Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have been around the discussion of "Digital Immigrants vs. Digital Natives" for a couple of years now and I have to say I'm not a fan of the term. Maybe I feel this way because I'm not a 'Native' in the terms which Marc Prensky states in his article  because I myself just turned 45. I didn't have video games in my child hood, heck, I didn't even have cable until I was living on my own 'cause it didn't exist when I lived at home. Yet, of the ninteen people in my Ed Tech class, I am the one who is looked at for technology assistance. I am the one who has been integrating technology into classrooms for the past six years. I am also the one with an online community/network in Plurk (like Twitter) which connects me to over 250 educators around the globe who are also integrating technology into classrooms either as teachers, administrators or students themselves.
I agree that perople sho understand technology look at the world and education with a different mindset, a different view then people who don't understand or are afraid of technology do. I'm not so certain it is because we have been or have not been brought up within a digital world which makes us different. I thinkit is how we approach technology and how open we are to change in general which makes us different.
I  highly reccommend the book (and website) Brain Rules by John Medina. In 12 chapters it speaks about how the brain responds to how we live, sleep, move, work, etc. Specifically, chapter 4 which focuses on Attention. He states, and I quote, "The brain is not capable of multi-tasking. We can talk and breathe, but when it comes to higher level tasks, we just can’t do it." Supposedly, multi-tasking is what Digital Natives are wired to be able to do. Hmmm...
Read, then get back to me and let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'm learning much more about webquests then I knew! I LOVE learning especially when I can see how it will open doors (or windows) in the mind! I asked my PLN (Professional Learning Network) if they had any they would share and since they did I thought I would give them some pomp and circumstance for their generosity!

Weather Webquest
Webquests to Web 2.0
A Web Hunt (a little different than a webquest, usually a given topic with a a set of questions to be answered by using Internet resources)
I wish I had found this one sooner: Seeking to Understand Multiple Intelligence Theory Better Ironically it is from someone at the University where I received my Bachelor Degree.
Here is a webquest about Web 2.0
WOW! A webquest for defining what type of digital eportfolio is correct for 'you'
Assistive Technology is amazing and here is a webquest for it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Higher Level Thinking

How can technology help develop higher order thinking and problem solving skills?

This is the question I've been asked to answer by reading the following articles: and

Before I even look at these articles, I can say I believe technology assists in many ways to help achieve higher order thinking and problem solving skills. technology engages all the senses, ok well maybe not smell unless your computer is smoking, and maybe not taste unless you lick your screen clean

But seriously, you can touch, hear, and see information and data in multiple ways almost instantly on a computer and then you can manipulate that information and data in multiple ways. You no longer need to stare at a piece of paper and memorize in order to regurgitate information. You can watch videos, listen to songs, stories, or lectures and you can play games which also often assist in learning by repetition but in an engaging and fun way. WHY do some people think learning should not be enjoyable?

By processing so many learning styles (all of which are engaging) you utilize more senses and the information sticks more easily. Not only does it stick, but once it does stick, you can then be reflective regarding it. Once reflection takes place, you can do something with the information you've learned; write about it, talk about it, think more about it, and you can form questions through thought and through discussion. Once you know, think, question, discuss, and contemplate, then you can move forward in some direction with new understanding of this information. You can evolve what you know into a new purpose by creating something from it. I've basically described Bloom's Taxonomy in my own words. Relating Bloom's Taxonomy to technology and the idea that digital age equipment becomes part of the process. Questioning and discussing via social forums (Twitter, Plurk, Blogs, FaceBook, etc.)  and eventually creating via online sites (VoiceThread, Xtranormal, Wikis, Podcasts, etc.) become the way to evolve your knowledge and thus share with the online community. This keeps the momentum going and the knowledge is thus ever evolving.

**I should point out that technology is not JUST computers. It is Interactive White Boards, cameras (still or video), phones, GPS, MP3 players, etc. It is any piece of equipment which has a microchip and allows you to connect, explore, develop and grow.

Now that I've given MY opinion I'm going to read the articles mentioned above and see if I'm on target or if I need to adjust my views.

Well hey now...I was spot on! I have some links I would like to post here re: Bloom's Taxonomy. Some were linked to in one of the articles. The others I acquired from my Plurk and Twitter PLN.
and my favorite:

Time to go read more articles and write more papers!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Notes for 1st class of EdTech

Why are student's interested in technology? Why does it belong in a classroom?

* Knowledge based - 'Digital Native'
* It is their social life
* Engaging
* Project based
* Student interaction both in and out of the classroom
*Parent interaction/communication
*Collaboration w/parents, other students, each other
*Teachers become the facilitator
* Self-directed education/knowledge
*Access to knowledge
*Problem solving/decision making skills - Critical Thinking Skills
*Global world - multi-cultural
*Creativity - right brained - Daniel Pink
*Limitless (unlike a textbook)

The Teacher GUIDES and FACILITATES these 21st Century skills

2 communication skills needed:
1. Personal
2. Digital

Relationship between teacher and student is the most important! Technology

Watched '' (Still moving after the many times I've seen it!)

