Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 8 VLOG!

Well we made it through 8 weeks in ET 730!  This was a great course that was definitely built to learn and build using multimedia.  Connecting the tools to the principles justifies using technology in the classroom and the best practices for creating a multimedia product for student learning.  Below are my final remarks for this course.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

VLOG Week 7

Here is my week 7 blog!  Topics include the art of storytelling using Disney and also Ken Burns. Presentation tips and technique include that of "chit chats" instead of death by PowerPoint.  Also included is the use of Gamestar Mechanic as a storytelling tool.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vlog Week 6

Below is my VLOG for week 6 which discusses the segmenting principle as well as the pre-teaching principle.  Also included is information on Augmented Reality apps and how they can be used in the classroom.  Stay tuned for more from week 6.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week #5 VLOG

This week in my VLOG I discuss the Temporal Contiguity Principle as well as the Video Assessment Tool, Zaption.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Hi all!

Wrapping up week #4 in my ET730!  It was a rough week fighting off illness since last weekend but I made it through!  My blog this week covers the Redundancy Principle in addition to learning about Nearpod.  I am excited to use Nearpod for controlling my lesson plans and delivering them to students at a reasonable pace.  Check out the video for more information on my enlightenment about the Redundancy Principle.

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Vlog #3

Week three in ET730 course.  Here is a a quick summary of what I learned and what I plan to incorporate in my classroom.

I also created this quick clip to show my annotating skills in YouTube that links to various parts in the famous Steve Jobs' Commencement Speech at Stanford.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

ET730 Weekly VLOG - #2

Hello all!

Here is my weekly VLOG post with information from the week that I discovered, learned and how I plan on using it in the classroom.  Enjoy the quick video and the shine on my beautiful scalp!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend everyone!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ET730 Multimedia VLOG 1

Here is my first attempt at a VLOG post! Please don't judge :) I'm hoping to get better at not doing crazy things with my eyes and voice.  As many who read this know I am pursuing my Master of Arts in Educational Technology at Fresno Pacific.

This video discusses our week #1 materials and tech resources for our ET730 course which surrounds itself with working with multimedia, hence the VLOG!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Screencast-o-Matic / Quicktime

In reviewing various screencasting, video, and audio tools I find that Quicktime is reliable alternative to Screencast-o-Matic and the recording capabilities that can be found directly on Google's YouTube.  Below is a brief description for each of the tools as mentioned above. 

Screencast-o-Matic has a free version in addition to low priced Pro version.  The free version provides 15 minutes of recording time and makes all your recordings available to the public via their website.  You may download and share the permalink to the screencast you recorded.  Audio can be recorded with the free version however to annotate and provide webcam recording you will need the paid version. 

Quicktime provides a great alternative to Screencast-o-Matic.  Quicktime is available on both Windows and Mac operating systems via download.  With Quicktime you can choose from a movie, audio, and screen recording.  What is great about Quicktime is you can easily edit and trim your completed work before exporting and sharing.  You can save the raw file in various formats or you can upload it directly to YouTube after editing. 

Just as YouTube may be restricted and unavailable at certain workstations whether at school or in the workplace, you can rely on the web-based tool, Screencast-O-Matic.  Quicktime must be installed on your computer in order for it to be beneficial to your needs.  I choose Quicktime as my go-to tool for screencasting and audio recordings.  For my students with limited access I suggest Screencast-o-Matic.  Give all three a chance and choose what works for your everyday situation.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fair Use and Copyright

     As we navigate the web in our quest for more information we curate items that we find that will benefit our needs. These items can be videos, infographics, articles, podcasts and images.  With the click of a button, we can quickly save and reuse this content.  As a computer using educator it is crucial that we teach our students our rights and responsibilities as consumers and producers of information.  
     This video is provided by Common Sense Media and Common Sense Education.  This video summarizes copyright and fair use.  This is a great start for any Internet user.  

