Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week 6 of CED 550

This weeks module was about online courses and the shift towards 21st century skills, my school districts current online course involvement, and the Virtual Schools Legislation in Wisconsin.

During the module I was excited to watch the Learning to Change/Changing to Learn video and the Shift Happens video. Videos like these always provide me with the inspiration I need to continue moving forward with the changes that I am trying to make within my own classroom. My favorite part of the learning to change/changing to learn video was the quote at the end. "This is a very exciting time for learning. It's the death of education but it's the dawn of learning, and that makes me very happy". This is a reflection of how we need to change and how this change is positive for our students.

We needed to complete a Scavenger Hunt to determine our districts involvement in online learning. I felt like my district is positively working towards the changes that we need to shift towards 21st century learning. This is a very slow process but I am glad that I am actively involved with this change and I am excited to pilot a flipped classroom next year.

My flipped classroom model will provide my students with an opportunity to gain 21st century skills by fostering their ability to connect, create, and collaborate in an online environment. The students will be utilizing Moodle as their main Learning Management System. This online environment will be a place to watch/read lectures, take assessments, collaborate on discussion boards, complete lab simulations, and share information. I hope to utilize in class time for collaboration on labs and homework. The pacing of the course will be determined by the student. This is a more student centered approach that will hopefully benefit my students and help them develop the necessary skills to become life long learners.

The last assessment that I completed this week was a review of the Virtual Schools Legislation in Wisconsin. It was interesting to read the concerns about virtual charter schools. I have not previously considered the financial concerns that are connected with this trend. I now understand the Virtual Schools Legislation in Wisconsin and am concerned about the lack of focus on the benefits for students. It appears that most people are concerned with districts losing money to virtual schools instead of how a virtual school may benefit the student. Another concern is that outsiders may view virtual schools as a money making opportunity since they typically have lower costs of operation. My hope is that we get all of the political and financial aspects worked out so that we can focus on the most important issue, the students.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 5 of CED 550 - Collaborative

This week we listened to more presentations from our classmates. The focus of our asynchronous class was collaboration.

My experience with online communities has been positive. I have primarily experienced these communities through my grad work and I believe that this makes a difference. The communities that I have been a part of have consisted of people that are invested in what they do. They are interested in the topics and care about the group. This is what makes our group successful and my experiences positive.

I believe the biggest benefit of collaborative groups is the chance to hear others' opinions. It is always great to hear different perspectives about a topic. Collaboration has allowed me to gain a more robust understanding of a variety of topics because I have been able to learn from others.

I believe the greatest challenge of collaboration is finding the time to work together. Even though the web 2.0 tools have drastically changed the way that we collaborate, the reality is that we still need to sit down and make a conscience effort to communicate with others. Resources such as google docs allow us to collaborate asynchronously, but we still need to take that step. The hardest part about collaboration is that your group is as weak as your weakest group member. If someone does not share, the group falters.

My biggest concern regarding social development and socialization is that individuals who thrive in an online environment may not be able to communicate their thoughts when they are face-face in a large group. I find that it is easier to text, email, and post my thoughts than it is to vocalize these same ideas when I am in a large group. If an individual chooses to only share his/her thoughts through technology, he/she may not be able to communicate outside the online world. This would be a major disservice to our students.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 4 of CED 550

The focus on this week was student-centered online learning, differentiation, authentic assessments, and rubrics. We needed to create a Student Centered Lesson with Differentiation, Authentic Assessment, and a Rubric. I chose to create a lesson on Charles' Law using online lab simulations.

As a science teacher, I believe that students need to experience the content that we are discussing. Labs are an important piece of the learning process. While working on this module I was glad that I had success finding a lab replacement. The online lab simulation was a good replacement and it allows the students to kinesthetically explore the concepts.

This week in class was also my chance to facilitate both a synchronous and asynchronous discussion on blended learning. Here is the 15 minute presentation that I gave on Blended Learning. Here is the topic for my asynchronous discussion. I felt like both the synchronous and asynchronous discussions went well. I was glad that I chose to incorporate a video into the discussion and it seemed liked the topic was well received by my colleagues.

I think I could have improved my synchronous lesson by utilizing a reporter instead of having all of the students write on the whiteboard at once. I found this to be overwhelming and I do not think that the students were able to read all of the good comments that their colleagues posted. In the future, I would also like to use the poll features that Eluminate offers. It is a great way to get anonymous feedback from the students and it also provides great discussion points.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CED 550 - Week 3

This week we prepared to lead a 15 minute discussion on a topic of our choice in one of the upcoming lectures. We also need to prepare an asynchronous discussion thread that corresponds to our topic. The topic that I chose was blended learning. I choose my particular discussion topic because I am interested in flipping my classroom within the next 3 years.

One of the greatest challenge that I am anticipating as an online teacher/facilitator is keeping tabs on all student activity. I will need to carefully monitor the chat window, emoticons, hand raising, technical issues, and whiteboard. I hope to manage this challenge by providing clear directions for student activity and allowing them to control the flow of the lesson. I plan on regulating student conversation by requiring students to raise their hands when they want to talk. I may even utilize the mic restrictions that eluminate offers. I also hope to keep the students engaged. I plan on having all the students use the whiteboard to complete a graphic organizer. While the students are completing this task, I will be able to monitor the chat window, emoticons, hand raising, and technical issues.

As I prepared for my synchronous and asynchronous lesson, I realized that planning a lesson for an online learning environment is very similar to planing a lesson for a regular classroom. Preparation is the main focus of all good lessons (in class or online). I really needed to take the time to research my topic and think about the best way to present my material. I needed to consider my audience and determine the best possible way to keep them engaged. This is a similar check off that I use when preparing any lesson.

We also needed to create rubrics to evaluate the synchronous and asynchronous discussions. My focus for creating these rubrics was to keep it simplistic and easy to evaluate. I wanted to have clearly defined ranges that would allow me to quickly and easily evaluate student participation. I wanted it to be as clear cut as possible.

That is my plan for my synchronous and asynchronous lesson. Check my lesson and my discussion topic. Feel free to give any feedback.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CED 550 - Week 2

This post will discuss a list of statements/questions that we are supposed to be able to answer after this weeks class. I wrote my response below each question.

Identify at least two synchronous and two asynchronous online learning tools that would be appropriate for your targeted online learners.
  • Two synchronous online learning tools that I could use with my students are Eluminate live! and Google + Hangouts with the interactive shared whiteboard.
  • Two asynchronous online learning tools that I could use are my moodle page or my edmodo page.

