Category Archives: tedu662fall16b

TPack Lesson

Lesson Description:  This lesson is designed specifically for five special needs students in first grade and can be utilized by all students in the class.  One student receives pull-out services for content and the others are in a collaborative setting for content. The students will learn to identify what goods and services are by sorting into appropriate categories.  This will be done using a variety of instruction and materials.  The students will use the computer/ipad, role playing and worksheets on several occasions to meet this lesson objective.

  1. The main Content (C) of this lesson is to distinguish between goods and services.
  2. The main Pedagogy (P) of this lesson is active and experiential learning.
  3. The main Technology (T) of this lesson is a video and drag and drop online activities.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

Describe: Students will experience a video in which they will make connections to real world goods and services. The students will then need to distinguish goods and services by actively classifying the two.  Prior to the video, the students will participate in conversation and discourse about the subject matter.  They will reveal their understanding of and build on it through this avenue. Once the technology is explored, students will engage in a ftf group activity of together categorizing objects/pictures into the two groups.

Support: ,

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

Describe: Students are engaged in learning when doing so on the computer or ipad.  They become interested with what’s in front of them and it appears more like a game than learning.  The freedom to explore a video or website takes the fear of performing in front of others away.  When making a wrong choice of where an item goes, it simply pops back to the top of the screen and allows the student to try again. The drag and drop activity is visually stimulating without much distraction.

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

Describe:   The drag and drop activity is visually stimulating without much distraction.  It does not involve sound which for some learners can be a distraction.  This program allows students to engage in an interactive activity verses a paper/pencil activity which is more stimulating and meaningful.


Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Describe:  The technology tools utilized in this lesson engage the students in learning about specific content while allowing them to move at differentiated paces and gain feedback in a less intimidating manner.  These strategies used allow the students to be active participants in their learning which will help them to make more connections and retain knowledge of this content.  Their newfound knowledge can be generalized into physically sorting pictures into the two categories for another type of quick, on-leveled assessment.


Ford- Outline for Learning module

My module will be a hybrid site that my students will explore the SOL of Goods and Services, 1.7.  They will use this as another mode for learning the differences between goods, services, consumers, and producers.  The learning outcome is that students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the differences between goods, services, consumers, and producers. I will assess this primarily by observation and maybe a simple assessment either in a  folder or a paper sort.   The directions may have to be given verbally rather than on the module due to the limited reading abilities of my students.  I have at least one student that will require adult assistance to locate the module and then utilize the tools in exploring.

Directions and Definitions

Folder 1- Goods and Services


Drag and Drop Activity and/or

Other interactive games or activities


Folder 2- Consumers and Producers


Drag and Drop Activity and/or

Other interactive games or activities

Differentiation in online learning

I have spent a good deal of time this week reading about differentiation and seeking tools to assist in designing a module with this knowledge in place.  I have to be honest and say that I am struggling to come up with tools.  I think the major reason is because my students are special needs (all students are) but mine are identified and they are six years old struggling to become readers!!  Therefore I am looking for very simple visual strategies to implement.  I did find one resource that involves clicking in certain areas of a picture or on the screen and information is shared through different modes such as videos, captions, pictures, and audio.   The link is:  This tool is known as “Thinglink” and is found under the heading; Learning Profiles.   This website has 100 + tools and is called Edutopia.  I actually found it by reading a classmate’s blog.  Prior to that I searched under “Differentiation strategies in online environments”, “How online teachers differentiate” and spent a lot of time on the Universal Design for Learning website.

I see several similarities between online teaching and face-to-face teaching when it comes to differentiation.  The legislation and guidelines for UDL are almost the same language as the laws governing exceptional education.   Each environment requires the following in order to make learning happen: multiple ways in which content is presented, multiple modes for student expression, and multiple means for engaging student interest. No matter if students are in an on-line class or physical class, they bring a variety of skills, needs, and interest to their learning. However, I’m not sure how on-line teachers can reach those students who crave social contact and are very motivated to perform for others.  Again, I see this with first grade students.  Wouldn’t it be nice if students kept that feeling of love and admiration for their teachers through graduation!

Best Practices in Teaching

This week in reading about best practices, I come to the conclusion that there are more similarities than differences between online teaching and face-to-face teaching.  The very first practice mentioned is ‘going the extra mile’ to support student learning.  I pray that most people in this profession live by this motto for the betterment of each student whether in a virtual classroom or physical classroom!  It definitely isn’t the money that keeps us here!  The practice of understanding the varied learning styles of the students is found in both arenas.     It’s known as differentiation.  Taking into consideration each student and then curtailing instruction, knowledge, and materials to fit the needs of each ensures learning takes place in either environment.  Additional similarities are the practices of good organizational skills and having extensive knowledge of and appreciation for the content area being taught.  I think that the practice of using student and course data, as well as other sources of information available to self-evaluate the pedagogical strategies used is currently the focus of public schools as well.  It can be argued that we spend all of our time assessing to gain data rather than teaching to instill knowledge!

