Week 24 ~ Summarize, assess and contribute

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a real pleasure to meet you, and to have the great opportunity to learn from each one of you by SHARING our ideas, thoughts, and feelings about this new era of Education.

I learned quite a bit, and I deeply thank all the mentors, coaches, and people who contributed to our learning.

¡Muchas gracias!

Here’s the summary of all my week in POT.

Week 1 : Introduction

This week I was able to create an account in WordPress setting up my own blog. I also created an account in Diigo. I introduced myself to the class, via WordPress.

Week 2: Pedagogy and Technology

The class required us to watch Alec Couros’ video. Also we were required to read Ch.I “Teaching Online”. I also created a Google reader account, and subscribed to several electronic magazines. I reflected on the video and the chapter read.  I posted my experiences using technology in the classroom.

Week 3: Basic Course Design

I read Ch. 3 “Course Design and Development”. As an introduction to this chapter we were required to share our ideas relating Teaching Technology. I shared my experience working as the supervisor of the biggest language laboratory in San Diego. Comments were made to my blog.

Week 4: Course Design: Implementing the Seven Principles | Materials Online

I designed a course-planning chart. I also reflected upon the technological tools I use for my classes, and I made comments in each one of them. I also learned about HTML and I learned about PREZI! This really made me very happy. I like this visual presentation application very much. As a personal comment, I used it in my class, and my students liked it too.

Week 5: The Online Syllabus

I read Ch.5 from the book. I watched Lisa’s video about her online class, and her online syllabus. I posted about the recommendations including in the reading.

Week 6: Creating Presentations

I continued reading Ch.5 and I created an account in Jing introducing a Power Point presentation I use for my class. I shared this presentation in my blog utilizing SlideShare.

Week 7 & Week 8: Online Classroom | Creating Community

I combined these two weeks by blogging about “Tweeter”. I had more questions than answers, and I invited my classmates to share their ideas with me regarding the use of a social networking tool. At the same time, I watched Pilar’s video regarding the creation of communities. I incorporated these two topics and commented about them in my blog.I received many comments about it.

Week 9: Student Activities

I created an account in Second Life. I joined an online session for POT inside Second Life. I began reading Ch.7

Week 10: Blogging for Teaching and Learning

I finished reading Ch.7. I watched Lisa’s video about using a blog as a classroom platform. I created a Google site, and I shared it with the class through my blog.

Week 11: Intellectual Property

I watched Lawrence Lessig’s video about creativity being strangled by the law {quite funny}. I learned about Open Education Resources, and the protocol that one should follow when utilizing educational electronic materials.

Between week 11 and week 12: Putting in Practice what I’ve learned in Ch.8

Looking for online resources, I found out about making comics with my voice, and my very own dialogs. I recommended several links to the class. As a language educator, the fact of having dialectical variation in several languages caught my attention immensely.

Week 12: Creative Commons

I finished reading Ch.8 about copyright and intellectual property via Open Educational Resources. I also completed my mid-year self assessment.

Here’s my second half

Week 13: Flickr (and screenshots)

I learned about Flickr and all the uses I can give to it in my online classes. I created an account, and I posted a picture of mine in which I added captions to describe it. This can be used in our online classes to point out important details about images.

Week 14: SlideCast, Eyejot (Class Elements)

This was a fun week. I got to create an SlideCast of one of my class Power Point presentations, and I made an Eyejot.

Week 15: Mind Map

I created a Mind Map for my class, and I share it on my blog.I also created a ScreenCast and I shared it in my blog.

Week 16: FAQ (Our Students Online)

I had to read Ch.10 and create a list with its answers about the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) my online students might have.

Week 17: Classroom Management

I read Ch.11 and I watched Louisa’s Moon video about the Ten Time-Saving Tips for Online Teaching. Also I read about the Seven Things I’d Want to Know. A blog written and published by Lisa Lane. I reflected upon these ideas.

Week 18: The Course Management System

I continued reading Ch.11 and began reading Ch.12. I also read the article “Insidious Pedagogy”. I explored EduTools as well, and made myself familiarized to the things it has to offered.

Week 19: Web-Enhanced, Hybrid and Open Classes

I began reading Ch.13 “Teaching Web Enhanced and Blended Classes”, and I also read the article: “Using Online Technologies to Extend a Classroom to Learners at at Distance”. I reflected upon these reading.

Week 20: Intro to Ed.Tech

Lovely week! I learned so much about Ed.Tech. I continued reading Ch.13, and I got to watch Rick Schwier’s presentation: “History of Ed. Tech”. I also read about the contrasting point of view of Jaron Lanier by reading his article: “Does the Digital Classroom Enfeeble the Mind?”

