Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good Night, EDTC 5010!

Wow, what a semester! I never thought I would be the teacher helping others with their computers!  I have learned so much in this class and definitely created products on my computer I never thought possible.  I am proud of myself.  I also found out today that my part time job will be full time next school year! I will be teaching art to K-8! I cannot wait.  Thanks Dr. Fine for all of your guidance, YOU ROCK! Congrats on your graduation.

Equity and Technology

The article Critical Issue: Ensuring Equitable Use of Education Technology,  written by Rosemary Bell for the North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium published in 1997, confronts the issue of how can the use of technology be equitable for all students.  The main concern communicated in this article is that students who attend low income schools may already be struggling with their studies and with the integration of technology these schools may not have the funds to purchase up to date tools, therefore these students are falling farher behind the learning curve.  For more details and links to resources go to:


New Insights on Technology Adoptions in Schools

What are technology adoptions?  As stated in the article New Insights on Technology Adoptions in Schools, written for the journal (Transforming Education Through Technology), technology adoptions are how "teachers use technology to enrich teaching."  There are ultimately four stages a teacher goes through as they adopt technology into their teaching: 1. Teachers evolve to learners
                                                              2. Teachers become adopters of educational technology
                                                              3.Teachers become co-learners/ co-explorers with their students
                                                              4. Teachers reaffirm or reject decision
These for adoptions were retieved from the article found at:

In this day and age we as educators are about to embark on one of the biggest changes education might ever see: a technology driven curriculum, including computerized testing. Also when every child has a computer, that means the teacher will have to change their lessons to incorporate the technology being used.  Weas teachers cannot be scared of integrating technology into our classrooms because it is happening all around us and maybe already has within your school.  Orange County Schools in North Carolina has implemented their one-to-one iniative meaning every child in the school district will have a computer, laptop, or tablet for their individual use as of next school year!

New Insights on Technology Adoptions in Schools. (2000). Retrieved from:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chapter 11 and 12 Reflections

Let me just say, I am totally defeated right now. My SMART Board Lesson is taking forever to upload to the discussion board, to where I missed my deadline and left wondering if I will receive a grade. I had a hard time learning the SMART Software and I was really proud of my lesson in which I did not use any pages from SMART Exchange. (mostly because I did not think we were supposed too, but then when I looked at other classmates they used SMART Exchange) Anyway, I created all of the pages and tools, and it took me forever, and yes, I did wait to the last minute to submit. Why did I do that? I know because I had another project due,my kids wanted my attention but I had already been at the library all day, and wanted to have every last minute to tweak it to make it perfect. AAHHHHHHHHHHH! Did I say I was frustrated and guess what.........now it is officially my birthday, and I am left feeling very unsuccessful. I have to admit, I love the rush when all of the assignments in EDTC 5010 are submitted. I am not left with that rush tonight.

Onto Chapter 11 and my reflections. But before that, I have to say that I generally take pride in my time management skills and technology was not on the same clock as me tonight! OK, no more excuses! There are many benefits of using both problem-solving and educational software in the classroom. Most problem-solving uses games which get the students attention. The text states that a "well-designed educational game is that they are structured to require application of content knowledge and skills in order to win the game!" Many principles of effective pedagogy are applied in educational games. The text describes these as individualization, feedback, active learning, motivation, and assessment. The benefits of educational software including drill and practice, tutorials, and integrated learning systems is that they provide instant feedback.

The question is, how do I chose the correct software? First, the teacher must have a lesson that is compatible with some type of computer function. here must be a match of objectives and computer functions. Once the lesson, and type of technology have been determined the teacher must find software that meets the objective/s, then one may evaluate the software for specific criteria. One very important aspect to evaluate is the ease of use. If the teacher cannot figure it out, most likely the students will not be able to either.

Some changes will need to be made when writing your lesson plan with the integration of problem-solving or educational software. The NTeQ model will address these changes with 6 of its components. Computer Functions, Research & Analysis, Results Presentation, Activities During, Before, and After will all need to be addressed.

