Monday, April 25, 2011


NETS-T: 1,2,3
Here is my outline, made with Inspiration, for the narratives for TaskStream.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Journal #9: Teaching Green (NETS-T:1,2,3,4)

Waters, J. (2011). Teaching green. The Journal, 38(4), Retrieved from

With our numerous advances in energy conservation, teaching “green” has become an integral part of education.  Taking care of the world we live in is an important part of our wellbeing and teaching students about energy conservation, how to think “green,” and respect the environment has proven to be imperative and necessary.  In his article, “Teaching Green,” John Waters explores some of the many online tools available to teachers and educators on teaching students about the environment. While some of the sites like and can be used to engage and inform high school students on issues surrounding the environment, other websites like “EEK!” and can provide environmentally informative fun and interactive activities for younger students.  Also, Waters mentions the online Environmental Protection Agency Teaching Center, which provides tons of background information, lesson plans, and ideas for integrating environmental education with everyday curriculum.
Question 1: Explore each of the websites. Which one could you see yourself using in your classroom? Why?  I could definitely see myself using EEK! The website had an incredible amount of activities and lesson plans for teachers to follow. I thought it was awesome! Also, I could see myself utilizing many of the resources on the EPA’s website. The Youtube channel seems super interesting!

Question 2: How would you incorporate environmental education with your subject matter?  Tying mathematics and environment education would be fun! I would use example of carbon footprints, waste, and clean air composition while teaching ratios and then using results to form graphs or equations. Also, exploring the output/input of solar energy to build algebraic formulas.

Journal #8: Point/Counterpoint: Should Schools Be Held Responsible for Cyberbullying? (NETS-T:4,5)

Bogacz, R., & Gordillo, M. (2011). Should schools be responsible for cyberbullying?. Learning and Leading with Technology, 36(6), Retrieved from  

With the freedom and ease of the internet and technology today, cyberbullying has become a prominent issue surrounding both home and school environments. Generally, the schools have been held responsible for bullying because it happens during school, but who is held responsible when the bullying moves from the home to school, and from computer to computer? The article, presents two viewpoints surrounding schools and cyberbullying. Renee Bogacz believes that schools should most definitely be held responsible for cyberbullying. Teachers and administrators must educate themselves, their students and their parents, about cyberbullying and then reinforce these ideas, insisting that all "educational stakeholders" must work together to stop cyberbullying. On the other hand, Miguel Gordillo believes that it is society and the families involved that should be held responsible for cyberbullying. He asserts that while the school can be held responsible for educating and teaching about cyberbullying, the root of the problems starts at home, and ultimately, it is the responsibility of the parents to provide a loving and healthy home life to deter students from cyberbullying.

Question 1: Considering the viewpoints presented in the article, whom do you think should be held responsible for cyberbullying? I believe, like Gordillo states, that bullying starts at home, but like Bogacz says, it affects the school environment. I don’t think that either party should be held completely responsible.  I think that educators should both inform and deal with issues surrounding cyberbullying but the real problem begins at home and it will take some major changes in society as a whole to prevent cyberbullying. 

Question 2: Do you think that restricting sites and keeping a close eye on students will prevent cyberbulling? I that if a child wants to or feels the need to bully, he/she will, no matter what.  As educators, I think it important that we educate rather than restrict. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Journal #7: My Personal Learning Network

