Thursday, April 16, 2015

Week 14 &15 Blogging

Watch the video above, it is about virtual schooling in Pennsylvania, which is from the February 23,2012 edition of PBS Newshour. It raises up the question " Is online schooling beneficial for students or just a fad within education?" 

I think there is no significant difference between face to face learning or online learning according to many online instructors and online researchers' studies. Learning online in early age will open the doors for preparing students into professionally from at early age. We tend to agree that the development of skills online is very important, and no matter whether we teach face to face classroom or online classroom, we end up in having to do a good portion of online blended or flipped classroom or even integrating technology in the classroom work. It is important to remember that online is a delivery method. 

"As online enrollments have rapidly expanded, so too have accompanying concerns. Educators and parents worry about losing the nurturing intimacy of teachers and students who are connected with each other in face-to-face classrooms. Pundits opine that our youth are losing their ability to interact with live humans instead of screens. Journalists report that online schooling providers are raking in tens of millions of dollars while providing substandard, perhaps even fraudulent, educational experiences. Superintendents gripe that other districts’ provision of online courses results in interdistrict ‘theft’ of students and state funding." Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D.

According to the video above, the most common problems students face is the technical issues that accompany the use of technology and the engagement part of the lessons. Here we say; that any instructional methods can face challenges, how many times we prepared lessons for face o face class, but something has occurred and we couldn't deliver it. I think the realistic problem that we consider is engagement. Engagement, and motivation are the solution for success of the instructional method. Also, we heard in the video from a teenager complains that online classes are boring, and he prefers playing games all day, this situation applies to thousands of students. Engaging students of this century, needs lots of compromising from us, in addition we need to accept the change of the way we have learned and go with the flow, that means gamification needs to be part of the lessons. Games nowadays a way to socialize; so I believe that modifying the way we deliver the lessons are crucial to suite the needs of our students.

Change Cannot happen rapidly, but at least it is improving. In our HEB district- Texas, if a child needs an additional credits they provide a transportation for this student to seek the higher education in other campuses. They do not have the online courses as part of the public system yet, but they integrate lots of technology throughout electives such as Career and Technical Education, and some other technology classes to ease the use of Microsoft office and other platforms.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Readings of Week 12-13 Articles

Part 1:

I know that online classes, are individual learning plan for each student, it requires for cooperation from the parents especially in the lower grades. This program is great, because it teaches students right where they are, in addition the instructor differentiate his instructions to help achieve his students' potential in all of their courses according to their academic levels.  

The trend to of teaching “K-12 online learning” is expanding everywhere. I have heard about virtual and cyber schooling, but I never practice it myself or been exposed to some who is a part of this program. I do not know the exact details about the programs or platforms they are using, I think that these courses might be using the Blackboard, Moodle, Google classrooms or any other program that is designed by the school or district. I know that the online k-12 program is progressing continuously, I think the flexibility of the program allows variety of different kind of students to enroll.

Part 2:
                                                          Online Learning K-12

I got surprised when I learned that 53 million students were enrolled in public or private K-12 schools in the U.S in 2004. I never expostulated that the virtual school has begun as an independent-study high-school movement in 1920s. Video based distance education also has a long history. The first education television broadcast in 1933. I was right that on-line learning enrollments is a growing part of the K-12 distance education. I knew that virtual schools are a separate delivery system from traditional education. I never knew that online courses are for gifted and talented students only. I knew that virtual schools are about curriculum and instruction not about using technology, medium is utilized to strengthen instruction. I never heard that online courses represent an “add-on” to already burdened school systems and teachers, but I know that online education does not represent an “add-on.” It does represent an opportunity take advantage of online resources.

It is interesting to know that online charter schools and district-run online schools fall under the state accountability system and receive performance grades based on the state. It make sense that accountability system are not designed to measure online schools, because they have high rates of student mobility, meanwhile state accountability systems are meant to measure and report on how well schools are serving students, in ways that can be understood by policymakers, parents, students, and other stakeholders.

