Friday, June 22, 2012

Chapter 9 Response

Chapter 9 Response

I created a Facebook a few years ago when it wasn't very popular.  I only created an account because one of my close friends was living in South Korea at that time and she told me that that was the only way I could connect with her.  I was rarely using it though.  As Facebook gradually conquered the social network media, I began to using it more and more, very soon I started connecting with people that I had not seen in a while, and with relatives that were living far away from here.  As all of this was happening I noticed that I was reconnecting friendships I had forgotten and reestablishing relationships that had disappear because of the distance.  In fact, a Facebook page was created for my hometown, and through that I was able to know what was going on, on a daily basis.  It was communication at is best, as I see it.  

I have come to really enjoy Facebook for all the things that I've mentioned above, I've also come to understand that it is an area where I have to be careful though.  It is a big responsibility to have your life posted on the Internet for everyone to see, but it is manageable, just as it is manageable to conduct you life in a responsible way in the real world, you can also manage to conduct your life in a responsible in cyberg/digital world.

As far as educational stuff found in Facebook, I was surprised that there are a few things in there for that purpose.  I thought that this was just a social site, for social networking.  I was particularly impressed with the application of educatina.  This is an application that you can sign in through your facebook account and although it is only in Spanish, it provides you with tons of topics that you can review or learn in a quiet variety of subjects, through well made videos.  

That was the only one I explore but I will keep on searching to see what else is out there. 

Chapter Responses

Ch. 2 & 3 Response:

I have to say that I hadn't thought that weblogs were this important, I had the idea that they were mostly just personal websites where people just share personal information about what is happening in their lives.  My first experience with a weblog was when my friend went to South Africa for an internship program a few years ago, she created a weblog so that friends could follow her experience.  She posted pictures, comments, and we could leave comments as well.  I thought that that was a very interesting tool, and very convenient, I did enjoy very much knowing what she was up to while being so far away, especially because back then Facebook or Myspace were not very popular yet.

I hadn't thought of weblogs as source of information or even as a source of communication where people can have a dialogue about a particular subject.  Although I’m just realizing that most of the news articles I read on the web, are just weblogs.  I’m also very surprised to see how easy it is to build a weblog; a few years ago I was taught how to use Front Page to build web pages and although it was much easier than learning html code, it still was not very easy to use.  And uploading it into the web was quiet a challenging as well.  Also few years ago, I built a website using Microsoft Publisher, and although it was easier than Front Page, especially when it cam to publishing to the web, to update the site required a lot of time from my part.

Ch.  4, 5, & 6 Response:

These chapters touched on tools that are very much new to me.  I had no experience with Wikis until I started this program, to me everything on the web were just websites that were the same, but as I've learned, there are weblogs and wikis which are two different forms of websites.  What I've liked about wikis is the fact that they seemed very easy to built, and they can look just as good as a website.

RSS is an interesting tool, I can really see it being use by someone who likes to read news articles, but at this point I’m still feeling a bit unsecured to using it.  I feel that before I can start using it I need to be more familiar and more comfortable with blogs.  Blogs are still a bit obscure to me and I just need to explore them a little as I haven’t done that very much.

I haven’t created a twitter account yet, so haven’t explore this part of social networking.  I hear about it mostly from the news, as this seems to be the way celebrities and athletes are now communicating their on goings.  At this point I don’t see how we can use this in education, I see it as great way to communicate something to a lot of people, but anything educational I’m not seen it.  Also what I see on the media is often negative, since I often hear that so and so got in trouble for something that they posted on their twitter account.


Ch. 7, 8, & Response:

I signed up for a few years ago, I found out about it over the Internet and thought it was a great way to store your pictures and have access to them wherever you could connect to the web.  It was also extremely convenient to have so much free memory at your disposal for all of your pictures.  At that time, I used it to share pictures with friends that were far away and I used it in my workplace.  I was in a position where I was required to take lots of pictures about the programs we were running in our after school program and share them within our organization.  So Flickr made it very easy for me to do that since I could share a big amount of pictures at a time, which was something I couldn't do through email.

I think that the options for using Flickr in the classroom sound very interesting, kids love using pictures and searching for pictures.  The projects that are described in the chapter all sound very interesting I can’t think of a good reason why kids wouldn’t like to participate in such projects.

