Sunday, November 27, 2011

Journal #9

"Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe"
Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from

This article Reading redefined for a transmedia universe, by Annette Lamb discusses the idea of how times have changed and how that's had an impact on books and the way we read books nowadays. She claims its all thanks to the new definition of what a book is, "a published collection of related pages or screens". Taken from this concept new and improved variations of reading have evolved. For example now a days there exists new technology such as E-books, that not only allow you to read like a traditional book but one is also able to highlight within the book and have access to the dictionary all making it easier for a better reading experience. Annetter Lamb also talks about interactive storybooks which allow students to follow along as the story is ready out loud by the device. I found this to be a very good tool specially since she states how these story books can be very beneficial to beginning readers, students with special needs as well as English Language Learners since you're listening to the words and how they are pronounced. Hypertexts and interactive fiction is also discussed within the article. This are text with nonlinear narratives, individuals who chose this alternatives are empowered by the many options that this type of environment provide, on the other side some users may become lost given the lack of beginning, middle, and end. Overall I found this article to be very educational, there are many tools out there that can enhance learning in students, however as it was mentioned in the article its important that students understand the importance on knowing how to evaluate information and distinguish fact from fiction as reading continues to expand from the conventional book to more advanced technology.
Question 1
How would you incorporate a type of transmedia within your classroom?
I would very likely use the interactive storybooks because of their very many positive effects on students. Since I'm looking forward to working with students that are English Language Learners, I think using storybooks can be very beneficial for my students as they learn to pronounce words properly, or they can highlight words they have difficulty understanding. Perhaps I would divide my students in sections and spend a certain part of our week on storybooks.
Question 2
What do you think about this new way of reading?
I think all the new technology that is developing is a very positive thing. Is creating new ways for students to engage in reading, which to my believe is not something many students like to do. By creating things like e-books or interactive storybooks, is giving students a more hands-on experience as they read. As it was mentioned within the article one third of young people in a study said that they would read more books for fun if they had access to e-books.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Journal #8- Communication & Accessibility


Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), is defined as all the forms of communication, except for oral speech that are used to express needs, wants, thoughts, or ideas, for example facial expressions gestures, symbols, pictures, or written words, things we deal with on a daily basis. Individuals with severe speech or language problems depend on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. There are many special augmentative aids nowadays that help increase school performance among students with disability.
Low Tech
Hip Talk Communication Aid is a type of AAC; it gives people with speech disabilities a "voice" by allowing them to communicate through messages that are pre-recorded. Some features include: creative learning tools for teaching expressive language and cognitive skills. The Hip-Step Talker, one of the very many communication aids, can be used for a number of different purposes within a classroom: sequencing; testing; instructions; multiplication; memorization; or medical instructions.

High Tech
Proloquo2Go is another type of AAC. Proloquo2Go is for individuals who have difficulty speaking. It provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices, high resolution up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, advanced word prediction, full expandability and extreme ease of use. This High-tech tool is recommended it for children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS, stroke or traumatic brain injury.

 Input devices are defined as something you use to put in information into an information processing system (computer) such as a keyboard or mouse. This can be found in different forms like a software or hardware.

The orbiTouch Keyless Keyboard is a type of input device hardware that allows for typing without finger, wrist, or shoulder motion. It’s a fully functional keyboard with an integrated mouse that eliminates finger motion and reduces wrist motion. The orbiTouch it’s useful for people with upper extremity disabilities such as repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, cumulative trauma disorders, and other injuries and conditions. This would be a great tool for students that suffer from of those disabilities within a classroom.

Kurzweil 1000 is a software input device that makes printed or electronic text accessible to blind and low vision people. This tool turns text into synthesized speech. It can work great inside classrooms since you can can bookmark, make notes, skim or summarize text to aid mastery of concepts and details, modify reading speed, pitch, and emphasis to suit specific preferences and purposes. Another features include retrieving information online with features that simplify locating electronic books and magazines, and even encyclopedia articles from the Web.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Journal #7-My Personal Learning Network - NETS-T V

