What does technology mean to me?


Throughout this course I have learned that technology can take any shape.  There is no one way to integrate or teach with technology.  By completing my Networked Learning Project (NLP) and the TPACK activity, I now see that I have to open to new ideas and practices just as much as my students.  Learning new technology can be difficult at times, but as long as I am willing to try, there is nothing I will not be able to do.

I feel that my teaching practice will be greatly impacted because of this course.  I believe I will try even harder than before to find new an creative ways to get information to my students.  I will have to be patient and allow my students to explore on their own.  I think this may be the hardest thing.  We are moving to a K-8 district next year with a great deal of new technology being introduced in our classrooms (class iPads and Promethean Boards to name a few).  I am concerned that the focus will be on test scores instead of on what the students have truly learned.  In a scenario like this I can see me falling back into my old habits.  I guess I will have to work that much harder to integrate these new ideas in my room.  I will have to push away those feelings of complete frustration and allow the new process to just happen. 

A few major questions I have is how do you sell such unique ideas to a very “experienced” staff who are typically set in their ways?  Will I have people fight me on these ideas?  Will my students jump on board?  Will parents understand?

Candace and Emily, thank you so much for a great experience.  I would not change anything for the world.  This was an amazing way to start my certificate program. 






My little girl modeling her dress

NLP Video


For this project I decided to make a pillowcase dress for my 17 month old daughter. This was a new and slightly frightening prospect for me. I have no experience with making clothes, let alone using the sewing machine. But my daughter loves to wear dresses, so I thought this may be a fear to overcome. I was pleasantly surprised. I was actually pretty good with the sewing machine once I got over that initial hump. I will say that my seams need some major work. Also I need to learn how to sew in a straight line.

Overall, I truly enjoyed doing this activity. I am a very visual learner, so using videos and blogs to assist me was truly helpful. I think this was an amazing way to learn something new. I believe that I will continue to learn in this fashion. I mean where else can you have someone help you step by step without having to pay them 🙂

In a traditional classroom setting, I think this type of learning in very important. Students need to be problem solvers. What better way to problem solve than to figure out how to do something on your own without one on one assistance. I plan on using this type of activity in my classroom next year. I will be working with 7th and 8th graders and I know that they have many deficiencies (especially when it comes to writing). What better way to guide them than to give them something where they have to become the experts on their own. I believe that the students will benefit greatly because the the learning is done in a way they truly understand and appreciate.



For this week’s assignment we were asked to complete a Cooking with TPACK (Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge) activity. To do this we had to have a friend choose a bowl, plate and utensil without knowing what we were going to do with them. Then I chose an activity (there were 5) out of a hat. The activity I chose was to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had to complete the activity with a kitchen spoon, a dinner plate and a salad bowl. By watching this video, you will see the steps I had to follow to make the best sandwich possible.

Networked Learning Project Blog Post #3


As I have been working and reworking my design for this pillow case dress I have been getting more and more stressed.  I have a tendency to be a little uptight about things being perfect.  This project has taught me that I have to step out of my comfort zone and allow my definition of perfection to change. 


In the last week I have struggled to get my pattern to look the way I want.  I have created 3 different patterns, each look a little better than the last. 


As a learner I have to remember that I have given assignments in the past where I have seen the students frustration.  But there are times I have to admit I did not know what to do to help them.  I have felt so stuck because of the constraints of our curriculum.  With a project like this I see that by being willing to fail, reassess and try again, I have actually found more satisfaction in my progress.  I wonder if I continue this idea, my students will find this same sense of satisfaction. 

Technology Lesson Plan



Holocaust History (Grades 9-12)

Learning Objective: 

Students will use Prezi to outline the persecution of Jews from the time of Hitler’s election until the start of WWII.  Students will present their Prezi’s to the entire class.  These presentations will become the main resource in the class discussion about this time period.

Materials Needed: 

Lined paper, writing utensil and a computer with internet access. 


4 class periods (55 minutes each)


7.1.3 Twentieth Century Genocide – Use various sources including works of journalists, journals, oral histories, films, interviews, and writings of participants to analyze the causes and consequences of the genocides of Armenians, Romans (Gypsies), and Jews, and the mass exterminations of Ukrainians and Chinese.

