Saturday, October 19, 2013

Final Reflection for Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology

After reflecting on my personal learning theory from the beginning of the course, my beliefs have evolved to incorporate my new knowledge. I would add more teaching strategies, and learning activities that correspond to promote deep learning in my classroom. I have learned the cognitive reasons that support learning strategies, and technology that corresponds to these strategies.

I have already started to add more strategies to my teaching tool belt. Instead of using a verity of strategies throughout the school year, I used a multitude of strategies in each lesson. I have also started to explain the reasoning behind the different learning activities and teaching strategies to my students. My students are receptive to the explanations and are willing try new types of activities.  

My school focuses on six instructional strategies that they feel are most important to see in the classroom. After taking this course, I am able to understand these strategies from a new perspective. All of the strategies my school pushes are ones we covered in class. I feel that I am more equipped to teach using these strategies in partnership with technology. Incorporating these instructional strategies based on what I learned in class will help me stand out as a proficient teacher.

Earlier in the course, I took my students on a virtual field trip and created a graphic organizer online. Thee two tools will enhance students learning. Bringing art to my students will create new real world experiences for them. My students will gain cultural experiences in which they can use to connect new information to. Online graphic organizers were a hit in my class.  This tool gave my students a cause to learn in a collaborative group. The students also were willing and eager to participate in class discussions without getting distracted.

Two long-term goals I have to improve my teaching practice in regards to technology are to utilize technology with my students outside the classroom and to update/ transforms my best lessons using technology. I would like to create more flipped classroom experiences for my students. My class is project heavy, and students can learn, and get assessed outside the classroom leaving class time for the creation of projects.  I would also like to implement an online classroom environment where students can have discussions, share ideas, and also be a part of a larger artistic community beyond our school. I will start this goal by first making a link to all students through the online grade book system. I will be able to communicate with my students and share new information with them. I will also conduct research about my student’s technological resources at home and plan based on my findings. Every teacher has lessons in their arsenal that are highly successful, engaging and fun. I would like to take those lessons I have and update them using technology. This may be as simple as adding a virtual field trip to the lesson, more complex by adding the construction of a Wiki page.  My goal is to start adding bits of technology as I learn them. I will then take the time over the summer to assess and keep what worked and re-think what did not. This lesson overhaul will take some experimentation and time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Social Learning Theory and Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is something I am no stranger to. My school has highlighted six particular teaching strategies, two of which fall under the social learning theory.  These strategies are collaborative group work, and classroom talk and were mentioned in their week’s resource video (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

This week, in our resources we explored social learning and technology within collaborative group work. When student work together the learning is enhanced (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012).  The zone of proximal development can be stretched when working with others (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). The key factor when placing students in groups is the grouping itself (Orey, 2001). Students who are placed in balanced groups will all learn in an extraordinary way.

Students working in groups can benefit by using technology.  There are two main ways technology can be used when student work in groups: as the form of communication and as the product of their group work. Students can communicate using technology through social media such as Facebook/Fakebook, Edublogs, Skype/FaceTime. The use of technology can ease the hassle of getting together for group meetings outside of class. When using Facebook and Edublogs students can communicate at times that suit them. This would be helpful for students are on a sports team, have a job, or other obligations that would prevent them from attending group meetings. Students can meet at real time from anywhere using Skype and FaceTime. When students use technology as the product of the group work, the possibilities are endless. Students can create blogs, YouTube videos, websites, a Second Life environment, VoiceThreads, etc. When students are working on a large project together there are many problems that come up, and students must learn how to solve these problems and learn from one another. Learning from others and/or the environment is a fundamental aspect of the social learning theory (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


This week, I used voicethread to introduce a problem-based lesson to my students. I would like feedback and comments before I  use this voicethread in the classroom.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Constructivism and Constructionism

Constructivism and constructionism are two learning theories. Constructivism, or the V word, has to do with the schematics of learning. When we learn, our mind groups similar ideas together based on previous knowledge (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). Constructionism, or the N word, uses building or creating as a vehicle for meaningful learning (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

There are many ways to use these learning theories in the classroom. Two ways are through generating and testing hypothesis, and creating project based lessons. When students generate hypothesis with careful reasoning it gives proof that students are critically thinking (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012). Creating hypothesis takes previously learned knowledge and uses it to inductively reason. This is an example of constructivism. Students can test and chart their findings compared to the hypothesis and present it in a digital way; this is example of constructionism. There are so many ways to incorporate technology when generating and testing hypothesis. Excel spreadsheets, phone apps, and simulation software can be useful tools (Pitler el at., 2012). Project based learning is closely tied to problem based learning. When a real world problem is introduced to students they must use higher level thinking skills to solve this problem (Orey, 2001). These lessons are tied to large-scale projects that often culminate in a presentation of student findings. Project based learning is an example of constructionism. When solving a big-picture problem, there are many smaller problems that must be figured out. The student guides the learning activities. This quest of knowledge results in meaningful learning opportunities.  

