Thursday, July 26, 2007

Final Reflection

Final Reflection:

The process of reflection has always been a difficult for me. Like many other people, the process of reflection is not naturally in my nature. I often focus on what I have to do, sparsely stopping to smell the roses. Of the more important things I think I have learned this semester is that reflection is not as cumbersome as I originally thought. The use of blogs really may be the easiest thing a person can do on any given day. Just a few lines of type, whether they relate to work, graduate school, or personal things allows a person to remember the little things we forget each day. To store that ten percent of your brain in one convenient, electronic place makes referencing it as simple as it was to write. The education value of blogs leads me to believe that in the near future blogging will be an everyday activity for all students grades 1- 12. Perhaps multiple times a day for each subject in the school day.
I am little embarrassed to admit that when I first registered for the course I did not know what authoring tools were. I did however look them up on google shortly before the class began. Again I learned that something that I perceived as difficult really was not. My notion of building websites was stuck in a time zone somewhere around 1996 when people had to manually write code for the site and pages. I do think of myself as a little foolish not to realize that new software has been developed in the last decade to make the process easy.
As I familiarized myself with what authoring tools I began to search out what authoring tool was available to me that was the easiest to use. Iweb what is included free on my laptop and is by far one of the easiest programs I have every worked with. Once I had built some practice websites, I began reading in great detail the Horton textbook for the course. I learned about e-learning and immediately began fascinated with it. Being an Industrial Arts person I love combing multiple forms of technology. Being a teacher I love the idea of taking two unrelated subjects and combining them. With e-learning I see an excellent opportunity to combing authoring tools with the machines of my woodshop. Having students document their woodshop projects on the Internet is an excellent way to harness e-learning and allow my students higher technological insight. While researching current use of educational technology I realized that this is the direction I want to take my department over the next five years.
It appears to me that certain topics will be popular for debate for a long time in education. These topic many of which I research for assignment one included blogging, multimedia, technology, charter schools, and student assessment. Student assessment is one that is particularly important to me as have mentioned many times on the discussion board that my school is implementing a digital portfolio graduation requirement. I do believe that the administration at my school has done a very good job updating our technology. I believe that we will have to install a LAN server to ensure that the school can hold students to account for this graduation requirement. I feel very lucky to be enrolled in this program at a time when technology in my district is being overhauled. I especially like having a group of peers to probe and questions as to what is taking place in their districts.
Assignment two, I was able to really organize how I believe an e- learning lesson unit should be. It appeared to be necessary to be as forthcoming as possible with our students in regards to the unit plan. By explaining what e-learning was and how students benefited we believe that would raise students’ interests. Building websites can appear complicated, buy placing all the necessary information in the proper order any student post third grade can use iWeb. One our main goals while designing our lesson plan was to have the students enjoy the lesson to the point they would want to create their own websites. That is why we included how to put audio tracks in our lesson. And finally to have any lesson grow and improve surveying the students seemed like the simplest way get valuable feedback.
All in all it is hard to some up a course in one blog entry. It always amazes me that at the beginning of course I feel capable and knowledgeable. That confidence quickly turns to panic after reading the syllabus for the first time. And finally the satisfaction of knowing that I learned a great deal in this ten-week course.

Monday, July 23, 2007

NECC Conference

It appears that there was a great deal of interesting material presented at the NECC conference this year. With so much innovation taking place in educational technology I bet everyone can find informative and applicably material for his or her classroom.
If there is one thing that will always amazes me about the Internet it would be youtube. I think the ability to easily communicate with video is most compelling reason to use the Internet daily. Once I saw youtube, I knew that in not too long of a time period there would be a teacher version. Teachertube allows educators to share educational video for purpose of effectively engaging students. I am sure that many teachers agree that when used appropriately, video is an excellent way to instruct students. Video allows teachers to show factual images that convey the exact message they want students to receive. I also think that if students are aware that the video is from teachertube, they may search out more information on their own.
Funny how with all this great communication, which can border on entertainment that companies, have now begun designing software to prevent employees from enjoying the Internet at work. According the Spectorsoft software company employees spend an estimated 45 minutes a day doing non-work related Internet searching a reading. I guess the temptation is too great for many of us. Knowing a couple people who spend the majority of their day on the Internet for non-work related material, they have told me similar stories. That they are not challenged by their job and believe that the Internet use is going undetected. One of them also just left their job I wonder if monitoring software such as that made by spectorsoft has anything to do with it.
On a more serious not, there are not many facets of education that are more important writing. Many students struggle to communicate their ideas effectively, and require substantial additional instruction to stay at pace with their classmates. is designed to allow students to practice their writing skills online after school has ended. offers guidance for the writing process, tips for topics, editor’s checklist, and an electronic portfolio to store and display student’s work. Websites like this represent the best of educational technology. Allowing all students to develop the basics has a beneficial ripple effect throughout the academic career.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Time to add more?

