Media and Collaboration Fluency


Posted by Charles | Posted in walden | Posted on August 3, 2016


Today, in the age of digital learners, there is a stronger need for a more visual approach to presenting material. The digital generation has been exposed to several different forms of information including television, videos, computer games, and multi-sensory experiences (book sources). While there is data to support the need for this rich media content there is still some reluctance among many in the field to support this need. The primary source of information, for many students, is still text and images. Although these two sources of information are still beneficial, they lack some of the benefits that other types of media have to offer. In order to reap the benefits of each of the media sources, it is would be wise to take a close look at Media Fluency. One might assume that Media Fluency is related to the how well one can operate technology tools.
There is much more to Media Fluency, it requires choosing the appropriate and effective medium that is best suited for the particular message that is intended (source). There are two components associated with Media Fluency which include listening and leverage. The listening component in tales the ability to decode the real message with a range of media. The leverage component revolves around matching the medium to the message. In some cases, it may be beneficial to use a podcast to relay information while other time a video may be more suitable.
Along with Media Fluency, Collaboration Fluency can aid the growth of student learning. There are 5 E’s associated with Collaboration Fluency which are Establish, Envision, Engineer, Execute, and Examine. Establishing key components such as groups, roles, norms, and leadership, to name a few, are essential to beginning the collaboration fluency process. The envision stage requires one to define the problem, specify information that is needed, and developing a plan of action. The most critical element that one must consider in the engineering stage is having a plan that can be evaluated as work progresses. The execute stage is putting the plan into action. The final stage, examine, involves the team or group to reevaluate the process for its effectiveness.

One strategy that I have used in the past to address media fluency and collaboration fluency is the use of social media. Students have, in the past, used various social media platforms to various polygons that were being discussed. Students were to create profiles of at least three polygons which were to include photos and profile information regarding their polygons. Once the profiles were complete, students were encouraged to communicate with other profiles that had been created in the classroom. I have found the use of social media platforms and other platforms that resemble social media, such as Edmodo, to be very engaging and popular with high school students. It has been shown that up to ninety-one percent of the parent have noticed a gain in learning when education media is used in the classroom (Devaney, 2014).

The production of music or a short movie trailer have also been used to encourage media and collaboration fluency. Students would either create a short movie trailer or compose a song to the topic of discussion, such as trig ratios. The creation of either of the media required students to address the 5 E’s associated with the collaboration process. Students began by establishing roles and responsibilities along with defining the scope of the project. Students would then envision the outcome of the project. Once they have envisioned the solution they begin to engineer a workable plan. Students will then execute their plan and create a product that utilizes their various strengths. Finally, the students can examine the process to determine if the goal was achieved.
Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is not enough: 21st-century fluencies for the digital age. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Devaney, L. (2014). How does educational media impact children? Retrieved from



Posted by Charles | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 16, 2016


Upon reflection of week one in this course, I have reaffirmed the notion that students perform best when they are an active participant in their learning.   I was, and still am, a firm believer in technology being a vehicle that provides students with and the opportunity to engage in their learning.   After exploring a variety of theories throughout the course, it is safe to assume that students can enhance this learning with the aid of technology tools.  Technology provides students the opportunity to construct the meaning of any content area.  I would like to think that I am fairly knowledgeable about technology that is being implemented into the classrooms.  However, I have been introduced to many new and exciting tools that I am eager to start implementing into the classroom.  The one area that I may have underestimated in my initial theory of learning is the power of social learning.

There were many theories discussed over the past seven weeks.  Each of these theories plays a valuable role in the field of education.  It is of great value to have a clear understanding of the theories before one can implement technology to be truly effective.  “To use technology effectively, the teacher must have a clear understanding of learning and the teaching strategies that will result in the intended knowledge transfer. The teaching strategies you select will then determine the appropriate types of technological tools necessary to carry them out” (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2008).  There is also great importance that should be placed on making the student experiences as real-world as possible.  Today these experiences can be created much easier than previous generations.  One immediate change that I will be implementing as a result of this is to utilize virtual field trips and augmented reality to create more relevance and establish a real-world experience for students.

Two specific theories that have been discussed in great detail throughout this course are constructionism and constructivist theories.  Constructivist learning theory is the process of having students produce mental models in order to gain an understanding of the world.  Constructionism, on the other hand, is the process of students being engaged in a more student-centered environment.  In constructionism, students are active participants in things such as project-based learning or problem-based instruction (Laureate Education, n.d.).  Each of these theories emphasizes the need for a student-centered classroom.  Students help direct their learning, which is focused on an anchor, problem, or question (Orey, 2001).  The social learning theory has also shed light on the value students not only constructing artifacts but to engage with peers socially which have been proven to have many added benefits to student learning.  Cooperative learning provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their learning then gain a deeper understanding of the material by talking and listening to other students (Pitler, Hubbekk, Kuhn,2012).  Due to the value of cooperative learning, I would like to make the immediate adjustment of using more online collaboration tools.  Tools such as Voicethreads and mindmaps are a great start to having students work collaboratively.

