Friday, December 20, 2013

Group Work Reflection

This was my first big collaboration project and I felt like it was such a success. Our group really meshed well and all fell into roles immediately. We collaborated using Google Docs, web conferences, Google Chat, and email. The ideas that group members shared seamlessly came together to create our video project. We did a good job considering we all teach different grade levels. The TEKS were new to some of our members since they don't live in Texas. Overall, I feel like this was a successful group project and I learned so much doing it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Final Web Conference 5363

Tonight was the final web conference. It was a short and too the point meeting. We discussed the confusion on the submissions of the paper. I understand that it all needs to be on one document with the links to our eportfolio. The internship was also discussed and how we need to be keeping up with them throughout our courses. We also understand that our reflections are the web conferences as well as video projects.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Web Conference-Week 3 Reflection

Today we started out the conference with discussions about the new TEA requirements as of Jan. 2014. We moved on to where to find the most updated assignment information. This can be found in the weekly overview posts. There was quite a bit of questions about logistics of where to turn in assignments as opposed to emailing them to the IA. Dr. Abernathy also suggested to work in a Google Drive for group work because it is so easily documented.
For our assignment this week, she said to include the TEK and Student NETS as a guiding force in our videos. She also discussed the importance of group work and how each member needs to contribute equally.
We ended the conference with discussing the importance of Twitter and how it can keep on up to date on info. She encouraged us to get accounts and follow the class account.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Audacity Experiences and Creative Commons

I want to start off by saying that Audacity was VERY easy to download. With minimized steps to get it on one's computer, this could easily be accessed by all. The program simplicity of downloading also is quite simple to use. You can easily add effects by selecting the recording and choosing out of the list of options. The drop down tabs at the top are easily organized and that makes it easy for the user to figure out exactly what to do with the options.

I do find the numbers and charts located on the software a bit confusing. I imagine after using this software for awhile that this would probably become easier to figure out. The foreign words that are located in the bottom left of the screen are also a bit unknown, making the screen a little intimidating for someone who has never used the program.

The Creative Commons is a license non profit organization that allows people to share their work and have others use it without compromising any of it without permission of the maker. In this case, I didn't want others changing my work or using it in commercials so I ended up with attributions-no dervs 3.0 unported. The part of the website where it generated the license was very user friendly. I still feel a little confused when navigating through the different kinds of licenses and copyright laws but know over time that this will become easier to understand.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My first iMovie!!

What a thrilling moment! I finished my first iMovie for my class assignment. I have heard the hype for years and I feel really apart of the "club" to have finally made one. I honestly thought at first sight that it was going to be difficult. However, after I got started I began to realize how user friendly it was.
The easiest part of the program was uploading photos. All one has to do is simply drag the photos and "drop" them on the working screen. Recording the voice-over was also easy. I just clicked the slide and began to talk. The only trouble I had was starting the voice over at the right spot.
The most difficult part of making the movie was timing the slides. This was hard because when you are reading a script, while trying to sound entertaining, you also must watch the time due to the slides matching up with what you are saying.
The part I enjoyed the most was picking the music and seeing how much it enhanced my video. I recommend for everyone to add music!
All in all, I learned a lot from the video making this week. I also think that my personal story that I have now digitized is special for my family to see and have.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

5363 Web Conference Week One Reflection

It being our first web meeting, people were thirsty for answers. Twitter was a topic that was discussed. I have not become apart of it yet because of the other accounts I already have...guess it's time to jump on board. The professor also discussed how she trusts us to do the peer evaluations on our own and not post them. The syllabus was brought up because of contradicting statements to the peer evaluations. We also chatted about where to post each thing and I learned that students in this degree plan no longer have to have a blog. I think that is wonderful because it is one more thing to keep up with. Personally I am a fan of the wiki because it is so easy to use.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I have been absent from this blog due to the fact that I am doing my eportfolio via a wiki. I like the ease and look of the wiki. It is organized as well as easy to create different course sections. I finished my reflections for the week and thought I would add them to the blog for further documentation. Enjoy!

I think the website we created as a group was a great project. I think if we were in person, the project would have been even more enhanced with great ideas. The distance made things a little more "slower" than I'm used too. Our group members each contributed to this website beautifully which led to a great outcome and product. If this were to take place in a classroom setting, I feel the collaboration would be more easily understood and members of the group would be able to express where they wanted their piece to go more fluently. Being this is on an online class, the project went as well as expected. It was a great way to show a reflection of information in a cohesive way.