                            What is K12 Online Learning? Online Schools For Students Everywhere.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 7 Prompt

Post #2-
Judging the Quality of Wikis and Non-vetted Sites

When I need to search for anything, first thing comes to my mind is YouTube. I am a visual learner and I like to see to learn. I consider myself a fan of YouTube, the good thing about it that you can find many videos about the issue you are looking for and you can be selective. The second thing I do is surfing the web sites and of course I visit wiki to read a conclusion of the issue then I go back to the websites to expand in the subject.

I have used YouTube a lot in my classroom, I always chop my YouTube videos using (, It is a very good site where I can select the part that I want to show, also there will be No advertisements on the side.

I have not used wiki before with my students; I guess because of my students’ age, but I have heard so many criticism about it, which made so careful when I read any information off wiki.
Wikipedia provides Internet users with millions of articles on a broad range of topics, and commonly ranks first in search engines. However, its reliability and credibility fall well short of the standards for a school paper. According to Wikipedia itself, “[W]hile some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. … use [Wikipedia] with an informed understanding of what it is and what it isn't.” to read more about this visit:

As educators, we strive to teach our students to be critical thinkers and to evaluate the information they are presented with. We urge them to analyze and to assess. Read another article of “Why should we teach with Wikipedia?”
Here said, we have heard the two sides of should we use Wiki or not as a resource, the teacher have to believe in it to use it into its potential otherwise it will not work.
Using Wiki as a class project or assignment interaction does not apply in my opinion to the fear of using Wikipedia as a source of information. I will personally apply what I am learning in higher education into my classroom and take risks. Our job is to make sure that the students  understand the difference between wikipedia and other sources.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Week 7 Prompt

Post # 1

Building and Refining your PLN

Using a blog as a web 2.0 tool is very rewarding. Participants in blogs can responds to posts, comments, discuss, and use forums. Blogs can be an ideal example of a collaborative and engaging learning.  After searching blogs I found some good inspiring ones, although Arabic K-12 field is still growing in the U.S.A and needs a lot of attentions and efforts from educators and executives. I usually search other contents and convert or get ideas to build Arabic curricula with perspective of the differences. 

These are the blogs that I discovered and subscribed:
First blog:
           This blog has many good resources for the Arabic and Chines contents. NOVA STARTALK is a summer institute in its third year designed to help teachers integrate technology tools and 21st century language pedagogy in the Arabic and Chinese curricula. Arabic and Chinese teachers in each language will create a collection of activities to expand the curriculum presently in place.
This blog provides programs and Apps that are used in teaching foreign languages. It is a door of many other blogs as well, and a source of information.
This blog has a flipped classroom method assignment. I can use many of these links in my classroom.
These blogs are good resources to use for the Arabic content.
This blog is a good resource for Arabic and Indian contents.
This blog lists some of the more interesting blogs from or about the Arab countries. This content is for 8-16 Grade level.
This blog has games and fun activities for Arabic content.

Utilizing Twitter
I can see the fruits of learning the materials of this course already. I have installed twitter since 2011 and never felt comfortable to use it, but I do now! I fetched and found 10s of useful links and documents that I can use in my content Arabic/technology.

Mr. Fadi, is an Arabic instructor, which I have met with him in several workshops, he is active and loves what he is doing. We have lots of common interests.

Mr. Gregor is an Arabic program officer at Qatar Foundation International. I have met with him at ACTFL convention of 2014. He organize Arabic workshops and so.

Madison Marks, is an Arabic Associated in QFI, I have met with her in previous conventions.

Al-Masdar organization, helps Arabic language professionals and students to effectively locate needed resources, and create communities of practice around open resources.

Al-Jazeerah, a news media that focuses on stories about real people. They tell the human story.

Teachers 2.0, is a collection of teachers sharing resources to help prepare students for the digital age.
Top ten tips for using technology in the classroom and more.......

