Thursday, July 31, 2008

Advice and Reflections on Your Final Project

Some advice and reflections on your final project (these are based on the conversation that ensued in class 7/30 and may be expanded to include the conversation to take place 7/31):

A) In a nutshell you are going to create a Project Based Instructional Unit. In planning and explaining it you should account for the following elements or dimensions:

1 - PRESENTATION of the unit – to the students – using the technology we’ve covered in our class
2 - TASK – the heart of this ‘project’ involves students in a task (is it standards-based, relevant to curriculum, appropriate for age, grade, and ability levels
- engaging and likely to sustain interest and activity. Will the task involve student use of technology? etc.)
3 - PROCESS – the way you have the students pursuing their task (is there opportunity for students to help define the task, opportunity for collaboration with peer learners, or to exchange feedback with classmates? Will the process involve any use of technology?
4 - STUDENT PRODUCT (or performance) – the result of the task you have presented to the students and the (learning) process you have structured for them – the product embodies much of the learning that results from the task and process and it is the focus of the assessment part of the unit (is the product required of students assigned in an appropriate form to accommodate learning opportunities and present completed learning? Is there a way for you or the student to publish the product? Is there technology involved in the creation of the product?)
5- ASSESSMENT – How will you assess the students’ learning as a result of all the above? Will you use a rubric? Other tool? Are there dimensions of the learning experience beyond the product that will be assessed? How will you assess these?
6 - IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (lesson plan/unit plan) – How will you present this unit to the students? How will you organize and manage their Time? Effort? Attention? How will you explain to them what they are to do and how they are to do it? Typical elements of a lesson plan include: Motivation, Class organization for project, Materials, resources, etc. Time flow, assessment, etc.

In Assignment #1 You were directed to create a blog (which now should state under the title that the blog is there as an assignment for Course CTGE 59100 - Fordham University and you should identify yourself in the blog 'profile' as a student in the course)

In Assignment #4 you were asked to build the blog out further by using a post to present media (links, video, podcasts, etc.) that function as content and prompt/focus for a student activity - and to explain to the students what to do in using the media and responding to it.

These 2 preparatory segments may stand alone or you may use them as the 'front end' of this Project Based Learning unit. This would be accomplished by adding additional elements to them until you are satisfied you've covered everything necessary to say or present to your students to direct them in doing the project.

B) You are to present all of the above in 2 blog posts –

Blog Post #I) Presentation to Students: Imagine you are going to use this blog post as a/the prime method of presenting and explaining the unit to your students. What would you tell them? What would you show them? Where would you take them (virtually)? How would you use technology to accomplish this?

Reflections based on CTGE 59100 student questions:
1) I stated earlier in the course that the unit is to be a lesson that runs at least 3 sessions – My idea is that this should be a serious undertaking – not a short throw-away activity. However, it was not my intention to have you do 3 times the work. No, you do not have to do a separate blog post for each day… No, you do not have to have a completely new and different lesson for every day of the unit. However, you should indicate somewhere how much would be done each day and which parts of the unit will be returned to and pick up where you left off. Clearly you can do this the traditional way in your unit plan AND you can also state what part of the project is to be done when in the presentation to the students, too.

2) I have noticed a number of students producing wonderful digital media or importing and presenting wonderful digital media in their blog post presentations to students… This is WONDERFUL… BUT, do not overlook the inclusion of text (or other) simple directions to the students. Telling the students what to do first, and then next, and how to do it is as important as dazzling them with digital resources to motivate them or with which you give them an outlet to express their learning and ideas.

Blog Post # II) Lesson/Unit Plan to your supervisor – in this blog post you explain your plan as if you were really going to do this on the job at school and you are providing your supervisor the lesson plan for it.

Either work by doing as much as you can in WORD documents that you save and then paste the material in to your blog (No, the formatting doesn’t carry over), OR, after you have posted, you can go to the blog post, select “highlight all” and then “copy” into a fresh WORD document that you save on your computer.

Professor Gura will play the role of virtual fly on the virtual wall of both blog posts above.

PS – See the post of the DRAFT rubric by which you will be graded on this project –

PPS – Technology hint: You may have important material spread out over several blog posts. How can you consolidate them? Well the long way around would be to copy and paste them all into a new blog post and then delete the old ones (don’t even think about doing this without having backed up of your material!). OR you might simply pop the links to the various posts into a single final post (you can do this by copying the URL of the blog post as it appears in the browser and then paste it into the blog post you want it to appear in).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DRAFT Rubric to Assess Our Final Project

No projects will be graded until this DRAFT is finalized. Grading will take place after the project's due date. See DRAFT rubric below.

Read this document on Scribd: Rubric for Final Project

Thursday, July 24, 2008

No Face-to-Face Class 7/28 and 7/29 DO THIS ONLINE ACITVITY INSTEAD

The following activity should be done in lieu of a face-to-face class
(July 28th for section 21 or July 29th for section 22).