     This week as I navigated my Twitter feeds using Tweetdeck I came across a perfect example of Copyright infringement and also the power of the PLN.  Everyone that knows Technology and Education knows of Alice Keeler.  She co-authored "50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom" with Libbi Miller.  This book is a highly recommended book for anyone wanting to implement Google Classroom into your classroom.  Where does the copyright come into play?  Well turns out that Melissa Becky published "Google Classroom For Teachers & Educators from A to Z: From Good to Great Effortlessly".  Alice Keeler identified much of the content and images from her blog and website as being published in the book without permission and credit. I remember seeing a post regarding this situation and took a look on Amazon and noticed many reviews detailing the situation.  After many reports, Amazon has taken down the book.  
     As educators we must be careful with the information we find and the uses that derive from our recent finds.  You can refer to Common Sense Media for some assistance on how to proceed when you want to use information.  In the scenario given above it was about copyright infringement at it's finest.  Alice Keeler has a strong PLN, so when she posted regarding the situation her PLN jumped to her aid.  This is one of the greatest benefits of a strong PLN! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Professional and Personal Learning Networks - My Experience!

As the school year wrapped up and I looked forward to Summer with countless hours of being lazy it began to set in that I have a Summer course for my MA in Educational Technology.  The second course for the summer would be that of Creating on the Web.  In this course I would become a Connected Educator.  I learned that through a process of connecting and communicating with other educators and tech gurus, I can advance my craft as well as share anything that may be of value to others.  One of the texts for the course is "What connected educators do differently" by Whitaker, Casas and Zoul.  The key principles they suggest to become a connected educator are the following:
  • Invest in a Personal and Professional Learning Network
  • Learn What They Want, When They Want, How They Want
  • Embrace the Three C's: Communication, Collaboration, and Community
  • Give and Take...Give Some More
  • Strive to Be Tomorrow...Today
  • Know That It Is Still About the 3 Rs: Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
  • Model the Way
  • Know When to Unplug
In my journey through this course, I became more active on my Twitter account to reach out to other connected individuals.  I had previously created an account when I took a course taught by Alice Keeler at Fresno State where I only tweeted several times.  I see the importance of being connected and out there.  I believe being connected can and will flatten the walls of the classroom.  Educators should share what they are doing in their classroom to benefit themselves, their students and other teachers regardless of their content area.  

I believe I began the journey as a skeptic but will continue to connect and build relationships as time progresses and my role in education changes because I can see the impact that it has. My suggestions to individuals that are on the fences about building a PLN or P2LN would be just to do it!  Jump in, learn as you grow!  Fear is definitely a killer.  It is a killer of the person who you could become.  Don't be afraid of what others may say or think about your content.  You may reach and touch more individuals that you can see!  So in leaving you, I say build and nurture relationships - communicate - collaborate - be part of the community! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


We have all had THAT student.  If I am lucky I only have one of them a year.  You know the student that I am talking about.  The student who you secretly wish was absent, but never seems to be.  The student who can turn a well functioning class into chaos.  What do you do when you face THAT student?

I try to get to know them.  I ask them questions.  I try to give them the attention that they seek for positive actions instead of always trying to punish the unwanted behavior.  Sometimes this works and THAT student changes their behavior.  More often, the more that I get to know the student, the better I understand the reasons behind their actions.  I recently read a blog post about just that.

As a high school teacher I typically am responsible for 200 students spread throughout the 6 classes that I teach.  It is difficult to really get to know ALL my students over the course of the year.  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach a Peer Connectors class in addition to core science courses.  In this class I am able to truly get to know 30 students.  I wish I could have this type of relationship with all of my students.

Relationships are critical.  Just like THAT student, it is important for teachers to feel like they have a relationship with other like minded teachers.  Through blogging and the use of Twitter, I am beginning to understand how I can foster those relationships with educators outside of my physical sphere of influence.  Whether it is dealing face to face with students or interacting with other educators, it is all about relationships.  My goals for this coming school year, both digitally and in my classroom, is to take time to ask questions, get to know others, and build relationships.  

