Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Personal Learning Network (PLN) Module and Assignment

A PLN is a personal learning network. They are very valuable resources for communicating among students or fellow teachers. Students can use them to transport documents, view specific documents and reach out to various sites that provide educational opportunities, and transfer documents and works for others to view. The personal learning network that I was interested in is twitter. This PLN absolutely fascinates me with the potential it has in the classroom. Hoping to become a future history teacher, I see twitter as an avenue to enhance students’ knowledge and excitement in the curriculum. PLN are very valuable for teachers. In an age in education where budget cuts are limiting the tools that teachers need to teach their students, PLN’s provide interesting paths for students to enhance their knowledge in a subject area. Also teachers can provide much more insight in using these tools. For instance, Diigo allows students and teachers to share documents and possibly primary sources that would either be too hard to find or cost too much to make a copy for every single student. PLN’s have provided so much to the field of education.

A very valuable PLN is the RSS feed. It allows for a person who has created a Blog to stream information and news that pertains to a particular website that one is interested in. On my educational blog I have RSS feeds to KPBS,, and the New York Times. As a future History teacher these three RSS feeds provide a large amount of sources and information that will cover any standard for California Social Science. I picked the world news RSS feed from the New York Times which will allow me to present current events to my students. The KPBS education RSS feed keeps me up to date on local news. The RSS feed allows for news in the History field which would be easy to relate in any of my classes.

Twitter can also be a very valuable source. You can follow famous people, historians, and historical reviews or magazines. On top of this you receive information and links to pictures, articles, and video feeds. I am following many of my fellow classmates on twitter. But I also follow the KPBS twitter, the National Parks Service twitter, and the History Channel twitter. They all provide wonderful insight on a daily basis.

On Diigo I follow two of my classmates Ryan Otterson and Rob James. They provide a ton of sources that we shared on our Diigo library about “Ipads in the classroom” and the implementation of Ipads as a technology in education. Diigo is a valuable source because teacher can create groups online for their classes and give their students access to various arrangements of sources. I found on the Diigo website a source that talked about languages that are becoming endangered. I found this to be very interesting.

I went on the ITSE site and entered their digital discussion forum known as Ning. I looked at a blog post from Suzie Boss who talks about bringing “technological innovation” into the classroom. She included an interview via Skype which was very interesting to see. She wanted to express “initiatives that encourage creativity, problem solving, and grassroots innovation”. I thought this was a very informative PLN and allows teachers to access forums and blogs on technology in the classroom.  

I felt that looking at all of these PLN’s was very enlightening. I have learned a lot in this class that I didn’t know. I thought Twitter was just for following sports teams. I never knew it had an application in modern education. My favorite PLNs would have to be the RSS feed, Blogs, and Twitter. These are easy to use applications and I see myself using them a lot in the classroom. I didn’t really like Diigo because I just see students getting lost in the website. It is a great PLN I just don’t think I will use it in my classroom. I could post the documents on an internet blog and get the same effect form the students.

Links to:

My internet Blog where you can see my RSS feeds:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ITSE Article Response VIII "Celebrate Your Mobile Devices"

Mader, J and Ben Smith. (2011/2012). Celebrate your mobile devices. Learning and Leading. 30(12-1) Retrieved on  

            A huge problem we have today is there are so many restrictions from budget cuts that limit teachers from getting the tools they need to teach science and math. Pretty much, Mader and Smith want public schools to allow students to use their phones to download applications that will help them in their math and science classes. They feel that the students will be able to master measurements and promote deeper analysis of data that they would not be available in the classroom. They give the website that helps teachers and students buy or download these apps onto their phones. They list a lot of valuable apps that measure: angles, depth, acceleration, time, frequency, decibel strength, and luminosity.

            I think this would be great to use in the classroom. Many of these resources and apps are applicable in other classes as well. Not just science and math courses. Students can use the magnetic compass app to find direction and get a better understanding of geography. Also students may need a calculator to calculate the time difference between specific dates. Obviously this will be very valuable in science and math classrooms but it is applicable for other subject areas.

            I feel this article fulfills ISTE NETS Standard 3 in that they apply digital tools to gather, evaluate information. Ipads are so applicable and easy to use, students can use and take them anywhere and explore a lot of media. There are countless numbers of apps that can pinpoint and enhance students’ knowledge in any subject area. I think this will become a very valuable source in the classroom of the future.   


ITSE Atricle VII "Students Read Around the Planet"

Lim, J. (2011). Students read around the planet. Learning and Leading. 36(12-1), 36-37. Retrieved on  

            This article is absolutely amazing. Some elementary schools around the United States have used web 2.0 technologies to link with other classes around the world. They use technologies such as videoconferencing to read with other classes. The classrooms can link with document cams and read with kids all around the world. It allows for a joint learning opportunity and is very valuable in this age that we live in.