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A Personal Learning Network (PLN), consists of learners from different parts of the world who interact with each other by sharing knowledge such as significant information or ideas that consequently contribute to one’s professional development. The virtual educational tools that have helped me create my PLN are Twitter, an online social networking and micro blogging service, Diigo, a social bookmarking website that allows users to bookmark and tag websites, Google+, a social networking,  and Ning, an online platform for individuals and organizations to create custom social networks. My PLN will help me as a future teacher by allowing me to obtain access to relevant information that will facilitate my goal of providing my students with educational and innovative ways to learn.
Becoming a member of Twitter allowed me to come in contact with any individual that I may be interested in; simply by following them and making them part of my social network. The people I chose to follow aside from my classmates and professor are individuals that seem to share some of my same educational interests, or individuals whose career path I would like to someday go through: Monica Benner, a Spanish immersion teacher, Kristen, a high school Spanish teacher and a mom, Michelle Horst, a new teacher seeking opportunities for employment and collaboration, Melanie Tolan, a 2010 California Teacher of the Year committed to helping students be successful in school, Alice Irwin, a kindergarten teacher interested in connecting with other teachers, and Garry Dillard, an educator who teaches high school Spanish.
Twitter also allows you to be participate in live chats and on Saturday, 11/5/11 at 7pm, I took part of a #elemchat discussion whose topic was “Creating a culture of thinking in our classrooms”. Although I didn’t contribute to the conversation it was very fascinating to see how people all over took the time to engage in this chat and discuss ways that critical thinking can be applied inside a classroom. Throughout the hour about ten questions were asked by a same individual relevant to the topic and everyone else seemed to try to answer the questions.  At times it was a little overwhelming having multiple tweets coming at once and struggling to read them all. My overall experience was positive and hopefully with time I would feel comfortable to share my thoughts inside a live chat.
As previously mentioned Diigo is another one of my educational tools that has helped my PLN grow by allowing me to bookmark and tag-websites, however it also serves as a social network given its ability to share what I have bookmarked and tagged with people inside my network. Much like my network within Twitter, the individuals I chose to follow were based upon similarity of interest: Amy Lenord, a high school Spanish teacher, Elle Deyamport, a Gifted Education teacher interested in multicultural education and technology integration in the classroom. Jose Picardo, a high school Spanish teacher interested in e-learning, Leigh Murrell Spanish teacher that works in the Educational Technology department, and lastly Sra. Hache another Spanish teacher. The sites I tagged “PLN” with because of their content in regards to the subject were Using Twitter in Classrooms and for Professional Development, and How to Use Twitter to Grow Your PLN | Edutopia, which dealt with how Twitter can be used within classrooms and for professional growth, and I also tagged The Innovative Educator: 5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network, which described in very much detail five things to develop PLN.
In addition to Twitter and Diigo, I became a member of a digital discussion forum or Ning, Educators PLN.  Unlike many other educational virtual tools, you have to be approved to become a member of Educators PLN. Once approved, I was able to explore videos, articles and blogs that run in a collaborative manner. The blog I chose to explore was Supporting New Teachers: What have you done for them lately? This blog discussed various ideas of what current teacher have done or can do to create a better environment for new teachers, for example creating support groups for new teachers, as well as leading by example.

Journal #6

"Google+: The Complete Guide" & "Educators-Google plus is for you"

Parr, B. (2011, July 16). Google+: The complete guide. Retrieved from

Brogan, C. (2011, Sept 30). Educators – Google Plus is for you. Retrieved from

The article Google+: The Complete Guide, talks about the new "hot social network" around, Google+. It goes into great detail about the tremendous competition is has established against Facebook. What appears to differentiate Google+ against competitors is the many features it has. The article contains and extensive guide on Google+' main features as well as an overview of the service and the important things users need to know about it. Some of the features of Google+ are Stream, which is like newsfeed, Sparks, a recommendation engine, Hangouts, a video chat service, Circles, a friend management service, as well as Games and Photos. What the article wants to make sure users know is that Google+ is a project in process, in other words it's far from being complete or finished and that there is still room for improvement.

The article, Educators-Google+ is for you, emphasises on the reason why Google+ is such a great virtual tool for Educators to use and get involved with when it comes to their profession, especially since its free and available to anyone. There are various examples given of how an educator can use certain features within Google+, for example creating circles and sharing lesson plans within these circles. Leaving questions and comments, or creating hangouts among many other features.

Question 1
Do you agree with the statement indicating that Google+ is the new hot social network around? Explain why.
After having read the articles it seems that Google+ does contain many more interesting and useful features than other current social network competitors. I would have to agree that Google+ is the new hot social network around, with what was described within the article it appears to be more accessible and very flexible for users. Although as it was mentioned in the article,a downfall to some extent is that there may be too much within Google+ that perhaps some users will not be able to discover the very many features that exist within Google+.

Question 2
Out the several features that were described within the article Educators-Google+ is for you, which one would you like to include within your classroom and why?
Out of the many features that were described within the articles I am very certain that I will  be using the feature Circles, within my classroom. This feature can help me interact with my students at a more higher level. I can make accessible to them way more information than the one I am limited within classroom hours, also they can also provide the class with information that they may think is relevant to our classroom.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Journal #4-NETS-T 2a

"Its in the bag"
 Basham, J. D., Perry, E., & Meyer, H. (2011). It's in the bag. Learning and Leading with Technology39(2), 24-27. Retrieved from  

In the article "It's in the bag", the authors describe a possible solution to the problem various schools seem to face in regards to helping their students obtain a better education and being able to meet the NETS-S. The solution the article describes is technology, they describe a digitial backpack they've created that allows students to engage in problem based learning. This digital backpack is designed for all types of learners, it is also composed of three main components that lets teachers easily adapt to increase students understanding in different curricular areas, these are; foundational technology, modular technology, instructional support materials.
Reading the article was very educational because the digital backpack was a good way to portray how we can use the many technology tools available today. I liked how it illustrated the different settings of how this digital backpack was put at use thoughout different grade levels. Although, this idea seems very limited since not all school districts have the posibility to obtain all the technological equipments mentioned in the article.

