Friday, April 26, 2013


This semester I learned a lot about unique technologies that can help teach a classroom. I was very interested to work with a SmartBoard for the first time because I had seen them in classrooms and wondered how they work. Learning about Smartboard gave me another way to engage a class of children. I enjoyed making a webquest because it is an interactive way for the children to learn about the content. I imagine growing up when these things were in a classroom and I really couldn't imagine how much more enjoyable class would be. I'm really happy I was assigned Wolfram Alpha for my final projec because not only did it give me a simple way to engage a class and uncountable ways to do it, but it gave me a better understanding of the application so that I can use it with my studies. I am more confident and excited about teaching knowing that technology is growing and new ways to implement it in the classroom are being created every single day.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Over the course of this semester I have learned a lot about how technology can be used in a strong and effective way in the classroom. The project on SmartBoard greatly strengthened my skills and since I had never had experience with SmartBoards while teaching it was nice to become accustom to the technology, and it's strengths and limitations, while working outside of the field. The technologies of the week were always interesting to hear about and could easily to be worked into existing lesson plans to spice up an old lesson. I thought it was interesting to hear about all of the options that are out there! I really enjoyed the WebQuest Project. This project is great way of letting students explore the possibilities the internet has to offer while restricting their access to certain sites at the same time. I enjoyed being able to use multimedia to make the webquest more interesting, and it was fun to put personal creativity into the project as well. I hope to use the knowledge and skills I have gained from this class in the future as I teach. Assuming the technology is present in the schools, I would love to use iPad apps to engage the students and show iMovies to differentiate the presentation of the lesson. One challenge for me will be integrating my knowledge on technology into the classroom when I student teach in Chicago. It is likely that there will not be much technology available, so using even the smallest bit of technology could be difficult. I anticipate that I will have to be creative and flexible when it comes to integrating technology into these types of classrooms, but I believe that this class has given me the skills to do just that.
Tara D. wrote:

Over the past semester I have learned how to properly use technology and how to integrate it into the curriculum. In my schooling experience (elementary and high school), I was not exposed to a lot of technology in the classroom. It was not until I got to college that I worked with a Smartboard. This technology courses has introduced me to several resources that can be utilized in the classroom. I have enjoyed working with Smartboard, Google Earth, Wiki Pages (for web quests), iMovie, Mindomo, and Inspiration. Although challenging at times, I now feel comfortable using any and all of these applications in the classroom. I think they are great resources for students. In class, we have discussed that students are living a virtual life; a lot of what they do is through technology. By bringing technology into the classroom students will feel comfortable learning the content and they will be able to further make connections with the material. 

The projects I have done for this course have also allowed me think creatively. I would have never thought of using Google Earth in the classroom using a tour. I really enjoyed making the Smartboard interactive activities. Most classrooms now have Smartboards and before this course I was not familiar with them at all. I now feel confident in my abilities to utilize the Smartboard. I also enjoyed making the iMovie and I can see that application being used in the classroom in several different ways. Overall, I have had a great experience with technology this semester. I have learned a lot about the various forms of technology and how to apply them in school curriculum.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


 Over this semester I learned about differentiating lessons and how to incorporate different technologies for learning and assessment purposes. Through this class I have learned how to use smart board technology, Google earth, and photo story. I have also learned how to create a Web quest using Wiki, and about flipping the classroom. In the future, I would like to learn more about flipping the classroom. I find the concept really interesting and I would definitely like in incorporate it in a lesson in the future.

I never actually realized how many tools are available for educational purposes. I would not have even thought about using Google earth as a learning tool. I found this class really interesting and I learned a lot over the semester.

Final Reflections

From this course, I have learned that technology is accessible to all teachers of varying technology skill levels. I have also discovered that technology can be a vital tool for meeting the needs and learning styles of all learners.   Technology lets students truly interact with the content being taught, such as by exploring on their own through a Webquest, or navigating through GoogleEarth.  Technology  makes the subject come alive for the students, rather than a teacher just lecturing the material. Within my future lessons, I want to continue to implement the use of videos, images, and audio in my lessons. I would also like to learn more about the use of webcam in regards to the content areas.

What I learned in Edu 271

I think I will use the information I learned in this class often while student teaching and while teaching in the future. I love the Smartboard application, and even if I cannot use smart board during my student teaching at BHS, learning how to use Smartboard has improved my ability to use Promethean Board which is a very similar technology. In a way, I have learned how to use multiple technologies in one project. I really enjoyed the Planet Earth project. I do not believe I will be using it in the future, but I know how to do so if it coincides with a lesson extremely well. The photostory was very fun to create. I will probably use the exact story I created in my classrooms in the future. The webquest was very interesting as well. I have never tried anything like that before. I was concerned about the project because it was so foreign to me and I felt out of my comfort zone. After the project was completed though, I felt extremely happy with my work and learned a lot from the process. I learned many new technologies during technology of the week presentations and will probably use many of those in the future as well.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is an online calculator that works somewhat as a search engine. However, the program only uses its own files to return you an answer. They have a giant knowledge database that grows everyday and answers your question by using the data it has rather than referring to to millions of websites that have the answer's key words.