In Chapter 12 of Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom: Skills for the 21st Century written by Gary R. Morrison and Deborah L. Lowther the authors prepare the teacher for the implementation of using technology within the classroom. First, the teacher must be prepared before the students begin using the computers. Handouts should be available for the students with step-by-step guides, resource guides, and a task list are also good tools. Teachers must be prepared to teach the technology component of the lesson as well as the supporting activities and lessons within the unit. Before the students use the computers the text states that, one must create folders for their work, design templates, load specialized software, bookmark Internet sites, and have the computers on with the applications open. The computer part of the lesson depends on your plan. It could be during the focus and review or the teacher input. Computers should be used during the Research and Analysis part of a lesson as well. The next reflection question is: How do you ensure equal access for all students with only three students. The honest answer to that is there will be some days when you do not. With only three computers in a room and no computer lab on site, the teacher must implement the use of computers during centers. For upper grade levels, there could be a rotation throughout the day. This would take a lot of organizing to ensure there is equal access. I would teach the lesson via SMART Board or with the use of a computer and projector.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Reflections: Chapters 11 & 12

Two weeks ago , now four weeks since I just realized I never finished this post,I started my first COMPLETE technology integrated lesson plan with my fifth grade art class. I say complete because I have been using technology by ways of my computer and the projector (we do not have SMART boards at our school) The lesson is about utilitarian design and the work of Alexander Calder. The students have been using PAINT to create their own utilitarian design. The lesson could not have gone better. All of the students were able to open the program and stayed on task, for the most part! The students also did research on Alexander Calder and the art he created. It was definitely a change in classroom management as we do not have a computer lab at our school therefore the students were using laptops, many of which had to be plugged in, creating groups of students and cords, but it never got completely chaotic. It was just difficult to assess if everyone was on task. We will be finishing up our utilitarian designs tomorrow, and I am excited to continue to truly integrate technology into my teaching.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reflections on Spreadsheets and Word Processing

I have to admit that I am very proud of myself for actually not dropping this course. I could not even copy and paste successfully a year ago! I have learned so much this semester in EDTC 5010. Being my first semester back in school after a 14 year diversion, I can honestly say.........it is good to be back! Not only have I gained a lot of experience with different types of programs, I have been able to turn around and implement what I am learning into my lesson plans as I teach art to K-5. Don't get me wrong, it is hard. Being a mom, wife, teacher, student, volunteer within the community, I am officially tired and I have not even been exercising! Okay, enough babble and complaining, I need to get on talking to you about word processing and spreadsheets...........tomorrow, it has to be tomorrow. But while you are online reading this blog, please go vote for my school, Orange Charter School at www.lenovodreamtodo.com .

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenovo Dream To Do Contest!

I am so excited about the Lenovo Dream To Do Contest that my school has entered! During art class my students created drawings of what they want to be when they grow up to be uploaded to the contest for people like YOU, to vote daily! So please help our school win a $50,000 Technology Makeover. Go to www.lenovodreamtodo.com and vote for Orange Charter School!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reflections Chapter 10

This chapter focused on Graphic Organizers. I do not have much teaching experience using graphic organizers so this chapter made me want to download some free software or a trial of Inspiration and check it out! For the first time this semester, I am at a loss for words in regards to reflecting on a chapter. I do feel that graphic organizers are a great tool for the students to better understand a concept because as the text states " they are engaged in all three critical thinking processes." ( Morrison & Lowther, pg.270) The students must analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the information while using a graphic organizer. Understanding is essential to perform all three of these processes successfully. As for misconceptions by the student of key information while using a graphic organizer, this would be obvious and resolved instantaneously while using this tool as during group work or circle time. Since the information is laid out visually it would be rather easy to tell if a child is having difficulties. The use of graphic organizers is a wonderful way for students to organize their brainstorming ideas before they move onto a written assignment.

