Friday, November 25, 2011

Journal #9 "Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe" by Annette Lamb

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and Leading With Technology39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from

Summary: I found this article very interesting because I am a very avid reader. I will almost always prefer reading a book over watching a movie or participating in activities. I have recently made the change from paper book reading to digital e-book reading and until now have never thought about the effects that this switch is having on the world. I have witnessed in today's classrooms, that reading is slowing becoming digital. Even though it is slightly scary for me to think that one day paper books will become a thing of the past, the advances in the digital reading world are quite impressive. These advances now allow readers to highlight, search for words or phrases, virtually bookmark as well as use dictionaries and take notes. Though some of these tools could be utilized using paper books, such as highlighting, using dictionaries and note taking, digital reading devices make these talks quite a bit easier. Lamb also pointed out that these digital readers make reading more interactive the classroom, or simply at home by providing the young reader with options on how to access the reading material such as "read to me," "play with me" and "read by myself" options. I believe that these features are great for children who are learning to read or even struggling with their reading development. Lamb also shares that many researchers have found that interactive books with high quality navigation has provided support that benefits struggling readers. In addition to support for struggling readers, this new technology is also providing support for visual and hands-on learners. Through Transmedia reading in the classroom, students are able to not just read, but participate in digital activities as well. I believe that this is just great because I myself am a visual and hands-on learner. I envy children today who are given that ability to benefit from this technology. I believe that today's advancing technology is such a positive step in the education world, though I cant help but make a connection to the book "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury and feel as though it is a personal responsibility of mine to hoard as many paper books as possible.

Question #1: How is digital book reading helpful in the classroom?

I believe it is helpful in the way that, students are not only excited to use their high-tech devices, but their attentions are held longer because of the level of interaction. I also believe that because of the excitement of these devices, students will be more excited to read. These devices are also more effective when considering the increasing classroom size and space left in the classroom for books and other materials. These devices provide a small space to store many books as well as giving the reader a variety of material. 

Question #2: Can digital readers and electronic devices be a distraction in classrooms rather then a helpful tool?

These electronic devices can definitely be a distraction if not utilized correctly. I think the best way for these devices to retain their helpfulness is to implement struct rules in the classroom, as well as assure that there are no educationally unrelated information, software or material on these devices. If these things are not made available to users, they will not cause a problem. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Journal #8 Adaptive Technology


AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) includes all forms of communication (excluding oral speech) that is used to express needs, wants, thoughts, est. The AAC provides these different communication methods to people with significant speech impairments. An AAC aid is a device, electronic or non-electronic, used to communicate by sending out or receiving messages. These devices range from simple communication cards (No/Low-Tech) to speech generating devices (High-Tech). 

No/Low-Tech Tool:

A No/Low-Tech Tool generally means that there are no electronic devices involved. These tools can range anywhere from picture cards to family photos. No/Low tech tools are used to communicate by receiving and sending messages. An example of a No/Low-Tech tools is a communication board. The user uses, depending on their level of physical ability, their eye-gaze direction, a lazer pointer, or a head and mouth stick to select words, phrases, pictures, letters, and/or symbols from the communication board to relay a message. In a classroom, this tool can be utilized to allow the student to communicate to the teacher, as well as other students, if they need anything or if they have a question. This tool would help to fill the communication gap that is present when a student has a communication disability. 

High-Tech Tools:

A High-Tech Tool is an electronic device that stores and retrieves of electronic messages. These devices can also be known as speech generating devices (SGD) or voice output communication aids (VOCA). These devices vary in weight, size and storage ability depending on the physical ability of the user. An example of a High-Tech tool is Springboard Lite. This communication device is ideal for an individual, adult or child, who is just beginning the augmentative communication process. This tool is also ideal for individuals who have shown achievement using No/Low-Tech tools and are ready for a step up! The Springboard Lite is an easy to use, portable communication device whose communication abilities have the ability to grow along with the user's capabilities. Thus  this tool has the ability to serve various individuals with a variety of skill levels and needs. In the classroom, this device can be used to help communication between the teacher and student. 


Alternative input devices replace traditional devices that an individual who can not physically utilize with an alternative device that they are able to use. These alternative devices allow the user to activate a computer using their mouth, breath, eye movement, head, thumb, a single finger or his/her feet. 