A portfolio is a collection of student work that demonstrates achievement of improvement (Stiggens, R.J., 1994). This is clearly demonstrated in the work that my group did. We showed the reader the different aspects of technology in the classroom. This was our demonstration of what we learned or gained from the assignment. To achieve a well thought out plan, we created a Google doc that allowed us to discuss and toss ideas around so that we would  all be on the same page. Since this was a live working document, it was helpful to our members who were in a long distance situation. The downfall was, that with everyone having lives out side of the course, getting answers to questions or everyone checking at the same time, was difficult.
The way I assessed my performance was through feedback from the group I was in. I did not want to be the weak link in the assignment so I went ahead and did a little more in the section I was responsible for. I wanted to make sure that the work I was doing would be reflective of the other members hard work. In the future, when doing a group website assignment, I will suggest us using a Google doc to get the work done as well. We had a member that assigned everyone a job and date to do it by. I think this was a great idea to keep all members on track. It suggested us finishing with our sections even earlier than required to make sure we could look over our finished work to fine tune.
My background knowledge helped me in the design of the wiki.  I use a wiki with my team at school to upload lessons and ideas too. This allowed me to be able to help with getting our team's pages set up on the side and to easily move within in our chosen route of display. In addition to my wiki prior experience, I had previously come across a great website prior to this class that had the information I was needing to display. This allowed me to reference this website and use the information learned in this group work.

In a first grade classroom, I think that a wiki would be useful in reflecting group work. The wiki would need to be set up by the teacher to save on time with a larger class size. Students could then edit the pages already designed with information that have learned or gained from the unit. Each group could be responsible, much like our individual pages, for information to share with the class. The finished product would be the class groups teaching the class on the content. This would take the place of the teacher just standing at the front of the class giving the information. At the same time, use of the wiki and how it works could also be taught. The technology would just be an avenue of reflection and displaying knowledge gained. This piece would support reflection and show student growth (Barrett, H.C., PHD, 2005).

Barett, H.C., PHD (2005) "Researching Electronic Portfolios: Learning, Engagement, Collaboration, Through Technology (Retrieved August 15, 2013 from"

Stiggens, R. J. (1994) Student centered classroom assessment. New York, Merrill

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 17th Web Conference
This first web conference went over the design principles project. The main question that was brought up multiple times was whether or not our product could be on anything or if it needed to be on the principle overview. There was a lot of clarification from our instructor. The first week web conferences typically look the same.
Our first assignment (EDLD 5366) was to look at an ancient product and find the principles in design in them. Here is what I wrote:

Lisbon Bible
My first impression of this bible is that it looks well organized. I notice breaks in the different sections of text immediately. The heading and the footer also make are bold and are impactful.
The Lisbon Bible, 1482, vol 1. Text containing prohibition of mixing seed.

The Lisbon Bible, 1482, vol 1. Text containing prohibition of mixing seed. Picture from British Library

 The design principles stand out instantly when you view this piece. Contrast shows up in the thickness of the font as it changes with the words written in the margins to the actual text, where it become quite bold. The repetition is seen through the similarity in both pages' layouts. Alignment is center on both columns on both pages shown. This clearly defines both sides of text. The proximity is heavily separated by space and small text.
The Proximity and contrast look very official in this piece. This defines the important text on both pages. I think font is script which indicates formality and is easy to read. This helps paint a picture of the importance of the piece.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reflections on Research Class


Week Five is here and I will celebrate with a post on reflections about the class, er, I mean do the assignment to post reflections. (Insert smile)

Looking back over the last five weeks of this course, I am able to see what an adventure it was as I started my very first action research study. I will go through some of the things that impacted this study and give my insights and opinions below.
The lectures in this course were helpful as I got to see what was expected as I began my action research study. However, in the beginning process of nailing down exactly what I would be inquiring about, the lecture in week three seemed too vague. This was done to give researchers the freedom of really thinking about what they wanted to explore. I think that overall they were helpful in restating the guidelines and expectations each week.
The readings, especially from the Dana text, were useful to me because they provided examples of other’s research inquiries and made guidelines even clearer. Tables and examples given such as the Sample Inquiry Brief on page 100, helped with giving a visual to the type of plan that accompanies the action research. This is especially helpful when getting started on an inquiry with many aspects and narrowing down the topic.
When needing more information on my topic of one-to-one devices in the classroom, I was pleased to see that there were quite a few readings and data websites with information regarding my topic. This is going to be helpful as I try to come up with a way to help teachers successfully implement the devices into pedagogy. There are many different ways to incorporate trainings and keep teachers in the know about current technology practices.
The blog required for this class will serve a great purpose in time lining my action research project. It will show the events that had me add to my inquiry or take a different direction, if need be. I think also, it allows others to comment or add what they are thinking about topics of my research. Already, my peer’s have given feedback on things I could change and what I might add to make my action research more effective. I also feel like the blog is a kind of field study notes place to get the learning and findings out in writing. At the end where a conclusion is needed, I can go back and read through the journey to remind of what was taken from it.
I found week three to be the hardest in the course. I am someone who likes to have all questions answered before beginning a project and I feel I had a lot of unanswered questions. This led to constant questioning of what I was doing as I created my first action research study. I was very unsure of what I needed to include or what would be the most focused way of putting my inquiry on paper. I also have in mind the internship hours and didn’t want to get overwhelmed juggling my action research study and those. Seeing other’s action research posted in the discussion boards and on the blogs helped with some fears I was having about my own study. I was able to see the depth that I needed to add to my project. I also got to see the organization aspect of other’s work and tweak my own to make it flow more.
As fearful and uneasy I was about starting my action research project, I feel more ready now to tackle it and get started. The hardest part about this project so far is planning for the future experiences before a school year has started. So many things come up and I fear that my action research study might be thrown for a loop. I am hoping to stay on top of things and make sure this gets done and to look out for effective ways to easily incorporate this project and my internship hours. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Week Four!

