Monday, August 3, 2009

Last week

Yeah.. we made it to the last week..

I am trucking along on my website.. adding the finishing touches.. wow, what a learning experience. I am still not sure on my opinion on Webexpressions. I still think that you need to know a lot more CSS with Webexpression than with Dreamweaver. In the future if I have to purchase an authoring tool, I think that Dreamweaver would be my choice.

I think that my discussion leading went well. I had a great responses and liked how the topic was expanded and a lot of new information was shared. I found that asking good questions helps to keep the discussion going. Another secret to success is finding relevant and interesting material to spark interest in the topic.

I am tired, and can not wait to go to bed early for the next 3 weeks until next semester starts!

Next on the agenda today is to finish up on the wiki...

Until next time....


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First thoughts on leading a discussion

My first thoughts on leading a discussion are that you have to have some well planned material. You need the topic of discussion, some well planned material to talk about, good engaging questions and willing participants.

I set mine up in a way that Dr.Kovalik set them up in her classes. I have always found her postings very engaging and tried to model mine after hers. We shall see if I planned well or not.

I am feeling a little better about the website. I almost have my Home page created. Wow, is this a very labor intensive assignment for me since I do not have any previous experience using the software. I guess only time will tell.....


Monday, July 27, 2009

Week 7 and I need a life boat

UGH.. is all I can say.. I am not getting anywhere with the Instructional Website. I put in at least 12 hours last week downloading and watching tutorials for WebExpression. I do not know at lot about HTML or CSS style sheets so I am trying to figure out the coding and design at the same time in additional to figuring out how to use WebExpression. It is too overwhelming and I have not even gotten to the part where I can actually start creating the content of the website which is actually the focus of this assignment. I have half of my home page created and that is it... (without content, buttons, links, images.............)

The good news is I saved money on car insurance.. (HA, old Geico commerical.. anyone remember.. side note.. we actually did save money last week while shopping around for car insurance so despite the craziness with the website, I did some good news last week!)

Ok.. back on task.. Good news for real (school related) I think that I have a good handle on Moodle.. I am checking it over and I think that I have all the requirements met and Moodle itself was not that bad...

Need to find time to do some more work on the class wiki... (how can I create a few more hours in the day... anyone???? ) and also this new assignment we were just briefed on.. I am thinking that there is not any humanly possible way to participate in everyone's discussions.. especially if we have to download various programs like Syke and some other that Chip suggested that I have never even heard of. I also have a problem with my computer's memory .. I am running out from all these programs I have downloaded since starting this Program... :)

Well.. enough chit chat.. there is a ton of work left to do in these next two weeks..

CALGON.... take me away///


Monday, July 20, 2009

Week 6

Finally starting to feel a little better. Podcast, check.. Web design, check... I have started my Moodle project and think that is going well! I am also happy that we are getting things started with the wiki project. That is a relief.

I am still a little stressed about the Website. I really need to download the free Microsoft program and start learning that. I am happy that we are able to use other tools besides Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is a great tool, but not very user friendly for the novice.

So, as another week begins.. I am happy that I have completed my other summer class so I can not fully concentrate on finishing up this class.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 5 already..

Wow.. I can not believe that it is week 5 already.. I also can not believe that we only have 3 weeks to complete the website, the CMS design, podcast and something about leading a discussion?? I am glad to have turned in my website design and am hoping it is what Chip is looking for.

Oh, I forgot to add the wiki assignment .. Now, I am going into panic mode.. why am I taking summer classes again.. oh yeah, to graduate in the Fall..

Anyways.. as I continue to mumble.. I hoping that we will get some ideas going for the wiki as time is ticking away on this summer session.

I am all over the place with thoughts this morning since my brain still seems to be on overload. I am happy that this is the last week for the Summer 1 class that I am taking so I will have only this class to concentrate on for the next few weeks.. there is a lot to do.. I hope I am ready for the challenge!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Instructional App of the Internet

Here we are in week four and things are getting more tense. I am even more than overwhelmed this week. I am having trouble imaging how I will ever complete everything for this class. I am still reading up on Websites, starting to read up on podcasts and wikis. I am also having a hard time imaging how we are going to be able to complete our class wiki as there just does not seem to be enough time in this summer session to pull something together. I am glad that we have a few ideas on the discussion board. Hopefully we can first figure out what it is we actually need to do and then figure out how to get there.

I am brainstorming on ideas for the podcast. Should I do something that relates to my Website so I can link the podcast to the website (which would add some more content to the website)? Do I do something else.

Then there is Moodle. I have not even really started on this project. I am still trying to figure out what exactly needs to be done here too!

As my head starts to spin a little more. I guess I need to take things one step at a time. Complete the design to my Website and brainstorm with the others about the wiki. That is the plan.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Instructional Applications of the Internet

Here we are in the middle of week three and I am overwhelmed again. I am glad to have the Webquest completed but am having trouble on where I should go next. Should I work on the website? What about the podcast and wiki assignments?? I also do not have access to Dreamweaver. I am hoping there is another authoring program available to use without having to purchase Dreamweaver as it is so expensive. If anyone has any ideas, please throw them at me. I think that I will start a thread on the discussion board too.

I need to look at the new information about the class wiki. I have worked a little with wikis before so it will be nice to work with something familar though I hope to learn more about them.

I have been looking over classmates WebQuests and they are all very creative. I really like the WebQuest concept and wonder if there is a way to apply this technology to my work environment??

That is all for now as my head is so full of thoughts spinning all around and I am having trouble writing a clear sentence..


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Technology and Learning - Final Journal Entry (5)

The more that I do these journals, the more I realize there are a lot of areas with regards technology that I am unaware. I had never heard of a digital library collection before. I was thinking that it was the system in which I use at my local library to reserve physical books to be picked up at the library. I had to use Wikipedia to find out the real definition. Of course I knew that there were resources that you could retrieve online, but never heard of as a digital library and did not know such collections existed. I work for a huge technology company and have found that there is still a lot in the world of technology out there that in still unknown to me. The crazy thing is that technology is changing and evolving so fast that it is hard to keep up. I guess that is the reason that we have classes that point us to various forms of technology. These journals and websites have been very insightful and a huge source of reference.

The first place that I explored was the Library of Congress American Memory site
This site had over 100 collections to choose from. It is a wealth of knowledge for almost every subject in school. Teachers of all grade levels and subjects could use this one site for great research projects for all ages. There is Art History, History in general in any subject one could think of; American history, World history, the History of different civilizations. These resources could be used to teach Geography lessons and English lessons about research and using digital libraries. There are great resources available to teach about Government and our system of Law. The possibilities are endless.

One assignment in particular that I can see using this site could be for a third grade history class. The objective being using this site to do a timeline of the History of African Americans using only digital photographs found on the site. After the photographs have been compiled and put in order, a short essay describing the photographs could be written by the students. The lesson would also spill over into English by requiring the children to use the correct APA style referencing in the project. Then the children could share their projects with class in an oral presentation.

Under the Sports and Recreation collect, I found an area on State Parks. This could be used for a great Geography lesson. In groups of three, forth graders could pick a National Park and describe the park and then provide information about that Parks’ geographic location, habitat and weather. They would use PowerPoint to create a presentation containing maps of the area and digital photographs. The presentations would then be presented to the class.

The next site that I explored was Alaska’s Digital Archives ( . This was a wonderful collection of photographs, oral histories, maps and documents about the History of Alaska. A neat project that comes to mind is having the children in a fifth grade classroom pick an oral history and take notes with a pencil and paper (I know so old school) and then write a summary on what they learned.

This site would also be a great site to have children of all ages and grades to learn more about Alaska. It could be used as a reference on the History of Alaska and how Alaska became a state despite its geographic location. Another option would be to study the culture of Alaska.

The last collection I explored was from the American Journeys site ( This site is a Digital library featuring eyewitness accounts of early American exploration and settlement. The content of this site is vast. The feature that I liked the most was a section for teachers. There is a Teacher’s Sourcebook. It is a reference filled with information for teachers to use while teaching the content of the site. The resource even has lesson plans provided in the material. A teacher could use the lessons plans straight out of the text, or tweak them to fit their age group and own teaching style.


American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of American Exploration and Settlement: A Digital Library and Learning Center. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from website:

Library of Congress: American Memories. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from website:

Instructional Apps

Moving right along..

