February 2013 Archives

Ed Tech Tips: Student Authoring Tools

By Pamela Van Halsema on February 27, 2013 12:51 PM

Article by Jessica K. Parker, Assistant Professor

What's one of the best things about living in the digital era? With access to the Internet, we can all be authors! This wasn't always the case. I grew up a consumer and I watched TV and listened to the radio. The only things I created were mixed tapes and video recordings of athletic events. Today, youth grow up as both consumers and producers. Why not capitalize on this by having students create media texts! Here are three powerful tools that students can use to author their own content and demonstrate understanding.

Child dressed in Yoda costume with annotations on the photo

Dr. Parker's son dressed up as Yoda last Halloween.

    Storybird: Storybird is an online collaborative storytelling tool that gives users the ability to read, create, and share books online using original art and their own writing ideas. Students can make visual stories with artwork from illustrators and animators around the world! Storybird can inspire anyone to turn images into narratives. Want to learn more? Here is a digital handout on Storybird designed by School of Education Master's students, Kristina Beltz and Carol Wise.

    Capzles: Curate your own multimedia presentation with images, audio, and video with Capzles! Dr. Carlos Ayala is using Capzles to have his students discuss important historical events in education.

    Jing: Use Jing to take free screenshots or make screencasts. Have credential students annotate aspects of student work or images of their classroom walls. Have math students talk through their process of solving a problem by recording their own computer screen. Give directions for homework by annotating the document using Jing. You will need to download the software, and Jing saves all your work to your computer. I attached my own example of an annotated Yoda!

Ed Tech Tips: Great Online Reference Tools

By Pamela Van Halsema on February 25, 2013 12:03 PM

Article by Jessica K. Parker, Assistant Professor

How did we survive without these essential resource and reference tools?

image of the Wolfram-Alpha search box

WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine. Want to find the answers that aren't in the back of the math and science textbooks? Still trying to solve that chemistry equation from HS? Or are you more interested in people and history, culture and media, music, words and linguistics, education, or even weather--because WolframAlpha can rock your world in about a nanosecond. Check it out some examples and then let's chat about traditional assessments in math, science, history, etc., since one can easily solve for X with this computational knowledge engine.

Popplet website home pagePopplet

is an online mind mapping tool. Want a way to create multimedia galleries, record your thoughts, explore ideas, and organize your insights? Popplet is your online tool for mind mapping with text, images, videos, AND you can collaborate with colleagues and students! Easily zoom in and out and just use your cursor to move around your map. Here is an example from a group of students who shared their summary of the book, Reading the Media, in the EDCT 559 class.

Studyblue.com homepage image
StudyBlue Flashcards helps you create your own digital flashcards! Geared towards students, this site allows you to build flashcards, practice on any device, and share your cards with peers.

Ed Tech Tips: Using TED Educational Resources

By Pamela Van Halsema on February 7, 2013 11:17 AM

Article by Dr. Jessica K. Parker

TED Screenshot

Here is another installment of our biweekly Ed Tech Tips blog articles from the Sonoma State School of Education. In this platform we will share thoughts and practical advice on technology and ideas for how to use these tools and applications for good teaching practice.

1) TED Talks: You love TED talks, but are you aware of all their amazing features? Not only can you embed the TED talk in a Moodle page or your latest blog post, but you can also email the link to colleagues and students. Feel free to turn on subtitles for talks as well and download the talk to use later, EVEN if you don't have access to the Internet. Not interested in watching a video but would rather listen to a TED talk? Then subscribe to the RSS audio feed and start listening via iTunes!

2) TED Ed: Love TED talks and want to use them creatively in your class? Check out the TED Ed videos that allow you to customize supplemental material such as quizzes, questions, and additional readings and activities for a specific Ed video. Just click on the "flip this video" button and you can turn a TED Ed video into a customized lesson. Take the TED Ed tour to learn more.

3) TED Books: Wishing you could read a multimedia TED book? Now you can download the TED Books app and choose a TED book from their library for either $2.99 per book or $4.99 per month for all access. Plus, the TED books are short and inspiring. TED books work with the iPad, Kindle, and the Nook.

Assistant Professor Megan Taylor Named 2013 STaR Fellow

By Pamela Van Halsema on February 5, 2013 10:50 AM


Congratulations to School of Education Assistant Professor Megan Taylor for recently being accepted as a 2013 STaR Fellow! The Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) Project is an induction program for recent doctoral graduates in mathematics education. The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a 12-month experience that networks early career mathematics educators (in the first or second year of their first academic appointment). The Program focuses on three themes: research, teaching and service as well as leadership development To be eligible for this program you must have your doctorate in mathematics education and be in your first or second year of tenure track at an institution of higher education in the U.S. As a STaR Fellow, Megan will have the opportunity to attend a week-long Park City Mathematics Institute this summer, get extra support as she continues her research agenda and collaborate with a strong cohort of other mathematics faculty to strengthen her teaching practice.

Megan Taylor is the newest faculty member in the Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education department and the Single Subject Credential Program here at Sonoma State. Her research focuses on secondary mathematics and teacher education. Megan has taught 6th-12th grade for twelve years and believes that in order to improve public mathematics education in the U.S., improvements on teacher education are necessary. Her recent work investigates how mathematics teachers use textbooks and explores ways they can be do it more effectively to improve classroom learning.