Monday, February 24, 2014

Relative Advantage for Presentations

Presentation software has been around since the 1990’s. Even though Powerpoint and Keynote are still quality software programs, the real relative advantage of presentation in the classroom is for students and teachers to create content and have a place to showcase their own learning.  Paying for presentation software isn’t necessary when google presentations and haikudeck are available for students and teacher for free.   

Haiku Deck is a great example of all necessary features of a good presentation.  Their “Keep it simple” rule applies because it limits your text and makes the creator focus on a single idea.  Building your story around high-impact images that are curated by availability through a creative commons license makes it easy to find great pictures.  The formatting stays consistent and it’s fun to use.  Embedding the haikudeck is easy as well as downloading it to a powerpoint format or pdf.  

Using Haiku Deck for over a year has been a great experience for all of my videos and presentations that I have created.  It was just an ipad app and is now available online and the iphone app will be coming soon.  

Technology is evolving and students need to also use various platforms to show their abilities, expertise and proficiency.  Gone are the days for students to cut and paste without actually learning anything.  There are many engaging programs like Google Presentations that can be collaboratively shared with groups of students and using higher levels of Blooms taxonomy have them create the content to share and teach others.

Presentation software can be used for so many things other than a presentation.  Videos, infographics, comic strips, etc can be used with presentation software.  Giving students choice is important and letting the technology evolve as students do.

As an educator, I find that I use google presentation along with Haiku Deck for almost everything that I develop for my students and my professional development that I prepare for.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Click here to see presentation on Personal Narrative Writing with 2nd Graders

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Relative Advantage

Advantage of Instructional Software in the Classroom

According to Robyler & Doering, instructional software is defined as “Applications software that is designed specifically to deliver or assist with student instruction on a topic”.  Technology usage in the classroom began years ago and has changed dramatically since first introduced.  There has been much speculation and opinions of how instructional technology will be used in the future.  I love the quote from anonymous, “Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers using technology will replace those who don’t.”  Technology has developed to become a tool of meaningful integration into the classroom.  There are different ways to integrate instructional software and they include drill and practice, tutorials, simulations, instructional games and problem solving activities.
As difficult as it is researching quality videos on youtube, so is the practice of evaluation internet sites, apps, games, and software instruction.  As teachers we don’t have the time to evaluate the many possibilities accessed online.  A relative advantage chart is one way to continuously evaluate, add on to,  or comment on products that teachers may use in their classrooms.  This continuous evolving chart can be updated by anyone that it is shared with and focusing on one content area per grade level like literacy, science or math would be extremely helpful for all teachers. Another tool to evaluate is through The Learning Object Review Instrument (LORI) or eliciting ratings and comments from learning resource evaluators; it is available as both a web form and printable document at (Nesbit, Belfer, & Leacock, 2004). The purpose of LORI is to support evaluation of multimedia learning objects. This would be another successful place for teachers to collaborate on quality software and applications.  The table below shows some specific items that LORI focuses on:
I have found, though, the best instructional software programs or apps are the ones that are integrated by the classroom teacher.  If a teacher believes in the product/app, uses it and makes it work for their classroom, then it is a good product.  I, personally, let my class evaluate good/effective sites.  Kids are great predictors if sites are engaging. Educators then need to weed out which ones are engaging AND provide quality instruction or content to our students. My personalized learning network always comes to my aid in this process of evaluation.  An analogy would be going into a hospital and seeing what shoes nurses wear to know what shoes are most comfortable when on your feet all day.  You will see many wearing Danskos.  Well, I bought a pair and they are my most comfortable shoe to wear at school because I am on my feet all day as well.  I look and see what others are using or recommending for applications or instructional programs and I try it.

Leacock, T. L., & Nesbit, J. C. (2007). A Framework for Evaluating the Quality of  Multimedia Learning Resources. Educational Technology & Society, 10 (2), 44-59.
Roblyer, M.D. and Doering, A.H.  (2013).Integrating Educational Technology Into Teaching, (6th ed.).   Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Acceptable Use Policy

The definition of Acceptable Use Policy is “An acceptable use policy (AUP) is a policy that a user must agree to follow in order to be provided with access to a network or to the Internet. It is common practice for many businesses and educational facilities to require that employees or students sign an acceptable use policy before being granted a network ID.” Margaret Rouse (2012)

The use of technologies in education is on the rise and couple that with new privacy laws in place for students, these policies are continually evaluated by lawyers and policy makers. Students and teachers use technology in the classroom on a daily basis. At the beginning of the year, all students and parents must sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  Most school districts require this policy signed to gain access to networks, wifi and email. This form is a written document stating the terms of usage of the Internet and the violations involved. This form is important for the school district to create in order to inform everyone involved about the privilege of using the school’s computer network along with the inappropriate material and dangers that exist when using the Internet, plus there are new provisions of the COPPA that took effect on July 1, 2013 that need to be addressed by this policy. The National Education Association states an “effective AUP contain the following key elements: a preamble, a definition section, a policy statement, an acceptable uses section, an unacceptable uses section, and a violations/sanctions section” (“Education World,” n.d.).

Technology is developing so quickly that some school districts have not revise their outdated AUP forms with the technology growth. For example, most AUPs mention the use of district computers, but some do not mention personal laptops, Smartphones, and iPads students are using as well in the classroom. Then some schools and districts are putting in place AUP about gadgets and media rather than people and behavior. This work is being guided by policy makers and lawyers who don’t use the media or gadgets in a school setting. If they did, they’d realize this makes no sense. This is like making a policy about pencil/pen/paper, books, etc..

Good judgement should be used at all times. When you are browsing the web for information or creating content or assignments, you must remember that this Identification through the school district will be tracked and monitored. It’s imperative that teachers teach about being a respectful digital citizen, how fair use is used and about copyright. Modeling good citizenship online as well as in class is imperative in 2014. A classroom blog is a perfect way to teach the necessary skills. A quality Acceptable Use Policy should be short, easy to read, and provide an understanding to students their responsibility using the internet. The idea of a internet license that some schools are using, informs and educates children of online etiquette and safety. This license is only obtained after you go through training of acceptable use of online behavior and expectations for teachers and students.

Another idea that may simplify this AUP is a responsible use policy that encompasses everything. Unlike the policies of these other districts, it is only two pages with a one page sign off for students and parents / guardians. Simplifying these policies, but still follow laws is imperative. The very best of Acceptable Use Policy’s reflect that tools and media have no intent...people do and the policy is made for people. Real people using real language that can be understood by parents, students, and teachers would be most helpful in the understanding of the AUPs. The most effective policies are developed with parents, students, teachers, and school leaders that are brought together to discuss and create such policies. District policies should allow room for individual school-by-school policy building that works best for the students in each community.

Denver Public School Acceptable Use Policy


Margaret Rouse (2012). What is acceptable use policy (AUP)? - Definition from Retrieved Feb. 6, 2014, from AUP
Education World. (n.d.). Getting started on the Internet: Developing an 
acceptable use policy (AUP). 
Retrieved from

Lisa Nielsen. "Looking to create a social media or BYOD policy? 
Look no further." 2012. 9 Feb. 2014 

"Children's Privacy | BCP Business Center." 2013. 9 Feb. 2014   

AECT Standards: 3.4 Policies and Regulations. Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Vision Statement

Vision Statement

    With the use of educational technology as an intervention along with tools for personalized learning, my vision is to bring the students and their skills towards literacy and technology to a proficiency level or higher while keeping them engaged and empowered in their own learning.  There is a strong desire to be able to prove this using state and district assessments through a vigorous approach in meeting standards.
    Providing a blended learning environment during my literacy block is essential in meeting this vision.  All students need a variety of methods to understand and improve on reading. Encompassing different strategies that include technology will enable me to facilitate small group instruction, personalized choice for what they are reading (Inquiry Circles), individual reading conferences, RAZ kids (a web-based reading program that is leveled for each individual learner), fluency building through recordings (either audio or video), a listening center with 50 stories on an ipod with paper books to follow along, use (another web-based individualized leveled programs that helps kids with reading using fun games that keep them engaged) and (web-based program that is used like a daily oral language).  There are absolute benefits to using technology in the classroom to help with struggling and at-risk students in the area of reading comprehension.  Stearns, S. C. (2012) Children need to be able to locate, evaluate, synthesize and then communicate on the internet to show comprehension. This can be showcased in various ways through our classroom blog, individual blogs and other technology tools.
Goal setting, reflection and charting their own reading progress is essential in this vision of proficient readers and writers. Teachers who help students develop skills that foster positive encouragement for skills and development ultimately increase their student's self-efficacy in their classrooms.
"New literacies" will soon by coming to light as a proficient reader isn't necessarily a proficient online reader. Leu, D.J., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Hartman, D.K., Henry, L.A., &amp: Reinking, D. (2008) We will need to be implementing these new literacies for our reading comprehension for our students. These new literacies are still in an emerging state and they will become more important as all our state testing of children goes online as well as more information that children are accessing and reading is online. All testing will eventually be done online. Schaffhauser, D. (2011) There are benefits and challenges that will be faced in educating our students.
I want to be the "Wonder Woman" of teachers. Success comes when education, planning, practice and implementation collide with good luck. I want to have that good luck as I gain more consistency with my use of technology and more individualized when it comes to meeting my student's needs. Technology, along with other learning methods, are crucial to the improvement of reading comprehension and fluency. Technology improves performance when the application directly supports the curriculum standards being assessed. Technology can improve test scores. These tech tools encourage and engage students in higher level thinking skills. Research and evaluation shows that technology can enable the development of critical thinking skills when students use these tools for presentation and communication to present, publish, and share results of curriculum projects based on standards. Cradler, J., McNabb, M., Freeman, M., & Burchett, R. (2002) Through the examination of my instructional practices and data, it is necessary to adjust my teaching and operational systems (my vision) in order to continuously improve and this is imperative that technology learning and implementation improve as well.


Blackstone, Brennan. Use of technology to address needs of diverse learners.
"Technology and Diverse Learners."
Cradler, J., McNabb, M., Freeman, M., & Burchett, R. (2002). How does technology
influence student learning?. Learning and Leading with Technology,29(8), 46-   49.  
Coiro, Julie. Exploring literacy on the internet: Reading comprehension on the 
internet: Expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to 
encompass new literacies.The Reading Teacher 56.5(2003): 458-464.
Leu, D. J., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Hartman, D. K., Henry, L. A., & Reinking, D.  
(2008). Research on instruction and assessment in the new literacies of online 
reading comprehension. Comprehension instruction: Research-based best 
practices, 2, 321-346. 
Schaffhauser, D. (2011). High-stakes online testing. (cover story). T H E Journal
38(6), 28-39.
Schunk, D. H., & Mullen, C. A. (2012). Self-efficacy as an engaged learner. In  
Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 219-235). Springer US.
Stearns, S. C. (2012). Integration of Technology Into the Classroom: Effects on 
reading comprehension.