Category Archives: 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies

2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
2.2.1 Apply principles of visual and media literacy for the development and production of
instructional and professional materials and products.
2.2.2 Apply development techniques such as storyboarding and or scriptwriting to plan
for the development of audio/video technologies.
2.2.3 Use appropriate video equipment (e.g., camcorders, video editing) to prepare
effective instructional and professional products.
2.2.4 Use a variety of projection devices with appropriate technology tools to facilitate
presentations and instruction.
[from (SMETS)]

EDTECH 541: AECT Standards

AECT Standard correlation

Prompt: How the course work demonstrates mastery of the AECT standards http://www.aect.org/standards/initstand.html?  (Note: If you are not in the M.E.T. program, you can omit this.)

Many of the standards definitely applied in this course, and interspersed in the standards description are some ways this course offered an opportunity to achieve the standard.

AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge): Candidates demonstrate the knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies and processes.

Indicator:

Creating – Candidates demonstrate the ability to create instructional materials and learning environments using a variety of systems approaches. (p. 81)

  • Networks- the physical infrastructure of computer hardware, with firewalls
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).

Indicator:

Using – Candidates demonstrate the ability to select and use technological resources and processes to support student learning and to enhance their pedagogy. (p. 141)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Networks- the physical infrastructure of computer hardware, with firewalls
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Web Based Learning activity- learning about vaccinations by reading about its history, looking at data that is available online, evaluating the ethics of vaccinating children, and having students take a position on the issue by using at least one Web 2.0 app / software
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used

Indicator:

Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate the effective integration of appropriate technologies and instructional materials.

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Networks- the physical infrastructure of computer hardware, with firewalls
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Web Based Learning activity- learning about vaccinations by reading about its history, looking at data that is available online, evaluating the ethics of vaccinating children, and having students take a position on the issue by using at least one Web 2.0 app / software
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used
  • Geography and history- how scientists figure out science and atoms. Students plot on a Google earth map the locations pieces of the atom were investigated or how other historical things were happening at the same time the person they researched was doing his work.

Indicator:

Managing – Candidates demonstrate the ability to effectively manage people, processes, physical infrastructures, and financial resources to achieve predetermined goals. (p. 178)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Networks- the physical infrastructure of computer hardware, with firewalls
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.

AECT Standard 2 – Content Pedagogy

AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy): Candidates develop as reflective practitioners able to demonstrate effective implementation of educational technologies and processes based on contemporary content and pedagogy.

Indicator:

Creating – Candidates apply content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes. (p. 1)

  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used

Indicator:

Using – Candidates implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 141)

  •  Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Web Based Learning activity- learning about vaccinations by reading about its history, looking at data that is available online, evaluating the ethics of vaccinating children, and having students take a position on the issue by using at least one Web 2.0 app / software
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used
  • Geography and history- how scientists figure out science and atoms. Students plot on a Google earth map the locations pieces of the atom were investigated or how other historical things were happening at the same time the person they researched was doing his work.

Indicator:

Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates demonstrate an inquiry process that assesses the adequacy of learning and evaluates the instruction and implementation of educational technologies and processes (p. 116-117) grounded in reflective practice.

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Web Based Learning activity- learning about vaccinations by reading about its history, looking at data that is available online, evaluating the ethics of vaccinating children, and having students take a position on the issue by using at least one Web 2.0 app / software
  • Geography and history- how scientists figure out science and atoms. Students plot on a Google earth map the locations pieces of the atom were investigated or how other historical things were happening at the same time the person they researched was doing his work

Indicator:

Managing – Candidates manage appropriate technological processes and resources to provide supportive learning communities, create flexible and diverse learning environments, and develop and demonstrate appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 175-193)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Web Based Learning activity- learning about vaccinations by reading about its history, looking at data that is available online, evaluating the ethics of vaccinating children, and having students take a position on the issue by using at least one Web 2.0 app / software
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used

Indicator:

Ethics – Candidates design and select media, technology, and processes that emphasize the diversity of our society as a multicultural community. (p. 296)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Hypermedia Integration- videos on color changes in chemistry; students view videos and make some conclusions about science concepts like when the chemicals have a specific color, or what are some of the things that happen during chemical equilibrium?
  • Web Based Learning activity- learning about vaccinations by reading about its history, looking at data that is available online, evaluating the ethics of vaccinating children, and having students take a position on the issue by using at least one Web 2.0 app / software
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used
  • Geography and history- how scientists figure out science and atoms. Students plot on a Google earth map the locations pieces of the atom were investigated or how other historical things were happening at the same time the person they researched was doing his work.

AECT Standard 3 – Learning Environments

AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments): Candidates facilitate learning (p. 41) by creating, using, evaluating, and managing effective learning environments. (p. 1)

Indicator:

Creating – Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices. (pp. 8, 243-245, 246)

  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).