With assignemnt two basically wrapped up i would like to add a little more. My partner and i had i hard trying to think of the best thing to add as a supplimental to the project. Ryan had the idea to reate an example website to show what a students site should look like. At first it sounded like a meduim size, usefull addition. As usual it turned out to be quit a hastle. Putting the site together to meet the requirements took two full nights and i don't think it i my best work. Good thing it is extra for the assignemnt. Here is a link to the site.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trends in Technology Education

Technological Literacy

Of the many technological trends in education today, they all unite in an attempt help students become technologically literate. To be “Technological literate” is defined as being knowledgeable about what technology is, how it works, what purpose it can serve, and how it can be used efficiently and effectively to achieve specific goals. The first to use the term literate is this way E.D. Hirsch who coined the phrase “Cultural Literacy.” Hirsch used the term literate to describe a person with a sufficient knowledge base of cultural items making them able to function and communicate in modern society. Technology being such a driving force of America’s culture it is no surprise that now being technologically literate is very important. Modern workers rely heavily on computers, cell phones, fax machines, and PDAs to perform their daily tasks. It is often assumed that when an employee is hired that they have basic skill with working with these forms of technology.
Education must now face the call to guarantee that students entering the work force have these skills and the knowledge base to develop greater technological abilities. Institutions in general are slow to change and with the fast pace of technology education has worked hard to keep up. The National Department of Education and individual states have established standards to communicate what they believe students need to do to be technologically literate. Students who are Technologically Literate can:

1. Demonstrate a sound conceptual understanding of the nature of technology systems and view themselves as proficient user of the systems.

2. Understand and model positive, ethical us of technology in both social and personal contexts.

3. Use a variety of technology tools in effective ways to increase creative productivity.

4. Use communication tools to reach out to the world beyond the classroom and communicate ideas in a powerful ways.

5. Use technology effectively to access, evaluate, process, and synthesize information from a variety of resources.

6. Use Technology to identify and solve complex problems in real-world contexts.

It is noteworthy that all of the standards that qualify a student as being technologically literate are key skills that employers will expect young professional to have. Student based technology education will help students not only understand technology, but be able to use to apply their skills to practical work situations.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Assignment 2 Foreward

For assignment number two, we Ryan Ferber and Curt Banicki decided to prepare an encompassing lesson that includes a specific authoring tool, e- learning, with scientific lesson for a fourth grade science class. Do to the increased amounts of technology students experience in contemporary education we thought it be beneficial to explain the concept of e- learning, and a definition of what authoring tools are. Although they are may be complicated concepts, we agreed that fourth graders would not only comprehend them but also be able to determine at the end of the lesson whether e- learning added or inhibited their learning.
For our first lesson we decide to begin e- learning and authoring tools, hoping to engage the students. We also believe that since these concepts are intangible, students may require a great deal of repetition and further explanation to comprehend the assignment. During the lesson, the instructor should make sure that students demonstrate understanding of what e- learning is and what authoring tools are before moving on to what their science assignment entails. We felt that buy ending the lesson with what the scientific lesson will entail, would allow for reflection and student engagement.
Lesson two is designed to be a basic explanation of what iWeb and how a person uses it to create websites. Moving at a slow pace, students must pay attention and ask questions when a concept is not clear to them. Lesson three allows the students to work with the knowledge that they have acquired in the previous lessons. By taking baby steps we hope to make working the iWeb as enjoyable as possible. Follow the Power Point step by step students should be able to use the templates and enter basic information on the welcome page of their site.
We decided that by including other programs included in the iLife software package students might gain insight into bundled applications and how they work together. Also it is safe to assume that some percentage of the students would be familiar with iPhoto or iTunes and feel confident moving forward in an e- learning process. Lesson five is where the scientific component of the unit plan begins. Buy dividing the parts of the ocean into different web pages, we though this would help the students compartmentalize the different areas of the ocean. We also though that this would be an ideal time to let the students perform some independent research for the assignment.
Lesson six may be the most complicated of the whole unit plan. The Inspector menu of iWeb is the central nervous center of the website. The inspector menu allow you to control your website, link it to your files, and link it to other websites. In addition the students can control the text, color, and effects of their websites. The designers of iWeb have kept the program as simple as possible. The Inspector menu is where all the complicated facets of building a website are contained, and this is why we have dedicated an entire lesson to it. In order to keep students engaged and sell the fun aspect of building a website in lesson eight we decided it would be a good idea to include more media sources. Many students have iPods, are familiar with mp3 programs, and that including how to put songs on a website would peak student interest.
Lesson nine is an opportunity for students to showcase what they have put on their website. We believe that having the students make presentation will drive students to search out unique information and pictures for their websites. This is a good opportunity for student to practice public speaking.
Lesson ten consists of a survey that is designed to facilitate reflection, and classroom discussion on the students’ part, and also to help the teacher to refine the use of e- learning. We believe that using the findings of this survey may be helpful for other teachers considering new uses of educational technology.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Assignment 2