Moving forward in the field of education, I am confident that I have obtained valuable skills and tools that will help me grow professionally.  While I have gradually made the transition from being teacher-centered and moved toward a more student-centered classroom setting; I plan to make more adjustments in my planning to achieve an even more student-centered classroom.   To aid in this quest for a more student-centered classroom I will begin using many of the tools that have been utilized through the course.   I am eager to implement mindmaps so that students can organize, compare and contrast, and to collaborate.  Voicethread is another great tool that can be utilized very effectively to gauge student understanding of content.  I am planning on using this tool to summarize and prepare for final exams.  I envision each student taking responsibility for one or two concepts and presenting to their peers.  Students will then engage in a meaningful dialogue with other to reinforce their learning.   I would also like to utilize blogs and wikis to aid in student’s summarization and note taking.  We have learned through the instructional strategy of summarizing and note-taking we can see a gain of up to thirty-four percent in learner outcome.

Many of the tools that have been discussed are relevant for today’s learners and have great value in the classroom.  Looking forward I intend to continue using these tools in the most effective manner.  I will continue to be a life-long learner and stay informed on new and developing technologies that will aid in student learning.  Perhaps the most critical aspect of goals moving forward is to use technology “effectively” in the classroom.  As I have already mentioned, teachers must have a clear understanding of strategies to assist in the selection of the appropriate technology tools.



Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J.B. (2008). Teaching and learning with technology (3rd ed., pp. 2-35). Boston, MA: Pearson Education

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

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

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Cooperative Learning Tools


Posted by Charles | Posted in walden | Posted on March 30, 2016


Cooperative learning is the process in which students interact with one another to increase their learning (Pitler, Hubbekk, Kuhn,2012).  There are several benefits to implementing cooperative learning within the classroom.  First, cooperative learning provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their learning then gain a deeper understanding of the material by talking and listening to other students (Pitler, Hubbekk, Kuhn,2012). There is documentation to support that through peer interactions students build a sense of trust amongst their peers.  With this acquired trust, students will then be able to actively participate in their learning environment with less stress. Another benefit of the implantation of cooperative learning would be for students to work toward a common goal.  In the search for this common goal, students find commonalities amongst themselves, which may lead to an atmosphere that brings a sense of community to the classroom. Through collaboration, students have an opportunity to work to their strengths and weaknesses.  There are students that are very vocal and would prefer an oral presentation while there may be individuals that are shy but strong in writing. When these two diverse personalities are grouped together each has a vital attribute to contribute.

While there are several benefits to implementing cooperative learning there are some challenges that must be considered in its implementation.  I have personally used cooperative learning, sometimes with success and other times without.  There are three key points that must be considered in the implementation of cooperative learning.  First teachers should consider the use of both positive interdependence (sink or swim) and individual accountability (each of us has to contribute to achieving a goal).  Second, the group size should be kept to a minimum.  Finally, cooperative learning should be used consistently and systematically (Pitler, Hubbekk, Kuhn,2012).

With the new and always changing demands of the workplace, it is imperative that students have skills that will empower them to be successful.  One of the most important skills that must be acquired by students is the ability to work collaboratively.  In many cases, this collaboration requires the production of some type of artifact.  Cooperative learning provides students with a great foundation for the real world.  Much of this interaction with peers can be done by face-to-face or in a virtual setting.  Technology plays an important role in facilitating collaboration (2012).  CollaborationThere are several tools that are available that provides students the opportunity to interact with one another, without having to be in the same location.   One possibility, for communication, is the creation of a web page or website.  There are currently several sites that provide users the ability to create a free website with little to no technical experience.   An alternative to creating a website could be the use of social media.  While most would use caution in using personal social media to interact with other peers in an educational setting, there are new educational alternatives.  One popular social media alternative specifically for students and teachers is Edmodo.  Edmodo provides students and teachers with the same feel of facebook or twitter but in a safer environment.  Globester is yet another example of how students can interact with peers in an online format.  Blogging and Wiki spaces would also provide students the ability to interact in a unique way.  As you can see there are a plethora of tools at the disposal of teachers and students.   It is simply a matter of finding what works best for a specific application.

