Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why use R Campus

Below is the link to my Prezi presentation on R Campus. Preszi was fun and easy to use! Try it some time!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


As the 8 weeks draw to an end, I am amazed at all I have learned and accomplished. I love the network that was created with my Differentiated Work station group. We worked well together and the ideas that my colleagues provided were so helpful. I have visited and saved many of the links that were posted and have used some in my learning and teaching. I try to encorporate some form of technology in each subject that I teach. It is a great way to differentiate and meet the needs of all the learners in my room, while having them reach all the same objectived and goals.

This class has shown me that it is possible to use technology, even when there is not a great deal of technology to be found in a school. I have a smartboard in my room, and 2 very old and ancient computers. I was frustrated when I eould try to use them but now I know that I can make this work, if I go about it the right way. The web has many ideas to help me use UDL and DI. The kids do not always need to use computer to have differentiation.

I am going to use the vast amount of resources that are available to me onthe web, especially the UDL website, as well as the links my colleagues provided to meet the needs of my class. I have begun using interest surveys and independent learning projects in my class already. I am amazed at what the students can do! I am excited to continue to try new things at a slow and steady pace!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Looking back over the past eight weeks, I am amazed with the wealth of information I have gained. More so than any other class I think. When I review my GAME plan, I have seen growth and learning. I have set many goals for myself both in my professional and personal lives, but get "lost" when it comes to full filling them. By using the GAME plan, ir will allow my students and me to be self directed learners, by following the four steps, (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009). I have implemeted many parts of my GAME plan, but need the beginning of school in order to continue on. I am anxious to do this and to come up with another goal to reach from the NET-T standards.

I think this is very beneficial to the students as well. They need the skills of being a self directed learner in order to be successful in the real world. By teaching them the GAME plan,they can apply what they learn now later. This can be done through the use of Problem Bassed Learning. Dr. Ertmer notes that this type of learning has many benefits beyond self directed learning. They are learning to work with others, use of a broad range of skills and objectives/content, knowledge tranfer, and authentic learning experiences. I have learned that I do not do enough of this type of learning in my classroom. I have some road blocks in the way that are set inplace by my district, but I am going to talkto "the powers that be" and see what I can do to convince them otherwise. This type of learning is so beneficial to students that I cannot see how they can turn me away!

I would love to use more technology in my classroom and this course was able to help me determine the best way to do this. It is sometimes frustrating watching the videos with the classrooms filled witha laptop for each students and technology everywhere. I do not think this is typical of schools around the counttry. I wish I had such luxeroes but I do not. I have a computer lab for 500+ students to share. I am hoping to bring some of my own technology into my classroom by using my ipod and projection chart. Simply things as cameras are also a good small way to start. I have thought about asking parents to donate old digital cameras to the class. IT seems as if people are upgrading cameras often and may be willing to donate their old ones. It is worth a shot. I am also going to sign up for that lab as often as possible so that I can incorporate technology as much as possible. This is a mini GAME plan I have created to do as much as I can to ue technology witht he little that I have to work with. I see the importance of it for learning and living.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Using the GAME plan with students

Going throught the NET-T standards has helped me to better reach my students through the integration of technology. By incorporating the GAME plan into this, I was able to set goals and monitor my reaching them. In many cases goals are set for both teachers and students with no clear direction on how to get there. In the end no goals, or few, are met. By making a plan, I held myself accountable.

To help my students, I will create a survey through the use of Sentios. The students will answer questions related to the NET-S standards and indicators. By using the Sentios, the data is automatically organized so I can also see what areas ALL students need help in and those can be made into class goals. Based on the results of each student,they can set individual goals. I will also introduce them to the GAME plan so that they are provided with a workable way to meet those goals. At the beginning of each computer class,(we meet once a week inthe lab), they can use the first 15 minutes to work toward the goals. If they finish other assignments early they can continue on those goals as well. After each goal is reached, the students can revisit the survey results to chose another goal.

I think this is a great skill for students through life. As they enter high school, college and the real world, students will need a plan to reach goals. I never had a foundation for meeting goals, and always let things slide. I can see how this would be a life long skill. I also believe the students will be able to see how this will help them.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Revising My GAME Plan

After several weeks of working toward my GAME plan, I have come to a stand still. I cannot go any farther without school beginning. I will not know if the resources I have found will be useful until I am able to implement them. With school starting in several weeks I will be able to go forward with my plan at that time.

What have I learned so far that I can apply in my instructional practice? I have learned that by spending the time at the beginning of the year to teach digital citizenship, I will be saving time in the future. Sometimes it takes time to save time. This is sometimes hard for people to understand. I am trying to help my adminitration understand this. There is a typing program I would like to do with my students but it needs to be done daily for 6-8 weeks. My principal thinks this will interfer with the time I need to teach core classes. By having the students able to type, it will save time with on-line projects, word processing, and other projects that require technology. I also have taken my parent/student communication tool as far as I can until school starts. Only once I see what is working or what suggestions parents and students have for ma to add to the clas blog, can I evaluate and determine what revisions are necessary.

Since I am not ready for a new learning goal, how will I extend my learning? I would like to extend my learning by finding some professional development courses that I could attend. In addition, I would also like to extend my learning to others. I would like to host a workshop for my colleagues on Digital Citizenship and encourage them to take the time to teach it. I have many colleagues who are reluctant to use technology and this may help them to find comfort in allowing students to become 21st century learners. I have conducted a brief workshop on blogging and several teachers joined the ranks with the blogging crowd. I found blogging was easier thatn keeping a web page. I would like to offer this workshop again to again, help teachers see that technology does not need to be frieghting, but can be very helpful!

I think by setting these GOALs for myself I will become a better teacher providing more for my students. Once I have evaluated and met my GOALs, I will set a new goal to accomplish. By doing this I will always be in the loop of the new and up coming technology.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Evaluating the GAME Plan

As I look at what I am doing toward reaching my goals, I am chugging along. I have a good understanding of the content and the direction I am headed. I have found some resources that have proved to be valuable to me. I have been in contact with my district's tech department and have run ideas past them. They are supportive of my choice to conduct a unit on Digital Citizenship and have decided to use my class as a test group. If the unit goes well then it will be used district wide. This is exciting for me, but does add some added pressure as well.

I am excited to also use my Blog as a major form of contact with my class, both poarents andd students. This will allow for a "no excuses" approach in my class. Everything they need will be right there for them. Only time will tell if my GSAME plan has worked. I will need to re-evaluate again in September and October to see what changes need to be made.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monitoring the GAME Plan

As I carry out my GAME plan, I am quickly realizing that I have come to a stand still on one of my Goals. I cannot do too much with my Goal for parent and student communication. With it being summer break and class list not ditributed, I cannot do many things on my Blog. I cannot upload names, birthday, etc. I also need to see which students are allowed to have their names and pictures published, some parents will not allow this. Rules cannot be added because I allow the students to create their own classroom rules so they have ownership of them. Homework cannot be added for there is none yet. The only thing I can add to this now is sites for the students to visit once school starts, and field trip that are planned thus for. I will add a calendar with some important dates from the school claendar to the site as well. This Game plan is hard to continue because of the lack of information and the time of year.

As for the second GAME plan, I am still creating the lessons I would like to use to teach digital citizenship. I have found many great sites that have lessons on this, and it is a matter of sorting through the information. One problem I am running into is not having the technology I need to do this. I cannot create Smart Board lessons from home or Sentois quizes. This is a road block for me, again due to the time of year. I cannot create the activities when the technology is not available to me.

I have learned that there are so many resources on Digital Citizenship and sometime that is a bad thing. You can become very overwhelmed if you search too much. Learning to stop when you think you have found what you are looking for could be a good thing. In addtion, I have learned that my district is so far behind. We would like to think we are creating 21 century digital citizens but we are not. We do not do enough with technology. I want to be a ground breaker to encourage more teachers to do all they can. I watch the videos and see the classrooms with a computer for every student. Is this really realistic? I wish the videos would be more directed to the average school where this is not the case; teaching us how to over come the obsticles of lack of technology but still be successful in creating digital citizens.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Carrying out the GAME plan

In order to accomplish my goal to provide parents, as well as students, a site they can visit, and have classroom information readily available to them, I need to make adjustments to the Blog I currently use. This past year, I used a Blog as a means of communication with the parents. With budget cuts limiting the amount of paper we are given, I decided this was a better way to communicate with the parents. I will not need any additional resources to carry out my Goal. I have the Blog set up already and I currently have computer access. I plan on visiting the blogs that some colleagues have for their classes and "steal" some ideas. I need to change the class information to reflect my new class, but cannot do this before the new school year, as I do not have a class list as of yet. I will begin to add tabs for rules and procedures, schedules (when I get them), and general information.

