Sunday, October 23, 2011

Final Reflection

As I reflect on my “Personal Theory of Learning” from the first week of class, I find that I can confirm my personal learning theory is a combination of the four learning theories.   Each learning theory is important when considering the diverse group of students in a classroom and each theory has its advantages.  Even though I was familiar with all the learning theories and knew that it is important to use a variety of ways to teach my students, I now have a deeper understanding how each learning theory helps my students to gain knowledge of the concepts that I am teaching.  A main thread that I noticed within each learning theory is to keep students active in their learning process.  This course has also helped me to see how I can use the learning theories and incorporate technology to enhance and engage my students in their own learning.
One of the immediate responses to this course that I am implementing in my classroom is examining how I am incorporating technology into the curriculum.  Dr. Orey discusses how technology can be an instructional tool or a learning tool.  Technology as an instructional tool is when the teacher presents information to the students.  Technology as a learning tool is actively engaging students in the use of the technology (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  Even though using technology as an instructional tool has its place, using technology as a learning tool is more powerful and the most effective way to incorporate technology.  I have already begun to examine how I implement technology in my classroom and insure that it is mainly used as a learning tool for my students.  Technology as a learning tool insures that my students are actively engaged in their learning.
One technology tool that I plan to use with my students is a wiki.  Wikis provide an opportunity for students to work collaboratively on a project while allowing the teacher to see who is contributing to the project.  This tool will encourage my students to interact with each other to enhance their learning.  Using a wiki has the students synthesizing information and then stating the information in their own words, a cognitive instructional strategy (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).  It also has the students using multiple senses to gather, manipulate, store, and use information.   
Another technology tool that I plan to use this year is both a classroom blog and individual blogs.  I already use a classroom blog to keep my students’ friends and family updated on what is happening in third grade.  Students take turns to analyze what we did all week and then summarize the important activities.  However, in the past, I have had the students dictate to me what to write and then I type their responses.  This year I have given my students more control.  I give them time to type their responses and then I go over what they typed and help them to see any changes, additions, or deletions they need to make.  I am also going a step further and using blogs for journaling and story writing.  Blogs are a great way to involve others outside of the group to help critique, evaluate, or even leave a comment about a group’s project.  That can include other students, teachers, family, friends, or even experts from around the world. 
This course has provided me with numerous technology tools to incorporate into my lessons that will engage and motivate my students in their learning.  So numerous, that at times I have become overwhelmed trying to explore all the options.  To alleviate the stress of feeling like I have to know it all, one of my long-term goals is to gradually implement the various technology tools that I have been introduced too.  I have made a list of all the tools and websites that I want to explore in more depth.  I then plan to work on incorporating two technology tools at a time.  Once I can implement them well, I then will explore more options to incorporate into the curriculum.  I am sure that some of the instructional technology tools will take longer to feel comfortable with while others will be a bit easier.
Another long-term goal is to keep learning about how to integrate technology until it is a natural integration in my classroom.  As I become more comfortable with technology and how to use it to actively involve my students, technology will become an integral part of our daily learning.  Right now, at times, I feel like it is a forced integration versus a smooth, automatic response to our classroom learning.  As I continue to work on my masters program through Walden University, use the expertise and support of my colleagues, and continue my own life-long learning, I will strive to achieve a 21st century classroom that helps prepare my students to be productive citizens of society.    
As we learn more about how students learn and with the constant changes and the ever-increasing usage of technology, this will change the teacher-directed instruction to more student-driven projects using technology.  Most students are already using technology but educators must teach them how to use it safely and appropriately from a learning/educational aspect.  Not only does technology make the subject matter more fun for the students but it keeps their focus and interest too.  It also provides them a variety of ways to learn the material.  It is important for educators to prepare students for the changing world of technology, so they can be productive and lifelong learners.     
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011d). Program thirteen:  Technology:  Instructional tool
vs. learning tool  [Video webcast] Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom
instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lunchtime Chaos Voicethread

