New Technologies29 Mar 2013 11:50 am

Second Life in Spain This is my Avatar walking the streets of Spain interacting with other fluent Spanish speakers

Second Life a virtual world

This week I had so much fun immersing myself into a 3D virtual world. Second Life is a great tool for my Spanish students to practice their Spanish speaking and writing skills since they can create an Avatar and take that Avatar into a virtual environment surrounded by Spanish native speakers. Students can communicate with other Avatars by chatting, instant messaging and speaking. For example, I created an Avatar and took my Avatar into virtual Spain where I was able to walk around and communicate with others using Spanish. This tool provides students with authentic learning experiences and as our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “technology in the classroom has the potential to provide students with experiences that they will encounter in the world of work or in their everyday lives” (Coffman, 2013, p. 154).  While I was exploring Second Life I found many Spanish speaking virtual environments where my students can take their Avatars and practice their Spanish. For example, Instituto Español where students can practice their Spanish writing, speaking skills and learn about different Spanish-speaking cultures. Another virtual environment I found interesting for my students to check out with their Avatars is G-Zone Latino where students can attend parties and participate in social activates while practicing their Spanish. Second Life will allow my shy students to feel more comfortable about participating and interacting with others while practicing their Spanish skills. In addition,  I will ask my students to take their Avatars to the same virtual environment so students can communicate with native speakers as well as their classmates. While students are engaged with Second Life I will walk around the room making sure all the students are participating and interacting. Then I will ask my students to take a screenshot of their favorite moment in Second Life and then they will have to write a paragraph of what they were doing in Spanish.

Here are some of the Spanish speaking destinations I found for Second Life. However, if you look at the tool bar to your left you can click on different virtual destinations. For example, science and technology, education and nonprofit, Japanese virtual environments and newcomer friendly spots.

Second Life is not only beneficial for my foreign language students but also for myself as a teacher. As our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators mentions, “many educators have discovered virtual environments for their own growth and learning (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p.121). In Second Life I can interact with other foreign language instructors, share ideas, work on projects and learn new concepts.

 QR codes for instructional purposes 


This is a QR code for my indt501 blog page

This is a QR code for my indt501 blog page


I never thought QR codes could be used for educational purposes but now I can see how useful they can be. For example QR codes can save classroom time (classroom management). If you want your students to go to a link instead of waiting for all of them to type the link correctly into their computers/ iPads they can take a picture of the QR code and this will take them directly to the link. Also QR codes can be use to assist students when they are practicing  their Spanish pronunciation. I can record correct pronunciation of a list of Spanish words and phrases and link them to QR codes.  Then I can print study worksheets of those words and phrases with QR codes and students can practice their Spanish pronunciation this way.

QR codes will engage students because it is an exciting new tool. Check out this link 50 QR code resources for the classroom. 


Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education


Educational Technology Tools19 Mar 2013 01:39 pm

I enjoyed exploring the technology tools for this week’s Mini Projects assignment part II.  I like how these technology tools allow my students to link their learning to real world applications. As our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “technology is used as a tool to engage students in the process of learning as well as to provide a real-world element to the lesson” (Coffman, 2013, p. 153). The two technology tools I have chosen to explore more deeply are Timelines for Chronological Content using Capzles and Creating a Google Trek with Google Maps. Capzles and Google maps are great technological tools my students can use to present information in class. Peg Hartwig in her blog “Empower Students to Present Creatively!” states,  “students should be encouraged to seek out more than one dimension of presentation” (Hartwig, 2012).  I want my students to present information in a variety of ways because presenting information in Spanish constantly will help them practice their Spanish speaking skills.

Timelines for Chronological Content

This is a great tool for my  students to practice their Spanish writing and speaking skills and also their information literacy skills because my students are going to choose a famous Spanish native speaker and research accurate biographical information about them using credible sources.  It is important for students to evaluate the information they find before they decide to use it. Our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom mentions, “using other resources to help verify a found source is an important and necessary information skill” (Coffman, 2013, p. 39). For this activity as I have mentioned students will choose a famous Spanish native speaker and they will have to research biographical information in Spanish about them or they will have to correctly translate English sources to Spanish. Then the students will have to present and write about the person they chose in Spanish using Capzles. For example I chose Sonia Sotomayor because she is the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.

