Technology in Education

December 21, 2007

New Server for the website...

Hi folks, is on a new server, so most of the links to resources in The Education Project are now fixed. My apologies if you were trying to access material recently and couldn't, when I switched servers some of the links needed to be changed.

I have a ton of new information still to post on the website, however, the time to do it has been a major issue. Still, with the new server space and permanent placement of my website, expect this wealth of new and expanded educational material to appear on The Education Project over the next while.

Take care - Jared.

January 08, 2007

Patience my friends...

Hey folks, I know that it has been quite a long time since I have been able to update this blog or my Education Project website, but hold tight. I have a ton of content that is just waiting to be made available for educators out there. Bear with me and it should be up over the next few months. Feel free to share your resources with me too as we work to create an extensive and free pool of teaching resources for public educators to use in their classrooms. Hang on!!!

September 24, 2006

Notice for users...

If you have ever accessed any of my sites, including this blog, my portfolio, or the education resource-sharing site, you may not have noticed that they have moved to my new domain here at So make note of the new addresses for these sites if you intend to ever make use of them again. The pages at my domain will only be up for a short while longer, and they will no longer be updated. On another front, because I have been working at a new teaching job, I have a boatload of new educational resources now available at my disposal that I will eventually have available at The Education Project website. Unfortunately due to the sheer size and volume of what I now have, it is going to take weeks or even months for me to get all the material scanned into electronic form and added to the site. In the meantime, make use of what I have right now, and feel free to contact me to add any resources, ideas, lessons plans, or whatever of your own to the project. Thanks!

June 26, 2006

I'm Back!!!

Well folks, after a couple of very busy months working and doing school projects, I can finally get back to updating my blog. I have been busy assembling the companion website to this blog, and you can now view it at you will actually be able to access and download material that I have collected over the last few years to use in your own classrooms. This website covers not only Humanities material, but also delves into Math, Phys Ed, and Business Technology courses as well. So I guess my resource links for this post will be my own two websites: - MY WEBSITE FOR COLLECTED AND SHARED RESOURCES - MY LOOK AT TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION

This blog will be used in conjunction with these two sources. I will certainly encourage all educators out there, especially those in Alberta, to help me to build a massive free database of classroom materials for all of us to make use of and share. Think music file swapping, but for something that is more useful and does not violate copyrights. As the summer moves on, I'll be able to spend more time working here and on some of my other projects. In the meantime enjoy!!!

April 07, 2006

Final Post Reflections: EDIT 535

Once you have the Blog URL and group members added send Dwayne a brief email with your Blog topic and URL and your members list. Your final Blog posting must sum up the impact, benefit ( or lack of benefit) blogging has in your discipline and area of specialty You must include a link to your Blog your Portfolio and reflect on how this communication tool effects your discipline and area and area of specialty.

NOTE: This reflection takes quotes from Schiano, D.J. Nardi, B.A. Gumbrecht, M. & Swartz, L. "Blogging by the Rest of Us." CHI 2004 Late Breaking Results Paper. (Vienna: 2004) p.1143-1146.

Well, this was my first blogging experience, and I found that it can be a very effective way to express oneself to the world. Cyberspace is best characterized by a wall of anonymity that always shields the true identities of its users from everyone else. This anonymous identity that people assume while using the Internet often allows them to become more frank and forward with their evaluations of the world and the events that change it. However, this feature can be counterproductive as the Internet (and by extension: blogs) is a medium that seems to routinely produce incidents of immature name-calling and bickering, as opposed to constructive and meaningful debate. Just look at how some blog entries had a tremendous impact on January’s federal election. Despite this unfortunate effect, many people out there can still observe proper Netiquette procedures, and continue to be frank, open, and even brutally honest without allowing themselves to degenerate into bitter personal attacks on other people. For my own blogging experience, I found that I brought two different approaches when participating in these new online “journals.” I used a political-themed blog on one hand to demonstrate just how blogs can be used not only for a multitude of voices to be heard far and wide, but also how new ideas can be spread around the globe, and how they can be used to allow democracy to flourish in the modern age. In that particular context, I found that my personal convictions can sometimes stretch Netiquette rules when I make my arguments. However, because I did not have the benefit of full cyber-anonymity, (in order for the instructor to be able to determine my identity for marking purposes) I know that I must be careful and think about what I say, because it can always come back to haunt people sometimes. Despite all of that, I was still able to speak as openly as possible about those topics that interest me, and I do realize that blatant rudeness adds nothing to the collective academic consciousness. Therefore, I have found that blogs can be sort of a double-edged sword, on one hand they allow for the frank and open exchange of one’s ideas, beliefs, and values in a public forum, but on the other hand it also holds the potential to quickly disintegrate into chaos, where people don’t use logic or reason to express their views, but rather emotion and spite.

