's another $300. If you need your projector ceiling mounted which you will need to purchase, that will be another $650. If you get an Interwrite Wacom Pad, at about $500, all you need to purchase is the projector at about $650 which doesn't need to be ceiling mounted because no one will be stepping in front of the projector. This will only cost $1150. This is only 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of the SmartBoard. Also there is no calibration needed. Teachers need to be trained in how to use the board interactively with the students or it can become a glorified overhead. The interactivity of the board keeps the students involved because they are capable of participating and manipulating the lesson and this interaction shifts the focus from a teacher centered activity to a more student led activity increasing student thinking and participation.

There are also interactive note pads which are smaller than the Interactive Boards and the students can sit at their desks to use them along with an interactive wand. Teachers can equip their class with 4 or 5 wireless tablets for the price of one smart board. With these spread out through the room students can work collaboratively on the same project. Much of the functionality of this technology is driven by the software, not the Board, or the slate. Letting students come up to the SmartBoard seems to be an easier transition for teachers than to hand off the slates and the control to the students at their seats. The teacher has the capacity to roam around the class and interact with the students while staying on target. With the wireless slate, teachers can technically be in two places at one time. They can write in the front of the room but be physically anywhere they want to be. This is very freeing and can be beneficial when certain students need special attention and kept in close proximity.

Journal #6 Comments:

1. Christina Edwards wrote on Gaming.
2. Tana Townsend wrote on Collaborative Documents.
3. Brenda wrote on Microblogging.

Journal #9 NETS 1, 2, 3 and 5

Weller, T. J. (2010). Playing with skype. L&L—Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), Retrieved from

After reading the article about Skype, I realized that the educational possibilities are endless with today’s technological breakthroughs. Skype brings a live event right into the classroom and this can not only expose children to musical concerts while they are happening but theatre, governmental debates, Wall Street stock exchanges, commercial companies in progress, Zoological institutes and entertainment. The only stipulation is getting the approval of the event coordinator to alloy broadcasting.

There has been accessibility for years to many cultural experiences but not usually as easily adapted as how Skype makes it possible. According to the article, you don’t need heavy equipment or expensive gadgets to film a live performance or occasion. Skype makes it possible with only a computer with a broadband internet connection, a data projector, a couple of microphones, a webcam, adaptors, a screen and sound apparatus. This can allow almost any school the ability to expose children to numerous educational experiences right in the classroom that are not found in a book but viewed live. I think the fact that it is live would grasp the attention of the students and help capture their interest, learning more than a video would do as well.

The author, Travis claims that many teachers fear technology and I agree with him. Most teachers have been around for awhile and haven’t been exposed to ways to incorporate it in the classroom or have the knowledge base to attempt it. What needs to happen is for teachers to go to some technology training seminars so they can get up to speed and utilize the vast advantages of combining education along with technology and open the door of knowledge in the world to our youth in ways that will help them have a stronger grasp on what is going on in politics, world events and culture.

I think that Travis, is on the right track with getting excited about exposing his class to composers in concerts to give students the feeling of what is involved in the process. Can you imagine if students saw world wide events going on regularly and came to more clear understandings about life how much better prepared for the real world they would be? I also think they would be smarter and maybe even take life more seriously.

Question #1 What are the costs of these instruments precisely and do all schools have a fund that can be dipped into to buy them such as your school did? Answer: The cost varies depending on how much equipment each school already has. For instance, most schools have a screen, a computer, a microphone or two and sound capabilities so that just leaves the cost of the data projector and Webcam which should be available between one and two-thousand dollars.

Question#2 Why do you think most schools are not up to par with technology? Answer:I think it is because they weren’t exposed to it at a young age so they don’t have the background knowledge that most of our kids today have. Also the rigorous Standardized testing has taken priority over the benefit of a full well rounded education.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CSUSM Hate Crime PSA NETS 1 and 2

Creating the iMovie on hate crime was an exciting experience as I took photos on the CSUSM campus of posters made because of the hate crime incident. The program was a blast to use and I hope to be able to teach a class on it as an educator.