Indicator:

Using – Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning (pp. 122, 169) based on principles, theories, and effective practices. (pp. 8-9, 168-169, 246)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used
  • Geography and history- how scientists figure out science and atoms. Students plot on a Google earth map the locations pieces of the atom were investigated or how other historical things were happening at the same time the person they researched was doing his work.

Indicator:

Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates use multiple assessment strategies (p. 53) to collect data for informing decisions to improve instructional practice, learner outcomes, and the learning environment. (pp. 5-6)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Spreadsheets and databases- how to access and utilize online databases and Google sheets to create organized way of looking at information
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.

Indicator:

Managing – Candidates establish mechanisms (p. 190) for maintaining the technology infrastructure (p. 234) to improve learning and performance. (p. 238)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.

Indicator:

Ethics – Candidates foster a learning environment in which ethics guide practice that promotes health, safety, best practice (p. 246), and respect for copyright, Fair Use, and appropriate open access to resources. (p. 3)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Acceptable use policy
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used
  • Geography and history- how scientists figure out science and atoms. Students plot on a Google earth map the locations pieces of the atom were investigated or how other historical things were happening at the same time the person they researched was doing his work

Indicator:

Diversity of Learners – Candidates foster a learning community that empowers learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities. (p. 10)

  • Technology Vision Statement- how I see the role of technology in schools
  • Relative Advantage Chart- the reality of what is currently done in schools and how things could change
  • Instructional Software- various ways software can be used to help students acquire information
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
  • English-like assignments- having students write an ebook to explain how to balance an equation. Equations are provided and the difficulty of each equation is rated with experience points (XP).
  • Arts, Music, and PE- lessons on Materials science where students explain using a Buncee presentation how the material they chose to explain is made and used

AECT Standard 4 – Professional Knowledge and Skills

AECT Standard 4 (Professional Knowledge and Skills): Candidates design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-rich learning environments within a supportive community of practice.

Indicator:

Reflection on Practice – Candidates analyze and interpret data and artifacts and reflect on the effectiveness of the design, development and implementation of technology-supported instruction and learning to enhance their professional growth.

  • Just about every entry in the Learning Log

Indicator:

Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates design and implement assessment and evaluation plans that align with learning goals and instructional activities.

  • Presentation software and embedding it: Python Strings – practicing making my own presentation that could serve as an example of how to make a useful slide presentation
  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our Moodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.

Indicator:

Ethics – Candidates demonstrate ethical behavior within the applicable cultural context during all aspects of their work and with respect for the diversity of learners in each setting.

  • Using Social Media- using Instagram , Iconosquare, Twitter, Kidblog and Google hangouts. Instagram shared images of science they found in nature. Iconosquare is someplace to organize Instagram feeds. Twitter is another way to share the image with peers. Kidblog is a place for students to congregate and share their ideas. It could have easily been Edmoto or wikispaces, but I already have a membership at Kidblog and like their format so I chose that location to put up discussion groups and places for students to post images and their ideas. Ideally I’d create a Moodle site to use as the LMS, but we don’t use our M­oodle account at BSU to create mock classes for graduate students to use. (like I did when I took classes at Merritt Community College in Online Teaching) Google hangouts are a free place to do real time face to face meetings in small groups.
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EDTECH 541: Obstacles and Solutions for Tech in the Classroom

One of the biggest challenges with integrating technology into any curriculum is making sure everybody has the equipment and software they need to actually use technology. Once that barrier is solved, a common problem in the sciences is the teachers don’t know their content matter well enough to understand some of the websites that are available. Of course, like most of my blogs I am speaking from personal experience.

I shared a classroom with a teacher who seemed to be proud of the fact she was teaching AP biology, even though she had never taken a genetics class in college. If you have been keeping track of my bashing her, you may recall this is not a veteran teacher. She also liked to point out how she was the youngest in our department. If anybody should know how to do the latest math with genetics, it should be she. She had no clue. Because she, as well as many AP bio teachers, do not understand allele frequencies and genotype frequencies, software that is available to help teachers with those concepts won’t be effectively used by said biology teachers. I have to admit that I did not understand Chi Square very well, even though I supposedly taught it. It was a statistical test we were supposed to do to see if our class was in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. This is part of the Alu analysis at the DNALC website so the computer does the statistical computation for us. Heck, the math is the easy part because all we have to do is put in our data, and it will calculate a Chi Square value for us. As the teacher, though, I should be able to explain Chi Square. (Thankfully after taking stats at BSU, I have a much better understanding of Chi Square and could explain it now.)