There is an undeniable giddy feeling after making it halfway through a class. As this week approached, the worst feels as if it has passed with last week's intense task of looking into the future and creating an Action Research Study. What a daunting task it was when having to plan for a school year that hasn't even begun yet. As educators we all know that things change daily in our profession. Meetings pop up, committees need members, tutoring sessions fill afternoons and mornings, as well as personal life time being split a hundred different ways too. So planning for a multiple month study was quite the task. I'm glad it's completed as of now.

 I am glad to say that my Action Research Study (Do we capitalize this? The importance of the project makes me think so), is now completed. After meeting with my wonderful site supervisor, I was thrilled to know that she thought it was a well organized plan. The only suggestion she made was to switch from Survey Monkey to Google Forms. This suggestion was due to the fact that Survey Monkey charges you for customization and number of questions, and Google forms does not. I was thankful for this tip. Glad that I chose a Technology Instructionalist as my site supervisor, being that I am an ED Tech major with a technology driven Action Research Study. This already seems a wise mentor choice.

Part of the assignment this week was to encourage readers to comment on our blog in the future. So here it is: Please continue commenting on my blog in the future. I can't promise they will be the best in the class, but just remember that I do add the tiny humorous tidbit at the end for bait. Keep coming back for more.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Action Reseach Template

We come to yet another week of deep thinking about inquiry. I have developed a plan that will hopefully gather the data I need to help instill positive changes. Doing some light research up front helped me to come up with more ideas to instill in my research plan and inquiry. I think some of my evaluations will change throughout the course as I develop more awareness of what needs to be assessed along the way.

 This inquiry process has me second guessing myself constantly. I am hoping that once I get the ball rolling on my study, that that might calm down. I appreciated the classmate feedback I received to make some changes to my existing plan. Until next time...

Action Planning Template
Goal: What are the strategies, trainings, and procedures needed for successful one-to-one implementation and pedagogy for student devices in the classroom?
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
1. Research different types of trainings/strategies to implement technology for teachers and implement them among school first grade team

2. Acquire teacher feedback on prior training and current needs and areas of growth using 1-to-1 implementation

3.Meet with site supervisor to discuss Results of information obtained from teachers on biggest area of growth

Lisa Martinez
Leslie Kennemer
(site supervisor)

Lisa Martinez

Lisa Martinez
Leslie Kennemer
(Site supervisor)
June 2013-June 2014

September 2013

October 2013
Use a variety of data gathering as well as electronic searches.
Possible Resources:
Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey
-Survey of teachers that used the trainings
-Survey of teachers that didn’t have the proper training
-Survey of students

-The Survey will show current needs of teachers and will thus guide future trainings in this action research to better fit the needs of staff
-This step will allow for a more pinpointed road map to the type of trainings to give
4. Train a group of teachers on a specific unit to integrate one-to-one devices into pedagogy. This would include apps, software applications, or websites that could support learning. 

5. There will also be a second set of teachers that will be trained with a different strategy.

6. Evaluate outcomes of students gained knowledge between the two groups.

7.Generate a monthly newsletter for a resource that teachers can use for further professional development on implementing one to one devices in pedagogy

Lisa Martinez,
First grade team of teachers

Lisa Martinez
August 2013- June 2014

September 2013-April 2014
-District curriculum
-Electronically search different types strategies to train teachers to use one-to-one devices in pedagogy

-Use a variety of data gathering as well as electronic searches to generate topics to use in newsletter
-Smore Program as the template
-Educational blogs to help produce topics to address that are current
-Staying current with staff needs and requests of topics

-Quantitative Pre-test and post test to the unit on each student in first grade
- Training or Procedure strategy in training the teachers how to use the student devices within the unit
-Field Notes

-Field notes
-Surveys from participants on impact of these newsletters

8. Create and Lead a committee that brings more awareness of implementation of NET.S/ TEKS based off the findings from data.

