513 Multimedia and Contiguity

 I was one of those teachers who was trying to teach to all the different learning styles. I even gave my students a project to present and required them present to all the learning styles.  Now, after reading these articles, I couldn’t agree more with the idea that, students and audiences can get overloaded with too much information!

After reading the chapters in the book, I was also reminded of a concert I sang a few years ago. The program was Ralph Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony (it’s a song about the sea and sailors). To try and connect with younger audiences, it was decided by the Artistic Director to project images similar to the topic of the symphony on a screen hanging over the stage. The images were of ocean waves, semaphore flags and an animation of an old woman covering her eyes. It was too much for the more mature members of the audience. One of our largest donors, seated in the seventh row, stood up and shouted “Boo to the pictures”, then he stomped out the door!

These readings, chapters 4 and 5 from the assigned text and the article on Power Point Presentations, distilled the feelings of this poor patron perfectly. Too much information at one time can cause the audience to become too distracted from the primary message. This man simply had too much to pay attention to: the instrumentalists playing the music, the chorus singing the music and text and the images and how they related to the text being sing.

There were many suggestions in chapters 4 and 5 that I would like to apply to previous assignments for my EDTECH classes as well as documents I have created in my own classroom. I particularly agreed with the concept of having the directions on the same page as the exercise (page 99). I  also was embarrassed to say I have committed the act of “Separation of Text and Graphics on Scrolling Screens” on page 96.
I did get nervous about the idea of having to create a lot of graphics and/or animations for this class. I was a little relieved when the chapter explained that graphics are best when they are not decorative. However, I am still anxious about graphics, as they are time consuming to create correctly, and I have no idea how to create an animation.


513 Creating my Learning Log

I already had a WordPress account from several earlier classes in the EDTECH program. I did have to alter the title and add my About page for this assignment. This assignment falls under AECT standard 2.3 and specificlly sub-sub category 2 briefly described as using a computer, and the internet, to create a journal (digital information).


2.3 Computer-Based Technologies

2.3.1 Design and produce audio/video instructional materials which use computer-based technologies.

2.3.2 Design, produce, and use digital information with computer-based technologies.

2.3.3 Use imaging devices (e.g., digital cameras, video cameras, scanners) to produce computer-based instructional materials.

2.3.4 Incorporate the use of the Internet, library online catalogs and electronic databases to meet the reference and learning needs of students and teachers.

504- Module 3 Reflection

In Module 3, I learned about Shared Cognition from Chapter 8 and Situated Cognition from Chapter 3. It seems these are direct opposites of each other. Shared Cognition starts with a shared idea and takes it from location to location making adjustments as needed and learning from failures.
Situated Cognition looks at who the stakeholders are and decides a plan of action from there. Situated Cognition is a little more vague on how it is to be done and is still in the tinkering phase. It seems that “they” think it is a great idea, but it is difficult to take it into real life even though it is more realistic in it expectations.

541- Reflection

During this course,  541 Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum,  I investigated my school’s network and discovered the lack of understanding in my district for technology. The “walled garden” is unlikely to be opened in the near future. As the course progressed, I discovered many resources that I can use in my classroom, even with a very small budget. There are networking sites for distance learning, video caches that I can stream for free into the classroom and resources for all subject areas, not just the music classroom where I teach.

As I worked through the assignments, there many of the AECT standards that I feel I can now say I am capable of accomplishing:
2.0.1 Select appropriate media to produce effective learning environments using technology resources.
2.0.4 Apply appropriate learning and psychological theories to the selection of appropriate technological tools and to the development of instructional and professional products.
2.0.5 Apply appropriate evaluation strategies and techniques for assessing effectiveness of instructional and professional products.
2.0.6 Use the results of evaluation methods and techniques to revise and update instructional and professional products.
I can suggest and train teachers in different subject areas on technology suitable to attain curriculum goals.

3.2.1 Identify strategies for the diffusion, adoption, and dissemination of innovations in learning communities.
3.3.1 Use appropriate instructional materials and strategies in various learning contexts.
3.3.2 Identify and apply techniques for integrating ECIT innovations in various learning contexts.
3.3.3 Identify strategies to maintain use after initial adoption.
I can train a staff, a school, a committee or team or district officials on technology implementation.

4.0.1 Demonstrate leadership attributes with individuals and groups (e.g., interpersonal skills, group dynamics, team building).
I can see myself taking on a leadership role in educational technology in my school and/or district.

As I started this class and was disheartened by the dismal resources allocated by my district, I gave up on shiny new technology and hardware like iMacs, which are the music industry standard. As the class progressed, I regained my motivation as I was armed with websites, resources and lesson plans to achieve the same goals and set even higher expectations.

Blogging Efforts:
The first category in the rubric for blogging efforts mentions “full of thought”. That struck me as I reflected because so much of this course permeated my full days. I discussed with my professional peers (are they tierd of me talking about this course!?) at the dinner table, during bath time and late into the night as we typed sie by side in the office. So, “full of thought” were my blogging posts.
I also always made and attempt to post early, not this one of course, and to try to respond to those who had none or very few responses. Giving myself a grade, I would say, would be a 90- not perfect like I wanted to but better thans the average joe on the street.