I was very happy to have stumbled upon zQuest. I signed up for a free questgarden and was stumbling all around trying to produce my WebQuest. This site was so much easier and I am pleased with my final outcome. Now, if I could just publish it. I am too nervous to take this finaly step. I think that I will review it again today since it was quite late last night when I finished up and then I will see the final outcome.. Cross your fingers! :)

Now onto the Instructional Website.. I have some ideas in my head.. it is just getting them down on paper and figuring out exactly what Dr. Ingram wants is the hard part! Like he has pointed out, this website is going to be created in several steps so hopefully things start to get more clear!!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Technology and Learning - Journal 4 - Safety

I laugh when I think about when I was in undergraduate school I had an in-service training on the correct hand position of a pencil and scissors. I wonder if they even have concerns about that anymore in schools. Do kids even use pencils and scissors? Kidding of course! It is funny how fast the focus can shift and change. Before reading the information on computer safety, I was aware that there were precautions that could be taken to prevent carpal tunnel and to help with eye strain, but that was the extent of my knowledge of computer safety.

The first website I decided to read was from the US Department of Labor ( This was particularly interesting to me since I work as a contractor for one of their agencies. I was curious to see how closely our office follows its own recommendations. I found that the site had a great feature called an eTool. The eTool which helps you create a custom ergonomically correct set up at your workstation. There is a check list that spells out the correct positions for each body part in relation with the various parts of the workstation. This check list could also be used as a trouble shooting tool. If a certain area of your workstation is not lining up ergonomically with a certain body part, the check list provides a cross check list to check to make changes to other areas of your workstation and body positions to resolve the incorrect positions. This site also points out potentials hazards to using a computer for long periods of time and also lists potential symptoms that may mean that you are developing injuries from improper use and positions. The material also includes recommendation for lighting, ventilation and glare. So, how does our office stack up to its own advice? We are provided ergonomic keyboards and chairs with a variety of adjustments so users can find an ergonomically acceptable position at their workstation. Previously, when we had the older non flat screen monitors, we were provided with glare guards to slip over the monitors and of course the resource of the website if any additional questions arise. I would say that we are armed with the correct tools to achieve a safe working environment. Whether we act on it is a different story. I have to admit that my set up at work (and at home which equals laptop on the couch) would fail miserably on a safety test.
Of course in a school environment it is up to the teacher and technology coordinators to be the advocate for the children. This is why I chose to review the next site; Healthy Computing with kids ( I started reading the section on computer equipment for children. I was not aware that there were child sized keyboards and mice. That was very interesting. I think that this would be a good purchase for a school environment if there is extra money in the budget. There were also tips, much the same as the US DOL website, with safety tips on sitting ergonomically correct. Many of the tips were geared towards kids for example putting a pillow under the child’s bottom and behind their back if a child size chair is not available.

I found the section on backpacks especially interesting. There were good tips on choosing the right backpack from selecting one with larger straps to selecting one with wheels. One thing that I found a little far fetched was a suggestion that parents should purchase double text books for the kids so they do not have to carry their books back and forth to school. I am not sure when the author last purchased a text book, with the price of books these days, I find it a little out there.

There were some good tips in the gaming section of the website also. I laughed to myself because they did not include anything about a Wii control and knocking someone else or yourself out if you do not attach the safety strap that now comes standard with the Wii controls. One thing that I had never heard of in regards to gaming was the voice recognition software that you can use for gaming. The section even had suggestions on safety precautions for this product which included taking breaks to rest your voice. It just amazes me what is available to kids (big kids too like my husband who loves computer games) these days. I just have never gotten into video/computer games and frankly think that there is just too much out there. It makes my head spin. This also brings up the question as to how you keep up with what your kids are playing and doing on the internet, which is a whole other can of worms that I am investigating in another class.

HealthyComputing – Kids Section. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from website
United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Computer Workstation. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from website

Monday, June 22, 2009

Instructional Applications of the Internet - Website

I think that I am on the right track with the Webquest. I found 4 or 5 good links, I created thought provoking tasks for each link and now I am experimenting with WebQuest templates. I have tried Filametality and did not like the look for an Elementary student. This final product was dull and I did not find an option to add images. I started to use Gardenquest but got stuck because my Web Browser was not as high as they need. I will have to download a new version and start over. I liked the variety of templates that were available on the site. I signed up for the 30 day trial.

I have also been working on my Instructional Website Proposal. I have decided to do an Instructional Website on the Social Website Ning. I am doing a project on Ning in my Technology and Learning class and I can use the same research for both projects. I have found that since I do not actually teach it is harder to decide on subject matter for my projects. I can not use current teaching material and turn it into a useful, creative lessons. Despite the extra thought (Do not want to strain my brain too much! :) I think that I am going in the right direction. I am just waiting for approval from Dr. Ingram for the WebQuest and Website.

