Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Look Back over Integrating Technology across the Content Areas

Upon reflecting on this course, I can say without a doubt that using technology will make your students more successful across the content areas. From the start, I was able to use my own lesson plans, integrate technology and improve the results for my students. Using different types of technology, from internet research to digital movie making, students can create products that connect history to problems we face today.

It was an excellent choice to start the course by learning what authentic instruction is and how to integrate technology into this instruction. One must always keep in mind that you do not create a lesson for the use of technology, rather you incorporate technology into the lessons already planned to meet standards. It is most important for a teacher to have their students meet state, national, and local standards and  using technology can help the students learn through collaboration and using 21st century skills.  

According to Cennamo, Ross and Ertmer, when using a PBL, “students are challenged to learn by working cooperatively to find solutions to real-life problems. Curiosity and interest in the process occurs naturally as students work in virtual and face-to-face teams to solve authentic dilemmas” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer. 2009 p. 42). As an example of authentic instruction, I used a lesson I designed on the Versailles Treaty. Using my lesson on the Versailles Treaty, my students work in teams, they research by using  computers , the internet and databases. However, the heart of the lesson is a debate/role-play/simulation  in class of the peace conference of 1919, for which no technology is used. This plan is an example of where a teacher integrates technology into a lesson that meets state standards, rather than writing a plan for using technology. In the Versailles Treaty plan, technology is used only as a research aid and not the core of the plan.

I have been modifying my older plans to include touches of technology to make it easier on the students to work with and easier for me to grade. If all my students do is use the internet for research, making sure they are using valid sites, it is making them work more swiftly and having more fun as they work in teams. According to the text, “digital historical libraries and archives is changing the way teachers and students can access learning materials” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009 p. 291). I can remember having twenty to thirty history books on my desk with a dictionary and a thesaurus while writing my papers out on loose leaf and then making all the editing and corrections before typing those papers up to turn in for a grade. My students, get to type their thoughts as they work, use spell check for the correct spelling, click on the thesaurus for other ideas on terminology, and have a clean desk since their research was done online. As a teacher it is also easier not to carry around sixty essays at a time, students can post their research to the class blog or to the wiki, either way it makes for much less paper work but still provides authentic lessons for my students.

Using technology to help my diverse learners has been wonderful. According to Ross, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was created by the Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST), with the aim to improve the education for all students through using Universal Design for Learning (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010c). According to Cennamo, et al., Universal Design for Learning “suggest that teachers can remove barriers to learning by providing flexibility in terms of options for materials, methods, and assessments” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 117). My youngest son has dysgraphia and he has been able to stay abreast of his schoolwork by using the computer to help him write and spell. With my own students who are English language learners (ELL),  having the computer with translators and image searches has helped them stay abreast with the rest of the class on the majority of lessons. With some lessons these student still need extra time and extra help to complete, especially when writing academic style papers.

As a history teacher, I use many forms of assessment, including having students write academic papers. Some of these assessments are used  with a technology base others with very little technology, other than word processing. In our text, Cennamo, Ross and Ertmer, describe four basic forms of assessment.  The first of these assessment styles is the “force-option format” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009 p. 143) which is a multiple choice test taken with the use of a computerized answer sheet that can analyze the results for the teacher. I use this type of assessment at the end of each chapter.  Then there is the open-ended response formats (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009 p. 145), which are essays of various lengths.  Then the third form of assessment is performance-based assessments which according to the text are “are possible in all content areas but may most easily be exemplified by domains that require oral communication skills or the development of psychomotor skills in conjunction with other content knowledge” ((Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009 p. 146). Finally, the fourth type of assessment and the one most easily edited to include technology is the project-based assessments. According to the text, “project-based learning typically results in some type of product, perhaps a web page or a multimedia presentation, and it may or may not include some type of performance, such as an oral report of class presentation using the products students have created” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009 p. 148). Each type of assessment described can use some type of technology infusion. However, some assessments lend themselves to more adaptable to technology than others.

This course began with authentic instruction and ends with problem-based learning. Problem-based learning, lends itself for the infusion of technology however, there can be problems for teachers developing authentic problem-based learning activities. Among the challenges that Ertmer discussed are “finding a good problem, locating appropriate resources, turning over control of the classroom to the students, deciding how to group students, making sure that students are learning content, and assessing student learning” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010d). Simultaneously, students learn so much more by doing. They will do the research, write the scripts, film themselves, interview others, make connections between the past and the present, and so much more. With certain activities, students will be able to collaborate with other students from their school, state, country, and around the world by using educational networking with sites such as Edmodo.

