In anxiousness to complete my junior year I forgot to end the class with one last blog post. I must mention that I have learned so much from this class. I have been stretched to look outside of the box and for that I will be forever grateful.

In closing I would love if you would look at my final project. I looked into teaching ESL with technology.

Thank you for a great semester! Chat with you later🙂

As I finish up Computers in Education (EDT 400) I am enjoying reflecting on all that I have learned and what I have discovered about what I believe in accordance to technology and education. Although I cannot say I believe technology should take over educators positions I do believe they have great power to educate our students. Another very important point that was made over and over again during our class, is technology use is going to become more and more necessary for our students.

I believe the purpose of technology in education is to enhance learning. I truly feel that having conversations with other, teaching peers, and learning from peers establishes a comfortable foundation in which to learn. I have found though that computers and technology can make learning fun. For example, when we went to visit Deb White she used an interactive white board to teach the students math. Using the calculator on the screen instead of using individual calculators the students were able to work together. Or like Sugata Mitra says, if you give three or four students one laptop to research information, they will work very well together. Technology works to encourage the learning the students are doing, giving them new opportunities. For example, students can interact with a classroom half way around the world or they can design a blog and talk to people who are a lot older than them in order to learn more!

What I value in technology and education is the absolute power technology has to teach students. I was recently watching a youtube video (which I cannot find, or I would post it) in which a teacher purchased a bunch of new equipment for his room, including Nintendo DS and computer games, but he also found resources online that enable his students to exceed the standards the state had set for them. These third grade students had moved up for fourth grade level in half a year! This is incredible. I know that technology can help me teach my students and I value the educators who are teaching me how I can integrate technology into my classroom. Those that are thinking outside of the box, even though they stretch my beliefs, also encourage me.

My theory on technology and education has definitely changed. Before this class I thought I would use technology in my class during computer class or to write a paper. Now I want to use technology as often as I can. I am incredibly passionate about English as Second Language, hence my project on ESL! I am working to learn how I can teach these students with technology instead of drilling them with vocabulary words. Also I want to be using an element of technology at least once a day. Students should not be deprived of the resources they will likely rely on once they reach the workforce. My theory is that technology isn’t being used enough today and classrooms! I can be one of the few who start to change this. By encouraging, teaching, and learning from others I truly believe we can use what we have at our fingertips to enhance the education of our students!

Today during class we had the opportunity to hear from Sharon Betts, an educator working to integrate technology. She gave us four ways Maine educators can get excited about technology, as well as feel comfortable while using the technology. These suggestions include:

  1. Developing a PLN. As many of you have seen, I have posted my PLN in a previous blog. The more I talk to educators who believe in web 2.o and using it in the classroom, the more I realize their support and ideas are going to be what drives me to make change in my own classroom one day.
  2. Using your students. As I was looking around on Edutopia I found this great video.
  3. http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

This video shows what students can teach us as educators, if we give them the chance to show us what they know and humble ourselves to admit we don’t always know everything🙂

3. Know what your final goals are going to be: Sharon mentioned understanding the NETS standards, how to integrate them into your curriculum, and being open to change in your curriculum. At the same time she pointed out how we do not have to add each step through technology, but that some will simply be met through educating students without technology.

4. Be Fearless. I like this last suggestion. We need to be willing to try new things. With the help of our PLN, we can make changes that help our students learn most efficiently and more thoroughly.

I am very grateful that Sharon took the time to come into our classroom. I learned a lot about my fears when dealing with technology integration. As I continue to work on my project, which I have changed to English Language Learning/Teaching and Technology, I hope to meet educators who believe in teaching through technology!

As I prepare for classes this week the topic of conversation is Social Media/Networking. As I watched the four videos recommended by my teacher I realized a couple of things…

  1. Social Networking is very accessible.
  2. Social Networking is simple.

The video above discusses the two realizations I had, as well as points out the possibilities our children have to publish their own work. As they say in the video, no longer are we just consumers of a product, we are now publishers of work. As an educator I need to understand what this means for my students, as well as what I need to prepare them for. One of the speakers says, “they are not just skills for the classroom… but are skills for a larger level.”

I do believe that as a teacher I have the opportunity, but also it is my job, to teach my students how to use the internet appropriately and in ways that will eventually benefit them in the future. As was noted in Social Networking in Plain English, if we allow students to access these tools, that are so readily available, we can begin developing their network now, so when they are looking for a job or help, they already have the connections!


(more to come soon!)


Additional Resources:





ReminiscingAs I reflect, and I mean truly reflect, on how this class has taught me… or should I say, how I have taught myself, with the tools provided, I must say I have to think pretty hard. When I want to reflect on life, who I am, and what I want to be, I like to find a place that is beautiful, calm, and quiet. Where all you can hear is the wind and the birds. Although I cannot find that place today, this picture makes me think… What have I learned? What have I done a great job and where do I have room to improve? Have I enjoyed anything this semester? Who have I reached out to for help? What have I done to teach myself? I hope to answer these questions… but first… isn’t that picture AMAZING?!?!

lecture hall1. What have I learned:

Well… I am not in <— that classroom anymore. At least not in this class. Most of my learning happens outside of the classroom. While in class we discuss the types of tools we are using, but outside of class is where the learning happens. I do not have to listen to lectures, unless I want to using tools online, and I do not have to have homework passed in on time because the teacher must have work to prove you are learning something… no on the contrary, my learning happens because I want it to, because I have taken the initiative to learn from those around, my peers, and those I do not know, but are interested and have studied what I am interested in. Judging from my blogs, which have been few since coming back from Spring Break, I have learned a lot from being able to enter the classroom last Thursday. The trip to learn more about Deb White and what she is doing has really encouraged me as a future educator. I feel I am more capable of implementing these tools in my classroom one day.

