Friday, February 28, 2014

Rodriguez Journal Post # 7

How do teachers use technology to promote problem solving and inquiry learning among students?

Problem solving and inquiry learning use real-world situations and issues to actively engage students.
There are steps that need to be taken by the students that will allow them to be effective problem solvers.
  • Understanding the problem
  • Using problem-solving strategies
  • Checking results

Many student have difficulties with open ended problems.

It is important that teacher incorporate the students' own interest makes problem solving and inquiry learning  to engage the learners.
Problem based learning requires the student to research the problem, issues, and questions that do not have one right answer. 

 The student must use a process of:

  •  Asking questions

  •  Assembling evidence

  •  Drawing conclusion

  •  Evaluating results

There is a program called STEM at work which allows students to participate in real world career exploration.   

The is also a place called Wannado City that schools would take students on Field Trips to so that they could explore real world career and problem solving that is required in these fields.

Tech Tools

Using Computers to teach problem solving skills allows students to focus on both simple and complex problems based on the students grade level.   Simulation games in math and science tie economic and social outcomes to the in-depth problem solving experience.



Problem solving is a key element to daily life. Children as taught at a young age how to ask question, analyses the responses and draw a conclusion as to what needs to be done to solve the problem. Based on the child's age and knowledge the answers to the same question can very.  As student develop their problem solving skills teachers are using more computer generated activities to keep their student engaged in the problem solving and real world career experience.
Edwards, S.A., Maloy, R.W., Verock-O’Loughlin, R.E., Woolf, B.P. Transforming Learning with New Technology. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Person, 2011

Friday, February 21, 2014

Rodriguez Journal Post #6

What are WebQuests,virtual field trips,and video conferencing?

According to our textbook the follow are the definitions of :

WebQuests: are online inquiries by students that are designed and guided by teachers.

A WebQuest is distinguished from other Internet-based research by three characteristics. First, it is classroom-based. Second, it emphasizes higher-order thinking rather than just acquiring information. And third, the teacher pre-selects the sources, emphasizing information use rather than information gathering.Finally, though solo WebQuests are not unknown, most WebQuests are work groups with the task frequently being split into roles.(WebQuests Explanation, 2014)

Virtual field trips: are also called online field trips or virtual tours take students to places all over the world without ever leaving their classroom or school computer lab.

Virtual field trips have many benefits such as:
  • Reduce lesson planning time
  • Support visual learning
  • Support ELL and IEP student
  • Easily incorporate the motivational value of technology
  • Budget and liability friendly
  • Uses 21st century learning tools with the learners

Video Conferencing: is a powerful learning technology that offers real-time access to people and places that students are unable to visit.

Videoconferencing provides students with the opportunity to learn by participating in two-way communication forums. Furthermore, teachers and lecturers worldwide can be brought to remote or otherwise isolated educational facilities. Such students are able to explore, communicate, analyze and share information and ideas with one another. Through videoconferencing, students can visit other parts of the world to speak with their peers, and visit museums and educational facilities.       

Tech Tools

Click the links and explore something new

Zunal WebQuest Maker - FREE
The easiest way to create a WebQuest with more than 261.5 thousand users. It is a web-based software for creating WebQuests in a short time without writing any HTML codes.

The virtual field trips here at Tramline were developed with the goal of making the best use of the web in the classroom. These annotated trips take students to some of the best web sites on each trip subject. We have a Trailhead (Intro) and Teacher's Resource that set the stage for most of our trips. The TourMaker field trips format makes learning fun, and makes using the Internet in the classroom simple, efficient and focused. You will find virtual field trips on science, literature, social studies, and other topics.