Week 21: Introduction to Online Education Theory

I watched the presentation given by Jim Sullivan and Lisa Lane. I identified myself as a CC instructor. I also read the articles of Larry Sanger “Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age”, as well as the articles “Networks, Ecologies, and Curational Teaching”. I reflected upon them.

Week 22: My last reflection… Personal Learning Networks

This has been of the most interesting weeks. We learned about sharing. We watched “The Moral Imperative: of Dean Shareski, and read the article “A Personal Cyberstructure”. The diagram of Alec Couros was shared with the class.

Week 23: Final Presentation

I made a Jing with the “pilot” class I would have for my online class. I had a very good reaction from my classmates in this course.

Week 24: Conclusion of the Course

I made a list of all the weeks I have completed doing this certification. I completed the survey, and I posted a video (Jing) about the tour of my class (I am using the same video I used for my final project since it’s pretty much the same information this course is requiring me to present). I have also read the Class Rubric.

Here’s the tour of my class:

I am very content with the ending results this certification has given me. I feel capable to now explore more about Online Teaching. I am not afraid to ask and make my personal learning network bigger and bigger everyday. I now feel I can have extensive conversations about online learning without the fear of not being well-informed. This course is developed, and prepared to the easy understanding of faculty with no or limited knowledge of technology. It is truly a great experience to participate and become certified by such competent people. I am planning to continue on earning another certification from Palomar College. Let’s see how much more I can learn to implement into my future online classes.

Thank You! 🙂

–Vanessa Holanda Gutiérrez


Week 23 ~ My Final Project


This is my final project. Hope you like it 🙂


Final Project for POT 2011-2012 _ MiraCosta

My Last Reflection | Week 22 | Personal Learning Networks

I’d like to have more time to put my ideas integrated into a prezi or slidecast but I am always running out of time 😦
Before I proceed with my ideas about this week’s reading, I would like to say that this is one of my favorite weeks in the certification. I REALLY enjoyed watching Dean Shareski’s video, and yes, as one of the members of the POT said, it is very interesting see that the word: “Share” is part of his surname. I have learned and I fell in love with the idea of sharing. Thank you Lisa, and thank you Jim for s h a r i n g this exceptional video with us. As mentioned before, this by far has been one of my favorite weeks.

{photo credit}

Dean Shareski | Sharing: The Moral Imperative
I love the way he positions himself as a “Big Derivative”. He is indeed, as we all should be. He states in his analysis that we all have to be part of a large community of sharing where sometimes is difficult to claim ownership. He also comments about the fact of really caring about ownership; if we are educators, and as educators we teach, and teaching equals to sharing why do we really worry about ownership? He also brings important aspects of sharing such a how much we can trust our material to be used by others if there is no guarantee that our material will be used as it was originally planned. He presents some examples of the beauty of sharing such as the math instructor who developed a software to create graphics for his class. It was really touching noticed that after two weeks 6000 math teachers were using his idea in their classes all over the world. So Shareski concludes that good ideas and good teaching should be shared.
No Digital Facelifts: Thinking the Unthinkable about Open Educational Experiences.
I watched the video. Gardner Campbell and Jim Groom explain about the importance of seeing ourselves as educators within a personal cyberstructure. He points out that we are living in the beginning of the language increase in expressing capability in the history of the human race. However, most of us are afraid of exposing ourselves to all this capacity of growing within the cyber space we are facing now. I love the metaphor of the “bags of gold”. In a personal perspective sometimes we think that we have no time to learn things that we might take for granted. Campbell bags of gold are the pieces of knowledge we let go without even looking at them.
Chapter 14: Taking Advantage of New Opportunities
I enjoyed reading this last chapter since it gives so much opportunity to grow within the Online Teaching field. At the very beginning of the certification (and I have commented on this before) I was hesitant about the idea of teaching language online. Now, my perspectives have changed, and I really believe in online teaching. My plan for the future as the book advises to do, is to take an online class for either Italian or French, and experiment first hand, how does it feel. Among some other ideas, I also would like to continue on with a second certification Palomar College is offering for Online Teaching. The more I learn, the more and better opportunities I have to grow within the education field.

Alec Couros Diagram: That’s exactly how I understand a personal learning network. Out of the 10 indicators of what a networked teacher is, I have 10 🙂 I really want to continue growing within this field. Baby steps, but I will get there.

My final presentation (I feel like one of my students now!)

I’m working on putting together all the ideas I would like to have in my online class. I will create a jing so I can share it with all. Thank you Erica Duran for your ideas and comments you posted in my blog, and THANK YOU colleagues from this certification for the inspiration you gave me to keep going.