My assigned technology is the Flip Cam. While researching I have read/seen videos on the following: trouble shooting, how to actually create a video, and how to edit/share your videos.

I think the Flip Cam can be used in many different ways. Students in the fine arts can record themselves playing their instrument and can use the video to physically see what they are doing wrong. Students in core classes can use the flip cam for creating video projects, trailers for books, news casts on a certain topic taught in a class,and family video projects. It  can also be used for assessing if students understand new vocab/grammar because they can speak in a different language- using their new vocab/sentence structures. Also, students can record themselves in a practice interview (practice interviews are typically used in middle school and high school).  


The technology program I have been exploring is Inspiration. Inspiration describes itself as an "innovative new tool that applies the proven strategies of visual thinking and learning to data analysis." This program allows users to create visual representations of their thoughts using concept maps and has the ability to, "formulate questions, collect and organize data systematically to identify patterns and discover relationships, represent data in different types of plots to discover meaning, and develop conclusions and make recommendations based on data analysis." Inspiration applies to all ages. Kidspiration is meant for students grades K-5, InspireData is for grades 4-12, Inspiration is for grades 6-12, and there are teacher resources as well. Inspiration can be integrated into several curriculum subjects including Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.


At this point in my research and experimentation, the TI-Nspire application seems like an extremely in-depth calculator, comparable to the TI-80s series. Except in this situation, it is on the computer and not a separate device. One can use a calculator setting, a graphing setting, a spreadsheet, a geometry sketchpad, and a statistics sketchpad. Every setting has a myriad of functions to solve almost any mathematical issue one could be greeted with. It does not seem super intuitive at this point, so I will have to teach myself how to really use this technology to its fullest potential.


I recently switched my technology project from Geometer's Sketchpad to GeoGebra. Both softwares are very similar. I have watched two videos on Geometer's Sketchpad, but I have not researched on GeoGebra yet. I have learned from the videos that these programs are used to demonstrate geometric functions. Basic functions, such as circles and ellipses, can be designed through this program and you can use the program to measure lines, angles, and area as well. Through the use of animations you can demonstrate many other topics as well.


When exploring Dipity, I discovered that it acts as a timeline where you can insert websites, videos, twitter posts, and other forms of media to add to this timeline. You can also transfer your facebook timeline into a dipity timeline. It is free to use, and once you have created your own unique timeline, you can embed it into other personal websites. Viewers can follow or edit your timeline, depending on which restrictions you have placed onto it. Dipity acts similar to twitter in that you can follow and see updates to other timelines, while viewers can do the same with your own timeline. Dipity can be used in a social studies classroom to track the important events during a specific presidency, the events that led to the creation of the United States, the major battles of a war, etc. It can be used in art class to track how popular art movements have changed throughout history. Within a science class, students can track how our understanding of the solar system has improved due to specific discoveries by scientists, with the date of these discoveries placed onto the timeline. There are numerous applications for Dipity.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I have learned...

1. I have learned a lot about teaching and learning with technology over the last several weeks. At the beginning of this semester, I was not as familiar with technology, especially using it in the classroom. Exploring SmartBoard has been extremely helpful for me. My cooperating teacher uses it in the classroom everyday and it has become a regular part of the curriculum. I have also seen the difference in student motivation when the SmartBoard is being used, the students immediately raise their hand to participate when there is an interactive activity. Using the SmartBoard in the classroom is beneficial for students and as I continue to explore the technology I am becoming more comfortable with using it and creating lessons. I feel that after exploring different technology applications and thinking outside the box, you can use multiple forms of technology for teaching and learning in the classroom. Technology can be a wonderful resource in the classroom.

2. Some challenges that I find myself facing is relying on technology too much in the classroom and also patience. Sometimes technology does not work so it is important to be flexible and have a back up plan. What do you do in a classroom with 25 students and the SmartBoard is not working? Personally, I have to remember to have patience when teaching and learning with technology. I am not as familiar with a lot of these applications and I tend to have a lot of questions. Patience is key.

I have learned...

1) I have already greatly improved my skills with technology and can better use them for educational purposes in my future classrooms. I have created multiple slides of informal assessment and used that knowledge to make a lesson using the Smartboard application. I have learned special functions on GoogleEarth (functions other than finding my own house) and can use them for differentiation in my lesson plans. I have learned more about the blogging world and understand better the convenience that is having an online resource in which students and teachers alike can post and comment on the same page. Xtranormal is an online movie maker that I have personally used to make a quick and easy educational short film. We are beginning an iMovie project where I am learning how to use short videos in the classroom.