Technology aids a student in their research and writing, prepares them with 21st century skills, allows them to collaborate, and allows them to develop a finished product on their own. Technology enhances the classroom lessons and enables for deeper and more creative research and presentations. According to the project, students will write, research, film, make costumes, execute make-up, and work with green screens and many other things that cross the content areas. Would it not be a good idea to have students complete a senior year project that incorporates all of these aspects? The English teacher can grade the written portions, the History teacher will concentrate on the research and the conclusions derived from the research, the Technology teacher will grade based on the techniques the students used in producing the product, the Art and Sewing teachers will review costuming, make-up and backdrops. I believe this would be a terrific across the content areas assignment, for students to end their high school career.




Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom        use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010a). Program 1. Part 1 – Spotlight on Technology:          Digital Storytelling. Integrating technology across the content areas [DVD]. United States

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010b). Program 2.  Promoting Creative Thinking with        Technology. Integrating technology across the content areas [DVD]. United States

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010c). Program 5.  Meeting students’ needs with technology – Part 1. Integrating technology across the content areas [DVD]. United States

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010d). Program 9. Spotlight on Technology: Problem-       Based Learning, Part 2 [DVD].  Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

      While monitoring my GAME plan, I found a weakness that I may need to modify. As I said in my blog previously, my goal is to add components of technology into these plans so that students can engage in ‘learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments” (International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), 2008). I want to add a “face-to-face” interview with my host from old Soviet Russia, Valentina. Valentina’s father fought in WWII, called the Great Patriotic War in Russia, and I want my students to have the opportunity to talk to her about her father’s stories from the war. My students study the eastern front, and learn about the battles of Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad. They see documentary footage from the battles, do a comparison paper between the actual battle of Stalingrad and the Hollywood interpretation of the battle of Stalingrad. It would make the lesson complete to have Valentina give them her father’s stories about the war. However, even though Valentina has Skype, we are not allowed to download it at school or use it through the school computers. I met with a member of the virtual field trip team and explained the problem to him; he is going to talk to the head of technology communication and from there we will see what can be done. We are allowed to use ClearSea, but Valentina does not know how to download that, she’s not even sure if they have that program available for free download  in Russia. Therefore, if the head of technology communication cannot set us up with Skype, we may not be able to get the face-to-face interview with my Soviet hostess. To modify the situation with Valentina, I may Skype with her from home, tape the session, and with any luck play it for my students. Nevertheless, this is not the lesson I want to teach them; I want them to be able to ask the questions they are interested in hearing the answers to and interact with Valentina themselves, not through me.

            To my colleagues, do any of you know of another program, other than ClearSea and Skype, which will allow my class to have a face-to-face conversation with my friend in Russia? If any of you were thinking of Tango, I just want you to know that my sister and I downloaded Tango onto our phones so we could talk free to each while she was in France. It does not work unless both parties are online simultaneously, her in France and me in New Jersey; Tango did not meet our needs.


International Society for Technology in Education (2008). National education standards for         teachers (nets-t). Retrieved from

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Resources and Information for Meeting my GAME plan

               In last week’s post, I mentioned that I wanted to set my goal at improving the use of technology into NETS-T standard 1. My goal for improving my lessons for NETS-T standard 2 is to meet the diverse learning styles of my students by using a myriad of technology tools. After reading this week’s resources, I realize that I need to learn more about the technology I want to integrate into my lessons. Resources: I will need easy access to computers and internet service, which can be problem since I can no longer sign up for the computer lab months in advance. Without being able to reserve the computer lab far in advance creates a situation where the onus is on me to get reservation in time but not too soon or the office will not allow me to reserve the lab.

 We also do not have a technology department that trains the teachers on any new software. The technology department repairs the computers and adds software it does not run workshops for teachers to learn the new software that was loaded onto our computers. Now, many of the teachers are running behind in learning the new software that has been installed on our classroom computers. However, to meet the goals set forth in my GAME plan, I am going to have to learn new software quickly.

            I currently use the following technologies in my lessons:

·         Power point

·         Short throw projector (turns your white board into a SMART board)

·         Include images, videos, and text on power points

·         Have students in cooperative groups for homework, study guides, projects, and review.