Throughout the week, I thought of the proverb “Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand”. I believe the proverb sums up the idea of constructionism.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cognitive Learning Theories in Classroom Strategies

Cognitive theories in education are geared into how the brain works and processes information. Two chapters that correlate to these ideas are “Cues, Questions and Advanced Organizers” and “Summarizing and Note Taking” (Hubbell, Kuhn & Pitler, 2012).

Questioning in the classroom can be used as an informal assessment tool. When a teacher uses this form of assessment they can gauge where the class knowledge based lies. From here, the instructor can use scaffolding and cues to build upon this knowledge. Organizing information in a visual way can help with remember and learning. When technology is added to the equation, there are many ways to amplify these techniques. Graphic organizer software can be used to present information to students using pictures, video clips or web links (Hubbell, 2012). This way of brainstorming can also become a learning activity. There are social bookmarking such as Diigo, and Pinterest that can be used to allow students become a real part of the brainstorming process.  

Note taking and summarizing are skills that develop over time. In order to take clear notes the student must have an understanding of the material, and must be able to use higher levels of thinking by synthesizing the information. Some of the strategies suggested in this week’s readings I currently do to help my students with learning disabilities. Guided notes can help students of all abilities connect information in a visual way. The tool, Ultimate Research Assistant, can be used in addition to note taking. This tool “reads” articles and “listens” to lectures and then composes a report summarizing the information (Hubbell, 2012).

Concept mapping is an advanced way to organize information. Students can connect information to prior knowledge and new ideas (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). They can gather ideas using pictures, texts, links or links to videos. This visual way to represent information can be an exciting tool that students and teachers alike can use.

Virtual field trips are online tours of a location. Students can tour museums, cites, historic sites, factories, etc. This uses of technology is beneficial since the whole world is available to be explored. A student can tour museums that are across the globe without leaving their school building. Virtual field trips can build on cognitive learning because students are connecting learned topics to real places.

Using cognitive learning theories along with the above strategies can help learning in you classroom. When we proved students with useful tools and rich experiences we encourage students to learn to their fullest potential.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program five: Cognitive learning theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Technology and Behaviorism

This week in my grad class, Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology, we explored two teaching strategies that implement technology. These strategies are reinforcing effort and providing recognition, and assigning homework and providing practice. This week we also reviewed the behaviorist educational theory (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). In this blog post, I will explain how these strategies can connect with the behaviorist model. 

When a teacher reinforces effort in the classroom it provides students with positive feedback. This encourages students to continue learning.  It is important for students to realize that their success is linked to the effort they put in (Pitler, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2012). When students are able to keep track of their progress in class they take ownership of their own learning (Pitler, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2012). The recognition of positive behavior is a basic behaviorist idea (Laureate , 2011). I have seen an improvement in effort in my own classroom when I discuss participation grades with each student daily.  It would be interesting to add the element of technology to this strategy. I believe students would like to manipulate the data into various charts and graphs. As an art teacher, I enjoy bragging about my student’s talents. At this time, I have an art student of the month on a cork board in the hallway. It would be more of an honor if I put together an artist of the week portion of my blog that highlights one student. Perhaps students would link this post to their social media, or email the link to their parents.

Homework is not a typical occurrence in my art courses. Much of the work is completed during studio time in the classroom. However, students do sketch outside of the classroom when brainstorming project ideas or themes. In previous courses, I have set the goal to set up a class wiki or blog where students can post pictures of their artistic process or completed artwork for peer review. This gives students the chance to interact with other students who may be different periods. It is also beneficial since there is a limited amount of classroom time and students can respond to peers at their leisure. When students practice responding to each other online the in class critiques will become smoother. Teacher would be involved this process to give feedback and encourage learning. The idea of giving feedback, both positive and negative, is a behaviorist idea (Laureate , 2011).