There are a few differences I note between virtual and face-to-face teaching (ftf).  The first is that virtual teachers MUST be good at exploring new technologies that have potential value for the student.  They Must frequently visit the sites due to constant changes and to ensure accessibility; whereas, FtF teachers have the option to explore if they choose.  In my experiences, I have been available for my students (remember K and 1st graders) during the school day and on few occasions after school hours but a virtual teacher is basically on-call for the duration of the course.  If my student has a problem with the assignment or doesn’t understand what is being communicated, we can address it immediately and learning can continue.  I am a bit confused on how one can manage classroom behavior in a virtual class.  The question of cheating or having someone other than the student completing the assignments makes me wonder how would it be known or identified by the teacher?  I’m also questioning what it looks like to see a student in crisis in a virtual world?  Is it primarily by what and how he/she is communicating with words?  This is one area I would like to know more about.

As far as there being any practices that I question as valid or relevant, there are none.   At this point, with my limited knowledge of the virtual classroom, I am not going to judge.  I feel that the practices made sense as I read them and I see the value/need for them in order for learning environments to be successful.

Reflections on Readings from Week 4

After reading this week, I have a greater understanding of several elements of virtual learning and computer-assisted instruction!  It now makes sense to me that the suppliers are contracted outsource providers of instructional services to schools.  They simply supply the materials but have no responsibilities for student activity, assessments, or performance.  Schools, on the other hand, are entities that carry the primary responsibilities for the students’ education.  I appreciated the first diagram displaying “Students” as the focal point when looking at it and everything else generating out from there.  Also interesting, student success in online courses correlates directly with local school support.  It was interesting to see the number of students enrolled in public schools verses charter/virtual schools; 50.1 million (public) to 2.9 million (charter).  84% of students in the United States are enrolled public schools.  It sparked the question of how fast the number is increasing and will it maintain this rate?  This question was answered after viewing other charts in this reading.  My conclusion is that there is no definite answer.  Some states have had more virtual students in the past and not as many currently, some states have continued to increase numbers each year and then some states fluctuate from year to year.  What are some virtual schools doing to gain over 14,000 students while others have a few hundred?  I’m wondering if Virginia is the next state to have larger enrollments.  The top five virtual schools are all in the South East and directly under Va. (Figure 17) I’m guessing that Florida has almost half of the total number of all virtual school students because of the culture of families, athletics, weather, and work opportunities there.  Virginia’s average courses per student number is the 2nd highest at 2.04 compared to North Dakota with the highest at 3.03, which was interesting to me.  Summer School enrollments are growing at a faster rate.  School systems are utilizing this as a way to reduce budgets and it’s great for flexibility in traveling or medical concerns for students and families.    When reading about policy, I read what I know…. While Common Core has given many districts reason to increase number of computers and broaden online activities, attention to professional development and other curriculum and instruction activities that is needed doesn’t allow sufficient time to devote to shifting instruction to more of a digital model.  Thus we have technology that we’re not aware of, don’t have enough of, or not working/assessable.   I wasn’t aware that Virginia is one of only five states to require students to complete an online course or learning “experience” prior to graduation.

I chose to read the blog “Bridging the Gaps, Tightening the Curriculum” on the iNacol website.  It reminds me to slow down and reflect on each student’s skill set as much if not more than what I’m required to teach or reach!  All students have gaps and unless we help to fill them in, we won’t meet the instructional goals.  Differentiation comes to mind and is what we should all be doing for each student.  It’s not a choice, it’s a requirement!  I respect not thinking about time as a variable, but about how to be more effective within the time the students have through intentional, instructional, and curricular strategies.  We too, as a system, are doing more of cross grade levels communicating as to what is expected at each level, ensuring we’re using the same language so the students are better prepared to learn at the next level.

I definitely plan on reading more of these articles, “maybe on a snow day”, because I wasn’t able to get to all of the information.  I look forward to viewing a few more webinars!

New Project Idea

I have decided to change the topic of my project to the first grade standard of learning 1.7 which is; Students will explain difference between goods and services and describe how people are consumers and producers of goods and services.  In searching videos and activities that are available online, it seems possible to create a module that is interactive and engaging for most six year old students.  They will be more motivated to learn by the computer materials than by paper/pencil activities that are presented to them.  They will gain visuals by utilizing the computer that may help to remember the concepts and perform better on the assessments.  I am planning on using schoology as the host to this module.  It will probably be a hybrid of online and ftf.  I’m thinking that I will create an assessment once I see what information is taught through the module but I also will be observing  the students using it and gauge their understanding through the interactive activities.  I have no idea at this point, what the timeframe will be.  At this age, and with the population of students I work with; I’m thinking that it will be a module consisting of several interactive activities that the students can visit repeatedly.  First grade students often are confused about the differences between good/service and consumer/producer because the concepts are a bit  abstract.  So, my goal is to present the material in a colorful, interactive way to make the student reach an understanding.