In addition, my students will  record  a brief description in Spanish explaining why they chose that individual and why is he/she famous/ important. Also, the students will have to present their timelines to the class in Spanish .  I will grade my students on their Spanish speaking and writing skills since they will have to write information in their timelines and I will be able to access that information by viewing their Capzles timelines.

Create Google Trek with Google Maps

This was a fun tool to use because my students can “travel” to any Spanish speaking country. For example,  for this activity my students are going to take a virtual trip to Spain and learn about the government, the sights, the distinctive autonomous regions and their festivals.  Also, while students explore the country they will have to answer questions and complete tasks. For example, ¿Qué son comunidades autónomas? Busque información sobre ellas y enumeralas (What are autonomous regions? Look for information about the meaning of autonomous regions  and list all 17 of them.), ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre el gobierno español y el gobierno de Los Estados Unidos? (what is the difference between the Spanish government and the government of the United States?), *Busca dos imágenes sobre las fiesta de Los Sanfermines y describe lo que ocurre en esas imagines (Find two images on the San Fermin festival and describes what is happening in those images). Instead of me telling the students the information and they writing notes down they will search for the information themselves with my guidance and assistance.

Furthrmore, my students can create their own Google Treks using Google maps. They can choose a Spanish speaking country, find information about the country (foods, festivals, sights, government) and then present the information in class using Spanish.



Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Hartwig, P. (2012, January 12). Empower students to present creatively! [Web log message]. Retrieved from


Educational Technology Tools14 Mar 2013 05:19 pm


 This week I enjoyed exploring all of technology tools for the Mini Project assignment part I because I can see myself using all of these technology tools in my classroom with my students. It is important to incorporate fun and engaging activities into my classroom because I want all of my students to feel motivated and excited about their learning. As our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “without student motivation, engagement will not happen and deep inquiry will not take place” (Coffman, 2013, p.2). The two technology tools that I have chosen to explore more deeply are telling stories with comics using Comic Life 2 (it is not a free program however you can download a free trial for 30 days) and creating a talking Avatar using Voki.

Telling stories with comics

This is a great tool for students to practice their Spanish writing and reading skills because students can create comic books and then read his or her partners comic book and comment on it.  Our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom mentions, “technology tools are best utilized in a classroom when they enhance active engagement of the learner, utilize collaborative groups, encourage feedback and interaction” (Coffman, 2013, p.154). This technology tool can be used for any level of Spanish because Spanish I students can create a basic comic book and Spanish 4 students can create a more advance comic book. This is why I like this tool very much because I can use it for all of my classes.  Also students can practice their speaking skills by presenting their comic books to the class. In addition, students can enforce their copyright skills since they have to upload images into their comic books. Teaching and enforcing copyright friendly skills in my classroom is important because the more I enforce these skills and have my students practice them, the more they will understand why it is important to only use images that are copyright friendly.

Here is a link to the comic book I created: La rutina diaria de Tommy (Tommy’s daily routine)

Creating a talking Avatar using Voki

This is a really awesome tool! I had a lot of fun creating a talking Avatar and I know my students will have fun as well. In my classroom students from any Spanish level can practice their Spanish pronunciation by creating an avatar and then recording their own voice (I recorded my own voice into all the Avatars I created because I want my students to do so as well. I want to hear their Spanish pronunciation so I will not allow my students to use the typing option when creating their Avatar). Also by creating an Avatar students can practice their Spanish writing skills because before they record their voice they will need to write a script. For example, in the first week of school in a Spanish 2 and above class my students can create a talking Avatar and introduce themselves using Spanish. Students can talk about what they did over the summer, their favorite color, sport, describe themselves and their family members. Our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “when you make your activities personal and use technology as a real world tool, your lessons become more meaningful” (Coffman, 2013. p.21).

