Wednesday, April 4, 2012

10 Big Myths about Copyright

Hi Class,

 The article "10 Big Myths about Copyright Explained," by Brad
Templeton, explains the common myths regarding copyright.  "It doesn't hurt anybody--in fact it's free advertising" is myth #9.  Some people may try to justify their use of someone's work as "free advertising" but really you can never know how your use of their work is affecting the author or other people who want to enjoy the work.  This myth relates to the ISTE NETS 4 - Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility.  It is extremely important for educators to be aware of the laws and responsibilities regarding copyright so that they can not only model appropriate behavior for their students, but also teach the students the legal and safe way to use digital media.  With technology the way that it is today, it is so easy to copy someone's work without realizing your violation.  Understanding copyright laws from a young age is extremely important for students.  Students are using the internet now for so much and since there is so much information available out there, it is so simple to copy or use another person's work.  Most kids (and actually, adults) think that since it is out there on the web, it is available to use and not subject to copyrit.  Most kids actually don't even know what copyright is.  Copyright should be a serious issue in the classroom and should be covered extensively in lessons.  This will teach students at a young age how to appropriately use other's work.  Teachers need to be models and educators for following copyright laws and documenting sources properly.  They should always explain copyright to students and practice the appropriate use in their own works as well. 

Thanks for Reading!


Templeton, B. (1994). 10 big myths about copyright revealed. Retrieved from

Friday, March 16, 2012

Online Learning in Rural Schools

Hi Class,

               I read about the use of online courses in rural areas in the article, "Rural Districts Bolster Choices with Online Learning," by Don W. Brown.  This article discussed how rural areas are incorporating online courses into their schools to benefit students.  Brown details 4 different districts and their experience with online course integration.  These districts all varied in the number of students, from about 280 up to 1300.  
The online courses do provide challenges for some students.  Sue Bowers, who is in charge of monitoring students, noted: "The scheduling piece is most difficult for the students. If the course does not generate a pacing chart, be sure to have them build one with due dates for assignments and tests. I review the pacing charts with every student individually each Friday...Without consistent support, students may fall so far behind, they give up" (Brown, 2012). Knowing this is an issue helps the districts deal with the problems ahead of time by helping the kids stay on track.  
Although challenges come along with utilizing online courses at schools, the advantages appear to outweigh the speed bumps.  One student mentioned that he could not get into a 4-year University without an extra year of Spanish classes, which was not offered by his school.  . He was able to take the course for credit online so that he could apply to the Universities he wanted.  In rural areas with smaller staffs, not all the courses that students need or want are available.  Providing online opportunities gives students these benefits. These courses are also used for credit recovery to help students graduate on time. 
Schools with limited resources are finding ways to improve opportunities for students with technology.  Integrating the choice of using online courses to complete credits or get ahead is a great way for students to get more out of their education.  Many rural schools are finding ways to help students with these choices.  Although there are some roadblocks, the districts are catching the problems and working to keep students on track.  I think that this is going to start catching on much more across the nation, and I am excited to see the opportunities grow. 

Thanks for reading!  

Kimberly Taron

Reference: Brown, D. W. (2012). Rural districts bolster choices with online learning . Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(6), Retrieved from

Monday, March 12, 2012

Common Core Standards - Advantages and Road Blocks

Hi Everyone,

I watched the video about the Elementary School level of implementing the Common Core Standards. The Common Core Standards-which are put in place to help students with college and career readiness skills-seem to have a lot of support from the educators across the nation.   The standards are meant to help students really internalize what they are learning.   There are certain domains that are focused on based on the grade (example shown below). 


 I think that the main advantage of the core standards is that the nation will have a common set of standards in its schools that need to be met so that all students are given an equal opportunity in their future.  It gives the schools around the nation one common goal, which I think is really great.  The standards holds teachers accountable for their jobs and also give them the tools they need to make sure that they are on track.  I think that adhering to a nation-wide set of standards rather than state-wide is a way to unify our nation and the opportunities that we are providing for future generations.   

Although I see the benefits of the standards, I do see how there could be potential road blocks associated with them as well.  Personally, I could see how a teacher could feel that their freedom to be creative in the classroom with their lessons is no longer there.  It seems that the standards that must be met will overtake the need to be creative with learning.  I think this is something that teachers will need to be innovative with so that they can find ways to still incorporate their own fun ideas into the implementation of the standards in the classroom.  

What do you think?

Video: Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Kimberly Taron

Monday, March 5, 2012

Computational Thinking: A Digital Age Skill for Everyone

Hi Class, 

The article "Computational Thinking: A Digital Age Skill for Everyone, by David Barr, John Harrison, and Leslie Conery, discusses both the definition and the importance of computational thinking in the classroom.  The article describes computational thinking as a problem-solving process that uses tools such as a computer to most efficiently and effectively solve a problem.   After reading this article, I can definitely see why computational thinking is an important part of education.      
            We have so many technology tools around us that to me, it would be a crime to not take advantage of the assistance they provide-especially with problem solving.  We are at the point where most of us can not get through a day without the use of a computer or similar device.  They have become an integral part of our lives.  By using computational thinking skills in the classroom, we are giving kids the opportunity to use these problem-solving tools for life.  It is inevitable that technology will continue to grow, so why would we not embed it into the classroom learning? 
            In life outside the classroom students will need to learn how to solve problems in a more efficient way than to just follow a step-by-step, linear math problem.  In the future, students will need to look at problems in a way that they can solve them without a linear equation.  They must be able to use other tools to create a new way of looking at a problem to solve it efficiently.  We need students in K-12 to be exposed to computational thinking in the classroom.   It is going to be an important tool in life and it only makes sense to take advantage of the tools we have to further our problem solving skills.  I think that schools are going to need to make a major effort to integrate computational thinking into all the subject matter in the classroom.  We need to keep up with technology if we want to give the opportunity for a bright future to our children.   