Thank you Juan for letting me contribute to your blog! I appreciate the opportunity to strengthen relationships with other connected educators.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Moodle and Hyperlinks

As an online graduate student attending Fresno Pacific University everything I do utilizes Moodle, a learning management software program.  Using Moodle to turn in assignments usually requires the use of "linking" or hyper-linking documents to the module.  There are several ways to link the document which will briefly be discussed.  As one of our instructors pointed out we should always make the link active so that we can easily click on the link and be taken to it.  I would like to point out that making the link active makes it available for quick access but when done with the information, you may encounter an issue of losing your place at the original starting point or website you were originally on.  To resolve this issue you can change the target location of the desired information. 

Before you can hyperlink you must create text to display.  Once you've typed the text, you must select the text you want to use as the "display text".  In Moodle you can insert a hyper-link by finding these icons and clicking on the connected chain or you can use Control K / Command K to open the hyperlink dialog box.  

The following dialog box will open:

At this point you will enter the Link URL in the appropriate box.  The next step is crucial so that your information opens in a new Internet Window while preserving your current Window.  Use the drop down box to move the Target selection from "Open in this window/frame" to "Open in new window".  Your final step is to select the "Insert" command.  

By following these steps you will allow your user to open your content in a new window preserving whatever they have on their current window (such as e-mail or Moodle). 

Below is a video tutorial.  The hyper-linking portion goes pretty quick and it appears it is on an older version of Moodle.  I hope to make my own tutorial video next time to show you on the most current version of Moodle.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Saga of Mr. Del Toro

     So I've posted my first blog yesterday and gave you a brief synopsis of what I hope to share with you.  Today I will share with you some other items that I hope to discuss and provide you some more background of who I am and what I currently do.
     Educational technology, leadership, social media and common core state standards; these are just a few of the items my website and blog will focus on.  I also plan on sharing resources that I come across that will be beneficial to you and your students.
     I consider myself a newb when it comes to implementation of educational technology into the classroom, however I am taking the initial leap to advance my learning so that I can advance the learning of my students.  My goal is to provide a platform to share my trial and tribulations so that you can learn and join me on my journey.
     As I begin this journey, I will post on my blog twice a week to share the most up to date resources and tech tips that may make your life a little easier.

     I have worked at Bryant Middle School in Dos Palos, CA since 2013.  I began my teaching career as a Computer Teacher for the middle school.  I quickly saw that my site was in need of an overhaul in the technology department.  I am currently assigned to teach Computer Applications, Game Design Foundations and Yearbook.
     Prior to landing my first and only teaching job, I substitute taught for four years in the Merced Union High School District in addition to the Madera Unified School District.  Teaching was not my first career choice as college was always placed on the back burner.  I held jobs that included food service, debt collections, banking, retail and auto insurance claims.  
     Currently I'm aimed to complete my Master of Arts in Educational Technology at Fresno Pacific University in 2016.  When I am lucky enough to find "free" time, I enjoy traveling and relaxing.  Travel doesn't necessarily mean traveling across the country, I am very happy with a trip to the coast or to the mountains. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Success Starts Now!

Success Starts Now!  That is quite the bold statement for my first blog post. Just as everything that happens has to have a beginning, my role as an ed tech enthusiast begins with this post. I will admit that I am not the best with words but I will blog as much as possible to share the ideas and resources that I come across. These ideas resources will hopefully aid myself, you and our students in becoming tech savvy individuals.

I was looking around for some motivation for my first post and came across this classroom poster that I normally have in my classroom near my door. Just as I did for the past two summers, I take down my classroom posters and bring them home. I've walked by it many times these last three weeks without giving it much thought.  When deciding what my first post would be about this somehow came to mind.  "Success starts with believing in yourself."  I believe that I can contribute to you, the reader of my blog and visitor of my site.  I believe I have something to share that is worthwhile of your time. Thank you for believing in me and my initial success of creating a platform to share my knowledge.