Social Constructivism Learning Theory

According to Dr. Orey, social constructionism learning theory involves learners to be “actively engaged in constructing artifacts and conversing with others” (Laureate Education, Inc. 2011).  It “emphasizes the importance of culture and context in understanding what occurs in society and constructing knowledge based on this understanding” (Orey, 2001, p. 2)  Social constructivists believe that reality, knowledge, and meaningful learning is the result of social interaction.  There are four general perspectives that facilitate social constructivism learning.  The cognitive tools perspective focuses on producing a product in a group while gaining the meaning through the social learning process.  The idea-based social constructivism is building an important foundation of learners’ thinking and social meaning through “big ideas.”  The pragmatic or emergent approach is that through both an individual’s and an entire class’s view, knowledge, meaning, and understanding of the world is addressed.  The transactional or situated cognitive perspective focuses on relationships between people and the environment and views that “learning thus should not take place in isolation from the environment” (Orey, 2001, p. 4). 
Dr. Orey points out three key roles of learning theories. 
1.       Defines how learning occurs
2.      Provides information on future trends on which to build educational systems
3.      Explains what is occurring in the world today.
(Laureate Education, Inc., 2011)
In the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works the authors present cooperative learning as an instructional strategy.  Cooperative learning “focuses on having students interact with each other in groups in ways that enhance their learning (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn,& Malenoski, 2007).  The workplace today demands that students are able to not only be technology literate but be able to work cooperatively.  Cooperative learning has five basic components:  positive interdependence, face-to-face, promotive interaction, individual and group accountability, interpersonal and small-group skills, and group processing (Pitler et al, 2007, p. 140).  The instructional strategy of cooperative learning definitely has principles of social learning theories.
Technology can also be a tool that will enhance cooperative learning.  Technology can “facilitate group collaboration, providing structure for group tasks, and allowing members of groups to communicate even if they are not working face to face” (Pitler et al, 2007, p. 140).  Wikis and blogs I feel are two great examples of this.  They allow students to communicate, share ideas, and work on a project together, without having to be in the same place or working at the same time.  I am looking forward to using a wiki this year with my third graders to enhance their animal reports.
Another great technology activity to use with cooperative learning is WebQuests.  I am in the process of having my third graders work in groups of four to complete a WebQuest on animal life cycles.  The WebQuest provides them with all the directions, internet links, and evaluation rubric to help them complete the project.  Each member of the team is assigned a job.  The jobs help them to stay focused and not argue about what each is to be doing.  The jobs are task manager (keeps everyone on task), navigator (navigates the computer and clicks on the links), reader (reads the information to the group), and recorder (takes the notes).  I have them switch the roles each time we work so they experience each one.  Once they have completed the quest they have to present their information to the class, create a comic strip of their animal’s life cycle, and add any other information or pictures they think are useful and helpful.  This activity has the groups working together to learn about a particular animal’s life cycle but they have to in turn be able to teach it to the class.  Dr. Orey tells us “teaching others helps the learner to develop a deeper understanding of the content” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). 
Many other technology resources allow students to work cooperatively on projects as well.  Some examples are making videos, having keypals (I had also used the term e-pals), multiplayer simulation games, and Google Docs to name a few. There are so many opportunities in this technology driven world to provide our students with engaging technology based activities that will prepare them to be part of a “fast-paced, virtual workplace” where they will need to work cooperatively.  “Cooperative learning is not so much learning to cooperate as it is cooperating to learn” (Pitler et al, 2007, p. 143).
Most people are naturally social beings and therefore I feel that social constructivism learning theory is definitely valuable in the classroom.  However, I do feel that the other learning theories have a place in the classroom too.  Using components of all the learning theories will aid students to be successful and help prepare them to be a productive citizen of society. 
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program nine: Connectivism as a learning theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Constructionism Learning Theory

Dr. Orey defines constructivism as “a theory of knowledge stating that each individual actively constructs his/her own meaning” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  He then defines constructionism as “a theory of learning that states people learn best when they build an external artifact or something they can share with others” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  He continues to talk about how the building blocks for constructionism are: assimilation, accommodation, equilibration, and schema. Assimilation and accommodation is what is going on in the individual learners mind, as they are building things.  Dr. Orey points out that constructionism is what we need to be focused on in education.  Students should be actively engaged in creating a product (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  “Instruction is effective when the learners can relate personally and take something away from it” (Orey, 2001, p. 3).  It boils down to that students should be engaged in hands on activities to enhance their learning.

In the text, Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, the authors talk about how the instructional strategy of “Generating and Testing Hypotheses” engage students in complex mental processes and enhances the overall understanding of the content (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, Malenoski, 2007).  They continue to talk about six tasks that teachers can use to help students with this instructional strategy.  The six tasks are:
1.       Systems Analysis – Students study the parts of a system and make predictions about what would change if one or more parts were altered.
2.      Problem Solving – Students look at various solutions to solve a problem.
3.      Historical Investigation – Students construct hypotheses about historical events.
4.      Invention – Students examine a need and then work to create a solution.
5.      Experimental Inquiry – Students observe a phenomenon, make a hypothesis, and set up an experiment to test their prediction.
6.      Decision Making – Students define criteria and apply weight to the various criteria to make a sensible decision.
 (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 203).
 All of these tasks definitely fit into the constructionism theory of learning.  They each have the students actively engaged and creating an artifact to demonstrate what they have learned.  They also all fit into another constructionism component, Learning by Design.  The common goals of Learning By Design are: 1) extracting essential concepts and skills from examples of experiences 2) engaging learners in learning 3) encouraging question posing, and 4) confronting conceptions and misconceptions (Orey, 2001, p. 6).