2) We have discussed and encountered several challenges of teaching and learning with technology. We have talked about the cost of incorporating technology in schools; some schools simply do not have the funds for the technologies some schools can afford. Sometimes, as we have experienced in the classroom, technology can be finicky and difficult to work with. Some of the problems stem from ignorance, for technology does take some education and practice before it can be utilized to its fullest extent. Teachers must be able to troubleshoot quickly and effectively in order to react to different problems that may occur in the classroom.


1. What have you learned?

I have learned how to use many different technologies such as the smart board technology, google earth, and photo story. I learned how to use these different technologies in teaching settings. I have learned how to differentiate lessons using this technology and  how to effectivly assess the students on a given subject.

2. What are the challenges with respect to teaching/learning with technology?

I think the challenges with using technology is making sure that the actual technology is working and making sure that the students are on task. I think that limitations need to be set on computers to make sure that students stay on task. For example, blocking social media sites during school hours would keep the students from being distracted while on computers. I also think that a challenge with teaching with technology can be making sure that the software and wireless connections are working properly. There are often problems with wireless connections so I think that this could potentially be a problem. Teachers will have to work with IT to make sure that the wireless connections are functioning properly in the classroom.

I have learned...

I have learned that technology can be used as a tool to meet the needs of diverse learners. For instance, you could use a photostory for visual learners or a smartboard activity for more tactile, kinesthetic learners. Technology also can be used to help students with disabilities, such as technology that turns webpages into braille for visually impaired students. I also discovered that technology is not limited to tech experts. I saw this when I was able to create a Google Earth lesson even though I had not used Google Earth previously. Additionally, I learned that there is a large amount of technology tools available for teaching. It's just up to us to find and utilize these tools.

The main problems I have to experience concern troubleshooting. What were to happen if we needed to troubleshoot our technology while in the middle of the lesson? I'm also challenged with determining when to use technology without becoming too dependent on it.

Knowledge and Challenges

I have learned a lot about technology from this course so far. Before this course I didn't have any experience with SmartBoard and I was excited to learn about the technology in order to use it in the field. Although we only completed one project dealing with SmartBoard I feel that I have gained a lot of experience and new skills with this technology. In fact, today I met with my cooperating teacher to talk about my lesson plan and she asked if my lesson would include the SmartBoard. When I told her my lesson would include a SmartBoard file, we began talking about the technology class I was taking and she was impressed that I knew the technology. Beyond SmartBoard my skills with other technologies have broadened as well. These skills include working with Google Earth and iMovie. While working with technologies in this course I have discovered a few challenges that accompany working with the technology. Different technologies have different limitations that I did not realize until working hands on with the technology. For example, when using the SmartResponse on SmartBoard you are unable to type math symbols, like square root. This posed as a limitation when designing my SmartBoard project and lesson.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Students Using Cell Phones to Learn

Using Cell Phones

This article discusses that research has finally been published about students and their cell phones. Amongst the other statistics released, the article claims that 1 in 4 students use their cell phones on homework assignments weekly.
Let's be honest, students have cell phones on them when they go to school. Even when students my age were in high school, cell phones were ubiquitous. I find it extremely refreshing that there is finally research that shows a positive side to students having cell phones. It's time for teachers to use what is essentially a given as an advantage. There are dangers; students have to know that any inappropriate use of cell phones will result in a consequence. Other than that, I see only advantages to teachers embracing the use of cell phones in the classroom.

Differentiating Technology

Deven Black is a 7th grade social studies teacher. He put nine activities on a board that could be completed in two weeks. He then assigned these activities nine different spots in the classroom and told the students to go to the spot in which the activity seemed most interesting. There were three spots that were empty and all of the groups were about even. He then let the groups work on their project. He said he walked around and was available for help, but no one needed it.

I think these open ended projects really get students involved in their work. In this case, the students were even able to choose the project that they wanted to do. I think that this gives students motivation to do their work. They can be as creative as they want and since they chose the project, it must be something that they actually like to do. In the end, Mr. Black gave the students time to reflect on the projects and what they learned overall. The students did learn a lot about the colonies, but they also learned a lot about cooperation in group work. I think that this type of instruction could be very valuable in the classroom.  It assesses a student’s knowledge on a topic, but it also allows students to work with and learn from others.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Differentiating with Technology

Differentiating with Technology In this blog posting David Andrade, Physics Teacher and Educational Technology Specialist, explains the meaning of differentiated teaching and gives several links to resources that deal with differentiation.

Monday, February 4, 2013