For my second Goal, Standard 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship, Indicator: promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions relates to the use of technology and information, I will need to find a good nprogram to promote digital citizenship. There are several different sites I am looking at and may combined them to customize my own program. I also need to design the lisence they will reeive upon completion. One site that has a great deal of information is Digital Citezenship: Resources for Educators, ( I will be using the 9 principles of Digital Citaenship which can be found at These principles are what I will base my lessons on. I will also use Brain Pop to address these principles, I have located the resources that I would like to use and I am currently weeding through them to determine what I will use and how.

Although I cannot do many things to reach my end results before school is back in session, I think I am well on my way to meeting my Goals.


Brain Pop located at

Digiatal Citizenship, Using Technology Appropriately located at

Teaching Digital Citizenship located at

National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

National Education Technology Standards

After looking at the Standards and Indicators for teachers, I have found two that I would like to work on.  The first is from the standard, Model Digit-Age Work and Learning.  Indicator 3,  collaborate with students, peers, parents and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation, is one indicator I need to do better with.  I currently have a blog that I communicate with parents but this is not utilized by all the parents.  My GAME plan is as follows.  Goal- to provide parents, as well as students, a site they can visit to, and have classroom information readily available to them.  Action-  Create a blog or website for my students that parents can also access, that has classroom information on it.  This information will include, homework assignments, test dates, websites for students to visit, and classroom rules and procedures.  Monitor- I will monitor the website to see if students are visiting it.  I will also occasionally post an extra credit assignment, or secret code word that can earn students bonus points of some kind to see if they are using the site.  I Also need to monitor how often I can update the sites.  Evaluate-  To evaluate this plan, I can compare the number of missed assignments from last year to this year.  I can also compare how often I receive parent questions from year to year to determine if the information posted limits this.  I also will send out as survey several times throughout the year to ask what both parents and students have found helpful and what else they would like to see added to each site.

The second indicator I need to address is from Standard 4:  Promote and Model Digital Citizenship, Indicator: promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions relates to the use of technology and information.  I feel this is extremely important to cover with students.  Bullying, believe it or not is happening earlier and earlier in schools.  I had a fourth grader whom we had to enforce the no tolerance policy on.  Here is my plan. Goal: to provide students with an understanding of the proper rules and etiquette for using technology as a tool and for communication purposes.  Action:  create various lessons to teach the students rules and etiquette.  As each lesson is assessed the students will earn a puzzle piece.  After all the pieces for each lesson have been earned, the student will have a certificate of digital etiquette.  A Digital Driver's License for surfing the Internet and using technology for learning and communicating.  It is their passport to independent learning through technology. Monitor:  each lesson will have an online assessment piece.  This is how each piece of the puzzle will be earned.  I will monitor the scores to determine which lessons need to be strengthened.  I will also monitor the use of technology throughout the lessons and the year.  When students are caught misusing technology or being cyber bullies, they will lose the puzzle piece from the lesson that addressed the issue.  Those students will need to re-earn their License.  I will also use a survey to ask students their feels on the lessons and if they found them valuable.  Evaluate:  I will use the assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of each lesson, as well as the surveys.  In addition, as I monitor student use of technology, I can determine if they are having proper etiquette for using technology as a learning of communication tool. 

