EdTech Reflection

  • How did it go?

I think that this class went really well overall. I enjoyed the freedom that we had for all of our assignments; we were given tools to use and then chose how we wanted to use them. We were also able to collaborate with our classmates, which made it easier to figure out each of the different tools.

  • What did you learn about EdTech?

I learned a lot in general just about the different tools that are out there that we can use to incorporate technology into our future classrooms. For example, Toontastic and Edpuzzle are both things that I would be interested in using in the future. I also learned how easy it is use new forms of technology. I was initially intimidated to try these new outlets but once I got started, it was actually pretty easy!

  • What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

I learned that I really need to push myself when it comes to trying new things, because I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. Like I talked about earlier, a lot of these new tools intimidated me and I was afraid to try them, but once I did, I found it pretty easy to use.

  • Are you on your way to becoming a “tech-savvy” teacher?

Yes, I definitely believe I am on my way to becoming a tech-savvy teacher! I had never heard of the majority of these tools before this class; I only new about iMovie and Google Slides. I am excited to incorporate some of these methods, especially Toontastic, in my future classroom!

Lesson Proposal

Throughout this class, we have learned about a variety of technological tools that can be valuable for an interactive learning experience in the classroom. The majority of these tools I was unaware of, so I think it has been extremely useful to learn how to integrate these into our future lessons.

One great tool that we got to try is Toontastic. Toontastic allows students to create their own short, animated videos. This is a great resource for students to report on knowledge they have learned, whether it be on a book or on a science experiment, or to tell a short story. There are many options for students to customize their story on the app.

For our final project, we are proposing using Toontastic and screen casting in a science lesson. Ideally, this lesson would be done in a third or fourth grade classroom on their iPads. First there would be a lesson done on what the scientific method is. Then, we would do a screencast on how to use Toontastic. Finally, students would be able to create their own Toontastic video based off of a science project they have decided to do at home. Toontastic would work well for this because there is already a template available to make videos in the format of a science experiment. This would obviously be created for students to use, rather than a demonstration for teachers. I think that this would be a good introductory lesson if we decided to do a book including a variety of science lessons.


Edpuzzle is a fun way for teachers to make video lessons for their students. Teachers can find educational videos on Edpuzzle or make their own, and then edit them on this website. Edpuzzle first allows you to trim the video down in order to make it shorter and eliminate unnecessary clips. Then, you can either add an audio track over the whole video, or just audio notes during certain parts of the video. I did not do this because my video is a song. Finally, Edpuzzle allows you to insert quiz questions at the end of your video for students to answer. Once you have finished editing, you can select which class must watch the video, disable the option for them to skip the video, and add the due date. This is a great resource to use to create at-home practice work for your students. I definitely think I will use Edpuzzle in the future!!

Here is my video:


Last class, we got to have fun making videos on a variety of different apps including Adobe Spark, Toontastic, and Clips. I chose to mess around making videos on Toontastic, which actually ended up being really fun. I think Toontastic would be great to have students use to make book or science reports. Students get to make their own characters and are given clear instructions as well as information on the different parts of a story or science report. The app is free as well, so if students have access to iPads in the classroom it would be easy and cost efficient for teachers to download. Overall, I think Toontastic is a great tool to use to promote creativity in the classroom.

Here are some videos we made using Toontastic:

iMovie in the Classroom

As technology continues to advance, so do the opportunities to enhance student learning in the classroom. One example of this would be using iMovie. Upon further research, I found many ways to use iMovie in an elementary classroom. One obvious way would be to make presentations and/or show your students how to make their own presentations. With your guidance, students can experiment using different sounds, transitions, and more in their presentations. Both students and teachers can also use iMovie to document things that they experience outside of school that are relevant to what they are learning in the classroom. This could serve as somewhat of a digital field trip for your students.

