Sam Pabón's Ed-Tech Zone
A Focus on Educational & Instructional Technology
Samuel Pabon Jr
Consultant; Home School Teacher; Information Technologist (IT); Technology Coordinator
Lehigh Acres, FL

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What in the World is a Flipped Classroom ???

By Samuel Pabon Jr      March 19, 2013 -- 11:32 AM

There has been much talk - and sometimes debate - over this idea of Flipping the Classroom.


Well, many people - including educators - still do not even understand what a Flipped Classroom truly means in order to be able to take an educated stance in favor of, or against this newer concept.


Instead of trying to write a very long explanation, I came across the following Infographic that explains the concept and its origins very nicely. I came across the website for this Flipped Classroom Infographic when I was looking at the blog of one of my previous professors - brainmeld.


This ...   more...

Comments: 2   Last Comment By Smithg101  July 5, 2014 -- 03:31 PM

Sam Pabon | Digital Resume | 2012

By Samuel Pabon Jr      February 26, 2013 -- 07:44 AM

This is an example of a Digital Resume I have put together for use on my school/classroom website, and to use during Open-House time at the high school where I teach.


It is as simple as putting together a PowerPoint presentation - without transitions - and uploading it to after you make a free account.


It is only limited by your imagination Cool




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2012 ELCHS Spring Sports Banquet | Varsity Baseball Video Montage

By Samuel Pabon Jr      May 18, 2012 -- 09:19 AM

This video montage for an ELCHS Spring Sports Banquet was made specifically for non-profit educational use, and as such envokes portions of the "Fair Use" Provisions outlined in Title 17, Chapter 01 Article 107 of the US Copyright Law.




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Video Games and Learning

By Samuel Pabon Jr      April 12, 2011 -- 10:11 AM

Video Games and Learning

We are well into the information age, and educators are at the forefront of this paradigm shift.  Additionally, educators must have a concrete understanding of learning theory in order to create successful courses.  Professor Ted Henning asks whether students agree or disagree with the argument presented by Prensky, Gee and other researchers, “...that video games and technology have fundamentally changed the way students have learned how to learn” (Personal communication, April 10, 2011). 


Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational ...   more...

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Best Practices in Virtual Learning Environments

By Samuel Pabon Jr      March 23, 2011 -- 10:33 AM

Best Practices in Virtual Learning Environments defines best practice as “the recognized methods of correctly running businesses or providing services” (World English dictionary section, para. 1).  When based on principles, the same activities that constitute best practices in “traditional education” will, usually, translate well across any medium chosen for course delivery.  For a course to be of value, it has to answer a need - successfully.  This is where Instructional Design (ID) becomes important.  It is the analysis at the beginning ...   more...

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Virtual Immersion: The 3D Web

By Samuel Pabon Jr      March 11, 2011 -- 10:13 AM

Virtual Immersion: The 3D Web

While we may not be discussing the “final frontier”, we certainly are rapidly approaching the next frontier.  Kluge and Riley (2008) refer to 3-D virtual worlds as the next technological stepping stone that will redefine the internet as we know it today.  Web 3.0 could indeed become the 3-D virtual web filled with avatars (digital representations of ourselves), virtual businesses, homes, and learning environments.  Watch your step because the virtual rabbit hole is deep, and mostly unpaved.

ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine ...   more...

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Burning Images with Ken: The Effect of Motion on Stills

By Samuel Pabon Jr      February 24, 2011 -- 07:53 PM

Who is Ken Burns?

Many people utilize a video editing feature that is available in many Non-Linear Editors (NLEs), such as Apple's iMovie, that is known as the Ken Burns Effect.  Many people (including myself) never heard of, much less have seen some of the great documentaries by, Ken Burns.


Ken Burns has been an award-winning documentary filmmaker for over 30 years.  He is the cofounder of Florentine Films, and has received more than 25 honorary degrees (WETA, 2010).


The Project

The embedded video below is a quick project that displays some of the effects that ...   more...