Already while working on assignment number two, my conception of the assignment has changed. I originally though it would be easy? Pretty ignorant of me I would have to say. To me the hardest part was coming up with the appropriate amount of material to present to the students. First of all teaching them what e- learning is and what authoring tool is to an elementary, middle, and high school students is dicey. That alone can take three, four, or five lessons. Than determining what material will be presented and then used for e- learning is even more complicated. We must also consider how many facets of the assignment students will perform while e- learning. How much is too much? My partner teaching fourth grade, how many facets of an assignment can they get done it ten lessons (Two Weeks)?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lan servers?

Reading through the Horton book, I am reminded of the fact my school does not have a large LAN server. We have no network for saving material and the school is planning to implement a graduation requirement for a digital portfolio. Some students will be working with imovie, as we are an Apple based school. Some will build websites to fulfill the requirement. It seems to me that in order to have this be a “ Requirement” the students are going to need a safe place to store word, PowerPoint, audio, photo and video files. I would like to know how man of classmates have LAN server like the one we need?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Authoring tools and students assessent

Student’s assessment is one facet of education that has been revolutionized by technology. Teachers, administrators, and educational bodies are now thanks to optical scanners able to test and analysis unlimited numbers of students in a short period of time. Education has embraced this technology and it has resulted in the use of standardized tests over the last forty- years. As technology advances education is now no longer satisfied with the student assessment optical scanners and standardized test provide. The current movement is now one away from tests towards more complicated, holistic methods of evaluation. According to Geoffry Fletcher, editor- in chief of T.H.E. Journal alternatives for student assessment should be developed with a holism approach using technology to communicate results to the stakeholders, and with the long- term educational goals of the institution in mind. There a number of different methods being experimented with in America today. They include data warehouses storing storing all the work a student does from kindergarten to twelfth grade, hoping to give a complete picture of the student’s academic ability. Research has shown that computers are now able to grade long open- ended questions with the same if not better accuracy as humans. Electronic portfolios created with authoring tools can allow students to express their academic capabilities and achievements in a manner that can be communicated anywhere at any time. The possibilities really are unlimited and the movement away from standardized tested with optical scans will soon go the way of the ditto machine.
The question that must be asked is “ Does these new methods of assessment foster students learning?” The answer is an emphatic yes. As we all know tests are a one- dimensional necessary evil of measure student comprehension of content material. Technology has a remarkable ability to engage students, therefore varying the ways in which students use technology should have the same effect. Often students who are poor test takers become disengage with learning because they have not experienced success in the classroom. By building and electronic portfolio of their artwork with hypermedia or a power point of how to operate a table saw, those students who falter on tests may become reconnected with the value of learning.
This well organized, well written article adds to the picture of where education is moving due to the impact technology has had. Article after article has illustrated that the technology will make education for students far more interesting and colorful. Mr. Fletcher echoes that schools approach to technology must be long- term. Research must be conduct as we refine the use of all technology on student assessment.