To do this activity follow the numbered directions and answer the lettered questions below. Send me your answers in an email – put “WebQuest Reflections” in the email “subject” field.

How to reply to MG? - You may want to copy this blog post, paste it into a fresh word document, answer the questions there, and attach it – or you may simply want to put your answers into the body of the email…

WebQuests: High Value Learning Activities or Classroom-based Wild Goose Chases?
No review of contemporary Educational Technology would be complete without the inclusion of The WebQuest, a highly favored and respected practice.

1) Follow this link to get an overview of the history and description of WebQuests:
Be sure to read the section "How to develop a WebQuest"

2) Let’s find out what colleagues have to say about this practice. Watch the video linked below…Why Use Webquests?? (A YouTube video)

3) Here’s more from Tom March, one of the fathers of WebQuests – review the material on this website:
Those of you without access to much technology in your classrooms CURRENTLY may want to take particular note of March's suggestions toward the bottom on doing WebQuests without much technology.

Sound like a good practice? Let’s find out about how WebQuests actually work…

5) What is the structure of a WebQuest? To find out the key elements of a WebQuest follow this link:
Be certain to examine an example given for each element (in the site above). It’s may be most fruitful to follow the examples of a single title (i.e. Snakes) through each element. But then again, you may find it more interesting to mix and match… your choice. But be sure to look at an example for each element…

6) OK… let’s play the role of student and do a WebQuest. Here's 1 that's been designed for teachers to learn about WebQuests. Choose one and then answer the following:


Question a: Did you find this WebQuest informative and useful?
Question b: Which elements did you find to be most effective?
Question c: What (if anything) about WebQuests did you hope to find out from this resource that you didn’t get adequate information about?

How would you go about bringing WebQuests into your teaching practice?
One approach would be for you to look through the very extensive libraries of existing WebQuests that other teachers have developed already and have posted online for colleagues like you to adopt and adapt and use as a model in creating their own.

Here are some links to WebQuest collections (A Google search will certainly turn up more!)
- eMints
- University of Richmond
- Kathy Schrock’s library
- Best WebQuests

Peruse the library and then choose one that you feel you could use ‘as is’ or better yet adapt for use in your own teaching practice.

Question d: Which one did you choose?

Question e: How would you adapt it? What would you create to support your special population students in using it?

Another approach would be for you to create your own WebQuest from scratch. There are online tools to support teachers in doing this

Here’s 1 – you’ll find others in the resources list below

Let's start with a YouTube Tutorial on this approach and the recommended resource:

And the resource in the tutorial…

Question f: Watch the video, explore the resource, and give your opinion of both: (or select another WebQuest creation tool/resource and give your opinion of that.)

You now have a good overview of what WebQuests are and why so many of your teaching colleagues have gravitated toward them as one of the first technology-based teaching practices of high value. One more thing before we wrap this up… Here’s a recently recorded podcast interview with Bernie Dodge the man who is credited with having invented the WebQuest back in 1995. In this interview (roughly 15 – 20 minutes) Bernie reflects back on the popularity, place, and future of the WebQuest. He also reflects on what’s going on in Education currently and the function technology will continue to have in providing value.

Bernie Dodge Interview Podcast URL:

Listen to the podcast and then share:
Question g: What did you hear Bernie Dodge say that you feel was enlightening, valuable, surprising to you?

Question h: And, having spent a few hours now studying WebQuests, what do you feel about this practice?

WebQuest Resources

What is a WebQuest?

WebQuest resources:

Create a WebQuest:

WebQuests: An Online Introduction

Practitioner websites:

Lesson Plans

The End of School as We Know It?

That's the name of an article that just arrived in my in box... I hope you'll give it a 5 minute read and then a very long personal reflection. Nothing to turn in, but this could make for a good discussion in class. see link below


PS... If you're not familiar with Teacher Magazine, I recommend it.

PPS... if your are so motivated, leave a comment on either the article's page or on this blog post (below) or both...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Student Project/Product Assessment Activity***

Our Final Project should include an assessment scheme for the students’ performance and product. After your peruse the list of resources below, go to the assignment in red below and complete it so that your ideas, discoveries, and reflections can be shared in class with your colleagues.

Rubrics & Rubric Generator Resources
The following tools and resources can facilitate the creation of rubrics for your classroom projects. extensive library of rubric examples sorted by subject and project/product type – including technology/media – based products.
A good general example of how to construct a rubric (taken from the resource above)
An end to end ‘one stop’ shop for rubrics, creation tool – gallery of examples sort various ways – online community of rubric using educators, etc.
An extensive library of rubrics created by teachers
Many rubrics (periodically has tech problems, though)
A very popular resource for teachers.
A rubric portal Also *

Principles of Learning -
A useful framework for looking at how learning happens and can be made to happen within the institutional structure of school.
*Important Question: Which of the 9 principles applies to assessment based on performance or product? How? Which might you build in to an assessment scheme that involves the use of rubrics?

***Assignment: Design a rubric to use with a project you’ve adopted, adapted, or created. Which criteria would you incorporate in the rubric?

Yes, list all the parts/dimensions of the student product that should be rated, a series of ratings (A, B, C etc.), and define what a product would look like in order to merit each of these ratings… and then double back to the Principles of Learning to reflect on what other dimensions (social?) might be included in your rating scheme as well.

You may use a rubric building online tool or simply create one on your own using WORD or another resource that will produce a practical rubric form for classroom use.

Check out the following directions for a hint…From Chicago Public School System

Background Information-


The Student Publishing Dimension of the Final Project

This post will offer an ongoing list of possibilites in how teachers can publish student products.

Some demo items:

Class 123 Writes website created with Google Page Creator

About Google Page Creator:

Class 123 Writes blog

Class 123 Writes Illustration Slide Show (with captions, etc.)

Some resources:
- Blogger
- Google Page Creator (Google Pages)
- Picasa (and other) Web Albums
- Slide Share "SlideShare is the best way to share your presentations with the world. Let your ideas reach a broad audience. Share publicly or privately. "
- scribd "Publish Yourself Online"

Author Web Site Activity***

Drawing the connection between the web sites of popular authors and classroom instructional practice can be a very fruitful approach to enriching standard elements of literacy instruction. Below you'll find a list of resources to review and a brief reflective exercise through which you'll see the richness of this category of resource and the learning opportunities it presents. Also, a list of recommendations by class students as a result of the exercise!

General Author Site Resource(s):
• Index to Internet Sites:
Children's and Young Adults' Authors & Illustrators

• Authors & Illustrators on the Web

Some Examples

Tomi Da Paola – for younger readers strong on visual art connection

TA Barron – upper elementary and up (?) – maps, imaginary lands, etc.

Judy Blume – a perennial k-12 favorite author

Faith Ringgold – Anyone can.. if you try.

Louis Sachar – Holes!!!!

Student Recommendations of Author Websites:

Shel Silverstein and Jerry Spinelli (submitted for her group by Hannah Whang)

Dan Pilkey - Author of Captain Underpants
(submitted by Jessica Rivera and Cassandra Jones)
and Gail Gibbons

Byrd Baylor (submitted by Ethan Goldwater and Mike Chrzanowski)
No official website - this series of related resources assembled instead.

Activity with Author Sites

1) List an author(s) whose works you use/would like to use/intend to use in class

2) Does this author have a website?

3) How would you rate the usefulness of the information found on this site?
How would you utilize it as an instructional resource in your class?

4) What sorts of ‘extras’ are to be found on this author’s site?

5) Other observations ? Suggestions ?

Student and Instructor Reflections on Our Class Wiki

This post will carry reflections on our experience with the class wiki. Please add your comments below. Also, I am getting emails with suggestions and support from PB Wiki which seem to be quite useful. Should you decide to use PB Wiki and establish a wiki for your own class, this sort of thing will really make a difference. I am embedding the emails in a scribd viewer to keep this post somewhat tidy.


Read this document on Scribd: PB Wiki eMail Support

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PowerPoint VS. MS Photo Story 3

While PowerPoint is ubiquitous, found on every computer members of that class are likely to encounter at work, Microsoft's Photo Story is easier and friendlier for creating enhanced slide shows (captions and sound), a wonderful approach for language teachers. Unfortunately, Photo Story 3 still appears to have some compatibility issues with Windows VISTA (my own home PC's OS, darn)...and so in creating the sample I've uploaded here, I was not able to access the Microphone Wizard to adjust the volume :( Otherwise, this was a remarkably easy to create slide show, just the sort of thing teachers would want to do with their language learners.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Instructor's Reflections on In-class Discussion on Student Products

Instructor’s reflections on class discussion about student products…

The student product type of choice at the moment seems to be either the digital video or the annotated, enhanced slide show… Interestingly, the 2 formats seem to be moving toward merging into one!

Additionally, this format which at first seemed like a media format developed for student project application, seems to be moving into the mainstream culture as well as the for school publishing space. 2 items that suggest this are

1) Jib Jab

and 2) Scholastic’s BookFlix product

All this leads us to taking another look at PowerPoint and its classroom/student project applications…

More on Power Point
As a focus, I’ll use a quick PowerPoint demo I made to explain the Comic Book effect in MS Word that we spoke of in class a few times…

1. Power Point as a Publishing Medium
Here it is using Slide Share
and with Scribd

2. Power Point presented in a kiosk

3. Convert PowerPoint to upload to a Blog

4. PowerPoint for Stop Action Animation

More on Stop Action Animation:

***Discussion #3

This will be our final online discussion for the course - it will be posted in our BlackBoard section soon and should be responded to there.
Posted on BlackBoard - 7/28/08

As using Blackboard is part of our course content, please respond to this discussion there. If for any reason you have trouble doing that you may place your post here to make certain you get credit for participation and then please email me a description of the difficulty you encountered at

The authors of Meaningful Learning with Technology begin in Chapter 1 by establishing a framework in which standardized tests that assess decontextualized skills are seen as definers of instructional efforts to be avoided. On the other end of the spectrum, project-based learning is presented as a contextualizer through which meaningful learning may be fostered. There may be much territory that lies between the two extremes that is not explored or explained in this book.

Below are some types of technology-based resources that are either commonly used in our schools or which are becoming more and more commonplace. These are either touched on or not explored fully in the book.

How do we fit the following types of resources into our concept of worthwhile technology applications used for instruction with ESL students? Are they more aligned with the goals of the standardized testing culture, or with that of the project-based learning philosophy?

Review enough of the resources below so that you are sufficiently informed to enter into the discussion, then give your opinion to the above Questions.

I. Simple Games and Quizzes
Activities for ESL Students
Free Online Games Develop ESL Students' Language Skills
Linguistic Funland

II. Virtual Reality Games
Second Life

III. Student Response Systems

***Reading Assignment #6

This final reading assignment will be posted in our BlackBoard section within a few days of this blog post. You should submit your response there. Due date - August 1, 2008.

Podcasting for Teachers - Read Chapter # 7 " Talking to the World - Podcast Format Possibilities".

Imagine you have been given the task of creating a podcast for your school, something that will build esprit de corps, tie the community of learners together, help with parent outreach, and in general, be a source of pride and a showcase for the good work done at your school.

What kind of podcast would you produce? How often would you 'post' an episode? While elements would you include? What would you do that isn't covered in the chapter? How do you see this powerful 'extra' impacting your school community? (250 words).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wiki Activity***

Welcome to the CTGE 59100 Educational Wiki Film Festival
(13 minutes of great Wiki explaining video!)
and Class Wiki Activity

A good example of a wiki tool that has been adopted by educators is the PB Wiki (Peanut Butter Wiki)… Here are some general wiki videos that will explain them and some ‘how to’ and introductory videos created by the PB Wiki team:

Overview and PB Wiki Web Address:

Teaching with a Wiki

What Is a Wiki? (from and Ed Tech expert!)

Wikis in Plain English

Blogs Vs. Wikis

PB Wiki What is a Wiki?

PB Wiki Helping Educators

PB Wiki Getting Started

Seen enough explanatory video? Good! Let's go to our class wiki.
You'll find it at:

This wiki is not for everyone so you'll need to put the following invite key "tech4tesol".
Once in the wiki follow the directions there. Also, check your email periodically as you will be getting emailed heads ups about wiki activity...

In Class Activity #4 - Garthering Data in Student Projects***

Gathering Information – A Dimension of Technology-Supported Learning Projects:

Identifying a topic and gathering information for it is an important dimension of project-based learning. Below are some ways students may be tasked and guided to accomplish this, including and going beyond the use of search engines.

In class activity – In a group identify a type of information gathering on which you’ll base a learning activity for students:

Develop a task that requires information – describe how you would present the activity to youngsters – what sort of process records and final product would they produce? Which resources would you suggest they use in order to participate? (the links below are examples and suggestions... feel free to locate and include your own).

Write this up briefly – List the members of your group - Have someone in the group email it to:

Special Search Engines for Youngsters


Weather Data:

Web Cams:
Good Examples
Outermost Harbor – Massachusetts.

Big Ben London – Refreshes every 5 seconds…

Venice Beach

National Zoo

Sources of Web Cams

Moving Targets:
- Currency Converter -
- Cheat Sheet
- How much would it cost? -

Data projects for students
Stevens Institute – Live Data!lessons


Doing Surveys
- Survey Monkey
- Zoomerang
- Other…

Other Approaches to Gathering Information
And for further discussion down the road The NYC DOE Performance Standards and Student Work Samples...

There are many Web 2.0 tools to be explored by teachers

Get a Voki now!

Voki, a talking avatar, is easy to create and can be made to speak a variety of ways...
Register (free, no strings or privacy issues...) and create one...

Another is Picasa Web Albums - upload a set of JPG-based graphics (photos - screen captures - scans of student work - images mined from the web etc.). This tool allows for a gallery view, single image view, SLIDE SHOW, etc. It also allows for captions to be input with your keyboard. AND it provides the code for a viewer that you can embed in your blog. All of this is FREE, its a Google item! Go to:

Here's a sample from one of my Picasa Web Albums:

Bit Strips (a free resource)

PowerPoint to Video

You can convert (reconstruct?) your PowerPoint in a simple video program like
Windows Movie Maker, save it in a video file format, and upload it to your blog.

