The Journey Begins

DSC_0080This blog has been created with the goal to share my professional learning experiences. I am not an expert, but when learning new information, I would like to share my personal experience. Hope you find this blog helpful and perhaps, you can find information you can apply to your own learning.

Also, feel free to make comments, suggestions and new ideas you would like to share to make my learning path and other like us enriched.

Thanks for joining me!


Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you never cease to grow.  Anthony J. D’AngeloDSC_0048


Learning Reflection

As this course comes to the end, I would like to share three things I have learned throughout this course, including my favorite assignment and a couple of ideas of how to incorporate technology into my classroom.

Three things I learned:

First, I discovered that it is extremely important to explore a wide variety of technological tools available for teachers and students that can be incorporated in my content area to facilitate learning. Exploring and trying it in the classroom is the only way to test the best use of each, and the potential to enhance my students’ learning. I cannot only watch other teachers using it and stay behind. I have to take an active role in using technology tools that best serve my students.

Second, I finally understood what the SAMR stands for and its application to a lesson that I was able to implement on my own. In the past, I heard about it and even sat in a workshop on infused technology session at my school, but there was not an authentic application to my content area. Surprisingly, when I was entrusted to develop the application of the SAMR model into my classroom, I realized that I was already doing it, but I needed to refine the steps, and to keep in mind that my students will benefit more if there is a true modification and redefinition of the traditional model of teaching.

Third, I clearly understood the difference in between a Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. I believe that it is important for me as a teacher to know the backbone of these three. I do not want to get behind on what is out there for my students. The benefits of using web 2.0 that I am also using now in my classroom and the transition I will probably see when moving from web 2.0 to web 3.0

My Favorite assignment:

I had various favorites assignments, but I think the one I had a lot of fun in developing was creating the introductory video for my new students. Previously, I had two to three slides that were used to introduce myself to the class the first day of school. Creating the video using iMovie gave me the opportunity to add a variety of pictures, videos, voice overs, and music to make it more interactive. I can include this video into my class website and have the students and parents see it and get to know me in a formal, but fun way. I learned a lot creating this video, like how to hold my phone when taking a video and how to edit my iMovie. It was a great learning experience.

Infused Technology in my classroom:

I think this is my favorite part to talk about. When I started the course, I thought I knew enough to be able to incorporate technology in my classroom, and actually I was doing it. Although, reading the textbook and being exposed to a variety of technology tools, I understood that I was far from understanding the reason of the use of technology tools. I had to dispose of my old thinking in order to gain valuable information on what this course was trying to teach.

The course was clear in establishing the central focus – to learn the use of technology tools and to incorporate them to my lesson planning, in order to enhance my students’ learning. I can picture in my head the word “enhance”. I am grateful that our professor was clear in motivating us to create products that pertained to our content area and how and when to use those tools. With this in mind. I now have a variety of learning tools that I developed throughout the course of this class. I sit back and think how these can easily be incorporated in my class. For example: My introductory video, my screencast tutorial, my visual products, my interactive assessments, with quizizz and Edpuzzle, my Nearpod lesson, and a sample of the SAMR model.

All of these products are going with me to benefit my students, but also, I would like to share them with my school’s technology department, and my colleagues so we can all benefit from the many tools available. I am so happy to say that this has been a challenging course, but at the same time a very rewarding course. I have learned, applied, and incorporated all of what I learned with one focus, to enhance my students’ learning. I am planning to continue and explore other great technological tools in the future, so continue to look on my blog as I will post more ideas when using technology.

Thank you for a Great Summer,

Mirna Deakle

Interactive Assessments

For this last week of our Summer semester, we were asked to create 2 type of interactive assessments that will be able to measure students learning and also to make it as fun as we can.

In the last 3 years I have been using Quizlet to create my study sets. It is a great tool to measure students mastery of content and provides a fun way to work with with the entire class (QuizletLive) in teams and also individual. Although, this year I was introduced to Quizizz and I have been very interested in developing quizzes for my class.