Fletcher, G. (April, 2004). Technology’s role in accountability and assessment. T.H.E. Journal article number 16695.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Technology Counts

Few Articled provide real insight as to how teachers should be planning and implementing technology is their classrooms. Many articles are repetitive and many only contain one or two substainent pieces. The article entitled “ Technology Count 2007: The Evolution of Ed. Tech” is an online question an answer session that is from begging to end a gold mine of useful information. Kevin Bushweller professor of computer science and education at the University of Michigan moderates the session. Margaret Hinoy director of the center for Children & Technology and Cathleen Norris professor of Technology and cognition at the University of North Texas contribute to the article.
There are many topics that are addressed in the piece, noteworthy items include technology and standardized tests, charter schools, funding, professional development, educational philosophies, good & bad use of technology, and legislation. Hinoy, Bushweller, and Norris provide great insight into all of the above listed. Their experience allows them to predict which roads educational technology will take, and how they will affect education in America. The group recognizes that new teachers will have to be given as many strategies as possible to integrate technology into their classrooms. As younger teachers become a larger portion of the teacher population, strategies for proper technology will be taught using a distance education system. All agree that the technology plans for school districts must be developed as long- term substantial technology use. Not as they put it “ short- sighted, inexpensive band aid planning.” Blogging will become a mandatory use of technology and will be included into state educational standards. Popular Internet uses for entertainment will be included into education such as video projects utilizing site like youtube. According to Cathleen Norris the trend of course content curriculum will gain even more momentum fueled by technology use in the classroom. And finally the group foresees in the long tern the elimination of multiple- choice tests.
This article provides many fascinating predictions, and useful tips for working with education technology. All topics of discussion cannot not be discussed because the group literally touches all end of the technology spectrum. The group also discusses charter schools like the Marin School of Art and Technology. Notably how these schools use of software such as MermoryMiner, and will continue to grow in popularity. They discuss how distance educational techniques will be continue to be established as discussed in the prior entry about adaptive hypermedia. Bushweller, Hinoy, and Norris agree that as students becomes more accustomed to working with educational technology, when they graduate and pursue a career employers will be utilizing the same technology for job training. The group does a wonderful job of hitting all the topics of discussion relating ed. technology.

Bushweller, K. (April 2007). Technology counts 2007: the evolution of ed. tech. Ed Week. Org.

lesson 5

Establish standards for any institution must be a complicated, infinite task. Technology, and education by themselves are intricate subjects that everyone has a belief system for. Combining the two issues is sure to raise passions, opinions and debate. The roles of teachers, administrators, and students need to be defined, and goals must be recognized. Standards are without a doubt necessary for education to function and evolve. Once set in stone, the standards are easy to target and ridicule as Gary Stager does in June 2007 piece for District Administration Magazine. He uses the term technocentric, which he describes as using any use of technology to bolster the educational value of an activity. It is certain that all educators would agree that more technology does not guarantee better educational results or experiences for students. It is through this technocentric prism that Stager views the newly updated technology standards. To prove his point Stager references these charts designed by ISTE, that is used to justify the revision of the tech. standards. He points out the authors comparing facets technology that are not really related. There is some truth to Stager observances, but the charts should not be totally discounted. Link to charts.

However, criticism is part the growing process and to keep up with technology one cannot stop growing. Most people do not own cars that are ten- years old so it certain would seem that is time for updating the technology standards for education.
In comparing the new to the old some of the technology itself was not invented in 1998, and with the coming of the mini- revolution changing the standards is warranted. New terms have crept into out vocabulary such as digital citizenship. Stager is correct in pointing out that some terms have simply been redeveloped such as changing “technology research tools” to “research and information retrieval”. Nevertheless, with a more technically literate and skilled public the goals of ISTE standards should not be “basic operation” it should be “creativity and innovation.”
One could point out the standards both new and old have far more in common that they differences. Operating and concepts, planning and designing learning environments, assessment and evaluation, and social/ ethical us of technology still dominate both documents. True some of the language has been reconstruct, but the emphasis remains on using technology to benefit students learning. On cannot also underestimate the effect of the critical thinking movement have had an education as a whole. Many education standards are being reestablishing to include the concept of critical thinking to maximize student cognition.
In updating the ISTE standards, technology facilitators have to consider certain aspects of technology that did not exist in 1998. The growth and use of the Internet far exceeds what many of us would have imagined in the late nineties. Communication technology now allows anyone to access the Internet from the cell phone or palm pilot, not just CEOs. Social networking sites allow for easy of interaction, and pose a dangerous threat to those who are unaware. One could argue that the developments warrant revising any technology standard. If teachers, administrators, and students must be constantly prepared to grow in their use of technology, there should be no hesitation to amend or update the standards involved.