PowerPoint allows you to 'save' your slides as JPG files, these can be imported into Windows Movie Maker. You can also import the audio files that were included in the Power Point presentation... the result is an equivalent video.

Alternatively, I uploaded the PowerPoint presentation to Slide Share, an online media sharing resource specializing in slide show sharing. Note: The audio does not seem to carry into the viewer.

Scribd, too, allows PP upload...

Read this document on Scribd: ComicBookEffectUsingWORD

Also - there are a number of useful YouTube videos on turning PowerPoint into video, here's one that appears to be useful....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Student Contributions, Suggestion, etc.

Our course is an ongoing conversation, in the course of which the following items were publicly offered to the group by members of the class...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

***ASSIGNMENT UPDATE (mid course reality check)***

Due dates on the reading assignments are as follows:

Assignment #1, #2, and #3 should have been turned in by 7/16

I will however extend this due date to 7/21 so that all may get caught up.
I will extend the due date for assignment #4 to 7/24, as well.

Here are the links to these 3 reading assignments (details in how to number the assignment parts are given).

#1 -
#2 -
#3 -
#4 -

#5 -

When turning in your assignment by email please labeled the attached file as follows:

“Last Name, First Initial – Assignment # - Part # (if relevant)”

Example: Smith, A. #2 Part 1.b

Please send these as WORD or RTF documents. I may not be able to open documents that are Zipped or Compressed or in other formats.

Also note the 2 Discussion assignments:
Discussion #1 you should participate in by 7/21

Discussion #2 you should participate in by 7/21 but I will extend that to 7/24

Your final project should be turned in by 8/4 for Mon./Wed. section 21 and by 8/5 for the Tues./Thurs. section 22 students.

Also: Note
Reading Assignment # 5 – due date 7/25
#5 -

Also – See final project post due the next to last class. We may review some of the projects at the last class. (original post @

Final Project: Basically, you will create a web-enabled student project that would take 3 or more sessions to implement. The project should take advantage of at least 3 Web resources, some of which we will discuss and review in class. Some examples are:• Blogger• YouTube (TeacherTube – SchoolTube – Blip TV, etc.)• Podcasts• Bit Strips• Picasa Web Gallery (or similar resource)• VOKI• Animoto• Survey Monkey• Scribd• Our Media• Google “Pages”• Google “Docs”The unit (thematic, project-based) should feature a:
· Standards-based problem, challenge or task
· A student product
· dissemination (publishing) scheme
· feedback methods
· collaborative aspect
· assessment scheme

You will present the unit as 2 blog posts:
A) A practice (mock) message to the students in which you place an example(s) of digital resource(s) (including media) as a prompt/focus and or as background content for the unit. This should include your directions to the student about how to approach and use the media item and then how to respond to it.

You may wish to create an example of the type of product you’d like the students to produce as part of your presentation in this blog post.

B) In a 2nd Blog post you will provide a lesson (unit plan) as well. This should include standard lesson plan items like the goal, motivation, implementation plan, and assessment component.
Let’s look at your blog as a work space that will allow you to present material to students in an exciting way, have them respond to you and or one another (through the comments function, etc.), a way to ‘publish’ and or exhibit their work (and receive feedback on it), among other functions.Your assignment is to create a multi session unit of instruction that you present using your blog. You may want to give students an example of what their finished work would be like.The unit you create should embrace dimensions of Project-based Learning. It should allow for a degree of student autonomy, to contribute to the definition of his/her own investigation/learning experience. It should culminate in the creation of a product (or performance) that forms the basis of assessment of student achievement. Such projects often include aspects of collaboration.In presenting the project use at least 3 types of Web-based technology, which may include:The blog toolHyperlinksDigital MediaDigital tools (survey instruments, etc.)Search enginesOtherA simple project might require students to take a broad subject you suggest (or one that the class brain storms together) and drill down to a more specific area of study (i.e. sports> baseball > history of the game). This might be facilitated by more brainstorming (listing all possibilities and then having students select from a class generated list) or by having students use a search engine to discover sub-topics under the starting topic, list and present you with a few of these, and then accountably select one.A second phase of this project would likely have students gathering information to use in their project (report). They might do online research, interview others, take a survey, etc.The final portion would involve the production of a product in which they present what they’ve learned. This might be a slide show, digital document, recording, etc.While such projects have been done without the use of technology traditionally, many educators believe that technology greatly facilitates and enhances them. As you plan your project, ponder how technology might do this and identify which resources and methods you’ll use. In your final piece you do not have to do everything with technology (personally), but you should describe in your lesson plan what you would do and use and how you would implement it. The presentation of the lesson should be done as a blog post and should embrace the technology examples as mentioned above.Your technology use will likely conform to the following:Presenting the project to studentsUsing technology with the students as they do the project and produce their productAssessing the projectGiving feedback to the student, fostering constructive criticism between students, structuring Accountable Talk as part of the students finishing the project.Publishing the students’ workSharing the students’ published work with peers and othersReporting to parents

***Assignment #5

Reading Assignment #5 - Due by 7/25/08

Part 1.a

Read Chapter 16 of Podcasting for Teachers"Beyond Course Casting" pay particular attention to the section on Podcasting and Assessment.