Technology and Learning - Journal Enrty 2


Copyright issues have always been something that I have been afraid of. I have had a secret fear of being hauled away by the Feds. It must stem from childhood watching the old VHS tapes that had the very daunting warning messages threatening prosecution if you do not follow the copyright rules. Before reading the websites, I had a basic understanding (or so I thought) about copyright laws. I knew that I could not buy a DVD, make copies of it and then sell it on the street corner. I also am aware of the laws preventing me from downloading free music from the internet. Beyond the basics, I was a little sketchy on what you can and can not duplicate in the classroom or at home. I had no idea that there were limits on copyrights and a little thing called the Public Domain. I thought that once something was copyrighted, then it always belonged to someone and someone was getting credit or paid for the works.

The Copyright Site at

This article explained the Public Domain, Fair Use along with Intellectual Property and also had a section on additional issues pertaining to copyright. Under the Fair Use section it gives a simple, easy to understand definition of the Fair use of copyright materials and also gives a little quiz which helps you to determine if you can legally use certain material. This section also had a nice area to help educators determine what they can and can not copy.

The Intellectual Properties section had a lot of information to chew on. The struggle between safeguarding the author’s rights and the rights of the possible abusers of music downloading and movie makers is perplexing. It really made me think about how complicated it is for artists and companies to protect their profits without affecting the quality of the end product. Another aspect of this section of the article that I found interesting was how the laws have to keep up with the ever changing technology.

This article had a great section on teaching ideas. The ideas were broken down into age groups. The part that I liked best about the teaching ideas is that they were all interactive. They forced the students to think about concepts related to the subject matter, even at the elementary level.

The second article I read was10 Myths about copyright explained by Brad Templeton

I liked how this article started out with a clear explanation of copyright. The other article had great information about the different aspects of it, but did not come out and exactly explain what it was. A great picture was created in my mind when the author went further to explain on a linked page (more information about the definition of copyright) that a work has to be tangible to be considered copyrighted. Another difference in the two articles is that the first one was more business like and to the point the second article was more laid back. The author of the second one had a nice sense of humor.

Similarities in the two articles include discussing the terms Pubic Domain, and Fair Use. The second article did not explain the terms, it discussed them with the assumption that the reader already understood the terms.

The most surprising thing that I learned from this second article was that a person can violate a copyright even if they are not making money or charging for the copying of copyrighted material. The difference lies in how the perpetrator is punished if prosecuted. I guess that I should have realized this as I think of the people who have been prosecuted from illegally downloading music from sites such as Napster.

Another “food for thought” so to speak that came from the second article was the author’s discussion on the linking to web pages, not necessarily copying the information. All of this information gets very confusing and hard to really control with the vast about of information available on the internet. I can only imagine the trouble of the law makers trying to define the rules and also to reinforce them. I am glad that my job as a student and a scholar is just to try to abide by the copyright rules to the best of my knowledge and abilities.


Templeton, B (1994). Ten Big Myths about Copyright. Retrieved June 19, 2009 from website:

The Copyright Site. Retrieved June 19, 2009 from website:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Instructional Apps - WebQuest

Ok.. I think that I am getting a grasp of the webquest concept. I have finished reading through all the reference material on the Vista site. I have come up with a proposal and sent it to Chip. I am thinking about doing a Webquest on Internet safety for a 2nd grade class (this is something that really freaks me out with my own child and I will use him as the tester of my Webquest). The children will be Internet Police researching Internet safety and in the end they will compile a list of Internet safety rules to be displayed in a 2nd grade classroom.

Now.. I am off to search the internet for resources.

The fun never ends..


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Technology and Learning - Journal Entry 1

Assistive Technologies-

I have never really had any experience with assistive technologies prior to taking the Managing Technological Change class last semester. While completing the final project in this class, I explored some assistive technologies for a fictional 21st Century Media center that a group of us were creating. To be honest, the only assistive technology I have ever heard of before this experience was a TTY telephone attachment that a co-worker uses my office. The only reason that I even thought about exploring the technology was because it was part of the rubric for the assignment to include assistive technology in the design. I took one Special Education class as an undergraduate, but that is really the only experience I have had with persons with disabilities besides the hearing impaired woman that I work with. I am not a classroom teacher and am actually a corporate trainer, so this subject has not really been one that I have spent a lot of time thinking about.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to explore the subject a little further and learn more about what assistive technologies are available and also how they can be used in the classroom (or work environment).

