Why teachers should embrace technology

From an article I read in class, these are the top ten reasons why students should use cell phones in the classroom:

Information from: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2008/05/value-of-using-cell-phones-to-enhance.html

  1. 1. Student response polling or pop quizzes (no need to invest in additional devices)
  2. Use sms to find definitions, currency conversion, math equations, translation and more
  3. Use as an internet browser to access endless information
  4. Research
  5. Read news articles and current events
  6. Read books
  7. Download and use education programs such as Google Maps and use as GPS
  8. Use as a digital or video camera to accompany school projects, publishing, etc.
  9. Educate students on appropriate and acceptable social use
  10. Use the voice technology to share engaging lectures or lessons

With these ideas in mind there is no doubt that cell phones can really engage students in classrooms. By using mobile devices students will become excited for the lesson because they get to use their “forbidden” cell phones in class. This excitement is an easy way for a teacher to get students involved in lessons that they typically would not engage in. Cells are the fastest and most efficient way to get information in today’s society, although teachers have to be careful to teach their students how to learn what information is correct on the internet.

There are some concerns that come to mind with students using their cell phones in class. One of the biggest issues is  cheating. Cell phones make it easier to cheat on tests and assignments, but teachers are not suppose to be teaching students to memorize answers they can just look up on the internet, and instead be teaching students how to apply their knowledge of a subject on tests. Another problem deals with safety issues. Students could potentially use cell phones for fighting and drug relate activities, but students could also do that by passing notes and the idea of forbidding paper in school is obscene.

In another article I read in calls, Eutopia, it deals with a lot of the issues that pertain to technology in the classroom and good websites, apps, and devices for each grade level.

I want to teach upper elementary school which means that my students will have pretty fair function on most technology devices, but may not be able to maneuver through the web on their own. There are lots of great learning apps out on the market for tablets and smart phones. Many learning games for children which can be very beneficial  in the long run. Apps like, Motion Math and Puppet Pals are both great apps that promote fun and learning at the same time. As far as devices go upper elementary students would have a great time using a computer to Skype with a professional to ask them questions about different subjects. Podcast are another great idea for upper elementary students. They can listen, record, and create their own podcast to really gain a better understanding of a subject.

Continuing on Podcast a few examples of ways that a teacher can incorporate podcast into their classroom are, first subscribing to a podcast and have the children listen to the podcast weekly/daily to learn about something new. There are multiple kid friendly podcast that children will enjoy. Another idea is to have students record their own history podcast. The students can reenact a historical scene or tell a story. Finally another great idea to have students use podcast for is to make observations on science experiments. When the students record the observations the whole class will be able to hear what happened in the experiment.


Using Multimedia in the Classroom

Based on an article I read call, Blogs, Wiki, and Podcasts mult. for ED 270, I learn a lot about how multimedia is being used in the classroom. There are four main types of multimedia that the article talked about: podcasting, video, screen casting, and live streaming. All four can be used in every grade level, though some are better for specific ages.

Podcasting is a way for students to record audio and create something out of it. Students can also listen to other podcasts to learn something from them. Podcasts are easy to use, so elementary school students can have a lot of fun when using podcasts. A neat idea to use in the classroom is to subscribe to a podcast and listen to it daily or weekly and have the class write summaries about what they learned that day, and maybe listening to the podcast will inspire them to make their own at the end of the year.

Video and Screen casting are another great multimedia tool. This is a more advance tool, so middle and high students will be more inclined to use it. Making videos is a great way for students to learn about certain subjects that they are focusing on. Students can also share their findings to their classmates and everyone can learn about the topic.

Live streaming is a great way for students to meet with professionals and learn from them any sort of subject. Having a featured speaker of the week is a neat idea to get students passionate about what they are learning. Or having a steam with the same professional is a great way for students to get to know deeper and ask more questions to the professional. This is an easy and cost efficient way to change up the learning environment for students.