·         The use of PBLs (Problem Based Learning) for all major projects

·         Google Earth, maps, apps, and blogs

·         E-Board (teacher website through the school district)

·         WebQuests

·         Concept (mind) maps

·         Digital storytelling

·         Voice Threads

·         Word Processing

The technologies I want to learn to infuse in my class are:

·         Setting up my own websites

·         Creating multimedia websites

·         Wikis

·         Clear Sea (A video conferencing tool, we’re not allowed to use Skype at school)

·         Other online tools that can help in my classroom (i.e.

I am willing to try ideas from other teachers who have already mastered many of the technologies I want to add to my repertoire. I need to learn how to use the technology listed, add the technology to unit plans that need infusion, and not lose content in the process. Students still need to be ready for state assessments, department benchmarks, and to meet the core standards that govern the course. Advice from my colleagues is much appreciated in the process of integrating technology into my content area.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

GAME Plan for integrating iste.nets-t standards

Developing a GAME plan for you can be difficult but is necessary for teacher improvement and helping students meet 21st century skills.  “Setting goals, taking action to meet those goals, monitor progress toward achieving goals and evaluate whether the goals were achieved and extend your learning to new situations” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009 p. 3). are the key components of any GAME plan. My goal is to create a plan while using iste.nets standards for teachers. Of the five standards, I have chosen to work with standards one and two. Standard one for teachers is to “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” and standard two states “design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments” (International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), 2008).

            For standard one, I will continue to have my students explore “real-world issues” while using digital tools and collaboration. My goal is to add components of technology into these plans so that students can engage in “learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments” (International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), 2008). Given the example set by Laufenberg, when her classes held interviews on Election Day and posted their findings via twitter, Flickr, Gcast and other programs, she was able to have her students interact with the community, with each other, and with a school in Texas (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). I need to improve my lessons to include collaboration with other students from other schools because it will only enhance the learning experience for my students.

            ISTE.nets-t standard two is to “design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments (International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), 2008). To meet the performance indicators that are part of standard two, I will continue to adapt my lessons to include the use of digital tools and to promote “student creativity”. I will work on continuing and improving the use digital tools as a way to meet the diverse learning styles of my students. Using digital storytelling, blogs, voice thread, podcasts and other digital tools I will improve on meeting the needs of my diverse students.

            To monitor my progress with standards one and two,  my department chairperson will be conducting informal observations and aiding me in my use of the new short throw project and its’ interactive capabilities. Using the short-throw will be one of many digital tools I will use to meet the diversity of my students and improve the quality of my instruction. In addition, I will have students evaluate the unit lessons to see what they like the most in the classroom. I will adapt according to the feedback from students and my department chair. I plan to extend my learning by continuing to attend workshops for technology and content infusion in the classroom.  Finishing my program at Walden University will be meeting a goal I set for myself as well as a tool for extending my learning.

            To my classmates, I would love if you could share with me some of the lessons you have used with a short throw projector. Do you have any insights on how I can make my presentations more interactive in the classroom?


Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use; a standards-based approach (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education (2008). National education standards for teachers (nets-t). Retrieved 09/10/2012 from 

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Enriching content area learning experiences with technology- Part 2. Integrating technology across the content areas [DVD]. United States

All posts below this one are from other courses and workshops.

For course # 8, Integrating Technology across the Content Areas, in the Walden University MS in Education program, Technology infusion in the classroom K-12, all posts are above this one.
Thank You,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Final Reflection on Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology

This course, Bridging learning theory, instruction, and technology, began by compelling students to answer one important question, what is your personal theory of learning.  To discover my theory of learning, I first investigated my learning style. After careful consideration, reading the resources provided, and taking a quiz on, I realized, like 60% of the population, I am multimodal (Orey, 2001 pg. 9). Through research, reading, and lecture I realized that I use more than one learning theory in my class. I am multimodal in learning style; I am also multimodal in learning theory.      
I enjoyed learning about the development of the learning theories. What eras and what purposes were behind the advancement of the learning theories. According to George Siemens, behaviorism as a learning theory was developed in the early 20th century when researchers focused on behavior because “the mind is too complex” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009h). By the 1950s, researchers looked at the mind like a computer and cognitivism was born with its map of the brain and sensory input of information, short-term memory, code, and long-term memory (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009h). Finally, Siemens stated that constructivism was developed because of better brain research in decades that are more recent (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009h). Constructivism means that learning is the act of constructing knowledge, making memories and making sense of the world (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009h). Finally, connectivism is the act of forming networks and navigating networks of knowledge and there is a social dimension related to connectivism (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009h). Learning about learning theories was illuminating, especially when developing lessons.
            I will be using new technologies in my instructional practices. After experimenting with some newer technologies with my students, I will continue to use them to modify my lessons. My students conducted a mind-mapping exercise using The three students who gave up their time to work on the mind-map excelled in class during the review. The outcome of mind mapping was positive so I will introduce using it to my students to complete before reviews in the future. In addition, my classes also had a video conference with Tuskegee Airmen survivors, which made the war come alive for them. Finally, my seniors took part in a virtual field trip of Israel. During the virtual field trip, they learned a little Hebrew, saw the Israeli response to Memorial Day and learned about the daily lives of Arabs, Christians and Jews in Israel.
            My long-term goals include continuing to use the new technologies introduced in this course namely, mind mapping and VoiceThread. My strategy is simple, since I already teach using multiple learning theories to address the multiple learning styles of my students I will introduce the new technology as part of lessons that already exist. Using the new technologies will be more of a modification rather than a teardown and rebuild from scratch. Mind mapping was so successful for review that I am introducing it to my students as a way to study the materials so that their understanding of the social, political, economic, and cultural (SPEC) changes in history will improve. Students were introduced to VoiceThread the week after it was used in this class. I will continue to teach the students how to use VoiceThread for their presentations in class. It will enable me to grade presentations from home, by making comments directly onto their VoiceThread, it also enables the students to hear and read the peer reviews of their presentations.
            As a final point, I will continue to add any new technologies I learn into my lessons. Modifying lessons so that students are using more problem based and student created projects will increase their ability to work together and learn the 21st century skills that are so important for their futures. As I learn more, I impart that learning to my students, which just makes them stronger using their research to develop their projects.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009h). Program 8, Connectivism as a Learning Theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from       av=0&bhcp=1
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved   from                       

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Using Social Learning Theories in the Classroom

           According to Dr. Orey, the purpose of social learning theories is to “get kids engaged in doing something, very active and student centered. Social constructionism is not only student centered but peered reviewed (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009g). Therefore, to use social learning in your classroom you must use collaboration and cooperative learning techniques. I have mentioned before that I use multiple learning theories in my classroom, as I am sure many of my cohorts do also, I believe in the old adage “whatever works”. However, I do use and believe in the positive outcomes of social learning techniques in my classes, both senior and junior level classes.

            My students work in cooperative groups to complete their study guides at both levels. For this type of work, I set the class up into groups, dividing the study guides among the students. I follow the “jigsaw” strategy (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009g) described in our resources. I have found that the students are under peer pressure to do the work correctly and on time by their group members. I have also discovered that by giving the students class time to begin their study guides they are more likely to finish the homework and perform better on unit assessments. Other projects vary by level and grade.

The seniors in the AP European history class have a performance assessment due in June as their final exam, rather than a written exam. I call the assignment “Regency and Victorian Classics”. Each student gets to choose a novel from the regency or Victorian eras. Each student must describe the story line, the characters, define “what is a classic” and why this novel is a classic, explain how the book depicts the period, and compare the novel to a movie made about that novel. Each student does their research and presents their findings to the class in any manner they wish. I have students who have made movies for their report, students who created power points with photos and movie clips to show the important scenes that are depicted and other creative ways of presenting the novel to the class. One of my favorite presentations, presented last year, was on Pride and Prejudice. The student created a power point with photographs from the three movies made about Pride and Prejudice, including some from the BBC series, and introduced her characters, period and place of the novel. She then went through the different films and explained to the class the differences between the movie endings and the novel ending. She retrieved certain scenes and then played them for her class asking her fellow students what they noticed that was different about the scenes. It was very interactive even though she worked on her project alone constructing the presentation; she included her classmates as part of the total presentation and had them work cooperatively to describe differences between the novel and the movies.

I use cooperative learning with the junior classes as well; they create a video term paper. They are required to research, gather materials, and create a finished 25-minute video on a decade that the group chose. These projects include a lot of collaboration. The students have to edit their segments, record their research, edit in photos and historical footage into a video that covers their decade. Many students film at their parents homes, on the school fields and in the classrooms. Upon project completion, the finished videos are played for the entire class; through the videos, the history of the decade is taught to the entire class.