Part 1.b
Read Chapter 10 in Meaningful Learning with Technology "Assessing Meaningful Learning"

Write a 250 word response for each and draw connections between the 2 chapters if you can.

***Assignment #1

For Your Reference, here's what was required for assignment #1"

Part 1- READING:
Part 1.a
& b Assigned text *Meaningful Learning with Technology Read chapters 1 and 2

Also read - Assigned text *Podcasting for Teachers Read the Preface and skim read through Part 1 “Revolution in our Pockets” (no required response for this)

Part 1.c Article(s) 'Read' a, b, & c below follow the link to an online copy of each article (these are actually blog posts)

1) Using Blogs Within The ESL Classroom

2) Blogging in the ESL classroom

3) Actually this one is viewing & listening AND reading as it is a YouTube video
Blogs in the ESL classroom

Responding (to Part 1-a.b.c above): For chapters 1 and 2 (of Meaningful Learning with Technology) write a half page response (approx. 200 -250 words) for each chapter. Write a single, combined response for the 3 articles (blog posts, video) approx. 200 -250 words. Please do not summarize. Rather, give a response that:
· reflects whether or not you agree with the position taken by the author,
· have concerns with any of the facts or supporting ideas presented,
· have insights about how this point relates in particular to your teaching assignment (job), and or philosophy of education
· Other (type of response that reveals how your understanding has shifted, been reinforced, or expanded).

email me your response at: OR respond in the assignments section of our class BlackBoard section OR both...

Part 2 - Doing (Set up a blog): Set up a blog for your work in this class. Use Google’s free Blogger (blogspot) online blogging resource to create a blog for your work in this class.

Give your blog a name that reveals something about your teaching work or hopes for your teaching practice and/or educational philosophy. Be focused and appropriate, but feel free to have fun with this! Try to select a blog address that is easy to remember.

You may need to ‘register’ for Google or Gmail before you can create the blog. Once you create the blog you will have to make a variety of decisions about how it will look, navigate, and function. Your experiences, problems, issues, and questions about all of these aspects of blogging will become part of our class work. Therefore, be certain to make a note of these as you go through the exercise of setting up the blog and bring your issues in to class. The blog will be a work in progress, so do as much as you can and then our class discussion will empower you to move further along. As soon as you have a blog that is up and running on the web please email me a link to it.

Creating a Comic Book Effect

Monday, July 14, 2008

In Class Activity # 3 - Structured Experience (software)

In Class Activity #3 – Sampling Software-Driven Structured Learning Experiences

1) Tom Snyder Productions “Science Court” DEMO:

The above is an example of how some very creative software engages students in collaborative work, actually modeling the act and processes of collaboration. Also, in this demo note how the publisher is making the implementation and student/computer deployment clear and how it is thought out beforehand.

2) Shedd Aquarium “Mytery of Apo Island”

A thought provoking structured experience involving a variety of thinking, learning, teaching, and fun… also a good software-driven opportunity for collaborative learning.


As part of a team of 3 – 4 go through the experience yourself while focusing on how you would use this resource, implement it with your students, and create support for your students’ particular needs as learners.

In Class Activity # 2 - Review Student tech PRODUCTS

Let’s look at some examples of the products that are produced as part of technology supported student learning projects.

There are a variety of approaches that result in differing content formats, media formats, and that use differing tools.

Content approaches:
Digital Storytelling
Digital Reports
Published Writing (traditional hard copy approach, but given a professional look and feel by the use of technology).
Student adaptations of popular media formats (announcements, commercials, talk shows, interviews, etc.)

Media formats (common):
Slide Show
Video (or slide show converted to a video)
- Web page (interactive – non linear format)- Web page (uploaded print pages)
Multi Media Presentations (i.e. Kid Pix)

Student Product Examples:

Of Special Note:Mabry Middle School reports on science and social issues (done as iMovies)
(note the credits at the end of the movies)

There are many 10s of thousands of tech supported student products, related lessons, and ideas online. Obviously, the above sampling is not comprehensive! A wide variety of approaches, uses of tools, and instructional goals is given.