Podcasts are new to me, I have not tried this to this day, and even after reading the chapter, I still feel a bit skeptical about its use in the classroom.  It could be because I enjoy images way more than I do sounds with no images. 

Social networking is a controversial topic in education now days.  Teachers are being discouraged by schools, or districts to participate in such activities.  I feel that this could a powerful tool in communication, in terms of communicating with parents and students.  It is sad this is being pushed away and not giving it a chance to explore under some structured guidelines.

Final Tech Project

Juan Loeza
Final Tech Project

Ballet Folklorico Mexicano Wiki

The Project:

For my final technology project, I decided to create a wiki that would provide information about the different segments that make up folk dancing from Mexico.  Mexican folk dancing is very complex and is divided into many, many different segments or regions.  Each segment has its own type of music, costume and foot work.   When I started teaching this type of dancing about four years ago, it was very difficult to find information about those kinds of things, even on the internet was not easy to  find, and very often it was incomplete information.  As a dance instructor, I really needed that information since I wanted to make sure that what I was teaching was very accurate to what is has to be. 

My goal with this project is to be able to help those people who could be in the same position that I was, or that simply for the fun of it, want to explore this form of art.  I also want this website/wiki to serve as a place where people can share information, and help each other out to keep the information as accurate and authentic as possible. 

What the wiki includes, is a home page where it explains the purpose of the site, and also a brief note about me since I pretty sure that people would want to know the kind of person that is behind this project.  Then, the subpages are for every segment that it includes, therefore every subpage represents a particular segment.  The subpage includes the geographical information about the specific segment and a short introduction of what the segment is about.  Then, every subpage has two subpages of its own, one is to describe and show pictures about the type of costume, and the other one is to describe the type of music, name some popular songs, and show some videos of what it looks like to dance this type of segment.

On the navigation bar I’m also providing some links to online stores that provide costumes and accessories for this type of dancing.  These are stores that I’ve personally done business with and therefore I consider them as reliable.  And finally, I’m also including some links to websites where people can find and download some of the music that it’s mentioned in the site.

TPACK Framework


There are a couple of aspects that reflect that on my project.  Number one is the use of the Internet as a source of information and number two the use of the Internet as a tool to share information, whether through text, pictures or videos.  The Internet these days is available and reachable for most people, and with it’s now mobile aspect, it’s use and value have skyrocketed. 


This is reflected by the fact that this is meant to be a collaborative project, where people can bring in their knowledge to provide information that is accurate.  It also means that people have to provide reliable sources to prove the accurateness of the information.  This site can then become the place where collaborative research is done between people that could be thousands of miles away.


 This is evident just by the kind of information it provides and its purpose.  This is simple put, the sharing of information that might not be easy to find.  This is also directed towards anyone that is willing to learn, regardless of their background.  This is passing knowledge from generation to generation, as it’s been done before through books, now it’s being done through the power of technology.

What’s next?

This is going to be a continuous project for probably the rest of my life.  I will keep adding information, keep adding segments as I’m learning more about them I will be changing information whenever I need to, and just keep updating as it needs to be.  But also, I’m hoping that in the near future, I can incorporate as many people as possible in this process, so that the site becomes a reliable source of information for such an important aspect of the Mexican culture.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ch 9 Response

Chapter 9 response - Social Networking

I have to admit, I love Facebook.  I use it to wake myself up in the morning.  While I am not a frequent poster, I love connecting with people with whom I have lost touch.  Having grown up overseas, my high school friends are spread out all over the United States and the world, for that matter.  By connecting on Facebook, we can see one another’s families, organize reunions, and offer support during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (one of my classmates helped raise a million dollars to be donated to homeless families affected by the disaster, and much of it was through Facebook).  I agree, that the online social network can become a useless timewaster, but for my purpose I have used it as a way of reconnecting with people. 

While perusing Facebook during class, I was able to find a few pages that support education, such as, of which I have joined, and it occasionally posts valuable information.  I cannot say, however, that I would feel comfortable using the social networking site in my classroom.  The main reason is because I am going to be in EC/ELEM, for which Facebook is not approved for, but also because of the nature of the site itself.  As the book “Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts” suggests, the site is an interest-based site and not so much for learning purposes.  It has proven to be a great vehicle for the distribution of information for groups that I am a part of.   With that said, I do not think social networking shouldn’t be used in the classroom, perhaps another tool would be more appropriate. 

