Switching to a new home…

After only a short time on WordPress.com, I’ve decided that hosted WordPress is the way to go! Please come visit me at my new home:


Hope to see you there!



Tech Finds | Prezi: An alternative to typical presentations

I recently watched a presentation in one of my graduate classes (Systematic Instructional Development). I was prepared for what I’ll call the ‘typical’ presentation – slides with words and/or pictures, with maybe a video or two.

Instead, I sat with my mouth hanging open as this presentation, which at first glance appeared to be slides, zoomed in and out on the screen and focused on different words or images. I watched the entire presentation with total attention.

Now a big part of this was also the presenter. My classmate did an excellent job. He obviously took his time preparing and knew what he wanted to say and when he wanted to say it. But my attention was mainly captured by the format of his presentation.

Today I’m sharing one of my newest Tech Finds with you –  the tool his presentation introduced me to – Prezi. According to their website, Prezi “opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them. The result: visually captivating presentations that lead your audience down a path of discovery.” While I don’t have my classmate’s presentation to share with you, I’d like to share three sample Prezi presentations that are posted on their website.

The first is by Adam Somlai-Fischer. He’s the founder and current head of design at Prezi. This presentation does a nice job of explaining how Prezi enables you to look at presentations differently.


Thanks for reading!

Hello, I’m Monica

It’s nice to meet you!

Welcome to my website. Here I’ll share my thoughts on education and technology and how to combine the two in meaningful ways to create positive experiences for students.

I’ve loved computers since my first one appeared under the Christmas tree in the early 80s. It looked a lot like this one:

Image by Pat Hawks

My grandfather (I called him “Poppop”) picked out the computer for me – an IBM Tandy 1000 – from the local Radio Shack. Quite the forward thinker, Poppop was a technology enthusiast himself. He was very interested in music and always had the latest and greatest where that was concerned.

Poppop saw the world moving forward with technology and wanted me to be prepared. He felt that a computer would be very important to my future, so for my Christmas present one year (most likely in 1984 or 1985 as, according to my Mom, this was before I had even started school yet), a huge box sat under the tree. Inside, was a gift that changed my life.

I spent a lot of time at that computer. I remember playing games and writing diary entries in a program that allowed you to “protect” it with a password. I was always forgetting the password to open up my diary. This resulted in me creating many new diaries. My love of writing, and later blogging, came from those early experiences with that computer.

Twenty years or so go by….and I’m now a teacher. For eight years, I taught high school students in a vocational technical school district – first as a Business Technology teacher (courses like Intro. to Business, Marketing, and Computer applications) and most recently as a Web Design teacher. These were the perfect positions for me – I was fortunate to teach students every day about a topic I am passionate about – technology!

While teaching, I decided to pursue my Ed.D. degree in Education Leadership. I took courses on topics like Curriculum Engineering and School Law. While in the program, I decided to learn more about how teachers use technology in their classrooms. I was interested in finding out why more didn’t, and how school districts could inspire more teachers to use technology in their classrooms on a more regular basis. This interest ended up evolving into the topic for my dissertation which you can read about here if you’d like.

Shortly after finishing the program, I decided that I wanted to learn more about technology and education, in particular, how the integration of technology relates to increasing students’ comprehension and achievement. After a lot of deliberation, I decided I wanted to go back to school. This past year, I went from teaching full-time to being a full-time student again. I’m studying Instructional Systems in the Ph.D. program at Penn State University on the University Park campus.

I’ve kept a fairly active personal blog for quite some time now, but I wanted to create a site where I could share my thoughts on education and technology. I love chatting about technology and enjoy connecting with others who do too! Please feel free to contact me by clicking the “Connect” link at the top of this website!

Thanks for stopping by!