Archive from March, 2013
Mar 31, 2013 - Instructional Technologies    Comments Off on Week 11 Blog Reflection: New Technologies

Week 11 Blog Reflection: New Technologies

The mini projects are posted in week 9 and 10.  The NASA home and city was extremely interactive and informative.  I was quite impressed with how much NASA has contributed to what we take for granted on a daily basis.  Who would have thought the ear buds we use today were a result of the technology that allowed Neil Armstrong to talk to NASA control from the moon.  The technology used to deliver the information was very impressive with 3D, interactive (popup message & audio) communications.  Additional information provided by the tabs at the bottom was informative and allowed you to continue to pursue your exploration of the topic by linking to the spinoff database.  I did a quick search for paint and was provided adobe files on heat resistant and space paint.

BrainNook was much better than I first thought it would be by viewing the opening screen.  It offered 3D interactive games for elementary students where they could play games geared toward learning a variety of subjects.  I though it was rather elementary until I went to the maps and selected multiplying fractions.  This game was extremely challenging.  The game appeared to be extensive and the limited time per event keeps thing moving along.  Earning badges and stars give the player an incentive to keep going.  I will most likely use this as one of my 3rd grade class activities.

The technology presented by Pattie Maes on TED was very interesting. I have mixed emotions on the effects of this invention relative to the current educational system.  Not sure how it would be specifically implemented but I do think the refined product would have a huge impact on how we educate our students.  It appears it will provide instant access to a wealth of information dramatically increasing the exposure to new information not previously used in the classroom.

Cell phone etiquette for kids and webwisekids offered numerous tips and strategies for both students and parents.  To me it appeared the best rule for etiquette is for the parent to lead by example.  The cell phone tips were very good and appeared to provide an excellent roadmap for using cell phones.  While reading through the tips and recommendations I kept thinking how important it is for parents and teachers to understand the technology their children are using.  As I continued to explore cell phone technology I downloaded kaywa QR code scanner and scanned a few codes.  While surfing a bit I discovered QR codes for educators which can be found at:

At this site I generated a QR code linking to my professional web portfolio provided below:

QR code for web portfolio

I scanned the code using the kaywa reader and my web page immediately showed up on my cell phone.


has a QR code treasure hunt generator for teachers.  I was impressed at how quickly the kaywa scanner worked.  With a few smart phones in the class I can see many opportunities for lessons using this technology.  In addition to using in the classroom, QR conncectivity to the students provides an opportunity for the teacher to receive and provide information while on the go.


Byrne, R. (2011). Free Technology for Teachers. Retrieved from:


QR Codes for Educators, Retrieved from:

Week 10 Reflection Blog Post: Mini Projects II

As soon as I began reading about Capzles I knew I was going to choose this as one of my mini-projects.  It is a very Interesting technology and it is easy to use once you decide on a theme for the project and a strategy for capturing the required images. This could prove to be a powerful tool as the students are drawn to the images.

After completing the Capzles mini-project I spent some time exploring the Google Earth projects.  I have used Google Earth before in my classroom but not to the extent covered in this lesson.  The literature trips on Google Earth were very interesting and I believe they would be effective in the class.  When exploring the literature trips, you discover Google allows you to select the content of the file you intend to view.  This is a nice feature but took some time to understand the layers and associated content.  Knowing the developer cannot preselect layers and content, you tend to spend a little time exploring the effects to see the visual impact.  I found significant differences in the 2D and 3D views.  Even though I did not develop a lit trip as one of my mini-projects, I found it to be quite interesting.

I spent some time reviewing Google Fusion Tables and you can see immediately the value this technology would have for visual learners as it can illustrate data for interpretation and comparison.  I found this tool to be very interesting, but not one of my top choices for my 3rd grade class from all that were reviewed.

I found the Google Trek with Google maps technology fascinating with huge potential for students of almost any age.  I think it lends itself to a project for the students in a variety of subjects.  The historic journey presentation and Mr. H’s examples were useful in understanding the technology.