Through these cooperative and collaborative activities, I have been able to see the excitement students share about completing the projects. They learn more, they enjoy the work as they are learning, and they have clear-cut objectives to meet in each project. With the onset of the Internet and multiple technological advances, students have abundant information readily available along with programs they can use to complete these projects like a professional. After using myself this week, I am adding a lesson on how to use for my senior classes. They should be able to complete their final performance assessment on VoiceThread with ease. The Voice Thread just has to have enough memory to hold video clips from YouTube or other sources about their books. As George Siemens discussed, the major learning theories each have their role in the classroom (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009h). Using cooperative and collaborative lessons is just one part of the learning experience in the classroom today.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009g). Program 7, Social Learning Theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from       av=0&bhcp=1

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009h). Program 8, Connectivism as a Learning Theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from       av=0&bhcp=1

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Constructivism in Practice

 According to Dr. Michael Orey, constructionism is a “theory of learning that states people learn best when they build an external artifact or something they can share with others” Laureate Education, Inc. 2009f). Teachers in today’s classrooms, with the advent of technology, can easily find projects that enable students to build and learn from lessons that teachers plan. Examples of building strategies include, but are not exclusive to, “spreadsheet software, data collection tools, and Web resources” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). In history classes, teachers can use Web Quests, game simulators, and other problem based learning tools.

In my own history classes, I have successfully used a web quest on the 1920s. In this web quest, students chose a group; each group has the responsibility of reporting one of the following: sports, current news stories, advertisements, political commentary and cartoons, all in the 1920s. Students have to research using web sites I have already found and distributed, they students may use additional web sites they have found. Students then have to write a short newspaper article with photographs. Finally, the group gives their newspaper a name, a price, a date, and prints out a copy that they then orally present to the entire class. Student newspapers have included A Decade in Review, the 1920s, Sports Almanac of the 1920s, the Grand Experiment, and so many more.  My students enjoy the project; they learn from research and from each other about the 1920s. The student assessments are the written newspaper, the oral presentation and an image quiz I give the class with images from each of the newspapers presented.

In the scenario above, teachers will act as facilitators. According to Glazer, teachers as facilitators, “give students control over how they learn and provide support and structure in the direction of their learning” (Glazer, E. 2001). To set up the scenario the teacher must help to create the framework to the project, allow students to read the rubric before they begin the project and teachers should show examples of earlier work (modeling). By following these simple suggestions, a teacher can set up the project so that students and the teacher learn from each other, the internet, brainstorming with group members, creating and presenting.

Some sites a teacher can use to help with constructivist learning tools are:

A site that will allow students to create their own flipbooks you can use:

Finally, for students to develop their own comic books or graphic novels you can use:


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009f). Program 6, Constructionist & constructivist learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from       av=0&bhcp=1

Glazer, E. (2001). Problem Based Instruction. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved March 18, 2012, from

           Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, Colorado, USA: McRel.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cognitive Learning Tools

            Cognitive learning tools consist of methods to immerse the student in the subject. When Dr. Michael Orey surveyed his students on what was their most memorable course; the answers were their study abroad program and their student teaching program (Laureate Education, Inc. 2009e ), both of these programs immerse the student in the learning process.  The question teachers must ask themselves is how we immerse our students in our classrooms without the travel. Cognitive learning tools can help us with this mission.    Technologies offer many different tools that used, can immerse the students in their studies. There are search engines like Google, graphic organizers, concept maps, spreadsheets, power points, video conferences, virtual field trips and many more.
As teachers, we can learn how to teach our students to use these many different technologies to help immerse them in your subject matter. As an example, I was teaching a lesson on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. As part of the unit, I set up a video conference with a representative of the Israeli government. My students were able to get a full lesson on the history and current events in Israel. The students learned a little Hebrew and given a tour through video and photos of Israel. The students were shocked that so many Arabs still live in Israel, they were surprised to learn that almost all Israeli citizens are required to serve a minimum of two years in the military, and they were stunned to see Israel come to a stand-still during Memorial Day. Our Israeli host was born and raised in North Jersey, he understood that the South Jersey kids hit the beaches on Memorial Day; therefore, he explained why the day is so solemn in Israel. My students still talk what they learned from this conference. Using video conferences or video field trips can help a teacher make the subject come alive for their students and expand the students understanding of the topic (Laureate Education, Inc. 2009e.).
In addition to virtual field experiences, the students can also reinforce ideas from lecture into a concept map, sometimes called mind mapping (Laureate Education, Inc. 2009e.). The teacher sets up a leading question or a topic with sub-topics the students need to fill in to reinforce the materials. In my classroom, I had three students help build a mind map on Napoleon III. I set the map up with a photo of the Emperor Napoleon III and then set up the sub-topics of foreign policy, domestic policy, nationalism, unification of Germany, unification of Italy. From these sub-topics, the students each volunteered to complete a specific part of the map and for homework. In class the next day we went over the map and the students were given time to correct any mistakes that may have been made. Once the map was completed correctly, the students presented to the rest of the class what they did and gave more in depth information with their sub-topics. A review was held the following day and the students who worked on the mind map did very well in the review, demonstrating that cognitive tools like mind mapping can work to help the student be immersed in the subject matter.