I also created a second Technology in Education blog to emphasize another important use for this novel Internet tool. Not only can blogs just be used to store personal musings or record-keeping, but they can encourage discussion and debate, and also be used to objectively spread knowledge and understanding as well. The Technology in Education blog allowed me to present ideas and information objectively, and by being able to convey that useful and important information to professional colleagues, it was done without letting personal feelings or biases cloud the message that I was conveying. Hence, I approached the two different blogs almost as two completely different people; one blog brings out my fierce and deeply held beliefs that are moulded to my personality and unlikely to change very easily. That Socio-political blog was almost like a podium rather than a conference room, and I find it unlikely that the use of that blog would allow me to remain objective towards someone else’s point of view (or for that matter, allow anyone else to objectively evaluate my point of view). On the other hand, the Technology in Education blog was designed to distance itself from personal opinions and reactions, instead it was able to present information and resources to others in a way that encourages people to keep an open mind about what they are reading. In the end, the two blogs brought forth two very different experiences, and really emphasized the versatility that blogs can have for educators. Blogging has plenty of potential for teaching and learning, in part because it presents a unique and easy way to present information, musings, and records to the world over the Internet, also because it provides an effective way for one to chronicle the impact that they personally have on the world around them. Through the encouragement that blogs are equally capable of disseminating both fact and opinion, teachers can use blogs to transmit not only your basic low-taxonomy knowledge, but they can also use the blogging process to instill the ability for students to get exposed to those higher-level analysis and evaluations of that knowledge by looking at how it affects them personally in the world around them.

Teachers of the Humanities and Social Sciences can easily make use of these growing and popular blogs, and integrate them into their professional work. Studies have reported that blogging is not just “interactive,” but that it is also “apparent that the vast majority of blogs are written by ordinary people with much smaller audiences in mind.” [Schiano, Nardi, Gumbrecht, and Swartz; 2004; 1143] There are personal blogs, topical blogs, individual-centred blogs, and community-oriented blogs. Another major phenomenon that was reported about blogging is that it also seems to be replacing the old “dear diary” form of personal-written journals, as “many blogs seem to function in the age-old tradition of diaries and personal record keeping. While the blogger is aware that his or her journal is on the Internet, the primary audience seems to be oneself, and perhaps a very few occasional readers.” [Schiano, Nardi, Gumbrecht, and Swartz; 2004; 1145] This shows that blogs are becoming significant through developing personal meaning to some people, as well as allowing public involvement. Blogs could very well become like E-mail accounts, where everyone seems to have one that provides their own little place on the Web to store their pictures, thoughts, feelings, ideas, and as some bloggers put it, a place to store a “verification” of one’s life. [Schiano, Nardi, Gumbrecht, and Swartz; 2004] As such, blogs are likely to become much more prevalent as time goes on, and if teachers can stay ahead of the curve, they can easily access another piece of simple, yet effective technology to make use of in the classroom, and enhance their professional development. Blogs are still a relatively new phenomenon, and we’re not sure yet just how far they are going to extend into our lives, but they have the potential to become very significant, and not just for teachers, but for everyone.

April 04, 2006

Links for Technology Integration with the Social Studies!!!