Monday, June 18, 2007

corporate E- learning

E- learning is not only having a revolutionary effect on education, it is changing the business world as well. As of 2003, according to Simba Information e- learning in corporate America is 1.4 billion dollar industry and growing at about 10 percent a year. Custom e-learning which can be 70 to 80 percent of a companies training requires both authoring tools and what is known as custom delivery services. Often employees engage in online tutorials, and site building sometimes weekly. This means that many of the fortune 500 companies rely on authoring tools to help train their sales force, account departments, human resources, etc… These authoring tools must not only meet the needs of these companies, they must be user- friendly and trouble-free. Ten years ago companies would have to spend a great deal more time and money keeping the employees updated in the competitive business world. “ While companies often outsourced much of their custom development work to outside firms three or four years ago- when online learning will still in its nascent stage- ease of use and great functionality of authoring tools means much of it as been pulled in house. “ Simply put, now that authoring tools are easy enough for anyone to use companies find it cost effective to engage their employees in e- learning. Fueled by compitetion, companies such as XStream Software, Knowledge Anywhere, Firefly, and Cognitive Arts now dominate the hypermedia field of business.
Overall it is fascinating how valuable authoring tools have now become in business. Companies in fields like pharmaceuticals, electronics, travel, and countless other fields rely on hypermedia to educate their employees. Billions of dollars are spent, and new e- learning departments have become key to competing in complex markets. Software must be simple and met the demands of these companies. This of course is beneficial to education. With all of these companies refining the use of authoring tools, the innovation they take will no doubt trickle down into education. However, it will be interesting to observe what techniques business software companies borrow from educational software companies. Education technology companies such as Groupsmart, and educational techniques like OctoPlus may again stimulate e- learning for these corporations. Again employees like students all have unique ways they relate to and process information. It would be foolish on the part of the business software companies not to look at distance learning through e- learning. This movement by business does help to illustrate that the field of e- learning is now blooming to become a major tool of society. No one should underestimate how far these techniques and this technology will permeate.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Adaptive hypermedia

One of the many educational institutions doing research into e- learning and its relationship to authoring tools is Rensselaer Poytechnical Institute (RPI). At RPI researchers have begun investigating and experimenting on how adaptive hypermedia when modified affects individual courses having a positive affect on individual students learning. The research is focused primarily on how learners use patterns to adapt course presentation, navigation, and content to their individual needs and preferences. They have developed a course model they have named OctoPlus; which consists of eight instructional features, which represent an instructional method. The first of the eight is connecting which hopes to engage student’s prior knowledge of content, to help the instructor gauge how much existing knowledge the learner has. Second, the reflection activity as students to externalize their thoughts and experiences with the professor to create a mutual understanding. Thirdly share their experiences with whole class and no just the professor to identify shared social knowledge about the subject of the course. All eight steps of the course are used to give the instructors detailed knowledge about what the student knows and how they can share their knowledge. “ I think that a lot of times when instructors are faced with putting their course online there, there aren’t a lot of guides for them other than just transferring their lectures into text- book format” according Linda Polhemus, project manager. At RPI professors and researchers have performed experiments given exactly the same content of courses through distance learner format, one with OctoPlus model and without. According to Mike Danchak professor of Computer Science “ We have found the exact same percentage in both groups, but ht adaptive group did it in a much shorter time period. Cautiously we’re inferring that individualization is more efficient in that maybe we’re giving them what they need to be successful in a shorter period of time rather than looking at perhaps a lot of irrelevant or extraneous things.” It appears that using authoring tools for e- learning in this manner is more effective due to the fact that it touches all colors of the learning spectrum. It is important to note that many is not most learners do not realize which style of learning is preference.
The research being done at Rensselaer imperative to the successful growth to the field of e- learning. As many college professors and high school teacher venture in to distance learning they will need to have guides and establish programs to help them make the transition. Research such as this also greatly helps students learn what types of learning style they prefer. By identify what methods and techniques are successful both teachers and students can save time.
This article illustrates how the body of distance education will continue to evolve as whole. As institutions such as MSAT mention in the previous review look for new ways to incorporate hypermedia into the classroom they need to remember that not all learners learn the same. The normal difference n the classroom can and will be magnified when placed in the distance learning format. Following the OctoPlus model should help all types of learners thrive in distance learning.