After quickly reviewing Classroom 2.0 (a Ning site) I can comfortably say that this tool is more suited for use within a classroom setting.  The content is education based and it’s purpose centers around this topic as well.  I feel its intentions are more focused on education rather than merely connecting people.  I believe something like this that is more closely monitored and controlled would be a safer environment for our students and I wouldn’t worry so much about someone entering the site who doesn’t have the best intentions in mind.  I would like to explore Ning further with the possibility of using it in my future practice.  

Prezi Technology Project

For my technology project, I chose to do a Prezi presentation.  I recall a Prezi that we viewed early in our technology class that really captured my attention and I decided I wanted to work with the fun online tool. 

A few months ago, at my job at Oregon Gymnastics Academy, our supervisor had asked the entire coaching staff to read an article in the recent Gymnastics Techniques magazine about child development.  Not surprising, when asked a month ago how many people had read the article, hardly anyone raised his or her hand.  Knowing that I needed to do a presentation to the group as part of my personal development, I decided to do a presentation on the article at a summer staff meeting.  I chose to use Prezi, because the technology tool intrigued me, and I felt it would keep the groups’ interest. 

My project
I created my presentation by pulling out the salient points from the Techniques magazine article.  I felt I needed to choose a method for my presentation that would capture the groups’ attention most affectively.  They are all young adults ranging in age from 18 – 24, and have seen the usual power point presentations already.  I felt Prezi would capture their attention and keep them focused. 

I wanted to get the coaching staff involved in creating the presentation as I thought they would be more attentive during the presentation if they saw themselves in action. I captured video and photos that supported the message I wanted to get across.  I also got ideas from them of things to include in my presentation by listening to them coach their kids.  By incorporating pedagogy from the coaches themselves I believe this became more a presentation about them rather than about me telling them how to coach.  When I present in July, I intend to give them an exit survey to see if they learned anything from the presentation.  I will also collect their ideas for coaching kids of different developmental stages. I will compile this information and make it available in our staff room. 

My Goal
My goal with this project is to see if the uniqueness of Prezi will keep people’s attention and make the information more memorable. 

Theoretical Framework
Technological Knowledge
While OGA is not known for its use of technology for teaching (we are lucky if we have a strong internet connection!) I do know that most of the coaches are young students and are therefor technologically savvy to some extent.   My intent for using this online tool was to apply a little “shock and awe” effect to capture their attention (we will see if it actually works in July!).  Looking forward, I may go back into my presentation and create an interactive piece, possibly a game for a review at the end, to further their interaction with my presentation. 

The Keohler and Mishra article stresses the importance of using technology as a teaching tool.  They stress, however, that teachers engaging with the technology is imperative for building in-depth knowledge rather than merely being exposed to it in a presentation or weekend class.  “What is needed, however, is an approach that helps teachers develop deeper understandings of the nuances and complexities of technology integration”.  I found this to be true while creating this project.  I encountered lots of challenges with this project as well as other Prezis I created, such as pasting video links and sharing the editing feature with another person.  I gained increased knowledge by having to troubleshoot through these situations that will inevitably help me in future endeavors. 

Pedagogical Knowledge
At OGA, we all teach a wide range of groups, age levels, abilities, etc.  By sharing our knowledge and techniques we can become good teachers for one another.  Research shows that learning from peers can be very effective and I can see this as being very valuable at our gym.  We have team coaches who have coached for many years and if we were able to capture their pedagogical knowledge, it can only make us all more effective in the industry.  Learning effective coaching techniques for a variety of groups is imperative for pre-school and rec coaches as we need to be flexible and ready to respond to different situations as they are presented.  The more tricks we have ready to use, the more enjoyable our jobs will be. 

Content Knowledge
As with pedagogical knowledge, our coaching staff has a wealth of information, which if shared, will make us all more effective.  Sharing this in an effective manner, such as through presentations, will make the information more valuable and will benefit the most people.   Staying current with the latest techniques and safety tips will make us all better coaches and benefit our students in the end.  At this time, we share this knowledge through monthly staff meetings and bi-annual boot camps, but if we were to share this information through technology presentations we could effectively and more efficiently reach more staff members. 

What’s next?
As far as my OGA presentation project goes, I could see possibly extending this into a long-term training method for the staff.  If we were to create a presentation of a relative article each month and then e-mail it to the staff to view, we could teach quality coaching techniques to our staff in a timely manner.  One of my thoughts for a while has been to highlight good coaching among our staff as a form of recognition and appreciation.  We all get to that point of stagnation as we become tired of the same old drills and skills.  By capturing video of quality coaching and sharing it with the staff regularly, they would be inspired to learn from each other and consequently raise their level of coaching as their learn new ideas.

Tech Project

Sarah Bustamante
EDUC 537
Final Technology Project

Classroom Website

Context/Description of Project:

For my project I created a classroom website that will serve as a resource for parents and families of students.  I created it for the purpose that parents are able to come to one place and find everything they need to be informed about their child’s classroom, plus have access to many additional resources.  All the sections were created in Spanish and English to communicate to all parents.  The pages I created include, home page that includes a welcome statement and a quality article on bilingual education; calendar page that links to the school calendar; curriculum and schedule page that communicates what the students will be studying and learning as well as a detailed daily schedule; volunteer page where parents can learn ways to volunteer and understand the importance of getting involved; homework page where a homework policy is posted as well as homework packets readily available if theirs were lost; contact page with all of the teacher’s contact information.  The sidebar included additional information.  One serves as a place where parents can access helpful tips.  These include how to find “just right books” and why getting involved in their child’s education is beneficial.  The other serves as a sort of a blog where class happenings and updates are posted so parents have a real peek into the classroom.  Throughout this project I put a lot of thought into what I wanted my site to communicate as well as gained the insight from my husband and what he felt would be beneficial to his practice and parents of his students. 

Theoretical Framework:

The TPACK model was reflected in my project in the following ways. 

The technology aspect of the model was reflected in the website itself.  Furthermore, there were many different forms of tech implemented in the website including, links, blogs, Picasa slideshows, etc.  In addition, it takes into account the fact that many parents have access to the web and look to more efficient means than traditional hardcopy notices. 

The pedagogical aspect is reflected in the comprehensive scope of what was included to provide a well-rounded experience for parents to be well informed and benefited from the site.  This also reflects the practice of building partnerships with parents and promoting a strong stream of communication as well.  Overall, the website demonstrates competence in the area of building healthy supportive connections with families. 

Content knowledge is reflected in my project by understanding what information would be most valuable to parents- what parents would expect to see in a class website as well as how they can be educated from the teacher’s perspective. Much of the content is reflected in articles I provided for parents about educational issues as well as informative content about school policies, etc. 

Next Steps:

The website was designed so that it could potentially serve as my husband’s website next school year.  I made my best attempt to implement quality pages and postings- a quality foundation- so that we can further modify, and build on it as the school year approaches.  Yet, I would also say that it is in its simplest form with a lot of room for development.  One page in particular that I would like to add is an About Me page where the teacher can share information about themself.  The idea is that it will be in full swing and available to parents for the ‘12-’13 school year.  I may even use it as my own template one day.  

Response to Kohler and Mishra Article

Response to Kohler and Mishra Article

                The aspects of this article that I found the most useful was the parts stressing the practicality of the technology implemented as well as educating the teachers thoroughly on the technology so that they can successfully implement it.

                First, if a technology is not practical the student will find it as a distraction and will not use it the way it is designed to be used, but if it is a technology that is a good fit for the student and the situation then the technology will be a great use. I really like the fact that this implies the use of technology that is cutting edge in a situation that it does not call for the technology is not preferred. I feel like occasionally technology is forced where it is not needed or helpful, but this article implies that this is not a great idea.

                Second, the training of the staff on the new technology is imperative. My sister is a math teacher in Wyoming where they have a ton of money for education due to the natural resource income from the state, and because of this they have the most technology in the classroom that I have ever seen before. There is more technology in these high school classrooms than there was in my division one university. The reason this school is able to implement these technologies is because of their extensive education on the technology to the teachers. If the teachers were not taught how to successfully implement the technology, the money spent on this technology would be wasted, but in Big Piney Wyoming this is not the case. They are well trained and therefore the technology is in a great implementation. This is what the Kohler and Mishra Article stresses.