Once again, I have found some more useful links for Social Studies teaching. I will try to get more Science and Math related content over the next little while so this blog can help more than just Humanities teachers, although that is my specialty... - Official website for the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum. It contains a lot of articles, interactive games, etc. The most interesting part is that it has exhibits and features that cover all kinds of topics, even some more of the unusual ones that you don't necessarily cover in school. - A neat little site that looks at the lives of a typical family from history, offers great perspective that a textbook cannot match. - A great site for teaching geography units, it features panoramic views of desert topography around America. - A web-based assignment/activity that links to a lot of other useful websites out there. This will keep the kids busy, informed, and it will allow them to become familiar with some of the great web resources available to them in their studies. - An excellent archive of political cartoons from history that can be used for those analysis-type questions on unit tests. It is always very important to develop political-cartoon-literacy in your students. - Well, our taxes have to go to something useful. Here is a web-based resource just for high school students straight from the Government of Canada itself. It includes information and quizzes for practice. Definitely worth checking out! - A collection of links to online maps out there, excellent for interactive geography lessons. Why just pull down those boring old wall maps when you can show students an active detailed map that changes (location, theme, emphasis) with just a click of the mouse? Time to get with the times, eh? - Interactive historical maps of Canada. A must-have for any Canadian history teacher. - Canadian Geographic's section on how to interpret/understand maps. Even includes a program that allows students to create their own maps. Budding cartographers take notice!

Once again, don't hesitate to make use of these resources, the world of Social Studies scholarship has gotten much bigger and better with the advent of the Internet. I'll start looking towards putting up more Science and Math related sites now, because this blog is getting a little too uneven. If there are any Math/Science teachers out there who are proficient at including technology into their routines and are aware of great Web resources, please contact me! Either I can help to put it up, or better yet you are welcome to join me on this blog and offer the Science perspective to my Humanities one! Until next time folks...

March 21, 2006

My personal favourites for my own Social Studies teaching...

During my student teaching, I was primarily involved in teaching Alberta's (soon to be) old Social Studies 20 course. Although the new Social Studies 20-1 & 20-2 curriculum will be coming into effect soon, the resources I used during my Advanced Professional Term cover topics that are recurring throughout Secondary-level Social Studies classes in any jurisdiction. Here are some study booklets I put together that cover topics like Nationalism, Industrialization, Imperialism, Ideologies, and everyday life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Putting together these books takes some browsing and printing, but they are excellent supplements for your teaching. If possible, teach a class or two or three in a computer lab and allow the students to browse on their own, possibly saving some paper in the process.

Booklet #1: The Congress of Vienna. (Nationalism, Imperialism, Ideologies)
page 1-2:
page 3:
page 4:
page 5-6:
page 7-8:
page 9-10:
page 11-14:

Booklet #2: The Results from Vienna/The Revolutions of 1848. (Nationalism, Industrialization, Ideologies)
page 1-3:
page 4:
page 5-6:
page 7:
page 8-10:

Booklet #3: Ideologies from their Primary Advocates. (Ideologies, Industrialization, Nationalism)
Adam Smith (page 1-3):
Defence of Laissez-Faire (page 4-7):
Charles Fourier (page 8-10):
David Ricardo (page 11-13):
John Stuart Mill [1] (page 14-15):
John Stuart Mill [2] (page 16-17):
Woman's Rights Petition (page 18-20):

Booklet #4: Industrialization and Economic Philosophies. (Industrialization, Ideologies)
page 1-3:
page 4-5:
page 6:
page 7:

Booklet #5: Interactive Learning and Special Readings. (Industrialization, Imperialism, 18th & 19th Century Life)
BBC Assignment (create an assignment that allows students to peruse the following website):
Victorian Web Assignment (create an assignment that makes use of this website):
The Casement Report:
Chapter 2 of Charles Dickens' Hard Times:

Website Acknowledgements: - An excellent site hosted by Killeen Harker Heights School in Killeen, TX. Provides a wealth of Social Studies links, plus has all the required content from AP World History and Human Geography courses. - Teacher Brett N. Silva's personal site from his school in Chico, CA. Also contains a wealth of useful World History course content. - The Internet Modern History Sourcebook, a collection of primary source material that is specifically made available for distribution to educators and students. Contains the original writings from many important historical sources.

These web sources were instrumental in the planning and delivery of my student teaching...Along with resources already available in the school, I successfully taught Topic A of Social Studies 20 from the end of the French Revolution to just before the start of World War One, touching upon the Nationalism, Industrialization & Ideologies, and Imperialism course themes. Feel free to use it to enhance your classroom as well...Enjoy!

March 11, 2006

More Web resources for Humanities Teachers...

The EDSITEment Project:
A combination of useful links to top Humanities-related educational sites available on the Web.

A meta-site with links to educational sites on the Web that provide accurate, current, accessible, and rich information in such core humanities subjects as history/social studies, literature/language arts, government, and foreign languages. It is meant to guide teachers through the labyrinth of approximately 66,000 so-called educational sites on the World Wide Web ... using the following critieria ...

  1. Intellectual Quality: Does the site provide rich, deep, and multi-layered humanities content? ...
  2. Website Design: Is the site user-friendly and attractive graphically? ...
  3. Website Impact: Can this site serve multiple audiences or is it highly specialized? (Katz: 1998, 145)

Interactive Language Learning on the web:
Since I have read about the "highly integrated language learning environment called IWiLL (Intelligent Web-based Interactive Language Learning) ... a novel web-based writing environment," (Wible, Kuo, Liu, Tsao: 2000, 2) I found this website that provides extensive links to other Web-based Language Learning Initiatives. Lots to search for in here.

Till next time folks...

Note: Sources of information used in this post are from the following:

  • Katz, Candace. "EDSITEment: The Best of the Humanities on the Web for High School Students." Social Education, 62(3): Mar 1998. pp.145-147.
  • Wible, D. Chin-Hwa Kuo, Anne Liu, and Nai-lung Tsao. "A Web-based EFL Writing Environment: Integrating Information for Learners, Teachers, and Researchers." Learning Socieities in the New Millennium: Creativity, Caring, and Commitments. Taipei, Taiwan: International Conference on Computers in Education/Computer-Assisted Instruction, Nov 2000. pp.2-7.

Online Resources for Teaching Shakespeare - From the ERIC Digest.

  • Note: This information has been condensed from the following source...
    Stoicheva, Mila. "Online Resources for Teaching Shakespeare: ERIC Digest." ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication. Bloomington IN: Family Learning Association, 2002.
Here's some useful online resources for the teaching of Shakespeare as compiled by Mila Stoicheva. Just as this Blog will provide a wealth of information for educators, Stoicheva notes in her research that

consistent with the nature of the internet itself, most of these sites cross-reference each other in unique ways to create a cornucopia of ideas for teaching and learning about the life and works of Shakespeare. (Page 2)

So please make use of these resources, they are designed to be shared with all.

  1. The Folger Shakespeare Library:
  2. Electronic Shakespeare:
  3. Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet:
  4. Shakespeare Online:
  5. The Shakespeare Resource Center:
  6. Shakespeare Illustrated:
  7. Shakespeare's Globe:
  8. University of Virginia Library - Electronic Text Center:

You can definitely make extensive use of these resources, some of them are very comprehensive...Enjoy!

A discussion/information forum for educators...

Hello, my name is Jared Goruk, I am a recent graduate from the University of Alberta in Secondary Education, and I am now enrolled in a Master of Arts program in Humanities Computing. As part of an Internet course I am taking, I have established this Blog with the intention to create an archive of useful technology-(and internet)-based learning resources for educators. The goal will be to allow for the easy sharing and distribution of new and useful ideas, techniques, resources, websites, etc. making it easier for all of us to find and acquire useful educational resources to bring to the classroom. I recently completed a research paper on the subject, and I will make it available to you here. I hope to continue to work with I.T. in Education, and I hope I can help some of you out there to do so as well. My proposal to get into Humanities Computing went like this:

Research Proposal for Humanities Computing

My undergraduate experience has crossed several fields of study, including Education, Computer Science, and several of the Social Sciences. In combining these areas of academic study, I am really interested in being able to research and develop proven resources that will help to effectively combine all elements from the Information and Communication Technology Program of Studies into the newly developed curriculum of the Humanities-based Social Studies program in the Province of Alberta. The ICT program is a recent addition and a required component of the Alberta Provincial Kindergarten to Grade 12 Curriculum that states as a part of its philosophy:

Technology is best learned within the context of applications. Activities, projects and problems that replicate real-life situations are effective resources for learning technology. The ICT curriculum is not intended to stand alone, but rather to be infused within core courses and programs.

