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Feb. 4 - Introduction to and perspectives on ET/IT, How is teaching and learning different with technology/media?


1.In Chapter 1, "A School District in Transition" describes Concord, New Hampshire's public school systems. While reading about the large amount of technology used in these schools, I wonder if the amount is too much? The idea of having digitized texts which allow a computer to read the text aloud can definitely be beneficial to students who struggle with reading. At the same time, I feel this could be an easy way out of having to read for students who have the ability but are simply lazy. With this kind of technology, will libraries even be necessary in the future?

2. In Educational Technology in Context, under "What is 'Educational Technology'?" a 1970 Commission on Instructional Technology defines educational technology as "a systematic way of designing, carrying out, and evaluating the total process of learning and teaching...". In the education program, I am learning a new way of teaching known as constructivism. With this, teachers act more as a guide, allowing students to make discoveries, in turn guiding their own learning. While I believe technology is useful in some situations, I do not think education should revolve around it. By refering to intructional technology as "the total process of learning and teaching", is too much emphasis being placed on technology?

Gina Pagliaccetti



1. In Chapter 1, under the heading, "The Opportunity: New Brain Research and New Technologies", it talks about how some students with disabilities do exceptional using a technological tool, such as a computer., in comparison to, for example, a textbook.  It this is true, would it be possible that the students considered to be disabled now, not be disabled, but merely different types of learners?

2. On page 5 of the Educational Technology, under the heading, "Teachers Always Will Be More Important Than Technology", reading it talks about how teachers will not be replaced by computers.  That may be true, but it does say that with the rise of technology teachers who understand the technology being used in the classroom, will be needed more so than teachers who do not.  My question is, with the economy the way it is and the educational budget constantly being cut,, what will happen to the teachers from older generations, not ready for retirement, who are not familiar with the new technology like the younger teachers are?

Lisa Wojcik :)



Figure 1.4 talks about how "practitioners say that technology can motivate students" I think that this is only partially true. I don't necessarily tend to get motivated when I know I have to sit through a PowerPoint presentation of twenty or more slides that the teacher is just reading off of.

2. What type of role, if any, can new technologies such as ipods, cell phones with internet and email capabilites, or even high definition televisions bring to the classroom?


3. Technology is clearly limited to certian schools on the basis of economic status. It can be assumed that students priorites that go to these schools, isn't about learning how to use technology, and could be on other factors. How can a teacher get these types of students interested in technology if it isn't really that appealing to them.


Jon Scharff


Question 1: Even though I think that integrating technology is a great idea to aid in new learning for students, I do not understand exactly how to integrate the same technology information for all students. If every student is different and learns differently, how is it possible to teach with the same integration of technology for everyone?

Question 2: I think that integrating technology to help those students who may be second language learners is a great idea; but what happens if that technology is not available in your school and/or the student's home?

~Jen H.


Question 1: The Unplugged article brings up a lot of good points about the disadvantages of depending on the use of technologies, such as computers and calculators in the classroom, but are there really schools that are depending on the use of technology more than traditional methods of teaching? I can't say that I remember being able to use a calculator more than I needed to in school, nor did I use the computer outside of computer class. Have times really changed that much? - Pamela S

Question 2: As I was reading the article, Education in the Digital Age, it made me think about whether it's possible with all of the technolgical advancees, that teachers could one day be replaced by computers. It is possible for teachers to be replaced by computers one day? If so, how would computers accommodate student differences, in respect to the multiple intelligences and learning disabilities? Also, would it be possible for technology to advance enough for computers to respond and answer students' questions? - Pamela S.


Question 1: Although I think that hypertext media can be beneficial in ways that help students internalize the main point of a story or narrative, I wonder if by having hypermedia will students be able to really undestand the parts of a story, in order to understand why certain events occured? This would also apply to different historical events, i.e. if students used hypermedia to understand the main events of WWI will they understand the smaller parts that were the reasons for the main events? Will this cause students to lose important information, or will students only know enough to get by?

Question 2: I understand that there are limited guidlines on where teahcers should integrate technological literacy to prepare students for the workplace, but is technological literacy taking over basic skills instruction in the classroom? Are teachers preparing students more for the workplace and to be more familiar with technology than they are with basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and research?

-Kami B.


Question #1-I understand the idea behind having digital books for kids to read to help them with comprehension and understanding the real meaning of the book, but my concern is will having books digitally that read aloud to them lower students progress in reading because now they will use the books that read to them instead of sitting down and reading a hardcopy book?

Question #2-Will it really be possible in the future for schools to really be advanced technology wise? money is such an issue these days and with everyone talking about technology being used in the schools how can it be possible? what will happen to our schools if every student has a laptop at their desk or everyone reads books digititally?



1. With all the technology these days, howcome they don't come out with special educational coputers or computer programs to be used strictly in the classrom. For example- many internet sites are blocked on school computers, the education system should create a program that doesn't have a "spell check" or doesnt do arithmetic for students, so they are doing all the work and its not having a computer do it for them.

2. Howcome districts and schools just make rules and regulations on how much computer work can be used. Although technology is a good alternative at times, unfortunately, there are many down falls when it comes to reading, arithmetic, etc. Why don't the teachers just make it mandatory to have more written homework and/or projects?

Danielle Plahs


Question 1: All of the readings list some benefits of technology in education, but not all of them seem to agree on when and in what context technology should be used. Should computers be used as an extension of the classroom where students can research more, play educational games, and check their work (through spell check or calculations)? Or, should technology be integrated into the classroom and used along with teacher's instruction to better demonstrate concepts and engage students in learning?

Question 2: Some technologies, such as calculators and computers, allow students to complete assignments with the correct answers without ever actually knowing the material. For example, spell check corrects errors that students may not even realize exist, calculators produce answers when students simply follow the instructions of which buttons to press and do not necessarily require the student to understand the concepts, and the internet gives students access to answers to questions that they may otherwise need to read a book or do an assignment to find. How should teachers determine when it is acceptable to use these technologies and how will they assess what their students actually know versus what answers technology has given them?

-Chrissy C


Question 1: The readings brought up interesting points about the pros and cons of computers in classrooms. In some ways the cons seem to outweigh the benefits...computers thrive on pictures/video rather than reading and literacy, they correct spelling for students, and do arithmatic...how can teacher's avoid these pitfalls and make sure the use of computers is beneficial rather than harmful? -Meghan W.      Question 2: Most elementary schools have Specials...gym, art, library...ect. with each special designated to a certain time and day of the week. Do you think it might be more beneficial to have computer access limited to Specials or should they become prominant within all classrooms over time?- Meghan W.


Question 1: Computers being integrated into the classroom is a rising concern in many schools. Do you think the negatives of a computer being used in the classroom outweigh the postivies for students achievement? - Jenna S.

Question 2:  Students are now being held at general education stanadards in the classroom. Is it fair that students with a wide range of disabilities, difficulties, and behavioral problems be held at almost the same "general education curriculum standard?" - Jenna S.

RESPONSE: I think Jenna brings up a really important question with regard to inclusion in classrooms and academic standards. I work with a little boy who has autism and believe that these students should be given the same learning opportunities as typical students, however, their curriculum NEEDS to be modified accordingly based on their own individual abilities. It would be unfair to hold these students to the same standards as typical students and as future educators we must be able to provide these students with the support they need and give them full and equal opportunities to learn because they deserve it like ever other child.-Meghan W.


Rose & Meyer Chapter 1: The cast.org site presented the text in ways that incorporated the UDL ideas that were being discussed (ex. flexible presentation methods, enhancement tools, learners "actively construct meaning").  What features of the site/text did you use or find useful? --Argie O.

Rose & Meyer Chapter 1: Concord, NH was an example of a district using UDL practices. One way was digitizing curriculum & textbooks.  Cost in time, labor, and dollars not mentioned.  Also not mentioned: Concord district has 11 public schools (total, PreK-12) with an enrollment of approx 5,100.  Compare that to BCPS, with approx 170 schools and enrollment around 104,000.  How feasible is this project for a large district?--Argie O. (Figures came from here and here.)

Gelernter: Article was from 1994, when No Child Left Behind didn't exist, and WWW was beginning.  Would Gelernter be as opposed to tech in classrooms in light of NCLB or the existence of the web?  How would the commentary be different because of NCLB and www?--Argie O.

Gelernter: Said computers should not be treated as "surrogate teachers."  Gave examples of computers detracting from learning instead of enhancing it.  At what point does a computer move from being a teaching method to being a surrogate teacher?--Argie O.

Robyler: Funding was cited as one issue that affects use of tech in education. Remarks about funding seemed focused on capital resources.  What about human resources?  How does integration of tech affect staffing?  Will there ultimately be job creation because of tech integration?  Will there be more than one teacher in a classroom?  What disadvantages are there to students in schools that don't have the human capabilities and resources needed to integrate tech?  Does the digital divide widen?--Argie O.


Reading Questions:


1.  Regarding the Unplugged artice:  In recent years I have read more textbooks that come with some sort of software (usually a cd-rom) or have many links to an interactive website.  At the end of each chapter, or spread throughout each chapter, there is an opportunity to take a break from a book and go to a specific place on the internet to learn more (often through videos, games, soundclips and so on....more engaging!).  Would classroom materials such as those, that combine good reading with good multimedia be a good solution?


2.  Regarding Chapter 1:  There was a point that was made that digitalizing homework/projects can help bridge the gap for students who are learning english as their second language, who do not yet feel comfortable in class discussions,  (or atleast one girl was able to create a picture/cartoon/film about her thought on a selected chapter of Catcher in the Rye). I know that this is a slight point from the reading, but it piqued my interest and  I am curious on people's thoughts of the positive and/or negative effects using computers in classrooms, and as a huge part of assignments can have on ELL students.


---Yael S.