Voicethread is an online tool that provides teachers and students the opportunity to work collaboratively.  This tool allows users to create a presentation with the added benefit of layering audio over the presentation.  Students may interact with the presentation in a variety of way including adding text, audio,  or drawings.  It has been described much like removing pencil and paper and allowing students to add their voice to their work (Laureate Education, n.d.a). I am familiar with a variety of presentation tool; however, Voicethread was a completely new experience for me. I recently had the opportunity to create a Voicethread and had my students interact with the presentation (view presentation).

The following is a brief synopsis of the project and how I implemented the Voicethread into the lesson.

Students in my robotics course are in the process of learning coding and the implementation of the Arduino, which is a microprocessor.  At this point, students have general knowledge of coding and how the Arduino is used in the creation of robots and other electronic devices.  At this point, we are in the process of entering the “Zone of Proximal Development” (Laureate Education, n.d.b).  Students have acquired some skills but are now going to implement these skills in a real-world scenario.   The objective of this project is to apply the engineering design process in the creation of a robot that can autonomously solve a Rubik’s Cube.   There are definite parallels that run between the engineering design process and the social constructivist learning theory.   The process requires students to thoroughly investigate the problem and then determine the best possible solution to address this dilemma.   The student will then work cooperatively to carefully plan a possible design.  The construction of their design will then take place by creating a model or prototype.  Students will evaluate their design and determine possible improvements to their product.  Once the evaluation process is complete students will then create a finished product.   I will be using Voicethreads to elicit possible designs for their Rubik’s Cube solver.   Each student will contribute by describing their design while providing a general blueprint of this design.  The success of the project is dependent on how well the team works as a unit.  The implementation of this Voicethread is only one example of how technology is being used in a cooperative setting.  There are a variety of resources to develop a personal learning network in order for students to develop a deeper understanding (Orey, 2001)




Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J. (2008).Theoretical foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.a). Spotlight on technology: VoiceThread [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.b). Social learning theories [Video file]. Retrieved from


Image References

Header photo


Learning Theory


Posted by Charles | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 23, 2016

Constructivism learning theory revolves around students taking control of their learning by being actively engaged in the creation or construction of a product.  This product will then serve as evidence of students understanding of the content.  There is a need for a shift from a teacher-centered learning model to a student-centered learning model.  When students are given the opportunity to be actively engaged in their content while teachers play a facilitator role, students can gain a deeper understanding of their learning.  In constructionism, students are active participants in things such as project-based learning or problem-based instruction (Laureate Education, n.d.-e).  Problem-based learning, learning by design and project-based learning are all great examples that may be implemented to advance the theory of constructivism.  By implementing these models students can activate critical thinking skills while also employing collaboration skills. Through project-based learning, the project should be focused on student goals and standard-based content.  Project based learning should involve critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and self-management skills.  There are other elements that should be considered in designing a project such as:

  • Challenging Problem or Question – The problem should be meaningful and at an appropriate challenge level.
  • Sustained Inquiry – The students should be constantly challenged and engaged
  • Authenticity –  The project should relate to student interest and issues in their lives
  • Student Voice & Choice – Students should have some say in the decision-making process.
  • Reflection – Both teachers and students should have the opportunity to reflect on learning that took
  • Critique & Revision – Students should have the opportunity to receive feedback and improve upon their product
  • Public Product – Students products should be shared with others outside the classroom.

It is important to remember, in project-based learning, that teachers should only guide students through the learning, clarifying any misconnections a student may have, rather than simply marking correct or incorrect ( Orey, 2001).

Problem-Based learning, similar to projected-based learning, requires students to create a product; however the focus of the project is in the solution.  Through problem-based learning, teachers encourage students to apply prior knowledge to new concepts.  Problem-based learning is a more collaborative effort amongst students (Orey, 2001). This process developed a deeper understanding rather than the traditional method of teachers providing students with facts and then testing student’s ability to recall those facts.  There are certain characteristic that are present in problem-based learning. Those characteristics are:

  • Open-ended problems that include no one right answer
  • Problems that are specific
  • Student work collaboratively in investigating solutions
  • Teachers are facilitators and only guide the learning process

Each of these learning strategies is deeply rooted in the constructionist learning theory.   Both project-based learning and problem-based learning are instrumental in playing a key role in the future of education and 21st-century skills.  In order to fully participate in today’s global community; students must master the 4 C’s – creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.  With the implementation of each of the learning strategies discussed, students are one step closer to being prepared for the future.