I look forward to gaining more experience with graphic organizers and incorporating them into my art class.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chapter 9 Reflections

"Multimedia tools are used when there is a match between multimedia functions and your objectives." (Morrison & Lowther, pg.249)

The two most common ways to use multimedia for students' projects are for presentations and research. By using multimedia tools in the classroom the teacher will meet 3 of the 6 NETS for Students, they are as followed:

1. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

3. Research and Information Fluency: Students apply digital tool to gather, evaluate, and use information.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts: Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. (ISTE, 2007)

The Internet can be used for research purposes but the students must be responsible for citing their references and be aware of copyright and fair use issues while obtaining and copying information from the world wide web. A multimedia project allows the students to become the teacher. We all know that some of the best learning happens through processing and reflecting on the information that has been obtained. Articulating this new knowledge to other students and teachers through a multimedia project allows the student to do just that! There are many applications available to the students to create a multimedia presentation. These include:


digital video: found on the Internet or original video from the student


voice over

special effects:shadows, reflections




There are limits that should be placed on the students while creating their presentations. The students must "maintain their focus on the goal of communicating the knowledge and skill stated in the objectives." (Morrison & Lowther,pg.226) The presentation must correlate with the assignment and the students should not be distracted by all of the "bells and whistles" within the programs being used. Another important limit that should be placed on the students is practicing Internet safety. The students are responsible for citing their work and must be aware of copyright and fair use.

As our schools become more aligned with the technological advancements within our society and the workplace, it will be imperative that every student graduate from High School with the experience of creating a multimedia presentation.

Morrison, G.R. & Lowther, D.L. (2011) Integrating computer technology into the classroom;skills for the 21st century. Boston: Pearson

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2007). National Educational technology Standards (NETS) for Students. Retrieved October 20, 2007, from http://cnets.iste.org/students/index.html.

Interesting Newscast on NPR

Great information on online privacy.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Tomorrow, 50K on Thursday!

Alright, I have your attention now! The principal called me into his office last Thursday to discuss a contest being put on by Lenovo. Yes our very own Lenovo, located in Morrisville, NC is giving away a $50,000 Technology Makeover to a school who receives the most votes for their students drawings depicting, what they want to be when they grow up! As the art teacher he came to me for help, but also because every Tuesday during drop-off line at school, we talk about technology and how smart I am getting by taking this class! I have also told him that I am going to get a SMART board from www.donorschose.org! So, I just have to get through lots of hearts and glitter tomorrow and onto winning a $50,000 Technology Makeover for our school! If we win, I think that will be worth some extra credit!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Reflections: Chapter 4

With so many types of software it is sometimes difficult to know which ones to include in our lesson plans. First, as an educator we must know the full scope of what is available to us and how to integrate the software into our classrooms. There are 5 categories of software: Productivity, Research, Communication, Problem-Solving, and Educational. We already use many of these software tools without giving it much thought, Microsoft Word Documents, Apple Works, Excel, the Internet, email, blogs, wiki spaces, and SMART boards. All five types of software can easily be incorporated into a lesson. Beginning with the students introduction to the lesson, the use of Problem-Solving and Educational software could be used as an effective and engaging way to teach the subject matter. Including the use of games, simulations, tutorials, and drill and practice software all could be integrated into the lesson plan easily, especially if there is a computer lab or laptops available for all students. Secondly, with the use of search engines on the Internet which is Research software the class can further their knowledge on the subject at hand. While on the Internet, students would then be able to use Communication software to share, comment, and educate their classmates. Students could use a discussion board, a blog, or wiki space to facilitate this process. Lastly, with the use of presentation software like PowerPoint, which is in the category of Productivity software, this can be used as an assessment tool for the students to create a final project on all of the information they have gained. Obviously this would be a lot of work for a Kindergartner, however my daughter created a PowerPoint presentation in 2nd grade and a wiki space in 3rd grade. These software teaching tools can be implemented at an early age.