Question 1. All of the readings bring up valuable arguments about the pros and cons of computer technology in the classrooms.  However, it seems as though students are relying more and more on computers for projects, editing, reading, and so on.  It has come so far that computers are now reading to students.  This is a great idea for students with disablilites, but I'm sure it's being taken advantage of.  How are students expected to learn to read, edit their papers, do simple arithmetic, etc when computers are doing it all for them?  I guess what I'm trying to get at is are we relying on computers a little too much? Do you think children now days are not necessarily as intelligent as  those learning without computers?


Question 2. Computers are being brought into the classroom more then ever.  In the article "Educational Technology in Context," it states some of the problems that come along with computers in the room [viruses, programs, taking turns, etc.].  Knowing how much responsiblity and tasks teachers already have to focus on, is it really worth it for them to have this technology in their classes?    Do they even have the choice of having computers in their rooms or incorporating them in their curriculum?


-Kera V.



1. Technology in the classroom provides a means for students to learn and access information in various ways.  This opportunity is great, if the technolgy is availiable.  Understanding that the quality of schools in Maryland range from excellent to unacceptable, should laws be put in place that require technolgy devices be equally distributed throughout Maryland public schools reguardless of how affluent or poverty stricken the surrounding area is?


2. The article " Unplugged" by David Gelernter states that " The computer's potential to do good is modestly greater than a book's in some areas.  Its potential to do harm is vastly greater, across the board."  Based on this statement do you agree that it should be required that software ,such as spell-checkers and caculators, be removed from school computers?  Explain your answer.


**Shana Scott**


Question 1: In what ways should school systems provide teachers with ample instruction to use new and emerging technologies in the classroom? Should the school systems decide what technological advances should/should not be utilized in the classroom?


Question 2: If the computer is capable of nearly as much harm as good, what role should they play in the classroom? How should the use of the computer be regulated throughout different grade levels, and what aspects should be included/excluded?


-David B


Jen Locascio: Question #1- I think that integrating technology in the classroom is a very good idea however I dont understand why teachers would want their students to constantly have access to PC's and laptops all of the time for everything they do in class.  Students already have trouble paying attention in class, why would teacher want technology to constantly take over their classrooms?


Question #2- I think that digitizing classwork is a good idea for some of the work that students complete during class.  However, if the students are using digital technology for everything they do in class such as reading and projects, how are the students going to work on their grammar skills, reading comprehension skills, and writing skills if everything they do is done on the computer?

Feb. 11 - Learning theories


1. The constructivist approach seems that it could be a bit messy in a technology classroom. If everyone is learning based on their previous experiences students are likely to pick up on differnt things. It seems at though this approach could leave some kids with more or less knowledge , after the lesson is over. - Jon Scharff

2. The Behavorist theory suggests that learning can be inferred only by obervable behavior, but if a student is sitting infront of a computer screen not really showing that anything is going on with them, how do we know learning has occoured? - Jon Scharff


1. After reading about the different learning theories, it seems to me that different theories are best used at different times or eclectically. For example, I work with a child who has autism and his therapy is largely based on behaviorism, (i.e. rewarding positive behaviors with preferred stimulus in order to increase that behavior in the future) whereas we are now being taught to use constructivism in schools. I still think eclectic approaches to teaching work most effectively, would you agree or disagree?- Meghan Wilson

2. Where does technology instruction fit in to these learning theories, for instance...if constructivism is now the up and coming theory used in classrooms, how it is possible for students to socially construct knowledge when they are behind a computer desk rather than working hands-on with other students? Also, how can students socially construct knowledge when many computer software does most of the constructing for you? -Meghan Wilson


1. In the TIP model for final project, I am not sure how good an assessment a scavenger hunt is.  I find that that would be a great learning tool, to help student's navigate the sites, but if used as assessment, in my experience, students only look for the answers/information requested for the hunt, and really glaze over everything else.  It is like someone said in class last time about having that ditto when on a field trip, a lot may be lost when all students are focused on are specific answers to specific questions.  I would think that application of knowledge learned would be a better idea....for instance with out first project coming up, not only are we researching a topic, but we have to but it together on a wiki page....that shows our abilities to master the skill of using a wiki page to share information.  Agree/disagree?  --Yael S.

2. Basically, I think J. Scharff asked about my same ideas of constructivism with regards to technology in the classroom...so, I will go off and mention that I think it is so important these days especially to go in depth about the dangers of the internet...in terms of predators, scams....what have you.  I would devote a whole lesson or mini unit/project even just to that...not combined it with anything else.  I think so many students these days do not have the benefit of the stay at home parent that was prelevant in our days (or before), and I think it is the job of the teachers to step in there and really address this topic.


Question 1: After reading all of these articles, I feel like there are parts of all of the different learning theories that reflect on some aspect of learning. As teachers, are we expected to take all of these different learning theories into consideration when we teach to our students, or is there one theory that schools prefer over others? - Pamela Sorge

Question 2: According to the article "Paradigms at Learning Theories," the constructivism learning theory "assumes that all knowledge is constructed from the learner's previous knowledge, regardless of how one is taught." Does this mean that constructivists expect that all students will have the prior knowledge needed in order to construct new knowledge? What does this mean for ELL and ESL students? - Pamela Sorge



1. After reading about the many different theories and the different ways of learning, I question how a teacher is supposed to implement all the theories presented. Is there a wrong theory to agree with if the students are still learning everything they need to know and understand?

2. The constructivist view points out the importance of teaching children the processes of knowing information, being more student directed, allowing for student thought, and having students learn new material by connecting with previously learned material, whereas the behaviorists view points out that learning must be observable, depends on specific instruction, and having set standards and goals and when presented these view points tend to be completely opposite, but shouldn't and couldn't they be combined in teaching?

-Kami B. 


1. After reading about the learning theories I have the question of whether it is better for teachers to teach to each individual theory, or to include and mix up all the different theories and teach in a combination type way?

2. When reading the article "How do People Learn?", I read of a connection being made between the human mind and a computer, I really can't see this connection; but do most people agree with this statement and connection or are most people confused by the connection as I am?

Jen H. 


1. After reading about the different theories of constructivism and behaviorism do you feel that we should believe in just one theory, or do you think that human beings learn through a combination of both theories? - Jenna S.  

2. The Paradigms, Constructivism article states, "A common misunderstanding reguarding constructivism is that instructors should never tell students anything directly, but, instead, should always allow them to construct knowledge for themselves." This is based off the idea that all knowledge is constructed from the learner's previous knowledge, regardless of how one is taught. Do you think this is a fair assumption to make for every student or do you think that if a teacher simply assumes this of every child he/she will get "left behind?" -Jenna S.


1. After reading, "How do People Learn?", I reflected on the Constructivist's view on learning and a question came to mind.  Constructivists believe that it is important to engage students in social interactions in the learning environment.  My question is how would a Constructivist handle a student with severe social anxiety or a child with Autisim.?  -Lisa Wojcik :)

2. After reading the article, "How do People Learn?", a question came to mind about learning theories and the educational system.  How much time does our current educational system spend focusing on how to help our children learn and retain knowledge better in comparison to helping them pass the required tests, such as the assessments required for No Child Left Behind Act? -Lisa Wojcik :)


1. According to Robert Gagne "Learning is shaped by providing optimal instructional conditions." If that is true then how do students in poor classrooms come out knowing something? -Jennifer G. 

2. How come most teachers don't find out the Zone of Proximal Development of their students before they start a lesson? They just assume all students are on the same level when they probably aren't. -Jennifer G.


1. After reading the constructivism/behaviorism article, I am wondering perhaps what peoples opinions are of the best approach to intergrate/teach different mediums and technology in a classroom.  For instance, if someone bought into the constructivism theory, is there perhaps a good order of introducing/teaching/using certain technologies?  (Though I definitely belive the act of learning uses both the theories pretty evenly) (hope this makes sense!...I am thinking this in similar terms of arguments of how to teach reading/writing...which should come first and such...) __Y. Shoham

2.  The readings make me wonder how young is too young to start children with using technology in classroom.  In one hand, its great, because the more practice/exposure they get the better and more accustomed they will be (and this is a very media/techno-friendly environment we live in).  But, perhaps we must stil start by teaching them how to open a book for research, or solve problems without use of calculators and so on.  __Y. Shoham


1. Foundations of Effective Technology Integration describes the two main theories of learning, directed learning and inquiry based learning. This article states that although many think constructivism will eventually become the main way of teaching, directed learning will not be completely erased. They believe the best strategy is to use a combination of the two theories for the best results. They also believe technology should be combined with these two theories for technology implications. While technology is definitely beneficial to certain areas in a school curriculum, to me, I feel it is being presented as the main way of instruction. Do the two theories of instruction have to do more with the process of teaching, or the tools used? I am currently being taught to use the constructivist approach with my future students, but my professors do not limit me to instruction through technology. Will education eventually be completely technology based?

2. In Paradigms, four different theories of learning are discussed. I definitely see differences in all four, but I get confused between constructivism on cognitivism. With constructivism, the learner brings past experiences to a situation. With cognitivism, the learner uses their existing schemas to evaluate new meanings. Are the two somewhat similar? What is the most frequently used method today? Even though I am being taught to use a constructivist approach, do many teachers currently use it?

Gina Pagliaccetti


1. I know that all teachers make the decision on what they feel is the best way to teach their students whether it be following a behviorist or constructivist view.  Though within each view, they focus on different teaching methods revolving the child.  However if all students learn and take in information completely differently, how can one view accomodate all of the childrens differing learning styles?  I personally think that by teaching with the use of blending the two views will prepare teachers for all of the different children they have in their classrooms


2. I think that integrating technology into the classrooms is very helpful and motivating to the students. However, specifically under the behaviorist view, teachers have their students doing a lot of skill and practice to test the children on what they were taught.  Though to me, skill and practice means the child is given a multiple of problems to help them understand and become more comfortable with the information.  Students now use technology for everything, so in years to come how are the children going to be capable of completing skill and practice drills if the technology they use is doing all of the work for them? The entire point of skill and practice is to have the children individually work on what they need help with.  It helps them understand and become comfortable with the work.

