Monday, November 21, 2011

Journal 9: "Reading Redefined"

"Once upon a time, reading was as simple and straightforward as decoding words on a page.

No more. Digital age technologies have made such an impact on the way we interact with
content that the old definitions of reading and books no longer apply." (Lamb)

The article "Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe" by Annette Lamb allows readers to reflect on what is important to them and how they value technology versus the traditional method of reading. She defines "book" and "reading" very differently than they once were. Being redefined and having many new meanings through graphics, text, sounds, and even movements changes the definition of a book as we once knew it. "Constructing meaning from symbols" is what she defines a "book" today. With the technology boom there are new tools to help in the experience of reading and learning. Lamb really supports the students in being the next generation and puts a lot on them to transform the traditional so that they may "discover new ways to motivate digital age reading across the curriculum".

Q: In this digital age there is more technology than I could have ever imagined, is it bad or good, is it causing our students to suffer?

A: I do not believe that children suffer from the massive amounts of technology in the world. I believe that with moderation of book reading a "screen reading" students can learn mass amounts. The great thing about technology is that you have immediate access to books, texts, rather than having to wait for the library to open, or find a form of transportation to get there. The traditional form of books will never go away, imagine not having a new book smell or even an old one. I think that there is value in both forms, and learning will always happen.

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and Leading With Technology39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from

Journal 8: Adaptive Technology

NETS-T (2, 4, 5)
In considering the needs of all learners, I investigated some high and low technology tools tools that will greatly assist students with special needs! I will be focusing on Argumentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) which is a strategy that assist people with severe communication disabilities to participate more fully in their social roles including interpersonal interaction, learning, education, community activities, employment, volunteerism, and care management to name a few. The focus with be on two areas:  Communication & Accessibility and researching a no/low tech which requires very little technology and high tech options.

Sign Language  is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body.Using sign language in the classroom can help inspire students to explore and communicate about their environments by adding a visual language to my lessons. Through Mayer-Johnson a special education supplier, sign language products can give students ways to communicate, whether they are impaired, completely without hearing or struggling with verbal communication. Sign language is a great tool for all to know, I know that I need to learn more. There are many products to purchase in all price ranges so to fit every teachers budget. 

DynaVox, in my opinion one of the neatest and most functional tools in communication for AAC would be the DynaVox Maestro. This little machine a little bigger than an iPad that runs eight different softwares so that a person with speech and language disabilities can be heard. This company is amazing, all DynaVox devices allows individuals with speech and language disabilities to successfully communicate, develop high-level language skills and express themselves through software called InterAACt. This software has 3 driving factors: age, environment and ability. DynaVox not only has this product but many more in the assisting of interpersonal communication and connection with others. This incredibly high tech has opened my eyes to the possibility of the communication that can take place. Take a look at it, it is beautiful! 


An input device is any device by which someone can input information into a computer. Some common examples are a mouse and keyboard. However, for people with extreme disabilities, these devices may be difficult to use. Therefore, there are many modified input devices for people with special needs.

One hardware input device would be the Kinderboard. This keyboard introduces early learners to an actual keyboard. Yes, it is larger in size and color coded, it makes it very easy for the visually impaired to see the keys and learn their numbers and letters in a functional method. This keyboard would be a great way to get students to learn how to use a keyboard correctly. This board can also assist in learning the alphabet and identify character sets with color-coded consonants, vowels, numbers and punctuation marks.

Mayer-Johnson again has products that are digital savvy. One software that comes in an easy to access App is the Picture Communication Symbol (PCS) Apps. The Apps contain programs like Flash Cards, Word Scramble, Match & Memory and Bingo, they all help different people meet different needs. Products like PCS can help students learn vocabulary, language, articulation, cognitive, listening skills and more. These softwares are ideal for students with a need for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). It is as easy as a swipe/push of a finger, if you have an iPad, iTouch, or iPhone; Mac makes it easy for those with disabilities. Students that have the ability to use these products are now able to use the App anywhere they go because of the accessibility that Mac has created for all their users. 

See other AAC devices out there by other Bloggers: 

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network


NETS-T (5) 
A personal learning network (PLN) is pretty simple if you break it down. It is a network usually web-based that helps you personally learn. It is a community where people can gather and learn from one another. Me, the learner can create connections and develop a network that will help me in my professional development and knowledge. A PLN is like a backpack where all of the essentials to learning are located but rather it be a physical thing it is a web-based backpack. For example I use Twitter, Diigo, and Classroom 2.0 to help me learn in the field of education.My PLN will help me when I need new methods of teaching new material, or need more resources. My PLN will only help me grow and succeed in my pursuit of education.