Here is a link where I have created an Avatar to introduce myself  in Spanish


Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Using Sticky-Notes28 Feb 2013 09:39 am
Ryan3477 (2009). Retrieved from

Ryan3477 (2009). Retrieved from

I created a wall using Wallwhisher or now is called Padlet about traveling.  I decided to ask a simple question, “where would you like to travel to and why?” I am a traveler and I love seeing new places I thought it would be interesting to see where other people would like to travel to.   Since I was an undergrad student at UMW I have wanted to travel to Machu Picchu (Peru) so I added a short explanation in my sticky note about Machu Picchu and I also added a copyright friendly image. I thought it was really useful that we can add pictures to our sticky notes because it allows the reader to link the words to the image. After creating my sticky note I  sent e-mails to my friends and family members so they can add their input to my wall. It was awesome to see where they want to travel. Also, I took it a step further and added my wall link to a twitter post for my classmates and followers to see if they wanted to create a sticky note since my wall is set to the public (you can still add a sticky note about a place you want to travel to, just click here and then double click on my wall to add your sticky note).

Padlet is another productivity tool, which allows students to collaborate with one another. Our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators explains  “the goal an purpose  [of these tools] has been to make public the types of development, creativity, and other activities that their students typically do individually. These tools have also afforded educators a way in which to promote and encourage collaboration authentically in the development of projects and papers” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p.69). Students working in groups for a project can use this tool to communicate their ideas. Also this is a great way for teachers to see their students’ thinking process and how they are working together rather than just seeing a final product. This is a great tool for collaborations as I have mentioned and discussions. All of the students can participate even those who are shy and rarely speak up in class. I found a couple of websites and blogs that provide great ideas on how to use this tool in the classroom. For example,

Classroom rules: In a wall ask students to write one classroom/ school rule in a sticky note. Also, student could write the consequences for breaking a rule.

Make a class profile : each student can use a sticky note to write something about themselves and upload a picture.

Choose a Spanish speaking country: I can ask students to pick Spanish-speaking country and make a wall incorporating information and pictures about the country. Then ask them to go to at least another classmate wall and provide feedback, questions, or comments.

Questions/ comments Wall: Students can ask questions or post recommendations. Also parents can be involved if I provide them with a wall for questions and a list of assignments and due dates.

Brain storming: Students can post their ideas for a project/ essay

However, before using this tool teachers should require students to make an account and inform students that every time they add a sticky note to a wall they need to do it after they sign in so the teacher knows who post it what. Maybe for a wall about questions students can write anonymously but for other walls it is important to see who is participating and also because many students might forget to add their names to their sticky notes.

I will keep this tool in mind when I begin my teaching career.


Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education

Flipped classroom23 Feb 2013 11:14 am
Neil (2011). Retrieved from

Neil (2011). Retrieved from Flip

To Flip

Flipping a classroom is where students watch lectures and learn concepts on their own time with the use of online instructional videos, then work on those concepts with the assistance of the teacher and peers in the classroom. This is where homework become classwork, however, it goes beyond this definition because the true nature of a flipped classroom includes students who are being held responsible for the information they learn. Also,  students become “alive” in their classrooms because they are discussing information and helping one another. Salman Khan in the video “ Let’s use video to reinvent education” explains that in a flipped classroom teachers are using technology to humanize their classrooms because during a “one size fits all” lecture the teacher is the only one talking, however when the teacher doesn’t have to lecture anymore because the students have already learned/ have been introduce to the concepts then the students are the ones asking questions, interacting with their peers and the teacher can walk around and provide each student 1:1 time making sure they understand the concept. As our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “in a lesson that integrates technology, the technology itself does not take the lead role but rather is used to communicate, analyze, and present information” (Coffman, 2013, p. 153). In a flipped classroom technology allows students to have a more student-centered classroom where students can express their ideas and build relationships with peers and teachers.  Also, teachers can challenge all students (those who master the content and those who are struggling with the content) in various ways as Jonathan Bergan a science teacher who has  flipped his classrooms  mentions that it allows him to differentiate instruction by challenging each student in different ways since now he has the time to do so by spending 1:1 time with each student.  (Learning4Mastery, 2010).

Good pedagogy?