            I have used various different hands on activities in my classroom that have my students creating a final product.  Examples of artifacts that I have had my students engaged in are Power Point slide shows, travel brochures, posters (even technology based posters using, videos, voice threads, time lines, comic strips, etc.  From experience, I have seen my students motivated and engaged in their own learning when working on their creations.  Dr. Orey says, that “Learners don’t get ideas; they create ideas” (Orey, 2001, p. 4).    


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cognitive Learning Theory

Cognitive theorists try to explain learning as how one thinks.  They view learning as “a mental operation that takes place when information enters through the senses, undergoes mental manipulation, is stored, and is finally used” (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008, p. 16).  Unlike behaviorist, cognitivists believe that learning is complex (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008).  Dr. Orey lists four components of Cognitive Learning Theory: Limited Short-term memory, Elaboration, Dual Coding Hypothesis, and Network Model of Memory.
There is a limit to what a person can process at one time – we can only process up to seven things at once (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  When a teacher has their students use technology, it allows for some of the lower level thinking skills to be eliminated by the computer so the student can focus on using high order thinking skills.  For example, using Microsoft Excel can eliminate calculation functions for the student so they can focus on interpreting the results and using that information however applicable.         
The instructional strategies of cues, questions, and advance organizers fit easily within the cognitive learning theory.  These strategies “enhance the students’ ability to retrieve, use, and organize information about a topic (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007 p. 73).  Cues and questions trigger the students’ memories and help with retrieving prior knowledge.  The advanced organizers help the students analyze, classify, and focus their learning.  With higher-level questions, these instructional strategies produce deeper learning (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).  Long- term memory uses networks of information and uses connections to retrieve information.  Concept maps and graphic organizers are a cognitive tool that replicates the network model of memory (Laureate Education, Inc.).   Software tools such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, online concept maps and graphic organizers allow students to engage in higher order thinking and more advanced activities (Orey, 2001).
I use cues and questions often when beginning a new unit to activate prior knowledge.  I also use graphic organizers, like Kidspiration, to develop various concepts in science and language arts.  Graphic organizers encourage high order thinking skills.  I have never thought about using Microsoft Word as an organizer but look forward to trying it out.  I also plan to try several of the online concept maps.   
The instructional strategies of summarizing and note taking “enhances students’ ability to synthesize information and distill it into a concise new form” (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 119).  During summarizing and note taking, students must think cognitively and analyze the information to decide what information to delete, substitute, or keep ((Pitler, et al., 2007).   Effective software tools for summarizing and note taking are Microsoft Word, Inspiration/Kidspiration, and other web resources like ThinkTank, Google Docs, wikis, and blogs.
I already use a classroom blog to keep my students’ friends and family updated on what is happening in third grade.  Students take turns to analyze what we did all week and then summarize the important activities.   This year I am going to take a step further and use blogs for journaling and story writing.  I also plan to give ThinkTank a try to see if that will help my students learn how to take notes and summarize information.  My students are also going to use a wiki to have small groups collaboratively research, analyze, and summarize information about an animal of choice.    
Multimedia is another tool that fits with the cognitive thinking of learning.  Dr. Orey talks about how images are a very powerful tool.  Information stored as images is the cognitive component of dual coding of information (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  Multimedia provides those images and can be used to activate prior knowledge, enhance new information, and to enhance summaries, notes, and projects.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program five: Cognitive learning theory [Video webcast] Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from
Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Behaviorist Learning Theory

Learning theories are an attempt to explain how a student learns.  One of the theories that we are exploring this week is the behaviorist perspective.  Behaviorist, “view all behavior as a response to external stimuli” (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008, p. 15).  According to this learning theory, learners respond to positive, negative, and neutral reinforcements. Learning is viewed as a passive not an active process (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008). 

