Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In class viewing of project presentations

In class we had the opportunity of viewing other's project presentations. I was really impressed with the project presentations I saw. I learned about different ideas for incorporating technology; for example, I learned that recording voices can help children increase reading fluency. I learned that a teacher can basically take any learning objective from the state core curriculum and use technology to enhance the lesson. Technology is a great way to get the students excited about learning. I learned from the other presentations that technology can be used for good; we have learned so much lately about internet safety but through these presentations I have been able to focus on the good technology can do. Technology can enhance a student's learning experience and raise teaching to a whole new, exciting level.

wk14, s4, cole

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Watching Other's Project Presentations

I learned that there are so many great and different ideas for incorporating technology into the classroom. Technology is easy to incorporate as long as a teacher plans ahead and ties the technology to the curriculum. It is vital that the curriculum is more important than the technology. After viewing other's project presentations I also read a lot that the students truly enjoy the excitment of bringing technology into the classroom. Students loved the use of technology because it was new and exciting. I also learned that there is never enough time! Teachers always wish they had more time, and in this case the teachers wanted more time because the technology provided great opportunities for teaching that they do not use on a regular basis.
I learned that technology is a great way to enhance a lesson. Other's project presentations pointed out that the curriculum came alive in the student's eyes through the use of technology. Curriculum coming alive is priceless to a teacher.

Internet Safety

I talked with my mother who is fifty years old. With her I shared what I had learned about cyberbullying.
I told her that cyberbullying is much more prevalent than the world think it is. Often times, parents are completely oblivious to the fact that their child might be suffering from some cyber harassment. Children hesitate to reveal their pains and sufferings cause by the internet to their parents. They are embarrassed and ashamed of the comments that are given to them online. Instant messaging programs are often the means by which cyberbullying takes place. It is one thing to be bullied at school, but at least the bullying stops once a child reaches home. Well, that is how it used to be. Now, students are bullied at school and then return home where they sign in online and receive more bullying.

Sharing these thoughts with my mother went well. It was easy to talk to her about the negative affects cyberbullying has on children. It was easy to let her know how I feel about cyberbullying, which is I ultimately despise it and wish it would never happen. The talk was positive, but at the same time sad because we both expressed our wishes that cyberbullying would never occur. The talk was valuable because I opened her eyes to what can happen over the internet. To be honest, she was not aware that cyberbullying even happened, but I was able to call her attention to the fact that it happens more than she think it does. My mother was able to learn about a new problem that occurs on the internet. Internet safety is vital to a child’s well-being; the internet can destroy a person and we must be careful to protect the ones we love from its destroying effects.

Slideshare-Technology Powerpoint

Monday, April 6, 2009

Internet Safey: Reading Resources

1. What article did you choose to read for your fourth article?

I read An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World by Gordon B. Hinckley Ensign, November 2003.

2. What were the most important things you learned from the readings?

Media does present many positive and uplifting options, but at the same time media has the power to destroy individuals and families. Media has more influence and power over us than we realize. This is a scary thought that cautions me to be careful of the music, television programs, and literature that I listen to, watch, and read. I learned that I need to stand up against degrading programs and let my voice be heard about how I disagree with the evil that is coming into the homes and influencing the families of today. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Ballard, M. Russell). If I sit idly by and let negative media influence the ones I love then negative media will win. I must not sit idle and let evil triumph.
I also learned that the media we view shouldn’t be what is up to our standards, but what is up to Heavenly Father’s standards. I really like the thought of only viewing media that is worthy enough to be in the presence of Heavenly Father. If we have the power of the spirit with us at all times and in all things and in all places then I believe we will never fall short and become victims of the harmful effects of media. I have learned that if we hold to the gospel of Jesus Christ we will be wise in the media we choose to view and listen to. Only if we are aware of the dangers then can we resist them. We must be wise.

3. How will what you have read influence your actions as a parent and/or teacher of children and youth?

As a parent I will sit down with my children and discuss what our home standards will be regarding media. We will make the standards and stick to them. Teach my children what dangers can come from technology (addiction, risk of safety, idleness). By informing my children of the dangers they will be more receptive to staying away from them. I do not want any evil or degrading thoughts or feelings to enter my home on the account of media. I want my home to be a place of refuge and safety where the media’s affects will never enter. As a parent I will only allow media that uplifts and inspires into my home. I will protect my family from the potential dangers that come from the internet by placing filter systems on my computer and putting the computer in an open public area. As a parent I will also teach myself about the technology my children are using; I must become familiar with the technology they are using in order to determine whether it is safe or not.

