Screencasting [Poll]

Screencasting is an important tool that online teachers must be able to use in order to provide direct instruction. Screencasting can be used to teach content, share resources, and provide instructions or steps. I have used a variety of screencasting tools and have found positives and negatives with all. I am hoping that you can provide some insight into what you consider to be the “best” screencasting tool. I encourage you to comment and share your reasons for your vote 🙂


Always in our hands

My 11 month old daughter is crawling all over our home and playing with her toys and remote controls. I am keeping an eye on her, and we are pushing a tupperware around the floor. My phone buzzes, and I pick it up to check out the alert. My daughter drops the tupperware and crawls quickly over to pull at my phone. This happens on a regular basis – – the Ipad, computer, and phone all draw my daughter’s attention. What is it about these items that are so attractive to an 11 month old? All she really wants to do is hold it and put it in her mouth. She could care less about Twitter or Instagram. My husband’s theory is that she sees how we always want to hold them and have them in our hands and knows that they must be important. Regardless of why she has a desire for these items, the reality is that our daughter will grow up surrounded by technology that can connect her to the world in both positive and negative ways. She will be a product of the “Digital Age”. It is my responsibility as a parent to foster positive technology use by my daughter. Likewise, it is my responsibility to foster positive technology use by my students.

I recently read an article, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,” by Marc Prensky. Prensky takes a strong stance in describing how learners of this generation are changed and different due to growing up in a digital culture, and teachers must change their methodology in order to educate them. He portrays “Digital Natives” in a positive light, and “Digital Immigrants” in a negative light. Although I find Prensky’s view to be extreme, there are a few statements that I believe do have validity and implications for our educational system.

For example, Prensky states, “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” I completed my undergrad in 9-12 education from 2003-2007. The basic layout and instructional designs that I was taught hold true to today; however, the abundance of resources, the power of interactives, the use of multimedia, and the strategies for encouraging complex thinking have dramatically changed. Some teachers have the time and motivation to adapt to these changes and alter their instruction, but many teachers do not have the time, are not provided the resources, or do not have the motivation. This results in disparity among the classrooms in our educational system.

Another statement by Prensky that has implications for what should be taught is:

“Future content is to a large extent, not surprisingly, digital and technological. But while it includes software, hardware, robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, etc. it also includes the ethics, politics, sociology, languages and other things that go with them. This ‘Future’ content is extremely interesting to today’s students.”

I can see these topics as being very interesting to students, as I am highly interested in them as well. Technology has changed various career fields and will change the future career settings of our students. We need to help prepare our students for this change and strengthen their skills in these areas, and Prensky points out some of the areas that will be important for our students to be successful in. I think this has implications in broadening the options that students can explore in K-12 and the topics that are covered in the core classes.

Whether or not you were born in the “Digital” culture, we all have a responsibility to respond to these advances and determine how to best incorporate them into our educational system and our everyday lives.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf







Diving In

This is a new blog that I have created for a current graduate course at Boise State University, EDTECH 537 Blogging in the Classroom. I chose the title She Clicks “Enter” because I was reflecting on how I engage in learning and exploring online. It all starts with entering a web address or topic in a search bar and clicking “Enter”. This simple act opens the door to new opportunity, skills, and knowledge. I am excited to further strengthen my skills in blogging and in collaborative learning through this course.

I have a few previous experiences with blogging. My husband and I created and updated a blog regularly when we were in living in Beijing, China. This blog provided a way for us to share our experiences with family and friends. I enjoy looking back at our entries and find it to be a treasured home of many memories. I have also tried creating a food and recipe blog in the past; however, I found that I did not have enough time to invest in it. Finally, I have been adding content and updates to a learning log blog, specifically for completed graduate work.

One of my passions in education is curriculum development. This summer, I will be developing an 8th grade online science class, as our school is expanding grade levels in the fall. The process of designing a semester’s worth of content can be grueling and overwhelming. As a result, I envision this blog to be place of support and discussion for other teachers developing online curriculum. I hope to provide insight and thoughts on designing online courses, including best practices and personal experiences.

I am ready to dive into this course and begin a journey of educational blogging!