Touchstone Blog #1 – The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Potter, B. (1902). The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London: Frederick Warne & Co.

This book is a Touchstone book and can be used for various grade levels (1-6).PeterRabbit

I’ve read this book quite a few times since my childhood; it was my family’s favorite series when growing up. Because the book is such a classic, it has a lot of resources online. A noticeable theme brought up in the book are  the consequences of misbehaving. Peter Rabbit starts off his day with his mother and brothers and sisters. Before his mother leaves for her trip to town, she warns her children to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden because he doesn’t like rabbits taking his vegetables. Peter wanders off from his brothers and sisters and goes into Mr. McGregor’s garden, only to find himself into trouble as soon as he arrived. Thankfully, he makes it home safely but doesn’t get to eat the delicious dinner his mother made because she had a special dinner for him due to his high temperature. It is so important for young people to learn about both negative and positive consequences while growing up. Books like these that use animals as relatable creatures allow children to apply the lessons in the book to their lives.

Discussion Questions/Activities:

1. What would’ve happened to Peter if he hadn’t gone to Mr. McGregor’s garden? If he would’ve gotten caught by Mr. McGregor?

2. What would you would’ve done if you were Peter Rabbit’s brothers and sisters?

3. Write an example of a time when you faced a negative consequence based on your actions.

A lesson for this book could be a math lesson on the different sections of the book. This website ( has questions listed after every section of the book. My objective for this lesson would be given the worksheet and book, the student will be able to correctly answer 5 of the 7 questions. This particular lesson is for the 5th grade level of learning.

Standard Set 1.0 Students display, analyze, compare, and interpret different data sets,

including data sets of different sizes:

5PS1.3 Use fractions and percentages to compare data sets of different sizes

5MG2.1* Measure, identify, and draw angles, perpendicular and parallel lines, rectangles,
and triangles by using appropriate tools (e.g., straightedge, ruler, compass,
protractor, drawing software).

Website 1: provides an audio reading of the book and other resources!

Website 2: provides the book with illustrations and the lesson plan questions.

Website 3: provides California state standards for 5th grade and several pages of worksheets for review.


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Interactive Whiteboards: innovation for the future or a revamp of the past?

Whiteboards have been all the buzz in the educational world for the past few years; my teachers in high school used them every so often during a physics or spanish lesson, for example. Are they really a step up from a white board or a projector? What makes them so different and so much more futuristic?  Do they “wow” students as much as educators say they do? After researching the uses of interactive whiteboards, I’ve come up with some answers to these questions.
This website has TONS of valuable information on interactive whiteboards including downloads, lesson plans, tutorials, and statistics about different brands of these whiteboards. Although the interactive whiteboard has cool graphics and pens that can be used to literally write on a computer screen, they still seem useless. This site has not convinced me that computers, whiteboards, and projectors cannot teach the exact same way than the overpriced IWB (interactive whiteboard). The site’s home page even has pictures of students on their computers while watching the IWB! The site was created for a technology grant; do you think they received it? Their research efforts should be rewarded with some class computers or a new whiteboard because I feel that personal computers would be more beneficial to students; they’re portable and personal! Also, so many children already have touch-screen phones and even computers; what makes teachers think that a touch-projector will grab their attention even more than a regular computer?
This website is a blog posted by a high school physics teacher. He featured two videos on the blog about whiteboards, one about the IWB and another about a $2 whiteboard. The learning results from the IWB are never discussed; the children pay more attention to the colorful, moving objects on the screen but are they really learning? Also, the children are never interacting with each other. They stand at the board alone while the teacher lets them know if they’ve performed correctly. The second video talks about the physics teacher’s form of teaching called the “Modeling Method”. This teaching method brings the students together to interact and learn from each other, unlike the ironically named and overpriced IWB.
This site is solely comparing prices of interactive whiteboards. Thousands and thousands of dollars per year are spent on these novelty boards when laptops, iPads, desks, textbooks, or even teachers could be used in place of them. The purchase price does not include maintenance or teacher trainings either! During class last week, a video was shown about a college student making his own IWB using a wii remote. If a teacher is passionate about IWBs, he or she could easily make one for themselves; the alternatives are endless!


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Beginning Technology

After reading the technology standards given to us through blackboard and reading the performance profiles, I’ve realized that I’m at the beginning stages of my understanding of technology. Some students in my classes are at different levels with their performance profiles which brings in an interesting blend of knowledge and experience; it’s nice to know that some of my peers have worked with children a lot, some of them even with children. My six specific goals for technology in the classroom are to:

  1. demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies. – this is so important when considering the fast pace of development in technological societies! All teachers will need to stay informed about updated technology by taking classes and by using and studying resources likes books on their own. Independent study will become a necessity for educators everywhere.
  2. design developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that apply technology-enhanced instructional strategies to support the diverse needs of learners. – Ensuring that the correct technology is being used for the correct age and needs of diverse students is so vital to the student’s success! First graders shouldn’t be using graphing devices on computers and developmentally disabled students shouldn’t be using equipment that is easily broken. It is up to the teacher and national/state standards to judge which technology is appropriate for each individual student.
  3. apply technology to develop students’ higher order skills and creativity. – Creative art on computers is growing so quickly; photoshop is a common tool and there are dozens of free art sites online. Applying these art sites to a student’s educational and personal life could help them build a creative outlet without having to spend an astronomical amount of money. Online projects also cost less state money for classrooms and they take up less space in classrooms.
  4. apply multiple methods of evaluation to determine students’ appropriate use of technology resources for learning, communication, and productivity.
  5. use technology resources to engage in ongoing professional development and lifelong learning.
  6. promote safe and healthy use of technology resources.
I feel that these goals are so attainable and one of my favorite standards is the 5th on my list because of the “lifelong learning” component. If technology is used and implemented correctly, students will be able to learn forever by using tools from the classroom. Another one of my favorites is the 6th on my list, the safe and healthy use of technology resources. Surfing Facebook all day is not a valid source of informational technology. Hopefully if the right mindset is taught to children at an early age, they will not feel the urge to mindlessly click their mouses for 17 hours on a Saturday. It’s such a huge responsibility to be a teacher and implementing these technology techniques will be easier for teachers, students, and the well being of students in the future.