Post Recap

The use of WebQuest, virtual field trip, and video conferencing are the way to help students explore and research new information.  Florida virtual school incorporates all of this technologies into the learning.  The students are engaged in video conferencing with their teachers daily.  My daughter is part of the virtual school community of students and she has a video conferencing with other students on and her teachers daily.  They use Skype and she thinks its awesome.  They also have virtual field trips. My daughter had to do a project on a career she was interested in and took a virtual field trip to an oncology lab. She was greeted by a lab tech who walked her through the life of an oncology lab technician. She said she learned so much about what is done in the lab and how they determine the treatments that will work for the patients.  Therefore, these technologies give education a new meaning and the are all convenient to the both the teacher and the student. 


WebQuests Explanation". Concept to Classroom Workshop: Webquests. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2014.

Edwards, S.A., Maloy, R.W., Verock-O’Loughlin, R.E., Woolf, B.P. Transforming Learning with New Technology. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Person, 2011

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rodriguez Journal Post #5

 What is the role of information literacy for teachers and students?

Teachers use information to assist with the development of lively curricula, update academic knowledge, and answer student’s questions.

Student use information to write paper essays, prepare for exams, develop personal talents, and propel their quest for knowledge.

The internet has become the key source for information for both teachers and students. Almost all schools and classrooms have access to the internet.

The internet is immensely important as an educational tool both in terms of how teachers use it professionally and how students learn to use it academically.

Students in the 21st century need to learn to develop the skills and understandings included:

  • Digital and information literacy the information found in various electronic sources
  • Media literacy: The capacities to access, analyze, evaluate and communicate messages in a wide variety of forms.

Students begin their literacy skills at an early age and grade level. However, many college students find it difficult to evaluate, use and understand information efficiently and ethically. These patterns further reinforce the importance of information and media literacy as essential skills in our increasingly computer and information driven society.

Tech Tool


Information enhances the way teachers and students interact during the school day.  Teachers use information to prepare to teach and students use information to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of what the teachers are presenting in the classroom. When I first started this course I was using the images on google image and our professor stated that I would not be allowed to use these images because they did not come from an accredited site.  I did not realize that the photos where not useable till I read this chapter.  Now I have three new sites that I can use to find pictures and other creative visuals that I can incorporate in my blogs.  Another thing that was part of many students learning experience is learning to do research using accredited publications or scholarly journals.


Edwards, S.A., Maloy, R.W., Verock-O’Loughlin, R.E., Woolf, B.P. Transforming Learning with New Technology. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Person, 2011

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rodriguez Journal Post # 4

How can teachers evaluate and assess students’ learning?

Teaching combination of planning, curriculum delivery and assessing if one of these elements are not part of the equation then learning is hindered.   

Educators generally discuss evaluation and assessment in two contexts:

  • What teachers do as they finish a lesson or unit to evaluate and grade student performance
  • What teachers do throughout a lesson or unit as they constantly monitor student performance

(Edwards, Maloy, Verock-O’Longhlin & Woolf, 2013, pg. 83)

Assessments are used to assist teachers in gauging the students learning potential and grasp of the lessons they are being taught.  Teachers use these assessments to alter their way of teaching to fit the needs of the students.

There are factors that teachers look at when they thing about assessing their students:
1.       Personal Experience: Using assessments they are familiar with and not branching out to explore new ways to measure the students learning.
2.       Standardized Testing: These assessments not only give teachers stress but students as well. Teachers are streamlining their curriculum to these tests so that students will score well or as I call it teaching to the test.
3.       Teacher Tests:  This test is to assure that educators have the proper competencies needed to do the work.

The way students are assessed and evaluated is ever changing. As technology evolves new testing systems are created.  

The test assessments such as:
  • Norm-referenced tests: used to assess student to other students
  • Criterion reference tests: assess the test takers personal performance
  •  Standard referenced tests: used to assess students in comparison to national, state or district expectations.

There are many new ways that teachers can embark on assessing their student learning potential their comprehension of curriculum.   I am currently teaching a course of employ-abilityskills to high school students and I have embraced the idea of peer teaching with these students.  What I have done is assigned each student a chapter in the textbook.  They are required to present the key point information in the chapter and are required to answer any questions that the other students have based on what they presented.  I then in turn review any terms or topics that the student may have overlooked.  I not only use this assignment to encourage student participation but I also use it to grasp the level of skills my students have and their comprehension of the chapter they are assigned.  

