Thursday, November 17, 2011

Journal 6: Google+

Brogan, C. (2011, September 30). Educators-google plus is for you [Web log message]. Retrieved from
Parr, B. (2011, July 28). Google : The complete guide [Web log message]. Retrieved from

In this blog post, “Google+ The Complete Guide,”Ben Parr explains how Google+ is the next best social media network. He has designed and included a complete guide to navigating this fresh new place to hangout and network. He admits that it’s not the easiest thing to learn, so he has tried to help by providing resources for new users. It was appropriately named Google+ because it is still Google, but more. 

In the blog post “Educators- Google Plus in for You,” by Chris Brogan, he discusses how educators should use Google+ in their classrooms. He lists making class circles for a community of learners to share cyberspace, and teachers sharing lesson plans to limited users as the points for educators to join. I love the idea of PLN’s now that I am benefitting from one, so I can imagine how I could make Google+ work for me. 

Q1. If Google+ is such a great tool to use, then why hasn’t Jeff walked us through the process when he knows it’s a bit more challenging?

I believe that he has set us up to make our own wise choices when it comes to creating the remainder of our PLNs, and we should be able to take our previously learned knowledge about how these Internet tools and services work, and hopefully apply them here without fail.

Q2. Where can I go for tutorials to make it all make sense if I’m an auditory learner?

Click here to see how Google+ can surpass even Facebook

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Journal 9: Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe

Lamb, A. (2011, November). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from

    This article discusses how the concept of reading is changing from technological advances and books are no longer a medium constructed of paper and binding. Current reading tools include e-books, interactive storybooks, databases, interactive fiction, and transmedia storytelling. The use of these tools throughout the past couple decades has changed reading as we know it, and current surveys of youth agree that they would read more if they had access to e-books. By immersing students into transmedia storytelling, the readers are engaged and tend to learn more from lessons. This has made significant changes in curriculum building in order to teach subjects such as history, geography and science when seeing and hearing about a lesson can speak so much louder than written words.It isn’t just the current trend, but the new reality.

Q1.With the new technologies allowing students to read from web based sources and electronic devices where authors are getting creative, how do students know what is fact, and what is fiction?
   As the writer disclosed, there are authors who will write a fiction novel with factual backgrounds and information, but they will also lead readers away to fake websites that are designed to appear legitimate. It is our job as educators to teach students to read critically and not accept every written word as truth and always question the credibility of sources.

Q2. How will these changes impact the way children learn how to read?

    I know there are pros and cons to relying on these technologies to teach children how to identify letters, distinguish sounds, and form words, but there are some great tools that stand in for a lack of human interaction. Unfortunately, many children will be left with these devises instead of sound human experience. Computer based games and learning devises should balance with caregiver interactions during early childhood.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network

Visit Classroom 2.0

A personal learning network (PLN) is an assortment of Internet tools that makes it possible for me to immerse myself in a free stream of information that is very specific to my personal interests and needs as a future educator. By using Twitter, Diigo, Blogger, Facebook, YouTube, Google Docs, RSS feeds on iGoogle, and the next fun and exciting tool that is to come, I am able to view information that I would normally have to spend hours, days, or a lifetime searching for- but it all comes to me instead! By being part of my PLN, no matter how often or to what capacity I choose to participate, I have an advantage over others who don’t surround themselves with like minded or goal oriented researchers for the sake of professional development.
I never thought I would have a Twitter account, but it has proven to be an amazing tool that makes it easy and convenient to communicate or simply learn from people, organizations and agencies that have an abundance of information to share. I follow some experienced educators who have a passion for their work and enjoy sharing tricks of the trade. I also follow many teacher organizations and publications that provide resources for the classroom and give me a broader perspective of education and how technology is transforming the classroom. Many of the organizations are very specific with information about their cause; they provide instant toolkits for topics such as bullying, creativity, disabilities, politics, literacy, advocacy and anything that I would ordinarily research on my own. Popping into EdChat is easy while on my dinner break at work. It was at 4:00 on Tuesday October 25th. They discussed the idea of BOYD, or Bring Your Own Device to the classroom. A lot of what was said was about how kids already do, but if used correctly, they can learn how to be more productive with the same tool. It is a tough subject that is up for debate because of equity and security issues, but there is no doubt that these tools will be as standard as a number two pencil one day. Being part of a PLN makes me feel like I’m part of something grand and it gives me confidence to leave my digital footprint for others to follow and learn from. It is great to be able to see the feed on my iGoogle page whenever I open my computer or be able to catch up on relevant articles while in the grocery line. Twitter makes it easy to be informed in a busy world.
            I feel the same excitement for Diigo as I do for Twitter because they pretty much go hand in hand. When someone posts an amazing resource on Twitter, it only makes sense to retweet it and then save it to Diigo. It is wonderful to search my own bookmarks and view others’ by searching tags. I found great people to add to my network by searching tags that I am interested in learning more about. I am following educators who have invested time into their research and are generous enough to share that with me- and I can’t believe the deal Jeff worked out to get this all to us for free! The items that I tagged “PLN” are links that provide new and avid users with information about how to create or utilize a PLN and resources for expansion.
            I joined Classroom 2.0, which is a discussion forum for individuals who are interested in social media in education. There is so much to explore and it is a self-paced guide to understanding technology and getting comfortable with it in order to implement it in our classrooms. I have viewed a lot of articles, discussions and videos, and I love how it caters to so many different levels of interest and expertise. Some of the videos I watched were very informative, and others were simply creative ways to share information. One lesson plan I viewed allowed me to observe a teacher’s unique approach to teaching, and another video articulated how different today’s classrooms and students are from the time I was in school. I will definitely benefit from having Classroom 2.0 as part of my personal learning network.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Journal 4: It’s In the Bag