The ICT program is supposed to be integrated into all of the existing programs of study throughout all of the grades in Alberta’s educational system. Despite the explicit intention to designate the learning of technology into a required component of the Alberta curriculum, there is a dearth of reliable instructions and resources available for teachers to fully integrate and evaluate these outcomes into their Social Studies teaching. The preliminary work with ICT objectives will need to be studied to determine what are the most effective methods to use them in enhancing Humanities-related study within the Social Studies program. My undergraduate Major is in the interdisciplinary Humanities field of Social Studies, and there is a new Social Studies curriculum under development that will be implemented in stages from September 2005 (for K-3) to September 2009 (for Grade 12). I feel that now is an excellent time for study and research to be done that would eventually lead to the development of ICT curricular resources that can best help teachers combine ICT curricular outcomes with their teaching of the Social Studies program. The creation of curriculum-related software tools like the “Canada: Confederation to Present – An Interactive History of Canada” CD-ROM (developed by Bob Hekseth and Chris Hackett for university students), is just one of many ways to satisfy some of the ICT outcomes, in this case just by “reading the course textbook.”

Each grade level in this new Social Studies curriculum revolves around an “Overarching Issue,” which raises such topics like “Democracy: Action and Participation” covered in grade six, to “Historical Worldviews Examined” covered in grade eight. In high school, a natural progression through the interrelated topics of Globalization, Nationalism, and Citizenship is developed in sequence from grade ten on to grade twelve. The advantages of technology could be applied here to create multiple educational tools that cover all three topics in just one CD-ROM set. Each “Overarching Issue” is also looked at through different social science disciplines including history, geography, political science, economics, and anthropology. Input and collaboration with the academics who are directly involved in these fields would be more effective in properly incorporating these disciplines and the study of them into technology-based curricular resources. The outcomes listed in the ICT Program of Studies are detailed and specific. There is not, however, an explicit means of actually applying them to any particular course. For example, in just one of the ICT outcome categories - “Processes for Productivity” the following outcomes are required:

General Outcome: Students will integrate various applications.

Specific Outcomes:
1.1: integrate text and graphics to form a meaningful message
1.2: balance text and graphics for visual effect
2.1: integrate a spreadsheet, or graphs generated by a spreadsheet, into a text document
2.2: vary font size and style, and placement of text and graphics, in order to create a certain visual effect
3.1: integrate information from a database into a text document
3.2: integrate database reports into a text document
3.3: emphasize information, using placement and colour
4.1: integrate a variety of visual and audio information into a document to create a message targeted for a specific audience
4.2: apply principles of graphic design to enhance meaning and audience appeal
4.3: use integrated software effectively to reproduce work that incorporates data, graphics and text

There is nothing in these specific objectives that explain how a teacher can usefully integrate them into their English Language Arts or Social Studies classrooms. Not all teachers are technologically literate, and the study of the Humanities can often shy away from the use of technology. This is especially true for teachers and academics who completed their studies many years ago. With a background in Humanities Computing, specific classroom resources can be developed for Humanities educators in the primary, secondary, and even post-secondary levels, to integrate these outcomes into today’s Humanities classroom. Making it possible for students to use various types of technological resources to help them learn in their interdisciplinary Social Studies courses will not only allow them to meet the objectives of the Information and Communication Technology curriculum, it will make the learning objectives of the Social Studies curriculum easier for teachers to teach and much more interesting and relevant for the students to learn.

I also have other interests that a Humanities Computing program can help me to study further. I have a keen interest in Alberta history, and in the electronic archiving of different Alberta-related historical documents. I am interested in developing ways to turn paper copies of these records from our past into electronic ones, forever preserving their contents for future generations. Creating a large internet-based archive of Alberta history and primary source documents would be something I would like to pursue as a way to keep our history accessible to all Albertans. I have also become quite interested in the Library and Information Studies program, and I believe that a better understanding of LIS content would be beneficial not only in helping me to pursue my interests in Alberta history, but also in developing a Humanities ICT program as the ICT curriculum itself considers the understanding of technology for the purposes of research to be critical:

2.1: use a variety of technologies to organize and synthesize researched information
2.2: use selected presentation tools to demonstrate connections among various pieces of information
3.1: identify patterns in organized information
3.2: make connections among related, organized data, and assemble pieces into a unified message
4.1: use appropriate strategies to locate information to meet personal needs
4.2: analyze and synthesize information to determine patterns and links among ideas

Anyway, enjoy this blog and feel free to make use of it as often as you can. The more resources that can be pooled together the better.

-Jared Goruk B.Ed '05