So the question arises as to why a fourth-grade student should learn to use a spreadsheet, database, or video editing software. First and foremost we must educate our youth to be successful in our technologically advanced world. A fourth grader is competent to understand and perform these functions on a computer. The textbook describes how spreadsheets allow students to perform calculations and create graphs with the information they have gathered. The spreadsheet software will display patterns and trends that the student can then analyze. Databases are fast and efficient ways for students to retrieve information that has been stored. Rather than going through page after page of written notes, one can manipulate the database with the simple click of the mouse. This process could then be recorded using digital video editing and uploaded to the class website. The use of spreadsheets, databases, and digital video editing in a fourth grade classroom is in alignment with the ISTE NETS and meets the NC DPI Essential Standard 4.TT.1.2.

Lastly we are asked how the use of different types of software can help improve scores on state tests? The text uses renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader (AR) as an example of educational software that can help with test scores. This software is used at my children's school, Hillsborough Elementary, and I remember the first conference I had with Mackenzie's third grade teacher and she showed me this print out from AR. I was not only impressed that such software existed but the range of information available to me, the parent to see my daughter's progress. The use of AR in the classroom while preparing for End of Grade (EOG)tests makes perfect sense to me on many levels. Not only does the use of AR in a computer lab offer the teacher efficient classroom management, each individual students are being met at the same time therefore receiving one on one attention through the computer and its integrated software. The state of North Carolina has proposed the use of computers for testing in the near future. I have linked the information below.

Computerized Adaptive Testing

In the last year, the use of Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT), a testing system that provides a customized assessment for each student based upon his/her level of knowledge and skills, has become a subject of many state and national conversations. As states seek to provide more and better data to enhance classroom instruction, the CAT seems to be a compelling tool. Data from CAT could provide more precise information than traditional tests about which concepts a student has mastered versus those for which the student needs additional instruction.
The multi-state SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium - of which North Carolina is a governing state - has placed Computerized Adaptive Testing as a central component of its proposed assessment system for the Race to the Top Assessment Grant. If the grant proposal is accepted, member states will have the option to implement the CAT system fully online in the 2014-15 school year or use a comparable paper and pencil assessment. Starting in the 2016-17 school year, all member states will have to use the fully online system. The NCDPI released a report to the Board that discusses the benefits and challenges related to implementing a Computerized Adaptive Testing system in North Carolina. It can be found on the ACRE website under Resources and Publications at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/resources/.



Morrison, G.R., & Lowther, D.L. (2010) Integrating computer technology into the classroom, skills for the 21st century. (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson

North Carolina state Board of Education (2010) Computerized Adaptive Testing. retrieved from

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chapter 3 Reflections

We are asked "Why is it important to learn about different technology tools when they are constantly changing?" As an educator it is our responsibility to be informed and stay current with all different types of tools used within our classroom and subject area. As for technology and its forward momentum, we can use these tools to be more effective and efficient teachers. Our students come from a generation that will most likely not remember cassette tapes, VHS tapes, fax machines, and even film! This generation of 21st century learners are digital learners and will need us to be their guides and mentors to teach them how to be competitive in their future college and career opportunities.

The different technology tools described in the text, Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom written by Gary Morrison and Deborah Lowther are computers, mobile devices, peripherals, and data storage. Each one of these tools has its place and function in the classroom. I think we see the most change happening with mobile devices. Now we can have a digital camera, voice recorder, media player, video recorder, e-books, GPS navigation, and a personal data assistant all in one on an iPad or similar tablet. With the use of a word processing app, in addition to peripherals including speakers, a microphone, and a wireless printer, these tablets could very well replace the use of laptops in the classroom.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using both a desktop computer and mobile devices within the classroom. As for the students use of a desktop computer it provides a larger monitor therefore more students can participate in the lesson. Even though desktop computers are "immobile and heavy" (p.67) with a SMART board the teacher can still reach the whole class with interactive software and programs. It is actually better to have a stable computer while using the SMART board. Laptops are "an excellent option to provide Internet access to a classroom that normally does not have access." (p.62) Wireless computers are also smaller so they can be easily stored and moved throughout a school building. According to the Table found on p. 67 of the textbook, the cons of using laptops in schools are that they can be easily damaged, stolen, and have a short battery life. So the question still remains as to why a teacher should use both in the classroom. In my opinion the teacher can easily use a laptop for their word processing, communications, and Internet use while students in the early grades would be more successful with desktop computers. In the upper grades, students needs would be facilitated by the use of a laptop or tablet.