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Draft Green Screen Intro Video

By Samuel Pabon Jr      February 20, 2011 -- 07:52 PM

This is my first run at using chroma-key (green-screen) technology. It is part of a course I am taking & will eventually become an introduction to a web-based course that I will be developing for my Capstone Project.

I downloaded a stock background from .
I used that to do a waist-up key of my intro with iMovie ’09.

I wanted to do more, such as walking around & full profile shots, but I ordered the wrong size green-screen (too small), and now I’m waiting on a bigger screen to arrive.

I also started playing with the Ultra Key option in Adobe Premiere ...   more...

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Draft Audio Intro

By Samuel Pabon Jr      February 13, 2011 -- 10:45 AM

Attached is the first draft of what will become the audio portion to a video introduction to my National University Capstone project for my Master of Science in Educational & Instructional Technology.


Although this first draft only needed to be 30 seconds in length, I extended it to about one minute in order to show the transition from my opening quote, which was adapted from a 1999 movie, to the actual  capstone course introduction.


RSSSubscribe Podcast:

Comments: 5   Last Comment By Blue  April 20, 2016 -- 05:24 PM

Taking it to the Web

By Samuel Pabon Jr      February 5, 2011 -- 09:44 AM

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

~ Charles Caleb Colton


I am currently enrolled in a “Media and Instruction” course at National University which will be utilizing digital storytelling for some of the assignments.  It is widely accepted that classical storytelling may be utilized as a catalyst to assist students with the cultivation of literacy skills.  The idea of digital storytelling simply moves the associated activities into the digital arena (Ohler, 2008). 


The video which is embedded below is an excellent example of digital storytelling, ...   more...

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Examining Synchronous Virtual Classrooms

By Samuel Pabon Jr      February 5, 2011 -- 08:08 AM

We now live in a globally connected, diverse, and multicultural world.  Everything from online games (computer or console based), blogs, and social networks in general have made it completely possible for anyone to develop an ongoing interaction with others outside of their own culture.  The specific technology may change over time, but the underlying activity has become firmly rooted in modern society.  The same may be said about education in general, and e-learning specifically.  “The role of the teacher is changing” (McIsaac & Craft, 2003, p. 45).

Oliver, Kellogg, ...   more...

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Online Course Components

By Samuel Pabon Jr      January 29, 2011 -- 12:06 PM

Cole and Foster (2008) list several recommendations that should be considered by instructional designers intent on developing quality courses.  While implementing everyone of these considerations is not feasible, the instructional designer that is able to implement as many as possible will design a better quality course.  The recommendations are divided into three categories as represented in Table 1 below.  

Table 1
Summary of categorically based solutions

Factors Considerations


  • High expectations

  • Respect for diverse talents and learning styles

  • Emphasis

...   more...
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Examining Hybrid Courses: Online vs. Onsite Supplements

By Samuel Pabon Jr      January 14, 2011 -- 09:31 PM

Perhaps contrary to what some may believe, distance learning has actually been around for over a century.  “‘Distance education’ has been in existence since the state of New York authorized degrees offered through ‘home study’ in 1883” (Tandy & Meacham, 2009, p. 314).  The differences between 1883 and 2011 are the available delivery methods.

One modern adaption is the hybrid/blended course.  By nature, a hybrid course blends aspects of traditional onsite education with aspects of distance learning; in modern times this is, usually, accomplished through technology (El Mansour ...   more...
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Developing Course Outlines for Online Courses

By Samuel Pabon Jr      January 14, 2011 -- 09:24 PM
According to US Legal (2001-2011), the legal definition of a course outline is “...a brief summary of the topics covered in a particular course” (Course outline law & legal definition section, para. 1).  Additionally, defines syllabus as “an outline of a course of studies, text, etc” (World English dictionary section, para. 1).

McIsaac and Craft (2003) suggest that it is paramount to have a well designed and developed course syllabus/outline in order to improve a given course’s chance of success.  They postulate that this is especially important when courses are web-based ...   more...
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Do you want to know what "IT" is?