List four different types of activities that you might use with your targeted online learners and identify an appropriate online tool to use in implementing that activity.

  • Student discussions about Labs - I would facilitate this through the forums activity that moodle provides
  • Screencast homework tutorials - I would use screener or Eluminate live! to have the students demonstrate how to do the homework. I chose these two options because they are web based and don't require any software installation.
  • Blogs - I would have the students use the wiki feature in moodle because it is protected
  • Lab Simulations - I would use to complete online lab simulations that demonstrate concepts discussed in class

Is my initial contact warm and inviting? Are there things I did particularly well or could do better in the future? Is my initial contact clear and concise and yet user friendly? What are some strategies that help to format your contacts to make them as clear and concise as possible?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

CED 550 - Week 1

This is the first week of CED 550 - Facilitating Online Learning. This course is designed to develop the skills of an effective online instructor. This week we focused on the similarities and differences of online learning, the strengths and weakness of online learning, and how to use Eluminate (a synchronous online learning environment). The main focus of this week's blog is how I can relate the examples of online learning to my own experience.

I have taken a quite a few online course prior to this one. This course is unique because it allows me learn about the skills and the process of creating an online learning environment. I find this to be of great value because I am interested in creating a blended learning environment within my own classroom. One thing that I enjoyed was having the moderator controls in eluminate during class this week. Eluminate is a great way to meet with a group of students and interact in a synchronous online learning environment. Moderators can truly control and guide a productive lesson in an online environment. This is something that I hope to utilize more as I explore the option of a blended learning environment.

I also looked at interactive online science lessons from the online learning gallery. The specific lessons were not as useful as I hoped because they did not relate to my subject area or age level. I did however find them to reinforce the benefits of interactive online learning. This is a great way to test student comprehension of content. Whether it is a quiz, memory game, or labeling activity; all of these activities allow the student to apply their knowledge and receive feedback. I have used interactive simulations from within my classroom. These have been a great online lab alternative. I hope to continue to explore and discover more simulations and webquests so that I can incorporate them into the online learning aspect of my class.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

CED 535 - Week 6: How I plan to flip my Classroom.

This week we needed to answer the following question: What item do you believe you can incorporate from this class into your professional or personal life and how will you ensure that you achieve the goal of incorporating it? If you can discuss it in terms of being a SMART goal for incorporating.

  • S Specific - What exactly will you do?
  • M Measurable - How will you be able to prove it was done?
  • A Attainable - Will you have the resources and time, what might you have to do to make it occur?
  • R Realistic - Make sure it is doable, you certainly can add something to a lesson plan or work item, you cannot get to the moon.
  • T Timely - Assign a timeline - when will this be done by?

Goal: The concept that I chose to incorporate into my classroom is, screencasting/podcasting. This is something that I envision both myself and my students participating in.

I hope to do more screencasting of my classroom content. This year I specifically want to focus on skills that are not easily translated from the notes (determining significant figures, electron configurations, using Lewis dot structures for ionic/covalent bonding, nomenclature, graph analysis, and math problems). I plan on making the instructional videos accessible on our moodle site so that students can view them at later time if they need assistance.

I also plan on having the students create videos to demonstrate the labs that we are doing in class. The students can then upload the videos to our moodle site and the class can comment about what they learned. This is also a great way to demonstrate the labs for students that wree absent.

My long term goal is to make all of my classroom content available through online resources and screencasting. The students would be able to access these resources and instructional video lessons online so that they can learn the content outside of the classroom. This would allow me to dedicate in class time towards labs, projects, collaborative learning, and individual assistance. Essentially I hope to flip my classroom.

Measuring my Progress: Right now I am focusing on the first part of my goal. This year I hope to create at least one video lesson for each of my chemistry units. I also hope to have the students create at least one lab video for each of the units. This means that the students and I would need to create 9 video each (18 total videos). I believe that this is a realistic goal for this year and I hope to begin working on this during second semester.

As for my long term goal, I hope to continue to work on this process each year. I hope to continue to add more videos each time I go through a course. I hope to have my classroom completely flipped by the beginning of the 2014 school year.

This class has provided me with a lot of useful resources and the motivation that I needed to start making changes within my classroom. I now have a clear goal and timeline for the changes that I want to make. I believe that this process will help make my students become better thinkers and learners. It allows them to move through the course at their own pace and requires them to be aware of their academic needs and behaviors. This is a supportive system that helps individualize learning for each student.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 5 of CED 535

This week we needed to explore a new Web 2.0 application that we havent discussed in class, we needed to continue to work on our google site, and we started collecting our work for our portfolio.

We were given a few different resources to find new Web 2.0 tools (, All Things Web 2.0, Listio, Tech-lou-ology). This list of resources has a great value. I have actually bookmarked all of these website using Diigo so that I can reference them later and find new resources to incorporate into my own classroom. The has a great filter tool that lets you find the specific resources you need in an easy fashion. The All Things Web is nice because it has lists of the best voted and most popular Web 2.0 tools. Listio allows you to filter Web 2.0 tools by using keywords. They also post new Web 2.0 apps and reviews. The Tech-lou-ology website is actually our professor's, Louis Loeffler, blog. There are a variety of posts relating to Web 2.0 tools and reviews.

After a quick search, one of the resources I found to be interesting is bubblecomment. This is a cool way to insert video commentary onto webpages. This method is far more personal and really stands out. I hope to use this with my own website for the South Milwaukee Girls Basketball team.

We also needed to collect some of our best work from the graduate program and place it in a folder. This is the first step towards creating our portfolio. While this step seems like additional work now, I am glad that they are having us contribute to our portfolio so far in advance. This will hopefully make the process easier down the road.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 4 of CED 535

This week we continued to explore google sites, wikis, and twitter. I have continued to work on my google site for the girls basketball team and I am now following 41 people on twitter. Twitter continues to be a great source for new resources and interesting articles. We also discussed screencasting and facebook.

Screencasting is something that I have done before. One of my goals is to eventually create a flipped classroom. This means that the majority of the instruction occurs outside of the classroom and in class time is devoted for group work, activities, and labs. Some of the screencasting services that we checked out are: Screenr, ScreenJelly, Vocaroo, GabCast, Eyejot, Yodio, JingProject, ScreenCastle, ScreenToaster. I have used eyejot, and jing before. I currently use quicktime's screencasting feature. After recording a screencast with quicktime, I typically upload it to schooltube. I am excited to check out the other services as well.

