Kara Holmgren’s Blog

{March 31, 2009}   NET Teacher Standard 5

I think standard five is the most important standard for a teacher to live up to.  It is extremely important for teachers to engage and participate in professional growth and leadership roles so they can continually improve their teaching practices and grow in their profession.  If teachers are up-to-date and are able to demonstrate they have a strong understanding of digital tools, then we can help our students grow as learners and the people around us.  It is not only important to participate in local opportunities but also to participate in global opportunities as well.  Teachers should want to want to take a leadership role and share their knowledge with others such as co-workers, community, and students.  Teachers should also be able to evaluate and reflect on researching practices considering this is something that is changing almost on a daily basis. 

I feel like Greenville County does an excellent job with this standard although I will be curious to see what happens with budget cuts with all the technology applications we possess in our classrooms.  I also feel like my school does a good job on trying to share ideas and that are technology related that might interest other teachers at our monthly technology meeting.  I have been out of college for two years now and realize that my researching skills are not as strong as they use to be; however having my students complete research projects has forced me to revisit and refresh those skills I once had.  I realized there are different search engines for students that are more compatible with what they are looking for and their reading levels.  Through this unit, I have been able to demonstrate and effectively communicate with my students how to use these digital tools.  

{March 25, 2009}   NET Standard 4 Reflection

As educators, we need to lead through example of how to use digital information and technology appropriately.  This would include documenting sources used for and outside of the classroom, copyrights, and intellectual property.  Also, all learners needs need to be met by using a variety of strategies.  Students need to be taught how to be responsible when interacting and using technology.  Students also need to be given the opportunity to communicate with students of different cultural backgrounds. 

Currently in my classroom, my students are working on a research project.  My students have chosen a topic they would like to research and are using nettrekker as one of their internet source in addition to books.  We have spent time in class learning specific ways to search our topic and how to narrow our topic down so it is not too broad.  They will be making a bibliography page where they will have to cite the author, title, and publication.  Once all research has been complete, students will complete a power point presentation to present their findings to the class.  Also, I have sent home all the permission slips for my students to register for epals.  I am hoping to have my students communicating globally no later than next week.  We sent our first letters via my e-mail and have already received some responses back through my e-mail.  I am hoping this will raise my student’s global awareness.  

{March 17, 2009}   NET Standard 3 Reflection

Teachers need to demonstrate that they are knowledgeable and skillful in technology and digital avenues.  They should be fluent and up-to-date on new technologies.  Teachers can work with the community, parents, peers (co-workers, district employees through in-services), and students to support student success in working and learning from technology and digital experiences.  Teachers can use a variety of media to communicate information to students, parents, and peers such as audacity, blogs, on-line newsletters, google groups, and much more.  Teachers should always be responsible for modeling and facilitating digital tools to help foster and support the learning environment. 

I demonstrate that I am fluent in many programs I use in my classroom.  I am fluent in using the Promethean board and the tools it provides for classroom instruction.  My students have become fluent with audacity through study casts and recording messages to the student I home school.  I am also becoming fluent in Compass Learning.  My students are learning how to become fluent with the program through their experiences with me.  In my after school encore where I teach photography, I show students how to use a picture editing program to edit their programs and add shortcuts to the programs to pull up their pictures quicker.  I have also showed my after school studies how to use moviemaker and use its features.  My students get very excited when they use these programs and have been quite fluent in them.  In my current writing unit, my students are studying research.  They are learning appropriate ways to research topics and how to narrow down their ideas.  They will go through all the necessary steps for a research project and present their topic using a non-linear power point.  I currently used a non-linear power point in my classroom as a MAP math review for my students.  Also, I am planning on using epals with my students to communicate to our New Zealand pen pals.  Some of my parents have already checked out the website and have begun giving me feedback. 

{March 11, 2009}   NET Teacher Standard #2

Teaching at an arts communication school we are big supporters of creating authentic lessons and learning environments for our students.  A very creative faculty and administration support me.  They are constantly encouraging us to attend workshops and in-services, which will not only strengthen our teaching techniques but also give our students unique experiences inside the classroom.  Educators should encourage students to set goals for themselves, manage their progress and learning, and pursue their curiosities.  When assessing students both summative and formative assessments should be used.  Digital tools should be incorporated into the learning environment to enrich the curriculum taught. 

In our astronomy unit, I came to find my students had a lot of interesting questions I my self did not know they answer to.  To let my students pursue their own individual curiosities I created an astronomy wall.  They each have an assigned envelope pocket with their classroom number on it.  We have a blank envelope, which contains blank index cards and markers.  Students are given time during class to write down any questions they have about astronomy.  I have planned a special day for us to get out the laptop carts at the end of our unit and explore the answers to all of our astronomy questions.  Something else I do in my classroom is I let my students help me create rubrics.  We sit down before some class projects and discuss what they think they should be graded on.  I found this gives my students more ownership over their grades because they were a part of creating the rubric.  The after school class I teach is photography.  In my class, my students have learned how to crop, change the pigment of different parts of the picture, and zoom in on the picture.  They have also learned elements of photography.  

{March 4, 2009}   NETS Standard 1 Reflection

I think it is extremely important for teachers to inspire student learning and creativity.  If we as teachers to not motivate our students to learn in creative and authentic ways how do we expect them to want to learn?  Students relate well to real-world experiences and issues because it is something personal to them.  Students also learn well in inquiry-based environments where teachers can promote and support their learning.  Teachers can accomplish this in face-to-face environments or in virtual environments.  I took virtual environments being any software that could help facilitate a lesson.  


In working in an arts communication school, I use technology in my classroom all the time, however I feel I could use technology more wisely and educate my students more as I move through the curriculum.  As a faculty, I feel our school does a great job on working together and sharing knowledge with one another.  We have meetings called technologies Wednesday’s where someone from the faculty will share about pod casts, blogs, audacity, crazy talk, etc.  We are constantly trying to up-date each other and take the time to become familiarized with computer programs that will benefit our students.  I also use laptop carts with my children.  We have two available to us at our school.  I have my students complete an expert report where they research something they are interested in and then create a PowerPoint project to present it.  They use Nettreker as their search engine.  I think the skill I need to focus on with my students would be searching techniques and general computer techniques.  I do feel in the past month I have gotten much better at integrated technology into my classroom.  My students have recently received New Zealand pen pals, so they now have access to their district e-mails.  The other teacher and I have also discussed having a videoconference in the future.    

{February 25, 2009}   Hello world!

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