Sunday, April 24, 2011

Inspiration (NETS T 1,2,3,4,5)

Inspiration 9.0 is a software application that is used in visual mapping, outlining, writing ideas and making presentations.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Journal 9: Find Free Tools and More (NETS T 1, 2, 3, 5)

Ribera, Maria. (2011). Find free tools and more. Learning and leading with technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

Adam Bellow, director of technology for college board schools and a 2010 ISTE emerging leader, has created a great resource ( that offers free services for teachers and features a lot of sites about Web tools for the classroom. This website includes detailed explanation for Web tools to help teachers, students, and parents understand how to use them. It contains more than 1,000 links and is updated daily. It also offers audio and visual support for training and learning through its growing library (edutecherTV webisodes), as well as specific classroom applications of various Web tools.. Users can easily share any link from the Web tool’s description component. Edutecher can also be installed as an iphone application to facilitate social networking.

Question 1: Can users ask questions about Web tools through edutecher website?

Yes, each link allows users to ask questions or provide feedback. Users will be notified when a response is posted, usually within 2 days. This is very beneficial as questions are answered by Adam Bellow himself to insure users are getting sufficient information. This feature allows users to easily obtain answers instead of spending hours searching for it.

Question 2: Does this website offer links to a specific grade level?

Bellow’s range of selected websites offers something for teachers of all grade levels. Also the description provided for Web tools makes it easy for the teacher to select tools of interest or need. In addition, Teachers can search for tools that meets their requirements through the search tool on this website as it saves them time and effort. The search tool facilitates the navigation between pages and topics as well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Journal 8: Collaboration Makes the Ed Tech World Go Round (NETS T 1, 2, 3)

Niederhauser, Dale, & Knezek, Gerald. (2011). Collaboration makes the ed tech world go round. Learning and Leading with Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

Summary: Later advances in technology have allowed opportunities for collaboration between scholars and teachers around the globe. Global collaborations have happened in 3 areas:
1-     Standards: Developed nations have initiated national tech. standards for teachers. Also the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and cultural organization (UNESCO) have attempted to create a set of international standards that combine a focus on information and communication technologies.
2-     Conferences: Educational professionals collaborate to share ideas, research, and learn from each other at international tech conferences such as the world conference on computers in education which occurs every 5 years.
3-     Research: Collaborative efforts are the reason for improving our understanding of tech use in education. Example: A major effort is the 1996 publication of children and computers in school by Betty Collis and her colleagues marked an early effort to explore the emerging role of technology in education at a global level.

Question 1: How does collaboration through technology benefit our schools?
Advances in technology have brought teachers together despite distance or cultural differences. Teachers and administrators can discuss how to benefit our youth and learn different teaching strategies and new ideas to improve their pedagogy.
Also it collaboration between teachers and students and between students and their peers encourages group work and group discussions which will lead to more students gains.

Question 2: How can we keep improving our use of technology in each classroom?
By continually exploring new tools, joining online discussions, researching new ways to incorporate technology in class, and collaborating with other successful educators around the globe through different web tools such as Twitter and Diigo. Doing that will better prepare us, as prospective teachers, to teach about technology and incorporate it in our lesson plans. Being involved is the key to fuel our innovation and expand our knowledge.

Crossword Puzzle, Egyptian Cities

I used Microsoft EXCEL to design a crossword puzzle about my cultural background. (NETS 2)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is essential for every individual who wants to continue learning. A PLN is a network of people we learn from and share with, we can connect with people face-to-face or online to gather information and share our knowledge. Through the internet I use tools like Twitter and Diigo to grow my PLN. These tools are helping me gain a ton of knowledge as they provide a huge amount of information and ideas.
1- Twitter:
Creating a twitter account was a great first step in my learning process. I follow great experienced educators who are dedicated and motivated to improve our education system.
  • Shervette Miller is a literature/ composition teacher who only tweets about education.
  • Elana Leoni is a person who is very passionate about educational reform.
  • Nancye Blair is an education technology specialist.
  • David Weston is an education consultant, a Math and Physics teacher, and a data analyst and programmer.
  • Lisa Dabbs is an education coach/ consultant, new teacher facilitator, and a former principal.
What made me follow them is their interest in education and educational reform.
I also participated in a discussion (#ntchat) on Wednesday 4/13/2011 at 5:00 pm. The topic was earth day. Teachers and other participants provided great ideas for earth day.
I stored these URLs for future refrence, as they are a great source of information about this topic. This is a great video as it provides an awesome idea about recycling, students made clothes out of newspapers.
I was so excited to participate in such an outstanding discussion. I learned so much about environment friendly teaching practices such as using blogs to save paper, and teaching students “ green consciousness” by helping them participate in activities like beach cleaning or taking a walk around school neighborhood to enjoy nature.
I have to say that participating in this discussion was an inspiring experience for me!

2- Diigo:
This is a great PLN tool in itself because it connects me with great educators and other people who share the same interest like me. I grew my network by searching for groups that have similar interests, I followed people that I found talking about subjects in education by clicking "follow" on their homepages.I was so excited to be able to collaborate with remarkable educational leaders such as David Warlick and Lucy Gray through Diigo. I can also learn as I explore what they thought is valuable enough to bookmark. I bookmarked Classroom 2.0 and Educator's PLN becuase they are outstanding discussion websites as they connect me to educators and educational leaders who are interested in Web 2.0 tools and social media. I can participate in discussions and share my ideas with others. I also recieve reminders through my e-mail about important events and seminars in education.
I also bookmarked Educational wikis It is a website that is created through collaboration between educators, it provides teachers with tutorials and articles which make great sources of information, they also connect me with more educators to grow my PLN through their discussion forums and lists.

3- Digital Discussion Forums (Ning):
Educator’s PLN is a remarkable discussion forum. I watched “Best Practices in Social Networking for Educators” posted by Thomas Whitby on 4/5/2011.
I really liked this video because it sends a clear message to all teachers and administrators to get involved and to use web 2.0 tools to learn about different teaching strategies and so to better connect with their students through technology.

Presentation Assessment

Using Google forms, I created this Assesment for my Prezi presentation. (NETS 2,5)

click here for assessment results

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Journal 6: Grow your Personal Learnig Netwrok. (Nets 3 & 5)

Warlick, David. (2009). Grow your personal learning network. Learning and Leading with Technology, 36(6), Retrieved from

Summary: Personal Learning Networks like our families, friend, and colleagues have always been relied on to supplement our knowledge.
We have been connecting with people and information through the digital realm for decades. As educators we must learn how to grow our PLNs through tools such as Twitter, Skype, Google, Diigo, Wikis, and Blogs. These tools can be used to find information sources, suggestions for lesson plans, current events and trends, and a wide variety of other answers and solutions.
There are 3 main types of PLNs:
1)   Personally maintained synchronous connections. This is the traditional network that includes people and places you consult to find answers. You can enhance this PLN with new tools such as chat, text messaging, and twitter.
2)      Personally and socially maintained semi synchronous connections. In this PLN questions can be directed to a single person or sent out to a community of people. Semi synchronous means that collaboration doesn’t have to happen at the same time. People can participate in a discussion when they want. This PLN includes Google docs, Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs.
3)      Dynamically maintained asynchronous connections. This type of PLN connects us with content sources which we have identified as valuable. The central tool for this PLN is the RSS aggregator. You train information to come to you; you can subscribe to ongoing blog searches which will automatically send you new posts on your chosen topic. A useful tool is social bookmarking such as Diigo.

Question 1: How can we make sure that we are receiving the maximum benefit from our PLNs?
We must always try to cultivate networks that challenge our thinking. We should always search for new sources of information as well, and never forget that we are learners ourselves. Modeling a learning life style is definitely one of the best things teachers can do.

Question 2: Why is social bookmarking like Diigo better than a Google search?
Social bookmarking tools like Diigo return a more manageable list of websites that are of better quality as someone valued them and bookmarked them for later use. Diigo also connects you to people who share the same interest like you, so you can ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate on different topics. Also, less advertisements makes your search more efficient.