Question 1
What are some down sides about the digital backpack?
As mentioned earlier if there is not money to afford the equipment included in this backbacks most likely districts from lower socio-economic areas will not be able to afford the digital backpack. Also, for students in elementary school this idea may not be so easy to manage physically since it may cause some difficulty carrying this loaded backpack.

Question 2
Describe how you would implement this tool in your classroom.
For my elementary students maybe I would not call it a backpack but rather a bag that would only be used inside the classroom and each day I would select a student that be in charge in using the equipment and the rest of the class will then engage in the activity after. For example having a student  taking pictures of the different types of flowers found within the school, then as a class we would all be able to download the pictures and create a chart using out Ipad of the different groups of plants.

Journal #3- NETS-T 4c.

"Students dig up dirt to learn about Internet safety"

Morehouse, J. (2011). Students dig up dirt to learn about internet safety. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(2), 34-35. Retrieved from

The article, “Students dig up dirt, to learn about Internet safety” by author Jesse Morehouse talks about the danger of what it means to have our personal information be around the Internet and how that can be positive or negative. In this case, the professor was able to teach his kids how cautious we all have to be now a days while posting our personal information on the various social networks that exist today. He was able to use technology as his tool and demonstrate in a way that all his students were able to connect and familiarized their selves with.  With the way technology is growing we have to inform each other of the possible danger than can come, because just as some people use technology to their advantage to do good, others use technology to their advantage to cause harm on other people and putting your information on the web for anyone to see is a real risk. I didn’t even know how easy it is to find information about people prior to reading this article. I liked how he also mentioned the fact that even parents were asking a copy of those safe guidelines. This was definitely lesson for everyone to get something out of.

Question 1
What age do you think is appropriate for students/kids to start having their very own personal social network account and why?
I believe that a student not a kid should have his very own personal account when he or she is able to comprehend the implications that come with creating his account. He or she should understand the safety guidelines mentioned in Morehouse’s journal  and know the various ways that he or she can protect itself from possible harm. They should also know that whatever gets posted on the Internet is an open window for other people to find that and that will give them a sense of responsibility as they become of age and start making choices, and good or bad those choices will have a consequence.

Question 2
What can a teacher candidate learn about Mr. Morehouse’s safety lesson?
I think the most important thing a teacher candidate can obtain from the journal is the idea that we have to measure the actions and choices we make, since it can all be found via Internet one way or another. A teacher is a role model, ones’ actions have a great impact on a students life and poor choices can come in conflict with this idea. Not only students but also as he mentions in his article it can limit job opportunity if there is negative information about a teacher circulating on the Internet.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Journal # 2- NETS-T 5a.

"Join the Flock"
Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(8), 12-14. Retrieved from

In her article, "Join the Flock",  Hadley Ferguson discusses the idea of how twitter can be a great tool for one's Personal Learning Network (PLN), as she describes it twitter is a "virtual meeting place". She goes into great detail and describes how twitter has come to enhance her teaching career. She describes the many details that twitter has and how she was able to increase her social network through twitter. The author informs the reader of various ways to expand through twitter. For example she gives the advice to change ones picture so it can be more personalized, or to also start following other people and that way more people will follow you as a result. The article appears to be an invitation to be part of this great opportunity that twitter came out to be for the author, Hadley Ferguson.


Question 1
After reading about the author's experience with twitter, would that have motivated you to create your own twitter account? Why or why not?
After reading Ferguson's experience I would have definitely created an account and used twitter the same way the author did. Given that we are in the process of becoming teachers twitter can be a great tool for us to communicate with other individuals that are in out position or with current teachers and learn about the teaching methods they are applying within their classroom. We are lucky to be living through a generation where we can use technology as our allied and socialize with people all over the world and be able to find new ways to improve ourselves as teachers, so why not take advantage of that?

"Enhance your twitter experience" 
McClintock, S. (2010). Enhance your twitter experience. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(8), 14-17. Retrieved from

Just like the title of the article depics it, with this article Shannon McClintock takes us in a much deeper journey exploring many of the other sources that we can find and use through twitter. For example she informs us that we can create a personalized list, or that there is such thing as a twitter organizer in order to make things more visualy clear. Also the idea of creating a discussion forum using hashtags. Throughout this whole article there is also a whole new vocabulary that has been created only within a few years. New concepts such as hashtags, retweet, mistweet,microblog, among others are mentioned, that perhaps to some people it doesn't really make any sense, but as she mentioned it once you become acquinted it is all very easy to explore and learn new things.

Question 2
Among the may resources within twitter that Shannon McClintock mentioned which one would you definately make of use and why?
I would use the twitter organizer because I believe it would make my life easier and as she mentioned it there is so much information that can be obtained through twitter that it be a nice tool to be organized and know where I can find any type of information in a very easy manner rather than having things pile up and not know where to look.