By Samuel Pabon Jr      December 2, 2010 -- 09:37 PM
The Matrix is everywhere.  It is all around us.  Even now in this very room.  You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television.  You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes....Unfortunately, no one can be told [emphasis added] what the matrix is; you have to see it for yourself.  (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999) 

The quote above is from the famous "blue pill or red pill" scene in the 1999 hit, The Matrix.  With an ever increasing amount of people utilizing wireless internet connections, ...   more...
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All or Nothing ???

By Samuel Pabon Jr      November 13, 2010 -- 07:31 PM

First Impressions
"Hi, my name is Dan Willingham. I'm a Cognitive Psychologist and a Neuroscientist [emphasis added]....I'm gonna talk to you today about learning styles, and how Cognitive Psychologists know [emphasis added] - that they don't exist" (Willingham, 2009, "Learning Styles Don't Exist," [video file]).

Initially, I had to review this video several times just to get passed my own and personal hang-up and impression that Mr. Willingham's introduction sounds pretentious - to me; that was my initial perception. 

The fact that Mr. Willingham makes the distinction that he is a "Cognitive" Psychologist seems to indicate that he has chosen to accept and distribute the theories of Cognitivism as undeniable and unquestionable truth.  If we use child-like faith to accept Mr. Willingham's message as absolute truth, then Learning Styles do not exist.

I do not have a "traditional" educator's background.  Actually, my background is in IT - the Information Technology kind, as opposed to Instructional Technology.  I mention this just to bring up the point that I am not completely partial (yet) to any particular learning theory.    

Learning Theory
“Learning theories attempt to describe how humans learn....what are the key elements in the process of gaining new knowledge and capabilities and how those elements interact” (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008, p. 18).  When discussing learning theories, there are three main models or strategies (isms) that are often referenced: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism.  

Supporters of the cognitivist theory focus on that learning which occurs in the mind of the learner.

Cognitivism focuses on the actual cognitive processes of learning.  It sees the brain as multiple compartments that are more integrated and interdependent than the straight stimulus/reaction view in behaviorism.  It says that learning is an active process of filtering, organizing, and integrating information within and between these different areas of the brain making learning sometimes harder to observe than something like a Skinner box. (T. Henning, personal communication, September 30, 2010)

Januszewski and Molenda (2008) point out the following limitation to the theory of cognitivism: " is meant to apply to learning in the cognitive domain....It has much less to say about motor skills or attitudes except as regards the cognitive elements of those skills" (p. 30).  

All or Nothing?
Mr. Willingham seems to, purposely, use examples out of context.  Yes, you may have a student that performs better through auditory learning, but, as Mr. Willingham points out, when it comes to learning the shape of a country, that student has to, visually, see the country's outline.  Perhaps listening to the teacher describe the geography and population of the country while seeing the shape of the country's borders will help solidify the information in the student's mind.  While the preferred modality for a particular student may be auditory, that does not mean that the student is not able to learn by other means.

Unfortunately, it appears that too many people put the proverbial "blinders" on, and take an all or nothing approach when it comes to learning theories.

Champions of a particular learning theory, which  may have a strong grounding in research and is therefore a quite useful description of how people learn, sometimes forcefully argue that their prescriptive instructional implications must be equally true whether or not they have been tested and upheld empirically. (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008, p. 18-19)

An eclectic approach combines ideas from the different learning theories without forcing the implementation of an entire “parent theory”. 

Personally, I believe in the “supermarket approach”; take the parts of the learning theory that are needed at the moment, and leave the rest “on the shelf” for another day.  Whether as an educator, or as an instructional designer (or both), one has to analyze the types of learners that one has as an audience.  Then, are we able to “go shopping” and implement the best portions of each of the learning theories.

What Now?
In the end, we have to accept that different learners, not only have different learning styles, but also have different motivations to learn, different life experiences, different cultural influences, and even different levels of knowledge. 

I, for one, have come to the realization that learning theories must be blended.  This is the best way to ensure that we, as educators, are able to impact the maximum number of learners as possible.


Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentary.
New York, NY: Routledge.