I believe by addressing each indicator throughout the course of the year, I can become a teacher whom using technology as a tool to provide students with new and creative and authentic learning experiences that meets the needs of all my students.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


As I look back through the course material, I am struck by the thoughts of Thomas Freedman.  "Those who have the ability to manage massive amounts of information. . .  will have the capacity to contribute more to society," (November, 2008, p.2).  Is is my job to prepare students to be contributors.  If they are unable to "read" the web, I am not preparing them properly.  Literacy is no longer reading the words in a book.  Being literate requires using skills to accomplish a goal, according to David Warlick, (Laureate Education Inc., 2009).  Times have changes!  Signing "X" on the line used to mean you were literate, then writing your name, and reading words on a page.  Now reading the words is not enough.  You need to be able to interpret, comprehend and infer when you read.  Once you add the digital world into this, you need to be able to do even more.  The New Literacies, which include Questioning, Searching, Evaluating, Synthesizing and Communicating, are new skills that need to be modeled and taught.  Students need to be able to navigate, and discriminate information on the web for their own purposes.  This is what is the most profound for me.  Teaching these New Literacies should be at the forefront of our education.  It should be taught so that the digital world can be used for learning an inquiry.  Technology is only growing and to avoid it is not going to do our students justice.  We need to embrace it and use it.

One personal goal I am setting for myself is to teach these New Literacies as the beginning of the year.  Once these skills are taught, I can do so much more with digital learning.  One way I would accomplish this is to have each student earn a Passport to Digital Citizenship, (Ribble, 2008) as well as using the Quest model (Eagleton and Dobler, 2007) to teach and model how to use the Internet.

This course has allowed me to understand how online inquiry can be used in conjunction with district, state and national standards.  Students need to be taught to teach themselves, (Laureate Education Inc, 2009).  By teaching them to learn through inquiry they can do just that.  This also allows for peaked interest in learning and student choice with projects.  It can also allow for modified learning and meeting the individual learning needs of students. 

I am excited to teach my students how to read the web so we can use it to learn from each other, and others around the world. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Throughout this course I have been exposed to many different learning styles.  In week one, my learning style was a combination of many different ones all wrapped together.  I believed that learning is an active process in which information is built upon prior knowledge, as did Bruner. I also believe that all child learn at their own rate, when they are developmentally ready, (Piaget) with their very own learning style that works best for them, (Gardner), (Duffy & McDonald, 2008).   Now, my theory has changed somewhat.  Although I believe what I had in week one, I also think social learning is important as well.  I believe that technology needs to be used to meet the many needs of each student.  By using technology as a learning tool rather than a teaching tool, students will gain more. 

As a result of this new knowledge, I plan on using technology more as a learning tool rather than a teaching tool.  Although I used my SmartBoard daily, I could be making better use of it.  Through the creation of Power Point presentations that use images rather than words, students can better make connections to prior knowledge and recall information easier.  Students would be actively learning this way rather than passively reading.  I would also like to use the SmartBoard to have students construct and manipulate concept maps as they learn new information.  This will also allow for better recall.

I would like to use interactive technology on a more daily basis.  I plan on using more blogging in my teaching.  Many of my classroom parents are very supportive and I regularly give homework that requires the computer, so much of this can take place outside the classroom.  Blogging will require my students to use higher level thinking skills and learn to be digital communicators.  I also like the idea of using more web quests.  This supports the use of technology as well as social learning.  Both of which are very important in today's global society. This is going to require extra time in the computer lab which I will need to adjust for. 

I look forward to implementing these new technologies into my teaching and my students' learning.  I am anxious to see the results of its use.


Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. (2008). Teaching and learning with technology (3rd ed. pp. 2–35). Boston: Pearson.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Voice thread

Here is the link again.  Maybe this one will work.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here is the link to my Voice Thread. I was becoming very frustrated with my power point and how it was uploading to the Voice Thread site. No matter what I did, the words were wrapping and some slides looked like a big blue box! Very strange! Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Learning

Collaborative Learning projects and Social Learning theories go hand in hand.  Social learning theorists believe that meaning is gained through interactions with others and the environment, (Orey, 2001).  By working collaboratively with others, students are constructing knowledge and learning to work in today's face paced and socially global society.  There are many web based activities that provide for cooperative learning.  What is the most exciting, in my opinion, is that the learning can extend past the walls of the school, and into the global community.  Students can collaborate with other students from around the world.  This is the modern day pen pal.  Students can reach out to cultural experts through the web to gain, gather, and provide information and knowledge.  Sites like ePALS and Key Pals International are great for this.  By far,the most exciting collaborative project for me to have be successful in my classroom would bbe the website creation.  I think this teaches so many skills while the students gain a vast amount of information on a specified topic. I love the fact this requries students to become an expert in an area.  With free and inexpensive tools this is easier than ever.  All these activities, and more, require students to work with each other, gain knowledge from each other, and learn life skills in the process.