The other personal experience I have with packaged software being available online is with Gizmos. The labs at Gizmos are not free. I worked for a company that paid for access to the labs. Personally I would not subscribe to Gizmos because as exciting as they can be, some of their lab concepts are so obscure or picky that I really have no clue why we should spend any time doing that particular lab. I was working for a virtual school that did not have lab kits for students to use. All of our science labs were virtual. That virtual lab experience was horrible. So with Gizmos, there were two problems for me. Sometimes it took me hours to figure out what the heck they were asking students to do, so there was the limitation of my brain power.  The second problem was trying to figure out how to make connections between the Gizmo labs and the scripted curriculum.

The company for whom I was a “teacher”, started developing their own virtual labs, which had a lot of potential. Unfortunately they were using a platform that crashed easily so the year I was with them, it was really tough to count on the labs working. They also created labs where students can’t make mistakes, and see outcomes of their mistakes. It is bad enough that students can’t make a mess of objects to do a lab, but with many virtual labs, they can’t make a mess of the data or outcomes either.

As for technology challenges in classrooms that have tables and chairs, barriers for science classes are usually time. The kids I last taught were trained on how to get the Mac laptops on and off the cart, so we did not lose too much class time the days we used the Macs.  We could only use the Macs, though, for Internet research or word processing. We did not have enough computers to have lab stations in the classroom, however there was one PC that stayed in one spot so we could take digital images of our gels. The PC, though, was not connected to the school’s intranet, nor could it go online, because we were a Mac school and did not have the necessary firewalls for the PC. Of course, I said I’d buy the software, but for the physical location of the computer to be with the equipment we needed to use to take the images, it was not possible to run an Internet cable to the computer. There was no way they were going to let me put the PC on the intranet.

Since I bought the PC, nobody could complain that there were liquids near it. You stain your gels in containers that have liquid. Biotech labs are wet labs. That is another challenge for science teachers- having stations or handheld devices to use Probeware, or other computer based learning devices, set up so liquids don’t cause problems.

I am not planning to do the science/math lesson plan because I want to push myself to think in the context of the other disciplines. Looking at the options for the science section, though, I am reminded of a couple of the challenges with online science class sites. First, is figuring out which exercise can be used for my class in the time frame I have to dedicate to that topic. Second, is figuring out if asking students to do a particular lab at home makes sense. I’m all for having students videotape themselves doing the lab and getting credit for doing a lab that way. Digital evidence gets points in my book. Some of the “labs” I found online, however, are either really difficult, use dangerous equipment, or don’t make sense / are not worth the time. In contrast, some of the labs are awesome and I’d happily ask students to do them as homework.

How to fix these issues? Hire the right people to do the job. I’ve applied to work for companies that do virtual explanations or virtual labs, but nobody has hired me to be a teacher consultant or a designer. I know how we’ve been taught about ADDIE and how you need to get stakeholder input. I seriously think they have not gotten authentic teacher input for much of the virtual stuff that is out there for serious science teachers to use. I participated, voluntarily, for anything I could get involved with when I was in the classroom. I trial tested the Living by Chemistry curriculum so I know it works with kids. I’m not going to denigrate the students I taught, but I can tell you I did not teach in a monetary wealthy area. I got paid in 2013 to draft a virtual community college chemistry e-textbook, but I have a feeling my ideas were so anti-mainstream, that that is the reason they did not ask me to continue on the project. Traditional chemistry works in the classroom because it makes sense. It does not make sense online because kids don’t actually do any chemistry in a virtual class. Teaching them the names and uses of equipment is the easiest way to turn off a student taking a virtual chemistry course. I digress…

I’ve taken over thirty courses online from at least a half a dozen schools or companies in the past four years. I’ve seen some good teacher / instructor habits, but for the most part, people don’t know the software they are using. To fix the obstacles we have with science teachers not using technology for science, we need to make the technology available, have it be a part of their regular professional development, and make sure when they do the technology requirement for their teaching credential, that they actually do something with the already existing platforms, so when they do their lesson plans, they can incorporate the technology in a useful way. If we’re going to have teachers jump through hoops, we might as well make them as authentic as possible.

EDTECH 541: Integrating Technology for the Content

One huge advantage to using technology in content areas is the edutainment value. Our textbook has chapters at the end of it that have a plethora of ideas on how to integrate technology into the classroom to make the subject matter more engaging. My intent is to highlight some of the main points they bring up.

English and Language Arts

Stories: These can be stories the students write by themselves or as a team. Just like students will write stories on paper and pass the story to the next person, they can do the story online and make changes more easily.  The teacher can monitor student progress to make sure all students are involved and are following directions. Student literacies are amplified by using technology because there is now a three dimensional component to some stories. Whereas we used to use our imaginations to “see” a story, we can now “read” someone else’s interpretation, or produce a digital product based on what we envisioned happening in the story. Digital storytelling is even a “technique” that has arisen where students communicate, using audio and visual cues, autobiographies or biographies of others.