Facebook is a familiar and popular social networking tool. I like the idea of creating a page for MEIT students and graduates so that we can continue to stay in touch and collaborate about educational technology.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 3 of CED535

What did we do this week that you can apply in your school or job and how might you use it?

This week we examined RSS readers, photo sharing, google sites, and twitter. I found all of these resources to be useful for either professional development or student use.

Google Reader - google reader is a RSS aggregator. This means that it collects all of the posts from the blogs that you subscribe to into a single location. This is a huge time saver. Instead of checking numerous websites/blogs, you can just check your google reader. I found this to be a beneficial way of following useful blogs that discuss educational topics. I primarily follow science or educational technology blogs written by quality instructors or professionals. Google reader has allowed me to do more professional reading in the last month than I have done in the last year. It is such as easy way to obtain and filter useful information and I know it will help me grow professionally.

Google Sites - Google sites allow users to create their own webpage and control who has access to it. It is incredibly user friendly. The best part is how easy it is to incorporate any of your goole apps (documents, spreadsheets, forms, etc.). Google sites has removed the fear of creating and managing a webpage. I recently created one for our girls basketball team. It was easy to set up and is a great way to share information. If I didn't use moodle and edmodo, I could see myself utilizing google sites as an easy way to create a class webpage. I can also envision students creating a website to present their research projects instead of a powerpoint. They could then share their knowledge with the world and obtain feedback from others. What a great alternative!

Photo sharing - I created a flickr account a long time ago. I have finally started to utilize it. It is a great way to store, organize, edit, and share your pictures. I can see my students taking pictures/videos of labs or demos and then having them post comments. I believe that they will enjoy this more than doing post lab questions. It also makes students more accountable because their work is public and can be viewed by others.

Twitter - I have continued to utilize twitter as a source of professional development. I have increased the people I am following and I am starting to get updates on some really useful information. It has been another easy way to obtain new resources. I could also see using this as a way to mass communicate with students about information that is relavant to class.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

CED 535 - Week 2

This week we needed to explore twitter, photo sharing, and continue to read about wikis and blogs. The purpose of today's blog is to discuss how we can utilize these resources in the classroom.

Twitter - I have had an account for twitter for over a year. I am excited to actually take the time to utilize it. I originally thought of it as just another way of sharing personal information and I disregarded it because I am not that interested in things like that. Since then, I have been taking technology courses and I have been talking to other teachers within my school. I have realized how useful it can be for professional development. It is a great way to find out what resources are out there and how technology is being used in the classroom. This has given me a purpose to use twitter. I could also use twitter to communicate with my students and parents about class events.

Flickr - I have also had a flickr account for years, but again I have never taken the time to really utilize it. It is a great way to store, organize, and share your personal photos. I am actually planning on utilizing it with our girls basketball program this year. I am hoping to have parents upload photos of their daughters to the site. It is a great way to share and discuss all the great things that these girls do. I can also envision using this within my classroom. I think it would be cool to have students take pictures or videos of labs and post them to our class' group. The students could then post comments about what they learned. I think they will enjoy it more than doing a lab write up.

Blogs and wikis - I had the same sentiment about blogs as I did about twitter. I can now see the advantages of utilizing these resources for professional development. I am also interested in utilizing these resources within my classroom. I hope to have the students create posts about a variety of topics that relate to our course. I want them to post lab write ups, questions/concerns, and updates about what they have learned. Since their work will be shared with others, they are more motivated and the quality of work is higher. It is a great way of obtaining authentic and quality insight about the student's content knowledge, thoughts, and needs. It is an awesome way to collaborate and grow as a class.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Here is a google site that I put together for our south milwaukee girls basketball team.

It was nice to use things we learned such as google sites, google forms, and flickr to make a practical and useful webpage. Hopefully others will find it useful as well

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 1 of CED 535

This was our first week of CED 535 - Facilitating Collaboration through Web 2.0 tools. This week we have to read the first 3 chapters of Blogs, wikis and podcasts. We also need to research bloging websites such as: edmodo, ThinkQuest, 21Classes , Blogger, Wordpress, EduBlogs, CoveritLive, ePals, Blogcheese, Global Teacher / Student, MySpace, Xanga, Friendster , and Posterous.

I have had some experiences with these bloging websites. I have used edmodo, blogger, and posterous. Last year I used edmodo for my classes. It was a really great way to share resources with my students and provide a place for the students to collaborate. I have used, and obviously am using, blogger. I used posterous in a different class and I really liked its ease of use. You simply send an email to posterous and it changes it into a post on your blog. Like all the other blogging resources, it is a great way to share and collaborate. This year I really hope to have my students start blogging about their classroom experiences, specifically labs, and what they learned. It is a great way to reflect about their experiences and allows students to make connections to the material.

This year, I am utilizing moodle. It is far more advanced, and subsequently more complicated to set up and use. Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows teachers and students to share resource and take assessments. I am really excited to develop my courses and utilize this to it full potential. It is a great way for students to receive extra help, assess their knowledge/abilities, and share and collaborate.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 5 of CED 540

This is our last week of assignments for CED 540. This week we needed to utilize google trends to address a topic, issue or problem. We also needed to examine 5 different websites and the data that they provide. Our last assignment was to compare the data from two of the perviously mentioned websites.

The google trends assignment seems like it will be an interesting task. Google trends allows users to see how often a topic has been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most. This is a pretty interesting way to get comparative data.

The five websites that we needed to examine data from were:
This allowed us to look at a variety of sources of information and possibilities to obtain data and use statistics.

Our last assignment was to compare the data from two of the previously mentioned sites. It was interesting to look at the differences that could be discovered between two different sources.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 4 of CED 540

After a couple of weeks off, I realized that I was a little rusty. I must have let my mind slip deep into summer mode. We had to complete another guided practice worksheet, determine a possible job that might be created in the future, and complete the analysis of our survey.

My group struggled with the guided practice worksheet this week. We were having trouble utilizing the z-score in order to determine specific percentages of a population (not sure if I am accurately describing our issue). We hope to get clarification during tomorrow's class.

Our group did come up with a possible job that might exist in the future. After a little research, we liked the idea of a teleportation specialist. This person would be responsible for installing and maintaing teleportation devices for items and people. This would change the way that we travel and deliver goods. Kind of a crazy idea.

Lastly, our group analyzed the results of our summer barbecue survey. After obtaining responses, calculating the mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation, we determined that a summer barbecue should be held in a backyard and serve burgers and water. This was a fun project because it brought me back to my science roots and helped me prepare to head back to school this fall. I enjoyed analyzing the data and writing up a complete report.