Willingham, D. (2009, July 30). Learning styles don't exist [video file]. Retrieved from
Comments ››

Blue Pill or Red Pill - How Deep does the "How" Rabbit Hole Go?

By Samuel Pabon Jr      November 9, 2010 -- 06:49 PM
Do you want to know what it [emphasis added] is?...Unfortunately, no one can be told [emphasis added] what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself....You take the Blue Pill. The story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe - whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill. You stay in wonderland - And, I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember - all I’m offering is the truth; nothing more. (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999)

"Remember - all I’m offering is the truth; nothing more." (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999)

Relationship between Embedded Theories and Instructional Models
For ...   more...
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For Whom the Training's Developed

By Samuel Pabon Jr      October 21, 2010 -- 02:27 PM of the first things you need to do when gathering content is to develop a list of the prerequisite skills and knowledge that the trainees should come to your program having already mastered.  This will give you a starting point and keep you from overdeveloping your content. (Piskurich, 2006, p. 148)

Importance of Listing Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge for Instruction
The "bottom line up front" (BLUF) is that listing course prerequisites is vital and should, almost always, be mandatory.  Piskurich (2006) suggests that course prerequisites are important for, both, the instructors, ...   more...
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Your Honor, I Object !!!

By Samuel Pabon Jr      October 16, 2010 -- 10:20 AM
Importance of Objectives to Effective Instructional Design
It is interesting that Black's Dictionary of Law: Second Edition (1910) defines object as "...whatever is presented to the mind, as well as what may be presented to the senses; whatever, also, is acted upon, or operated upon, affirmatively, or intentionally influenced by anything done, moved, or applied thereto" (p. 841).

Well written objectives serve to provide a clear understanding of what will be covered in a course.  Objectives are like landmarks when someone provides directions, or like way-points on a GPS device.  They help ...   more...
Comments: 5   Last Comment By Darvin  April 20, 2016 -- 05:23 PM

Accurately Determining the Gap before Taking a Leap

By Samuel Pabon Jr      October 9, 2010 -- 06:31 PM
Human Performance Technology

The phrase Human Performance Technology (HPT) is usually synonymous with Human Performance Improvement (HPI).  For this post, I will use the terms interchangeably. 

So, What is HPT / HPI Anyway?
ASTD Models for Human Performance Improvement by William J. Rothwell, as cited on Purdue University’s Physical Facilities Training (n.d.) webpage, describes HPI as
...the systematic process of discovering and analyzing important human performance gaps, planning for future improvements in human performance,...   more...
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Systems Approach: The Dick and Carey Model

By Samuel Pabon Jr      October 2, 2010 -- 12:45 PM

The Systems Approach to Instructional Design (ID) is composed of a simple and logical step-by-step process for developing and/or implementing training materials and/or programs.  Generally speaking, the result(s) of each one of these logical steps is then utilized as a catalyst for the next step (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008, p. 104).  There have been several ID models developed based on the systems-approach.

The Dick and Carey model of ISD (Instructional Systems Design/Development) is one of the better known ISD models; it is usually utilized/implemented by many organizations, ...   more...

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To ID, or Not to ID ...

By Samuel Pabon Jr      October 1, 2010 -- 10:00 PM
To use Instructional Design, or not to use Instructional Design
- That truly is the question.

     One of my all-time favorite classes was my high school English Literature/Media class.  One of my all-time despised classes was my first college programming class in PASCAL.  When taking either of these classes, it was very obvious that both teachers were very knowledgeable, and able to "do" the things that they were teaching.  As a matter ...   more...
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Navigating the Web - Intelligently

By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 28, 2010 -- 11:08 AM
"Safety First. Security Always" - Navy Radioman Guiding Principle

Technology is something that should be embraced and respected, but not feared.

While it ...   more...
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How to Embed a YouTube Video ...

By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 25, 2010 -- 10:04 PM

Embedding a YouTube Video into the My-eCoach Editor

This video will show you the basics for embedding a YouTube video, or any video that provides the embeddable code for you to use.