As a teacher of youth I will warn the youth of the dangers that come when the media uses them. I will teach them that media can uplift and inspire, but they must avoid and dispel media that is negative or evil. Ultimately, it is an individual choice each person must make of whether or not they are going to choose media that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13).

For both my future children and the youth I will preside over, the most important thing in protecting them from the evils of technology is to let them know I love them. When they know I love them they will more fully trust my teachings regarding technology. They will heed my counsel better. Showing them I love them will prove to them that I only want what is best for them.

4. How can you use what you have learned from the reading to have a positive influence on family and friends?

Having read the readings, I will have a positive influence on family and friends by sharing the positive things that can come from media (uplifting music, books, movies), but I will also share with them what dangers can come from the media. I will warn family and friends of possible dangers and encourage them to set their standards right now regarding what they will allow and will not allow when it comes to media. There must be a clear line that people recognize what is safe and what is not safe. Pick where your line is and stick to the standards that you set for yourself.

I have learned that men are weak, but through Christ men can become strong. Through living the gospel and keeping our eyes on eternal things we will be able to stand strong against the negative effects of media and rather choose media that only inspires and uplifts us and brings us closer to the Spirit, Savior, and Heavenly Father. We must be strong and stick to the standards that we know are expected of us as members of the Lord’s church. I will express my feelings to my family and friends that when they choose uplifting and positive media they will be uplifted and inspired as well. They will find joy in their lives because they have the inner knowledge that they are doing what Heavenly Father would want them to do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Technology Enhanced Lesson

I am planning on teaching my technology enhanced lesson this week, Wednesday. Last week I videotaped the play my class performed for all the other first grade classes. I burned the movie on a dvd. My lesson plan starts off with reading a book about a play to the students. I can't remember the title of the book but I do have it at the classroom already. Then I will show the students their class play by projecting it on the wall with an LCD projector. A laptop will be hooked up in which I will place the dvd. The students will watch their class play. After the video the students will write a journal entry; they will write about their favorite part of their class play and also what they enjoy most about plays in general. This lesson is a celebration lesson for the students to be proud of what they have accomplished. It will be fun for the students to watch themselves and see how their hardwork practicing for the play actually paid off.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Technology-ehanced lesson

An idea I have for my technology-enhanced lesson is a digital storytelling. My first grade class is putting on a play this Thursday for the other first grade classes. I would video record the class play. Then I would upload, edit, and add to the video using digital storytelling.

My lesson would start off by reading a story book about a play. Then the students would watch their class play on the wall projected from a LCD projector and laptop cart. Then the students would have a journal write about their favorite part of the class play and what they like most, in general, about plays.

The students would enjoy watching their class play and this would be a reward to them for working so hard on practicing and performing their play. This idea is manageable for my classroom because we have a laptop cart and LCD projector available to the class. I feel that this project would be fun and rewarding for the students.

However, I am waiting for parental approval to go ahead with this project. I need all parents to agree that the video recording of their child during the class play is okay. I would turn this project in on a dvd to ensure privacy of the students.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Classroom Technology Inventory

I discovered many things while completing my classroom technology inventory. I talked with my teacher about all the technology available to my elementary school. There are four televisions total that all the grades must share. There are two smart boards that also must be shared between all the grades. These smart boards must be checked out. I learned that each grade level has a technology set that includes a PC computer, VCR, DVD, and a projector. This set is only for teacher use. Usually the set remains in one of the classrooms of the grade level teachers. If another teacher in that same grade level needs to borrow the technology she simply has to ask to borrow it. I learned that the school does not have wireless internet yet, but it does have internet through cords. Computers in the classroom are mostly for teacher use; my classroom only has one computer on which my teacher keeps attendance and sends in the lunch count each day. There are no software programs for the students on the classroom computers. However, students have scheduled appointments to visit the school computer labs. There are two labs (internet and typing). There are only PCs found in the labs. Each lab has about 30-40 PCs.