'Just because you can, does not me you should but it does mean you could'...M. Lowrance

What IS Technology Integration?
*Visual Learning
*Envision what xyz looks like
*Using technology in every aspect of education
*'End of day' summary
*Infused within the philosophy of the school

Where else in the world doe we live by subjects (math, english, etc)?

Technocentric learning - Technology without petogogy/curriculum in pointless.
We broke out into groups (jigsaw) of  3 and 'researched a topic:Jigsaw Project
Performance Assessment
Social and Emotional Learning
Higher Order Thinking Skills
Integrated Studies
Project Learning

HOW to Integrate Technology?

Note...end of course assignment-Personal Philosophy Concerning Technology

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Image Sharing

Image Sharing is:
A way of sharing images including photos and videos often including some text.

Ways to share images:

Flickr ( )


Shutterfly, Walgreens Photo, Kodak.

Ways to share video:


Fliggo (

Digital Storytelling

How to use it in a classroom:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Class Blog

Well, I've begun my journey (finally) toward getting my Teaching Certification and while I'm at it...I'm getting a Master in Education (MA/T). The journey to get to this point has been long and full of twists and turns. I've experienced so very many adventures in my near 45 years but none so exhausting as this current journey.

If you've read my previous posts, you know a bit about me but for this class assignment I'm supposed to include the following:

1. a bit about myself
2. why I want to be a teacher
3. my tech proficiency/comfort level
4. my expectations for the course

So, sit back...this might take a bit.

I am currently the Library Aide in an elementary school. I really like my job but it isn't my first choice of placements. For the past six years I was the Technology Facilitator in a middle school. I trained staff and students on everything from how to plug in and turn on a computer to how to integrate Web2.0 in the classroom. I held professional development after school twice a week for the staff and I went into classrooms with the students. I also was the 'break/fix' person for the 300+ computers running three different operating systems in my building. How fun it was to know how something worked and then teach how to use the front end, too! I loved my job and worked many extra unpaid hours developing ideas to help integrate technology into my staff's curriculum.

The district I work for decided to restructure the technology department and RIFd (Reduced in Force) the Technology Facilitator position. In its place they created five Tech Coach positions which could only be held by Certified staff (one reason I'm in school). The district also created three positions to replace the 'break/fix' part of the old position. Although I am an Apple Certified Professional (required for the position), I was not selected in the hiring process (I was 4th...or so I like to think).

When I'm not going to school to work or to school to learn I am a Single mom of an almost 10-year-old boy. If I blink again he might just turn 13 and 16 and 20 YIKES! It just goes by way too fast! I try very hard not to blink. I, like most parents, think my son is amazing and wonderful! Since it is just the two of us in our tiny apartment, we tend to occasionally get on each other's nerves. For this reason, I make every effort I can to spend quality time with him eating an ice cream dinner, going to the park, watching TV or movies which he is interested in, taking him and his friends on adventures of having them sleep over. I am also the Popcorn Kernel of his Cub Scout Troop (anyone want some popcorn?) which is only time consuming during late September, October, and November. Of course, this year those months are already quite busy with course work! PHEW!

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, while living in Wisconsin, after I was a caterer and before I owned my own coffee house, I taught pre-school. My first class was a group of 4 and 5 year-olds. I can still remember most of their names. They were amazing kids and it was an amazing experience for me but it ended when I began working 80+ hours a week running my own business. I just couldn't give enough of myself to the kids. They needed and deserved more then that. For a while I helped out in the baby room in the mornings before I went to work but even that became draining and I ceased to continue working there.

When I did have my classroom, we did so many amazing things. When we had our Apple unit I took the kids to a friend's parent's hobby farm with an orchard. We picked tons of apples, played games, fed cows apples, and ate apple crisp. We went to the Planetarium on the University campus and used milk jugs as space helmets while we pretended our classroom was the moon. We took the city bus to the local pizza parlor and made our own pizzas. We went all kinds of places on the city bus for 25¢. Times were much different than they are now.

I have two distinct memories related to this group of kids. First happened in 1999 when I was pregnant with my son. I ran into one of the dad's at KMart and he smiled and said "WOW, that is one lucky kid your going to have!" I asked what he meant and he replied, "Because it'll have YOU as a mom! You were great with my son!" Needless to say I was humbled and honored. The second experience happened in 2007 at a hot dog place while I was visiting my old stomping grounds in Wisconsin (I moved back to IL in 2003). I was sitting with my son and a young lady said, "May I ask you a strange question?" "Sure" I replied. "Are you Miss Wendy?" after a second to realize that this 17-year-old before me was no longer 5 years-old. I said, "Why yes, Alyssa, I am Miss Wendy". We talked for quite a while catching up on the many years which had passed.

I can honestly say my life has been blessed with many experiences and lots of loving children, my own included.

When my son was 2-years-old, I decided to go to the Tech College and get an Associates Degree in Computer Programming and Systems Analysis. It was a great experience and I had a V8 moment where I realized that my brain processed just like C++, a programming language. I LOVE technology and am connected almost 24/7. I always look forward to learning more and hearing different viewpoints. Many times I figure something out because my mind is open to any possibility and I don't believe in reinventing the wheel. Collaboration is necessary in order to be successful in this new age of Technology in ... well... everywhere, not just school.

WOW! THAT was a LONG post!