 Web 2.0 Tools For Teachers

An example of teaching with web 2.0 technologies: Twitter, wikis & blogs - Case study

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Unit 2 Prompt

The article of “I’ll see you on Facebook” was interesting, although that particular social networking applies to college students only. I have learned from school administrations that teachers of (k-12) are not allowed to have any of their students or their parents on their Facebook unless if they have them before he/she was hired in the district. Moreover, it is recommended if the teacher (k-12) does not have a public Facebook. I agreed with this empirical studies, although it was very limited on one gender and young age of instructor. Further research is needed. The outcome of this that social networking is highly important between the Instructor and his/her students and between the students amongst themselves. Facebook is believed to be one of the Web 2.0 tools because of the interactions between users.
I have taught Arabic grade level (k-12), ESL (k-5th) and designed an Arabic Curriculum for grades (6th-8th). I substitute right now until the end of this academic year (hopefully).
I always wanted to create units and lessons that melded 21st century goals to produce Technology Pedagogical Content knowledge (TPACK). The more I learn about technology the more I redefine my teaching and designing methodologies.

I have used many of the Web 2.0 tools, but after class IT6140 I learned that the same web tool can be used as a modification or a substitution, therefore it is important to make sure that you are using the Web 2.0 tool into its potential to transform the students’ level to help them make a difference.
Example of each (S, A, M, and R) from my current or future work situation:
Substitution    : like using the overhead or the smart board to read a lesson. I have recorded my lessons on screencasts to help enhance the comprehension, reading and listening skills.  The traditional way is to read off a book.
Augmentation: like using quizlet to answer questions; the good thing about it that it gives an immediate feedback, but the traditional way will be using paper and pen which takes a longer time to get the feedback.
Modification   : I have used the flipped classroom methodology to summarize a unit review (students are the centric of learning). The classroom time was for evaluation and feedback. The traditional way is to lecture the students (teacher is the centric of the learning process).   
Redefinition    :  I have used skype in my classroom to communicate with a native speakers of the target language. The students have interacted with the native speaker guest through exchanging information. This link is an example in the classroom when I was a student teacher.

I am looking forward to trying ( It provides you with a full features drop box for storing your digital media,  and you can also upload your voice mail to the cell phone, record it, drop it the box and share it with your students, you can even share what the students recorded in the drop cast which will turn it into iTupe and they they can listen to it when ever they want and you may share it with parents as well .
I think this is just so great idea to Foreign language teachers. ( is the sister of ( except it focuses on the phone features.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Unit 1 Prompt

I was exposed to the internet and the use of the computers back in 1992. Before that I never been experience it myself. So I grew with the paper and pen, and my social life was through using the home phone and postal mails.

When I started to teach as a teacher (k-8) in 1998 there was a big use for educational softwares like “Reading Rabbits”. I worked at an urban school. The use of technology like (I Station, X box 360, Play Station…ets) started to grow, later the Cell phones and IPods.

From my readings; Prensky assumed “based on his research” that children today (Millennials) are natives with the digital technology because they grew with it. A lot of the ideas and information he says relates back to my students lives and education now; but Prenskey have used web surveys that all circulate on social media sites in a rich place in Virginia.

I think we should not generate that digital age rules apply on all today’s children; for example there are children these days who are growing in a low income areas that never got the opportunity to use a cell phone or use a computer in their school.
Prensky assumes that digital children are better than adults in technology. We answer for this that they might be better than adults in using the IPhone, IPod, or tablet; but they are not any better in using complex things like educational platforms, google, Microsoft, spreadsheet, power point, blogs and so…

I am from the Generation X (1965-198), which many of them are connected to technology and can do complex things with technology in addition to their critical thinking skills.
There are some similarities and differences between the Millennials (1981-2000) and the Generation Edge (2000-2020), but we cannot tell before the Edge group are young adults in 2020.

The bottom line, we cannot draw our conclusions based on social media researches because it will cover one class or layer of people.