In my opinion any teaching method is good pedagogy if it is effective. According to the flipped classroom infographic, flipped classrooms have decreased the number of students failing freshmen English and math. Also, the number of discipline cases in  flipped classrooms is lower than in regular classrooms  (Strayer, 2011) . In addition, allowing students to learn at their own pace is good pedagogy because it gives students the option to go back to the digital lectures and refresh their knowledge as many times as they have to before they move on to the next concept.  Many concepts that students learn are based on previous knowledge and learned concepts, if students don’t remember a previous concept then how are they supposed to learn and master a new one?  The digital lectures are always available for students to watch.

What about students who can’t watch the videos on their own time?

I heard about the flipped classroom teaching strategy a year ago from an education professor at UMW (Dr. Broome). I like the concept of having a more student-centered classroom, yet my first question was, “what happens if students don’t have the resources (internet, computers, etc) at home to watch the videos?” However, after reading and exploring information about the flipped classroom I realized that schools can provide students who don’t have the resources with opportunities to watch the videos during school hours or after school hours since the videos are not suppose to be longer than ten minutes. For example, in study hall or flex where students have the opportunity to make up work or watch the videos. Also, teachers who have a flipped classroom advice other teachers to burn DVDs and give them to those students who don’t have internet access at home (they mention that it is cheap to burn DVDs however, perhaps schools can provide “flipping” teachers with an amount of DVDs per year). Also, if students can stay after school they can watch the videos in the library or classroom and take the after school bus home. Furthermore, since this is a new method of teaching that is being incorporated in schools parents must be involved because if they are not involved they are not going to understand how the flipped classroom works and how is going to benefit their children. Teachers should send letters home to parents during the first week of school explaining what is the flipped classroom and encourage parents to e-mail them if they have any questions. Also,re- explain the concept of the flipped classroom during back-to-school night.

Flipping in my future classroom?

This approach can be implemented effectively in my classroom if I introduce my students and their parents to the flipped classroom  and I make sure they understand why flipping my classroom is beneficial for them or for the children. I came across this video that explains how to prepare students for a flipped classroom. Also, it is fundamental to hold our students accountable for the information and concepts they must learn on their own. I joined The Flipped Class Network where I learned many techniques about the flipped classroom by joining groups and reading advice from teachers who have  flipped their classrooms.  A member Lupe Fisch shared her experience,  “one of the most challenging aspects of flipping for me has been how to make students accountable for the learning they do at home.  Since I need them to do that learning in a fully active mode, and really master those basics so we can work more creatively in class, I always try to come up with what I call “accountability pieces,” which are usually quick online quizzes they have to take until they clear 90% or sentences they have to bring to class” (Fisch, 2013).  I think these are great ideas to hold our students accountable!

To Flip in English or Spanish?

I am studying to become a Spanish teacher and I came across a great question in The Flipped Class Network do I flip meaning to I teach the concept using English or Spanish? A member Emilia Carrillo gave me great advice, “when flipping I use English at the beginning to deliver my grammar videos. There is a point when I switch and do everything directly in Spanish. At school I only speak Spanish though” (Carrillo, 2012). This is great advice! It makes sense to teach the concepts to beginners in English because I want to make sure they are learning the concept  (since they most likely won’t have any assistance when they are watching the videos at home) and then use only Spanish in upper level classes.

I created this short instructional video using brainshark where I teach  students the concept of how to conjugate the verb ser (to be). I like the flipped classroom teaching strategy and creating this video made me realize how much more time I will have in my future classrooms to make sure each student is understanding the concept.


Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers  and information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield  Education.

Carrillo E. (2012, May 28). Re: Do you flip in English or the target language? [web group comment]. Retrieved from you-flip-in-english-or-the-target-language

Fisch L. (2013, January 25). How do you make sure students are mastering the basics at   home? [web group post]. Retrieved from teachers/forum/topics/how- do-you-make-sure-students-are-mastering- the-basics-at-home

Learning4Mastery (2010, December 16). Flipped-mastery classroom [Video file]. Retrieved from feature=player_embedded&v=nEfojG9ckYA

Salman khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education [Web]. (2011). Retrieved from    tml

Strayer, J. F. (2011). The flipped classroom infrographic. Retrieved from


Copyright and Curricular Music Video and Professional learning network15 Feb 2013 01:34 pm