The implementation of generating and testing hypothesis is typically associated with science courses; however, there are many other content areas that could benefit from this strategy (Pitler, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2012).  There is substantial evidence that supports the effectiveness of increased learning when students are given the opportunity to generate and test a hypothesis, compared to other traditional methods such as a lecture.  To enhance the learning experience, teachers should relate learning to prior knowledge and personal interest.  Technology offers many tools and resources to assist teachers and students in generating and testing a hypothesis.  Since the process of testing hypothesis usually involves the collection, organization, and interpretation of data the use of technology tools can be a great benefit.  Kidspiration is one tool that provides students a workspace to organize their content, data, or thoughts in a visual manner.  Spreadsheets are also a great tool to generate and test student hypothesis.  Spreadsheets offer the ability for students to “interact” with data and to manipulate the data, either to support and disprove their hypothesis.   Simulation software and websites also offer an opportunity for students to engage with content to assist in the quest to test their hypothesis.  A personal favorite is Explore Learning; this particular site provides “Gizmos” to interact with.   Students have the ability to test their hypothesis by the manipulation of various parameters on the gizmo.


(Laureate Education Producer). (n.d.-e). Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

What is Project Based Learning (PBL)? (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2016, from

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

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Cognitive Learning & Technology


Posted by Charles | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 18, 2016

Cognitive learning theory revolves around how someone processes information (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.c). General speaking, there are three stages involved in how someone process information. The process begins by receiving some type of information, which is stored in short term memory. If this information is processed deeply enough, this information will then be stored in long-term memory. One important factor that must be taken into consideration is that there are limitations to how much information students can digest at a given time. It is widely believed that a student can typically process about seven pieces of information at a given time into their short-term memory. This is why it is critical that information is kept to a minimum in an effort to increase the likelihood of retention.

While short-term memory may be acceptable in some cases; the ultimate goal is for students to process information into long-term memory. There are three types of information that are typically stored in long-term memory and they are declarative, procedural, and episodic. Declarative information is simple facts and general information. Procedural information is information that involves a process or how to do something. Finally, episodic information would be episodes from life experiences. There are some related theories to aid in the processing and storing of information. Pavios dual coding hypothesis suggests that individuals are more likely to remember images rather than text.   Images can create a strong connection between content and the image itself. While individuals are storing the image they are also storing labels associated with that image. To further increase the opportunity for long-term memory; the use of elaboration theory can also be implemented.   Elaboration theory involves the process of making connections. When more connections are made with content, there is an increase of long-term memory. One tool used in the network model of memory is concept mappings. Concept mappings help the instructor and students organize information. Since concepts maps are very visual and include images, they often tie into the dual-coding hypothesis.

The use of cues, questions, and advanced organizers provides students a foundation for learning. With the proper questioning, students have the ability to deepen their knowledge on certain topics. Today there are many tools available that provide an opportunity to create a well-organized and visually appealing organizer. As we have already learned, Pavios dual coding hypothesis suggests that students create a stronger connection with images. These graphic organizers can be produced with the tools such as Mind Meister and many other apps and online tools. Mind Meister allows students and teachers the opportunity to collaborate and create stunning organizers and with the aid of images and video concept come to life. To further advance the idea concept of organizers teacher could also implement the use of social bookmarking sites. One such example might include the use of Diigo, which offers the ability to collected, annotate, and share resources. Summarizing and note taking strategies enhance the ability for students to synthesize information (Pitler, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2012). With these instructional strategies, the teacher is providing students the opportunity to separate valuable information from less relevant information. One terrific note taking resource that is available for student use is Evernote. Evernote provides students the ability to link accounts and to manage many different types of notes. Not only do students have the ability to jot down notes, but they can also take screen shots, bookmark websites, and upload images. This resource can meet the needs of many students. The summarization of information in a collaborative manner can also have a profound impact on student learning. There are a variety of tools that can aid in this collaborative summarization. Google Docs is perhaps the most widely used tool in the process of collaboration, but there are other resources available. Your Draft, Whiteboard, and ThinkFree are just a few resources that offer students the ability to share and work collaboratively.



Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.-c). Cognitive learning theories [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Values of Behaviorism


Posted by Charles | Posted in walden | Posted on March 10, 2016

Behaviorism is primarily focused on the measurable aspects of behavior (Orey, 2001).   In behaviorist learning theory there is a correlation between a behavior and stimulus.  Many times the behavior that is observed by students is a cause of certain stimuli.  While there has been some adaptation of behaviorist learning theory over the course of a few years, one thing remains consistent and that is the need to adapt teaching methods to reflect today’s learners.  It is less acceptable to have students that are passive learners.  Today’s classroom should be offering their learners a more active environment in which students are encouraged to engage in critical thinking and problem solving.  “Activity is important. Learning is better when the learner is active rather than passive” (Smith, 1999, para. 4).  There are many technology resources that can aid in this quest for a more active atmosphere that will also produce critical thinkers in the process.