Orey, M.(Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Constructionism in the Classroom

Dr. Orey relates the work of Piaget to the Constructionism theory in which information is not simply transfered from teacher to student.  The students create ideas when they are actively engaged.  Classrooms that follow these beliefs allow students to investigage, create and solve problems with a specific instructional goal implemented, (Orey, 2001).  The instructional strategies that were presented in the readings this week support the theory because the students are guiding their own learning.  There is a specific goal at the end that needs to be me, but how they get there is determined by the student.  Technology plays a great role in this.  It seems the  most common technology used may be the Point Point.  Students work on an assigned problem and build upon it through research and gathering information to compile an emd project to display what they learned.  I use a similar process, but with a different "showcase" for their learning.  Glogster (edu, - free for teachers) allows students to make interactive posters.  Same concept, different form.  When I compared the knowledge retained from my students when they researched famous people using books and that from using the internet and creation of Glogster posters, the ladder was greater.  The students were more engaged and they were exposed to so much more material this wasy too.  It only makes sense they would gain more.  I think web quests are a great tool.  Students are required to meet specific goals, but the projects vary and the depth to which they research also will depend on the learner.  I have found it to be a great tool.  With all the afore mentioned activities, guidelines are imperative.  These guideline will keep the students focused on the outcome and allow them to gauge their leaning.  Rubrics are a wonderful tool to do this.  This theory fits seemlessly into the classroom in my opinion.


Orey, M.(Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cognitivism in Practice

Cognitive orientation to learning is based on "the act or process of learning," (Smith, 1999).  The belief is that students learn best when they are actively engaged in high interest activities.  This is nothing new to any teacher.  "Learning results from inferences, expectations and making connections. . .prior knowledge is important," (Smith 1999). 

By using cues, questions, and advance organizers, teachers are able to enhance the student's ability to retrieve, use and organize information, (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007).  These types of strategies provide for multiple modalities.  The more channels that the information is presented in, the more connections can be made in the brain, providing easier retrieval.  Teachers can use technology to enhance the digital learners interest and learning, and allow them to use higher-level thinking.
Note taking and summarizing enhance "students' abilityto synthesize informations and distill it into a concise new form," (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007).  This too requires students to actively become a part of their learning to do this.  They are required to filter through information to determine what is the most important, rather than the most interesting, then put it into their own words.

The cognitive theory believes that students need to manipulate information to make it their own thinking.  The strategies that were presented this week require just that.  Students do not just sit and absorb the information.  In each strategy they have to take the information, manipulate it, visualize it, summarize it, connect to it and store it.  The more they are actively involved, the better the recall is. 


Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Smith, M.K. (1999) "The cognitive orientation of learning', the encyclopedia of informational education,, last update: September 03, 1999.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Behaviorist Ideas in the Classroom

Effort is often over looked by many teachers.  I encorporate effort into my behavior plan, but love the idea of using a spread sheet to track effort.  I would like to see the comparisions between how much effort I believe students are putting forth, and what they think they put forth.  I think by providing the with a rubric toscore themselves, we can "train" the students to accurately rate their effort.  IF we can get students to see the correlation between effort and success, then we can get the most out of all our students.

Homework and practice can be daunting to some students, as well as parents.  i have parents complain and say it is a waste of time.  Over the years I have tried to make it more interesting for the students from time to time.  I will occassionaly have students visit websites foro homework.  One site I like to use it  This website allows me to assign reading levels to students.  They listen to and read books into a microphone.  We can both listen to how they have read and traxck their fluency.  It also provides them with worksheets they can print out and a quiz to take.  Report are sent to me so I can see if the students have comleted their assignments and what scores they received on the quiz.  There is also a math site our school has on the server that students can access from home,complete an assignment and print a reprot card of their work.  Homework is a important for the drill aspect of learning and behaviorist views.