Monday, July 18, 2011

CED 540 - Week 3

This week we got our usual guided practice worksheet along with a larger survey assignment.

The guided practice worksheet revisited the concepts of mean, standard deviation, and range. I believe the goal of the assignment was to illustrate that we need to look at the range and standard deviation of a sample in order to truly understand the information that we are trying to analyze. This is an important concept and I will try to keep this in mind when I am evaluating student data or when I am having students evaluate any data that they collect.

We also had a group survey assignment. We needed to create a survey, collect data, analyze it, and present our results. This week my group came up with a topic and created the survey. We decided to keep the topic and our questions simple so that it would not be a burden for others to participate. We chose to collect data about a summer picnic. I currently shared it through facebook and I believe my group members are doing the same. We will collect data over the next couple of weeks. Afterwards, we will analyze it and create a visual representation of our data for our presentation. This is an interesting assignment because it gives us creative freedom and allows us to use the skills that we are learning about in this class. I embeded our survey below. Feel free to add your input.

Monday, July 11, 2011

CED 540 - Week 2

This week we completed another guided practice worksheet. The worksheet looked into mean, median, mode, standard deviation, range, and skew. We looked at data and interpreted the results and we also did our own calculations. This was a little hard at first but eventually I got the hang of it. I can see how these calculations will be beneficial when using student data. I can use these to truly identify how my classes are performing based on their assessments.

We also had to look at survey tools. We looked at Captera which is a survey software site that helps users determine the type of survey they need and the software needed to create a survey. This would be very beneficial for collecting data and it saves a lot of research and time.

We also looked at some survey creation software, such as surveymonkey and zoomerang. I don't have any direct experience creating surveys with this software, but my school district has used zoomerang to collect data. It was an easy way to provide my opinion on the topic. I have used other survey tools like polleverywhere and the smart response system. I am interested in seeing how all of these will compare.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 1 of CED 540

This was our first week of CEDO 540, Data Analysis and Interpretation. The course title is a non-threatening way of saying Statistics.

This week we watched a video that introduces statistics, it's use, and importance. We watched this video on statistics and we needed to determine the problem, they type of data that was collected, the conclusion, and the type of research that was done. You can find our group's results here. This video did a nice job of explaining how statistics are used and how it relates to our everyday life. I felt like this also related to my area of science. They really followed the scientific method, and used statistics to determine their results. This is something that I feel pretty comfortable with since I am a science teacher and have used statistics in the past for my own research.

We also needed to complete a worksheet based on the powerpoint that we went through in class. Even though this class feels a lot different than our others, I feel like it will be beneficial. I hope to relate this information to my own class through the analysis of student data, and the interpretation of data that we collect from student labs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 6 of CED 530

This week we needed to create an eyejot that described the applications that we explored in the class. I really enjoyed this class and I hope to use these applications to revise my presentations. I also plan on having the students use these applications to create their own presentations on specific content, lab reports, or weekly updates about class.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week 5 of CED 530

This week we looked at measuring/evaluating presentations, hardware and software. We also completed our Pecha Kucha.

One of our assignments was to make a rubric that could be used to evaluate a multimedia presentation. This is a good assignment because I will be able to utilize this rubric with my own students next year. I will probably utilize rubistar to make this since, I have used this program in a previous class.

Our other large assignment is a group paper. My group will be evaluating 280 Slides, authorStream, and SlideSix. I have used 280 slides before. I really liked its easy user interface and media options. The media tool was nice because it searches the web and youtube without having to open a new window. I look forward to evaluating authorstream and slidesix.

Our last assignment was to complete our Pecha Kucha. I plan on using voicethread to do this because I think it is really easy to use. Completing this assignment should be pretty easy since we had to create the storyboard. I had a lot of difficulty creating the storyboard, but I definatley see its value. I think that this would be an important step to include for a student project. It creates an important checkpoint and it really helps organize your thoughts.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

CED 530 Week 4

This week we continued to read Presentation Zen and Digitales, we explored Prezi, and we needed to make our storyboard for our Pecha Kucha.

The readings have been going well thus far. The material is very easy to read and it is very logical. I like that the Presentation Zen book provides pictures that illustrate the concepts that he is talking about. I really have liked the ideas that have been included into the books, but I am still having trouble implementing them within the classroom. My biggest concern comes with note taking. My question is, if I remove the majority of the text from my presentation, how will this affect student comprehension? I know that we can provide handouts with the material but then the students are not going to write down information or pay attention during the presentation. I suppose one possibility would be doing a cloze style type of notes (fill in the blanks). This would take me a while to create and I have already redone my notes several times.

Prezi is a really great tool that I would like to start utilizing within my classroom. It allows the presenter to really outline his/her topic and transition through ideas in a very unique way. We had to create a prezi that describes the pictures we have been taking and why we consider them to be quality pictures. I embeded my prezi below. I hope to have students utilize this as a presentation tool in the future.

The last thing that we worked on this week was our storyboard for our Pecha Kucha. I am having difficulty choosing a topic for this presentation. I like the idea of the Pecha Kucha and I will do my best to abide by the 20 seconds for 20 slides format. Once I pick a topic, I am sure that completing the storyboard will help me do my final Pecha Kucha.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CED 530 - Week 3

This week we looked at more digital stories and continued to examine what makes an effective presentation. One of our assignments was to revise an old presentation that we had created using some of the concepts that we have read about. I enjoyed this assignment because I strive to have effective presentations that keep my students engaged. Some of the modifications that I made include: less text on each slide and videos that correspond to the concepts.

We also examined Animoto. This is a great presentation tool that allows you to upload text, images, videos, and audio. After you arrange your media into the order that you want, it takes it and creates a video presentation that includes transitions. It is a really easy and quick way to make video presentations. I created one that utilized pictures of my students labeling the parts of a transverse wave.

The last topic that we explored this week was Pecha Kuchas. These are presentations that allow you to use 20 seconds for a 20 slide presentation. I watched an example of this and I was surprised with how much you can actually accomplish within these time and slide restraints. We will be creating our own Pecha Kuchas later.

So far I have been really impressed with the content that we have learned in this course. I believe that this course will help me become a better presenter and therefore a better teacher.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week 2 of CED530

What way can you use digital stories in what you do?

I can envision using digital stories as a method of researching and presenting information. I could also using digital storytelling as a way for students to present their lab reports. Both of these options allow the students to creatively share their knowledge with their classmates. This is a great alternative to direct instruction. It allows the students to learn the material on their own and present it in a method that they enjoy. This provides a real ownership of the concepts for the students.