With tablets, such as the iPad, kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy hitting our technology market in the United States these digital devices can perform a multitude of functions and therefore would justify the cost of the device. There would be no need to purchase digital voice recorders, GPS navigation receivers, digital media recorders, digital cameras, or personal data assistants because all of these functions would be provided with the use of a tablet. As with any major purchase, the school would need to conduct research on the cost per pupil, compatibility with other software programs, consumer reports, and if the product would best serve its students and teachers. In my opinion, the cost of digital devices can be justified by the learning experience it gives our youth. As a generation of learners who are witnessing technology advancements at a rapid pace we must provide them with the information and opportunities to be successful as they venture into college and the work force.

One to One Iniative in Orange County

Below is the facebook feed from Orange County Schools announcing its new one- to -one proposal!

There is also a link to an article from our local newspaper, The News of Orange.

Orange County Schools, NC
District adopts one-to-one proposal. The demonstration at the Orange County Board of Education’s Tuesday, Jan. 17, meeting showed off the proposed one-to-one laptop initiative. The program, a partnership between the school system and hardware giant Lenovo, would put computers in the hands of students and teachers throughout the district.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chapter 6 Reflections

Having access to the web allows me to communicate effectively through email. Whether its related to my job, volunteer organizations, or socially I can quickly reach a lot of people at once. With the ability to attach files and pictures, receive invoices, register my kids for sports, and meanwhile cutting back on paper the web has provided me with fast communication. Also using a reliable search engine allows me to receive a lot of information. I have also found that saving documents online is an effective tool found on the web as well.

I find that it is easy to manage students use of the web at my school and within my classroom due to the Student Code of Conduct and the parent consent form that all students and parents have signed. The students have an understanding that the computers and the internet should be treated with respect and used for school work only. With constant monitoring this has not been an issue in my experiences as a substitute teacher and art teacher.

My most used feature of the web is email. I am also a big fan of itunes.com, amazon.com, and social media including facebook, and pinterest. When I was selling my jewelry online I had an account with etsy.com and a blog.

Chapter 2 Reflections

As a K-5 art teacher, the planning of an integrated lesson comes easily because I already have the obvious hands- on aspect of learning by using different materials and tools to create works of art. There is also the project-based approach that is implemented with each lesson. The integration of using computers to help solve a problem would be a new and interesting concept for both me and my students. As the text states " The next step in the design of the integrated lesson is specifying a problem the students will investigate and solve as part of the instructional process." (p.34) I have many thoughts and ideas of how to incorporate a problem into my lessons. For example, take color theory. My students could become detectives searching for famous color theorists, then famous art critics by critiquing the works of art and polling other students, then creating graphs with their new found information, and finally presenting there findings in a newspaper or art magazine to be shared with the class!

All teachers need objectives to serve as the basic structure in their planning and lesson development. The objective is the goal we are striving to teach our students. These objectives should be communicated to the class in a student-friendly language, so everyone is standing on common ground and has a clear picture of what is expected of them to not only learn but retain.

First and foremost, the student must be engaged from the start of the lesson! Having interesting lesson topics that include current issues and/or the student can personally make a connection with the material will be key during the processing of the information. If using a student- centered learning approach with a NTeQ lesson plan one would hope the students would be engaged since they are solving the problem at hand and gathering the pertinent information through the use of a computer. Once the problem at hand has been solved, the students will need to present this information to the class and teacher. This is a fundamental part of the processing of information. The text gives examples of having students use desktop publishing techniques, video presentations, publish results on a blog or in a wiki, or even a slide show. (p.43) Creating this final presentation will allow the student to further process the information by teaching others what they have learned.