Reflection: What do you feel here is of value? Is practical? Adds to the usual instructional experience? What would you change? Want to try? Think you can improve on?

What questions do you have about how to do these? What’s practical? Implementation? Etc.

How hard is it to do?… Web 2.0 is making it easier…here’s one I produced in under 5 minutes simply as an experiement. I had my usual web browser – some digital photos already saved – and MS WORD to work with (also screen capture technology)
Tools of note:
Animoto – (60 second demo)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Animoto Demo

Instructor's Reflections on Adopting, Adapting, and Improving on Read – Write – Think tool software.

Read Write Think offers a large library of instructional software tools. These have limitations though. One approach to using this resource more effectively is to view it as a source of ideas and models that can be extended in their functionality and usefulness by using them in concert with other software items. Here are some observations and reflections based on the class’ reviews of the R-W-T tools…

Find other software that will do the same things as R - W - T

Tom Snyder Productions (educational software producer)
Time Liner

Flip Book

Comic Book Software

Overcome Read Write Think’s lack of “Save” function with screen capture functions (Windows and MAC OS)

See previous blog post "How to Do a Screen Capture"

Free trial software:

Examples using this approach:

OR... simply re-create the Read Write Think tool by using MS WORD (or other) software...

Scroll to page 2 of the example given and embedded in the scribd 'viewer'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Recording Audio

2 Easy Approaches:

A) Use an audio recording/editing program on your computer. You will need a microphone that plugs into the computer. When done you will save your recording as a file on your desktop, in your hard drive, and maybe tranfer to a disk.

Here's a wonderful series of videos created for teachers that will show you how to use the most popular, free audio software around - AUDACITY.

TECH EASE - Quick answers to real classroom technology questions.

B) Or you can use a portable, digital audio recorder, generally $59-ish and up. You can get these at places like Radio Shack, Big Box and Dept. Stores, Office MAX/STAPLES type stores, online from sites like NewEgg, Musician's Friend, etc.

Basically, you record with the small hand held device through its built in microphone (some allow external mics to be plugged in) and then connect the device to your computer with a USB cable (the one with the audiot editing software installed) and then edit (if you want) using the software (some of these devices come with software). When finished you upload your audio...

See previous post on Uploading Audio:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back Up a Blog?

I've found Blogger to be stable and dependable. Yet, nothing's perfect. As you put more information on your blog it would probably be a good idea to back it up.


Here's a simple method that will prove invaluable in case lightning strikes the Google server farm...

Open up an individual blog post (not the whole shebang) so that you are backing up in sections...

Use the 'Select All' function to highlight everything you want to save.

And then use the "Copy" function to copy the info and hold it on your "Clip Board"

Next open a new word processing document > and paste the information you copied into it.

Click "Save As" give it a title and store it in a safe place where you will be able to find it (a folder titled Blog Back Up, perhaps?)...

Happy blogging!

***Discussion #2: Bloom's Taxonomy

Please enter into this discussion no later than: 7/21 /08

Bloom's Taxonomy is an item that has loomed large over the educational landscape for more than half a century. It has shaped much of what educators believe and is still highly relevant.

Please read through the following at your own pace and then respond to the discussion prompt at the bottom of this post.

1) An overview of Bloom's Taxomony with a little history thrown in

2) A blurb for an Education Week article of importance (the full article requires a paid subscription, but the blurb is enough to get you thinking in a different direction). Interestingly, this piece contradicts the Wikipedia you see how?

3) A short general piece on how teachers can use Bloom's Taxonomy

4) A piece similar to the one above, but with the ESL teachers's specific focus

Focus Question:
How do the items you've seen tested on standardized tests align to Bloom's Taxonomy? AND
How do you think a learning project would align? In other words, what get's assessed? What doesn't get assessed? Does the taxonomy help put these questions into focus? Is this important? Why?

Great Stuff to READ

The items below are not assigned reading, but are recommended to you as items of particular interest:

NY Times article: CORRECTED: Technology Reshapes America's Classrooms

Education Week article: (read overview...full article requires paid subscription)
How 'Disruptive Innovation' Will Change the Way We Learn

eSchool News article:
Educators wrestle with digital-equity challenges Summit addresses key question: How to ensure access to digital learning opportunities for all students;_hbguid=3ee76aac-60d0-4651-a669-608fa438b83d

My article in (winter 2008) Converge Magazine:
Bridge Over Technology Waters (scroll to page 19>>>)

Education Week free summer bonus issue on (What a concept… teaching students how to think!) Summer 2008 (Online Only)Thinking Skills NOW
In this summer online-only issue, our authors describe the learning experiences and special projects that improved their students' ability to think deeply and well. From a group of 5th grade students learning all about the history of their county to an algebra class learning that linear functions are everywhere, these articles show students learning how to think critically and creatively.
This issue is open to everyone—no login necessary

In Class Assignment 7/9 - 10

Go to the Read Write Think website:

Next select Student Materials:

We will be working from this section today.