Continuing my Personal Learning Network


danielmoyle (2011). Hashtag [Digital Photograph]. Retrieved from

This week I can say that my Professional Learning Network (PLN) is slowly growing. I been #tweeting and connecting with other educators and classmates using Tweeter and LinkedIn. I find the #hashtags used in Tweeter helpful because I can easily find members who are interested in the same topics I am.  As our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators mentions, “Twitter has become a popular tool for educators to connect with one another to get advice or information quickly, share points of view, or just stay in touch” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 35).  Furthermore, I enjoy reading and commenting on my classmates’ tweets for our class #ind501. In addition, I am joining groups and reading interesting blogs and articles that members suggest I should read. For example, in The Educator’s PLN website I was suggested to read this interesting article about classroom rules by another member.

I am enjoying GoogleReader as well because I no longer have to search for news or blogs since now they come to me! I added Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Teacher’s blog to my Google Reader RSS Feed after I read her blog for the first time in this week’s module. I really enjoy the topics she writes about and she has good ideas.

As my PLN is growing I am excited to meet colleagues and make connections that will continue to enhance my professional development and knowledge and also connect me to professional opportunities.

Creating a Curricular Music Video

I enjoyed creating my music video to introduce las estaciones del año (the seasons of the year) to my future Spanish I students. I believe this is a good learning tool to use with my future student because it gets them excited about what they are going be learning. As our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “today’s learner must be creatively focused, engaged, and motivated as well as excited to see what lies ahead in their journey” (Coffman, 2013, p.19). Also this is a good tool for students who are visual learners because they can connect the images with the words in Spanish. Our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators explains, …many students are visual learners for whom seeing-whether tutorials or diagrams or videos-helps them learn (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p.102).  Also, I like that for this assignment I had to align my video with a Spanish SOL because this is something I am going to be doing for every lesson I teach in my future classroom. In addition, Animoto is another good tool to incorporate in my PLN because I can share my work with other educators.

Creating my music video was a good way to execute what I had learned two weeks ago about Copyright since all of the images and music I used for this video are copyright-friendly.

I plan on creating many curricular music videos to introduce different topics for my Spanish classes.


Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education

Information literacy and creativity and Professional learning network09 Feb 2013 01:57 pm

Created by me using iPiccy

Getting my learners to think about the information they find on the web:

After exploring the information for this week’s module I came up with the idea of making and putting up the following posters in my future classroom: “Remember not everything you find on the internet is TRUE. Your JOB is to search, evaluate, and analyze the information for accuracy”. My job as a teacher is to inform students that the web pages on the Internet are used for a variety of purposes. Our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom emphasizes the following questions good researchers ask themselves when they click on a webpage, “is it to inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Next, what about the content? Has it been updated? Is the information presented in a nonbiased way or is there some commercial intent build in? Is it free from errors? Is it professionally presented? (Coffman, 2013, p. 42). These questions make students aware that some of the information on the Internet can be inaccurate and this is why they need to analyze and evaluate websites and the information they provide. Students need to be active participants when they are searching for information on the web because anybody can add their opinions, ideas into websites however the information they post can be bias or incorrect.

It is important for me as a teacher to model the behavior and skills I want my students to acquire. It is fundamental to tell students why the source I decide to use in an activity is a good, credible source. In our 21st century classrooms we cannot longer feed our students with information because now we need our students to be active. I want my students to know how to find credible sources through evaluation, questioning and analysis because these are important skills that my students will need when they graduate from high school and find a job in the real world. Creating a custom search engine for my students and allowing them to search through specific websites is a good activity because students can become familiarize with good, credible sources. It is also important for students to know the difference between primary and secondary sources. Perhaps for a research project I can ask my students to provide three primary and three secondary sources.

A custom search engine also helps students to not become distracted by other websites that are not relevant to the topic of the assignment.

Getting started on my PLN  (professional learning network)

I am excited to beginning building my PLN because I know I am going to learn from my colleagues especially those who teach Spanish and English as a second language. As our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators explains,  “teachers are very happy to share their favorite websites and their reasons for joining together through social networks and electronic learning communities (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 87). In addition, I know I need to be an active participant because by asking questions, searching for information, and reading I will continue to enhance my professional development and knowledge. Also I know as a teacher it is important to be aware of current information and tools that can assist and improve my students’ learning and engagement.

