Monday, May 9, 2011

My Crossword NETS- T 1

Through the use of Excel I created an Excel crossword puzzle as a self-introduction. First, I had to set my grid. Next I formatted the cell’s height, width and alignment. I made my crossword visually pleasing by filling in the background color and added a border. I then typed in words that had to do with animals and finished up with clues that I typed on a separate spreadsheet within the same workbook.

Monday, May 2, 2011

imovie PSA NETS-T 2

I used imovie to create a public announcement to promote Cal State San Marcos!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network NETS-T 5

What is your PLN and how will it help you as a classroom teacher?

My personal learning network is made up of friends, family members, educators and other knowledgeable sources that keep me connected with our ever changing world.  My PLN consists of Twitter, Facebook, Diigo, Skype, Google Docs, Igoogle and many more.  Having a personal learning network has given me the opportunity to collaborate with other individuals to feed me ideas and resources that will further advance my practices as a future educator.

Discuss your use of Twitter, who is in your network and why?  Reflect on your participation in an educational chat.

My use of Twitter is still pretty minimal, but I do try to get on more often.  I had joined Twitter one time before and wasn't a big fan, but this time around, knowing how to navigate around a little better and what to look for, I feel like I appreciate this PLN more. My account consists of a couple of my peers in class, my teacher and many other educational pages that I found off of my professors twitter :o) as well as a few pages that I added for fun. I feel that Twitter is an ongoing service that can really help a future educator like me find valuable information that will enable be to become a more knowledgeable educator.

To be completely honest, I hadn't been able to get on a chat until this last Wednesday night April 20th when I joined the #ntchat about how to fund libraries in schools.  I found the actual chat to be pretty interesting with  quite a few people joining in, but I hope to find another topic in a chat that I may be able to connect with a little bit better further down the road.

Dicuss your use of Diigo as a networking tool.  Explain what you tagged PLN and why?

Diigo has become very valuable to me for educational purposes. As a networking tool, Diigo had given me many educational resources to work with and gain more information from.  I like Diigo a little bit more than Twitter because its a little easier for me to navigate.  All of the different articles and shared facts between teachers and future educators has been very helpful, and is why I tagged certain pages as PLN.  The pages that I thought I was really learning from, I chose to tag Personal Learning Network!I have the opportunity to gain knowledge from people that have been working with and around students for many years and I love that.  As a future educator, it is vital to be able to find as many instrumental resources as possible to assist you on your way to becoming a better teacher.

Discuss which digital discussion forum you joined, add the badge to your blog, and reflect on the blog post, video, or article you explored.
I watched a video from Classroom 2.0 called "Tuned Out" by Karen Hume.  She discussed how there is a large gap in today's society between the outside world and what goes on inside the classroom.  She really focuses in on keeping the students engaged and how to do that.  Her 5 principals are: Competence, Creativity, Community, Context and Challenge.  She believes that with all 5 of those things, that students will stay excited about learning and school and teachers will continue to be motivated.
While watching the video, there were a few statistics that absolutely amazed me, one was the 94-99% of kids play video games and another was that more than have of children that are 12 years old own a cell phone.  Its crazy how much has changed since I was that age.  Growing up my parents were really strict on how much we watched TV and played video games.  They encouraged us to play outside or on a sports team, so I never really got in to playing them.  In my opinion I think that some times having all of this technology is too much.  Are we ever going to be able to keep our students engaged when there are always newer more entertaining things on the market?  Its one thing that makes me nervous as a future teacher, not being able to keep my students engaged.

Monday, April 18, 2011


NETS-T 1, 2 & 4

Inspiration is an artifact that enabled me to be creative while demonstrating my ability to use digital tools and resources!  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Journal 10: Helping Students Express Their Passion

Mann, Michelle. "Helping Students Express Their Passion." Learning and Leading. N.p., March/April 2011. Web. 13 Apr 2011.