Rubrics are a great tool to evaluate a student’s progress.  Rubrics are not only for the benefit for the teachers but also for the student.  The teacher has a method for evaluation and student has a gauge of what is expected from them to achieve a successful outcome of the assignment.   During the student presentations in my class I use a rubric to assess the student during their presentation.  I do this so that I can work with the student on the information that they are not proficient in.

Tech Tool
When I was setting up this class at the request of local businesses I used this link as my resource to design the curriculum and assessments.

 Click the Link

Let's Recap

It is clear that assessments and evaluations are a very important part to both a teacher and students. For a teacher the assessments and evaluations allow them to monitor student progress, enhance classroom instruction, and gauge a lesson plan’s delivery method.  For students assessments and evaluations give them and sight to the information that they have mastered and the information they need to continue to work on.   There are many ways a teacher can create assessments without the traditional multiple choice and if in the blank test.  Teachers can create projects and performance based assessments which allow the students to demonstrate what they have learning in a book or lecture.  


Edwards, S.A., Maloy, R.W., Verock-O’Loughlin, R.E., Woolf, B.P. Transforming Learning with New Technology. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Person, 2011

Image Resources: 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rodriguez Journal Post # 3

How does computer technology promote unique,powerful, and transformative learning for students and teachers?

There are all sorts of technology that promotes leaning for both students and teachers. Technology has changed the dynamics of the classroom and how students learn during and after school.  Teachers and students have the ability to use computer search engines, social media, electronic encyclopedias, and online databases. (Edwards,Maloy,Verock-O’Longhlin, Woolf, 2013) 

Information is at every student and teachers fingertips but now there is a new requirement about the quality of the information they acquired online.  Not all the information online is accurate or worthy.

  • Accessing Information:  Activities that are used to find information.
  • Assessing Information:  Determining the validity and efficacy of the information obtained.

Students that are information literate have the ability to:

           Locate creditable sources of information
          Organized the information they gather
           Identify the information that will apply to the subject or                    research

Reciprocal teaching is a technique that promotes student reading comprehension.  The teachers read web material during class and allow the students to discuss meaning for words and the understanding of the topic they have read.

Digital and Media Literacy require a combination of technical, cognitive, and social media skills. Digital media learning promotes visual learning that stimulates images versus words.

Teachers use a range of approached to digital media technology some examples our text give us are:

               Online research databases
               Classroom websites that involve students in design and                      maintenance
               Bookmarking and social bookmarking

Visual Learning

Visual learning with the use of computers allows teachers the freedom to assess and develop their student’s critical thinking skills.  Teachers are required to deliver curriculum content to students. However, they have the opportunity to choose how they are going to engage the students.

Communicating and Collaborating

New patterns are embarked upon once technology is introduced to collaborative learning.   During the collaborative learning process students work together to achieve  a common goal or task.  Teachers have the chance to use student’s interest spark in technology to promote the delivery of the days lesson.

Technologies that promote communication and collaboration among students and teachers are:
Collaborative digital storytelling
                 Online posters and website publishing
                 Social networks and social media

Tech Tools

Below is a link to a variety of applications that enhance student collaborations and technology  

Let’s Recap!

Computer technologies make learning interesting both in and out if class.  Students and teachers have the chance to make the best of their time in the classroom.  In starts with the teachers approach to technology and how they incorporate it into the student’s educational experience.  Students are more apt to become actively engaged in the learning process when technology is their way of travel. The more technology students are exposed to the better prepared they will be for the workforce and everyday life.


Edwards,S.A. Maloy,R.W. Verock-O’Loughlin, R.E.,Woolf, B.P. Transforming Learning with New   Technology. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River,N.J., Person, 2011. (Textbook title should be italicized.)