I hope this helps.

Below is the actual YouTube video that I used for the tutorial. 
It is one of my favorites!

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Efficacy of the Internet & Digital Issues: Creative Commons | Share, Remix, Reuse - Legally

By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 21, 2010 -- 12:32 PM

Points Covered:

  • What is Creative Commons (CC)?
  • Impact on Copyright
  • Impact on Education
  • CC License Conditions
  • Specific CC Licenses
  • A Video Summary

Take a look at this SlideShare presentation
for a brief introduction to CC Licensing options for creative works.

Please feel free to provide constructive feedback
in the comments section below.

Comments ››

Case Study in 21st Century Best Practices

By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 15, 2010 -- 11:48 PM
"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."
~ Charles F. Kettering

What is a Best Practice?
According to, a best practice is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward which conventional wisdom regards as more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. when applied to a particular condition or circumstance. (2010). 

Taking Charles F. Kettering’s quote about the future into consideration, a 21st century best practice, as it relates to education, may be considered to ...   more...
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By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 6, 2010 -- 08:32 PM

Best practice. (2010). Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Black, H. C. (1910). Black's dictionary of law (2nd ed.). Retrieved from (Original work published 1891)

International Society for Performance Improvement. (n.d.). Principles of human performance technology.
Retrieved from

Jacobs, H. H. (Ed.). (2010). Curriculum 21: Essential education for a changing world.
Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Januszewski, ...   more...
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By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 6, 2010 -- 12:06 AM
To Blog, or Not to Blog ...

Blogging has many uses, and the reason(s) to blog will be different from person-to-person.  Personally, I enjoy blogging.  I first began blogging a few years ago after becoming licensed as a loan officer, and becoming a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS).  I started blogging to educate and counter a lot of inaccurate information/advice that people were receiving - especially through mainstream media   I began by using Google's Blogger platform which still has my archived posts here.  

Eventually, I switched my blogging focus to ...   more...
Comments: 2   Last Comment By nun97k  January 21, 2017 -- 06:03 AM

My Professional Blog

By Samuel Pabon Jr      September 5, 2010 -- 08:00 PM
"The capability to learn is inherent in all of us.
The only variable, then, is our own desire to learn." ~Sam Pabon

Philosophy of Education
As educators we should help facilitate goals and help cast a vision for students that will, not only, stretch their imaginations, but also their beliefs regarding what is possible. In order to accomplish this, we need to become and remain culturally aware regarding the diverse student populations we will interact with on our chosen playing field. We are not just "teachers", we are "coaches":
  • guiding
  • mentoring
  • encouraging
  • motivating
  • disciplining
There is a distinct difference between the simple memorization of information and the true acquisition of knowledge that can be implemented outside of the learning arena. We should be facilitators of this acquisition process (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008, p.10). Only then will true and actionable learning take place; memorizing eventually leads to "data-dumping".

Sam Pabon
My name is Samuel Pabon, but I prefer to be called "Sam". I was born & raised in the Bronx (NY). Yes, I am a die-hard Bronx Bombers fan - Blue pinstripes forever  

I have always had some kind of role as an "educator" since I was younger. I have been teaching martial arts since about the age of 17. My students have ranged in age from 4 to over 60 years old.

I served 8yrs in the United States Navy. While in San Diego, one of my collateral duties was Training Petty Officer (TPO). As the TPO, I was responsible for developing, conducting, scheduling, and/or maintaining training modules/records/requirements. I started off in communications as a Radioman (RM) and spent 4 years in sunny San Diego, CA aboard a Submarine Tender (surface ship) at Point Loma Sub Base.

Eventually, my career field merged with the computer "geeks", and I embraced "geekdom" wholeheartedly. The new career field was renamed to Information Technology (IT) specialists in order to more accurately reflect the nature of our duties. After San Diego, I was stationed at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, MD. This is where I "cut my teeth" in IT Security. I continued providing OJT (on the job) training to, both, junior sailors and civilians.