Most individuals loved to be acknowledged for their effort, this acknowledgment can be as simple as verbal praise or something more concrete (2012).   With the aid of technology, teachers have the ability to easily recognize student’s efforts.  However, it is important to remember that recognition should be based on a clear standard of performance.  Data collection is a great way to provide students with recognition.  One method that I have personally used in the classroom is the aid of student response system.  Students are prompted at the beginning of the class that there will edmodobe a short assessment following the lesson.  Based on the overall performance of the class they could win a “Free Homework Pass.”  Upon completing the assessment via student responses system, results are instantly provided to the class.  If students have a collective proficiency level of, let’s say, ninety percent they will each receive a free homework pass.  This method encourages students to work collectively to meet a common goal.  Another method that has shown promise is the use of badges.  The use of a social media like resource called Edmodo allows teachers to award badge to students based on their own criteria.  If a teacher chooses to award a badge for all assignments being complete, they have that option.  Students love the game appeal of a badge and often compete with peers for these badges.  There are also sites that allow you to create your own badges.

With many students being unsuccessful in their courses, especial math courses, the need for reinforcement and a positive experience is more important than ever.  Pitler, Hubbell, and Kuhn (2012) state that, “the instructional strategy of reinforcing effort enhances students’ understanding of the relationship between effort and achievement by addressing their attitudes and beliefs about learning” (p. 57).  In Behaviorist Learning Theory, programmed instruction is one form of operant conditioning.  There are several examples of technology resources that utilize programmed instruction.  One specific example that I use often is a website called IXL.  IXL currently offers content in Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies, with various grade levels.  Students begin an assignment and are given immediate feedback once the question is completed.  If the question is answered correctly they are awarded points and given positive feedback, if the answer is incorrect points are deducted.  The difficulty level of each ixlquestion is dependent on their progress; questions begin easy and gradually become more difficult.  If a student misses a question, not only are points deducted but the difficulty level is also reduced.  This reduction helps reinforce their prior knowledge before moving on to more challenging problems.  To further aid in this reinforcement, detailed instructions are provided to students on the proper procedure to complete this missed problem.  The program uses an algorithm to award and deduct points based on difficulty level, meaning questions are weighted differently.  In most scenarios, when students miss a question there is no chance of receiving a one-hundred, this is not the case with IXL.  Students can still be awarded a one-hundred on the assignment once the lesson as been mastered.  As you can see there are many benefits to programmed instruction and how it aids in student performance.  While websites such as the one discussed are great resources, it is important to remember that it does not replace other instructional strategies that are provided by teachers.  “When students work with computer technology, instead of being controlled by it, they enhance the capability of the computer, and the computer enhances their thinking and learning” (Orey, 2001, sec 4).

A site called Virtual Nerd is often used to supplement the IXL assignments.  At Virtual Nerd, students are provided a wide range of math videos to assist students.  Virtual Nerd is organized so that students can quickly progress through vneach step of the process without having to watch the entire video.  Along with the quick access to each step, students can also find quick links to other videos related to the topic.  An example of this might include students working on trig ratio.  As students are working on trig ratios there may come a point in which students may need Pythagorean Theorem; Virtual Nerd provides a convenient link to a video on Pythagorean Theorem.  This is a great site to use with the flipped model.



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

Smith, M. K. (1999a). The behaviourist orientation to learning. In The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.





Posted by Charles | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 13, 2015


This course has provided me with some unique opportunities and tool that are relevant for today’s students. With the current changes taking place in education, it is important to meet the needs of our learners in a manner that is relevant to them. With the growing consensus concerning 21st-century skills, students need the opportunity to explore their creativity, critical thinking, communication skills, and collaboration skills. This course has explored some technologies that have provided students with the opportunity to showcase these skills. Some of the tools that were used in this course were blogs, wikis, and podcast. I have always been intrigued about blogs, wikis, and podcasting. I have never had the time to commit myself to learning these new tools. Prior to this course, I had some general knowledge of what a blog, wiki, and podcast were but never created or contributed with these tools.