Today I am presenting my assessment using Quizizz and Edpuzzle. Since I will be teaching a new class of 7th graders this school year along with my 8th grade class, I develop a lesson about “physical characteristics”. Throughout the lesson students will have the opportunity to practice with the Spanish vocabulary and grammar structure used in the lesson. Also, it serves as a formative assessment for me to see how well they are acquiring the concenpts.

Quizizz it is a  free interactive tool that helps you as a teacher to develop quizzes in a very fun and creative way to get your students to practice with concepts that you have taught in class, or maybe as a preview before introducing a topic of a lesson. I particularly use Quizizz for homework and for live game during class. Let me tell you, the first time that I used Quizizz was a success. The students felt challenged to use it more and they liked the competitive part of it. It includes a report for each student’s progress. I can use this tool to assess my teaching, any concepts that need to be reinforced, and use it as data when discussing student’s progress in my class with parents, counselor and with the students. On the picture below it’s a sample of a report you can view. You can look my Quizizz assessment by clicking here.


Edpuzzle is also a free interactive tool. I absolutely love it. It is easy to choose your videos from a variety of sources or you can upload your own. It has the capability to add sound, questions(multiple choice or short answers), cut the video and add the product as an assignment to your class, setting a date and time for the assignment.

For the Spanish content I teach it is wonderful because I can measure reading, writing, and listening. It also has a roster of your class or classes with a detailed report of student’s answers. In case you decide to let your students retake the assignment, it has a reset button when necessary, you as a teacher have control of that. You can access to my Edpuzzle assessment  I created by clicking here.



My Interactive Lesson


My new task was to choose a digital tool to use in order to create an interactive lesson to use in my class for my students.

I viewed most of the ones listed as options and decided to try Nearpod. I first wanted to use Edmodo, but it was not user friendly for me.

I was able to sign for free and used the free version for Nearpod. First I add my general information and a quick profile. I have been working on a lesson that I would like to introduce my students this coming school year. A beautiful poem of Nicolás Guillén, “La Muralla” (the wall) a classic of Afro-cuban Latin American Literature. My lesson included  5 days, 4 days for instruction and 1 for students presentations.

It combines features of ppt and google slides, with voiceovers on slides, instructions for activities with voiceovers and text. Other activities like collaboration, drawing, videos, quiz, poll, web content, and open/ended question. For the voiceovers only supports GoogleCrome & MozillaFirefox.  The beauty of this site is that once my product is done, I can share it with my students clicking the “live lesson” icon. There is other icon “Student-paced”, but this does not come with the free version. Also, it has the option for me to save the lesson in a folder, share it, export as a PDF, duplicate, and view detailed reports of student engagement and activities in the Nearpod sessions. In the past I was introduced to Peardeck and used it in class. The students like it, but I have difficulties during the time of the live session and a few other issues with using the google slides capability. Nearpod is way much better.

I will definitely use this site when developing other lessons. I believe my students will enjoy having to work on their computers, collaborate, give input, draw and take a short poll or quiz in one place. It will keep them engaged and motivated to interact in class and after class,  and while at home. Also, I can view reports of their engagement and activities to measure their participation in class.

The only challenged for me was the time I spent when developing the lesson. Honestly, it took me about 7-8 hours, but the features were wonderful that it motivate me to finish the lesson. It was easy to navigate and it really fit my needs and the needs of my students.

Below you will find the link to my product and a document with a detailed lesson plan.



Link:La Muralla~Nicolás Guillen_nearpod

Interactive Lesson _La Muralla



My next product was to create a digital story, a screen cast, or audio file. I chose a screencast.

My first step was to asses what type of software or application to use. My Mac work computer has Snagit version 2018 just added this year. I was not able to use any of the free versions offered for my assignment, since I am unable to download any external software or applications, unless previously approved by my school’s Technology Deparment.

