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Archive for August, 2013


Digitally Mediated Technology

Digitally Mediated Technology




In the past, educators “used technology as a communication tool” (Barron, Kemker, Harmes, & Kalaydjian, 2003, p. 2), but presently, there is a need for educators to use technology “…in creative ways…allowing for innovative learning experience …” (Doering & Veletsianos, 2008).  According to the 2012 edition of the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report, “…students already spend much of their free time on the internet, learning and exchanging new information through various resources, including social networks…” (Johnson, Adams, & Cummins, 2012, p. 7). Thus, the development of technological devices like smart phones, tablets and the smart board give students the opportunity to experience informal learning inside and outside their classrooms. Likewise, this integration allows students to have a sense of responsibility towards the outcome of their studies which in turn makes them interested and committed to their success.  In this paper, the learning activity chosen is the use of tablets to teach third grade students poetry.  Patrick Lewis (2012) states in his article “Can Children’s Poetry Matter?’ that “American children grow up in a country that poetry forgot – forgot poetry”. (Lewis, 2012, para.10). He believes teachers need to create the time to teach children to appreciate poetry by composing their own. In the light of the above statements, the learning outcomes of teaching children poetry using tablets will be discussed. The different skills they will acquire as well as the goals they will obtain as they participate in the activity will be discussed as well. The other aspects of this paper will address the learning theory which will be used in the presentation of this activity. For the purpose of writing this paper, the learning theory of “multiple intelligence” which was discovered by Gardner in 1983 will be considered for presenting this learning activity.


Learning Activity

The learning activity chosen is the creation of poems by third grade students through the use of tablets. Prior to asking the students to create their own poems, a lesson on poems will be conducted. The students will have an understanding of what poems are, the different kinds available and the specific poem they are expected to create. This activity requires the students to make theme poems. Theme poems are poems created by choosing a shape based on nature, school, sports, celebration and shapes. They will locate the shapes by conducting a search on their tablet to find ordinary objects. The next step will be to find extraordinary words to describe the objects. They will then write these words in the shape of the objects that they found. Students will be encouraged to find words that rhyme. Children benefit a lot from learning poetry. They acquire pre-reading and reading skills. Their vocabulary is enriched and they learn grammar and other linguistic skills as they learn poetry (Freeman, 2011, p.1). Patrick Lewis believes that children will not naturally choose to learn poetry. “They must be introduced to it early and often by their teachers and parents, the critical influences in their lives” (Lewis, 2010, para.15).




Assessment and Evaluation

The students will be assessed using the formative assessment. This kind of assessment “provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening” (Garrison & Ehringhaus, 2006, para. 6). During the activity the teacher will conduct and ongoing assessment through observations. The teacher will assess if students found difficulties in accessing the internet online and locating an ordinary object. If students encounter difficulties the teacher will help them figure a way around it. Within the time specific for completion of the activity the teacher will find will out how many were able to complete the assignment and how many did not. Each student will be invited to share their poem so the rest of the class can critique it. This will allow group discussions and feedback to be given to the various students so they can improve upon areas that they are weak at. At the end of the activity a survey will be conducted so the students can give their opinions about what they felt about their activities and what could be done to improve upon it. Based on their responses, data will be collected and will be kept for future references and record keeping.



Barron, A. E., Kemker, K., Harmes, C., & Kalaydjian, K. (2003). Large-scale research study on


technology in K–12 schools: Technology integration as it relates to the national


 technology standards. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 35 (4), 489-507.


Doering, A., & Veletsianos, G. (2008). Hybrid online education: Identifying integration models                using adventure learningJournal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(1), 23-


Gardner, H. (1983). Multiple intelligences. Retrieved August 17, 2013 from



Garrison, C. & Ehringhaus, M. (2006). Formative and summative assessments in the


 classroom.  AMLE. Retrieved August 15, 2013 from




Johnson, L., Adams, S., & Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher


 Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.  


Lewis, P. J. (2010). Can children’s poetry matter? Hunger Mountain. Retrieved August


17, 2013 from


Logan, L. (2013). Why tablets are a game changer in education. Amplify. Retrieved


August 17, 2013 from


Open education is an eye opener

Open education is an eye opener

Pros and Cons of Open Education

The availability of free and open source software has exploded over the years. (Bonk 2009)This explosion has given learners the opportunity to access information freely via open education. Open Education (OE) eliminates the cost associated with education. It also eliminates the barrier of distance when accessing information. It also creates the opportunity for others to learn without the extra cost of admissions.

The video presentation by Michael McNally cites very great examples of open educational resources. He shared that OER gives students the opportunity to compare syllabus of different universities before making a choice as to which one to attend. Also OER eliminates copyright barriers. Since all resources are free, one has easy access to use and modify information from OER website. Tax payers who enable OER to function because of their tax contribution have the access to free information.

Despite the various positives of OE stated above there are still areas that call for concern. During his presentation, Michael McNally mentioned that OER allows students to attend college based on their age and not their grades. That can be a bit disturbing. Students will not be motivated to attain good grades when they know they have an alternative to pursuing higher education based on their age and not grades. The other challenge in using OER has to do with licensing and copyrights. If you locate a resource on the OER website you will have to locate the author and ask permission to use their information. This process may be time consuming and may require you to pay a licensing fee. So even though the information may be “open” they may not necessarily be free. The other concern with using this website has to do with the quality of the contents. Due to the fact that information is coming from all over the world and from different cultures, there is the possibility that some of the materials may contain slangs which may not be understandable to the one accessing the information.

I have come to appreciate what is available to students in this present era which was not a couple of years back. Information is so easily accessible; the life of student is so much better because information is just a click away. But the question is will open education be acceptable as a reputable way of earning a degree?

Helpful link . This link shares more information about open education.



Bonk, C. J. (2009). The world is open: How web technology is revolutionizing education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

McNally, M. (2012). Democratizing access to knowledge: Finding out what open educational resources (oer) have to offer. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from