I have created websites prior to this course both for personal use and professional use. Creating a blog was not much different from creating a website. With the implementation of a blog, I have come to realize the value and potential a blog offers. Blogs, unlike a standard website, provides users the opportunity to engage readers by sharing ideas and posting questions and links. Blogs demand interaction from readers (Richardson 2010, pg. 18). Throughout this course, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas regarding content and methodology, but more importantly, I have had the opportunity to read other professionals and peers. While we have stressed the importance of student communication and collaboration extensively, professional communication and collaboration are just as valuable. I have committed myself to being a lifelong learner and blogging has provided an avenue to communicate and collaborate with others in my field.

Wikis and podcasting were the two technology tools that were least familiar to me. I did have a general idea of what they were but never created, viewed, or listened to any of them. A wiki space was probably the most intimidating of the three resources.   I must admit, when I first learned that “anyone” could create and edit a wiki, I was a little skeptical about the accuracy of the content.   In a discussion between Dr. Thornburg and Dr. Hall, they express that the accuracy of Wikipedia rivals that of a conventional encyclopedia. After creating and contributing to our first wiki space, I immediately began brainstorming future uses of a wiki space in my courses. I am currently pursuing the use a wiki space in my Geometry and Robotic courses after the holidays. Podcasting is another great tool I had the opportunity to experience. I was so impressed with experience that I have already introduced podcasting into one of my courses this year. Students are engaged in the process as well as using skills previously mentioned such as communication and collaboration. While they have not presented a final product; what I am hearing sound great. Many students have gone out of their way to present quality work. I am anticipating some wonderful podcast.

Along with developing skills and knowledge about blogs, wikis, and podcast I recognize the value and importance of 21st-Century learning skills. Before beginning this course, my district had already been stressing the values and integration of 21st-Century skills. There has been a concerted effort to move from teacher-centered classrooms to student-centered classrooms. The district has also impressed upon its staff to provide students with opportunities to self-sufficient and active learners. I believe this course as only reinforced these same principles.   With resources such as International Society for Technolgy in Education Standards and Partnership for 21st-Century Skills (Laureate Education, n.d.a) I will have the ability to continue my pursuit of implementing technology practices into my classroom.   Visiting Partnership for 21st-Century Skills has provided a wealth of information that is pertinent to today’s classrooms. I will continue to visit P21 in the future to further develop my craft.

Dr. Thornburg points out that today’s students are different from learners from the past, and we as a teacher must find ways to meet their needs (Laureate Education n.d.b). The terms digital native and digital immigrants were fairly new to me before this course. Although I was unfamiliar with these terms digital native and digital immigrants, the rationale behind the terms are not. The term digital immigrant was used to identify individuals that were not born into a digital world (Laureate Education, n.d.c). Many of our students would be considered digital natives since most have been influenced by the abundance of technology in their daily lives. Some may consider my generation a digital immigrant due to the lack of technology. I, however, I consider myself more of a digital native due to the comfort of technology and the access that was afforded to me in my younger years. There is often a misconception that digital native and digital immigrant are generational, and this is just not true. Mark Prensky did not intend for the terms digital native and digital immigrant to suggest the level of knowledge one had about technology, but it was rather a metaphor for individual’s attitude and culture. For many years, I have expressed that many students today are not the same type of learners that we were. With the abundance of technology resources at the fingertips of many of our students, they often prefer to utilize this technology into their learning. I have always tried to incorporate technology into lessons, but always maintained focus on the content and not on the technology. The technology should be used to reinforce the students learning and provide opportunities to demonstrate 21st-Century skills.

As I have stated earlier, my district is a strong supporter of learner-centered instruction vs teacher-centered instruction. I am also a strong proponent of student-driven instruction rather than teacher driven instruction. I believe that teacher must encourage students to explore their learning. Exploration will often lead to though provoking questions. Teachers will always provide some level of content knowledge to their students, but we must allow students the opportunity to discover for themselves. It is with this discovery that learning becomes more meaningful to students (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.a). Dr. Dede mentions that teachers should allow students to gather the information while teachers help students interpret that information (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.a). We must start teaching students how to learn. Student-driven instruction has many advantages to its implementation, however, it can be a daunting task to implement.   The student-driven instruction does take more preparation time for teachers, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

Lifelong learning is crucial in meeting the needs of our students. With the constantly changing landscape of education, it is more important now that teachers stay informed with current technology and resources. In an effort to stay updated and relevant I have chosen to continue my efforts by reading blogs, podcast, and other relevant websites such as P21. I have also chosen to continue my education by pursuing my masters with an emphasis on implementing technology. While there are times that this endeavor can be overwhelming, I understand the importance to myself and my students.