I also learned that there are Waterford computers upstairs that contain special reading programs to assist lower and ESL students. These students work on the Waterford computers daily. I also learned that the classrooms have microphones and ceiling speakers. If a teacher has a weak voice or simply just chooses to use a microphone, her voice is then projected through the ceiling speakers.

My teacher told me that in the last four years the school has advanced in technology every year. She said all the equipment available to the school now was not available four years ago. Every passing school year adds new and exciting equipment for the school to use. The elementary schools are avidly entering the technology era!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009


What is the content you’ll be using in your lesson?

I will be using Grade Seven Social Studies Standard 1 Objective 1 which states: Students will understand the interaction between Utah’s geography and its inhabitants. The students will investigate the relationships between the physical geography and Utah's settlement.

What is the pedagogy you’ll be using and why is it a good fit with the content?

The pedagogy I will be using is mainly observation. Students will observe the four locations using Google Earth. Also, students will record data and answer questions on the worksheets.
Observation and recording data are good fits for the content because the students will need to mentally and visually observe the physical geography of Utah in order to make deductions to why people settle in a specific region or why people do not settle in a specific region. Recording data is important so that the students do not forget what they thought and observed while working with Google Earth.

What is the technology you’ll be using and why is it a good fit with the content and pedagogy?

I will be using Google Earth; it is a perfect fit with the content because it allows students to view physical geography. Not only do students see where a specific physical feature is located, but they can use the terrain label to see the physical feature from a three-dimensional perspective. Google Earth allows the physical features to appear on the computer screen just as they would in real life. Students get a real feel and sense of what each physical feature looks like. It is as if I brought the Great Salt Lake into my classroom for the students to observe! Google Earth is a perfect fit for the pedagogy because it is a program that allows students to observe and record data. Google Earth is kid friendly and it is a technology that is safe and easy to use in a classroom.

Plan a Tour

Location ActivityGoogle Earth Content
1. Great Salt LakeStudents will learn that people do not settle right near the Great Salt Lake, but instead live up higher in the upper plains of the Salt Lake Valley. What do you think would happen to a house if it was built on the shores of the Great Salt Lake? (Shore erosion is a big danger) Is a foundation for a house stronger in the upper plains or close to the Great Salt Lake? (Upper plains because of shore erosion) What are some other reasons people do not live near the Great Salt Lake? (The answer to this question is that the shoreline smells because of decaying brine shrimp and brine flies that wash up on the shore)

Polygon-Draw a polygon shape to outline the Great Salt Lake

The terrain tool should be checked.

2. Arches and Natural Bridges ParkStudents will research the Arches and Natural Bridges Park on Wikipedia before viewing it on Google Earth. What makes this a national park? Why would people want to live near the national park? Why would people not want to live near the national park? List a few of the conditions as to why it is not a good idea to live near the national park (tourists, windy conditions, etc.).

Image overlay

A link to Wikipedia should be found on Google Earth.

The terrain tool shoul be checked.

3. Mt. TimpanogasStudents should make predictions as to why very few people settle on Mt. Timpanogas? Do more or fewer people live near the top of Mt. Timpanogas compared to the bottom? What are some dangers of living near the top (avalanches, erosion, wind, earthquakes, etc.) Terrain tool checked.
4. Salt Lake DesertStudents will be taught the conditions of a desert in general and why few people would want to move to a desert. What are the pros about living in a desert? Is the Salt Lake desert eroding as we speak? Terrain tool checked.
Details of image overlay / path / polygon:

Polygons will highlight borders, image overlay will show a picture, and paths will show trails or roads.

The terrain tool will be used for all of the sites visited.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The content I will be using is based on 3rd grade standard 1, objective 2 b, which states students develop language by viewing media (ads, video, etc.) and presenting with various forms of media. The students view the story video I make as an example to prepare them for making their own story videos. By creating story videos, students develop language through working with scripts. Also, students practice working with media such as scripts, pictures, and music.

The pedagogy I will be using is a writing project, and more specifically poetry interpretation. Students choose a poem and take the script of that poem and combine it with pictures and music to form a poetry story. Students will create this poetry story as a video presentation.