I learned from the first site, Assistive Technology to Meet K–12 Student Needs from the North Central Regional Educational Library (, that there are actually two types of assistive technology, “no” or “low” technology that does not require electronic devices and then there is also “high” technology that can be quite pricey and does require some sort of electronic system.

Another big shock to me was that are some common use items are considered assistive technologies and I was not even aware of it. I was also not aware of the ways in which they could help children with disabilities. Mostly they are the low technology technologies. Some examples (which of course make sense when presented with the items) were eye glasses, books on tape, stickies notes, highlighters, pictures, photographs, typewriter, and hearing aids. Though, I have never used these items for the purpose of assisting children with special needs.

This site would serve great as a reference and also for some ideas if you were faced with certain disabilities as a teacher. I like how there were lists of various assistive technologies broken down into a particular disability. Of course some of these items appeared on more than one list that could be helpful with multiple disabilities.

I have been thinking about how I could apply this to my work environment. I do not work with anyone who has any disabilities besides the woman who is hearing impaired. She does have a TTY to assist her with phone calls. She can read lips so she really functions pretty well without the help of any assistive technologies besides the TTY. Some of the other options I looked at on the list for hearing impairments are not needed and would be a problem even if we did because of the cost associated with them. The only other application of these technologies I could see myself using in my current situation would be some of the low assistive technologies for vision impaired. I work in an office with an older generation who are starting to need reading glasses and starting to hold papers farther out from their face than in years before. I could see magnifying glasses helping these folks. I could also use the concept of large print books in the reference materials that I create and also use larger fonts on presentations that I create. Another option is making the icons and screens a little bigger on their PCs.

I am sure that over the years in my career I will run across a need for a more indebt analysis of these technologies and it will be nice to have a point of reference to start. (Funny a few hours after writing this, someone asked me if we could order magnifying sheets from the office supply store. I answered by saying, “Did you know that these are considered “Assistive Technology”?

The second site having to do with Assistive technologies I reviewed was called Section 508 ( This had some mediocre information. The site showed pictures of various assistive technologies along with a brief description of the device. The information also included which disabilities the devices aid. This site is a government site and it talks about how the government will provide assistive technology for its workers with disabilities set forth by the Rehabilitations Act amendments of 1988 where the government would now require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. I think that teachers and technology coordinators could use this site to get an idea of what technologies are available for which disability. The site was very old in technology standards (2002) though so it could not be used as a sole reference for those searching for the latest assistive technology but, used as a stepping stone or a place to start.

The last site that I reviewed was a Microsoft site on Accessibility ( This site was set up really nice. It even included a video highlighting assistive technologies along with lists of their available technologies, demonstrations of the technologies, tutorials and training sessions. There were also links to case studies and articles. This site was by far had the most information and would serve as the best reference to a teacher who needs a high level assistive technology. It also highlights physicals centers that Microsoft has throughout the US that provide live demonstrations of the various technologies. They even have computers set up on various versions of Windows at these centers. I think that one aspect of assistive technology that has to be remembered (that Microsoft has hit upon,) is the teachers need to know how to use the technology correctly for it to be effective. Microsoft has done a great job of making resources available to make that happen. This site was the a sure keeper. This would be the starting point for me if and when I ever need to explore this topic further.



Accessibility Today. Retrieved 6/15/2009 from website:

Assistive Technology to Meet K–12 Student Needs. Retrieved 6/15/2009 from website:
Section 508. Retrieved 6/15/2009 from website:

Instructional Applications of the Internet initial thoughts


I guess now is a good time to start blogging about this class. I am hoping to look back at this post and laugh. I am a little overwhelmed with information for this class. I am very intimidated (as I usually am at the beginning of each class until I get acclimated). I am happy that I was able to get a quick glimse at a Webquest. I had no idea what one was until reading a post in the questions section of the class. I have not had time to really dive into the site to get a good feel about all the assignments. I have done podcasts in the past and created a website (that was very challenging). I have never created a class space and am looking forward to creating one on Moodle. I have also worked with Wikis and think that the are a good tool for working collaboratively with other students. As I said at the beginning of this blog, I hope to look back and say hey.. this was not so bad!

I will also be using this blog for my other class this semester, Technology and Learning. I will be posting Journal Entries. I figure as the concepts are intertwined, I might as well post my thoughts all together. (Plus I had a really hard time remembering my username and password for this blog :)