I have set two long-term goals for transforming my classroom environment within the next two years. Goal #1 will be to continue the use and implementation of blogs, wikis, and podcasting. Each of these technologies offers a unique opportunity. I already find myself listening to podcasts and reading blogs more than I ever have. My students have already embarked in creating content using these technologies.   I would like to expand their use in the future. Goal #2 is to embrace and implement 21st-centrury skills with the aid of a more learner-centered environment. I have begun to make minor changes in my classroom to address these issues and will continue to do so in the future. Within the next two years, I intend the majority of my class to learner-centered and project based. I am impressed and encouraged after reading about a school district in Manor Texas. Students, after a four-year period, will have participated in over 200 projects. The results of this project based model have proven to be a success. The Manor school district boasts a 98% graduation rate and 100% of these students are accepted into a college (Nobori 2012). With results like these, it is hard not to find value in project-based learning.

After reviewing my checklist from week one, I find that some of my answers have changed. With the aid of this course, I can now progress from sometimes to often in some cases. Two particular areas that show growth is integration and collaboration. I am now more comfortable implementing these technology tools since I have had the opportunity to experience how they are used and created. Collaboration with others has also been beneficial to my growth. Through this collaboration, I have learned that I am not alone in this quest. Many teachers face many of the same challenges and struggles as I do.



Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d. a). Debate: Digital natives and digital immigrants [Video file]. Retrieved from

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.b). Evolution of technology and pedagogy [Video file]. Retrieved from

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.c). Evolution of technology and pedagogy [Video file]. Retrieved from

Nobori, M. (2012, May 23) A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects. Retrieved from



Posted by Charles | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 30, 2015

podcastingPhoto Reference:

Here is my first attempt at podcasting.  For this first episode I interviewed three students to gain their perspective on technology how it is being implemented in the classroom.


21st-Century Skills


Posted by Charles | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 19, 2015



     My first impression about is that it has a wealth of information.  At first it seems a little overwhelming and I was not sure where to start.  After reading the mission statement, it was clear the intent of the website was to build a collaborative environment between education, business, community, and government.  With the aid of this collaboration, students can begin to build 21st-century skills to thrive in the evolving workforce.  It is evident that the world we live in today is different from fifteen years ago, so it would stand to reason that the skills and the technology that is needed today are also different.

After exploring the site a little deeper, I was intrigued to find “21st-century student outcomes.”  These are the skills that students should display in order to succeed in life and in the workplace.  (1) Content Knowledge and 21st Century Themes is the first outcome listed.  It goes without saying that students should have a firm grasp of content knowledge.  The students should have skills in Math, English,  Science, and History to name a few.  In an effort to increase the rigor of these courses it is suggested to implement 21st -century interdisciplinary themes into the curriculum.  Some themes that are presented are Global awareness, financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy, Civic literacy, Health literacy, and  Environmental literacy.  (2) The second outcome should be Learning and Innovation Skills.  This outcome should focus on  creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.  Resources and additional information is provided to address each of these areas.  (3) The third outcome is information, media, and technology skills.  With the increase in the use of technology in the day-to-day operation of many jobs, students must become comfortable with the implementation of this technology (P21).

 (P21, 2011)

   It was refreshing to see how many companies and organizations participate in P21.  As a member, the companies have the opportunity to shape the landscape of how to implement the framework of 21st-century learning.  It is with this collaboration that change can begin to take place.  I found the abundance of resources to be the most beneficial to me.  As a teacher, resources that provide examples of what 21st-century learning looks like is a benefit.  The YouTube video titled “Above and Beyond” did a great job of demonstrating the possibilities when students communicate, collaborate, think critically, and implement creativity  into their projects.  This is a demonstration of what they call the 4C’s.    I was also impressed with a high school in Manor Texas, that infused Project Based Learning into their district.   It was shocking to hear that within a four-year period (9th – 12th) students will have participated in over 200 projects.  Each year students partake in about 50 projects, and students are required to complete 40 hours of community service.  The results of this project based learning are also very impressive.  Manor High School is graduating 98% of their student body with 100% of these students accepted into college (Nobori 2012).  I was enthused to see that a sample of the implementation of one of these projects which were provided by Edutopia, view sample at 

After visiting P21, I am motivated to implement some of the great  ideas into my classroom.  While I have always been a big fan of project-based learning, I have been hesitant to immerse myself in the concept.  I am willing to make the commitment this year to address the 4C’s more frequently through project-based learning.  As an educator, I owe it to my students to provide tools that are necessary to succeed in today’s world.  While covering content still plays a valuable role in education, we must provide students with a deeper and more meaningful experience within the content.

