Communication and Collaboration – Day One


  • Group2 was voted as the best learning environment! Congratulations!! Group 2 earns late pass. Please come to see me for the late pass.
  • 2nd reading assignment is due today. REMEMBER that your points will be deducted if you submitted the assignment late.
  • Check your score for the learning environment design assignment. If you have any concern about your score, please contact me ASAP.

PART ONE. Review of the Reading 

Use of technologies to enhance communication and collaboration

NETS Standard for Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

This is what is expected of 21st century learners. How can a teacher do this and still make sure students understand shapes, the causes of the Civil War, parts of speech, and the phases of the moon? And don’t forget – they are supposed to differentiate, be culturally responsive, make sure materials are accessible to all students and a host of other expectations. Oh – and the learning should be engaging to students.

Some concepts to know…

  • collaboration and cooperation
  • synchronous and asynchronous

PART TWO. Learning about Web 2.0 and Social Media

What technology is available to help the process of communication and collaboration in K12 learning environments?

Web 2.0

Let’s read this article about Web 2.0. What are the common attributes of Web 2.0? Create a concept map of Web 2.0 in this online interactive board  [Log-in as a guest].

  • The Read AND Write web: Consumer and Creator
  • Social
  • Interactive

Social Media

Web 2.0 comprises of Social Media websites. Social Media refer to web-sites that allow interactive communication online. Email is one of the social media. You use an email to communicate with your friends, teachers, and family. Other examples? Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter; Social photo/video sharing site such as YouTube. SO, Social media have a great capacity to support communication and collaboration in a classroom.

How are social media used in classrooms? The way we use the BLOG is one way! Let’s look at other examples. One more example. We will talk more about social media on Friday.

One more Web 2.0 tool I want to introduce: RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds

Link to Google Reader

For Friday, 
  • We will start the social media strategy project. In this project you will explore various social media.

Sharing Your Dream Classroom and QR codes…


Today, I would like to introduce one interesting  tool called QR codes. What are QR codes? Let’s first watch this YouTube video. 

QR codes, or Quick-Response codes, are basically a communication tool that allows quick, easy access to information. QR codes can hold different types of data including: text, URLs to websites, coordinates on a map, or contact information. They are used more and more frequently on restaurant tent cards to advertise specials, museums to give more detailed information about an exhibit, or on products to send you to a video demo. When I visited High Museum of Art in Atlanta last year,  QR codes were available for each painting. Each QR code contained a detailed description about the painting, so I could have a better understanding of each piece.

What are the QR codes applications to classrooms?

  • Quick access to additional content such as websites, video clips, and game clues.
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Geocaching

How do we read a QR code? What we need is a mobile device with a camera, internet access, and a QR code reader app.  If you don’t already have a QR code reader, you can download one from your app store –  just search “qr code” and download the first free one you see.

Then, how can we create a QR code? There are many QR code generators available online.


  1. Scan this QR code and learn how to create a QR code.
  2. Create a QR code that links to your Learning Environment page (Google site).
  3. Test if the QR code works.
  4. Insert this QR code to the bottom of your Learning Environment page.

PART TWO. Sharing Your Dream Classroom 

Hope you all have finished creating your dream classroom by using Floorplan.  Let’s talk about the tool itself first.  How do you like this too?  Is it a good tool?  Any difficulty or problem you have while working on your project?

Now let’s talk about your learning environment with others. Explain your floor plan to your group members by answering three questions below. Each group pick the best one and present to the whole class.  Then, we are going to vote for the best one.  People in that group can win a late pass.

  • What did you include in your classroom?
  • Why did you include them?
  • What is the most important feature of your design?
For Wednesday
  • 2nd reading assignment is due on Wednesday. Teach your tutee about communication and collaboration technology.

Keep Working on Your Dream Classroom

Today, we continue working on your floor plan.

1. Create a “Learning Environment” (or other name you want to use) page on your Google Site.

2. Take a screen shot of your floor plan

3. Insert the image of your learning environment design onto your “Learning Environment” web page.

4. Respond to the following directly on your “Learning Environment” web page:

Keeping an audience in mind (parents and/or students), give a narrative for your classroom layout – why you chose the design, what are the highlights of the room, how it reflects the needs of the learners and of the curriculum. Give a sense of what it would be like to spend time in your classroom. Describe your students and yourself (their teacher). This should take 3-4 paragraphs to describe.

