Saturday, March 17, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology: Module 5 Solution

What tools are available online to connect students in my classroom to students across the country or even the globe, to help them have a better understanding of different cultures and way of life?

While researching and student teaching this week I've come across a few websites and sources that I could see myself using, on a regular basis to help students connect and understand different ways of life and cultures. First, while student teaching, a fellow teacher showed her class a website called This website shows different income and quality of life of different families from different parts of the world. It allows you to look at different homes either by how much the family makes a month and/or country. You can also look up death rate, birth rates, and other statistics, and compare different countries and see how their statistics have grown or decreased throughout the years. It was helpful to students as they were able to see that not everyone in the world lives like we do (or their fellow classmates, in Kirkland WA). They saw how little people made, how they did or didn't have running water and electricity and then made assumptions based on the pictures they saw statistics or facts that went along with differing countries and family units around the world.

To maintain a global perspective, I liked the idea of having a pen pal in the 21st century, from our readings this week. Students could learn about the differences of everyday life between their country and the country of their pen pal on gapminder and then ask questions and learn first hand information from someone who lives in the country everyday, someone that might find our way of life different or confusing.

To complete the unit regarding a global perspective, students could find time to skype with their pen pal so they can talk person to person and see each other's classrooms. This would give them an even better idea of the differences and similarities between themselves and the student they've been corresponding with throughout the unit.

Some other tools I though would help with a global unit to help kids stay connected would be twitter. Having a hashtag they could use and share with their pen pal as another way to communicate with one another. Another way twitter could come in handy is if the students participated in a global read aloud. They could create a class (period or entire grade) hashtag so they could all participate online with the global read aloud. I like the idea of the global read aloud as something the students could choose to do, like a choice novel. They'd have to read one of the novels suggested for the read aloud and comment using a specific hashtag, being sure to note what other classmates are saying about the book as well as, possibly, people around the world. It could almost turn into a very informal, online book club.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology: Module 4 Solution

What ways can I assess students using technology and design, rather than the traditional paper essay, in my secondary ELA classroom?

In an article, suggested by Caroleigh, it mentions the importance of using technology in education.

"We need to get out of the 20th century mindset and re-envision what assessment can look like for the future.  That HAS to include technology. Our students are using sophisticated technology every day and to try and test them without it makes absolutely no sense.  We need to embrace technology (flaws and all) and use it to help us with that core purpose for measuring individual student growth."

This article continues and discusses ideas to help teachers assess students using technology. The one idea I can see myself actually using in the classroom, is having students have an online portfolio or blog where they can do their creative writing, free writes, or entrance/exit tickets for the day as well as showcase student work. "This is teaching our students how to develop [a web-presence] in a safe and secure way." I also allows for students to see each other's work and make positive and constructive comments. Lastly, it allows students to have all their work in one place and, hopefully, stay organized.

Another way to help students stay organized, while also having an online space, is utilizing OneNote, or a similar program. The school where I am currently student teaching, every student and teacher in the department utilizes OneNote. Daily tasks are presented in OneNote and students create their own folder that the teacher can access. They write notes, turn in assignments, and have access to daily tasks and calendars if they're absent or fall behind. All their information for the class is in their OneNote folder making it easy and organized

In regards to using these two programs for final assessments, students could use their online portfolio to showcase their assessments and a space to turn them in. What the specific assessments are, is the real chunk of my question and how to implement assessments that differ from the traditional essay. Two websites I came across to help implement assessments, one from our reading ( and another from student teaching ( would be great resources to have students use as an alternative. allows students to pick layouts and personalize their designs with their own ideas as well as easily add their facts to create a final infographic. Using allows students to showcase what they've learned in a creative way, using technology and learning a new resource and skill, without writing yet another paper essay. By switching up the assessment and allowing the students some creative freedom, as well as having them pick an issue they care about, the hope is they'll be more engaged in their learning while also having the autonomy mentioned in section 4 for the Innovative Designer standard. This standard states, "Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems." Students are learning a new skill, while also finding a new way to showcase information to their classmates, that they have an interest in. Relating back to their engagement, I'm reminded of the YouTube clip about growth and fixed mindset, it stood out to me how kids are more engaged in their learning when they're invested in it and have an interest in what they're learning. This is why having them do an infographic instead of another paper, will help them become invested in their learning and hopefully want to learn more and have some intellectual curiosity during the process of creating their infographic. I also appreciated the use of the word "yet" and how a simple word at the end of a defeating sentence can completely change the meaning. For instance: "I don't understand this project, yet." "I haven't figured out this project, yet." Adding that word is such a great way to change students mindsets., the other resource I mentioned, allows students to create presentations that can be interactive and gives them another resource, other than PowerPoint or Prezi, to creatively showcase their work to their fellow students. While checking out this website, I found a link taking me to another site that gave ideas on how to use in the ELA classroom such as book reports, character reports, and author research. They could also use the site to create a summary of the book by creating a shortened version of said book.