Upon reading one of my students blogs, I learned that he was interested in creating an after-school gaming club.  Due to the early stages of this gaming club, he is in need of a sponsor.  I thought, what a wonderful opportunity to implement the 4C’s (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity)  into a subject matter that the group of students already enjoys.  Why limit students to just playing games when they can be creating the game.  My vision would be for students to communicate and collaborate in the design process.  During this design process, students could use critical thinking to develop their characters and environments.   The student would then have the opportunity to create their game using technologies such as sploder, gamemaker3D, and flowlab. While I am sure there will be challenges along the way, the students will benefit tremendously.


Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Nobori, M. (2012, May 23) A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects. Retrieved from

P21 (Producer). (2011). Above & Beyond [Web Video] Retrieved from

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Blogs and Their Implementation


Posted by Charles | Posted in walden | Posted on November 5, 2015


I consider myself fairly new to blogging, however now that I am teaching a web design course for the very first time, I find myself delving into uncharted territory. I find myself wearing many hats this year, I am teaching Geometry, Robotics, Web Design, and an Audio-Visual course. Along with these courses, I am also serving as the High School Web Master. One of the requirements for my Web Design students is for them to create and utilize their own blog. I chose to set the example for my students and create my very first blog. While my blog is still in the early stages of development, I have found many benefits for both my students and me.

I choose to create and use a blog for several reasons. One of the first ideas I had was to utilize the blog to share students work and showcase their products. Students are creating some great products and I felt it would be nice to share those products with their parents and the community. After posting these products, I thought why not utilize this platform to have students reflect about their project or product. I now have students posting comments regarding projects and reflecting on what they may do differently in the future. The posting by students has also had the added benefit of reinforcing writing skills. My district requires teachers, of all content areas, to have students write critically. The blog postings will provide my students the opportunity to write critically.

At this point, my blog has been used more to showcase students work, and a platform for students to reflect on their work, however, I do intend to share thoughts and ideas for my colleagues and others that are interested. It is my belief that everyone has something to offer. I have had the opportunity to learn and implement some great ideas from others that have shared through their blogs. My hope is that one day I will have the opportunity to return the favor.

While I have found many benefits from creating my own blog, students have also found some benefits of their own.   While some students were a little hesitant about creating a blog, others were very excited. Many students expressed to me that they had always wanted to start a blog, but were not sure how to. After a few days of designing and writing, many students were off and running. In an effort to encourage students to take ownership of their blog, I provided them the opportunity to use the blog for both personal and professional use. I made it very clear that I would share their work with others including administrators. This has helped in keeping many of the post appropriate. I have learned so much about my students through their blogs; it is amazing what some of these students are interested in. The blogs have really given the students the opportunity to share their interests and still have some educational value. Students have also had the opportunity to share their own projects, by posting their work and reflections on their blog. As students are in the early stages of blogging, it is imperative that students are coached into posting and responding using appropriate etiquette (Laureate Education n.d)). In the age of texting and hashtags, it is important that we create rubrics for students to demonstrate what type of writing is appropriate for blogging. It must be stressed that student work is visible to the masses, and we must put effort into producing quality work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt this point, my focus for blogging has been concentrated on my web design students and a little with my Robotic student. As I find myself becoming more comfortable with the platform, I am eager to start implementing blogging with my Geometry students as well as my Audio Visual students.   It is important as teachers that we make connections in our practice first in an effort to understand the pedagogical implications in the class (Richardson, 2010). I see great potential in blogging with my Geometry students. I envision that blogs could be used to serve as both support and an extension of student’s math proficiency. Jayme Linton of Lenoir-Ryne University suggests that there are eight Standards of Mathematical Practice that can be enhanced and strengthened through blogging.

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

(2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively

(3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

(4) Model with Mathematics

(5) Use appropriate tools strategically

(6) Attend to precision

(7) Look for and make use of structure

(8) Look for and express regularly in repeated reasoning

Through the act of blogging there are three obvious benefits: (1) making their learning visible, (2) provide feedback between teachers and students, and (3) it also allows for students to keep a record of their learning. Many teachers already have students creating journals, so having students creating blogs is not much of a stretch (Linton).

Blogs have earned a unique spot in education. There are many benefits for teachers and students in creating blogs.  While I have much to learn about blogs and their implementation, I believe there is a definite role they play in education. It is our job as teachers to find a way to seamlessly implement them into our curriculum.

I have posted student blog samples as well as my blog under the student work tab.



Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.). Spotlight on technology: Blogging in the classroom [Video file]. Retrieved from

Linton, J (2013, February 5). Using Student Blogs to Develop Proficiency with Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. Retrieved from


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