Here are some additional articles talking about multimedia in classrooms:

Why should you use multimedia in the classroom

Here is a blog that talks about multimedia in the classroom, http://multimediainclassroom.blogspot.com/

This website is designed for teachers to help them gain the knowledge they need to use multimedia in their classrooms, http://edtechteacher.org/tools/multimedia/

Benifits of Music Education

I was one Facebook the other day and one of my friends shared a post to my wall about the benefits of learning music. I was involved in band my whole life starting in 5th grade all the way to my senior year in high school and I believe that music really does help students to become better. In on article I read The benefits of Music Education, there are a list of different studies done to prove how much music can really help a student learn and develop better. One of the most popular benefits is the fact that music helps children’s minds learn and work harder. By playing music a student is almost guaranteed to be a better student in the classroom. With the recent budget cuts throughout school districts in America it is more commonly seen that schools are cutting their music programs first. While schools have to make the cuts somewhere, it is important for school districts to keep in mind the benefits of music education and their students. Schools are always wanting higher test scores for their students and music education is a great way to improve the test scores. Before saying music is just a way for children to pass the time, school districts need to do the research and seem what an improvement musical education can make on a student.

Teaching with Visuals

Two weeks ago I published a blog talking about a lesson plan I had designed for a second grade classroom. The goal of the lesson plan was to have the students research an animal and write a three paragraph paper about their findings. This paper should include minimal grammatical errors, a topic sentence, a conclusion sentence, and detail sentences. The students will then create a poster to present their findings to their classmates.

The poster will be the visual aid for the project, instead of using plan paper and gluing there research on to it to create their posters, the children will use a website to create their posters. A very neat website I found the help users build an online poster is called lucid press.

Here I will review this website for future users:

1.  Brief Description- what is the site?  What is it supposed to do?

This site is create to help people design online posters, brochures, invitations and more. Its a very visual stimulating website that provides lots of different options for a variety of products.

2.  What standards (NETS-S or content) could using this site help to achieve?
Communication and Collaboration – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

This standard is met with Lucidpress because the students can all work on the same poster online together to get a final product.

3.  Prerequisites- what do you need to know before using the site?
This website is fairly straight forward. Students will have to create a free account and be able to maneuver through the sign up part. There is a video to help new users figure out all the buttons on the website, but it might be a good Idea to walk the children through a lesson about this website before turning them loose.

4.  Strengths- good things that the site does (high interest for students, superior technical quality, bias free)
This website has many cool features that help students make a outstanding poster. Students will enjoy moving and manipulating objects around to see what they like best. Although the free version of this website doesn’t give all the perks the website offers, it still has quite a few features for being a free website.

5.  Limitations- perhaps the reading level is too high, maybe user guide is not very clear or organized

The website has many features that may overwhelm the students at first, but making sure the students know the basic features that they will need will help them not feel stressed about using the new website. The reading level may also be to high for some of the students.

6.  Best guess on age group/grade level the site is intended for.

I think elementary students with guidance can use this website, but I think that the best age group for lucidpress would be middle and s high school students.

Web 2.0

Brief Description: The first website I chose was Blurtopia. This website is a fast way to get real world opinions on the choices one has to make on a day to day basis. Whether it is what shirt looks best with and outfit or what degree to pursue in college, this website has it all. On top of having people help you, you can help people make their choices too. By voting on their pictures any user can help another person make the right choices.

One of NETS-S standards that applies to this website is having children explore and have an input on the web about their ideas.

Prerequisites: One of the things that a person needs to know before using this website is how to upload pictures onto the web. There is an app for iPhone that makes this process fairly straight forward and easy.

Strengths: This website is a very fun way to help other people and have other give their opinions. This website is pretty controlled so there can be a lower age limit on the users.

Limitations: The website isn’t full of learning opportunities so students may not learn new information from it, but it is an easy way to show students how easy it can be to help people. This website is also slightly tricky to maneuver, especially on the computer.

Age: I recommend this to middle/high school because it is harder to navigate and a person has to understand how to upload pictures.

Brief Description: The second website I chose was Planbookedu. The reason I chose this website is because it is an awesome way to stay on track with anybody’s busy schedule. Although this is designs for teachers students can use it too to track their homework.

A standard that this website can help with is keeping students on track and turning their homework in on time.

Prerequisites: navigating through this website is a little tricky because there is so much that can be included in the planner, so a person must be able to know how to navigate more complex websites like these.

Strengths: This planner is an awesome way to keep on track and is full of many cool features that cannot be done as easily with any other type of planning devices.

Limitations: There is a full version that cost $25 a year which has many more features than the free version.

Age: I recommend this to high school stuents to keep track of their busy lifes.

