Friday, May 7, 2010

Excell Crossword Puzzle - NETS I, II

This is a crossword puzzle that was created in Microsoft Excel. In the actual document the puzzle is blank and has clues embedded in it. Clues appear when the mouse is over the first letter of each word. In addition when a word is filled in correctly the first letter will appear pink and the rest black. If it is filled out incorrectly the letters will show up red.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wiki Page - NETS I, II, III

This wiki page was added to a collaborative class wiki, CSUSM 2.0 Tools, a collection of web pages demonstrating and explaining different web tools that can be used in a classroom. The tool below is Voice Thread and incorporates pictures and videos with statements, comments, and explanations done through typing or a microphone. Teachers and students can create modified movies and have peers leave comments.

JCCS Internet Safety - NETS I, II, IV, V

Working in a collaborative group on Google Docs, five peers and I summarized our learning from research done on the JCCS Internet Safety website. In addition we included an assignment we completed teaching us more about a specific area we need to be aware of and concerned about with internet safety: Identity Safety, Cyber bullying, Cyber Predators, Piracy and Plagiarism, Inappropriate Content, and Social Networks

iMovie - NETS II, III

This a Public Service Announcement,PSA, on Hate Crimes which has become a recent issue here on CSUSM and other local campuses. It was created on iMovie using film, photos, images, and music.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Journal 10: Playing with Skype - NETS V

I am continually amazed by the new ways in which teachers are incorporating technology to help enrich their lessons and give their students access to new resources and invlolving experts in a specific field of study. Skype has recently been used in a music class to expose students to different composers. Travis Weller, an eighth grade music teacher, came up with the idea after inviting a colleague to speak to his class on copyright laws, the music business, and censorship via skype. He held an entire lesson using skype. Students were able to listen and respond to his guest speaker through the microphones and web cam. During lunch that day, Weller came up with the idea to use skype to hold live concerts. Weller knew what a great opportunity it is for students to hear and perform in concerts that were followed by a question and answer time with the composer. Durng this time that the composer can share insights into their music and students can appreciate the work and talent of the composer as well as learn from them.
Weller was quick to act upon his new idea. Gathering the equipment didn't take long. The only requirements were a computer with a broadband Internet connection, data projector, a couple microphones, web cam, some adapters to pump the audio feed through the sound system, and a projector screen.  All this was possible through a grant, provided for Classrooms for the Future, that was used to purchase a few specific hardware. Once the room was equipped, he invited three noted composers to be a part of this interactive experience. The students played a concert for the guests and afterward had interactive conversations that were meaningful to the students and the audience.

1. What would it involve to set up skype in the classroom and how realistic is it?
Skype is software that enables the world's conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles. It is user friendly, people at all ages can navigate through the website, I know Grandparents who call their great-grandchildren and teenagers who use it to keep in touch with friends after moving to different cities and states. To set it up on a larger scale for the classroom only a few materials will be needed: data system, microphones, webcam, adapters, and a projector screen. An Internet connection is key to having it work. This can also be the most frustrating part of using skype. The Internet can be unreliable at times and you can loose connection in the middle of a conversation.
2. How would you incorporate skype into your class?
Skype is a tool that I hope to use someday in my classroom. I would use it to conduct interviews and have guest speakers come "into the classroom". The speakers would be experts in a field of study or just a friend I know from another country. While traveling around to different countries I have made connections with students and professionals in other cultures whom I already have a skype account linked with. The students would research about the guest speaker or the topic they were talking about so they would be prepared with with questions to ask. I could also use skype to help show the students experiments that could be analyzed in the classroom. Some experiments can not be done in the classroom or at a school campus. If I were able to get connected with some one who could help do an experiment outside on a different location and show the experiment via skype the students could work with the data while not having to perform the actual experiment themselves.

Weller, T. (2010). Playing with skype. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(6), Retrieved from

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Journal 9: Grounded Tech Integration: Math - NETS V

Teachers can benefit from the new technology that is available by incorporating them into their lessons. Some subjects may have more resources available to them than others. Mathematics is one that at a glance does not appear to be able to benefit from all of the programs, websites, and tools that are available. Upon further examination, you can find that are a variety of technologies for teaching mathematics. Drill-and-practice software, virtual manipulative, real-life data sets, interactive geometry programs, graphing calculators, robots, and computer-based laboratories are just a few.