I may consider having the students do a blog like posterous for lab write ups. The students could take a picture and describe what they learned in their lab. I could also use voicethread to have students present information about the history of the atom, renewable energy and energy efficient house design, and maglev tains. I have enjoyed digital storytelling and I hope to incorporate this method into my lessons.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

CED 530 - Week 1

This class is all about digital story telling. We will learn how to create captivating stories and presentations using digital media. I am really looking forward to this class because it sounds like we will be able to create personal stories and presentations using our own media. I find this exciting because of the creativity that this type of project provides.

One of the assignments that I will be doing for this class is taking a picture every day and posting it on This is a really neat way to blog and share a piece of your day to day life with others. I actually shared my posterous site with family members so that they can see what I am up to. They love seeing pictures of my son.

I am excited to see what the other kinds of projects we will be doing in this class. I am hoping that this class will motivate me to learn more about my digital camera and photo editing software. I can already feel the creative juices flowing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 6 of CED 525

This was our last week of CED 525. For our final project we needed to revise a lesson utilizing some of the strategies that we learned. I found this very beneficial. I wish that I had time to go through all of my lessons and reevaluate how they can be enhanced with the use of technology.

The lesson that I chose to revise was unit 5 - on energy, heat, and energy efficiency. You can take a look at the modifications that I made by checking out my presentation.

Here is how I feel my modifications will change the outcome of the lesson:

  • The objectives for the unit will remain the same but I am hoping that the students will have a more robust understanding of the concepts based on their experiences. 
    • My unit revision will increase student comprehension due to better questioning strategies (smart response system and advanced organizers) and lab experiences (Vernier labquests)
    • My unit revision will improve the quality of student work due to a refined rubric, self-evaluation, and peer review (google forms and google presentation)
    • My unit revision will provide a more robust understanding of the concepts created by the   application of the concepts (house project) and the challenging nature of the material (new test)

I hope to continue to use my experiences in CED 525 to successfully modify other lessons.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CED 525 - Week 5

This week we needed to post a reflection for each of the strategies that we studied (Identifying Similarities and Differences, Homework and Practice, and Generating and Testing Hypotheses). We also need to evaluate an online lesson and we needed to revise one of our units. This post will contain my reflection and links to my lesson evaluation and unit revision.

I can think of a time that I asked students to identify similarities and differences and I was pleased with the results. Why did it go well?

One example of when I have asked my students to identify similarities and differences is during our bonding unit. We create a ven diagram that identifies the similarities and differences between ionic and covalent bonding. I have found that this really helps students comprehend the two types of bonding and how they work. This is an important concept because the students must be able to identify the type of bonding in order to understand other concepts that they will learn throughout the rest of the year.

What is the purpose of asking students to complete homework?

The completion of homework was a hot topic of discussion at my school. A few years ago, there was a group of teachers and administrators that wanted to stop counting homework towards a student's overal grade. This was highly debated. The concept was that homework should be considered practice and it shouldn't negatively affect a student's grade if it is not completed. The counter argument was that if we do not require students to do homework, it won't be completed and they will not get the practice they need to succeed. I can understand both sides of the debate. I currently count homework as 5% of a students overal grade. This is a very small portion. My hope is that this will motivate students to complete their work, but it wont have a huge impact on the student's overall grade if it is not completed. This has worked well for me and I have had the majority of my students complete their work.

What kinds of technologies can I use to help students generate and test hypotheses?

I have been trying to implement more labs that utilize the vernier labquests. These are portable devices that can record, graph, and analyze a range of data based on the probes that they connect. The labquests provides tangible quantitative results that are typically accurate and reliable. These labs allows the students to see the science in action and accurately evaluate the results. This has been a great way to test a hypothesis and determine if we were right or wrong. This has really helped my students understand important and sometimes complicated science concepts.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

CED525 - Week 4

This week we needed to view a TED talk by Clay Shirky. We could choose to watch either Institutions vs. Collaboration or How Cognitive Surplus will Change the World. I chose to watch How Cognitive Surplus will Change the World. I have embedded the video and included some commentary below.

Clay Shirky: How Cognitive Surplus will Change the World

Clay Shirky started his lecture by talking about Ushahidi which is a crowdsourcing mapping platform. It was created out of necessity by Kenyan lawyer and blogger Ory Okolloh during the aftermath of the 2007 Kenyan general elections. The concept of Ushahidi is to aggregate input and information from users in order to monitor situations such as riots, or natural disasters. Ushahidi processes this information and then provides a useful overview of the situation via a map.

The significance of Ushahidi is that it was created through the use of technology, collaboration, and the willingness (or generosity) of individuals to share their knowledge and talents. Clay Shirky calls this phenomenon cognitive surplus. Based on his lecture, I would define cognitive surplus as the ability of the world to volunteer and collaborate on projects through the use of technology. He determined that there are two factors that contribute to cognitive surplus:

  1. The use of the world’s free time and talent
    • Shirky estimated that there is approximately 1 trillion hours/year available for participation
    • He believes that in order for cognitive surplus to work we must have some sort of intrinsic motivation that drives our decision to participate. We will not participate if we are obligated to.
  2. The use of modern technology
    • Technology provides us with the tools that allow us to create and share
Shirky continues his lecture by discussing the variety of ways that we can invest our time/talent and how we can use the technology that is available. He discusses how we have the freedom to experiment. We can choose to make artistic, scientific, or political contributions. Shirky continues by comparing the creation of Ushahidi to the creation of humorously captioned photographs of cats. He stated that there is a spectrum of how we contribute. He did not bash the creation of the cat pictures, he instead recognized the fact that these individuals were willing to contribute. He later went on to state that we must be intrinsically motivated to shift our our contributions from communal value (funny cat pictures) to civic value (platforms such as Ushahidi). This is when cognitive surplus can be used to change the world.

Technology provides us with the tools that allow us to communicate and collaborate through social networks. The ability to connect with others provides us with the access to the knowledge and talents of individuals all around the world. We have all of the resources that we need to make a significant impact on how the world operates but there are many questions that need to be answered.

  • How will individuals choose to invest their free time, knowledge, and talent?
  • How will we use the technology that is available?
  • Are we willing to collaborate, create, and share?
  • If we have the freedom to experiment, will we choose to create something that is beneficial and significant?
  • Will we choose to contribute to something that has civic value?