This article talks about Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), a global education program sponsored by the Adobe foundation. Their main focus is on teaching underserved kids ages 13-18 about how to use digital media to comment on their world, share ideas and take action on the social issues that are important to them. The goal is to spark dialogue for change around the world by harnessing the energy and insight of young people.
What educators and policy makers are finding all over the world is that they are facing the same problems; Figuring out how to improve the quality and impact of secondary education. Much of the public discussion focuses on student achievement and teacher performance, but the Adobe Foundation saw that the issue was even more fundamental than raising test scores, it has to do with student engagement. There are many ways to get students interested, but one thing that really drives most young adults is technology.
Adobe works closely with educators and community organizers to find out how technology can motivate and empower students to participate more actively in their own educations. One of the ways that AYV is trying to achieve this is by helping educators use digital media to give new life in to lessons about team collaboration, narrative, analysis and writing. This program has also helped educators understand how to make what kids learn and the way they learn it, more meaningful and useful.

Do you feel that the right applications of technology can help inspire students?
Absolutely! Students begin to become passionate about what they are learning. In turn, they become actively engaged in school and in their communities.

What is another benefit that AYV adds to the mix?
AYV teaches young adults, educators and the communities around them how to work together. By fostering this type of collaborative learning AYV is helping educators develop forward thinking lesson plans that get students excited and involved with the world around them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Journal 9: Teaching Green (NETS-T 3 & 5 )

Waters, John. "Teaching Green." THE Journal (2011): n. pag. Web. 11 Apr 2011.

This article written by John K. Waters was to educate the reader on the abundance of online tools that can help educators inform and instruct students about environmental issues.  It was only 41 years ago that the nation had its first grassroots demonstration on behalf of Earth Day.  This event is what was believed to have ignited the modern environmental education movement.  Now, four decades later, we have a wealth of online resources for green teaching and learning.  The article goes on to suggest great sites like "Classroom Earth" and "The Ecological Footprint Quiz" where students can go on line and inform themselves on the environmental world around them in fun and engaging ways.

Would you use these sites in your classroom?
Yes, I think they are great!  The sites are easy to navigate, and constantly updated with the newest environmental information.  They give great ideas for lesson plans, engaging videos and fun games that the students can play on while taking away important information.  These sites can enhance and strengthen environmental education in classrooms nationwide.

What could you see as a downside?
Well, the only downside that I could find in this article was that most of the sites were directed for grades 4 and higher.  I want to teach a second grade classroom and some of these websites may be a little too advanced for the age level that I will be working with.  Otherwise, I thought that the article was great and very informative. 

Journal 8: Should Schools Be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying? (NETS-T 4)

Bogacz, R, & Gordillo, M. (2011, March/April). Point/counterpoint: Should Schools be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying?. Learning & Leading , 38(6), Retrieved from

In the article "Should Schools Be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying?" the authors Renee Bogacz and Miguel Gomez Gordillo take sides on the issue. Renee Bogacz feels that schools should be held responsible stating that "to deal effectively with this problem, all educational stakeholders- teachers and administrators as well as parents and the students themselves- must work together, because if one group is not on board, then cyberbullying will continue to be pervasive in the culture of teenagers." She then goes on to express her feelings about having clear and enforceable consequences at school and continuous parental involvement at home.

Miguel Gomez Gordillo on the other hand, opposes the idea that school systems should be held responsible for cyberbullying. He accounts cyberbullying to the fault of the parents and also as society as a whole, because we have ceased to really support the family as an institution. He feels that the high number of bullying cases are mainly due to the weakening of the family structure. At the end of the day, he believes that a healthy family is the basis for a healthy society, and schools can only support that role.

As a future educator, where do you stand on the issue?
I believe that both authors make very valid points in their article, but I feel that I mainly connected with Renee Bogacz. I do agree that it starts with the family, but I truly feel that whole community needs to be held accountable in stopping issues like cyberbullying. Children need guidance, and when they may not be getting it at home, they should be getting it from schools and other outside sources. We need to bring these students up to trust that our society is one of respect and tolerance and every part of the community needs to come together to make sure that this happens.

What may be a consequence of only having the family deal with cyberbullying?
I feel that although there are many great parents out there, there are some that do neglect their children and don’t care what they do. The consequence of relying solely on the family to stop cyberbullying is that some families wouldn’t give their children repercussions for teasing or harassing someone, or even worse, some family members may encourage it.