Thanks for reading! 

Kimberly Taron


Barrl, D., Harrision, J. and Conery, L. (2011, March/April). Computaional Thinking: a Digital Age Skill for Everyone, 38 (1)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Digital Libraries

Hello Class,


Digital Libraries: Shifting the Landscape, by Glen Bull and Martha Sites, is an article that brings focus on the topic of digitizing books.  Digitizing books basically means to have a digital, “electronic ink” version of a book on a device (such as the Kindle) rather than a physical, ink copy.  This article makes the argument that because of the many advantages of digitized books and their fast-growing popularity, we may be looking at the beginning of the end of printed books.  
One advantage mentioned is that digital copies of books have “equal-to-print readability and multidevice integration”– meaning that we can access the book from many different devices. (Bull & Sites, 2009) The article also mentioned something that I found to be pretty interesting: a device such as the Kindle has a built in speech option that reads a book aloud, which is used to help people with poor vision or help students focus by listening.  I do not think I would encourage students to use this option, because I think that reading is an important activity for students.  I do, however, think that digital books are going to be very prevalent in our future, especially within education.  I mean, look at our class – all of our readings are online!  No need to buy an expensive book that will be out of date by next semester when we can just read up to date, digital information!  I think this will be catching on in elementary and high schools as well and I plan to use them in my classroom one day.  It would allow my students to access their books from many different places without having to carry around a heavy book, and it also saves the school a lot of money because there is no need to purchase printed books that go out of date usually by the time they hit the classroom. 
To summarize, this article highlights the growing use of digitized books in society today and predicts that printed books are on their way out.   One great example related to education that the article mentioned was that University of Virginia is removing printed copies of 50,000 volumes from their library and will be accessing digitized copies from Google Books in order to create the “library of the future”.   More and more schools will be doing this and I look forward to seeing what is to come in education with the use of technology. 

Thanks for reading,

Kimberly Taron

Citation Information

Bull, G., & Sites, M. (2009). Digital libraries: Shifting the landscape. Learning and Leading with Technology , 37(1), 13-14. Retrieved from

Friday, February 17, 2012

Virtual Field Trips

Hi Class,

I was really excited to learn about virtual field trips in the article, The Beginner's Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips, by Jan Zanetis.  I really had no idea they existed and think back to my own school experience as a child and wish that this resource had been available to me! Virtual field trips provide an opportunity for kids in all different communities to virtually travel to a place they otherwise could not.  Not only can students learn from onsite experts at institutions all around the country, but they can also interact with them.  This is really an incredible movement in the use of technology for education.  This tool is better than just putting on a video to teach kids about a subject because it is actually a real time, interactive experience.  They can ask questions and view the space as if they were actually there.  It gives students the opportunity to explore outside of the classroom while remaining at the school.  This is a great resource for schools that have a hard time providing real field trip opportunities to the students.
I enjoyed visiting some of the virtual field trip sites mentioned in the article.  Here is a page I found on the Natural History Museum’s site.  It has all kinds of different links and areas to explore.
You can find this site at: Natural History Museum 
This museum is in London, but it has so many great galleries and interesting things to explore and learn about.  This is a great example of how virtual field trips are beneficial.

What I also find great is how easy it is!  Although the equipment (which allows the use of a large screen that can be used for watching and interacting with the experts) may be an initial investment and many of the virtual field trips have a fee, there are ways to raise the funds.  The article mentions that virtual field trip funding can be included in a school’s budget.  I also think that it can be something that schools can work to raise the money for themselves, if need be.  Jog-a-thons, bake sales, etc. are good ways for schools to raise money for important resources.  I think that implementing the tools needed for virtual field trips into schools is going to be very important in the coming years, and schools will definitely begin to catch on.  I can’t wait to use them one day in my own classroom!

Thanks for reading!

Kimberly Taron

Friday, February 10, 2012

Is Blogging Worth the Risk??

Hi Class,

After reading the article, “Point CounterPoint: Is Blogging Worth the Risk?”, I believe that blogging is worth the risk.  Communication is everything these days, especially on the Internet through social networking sites.  I think that blogging should be used to express opinions as long as they are constructive.  I also strongly believe that blogging should be used in the classroom.  Kids are going to be putting their thoughts out there in the social networking world all over the Internet whether we like it or not, so why not incorporate it into education? As mentioned in the article, by using blogs to express themselves in an educational setting, students will learn positive practices for communication.  With an implied responsibility connected to their online communication, students will develop good habits. Kids are going to express themselves no matter what.  Therefore, why not help them do it in a positive way?  

Check out this website I found with tips for blogging with your students:

Thanks for reading! 
Kimberly Taron