2. Strengths and Weakness:

My strengths would include the following:

  • wanting to learn more about what we are doing
  • focusing on what interests me
  • participating in class
  • being prepared to have yet another username and password…
  • keeping an open mind
  • using Evernote

My weakness these past few weeks:

  • lack of motivation
  • frustration with the amount of new tools
  • keeping up with posting to my blog

Let me quickly explain these: in my strengths I hope you are able to see that I am eager to learn, I am desperately trying to keep an open mind, and I love Evernote. Earlier this semester my harddrive crashed. Luckily everything on my laptop was recovered, but during the time my laptop was being fixed I was not able to work on my project… or so I thought. I asked my teacher if I could access what I had saved on Evernote online, and I could. It was great to know that although I use Evernote on my desktop all of my information is being saved on the internet, therefore I can access it anywhere! My weakness on the other hand have been holding me back. I have been getting frustrated with how many tools I need to understand, like Thomas Steelemaley said a few classes ago, “It’s like we’re all out of the honeymoon stage!” Gosh, did that click with me… I no longer can be in love with all of the tools available to me, I need to make a choice to use them or not… That is where the lack of motivation comes into play, because of the frustration I did not want to engage in the course, now that I understand I need to make a choice to engage, I am become excited again. Finally, keeping up with my blog posts have been a struggle for me. I think most of the struggle comes from the frustration, when you are frustrated you have nothing good to write about, but recently ideas have been clicking, like today during class Thomas said, “Your PLN may look different than mine!” Well DUH! Why did I not think of that before? Of course I am not going to be able to do everything Thomas is doing, he’s been doing it much longer than I have. What relief it was to hear I didn’t have to reach his status🙂

3. Readings and Experiences

IMG_2904What stands out to me the most for this section is our recent trip to Asa Adams. I learned so much from Deb White. So much about how I can access these tools in my classroom eventually, about how I can engage my students in simple tasks, such as using the calculator on the computer, or how I can develop a web page with resources I would like my students to access. It was encouraging to see how simple steps can make a difference and encourage the students you are working with.

Some of the readings I have enjoyed have actually come from my own individual research. These resources include, but are not limited to:

These three resources listed above have encouraged me to investigate, discover, and dare to try new things!

4. Who can help me improve and what am I doing:

Elaining trying to work on the laptop To improve in this class I hope to be open to learning from anyone. This means, looking for blogs from students older or younger than me, watching children use technology better than I do, and listening to those around me (meaning in this world) who have more experience than I do. So far what I am doing to complete this task is to read blogs, follow twitter hashtags, and listen. While visiting Deb White’s class we got a chance to talk with some fourth graders, although I was told the boys I talked to wouldn’t miss have computer access, I did notice that they understood how to navigate through the web, how to activate a twitter account, and how to use a blog! That is great… now it’s my turn to use what I have learned about to further my education!

Yesterday, as I posted, we got the chance to head to the local elementary school to see what we are learning in action. What  a great experience it was! Although I left feeling slightly disappointed (which I will touch on later) I overall was able to understand how to put the big picture into a easy to understand design.

IMG_2904 I’ll point out a few of the ideas I loved and end with a few pictures from my experience.

As we started out our day, we went into Deb White’s second grade classroom. While there she showed us how she has been using the whiteboard. This whiteboard uses bluetooth technology and a magnetic strip to change settings for the pen. She is able to have multiple pages working at the same time, can create letters for students to trace, work on math skills with the students, edit papers, and so much more. We spent about fifteen minutes working with her and watching the children do math. The little girl in the picture is working on a math problem using the calculator we have on our laptops. Deb asked questions such as “If I have 62 and want to make 74, what do I need to do.”IMG_2901 15-08-36 The student would stand up there and think, while the other students watched. After thinking the problem through he/she would be asked to explain their thinking. So all of the students may have an idea in their head, but now they are able to check their thought process as the other child is explaining his/hers and will be able to test it through using the calculator. Something I liked about this is every child is able to hear other students thought process and add help or advice if it is needed, instead of sitting at their desk playing with individual calculators.IMG_2897 15-08-36

IMG_2902 15-08-36 Something else I particularly liked about the smartboard was the ability to practice penmanship. Although you cannot see very well, the young boy here is tracing the letter A that Deb wrote on the board. She used writing that is dotted, much like the dotted letters we see on worksheets handed to children to practice their writing. This is a very interactive way to get children who may not like the worksheet style. You could actually create a book with letters that need to be traced, so students are both interacting with text through questions a teacher may ask, as well as practicing penmanship and motor skills.

IMG_2913 15-08-36After working with the second graders for a little bit we were brought into the computer lab to meet with some fourth graders. During this time we were able to ask them questions about technology, as well as hear about what we needed to learn. I met with two little boys, twins actually, who told me they didn’t mind using the computers, but would live if they didn’t have to use them. The question I asked the boys is: “If you couldn’t use computers in fifth grade, how would you feel?” The boys stated, “I wouldn’t really care as long as I can read!” As a more traditional student, it almost warmed my heart to hear this, but at the same time as I was encouraged to see the boys typing as you should type, navigate through the websites as if they had used computers many times before, and use programs such as excel, that I am uncomfortable with.IMG_2949 15-08-36

So why am I discouraged… The kids I was talking to don’t seem to be excited about being able to use the computers. Why do they feel this way?

Overall I was encouraged by this trip. I was so happy to see the second graders want to teach us and to be honest I wish we could have spent more time with them. I will be coming back a little later to comment on the standards and how Deb has written them in easy to understand terms, so the children understand what they are doing and how it applies to the bigger picture.

Pictures from our trip:

IMG_2885Talking to the Kiddos!










Getting some advice from Deb!






IMG_2950 15-08-36

Thank you very much!