Saturday, May 2, 2009


Blog 10

This course has been a good breather for me away from the other courses taken so far. The information learned gave confidence and a new desire to learn more information. Making a better, more useful power point was what fueled my desire for being a better communicator. Not that power points are used every day, but when making a presentation, a great power point really sells information. As a principal, power points may be one way of communicating. When making the power point for my portfolio, my younger son was helping me with some details. I wanted to include a video on the power point. My son told me, “Dad, you can’t do that. You’ll mess it up.” I told him we can try anyway. He was surprised when the two videos were successfully downloaded. It was a great moment to think I knew more than my son for a few moments.

I have changed as a person and educator by becoming more confident in a few skills I already had and learning several I didn’t have. Confidence was gained in becoming a better communicator and making a better power point. New skills learned were how to use excel, becoming a blogger, making a wiki, finding the del.ic.ious web site, learning where more backgrounds are for power point, and loading a youtube video on a power point.

One goal for next school year is to have a class blog for other teachers, students and parents to view for information about our class, school, district…. I will have to maintain it and answer questions, and since it is public, be careful about what is written so as not to be misrepresented.

This class has been great. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet each person enrolled and Dr. Mc.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Integration and Engagement Using Technology

Many of today’s schools are zapped for finances with rising costs of fuel, salaries, supplies and the need for more building space due to an increase in population. With this in mind, teachers sometimes have to be inventive with supplies on hand. When administrators see the initial drive and intuition the teacher has, finances for necessities may appear. When we use our surroundings to teach basic skills, more in-depth learning can be rooted and grow for productivity.
Using the free technological gadgets and applications can help catch inquisitive minds, thus broadening skills as students and adults are empowered by new skills. Blogging can merely make our world smaller by being able to communicate with others thousands or just a few miles away. Blogging, being free is one of the keys to breaking barriers of interaction between others. We are able to share cultural similarities and differences. Oh, what a tasty way, Del.i.cious is allowed to bring a glut of information into our world. I could play and surf with these tools and totally lose track of time if allowed.
Every school year brings a new crop of students with a variety of needs. Some are severely lacking in critical thinking, possibly due to home/personal situations. While every child can learn, some learn faster than others and critical thinking seems to reach further for those with more quality experiences. We take these students where they are and attempt to integrate new skills in preparation for the future. Better communication is a key element, by way of talking one to another, in written form, or using effective technological skills.
Being very right-brained, great effort will move this mountain(me) to new heights and level the stumbling blocks for better traveling on the world wide web and using proper tools in excavation of the mines and crevices loaded with untapped energy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Overcoming Technology fears

When making a power point, my worst fears are that I won’t be able to find the needed icon or tab to click on at the appropriate time especially if I’m in a rush to make it or show it. While still learning many new options about the computer and that every version is better than the last, I believe the help from William and Jenifer will be beneficial. The presentation help has been great by showing more do’s and don’ts when making a power point. The tips for making a better power point have been enlightening. These morsels filled some gaps to help make my technology skills better. I learned the tabs on the screen have more uses; how to order and resize better; and confidence that I am able to form a decent power point. My best hopes are that I will have ample time to create my power point and the presentation will run smoothly.
I am overcoming my fears of inefficiency and plan to use these new skills to communicate better. The times will come when a power point presentation will require these improved skills to exhibit an idea or sequence of events before colleagues. Certainly that is the time to impress those who may question abilities. Understanding schools must meet budget requirements and standards to meet demands set by the state, school board, and the community, my hope is that school districts can balance needs for athletics and academics.
Even though, I am nowhere near where I’d like to be with my tech skills, this class has given new hope like an oasis in the desert. Expecting new discoveries from searches, both intended and accidental, I will explore technologies while seeking others’ opinions and wisdom. Implementing fresh ideas invigorates the stagnancy of those worn and weathered. However, there are those acquired skills rooted and ingrained that do give us stability. The common sense to know when to use the proper tool is a great life skill. Hoping to apply these skills prior to and when reaching the pinnacle in the future, I will be a better communicator.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blog 7

What are my thoughts about my ability to be successful in an online course?

Being aware of my abilities to work in an online course, I prefer to be with the professor face to face or at least with a telecast professor. I may be able to decipher the information, but would most likely have difficulties due to a deficiency in a prerequisite.
The online quizzes merely reinforced prior knowledge of my abilities. According to Boyd, the online course student needs to be self-directed, self-paced, and be willing to meet others online probably without ever meeting other students face-to-face. Online students also need support from family, friends, employers, and co-workers. These should be patient and understanding that the demand to have assignments done promptly and accurately is critical. Boyd also says online students need better than average reading and writing skills. While these former requirements could be achieved, my technology skills would be lacking and therefore be a dam in the flow of achievements.

What are my thoughts regarding online learning and the K-12 student?

There are districts in remote areas with fewer than 50 students and teachers could be scarce. If a facilitator who could assist students is present, especially for primary age students, an online head teacher may be best for that particular situation. The prediction is for a teacher shortage in some USA locations. Online courses may be the proper choice for these. As long as an organized, encouraging person was monitoring students during the online class, I would not be in opposition to my own children being in the class. Of course, older students would be required to be prompt and well behaved, forming good habits. This training might also help them to adjust to college classes better in the future. Our oldest son is taking an online college class as a high school senior. He is learning that he must be very attentive to information and assignments. He has always been a great student, but has never taken an online course. I feel this is not his favorite activity because of the difficulty of the course, not particularly because of being online. According to Boyd, some students prefer online courses due to freedom from meeting at certain times of the day/ week, while online courses may require more online activity each day. Lim says online learners may not see the importance of what is taught and may become disengaged, de-motivated or fail to make a connection in what they have learned. To summarize Lim, it becomes the responsibilities of both the learner and instructor, to complete the task. The learner’s part is to be attentive, punctual and motivated about the class. The instructor’s part is being the motivator, encouraging online discussions, replying to questions within 24 hours, setting meaningful tasks, keeping focused and recommending good resources for exploration.

How does this tie to my educational technology philosophy?

The Earth is called the “living planet” because it is ever changing. People and the needs of today’s societies are also changing. We have a nation and world of diverse cultures. My preferences may work for a small group, but not necessarily for everyone. If online courses work for some groups, then that is the ideal situation. I am not opposed to trying new concepts, especially if what I’m doing is not successful. As a principal, I have to present the best situation for my students.

Blog 6

My thoughts regarding the facilitation of interaction in the online learning environment

Students have a variety of learning modes. Primary to some elementary age students usually learn best with learner-instructor interaction because they need the concept modeled and taught using the proper techniques. By upper elementary, students should have the precepts to teach and work together by modeling concepts with the instructor observing, ready to step in if necessary in order to correct a misunderstanding before it is set and has to be re-taught. From Jr. High to adult, students should have the principles to read information and discern it or glean pieces of it in order to share with others and formulate a consensus as in learner-learner as long as they have a foundation from which to build. While it is easier and really better by having the instructor to help, some students can learn without the instructor close by. I prefer to have my instructor near in this course because my confidence level is still low in some areas.

Have I taken an online course that incorporated the three types of interactions?

This is my second course in which we do not meet weekly, but I‘ve never taken a class totally online. Every graduate class I have taken at Texas A & M has had an array of all three interactions.

Are these classes effective in facilitating online instruction?

Yes, I think both Dr. Wade Fish and Dr. McElhany are effective in facilitating online instruction. In class, the instructor answers direct questions and then allows the student to delve into self discovery in order that I will retain information longer.

Discuss my thoughts based on the information in the article on the three types of interaction. How does the concept of facilitating interaction in an online course align with my educational technology philosophy?

A good learning environment needs all three types of interaction. When students need an introduction to the material, learner-instructor interaction is probably best used because new information must be modeled. When students have some foundation present, learner-learner interaction is probably best because sometimes students can teach each other concepts better than the instructor (slightly different format). Learner-content is mainly for the elite group who can ascertain information with an inquisitive drive and won’t settle for much less than perfection or for those who don’t have another choice. I prefer to have my instructor present or at least an email away when I am “stuck in a rut and need to be pulled out”. I have found it most helpful when notations are given so that I may correct mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Use of Desktop Publishing and Movie Maker

How will I use these skills?

As one who is somewhat technologically illiterate, most any tip, technique or skill is like candy to a kid. I will probably be cautious in the uses and developments of some areas;. However the uses of movie maker and graphic design/ desktop publishing are attractive. I can see me using desktop publishing more than movie maker because I'm more comfortable with a keyboard and mouse. Desktop publishing will be great to make attractive announcements and advertisements.

How do they align with my vision and definition for educational technology?

Desktop publishing and movie maker can be employed in the promotion of upcoming events as a student talent show, school plays, fundraisers, beginning or end of school, student holidays, field trips, and promoting student successes. Exorcising movie maker and desktop publishing also promotes the school district as a leader in the technology field keeping up with the pace others have set and may follow.

Do I believe the use of technologies which incorporate the use of images is expanding?

A person may transfer a video by loading it into the computer and saving it in my videos the same as saving something in my documents. I found several videos about making/editing a movie from still pictures and home videos that had been loaded on the computer. Most of the videos had directio0ns that were detailed so that they could be followed. Some left out details probably due to assuming the listener already knew some information. I'm sure after playing with the tips/ tricks for making and editing, one could pick up enough information and follow the directions to make a video. The use of videos (online or on reel) is a great tool in the classroom to show students information in a different format. Desktop publishing and graphic design are great for making posters, fliers, and other forms of information to be publicized. This is a great improvement compared to just using the keyboard and mouse to type a document. Yes, these technologies incorporating images is definitely expanding.

What are implications for education?

The field is open with an opportunity fro anyone creative who wants to improve education and who has talents to influence others. As technology has grown in the past several years, education can only benefit as technology sprouts new shoots and tangents. Math and science will likely benefit quite a bit, due to so many undiscovered truths. Of course, there will be errors and miscalculations but we can learn from them as well.

What are some possibilites seen for utilizing the digital photostory 3?

As an administrator or teacher, the use of making a video to promote my view would be most beneficial. Using digital photos and a timeline, fading in and out, videos and background music help make a presentation better. What a dream and goal to set as an administrator who can manipulate technology for a great puropse.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Web 2.0 Technologies blog

I have learned several new modes of communication already this semester. Thinking email and searching the net was great, I did not know any other ways of communication using technology. While my school district is limited on funds for a variety of reasons, and several families in my district do not have access to the uses of technology, this does not give any school district an excuse for not empowering the influence of the internet properly. These students who do not have resources at home to gain strength using technology may successfully tap the potential of the web at public areas such as the library or school. We as educators, though not publicly sworn to uphold and strengthen mental abilities, must commit to the task at hand and improve, endow and uphold every student's potential.

Having a class blog would be beneficial and fun for my class. We can post announcements and student successes. It will help increase the desire for learning more about technology. I will probably be the student who learns the most. I believe my principal will be in awe compared to my other attempts.

I am still working on my math wiki. I hope it will help students and parents who want to learn tips to improve their skills. I am thankful for the daily help received to make the wiki. Without the assistance, it probably wouldn't happen. You can view it at

While the web site is great with organizing information and providing a plethora of sites for every taste, I have not been able to view it as much this week due to other engagemetns consuming much of my time. Being well aware that I have only scratched the surface of the technology soil and a great tilling is due, my "technology garden" will hopefully grow a lot expecially after weeding and de-bugging.