Wednesday, May 18, 2011

iMovie PSA

I created this Public Service Announcement (PSA) about California State University-San Marcos using Apple's iMovie. It meets NETS-T 1-3.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Journal #7: My Personal Learning Network (NETS-T 1-5)

What is your Personal Learning Network? How will it help you as a classroom teacher?

My Personal Learning Network (PLN) consists of a number of people. I picked people that were specialists in technology and special education. I also included people who were language teachers and other school administrators. My PLN will help me in the future because I chose people from a variety of different places, this way I can always have a resource to go to if I have a problem I need to solve.

Discuss your use of Twitter. Who is in your network? Why? Reflect on your participation in an educational chat.

I had never used Twitter before this class. Although, I found it very easy to move around the site, participating in chats, and adding people to my network. The people I added to my network were people who can expand the resources I have. They were people in the professional school setting and had experience working in schools and with students. I also included some of my classmates to continue our working and collaborative relationship.

On March 14, 2011, I participated in an educational chat (#langchat) that was held on Twitter. LangChat increases the opportunities for language teachers to collaborate with one another. The topic of the discussion was "how can standards-based grading (SBG) be made valid?". The overall consensus was that traditional A-F grading was useless because it doesn't show what the students know. SBG allows for teachers to focus on areas where students need improvement. I thought SBG was a better rubric of grading because it shows the strengths and weaknesses of students' knowledge, not just if they can or can't follow directions or write a paper.

Discuss your use of Diigo as a networking tool. Describe what you tagged as 'PLN' and why.

I used Diigo as a place to find resources that felt would help me when I become an educator. I followed teachers and resource specialists. The websites I tagged as 'PLN' were: A Teacher's Guide to Twitter, 100 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels for Teachers, and Yahoo! for Teachers. I chose the teacher and resource specialist websites and profiles because they would provide information on a variety of topics. I picked the technology websites because its important to stay current with technology.

Discuss which digital discussion forum you joined and why. Reflect on a blog post you read. What did you learn? Will this be useful in your future classroom?

I joined Classroom 2.0. I read a blog post asking how can a teacher share the class' experience while reading Around the World in 80 Days with people outside the classroom. A suggestion someone made was to use Blogger or Google Chat to interact with students in other places. They also suggested making YouTube videos about the different places they were reading. This posting was very helpful in how to incorporate technology into a classroom curriculum. When I was in high school, I had a teacher do something similar. We were each assigned a pen pal and wrote to them a few times a week. Incorporating technology with an language arts assignment will allow for students to be more creative and understand the importance of the book rather than just reading about the places.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Journal #9: Teaching Green (NETS 1,2,3 & 5)

Waters, J. (2011). Teaching green. THE Journal, 38(4), Retrieved from

The freelance writer, John Waters provides teachers and students numerous resources to learn about environmental issues.

The first resource is Classroom Earth is a site created by The Weather Channel and the National Education Foundation. The purpose of the site is to increase the awareness and quality of environmental education in high schools.

The second resource is A Walk in the Woods created for elementary school students who live in urban areas and have limited access to nature. The site provides a virtual walk through the woods.

EEK!-Environmental Education for Kids is an online magazine for students in grades 4-8.
The Ecological Footprint Quiz gives students the opportunity to see the impact they make on the Earth through their ecological footprint.

PowerUp is an environmental science-themed game. The site also provides lesson plans and guides for teachers and parents as well.

The last resource Waters writes about is The US Environmental Protection Agency Teaching Center. The website offers an abundance of lesson plans and activities based on numerous environmental topics.

Question 1: Which of the resources would have the greatest impact on students?
A: I think that the Ecological Footprint would be the most beneficial for students. The results of the quiz will allow for students to see the impact they make on the environment and alternatives for how to make a difference.

Question 2: Who should have the responsibility of teaching children about the importance of preserving the environment? Parents or teachers?

A: I think it should be the responsibility of both. If children are receiving the message from more than one source, it will have a greater impact on the importance of preserving the environment.

Journal #8: Point/Counterpoint: Should Schools Be Responsible for Cyberbulling?