The instructional strategy of homework and practice falls under “Repetition, generalization and discrimination,” one of the four key principles of learning according to James Hartley (Smith, 1999).  He also notes, “Skills are not acquired without frequent practice” (Smith, 1999).  Homework and practice are an instructional strategy that do just that, it provides students an opportunity to review, apply, and practice the skills they have learned. 
The author’s of Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works talk about how exposing students to concepts multiple times helps them to become proficient with the skill and that they need to be exposed to the skill about 24 times to achieve 80-percent competency (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).  Numerous software programs and websites provide students an opportunity to practice the concepts they learn.  This programmed instruction provides students with reinforcement and can be used as practice during school or as homework.   Some great websites I use are , , and .
The authors continue to state that when “homework is assigned, it should be commented on” (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 187).   Providing comments on homework and practice is a way to give positive and negative reinforcement.  Providing positive and negative reinforcement is a way to increase the likelihood that students will repeat the behavior that the teacher is looking for.  As the students repeat the behavior, their proficiency in the skill will increase. 
Reinforcing effort is another instructional strategy that increases achievement (Pitler et al., 2007).  Making a connection between effort and achievement is important for students.  I really like the activity that fifth grade teachers, Ms. Powell and Mr. Rodriguez, used to help their students to see this connection.  The filled out an effort rubric to assess themselves and then charted their progress on a spreadsheet.  This is a perfect example of, “Reinforcement is the cardinal motivator” and “Learning by doing,” that are key principles of behaviorist James Hartley (Smith, 1999). 
Even though there are differing opinions on whether or not the behaviorist learning theory is applicable in a classroom, I feel that it can be useful.  There are many concepts, like math facts, that once a student learns the concept they need to practice the skill repeatedly to become proficient.  Reinforcement is also a great motivator when used the correct way.  However, I do believe that behaviorism should not be the only learning theory that is evident in a classroom.   
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program four: Behaviorist learning theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from
Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical foundations (Laureate Education, Inc. custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Smith, K. (1999). The behaviourist orientation to learning. In The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Final Reflection

I am fortunate to be at a school that has a lot of technology available for the teachers and students.  Naturally, using the technology and integrating it into our daily curriculum is expected.  One of the biggest pushes that our principal and technology coordinator is always saying is that we need to use the technology to impact our students learning – not just as a tool to make things easier for us.  Just as we have learned in this class, we need to use technology to “do different things not to do things differently” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).   I have always enjoyed using technology and have felt comfortable with it but finding the time to use and explore various technology devices is difficult.  Prior to this class, I would have ideas but not be sure how to get started.  This class has given me more confidence and has forced me to explore and try using technology in ways that I have not before.  I enjoyed figuring out how to use a personal blog, a wiki and a podcast.  It has also made me realize that I do not have to be an expert and that it is okay if I have my students help with technology that they already know.  I now look forward to using a program where each of my students can have their own blog so that they are writing for an authentic audience.  I also have several ideas on how I will use a wiki with my third graders. 
I have been teaching long enough that a teacher-centered classroom was the common practice.  Over the past several years, I have realized how the old way of teaching does not benefit my students.  This class has helped me to see that I need to continue to step in the direction of a student-centered room. To help my students be ready for the 21st century world I need to be a facilitator and a collaborator and to help my students to evaluate, synthesize and utilize the information they find on the World Wide Web.  I need to move out of the way and allow my students to have more responsibility, to take ownership of their own learning, and to guide them in expressing their knowledge in authentic ways (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  My students need to be working collaboratively and even globally so they are ready for the business world.
   This class has helped me to see not only different ways to use the technology I have access to but also how other technology devices that my students are probably already using outside of school, could benefit my students as they learn.  We can use technology tools like the cell phone, IPad, IPod, and even the Kindle or Nook.  If we can utilize the devices that our students already know how to use and want to use, to motivate and help them learn 21st century skills, why fight it and go ahead and allow them to use the devices – with strict guidelines of proper use in the classroom.
One way I will continue to expand my own knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology to improve my student achievement is to continue with the Walden University Master’s Program that I am currently taking.  Luckily, my school has professional days incorporated into the school calendar in which we are usually working on how to teach 21st century skills.  I will also continue to collaborate with my teaching partner and team as we try out new ideas.  I think it is also important to remember that we can also utilize our students’ knowledge of technology to help us expand our own.
One goal I plan to implement this year is setting up a blog for each of my students to do their journaling and writing.  I want to give them an opportunity to write for an authentic audience and to receive comments back on their writing from classmates and parents.  I hope this will not only make it fun for my students but that it will encourage them to produce higher quality writing.  A second goal is to incorporate wikis into the curriculum so my students will have an opportunity to work on 21st century skills like collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, evaluation, and synthesizing.  Since I teach at a parochial school that has an abundant amount of technology readily available, I do not have any obstacles in my way to achieve my goals.
As I look at the checklist from week 1, I plan to change several of the areas that I marked “sometimes” or even “rarely,” too “often” this school year.  To name a few, I plan to require student collaboration, provide students with multiple and varied opportunities for using technology tools and resources, and provide students with opportunities for sharing and presenting information in multiple ways.  I also plan to widen my personal learning community to help further my own professional growth.  This class has taught me a lot and I plan to incorporate what I have learned immediately so I can empower my students with the 21st century skills they need to be successful in life.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Program one.  The emergence of educational technology [Webcast]. Understandng the impact of technology on education, work, and society.  Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Program twenty-three.  Bringing the fun into teaching with technology [Webcast]. Understandng the impact of technology on education, work, and society.  Baltimore, MD: Author.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Technology Podcast

Below is a link to a podcast I made for my class Understanding the Impact of Technology.  I interviewed three students about their technology use at school and at home.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national organization, is an advocate for teaching our students 21st century readiness skills by infusing the three R’s and the four C’s which will help the U.S. Education System to keep up globally.  One of the first things I noticed about this site is the plethora of information it contains.  The site is a great resource for those who want to know about 21st Century Skills, for school districts wanting to incorporate these skills into their curriculum, and for schools already working on becoming a school that engages in 21st century skills.   
We have been discussing and implementing 21st century skills at my school for the past couple of years.  Gradually we have all been working together to become a school that is teaching 21st century skills.  After looking through this web site, I realize that becoming a 21st Century School is much more that I had realized.  The information helped me to see that we have already been teaching some of the skills that our students need but it has also helped me to see what else we need to be teaching our students.  This will be a very helpful resource as we continue developing our 21st century curriculum. 
I was pleased to see that not only is the organization working with professionals and educators but they are working with the government and some major businesses too.  It is fantastic to see some major corporations like Dell Computer, Apple Computer, AOL, Cisco, and Microsoft all partnering to help improve United States education. 
As you here more and more about the necessity of teaching 21st century skills in the classroom, I was disappointed to find that only sixteen states have developed a technology plan and standards.  Unfortunately, the state of Missouri where I live is not one of them.  I hope to see that list grow, especially as more states look at adopting nationwide standards. 
As I read and learn more about 21st Century Skills I see that as an educator I must step up to the plate and make sure that I am incorporating technology and higher-order thinking skills into my daily curriculum.  Incorporating 21st century skills is a necessity for my students’ future.  Critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication are four C’s that my students will be learning along with the three R’s they are already learning!          
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from
Trilling, B. (n.d.) The Partnership for 21st Century Skills – Home. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills – Home. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogs in the Classroom

I am somewhat familiar with using blogs in the classroom already.  I teach third grade and last year was my first year to have a classroom blog.  However, as I am learning more about blogs, I did not use it to its fullest potential.  I mainly used it to keep family and friends updated on certain happenings in the classroom.  I would also post special projects (for example Power Points) and pictures.  Each week, I would have two students write down on an index card what they would like to share on our blog.  I would then type in what they wrote, have them read what I typed, and okay it or add more before I posted it.  This was my first experience with blogs so I plan to improve upon the use of it this coming year.  I plan to keep up the classroom blog but want to turn more of the responsibility over to my students.

I also plan to have a blog for each of my students.  I will use the blogs for their journal prompt responses that we do each week.  I hope this will motivate my students to produce quality answers instead of writing down brief and inadequate answers.  This will also be an easy way for me to comment and respond to their responses.  I will also require them to read and respond to a certain number of their classmates’ posts.  I hope that by opening this up to parents that they will also participate in responding to several of the students' posts.  Eventually, I want to expand the use of the blogs for their writing too.  By using the blogs for the journal prompts and their writing, it will give my students an authentic audience and the interaction will give them a purpose as they write.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I am currently working on my master's degree in "Integrating Technology into the Classroom" through Walden University.  Through the courses in the program I hope to learn how to effectively use technology in my third grade classroom.  I am privileged to be part of a school that is blessed with a lot of technology and I am excited to learn how to use these resources to engage, encourage, and motivate my students. 

Last year was my first year to use a classroom blog with my students to keep parents and friends updated on our classroom happenings.  I plan to improve the use of the classroom blog and want to venture to using individual student blogs for journals and/or writing workshop.

My third grade classroom blog: