Week 11 INDT 501: New Technologies

March 30, 2013

Waging the war for New Technologies


It is absurd to think that we as teachers are going to be able to win the battle of no cell phones in school. There is not a day that goes by that students are not texting, listening to music, playing games or just looking for something on their phones browsers. As teachers we should embrace the fact that students are adept in the use of such a powerful and helpful tool (their phone). There are so many options for teachers on the internet, cell phones, iPads, iPods and other devices that we, as teachers are the ones who are uneducated if we don’t use them.  Why not embrace all that is available to us and utilize it to the best of our abilities. I believe that students will be far more responsive to us if we utilize their devices and show them how they can benefit from using new technology, apps and other features. Coffman suggests that when students are able to link their own interest in with the lesson or application of the lesson they benefit from the lesson and are able to build upon what they already know and understand (2013).


If you were teaching a fourth grade class on Virginia studies you could use iPods or iPads in your classroom. There are several free apps of the Virginia battlefields with virtual tours (one is even developed by a professor at UMW). Students from all over the state, who are unable to take field trips to this area would benefit from seeing how the battle took place and how the land aided in the battle. Students could use apps that quiz them on information they have learned. It would help student gain a better understanding the battles and information. You could use Voki and have Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address to your class. The possibilities are endless for the classroom. We live in a time when we have the amazing opportunity to bring the world into the classroom and lay it at the feet of the students, for them to take the steps necessary to learn of the world in which we live.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9miyGD8Bf-c [/youtube]

While I think I need a little more experience with the virtual world, I think it is a valuable tool for the classroom. Some research from Solomon and Schrum suggests that students are making gains in learning in a virtual classroom (2010). While I am not a digital native, I think that I have been able to gain a larger understanding of the application of technology from this class and I believe that my students and I will benefit from all of the knowledge that I have gained.

Civil War Interactive iPad App Review – DailyAppShow. (2012, December 19).YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9miyGD8Bf-c

Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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Week 10: Mini Projects Week II

March 24, 2013

I must say that mini-projects are awesome; I have completely enjoyed doing the projects and investigating all of the options that were placed before us. I think that all of the project ideas have a valuable place in education and I look forward to finding a home for each one of them. I decided to do the timeline project for one of my mini-projects. Capzules was by far the most appealing for visual purposes, but I think that some kids will have a greater difficulty following it. I think it would be better utilized for upper grade levels. I think that timetoast would be better for my purposes as a special education teacher. I think that timetoast is a much better program for students to visualize events and put them in greater perspective and presents information in a much clearer format.


The next one I was interested in was Lit trip on google earth. This would be an excellent tool as an English teacher. I found it to be a very useful application and look forward to using it in the classroom. The final one I decided on was Google Trek with Google Maps. I really enjoyed this application, I did find some problems with the application, but for the most part I found it to be a really helpful tool. Again, I think that Google Trek would be really useful to demonstrate to students where things are, how close they are to things. I find it very exciting to have all of these tools to bring to the classroom with me. I feel like I am better prepared as a pre-service teacher to enter the classroom and be able to present information in a much clearer format to the students so they are able to come away with useful information.

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INDT 501-01Mini Projects 1

March 16, 2013

Technology is a wonderful thing. Kids today are growing in a wonderful time when the world is literally at their fingertips. I love the idea that as a teacher I can teach a flipped class, use podcasts, digital story telling, comics, and tools like Wordle. I love the idea of using a variety of tools in the classroom. I think that kids are much more receptive to using technology based instruction in place of a boring lecture. This week I enjoyed investigating the digital storytelling, I even found two free apps for my iPad, which I am excited to use. I think that I could use the digital story telling on all levels, especially since I will be teaching special education. I think it would help struggling readers’ gain an interest in books. I also believe that any kid could use it, if some have difficulty it could be a collaborative assignment.


Using Comic Life would be very useful in reaching students as well. A large amount of students read comics, or anime, and by using this to my advantage I could create a comic strip to entice kids who would otherwise show no interest in a lesson. I think I am the most excited about Voki. I love the idea of using podcasts, I think podcasts are a great resource for teachers. Our textbook says that “educators have discovered endless uses for education, too, and podcasting has become one of the most frequently used Web 2.0 tools” (Solomon, Schrum, 2010, 49).  I really enjoyed creating my avator with Voki, and think that the enhanced version for teachers would be great. It would be very useful for addressing history topics and I think even math. While substituting the other day in a Geometry class the other inclusion teacher used story telling to gain the students interest, I think that it would have been better received through a podcast or digital storytelling, but that is just my opinion. Since being exposed to this digital class  I have a ton of ideas to change the class around, I look forward to implementing these new ideas.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Digital Storytelling in the Elementary Classroom. (2011, June 13). YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUZXBc6yRhU

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INDT 501-01: Shared Sticky Notes

March 2, 2013

I guess not have to share my sticky notes if I used Padlet, which is a good thing because I tend to hoard all of the sticky notes! Where would the world be without sticky notes? I’m truly happy that I don’t have to find out! They are an essential tool for me when I write, I jot down ideas all the time, notes for future writing projects, I am constantly writing in my head and I have to make little notes for myself. Padlet is going to be a wonderful way to separate and organize my ideas. By demonstrating this process to my students it may help them with their struggles in organization and brainstorming.


Leading by example I think is important. If you can show your students what works for you and show them that sometimes it takes a little bit of searching and sorting to get ideas that work together and build off of each other. Students can then use the program to post ideas, read others ideas, and then hopefully build off of a combination of ideas to come up with successful projects. By doing this you are allowing them to collaborate without disrupting the classroom and it also does not use up valuable class time if it is a homework assignment. It also works toward a flipped classroom, by adding the assignment to postings. According to Solomon and Schrum, “these tools have also afforded educators a way in which to promote and encourage collaboration authentically in the development of projects and papers” (2010, 69). “There is also evidence that students become engaged when they share their work with other students” (73).


Collaboration also builds social skills, which many special education students lack, so you are building a teamwork atmosphere and developing social skills. I look forward to use as many of the tools we have learned in class with my students.

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 8.40.33 PM

On my Padlet board so far I have only posted a couple of ideas about sticky notes. Maybe I will use it for a paper I am working on in another class, just to see how it works for me.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

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INDT 501-02 Week 6 Reflection Blog: To Flip or not to Flip?

February 24, 2013

The more I read about flipping a classroom the more excited I am to apply it in the classroom. I will be teaching special education which means I will be working with a variety of students with different needs and covering different subjects. I think that if I was able to work with a variety of teachers we could come up with plans to cover the subjects. It would be great to have the video or pod cast available to the students. Some students learn at a slower pace and would benefit greatly at being able to listen to a lesson over and over. The potential is there for students to excel greatly. I think that the extra time in class to help with students with comprehension and applying the practice would be beneficial. These students would be able to complete task and have more confidence in their completion of the task because they could either work as a group or have the teacher available to assist when any problems arise.


Flipping the classroom gives greater potential to a less restrictive environment for some special education students. With having the videos available to them students would be able to review a lesson to help with test taking and to review the lesson. Some of the obstacles with flipping the classroom would be making sure that students have access to the video or pod cast. Is there Internet availability? Are other teachers willing to help with this project? I think there are simple solutions to availability of the technology. The students could watch a video during lunch or before and after school. I feel that most of the teachers would be willing to help with creating videos, they could use it in their classroom. I think as a teacher sees their students excel they will be more and more confident with the process of flipping the classroom. I do think that you would really have to make sure that you are reviewing the content and asking questions everyday to make sure that videos are being watched and students are getting something from them.


Some subjects I believe would be more difficult to flip, like English or a foreign language. I do however see the potential in using videos to help students with enunciation, pronunciation and word usage. I think that grammar rules could easily be incorporated into a video, then students would be able to review as necessary. I do not think that some of the arts work very well with flipping the classroom, and some of the other elective classes. There is great potential in flipping a classroom, I hope that in the future it is utilized more and more. I think that some many students fall through the cracks and that flipping is another way to reach those students so we can keep them in the classroom and hopefully help students who are trouble learning in a traditional classroom setting. Why not use every tool at your disposal?

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Week 5: INDT 501-01 Creating a Video

February 17, 2013

I was very apprehensive about this assignment when I heard someone tell me it took that person three days to make his or her video. I had not even looked at it until Thursday night in class due to Internet issues at home. Thankful they were an easy fix and here I am! When I saw the videos that had been created in class I was a bit worried about the assignment and that I had waited to long. Once I decided on a SOL for US History 11th grade, I opened up animoto and found the easiest and most user-friendly site ever. I absolutely love it and will use it as much as possible in the classroom.


I will be a Special Education teacher once I am finally done with my degree, and I know that children learn differently from each other. Some children learn visually, some are auditory learners, and some are tactile learners this shows us that most children learn in an environment that offers a mixed learning format or a variety of techniques are used to hold their attention and to trigger the learning process. I do think that animoto is a great tool to enticing children’s natural curiosity and sparking an interest into a topic that might otherwise fall flat if the teacher stands in front of the class and gives a boring lecture about the Land and Lease Act and the Fourth Neutrality Act. I’m bored just thinking about it, but if you create a video that is exciting and maybe invite a local historian to Skype with the class and answer questions along with the lecture. You have created a lesson that is broken down and offers a variety of different things to hold their interest. I know some students that unless they are visually engaged prior to the lesson, they fail to comprehend the lesson and fall behind. This is such an easy fix, we can create a quick video to spark the interest of all the students and the students that need that visual interaction are being given what they need. This creates a better learning environment for all students.


While exploring the new environments of the digital world this week we focused on Google Reader and Twitter. Of the two I must say that Google Reader was the my favorite, I liked how we could link to our classmates and other interest areas and follow them in that one place instead of logging onto five different web sites and having to find them. It is a very useful tool and I think it would be useful in the classroom for the teacher as well as the students, it would save a lot of time for grading and also reading and sharing blogs. Twitter was my least favorite, I really just do not care that much for social web sites. I do think it is something that I need to become more comfortable with and investigate further and see where I can use this tool in the classroom. Most kids love tweeting and facebook, my only concern is parent reaction and explaining that it would be a classroom tool to enhance learning. I would be easier for a child who does not like writing to be a put a tweet out and can some confidence in themselves and the would be able to approach a larger writing assignment with a different attitude.

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INDT 501-01 information Literacy and Creativity

February 10, 2013

What a bunch of great, fun activities this week! I enjoyed playing with almost all of the tasks that we were assigned this week, I do however need to become more fluent with them. I really did not encounter any major problems with the varied exercises. The most difficult task was waiting for account approval, when I sit down to complete an assignment I really like to be able to work through them. Patience is something that I will be working on the rest of my life. One major thing that I have learned since starting this course is that I do not know anything about technology, but I will. I really thought that I was pretty up to date on a lot of things, that just is not so! I really enjoyed working on the Personal Learning Network for Educators, I know that for me it takes me several days to get used to something and to figure out exactly how it works. I have set a goal for myself to go onto this site everyday next week for at least 30 minutes and familiarize myself with the site better. This is a must for me, and I know that.


I really like the Google search engine and think that this is a real asset to the classroom, it really eliminates a lot of sites that I think that kids would get lost on and would delay their work. It offers the teachers a lot more control of what the kids are getting into and eliminates the large majority of poor or misinformed sites. I do think that kids need to figure out how to do better research and as they get better at they can venture off more on their own. I will be teaching Special Education classes so I really think this will be highly beneficial to my students. It offers more structure and control to the vast amounts of information out there.


I was not really happy with the searches I did on Technorati, maybe I just missed the point all together but the things that I searched really weren’t on there, except for the Washington Redskins which I found 90 results for, all of my other searches had zero or two results. I think that this needs to be explored further so that I can determine if this is beneficial to me in the future. As I continue in this class I really see the great benefits to myself and the kids that I will be teaching, I am glad that this class is in the curriculum and think that it gives me a broader base of information and tools to utilize in the classroom.

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INDT 501-01 Copyright Issues in Education

February 3, 2013

egyptian tomb

I am sure that as the Pharaoh’s were overseeing the amazing and backbreaking construction of their tombs and chambers they were not concerned with how it would be shared or how the images of their legacy and likeness would be used. We now live in a world that is digital and ever changing, and we have to be careful of what we put out on the Internet and how we use what others release. With tools such as Flickr, facebook, Tweeter, and MySpace information is everywhere and getting more difficult to control and protect the interest of all parties. As a person who loves photography and has taken thousands of images and created books as an Studio Art major this is a great concern for me.