Bogacz, R., & Gordillo, M. (2011). Should schools be held accountable for cyberbullying. Leading and Learning With Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

In the article, Bogacz and Gordillo give suggestions of how cyberbulling can be controlled. In the first section Bogacz says that technology has enabled students to bully each other and school administrators cannot ignore what is happening because it is having an impact on the academic environment. Bogacz suggests that with the cooperation of parents, teachers, school administrators, and students cyberbullying can be prevented. In the second section Gordillo argues that the schools don't need to be held accountable for cyberbullying. He believes that prevention needs to start at home with the parents. He believes that if students recieve love at home from their parents, bullying will be a less likely occurence. Parents are a student's first educator and they need to learn how to work with schools to educate their children and prevent bullying. He believes that schools can help restore families back to being supportive, loving, and caring units, but schools can't do it by themselves, they need help. The conclusions of both sides of the argument were very different. Bogacz concluded saying if everyone works together to prevent bulling, it will end. But if one group doesn't put in the effort, everything will be for nothing. Gordillo concludes by saying that schools can only help foster the prevention of bulling, it is up to families to teach their children to stop bullying.

Question 1: How can schools prevent cyberbullying?

Schools can do many things to prevent cyberbullying. One thing they can do is have parents and students sign a contract to prevent it from occurring. I would also create a comfortable classroom that encourages respect. Another thing I would is make sure students know it is okay to report bullying to teachers.

Question 2: How can parents prevent cyberbullying?

A: Parents can teach their children that its not okay to bully others in any form, including through technology. Parents should also monitor their children when they are on the Internet or using their cell phones. Another thing parents can do is work with their children's school to create or carry out an anti-bullying policy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Journal #6: Growing Your Personal Learning Network (NETS-T 3 & 5)

Warlick, D. (2011, March/April) Growing Your Own Personal Learning Network. Learning and Leading Through Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

In the article, Warlick introduces 3 different types of Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). The first PLN is the personally maintained connection. This type of connection involves people and places a person uses to answer questions, solve problems, and accomplish goals. Tools associated with this network include teleconferencing software, Twitter, instant and text messaging, and virtual worlds. The second type of PLN is the social and personally maintained connections. This connection allows for people to be in different places, but still lets them to participate at their own pace, one that works best with their own schedule. Tools that enable this type of connection include Twitter and Google Docs. The third type of connection is the dynamically maintained connection. This connection helps people find updates to sites that they find have educational value to them. Updates are able to happen by using an RSS feed. Another useful tool for this type of PLN is social bookmarking sites. These websites allow others to see the websites when you add them to your web pages as well, thus expanding the number of people who are able to use it as a tool.

Question 1: Which type of PLN is most effective?

A: I think the most effective type is the dynamically maintained connection. It seems to be the most widespread. The RSS feed seems really helpful because often sites are bookmarked, but then they're never used again. RSS feeds keep people updated on changes that have been made to the site. Another reason why this is a good PLN is because you're able to see other sites that are similar to ones that you already like.

Question 2: How can PLNs be incorporated into a classroom?

A: PLNs for students can be used the same way it is for teachers and educators. Students can use the PLNs for school projects to help save them time when researching for a project or paper. It can also be used for personal use, such as hobbies and interests.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Journal #2: Join the Flock & Enhance Your Twitter Experience (NETS-T 5)

Hadley, F. (2010, June/July) Join the Flock! Learning and Leading Through Technology, 37(8), Retrieved from

McClintock-Miller, S. (2010, June/July) Enhance Your Twitter Experience. Learning and Leading Through Technology, 37(8), Retrieved from

Twitter is a great tool for teachers to improve their PLN (professional learning network). The first article gave steps on how to get the most out of Twitter. The author said that it was okay that a person follows a person, but they won't get as much as someone who also posts and replies to others. A great piece of advice the author gave was to put hash tags on your posts to expand your PLN to people that you do not know.

The second article was about using tools to enhance Twittering. TweetDeck was one of the tools mentioned. TweetDeck is used to organize your posts into more than one column. HootSuite was also mentioned. HootSuite is used to share a website address through a tweet.

Question 1: How is meeting people through Twitter better than in person?
A: It's better because you're able to meet more people. On Twitter, adding a hash tag to your posts multiplies the number of viewers by at least 10. Meeting people in person is harder because you can only meet someone one at a time. Also, because there is a larger variety people on Twitter, the resources are more diverse.

Question 2: Can Twitter continue to be a resourceful tool or will it fade away?
A: I think that Twitter can continue to grow. At the moment, I don't think very many people know the different ways Twitter can be helpful. If word spreads, that it can be used as an effective tool for things besides knowing what celebrities are doing, then I think Twitter will be here to stay.