The screencast I chose was with the idea to offer my new students a tutorial. The tutorial created was to help them to navigate on their new class page, Español-Grade 8th. Let me explain the process.

  1. I open the webpage I was going to use for the tutorial and clicked the Snagit icon.
  2. I clicked on the full screen option to capture the entire screen.
  3. Snagit had an option for video recording or voice recording. I used only the voice recording.
  4. While recording, Snagit allowed me to navigate to the website I was referring. I explained each of the parts when navigating through the page.
  5. When finished recording, I watched it a few times before finalizing the product.
  6. When satisfied with the last version I uploaded to Youtube and Vimeo.

The only challenge that I encountered creating my screencast was the length of the screencast. I did my best to keep it no more that 3 minutes. My first time lasted 7:38 minutes and I knew I was in trouble. I recorded the screencast various times in order to reduce the time, but still it went over 3 minutes.

I liked how it turned out. I am sure my students will appreciate the screencast at the beginning of the school year. I pretend to create more screencasts using Snagit. I always wanted to do a tutorial like this to explain my students in more detail certain topics.

Below your find my screencast,


Screencast Tutorial~Youtube

Screencast Tutorial~Vimeo


Visual Products

I chose 3 categories to fit my 3 visuals; organizational, relational, and realistic. Now, I will explain the process when creating each of my visuals for classroom use.

I try to always think of how I can implement the new tools I am learning into my daily lessons. I decided that for the Unit ~ Hispanic Heritage Month, I was going to use these visuals. I normally start by exploring two major cities in the US where we have experience a large number of Spanish immigrants. One of those cities is Miami, Florida. First, groups of students research different topics about Miami. Spanish population, country with major number of immigrants, food, land marks, music, arts, etc. After their research and presentations, we go deeper, studying Cuban migration to the US, we look at statistical numbers and their correlation with important facts of history. Also  identifying  landmarks that have become symbols of the Cuban migration to Miami. So I decided to develop 3 visuals that will help my students when connecting all the information and better support their learning.

Visual 1: Organizational~Cuban Migration to the US

  • My visual will show an organizational timeline when discussing the Cuban migration to the US with my students.
  • For this task, I used a Microsoft Word and Open Clip Art when creating the visual.
  • Microsoft Word has Smart Art Design, so I chose “process” and then clicked on “closed chevron process” for my option.
  • I changed colors instead of using only one color.
  • I added information on the text ( different years), then I selected a font type and size.
  • Below the years of the timeline I added an arrow with brief information to remember for those years.
  • Above the years of the time line, I added a clipart for each year to help students connect the historical events and its relationship with each year. For this, I used https://openclipart.org/, which all their clipart are public domain as they specifically stated in their website ~ Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Public Domain License
  • I saved the word document into PDF and JPEG
  • Organizational_Cuban Migration

Organizational_Cuban Migration.jpg

Visual 2: Relational~Cuban Migration to the USA Prior 1959 to 2017

This visual will help the student to visualize the variation of the number of Cuban immigrant to the USA during different years,  connecting the relationship of increase or decrease with historical events.

  • I used Microsoft Power Point for this visual. I used a “bar chart” for this visual.
  • Ehen entering data on the chart send you to Microsoft Excel. Once you enter all data, all information will be displayed on the PP
  • I decided to also change colors, similar to the ones used on my previous visual.
  • It was not hard to create as log as you have all data correct.
  • Font type and size were also chosen.
  • As my previous visual, I save this one as a PDF and JPEG
  • Relational_Cuban Migration in Numbers

Relational_Cuban Migration in Numbers.jpg

Visual 3: Realistic~The Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida

This visual gives the students a realistic connection with the Landmark we are studying, The Freedom Tower. Through this visual and a further video tour students will have a better understanding of the reason we are studying this landmark and its symbol of many cuban immigrants in the city of Miami.

