Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chapter 3: Developing Lessons with Technology

Focus Question: 

     How can teachers evaluate and assess their students?

     In todays world, teachers mainly use tests to evaluate and assess their students.  Generally, there is a beginning of the year exam, midterm, and final; the first test is to find out at what level the student is starting, the second exam is to assess the students current progress, and the third exam is to evaluate what the student has learned throughout the entire year.  
     Assessment tests come in two types: a norm-referenced test and a criterion-referenced tests.  A norm-referenced test is an exam whose purpose is to compare students to other students of the same grade.  Criterion-referenced tests, on the other hand, compare a student's performance to specific standards. 
     There are also standard-based assessments, instructionally supportive assessments, and performance evaluations that all aid teachers in evaluating their students in different aspects.  

Tech Tool Link: PBS Teachers

     PBS Teachers is a great resource for teachers of all levels.  The website has many links and is very inviting.  The website features interesting articles, videos, and projects.  I was personally drawn to EcoInvestigators.  EcoInvestigators is a site for grades 3-5.  The site is meant to engage the students and excite them about solving environmental problems in their community and the world.  EcoInvestigators even provides an easy to use flow chart for teachers that describes how to use the program effectively: 
     Overall, PBS Teachers seems to be very engaging and useful for teachers, providing the ways and the means to expand on their students, as well as their own, knowledge.

Summary and Connection: 

     This chapter seemed to contain quite a bit of information, while at the same time seemed much more focused than the chapters previous.  The chapter focused on lesson development, which is central to the teaching profession.  Teachers always come to class with a plan for the day, they "rarely create a meaningful class on the spur of the moment."  Every teacher has a different method, a different way they create and perform lesson plans.  Developing lessons is a creative process.  Teachers need to understand how they connect with their students in order to create an effective lesson plan.  Technology can aid teachers in creating effective lesson plans.  Different websites provide sample lesson plans that teachers can look and and use.  Different websites inspire ideas for lesson plans as well.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chapter 2: Transforming Learning with Unique, Powerful Technology

Focus Question:

     How can students express their creativity using technology?

     The way technology has advanced allows for students to be extremely creative.  Not only with their own, non-school related projects, but with school projects as well.  With PowerPoint, Youtube, Podcasts, and Photoshop, the possibilities for what students can do seems endless.  Students are able to excel in their school work while at the same time expressing their creativity and individuality.  

Tech Tool Link: Plants-in-Motion

     The Plants-in-Motion link is quite fascinating, especially for those plant enthusiasts out there.  Students can easily view the process of germination, circadian responses, and cellular response through video examples of these processes occurring in real time.  Students can also view flowers blossoming, such as the Star Lily.  
     At the same time, there are links for teacher projects.  The links give ideas to the teachers of learning activities they can do with their students, such as the Darwin Project.  It goes as far as giving the teacher visuals to help set up the project.

     Therefore, I found this website overall quite engaging for both teachers and students.  It is visually appealing and easy to navigate.  

Summary and Connections:

     I found this chapter to be full of useful information describing how useful technology can be to both students and teachers. I found the section on visual learning to be the most intriguing.  It is true that most students are visual learners, so technology based learning seems to be best for for them.  The internet and all that it entails allows for information to be presented "dynamically."  Technology allows us to go beyond the "static images in books" and move on to the images in motion in videos and animations.  
     Many things are presented visually to students nowadays as well.  So the visual literacy that is promoted by teachers among their students is apparent.  According to the text, "Visual literacy involves giving students the skills needed to critically read color and form and assess many types of possible visual encounters," and "Visual displays increase instructional options for teachers and students."  I agree completely with these two statements.  With increasing technology, there are increasing ways to engage both teachers and students.    


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.

Chapter 1: Becoming an e-Teacher

Focus Question:

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

          1.  Using technology in teaching
          2.  Motivating factors
          3.  Barriers to technology use
          4.  Ideas for technology use
          5.  Teaching methods
          6.  Students and technologies

Tech Tool Link: 7 Things You Should Know About...(EDUCAUSE)

     I found the link to be only slightly visually pleasing.  It is very straight forward, which makes it easy to navigate.  The 7 questions are listed in a way that makes them stand out.  The website itself provides many article links, such as 7 Things You Should Know About Navigating New Learning Ecosystem, that seem informative.  There is also a search bar that allows the searcher to pinpoint an article that he or she may be searching for specifically.  Overall, though, the fact that the website lacks pictures causes a want for that which is lacking.

Summary and Connection

     Chapter 1 covers quite a bit of material, which is expected.  In today's world, people are surrounded by technology starting at such a young age.  Generation M seems quite apparent and they will be the leaders of tomorrow.  The information processing machine, commonly called the computer, can be found in nearly every person's home.  As technology advances and is used by more people and at a younger age, teachers need to be able to have an adaptable teaching style.  According to the text, "Technology lets you change teaching and learning in enriching and productive ways: by differentiating instruction to offer students many learning experiences, by motivating disengaged individuals, by creating group and cooperative learning situations, by allowing information from multiple sources, and by letting students visit places to see what cannot be seen without electronic systems."  With technology, our ability to teach in new, innovative ways grows.  Technology enhances the ability to teach academic material while engaging students in learning in new and exciting ways.  
     I plan to incorporate technology into my own classroom in a way that allows for friendly interaction outside of the classroom.  I want to inspire students to appreciate the "old way" of learning along with the new ways of learning.


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