Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Journal #6

Soule, Helen (August 2008). Transforming School Communities: Creating Dialogue Using Web 2.0 Tools. Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(1), 12-15.

Helen Soulé's article "Transforming School Communities: Creating Dialog Using Web 2.0 Tools" starts off with three basic components that a school district must have for communication to work. Web 2.0 is a free and/or inexpensive way for districts to produce blogs, combine text, images, video, and web pages together. Web 2.0 can also conduct polls, meetings online, and focus groups. The advantages to having Web 2.0 inside a district is that it can allow parents to access information on the schools web site, as well as give the "silent" community member a way of expressing their opinion.

Web 2.0 can transform communications in three different areas:
The first area is Advocacy. Teachers, principals, and community members can post and view case studies, practice video's, view teacher testimonials, as well as upload blogs, websites, and pod casts

The second area is networking. Creating a web 2.0 profile allows organizations like ISTE Island, and LinkedIn that are professional learning networks to share information.

The third area is collaboration teachers, administrators can create distance meetings using Skype and an eyeball camera. Teachers can attend staff meetings online while on summer vacation. Teachers and Administrators can share documents, video, and presentations on Google doc's.

At the click of a button people can be given what they need and shown what is expected from them. All of the programs listed here are very innovative ways of communicating on a grand scale to the mass of people who care about our students. It is important that they be allowed equal access to information, and that they be give a proper place to voice there opinions on issues regarding there children's education

One question I had for this article is. Can this type of communication between parents and teachers incorporate cell phones so that parents can be updated on situations involving the safety of the school and the safety of the students. We have seen such a system put in place at CSUSM, and it works quite effectively. If an incident occurs on or around the campus the campus police send out text messages and recorded phone calls to the students and faculty advising them of the situation.

A second question I have is can the technology discussed above be combined with adaptive technology for students with special needs. The point I'm trying to drive at is how can blind children use this visual technology effectively?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NETS Power Point presentation

NETS standards for teachers using Insperation 8

Read this document on Scribd: NETS-T#3AA

Journal #5 : Social Bookmarking

This Journal is going to be about Social Book marking. A new kind of delicious website is taking off this web site is called Edutagger. Basically, its more geared towards educators. Delicious offers fantastic resources for teachers but Edutagger offers a bigger screen to catch inappropriate material, as well as allow other users to vote on what is popular, and relevant. One of the problems with delicious is that delicious doesn't catch tags that are inappropriate, only the links that are popular, so when a student or a teacher does a quest on delicious all of the inappropriate sites pop up first. Edutagger offers teachers and students more of a secure platform to search for tags. Check it out:

What I learned about social book marking is that people can use other resources without doing much work. It is a fantastic ideas for teachers. Most teachers these days (and in the past I suspect too) are overburdened with paperwork, testing schedules, special events, student organizations, and so on. Edutagger offers resources for teachers at the click of a button. Both Edutagger and delicious offer teachers and the public quick, safe, and reliable source material for teachers. Because of the demand of our job it is important to have quick ideas for lesson plans, not to mention the student who says "I need help with this, its too much for me to do." or "I don't have time to go to the library to do my research" It is important to rely on other colleagues not just in your school but around the country and around the world. If websites like Edutagger take off there is more creativity in the classroom and more ideas floating in the heads of teachers. Edutagger can also incorporate students into its function because it is safe and reliable. Teachers don’t have to worry about if the students are viewing inappropriate material, because Edutagger screens the material that is allowed in its website.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Journal #4

Pardon the picture but my Education 422 professor wanted us to use a scanner, so he made us hand draw pictures of ourselves and put the class title on it. I'm afraid I'm not a very good artist, but it got the job done.

I also attended the second lecture by Rich Reid entitled “RtI: Innovations in prevention and intervention." Mr. Reid's lecture on Response to Intervention started with him explaining that a schools best use of RtI is to know where there students are at regarding development in skills, growth in response to instruction and most important of all how the school uses data to reflect on its teaching and learning practices.

If the school in question is lacking any of these above items then it is time to change the system around. Mr. Reid suggested that the school form a leadership team to head up the changes. Mr. Reid then laid out a road map of changes for the team to take up.

Within the first year the leadership team must get others on board including the principal and the superintendent if possible. In year two the leadership team must implement its changes and check for glitches, provide support for the changes, and ensure consistency and adherence to those changes. In the third year the leadership team must perform a shakedown and check to make sure the changes assure fidelity and integrity. And finally on the forth or fifth year the school must have created a new system that is sustainable.

The first question I have is how do you motivate those who are opposed to your changes? The answer to me is you have to convince them that the changes you are making are for the students, and them. You have to help them realize that the school needs to be changed for the benefit of the students, and if the students benefit then the teachers, staff, and school as a whole will benefit. But in all reality, you can’t please all of the people all of the time and the leadership team needs to realize that not everyone is going to be happy with the changes that are made.