I am still exploring all of the tools that Dr. Coffman informed us about, however I know Delicious and Evernote are going to be beneficial for me. Delicious is going to help me organize all of the bookmarks I have gathered for projects and lesson plans. Evernote reminds me of program dropbox and I find it beneficial that I can access my notes from any computer or iPhone.

Another tool that I am exploring is Techonarati. I found a couple of blogs about Hispanic/ latino culture that may be interesting to use in my advance Spanish classes but I still haven’t found anything that is generally in-line with my interests. However, I will continue to surf this site till I do.

Creating a computer program

I created a program about colors in Spanish. Check it out!

This is the process I went through when creating my program: I watched the tutorial video on Canvas that Dr. Coffman provided to us.  Then, I went to the scratch website and I watched a couple of videos related to my content area (Spanish). After watching the videos I made a list of ideas about what I wanted to do however, I had to make sure my ideas were realistic and I could execute them with the codes that the Scrach program provided me with. After choosing an idea I became frustrated because I didn’t know which code to add and every time I added a code line my sprite wouldn’t do anything. However, after an hour or so of playing with the codes I became more comfortable using them. I also downloaded a video from Scratch and the code from the video helped me write my code. The code that I downloaded was advance but some parts assisted me when I was creating my program. A problem that I encountered while creating my program was that since I was writing in Spanish I had to look up the keyboard codes of how to write an inverted question marks, accent marks, and inverted exclamation points because I couldn’t paste sentences into the program. It took me about 2 hours to create my program because I had to constantly review every code line making sure that the code line I added was doing what I wanted it to do.

It is interesting to know that behind computer games and programs there is a code doing all the work. I am very proud of my creation and my take-a-ways from this activity are to be patient, read information from a variety of sources and view examples. Also to not be hesitant to try new and unfamiliar tasks.  I was taken away from my comfort zone when I was creating my program because I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I didn’t know if my idea was going to come through. This experience is going to aid my teaching because now I am aware of how my students might feel when I give them an assignment that takes them away from their comfort zone  (especially in a foreign language classroom). My students might become frustrated but I must remind them to be patient and to practice regularly.

I will attempt to create more programs using Scratch using different lines of code to see what I can come up with.


Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education

TheHartnessLibrary (2012, August 8.) Primary vs. Secondary Sources [Video file]. Retrived from

Copyright02 Feb 2013 05:02 pm

I initiated my search of the image “The Great Sphinx of Giza” using Google images advance search tool bar. I modified my search settings to filter explicit and free to use and share results. Afterwards I clicked on the picture that I liked the most (see above), which took me to where The Brit_2 originally posted the image. The image that I found has a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs) license.  This license allows me to share, copy, distribute and transmit the image. I am able to use this image on my blog freely because the creator allows me to share this picture.

When I was a freshman in college I wasn’t familiar with the concept of copyright laws.  For my presentations or project assignments I searched for specific images using the goggle image tool bar and I added the picture I liked the most into my presentations without thinking twice, however I always cited the source underneath the picture. I wasn’t aware or had the knowledge that I am unauthorized to use many images and videos posted on the Internet because these images/ videos may have specific copyright licenses that do not allow users to copy and share them unless the visual material is in a public domain.

The licenses of pictures and videos specify what a user is allowed to do with the visual material. It is my responsibility to find which license an image or video possess before I use it in my own work. As Dr. Coffman mentioned on our week three-reflection blog post activity, “just because it’s on the Web doesn’t mean that it’s OK for you to reuse for your own creations”(2013). While searching for “The Great Sphinx of Giza” image I found the following types of licenses:

Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license

Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial

Creative Commons: Attribution

I agree with Dr. Coffman, I as a teacher, need to model best practices for my students to acquire.  It is imperative that I comply with and follow copyright laws because I represent a model citizen who my students look up to for information. It is essential for students to learn how to honor and cite the works of others. This includes quotes, images, and videos. I should teach and remind my students that knowing how to find the license from copyright material is necessary because students may get in trouble if they use an image or video without the creator’s permission if the creator doesn’t allow anyone to copy its material. It is alarming to think that I as a student might have used visual material that I was unauthorized to use freely in my former presentations or projects. I was taught in school that I was allowed to use any image or video if its use was for educational purposes however, I have learned that this is not accurate because the “Fair Use provisions of the law allow teachers and students to use these materials [pictures, videos] for educational purposes…with certain restrictions (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 107). This means that I as a student and a future educator have the responsibility to check which copyright license a visual material has.