Brief Description: The last website I chose was Ekoloko. This website is a kid friendly way for children to interact with one another and learn about the environment at the same time.

Many standards can be complete because of the online environmental games that students play they can learn a lot about science and learn science standards at the same time.

Prerequisites: Children will have to understand how to sign up and register for a website.

Strengths: This is a fun website children can use to learn about science and connecting with others on the web.

Limitations: There could be a problem with other users saying things to students that are not appropriate.

Age: This website is design for middle/upper elementary students who can use a computer.

Lesson Plan

For my Education class I will be designing a lesson plan for second grade class room based off of the ASSURE lesson plane model. The goal of a student is to write a three paragraph research paper about an animal of their choice with minimal gramtical error. They should also include a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a conclsion sentence. At the end the student will make a poster to show the class their findings.


A-Analyze Learners

  • 25 students (12 female/13 male)
  • Homogeneous classroom culture
  • No English Language Learners
  • 50% qualify for free and reduced lunch
  • Mostly 7-8 year old’s
  • No major behavioral issue
  • 7 students in a reading pull out program
  • 1 student works with a speech therapist
  • 4 students qualify  for talented and gifted services in reading and 4 in math
  • Kinesthetic, audio, inquiry based learning
  • short attention spans for directions
  • Have had Ipads for more than a year
  • Familiar with basic functions of their Ipads
  • No internet research skills

S-State Stnadards and Objectives

I found all of the state standards at: CoreStandards

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations)


A class of second grade students will learn about their animals characteristics,  proper writing techniques, and how to present their findings in order to write a 3 paragraph paper with a topic and conclusion sentence with supporting sentence in between and create a poster with their findings, all of this must meet the writing standards for second graders, the information must be correct, and the presentation must meet the criteria listed in the rubric.


S- Select Strategies, Technology, Media, and Materials

To help the class be ready to take on this project I will give them some stepping stones to get them the help and information they need. If available I would love to give my students a chance to go to the zoo before they start the project to get them interested in certain animals. I would also give them certain websites to look like pbs.org. I would also see if there were any types of apps they could download for their research, a good website for checking apps out is http://appadvice.com/appguides/show/learning-about-zoo-animals

I would also give my students worksheets to complete to help them understand what type of a paper I want from them. It would be fill in the blank type of worksheet with guided help. For the poster aspect of the project I would leave a few sample posters around the classroom for students to look at at their own time to get an idea of what is expected from them.

U-Utilize Technology, Media, and Materials

Preview the technology, media, and materials:

  • I will look and find what apps I think will work best with this project.

Prepare the Technology, Media, and Materials

  • I will download the desired apps onto the ipads for the students to be able to use.
  • I will make sure the example posters are set up around the room.
  • I will print out the number of worksheets needed.

Prepare the Environment:

  • The ipads will be set out and made sure to be running
  • Worksheets will be distributed
  • Posters will be ready to look at

Prepare the learners:

  • I will go over the apps in class with the students to make sure they understand what they do.
  • I will explain how to fill out the worksheet.
  • I will go through one of the example posters with the class.

Provide the Learning Experience:

  • first the class will complete the worksheet so I know that they understand how to write the paper.
  • Then I will show the class what an example of good poster looks like.
  • Then I will give the students an opportunity to play around on the new apps to look at all the animals that they can pick from.
  • Then I will tell the students what their project is.

R-Required Learner Participation:

Student Practice Activities:

  • Students will use ipads and the apps on the, to find out more about their animals.
  • Students will use the information they used from the worksheet to help them write their own paper.
  • Their peers will read each others papers to help each other out is they are confused.
  • Students will discuss what it means to create a good poster.


  • Teacher will grade paper according tot the rubric.
  • Students will go around the class room and hang their posters up, then students will walk around with sticky notes making commentary on each others posters.

Evaluate and Revise:

Assessment of Learners Achievement: I will take the score from the paper based off of the rubric score and add the score from the commentary on the poster to access the learning of the student.

Evaluation of Strategies, technologies, and media: I will ask the students for their feedback on what they thought was hard and what they thought was easy. With this commentary I will hopefully gain information on how to improve the lesson plan.

