Marie Altieri's Portfolio

Introduction to Educational Technologies EDUC E-102

Introduction to Educational Technologies EDUC E-102

This website contains a portfolio of my work for the Fall 2006 Introduction to Educational Technologies Course at Harvard Extension School.


My name is Marie Altieri, and I live in Acton, Massachusetts with my husband Dave and my three boys, Chris, Stephen and Michael. The first two pictures above are our family on a cruise through the Panama Canal. My boys love the Red Sox, and they are seen in the third picture holding one of the 2004 World Series Rings that a belongs to a friend.

I work for the Lincoln Public Schools as a technology integration teacher at the Hanscom Middle School on the Hanscom Air Force Base. I teach students in grades four through eight once a week in the computer lab, as well as support teachers in their use of technology in their curriculum. This class has been very valuable in giving me great ideas that I have been able to try with my students as I've gone along. Prior to starting this teaching position last September, I have spent over 20 years teaching technology courses in companies. Most of my courses have been in the Unix area. The first nine years I taught full time for Honeywell, travelling nationally and internationally. For the last thirteen years I have worked as an independent contractor, developing and teaching my own courses for local companies.

I have also been on the Acton and Acton Boxborough School Committees for the last seven years. In this capacity, I have been involved with many aspects of Education Administration, including curriculum and technology advisory committees, building committees, budgeting and finance. This has been incredibly rewarding, and has lead me to believe that I would like to work in public schools. Last year I returned to school to work towards a Masters in Education degree, and obtained my teaching certification.

Class Assignments

This assignment involved using a program called "Inspiration" as part of a lesson plan. I decided to work with an eighth grade Social Studies teacher on this unit. It was part of an introduction to the Bill of Rights. Students used the graphic organizer software Inspiration to lay out their arguments about an issue that they were interested in and use the organizer to prepare for a debate on the topic. Topics that students chose included school dress codes, spanking, the draft, the right to die, and the death penalty. We used the drinking age as a whole class brainstorming topic as a way to demonstrate inspiration. The lesson was very successful, and the students really got involved in researching, laying out their arguments, and then debating the issues.

Smart Board Research and Presentations

We were asked to select a technology integration topic that was of interest to us and there were several assignments related to this topic. Two of my kid's classrooms have new interactive white boards called "SMART Boards." They had been coming home from school so excited about this new tool, that I bacame very interested. I decided to learn more about Smart Boards by observing their classrooms and researching curriculum integration using Smart Boards.

This assignment consists of a list of ten websites that I found very informative when I was studying SMART Boards. The sites include some research, lots of lesson plans that are tailored to SMART Board use, some "Best Practices" of SMART Boards in schools, and an interview with the founder of SMART Boards on the CBS This Morning Show.

  • Smart Board Powerpoint Presentation

  • This Powerpoint Presentation is a culmination of the research and observations that I collected about SMART Boards. I observed two teachers using their SMART Boards in the fourth and sixth grades. I took several photos which I have incorporated into this presentation. I concentrated on examples of lessons that truly improved the delivery of instruction into the curriculum in several subject areas.

  • Smart Board Pamphlet

  • This pamphlet provides a reference that summarizes currucular uses of SMART Boards. I used examples from several subject areas, including pictures from my class observations.

  • Photo Collage of Wells Beach and All of My Favorite Things (click for larger version)

  • For this assignment we were asked to make a "Self-Portrait" using Adobe's Photoshop software. I decided to use Wells Beach, Maine as a backdrop, since our family loves it there, and we spend most summer weekends at our campsite in Wells. The photo had several boats, and I placed myself, my husband, and my three boys each in a boat. I then placed the logo for Acton-Boxborough floating by the pier, and the Red Sox logo on the dock out in the middle of the water. I chose those two logos since they are places that I spend a lot of time and energy.

    Final Project

    For my final project I wanted to develop a comprehensive instructional unit that would utilize internet research skills as well as the skills that the students have learned in all of the office products, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. I also wanted to use a topic that the students would find fun and interesting. I decided that I would develop a WebQuest where students would plan a family vacation to an American City. I divided the students into groups of three. One person would plan the driving trip, calculate mileage, and map out the time it takes to drive from location to location. The second person would plan hotels and meals along the way and in the destination city. The third person would research and plan activities. As a team, they will be responsible for developing an itinerary in a Microsoft Word Table, a budget in an Excel Spreadsheet, and create and present a Powerpoint Slideshow to show the rest of the class their trip.

  • Graduate Essay

  • We were asked to read the article "Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow" which described an extensive four year research study of classrooms that were infused with technology, and the stages that the teachers went through in the process of utilizing the technology. We were asked to write an essay describing what stage we were at when the course began, and the stage we are at now.

    Discussion Board Topics

    The course was structured such that we met as a class every other week, and we participated in an on-line discussion board during the week in-between. Each session we were asked to read several articles and respond to a question related to instructional technology. Below are my postings with responses from my classmates. My postings and replies are in black, and my classmates are in various colors.

    1. Introduction to Classmates

    The first discussion board prompt asked us to introduce ourselves to our classmates, describe our background, and what we hope to learn from the course.

    2. Should we Purchase Turnitin for student writing?

    Turnitin is a program that will review student writing, search for plagiarism, and make editing comments. If you were a school administrator or instructional technologist, would you purchase it for your school district?

    3. Is Powerpoint a good instructional and presentation tool for education?

    Powerpoint is the source of much controversy as an instrucitonal tool. We were asked to read articles and look at sample student work and comment on whether Powerpoint is a good instructional tool or not.

    4. Give an example of a good use of technology and a bad use.

    Students gave examples of good and bad technology uses in their educaitonal experience.

    5. Describe final project ideas and give feedback.

    In preparation for submitting a final project proposal, we posted a description of our ideas for peer suggestions and feedback.