On this page you will find a list of Graphic Organizer type interactive tools created to support a variety of common approaches to learning English Language, many of them having to do with writing.

We will work in small groups.
1. Review the tools and then select one you feel has potential to support learning to write.
2. After you select the tool, you will be presented with a library of lesson plans for which it is a recommended resource. Review some and select one as the focus for this activity.
3. Discuss and prepare to report back to the group on the following:

• Which tool did you select?
- What do you see as its strong points?
- What do you see as its weaknesses for you to use as an instructional resource?
- *How would you implement the use of this with a class of students?
(Organization, tech deployment scheme, time flow, etc.)
- How would you change the tool if you could?

• Which lesson did you choose?
- How does the tool support the lesson?
- How would you modify the way the plan given uses the tool?
- What sorts of support would you CREATE to adapt the use of this lesson and the tool in order to use it effectively with your students?

• How might you extend the efficacy of this activity (tool and lesson) by adding other technologies or traditional resources to the mix?

• Other observations, reactions, thoughts, etc. you’d like to share that relate to this experience?

Graphic Organizer - Conflict Map

Selecting>>>Adopting>>>Adapting>>>Creating Tech Supported Tools for Instruction

Read this document on Scribd: ConflictMaps

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

***Assignment #4

Assignment #4

I’ll make this one due by Wed. 7/16/08 which will give all a chance to get caught up.
In the interim, be sure to participate in Discussion #1 (blog and or Blackboard).

Also, here’s an extra article you may want to read:
CORRECTED: Technology Reshapes America's Classrooms

You may want to listen to this week’s episode of The Teachers Podcast (if you listen be sure to check out the links given in the website)

Also, you may want to review our class blog. As you build out your blog you may find the “technology tips” I’ve put in to be useful. Our class blog is an organic, ongoing item and may offer you a model of approaches you would use in a similar blog in your own teaching.

Assignment #4

Part 1
Read chapter 5 of Meaningful Learning with Technology.
Write a response (approx. 250) on your reflections on the how this fits into your understanding of education and how it might be used in your own teaching practice.

Part 2
Building out your blog a little, let’s try a ‘post’ that you might create for your students. Find an item on the web that you feel is appropriate and worthwhile to present to your students. In your text (a paragraph or 2) put a hyperlink into your blog that will take the reader to the item you’ve selected. Give directions on what to do with the content you are sending him to (i.e. print this out, read in entirety, read the first 3 paragraphs, etc.). Also, give directions to the student on processing the content (i.e. summarize, list new vocabulary, write a short reflection, etc.).

The above is required, but the following are suggestions for how you might enhance the blog experience for your student:

Upload a still photo or a scan
Upload (or embed) a video
Put a link in to a podcast or sound file
Upload or embed a slide show

How would you use the item you include instructionally?

How to do a screen capture?

What if you want to save something as a picture to put in your blog, but the software you are working with has no way for you to do that directly?

A screen capture will help get the job done. Below are some links to videos that explain how to do that.

Let’s learn how to do it from a kid J



Advice from an adult on screen captures.

Class moved AGAIN.

Please note: CTGE 59100 will now meet in room 1025 as of 7/8/08

Monday, July 7, 2008

Embedding a Video in your blog

Here's something you may want to try to enhance your blog and make it more functional. Media, like digital video, can be presented to students this way as an informational item or a focus or prompt for an assignment. Teachers need not create their own media but may use it from sharing sites (assuming of course there is no copyright issue to contend with).

To embed a YouTube video like the one above in your blog (or other video source if 'embedding' is an offered function) first go to the page view where embedding is offered (see below). Then copy the code in the window below the word "Embed"

Next select the HTML view and paste the code you copied into the blog tool body.

Monday - July 7th - Class Announcements

Greetings Students - I hope all had a pleasant 4th of July weekend!

Appologies for time and location confusions about class last Thursday - July 3rd!

Please note that we have been assigned to Room 306 (computer lab) for the rest of the course!

Assignments have been posted in this blog and I am in the process of returning #1 to all who submitted it. Please note that Assignment #3 has been posted below:

I have also posted a first dicussion assignment:
and you should weigh in on that (please email me with any issues or problems you have in using the blog tool, etc.). I hope to move the discussions to BlackBoard as soon as the class is a little more comfortable with it.

This blog is a place for me to post notices, reflections, and additional information that are not assignments, as well. Please read the post on Keep Your Computer Safe (please!)

I look forward to our in-class conversation this week.

Mark Gura
PS - Please use your Fordham Email for all email exchanges with me.

PSS - FYI class sylabus

Read this document on Scribd: CTGE 59100 Summer Session Sylabus