~ Jen Locascio


Question 1: Roblyer and Edwards list several great suggestions for ways to integrate technology into the classroom in ways that will allow students to increase knowledge, be creative, work with others, and find ways to learn based on their personal type of intelligence. The suggestions include using videos to show a visual explanation of the concept, doing research on the internet, collaborating with others through technology, and using multimedia presentations to demonstrate knowledge. What about those students who are in schools and homes that do not have access to any of these technologies? How should teachers and educators teach these strategies to those children, and if they can do so effectively without the use of technology, then is it really so necessary in the classroom at schools that do have access to it?

Question 2: Constructivism seems to be the theory that is currently embraced the most in the classroom. It states that students connect new knowledge to prior knowledge in order to learn. Since this theory takes personal experiences, beliefs, and intelligence into account, then do those students who do not have access to technology, do not understand it, or have had bad experiences with it possibly have a harder time learning by using it? Could students be turned off by information that is presented to them by using technology due to their own personal experiences? In that case, how should teachers deal with this in the classroom?

-Chrissy Cohn



The main idea I took from the readings (especially Roblyer & Edwards) is that there is no single best theory of instruction or for learning, no matter how or to what extent technology is integrated.  Instruction and learning will happen through an amalgam of theories and how they’re executed.  What are some classroom experiences you’ve had as a teacher or as a learner that demonstrate this idea?—Argie O.


Does a behaviorist approach put a student with low motivation at even more of a disadvantage than may already exist?  If learners are passive recipients who respond through conditioning, how do you motivate or engage a student who’s passive or inactive to begin with?  What role could integrated technology play in this situation?—Argie O.


Rewards and consequences are integral to the conditioning concepts of behaviorism.  What are some ways that rewards and consequences can be incorporated in a constructivist classroom?—Argie O.


Does the age group or grade level of your students play a role in determining the learning theory (or mix) you choose to use?  Is one theory more appropriate than another?—Argie O.


Roblyer & Edwards discussed assessments.  Behaviorists and constructivists differ in the methods of assessments they would use.  Are students’ standardized test results affected by the learning theory that was used to teach them?  Is a student in a behaviorist classroom being conditioned to perform better on a test like MSA than a student in a constructivist classroom? When taking MSA becomes completely computerized, will a student from a constructivist classroom have an advantage?—Argie O


After doing the readings, I wondered with all of these theories which one would actually be the best one to integrate  technology into the classroom, in a way that it would be benefitual for teachers and students? Ashley C.


After looking at the social constructivism theory, I agreed with it until, I started to look at it from a different point of view. Realizing everybody doesn't go to school, some are home schooled or some may attend low-performing schools, may be with teachers who aren't necessarily quailfied to teach. Thus for home school students social inteeractions may be limited  with teacher and even peers and students at low-performing schools may not be fully taught the inforamtion. So from those two situations how would social constructivism explain its theory then?  Ashley C.


Overall what learning theory would effectively fit in each individual school level -elememtary, middle and high school ? Ashley C.



1. How Do People Learn- There are so many different styles of teaching, and as the author said, the field of education doesn't have much knowledge on how or why students learn differently than others. Personally, I don't think they will ever really know why different people learn things differently. Its just like why some people are republicans and some are democrats, its just the way their minds think. Do you think that the environment in which the student has grown up in can affect which learning method a student will learn best under? I think its necessary to incorporate many different styles of teaching as a facilitator of education, mainly because no minds are alike and you want the students to be getting the best education they can.

2. Why doesn’t the field of education come together and create ONE education system or theory of learning that incorporates a little bit of the highlights of EACH current theory. There are pros and cons for both learning theories, so why don’t they just come together to form one theory that includes factors from all of the different ones?




1. Is it best for teachers to have a balence of all the different learning theories? Or is it better to lean towards one certain theory?

2. Is one learning theory better than another? Since everyone learns in different ways, does it make more sense to teach each student using a learning theory that would help their individual needs?

3. All three readings made me wonder if we are teaching children to become to dependent on technology? What age is to young to start teaching students about technology?

-Kathlyn K.



1. How would a teacher's belief on one theory effect their classroom?  Would it be different then a teacher who agrees with a different one?  Is it wrong for a teacher to agree with more then one or two of the theories and integrating them into the classroom?

2. How do you think a supporter of each theory would feel about educational technology in their class?  How would they use computers/other technologies in the classrooms?

-Kera Valentin


1.  If there are so many different, widely accepted learning theories, should teachers incorporate all different types into their own teaching, or should the teacher decide what theory they are most comfortable with and teach the class with that specific theory in mind?

2.  From a constructivist point of view, students learn based on prior knowledge/experience.  How does a teacher introduce a concept to a class where prior knowledge/experience on this given idea is widely varied between the class?

-David Baldwin


1.  Based on what we know about constructivism and behaviorism, would it be appropriate for a school district, or administrator to require teacher to practice a specific theory in there classeoom reguardless of their own beliefs or perspectives?

2.  In many countries children prohibited from using technology devices, such as calculators, spell-checkers, when learning various skills and concepts.  Do you feel that this practice widens the gap between students in the U.S. who are allowed to use such devices, and students who have been conditioned to this style of instruction? -Shana Scott

Feb. 18 - Technology integration


Feb 18th

1. It seems as though if a student misses out on a fundamental aspect of a certian subject, the education system can rely on technology to make up for that deficit (Integration to remedy identified weaknesses or skill deficits). This is more or less an example of technology covering up bad teaching, which obviously isn't a good thing.

2. Technology could place a larger burden on the teacher to plan the lesson, learn about intergration, get all the students on the same level of technological knowledge, at the expense of making it easier for the students. This is why the TIP model is so important, because it will help teachers realize if it is worth using the technology or not in a certian lesson. If the lesson can benifit the use of technology then it will be intergrated, if not they it won't be.

- Jonathan Scharff


February 18th-1. I found the reading about technology integration models interesting... I really liked the section on using technology based solutions to solve certain instructional problems. I always looked at technology as an extra boost to a lesson but not as a possible solution neccessarily for issues that might come up during instuction (other than mics or special assistive technologies). There is still the issue of what technology is available. I think we have to be able to find additional solutions to instructional problems outside of technology,which in many schools,may not be available, agree or disagree?-Meghan W.

2. The TIP model/lesson plan was well-written but I'm not sure if I'd use it in a classroom because it seemed to be focused on teaching how to use the internet and the dangers that come along with it rather than actually integrating it with a lesson. The lesson itself was about the internet. I feel as though parents or the school librarian should be in charge of this type of lesson for students and that teachers should mention it before internet use...but maybe not dedicate an entire lesson to it?-Meghan W.



Question 1: After reading the TIP lesson plan example, I feel like this lesson has the potential to be a great lesson, but to me it sounds really repititious with the scavenger hunt forms being used as an assessment to see whether the students understand how to navigate the internet. I feel that as a student, I would get bored with this type of lesson plan because there's not enough minds-on activity. From what I understand, the students complete the premade scavenger hunt forms to navigate the internet looking for things that are asked for. Do you think a more constructivist approach could be used in order to familiarize the students with the internet, or is this type of teacher-directed approach the best way to do so? However, the good thing about using the scavenger hunts (if used in the right way) is that it applies well to students of different abilities if they are allowed to complete it at their own pace. However, if the students are graded based on completion, then I don't feel that it's a fair way to assess the students, because some students may need more time than others. -- Pamela S.

Question 2: I think the idea of integrating technology into the classroom is a great alternative to the typical pencil and paper routine; however, I feel that as teachers, we need to teach students not only how to navigate the internet, but also how to check sources for their credibility. What are ways that we can teach our students to make sure that the sources they find on the internet are creditable or not? -- Pamela S.


Question 1: After reading the TIP sample lesson plan, I have a question based on the assessment portion of the lesson. I think that the way this lesson is written is very teacher driven, and the scavenger hunt does not allow for student exploration. Do you think that by applying technology integration to a real research project would be more beneficial for the students? Would students understand the processes of using technology better if they were able to explore and apply to a research topic that was interesting for them?

Question 2: After reading both articles, I found that the Roblyer and Edwards article mentions a portion about the importance to take a little extra time and instruction to assist the at-risk students. After reading this and applying it to the assessment portion of the sample TIP lesson, is it fair to assess students with something like a scavenger hunt if they have no technological background? When considering technological intergration in the classroom isn't it importance to consider the student's prior knowledge of technology? Phase 2 points out that teachers need to know what they want the students to learn from the lesson and the integration of technology, how can teachers know what they want the students to learn if they don't know what they already know?

-Kami B. 


1. While reading the first few pages, I was intrigued by how they were talking about reviews being important for students who might have been absent and also for students who just need to review of what's been going on. What are some ways that teachers can review and make it worthwhile, other than using the computer or something on that lines to review?

2. I think that the TIP plan is really great and if used properly in the classroom could  be very effective. Do teachers really use this model or is it just a guideline for them to create and come up with a lesson in a well planned and thought out way?