The importance of teaching the digital natives of our culture the proper and legal uses of their resources is essential as they progress through the education system. Without proper guidance and instruction from teachers it is extremely doubtful that most or all students will seek out on their own the correct methods of using resources and the legal ramifications for infringing upon the copyright of a business or private individual. Students need to understand that “people can copy material under some circumstances if they cite the reference or get author or copyright holder permission” (Solomon,G., & Schrum,L., 107).



As teachers to the digital natives it is our responsibility to make sure that we help them understand that, “information literacy is a skill that is expected of students once they leave school” (Coffman,T., 35). It is also our duty to make sure that students are also able to determine, “how information is organized, how to find quality information, evaluate different types of information, and then create new information for others to access and learn” (Coffman,T., 35).


I think that we do students a disservice if we fail to communication the importance of copyrighting and we can use music downloading as an example. The large amount of legal fallout that has taken place since the laws have changed is an excellent opportunity for teachers to explain the importance of following the rules. I think this is something that the students can relate to and it would help explain the importance of the copyrighting laws. It really only takes a few more minutes to do something right. As for the image that I used of the Egyptian tomb I found the image on a Google search, after I searched Egyptian temples I used the advanced search feature and narrowed down the images by selecting free to use or share under usage rights, since I am not using this image for commercial gain I felt that it was appropriate to use this image in this blog posting.


Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

E. (n.d.). Untitled [Photograph found in Ancient Egyptian Temples, Egypt]. In Flickr. Retrieved February 3, 2013, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/esku75/513513540/ (Originally photographed 2007, March 27)

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators (1st ed.). Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Categories: Technology in Education.

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INDT 501-01 21st Century Skills vs. Core Knowledge

January 27, 2013

Does being a digital-immigrant mean that I am incapable of learning how to use technology efficiently? Certainly not, I use several web sites proficiently and frequently, however it does not mean that I am adept in all technology. I think that when I am introduced to a new web site that there is definitely a learning curve that needs to be applied. Take blogging for example, I hope that each week blogging will be easier and better. I am sure the jury is still out on that. I wish that when I was going to school that all of these wonder advances had been available to me. I think I would have benefitted greatly from them. How much better would have typing have been, book reports would have taken half the time. Now we can just go onto databases and pull up as many articles or journals that we want. I do accept that not everyone appreciates technology as much as others do. Sometimes I think that we are on information overload, but I enjoy it nonetheless. What would I do without my ereader or cellphone?


Using technology in education is the present and future of education. While reading the USA Today article about the argument between Core Knowledge or Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) I could not grasp the reasoning of Core Knowledge in that technology is “an ineffectual use of school time” (Toppo). It is not financially possible for school districts to take children on enough field trips to expose them to the world around them, a book does not paint a picture the way that an artist can, but through the internet people are able to see the world and the beautiful things that come from the magic of creation and investigation. Granted it is not the same as seeing it in person, but it is all that some people can afford.


Not every student learns the same way and the approach of Core Knowledge’ in my opinion does not address all learners. I think that students need a more a varied approach. I know that since going back to school I have seen professors in some of my classes use a variety of techniques and found that for me, when they used a variety of mediums I was able to stay focused longer and switching between lecture, media, and power points. The variety I feel holds students attention longer and offers a variety for students who learn differently. I think that mixing teaching techniques is something that I could incorporate into the classroom once I get a teaching position.


I really enjoyed the P21 website, I again have to come back to the argument that E.D. Hirsch Jr. made “most profoundly hurt disadvantaged children: At home, he says, they don’t get as much background as middle-class students in history, science, literature and the like” (Toppo), his argument is flawed. Going through the web site of P21, they read and illustrate books to children, which most disadvantaged students do not get at home. How is this taking away from their education? It’s not, they lean how to use a computer and get someone to read to them. Most of these kids would greatly benefit from this type of information.

Toppo, G. (2009, March 5). What to learn: ‘core knowledge’ or ’21st-century skills’?Usatoday.com. Retrieved January 23, 2013, from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-03-04-core-knowledge_N.htm

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