After investigating the Google Earth projects, I decided to develop a real world math/science lesson.  In this project we provide the students the KMZ file linking to the measurement project.  The link will pull up the King George Elementary School.  Seeing their school should spark their interest in the project.  By clicking on the KGES pin they will see the directions for this measurement project. They use the Google Earth measuring tool to measure from the start pin to the end pin recording their answers in feet, yards, and meters. We will then discuss their results. We could expand on this project with an estimation of the distance if time allows.  First they could estimate the distance followed by having them walk it off after measuring their stride.   By requiring the students to engage in critical thinking skills, this demonstrates real world application. They will multiply the number of paces by the length of their stride to determine the distance.  I understand the pins are intended for location but the pins appeared to be more effective in communicating the starting and stopping of the measurement than did the polygon. I hope to have an opportunity to try this lesson with my class next week.


KGES measurement image

Week Nine Reflections- Mini Projects

This week we continued to expand our technical capabilities by introducing more tools to incorporate into our educational practice.  For this week I focused on the Voki & Comic life mini projects.  Voki was quite a bit of fun and it went rather smoothly although I was somewhat disappointed you are unable to edit the file once published.  For my Voki project I did a short clip on providing a tool for students who may get stuck on their nine multiplication  tables.  I will make a few adjustments to the script and then try it out on my class to see how they respond.  I expect they will be quite taken with the Avatar and since it is short, they will remain extremely attentive.  A link to my Avatar is provided below.


Link to Voki:

I spent quite a bit of time reviewing the digital story telling and found the articles quite informative.  By focusing on “living in the story”,  you can safeguard against simply telling a story and proper planning will allow you to discretely unfold the intent or lesson of the story.  Creating tension will take some effort as will delivering the story as concise as possible.  One huge bonus of digital story telling is the use of media where the photograph, audio, or video can provide a focal point and the story can reinforce the theme.  At first I was somewhat overwhelmed with all the tools available to use for digital story telling but after reviewing them it appears that once you decide how you want to deliver the story picking a tool would become straight forward.  I will be creating my digital story next week as the second part of my mini projects for this week was to create a comic on the water cycle.  I am not sure if it was just me or if others had the same issues with the 30 day free trail of comic life.  Many of the functions were not activated.  I could not use spell checker and I could not change the images to look more like a comic.  That is unfortunate as I think this effect will have an impact on its overall presentation.

My water cycle comic is provided below.

ws1 ws2 ws3

All images were obtained from:
The Pics4Learning collection is intended to provide copyright friendly images for use by students and teachers in an educational setting. The original photographers of each image retain the copyright to these images and have graciously allowed their use in this collection.



Weel 7 Sticky Notes

Week seven was another week of exposure to new electronic tools.  I found the pre-writing with concept maps to be extremely useful in organizing my thoughts.  The quick writing was also useful.  Depending on the topic I could see either tool coming first.  For something you are familiar with and you want to write something to document the subject the concept map is an excellent way to outline your thoughts and graphically display the connectivity.  For a topic you are less familiar with the quick writing approach will allow you to free flow thought and come back a little later to add structure and organization.

I like Jing and see how it could be a useful tool in the classroom.  I could see development of several variations of the lesson to address different levels of instruction.  When reading through the potential uses of Jing or Screenr it was mentioned that it may be useful in flipping your class.  Thinking back to what I have learned so far on flipping you class it appears having the actual teacher on the video is important to ensure connectivity to the class.  For this reason I think I would limit Jing or Screenr to instructional videos that would be used during differentiation sessions in the class where I would be available to supplement the instruction.

I found the Kucha approach to presentations very useful.  I have seen presentation that were very wordy with limited illustrations and found it difficult to stay focused.  Twenty slides with a maximum of twenty seconds that demonstrate and encourage empathy will be quick moving with a focus of drawing the audience into the content of the presentation.

The jeopardy tool was easy to access and easy to use.  I believe I will be incorporating this learning game into many of my classes.

The shared sticky notes appear to be a good tool for building vocabulary based on reading assignments for my third grade class. The link to my wall is

I will be working with my students to give them access to the wall.