1.    In the section, Integraton to optimize scarce resources, it talks about using technology to make up for a lack of resources so the students can continue to learn efficiently.  I agree with the example it gives about replacing worksheets with drill programs.  I think that it would encourage the students to participate more and also help our environment tremendously.  I don’t agree though, with the other example the text gave about replacing actual chemistry experiments with technology versus using the real materials.  It is true that some schools can’t afford to purchase materials for science experiments, but nothing beats the real thing when it comes to learning something like how to combine certain chemicals.  The government needs to step up and start supplying the things our students need to learn properly.  What do you all think about this? –Lisa Wojcik ☺

2.    According to the text it seems that it is a lot of work for teachers to integrate and use technology in their classroom.  For example, teachers would have to have continual training because technology is changing all of the time.  With the work teachers are already bogged down with on a regular basis, is integrating and using technology just going to put a much heavier workload on the teachers?  -Lisa Wojcik :)


1. I think the TIP lesson plan example for fourth and fifth graders is a great idea. However, I wonder if the movie and slides are enough information to properly model the correct way to use the internet. While I understand technologies such as a Smart Board, which would allow all of the students to see one large screen, are not available to all, I question what the teacher would do if a large amount of the children were having difficulties grasping the concept. Also, if the children are using the computers in cycles, will there be enough time to allow each child to have practice with the internet before assessing them?

2.Throughout reading Foundations of Effective Technology Integration Model, many good points were made for both the directed and constructivist approach. The main idea of the chapter is to integrate technology as a helpful tool. While I understand both directed and constructivist view points, I believe the decision of which to use should depend on the grade level and students. As long as technology is being used, is the ultimate goal of integrating technology being achieved, whether it is through a directed approach or a constructivist approach? Is one more beneficial than the other?

Gina Pagliaccetti


TIP Model:  By the time many students are in 4th or 5th grade, they have knowledge about and experience with the Internet. Should this model lesson include an assessment of prior knowledge?  If so, how?  If not, why not?—Argie


Regarding the TIP Model:  Roblyer & Edwards explain that to determine relative advantage (Phase 1), a teaching or learning problem (opposed to a problem of instruction) needs to be clearly identified.  They wrote: “Knowing how to use a technology appropriately is part of a solution, and is not in itself a problem to solve” (page 55).  If that’s true, then according to Roblyer & Edwards, the student’s example of a TIP model—teaching someone how to use the Internet to conduct research—isn’t a true problem.  What do you think is the real problem that the example is trying to address?—Argie


Roblyer & Edwards:  As I read, I thought about the teaching staff where I work.  Integrating new technology is not a priority for many of the teachers.  They may evaluate the relative advantage but usually opt not to integrate new technology.  What are some ways that teachers could be motivated or inspired to change their response?—Argie


Roblyer & Edwards:  In a few instances in the text, the authors suggest that integrating technology can enhance group work.  The authors assume that students know how to cooperatively work in groups and do their fair share.  In which grades do you think students can really handle group work in which they are utilizing integrated technology?—Argie


Roblyer & Edwards:  To be successful, the integration of technology needs to be supported at many levels by different constituencies.  What are some examples of how the characteristics of an education system (private or public, number of schools in a district, total enrollment, total staff, funding levels, etc.) affect the support of tech integration?—Argie


1. I found the chapter on Integrating technology to be extremely helpful.  Both views, the contructivisit and teacher directed were thoroughly explained and gave me a better sense of how they work individually and together through the use of technology.  However, I'm curious to find out what makes a teacher decide which view they feel is more efficient in a classroom? The purpose of anything the teacher does is to make sure that the students are understanding and learning the information they are being taught.  I think whichever view the teacher choses to use, even if both, the students educational needs must be met.

2. Being a visual learner, I was happy to see that integrating technology can be helpful for students with learning problems.  I think that giving students the opportunity to visually see things on the computer, slides, ect. gives them the self confidence and is one step closer in helping their situation.  However, is states in the chapter that students need the prerequisite skills in order to move onto the use of technology.  Though if we are talking about a student who has learning problems, how will the teacher know when the student is ready to use technology? How will they know they already use and apply prerequisite skills if directed instruction has not helped them in the past?

---Jen Locascio


1. I think it's a good idea to switch problems on paper with drills and problems on the computer.  Not only is it something new for students, but it's also more enjoyable then just writing on paper.  However, we have discussed before that we may be relying too much on technology. Should these computer drills only be done every so often to continue the "new idea" it may have for students?  It is okay for teachers to switch completely to technology for some content areas?

2. On page 50, the author discusses that cooperative work is the main focus to reconstruct the curriculums.  To make the cooperative work more enjoyable and rewarding they are integrating technology into the work.  I agree with this because technology does make things more interesting.  When i was in high school, working in groups wasn't as fun.  No one wanted to write down ideas, draw graphs, etc.  Even though integrating computers with cooperative groups is a good idea, won't groups be more off-task when using technology?  Won't there need to be more regulations and closer supervisions?  If technology in the classrooms/school is limited, how are teachers supposed to use this method to encourage the cooperative groups?

-Kera V.


1) The outline for the Technology Integration Planning Model was something new to me, and it seems like a great way to evaluate technologies that will be used in the classroom and create a structured lesson plan for integrating them. I felt like the TIP model almost corresponds to the lesson plan formats we use in elementary school classrooms because they both include a pre-assessment and planning period, objectives, specific activities, preparation of classroom, and evaluation at the end. Should the TIP model also include a section for differentiation? Should this section exist so that the teacher can plan how students at different ability levels can use the technology, how to account for early finishers or slower workers, and how to attend to the needs of students with special needs?

2) I thought that the example of a TIP model was very extensive and included all the necessary information for planning to use technology. However, I thought that it focused mostly on the technology itself and did not mention why the students were using it or what specific information or skills they were supposed to gain from using it. I am wondering if there would be a better way to combine the TIP model with an existing lesson plan in order to clearly see what the objective is, what technology will be used and how, and how the technology will help to accomplish the objective. If they were combined, wouldn't that be a better way to insure that the technology was integrated into the lesson rather than seen as a separate or additional part?

-Chrissy Cohn


1.  What efforts should be made to make sure students don't only use the internet to conduct research? Should teachers have students conduct research papers without the use of the internet completely, moderately, or some other alternative?

2.  With different levels of exposure to technology to different students, what can a teacher do to keep students who are not as priveleged as others on par with their peers?


-David B


Question #1- After reading the, Foundations of Effective Technology Integration Models, by Roblyer and Edwards, do you think that students lack too much prior knowledge to handle constructivist problem-solving? Think about the city schools. Think about the different types of teachers and instruction that is presented to public and private school students. -Jenna S.

Question #2- Do you think that students should be given more help in order to support their growth of constructivist fluency or is it a waste of teacher's time and effort that they can be spending teaching other topics? -Jenna S.

Feb. 25 - Technology standards


1. When I read the Maryland Teacher Technology Standards, I was really surprised to see that technology standards existed for teachers. I found it interesting that not only does it explain what is expected of teachers  when integreating technology into the classroom, but it also explains what teachers should be able to do with technology. Is this something that teachers are referred to often and are expected to follow on a regular basis? Because I've never heard of it before. Also, I noticed that the part about integrating technology into the classroom and instruction is fairly limited to what I would have thought. Are these the only standards teachers are expected to meet when it comes to integrating technology? Also, are these standards that the regular classroom teacher is supposed to meet or is this something that a media specialist could do? - Pamela S.

2. Considering there are some schools that have problems with funding, how would teachers of those schools meet the standards for integrating technology into the classroom when they might not have the materials available to do so? Or does "technology" not always mean using high-tech equipment? What types of technology are considered "appropriate technology?" - Pamela S.


1. After reading "Common Standards, Diverse Student Needs", from Chapter 5, the strengths of standards are given, and if all this research is being done to support that "good standards" are what the community value as knowledge the students need to know and gives room for development and the shaping of goals, then why are the clear cut standards and standarized tests still in place? How has research of "good standards" affected the standards that are used today?

2. After reading about the UDL framework, it seems as though a goal they have is to create individualized goals for every student, and although I think this is a good idea, how practical is this idea to implement into real schools public or private? Do teachers have enough time in a year to establish goals for all students and to monitor their progress, change goals, or make new goals ?

-Kami B.


1. After reading the Maryland Technology Standards I noticed that the term "technology" is not clearly defined as anything except "electronic." I know as future teachers we have to meet these standards, but how often must we integrate technology in order to meet standards and what actually passes as technology? The standards are clear yet vague in a way. I see where this can be a benefit for teachers that don't have access to much technology but it could also be a disadvantage in schools that have teachers that don't want to put in the additional effort to incorporate technology into their lessons.-Meghan Wilson

2. The UDL model stresses not only using technology as simply an integration but to ENHANCE learning. I've been learning about affective, cognitive, and psychomotor objectives and their importance and I feel as though the reading on the UDL model gives good examples of how to use technology to enhance goals in the classroom. I think it's really important to only use technology to enhance a lesson's objectives, not just to use it to meet a standard. I found some good examples of UDL technology lessons here: http://lessonbuilder.cast.org/explore.php  -Meghan Wilson


1. After reading both the NETS Standards and the MTTS I became very intrigued. I have never even heard of these standards and they remind me a lot of the VSC (The Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum). Should these standards be held to the same level that the VSC is for teachers in order to make technology an essential part of the classroom?


2. Teachers already think that there are too many rules and standards to follow. Are the technology standards helping or hindering teacher growth?

Jen H.


1.    Under the section of Chapter 5 of, “Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age”, called, “Using UDL to Set Clear Goals”, it discusses how teachers should avoid too much specification when preparing the goals for their students because it can inhibit certain types of students from reaching the goal.  It also discusses that teachers should give students a variety of methods to utilize when working toward the goal expected.