I thought that this was a very interesting video because it draws attention to that fact that we can all contribute to something that can benefit others and change how the world operates. I believe that Shirky is trying to make people aware of this concept so individuals will choose to change the way that they use their time, knowledge, and talents. We need to stop making stupid and pointless videos to post on youtube and start using our time and talents to contribute to something that may help others. We have the time, the knowledge, the talent, and the tools; what will we choose to do with it?


We also needed to post a personal reflection regarding the main topics from this week (Cooperative Learning and Reinforcing Effort).

What kinds of technologies can I use to help students experience cooperative learning?
A colleague and I were recently discussing different ways to do group presentations. She expressed some concerns about using powerpoint for group presentations. I am currently planning a research project with my students so she and I both sat down and discussed some possible options for cooperative learning through group presentations. After examining a variety of tools (glogster, voicethread, google docs, etc.) we both decided that creating a presentation through google docs was the easiest and best way to support cooperative learning through group presentations. We both liked the idea that students would be collectively working on one copy of the presentation. Because google docs allows the students to see the changes that their peers are making, we discussed how helps guide their learning and how it provides them with the opportunity to do peer revision. We really liked the fact that google docs has the revision history feature. This feature allows us to see how each student contributed to the presentation. This eliminates the concerns about having one student doing all of the work and forces all of the students to contribute.

I can think of a time that I asked reinforced a student’s effort and I was pleased with the results. Why did it go well?
I recently had a student that had a bad history with academics. He had attendance issues and put little time and effort into his classroom work. I spent some time establishing a relationship with this student during our lab experiences. I noticed that he really enjoyed doing labs and he was capable of contributing some really great ideas. I focused on this positive aspect and started to encourage him to put more effort into the other areas of his grade. Little by little he started to do more work, he even found time to come in after school to study and make up tests. The student ended up passing the class and is one of the major contributors to our classroom discussions. My next goal is to help him find this same motivation in his other classes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

CED 525 - Week 3

This week we needed to read The use of advance organizers in the learning and retention of meaningful verbal material

I thought that this article used too much scientific jargon. It was too wordy and I lost sight of the main point of the article when I was reading it. I needed to go back and read it several times to really understand the results of the author's research. The main points that I drew from the article were that advanced organizers help students by providing them with the proper anchorage of their vocabulary words and concepts. They also help student recognize and use the relationships between their their vocabulary and concepts. I do agree with these concepts and I currently use advanced organizers in my classroom. I hope to incorporate more advanced organizers into my lessons and I plan on using some of the advanced organizer resources that we learned about this week.

We also needed to view the Maps Alive! podcast.

The third assignment was to compare and contrast three of the following advanced organizer resources:
I reviewed, Webspiration, and MindMeister.
I thought that this was the most basic of the three advanced organizers tools that I reviewed. It was very easy to use and you can create an organizer without an account. The bubbles in your organizer can be modified. You can change the color, text, location, and connections to other bubbles.

Webspiration offers all of the same features as and a majority of the features from MindMesiter. The bubbles in your organizer can be modified. You can change the color, text, location, and connections to other bubbles. You can also add comments/notes, hyperlinks, and images. It also offered a couple of additional features that aide with the creation of the organizer such as: outline view (a flow chart view of your organizer), rapid fire (an auto-run button that creates new bubbles and links when you hit enter), and arrange (a button that automatically reorganizes bubbles). Webspiration also allows you to share and collaborate much like MindMeister. Another additional features is an option that allows you to choose the type of organizer you can make (diagrams, outlines, or starter docs).

MindMesiter offered all of the same features as and most of the features of Webspiration. The bubbles in your organizer can be modified. You can change the color, text, location, and connections to other bubbles. You can also add editor notes, hyperlinks, icons/images, and attachments. My favorite feature is that the bubbles are expandable. This meaning that you can show or hide additional information. MindMeister also allows you to share and collaborate.

The last thing we needed to do was post a personal reflection regarding the main topics from this week (Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers; Nonlinguistic Representation; Summarizing and Notetaking).

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers 
I can think of a time that I asked students to use graphic organizers and I was not pleased with the results. Why did it not go well?

I use a graphic organizer every time I teach about matter. We discuss pure substances, elements, compounds, mixtures, suspensions, heterogenous mixtures, solutions, homogenous mixtures, and colloids. We discuss their relationships and we use linking words to connect the terms. The students seem to get it when we fill it out, but they always have trouble explaining the relationships when it they have to answer questions on the test. They are not connecting how the graphic organizer can be used to answer other questions.

Nonlinguistic Representation 
What kinds of technologies can I use to help students experience a nonlinguistic representation of the classroom material?

As a science teacher, I use Nonlinguistic Representation all the time. The labs that we do allow the students to expereince concepts through visual imagery, kinesthetic or whole-body modes, and auditory experiences. In the future I hope to use technology to also provide Nonlinguistic Representation. Lab simulations from sites like would be a great example.

Summarizing and Note Taking
What is the purpose of asking students to learn proper note taking?

I think that it is important to talk about taking proper notes and demonstrate an effective method at the beginning of a class. This will help students know what you expect from them and it will help guide their learning. It also makes for a more efficient classroom.

I had a student that used a basic version of the Cornell note taking style. After he completed the course I kept his notebook and I now use his notes to help my low-level learners. This works quite well because the Cornell note taking style separates the vocabulary words on one side and their definition on another. It allows the students to see things in a clear and organized fashion. It is also great for studying because the students can fold the paper in half and quiz themselves on the vocabulary terms and their definitions. We are now encourage all of our students in my team taught class to use the Cornell note taking style. It has really caught on and the students seem to like it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

CED 525 - Week 2 - Reflection on Setting Objectives, Providing Feedback, and Providing Recognition

This week we were also asked to post a reflection to your blog for each of the strategies that we studied this week: Setting Objectives, Providing Feedback, Providing Recognition. We were given some guiding questions to use.

Setting objectives

What is the purpose of asking students to set objectives?

Setting objectives is an area that I need to improve upon. When I first started teaching, I use to create detailed lesson plans that incorporated student and teacher objectives for each lesson. This objectives were also tied to the state standards. I use to write the student objectives on the board so that students were aware of their goals for the day. Even though I still use a lot of the same lessons, I have gotten away from this approach because of it was very time consuming. I have focused more or my energy on incorporating new labs, tools, and resources into the curriculum instead. These tools are interactive and effective but, students are not aware of what they should be achieving. It would be more effective if I convey the objectives to the students so that they can determine if they have gained what they need to succeed. Our school is starting to use a service called Build Your Own Curriculum. This resource will provide me with another opportunity to start creating and sharing learning objectives. I also hope to gain student feedback and start to have the students create their own objectives prior to the start of a unit. This will allow them to become more invested into their own learning.