My future digital native students are going to find most of their information and material online. Our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators emphasizes how teachers should “encourage students to create presentations that develop the skills of inquiry, creativity and higher-order thinking… students must learn how to create meaning and communication with visual tools” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p.102).  It is important for students to know how to properly use all of the resources they find on the web.

I was looking for current copyright law information and I came across The Stanford Copyright & Fair Use website. This website is very informative and helpful if anyone has any questions about copyright. For example,

“How long does a copyright last? For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years” (Stanford copyright & fair use, 2005-2012).

This information is fascinating and useful.



Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education

Stanford copyright & fair use. (2005-2012).



Education: Core Knowledge and 21st-century skills25 Jan 2013 12:58 pm

One of the main roles of schools is to teach their students how to become future active citizens. The young generation that we will teach in our future classrooms will represent the future wok force and they should learn information that is relevant to what is out there in the real world. The article “What to learn: ‘core knowledge’ or 21st-century skills’?” states, “virtually all of the industrialized countries the USA is competing with are pursuing both content and skills (Toppo, 2009). This is a true statement because students who graduate from high school should not only have an amply content knowledge but also be familiar with 21st-century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and be technology proficient.

In addition the article ‘What to learn: ‘core knowledge’ or 21st-century skills’? raises the following question, “the conflict is about what should happen in a school day: Do kids learn to think by reading great literature, doing difficult math and learning history, philosophy and science? Or can they tackle those subjects on their own if schools simply teach them to problem-solve, communicate, use technology and think creatively? (Toppo, 2009).  Some students will be able to undertake the learning of these content knowledge subjects on their own if they learn 21st-century skills, however other students might struggle and give up.  Each student learns and acquires knowledge differently and deciding to teach only 21st-century skills is not going to benefit all of the students because one size does not fit all.  Both content knowledge and 21st-century skills are very important concepts to teach our students. I know that there is not enough time or days in a school year to teach the students all of the knowledge and skills they need to know before graduation. I understand why this topic (to focus more on core knowledge or 21st-century skills) is an on-going debate because one concept is not more essential  than the other one.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website explains that their mission is to incorporate specific content area knowledge such as English, mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics, economics, arts, history and geography and integrate critical thinking and problem solving skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. Student will benefit greatly if they can learn content knowledge while also learning new 21st-century skills.  In addition, teaching in the 21st –century has to be student-centered and not direct-instruction.

Student-centered classrooms motivate students because students are working on hands on activities and are usually linking their learning to real world applications. Our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “without student motivation, engagement will not happen and deep inquiry will not take place” (Coffman, 2013, p.2).

cybrarian77, bored students,

Students cannot longer seat on their desks for hours during a school day while their teachers are lecturing them in front of the classroom. Students need to know that what they are learning is applicable outside the four walls of their classroom. For example, most of the core knowledge that students memorize before an exam is usually forgotten in a day or two. I know this from experience because in high school I would memorize information or vocabulary words before and exam but a few days later I was not able to recall any of the information.  Allowing the students to learn and apply knowledge in a hands on activity is much more constructive. Creating a blog in any content area is a great hands on activity. In my opinion letting the students write down their thoughts, opinions, answers in a public blog will encourage them to improve their writing skills and help them organize their ideas better. Our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators mentions, “with blogs, students write on topics-personal or assigned-with the understanding that a potential audience of at least classmates and parents, and possible people from anywhere can read it. [Student]  knowledge of an authentic audience means that students will work on their writing [and process their ideas] more than when the teacher is the only reader” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 20). This also a great way for students to learn how to collaborate with one another, “students can post ideas and get feedback from other with whom they are working” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p. 5).