The technology I will be using is photostory. Photostory is a good program to use because it is free for PCs and easy for children to use. Multimedia projects can be created easily on photostory which corresponds with the content taught to the children. The content in focus includes viewing media and presenting projects, and in this case poetry projects, through media. Photostory is also a good fit for pedagogy because poetry stories can easily be turned into video poetry stories. Photostory is fun for children to use, and both poetry and technology are being introduced to children at the same time through this project.


Monday, February 2, 2009

TPACK Questions

The content I am focusing on in my lesson is the appearance of Earth and the moon, which content is outlined in Standard 1, Objective 1 of third grade science. This content focuses on the physical appearances (spherical shape) of Earth and the moon, as well as the motions of Earth and the moon regarding revolution and rotation.

The pedagogy I use is mostly observation. Students observe physical appearances of the planets and they observe the revolutions and rotations of Earth and the moon. Students also predict how Earth's axis rotates in order for night and day to occur; they get to predict then observe by viewing the actual motion of Earth's rotation on the computer screne. Once students observe Earth's rotation, they measure night and day in relation to the sun. Another pedagogy strategy students use is describing data; they describe relationships between Earth and the moon's physical appearance and between Earth's day and night in comparison with the sun. Students collect this data and can later analyze/study the data.

The technology I used is Celestia, a solar system program. Celestia is a good fit for the content and pedagogy; in fact Celestia is an almost perfect match. Celestia is a perfect way for a student to see the physical appearances of Earth and the moon. Also, Celestia shows the actual rotations and revolutions of Earth and the moon. The content is well covered through Celestia. Celestia covers basic teaching strategies such as observation, prediction, and analysis. These are described above how Celestia covers these. Celestia is an incredible program that gives students the opportunity to teach themselves the content.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Science/Math Technology

I had so much fun exploring the Celestia technology program. I never knew there was such a great program that helped someone explore the solar system. The visual effects and available tools included in the program help the solar system come to life. I was able to see the planets, stars, moons, and eclipses. I saw Earth rotate and revolve around the sun, as well as the moon rotate and revolve around Earth. The movements that occur in the sky were available to me on a computer screen! This program would be great to introduce to students because it is exciting and intriguing. A student would be able to learn a lot and collect visual data just from spending a couple minutes exploring Celestia. Not only is the program fun, but it is academically rewarding at the same time.


TPACK stands for Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. The seven different kinds of TPACK knowledge are pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge, technological knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, technological content knowledge, technological pedagogical knowledge, and technological pedagogical and content knowledge. The technological, pedagogical and content knowledge are the three basic kinds of knowledge of which TPACK is made. TPACK is helpful to teachers because it explains general skills needed to teach, specific knowledge that exist in particular domains, and how to use various technologies in the classroom. These three kinds of knowledge will assist a teacher in becoming successful in teaching. Often, as stated above, the three kinds of knowledge are intertwined with one another; this intertwining of knowledge gives a teacher a variety of ways to teach. There are so many options for teaching and it is important that teachers understand technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge are not to always remain separated from each other, but in certain learning experiences it is best if they work together. I know I am glad to be able to distinguish the three kinds of knowledge on a level of their own but at the same time know that I can combine them together to teach effectively.
I set up a classroom activity that would let students see the Earth is round. Sometimes it appears to students that the Earth is flat because they see this on two-dimensional maps. However, this activity gives students the chance to take a two-dimensional Earth map and make it three-dimensional. The students have a tennis-ball map on paper. The picture below shows the tennis-ball map paper.

Then students cut out Earth as shown below.

Students then tape the Earth cut out onto an actual tennis ball to see the Earth in spherical form. This activity is valuable because students see different ways to represent Earth, but when it all comes down to it they know Earth is in fact spherical and not flat.

This activity is enhanced through a technology science program called Celestia, which I discuss further below.

The Tech Savy Teacher

I have recently enjoyed the opportunity of setting up a technologically enhanced science activity in the classroom with a program called Celestia. This program brings the solar system to life by zooming in on planets (the picture above shows how a student can zoom in on Earth), showing actual movements that occur in the sky, and displaying the smallest of details such as stars. It is an outstanding way to create memorable visuals for students to keep. Celestia is an easy program for students to learn how to use and it is a great way to bring technology that is fun and safe into a classroom.