For Next Week:

  • Learning Environment Design due on Monday, January 28
  • 2nd reading assignment on communication and collaboration due on Wednesday, January 30

Planning a Learning Environment


  1. Check your (preferred) email for my FEEDBACK to your first reading assignment and tutoring. Also, check how well your tutee performed after the first tutoring in the tutoring lab. Remember that is your SCORE of the reading assignment as well.
  2. I’ve shared a Google spreadsheet with you so that you can check your ASSIGNMENT submission. Please check this spreadsheet and contact me if you have any concern or question.

Where Are You Teaching? Designing Your Dream Learning Environment 

Now you know who and what you are teaching and we also discussed standards of learning and teaching with technology. It is time to figure out where you will be teaching. What should the physical environment of your future classroom look like?

We will be working on designing your dream learning environment. First, we’ll need to get a graphic of your classroom up onto a new page in your portfolio called, “Learning Environment”. We’ll use a (sort of) free tool called Floorplanner but you are welcome to use other tools.

Let’s watch a short tutorial video about Floor planner.

The best thing to do is to create an account in Floorplanner (so you can return to your floorplan if you don’t finish it in class) and then go through the 12-step tutorial so you’ll know exactly what you can do with the tool.  You’ll need to click on tutorial to the left of the screen (see screen shot below). Keep in mind that the free version of the tool will only allow you to create ONE floor plan.

If you want to get some ideas about the classroom layout, spend some time exploring images of classrooms. You can start with Gretchen’s Pinterest board (you don’t need a Pinterest account to view it). You might want to skim this article. Also, feel free to talk with your peers about their favorite classrooms. Think about arrangement of the desks, a reading loft, a couch, and etc.

Here are some examples of learning environment design from previous years:

After creating your ideal learning environment, use create a screen shot of the image to create a screen shot of it (you can’t use the “create an image” option on Floorplanner because we’re using the free version) and insert the image onto your “Creating a Learning Environment” web page.

You don’t know how to take a screen shot? Don’t worry. You can follow these directions (or, scan the QR code on the right) to learn about how to do a screen capture.

YOUR TASKS for the Learning Environment Design:

1. Create a “Learning Environment” (or other name you want to use) page on your Google Site.

2. Insert the image of your learning environment design onto your “Learning Environment” web page.

3. Respond to the following directly on your “Learning Environment” web page:

Keeping an audience in mind (parents and/or students), give a narrative for your classroom layout – why you chose the design, what are the highlights of the room, how it reflects the needs of the learners and of the curriculum. Give a sense of what it would be like to spend time in your classroom. Describe your students and yourself (their teacher). This should take 3-4 paragraphs to describe.

This assignment will be due on Monday, January 28.

For Friday, we will continue working on the learning environment design. 

Meaningful Learning with Technology

PART ONE. Sharing Your Google Site with Your Peers

Let’s spend sometime exploring your peers’ Google site. Try to ask at least ONE question after looking at your friend’s website.

PART TWO. Meaningful Learning with Technology

According to the chapter by Jonassen and others, there are 5 characteristics of meaningful learning. What are they?

Technology can be used to facilitate this meaningful learning. To do so, technologies should be used as engagers and facilitators of thinking (p.7) —learning WITH technology. How can instructors prepare for it?


Sometimes it’s easy to use technology – but is it easy to use technology that teaches content? It’s also easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of technology tools and forget about the content. And how do you create a lesson that teaches content while also engaging your learners? Creating this “perfect storm” requires something called TPACK: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (say it 3 times fast!). You can read more background here (click on the “full text” icon).

YouTube Video about TPACK: 


It’s not just content standards that need to be addressed while teaching. There are national educational technology standards (NETS) for K-12. In my opinion, these standards focus on good teaching and learning – not simply on technology use.

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and Information Fluency
  4. Critical thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  5. Digital Citizenship
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts

In addition to the NETS, we will also be referencing The Framework for 21st Century Learning.

  1. Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes
  2. Learning and Innovation Skills
    • Creativity and Innovation
    • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
    • Communication and Collaboration
  3. Information, Media and Technology Skills
  4. Life and Career Skills

PART THREE. Learning with Technology in Classrooms 

What does technology integration actually look like in a K12 classroom? There are 5 characteristics of a meaningful learning environment and there are 5 levels of technology integration in the classroom:  Technology Integration Matrix. Let’s watch a short video clip of how one school in South Carolina incorporate technology into their classrooms. Where would you place this lesson on the matrix?