Ideas for my presentation

Hi POT Peers:

Would you please help me out with ideas for my presentation? I am blank… I have never taught an online class. Most of the POT members seems like they have…  Should I create a “fake class” in Blackboard or Moodle  and then do a Jing to present it. Should I create a website with a prototype of what my class would contain?

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated and welcomed 🙂




Week 21 | Intro to Online Ed. Tech | My Reflections


For this week we were assigned to watch Adventures in Online Pedagogy hosted by Lisa Lane and Jim Sullivan, and to read the articles “Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age” by Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, and another article called “Networks, Ecologies, and Curatorial Teaching” by George Siemens. After all these readings, these are my reflections:

I must say that now that we are heading towards the end of this certification, I find the readings more appealing to me. When I began this class on September of last year, I was hesitant about the fact of learning how to teach online. I was expecting not to really feel it since I had no experience teaching online. Now it’s different. Let me explain why:

I am not going to divide my reflections into sections, since everything that I have learned this week can be perfectly combined into one thought. During this week’s multiple readings, I remember concepts I have forgotten from my years in school. Concepts such as the different modes we have in pedagogy: Instructivism, Constructivism, and Connectivism. Explaining these three concepts is very simple if we take a moment to analize the ethimology of the words. Instructivism: Instruct, Constructivism: Build (hands-on), Connectivism: Connect. As a language instructor I define myself as a “CC” instructor, meaning: I am the combination of the Constructivism and Connectivism modes. Well…I guess… and I am guessing because I am not sure if I can consider myself a Connectivist if I don’t teach online classes.

I read both articles and I found them both extremely interesting, and they also both make so much sense but I liked Larry Sanger’s article a little better. I can identify myself with all the things he says. The fact of taking a moment and look around our world and see how these new technology tools have been replacing the human factor is terrifying. We live in this fast-pace environment and, we are required to think at light speed. We forget the challenge to memorize things relying on the  modernization fact that we can consult the internet for pretty much everything.  On the other hand, Siemens also makes so much sense by saying that we are “hyperconnected” and the future of learning will be that “Connectivity”.

When I was  in the middle of my Masters program, I took a Pedagogy class. It was so interesting, and I must say that I learned a lot from it. Out of the many things I remember, I will never forget the powerful words of Dr. Angelelli: “In languages the Direct Method is prohibited (meaning Instructivism). We must always encourage students to produce language. Instructors are only the ones directing the traffic and monitoring the class. You are not there to do the talking , students are the ones doing it…”. Until this moment of my life as a language educator, I truly believe in that. I am convinced that I am committed to the specific goal of making the student speak the language and understand the culture.

I identify myself as a “CC Instructor” (constructivist and connectivist) because:

– My class is mainly based in creation. It’s a language class! My students are always producing language which really takes place in the purely creative side of the brain.  I’ve learned how to teach based on the Communicative Approach so the real core of my class is based on constant communication.

– They are always creating phrases in a foreign language. They keep re-inventing their thoughts and ideas giving as a result a growth within their abilities to speak and understand a foreign language.

– Skits, role-plays, and spontaneous conversations based on current events are reinforced in class to help this creative process to manifest.

–  I have also created a space where my students can connect out of class. I use my course management system to do this. The are class discussions that can be populated with in a week by the feedback students give.

– It’s not an online class at all, but students know they can always re-connect with me through Blackboard, and I will respond.

This is as far as I can get my justification for being a CC instructor… but please correct me if I am wrong : -) I accept all critics.


For me, the human factor is one of the most important things I think I should offer in my classes, and I am happy to see that there are many tools I can utilize now in order to do this. This is why I feel different that when I started this course. Now I believe that even for languages online classes are really an answer. I am so glad 🙂






My Reflections | Week 20 | Intro to Ed. Tech

This week we are assigned to finish reading Ch.13, and watch Rick Schwier’s video about the History of ET. At the same time, we were required to read Jaron Lanier’s article and comment about it.

I will begin with Ch. 13. Ko and Rossen give several good tips regarding the teaching of online and blended courses. I would treasure those ideas, and put them in practice once I get a chance to experience the teaching an online or hybrid class. After finishing the chapter, I watched Schwier’s video. He is a true milestone in what Educational Technology has done in North America’s Ed. Technology field. I like the fact that he explained in detail about the booming of technology in our society as learners. He pointed out the use of film to enhance learning, the innovative idea of programmed instruction that came out in 1970s and is still used nowadays, and how this drove us to the common use of computers in schools which later on during the 1990s were used to build-up our knowledge (internet) in every single matter as human beings.

These are other things Professor Schwier has done: http://homepage.mac.com/richard.schwier/schwier.ca/books.html

After watching Schwier video, and falling in love with his ideas about educational technology, I made the switch and read Lanier’s article: “Does the Digital Classroom Enfeeble the Mind?”. Please do not take me wrong but by now I do not know where to stand. He makes so much sense when stating ideas such as: “The human element is a magical connection, is at the heart of succesful education, and you can’t bottle it” or “Computational perspective can be at times unromantic” or another ones that goes “Education has been designed by young engineers”. I mean, I agree but at the same time, I don’t. I agree because he’s right in the way that we are becoming so dependent of machines that know how to organize, program, and create things for us… Us, humans… and we as humans, are the ones who create those machines. But, at the same time, I do not agree with Lanier since also as humans, we have to evolve, and what are we facing at this point in History, is precisely that: Evolution. We are transcending. If our generation of students are requiring to be taught through computers, then we should have to find a way to do it. However, I must say that I do support what Lanier said about the human element. As a language instructor physical interaction is one of the most important aspects I look forward to feel, experience, and find in my classes. So that’s where my confusion relies.

Here’s more information about Lanier. Who by the way, is not an educator but he has a remarkable experience working in a computer science.






Week 19 | My Reflections | Web-Enhanced, Hybrid and Open Classes

For this week we are assigned to read Ch.13, and an article called: “Using Online Technologies to Extend a Classroom to Learners at a Distance” and then comment upon our reflections by answering the following questions:


  • What do you think about these options–web-enhanced, hybrid, and open classes?
  • What possibilities do these approaches generate for you?
  • What experiences do you have with these formats?
  • What kind of ideas do the readings spark for you?


I will begin by quoting the authors Ko and Rossen in their definition for web-enhanced and hybrid courses:


Web-enhanced Course: A broad category of courses with associated web sites or course management system classroom that contain materials relevant to the course (perhaps a syllabus, list of web-based resources, a course calendar, a reading list, lecture notes or video lectures, discussion board, and/or real-time onine meeting functions and chat). Actual online activities may be required or optional. (Ko and Rossen 2011).


Blended Course:  Courses in which both online and face-to-face instructional elements are required and complementary. A sizeable percentage of content is delivered online, there are required online student activities, and a significant portion of the student’s grade is based on online activity. (Ko and Rosse 2011).


I think that web-enhanced courses are by far, the most common ones. It does not really matter what subject do you teach, at some point, we are all going to refer our students to the internet for consultation. I personally, I have never taught a class online nor hybrid. However, with in my course management system, I always dedicate an entire section for students to go and educate themselves with the many great tools we have available online. Most likely, I will organize the links by type, and I will rate them according to my preference (favorites, good, interesting to explore, etc.). I will also post all my lectures prepared with power point presentations, and once in a while I will also do a thread voice to evaluate students’ progress with pronunciation (I teach Spanish). So, even when I teach a F2F course, I am constantly enhancing and enlisting technology in my favor. I do believe that internet it’s a great instrument to use. Most of the time is always there, and if we do our appropriate research there are many great things we can take advantage of. Whether you teach a blended, online, and or traditional face-to-face class, there will be always the reliability to use the internet to complete your lesson. The Department of International Languages at MiraCosta College really enhances technology with all the classes offered.  For instance, all the textbooks used for all the disciplines taught are accompanied by an online component that requires both, the student and the teacher to use technology. Also, at least for Spanish, we have access to a virtual textbook that contains many active links that will take us to cultural webpages, grammatical references, and even webpages full of authentic material (regalia).


Hybrid classes are from my perspective a very good alternative for languages. We can apply the flipping idea of switching homework to be done in classroom, and lectures to be done at home. By having students in class, we can interact and get to physically see them, and talk to them. For me having physical interaction with my students is very important.


So far, I believe both of these courses generate great approaches on my teaching experience. I also think that teaching an online course will be wonderful. Since this will give me a much better perspective of my pedagogical abilities within Educational Technology.


As I mentioned before, I have never taught an online or hybrid courses. However, I have put in practice the use of web-contained materials for my classes.


The article “Using Online Technologies to Extend a Classroom to Learners at a Distance” confirms the idea that distance education really has a positive impact in students nowadays. It explains with a study made by David Wiley from Brigham Young University who offered a class online free of charge. He used many of the tools POT Certification course is using such as WordPress, SecondLife, Elluminate, etc. the class and interaction from learnes-learnes and instructor-learners was successful, but the issue encountered was the time. Time has an interesting impact on student’s opinion regarding open and hybrid classes. Some will keep going with the course, and some will simply quit. I have seen that in this certification. I see that several participants have dropped, and I wonder why.

In my opinion besides the fact of confirming that online teaching is the way educational field is moving towards at this moment in history, is imperative for us, instructors, to prepare ourselves to portray our good teaching methodologies into the world of technology; but it is most importantly for students, to be ready to embark in this adventure.