I don’t know if I agree with creating a specific goal to match the diversity of the class.  It is true that if you require the students to reach a particular goal that may involve for example, writing on paper, than some students may not be able to meet the goal because of their own personal limitations.  Instead of changing the goal to fit the students, I would leave the goal in place and merely give the students who had difficulty with writing on paper the option of meeting the goal in another manner.  What do you guys think? –Lisa Wojcik ☺

2.    Under the section of Chapter 5 of, “Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age”, called, “Using UDL to Set Clear Goals”, it introduces the eTrekker prototype.  I absolutely love the concept.  It gives teachers an easy way to help students meet the goals that they expect of them and it also looks like it may be fun and easy for the kids to use.  I have always had a difficult time researching things on the internet.  I think eTrekker will really help students like me to feel more confident in their researching skills.  What do you guys think? –Lisa Wojcik ☺


1. In NETS for Teachers 2008, under Model Digital-Age Work and Learning, letter A states that a teacher should demonstrate their understanding of technology by keeping up with the changes and understanding new current technologies. As we discussed in class the other day, I question if this adds a large amount of work onto a teacher’s workload. Also, if a school does not provide seminars on how to use these new technologies, is it a teacher’s responsibility to somehow learn in order to teach their students?



2. Throughout my education, technology has been used on a daily basis in order to enhance my learning. Technologies such as Power Point have been used to provide lectures in a variety of my classes. At the same time, information on using computers and policies such as legal, social, and ethical issues were presented to me in other classes such as computers, library, etc. According to the Maryland Teacher Technology Standards, and many discussions we have had in class, it seems like this information is now being integrated into general education classrooms through assignments using technology. Do most schools teach the proper use of technology and the content of a course all in one classroom? I feel as though one or the other would be favored. Do many schools even have the specials that I was fortunate to experience?

Gina Pagliaccetti


1. After reading the NETS and MTTS pages, I was actually shocked to see how technology is being integrated in the classrooms.  Throughout school, technology was not a big part of the lessons and we rarely used it.  It wasn't until high school that I started really integrating technology into schoolwork.  Is it the responsibility of the general ed teacher to teach students how to use different aspects of technology?  How are teachers supposed to assign assignments where technology is used if not all students are familiar with it?  Is it fair to that teachers have to keep up with technology standards when they are already expected to continue college education, grade papers, do lesson plans, etc.?


2. Shouldn't it be more important for teachers to focus on the content and success of the lessons rather then trying to make sure all of the technology standards are met?  Are different lessons created that are strictly taught for the purpose of technology practice?  Sometimes I wonder how teachers are keeping up with all the different standards that need to be met in the lessons.


-Kera Valentin

 1. After reading the Maryland Technology Standards I noticed that the term "technology" is not clearly defined as anything except "electronic." I know as future teachers we have to meet these standards, but how often must we integrate technology in order to meet standards and what actually passes as technology? The standards are clear yet vague in a way. I see where this can be a benefit for teachers that don't have access to much technology but it could also be a disadvantage in schools that have teachers that don't want to put in the additional effort to incorporate technology into their lessons.-Meghan Wilson

2. The UDL model stresses not only using technology as simply an integration but to ENHANCE learning. I've been learning about affective, cognitive, and psychomotor objectives and their importance and I feel as though the reading on the UDL model gives good examples of how to use technology to enhance goals in the classroom. I think it's really important to only use technology to enhance a lesson's objectives, not just to use it to meet a standard. I found some good examples of UDL technology lessons here: http://lessonbuilder.cast.org/explore.php  -Meghan Wilson

Regarding MTTS and Rose & Meyer:  MTTS Standard III (about legal, social, & ethical issues) and MTTS Standard VI (about assistive tech) seem to call for the expertise of specialists.  The application of UDL, especially regarding the accommodation of special needs or even the use of eTrekker, would also seem to benefit from a trained specialist.  Should the general education teacher be expected to be such a specialist?—Argie


There was an overlap of ideas in NETS and MTTS, but the wording was different.  I think NETS wording leaned toward constructivism, and MTTS had a more neutral wording overall.  Do you think NETS is not so subliminally advocating one approach to teaching over another?—Argie


The responsibilities outlined in NETS and MTTS left me with questions about staffing.  How will tech integration affect the way public schools are staffed?  Will schools need more than one tech specialist (if they even have one)?  Will teachers need tech specialists to help in the classroom, the same way that special educators or case managers help special needs students?—Argie


Rose & Meyer:  The authors mentioned that making a goal too specific could limit the strategies a teacher uses or the creativity a student uses.  Would a standard that’s too specific limit goals in a similar way?—Argie


Question 1: After reading, "Chapter 5: Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Common Standards, Diverse Student Needs," it explains that teachers think too narrowly about learner goals when writing their objectives and thus loosing student's ability to complete the task due to not having a wider range of tasks that the students can achieve. They say that the solution to reconcile common standards with diverse needs is to be more flexible with the tools they access, as well as communicating with the students the goals that way they have a better understanding of what the teacher expects of them. I agree with this method. I think that there should be more considerations of diverse student needs. I agree that many students may be left behind wondering what they did wrong or how they could improve because their teacher lacks the ability to explain what they expect of their students. If teachers were to make their student's goal more broad I think that students would prosper. What do you guys think? Do you agree with me and Chapter 5, why or why not? - Jenna S.


Question 2: Do you think that the focus on incorporating technology into the classroom is as important as these articles are making it out to be? Do you think that it is more important for teachers to focus their instruction on more the important things, such as content and understanding?  -Jenna S.




After reading the ISTE/NETS for teachers, I think its a great model/standard for how teachers should use and model technology in the classroom, but I can't help wondering, if this is the standards teachers must follow, how are the school systems being accomadating.  Are they giving extra time, and extra pay for teachers to keep up to date with these technologies?  I know Argie mentioned in class that at her school one of the tech guys volunteered his time to teach others, but that was a one time thing and not everyone cold make it.  My fear as a future teacher is having the proper time and proper training to keep up with technolog.  What are your thoughts?  --Yael S.




First, In Chapter 5 I loved how they compared ZPD to 100 level video games, where one must master each level to get to the next, slightly harder level.  I do not think I have read any descriptions more simple or clearer when it comes to ZPD.  Second, I liked reading examples of how Mr. Hernandez was able to differentiate his students through the use of technology, when they were working on the same project.  I find it interesting that the students who needed the most help, were allotted the most access to the internet/computer, (in having text read to them, or using images and templates).  I am just thinking though, that as we discussed in class, isn't being able to use the internet considered a bonus in classrooms, and I am wondering perhaps if we can come up with ideas to let kids that are gifted have more access to the internet as well when working on projects.

~~Yael S.



Question 1: Chapter 5 in the Rose & Myer reading discussed a program called eTrekker that could be used in schools. I agree that programs like this make instruction clearer for students and should be used once in awhile, but when they give students the sequence of activities they are supposed to do and structure the activity for them, is it really inquiry-based learning? Just because using a computer program is hands-on does not make it a mentally engaging activity. Is it possible that the instruction given by these programs makes the lesson or activity more like a lecture and the students might not be learning as well?


Question 2: I was surprised at what I saw in both the MTTS and NETS standards because I felt like the focus was on teachers and students learning to use the technology rather than integrating it into the curriculum (which should be the main focus of teaching). One of the standards included teachers using technology to relay information and communicate with parents, students, etc. Should this be where attention focused? What about those parents and students who do not have access to the technologies that the teacher is using to communicate? Then are students being hurt, rather than helped, by the increased demand for teachers to use technology?

-Chrissy C.


Question #1- When I was reading the Maryland Teacher Technology Standards I was shocked/impressed to see how much technology Maryland educators are trying to incorporate in their classrooms.  The seven different standards and outcomes represent all concepts that teachers should be addressing in their classrooms.  However, when I was reading the chart it made me think about all of the elementary classrooms I have interned in so far.  I do not necessarily think that technology has helped improve classroom learning as much as people think.  Is the problem that teachers are not realizing the limitations there are in connection to the standards? In addition, are they constantly relying on technology too much because they think it will help “improve” student learning?


Question #2- I understand that more and more school systems are trying to improve and increase technology integration.  I think doing so is an excellent idea especially now that technology is used so often.  However, when I think back to elementary school, I always had computer lab time where the actual computer or technology teacher would teach and introduce students to the computer, internet, etc.  Why now do school systems rely on the regular teachers to take on this role, especially if they are not as familiar with the technology?

- Jen Locascio


1) Looking at the NETS, its states to develop a technology enriched environment in the classroom. But what if your school doesn't have the funds to do that? How can you as a teacher try to get your class to use technology to learn about such things like different cultures without using a lot of money or without the resource of a computer for all your students?

2) In chapter 5 the eTrekker activity looked like an awesome resource for students to use. My question is how many schools actually use such things like that? Does it harm your students to do everything from the curriculum on the computer or does it benefit them since all the guidelines and materials are listed there for them?



1.  With the lack of funding for new technologies, as well as demonstrations/classes on these new technologies, how are teachers supposed to hit upon all aspects of the ISTE standards?

2.  While I do feel that incorporating technology in the classroom is important, is there some point where the role of the technology is not as effective as traditional means? It seems like there is so much pressure to include technology, but I can't help but feel that in some aspects, it's unnecessary.

-David Baldwin


1.) Chapter 5 states that "A common problem with current standards is that they are often stated to explicitly or confounded with the medium of presentation or expression-most often printed text.  Broader richer goals, such as helping students learn to think like historians or scientist, leave avenues open for the use of flexible tools and media capable of accommodating diverse learners."  This statement confuses me to a certain extent because while I whole-heartedly agree with this statement the bounds for education at least in Maryland is based on the "over explicitly stated" standards.  So my questions is, if the information and statistics from the text is freely available not just to Towson U. ISTC students then why is there still such an extreme focus on these standards that restrain the limits of instruction?


2.) How do the ISTE standards apply to how students learn and what happends to these standard when you are in a school where technology is not available?