The second question I have is how is this different than Richard Villa’s steps to creating a future in education? The answer is its not, Mr. Reid used the same model Mr. Villa did, but Mr. Reid expanded on Mr. Villas points. Mr. Reid defined what each point of Mr. Villas steps were, but provided some techniques that schools can use to implement the changes Mr. Villa spoke of. Mr. Reid went further and incorporated those changes Mr. Villa was talking about into professional growth opportunities for schools to use during in services, and staff meetings.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Journal #3 The Summer Leadership Institute

I attended both lectures at last nights 10th annual Summer Leadership Conference. The first meeting was entitled “Restructuring for caring and effective education: The possible futures of education.” Richard Villa created a road map of questions on how to get to the new future of education, and how to identify the milestones to achieving the goals we have for education.

Mr. Villa talked about what goals we need to have in education, how to get there, and what it takes to achieve these goals. Mr. Villa also talked about what it takes to create changes in schools. In order to achieve changes in schools it requires the answer to 5 simple questions.

The first is What is the destination? His answer was a Lacoda courage shield with 4 spokes on it the first had mastry, the second genorocity, the third belonging, and the forth independance.

The second question he posed to the audinece was whos invited? his answer was the people who have faught to be here. People such as African Americnas, Immigrants, LGBTA youth...anyone who has been marginolised in education is allowed to be apart of the changes in schools.

The third quesiton Mr. Villa posed to the audience was What are the routes to getting to change? His answer was a blend of exallence and equality called equaexallance.

The forth quesiton he posed to the audience was what is the path we need to take? His answer was that there were 5 stages to creating change. The first is a vision, the second is having the skills nessisary to create change, the third is giving incentives, the forth is havning the resources, the fifth is an action plan. If all of these are in place then change will happen.

The last question that Mr. Villa asked was How do we know if we arrived? His answer was by the culture we have created.

Once question I had was why does changing things take so long to happen?
The answer to this question is complex, but the pure fact is that most people aren’t comfortable with change. Teachers don’t want to revamp their curriculum because it has worked for them, principals don’t want to rock the boat with the superintendent, and the fact that no matter how hard you try there is always the hold outs who will disagree with you and not want to participate.

A second question I have is can a system change work if a principal or administrator is not on board?
The answer is no, you must have administrator support or your changes will be seen as a threat to the principal and the program, and the principal will rally his troops and overturn your changes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Journal #2

McFarlane, Sarah H. (2008). The laptops are coming! the laptops are coming!. Rethinking School Online, 22 No 4, Retrieved July 17, 2008, from

The article for this Journal was by Sahara McFarlane and is entitled “The laptops are coming the laptops are coming. In this article McFarlane talks about the impact of technology in her classroom. At first Mrs. McFarlane was all for her students receiving laptops as she believed it would close the gap between her students, but as she found it became more of a burden then a blessing “I was spending (and still spend) between one and two hours a day reading, writing, and responding to email; 15-30 minutes updating my web page; 15 minutes taking and checking online attendance; and time online to find research, music and radio commentary for my curriculum. I found I spent hours on the computer everyday, much of it when students were in the room." As Mrs. McFarlane discovered technology had taken over her students lives too. She found that her ESL students, who the laptops were supposed to help, were struggling to keep up with fellow classmates “the laptops frustrated those who struggled with reading or students just learning English who needed to hear the spoken word."

One question I had about this reading is How and where to teachers draw the line for technology in the classroom?

The answer I suppose is that teachers need to incorporate technology into the classroom where they can, but technology shouldn’t take up all of the assignments. This question is similar to the one I posed in my previous blog about technology taking over the teacher’s classroom. Teachers take a great deal of pride in the lesion plans they create, and giving the students “face time” with the teacher makes a better environment for the student and the teacher. There must be a balance between both, and the district and teacher must come to a compromise about what they want to have happen. Teachers can’t ignore technology, but districts need to understand that teachers are paid to teach, not monitor computer screens.

Another question I had about this article is; is it the responsibility of the teacher to monitor the student’s computer use?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Teachers have an obligation to the district to watch who goes on what site during class time, but at the same time a teacher watching a classroom full of students, teaching, making the points they want to communicate, and all of the other things that go on in a classroom is imposable. The district technology watchers or “big brother” as we like to call them watch the classroom computers all the time. I feel that it is the technology watchers to do most of the enforcement including shutting down student computers if they get caught doing things that are inappropriate. Districts need to understand that they can’t have one teacher being responsible for appropriate student use of computers in a forty five minute session. It shouldn’t be the teacher’s fault (i.e. being reprimanded or written up) for student computer use violations. The District should inform the teacher that the student who signed in at that time is no longer able to access the computers in the school.

