Educational Technology Tools

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.