Distance Education Report (July 206). Adaptive hypermedia for individual learning. Vol 10, (13).

Saturday, June 16, 2007


As education embraces technology, new methods and techniques will be experimented on. The large-scale experiments will be performed at charter schools all over the United Stated, and their results will be share in order to create a more perfect educational system. “ Pilot schools will be instrumental in the developing of the new multimedia platform as an educational resources (Mehta, S. 2005).” One of these new schools experimenting with technology use is the Marin school of Arts and Technology (MSAT). At MSAT students are experimenting with this new type of software that allow them to create multimedia presentations for the purpose of learning history. The software being used is designed by a company named Groupsmart of San Francisco, California. Their MemoryMinr’s software is “ a project based learning expierience in the arts and technology design to engage high school students (Mehta, S.).” Students use achieves of still and motion photography and audio recordings to create interactive, first hands accounts of major historical events. The goal being that the use of technology will captivate the students, and add weight to the primary sources they are organizing. Groupsmart has an archive of thousands of primary sources that can be access through the Internet on a nation wide database. Memoryminer is available free of charge to any school will to participate through a grant program developed by the Groupsmart cooperation. They provide individual training, workshops, and support to both teachers and administrators utilizing their software. Groupsmart is thrilled about the results they have seen schools experience while working with the program. “ We are thrilled that MSAT, one of the most advanced schools in the nation in terms of making technology work for education, was able to be a pilot school for this program said John Fox CEO of Groupsmart.
It is companies like Groupsmart and schools like MSAT that are the future of education. The technological needs of students and teachers will need to be met by companies will to think out side the box, and build large- scale information networks like the one used for Memoryminer. As we continue to refine our use of authoring tools and technology we look to companies and schools to show us how they being used and can be improved. In all likelihood programs like Memoryminer will be at large- scale use in traditional high schools throughout America.

Mehta, S,. (December, 2005) Groupsmarts announces memoryminer 1.0 school pilot program.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lesson 4

Most if not all educators would agree that the use of multimedia in education today now goes far beyond the supplemental uses of a decade ago. Students are well aware of all the exciting ways they can be introduced to information. Podcasting alone can turn teachers in fully functioning network in their field. With some many options available certainly no one person can know them all. Listed in this article by eSchool news there are 7 audio, 20 video, and 14 web articles explaining uses and trends. The non “techie” will have a difficult time determining useful technology from garbage. Factor in the fact that often students are more knowledgeable and even more experienced with technology than their teachers and disaster is possible. In “ Strategies For Keeping current” Roy tennant (2003) gives some helpful hints for teacher looking to keep pace. He begins by pointing out that with the small amount of time most people have for professional development you need to know what you don’t need to know. He breaks down technology into four categories “ Trash (not worthy of my time), Monitor (Still in distant early warning phase, can be safely ignored for now), Dabble (what’s this about?), and finally need to know (I can use it at my job now).” Next Tennant suggest using filters, “People who decide what is important.” It is always useful to have a supervisor focus you on what direction your department is moving. Another useful filter is to consult professional websites for your subject. These people according to Tennant (2003) usually know what is hot at the time. The final filter suggested is the good old coworker. It indeed may not be a bad idea to ask a trusted coworker what technology they feel is up a coming in your field. Tennant (2003) also states that it is imperative to learn by doing. Building proto-types make mistakes, and experimenting is how most of us really learn.
One of the web resources listed at the end of the eSchool articles is entitled “Dynamite Digital Photo Creations with Photoshop Elements. I this article, Linda Dickeson of Lincoln (NE) public schools acted as filter in the manner described by Tennant. Dickeson points out how may teachers are taking thousands of pictures that require small amounts of editing to make them more aesthetically pleasing. An author of multiple “ How To” books Dickeson demonstrates how to take advantage of the user- friendly software of Adobe named Photoshop Elements. “ Built-in features include wizards for creating web photo galleries complete with clickable thumbnails, PDF slideshows, digital scrapbooks, and print layouts for converting from digital to paper (Conner, K.) All of these features are very valuable to teachers looking to enhance their students learning and show off what their students are doing in class. Dickeson continues to describe several projects teachers can use to teach students how to get the most from photo- editing programs like Photoshop Elements.
Articles like these three mentioned above form a valuable system for all of us in education today. First teachers need to have reference to see what and how technology is changing the classroom. Secondly educators need to learn how to navigate the complicated changes in technology as they unfold. Authors like Tennant help teachers stay motivated and focused, believing that technology will help their students learn. Thirdly, if teachers are going to learn new programs and application they are going to need a little help and guidance. Professional like Dickeson place technology tools into the hands of the teachers and say, “ Go create”. The ability to change and grow is an indispensable tool of the successful individual. By doing this we can better serve our students, who will consequently be more able to change and grow through their academic careers.