  • I used google images to obtain this picture. Also, Pinterest had it available.
  • I copy and pasted into a Power Point Slide
  • I added important fact about the Freedom Tower using a various text boxes; location, symbolism, and its direct connection with Cuban immigrant in the USA.
  • With this visual, I also would like for students to compare and contrast the Freedom Tower with a similar landmark of freedom they already know or have study previously to add further connection with the visual we are studying .
  • I save the visual as JPEG and a PDF Realistic_Freedom Tower Miami

Realistic_Freedom Tower Miami.jpg

I enjoyed creating these 3 visuals, I believe than getting use to create various visuals like this, also students may be prompt to create similar visuals to use for presentations.

I hope you find this helpful and you decide to create and use similar visuals I your class.



Creating a Video

For this task, first I took a tour of a site that helped me in creating a video. https://wistia.com/library/editing-your-business-video#software.

I decided to use iMovie, since my work computer is a Mac and it offered this possibility.

Let me share with you the steps I followed when creating my video.

  1. The journey started by creating 2 clips. The first one for the beginning of the video and the second one for the ending of the video. It took a couple of days and various takes to finally decide for the best clips. It was very intense. I probably storage about 10-12 takes per clip before I decided to choose the best. I added both clips to the timeline.
  2. I chose the photos that I had in my media library and added them to my timeline. I did not have to worry about copyright credits, because all pictures were mine.
  3. I added the music that I wanted as a background when the video was playing.
  4. I recorded voiceovers that will play while talking about my pictures. It also took me various times to record and chose the best recording. I know that sounds silly, but my Spanish accent is evident and I knew that I needed to work even harder. I was really nervous just when recording my voice and also when recording the clips. Finally, I overcame fear and I remembered that this is just like talking to my students in the classroom face to face.
  5. I added a title page for the beginning and ending of my video using my pictures as backgrounds.
  6. Editing the video was not an easy task. It took me various hours to edit the video and trying to work on the timeline. It was necessary to adjust the volume of voice overs and music. Match the pictures with the voice overs was also a big task.
  7. Finally, once the edit procedure was over, I asked my husband and daughter to watch it. They were pleased with the product and after viewing it 3 to 4 times more, I save it.

Publishing the video took 2-3 hours, only because the file was big. I published video in YouTube and also in Vimeo. I want to see what version will have a better quality when publishing.

I enjoyed working with this project, but I will do a few things differently in my next project: First, I will work on my self-confidence when recording a clip or a voiceover. Second, I would like to do create a Paper Slide video for a story-telling in Spanish.

Thank you for reading my post.


Youtube Version

Welcome Back to School…

Vimeo Version

Welcome Back to School…


Creating my PowToon

In my continuously learning process, I was assigned to choose a web-based tool to create a product that explains the use of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, in the classroom.

I chose PowToon. It is a free interactive technology tool that incorporates pictures, videos, music, sound and also allows you to add your own media.

Click on the following link to view PowToon

The process is time consuming. I worked previously with this web-base tool previously, but since I incorporated sound it was different and not so time consuming.

  1. First, I had to decide what template I wanted to use. After looking for various templates, I decided to use a blank PowToon.
  2. I wanted to add music to my presentation, so I clicked the sound icon to add free music. PowToon has a variety to choose from. The music was added to play for the entire presentation.
  3. I then chose my background. I used two types of backgrounds. One pre-made from PowToon and the other I added from the web.
  4. I picked two characters for my presentations. Since I have a free account, I only add free characters to my presentation.
  5. I added different types of text (titles, text elements, and infographics), shapes, props, and my own media.
  6. I made sure to adjust the timeline, adding or reducing the time for each slide in order to run smoothly. Also, I adjusted the appearance of characters, text, props for each slide.
  7. After creating 10 slides, it came time to review and edit the presentation. After doing so, I clicked the save button and I previewed the presentation.
  8. When exporting the presentation, I had various options, but I chose the free version. I was able to send it to my YouTube account.
  9. I viewed the presentation and It looked great.

