Friday, February 6, 2009

Reflections Journal, Week 7

I found a website called, “The Constructivist Consortium," I noted it in my log. What really drew me to this site was the conference that was attached to it. I think we’ve all been to conferences and if we know anything technology isn’t usually conference friendly. Sure the presenters usually has tech tools, and may share a PowerPoint or demo, and there might be a few attendees with their own laptops, but beyond that the technology usually stops. How on earth could this conference teach on technology and constructivism and not offer it hands-on – actually it sounds a bit contradictory. This has been bugging me, so I went back to the website and looked deeper into the conference. The few pictures that they have on the website show participants with laptops out and working. I read over the offerings, and way at the bottom there was a note, “please bring your laptop and digital camera.” This conference is no joke. There not looking for novice tech people, they’re looking for folks that know their way around. Seeing as how this is an annual conference, they look as if they have most of the bugs worked out. I’d love to attend this conference, it looks like a it would be a blast!

Reflections Journal, Week 6

Last week in a different class, I participated in an awesome and truly enlightening discussion. The topic that was being discussed was curriculum. I know that in constructivism, the execution of constructivism exists in how it is brought into the classroom – our curriculum is one major way we as teachers do this. Back to the discussion; it started off slow. We were tasked with identifying the major contributors, at all levels, to curriculum. All of us had come up with lists that included politics, society, economics, and government. These were the general categories we all were in agreement in their effect on curriculum. We were approaching this in a direct way as to indicate that if, in one of these categories, decisions made regarding education have a direct impact on curriculum – such as “No Child Left Behind.” Our instructor posed another point to us, he said, “How does the legislation the President Obama just signed in effect curriculum.” All of us were aware that Mr. Obama just signed the policy allowing funding for abortions overseas and domestically. He also added, “Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, how does this effect curriculum?” We were all a little take back – how on earth does funding for abortions effect curriculum? Our instructor then brought up the point of teaching on evolution. He reminded us of how, once upon a time, teachers were being fired for teaching evolution. Going back to his first point, he said that we just had a president that supported abstinence, and opposed funding for abortions, therefore which trickled down in to schools. Most of us had to agree on abstinence. The moral of the story was that everything that is made into law, or that is supported by politics eventually trickles down to the classroom – be it in the planned or unplanned curriculum. I was amazed by this conversation. It never occurred to me how effected our classrooms could be by legislation, especially at the federal level.

Reflections Journal, Week 5

Last week I was on a website, The site was titled, "Constructivism and the Five E's." Basically the five E’s are a systematic approach to constructivism and technology in the classroom, particularly in the science classroom. I had never heard about the 5 E's. The five E’s are: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. Everything I’ve ever been taught about incorporating/creating a classroom environment with constructivism can be summarized into this notion of the 5 E’s. When I first saw this I completely agreed with all of the E’s except for Explain. Explain puzzled me. While I realize how Explain works into constructivism, I didn’t see it as a key component. I started looking through other sites and lessons to see how the evidence, or lack there of, for Explain. As I started digging I was finding more and more evidence validating Explain. I did notice in my past lesson plans, I usually coupled Explain with the evaluation – this is why I think it went under the radar for me. I’ve always included some sort of explanation into my lessons, but I usually always add it to something else. I didn’t see Explain as a strong enough trait to stand on its own.

Resource Log, Entry 16-20

#16 I found a website called, “The Constructivist Consortium.” This is a great general site, I thought the description they offered was really good. “The Constructivist Consortium was established in 2007 by leading educational technology publishers committed to student empowerment, creative applications of computers and the availability of high-quality open-ended materials. This consortium seeks to differentiate member companies and their products from the rest of a cluttered industry.” Direct quote taken from the site,
This site also has a link for an upcoming conference, I think they are sponsoring it.

#17 I found a fantastic resource, well, it’s more like a school plan for creating a technological constructivist environment. It is titled, “Constructivist Teaching With Technology: Learning With Laptops.” The website is This is a very through plan that details every step of technology inclusion and the bumps and bruises along the way.

#18 I found my first applicable ebook! It is called, “Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation.” It is at It is really on target for this class, particularly there is a chapter called, “Technology Meets Constructivism:
Do They Make a Marriage?” This chapter really encompasses the inclusion of technology into constructivism. It discusses the “relationship” that can exist, and how it is formed, between technology and constructivism.

#19 This next website is, It is a site that offers a constructivist partnered with technology view. The page that I was most excited about was focused on adding GPS in a constructivist way into curriculum. The title of the page was, "The Design of a Constructivist Learning Experience that uses GPS Technology."
#20 My last website is a Edutech Wiki entitled, “Constructivism.” It is at, and was put on the web in 2007. I think, for me, this has been one of my greatest finds because it has really helped me to understand the project we are working to build in this class and what it may end up looking like.