Conner, B., (July 2006). Dynamite digital photo creations with photoshop elements. Eschools news inline.

Tennant, R. (September 2003). Strategies for keeping current. Library Journal, 28.

Multimedia instructional tools. Eschools news online.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lesson 4

I have begun working on assignment four in the belief that i have successfully completed all previouse assignments. Itis interesting to tie these articles together and see how one article may explain a problem, and then another solve that problem. I was reading the Horton waiting to get a haircut today it i feel like an outsider being as i work on my Mac and everything in the book is PC based. I guess i forgot that hte rest of the word is typing away at Dell keyboards. Having begun work on my digital portfolio using yahoo's web builder, i can certain appreciate the differences between authoring tools. There are certainly better tools for each job.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


As I continue to read the Horton book I am continually overwhelmed. I cannot believe how many different software companies make authoring tools. There are hundreds of questions a person has to ask before choosing an authoring tool. I am trying to find one specific authoring tool to research for assignment number 2. I will probably use iWeb consider it is already on my Mac. I wonder if there is still the large profession making and managing websites for the fortune five- hundred companies. I believe most of those jobs were outsourced to India. Shame, I hope that does not diminish the value of e-learning. I think e- learning might be just about the best idea in education over the last two decades. Looking at Horton’s list of what you need to know first I am glad I do not have anyone paying me for my first website. To make a serious site, it is defiantly going to have to be a team effort. There is simply too much to do

Monday, June 11, 2007

Horton Book

I have to say that I like the Horton book so far. Teaching a technical subject I am very consiouse of how to use text books in a course. Subjects like woodworking, photography, and authoring tools students will really learn while they use the tools and make projects with them. Textbooks often take a supplemental role while they contain answers to many of the questions students have trouble with in this subjects. Having read many books like this I always appreciate a section that explain how the book works, and who is the ideal person to use the book. Funny, I never new the authoring tools and hypermedia were the same thing. I have never been much of software person so this is a new and enjoyable field to me. I have already made plans to have my students build websites for their furniture projects. There are good charts that help illustrate how the tools relate to each other. The concept of learning has come to fascinate me and I find that I am doing a great deal of it so far. I know that I am going to have to spend a great deal of time learning how to use media editors so I can put all my audio and video up on the net. Seeing the depictions in the book I can see my authoring tool Geocity from Yahoo leaves a lot to be desired. Tomorrow I am going to an iWeb tutorial in attempt to find something better.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Authoring Tools

Harrison, L., Richards, J., & Treviranus, J. Building accessible curriculum and courseware tools; education beyond the campus. University of Toronto: Adaptive Resource Center.

It is certain that of the many benefits of distance education utilizing the Internet, the ability to customize a course for those with physical disabilities is widely recognized. Dozens of articles in dozens of print and web published journals explain that for those with movement, visual, or audio disabilities, distance education grants access to courses and degrees that were previous unattainable. However, one subject that must receive more focus in order to increase the impact of distance education is its use in combination with the wealth of resources on the web to augment a particular course. Distance education has many selling points; many of them pertain to its convenience. Those who have used distance education however are aware of an intrinsic value that separates what is learned on the Internet versus in the classroom. Many of them would argue that the act of researching on their own, and learning by doing in the context of the vast information of Internet not only makes distance education valuable but superior to traditional classroom format. These results can and will be document, quantified, studied and refined as distance education continues to grow as a major force in education in America. Success may lie in the way computers store and communicate information. It may lie in distance educations ability to gather information to improve current courses.
As distance education grows, an increasing amount of people will become comfortable working in a digital environment. To communicate effectively those students will have to work with authoring tools to create their own websites. “A grassroots approach, beginning with authoring tools, will mean that accessible design becomes the status quo, rather than an additional effort undertaken by designers who have awareness of the potential problems (Harrison, L., Richards, J., Treviranus, J. 2007). The next decade will bring momentous change in both the fields of authoring tools and distance education. One can only ponder where developments can take educators and students as the future is as bright as ever.