            I really think this is a very valuable technology that has tons of applications in the classroom of the future. Students are able to teach their sister school about culture or what they learn from an American education and in turn learn about education strategies from other institutions around the world. The use of the videoconferencing learning has been a success in the classroom. Initially starting with 200 classes in 2002 they have since grown to 1,950 classes in five countries, four Canadian provinces, and 33 states in the US. Teachers love this technology because it widens the students’ knowledge of geography and become familiar with other cultures around the world.

            I feel this article fulfills ISTE NETS Standard 3 in that they apply digital tools to gather, evaluate information. Videoconferencing is so applicable and easy to use, students can use and take them anywhere and explore a lot of media. There are countless techniques that can pinpoint and enhance students’ knowledge in any subject area.     



Monday, June 18, 2012

EDUC 422 Article Response VI "Unlock literacy with ipads"

Harmon, J. (2012). Unlock literacy with ipads. Learning and Leading. 30(7), 30-31. Retrieved on

This was an interesting article from a teacher who has introduced an ipad to her high school classroom. She was given 24 ipads as part of a study in 2010 to see how it affected her student’s educational experience. She has a lot of students that read two levels below their grade level. The students are engaged with the Ipads and actually improved their reading skills. She went through a trial and error finding the most valuable apps for the ipad that were educational. She lists a lot of valuable apps that help us future teachers who may use ipads in our classroom. These apps include “ibooks”, “words with friends”, and “wordflick”.

This is a very valuable article because I am very interested in using technology like ipads and other web2.0 devices in my classroom. I like how I can refer to this article and look at apps that are valuable in the classroom. Just how simple the ipad is to use makes it very easy for students to use as an educational tool. I like how in her study she was able to see improvement in her student’s skills in reading and become more and more successful. I like how students like the ipad more than computers because they are portable and don’t take as long to start up.

I feel this article fulfills ISTE NETS Standard 3 in that they apply digital tools to gather, evaluate information. Ipads are so applicable and easy to use, students can use and take them anywhere and explore a lot of media. There are countless numbers of apps that can pinpoint and enhance students’ knowledge in any subject area.

EDUC 422 ITSE Article Response V “Teach your Budding Scientists to be Gamers”

Barko, T., T. Sadler. (2011) Teach your budding scientists to be gamers. Learning and Leading. 38(11), 38-39.

This article brings up some very important points on technology in the classroom and how skills learned from gaming may help science students get professions in the scientific field in the future. Mission Biotech creates games that allow students to interact with pending scientific scenarios that are prevalent in science today. Students can interact with scenarios with anything in the environment. This includes looking at West Nile Virus and SARS. This is a great system because it allows students to become acclimated to what Scientists do on a day to day basis. Even teachers have gotten hooked to the gaming and are happy to use it in their classroom.

This seems like a very valuable resource for science teachers to use in their classroom. Teachers can use the games created by Mission Biotech to create a unique learning environment for their students. The game does have some drawbacks. Teachers have run into some technological problems when using the games in the classroom. Mission Biotech just needs to trouble shoot these technological problems so teachers can implement them in the classroom.

 I don’t think I would use this in the classroom since I am going to teach social science. It is a pretty valuable resource though. I feel this article best represents the ISTE NETS Standard 1 “Creativity and Innovation”. The video game allows the students to use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues. Also teachers can use existing information in the field to develop innovative products and processes.

This is so cool...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

EDUC 422 Article IV response to "No Robotics in School? 4-H Can Help. Learning and Leading Technology"

Barker, B and Richard Mahacek. (2011 November). No Robotics in School? 4-H Can Help. Learning and Leading Technology. 26-27.

This source is valuable for science or math teachers interested in enhancing their students’ knowledge. It offers links to a program called 4-H which will help students get the knowledge they need to understand robotics. The 4-H company is interested in teaching kids so they can be prepared to work and build robotics. The robots are free of charge for students. It was developed by a series of educators, teachers, engineers, and university researchers. A major concept that they want to pass on to future students is basic physical-science. The students are subject to two types of robotics: The Virtual Robotics track and Junk Drawer Robotics track. Both scenarios tend to help build students up so that they are proficient in different physical and science concepts. The lessons are open to help build students’ conceptual understanding of scientific process. It also helps students promote problem identification, framing, and solving. Also the biggest attribute is it allows students to make and observe solutions.

I don’t think as a future teacher I will be subject to teaching the 4-H robotics scenarios. I am going to become a History teacher so robotics is not a part of my curriculum. I do feel that this is an interesting concept and as a person who is just interested in the advancement of public education this seems to be a very valuable source. The fact that students can operate and work with robotics is very cool. I wish I had it when I was in school.