After leaving active duty, my professional background continued in IT Security. In my professional career I have also had the same training/education requirements. I have always been complemented on my ability to present seemingly complex topics in a manner that is easier for an audience to grasp, learn and apply.

As far as a more "traditional" form of teaching experience, my two youngest daughters (12yrs / 9yrs) are currently home-schooled. They are in 7th & 5th grade, respectively. I teach their Math & Social Studies classes using the BJU Press curriculum. I teach them basic Computer/Technology classes utilizing an "active use" approach based on my professional experiences. I also co-teach their Spanish class (alternating with my wife) utilizing Hayes School Publishing materials along with our backgrounds as native Spanish-speakers.

Although I am relatively comfortable with technology, I am always in a learning mode. I am looking forward to being able to fuse my experiences with the current growth taking place in educational and instructional technology.

Goals for Integrating Technology
My desire is for this degree to assist me in making a successful transition from my IT-Security background into the Education arena.

Technology is something that should be embraced and respected, but not feared. Though I have not, personally, taught in a traditional school setting, as of yet, my wife has been a first and second grade teacher, a Spanish teacher at a special needs high school, and she has worked as a substitute teacher in every grade from kindergarten through 8th grade. I only mention this, because I helped her to semi-automate some of her more repetitive tasks.

We used Microsoft Office products for several things such as:
  • Excel to create a "grade-book" that would automatically keep a running average of student’s grades
  • Excel to create an attendance book that would automatically keep a tally of days: present, absent, late (this came in handy for end-of-year attendance awards)
  • Excel to create lesson plans that could be easily adjusted to account for last-minute schedule changes and archived on portable media for future reference
  • PowerPoint for back-to-school night and other parent-teacher meetings (this helped to keep meetings "on track" by letting parents know at the beginning that there would be time for questions at the end)
  • PowerPoint to create student incentives (treasure chest bucks, free homework passes, etc.) that were used to reward good behavior
  • PowerPoint to create end of quarter and end of year award certificates for the students
  • Even though Visio is not part of the Microsoft Office Suite, I helped my wife use it to create seating charts which helped tremendously with keeping order in the classroom 
One of my goals is to continue integrating technology outside of the classroom in order to streamline and improve the efficiency of my own routines and processes. In turn, this will improve my ability to implement technology inside of the classroom.

Successfully integrating technology in the classroom is my second goal. Students have a natural curiosity and desire to learn when it comes to technology. This curiosity and desire can be harnessed and utilized in order to stimulate knowledge acquisition across all subject areas.

All students, regardless of age, want to "enjoy" the learning process. Now that our transition into the Information Age (Digital Age) is well underway, that enjoyment may be stimulated by utilizing modern technology. In addition, advances in static (internet access not required) computer based training (CBT) and online course delivery has made the implementation of differentiated instruction much easier; especially when teachers, schools, and/or school districts have limited funding and/or resources.

"Safety first. Security always" - Navy Radioman Guiding Principle
While it is absolutely true that technology is a wonderful tool with many great benefits, it must also be noted that there are some dangers to consider when integrating technology.

My third goal is to utilize my background and experiences in cyber threat analysis to instill respect and awareness in all of my students, and colleagues, for the potential pit-falls that exist with the use of technology. Like a see-saw, there is a delicate balance between "security" and usability. Generally speaking, the more "secure" you make a specific technology, the less "user-friendly" it becomes; the more "user-friendly" it is, the less "secure" that technology tends to behave.

It’s all about balance, and having the discipline to implement some guidelines such as:
  • Not clicking on unsolicited links, documents, etc regardless of the sender (forwarded emails especially)
  • Illegitimately "FREE" software is not necessarily a "good" thing (open-source software is a different topic)
  • Stronger passwords (preferably with a combination of upper/lower case, numbers, special characters, etc)
The bottom line is that awareness is the key.
Remember, technology is something that should be embraced and respected, but not feared.

Works Cited

Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational technology: A definition with
commentary. New York, NY: Routledge.
Comments: 1   Last Comment By Ursula williams  September 19, 2010 -- 01:11 AM

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