Lisa Martinez
January 2014
-Data driven survey, teacher feedback
-Field notes on outcomes observed by teachers of successes or areas of growth based off incorporating trainings into classrooms
-Survery from teachers based on outcomes of successful strategies used in the implementation of the devices into a project based learning opportunity

9.Close research, accomplish analysis, and distribute findings.

Lisa Martinez
August 2014

-Action research to be completed based off findings.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week Two Reflections...

As I entered week two of thinking about a this new action research, I realize I have already learned so much. After reading the many different examples in the book Leading with Passion and Knowledge, by Nancy Fichtman Dana, I am gaining more knowledge on what it means to explore deep inquiry. I noticed that action research is a way of reflecting on what intrigues you at this moment in your career, have it be in a leadership role or teaching. It is taking a stand for change in an area you deem important enough to take the time and research, gather data, and reflect often on.

For me, it's very hard to pick the one that is the most important out of the nine passions listed by Dana in the text. How do you choose one of these topics to be the most focused on when all seem so intricately important as the next? My action research sits between several different passions. I think it is healthy for the topic of inquiry to hit more than one to really make an impact on the the school environment.

Just as the chapter assigned this week ended in discussion of an action research evolving over time, I experienced this first hand just in week one of this course. The initial question I started with as my action research was scrapped by the end of week one, following a great discussion with my site supervisor. I guess their is good reason for us having an experienced mentor after all. ;) I originally picked a topic widely covered and researched. We discussed in great lengths what our school is in need of and what is currently out there that is unresolved in many schools. Here is the action research I settled on as of now (drum-roll, please):

What are the strategies and trainings needed for successful one to one implementation and pedagogy for student devices in the classroom?

There it is. My focus for the next nine months is to answer this question head on. I am excited about the data I will find as well as some new things to get started at my school to really utilize the technology we are provided, rather than let it "babysit" our students.

I want to end my posts with a little light hearted humor. Enjoy...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And so it begins...

What I have Learned About Action Research and How I can Use It

After I began reading on the topic of action research, I realized that my school district's formal evaluation, SDAS, is a version of action research. As a classroom teacher, I am able to pick a focus question each year, collect data, and share my findings based on the information I gathered. I feel this has allowed me to gain ownership of something I want to grow in or have curiosity in trying out in my classroom rather than an administrator coming in and seeing my teaching for a 45 minute span and handing out criticism. I am thrilled to know I have been using action research as an educator without even knowing it!

The benefits of conducting action research is that the participant can gain knowledge in an area of inquiry or interest and make changes based on the outcome. This becomes a personal gain rather than an outside researcher ‘telling’ how a situation should be. The “practioner inquiry movement focuses on the concerns of practitioners and engages practitioners in the design, data collection, and interpretation of data around theory question.” (Dana, 2009, p. 3) The teacher or administrator is able to make professional changes and make a lasting impact on school environments. 

Action research differs from traditional educational research because the inquiry comes from the teacher or administrator conducting it rather than an outside expert weighing in on topics that are exclusive to everyday school environments. (Dana, 2009, p. 4) Often this causes frustration because the teachers that are actually in a school environment are receiving data from conductors who aren’t in the real life situations they are portraying insights and research models. 

I like to think of it as weather man versus a storm chaser. The weather man is off sight predicting and analyzing the situation to help prepare people or warn them of the coming weather. The storm chaser is actually in the midst of the weather or is close enough to gain an on the ground experience first hand. It would be a lot easier to trust the storm chaser who is in the storm giving feedback rather than the weather man who is off site from the storm itself. 

How Educational Leaders Might Use Blogs

Blogs are a great way to share one's ideas or thoughts to multiple readers at any given time. I think educational leaders can use this tool in more than one way. 

One way to use a blog is to send out a weekly newsletter to staff to keep everyone connected and stay in the know. This could start with thoughts on a new idea, ways to push through a difficult time in the year, or something to reflect on. It could also include milestones that staff have to celebrate, mourn, or get excited about. This creates a family atmosphere among peers.

Another way to use a blog as an educational leader is to incorporate into Professional Learning Communities (PLC). This could be away for the leader to express findings for an action research topic and have members respond through comments. It could keep members of the PLC connected all year and have an outlet to share findings and literature.

I am excited to share more on my action research topic on this blog. Stay tuned...


Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading With Passion and Knowledge: The Principal as Action Researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press