If you would like to view the mind map you can go on to at the following address:
The mind map was saved as "Napoleon III".

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009e). Program five: Cognitive learning theories                                         [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from     

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Behaviorism in Practice

Behaviorism in schools today has been widely used as a behavioral modification tool. A major part of behavioral modification is giving good students positive reinforcement while giving students who need to learn the appropriate behavior for class, negative reinforcement (Standridge, M., 2002).  Another part of behaviorism used in classrooms today is the practice of frequent repetition, generalization and discrimination (Smith, M. K., 1999). Many teachers use homework and rote memorization as ways to repeat concepts. With the advent of technology in schools and at home, students and teachers can practice frequent repetition in new and exciting ways.
Teachers can use technology to track students’ effort against student grades  (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 155). Among the different computer programs that will enable teachers and students to track effort are, spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel and data collection tools like Survey Monkey (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, pp. 156-164). The educational behaviorist belief is that students will be able to correlate the amount of effort they have put into their homework and classwork, compare that effort to the outcome in their quiz and test grades. Once students see the outcomes, they will continue to put more effort into their work to achieve those higher assessment grades. In addition to effort, technology also allows students to complete homework and practice assessments using collaborative and creative methods.
Many teachers assign homework for students to practice what they learned in class at home. “Technology facilitates homework and practice by providing a wealth of resources for learning outside of the classroom, making it easy for students to work on collaborative homework assignments and providing ‘drill and practice’ resources that help students refine their skills (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 189). Among the technology programs that help with homework for the elementary school student as well as the high school student are, word processing applications, spreadsheet software, multimedia applications, web resources, and communication software (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, pp. 189-201). In my classes, I hold a review session before each unit test set up similar to a game of Jeopardy. My students set up a Facebook page where they quiz each other at night in preparation for the test the next day.  They took the initiative to set up that page on their own and to peer review the materials I went over during the day in class. All of the participants on the Facebook page have seen their test grades improve and students not already part of that page; have put in requests to join the group for nighttime reviews. My students review page is an excellent example of student effort at work improving grades while working collaboratively with peer-reviewed materials. This is a wonderful mesh of learning theories, behaviorism and constructivism, in one classroom.

  Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, Colorado: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL).

 Smith, M. K. (1999). “The behaviourist orientation to learning”. The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from

Standridge, M. (2002). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching and technology. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reflection on Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work and Society

           Teachers are constantly learning new materials, from textbooks to technology. Teachers who have been in the classroom for the last 30+ years have learned how to use e-mail, e-board, Moodle, Microsoft programs, and others. Teachers are truly lifelong learners, they must continue to learn how to change their roles in the classroom and how to change the way in which they present materials. From this course, I learned many ways of changing my role in the classroom. I have also learned how my students should be taught the materials, through collaboration.
For the first time, I have collaborated with other teachers on developing a wiki. I created a blog and learned how to feed my groups blogs onto my blog and to post comments on their blogs as well as adding new posts to my own blog. I have learned how to become part of a group on a wiki, I have never even seen a wiki before, not only become a part of one. Finally, for the first time I recorded my students answering questions, edited their responses, joined those responses together into one podcast and posted it on my blog. I have never attempted to use these programs before; but I have learned to work with them over the last seven weeks of this course.
In Will Richardson’s, book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other Powerful Web Tools for the Classrooms (Richardson, 2010), he gives systematic instructions for teachers on setting up blogs, wikis, and other learning tools. It has become an invaluable source of information. Mark Prensky defined the differences between a digital native and a digital immigrant and those definitions were debated between Dr. Thornburg and Hall Davidson (Debate: digital natives and digital immigrants). Surprisingly, because of that debate I concluded I was a digital native since I watched more than 3 hours of TV a week as a child. That was a surprising conclusion since I did not grow up with computers and had a panic attack in college when I had to go to the computer room for a statistics class. The personal computer has changed how we, as teachers, research, gather, analyze and synthesize information for our students. It has also changed the way in which we allow our students to do their research for class projects.
Change in the way teachers and students research, change in the way teachers run their classroom, change in the way teachers facilitate their classes rather than lecture to their classes. These changes have all occurred with the development of technology and will continue to evolve as technology changes. The challenge of the classroom today is to keep up with business. Teachers are educating the business people of tomorrow and it is our job to help them succeed. They must be able to collaborate they should become familiar with the latest technology available. Problems are posed by financial crises, school districts unable to afford the latest technology. Problems are also posed by a lack of communication between technology departments and the core subject departments. A lack of training on the newest technology also hurts teachers and students.
In closing, I have a word of advice for all teachers, we are the lifelong learners; it is our job to continue learning the newest technology. We are the ones who teach English, History, Math, Science, Technology, etc.  to students of all ages, all economic backgrounds, all cultures and all learning abilities. We are the ones who modify our lessons to meet the needs of all students. Learning new materials and transferring that information to our students is just a part of our job. We are the educators, we have the responsibility to educate our students and prepare them for the challenges of 21st century society.


Bringing the fun into teaching with technology. (2008). Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

The Changing role of the classroom teacher: part 1. (2008). Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

The Changing role of the classroom teacher: part 2. (2008). Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

Understanding the impact of technology on education, work, and society. (2008). The Third Wave. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

Partnership for 21st century skills. (2011). (Partnership for 21st century skills) Retrieved January 23, 2012, from

Debate: digital natives and digital immigrants. (2008). Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

Dede, Christopher. (2008). The Changing Work Environment, part 2. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). Digital-Age learning. Retrieved September 9, 2011, from iste.nets.s:

New Jersey Department of Education. (2010). 2010 NCLB Report. Retrieved November 2, 2011, from New Jersey Department of Education:;d=55500;s=010

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (Third Edition ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, a Sage Company.

Skills for the 21st century. (2008). (D. Thornburg, & C. Dede, Compilers) Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

Spotlight on Technology: collaboration through Wikis. (2008.). (J. Houston, Compiler) Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

Thornburg, David. (2008). The Changing Work Environment. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Demographic Profile, Podcasting & Interviewing Students

When beginning a project that has three components you have never used before, set aside enough time to complete each component. You will have to teach yourself, by reading and watching YouTube videos on how to use the latest applications that are needed for the project.

I began with a Survey Monkey of my students; you can find the survey I used at

The demographic profile was created using the results of the survey monkey. Below is that profile:

13 surveys were given to a sampling of students

Age Group 16 to 18

Boys & girls

1.      All in 12th grade

2.      All own a computer at home, all work on the computer for school work, all have internet service, all have e-mail at home

3.      All use a computer daily

4.      4 of the 13 answered yes to all the sub-topics (If you do not have a computer/internet can you use one/it from somewhere else?; Does  your teacher use email for communicating with your parents?; Does your teacher use e-mail for school assignments?) 9 answered no or not sure for teacher communicates with parents via e-mail

5.      2 use computer 2-4 Xs weekly

6 use computer weekly

4 use computer daily

1 seldom/never uses computer

6.      3 use it before, during & after school

1 after school only

5 during and after school

1 before and after school

3 during school

7.       6 chose all choices of the 6 that did make choices NONE USED SPREADSHEETS

8.      1 survey had no answers for 8 & 9

1 instant messaging

5 (Facebook, twitter, social networking)

5 research, 1 with word processing added

1 word processing

9.      1 survey blank

12 use the internet to Microsoft power point

After completing the survey and tabulating the results, I was ready for my interviews. I held the interviews after school in my classroom. I then saved them to a stick drive and transferred them to my home computer where I could work with editing to meet the time requirements of the project. I watched YouTube videos to teach me how to edit in audacity, and after a few tries I finally understood how to copy, paste, cut, fade in and out, and adjust the volume.

Below is my very first podcast, using programs I have never used before, with different computers in different locations. I hope you enjoy what I was able to put together and my students will tell you where improvement is needed at school and what program they are comfortable using. Enjoy.