Referring back to a growth mindset, I believe it is crucial to be able to learn and succeed in school and part of that mindset needs to come from being engaged and not afraid to fail in class. While some students may be great writing essays, and prefer those over these nontraditional English assessment ideas, I know it's important that not all my students will shine in that area. By switching up their assessments by either having to do an infographic or create an interactive presentation, they'll be able to showcase what they know and have the confidence to continue to learn without the fear of failure. These two programs will also allow students to learn from one another and become more engaged in their learning because they'll be doing something different, hopefully challenging, and become invested in the final project. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology: Module 3 Solution

How do I get my secondary ELA students to use their critical thinking skills while reading articles on the web, to understand that not everything they read is true and what they can do to find out if an article is from a credible source?
While pondering this question, this week, I found myself looking for an engaging video to share with the class about the importance of reliable sources while doing research. I found myself on the YouTube channel CrashCourse which has a variety of engaging videos, geared toward middle and high school students, to help them better understand certain topics. The topics range from science, to math, to study skills. As I looked over the Study Skills section, I noticed they review papers and essays. Although the entire video (which is less than 10 minutes long) doesn't pertain to my question, the short section regarding research does give ideas on how to find reliable resources on the web. Their big suggestions were to use the library, which i think is often times overlooked as we live in a such a digital age, journal sites such as EBSCO, the bibliography or note section of popular non-fiction research based books, and Google Scholar. They also mention Wikipedia and how, although it is not a reliable source, the source section of the page may be a valuable resource when looking for reliable sources. I think this video would be good to show to the class as an introduction to research and essay writing. After showing the video, more instruction on research can be discussed as an introduction to essay writing.

Since we do live in such a digital world, I found the article What ICT-related skills and capabilities should be considered central to the definition of digital literacy? to be very relevant and important. The article essentially explains how we live in a world where "the convergence of print, visual images, social networking, online gaming and the ease of editing and producing music and film are evidence of the convergence of media and the scope for learners to create and share meaning in multiple formats." We live in a time where students need to be taught media literacy just as they are taught non-digital literacy as the two collide and share space in a learning environment. Without the knowledge of both, students aren't given the tools to be "capable of evaluating the relevance, currency, reliability, completeness and accuracy of online information, in addition to participating in today's digital culture." In turn, I need to teach my students to be an information literate person, to identify, scope, plan, gather, evaluate, manage, and present their findings. To do this, I could add to my essay writing introduction lesson and have students look over two different websites - one that is false or fake and one that is reliable - both touching on the same topic. I could ask my students to find the author, who publishes the page, and why they think the webpage is bogus or in fact a reliable source of information. We could even go over a Wikipedia page and point out why it is not a reliable source but show students where they can click on the sources for the page and how to decide if those sources are reliable or not, as well. We can also talk about how a page may be reliable but you also have to consider the tone of the author and their personal views and how they may reflect in the articles or webpage. 

All in all, I took from this week, was that it is my responsibility to teach my students how to find reliable sources and give them the tools to be information literate people so they can succeed, not just in my classroom, but in their future education as well as the world around them. 


McLoughlin, C. (2011). What ICT-related skills and capabilities should be considered central to the definition of digital literacy?. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2011 (1), 471-475. 

Paper and Essays: Crash Course Study Skill #9. Retrieved from: on February 18, 2018. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology: Module 2 Solution

How do I help students understand that what they write and show online, stays with them and can't always be erased; to remember to be thinking about their future and the professionalism (or lack thereof) will follow them as they move on from high school and enter into college/"the real world"?

To help students better understand the importance of being safe and smart about what they post online, I'd love to have a short 2-3 day unit about digital citizenship and have it tie into skills they'll need in the professional world, outside of school.