Community of Inquiry Comments

I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning…….is what I come up with after attempting to read the COI article!!  I definitely struggled to follow the jargon and then compile thoughts on what I was reading.  After reading a few blogs, I’ve gathered that I need to dive deeper to gain fuller understanding and appreciation.  At this point, this is what I came away with:  The visual of the framework is very helpful to those of us who by far are visual learners.  It makes it easier to see how the three elements (Social, Cognitive, and Teaching) flow together and how they create the educational experience.  If the three elements are evident in the learning process, both transactional distance and in a classroom, students will be more successful and feel more a part of the learning process.  I sense that the Teaching Presence may be the only one that can truly be manipulated by this model to both shorten distance learning and to design learning opportunities.  Designing lessons that require solutions and that provide facilitation and direction are indeed key to student’s success in this and any model of learning.  At this point, I have little idea as to how my project will incorporate these three elements!  I must explore what we’ve been introduced to thus far in different ways and then hopefully it will become a bit clearer!  I have learned that it will be up to me to set the stage for student success by designing/creating a module that will encourage learning through these elements.  It is probably pretty obvious that I have zero personal experience in virtual learning environments that I can relate to what I’ve been reading for this course.  Hopefully my comments are not completely off-based and I gain a better/deeper understanding of virtual learning by this whole experience!  Peace

E-Learning Generations and Thoughts

Well, I certainly now know the evolution of online learning; where it originated and possibly where it’s heading.  It seems that there has been monumental growth in the past twenty years in this field and I can only imagine (not really) where the next twenty years will take us!  I decided to take a deeper look at what Second Life is all about because I know what my second life is and was wondering how/if it compares; so I read about it and this is what I discovered.  Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab and introduced in 2003.  It is not a game, there are no manufactured conflict and no set objective.  Participants (known as Residents) create virtual representations of themselves, called Avatars and are able to interact with other avatars, places or objects.  They explore the world/grid, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, build, create, shop and trade virtual property and services with others.  It even has it’s own currency which can be exchanged for real currency?!   So… my first thought is why engage in this virtual world with all of these components when one can step outside his/her door and experience these first hand rather than virtually!  Then my mind went to who/what this world would be good for.  I am definitely an extrovert, I crave/need physical beings to engage with but am respectful of those who are not.  This world could be engaging for those who are not.  Also, for those who are working on building confidence in different aspects of their lives and those who are home-bound for medical, emotional, physical, and/or mental reasons.  This is my thought, hopefully I’m not being offensive, I am honestly ignorant to this world and am learning about it as well as about the people who engage in it:)  So, I am glad these virtual worlds exist because we all need places to engage in or retreat to that are stimulating for our being and bring us joy!!! Peace

My thoughts on Moore’s Theory of Transactional Distance

First of all, what a life of experience and travel this man has had!  Secondly, I found myself relating his theory and variables to what I see and know as a classroom teacher with students in front of me.  The first, dialogue, is so important to establish with each of my special needs students and it presents differently depending on the need I have to reach them and the need they have to respond.  A difference may be at my level, dialogue is initially established as trust in each other is formed whereas there are several pieces in this transactional distance that determine the dialogue.  Structure makes sense to me in that the more there is, the less flexible the program.  When the learner doesn’t have much input into his learning, if he doesn’t have autonomy, he is apt to shut down and have little interaction with instructor.  To me, autonomy is the key variable in this theory for learner success in transactional distance learning and I feel key to students learning in a classroom environment.  If a student isn’t engaged and invested in the process, little learning will result!  This article also kept reminding me of differentiation and how vital this is for each and every student, no matter what the philosophy, personalities, environments, or medium of communication!   Peace

My Reaction to Your Comments

Thank you all for commenting and adding words of encouragement!  I am taking this class for recertification points as well as wanting to learn more about technologies to improve teaching/learning for myself and my students.  The population of students that I work with use technology as a mode of entertainment, reinforcement of skills taught and a coping mechanism to engage in the learning process.  I have videoed students using appropriate behaviors and used this to teach a child with Autism what the behavior I’m requesting looks like.  I currently have a student with Autism that utilizes an i-pad for his schedule throughout the school day and his behavior is determined by whether his schedule is accessible to him.  At this point I’m not sure of how distance education would benefit this age group of students but I definitely see the power of it with older students from every walk of life!