NETS 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student learning and Creativity
Using Google’s free blogging platform, Blogger, I created my own blog to facilitate experiences, creativity, and innovation for my future classroom. A blog is an online journal or collaboration of resources that are published to the web for an audience to see. Blogger allows me to create pages that “show off” the technology which helps us to work more efficiently as teachers. In my blog, I have an “about me” page, an ongoing list of journal reflections- many of them from the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Learning and Leading with Technology educational journal, and examples of presentations, assessments, etc., that I have created. Blogger also allows us to add posts, customize the layout, design, and background. In addition I can add innovative and beneficial links to my page and organize them by using HTML code to embed these links. The blogging tool is an easy way to compact tons of information that supports and promotes innovative thinking and creativeness onto one web page that can serve as a go-to resource for my future students. The blog also serves as a model for collaborative knowledge, and engages learning with students and colleagues through the comment feature for posts and the linking of others’ posts and ideas in a virtual environment.
Effective communication between a teacher and their classroom is a crucial component in facilitating students’ collaborative learning and innovative thinking. Using Microsoft Word, I created an appealing and informative newsletter that modeled creativity, collaborative knowledge construction, and appropriate application of technical skill sets in a classroom setting. To make the newsletter aesthetically pleasing I used the table feature in Microsoft Word to create a unique masthead by merging cells and inserting Word Art. In order to add style and “pizzazz” to my classroom newsletter, I applied some of the formatting features to create colorful titles, two columns for the content, drop-caps, and custom bullets to highlight important information. I also applied the text wrap feature to wrap the text around the graphics; including a hand-drawn portrait of myself that I scanned and inserted into the newsletter. The newsletter allowed me to creatively communicate important information and gave me multiple opportunities to facilitate customized and personalized learning through the use of technology in the classroom.
NETS 2: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Using Prezi, a free cloud-based presentation software with a zoomable canvas, I created a non-linear presentation to design a learning experience with a digital tool to promote student learning and creativity. By designing this web based presentation I modeled how to incorporate digital knowledge into my curriculum as an educator. My presentation covered Spanish as a foreign language class, and addressed topics including how my students could use technology to supplement their learning experience. I designed the presentation using the tools on Prezi to add shapes, colors, zooming effects, embedding video, and images on the web to create a visually pleasing presentation. After inserting my information, I connected my frames by setting paths in a non-linear pattern. The presentation includes four frames that contain a NETS-S performance indicator and correlating activity. Creating a Prezi presentation allowed me to facilitate the communication of relevant information by introducing web based lesson ideas to students and peers using digital age media. Using this contemporary tool allowed me to maximize content learning in context and to develop new knowledge and skills.
Google Forms Assessment
Google forms is a tool within Google Drive that provides the ability to design and share assessments with students, colleagues, and parents. I created an assessment revolving around my informational NETS-S lesson ideas Prezi presentation. After creating my assessment using the Forms tool, a spreadsheet is generated where the results are subsequently displayed. I was able to choose an interesting theme for the assessment based on a variety of templates available. I edited the assessment to include at least four different question types; such as multiple choice and short answer. I was then able to embed the assessment form onto my blog using HTML coding to share it with others. After my peers completed the assessment, I was able to share the link to the results page, displaying the spreadsheet with the compressed answers. The assessment I created was developed to provide students with multiple and varied formative assessments aligned with technology standards. The resulting data was made accessible to inform learning and teaching.
NETS 3: Model Digital Age Work and Learning
Apple’s standard movie making software, iMovie, is a user friendly technology tool that students and teachers can use to make basic movies, trailers, and public service announcements (PSA). I utilized iMovie to edit and customize a PSA about the campus at Cal State San Marcos. The video features facts and statistics about the university with the hopes of appealing to prospective students. iMovie automatically places video content in a “library” where I can select pieces of the footage to use for the final product. I can also add transitions, text, extract and import music from iTunes, record myself with the webcam, or add a voice over with the microphone. I also added titles, dialogue, and rolling credits with the “text” tool to give the facts and information about the campus. By creating a PSA using iMovie, about a local university, I am able to collaborate with students, parents and the community about relevant information for my students. Using iMovie as a digital tool supports student success and innovation by allowing students to edit, customize, add music, change themes, and integrate facts to create their own video projects.