Day One Activities:

  1. The teacher will introduce the concept of Prezi’s to the students. 
  2. The teacher will walk the students through the steps in making a Prezi.
  3. Next, the teacher will discuss the major events the students will spend their time researching and creating their Prezi’s over. 
    1. Election of Hitler (January 30, 1933)
    2. The opening of the first concentration camp at Dachau (March 22, 1933)
    3. Boycott of Jewish businesses (April 1, 1933)
    4. Nuremberg Laws (September 15, 1935)
    5. Persecution of Austrian Jews (March 13, 1938)
    6. Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938)
    7. Jewish children expelled from schools (November 15, 1938)
    8. Yellow Star introduced (November 23, 1939).
    9. Students will ask questions for greater understanding and further comprehension. 
    10. The class will go to the computer lab and begin their research (students will write copious notes over the information they are able to find). 

Day 2 Activities:

  1. The teacher will discuss the progress of the students research
    1. Students will have an opportunity to share the information they have found that is the most interesting to them. 
    2. The class will go back to the computer lab.
    3. The students will begin creating their Prezi’s.
      1. Students will have full creative freedom on which type of Prezi they choose to create.
      2.  Students will spend the remaining class time creating their Prezi’s. 

Day 3 Activities:

  1. The teacher will have 2-3 students show what they have created thus far to the rest of the class. 
    1. Students can give constructive criticism.
    2.  The students will go back to the computer lab to complete their Prezi’s. 

Day 4 Activities:

  1.  The teacher will explain the peer evaluation piece of the project (please see peer evaluation piece).
  2. Each student will come in front of the class and show their Prezi.
    1. Each student will be asked to evaluate all of their fellow classmates. 
    2.  After all of the presentations, students will be asked to do two reflections
      1. Reflection 1 – From all of the presentations you have just evaluated, what pieces of information did you find the most interesting? 
      2. Reflection 2 – To the best of your ability, explain how all 8 of these events created a stronger Nazi regime. 


Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.


Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011) say that learning environments must embrace and engender change. Students must learn to know where to find what they need to know, know how to make things that represent their learning across a range of contexts, and perhaps most importantly, know how to play.  In most school settings there is not opportunity for students to play.  Instead they are forced to regurgitate information in order to pass some form of assessment.  Today, students are exposed to so many new and interesting technologies that many times a regular research activity is boring.  We, as teachers, need to embrace what the students know and let them use this to become stronger academically. 


I have had the opportunity to teach a plethora of subjects in my 10 year career.  With the development of lesson and unit plans I have been able to really find new ways to get information to students.  I want my students to find a personal connection I everything that I teach.  I believe that by being asked to develop a lesson where students were able to just “Play” with technology, all students will come to the table with some new, interesting ideas. 


In her book, Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom (2011), Renee Hobbs outlines “five communication competencies as fundamental literacy practices that are now part of learning across all subject areas” (p. 12).  These five core competencies include access, analyze, create, reflect, and act.  In the creation of this lesson, I believe I was able to hit four of the key competencies.  The one area I felt I did not cover was “act.”  I really feel like I need to really focus on this idea.  I think the idea of putting strength in the student’s hands to influence others is a vital skill in today’s society.  Students need to understand that in order to be successful in system that is shifting toward technology; they need to believe in their strengths. 

Evernote Rocks !!!!!!


For my GTD strategy, I decided to try Evernote.  One reason I decided to try this strategy is because my school has pushed for the integration of many new technology strategies and Evernote happens to be one of them. 

I decided to organize a good portion of the information I have received about an upcoming professional development.  As a part of the PD we have to do a great deal of reading.  I figured having a central location with all of the websites would be amazing.  I truly enjoy the fact that I can access my notes on my computer or my phone.  I think this will be very handy at my PD so I do not have to create paper copies of my resources. 

I really like that I can add links to blogs, web pages and other resources so I do not have to go and search for everything I need.  I also really enjoy that I can share my notes with others.  This is so amazing.  Now I can easily facilitate collaboration with my fellow staff members without having to reinvent the wheel.