For Wednesday:
  • We don’t have a class on Monday! Enjoy the holiday.
  • We will be designing a learning environment on Wednesday. Think of how your dream classroom would look like. You might want to take a look at some Pinterest photos from Gretchen’s board. You can also ask your friends about their favorite classrooms to get more ideas.

Who and What You Are Teaching?


  • Any question regarding your Google Site? Once you have all the things I asked on your site, you are good for now. You will have the entire semester to change and edit your site. So don’t worry if you are not completely satisfied with it.
  • Have you shared your Google Site with me?

Hopefully, you’re getting a better understanding of what our course is about. For many of you, your context in EDIT 2000 is that of a new teacher working to balance administrative constraints with your desire to create an innovative, interesting classroom. For the rest of you, using technological tools in the workplace to improve communication both within the organization and with external customers will be important. The more you find ways to personally apply what you learn in our class, the more you will reap the benefits of your new knowledge.

What we are going to do for next couple of weeks is foundation building. Before we actually learn about the role of technology in K-12 classrooms, we should know who, what, and where you are teaching. These should determine and guide tools we can use and how we want to use them.

PART ONE. Who Are You Teaching? — Presentation

One of the most exciting parts of teaching is meeting your students. There aren’t many careers where every year (or every semester) you get the pleasure of meeting anywhere from 20-100 new people. It’s really one of the gifts of the job. Good teachers know their students. Better teachers understand their students. One path to knowing your students is to understand their generation.

Students you will teach (and any of you born after 1982) are sometimes called “digital natives” a phrase coined by Marc Prensky. Most of the teachers you’ve had are considered “digital immigrants”. Let’s watch this video about 21st century learners.

Do you see yourself as a digital native or a digital immigrant? Why?
How does the idea of a digital generation impact your potential to meet the needs of your future students?

If you want to learn more about the Digital Native debate, you might want to read this article by Jamie McKenzie.

PART TWO. What Are You Teaching?

Content Standards

As teachers, we don’t really choose what we are going to teach. This is mandated at the local, state, and national levels. In the state of Georgia, curriculum standards are called “Georgia Performance Standards”, or GPS. They are written for every grade level (K-12) and most subject areas. You can view the standards for your subject area on the left navigation of their website. If you’re interested in Mathematics or English/Language Arts, you might refer to the Common Core Standards as well. If you don’t see your subject area listed (subjects such as health, family and consumer science, character education, and a few others), view the “Quality Core Curriculum Materials” – the predecessor to the GPS (not all subjects have made the conversion yet).  If you are interested in speech therapy or special education, here are some possible standards: “IEP Goals & Objectives Bank.”

It’s time to decide your focus for the rest of the semester. What grade/subject do you want to teach? View the GPS (or QCC) for that grade and subject. Please add this information to your GoogleSite Home page. Let me know if you’re having trouble choosing a subject or can’t find the standards for your subject.

For Friday:
  • Your first reading assignment is due Friday. Teach your virtual tutee about it! We are going to discuss the reading in class.
  • Be prepared to share your experiences about learning with technology.

Keep Working on Your e-Portfolio

**If today is your first day of class – please view the blog post from Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (click on the respective dates on the calendar to the right). Also please complete the student information sheet.

PART ONE. Research Participation 

I have a FAVOR to ask you. I am conducting a research study this semester. The purpose of the study is to learn about college students’ engagement in academic readings. Would you please consider participating in my study? If you agree to participate in the study, what you only need to do is to complete a survey two times during this semester. I will appreciate your consideration and time if you are  willing to participate in the study. Here is the link to the first survey: Thank you so much!!

PART TWO. Continue Building Your e-Portfolio 

Do you have any questions about your website? Keep in mind that we will work on these websites all semester. There is plenty of time to make changes and improvements. Most of you completed the Home page of your website last week. We will work on the ‘About Me’ page today.

Make sure that your website includes:

  • Home Page
    • Picture of you OR other picture you want to have in your home page
    • Short description of what you would like to learn this semester (Or, anything you want to talk about)
  • About Me Page
    • 2-3 pictures
    • 2-3 links to relevant websites
    • 2-3 paragraphs about you

When you are done creating two pages above, please fill out this form so that I can access your website.

For Wednesday & Friday: