Monday, August 4, 2008

Journal # 6

Kuhn, M. S. (2008).Connecting Depth and Balance in Class. Learning and Leading with Technology. 18, Retrieved August 1, 2008 from:

I had never really thought too much about taxonomies and what they entail until reading this article Connecting Depth and Balance in Class By Matthew S. Kuhn. He has some valid pointers to a new and perhaps even improved way of lesson planning and teaching through the likes of technology. Not only is using taxonomies a great way to help organize, classify, and even evaluate criteria, it also touches upon the notion of variety to those who are not particularly computer savvy or have trouble with technology such as myself. To have technology in the classroom and incorporated with lesson plans seems like such a great opportunity to build a better foundation in education and to also make the stressful lives of teachers and all the preparation and assignments they need to create, so much more accessible and simpler.


1.) Should technology and the use of taxonomies integrated with lesson planning replace other types of lesson planning perhaps in the manual sense?

2.) In the long run are taxonomies in the classroom really a good idea?


1.) I think that because we live in a world where technology is rapidly evolving, there should be some kind of use for technology in the classroom whether it is in lesson planning or just as a resource, it seems almost inevitable to have technology in the classroom. Technology doesn’t have to replace other types of lesson planning but it can be an improvement and by having both sources available, there is a sense of variety in the classroom and at least gives teachers the option of having more than one way to plan a lesson.

2.) While taxonomies are not a requirement in the classroom especially when creating a lesson plan, it would be very helpful to have as an organizational tool that would improve the approach to lesson planning and perhaps be less stressful in the end.

Journal #5

Soule, Helen (August 2008). Transforming School Communities: Creating Dialogue Using Web 2.0 Tools. Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(1), 12-15.

Helen Soule mentions that through the use of web 2.0 tools in the classroom, the communication throughout the district can widen and open up more opportunities for everyone. For example having a blog for the district communities allows for a more open and easier access to discussion of educational issues and even to express ideas and lesson plans for future class meetings. One must become apart of the web 2.0 experience first before passing it on to the rest of the community which is a great point because so many times someone passes information on to others without first exploring the tools him/her self such as with blogging. In following certain steps such as knowing your audience/who you are speaking to through your blog, the clearer the message the better the response, and making it possible for interaction through the blog by proposing questions to get others more involved, using web 2.0 tools can be exercised through the eyes of educators as well as those eager to learn.


1.) How will tools such as a teacher creating a blog for his or her classroom be efficient in not only teaching but in getting students to interact more through the use of technology?

2.) Would using the web 2.0 tools make students less interactive with assignments and not as interested to contribute?


1.) By being able to use tools like the creation of a blog, one can produce a successful outcome with teachers and students by maybe making things a littler easier just by simply posting an assignment on a blog. There is a different kind of interaction through the use of a blog that may help students who are somewhat shy or don’t speak up in class, to have an equal opportunity to participate in a discussion.

2.) Having web 2.0 tools used in the classroom wont take away from the in class interaction that already takes place inside the classroom. In fact it seems that using web 2.0 tools will make students more responsive and participate more because they are able to take part in something they may even prefer.

Journal # 4 Google Earth (Gearth)

I never really knew exactly how google earth worked or much about it. I have briefly gone to the website and seen how it works once or twice and I knew it was a virtual globe that helped to find locations but I would have never thought that it could be used in the classroom to help teach certain content other than geography until now that is. On the classroom 2.0 website when I clicked on google earth I found some interesting answers. One woman wrote about a website that uses google earth in the math curriculum called Real World Math – Using Google Earth in the Math Curriculum. This website apparently provides lessons and activities by using math with technology. There are twenty lessons on the site to begin with and new ideas keep arising. The content may be on the difficult side to grasp therefore it is best used for grades five and up. What a fun and innovative idea to take something three dimensional and fun to explore and apply its use to inventive ways to teach subjects such as math. I never really got in to math growing up but if it was taught with google earth I think I would have had a different approach and attitude when it came to applying myself to mathematics.

Journal #3

Villa, Richard. “Special Education.” 10th Annual Summer Leadership Institute. San Marcos, CA.

Going to the Student Leadership Institute presentation was truly an eye opening experience for me. The first presenter, Richard Villa was very pleasant and gave and entertaining and educational presentation at the same time. He integrated the mission statement in his presentation which was a great way to start off especially with such a diverse group as the audience. The discussion about restructuring for a more caring and effective education is something I believe that all current and future teachers can relate to in the classroom. There was a good portion dedicated to the idea of excellence and/or equity along with its advantages and disadvantages. While some schools may practice only one or the other, Mr. Villa made an excellent point about combining the two in to something made up as “equalence” which incorporates both features of excellence and equity in to something more stable and approachable in teaching. With out both equity and excellence, it is difficult to expect students to achieve all that they are able to. It is a goal and perhaps in some cases an achieved goal that we arrive as educators to a culture of care, collaboration, and artistry to a point where character counts in the classroom.


1.) How does restructuring education lead to a better destination perhaps down the road in the future?

2.) How can teachers eliminate the competition between students and their academics?


1.) It seems to be through the elimination of discrimination and good work ethic in the classrooms that will lead to a greater outcome and help shape students for a better future and full potential without the stress of lacking certain abilities.

2.) It is important for teachers to remember that each student goes at his or her own pace and that having such a vigorous competitive environment in the classroom amongst students can easily discourage a student who may be struggling to strive and do better. By allowing more one on one time with students who are struggling, more and more students will feel as if they are able to keep up with the curriculum and not be left behind.

Journal #2

McFarlane, Sarah H. (2008). The laptops are coming! the laptops are coming!. Rethinking School Online, 22 No 4, Retrieved July 17, 2008, from

The idea of each student having access to their own laptop in the classroom seems to be a great idea for it allows students to be more active with technology, especially to those who have a difficult time finding access to something such as a computer, just as this article discusses. In this article, a teacher found out she her students will all get laptops individually in the classroom to expand not only their knowledge in technology, but to learn how to incorporate technology in to their everyday learning process including online activities. While this all seemed like a dream come true, there were some hardships along the way that other teachers may face as well by having computers in the classroom. Some issues that arose in the article were issues about how the teacher felt as if she were spending more time staring at the screen than really teaching the curriculum. Another thing as well would be that teachers may need some time to learn and become familiar with the technology before jumping right in and trying to teach the technology criteria to students.


1.) Will having computers in the classroom distract from a hands on teaching approach?

2.) Should there only be one or the other in the classroom?


1.) It is important for classrooms to have some technology in the classrooms especially computers because of the world we live in today. There are ways to incorporate technology in to the curriculum and even resolutions to the amount of time spent on computers and the curriculum that needs to be taught without technology.

2.) While computers may be distracting to students at times, with the right amount of use in the computers, it doesn’t have to be a distraction but rather an improvement to one’s education.