RSS in the Classroom Reflection

My Lesson Plan  

* NOTE:  This lesson plan was uploaded to Google doc. as a .pdf due to formatting complications during the upload process.

In 2012 I started my journey to become a licensed teacher.  My undergraduate degree, Early Childhood Education, did not provide me with a teaching license.  The graduate program I chose would guide me towards that goal.  As of April of this year, I finished my student teaching and obtained my teaching license in the State of Utah.  Because of this great accomplishment, I have now written hundreds of lesson plans and the process is still quite fresh in my mind.

I did teach 6th graders last spring.  I wrote my lesson plan for this assignment geared toward that age.  As I wrote this lesson plan, I wish I had thought to do this for my class.  We spent a minimum of 30 minutes daily writing.  How much fun would it have been for my class to have done their current event writing this way vs. the way they did it.  They would write daily in Pages on their iPads and then they would email their finished writings to me.  That meant 29 essays weekly to grade via my email (which got very clogged).  As soon as I saw this RSS assignment, I immediately had the idea of how that whole writing experience could have gone so much smoother!

As with any lesson plan, I always tend to over-plan.  However, because I know how much time my students used for daily writing, this lesson plan was organized with those thoughts in mind.  As with any planned lessons, flexibility is key because the day and week does not always go as planned.

I feel passionately that children need to be learning how to use the Internet in finding worthwhile content.  I also feel that is so important for students to be aware of what is going on in the world around them.  I felt that combining researching current events with daily writing, this plan is a win-win.  I am actually sad that I am not teaching right now because this particular lesson plan (which is written for every day of the year) would be so fun.  I would love to see it implemented with a real class and I may even send it to some of the teachers I know.

Setting up the blogs at the very beginning of the year and walking through the process with the students would be key.  I would spend the first several weeks of computer lab time to help the students practice using their blog before we actually launched into the research of current events.  We would practice copy and pasting the required elements into the post so they can write efficiently.  With practice and repetition, the students would be ready to fully execute this lesson plan within about a month.

In Idaho, the state standards say that students must have good writing skills of planning, organizing, revising, and publishing.  Standards also say that students must use technology to collaborate and publish their writings.  By peer reviewing, the students will also get in a good habit of constructively criticizing their peers, encourage suggestions, and help the peers in the proofreading process.


502 Update and Reflection

Up until now I haven’t posted anything about my journey in 502.  The class is all HTML and CSS and wow, I am astonished at my progress.  I never would have imagined that I might like or enjoy creating a website from scratch but it isn’t bad, it’s almost kind of fun.  Validating at the end is like jumping into a deep pool and waiting to breathe until you come back to the surface.  By working through each assignment and building on concepts learned from the previous week, my skills and knowledge has greatly improved.

Here is what I have so far:

Moving forward, my EdTech Homepage will be found HERE.  This website is hosted by the Boise State University’s Edtech2 server and will become “home” to my growing portfolio.

Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology.



“Could have, would have, should have,” is not really the best way for me to analyze what happened last year in my classroom.  It was a “learning” year for everyone involved.  I know that I learned the most from this new experience of teaching with technology.  While I can berate myself and beat myself up for not being more preventative, I can say I did my best at the time.  The way I handled the situation was to take the iPads away from the entire class for a month.  All this did was create more work and copied paper for me.  Grading became more laborious as well and I lost the instant feedback I previously had collected multiple times a day in quick assessments.  As I have now spent time reading and re-reading the Professional Code of Ethics, I am embarrassed to admit that I was simply ignorant.  I would like to believe that everyone makes mistakes many times a day and that no one is perfect 100% of the time.  As a teacher in her first year of teaching with iPads, it was definitely a learning curve for all of us.

From this assignment I learned that we will always be scrambling to keep up in a world of ever-changing technology.  Just as parents struggle to stay one step ahead (or at least very closely behind) their teenagers in regards to technology, education and professional ethics in technology will always struggle to keep up as well.  I believe that while we can attempt to imagine all the possible scenarios of what “could” happen in our classrooms, we will never really know until something happens and goes wrong.  Just like I scrambled to know what to do when a few students were cheating and the end result was the entire class losing their iPad, we often really won’t know until we’ve made the mistake that it was, in fact, a mistake.  Just as technology is changing faster than we can imagine, the Code of Ethics will likely be changing just as rapidly to keep up.

Educational Technology Definition Graphic

Education Technology Definition Graphic and Reflection

            I used Photoshop Elements 12 to create my definition graphic.  As I was searching for a good short definition, I found one on Wikipedia (insert a GASP here) that summed up all the aspects I felt went into educational technology.  The definition on the graphic is a bit small to read so I will add it here:

“Educational Technology, the use of modern technology, such as computers, digital technology, networked digital devices and associated software and courseware with learning scenarios, worksheets and interactive exercises which facilitate learning. Edtech encompasses both material objects, such as machines and networking hardware, and also aspects such as instructional theory and learning theory.”

            All of the small icons I used on my graphic illustrate means of communicating and learning through technology.  My icons include: Wi-fi, emailing, uploading, g+, file sharing, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, RSS feeds, HTML5 and CSS code, Google Hangouts (or Apple Messenger), and so much more.  The most amazing piece of educational technology is that no matter where we are in the world, we are connected by a machine.  Even in this course, our classmates are from all over the globe.  We are able to come together in cyberspace and learn together.  It is truly remarkable how connected we can become with the use of all these tools, programs, software, and hardware.  We can communicate, in real-time, anywhere on the planet.

In the past 10 days of my two courses, I have learned a lot of new terms.  I am learning to  build a basic website.  I am learning to blog  more efficiently by using tags and categories.  I am learning from my peers as they aid in troubleshooting.  As I proceed through this M.E.T. program, I will become far more involved in many of these programs and practices and hopefully become even more comfortable in the process.

Jen Crook Edtech501 Graphic DefinitionFinal

Reference List

45 Latest And Free Icon Sets For Your Design | (n.d.). Retrieved from

Educational technology. (2014, April 9). Retrieved from

Iconset: Cloud Social Icons by GraphicsVibe (12 icons). (n.d.). Retrieved from

RSS in Education

You can copy and paste directly to your post page, embed an Evernote or Google Doc or any number of ways to display your artifact. Include a reflection for each artifact, along with assigning the proper AECT Standard.

As you can see in this post, the AECT Standards, “3.1 Media Utilization” and “4.4 Information Management” have been assigned to this post.

You will want to include a discussion of how the AECT Standard aligns with your artifact, why it is important, and probably revisit this artifact later in the program to identify how the artifact connects practice to theory.

You will need to decide which artifacts to use for your final portfolio for the M.E.T. program. You can easily “hide” artifacts from view by changing their status from “published” to “draft.”  That way, you will always have the artifact in your website.

Category Widget

Can you also see how the Categories widget shows the AECT Standard assigned to this post? Think about how handy this will be as you continue to post your artifacts to your learning log, assigning the AECT Standards. All you will need to do is click one of the standards in the widget and all of your posts will appear for you to review. This will come in very handy at the end of the program.