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Education Blogging

Wow! So much information and insight! I love that each author gives their own personal background about the subject they are discussing. Sometimes this can be useful, and sometimes it can almost relate to propaganda. In “2¢ Worth”, David Warlick introduces politics when reminiscing on President Obama’s speech after Steve Jobs passed away. He tells his reading audience that he is going to introduce politics (in his opinion “crudely”) but he still does it! Obviously when dealing with online information, each individual reader is going to encounter different opinions. This is where children who are trying to learn information can be misled depending on who the author is. What I really enjoy is that the author posts questions to his/her blog, answers them, and then expects discussion and responses from their audience. Ewan McIntosh’s blog was interesting because he brought up a point that many middle-aged students think about in today’s society; what are children going to be like in the near future? Will iPads bore them? How will parents educate and entertain their children when they have the world at their fingertips? That’s how our futures will improve; children have the opportunity for quicker and more informed knowledge. The question is, will they be interested in improving it?


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Globalization – Even Playing Field

After watching the videos assigned this week, the idea of globalization is becoming more relevant to me and I can see (based on my own experiences) how it plays into daily life. Although many websites provide useful and informational information, one of my concerns is the spread of negative ideas throughout the internet. At the museum of tolerance in Los Angeles, there is an exhibit that details on social and racially destructive concepts that are spread through hate groups online. One website in particular was about the Klu Kux Klan and the modern genocide of African-American babies. The website is very graphic and disturbing, but it is necessary to view what people are thinking up these days [here is a link to the website:]. Giving children access to these websites is a very common concern. Schools have tried to use codes to block specific sites but with the constant change in technology, children are even more exposed to the dangers of the internet! Hopefully, students will learn how to sift through sites and maybe some sites will eventually be blocked from the eyes of young viewers!

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Week Number 3

 Our world: internet-ized

     When reviewing the past assignments for the last few weeks in my Computers in Education class, I realized how effective this electronic way of processing information really is. The graphic organizer assigned was so helpful in organizing the information given in “The World is Flat” lecture and, along with other online notes, Pensky’s message really stuck with me. Working with wikis can be extremely helpful, as well, but I find that it is easier to use Google Docs as a form of collaboration due to the fact that it is hard to communicate through comments that aren’t instantaneously downloaded. Also, some of the editing techniques can be really hard to get a handle on. I’m even having trouble posting this blog with the correct text font and size! These methods of collaboration and learning could be used in all levels of teaching! Watching a YouTube video was a lot more interesting than reading a book in one night, not to mention a lot less stressful which leads to more productivity. It helped me to read the articles assigned, though, because it grounded the information in the video even more. The only issue I could think of is the data of the collaboration. Like we said in class, a student could find his/her way around the collaboration credit but it would be hard not to notice. Also, if some of the children use the “my internet broke down” excuse, the student could be challenging the educator to provide an alternative method of finding some way to use a computer that won’t waste too much class time or put the child under social or financial pressure. Overall, technology has already proven to be a successful way of education and based on the information we’ve been learning, the biggest difficulty will be learning how to implement it into everyday teaching and (especially) learning experiences. I can really see ways to make implementing blackboard, YouTube, and other online resources a breeze in the classroom!

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Future or Bust

Technology today is a constantly changing machine. The world’s next human generation is evolving just as fast as it’s technological one. Education’s biggest question is: can our current teachers keep up with the ever changing demands of students and fellow educators? Melissa Molinaro, a student at the University of La Verne states that “ [she] started using the computer when [she] was 3 years old”. Some adults in the twenty first century (specifically professors) were at least 30 years old when the computer was invented. “I remember using typewriters with ribbon and ink”, states Professor Dean of the University of Southern California. “Now, new professors are coming into the field with ‘Blackboard’ and laptops: what happened to the good ol’ days?”

A common complaint of students is that the older generation just cannot keep up, but some student’s do not agree with such a quickly paced shift away from physical textbooks to the use of e-books, or turning in an assignment through e-mail instead of turning a paper in to a professor. Molinaro says, “When touch screen cell phones and computers first came out, I didn’t even know how to turn them on. I became so frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t immediately operate the device that I didn’t even try.” These frustrations are shared among all levels of society today but with the correct integration of technology from home and schools systems, these complaints will be a thing of the past. Molinaro now owns a touch screen phone and can maneuver through it fairly easily. Once the advantages of technology are discovered, mankind tends to not go back to his prehistoric ways of writing an essay, reading a book, or making fire. Some would even say that this change is ingrained in the human brain. Marc Prensky states, in his article ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’, “students’ brains have physically changed…as a result of how they grew up”. Technology can produce an emotional, psychological, and physiological change in society today. What are it’s possibilities for the future? Will children all over the world someday have microchips installed in their brains? Will cars drive automatically? These advancements are constantly considered by the producers of companies like Apple and Mercedes. Our future has a lot in store, whether we’re ready or not!

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