Sunday, September 28, 2014

Digital Badge E

It was very interesting to read about Rosie on page 158; the student who did not enjoy math until she was introduced to 4MALITY.   I was curious, so I found the 4MALITY website and created a login.  There are different sets of problems that range from place values to understanding decimals.  It is very easy to follow and would be a great tool to incorporate into the classroom.  Solving word problems can be difficult for some students.  Tools like this can help make sure students understand and grasp what the problems are asking them to do. It is important to set a good foundation while the students are young.  As they get into middle and high school math, they will be more prepared to tackle those more difficult math courses. 

I do not remember teachers teaching me when I was in school how to take research material and rewriting it so it is in my own words.  I personally did not do well in this area in school, but it is so important that students learn early on how to acquire this skill.   On page 168 of the textbook, I learned about a website called Read/Write/Think that helps students organize and write a persuasive essay.  And since this chapter explains how gaming can be used in the classroom, there are plenty of educational games that could be incorporated with a lesson plan.  One example is this ABC Match game which is geared for Kindergarten through 2nd grade; it helps students with letter recognition and memory. 

On page 169 the textbook explains how gamification is used in education as well as in the business world.  I did not realize when I sign up for a store reward card that it was something called gamification.  But like the textbook explains too much gaming or gamification can have negative outcomes.  For businesses, their rewards are points on future purchases to keep you coming back which causes you to spend more money.  For students, the rewards may become more important than actually learning the material.  I can see how it can be beneficial but there may also be a down side.  There is an interesting article on Edutopia with a link to a TedTalk video which explains how using real world situations in a game setting can motivate students to learn. 

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Digital Badge D

This chapter offers a lot of information on where to find valuable educational websites for students and teachers.   I did not realize the vast amount of web sites that offer students the option of taking notes to search engines that are geared towards age appropriate resources.  As the textbook says the search engine does not know who is searching or how old the person is.  It is more beneficial and involves less time to allow the students to use those search engines that are geared towards content that is related to the topic they are researching.  For example, the Smithsonian Education website is a great tool for the classroom and offers teaching opportunities from art to history.  I enjoyed exploring this website and saved this one on my Delicious account for future use. 

Another topic the textbook covered was bullying and cyberbullying.  This one is a biggie for me.  I feel students should start learning empathy as soon as they begin school in kindergarten.  They need to learn how to put themselves in another person’s shoes and realize that everybody is different and that it is alright if the person sitting next to them wears glasses or has different clothes.  It is such a tragedy to hear news stories of young kids that have taken their own life because of bullying.  I believe getting students involved in the community is a great way to teach this.  The website has some very good examples of how to get students as young as kindergarten involved in bullying prevention.

I was shocked at the number of students who admitted to cheating. The textbook says “one is four and one in six high school students admit to cheating” (Maloy, 119).  According to students learn how to cheat while they are still in elementary school.  The article Combat Cheating in Elementary School explains that when children are encouraged to work together in groups in first and second grade; then when asked to work by themselves it can be overwhelming and they feel pressure to have the right answers so they begin to cheat by copying answers.  Students need to be taught early on that cheating is wrong and there are consequences if they are found cheating. I feel to combat cheating it starts by teaching them integrity and to have a sense of pride and accomplishment for their own work.    

MPR News (2013, June 25).  Combat Cheating in Elementary School. Retrieved from

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Digital Badge C

As I was reading on page 46 of this chapter the teacher was asked by a concerned parent “Why are you emphasizing so much technology in your teaching?”  I am sure all teachers at some point in their career face parents that probably feel this way and will need to be prepared with a knowledgeable response.  Thinking about this scenario, a teacher has a tremendous responsibility to not only his or her students but to the community.   They have to be prepared to not only teach the day’s lessons with enthusiasm and creativity but they also have to be ready to give appropriate responses to whatever questions come their way.  Even with this much responsibility, I believe some people are just born to be teachers, it is something they desire to be; it comes from within. 

This chapter offers a lot of information to be ready to address those questions.  With proper use, technologies in the classroom can “generate unique, powerful and transformative learning experiences.”  Children these days are being raised on technology and seem to have something built in them to understand how it works.  So when technology is combined with subjects like math, history, science and language arts and even music and art; students will be more likely to understand and enjoying learning.  On page 54 and 55 of the textbook, Montessori believed that learning should include a self-correcting feedback that teaches in a nonjudgmental way.   Computer games that students can play in the classroom that offer instant feedback would be beneficial in the classroom.  This is true for me while I was completing my math courses.  The homework was done on the computer and sometimes I would struggle to figure out the answers; the instant feedback of the program allowed me to rework the problem and then further understand how to correctly solve the problem.  So I completely understand this concept.  It is not giving feedback in a negative or judgmental way which can make a student feel embarrassed.  

When I was in school, teaching was done in a teacher-centered approach.  The students sat in rows of desks and the teacher stood in the front of the class and taught at the chalkboard.  I think this approach is still necessary to some extent to teach specific concepts.  But I believe the classroom should be arranged so that the room feels open to all student and there is no one sitting in the back not paying attention.  I believe students should be active in the classroom, working with hands-on activities and in groups to come up with solutions to real world problems using critical thinking.  The Importance ofCritical Thinking on Bright Hub Education explains that without critical thinking skills we cannot process information logically.   It is important for students to develop good critical thinking skills to be able to think independently and solve problems not only in school but in their daily lives outside of school. 

Banerjee, Ranee Kaur. (2012, August 10). The Importance of Critical Thinking. Retrieved from 

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Copy of 21st Century Technologies - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Digital Badge B

1     All of these technology tools can be overwhelming and a little intimidating.  Prior to this class I had never even heard of Web 2.0 tools.  On page 24 of the textbook, there is quite a long list, many of which I am already familiar with; but had no idea they were called Web 2.0 tools.  Now that I already know what a few of these are and how to use them; perhaps it will be easier now to continuing learning about other tools and how to integrate some of these into the classroom.  This website Web 2.0: Cool Tools for Schools is loaded with an abundance of tools that are available to teachers. 

Web 2.0 Tools

       On page 34 of the textbook, the section titled Critics of Technology in Schools.  It seems difficult to know exactly how much technology time students should spend in the classroom.  I have read with the use of technology it helps to develop creativity but according to this section of reading, too much “right-and-wrong-answer computer games limits the development of children’s creativity.”  So what’s the right answer?  How much is too much?  This article from is very interesting and says that technology leads to improved reading skills.  But on the other hand too much technology can make a child feel ”anxious, restless, bored and aggressive” (LeClaire, 2006).   I guess it is once again a balance, knowing what the limits are and setting strict guidelines.

Students these days are definitely digital natives as explained on page 38 in the textbook.  As I stated in my previous post, they can just pick up any kind of electronic device and figure out how it works.  And those digital immigrants who require the owner’s manual struggle to even understand how to turn the machine on.  This particular section further explains that these students who were brought up using technology are more likely to learn from “electronic and computer environments.  So it is up to the schools and the teachers to provide the technology that these students need to succeed. 

LeClaire, Jennifer. (2006, September 6).  Kids and Tech: How Much Is Too Much?  Retrieved from

Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.