I would start the unit off by having a discussion about Digital citizenship, social media, how the two relate and start to dive into the importance of knowing what you're posting and sharing online. I'd have them take a short quiz online. This quiz can be taken from, which is a website devoted to helping students know what's safe and appropriate online as well as texting with friends. There's also information to help educate students on what they don't know or don't understand. This can also lead into a great classroom discussion and students can get the chance to express their views and opinions about the world online and social media. Another great online resource is and has resources for parents, students and educator. This may be a resource I let them know about but we don't go too in-depth, it could be something I send them home with to go over with their parents/guardian so the household is on the same page regarding online safety. The last thing I would do is handout a condensed version of the 9 P's of digital citizenship from Vicki Davis. This would be something they could carry around with them and be a quick reminder of how they should act online. Some of the 'P's" include privacy and professionalism, which would be a great transition for the second lesson about professionalism online and how it all relates. As homework, I would ask the students to look over the websites with their parents, possibly have a conversation with them about digital citizenship and what it means, discuss what was learned in class. I would also ask them to try to create a resume (doesn't have to be perfect) and explain to them that everything will tie together in the next lesson.

The next day the students would come in and we'd review what we learned the day before, ask if anyone had a conversation with their parents/guardians and if anyone would like to share. I'd then ask students to volunteer showing their resume. Once again, these don't have to be perfect. We'd go over different types of resume, what employers look for, the length, etc. I'd have examples of resume's from different career fields and different examples and if time allowed, we could also talk about cover letters. I think these are important things to know and learn but was never even talked about when I was in high school, yet I was supposed to have one to apply for college. I'd then show them a short TedTalk: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo by Juan Enriquez. In this talk, he explains how your digital identity, your whole life, is available online and is as permanent as a tattoo you might have on your skin. After this short video, I'd make the connection between digital citizenship and their resume. Much like a paper resume that you'll hand an employer, they'll also be looking at your online resume before they even start the interview process. This includes any social media accounts as well as simply googling a name to see what comes up. I would love to have my husband come in and talk about professionalism and his job working in HR, how he looks candidates up before they come to interview and have him share some stories about not hiring people based on what he found. With the permission of students, I think it would be fun to have him try to "find" them online. In real time, they can see what complete strangers see and how much of their life they're exposing and archiving online. If time allowed, we could follow up with a short Q&A.

I think these two days (possibly three, depending on time) would be very beneficial as students would be learning about being smart and safe online but they'd also be learning real world skills. They can also see the impact of posting online and how somethings can't be erased or taken back once they're put on the world wide web. 


Byrne, R. (2017). 12 Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship. 

Davis, V. (2017). What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship. Retrieved February 04, 2018 from (n.d.) Retrieved February 04, 2018 from

What Your Students Really Need to Know about Ditigal Citizenship. (n.d.) Retrieved February 04, 2018 from 

Monday, January 22, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology - Module 1 Solution

How can technology be used to build a trusting relationship between myself and my students to better engage them in their learning, is there technology to help build these important relationships and trust so learning can take place?

While looking for answers to my question, I read two articles (cited below) from our classroom readings that helped me find ways to integrate technology into my teaching, that will allow my students to be engaged while learning and also have a voice within the class.

In the article Supporting Autonomy in the Classroom the simple idea of giving students more choices and control of their learning created an environment within the classroom that helped students want to learn, which helped them be engaged in lessons and classroom discussions. The idea of giving autonomy to students can be hard for teachers, the thought of putting student's learning and test scores into their own hands can be stressful and, personally, I may find it hard to do my first year teaching. One way to remind myself and to help maintain a level of autonomy is to have my students keep in check, respectfully. One way I can do this is through a short survey or poll. Of course I'm not always going to be able to please every single student at any given time but if the students feel they have a voice that is heard and respected, it will also help build a trusting relationship and maintain the autonomy in the classroom. The article mentioned three different types of autonomy within the classroom, with the most important being cognitive autonomy. This is the type that deals mostly with their education. Cognitive autonomy promotes learning because it allows students to be heard and freely discuss or debate, it gives them the independence to solve problems in their own way and has the teacher listening more than lecturing. They not only build trust with the teacher but also with each other. In regards to letting students have a voice, the article 7 Keys to Effective Feedback, explains the importance of students getting feedback and the difference between feedback and advice. Sometimes, as humans, we are quick to give advice thinking we are giving feedback. The article also mentions the importance of allowing students to give the teacher feedback. To tie the two articles together, there needs to be a level of autonomy and trust for students to know they can give feedback without being punished or embarrassed in front of their peers. I believe a way to do this is, again, through the use of online polls or surveys. Lastly, the article mentioned the timeliness of the feedback and how important it is to give feedback as soon as possible so ideas remain fresh and at the front of the mind. The two articles had me searching the internet, where I came across a website rating the 10 best feedback tools to use in the classroom. My favorites were those like NearPod and Socrative, where students can interact, in real time, with the presentation. There's opportunities for them to compete against one another, play games, add commentary to the classroom discussion via digital sticky notes, and even take small quizzes or polls. The idea is to have students be engaged in classroom presentations or lectures by actually being an active participant instead of just sitting in the classroom listening to the teacher. They're allowed to be heard and the teacher can get instant feedback and/or responses from the students. By doing so, they are an Empowered Learner, which according to ISTE standards, is a learner that participates in the classroom with the use of technology.