This picture shows the physical appearances of the moon and Earth. Students will be able to compare the similarities and differences in the moon and Earth's appearance.

For the science activity, my students explored the appearance of the moon and earth and they also described both Earth and the moon’s movement through the sky. Celestia gave my students a way to explore and see that Earth and the moon are spherical shapes. In addition, my students gathered key similarities and differences between the appearances of Earth and the moon. Celestia provides technology that allows students to actually see Earth rotate and revolve around the sun as well as the moon’s rotation and revolution around Earth.

This picture shows Earth revolving around the sun, and the moon revolving around Earth. Celestia shows these revolutions in motion, but this is just a snapshot of the motion.

The movement that occurs in the sky comes alive and the students feel as if they are a part of space.

The picture to the left shows the sun lighting part of Earth, which allows students to see how day and night occur.

Think of how magnificent this feeling of connectedness to something that usually seems so foreign is to the students! Celestia greatly enhances the students’ learning of the solar system by improving students’ ability to observe, predict, measure, describe relationships, and collect data. Students observe physical appearances of the planets and how the planets rotate and revolve around the sun. Students predict how they think the rotation on Earth’s axis actually works, and then they get the privilege of experiencing the rotation on the screen. Students measure when they see night and day as the Earth revolves around the sun. Students describe relationships they notice between the planets and moons. Students collect data while interacting with Celestia with which data they can later analyze and study. The use of technology does not inhibit a student’s scientific process; in fact, I believe technology adds to a scientific experience through visual and hands on elements. With Celestia, students can ask questions that they have about the solar system, investigate these questions in a technological way, use the program’s tools to gather any desired data, construct sense to the data found, and then leave the program with new knowledge. I have learned that technology is a fun and academically rewarding way for students to explore the world of science. The picture below shows the sun; this picture comes from Celestia and will help give students a visual as to the sun's appearance (color, spherical shape).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

RSS and Web 2.0

Before taking this class, I had no idea what RSS and Web 2.0 tools were. Now, I feel familiar and comfortable with RSS and Web 2.0 tools. RSS stands for “Real simple syndication”. Basically, RSS is a way for content from multiple websites to be placed in one place. A single website, which is called a reader, collects new information from various websites and posts it for easy access and quick viewing. Information only collects from various websites from which the user chooses by subscribing to RSS feeds. Basically, content is pulled from different websites and put into one place. RSS saves people time, and this includes teachers. Instead of searching the web for educational articles and news, a teacher could simply subscribe to RSS feeds that will deliver educational articles and news to one page. A teacher has quick and easy access to educational articles and news. A teacher can even receive news on a reader from his/her school district.
Web 2.0 tools are basically places on the web that allow a person to publish posts/writings/videos/pictures/etc. I like how Web 2.0 tools are thought of as blank canvases. Blogs and Wikis are two main Web 2.0 tools. Blogs are online journals that place the most recent post at the top of the page. Posts appear in chronological order and usually there is only one author for a blog. Wikis are pages where the appearance of posts is completely up to the user; posts do not have to appear in chronological order. Wikis are content driven, and there can be one or many authors. Blogs and Wikis are becoming more and more popular and they are very beneficial for teachers. Teachers can use blogs and Wikis so that students can share their learning with parents, reflect on their learning, respond to questions/discussions, learn about other cultures, and increase motivation. Blogs and Wikis are also becoming popular for families to stay connected.
I have learned so much about RSS and Web 2.0 tools. I feel comfortable with these terms and I am pretty confident that I would be able to use them. I can definitely see myself using these tools in the future. I would set up a blog or wiki in order to communicate with my students and their parents; also, these tools would allow me to keep a class more organized and build a stronger relationship with students/parents. I would use RSS to receive educational articles and news. I really think RSS would save me a lot of time in the future and I am happy I have discovered it so early in my career!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Background Technology

I feel like I have a decent background in technology, but I know I still have a lot to learn. I have a laptop of my own that I can use efficiently, and I have always been able to successfully use my home computer. I feel more comfortable with windows than I do with macs. I am familiar with connecting usb drives, ipods, cameras, and video cameras to computers. I love editing videos and pictures with various photo shop and movie maker programs. There are many things about technology that I do not know yet and do not yet understand. I know that there are many things I still need to learn and I am excited to learn more!