Personally, I would use a different lesson plan when using the computers with my students. Being a new teacher I would not be ready to just add in the computer portion to an existing lesson plan. I have created lesson plans centered around Power Points that I have created for the students to learn about different media, and have used websites for interactive learning. At this point if I am going to introduce computers into my classroom as a true learning tool I would definitely create new lessons for the objective I was teaching. Now that I have learned about the NTeQ model, I will try it out with our new Common Core curriculum.

According to the text, once "you have defined your objectives, you need to determine if there is a match between an objective and a computer function." (p.33) Therefore in a kindergarten art class if the objective is to teach the basic elements of art; line, shape, color, texture; I may search for software that would allow the students to use a computer to experiment with the different types of lines and shapes we can draw.

I would not use a computer with the students for every lesson but I definitely do a lot of online research for lesson plans and examples of artists work to share with the students. As for meeting objectives, I would incorporate the use of computers at in lessons to better prepare our youth for the 21st century.

Morrison, G.R & Lowther, D.L (2010) Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom
(4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson education, Inc.

Chapter 1 Reflections

In response to the first reflection from Chapter 1, I do not think teachers have to use an inquiry-based learning approach to use computers as a tool within their classrooms. There are different teaching styles and some may be more creative than others with their use of computers in the classroom. However the student- centered learning practices; inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning make it simpler for the teacher to integrate the use of computers into their lesson. Ultimately these approaches combined with the NTeQ (iNtegrating Technology for inQuiry) lesson plan model will be of great guidance for a teacher who is implementing the use of computers in his or her classroom.

Being an elementary art teacher, my lessons are mostly project-based. This chapter helped me to recognize the difference of

"When students use computers to
retrieve, evaluate, and manipulate real-world
information to solve a meaningful problem, they
not only increase their 21st-century skills, but
also gain a deeper understanding of core content.
on the other hand, when technology is used to
deliver instruction, 21st-century skills are not
required and the context is less authentic and
focused more on retention of facts or procedural
knowledge. (p.4)

A light bulb when off in my head after reading this passage. I am guilty of using my laptop and projector (we do not have SMART boards in the charter school where I work) to show the children examples of art but never thought of having them do a search to find a 21st century painter! I recently just finished an Op Art lesson with my fifth graders where they were to create their own optical illusion with the use of complementary colors. Next year, we will do our research on optical illusions via Internet and use a computer program to create the optical illusions.

Secondly, I do think teachers can use tutorials and drill-and-practice software to help deliver some of the material to their students. The drill-and-practice technique does enable the students to become more comfortable with using a computer. I think we assume most children have played on a computer but this is simply not true with such diverse populations in our society. After the delivery of some information through tutorials or other software, one can continue on and use a student-centered method to allow the students to then take control of their learning with the use of computers.

As for taking a great deal of time to develop these units of instruction, of course it will be time consuming but worth it. Revamping some lesson plans to give your students a more integrated way of learning with the use of technology in the classroom will be rewarding for both students and teachers. Currently, the elementary, middle school and high school educators of North Carolina are "unpacking' the essential standards within the Common Core curriculum, a brand new curriculum being implemented across the United States. Although this change surmounts to a lot of work for the teachers and staff within a school, it is a great opportunity to ensure quality education by examining the fine details of the essential standards and transforming them into student- friendly language. With the use of technology while implementing the new Common Core curriculum, we will be educating our youth for the 21st century.

Lastly, every student will not need a computer to gain the rewards of a student-centered learning approach. It is unreasonable to think that every child in every school would have access to a personal computer at all times. With the use of group work and centers, and/or a SMART board or a laptop and projector, a one computer classroom can reach all its students by using that computer as an essential tool in learning.

Morrison, G.R. & Lowther, D.L. (2010). Integrating Computer Technology into the Classroom: Skills for the 21st Century(4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.