541- Integrating Technology into the Curriculum

Using technology across the curriculum, in each classroom, is quickly becoming the standard. While my school district still refuses to install wireless connectivity because of possible security problems, every classroom in my building has at least one computer workstation, teachers were given the option to add five more (if they wanted to) and we have 3 computer labs in the building. There is no doubt that these children were born with computers and learn to use them at the same time they learn to read and write. A report from the Department of Education states “. A majority (56 percent) of students use home computers to play games. Forty-seven percent use computers to complete school assignments and 45 percent use computers to connect to the Internet” (DeBell and Chapman, p.5). Schools need to be prepared to use these tools to teach.

Using technology in the classroom has positive side effects. It can reduce behavior problems because students are motivated and actively engaged. An article from the educational website, Edutopia, states “New tech tools for visualizing and modeling, especially in the sciences, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom” (Edutopia, 2008). Technology in the classroom can also raise self-esteem, as student work is easily showcased. In a research project from the U.S. Department of Education, researchers found that “Teachers talked about motivation from a number of different perspectives. Some mentioned motivation with respect to working in a specific subject area, for example, a greater willingness to write or to work on computational skills.  A related technology effect stressed by many teachers was enhancement of student self esteem. Both the increased competence they feel after mastering technology-based tasks and their awareness of the value placed upon technology within our culture, led to increases in students’ (and often teachers’) sense of self worth” (Singh and Means). Technology in the classroom is worth the trouble and the research doesn’t end there with the general applications.

Technology in specific subject areas has also proven to be more effective than the traditional model. In the Language Arts classroom: “Perhaps the most creative and prolific array of strategies and applications for enhancing teaching with technology is to be found in English and language arts” (Roblyer & Doerling 2007, p.283). In the foreign language classroom: “Technology can take assessment of oral language skills beyond casual monitoring of group work, in-class presentations, and sporadic oral language proficiency tests given by the teacher” (Roblyer & Doerling 2007, p. 301). In the Math classroom: “Through both systematic research and common wisdom derived by accomplished teachers, ample evidence exists to support strategies and learning of mathematics to increase student understanding and achievement”  (Roblyer & Doerling 2007, p. 319).

Technology can and should be used across the curriculum and the school building. Not doing so would be delinquent in our responsibility to prepare children to be citizens in the world.


DeBell, Matthew and Chapman, Chris (2008) Computer and Internet Use by Students in 2003  Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006065.pdf

Edutopia (2008) Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction

Singh, Ram and Means, Barbara Technology and Education Reform Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/EdReformStudies/EdTech/effectsstudents.html

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

541 Importance of Databases and Spreadsheets

In reading chapter 4, I was struck by how much I have come to rely on databases and spreadsheets in my teaching career. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t use them and recorded everything by hand or had to maintain extensive libraries of information.

Students need to be organized to be successful. It’s personal preference how they go about doing this (a pile may look messy to me, but to some people- it’s organization). Unfortunately, so may websites use databases and spreadsheets, that it’s a good idea to teach students how to use these efficiently. They just can’t expect to get away from them.

Databases are a great way to have a digital index of what’s out there on the web. I wish there were more of them. I actually remember a time of performing a web search and getting only 10 or so results. These days when you search, you can have tens of thousands of results. It’s important to have more databases to narrow those topics down to what you really want and not every page that happens to mention the words you typed in the search bar. Databases can take all the similar information and organize it for easier comparison or research.

Spreadsheets are these crazy tables that will work for you! It’s like having someone else do your homework, McFly! You can also compare answers, numbers and you can predict what will happen next.

As Roblyer and Doering state in chapter 4, these basic software tools can ” improve productivity, appearance and accuracy and provide more support for collaboration” (p 112).


Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Review of Lesson plans:


In this second grade lesson plan, the student are in centers answering various questions. Students are called up individually by the teacher to the Smart Board to learn about databases.  The students enter their answers about dinosaurs in the database.

I really like this idea of starting with the most obvious- what is a database. I think for middle school this could easily take only one class period. Then you could move forward onto actually using the database to compile more information (i.e What do you think the end of Mozart’s Requiem would have sounded like if he had not died while trying to finish it?)


This two part lesson started with the idea of making a graph about various topics (basically starting with – what is a graph). Then it moved to all the student graphing the same data about different popcorn brands.

I would love to adapt this into two parts as well. The first idea would be for students to graph how many minutes they and their family members listen to music- minutes per day/week. They could also extend it for the advanced group and graph what kids of music they listen to or for what purpose they listen. The second part would then be to graph how many minutes they actually practice their music for class each day/week. This is could be really valuable!


541 Using Multimedia in the Classroom

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2009). Integrating educational technology into teaching (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

Shank, P.: The Value of Multimedia for Learning. Adobe Motion Design Center (2005)