Alternate input hardware are devices that provide physically restricted individuals the means to access computers using various body movements. One example of an alternative input device is the Quick Glance 3. This device is a replacement mouse designed for Windows 98/XP, which allows its user to move the mouse pointer around the screen using their eye movements. The user is also able to "click" a desired location by blinking their eyes, staring, or using the hardware switch. Various options for mimicking mouse functions provides the user with complete accessibility to all Windows features including dragging, double clicking, and right clicking. In the classroom, this hardware will allow a physically impaired student to participate in classroom activites as well as express needs and feelings to the teacher as well as other students. 


Alternate input software are provides physically restricted individuals the means to access computers in various ways. An example of such a software is the Talking Screen software. This software allows individuals who are non-speaking and non-literate or individuals who prefer to use symbols and pictures to communicate, to communicate what they are feeling and thinking. This is a one of a kind software that offers a easy to use screen that encourages social interaction and promotes literacy. As a result of using this software, many individuals have experienced a dramatic growth in language development. In the classroom, this software will help to stimulate the user's social interaction, buy allowing effective communication. 

Classmate's blogs I commented on:


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Journal #7 PLN

PLN: A PLN (Personal Learning Network) is a custom personal learning environment created, managed and utilized by its owner. A PLN is a virtual place where a learner can interact with people who hold the same views and interests to help develop and contribute to their personal and professional development and knowledge. In my PLN I currently use a social bookmarking site called Diigo, Twitter, Skype, gmail, Google Docs,  and These learning networks will help me as a teacher by enabling me to access information, expertise and experiences shared by other, more practiced teaching professionals as well as share my own.

Twitter: Though i was apprehensive in joining Twitter at first, this networking tool has proven to be a valuable tool for me as a future educator. I am currently following 9 people, organizations or blogs with some connection to education. I have already leared quite a bit from either reading their tweets or the links that these people have posted. I recently participated (or rather observed) an education chat, #edchat. I found this discussion very interesting to say the least. I was most interested in the subject of professional development (PD). One participant in the chat wrote, "If we view teachers as professionals, then PD should be focused on what they think they need, not state, fed and district mandates." I believe this is a very important statement, because teachers know better then anyone else what is needed in the classroom. This directly correlates with what another participant stated, "The best educators do not wait for PD days. They know their weaknesses and have the drive to improve on those weaknesses everyday!" I agree with this who heartedly. A good educator reflects on thier classroom experience everyday and alters their lesson plans, approach, est. to better their students' experience in the classroom. I do believe that is important for teachers' voices to be heard, because not only do they understand better then anyone what their classrooms and schools need, but they have a responsiblility and direct connection to the students to follow through. I have also learned, thanks to my participation in this chat, that there are resources, such as, where one can find blogs directly related to professional development. Overall this experiece has graced me with valuable knowledge.

Diigo: Diigo is a social bookmarking website that allows a user to bookmark and tag web pages that interest the user either on a personal or professional level. Diigo also allows you to highlight and or attach comments to any part of the bookmarked page. All bookmarked pages can be shared with your Diigo network, shared with specific people or kept private. I currently follow 8 people and am followed by 2 and I plan on continuing to expand those numbers! I decided to follow Jonathan Tepper, Phil Taylor, Karen Richardson, and others, because they bookmark great resources for teachers, technological websites as well as great informational websites. I believe that I will benefit greatly from these educators' bookmarks, comments and highlights! I have also bookmarked 3 websites using Diigo and used the tag feature to label them PLN. I bookmarked a blog called Eduwonk because it focuses on the current educational policies and news. As a future teacher, I believe that it is important to be aware of the ongoing education problems and successes. I also bookmarked the blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity because it houses really great technological projects for classrooms as well as educational news, est. Finally i decided to bookmark TeachingSagittarian (Living to Learn) it contains a lot of technological ideas for the classroom as well as the blogger's own feedback on using these ideas. I am very interested in technology in the classroom as well as current educational policies, so these blogs have great promise in being great learning resources for me. 

Digital Discussion Forums(Ning): For my Digital Discussion Forum I chose to join the Educators PLN. The Educators PLN is a Ning site dedicated to the support of Personal Learning Networks for Educators. After adding the Educators PLN badge to my Blog, I hand picked the blog entry titled, "What's Love Got to do With It?" from the Educators PLN website. I found this blog very touching because it relates directly to the inspiration that drove me to enter the teaching profession. This blog is about a young boy who's home life was loveless which lead to behavioral problems at school. Most teachers and administrators made no effort to help this child, instead they began to take action to remove him from their school to rid themselves of this "problem" child. One teacher saw this child for what he was, an innocent child in desperate need of love and care. This teacher took the boy under her wing and because of her love and care, he began to improve behaviorally. This blog entry inspired me further and reaffirmed my personal reasons for entering the teaching profession. I believe that it is not only a teacher's job to teach their students, but it is also their job to provide a positive environment for their students. This story was very refreshing to me, because not only did this teacher create a positive environment for this child, but she got to know him and recognized his problems for what they were, but took the time to change his life. 

Journal #6 "Google+: The Complete Guide" by Ben Parr & "Educators - Google+ is for You" by Chris Brogan

Google+: The Complete Guide 
by Ben Parr

Parr, B. (2011, July 16). Google+: The complete guide. Retrieved from

Summary: This article by Ben Parr is meant to thoroughly explain Google+, which is a social network created to rival Facebook. This article is meant to answer the simple question "Why should someone use Google+?" The answer to this is a bit more complicated. Parr goes on to explain features of Google+ including, profiles, circles, stream and sharing content, sparks, and hangouts. I believe that the two most impressive aspects of Google+ are circles and hangouts. Using the circles feature, one is easily able to organize and separate family  friends and business (or really whatever categories you would like). Ultimately combining the elements of twitter and Facebook, one is able to more effectively filter their shared information, giving one more control over their content. Hangouts are advanced video chats. Using this feature, one is able to participate in a group chat facilitating up to 10 members. This article holds a lot of detailed information and would be very useful to anyone thinking about joining Google+.

Question #1: How is Google+ a educational tool??

Educators can utilize many features, such as circles, group chats as well as it's streaming and sharing features to enhance communication, regardless of ones location. Even though Google+ is not specifically formulated to facilitate educational practices, there are many features that and educator can utilize the bring technology into the classroom and easier relay information, updates and data to students. 

Educators - Google Plus is For You 
by Chris Brogan

Brogan, C. (2011, Sept 30). Educators – Google Plus is for you. Retrieved from

Summary: Chris Brogan's blog advocates and explains the benefits of using Google+ specifically for educators. He explains how utilizing the circles feature, an educator can organize groups for accessible instruction. By utilizing the circles feature, one can easily share lesson plans, videos, pictures, links est. with specific circles. Discussions can also be held using the comment feature as well as the hangout feature. Brogan's entire article is a exciting, positive review of Google+. 

Question #2: Is this internet social networking tool safe for adolescents to use in an educational way?

I think that Google+ has potential to become a very valuable tool for educators, but this is only  possible if students are responsible with their social networking privileges. I think that for this to work, the student's parents would have to be actively involved in their child's use of this tool by monitoring their Google+ accounts. I also believe that a lesson on cybersafety  would have to be mandatory.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Journal #4: "It's In the Bag," by James Basham, Ernest Perry, and Helen Meyer

Basham, J. D., Perry, E., & Meyer, H. (2011). It's in the bag. Learning and Leading with Technology39(2), 24-27. Retrieved from

Summary: In today's day and age, technology is becoming more and more important educationally as well as i in the professional world. The concept in "It's in The Bag" of creating Digital Backpacks for Project-Based Learning provides teachers as well as students, with a great advantage to technology as well as many other subjects. This toolkit aids teachers in teaching students using simple, strategic instructional frameworks that meet the NETS-S standards. This digital backpack combines Foundational and Modular technology as well as instructional support materials in order to provide an engaging and project or problem-based learning environment. These digital backpacks are not the only available; you can make your own! This article does say that you need to keep certain things in mind when building your own backpack. Will your backpack meet diverse learning needs? How? Does it provide for multiple means of expression, representation, and engagement? I think this idea is great! I also believe that the more logical and effective route to take is for schools to develop their own custom backpacks. I believe this would be more effective because they would be able to customize their own backpacks according to their student's specific needs. To have this type of resource in all schools is illogical, but it is definitely something to work towards.

Question #1
Is this kind of learing something I would want in my future classroom? Why or why not?

It is most definitely a tool I would love to have in my classroom. In a young students eyes, just the thought of being able to use laptops, iPods, iPads, est. in a classroom is exciting in itself, not to mention learning new kids of technology or new ways to complete tasks. I think it would also be engaging for the teacher as well. I know personally I would much rather type up a paper on a computer rather then hand writing it. I also believe that the kind of skills students would enhance by using technology in the classroom would benefit them later on in life as well.

Question #2
How would a teacher effectively use these tools in a classroom without them becoming a distraction?

I think one effective tool to overcome this problem would be to implement consequences for the students if they do not stay on task. I would also make sure that they do not have enough time to become distracted. Presenting students with a project and allowing them an allotted amount of time to work on the project over a period of time instead of allotting them a large amount of time at once to complete the project. I feel as though the fact that they only have a small amount of time, each time to complete their work will detour them from getting off task.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jounal #3 - "Students Dig up Dirt to Learn About Internet Safety" by Jesse Morehouse

Morehouse, J. (2011). Students dig up dirt to learn about internet safety. Learning and Leading with Technology39(2), 34-35. Retrieved from 

Summary: I found this article very interesting and I believe it paints a picture of the importance of privacy in today's increasingly technological world. I agree with Morehouse that kids these days are generally oblivious to the personal impact that their lack of privacy can have on them. This article personally aided me in understand the importance of privacy in regard to personal safety as well as the impact certain information can have on one's professional life. I was very impressed with the way that Morehouse was able to address the importance of internet safety in a way that would impact students enough to make them want to improve their privacy. Morehouse taught his students in an interactive and fun way how easy it is for anyone to find out tons of information about you from the things you yourself relieved. One can easily find information such as your full name, birthdate, location, interests, school(s), family members, work location, and many more things from just searching for you. The fact that he gave his students the task of finding out anything and everything they could about a complete stranger, reinforced his point that anyone can find out all these things about you, if you allow them to.  I was very surprised and happy to read that all of his students were impacted enough to change their personal information as to become more safe in the digital world. I believe that safety is one of the most critical concerns that a teacher should have for thier students. Morehouse did an amazing job in teaching his students its importance and in turn ensured himself that he was able to do the best he could.

Question #1:
How can I, as a future educator, ensure that my students are aware of these dangers?

By helping them to understand on a personal level the impact that a lack of privacy can have on one's life. I also believe that enlightening parents on internet safety will further enforce the awareness of students. If parents take these dangers seriously and enforce strict internet safety rules, the likelihood of these dangers decreases. By including students and their parents in a similar simulation, would further enforce internet safety knowledge.

Question #2:
How does internet safety impact me as an adult?

As a candidate for a future teacher, the information I put on the internet is used in may job application processes. As someone who plans on entering a field where good ethics and morals are essential to the a successful career, internet safety and self presentation are extremely important. It is also important as an adult to realize that just because you are an adult, does not mean that dangers that exist in the internet world do not apply to you. An adults information is just as easy, if not easier to obtain then a child's. Practicing good internet safety is most definitely important.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Journal #2 - "Join The Flock" and "Enhance Your Twitter Experience" By Handley Ferguson

Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock. Learning and Leading with Technology37(8), 12-15. Retrieved from

Join The Flock

Summary: The author of  Join the Flock, Hadley Ferguson is not only a user of Twitter, but is obviously a huge advocate of this Internet tool as well. Ferguson explains in her article how useful this tool can be. By simply signing up and following people interested in the same things as you, you are able to create your own Personal Leaning Network (PLN). By using "hash tags" one can easily find people who are interested in the same things and follow them! How does this virtual community help you ask? Well, by tweeting ideas, articles, links, and helpful tools you can help others to expose themselves to new things, and they can do the same for you. Learning from others is an irreplaceable tool. Even though I was very apprehensive about using twitter in general, Ferguson has nudged me into a more accepting state of mind. As a future teacher, to be able to instantly access a community that ultimately has the same goal as yourself. Being able to communicate ideas, problems and gain support from people just like yourself is quite amazing. Ferguson places great emphasis on the importance of setting aside time to grow your twitter community, contribute and explore. After all there is no other way to grow virtual relationships but to give them your time and attention.

Enhance Your Twitter Experience

Summary: In the article Enhance Your Twitter Experience, Hadley Ferguson continues to praise Twitter and shares with us tools to improve and organize your Twitter account. Ferguson introduces to us the idea of TweetDeck. This is a download-able Twitter organizer. I must admit that I was slightly apprehensive (very apprehensive really) about downloading this. Instead of shying away from the Twitter experience, I took Ferguson's advice and decided to dive in. I must admit, TweetDeck is a very cool tool. Not only can you sign in and organize your Twitter account, but you can sign in with Facebook, Buzz, Linkedln, Foursquare and Myspace as well! What a great way to stay organized in the virtual community! 

Question #1:
How is a PLN helpful?