Using Diigo, a free social bookmarking website, I was able to create a profile for myself and join a community of users within similar educational interests. By downloading their free toolbar, I am able to save online education resources, share them with other users and follow educators within the Diigo network. It also gives me the tools to highlight, bookmark, and save my resources which I can then access from any computer. Using the Diigo search engine, I am able to search for a specific topic, I can save it and follow the user who posted it thereby adding them to my network. I can also tag the posts with keywords, such as “alternative teaching” “Personal Learning Network (PLN)” or “Ed Tech” so that my saved bookmarks are categorized further for easy retrieval. Using Diigo as a web based bookmarking tool and a source for members of my network, I am able to demonstrate fluency with technology. Using Diigo as a major achieving tool of my PLN allows myself and others to collaborate and transfer current knowledge to new technologies and situations.
NETS 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Cybersafety Collaborative Website
I, along with five of my peers, collaborated to make a cybersafety website using Weebly, a website creation tool, to share information dedicated to cybersafety and responsibility. Each of us contributed a different aspect of the subject and designed individual pages for each topic, including identity safety, cyberbullying, social networks, inappropriate content, and cyber predators. I researched cyberbullying and used several tools within Weebly to communicate information. I used the drag and drop text selection with pictures to add authentic information about cyberbullying, this tool allowed me to design the format, text size, text wrapping, columns etc. I also was able to insert HTML coding to embed a YouTube video about how to survive a cyberbully. In addition, I used the link feature to embed three resources about cyberbullying. Our collaborative website addresses the issues revolving around cybersafety which advocates, models and teaches the safe, legal and ethical use of digital information and technology. By creating this collaborative website which included tips and resources for educators, parents and students revolving around technology etiquette, we are modeling digital citizenship and responsibility.
By researching and writing a journal entry about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) on my blog, I was able to learn and share relative information with the educational community. AAC refers to all forms of communication that enhance or supplement speech and writing. I used Diigo to search for “AAC” and follow the group that shares information about the topic; within this group I researched various materials to aid with alternative communication. I researched both high tech and low tech hardware and software tools such as the BAT keyboard and DiscoverScreen and how these tools fit in as an AAC device. By adding pictures and links, I was able to help followers visualize the hardware and software as tools, and also gain access to the direct link to view or purchase these devices. While researching the low tech and high tech devices, I was sure to bookmark, highlight and tag them as “AAC” so my fellow community members on Diigo could have access to them, as well. By researching Augmentative and Alternative Communication tools and sharing my findings with others, I am modeling and developing global awareness using digital age communication tools. I am addressing the diverse needs of learners by displaying multiple tools for those students who require alternative means of communication and explaining their efficiency and effectiveness in and out of the classroom, something that will also benefit me as a future teacher.
NETS 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Personal Learning Network
Using several different social networking sites, I was able to form a community with other educators to create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) which is designed to join friends, acquaintances, professionals, and resources centered around any given topic; mine being education. I used Diigo, Twitter, and the Educator's PLN, as the major components of my PLN. I was able to create a profile and “follow” other groups and users in each of the tools. These users share educational resources and discussions that I have access to and can share with my followers, peers, and can discuss them on my blog. On Twitter, I participated in an educational chat about blogging as an educational tool during and “Ed Chat” which is a community of Twitter users that get together at a specific time to talk about a topic that is hashtagged, such as #edtech. Diigo and The Educator’s PLN allowed me to follow and bookmark important resources and the ability for continuous communication and a wealth of information while I am maintaining my PLN. I participated in local and global learning communities by interacting on Diigo, Twitter and the Educator’s PLN all over the world in order to incorporate information and ideas that will benefit me as a teacher. With education chats and discussions, I am able to discuss important topics in education, keeping me up to date on current research and giving me the ability to explore creative applications and technology to improve student learning.
Educational Blog Journal Articles
By becoming a member of ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) I was able to access their educational publication articles and incorporate them into reflective journal posts on my blog. Learning and Leading with Technology (L&L) is ISTE’s magazine that shares current topics in education. I used the digital version to research specific articles and write a summary in various journal articles. I read articles discussing the uses and benefits of twitter, iPads in the classroom, flipping a classroom, and alternatives to homework. After reading the articles, I wrote a brief synopsis, and gave two critical questions with answers revolving around the specific articles. I also incorporated pictures in my journal entries to make them visually appealing, and modeled civic responsibility by citing the articles in APA format. By continually researching articles provided by L&L and other educational web based information and my analyses on my blog, I am evaluating and reflecting on current research and professional practice. I am able to share what I learn on my blog and how it relates to education which allows me to connect with other professionals in an effective way, which is an innovative use of emerging digital tools.