             The concept of a PLN, or personal learning network, is to build a collaborative community that pinpoints or specifies ideas or information in which you are interested. With my PLN, I am essentially building a collaborative network that goes beyond the grounds of a school. I can branch out and access websites or blogs discussing relevant topics or lesson plans, talk to teachers from across the world and create a digital community related to teaching concepts or strategies. These networks become a way to consistently learn and develop your resources as a teacher. 
Twitter, is a website which provides a forum for people to chat in real-time, and to  “tweet” information.  With my twitter, I was able to follow people, who “tweeted” about things that I was interested in. I found these people through educational chats and through other people within my network.  Through both #mathchat and #edchat, I was able to follow people interested in both mathematics and teaching. I targeted people through their short profiles, conversations and participations in chats, and through their tweets and retweets. I participated in the #mathchat, and I must say it was incredibly cool. The conversation was about how to connect geometry through real applications in the classroom. I learned so much and felt so connected with the people involved in the chat.  These chats are a great concept for teachers because they provide a way to branch out, share ideas, and further their own education.
My diigo turned out to be an incredible learning tool.  Through the people I followed (mostly mathematics educators) I was able to find so many different resources for education. Getting started was tough, but after exploring a bit, I couldn’t stop adding sites and following people! Also, I joined a few groups. These were incredibly informative and led me to even more resources and people to follow! The pages that I tagged PLN, were mainly pages or blogs about how to utilize twitter and how to build and get the most out of your PLN.  I found these pages through both my group and my network. In the future, these pages will help me to keep building my PLN.
Last, but certainly not least, I became a member of classroom2.0, a digital discussion forum.  This forum is a space for teachers around the world to gather and post relevant information and tools having to do with teaching and technology. It provides a way for teachers to connect, explore new ideas, and build their PLN.  As a member, I was able to access a variety of teacher’s blogs, create my own profile, watch videos and read relevant articles.  While exploring the site, I watch a video about a website called TenMarks. The video was very informative. I had actually heard about TenMarks from a website that was bookmarked in my Diigo network. It really showed how a PLN can be an excellent way to pinpoint all things you are interested in.
I had a great time building my PLN. I especially enjoyed exploring Diigo, I think it provides a perfect way for teachers to share resources and information all the time. Also, the twitter chat was fun and really made me realize benefits of creating a community and connecting with others.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Journal #6: Building Your PLN (NETS-T:3,5)

Warlick, D. (2009). Growing your personal learning network. Learning and Leading with Technology, 36(6), Retrieved from 
Connecting with people and information is an important part of being a teacher.  Build a PLN, or personal learning network, can is a way to gather information and connect with teachers and educators across the world.  In his article, David Warlick, explains how to actively and effectively build your PLN through three different avenues: personally maintained synchronous connections, personally and socially maintained semisynchronous connections, and dramatically maintained asynchronous connections. While personally maintained synchronous connections include the basics like ichat, and instant message to connect to people already in your network, personally and socially maintained semisynchronous connections provide your PLN with collaboration that does not have to happen in real time and can happen across different avenues and happen while connecting or doing something else. Dynamically maintained asynchronous connection, on the other hand, allow us to connect with information. Warlick explains the importance of organizing and gathering the information you want through an RSS aggregator. In this sense, you are able to "sick back and relax," and let the information come to you.  Most importantly, Warlick explains that building your PLN takes responsibility and constant gathering and learning.

Question 1: How would you use the concept of a PLN in the classroom? I would, most importantly, use my PLN to gather information and others ideas to keep my classroom interesting and up-to-date. Also, helping students build their own PLN with their peers and and with information involving what topics we are covering in class.

Question 2: How would you avoid getting caught up in the mess of PLNs? I would, as Warlick explains, stay responsible and aware of the time spent on my PLN. Also, I would invest in a good RSS aggregator and constantly check in with the information I have been gathering.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Journal #4: It's Time to Trust Teachers with the Internet (NETS-T: 4,5)

Schaffhauser, D. (2010, December 1). It's time to trust teachers with the internet:a conversation with meg ormiston. Retrieved from 

Teaching in the 21st century has become technological. In order to maximize student learning, it is pertinent to not only utilize technological tools but to also teach students how to use these tools. In her interview, Meg Ormiston discusses the importance of trusting teachers to use technology efficiently within the classroom. With the openness of the Internet, many administrators and districts put up blockers to certain websites deemed unsuitable for students. Although some blockers are absolutely necessary and reasonable, many administrators put up blockers everywhere, restricting sites that may enhance and increase student learning. Ormiston states, “Every time we get one of these new tools, we have an opportunity to engage students. That's what it's about. It's not about locking things behind the gate. It's about appropriate engagement.” We must trust teacher to both use and teach students how to appropriately use the Internet. If schools allow both teachers and students to successfully use the Internet, the opportunities for learning become endless.

Question 1: Is it appropriate and necessary to block all social networking sites (e.g. facebook, myspace, twitter, blogger, etc.)? I do not think this is necessary at all.  Seen in class, teachers can effectively utilize these websites to actually help and increase student learning. Yes, there are many ways in which students can ineffectively use these sites, but I believe that if the teacher presents knows how to appropriately use these sites, there should be a minimal amount of issues.

Question 2: What do you think is the best way to teach and employ “appropriate engagement” within the classroom? Blockers? Limited access? I think the best the best way is to teach the students responsible ways to utilize the Internet and to have them understand that while they are at school they must be appropriate. Also, presenting the internet as a privilege which is not to be abused will help to make students more responsible.