Providing Feedback

What kinds of technologies can I use to help students provide feedback?

I am a science teacher and one of the major objectives that we want our students to learn about is the ability to write a proper lab write up. One of the thoughts that I have had is utilizing rubrics and peer editing to improve their scientific writing. I think that using technology like Rubistar and google docs would improve this process. Rubistar would provide clear and detailed criteria. Google docs would be a great way for student to share and collaborate outside of the classroom.

Providing Recognition

What kinds of technologies can I use to provide student recognition?

I currently use edmodo for our classroom website. This is my first time using this tool and I have experimented with how I use it. I envision eventually having it become more of a social experience for my students. I would like to have the students post comment to each other and myself. Student posts can be done publicly or privately. I would like the students to discuss what we learned and how we can apply this. We can also talk about areas that we may struggle and how we can overcome these issues. This would allow me to provide recognition to the students and it would also allow the students to recognize each other. This would create a very friendly learning environment.

CED 525 - Week 2 - Feedback and Objectives

This week we focused on setting objectives, providing feedback, and providing recognition. We needed to read Feedback that fits and examine RubiStar, Rubrix, Quia, QuizStar, and another tool that our school or district uses for providing feedback. I choose to examine the SMART Response PE interactive response system that I use in my classroom.

Feedback that fits Summary and Analysis

Students need effective feedback in order to succeed. We need to provided clear detailed feedback that is individualized and student specific. Each student needs to know what areas he/she needs to improve upon. This will help each individual students understand his/her strengths and weaknesses. Even though feedback needs to be student specific, teachers need to focus primarily on the content and not the student. The student should can not feel like the feedback is a negative reflection of his/her abilities. Feedback needs to help the student understand where he/she can improve. The feedback needs to portrayed in a positive manner that guides a student towards a better understanding of what the teacher wants. This type of feedback can motivate a student and encourage him/her to continue to work towards the proper learning goal.

Feedback needs to be provided at different intervals throughout the learning process based on the type of content that is being taught. Feedback can be given instantaneously for basic fact driven content, and progressively for complex conceptual content. This helps the student control and monitor their progress.

Feedback can be delivered in a variety of methods. I still like personal oral feedback, but technology allows us to provide feedback more efficiently. Tools like the smart response system (clickers) allow students to receive instantaneous feedback. Other tools like google docs, may be used to do peer edits or collaboration. Technology allows us to provided feedback outside of the classroom which I think is a beneficial bonus.

After reading this article I have become more cognizant of the feedback that I provide. The first concept that I realized was that I need to provide more feedback. The second concept I realized was that I need to make the feedback that I provide more personalized and use it to help my student understand their abilities. The last concept I realized was that I need to keep my feedback positive and relate more towards our class learning goals. This will help motivate students and it will allow them to succeed.

Rubistar, Quia, and Smart Response System

RubiStar is anonline and interactive rubric tool. Rubrics are a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work and specifies the level of performance expected for several levels of quality. Rubrics help the student figure out how their project will be evaluated. This tool would help teachers convey their objectives, expectations, and it can be used as a feedback tool. A teacher may use one final rubric or multiple rubrics throughout the learning process when using rubrics as an evaluating tool.

Quia is online learning site that provides a wide variety of tools, including:
- Learning activities such as: flashcards, word search, battleship, challenge board, and cloze exercises
- Complete online testing tools
- Classroom management system
- A class Web page creator
- Online surveys for gathering student and teacher feedback.

Quia sounds like resource that can provide the extra tools necessary for students to succeed. It creates an online learning environment that can provide extra study tools for students. It is also a great way for teachers to provide feedback for students outside of the classroom. I like using interactive web games and reviews and I often post games from studystack to our class web page on edmodo. I do like all the features that Quia offers but I do not think that I would pay the $49/year.

The SMART Response PE interactive response system combines handheld wireless remotes (or clickers), a receiver, and powerful assessment software that allows you to create tests and manage, track and evaluate the results. SMART Response PE integrates seamlessly with SMART Notebook collaborative learning software, giving you all the tools you need to design engaging and interactive test material. I have been using the smart response system for the last two years. I really like using the remotes during lecture because it keeps the students engaged and it allows me to evaluate their comprehension. It provides the students and the teacher with instant feed back. This allows me to evaluate and determine if I need to spend more time on a topic or not. It also allows me to see if specific students are not understanding a specific concept. This allows me to meet the needs of each individual student.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week 1 of CED 525

This week we needed to read Principles of Teaching and Learning and
A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of teaching and learning
and post our reaction to our blog. Here is a summary of what I read.

I really found the principles of teaching and learning article to be motivating. This article really helped me realize where I need to focus my time and energy as an educator. It addressed the roles of both the educator and the student. I found the teaching principles to be quite revealing. This is my fourth year of teaching and I have started to become a little complacent with my curriculum. This article really revealed the steps that I need to take to become a good educator.

I had some trouble really gaining value from the article A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of teaching and learning. It has been awhile since I have read a scientific study and I felt like the message of the article was somewhat lost within the calculations of medians, control groups, and standard deviations. I points listed below were the ideas that I believed to be important:

- Small group learning had more positive effects than individual learning

- Computer-based simulation had a negative effect on student attitudes.

- Technology can change teachers’ pedagogic practices from a teacher-centered or teacher-directed model to a more student-centered classroom

- Computer-based instruction increases students’ time-on-task

- Teaching and learning with technology has a small, positive, significant effect on student outcomes when compared to traditional instruction

I was surprised to see that computer based learning had only a small impact on student outcomes and a negative effect on student attitudes. My assumption is that the results reveal the idea that the use technology does not guarantee an increase in student achievement. The use of technology needs to be integrated into the curriculum in a fashion that allows for student success. The curriculum needs to remain the focus and technology should be used to enhance the learning process. Technology can be used to validate the student learning and allow students to create connections to the material they are learning.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 4 of CED520

This week we looked at copyright law, fair use standards, creative commons, security of personal information, and children's internet safety. The lessons this week really informed me about the details of the copyright laws. I am much more knowledgeable and will now change the way that I obtain and share resources. This week also made me rethink all of the security concerns that can occur from using the internet. Most of all, I was reminded that we need to be able to guide children's internet use so that children remain safe. I have attached the links to the resources that I reviewed this week. Check it out and start making more informed choices. I know that I will now change the way that I interact on the web.