I feel that this best represented by NETS-S 4 “Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making”. The students are subject to learning how the robots work and solving questions that relate to the scenario and how they relate to problem solving. 

EDUC 422 Article III response "Not an Expert? Then Go Out and Find One"

Heldman, B. (2011 August).  Not an Expert? Then Go Out and Find One. Learning and Leading Technology. 30-31

            Teachers in this age of technology have found that the new technology may be complicated and difficult to grasp the concept. The basis of this article is to encourage teachers to ask technology experts for help. SME’s or Subject Matter Experts are the specialists that are out there to help teachers. Most SME’s provide online streaming and tutorials to help teachers and maybe even students become tech savvy. and Oracle Academy are sites on the internet that help students become familiar with adobe and updates in software. Since SME’s are employed they may have fees for use of their tutorials. Other SME websites such as Digital-Tutors and 3DBuzz are other sites that enhance students’ knowledge. The Digital-Tutors is a pretty cool site because it allows students to teach other students about technological concepts on the site. Bill Heldman provides many links to various sources that may be valuable for students and teachers to contact SME’s.

            This is a valuable source because I am planning on becoming a future teacher. The advancements in technology make contacting the SME’s and viewing their sites. Bill Heldman provides a lot of insight into six different SME sites that are valuable for students. If I have any questions I feel that one of my students or I can contact one of these SME sites.

            I feel that this best fits ITSE NETS-S 3 “Research and Information Fluency”. Pretty much students have to evaluate sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness of specific tasks. So the students can go and access the SME’s and if they need to receive help on technological concepts or like Digital-Tutors help out fellow students.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quickwrite on Critical Review of Online Sources

We went over various concepts that will help teachers provide credible online sources for students in their classroom. It is often known that most students just search anything they want on the internet and take it as a credible source. This is not the case. In this discussion we went over various safeguards that will ensure credible sources for students doing research projects. One method is using the advanced search on the Google search bar. This allows the students to find websites that are valuable and credible. Students just need to be aware that some domains such as .com websites are not as credible as .gov or .org websites. Students need to be aware that some sites may be opinion based and need to lean toward sites that are research based. Often different university library websites have peer reviewed work that is valuable to students. Also you can look at the sources and publishing agencies and see if they make the website credible.

Remembering D-day 68 years later...

Fresno State winning the College World Series 2008

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

EDUC 422 Article II iPod Implementation in the Elementary Grades

Hinshaw-Hatten, S. (2012 May).  iPod Implementation in the Elementary Grades. Learning and Leading Technology. 30-31

The article “iPod Implementation in the Elementary Grades” in the May 2012 issue of Learning and Leading Technology was very informative in the breakthroughs of technology used in the classroom. Stephanie Hinshaw-Hatten has incorporated iPods as teaching tools in her elementary school. In this article she lays out in a very organized fashion how iPods have been influential in her classrooms. She reminds people trying to incorporate these technologies in the classroom to take it slow with the students because they may not know how to use the technology. Also teachers need to ensure that the iPods are in a safe place so that they don’t get stolen by students (though very rare). The iPods were used by the students to read and listen to books that they are using in their course. The teachers are encouraged to let their students check out the devices for future uses. The iPods have improved the students learning situation.

 As a future teacher I feel that this technology would not be very valuable in my classroom. I plan on teaching high school and giving the students iPods to enhance their education will not work. It would distract them and they would not pay attention in my classroom. I think it is a valuable tool for teachers interested in teaching younger kids.

This definitely falls under ISTE NETS for Teachers Standard 2 “Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS·S. I feel that this NET best describes the technology being used in this article.

EDUC 422 Article I Immerse your students in History

Wheelock, A. (2012 May).  Immerse your students in History. Learning and Leading Technology. 26-27

The article “Immerse your students in History” in the May 2012 issue of Learning and Leading Technology was very informative in the breakthroughs of technology used to teach kids about various aspects of History. In using a “video game” like program, it is now possible to create an online simulation that will immerse the students into the lives of the people they are studying. The program that was being described in this article allowed the students to get a better understanding of the atmosphere that Anne Frank lived in while she was hiding. This field is somewhat new so it may take a few years to get it fully incorporated in the classroom.

As a future teacher I feel that this technology would be very valuable in my classroom. Kids of the next generation have become accustomed to video games, more so than my generation, so this may be a valuable teaching attribute. It is always good to add technology in the classroom because it will keep the students engaged in the classroom. I think I would have fun using this in a classroom. The creativity aspect of this program is so expansive it would make teaching a lot better. Students would have a lot more fun with this interaction and would be more engaged in the class.     

This definitely falls under ISTE NETS for Teachers Standard 1 “Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.”  More specifically section D of NETS for Teachers, which states, “Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.” I believe this best describes the importance of this article.