-Shana Scott



1. How can a teacher effectively establish goals for their classroom learning if they are constrained to standards such as No Child Left Behind? If the teacher’s goals are too broad, each student is going to demonstrate a different understanding of the topic and might not meet the standards. If the teacher’s goals are too focused certain students will fall behind (slower learners) and others will get bored (faster learners). It seems that the teacher's goals need to be somewhere in between to cater to all types of learners while at the same time covering as much information as possible to meet the standards.

2. How can teachers work to cover as much information as possible to meet the standards while at the same time provide appropriate assessment that takes into account all the different types of learners in their classroom? Won’t creating more options for teachers to assess their goals, make it easier for the students at the expense of creating more work for the teacher?

~ Jonathan Scharff




March 4 - Instructional software







March 25 - Digital storytellingis


Question 1: In the article, "Digital Story Telling Finds its place in the classroom", Tom Banaszewski states that, "Asking students to write about an important place requires trust," and I agree with what he is saying, some topics that can come up with the digital storytelling activites can be personal and I feel that the students have to have trust in the teacher and other students that what they are telling isn't going to be made fun of, or thought of as wierd. I think this concept that Banaszewski mentions that the students have to accept other's ideas and promoting a positive classroom environment can be hard for some teachers. I question how teachers deal with students that may share ideas that are "too" personal and or deal with topics not appropriate for the classroom without making the student feel that they can not open up to others, or that their ideas are not good enough. How do teachers deal with inappropriate topics, or suggestions?

Question 2: In the article, "Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom", it is mentioned that digital storytelling can be use to showcase the author rather than a "distant topic" like a powerpoint may achieve. I think this is a really good idea, and I also agree with how the article comments that the story should be the main point and the technology being the enhancer to the point. I think that this technology could help a lot of authors who can not find their voice, as the article suggests, and help struggling writers as well, but what can teachers do with students that have no ideas, and don't like the ideas that the teacher suggests, how can the teacher motivate the students to do langauge arts work with blank minds?

-Kami Bowman


Question 1: I watched a bunch of storytelling videos, including: The Talking Tree, SOFAS, My Shoes, and M.S.K. Running. These stories were really powerful. It seemed like digital storytelling had a great impact on these people’s lives by being able to share their personal stories with the world. As Bull and Kadger said in “Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom,” “Everyone has a story to tell.” I think this is a great tool that can be used in the classroom; however, it seems as though these stories can get really personal. In the article “Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom,” the topic for the digital storytelling was for students to “write about places where they felt comfortable, safe, or happy places where they could just be themselves.” Isn’t it possible for a topic like this to get too personal? I feel like it could tap into things that someone may not expect a child to talk about. In the M.S.K. Running video, the child discussed his personal story which included drugs, alcohol, gangs, and abuse. Although this was a story from a 13-year old, I feel that it’s possible for such stories to come from elementary students, as well. Do teachers have to draw the line for what’s appropriate to use in the stories and what’s not, considering these stories are shared with the rest of the class? What should a teacher do in a situation where a story becomes too personal to share with the class?

- Pamela Sorge


Question 2: I really like the idea of using digital storytelling in a language arts classroom in order to engage struggling readers and writers. I really don’t like writing stories, but I could see how using digital storytelling would be encouraging enough in itself for me to create a story that I would like to be heard. I feel that students could feel this way, as well, but I feel that it could be challenging to get some students to open up to really express their true feelings. Honestly, I could see myself having problems opening up and sharing my true feelings with people I don’t really talk to. Do you think that this is possible problem for young children? If so, what could be some ways to get students to be more open about their feelings and ideas if they are having trouble doing so? - Pamela Sorge


1.  I really found the article called, “Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom”, by Tom Banaszewski, very interesting for the main reason that I am working toward becoming a middle or high school English teacher.  Many students are terrified of writing.  Even some of my college classmates freak out when they are told that they have to write a paper. I truly believe that writing is a form of expression, just like any other creative activity, such as composing music or creating an art piece.  Instead of using paint or clay, you are using words to express yourself and your opinions or what you know on a piece of paper.  I want to be able to teach my students that they can express themselves through their writing and that they don’t have to be afraid of composition anymore.  I think that the digital storytelling program discussed in the article can really help me to reach that goal in my classroom.  My question to you guys is what do you think the digital storytelling program can inspire your students to do?

-Lisa Wojcik ☺

2.  I found the section called “The Gift of Your Voice” in the article that we read on the                    e-reserve to be very helpful when dealing with students who have a fear of public speaking.  I have always been terrified of speaking in class, let alone reading something that I personally wrote.  I love the fact that the students can record their voices reading their story for the other students to hear when they show their videos.  I think that recording their voice reading their personal story not only adds to the story, but also gives the student a chance to read out loud, in a sense, which may help them be less afraid to read out loud in front of their classmates in the future.  I never got the opportunity to read out loud, without really reading out loud.  I think that the digital storytelling program can give the students with this fear the ability to take a test run at reading out loud, and maybe after hearing their voice and being able to see the students reactions while and after they listen to the video, their fear to stand up and speak may not be as bad next time they are expected to do so.  My question to you guys is what else do you think the audio aspect of the digital storytelling program can help your students with?

-Lisa Wojcik ☺

1. I really liked how the teacher in the first article, "Digital Storytelling Finds its place in the classroom," used the prompt: " A place that is important to you" for a digital storytelling project. I feel as though this provides student with many different strengths to excell in their storytelling. When coming up with a story about a place important to you it is easy to visually explain an important place or even tell about an important even that happened there. Students could take pictures of this place, video tape it, paint it, describe it orally or even through writing. Digital storytelling really lends itself to all of those different talents. What other prompts would you use as a teacher to hit all those different talents? I thought of: "A special trip" or "someone you look up to" (I also really like the idea od using imovie...I have personally used imovie and think it would be perfect to introduce to students- it's easy to use and very effective!)-Meghan Wilson

2. The second article talks about the importance of point of view in a digital storytelling framework. I feel like digital story telling is a really effective way to teach students point of view. I feel like point of view can be a difficult concept for some students. What other concepts do you think digital storytelling could be used for to teach students? (My idea: elements of a story: development of character in a biography project. Students could make their own biography and talk about the important events in their life that have developed them as a person and perhaps compare that to a character in another story being studied in class.) -Meghan Wilson



Banaszewski and Bull & Kajder both identified the story (the writing) as the most important piece of the digital storytelling process.  Banaszewski wrote about some of the problems he encountered with 4th and 5th graders.  Would some of the problems have been lessened if the students had been more experienced writers?  Do you think the project was well-suited to the writing skills of students in those grades?—Argie


Banaszewski noted that it took six months before all 24 of his students completed their digital stories.  Not all the students were working on their projects the whole six months, but it still seems like a long time to keep students engaged.  He wrote that setting due dates didn’t work because of the variable learning curve among the students, and both he and Bull & Kajder commented about the difficulty a school environment can pose.  How do you think Banaszewski sustained students’ interest in the project over six months? Also, I wondered why he didn’t include any samples of the individually created student stories.—Argie


Two of the digital stories that I watched were “Rituals” (in the Family section) and “Limbo” (in the Health section).  Both appeared to be downers at first but were very positive in the end.  They had universal themes that were easy to relate to because of how personal they were.  Of the digital stories you viewed, did any really stand out for you?  What was it about the story that made an impression on you?  How would you teach your students about that element?—Argie


Question 1: I think that providing students with an opportunity to create a digital story is extremely beneficial. While it may take a lot of time and organization of the classroom, as stated in Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom, it is worth it. While I can definitely see the benefits of providing students with this type of project, I come to the same question that I frequently think about when reading about different technologies to implement into a classroom. While this particular teacher finds a way to fit this extensive project into her classroom, she also has what seems to be a “textbook” classroom. In reality, most teachers will not have the equipment to produce these digital stories, or the money to buy this equipment. Is there a way to produce a digital story without the equipment presented in this article? While a story can still be told without using technology, and even though the article states, “Technology was always secondary to the storytelling”, I question whether teachers would find this activity worth while without the technology.


Question 2: While reading Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom, I agreed with the benefits of presenting this project to students. One issue I found was the availability of the equipment needed to create a digital story. A second issue I found is organizing the class in a way that allows this project to happen. At one point, the teacher states, “Parent volunteers were essential in the computer lab at this time to assist students with routine questions.” Again, I find this to be a “textbook” situation. Throughout the elementary education program at TowsonUniversity, we continuously learn the importance of connecting parents to the classroom. While this seems ideal, will parents actually be willing to volunteer in schools everywhere?


Gina Pagliaccetti


Question 1:

The article, Digital Storytelling Finds its Place in the Classroom, had me thinking about a project I once had to do in a writing class in college a few years ago.  In groups of four or five, we had to develop a story and create a low-tech digital story using pictures we took from on or around campus.  I think were were given a theme, like our group had to do disaster movie or something like that.  Basically, we were practicing our storytelling methods using digital technology (we typed up words instead of having voiceovers, and the pictures were shown in a slideshow format, with a cd played from a cd player to accompany the images with a soundtrack).  Anyway, this had me thinking, what other kinds of subjects/classes (besides english or writing classes) could you envision having a digital storytelling project for (science, math, history...fiction/nonfiction)?


Question 2:

The article by Bull and Kajder really explained the different features that make up a good digital story well.  I have little to really add to that.  They commented on what makes a digital story different than, say, a travelogue, but I am not suree I agree that it has to be very different.  In fact, I could encourage that very topic to be used as it would be a great subject for the digital story.  Teachers/peers can help students narrow down and find distinct topic of interest withing their vacation or holiday break story (narrowing down and finding focus is a great skill to learn and have).  I have read/viewed some great travelogues in many different formats from articles, pictures, videos, graphic novels or just plain novels, and I think that it will really make this type of project special and personal for all the students.  What are other good story telling topics?


~~Yael S.