Basham, J., Perry, E., & Meyer, H. (2011). It's in the bag. Learning and leading with technology, 39(2), 24-25. Retrieved from

Wow, what a concept! I really enjoyed the idea of engaging students in digital backpack based projects because it gives them another outlet for their learning to be assessed. Some students are best suited for multiple choice testing, and others write good essays. I think that in this changing world, it is an excellent idea for children of the youngest ages to be given assignments that make them think outside of the 8 ½” X 11” box and express their learning in ways that prove true understanding. These are great ways to have students collaborate with each other and be assigned roles in a co-leadership group. When students are given criteria for a project or assigned a task that has endless possibilities, they are already set up for success because they can make what they want of it. They aren’t limited to the construction of a paragraph, but they can articulate their ideas and passions for their subject within their presentation. Using this media in the classroom is not the future, it is the now, so as educators we need to embrace its omnipotence and use it as a tool to encourage our students’ growth.

Question #1:Where might a school get the funding for these technologies?
There are a number of ways that teachers and classrooms can get technologies to use in their classrooms without attacking the pockets of taxpayers. There are many grant programs that offer monies to build programs or supply technology to students and schools. There are a multitude of websites and chat services designed to assist teachers and administrators with this process.

Question #2: What are the standards for primary grade students pertaining to these technologies? Are there devices that are inappropriate for young users?
Although some devices would need adult supervision, the technology is easily acquired by young children and utilized more appropriately than I would imagine. There are children’s programs that allow preschoolers to create live video with simple editing techniques and create original products far from resembling the traditional cookie cutter Halloween pumpkin hanging on the kindergarten wall. This allows for in depth focus and reflection on individual work that incorporates a much broader array of the curriculum.

Journal 3- Students Dig up Dirt to Learn About Internet Safety

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

In the article, Students dig up dirt to learn about Internet Safety, the writer invents an engaging lesson plan to let students see first hand that their “image” on the Internet is far from private. He elaborates on the steps to present this real life situation to students who use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to social network. After reading this article, I too am curious about what I can do to protect my anonymity and integrity of my web presence. This exercise is also a lesson on credibility, and proves that a researcher must check their facts before simply accepting written words. It also illustrates how falsely presented information can be misconstrued by the finder to use to their advantage. This is important to the upcoming generation of social networkers who might not be aware of such threats as they navigate through their supposed confidential networking world.
Question #1: Are there people who use this information to present themselves in a better light because they know people are looking? I believe that there are people who are more concerned about their Internet presence than they are about how they conduct themselves in real life. Just from considering the people who sign up for Internet date services or sign on with LinkedIn, could very easily provide false information. Is this to be believed?
Question #2: What can people find out about me now that I have a broader web presence? …Let’s find out. Looks like someone’s on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook- even one that’s not me, but that’s okay because the profile picture appears quaint and it makes me want to visit Savannah, GA. I found my old addresses in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts simply by doing a Google search! You might be led to believe that I have passed away.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Journal 2: Join the Flock and Enhance Your Twitter Experience (NETS-T I-V)

Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock. Learning and leading with technology, 37(8), 12-14. Retrieved from
Miller, S. M. (2010). Enhance your twitter experience. Learning and leading with technology, 37(8), 14-17. Retrieved from

In the article “Join the Flock,” Ferguson is inviting you to take advantage of twitter as a tool to get connected with others in your area of education or even make multiple accounts in order to separate your career from your opinionated or recreational news. She breaks the process down for people who are yet realize the potential of a PLN, or a personalized learning network, and she explains how easy and beneficial it is to be immersed in a community that exchanges knowledge for the purpose of professional development.

Miller goes on in her article about how “you will start to include your PLN in your thinking,” and I believe that this is very true. I have been talking about Twitter from the night we were introduced to it, and although I’ve gotten my repugnant responses when I would share my new experience with the world, the people who already used Twitter, or went on to try it agreed about its educational value and can’t see themselves in a world without it. I enjoyed how the article acknowledged that people start out shy and then raise their Twitter voice with confidence once they get the hang of it.

This is tweet-tastic, and now I’m so addicted- how can I stop?
Don’t worry, there are Twitter Limits set in place to ensure you don’t spend all day tweeting.

With all of these things to do online, how will I find time to read all of these tweets and find interesting news to share to keep up with the community?
That’s the beauty of it- the thinking that Miller is talking about becomes reality and soon you will be thinking about how useful a resource is to you and instantly wanting to share it! It almost motivates you to look harder because you’re contributing to your tweeps’ learning too. TweetDeck can simplify your Twitter experience, and don’t forget to put it right into your iGoogle homepage.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Technology Self-Assessment: School 2.0

NETS-T V: Engage in Professional Growth and Development I was particularly interested in this area because of our unique position of being part of the technology generation, so as teachers, we will be modeling the use of technology for our future colleagues and even bosses. We need to learn what we can now in order to further our own abilities and strengths in the classroom, but also for the advancement of technology education in our learning community. In an article that I stumbled upon, it describes virtual schooling (VS), and shows how rapidly it has been accepted in k-12 education. I have taken online courses through Blackboard before, and I have experienced the benefits and burdens of such instruction. I don’t want to become a teacher who can’t keep up with the technological advances that help students succeed. Think about it, how do you feel when an instructor doesn’t post your test score to Moodle by the end of the week? It is making an impact on connecting students who otherwise don’t have access to a classroom due to time, location, or circumstantial reason. In 2006, Michigan implemented virtual schooling as a high school graduation requirement, and I think this is a good idea because it shows students how to navigate technology in order to be lifelong learners. If work, family, and life get in the way, virtual schooling might be just what some students need to continue their education.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Katherine's Weblog Debut

Hi class! My name is Katherine Dupuis, and I grew up in Barnstead, which is a small town in South Eastern New Hampshire where the only school served grades k-8! I only attended until the middle of second grade, and then my family moved about an hour down the tree-covered highway to Barrington where I continued school until 8th grade. From there, Barrington School and the surrounding 4 towns fed into our regional high school, and of my graduating class, I wonder if anyone owned a cell phone- I know I didn’t! After bouncing around for a few years after high school, living with roommates in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, I decided to follow the sunshine to beautiful Oceanside, California. Here I decided that I had more to offer the world, so I enrolled in classes at Mira Costa College. After finishing up my AA in Liberal Studies and earning a Child Development Associate Teacher Certificate at MCC, I recently transferred to CSUSM! I’m a long way from home, and am waiting to see where the rest of the road will take me!

“Where on the technology continuum?” you ask… Well, if you rate it on a scale of A thru Z, I would say I’m at the spot where a young child is learning the alphabet and trips over the “el-uh-men-oh-pee” part. I’m competent enough to figure out the important stuff, but I don’t quite have it mastered or working well for me yet. Some recent developments in my technological life are that I have finally upgraded from Microsoft Works to Word (no more .rtf!), and my dumb phone got a major makeover- but I will still never pay for cable. It’s amazing to see how much apps have changed lives. Much like a child’s rapid acquisition of language, I plan to embrace change and grow exponentially during this semester as I learn to utilize the newest member of my family- my MacBook which I have named “Superfluous”. I feel a thousand pounds lighter because I finally have the tools I need for success, and I look forward to learning new ways to work smarter and not harder.
The mission statement wasn’t necessarily a factor in applying to CSUSM, but I can appreciate a lot of what is said in it. While taking classes towards both liberal studies and child development degrees, I understand the importance of knowing both what you teach and how you teach it. I am an advocate for child or student-centered education, and as a life-long learner I am continually challenging myself to both chase after my own interests and find out more to foster the teachable moments of my future students. The support of the School of Education in students’ success is admirable, and we are on our way to creating positive change!