Some other interactive ways to use iMovie with your students include digital storytelling, which would help them develop their communicative skills. One of my favorite examples I found was having students use iMovie to create trailers for a book they read. Students will create a video as if they are making a movie/trailer based off of a book they read. This seemed like a good way to assess students on their comprehension skills, while letting them enjoy the process and be creative. Once students have made one of the above projects, they can practice giving feedback on each other’s videos. Overall, using iMovie in the classroom is an innovative and interactive way to get students engaged in the classroom. Below are some examples of iMovie being used in the classroom:



Letter to My Future Self

Dear Laura,

Even though it seems impossible, technology has become increasingly more complex since you were in college. It seems like just yesterday you were in your EdTech class, learning about things you had never heard of before. In classrooms today, we are using forms of technology you never would have imagined to exist. For example, in our history classes, we are able to have students enter full body virtual historical reenactments! It’s almost like time travel! Believe it or not, history as actually become one of students’ favorite subjects, since it’s the most interactive. Engineering is also now a required class that students need to take every year starting in elementary school. If we don’t have enough engineers now, our world will basically end.

If there is one piece of advice I could give you, it would be to put more effort into researching different ways to use technology in the classroom. It may not be as relevant today, but it will definitely serve as stepping stones to being technologically literate in the future. I would also tell you to start encouraging more of your students to be open to the idea of engineering.

-Future Laura

Books In Our Classroom!

Hanna and Laura’s Padlet is a book genre board where students can find a variety of books to read. There is a list of multiple books in each genre, as well as a description of what the genre is. This would be a useful tool to have students use before going to the library so they can easily choose which book they are going to pick out.

Made with Padlet

Where We Are From

See exactly where Hanna and Laura are from by looking at this interactive Sway presentation!

From videos, to pictures, to maps, you’ll know exactly where to go the next time you’re in the city! Portland has unique foods to try, many entertainment options, and there are never too many books to go read at Powell’s. San Jose’s greatest visit is any place that sells boba, according to Laura, but there are many great landmarks to visit as well.

“Apples to Oregon” by Deborah Hopkinson (Interactive Story Map)

By Dylan Hite, Hanna Knouf, and Laura Barros 


 Title of Book: Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains

Author: Deborah Hopkinson

Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter

Year written: 2004

This story is about a family of farmers who travel  across the country from Iowa to Oregon in search of a new home and more land.  They take all of their crops in their wagon in order to start a new life out West, and the book tells some of the experiences that they have, and ones which many pioneers experienced on the Oregon Trail.

Excerpt from book: “So Daddy built two of the biggest boxes you could ever hope to see. He set them into a sturdy wagon and shoveled in good, wormy dirt. Then he filled every inch with little plants and trees. Hundreds of them! Daddy was ready for the most daring adventure in the history of fruit.”

This book could be used for a lesson on the Oregon Trail because it shows another perspective from the pioneers that is relate-able and easy to read. Students can use Google My Maps to create their own journey that the characters go on, where they write the descriptions, pick the pictures, and turn it into their own post. I think Google My Maps allows for a lot of creativity in the classroom and for students to get more engaged in what they are reading and studying! Teachers could also make this a collaborative effort like it was for us, so that ideas can be shared among many students.

How To Make Nachos!!

Hanna and Laura’s lesson teaches students how to make nachos! Students can go through each slide to see different steps in the nacho making process. At the end, we ask students to order the pictures correctly in the comments section, allowing them to try using technology themselves. They also have an activity where they draw their own nachos, which we did since we are both in kindergarten classrooms.

Starfall Tutorial

Starfall is a fun phonics and reading website that is great to use with kindergarteners. They can practice sounding out certain letters and sounds, as well as work on reading skills. There are a variety of things for students to read, such as short stories, tongue-twisters, and poetry. This tutorial is for parents to learn how to navigate Starfall so that their child can get more practice, or just read for fun at home.

Marine Biologists

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My lesson would involve having students use previously learned vocabulary terms about the ocean to determine what all of these photos have in common. Students could then do a report on one of the above sea creatures.

Guiding Questions:

What similarities do you see in these pictures?

What new vocabulary words could you use to describe these images?

What is the main theme of all of these images?



Shark- Allan Lee

Fish- gorfor

Whale Watching- Indi Samarajiva