Copyright Law, Fair Use Standards, Creative Commons

Voicethread Copyright Quiz

YouTube Video

Creative Commons Liscening

More on creative commons

Even more on creative commons

An article about the person who created Creative Commons

Security of Personal information

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Ethics Web

Children's Internet Safety

Children’s Internet Protection Act

Internet Safety for Kids

Government Publications

The Wise Kids website

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 3 of CED520

This week we worked in groups to evaluate the web 2.0 tools below for their potential use and value in the classroom.

Adobe Buzzword Docs Word Processor
Google for Educators
Google Forms
Google Sites
Survey Monkey
Poll Everywhere

We also compared the usage of Elluminate and Adobe Connect as possible options for online teaching.

You can read more about each tool in my google doc by clicking the link below.

Investigating Internet Tools to Promote Learning

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Week 2 of CED520

This week we discussed Search Engines and Tools for Student Research.

One of the first topics we discussed was how to choose the best search engine using Noodle. Noodle helps you choose the Best Search based on your Information Needs. It is a great tool that helps users find what they are looking for in a more productive and effective manner.

The next topic that we discuss was the proper way to use Search Engines. I read the article about Four (NETS) for Better Searching – by Bernie Dodge. The NETS strategy is based on four concepts. Those four concepts are: start Narrow, find Exact Phrases, Trim back the URL, and look for Similar Pages. The main idea is that users don't take advantage of the full potential of a common search engine such as Google. This was really helpful and I really thought that the strategy about trimming back the URL was quite beneficial.

Another tool that we looked at was Google Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. This is a great way of keeping up to date about any new information on a specific topic.

Another article we read was Wikipedia in the Classroom: Consensus Among Educators?. We were then asked for our opinion about wikipedia as an educational tool. I decided that I would allow students to use it as quick reference or as a starting point. I would not however allow it to be their main or only reference.

I also created a google form that I will be able to have my student utilize to evaluate the reliability of a specific resource. I embedded it below.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CED 520 - Is blogger the best tool to do our journaling?

This week in class we discussed whether we like using blogger and doing our weekly posts. It was pretty much unanimous that we currently do not like using blogger and we felt like our posts were been forced because of the limited topics (typically what did you learn this week and how can you apply it). We were asked to think of an alternative to using blogger.

A lot of people discussed using facebook because it is something that we are familiar with and it allows us to know when people reply to our posts. I can see this as a viable option for us to collaborate and I like that it would notify us when others respond. This allows us to keep our discussions going and we can further enhance our knowledge. I think that another option would be edmodo It is a website that allows teachers and students to communicate in a safe and private environment. Its user interface is very similar to facebook, which makes it easy for students to use. Teachers and students are able to post questions, view our class assignments (calendar), take quizes, download/view notes, and upload/post assignments.

I think that the biggest complaint was that blogger does not notify users when people comment on a post. I am not sure if there is a way to change the settings of blogger so that it does this but it would be beneficial. Both facebook and edmodo sounds like good options because of their simple user interface and because they will notify you if someone else responds to your post.

I think that blogging itself is bothersome because we are always discussing the same topic; however, I understand the benefits of it as a reflective tool and I know that it will be useful when we do our final portfolio.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Last Post for CED 515- what did I learn about?

This post will summarize the experience that I had in CED 515. This course was all about using productivity tools. We examined a variety of tools that I believe will be useful for me and my students. Below is an outline of what we have covered for CED 515 and some examples of my work.

In this class we discussed the use of Graphics. We took a look at the following programs: (Roxik, Draw Greetings, Queeky, ToonDoo, Toonlet, ImageChef, ZCubes, Shidonni, Mr. Picassohead, Face in Hole, GoAnimate, MagMyPic). I hope to have my students create some sort of a graphic that illustrates a concept that we discussed in class.

Here was the graphic that I created using GoAnimate: Stritch Graphic by cmbauhs

We also investigated a variety presentation programs. We took a look at the following presentation programs: (Google Apps, Slideboom, 280 Slides, Slideroll, authorStream, SlideShare, PreZentit, Empressr). These are all free presentation tools that I hope to have my students use to present on a topic we cover in class.

I used 280 slides to make a presentation for class. Here is my presentation:

A lot of people use the Internet or computer tools but they don't really think about how they work. I really liked that we examined how the Internet and web browsers really work. We read the article 20 Things I learned about Browsers and the Web. I thought it was really informative.

Another lesson that we had was on search engines and how to properly use them. We read the article Seven Stupid Searching Mistakes. I found out that I was making some of those common mistakes and I learned how to search more effectively. We also compared several search engines (google, yahoo, bing, exalead). I learned that I should really choose the search engine that I use based on what I am searching for. These are also tips and ideas that I hope to convey to my students.

Another useful lesson we had was on online word processing. We examined the programs think free, write with, and zoho writer. These are great free options for students. The ability to share their work also leads to great collaboration opportunities.

I really found the spreadsheets lesson to be beneficial. We created a recipe using the spreadsheet option of Google Apps. I reccently embeded a Google Form into my Edmodo website for my students. The form will combine all of my students data. Because it is in a spreadsheet we will be able to determine our averages and our percent error. This is a great way of using student data.

Another tool we investigated was NetTrekker. This is a great search engine for teachers. It allows users to find reliable sites and lessons by utilizing a variety of filters. I have used it a couple of times to find new lessons since I was introduced to it.

We also examined how different people go through the process of software evaluation. I have done this at my school when I purchased some new technology for my class room. I really liked Sun Prairie's evaluation process and I used this to evaluate the SMART response PE system.

I have been using google calendars for a while and we also discussed using this in class. I think that this would be very beneficial for my school district to use. We can use this for computer labs, gym use, and the use of other common areas.

I was really glad that we got to make a Google Site because I have always wanted to create a website for my High School Science students. I have worked with wikis and moodle in the past but I have always stopped mid-production due to time constraints. Another problem that I had was that the moodle interface was pretty complicated. So far, Google sites seems like a pretty easy way to put together a functional website. I have enjoyed putting together the multiple pages of my website and embedding my work. I can really see myself using Google sites to put together a website for my students. The site would contain uploaded notes, labs, homework, discussions, links, and videos related to our content. It would be a great way for the students to obtain and interact with what they are learning in class.

Overall, I feel like I have learned a lot about different web 2.0 tools that I can use in my classroom. I have started to integrate google forms/spreadsheets and I have already utilized NetTrekker. I hope to do develop a project this semester that uses one of the graphics programs. Little by little I hope to integrate more and more technology into my curriculum.