As teachers we need to learn how to incorporate 21st-centry skills into our content knowledge lesson plans. We should also link each lesson plan to real world applications and inform our students that what they are learning will be beneficial to them in the long run.



Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Partnership for 21st century skills . (2011).

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education

Toppo, G. (2009, March 5). What to learn: ‘Core knowledge’ or ’21st century skills’?.  USA today. knowledge_N.htm


Education and Technology19 Jan 2013 02:09 pm
Nowadays being familiar with the use of technology is essential for everyone including children. The truth is we are living in the 21st century and the use of technology is part of the daily life of individuals. After exploring the Technology Integration Matrix website and watching the videos I was surprise to see the variety of technology tools that teachers use across the curriculum. I graduated from High School in 2008 and I do not recall using half of these technology tools and techniques in my classes, 5 years ago. I believe if I did I would have benefited greatly because now I am a little hesitant when it comes to using technology. For example, two years ago when I began my journey as an education student it was the first time  I saw and had to use an interactive white board during my practicum placement.  While teaching my first lesson I was using the interactive white board and a couple of the students had to assist me because I did not know how to use some of its tools. It was an interesting experience to see how the roles had flipped and my students became my instructors for a few seconds.
The Technology Integration Matrix website and the chart are very helpful. It is interesting to see how we as instructors should integrate technology in our classrooms depending on which learning environment we decide to use. During my Spanish classes I believe I am going to use all of these technology tools to help facilitate learning and see which ones work best with my students. Furthermore, most of the videos I reviewed were under Middle School and High School, since I’m pursuing secondary education. Also, even though my endorsement is in Spanish I viewed the language arts videos since I could not find any foreign language videos. However, in my opinion teaching a foreign language and teaching language arts is very similar since you are teaching vocabulary, sounds, how to form sentences, reading, grammar rules and so on.
An example from the matrix education website that I found especially compelling is the Language Arts: Public Service Announcements under Middle School 6-8, adaption-authentic matrix where students had to create a one and a half to two minutes public service announcement using a variety of technology tools such as: PowerPoint, video cameras, iMovie program, and adding music to their videos using the library file from their computers. This is a fun and constructive way for students to learn the curriculum based content such as writing, reading and also developing their technology skills. This would be a hands on activity for my future Spanish students where they will be able to exercise their writing and speaking skills.
All of the videos that I watched in the technology integration matrix in my opinion were helpful and innovative however, the Language Arts: Online Literature study under Middle School 6-8, Adoption-Authentic matrix where the teacher uses the website Moodle was one that made me raise my eyebrow skeptically because the students had to answer blog questions, do reading assignments and access the Moodle website at school and at home in order to complete these assignments. The Moodle website reminded me of the Canvas website we use for our course, however what makes me question this example is the fact that what if some of the students in this classroom do not have a computer or internet access at home? then they will not be able to complete the assignments and this will  put the students in a disadvantage. Although, I agree with the teacher in this video who states, ‘there is not enough time during a class period to get everything done” and that she would like to expand the classroom “beyond these four walls”, I believe we as teachers need to think about all of the students in our classrooms and be realistic.
An example of technology use in teaching that I have seen first hand, during my practicum placements is the use of the interactive white board.
After reading the information from the matrix education website I believe the interactive white board falls under collaborative- adaptation because as the integrating technology matrix chart explains students during this integration process independently use technology tools in conventional ways for collaboration and also, students are developing a conceptual understanding of the use of technology tools for working with others. In addition, during this matrix the teacher provides opportunities for students to use technology to work with others and encourages students to begin exploring the use of these tools (“The technology integration matrix,” 2011-2013). Usually when a teacher is using an interactive white board during a lesson all of the students in the classroom are working together and participating while taking turns going up to the interactive white board and writing down answers or completing an activity. While each student is taking his/her turn going up to the interactive white board the rest of the class is checking their answers or writing down notes. All of the students are collaborating with one another and learning how to use an interactive white board and its many functions.
I look forward to using and learning more about these technology practices and how to integrate them into my lessons during the semester.
The technology integration matrix. (2011-2013). Florida: