Search This Blog

Friday, May 7, 2010

Journal # 10

Haas, J. (n.d.). The Education arcade. Retrieved from

To top off journal articles, I thought I'd do something fun, so I looked up more on video games in education. Better known as "edutation", video game and media based learning focuses on the natural learning that stems from authentic and engaging play. Taking a closer look at modern video games, it's apparent that they incorporate an intrinsic logical process that plays on the intuition of the gamer. There is some merit to the theory - I speak from experience. It's actually baffling when you hand a controller to a child, and it doesn't take long before they figure out what buttons correspond to which action on the screen.

There is much social, cultural, and educational potential within video games. It's our duty (maybe even MY duty) to find and extract them. I will pioneer this "emerging art."

Would you use video games in the classroom?

YES. I am curious to see how I can apply video games to learning. If I ever get far enough in the field, I may devote myself to research and what not on the benefits of video games in education.

What examples can you think of?

Based on the basic lay out of controls, I think I can extract basic concepts by tweaking what button does what and hand the controller to a child. I'm confident they'll figure it out eventually.

Journal # 9

Weller, J. (2010). Playing with skype. International Society for Technology & Education, 37(6), Retrieved from

The article explains the basics of Skype and how it is slowly being recognized as a useful tool in the classroom. Particularly, the article discusses how it may facilitate outside participation and distance as an easily surmountable obstacle. I think the technology (not to mention its efficiency) is completely underrated and unappreciated by educators. I use it a lot myself (on a fairly old laptop, at that) and rarely encounter problems. Given the proper correspondences and networks, it may be possible to work with people from all over the world within your classroom. The possibilities are endless – it’s up to us to find them.

How would you use Skype?

I like the idea of my students corresponding with foreign students, kinda like pen pals but faster and way cooler. Say we were learning about Japan, I would acquaint myself with a colleague in Japan with similar interests and have our students interact.

Can you think of any problems Skype might cause?

Save for technical difficulties, I don’t see many problems occurring as long as proper supervision is in effect.

Journal # 8

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2010). Navigate the digital rapds. International Society for Technology & Education, 37(6), Retrieved from

The article essentially covers Internet safety and the many dangers associated with improper usage of digital technology. These dangers exist – the nature of the Internet simply allows for it. And admittedly, I understand that students will venture into these territories on their own, be it under my supervision, someone else’s, or no one’s at all. However, that doesn’t mean we should just let it happen. Our job is to impart proper Internet habits unto our students. Establish what is right and wrong, and plan out the proper way to handle violations.

Do these common concerns dissuade you from integrating technology (namely the Internet) into your classroom?

No. It’s a prevalent issue, and if there’s any place it should be faced, it’s under our supervision where we may educate and correct bad habits.

How would you discipline your students in proper Internet usage?

As with any school rule or behaviors taught, make it clear what is right and what is wrong - what they can and can’t do and what will happen if they deviate from the acceptable. The Internet will be a big part of their life one day, regardless of what happens during their time with you. The goal is to educate them properly while you can.

Journal # 7

The article discusses virtual field trips - interactive displays, visuals, scenarios, etc. that are supposed to be as good as the real thing. The viability is debated and explored throughout, and we wonder if it may even replace the real thing.

Personally, I prefer real field trips. However, as the article discusses, that’s just not a possibility for some students – be it for financial, situational, or even personal reasons. Virtual field trips are a way to circumvent this problem. While nothing beats the real thing, it’s a close second. It’s an opportunity to explore a foreign world without leaving the safety and comfort of the classroom – something I’m sure parents would approve of too.

Would you take your students on virtual field trips?

While I had no initial plan to, in light of this article, I don’t see why not. I’m open to trying out different tools and formats. This actually seems like a viable, even fun option.

How do you feel about other virtual class assignments – virtual labs, demos, etc?

While nothing beats the real thing, like with field trips, they are acceptable substitutes if the real ones are unattainable. It’s essentially the same material, just a different method.

Collaborative Rubric for Powerpoint - NETS 3

The class collaboratively created a rubric using RCampus in which we collectively scaled the criteria for grading our previously created Powerpoint presentations.

CSUSM Web 2.0 Tools for Educators - NETS 5

I conducted research on an online tool (Poll Everywhere) and joined Cal State San Marcos’ Web 2.0 community to contribute onto the site’s wiki pages.

Describe your tool and tell us what it does.

Poll Everywhere is a tool that allows people to create polls (go figure) and quizzes. Their intended audience can respond to them via text messages, or even the Internet (if enabled). Responses are instantly logged and displayed on a graph, which can be easily projected onto a screen.

How might it be used with a particular age or grade level?

This tool would work well in middle school and high school settings. Most of these students own cell phones and are already familiar with text messaging. Integrating this technology as a classroom tool should generally be well-received. It also allows for general assessments of whatever material is being covered.

Give an example of a project for that age or grade level group.

For grades 6-12, following assigned readings, you can test their comprehension of the material. You can generalize the responses by making them anonymous, or you can display who responded with what answer to really determine who did their work or not.

What might be some considerations when using this tool?

Not every student may own a cellphone. This is easily circumvented by allowing the poll to accept multiple answers and having multiple students respond via one phone.

Recommendations: is this a tool you would use or recommend for classroom use? Why or why not?

I would definitely use this for general assessments, quizzes, and even on more trivial matters that can be solved via voting. It allows for immediate assessment of comprehension (or whatever is being tested), and furthermore, it can even extend to democracy in action (I imagine political and government classes would enjoy this tool).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

JCCS Internet Safety - NETS 4

I researched the topic of Internet Safety and created an Internet Safety resource for students and colleagues. I used Google docs to create a document which allowed three peers and me to collaborate on a research assignment without the inconvenience of having to meet.

JCCS Internet Safety Collaboration