The future depends on what we do in the present. - Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My First Blog ~ Marcella Lessard

Hello fellow bloggers!  This is my first attempt at having my own blog and keeping it going.  I am in the process of getting my Masters degree, and to be honest, creating a blog was a requirement for one of my classes.  In case you haven't gotten around to reading the "about me" section to the right, I would like to mention that I teach Technology classes at a Career and Technical school in the state of Maine. Mostly Business and Technology classes, such as Desktop Publishing, Intro to HTML, and Microsoft classes. I am Microsoft 2007 certified, and on average 15 to 20  students pass certification each year after taking my classes.  This national certification is not easy to pass, and  last year, for the first time, one of my ELL students passed the certification exam.  We were both ecstatic, he worked very hard for this, and I was especially proud of him.  I would like to have more moments like this.

I have created this blog in hopes that I may find other educators that teach in the same content areas as I do, or have ideas on how to use new technologies.  I would especially love to hear from anyone out there who has ideas on how to make my Microsoft word class more engaging.  I am looking for fun things to do in that class once every other week or so to make the class more energized and interesting.  This is a facilitated class, 9-12 grade students, with a wide range of levels.  I have pondered on how to make this class more appealing, and have been unsuccessful.  I am hoping that someone will see this blog and be able to help.

If anyone would like to share ways in which they are using wikis and blogs in the classroom, I am also open to new teaching ideas in this area too, and my students would be very appreciative.


  1. Day 2

    Ok here are some of the ways in which I incorporate technology in my classroom. I use the internet for scavenger hunts and creating websites, I use the Microsoft suites for Desktop publishing, narrated slide shows, and electronic portfolios. I have an LCD projector that I use ALL the time. Not having my LCD projector would be like not having my right arm. Lastly, I am in the process of converting all my lessons to a digital format, so that I may add them to my class website in which I am in the process of creating. Next school year I plan on creating and using blogs and wiki's in class. If anyone out there has lesson plans in ways to use these, please blog me!

  2. As an educator that teaches in the technology department in my school district, I am very interested in creative ways on how to use various technologies in my classroom. The computer is required for all my classes, as I teach Word, Excel, Desktop Publishing, Introduction to HTML, Visual Basic, and freshman technology classes. I teach all secondary grades levels 9-12. Typically, my classes will have all grade levels in it.

    At the moment, I am currently studying how to create and implement Weblogs into my classroom. I am a true believer of meeting students where they interact the most, and right now that is in the virtual world. Blogs are a great tool to use to get a teacher started integrating technology. Blogs are "comprised of reflections and conversations" (Richardson, 2009), which helps to give them personalities. Additionally, blogs are fun, user friendly, "the writing is easy, and there is an audience for your ideas" (Richardson, 2009). Will Richardson states that blogs "demand interaction" which is another reason why having a classroom blog would be a beneficial 21st century tool to engage student learning.

    "Powerful instructional uses of blogging is being at best ignored and at worst not even being considered" (Richardson, 2009). The classes I teach are all computer classes. I basically teach students how to use various software and teach them computer coding. Other content areas could use blogs in more ways than I could, but after creating a blog for myself, and spending time reviewing other blogs, I have come up with a way to use a blog in my classroom. I would create a blog as an "online filing cabinet" for the forms and assignments that I use in class, I would add an FAQ, and homework assignments section. My lessons are mostly project based and all are digital, however, what I do not have is a way for students to have access to the class work from outside of the classroom. By having this resource on my blog, students could access and complete work from home, in study halls, and in the library. It would also be extremely beneficial to students who miss class. By having the online filing cabinet, student who are absent wouldn't have a reason to fall behind anymore, they would have the information in real time. Having this resource also helps to teach students to be resourceful, and accountable.

    This technology also affords me other ways that I can use blogs as an educational tool. I can use the blog to post student examples, peer reviews for websites, collaboration for troubleshooting code, and various media that I ordinarily would not be able to show due to school filtering software.

    Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wiks, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

  3. Nice Blog Ms. Lessard!