Question 1: In the "Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom" article, I liked the seven elements necessary for an effective digital storytelling. I thought that these elements mostly related to the elements necessary for a good written story also, and I remember analyzing writing in school by looking for these elements. Of course, "soundtrack" was not included in this analysis, but "voice" could be applied to the attitude and voice used when writing a story as well. I think digital storytelling seems like a great way to incorporate technology into the language arts classroom, but am wondering if it should be used as a primary or seconday source of writing and analyzing stories. For example, should a student analyze written work and write their own stories based on those seven elements first, and then go on to explore them through digital storytelling? Or would students learn better if they could have hands-on experience with digital storytelling first, then analyze written work?

Question 2: This is an issue we constantly discuss when talking about technology in the classroom, but the cost is obviously a factor in this. My question is whether or not digital storytelling teaches the language arts concepts in such an efficient manner that it would be worth spending the money in order to use it. I understand that it sparks creativity in students, encouraging them to recognize and use the elements necessary for good storytelling, and be engaged in the lesson, but is this something that cannot be done as efficiently without technology? Would it benefit schools more to save their money and focus on traditional language arts instruction containing fun activities and discussion? Or is the use of technology for digital storytelling truly something that increases students' understanding of language arts?

-Chrissy Cohn



Question #1-  In the article, Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom, I enjoyed the part where it says, "The focus in the language arts classroom should be on writing and communication process rather than technical effects." I think that is extremely important for teachers to keep in mind the curriculum when trying to incorporate Digital Storytelling in the classroom, but don't you think that some teachers often forget or  loose sight of keeping the curriculum in mind when incorporating technology into the classroom? The students should be paying attention to their writing skills, grammar, and punctuation as well as the actual story content, do you think that students even think about these issues when using technology? Do you think they are so distracted and excited to do something different that they bypass these issues all together? -Jenna S.


Question #2- I feel as though, The Seven Elements of Effective Digital Stories, derived by Lambert make sense for Digital Storytelling, but I think some of the seven elements may be a little difficult for some young students. I wonder if the teacher is directed to grade the student's work on whether or not they fill the requirements of touching upon all seven elements no matter what the grade of the class is or if the teacher accomodates his/her grading according to the student's grade and learning level? If you had to grade your students taking into consideration the seven elements of effective digital stories, how woudl you grade your students? On what would you take into consideration and do you think you would grade your students loosely? - Jenna S.



1. In the article Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom, the storytelling idea brought up is very interesting.  It seems that students really enjoyed using this piece of software to write a story.  However, I had one drawback with it.  The teacher states it took 6 months in order to complete the project, and she had to change how she organized her lessons based on this.  So my question is, is it really worth it? The teacher also has to surrender most of the control of the classroom.  Isn't it important for the teacher to take control of the classroom and be the active instructor? Even though the digital storytelling sounds like an interesting idea, I wonder if the hassle is worth it. Yes, it gives the students to be the director, but isn't it important for the teacher to really be the instructor?  I do like the note at the end where the teacher states that the technology was always secondary to the storytelling.

2. In the article Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom, there were many interesting points.  I really like the idea of writing a story and producing it with technology.  This seems like a really fun way to get students to enjoy language arts' assignments. I liked Lambert's 7 Elements of Effective Digital Stories and think that it's a great guideline when using the Digital Storytelling.  However, how can you make sure students don't get too focused on the technology aspect instead of the learning? Because the process can be a lot of fun, do you think the students will care less about the story and more about the final picture?

-Kera Valentin



Question 1: In the Digital Story Language Arts Classroom, one of main benefits both Bull and Kajder discuss is how digital storytelling will help the teacher hear from students who remain quiet throughout the day and do not like speaking or participating in any classroom discussion and or activities.  Although Digital storytelling lets us be the narrators, if the students do who do not like talking aloud or at all to begin with and still choose to be hesitant to complete the activity, what will or can a teacher do to engage them into wanting to participate? Other then letting out their feelings, and opinions, how can digital storytelling make those children feel comfortable enough to speak?


 Question 2: Bull and Kajder also address that digital storytelling is “appealing for reasons such as that it can provide a voice to struggling readers and writers who might not otherwise find an authentic means of expression.”  I do in fact agree with this after reading about the characteristics and benefits of digital storytelling however, what it fails to mention or talk about it how it can help ESL students.  How can digital storytelling help or benefit ESL students? What accommodations can the teacher provide for ESL learners incorporate this type of technology into their learning experience?

~Jen Locascio



1.  "It's vital to note, of course, that the technology was always secondary to the storytelling."  According to this quote from "Digital Story Telling Finds Its Place in the classroom" the use of technogy should always come second to the skill or lesson being taught.  What are some ways we can prevent the use of technology from overshadowing the academic value of the lesson?


2.  The article "Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom" states that digital story telling must come from the student's own experiences.  So does that mean that if students used the same process to create an a story from another persons point of view that it would not be considered a digital story?


*Shana Scott*

 “Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom” Managing an entire class of students trying to make movies on only “two iMac DVs, a PowerPC with a UMAX Vista scanner, and handful of Macintosh Performas” seems like a daunting task that appears to be better suited for a classroom with adequate technology and a computer for every student. Dedicating nearly 6 months to this project had to have cut into other topics in the class room. How does digital storytelling align with meeting state curriculum?

This is an example of “just because we have the technology to do it, we have to use it”. What’s wrong with students sitting down and writing stories, using words to articulate how they feel? Is it digital story telling popular because it seems more expressive? It appears like digital story telling is getting students away from writing skills, which are so essential later in life. I can understand if digital story telling is used at specific school for technology, but I can’t understand its purpose in a general classroom. It seems like it takes away from other topics too much because of the tediousness in doing it and lack of resources some classrooms have.

- Jonathan Scharff


Question 1- In the article, Digital Story Telling Finds Its Place in the Classroom, the teacher discusses why it is important to create these digital stories. The author says that it gives student an opportunity to "find voice confidence, and structure in their writing." The author also says that he dedicated 6 months to this project.I understand that incorporating technology into the classroom is useful, but not many teachers can give 6 months for a project. If the author was trying to convince the reader of the positives of digital story telling, shouldn't he have given some type of feedback on using a smaller amount of time but still getting the point of the students creating their own digital stories across?

Question 2- Why is there such a need for students to create these stories? There are many other types of technology that can be integrated into the classroom, personally, other than a fun project, or a type of motivation, I find the digital stories just something to take up what seems to be like a lot of time.



April 8 - Web 2.0


#1: I really enjoyed reading the article "Technology in the Classroom"  I  thought that it was very interesting and motivating for me as a future teacher and for those teaching now to understand the huge impact that technology really can make in the classroom. I especially liked the author's idea of drawing the connection between home and school through technology. However, I am worried that some parents may not be so technology inclined to help bridge that gap. What happens if parents are unable to understand or participate in the technology integration due to lack of knowledge? Do you think that it would be beneficial to have a workshop conducted by the teacher to inform and educate parents on specific technology programs being used in the classroom or being sent home?


#2:  I also liked how the author of "Technology in the Classroom" spoke about his openmindedness to use technology in instruction. I  feel that  a lot of verteran teachers do not feel the same way about technology and bringing it into the classroom because they have done it their own way for so long and are not open to change. What are some ways to encourage those teachers who are not likely to integrate technology in their classrooms to do so without making them feel as if their is a drastic change?

~ Jen Harlee




1) The e-reserve reading made me think about technologies used in the classroom differently. I have not really seen an appropriate and efficient way of using common everyday technologies in the classroom. By this I mean that blogs, wikis, and similar technologies are used by students for entertainment and communication, not in the classroom. The reading made some good points and had great examples of how these could be used. However, when I was reading them, I thought of middle or high schol students. How can I incorporate technologies like these into my future elementary school classroom of 2nd or 3rd graders? Should I take class time to instruct them on how to use them, or is this type of technology just too advanced to use for that grade level?

2) I absolutely loved the ideas in "Technology in the Classroom." They were inspiring, efficient, and would make communication clearer and easier. My only concern is with parents or guardians who are not technologically advanced, or simply do not wish to use technology to keep up with school events, parent/teacher conferences, etc. Should we, as teachers, send out both paper and electronic notices? E-mail and call parents? Or is there a good balance in the middle that will make all families feel comfortable with what technologies are chosen and the way they are being used in the classroom?

-Chrissy Cohn


Richardson: As a future school librarian, the “toolbox” technology that seemed particularly useful to me was Social Bookmarking, in which users can basically create a “personal Internet.”  For example, I’d use bookmarking sites to create thematic or topic-based resources for teachers I collaborate with.  Which of Richardson’s tools seems most useful to you for your future classroom and students, and why?—Argie


Curinga:  An idea I took away from this article is the need for teachers to make the most of whatever technology resources they have.  The author identified ways to use software to organize classrooms and facilitate record keeping, communicate with students and parents, and create relevant classroom experiences for students.  Examples given were simple and useful.  However, the author referred to at least one idea as “a low tech solution,” but that’s relative.  As I read, I was thinking that “low tech” is better than no tech.  What’s your opinion?—Argie


Richardson:  The author gave examples of business-to-consumer marketing that uses blogs and wikis.  The examples reminded me of a recent Towerlight article (4/2/09) about Towson’s marketing efforts to prospective applicants.  Tactics included using current students’ Facebook pages to answer questions from prospects, and “TU Cribs” videos on YouTube so prospects can check out dorms.  How does this kind of technology in marketing compare to what you encountered when you were making decisions about applying to colleges?  Has there been a big change in a short time?—Argie


Question #1 In the article by Richardson I don't necessarily like the quote, "Todays students, of almost any age, are far ahead of their teachers in computer literacy. They prefer to access subject information on the internet, where it is more abundant, more accessable, and more up-to-date." In some cases  I do agree with this quote, but in others I do not. I don't think it is fair to place students of this upcoming age in the same group. I think it is extremely important to take student's background, family life, and past experiences into consideration before grouping these students all into the category that they are better and more advanced with current technology. Do you think that each student should be grouped differently according to their background information or do you think that since there is such a large amount of children that do know how to use this technology and prefer to use it, that this quote should stand true? - Jenna S.



Question #2 In the PCF: Technology In the Classroom article I like what the author has in mind and I appreciate that he is trying to incorporate technology into the classroom in a more student friendly and relatable way, but I don't  know if the programs that he chose are the best programs to use with young children. For example he chooses to incorporate:

    * using mobile phones to take photos of their lives and uploading them to Flickr

    * shooting and editing videos, and publishing them on YouTube

    * creating their own custom maps, using Google Maps . First, I don't think using their mobile phones in the classroom is such a great idea, teachers have been constantly repromanding students for pulling out their phones in the classroom. That idea would be contradicting everything the students know. Second, I don't think YouTube is such a great website for young students. There are some derogatory images and videos on that website that I am sure students will be able to get their hands on. Third, I think Google Maps might be too difficult for the students to use and sometimes that information on that website is incorrect. For example, sometimes when you go onto MapQuest.com the website will give you wrong directions because roads and buildings have changed their location since the last time that website has been updated. These are only my opinions, but I would be interested to see what everyone else things about my concern. - Jenna S.



 It is obvious how beneficial technology can truly be in a classroom. Throughout this semester, I have taken all aspects into consideration with different scenarios. While reading Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms, I came across some concerns. When speaking of current classrooms, the author states that the focus of schools seems to be on raising standardized test scores. While I feel this is a huge problem, the truth is, it is true. Schools base their curriculums around helping students to excel in areas which are directly affected by state tests. As stated in this article, one goal for us is to not only provide access, but also skills and knowledge for students to see the benefits of the new media. I feel the author does not consider a curriculum. If a specific tool in technology can be used to assist a student in a specific content area, such as using a piece from YouTube for a presentation, then I feel technology can be a huge benefit. To take time from classroom instruction to simply introduce these different medias and ways of using them seems impossible with the amount of material a teacher must cover in a single year. Again I question, is this a general education teacher’s job?


          Also, I believe there are a time and a place for all technologies. When discussing different medias that can be used to communicate with parents and students outside of school, such as a blog, I found these ideas to be extremely helpful. I see the benefits it can provide since my younger brother’s school currently uses a type of blog. At the same time, I question certain technologies. For example, three examples the author states includes, “using mobile phones to take photos of their lives and uploading them to Flickr”, “shooting and editing videos, and publishing them on YouTube”, and “a student favorite, critiquing and building social networking pages on MySpace and others.” In reference to Flickr, does every child own a cell phone to take these pictures? What if a parent does not want his or her child to own a cell phone? What if a parent cannot afford a cell phone? Also, the school systems that I attended as a child do not allow cell phones to be brought into school. Doesn’t this send mixed messages? In reference to YouTube, I can understand the benefits of a student creating and publishing a video. At the same time, this media definitely has the potential to throw children off track. During a recent discussion in my biology class, we talked about the use of YouTube in our future classrooms. Since we are elementary education majors, we decided that we felt it would be best if this site was used in control of the teacher. This would mean the teacher previewing a specific video, and then showing the students using one main computer projected onto a large screen. In reference to MySpace, I find this out of the question. I have seen parents outraged when they found out that their child was using that site. It has been on the news how dangerous this site really is. While I am sure that a student’s site would be private and have certain restrictions, they would now hold the skills to create a new account, completely up to themselves. Introduced to benefit students, could this skill potentially harm them? I feel certain technologies discussed in this article have a distinct place to be used, and it is not in the classroom.


          When speaking of a teacher’s use of certain media technologies, the author discusses the use of Google Docs & Spreadsheets. If a teacher is okay using hard copies, would it be necessary to use these technologies? As an elementary education major, I will be certified at lower grade levels. Considering most of their work will be hand written, wouldn’t it be more work to transfer everything onto a computer?

Gina Pagliaccetti




1. While reading "Technology in the classroom" I really liked the authors idea about storing student documents on a flashdrive by creating a folder for each student. I never would have thought about this. Flashdrives are portable, can store lots of useful information to be brought home and that can be sent easily through e-mail to parents, and are not very expensive. I think if teachers can find technology that is affordable and inexpensive like this, it can really be beneficial for us. Can anyone think of another inexpensive technology support that teachers can use? I thought of maybe using a voice recorder to make observational notes about students without actually carrying around a pen and paper. These recordings can probably be stored on a computer or even in each childs' folder on your flashdrive.-Meghan Wilson


2. I also liked the ideas from both readings about using a class blog/website for communication between teachers, students, and parents. However the ultimate problem keeps rearing its ugly head...what about the families that don't have computer access? We can't deny them the same opportunities to communicate about their childrens' education and we certainly don't want to exclude any students. What ideas or suggestions do you have for incorporating those students without a computer in classroom blogs or websites? I thought of giving those students a take home journal for communication. However, this still excludes the student from seeing other students' comments and ideas on the blog or website, which could potentially be an important learning opportunity. How can we as teachers salvage those opportunities?-Meghan Wilson



1. In the article about blogs/wikis/ and podcasts in the classroom, the author makes a statement about students being more advanced in computer literacy then their teachers.  Students also perfer to access class information off of the internet.  My question is how are teachers going to go about providing this information on the internet when they may not be neccessarily capable of it?  How and where can teachers get training in different Webtools so they are able to meet their students' prefreneces in reference to the internet?  I think the idea of using online tools is great, ecspecially if it gets students motivated, but teachers need to be able to use these tools correctly and effectively.-Kera Valentin


2.In the article, "Technology in the Classroom," I really enjoyed reading the author's ideas and suggestions.  I think it would be a great idea to primarily use computers, the internet, and all the webtools to incorporate communication in the classrom.  However, I feel it is important to actually meet with parents to get a feel for who they are, not just the person behind the computer screen.  What happnens when a majority of your parents/students don't have personal computers at home?  Is this teacher giving them an alternate route to communication such as telephone confrences, confrence night, or providing all information on a handout?  Even though technology is such a huge part of most people's lives, not everyone is skilled enough to use it. 

-Kera Valentin



Question 1

PCF: Technology article:  I understand what this article is getting at, that it is great that many companies have made free software for the public as a way of keeping competitive, and that this is very valuable to schools and their use of technology in the classroom.  On one hand, I think this is great, but on another I think that this offers less of a filter, and and alot of the free technology available is really junk, and/or not something many would want to mess with in a classroom.  The two software that are immensely popular but come to mind first would be Wikipedia  and You Tube.  I use that software all the time, and while it is not useless (completely) I think that if teachers neglect filtering out the information that comes from these sources (which is put onto the source by everyday people), then there could be real problems with the quality of information student's are gaining from these sources.  Not to mention how easy it is to find base material on either of those softwares.  What are others thoughts?

~Yael S.


Question 2

Richardson: I liked how under the section "Digital Natives," the author mentions that kids these days grow up with a better understanding of technology then their teachers (gap!), and that their minds are now more structured to function in non-linear formats, as oppsed to the original linear progress of education schools implement in their curriculum.  I am thinking one of the biggest areas in eled schools today that may be hindering the progression of implementing newer technologies in everday classwork could be the "no child left behind" act, and all the focus given to testing.  The school day is busy as it is, and with the added pressure of teaching for the test, there is not as much time or devotion to really changing the structure in how we teach.  For instance, We want to teach proper grammer and writing skills, not taking into mind, perhaps the new sort of writing skills/structures that are used in the digital arena, which kids are more familiar with (and is an arena that the future is heading towards).  What are thoughts on this? 

~~Yael S.



1. When Richardson talks about appropriate ways to help keep students safe, one of the obvious things he brings up is reducing to WEB to only appropriate information.  For example, in the classroom, let us say a teacher begins to introduce the concept of searching the WEB to students, and they eventually learn how to go about using the WEB on their own.  In the classroom, they might be limited to what they can look up due to the school systems blocking certain websites. However at home it is a completely different story.  There are always going to be those students who go home and research inappropriate things on the WEB.  I have been in multiple classrooms where students go home and lie to their parents about things that do not happen in their classroom.  It actually makes me nervous knowing that it happens so often. So if a student blames what he or she is doing on the teacher, then what is the appropriate thing the teacher should do?  Will this make teaching students how to use the WEB always a concern?



2. Technology in a Classroom: I enjoyed reading this PCF because it gave me the chance to think about each time I use a piece of technology and each time technology has been used in all of my classes.  Throughout my life, I think that technology has taught me a lot about everyday life and has helped me out both personally out of school and in the classroom. Luckily, I had computers in all of my classrooms and in computer rooms so I cannot imagine not being exposed to it everyday for the past 20 years.  Matt Curinga, tells us that without computers, children wouldn’t do as good on standardized tests, and that we should “not ignore the potential and necessity of using software in our classrooms”.  I do for the most part agree with him, but not everybody has the same privileges that I had or that many school systems and communities can provide to the students.  After reading this, and hearing all pros about computers in the classrooms, if students are not exposed to an everyday computer, will the student suffer?  He also did not mention the cons about integrating technology in a classroom, which I know there are some, so as readers should we assume everything he said was true?

---Jen Locascio


1. Richardson argues that we as a nation can afford the technology and teachers to include emerging technologies in schools.  I was wondering what can be done at a national level to get a drastic increase in educational funding from the government so that this statement by Richardson would actually be true.

   2. In the PCF article, the author talks a lot about web safety.  What should a teacher do if they have taken many of the safety steps, but still cannot get permission to use the web from a certain parent? Should the teacher abandon the whole inclusion of the web-based technology, or are there other ways to include the student in the group activity?

  -David Baldwin


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