Article one: Blogging

Education Professor Starts Free Blogs for Principals. By: Archer, Jeff. Education Week, 3/14/2007, Vol. 26 Issue 27, p14-14, 1/5p; (AN 24412461)

Poling, C. (March 2005). Blog on: Building communication and collaboration among staff and students. Learning and Leading withTechnology, 32, 6

"You'd be hard-pressed to find a major organization that's not blogging at some level," Mr. McLeod said of the online phenomenon”. "And yet, this is brand-new for schools (J. Archer, 2007)." The web log or online journal will without a doubt become a mainstay in American schools because of its undeniable educational valuable. Throughout history educators have used journals or dairy writing as a way to force students to put their ideas/ cognitive thoughts into an organized, coherent format. In multiple structures blogs facilitate reflection and communication among students and teachers in the manner that journals and dairies had function for previous centuries. Decades after they have been writing the writings of the world’s leaders are often examined in order to gain new insight into they opinions or logic. Often we are extremely grateful that they took the time to write down what they believed was important at the time. The push to have school administrators’ blog has begun in order to communicate with students and teachers. Principals can discuss important issues for any school and present their thoughts and ideas to all parties involved. To get students into the habit of writing blogs are invaluable tools to educators. Students are often motivated to write when they believe that a large audience awaits their thoughts. “ Students are motivated not only by the use of technology and the ability to type rather than use pencil and paper but also by the audience they have when writing online (C. Poling 2005). “ As students sharpen theirs writing skills and with the ability to communicate with their classmates, students will be more engage in their learning. “As students communicate in the blog, they question and challenge each other’s thinking, leading to deeper and more meaningful interaction than previously afforded during individual journaling (Poling).” The use of blogs in education is currently in its infancy. It is in a likelihood that students will begin blogging at early ages to developing their writing and typing skills. As move from elementary to middle school the will become engaged, motivated workers.

Article: Decline of the Blogsoshere

Russo, A., (February 2007). The decline of the blogosphere. Educational Journal, Retrieved on June 8, 2007 from:

According to former senate education staffer and journalist Alexander Russo we have entered the decline of the blogosphere. What has signaled this decline? Well, it may be the fact that those who are blogging are not ready anyone else’s blog. The next question would be, why is that important? It would certainly appear that there is an intrinsic value in the process of putting ones thoughts down a virtual piece of paper. While people blog, they organize and develop their ideas. They (the blogger) consider social implications and look for reinforcement for their opinions. The problem with people not reading anyone’s else blog is that the blogger is able to develop their theories and continue unchecked if what the have theorized is morally wrong or factually incorrect. Often people whom blog, blog about subjects of deep personal interest with passion. In an n attempt to win support for their opinion blogers make their argument and assume they are correct unless someone challenges tem on it. As blogging becomes part of the mainstream educational landscape educators will have to take steps to prevent this “misuse” of blogs. To unlock the total educational vale of blogging students will not only have to write, but read and discuss other people’s work evaluating its merit.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Dumb to Rush

Ofcourse in my attempt to dive into my work this semester, i began the wrong assignment. As usually i need to go back and thorrowly read the syllabis to know what i need to do. I think the problem arises because whenever the college semesters are begiing, my semesters at work are either ending of starting. I will probably get the whole process down by the time i complete the program.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The decline of the blogosphere.

The blogosphere has just begun and already it is in the decline? It must have started when i joined the blogosphere. It amazes me how fast things can go into the decline. But, after reading the Russo artice it does make sense. If everyone is only reading their blog, than how can we compare and contrast and build from them. The entire concept of social learning can be lost. I guess if blogs are going to be used at their maximuim potential students are going to have to read each other's blogs. That sound like it might be a little contraversial. Over time i think the herd will thined out and only those who recoginze the significance of blogging will continue.

Hey it works.

What relief that this working.

Better late than never.

I have decided to start a new blog specifically for my authoring tools class. I have spent the last two hours try to create one that is free, availible to the public, and accessible throught the firewall of my school. I has been rather frustrating. Hopfully i can like this page through my web page and be able to read and post frquently from both work and home. I have begun reading the Horton textbook and have found it to be interesting. As a hands on technical guy i have to get use to the intagible world of computers. Authoring tools seem like it is the first step i need to master to put my tangible projects into the intangible world. I this works i will have a lot to say.