The article, Ten Best Classroom Tools for Gathering Feedback, also mentioned the use of Google Forms. This reminded me of a teacher who came to one of our classes and talked about his management style and how he connects with his students. He used Google Forms at the start of every class. As students walked in and got settled, they new they were to get on their computers and take part of the daily survey or poll. Each day was the same questions - on a scale of 1-4 rate how you're doing health wise, in the classroom, and why for each. Some students explained they were a 1 because they were tired or they were a 4 because the material was making sense or they received a high score. Some answers were more personal such as a pet passing and others were merely a period with no other response. Meanwhile, he would sit at his computer and as soon as the students submitted their poll, he could see their answers and respond immediately through email. His students new he cared because he would ask them follow up questions, congratulate them on extracurricular activities and/or clarify questions. This has really stuck with me and is something I plan on using in my own classroom. As I've gone through the program I've thought of ways to connect with students and have their voice be heard and all my ideas seemed to be very time consuming. Using Google Forms and allowing roughly 5 minutes at the start of class to connect and immediately respond takes away the daunting task hearing each voice in every class. The also address the timeliness factor in regards to giving feedback (Wiggins, 2012) as well as helps the student become a Creative Communicator, stated in the ISTE standards.

Another ISTE standard being addressed throughout the entire classroom and will be part of classroom management is Digital Citizen. Students will need to learn what's appropriate and what's not in regards to posting within the classroom and interacting with their fellow peers. The rules will be set in place and respect among each other and myself will be given at the beginning of the year but they are expected to maintain the standards and rules set out throughout the entire year. 


Stefanou, Candice R., Perencevich, Kathleen C., DiCintio, Matthew, & Turner, Julianne C. (2004). Supporting Autonomy in the Classroom: Ways Teachers Encourage Student Decision Making and Ownership. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 97-110.

Wiggins, G. (2012, September). 7 keys to effective feedback. Education Leadership. 70 (1).   

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

EDU 6150 - General Inguiry, Teaching and Assessment Methods: Lesson Plan

I feel as if I've learned to successfully write a lesson plan. One that is thought out, makes sense, and helps keep students engaged from one activity to the next. The lesson has a central focus that relates back to the Standard with appropriate academic language and learning targets.

This assignment was time consuming but also something I really enjoyed. It helped me to visualize everything that would be happening in my classroom: what would be projected, what would be discussed, where would I be standing at certain times, how would students interact and participate. It helped grow my excitement at the thought of having my own classroom. I learned that I need to have back up plans and ways to help exceptional students succeed as well as general education students. I need to be ready to make adjustments in the moment and be ready for whatever might come up, whether that be discussion topics, less time than I thought I might have due to interruptions (fire drill, more questions than anticipated through discussion), or students that need to learn in a different environment or setting. Building this lesson plan has helped me appreciate what good teachers do "behind the scenes" and the time they put forth in their lessons. It's also helped me realize how important it is to plan and be prepared to teach, be prepared to be in front of a class and manage a classroom. Not until I wrote this lesson, did I realize that there's more to a plan than instruction. I'll need to be able to manage a classroom while also keeping students engaged and focused. I'll need to be able to make the most of the time I have with my students so they get the education they need and deserve.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

EDSP 6644 Education Exceptional Students - Lesson Plan

Below is a lesson plan, catered to a student who may be suffering with ADHD. I think it's important for these students to feel included and a part of the class. Students suffering with ADHD may have a hard time staying focused and on task, they may also become fidgety if they have to sit for too long. To accommodate this, I've modified a lesson during a literature unit to have the students work with partners or in groups. The ADHD student will work specifically with other students that are great at staying on topic and remaining focused. Vocabulary will also be discussed and the ADHD student will get the chance to move around when a scribe is needed to write words and definitions on the board. This will also help them retain what is being taught and be included in the discussion.