Journal #1

Shifflet, Rena, & Toledo, Cheri (2008). Extreme makeover: updating class activities for the 21st century. Learning and Leading in Technology. 34-35. Retrieved on July 13, 2008, from

The first of two articles was titled “Extreme Makeover: Updating Class Activities for the 21st Century.” Within this article Shifflet and Toledo discussed the use of web based programs in the classroom “Free web-based applications such as Zoho writer maintain a restorable archive for all changed made to students work” (Shifflet and Toledo, 2008). While Shifflet and Toledo make some very good points about why technology should be incorporated into the classroom, such as ease of grading, easy accessibility for absent students, and an alternative inlet for students to contribute to the classroom discussions and topics they may feel are to “risky” to their reputation to talk about in class I feel that having students use computers for their assignments may be pushing the boundaries of education a bit.

Mader, Jared, & Smith, Ben (2008). Blogging right along. Learning and Leading in Technology. 36. Retrieved on July 13, 2008, from

The second article was published by Jared Mader and Ben Smith and is entitled “blogging right along.” In this article Mader and Smith describe how blogs can help students in the classroom “One way is to use blogging through a daily or weekly log or journal of classroom events”.

One of the questions I had for this article is: If students are allowed to use computers to complete the assignments given to them by their teachers, what will happen to written English?

My concern is that if students are allowed to use computers instead of writing out their assignments with pen and paper, then their English skills will diminish. Another problem I saw occurred to me when I was in my first college class and I was asked to do my first college paper I had to stop myself from putting …’s after a thought, or a ha-ha/lol after something funny I wrote. There is a difference between writing in a blog and writing a paper.

The answer to this question is that the teacher’s must maintain high standards for students, and must remind the student that there online assignments are not chat rooms where they can do as they please and receive an A for F work. As “responsible” computer users they are expected to maintain their blogs, pictures, and newsletters as if they were doing a classroom assignment and no teacher should pass substandard work because it was submitted through a blog or the internet, your students aren’t stupid, they know what is expected of them, but they are waiting to see how you will act, because if they can get away with doing the minimum amount of work they will.

A second question I had was how can I use blogs for more than homework assignments?

The answer to this question is I have to be committed to communicating with my students. I know its easy for teachers to collapse into “maintain mode” where they put in the minimal amount of effort, and they just keep the status quo, but blogs are wonderful tools for teachers to use. Blogs can be used to post articles you want your students to read books you think are interesting, and even music from the era your text books are talking about.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Intro Letter

Hi my name is Anthony Atwood. I was born in Panorama city hospital, and I lived in Camarillo, CA. for many years. My parents were transferred to Bakersfield, CA. when I was in middle school, and yeah if you have ever been know. Anyway, my parents were fortunate enough to be transferred to San Diego and I finish my secondary education at Rancho Bernardo High School. After my graduation from high school in 2002 I attended Palomar Community college and graduated with both an AA degree in General Arts and Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Studies. After Palomar I enrolled at California State University San Marcos and have graduated with my BA in History. I completed my teacher preperation courses at CSUSM, and I am now a fully licensed Social Science Teacher! I student taught at Rancho Buena Vista High School in the Fall of 2012 and Valley High School in the Spring of 2013. In Spring of 2015 I successfully defended my thesis and recieved my Masters of Arts in Education and I also recieved my second credential in Computer Concepts and Applications. I am currently teaching educational technology and video produciton at Valley Center High School in  Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District.

After high school I joined the San Diego County Office of Education as a teachers aid for the Juvenile Court and Community Schools and worked there as a teachers assistant for 4 years. I saw a lot and got to meet some dedicated teachers. About 5 years ago I applied for a full time position at North County Acadamey an Instructional Assistant (yes there is a difference, IA's get better pay and full benefits!) where I worked with Emotionally Disturbed students. I have also worked at Vista Acadamey of Visual and Performing Arts as an after school tutor for the ASES program run jointly by SDCOE and Vista Unified.

My brothers are computer programmers, my older brother works for Fujitsu as a tech support specialist in San Francisco, and my younger brother is a former SDCOE and Poway Unified computer technician. He currently works at Glacier Water Company as an analyst.

I have been in the trenches, as it were, for 10 years now. I Have taught and reached students who were written off as unteachable, and let me tell you their stories are incredible. Most of my students have a reason to hate education and learning, because the system has let them down, and yet they somehow managed to give me a second chance (and sometimes a third and a forth) to make education a worth while investment. I have seen many students totally turn their lives around and become something great. I have also seen students try their hardest and fall deeper into the ever growing gap in education. I believe that every student regardless of their "abnormality" be it skin color or educational background, has the right to a free public education, and my job as their teacher is to ensure that they receive an education that is well regulated and is in accordance with the states expectations of both myself and them, but at the same time, I have the background to make those standards fun and to teach my students what they need to know, in a way that makes it fun and interesting for the same time I also know how to create a safe, inclusive environment with proper structure and appropriate boundaries so that my students will want to learn.

My ultimate dream is to work at Juvenile Hall for the San Diego County Office of Education as a Social Science Teacher, and/or work at the United Nations Cultural, Educational, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in either cultural heritage or education.