Revision: With the commentary I will be able to revise the lesson plan

Here is my Rubric:

Research Report : 2nd Grade Research Paper

Teacher Name: Olivia DeJanvier Student Name:     ________________________________________


CATEGORY 4 3 2 1
Internet Use Successfully uses suggested apps to find information and navigates within these apps easily without assistance. Usually able to use suggested apps to find information and navigates within these apps easily without assistance. Occasionally able to use suggested apps to find information and navigates within these apps easily without assistance. Needs assistance or supervision to use suggested apps and/or to navigate within these apps.
Paragraph Construction All paragraphs include introductory sentence, explanations or details, and concluding sentence. Most paragraphs include introductory sentence, explanations or details, and concluding sentence. Paragraphs included related information but were typically not constructed well. Paragraphing structure was not clear and sentences were not typically related within the paragraphs.
Amount of Information All topics are addressed and all questions answered with at least 2 sentences about each. All topics are addressed and most questions answered with at least 2 sentences about each. All topics are addressed, and most questions answered with 1 sentence about each. One or more topics were not addressed.
Mechanics No grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Almost no grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors A few grammatical spelling, or punctuation errors. Many grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.


Pretty Presentations

I have never put too much thought into my PowerPoint presentations. I would get all my information onto the slides and include a couple images and call it good. What I did not know was that there are books and techniques for making a better presentation. On example of a book that helps make a presentation effective is, Presentation Design. For the chapter of the book that I read, I learned a lot. I had previous knowledge of the fact that tons of text on a slide was a bad idea, but I had no idea how many other techniques there are to have a good presentation.

One of the most interesting things that I learn was the less is better technique. From the chapter in the book Presentation Design I saw before and after slides of the technique, less is better, and it really does make a difference. Having 12 pictures and labeling them is not a good idea for having an effective slide. Having one picture and maybe a label really draws the students in to understand what the slide is really trying to emphasize. I also knew that bullet points can get boring on a PowerPoint, but I did not know that it was such a tiresome idea to include any at all. I thought that learning about the Big Four, contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity were very helpful to understand how to make a visually pleasing slide.

A lot of this information can be incorporated into the presentations that I make for my students and presentations that students will make to share. As a teacher I will want my students to be interested in the topic that I am presenting, so I will incorporate some of the techniques that I learned about PowerPoint’s into my presentations. Instead of having my students just make a PowerPoint, I will help them and show them how to make an efficient PowerPoint.

As a student I have never had to make too many PowerPoint’s, but the few that I have made seem to lack a lot of the techniques that are suppose to make PowerPoint’s, powerful. Most often my slides would be filled with pictures and words everywhere, so that I could cram all of my information on one slide. Other times I would create a PowerPoint that would be like my note card and I would just read off of it. I now know that my techniques for PowerPoint have been vastly wrong, and I hope that reading this article will help me in the future have amazing presentations.

More Information:

11 steps to creating a powerful PowerPoint

10 PowerPoint Tips for preparing for a professional presentation

10 Tips for a Powerful PowerPoint presentation

True or Not?

By reading the article, True or Not?, I will examine the text and answer the questions below based on what I learned.

1.  Can we define what it means to be information literate?

To be information literate, a person must know how to sift through information and discover what can be considered true and what can be consider false. While the internet is a great tool, it can also become a weapon of destruction when a person reads something as true when in reality what they read was false. One of the things to think about when reading articles on the internet is that people do not need and editing to publish works on the web, like they would if they were publishing in a journal of a book. So many times articles on the internet may be written and edited by the same person who may write about something false. There are many steps a person can take to make sure that the information a person finds on the internet is true.

2.  Can we teach our students to have the skills essential to information literacy?

I think that as teachers it is our job to teach students the skills essential to be information literate. Students are usually very excited about learning new things, especially when it comes to technology. Some of the most important skills that teachers can teach their students are:

  1. Who’s weighing in?
  2. Who’s setting the record straight?
  3. What do other sources say?
  4. Who’s behind the chart?

If students become proficient in learning these skills, they can be considered information literate.

3.  Can we truly prepare students to be effective users of the most powerful medium?

I definitely believe that we as teachers can teach our student to use the most powerful medium, the internet, we just have to take steps in making sure that all the students understand what exactly happens on the internet with information and all the precautions necessary to be safe on the internet.

What else to look at?


  • This blog gives a nice summary of students and teaching them to be information literate on  the internet.


  • Snopes is a great website designed to give the truth about new information found on the web.


  • There is a little article in here about information literacy.