Twitter is an amazing outlet for people to dicuss topics about education. I never knew how influencial Twitter could be until we had to go to the educational chat. Before I just thought it was a place where people aka celebrities would make a stink about their lives and why things were not going their way. But now I know that it is a community to learn and grow from. In my community there are many students and educators that I respect and appreciate their input. I believe that they would help me and be able to discuss education in depth. I got to experience this first hand when I joined in on a chat. Here is how it went. :)

Chat: #mathchat Topic: "How do we get parents involved in the math teaching/learning revolution?" Date/Time: Monday, Nov 21. 2011 @ 1:30pm

This was an awesome experience. I felt that I was involved by just reading what people had to say. The best part was how supportive everybody was with one another. They supported and disagreed but in a kind manner. I actually saw someone that I am a following post. I was cool to see that my network is expanding.  The thing I did notice is that there was no definite answer to the question, there were many. People made suggestions that could help everyone, and that is the part I enjoyed most. There were so many different ideas that one of those ideas could fit any teachers teaching style. I loved that with Twitter you can post links to websites so that you can get more information on what you are looking for, I really loved this feature. I was able to upload an application to my desktop called Tweetdeck that allowed me to follow the whole conversation. Here is how some of it looked. ====> It was really neat to watch and I love the fact that these chats go on all the time. I am really looking forward to getting involved next time. :)


Diigo is another great tool, it pretty much is exactly what it's advertisement says, collecting, highlighting, and then remembering. It allows you to see sites that other people have bookmarked. The greatest thing about this is you can search for things that you are interested in. The community that is in Diigo is one that you can rely on and seek help if needed. I added more people to my friends list aka community and they will see what I post and I can see what they post. This is a great tool to have for personal and professional. The greatest thing is that it is all saved on one site. You no longer have to save book marks on the internet browser it is all in one digital space. The Diigo toolbar is pretty cool too. All you do is click on it if you are at an interesting site. You can highlight special sections or even add sticky notes to write a note. Diigo is an awesome online resource that I will be using for a long time. 


School 2.0 is another amazing PLN that all educators should add. While on Classroom 2.0, I watched a cute video called "Education in Human Values." It had to do with empathy. I think that as an educator empathy is necessary, considering that everyone has different cultures and backgrounds. This video made me think about how I am perceived. Sometimes I may not be having the greatest of day and my student will see this. But I need to being thinking about them at all times. They are my priority and I want them to see and through seeing they know that I do care. This website is made for educators and students it is a great resource and will be used often by me. Check out the video it is awesome. 

Journal 6: Google+ For You?

Google+: The Complete GuideBen Parr
Parr, B. (2011, July 16). Google+: The complete guide. Retrieved from

The Complete Guide", by Ben Parr it really not all that complete. I believe that Google+ is more that he describes. There is nothing like Google+ than a quick tutorial. Yes there was a lot of information to learn, but I feel that it would have been more real if he chose to make a video of a new learner and how they went about building their Google+ profile, adding friends. But I did enjoy the reading, I like that he compared Facebook to Google+ and broke down the different aspects of Google+. I think it is a great tutorial for people just learning how to use Google+. 
Question: How will Google+ benefit me as a teacher?
Answer: Google+ is a great way for teachers to connect with other teachers. Within a circle you could have all of your colleagues view your posts. This way you don't have to bother your brother or sister with talk of school. Having circles is a great way to keep personal and business separate. 

Educators - Google Plus is For YouChris Brogan
Brogan, C. (2011, Sept 30). Educators – Google Plus is for you. Retrieved from

What a great way for educators to learn and feed off of each othere. Is that not what social networks are for. I love the fact how he incorporated education in to the article. Now days social networking is almost a full time job. The article really spoke to me in the fact of how you can use it for teaching and using it in PLN. How you can share lesson plans, start hangouts, and even get your students involved in a positive learning experience. I believe that using Google+ with your  students is a great way to use technology and teach them relevant information. Google+ is awesome and Google makes it easy to use. 
Question: What do you think is the best feature of Google+?
Answer: The best feature about Google+ is that it is more that a social network it is everything you need to be sucessful in the cloud based age. The fact that Google is almost like a computer, you can create docs, store photos, and even have a social media site all in one. This makes it affordable for everyone that has access to internet. I think that Google has created a new world, in the clouds that is. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Journal 4- What is in the Backpack?

Incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning.
Basham, J. D., Perry, E., & Meyer, H. (2011). It's in the bag. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(2), 24-27. Retrieved from

When reading"It's in the Bag" I learned what a digital backpack was. I never realized that there was a name for all the things that we have been learning in class. The "digital backpack" is not necessarily a back pack that a student would wear to school but it can be tools that students use in technology, such as Blogger, Google Apps, Twitter, and so on and so forth. There are so many learning tools that students can use to access instructional data. This type of backpack can support all learners. It can be a physical backpack where students may go out in to the field and take pictures of a subject, then upload to an application and use the media to present to the class. The great thing about the digital backpack is that it can be very cost effective to a classroom. Digital backpacks can be a great way to incorporate the going green movement in society. It actually can reduce the amount of paper students use on homework and in the digital world projects and assignments can be saved forever. No need to keep all that work you may use one day in the bottom of the closet. I think that the article was a great new learning experience for me and am excited to start adding and building my digital backpack. iGoogle is a great place to add those type of links and applications.

Question #1: Why is it that teachers do not take advantage of this technological aspect of teaching?
I believe that they do not know how many resources there actually are. I also think that they may not have the confidence in learning and exploring, or the feeling that they "won't know what they are doing."

Question #2: What are ways as future educators can we help other teachers incorporate technology in the classroom?
I believe that we can help by creating a blog, presentation using the tools that we are learning in class. I mean we all learned how to do some amazing thing. I get excited and can't wait to show my husband all the cool things we are learning in class. I feel that if we used the resources that we have learned we could help other teachers keep up with the ever changing world of technology and its just so much fun!

Journal 3- Dig up Dirt Learn Internet Safety

Morehouse, J. (2011). Students dig up dirt to learn about internet safety. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(2), 34-35. Retrieved from 

Learning that protecting your identity is an important thing, the article by Jesse Morehouse talked about this in "Students Dig up Dirt to Learn About Internet Safety." I really liked that Jesse Morehouse found a fun interactive activity to teach his students about internet safety. He created a lesson plan where he grouped students and gave them a certain amount of time to "Dig up the dirt" on him. They looked up information and tried to find out who he was. It was really cool that he taught them through a real life experience. They experienced that it is very important to be aware of the real dangers of what is out there.

Teach safe and responsible 
social interactions through the digital world.

Question #1: What other activities could you use to promote internet safety and the dangers? 
I would have my students go to the interactive website called This website is a great tool in teaching children to be cautious on-line and offline. There are resources such as videos, games, and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates. It is geared for students 5-12. NetSmartz is a great learning tool for students, teachers and parents. 

Question #2: Why is internet safety so important?

Internet safety is so important because anyone anywhere can find information about someone. It is very simple if you have a digital footprint. Anything you put on the internet can be seen and found by others. Certain information could adversely affect someone in the process of applying for a job, even going on a date could impact someone. It is very important to make good choices on the internet and knowing what and how to be safe.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Journal 2 - Join the Flock

Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(8), 12-15. Retrieved from

When reading "Join the Flock," by Hadley Ferguson & "Enhance Your Twitter Experience," by Shannon McClintock Miller from Learning and Leading with Technology. I was not expecting such a colorful and visual pleasing article. The article was about building a PLN, which stands for professional learning network. Using technology such as Twitter builds a community of people around the world. Twitter a social network allows you to follow strangers, friends, educators, that may have the same interest as you. This feature creates common interest that can help educators all over the world. This way of learning and educating allows a simple way to share a new learning tools or experiences in less than 140 words. Since Tweeting in education Ed422, it has allowed me to compile a list and collection of new ways to teach and learn, in new innovative ways. The great part is just by clicking once on a link I am immediately routed to a new source of information that is helpful in my learning experience. The "Twittersphere" meaning community, is one filled with "hashtags" and new "Twerminology" it allows there to be some organization to new contributions. I was hesitant at first to create a Twitter, I did not need to have another social media network to take over my life, but knowing that I can use this social media network to build my professional learning network, really changed my view in a positive way. I now look forward to posting new links and viewing other tweets that may show up.

Why are people hesitant in social media networks such as Twitter? 

I believe people are scared to provide personal information for the world to see. I also believe that for some it is another way to see what others are doing, and they usually have a life of their own to keep up with, and don't have time to keep up with others.

What is one great thing about using Twitter? 

What I love about Twitter is that I follow people in my PLN. That is the only thing I use Twitter for. It is a great way to learn new information and see what new educational resources are out there.