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program four: Behaviorist learning theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. (2nd ed.). Denver, Colorado: McRel.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reflection- Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society

Over the last seven weeks, I have learned quite a bit about technology! Before this class, I had never used a Wiki or created a podcast before. It was challenging to use these new tools. I felt a sense of accomplishment once I got the hang of it, and especially when I completed the assignment. Completing these assignments for my graduate course has given me some experience, so I feel comfortable bringing these tools to the classroom. I will most definitely learn more about Wikis and podcasts with my students. My students have a way of teaching me new things about technology. They are not afraid to click and explore. I like that I can give my students these tools I know some things about, and they can learn as well as teach me. I plan to stay connected to the technology blogs so I stay up to date on new trends in technology. 

I have learned more about the way 21st century students learn. I have gained more awareness about how students can learn, and how they are interested in learning. I have to be a facilitator to my students learning, and plan for a student-centered classroom (Laureate, 2010).

After seeing how much can be done with technology, I want computers in my classroom more than ever! My goal is to write grants to get more technology in my classroom. I would like 2-5 ipads or tablets for students to look up information in a quick way, or to use as a visual resource when drawing. I would also like at least 10 laptops and 3 desktop computers. I should not receive any pushback from my administration since they will not be paying for it. It will be difficult to write a grant for all of these pieces of technology. I have written grants before, and the process is very time consuming.  I may have to wait to achieve this goal until next summer after I earn my masters degree.
In the beginning of this course, we filled out a checklist about technology in our teaching practices and in professional development. Now that I look back over this checklist I remembered why I chose the answers I did. I do not have technology! It is difficult to plan lessons revolving around technology when the whole school has to share a small computer lab.  My response to the checklist unfortunately will stay the same. However, I do have some engaging lesson ideas when I reach my technology goals. 


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010a). The changing role of the classroom teacher: Part 2. [Video webcast]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

photo via
This week I have been looking at the Partnership for 21stCentury Skills website (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). Technology is becoming increasingly interwoven into our daily lives, and this website serves as an excellent website resource. This website user friendly and bridges the world of education to the world of technology seamlessly. The site is inclusive of all subjects, not just the “core subjects”.

I agree with most of the theories presented on this website. However, I believe that it is somewhat unrealistic. The Partnership suggests that teachers participate in more professional development on 21 century skills. In Pennsylvania, professional development credit hours have been suspended- there are no funds for schools to host development speakers. Under this model, teachers are expected to incorporate the 21st century skills into the curriculum. Budgets are being slashed year after year. How can teachers be expected to keep up with technology when the technology provided by the school is outdated? How can life/career skills be taught when vetch programs are being cut? If money was no object, this framework would  surely help boost the 21st century skill. I would like to see some more real life scenarios on this site.

One area I found useful was the skills map for the arts (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). I am always looking for new ways to challenge my student’s critical thinking and citizenship. I will be putting this in my teacher’s toolkit!

Many of the 21st century skills named on this site are similar to the skills learned within the art. I have see these skills highlighted when advocating arts in schools. I believe that these “soft skills” are needed to propel our country’s next generation. These skills focus on teaching students how to think, not what to think. Teachers will be responsible for fostering the thirst for knowledge as opposed to having students memorize facts and dates.

Have you ever see this site? What are your thoughts?


Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Artistic Process

Blogs can serve as a tool with many uses within the classroom. It is up to the teacher to incorporate blogs into his/her classroom in a meaningful way. English teachers might use blogs as a way to provide students with formal writing practice (Richardson, 2010, pg. 29). Social Studies teachers might link up with other classes from other parts of the word to discuss government, or culture (Richardson, 2010, pg. 27).  

In my art classroom one way I could use blogs is to connect teachers, parents, and students. As students are working on an art project, they can post updates on their artistic process. They can reflect or ask for suggestions from their teacher, peers or the world, to improve their artwork. Other students can join in to critique the art, or see how other classes are approaching the same lesson. This would connect students in an artistic community. Parents can also have access to the blog. At the high school level, it is a rare occurrence that artwork actually makes it home. I will find missing pieces of work around the school; sometimes teens can be forgetful. By posting artwork online I can provide a platform for me to respond to students work, for students to grow as artists, and for parents to see the artistic process/artwork.

Have you ever used blogging as a way to show/tell?

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for  classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.