Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blog Revival

I allowed this blog to go dormant as I went through multiple life challenges. I'm back! I have become a full technology teacher in Houston, and I'm excited about sharing some of the amazing things I've been learning both about best teaching practices and the amazing tech tools that are available to students today. I will also include links to presentations and other tidbits you may find interesting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

HTML video

Students in my Webmastering class need to watch the video on html tags. Please click on this link to access the video.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Catching Up

I have discovered that I have too many blogs. Courtesy of some required courses and graduate work, I have ended up with a couple wikis and a couple of blogs. I am going to be consolidating here and will be posting links to the other sites for anyone interested.

In February I will be presenting at Texas Computer Educator's Association in Austin. My presentation will be about using technology with ESL students. In preparing for that presentation, I am discovering several tools that I feel could be useful to other teachers that I will also be sharing here.

One of the new tools that I have just discovered thanks to Richard Byrne and his Free Technology for Teachers site is Blubbr. This tool allows you to take 20 second clips from YouTube videos and compile them in a quiz. Simply select the segments that explain your topic, write the questions and post your quiz. I will be teaching beginning web students in the next semester, so I tried it out by making a short video/quiz on html tags. Check it out.

Or you can simply put a direct link to the quiz you create. It would take a little time to accumulate a variety of quizzes on various topics, but this could be quite useful for sharing information and getting immediate feedback for students.

As I get my presentation completed, I will likely be adding more resources. In the meantime, as promised, these are the links to my graduate school wiki that contains a variety of tools and resources explored including a link back to this site used in some of the assignments, and a link to a blog used for required professional development used in my district over the summer that includes a variety of useful tools.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Neverending Technology

   We are being strongly encouraged at school to use Twitter. I had been a hold out, not because I don't see the value in tweeting, but because of some serious time constraints lately. I did finally give in and sign up today. I can be found on Twitter at @TechGailD Join me there and we can tweet away.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

LU-Teaching with Technology web conference 3/3/11

Tonight I sat in on the course web conference for my Teaching with Technology class. For the most part the web conferences are interesting and it is a good way for the online students to ask questions of the professor and clarify assignments. Tonight I did not comment, just followed the conversation. As the conference was ending it occurred to me that we all missed an opportunity to share some ideas about various activities involving technology that we are considering using to solve a particular scenario for the class assignment. While we talked about the lesson design and asked about how many activities to include, only one participant asked about any specific activity involving technology. This could have been an excellent opportunity for all of us to brainstorm some ideas and share some resource ideas, but I think we really missed a golden opportunity. We became trapped as our classroom students do in worrying about what was required to fulfill the assignment and not so much about what we could learn from each other.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Conflicting accounts

I have in the past used my school email account to access my blog account. Our school district now has a new partnership with Google and this blog has been switched over to my gmail account as accessing it through my district account is no longer possible. This appears to have caused some issues with people being able to access my posts. If you are encountering any issues, please post a comment so that I can work towards getting my blog back up and running smoothly.
While I understand the district's desire to maintain our professional accounts and to provide us linked services, this particular glitch in communication has caused multiple issues so far. As a requirement for my graduate course I am preparing with teammates a Google Document and a group project page. Since my computer defaults to the school district I can not even post a link without it resulting in anyone trying to use the link to view the project page being redirected to the school district access portal. I am hopeful that this is an issue that can be resolved in the future.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reflection - LU EDLD5366 Digital Graphics and Animation

The course began with a lesson in basic design principles. While these were familiar to me and normally incorporated into the lessons I teach to my Journalism students, they were a good reminder and provided good concrete examples I could use with my students.  According to Yearwood (2009), “Repetition means using the same element or attribute in more than one place in the design.” Alignment is defined as, “the attribute of arranging every element in a design to conform to some kind of horizontal and vertical visual relationship with other elements in the design.” Looking over the examples provided of repetition and alignment provided useful tools to share with my students as they develop the school yearbook and need to create multiple layouts incorporating alignment and repetition to ensure consistency throughout the yearbook.
We designed a personal logo. This was an interesting challenge as there are so many different elements in my teaching career: an English as a Second Language department chair, a technology teacher, a music teacher, and a language arts teacher. Using the concepts of repetition and contrast I designed my personal logo as three rivers running between the letters of my name in various shades of blue and converging in the distance as my professional responsibilities do.  One of the most interesting parts of the assignment was gathering input from friends, family members and acquaintances to see what words emerged to describe me. The activity came from the LeaLea blog that was one of the assigned readings. While understanding the nature of graphic design, I had not previously considered the personal aspect that should be incorporated into a logo to make it meaningful.
The third week had us move into animation, a skill I had never attempted before. It was surprisingly easy to create an animation using Stykz. This skill will be useful to incorporate as I move into teaching webmastering in the next semester. My students will enjoy learning to use the basic animation tools and will likely go far beyond the sample I created for my project. Our readings on Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy gave a new outlook to the traditional taxonomy view and a framework for allowing us to more readily determine cognitive levels for the projects we use with students.
The newsletter assignment was a simple assignment for me as I have been producing newsletters for various organizations for a number of years.  Creating a digital newsletter using the design principles from the first week’s assignment allowed me to more readily produce a finished product for a local non-profit organization.
Each of the assignments in this course expanded on my previous knowledge and offered pieces that I can readily incorporate in my personal work as well as in the classes with my students. The discussion board and conversations helped me see things from other perspectives and expand my personal thinking. Because I learn best by using technology, the assignments worked well with my personal learning style and illustrated the importance of using the same type of approaches with my students, allowing them time to experiment with technologies and assignments to learn what works best for them. I would like to do further investigation into digital animation as I believe this will capture not only my own interest, but also that of my students. Animation offers possibilities for many subject areas and does not need to be complicated to illustrate key learning points.

Yearwood, J., (2009). Basic Design Principles. Retrieved from
Alcantra, L. (2005-2010).  The Art of Self-Branding Part One. Weblog post retrieved  from
Churches, A.  (2008). Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally. From Tech & Learning.  Retrieved  from

Ginger Girl

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