The next hurdle teachers can face is deciding which one is most appropriate for the lesson. Often teachers have a lesson and try to find technology that fits into it. The best approach is to start with the tool and see what lessons fit best with it. According to creators of Activity Types Wiki, a wiki that has taxonomy of mathematical activities, the best way to help teachers integrate technologies effectively is to match technology integration strategies to how teachers plan, rather than asking teachers to plan instruction that exploits the opportunities offered by a particular educational technologies. With their conceptual tool, they offer to assist with technology integration by selecting and combining the learning activities that will best help students achieve the selected learning goals. Each activity was derived from the National Council of teachers of Mathematics' process standards.

1. What would be an example of a lesson using tools from the list provided by Activity Types?
One lesson provided would incorporate a graphing calculator with a mechanical robot. Companies have created inexpensive robots that connect to graphing calculators. Students would be able to create a graph on their graphing calculators to represent a mathematical expression. Once the graph is inputted into the calculator a robot is attached. The robot's movements is then commanded by using calculator. Students can set up a course in the classroom that the robot has to complete. This activity can also be filmed and unloaded onto a website for students to share with others or to view and collect data from the experiment.

2. How do you know what tool is best to use for a specific activity?
Activity Types breaks down activities per the approach that a teacher wants to focus in on for the lesson. In each of the activities is a list of more specific goals the teacher may have and tools that can be used to achieve them. It is beneficial to test out each of the tools mentioned and figure out which works best with your specific assignment and activity. A list of the activity types are as follows. One is a "Consider" activity and represents types that lower levels of student engagement are needed and  typically require relatively direct presentation of foundational knowledge. A second activity is a "Practice" activity which gives a list of tools that help the students practice and internalize important skills and techniques. The third is "Interpret" activities which help students investigate concepts and relationships, and assist them in interpreting what they observe. "Produce" activities is the forth, and they help students become the producers of mathematical work, rather than just passive consumers of prepared materials. The fifth is "Applye" activities and they help aid students is applying their mathematics in the real world and link mathematical concepts to real world phenomena. The sixth is "Evaluate" activities and they help assist students in the evaluation process by helping them undertake concepts comparisons, test solutions or conjectures, and/or integrate feedback from other individuals into their own work.  The last activity is "Create" activities which help students engaged in very creative and imaginative thinking processes.
Grandgenett, Harris, and Hofer (2009) Grounded Tech Integration:Math, Learning and Leading with Technology, 37 (3) Retrieved from

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Journal 8: Navigate the Digital Rapids - NETS V

Helping students become a digital citizen can be a challenge when the digital landscape is continually changing. A teacher who can overcome that challenge is someone who can effectively research technology trends, monitor the uses of technology in your school, avoid the fear factor that can easily paralyze you, and empower student-centered learning to create vibrant, exciting learning projects. If you are not at that place of comfort or ability there several things to consider to help you teach effective digital citizenship to your students.
The first is to customize. Students don't like to "placed in a box". They like to feel unique and stand out. They customize their life in an effort to be noticed and not become another face in the crowd. Teachers should customize their lesson plans and give the students some freedom to explore, create and learn on their own as well. Standards do not have to be sacrificed in order for this to be done. By allowing the students to have the freedom to customize it is also important to know how to monitor their work and make sure it is appropriate. Students should be taught the difference between professional networking and social networking.
It is also important for teachers to monitor the student's work. Social networking and professional networking are two different things. Most students today are familiar with social networking and may not know how to change their language, tone, and information given out. Monitoring their activities can be checking the type of avatar they use, styles of language, and quality of material they upload. Having a routine check and set procedures for when other students find inappropriate material will help ease the stress that may come from making sure everyone is being followed up on, When something is caught and labeled as inappropriate there needs to be a plan in place determining what steps will be taken.

As a teacher how can you gain the confidence to teach and guide your students through the digital rapids?
Be connected yourself. Research and work with tools that you will be using with your students long before you introduce it. Explore tools such as wikis, Nings, and blogs. Create a learning network that you can fall back on or turn to as you begin to teach your students. Though it you can share experiences and learn from each other's successes and failures.

How can you help your students acquire the skills to navigate through the digital rapids?
Give them structured freedom. Teach them the difference between social networking and professional networking. Teach them about Internet safety. There are an unlimited number of websites on the web that are only a click away from the students. Teaching them about how to navigate through them is important. Teach them how to flush out the good sites from the bad.

Lindsay and Davis (2010) Navigate the Digital Rapids, Learning and Leading with Technology, 37 (6) Retrieved from