Using Twitter to build virtual relationships with people who have similar interests and goals will allow you to learn from others' experiences and allow you to benefit from others' research and ideas as well. Don't forget that contributing to your Twitter community is important. The more you make yourself seen, the larger your community can grow. 

Question #2:
How can I be helpful to my PLN?

Spend a good amount of time every day or week contributing to your PLN. This can be as simple as sharing what worked or didn't work in your classroom that day or week. Sharing articles, web tools or lesson ideas with your PLN is a great was to contribute to the learning experience of others as well. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Journal #1 ... 100 Things That Make Me Happy

 1] To Live
2] To Laugh
3] To Love
4] Beach
5] Hot Weather
6] Pillows
7] Pools
8] Passing on knowledge
9] Making other people smile
10] Reading
11] Family
12] Friends
13] Country Concerts
14] Country Music
15] Coffee
16] Horses
17] Boots
18] Flip Flops
19] Free
20] New Socks
21] Sleeping in
22] New Shoes
23] A good beer
24] Fake life
25] Camping
26] Bonfires
27] Football
28] Home
29] Vacation
30] Vegas
31] Outside Showers
32] Mochi
33] Success
34] Dancing
35] Beauty
36] Acceptance
37] Clean sheets
38] Seeing happiness in others
39] Wine nights
40] Sunsets
41] Completing Something
42] Gifts
43] Winning

44] A good conversation
45] A good pair of jeans
46] Driving diesel trucks
47] Lightning & thunder
48] Recognition
49] Tropical storms
50] Summer
51] Cartoons
52] Puppies
53] Nature
54] Good Memories
55] Playing Parachute
56] Tandem bikes
57] Flowers
58] Order
59] Sugar Gliders
60] Tater tots
61] Stars
62] Watching my siblings play sports
63] Jokes
64] Stories
65] Hugs
66] Quiet
67] Companionship
68] Togetherness
69] Fondue
70] Watching others succeed
71] Hammocks
72] Adoption
73] Sleeping
74] Good Food
75] Weekends
76] America
77] Forests
78] Traveling
79] Happy Endings
80] Comedies
81] California
82] Blankets
83] Gracie my Goddaughter
84] Cool Summer nights
85] Babies
86] Rainbows
87] Shopping
89] Christmas
90] Sunday Dinners
91] Cooking
93] Lotion
94] Peace
95] Perfume
96] Chapstick
97] Sunglasses
98] Burritos
99] Guacamole
100] Clear skies

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meet Angela.....

I was born to parents who lived by the philosophy "the more the merrier." And so it was…and 21 years later…they are responsible for 15 lives. Apparently they felt it was their job to populate the earth.

I was born in Santa Ana, California and soon moved to Escondido, California for a short year until my family finally moved to Valley Center, California when I was 3.5 years old. Valley Center became my home and playground for my entire adolescence. I began attending Valley Center Primary School when I was 6 years old and subsequently attended Valley Center Elementary Schools. . Prior to the start of my 5th grade year, my parents decided to home school me and my siblings. This was by far the least productive part of my schooling experience. Soon my parents enrolled us in The Classical Academy in Escondido, California, hoping this would be a better avenue. It obviously wasn’t because I was back attending Valley Center schools by 8th grade. I then went on to attend and graduate from Valley Center High School in 2005. Soon after my graduation I escaped from under my parent’s protective gazes and moved out on my own to Vista, California. I began attending Palomar College in the Fall of 2005. My Junior College experience has been the longest 6 years of my life. Working full time and completing as many classes in my spare time possible was pretty discouraging. But…..Here I am! A junior at CSUSM who can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Technology is one of the most amazing things about the world today. It is such a fast moving industry that it takes a bit of effort to keep up. I don’t know where I would be with out my cell phone, Kindle, laptop, internet or even my television. I do remember being a kid and only having a box television and a huge antenna outside. My family did not own a computer until I was in middle school and I did not own a cell phone until high school. I did not own my own computer until I was in college. The switch from dial up to T1 was a very memorable event. Thinking back to “the good ‘ol days,” my life was just fine without all of these technological devices. It’s kind of sad to say that I would be pretty lost without them today.

Even though the entire CSUSM College of Education Mission Statement is inspiring and respectable, the phrase that most struck to me was, “Our practices demonstrate a commitment to student-centered education…” In my opinion, commitment is one of the most important things in life. Without commitment, ones efforts to complete anything worthwhile would be wasted. I also believe that student-centered learning is extremely important in education. Giving a child the opportunity to not just be taught, but be learn in a variety of ways to expand their depth of learning is important.