My only challenge was the time it took to develop the presentation. But I think that it can become easier, as I work with it more often.

I can only say that I was able to feel a great accomplishment using a variety of features on this web-based tool. I am confident that I will use it for other professional purposes. I believe that my students will also gain confidence when using PowToon, as I have, in building my own experience working with it.

Open Office

In my search to become familiar with different technology tools, I decided to download OpenOfficeto my computer. I was not fortunate in downloading this application in my work computer. I forgot that I did not have permission to download any application, unless I have authorization from my school’s technology department. In trying to doing so a message showed on my screen computer reminding me that “You do not have authorization to complete this task. You attempt has been reported to your technology department” …Wow, I guess I did not follow proper procedure.

After that warning, I informed via e-mail my school’s technology department requesting for me to download this application. Although, their response tells me that they were not familiar with this application, as you can read below.


I asked my husband if I could use his computer to follow proper procedure. The application was successful installed in my husband’s computer.

Screenshot (1)

I went to check what this application offers and find:

  1. Three things different from the word processor that I usually use.
  2. Three things the same as the word processor I usually use.


  1. Spreadsheet & Microsoft Excel: Both have the same features.
  2. Office Draw has the same capabilities that you have in a Microsoft Word document, by adding lines, arrow, shapes, callouts, symbol shapes, text, charts, etc.
  3. Presentation and PPT: Both serve as a way to make presentations with very similar tools when creating a presentation.


  1. Text Document & Microsoft Word
  • Gallery
  • Navigator
  • Export directly as a PDF: I found it easy to save your document, instead of an extra step that Microsoft Word offers.
  • In Tools: It has a Bibliography Database, It does not have the Thesaurus capability as Microsoft Word.
  1. Presentation Wizard & PPT
  • Offers a variety of backgrounds slightly different than Power Point. While PPT has 26 designs, Presentation Wizard has 28
  • Printing presentation is much easier no navigate. Also, I found the capability for “page layout” a brochure
  • Presentation Wizard seems not to have the capability to record audio as PPT. I search, but I could not find that tool. This could be a problem, since I really like this feature in PPT.
  1. Open Office Math and Word document
  • I was quite impress with this capability of Open Office. I have heard from some math teachers how difficult is to create a math test. Perhaps, Open Office could be a great solution to their problem. I will share this information with them, since Microsoft comes short when offering math solutions.

It was very interesting to compare both applications and find how both have some similarities and differences.

Hope you can find this helpful,


Creating a Matrix

My Micro-computing Systems in Education class (EDM510) I was asked to describe the process I went through when creating a matrix base on the Learning Theories in chapter 2 of Instructional Technology and Media Learning.

  • Honestly, I did not know where to start so as my professor suggested, I did some research. As you know when using google you need to visit a few informational links to determine the best fitting  your needs or the content you are looking for. I hit a few links that have different ways to approach in how to create a matrix. I am sharing two that I read and viewed.
  • This first video was general and gave me first steps or as introductory guide.
  • The second site gave me a better understanding on the requirements when creating a matrix and have a better understanding of the use of it.
  • https://www.betterevaluation.org/en/evaluation-options/framework_matrices. 
  • I decided to take a first path when creating my own matrix. Although, after completing the task, I decided to change it after reading the previous link, better evaluation. Perhaps, both of them relate the same information when summarizing the Learning Theories, but I believe the second and final fits best when categorizing content.
  • First attempt (draft) and final below:
  • Week1_Part B_Learning Theory Matrix_draft
  • Week1_Part B_Learning Theory Matrix_final
  • Perhaps, you have better ideas when creating a matrix, if so I would love for you to share your expertise and apply it to my own learning.

Thank you for reading and feel free to make comments or suggestions to this blog.