Blog or Vlog: Students can express themselves in writing, a blog, or with using video, a vlog. (p.268) They can also do collaborative projects in wiki areas or by making a website as a group. Real world opportunities to be responsible to colleagues, meeting deadlines, and making contributions to group projects, like a wiki or website, help students prepare for the intensely collaborative nature of the working world.

Standards include expanding student access and abilities: The NCTE/IRA Standards are written vaguely enough that digital media can easily be used to give students access to print and non-print texts in various genres. Students are also expected to employ a variety of ways to communicate their ideas, what they have synthesized from what they read, or to generate new information. (p.269)

Language acquisition for students still learning a written or spoken language: Interactive lessons that let the learner hear phonetic sounds and connect them to letter patterns, can be very powerful to reinforce language structure and function.  (p.272)

Annotations: When utilizing paper-based resources, either the students have to own the book so they can write in it, or they need post-it notes to write down ideas as they peruse the text. With some eBooks, the software not only lets you highlight text, but you can also write notes to yourself as you are reading. Since is digital, in some cases, you can even use the software to aggregate what you highlighted, and the notes you wrote so that reviewing the material is easier than if you were using paper methods.

Foreign Language and Second Language Instruction

I expect the opportunities for students in these subjects are very similar to those who are learning English, however technology will allow students to be more fully immersed in a culture. They can visit the country online, can read websites written in the language they are studying, and depending on the teacher, they may even be able to have pen-pals from a country that writes in the language they are learning. Ideally they would be able to physically visit the country that speaks the language they are learning, but for some students, being able to visit their museums or other cultural locations online will be all they can afford while they are students. That experience is still far better than merely looking at pictures in paper-based books.

For English Language Learners (ELL) where English is an additional language, websites that have words translated in multiple languages can help students see parallels between the language(s) they know and English, if there are connections that can be made. For some students, having a visual way to see the structure of a language, and to be able to manipulate words and see how their meaning change, is very powerful. There are also many ELL websites where they sound out the words for students, and give instant feedback on whether they chose the right word for a given syntax. (chapter 10)

Mathematics and Science Instruction

Technology definitely can assist with making mathematics come more to life than having students merely use pencil and paper to learn it. I actually have mixed feelings about technology in science because I am a science teacher and therefore have a built-in bias for having students manipulate non-virtual objects.

From concrete to abstract: For math, making any numerical process be more three dimensional is very useful for many students. In elementary school we manipulated blocks and Cuisenaire rods to get a concrete feeling for what numbers can represent. When I took EDTECH 531, we used blocks in Minecraft to be virtual Cuisenaire blocks. I still think that developmentally having students physically manipulate objects is important, but there may be equipment limitations so students would have to manipulate blocks virtually at home. (p.310).

Graphing calculators: In algebra, a graphing calculator is one of the most amazing tools, because you can change one part of an equation, and look to see how that affects the shape of a graph. I am so old that we did not use graphing calculators when I was in school. I have had to teach myself how to use one in the last year because I was tutoring a student taking algebra 2. I still don’t know how to use the graphing calculator well, but I can show her how the graph changes based on the sign, a coefficient, or something being added or subtracted.  It should now be commonplace for schools to have graphing calculators their students can use in class and at home. There are also graphing programs online, and of course there is Excel, for students to have a digital way to graph data sets. (Graphing calculators are discussed on page 313).

Apps and games for math: There are loads of apps that are made to let people play with math. I think one reason for this is because it is really easy to code for mathematical logic. Coding, in general, has its foundations in math, and at least at the arithmetic level, it is very straightforward. I think it was an EDTECH 597 class where we were supposed to learn how to use apps with students, or something like that. It turned out he had us create an app. One thing I learned in that class was that mathematical logic is practically built in to anything that can be coded, and physics parts are already a part of the process for some of the software you use to create apps. You don’t have to explain F=ma because they physics engine already knows how to do those types of “common sense” applications.  This is one reason I am including coding with STEM lessons- the coding process lets students see the consequences of numbers.

Probeware or calculator based laboratories (CBL): This applies for both math and science simulations. Vernier and Texas Instruments produce physical equipment and software that lets students manipulate things and get feedback on what they are exploring. Some of the probes measure simple physics things, or can replace common chemistry equipment like thermometers or pH meters / pH paper. What is beautiful, though, about probeware is that you can see changes happen on the screen as they are happening in the experiment. That may seem silly, but it is one thing to know heat is going into a solution, and another thing to see a graph of the temperature changing as water comes to a boil. The plateau is something we memorize, but to see that at 100 degrees Celsius is when water boils and even though heat is being added, the temperature is not changing, is very powerful. Likewise, I’ve seen math teachers use the probe that gives instant feedback with sonar waves. Students physically move their bodies to change the beeping of the device. They learn how to control their speed of motion to get the consistent feedback they desire. CBL are very useful to engage students in actively being a part of the math (or science) they are learning.

Science labs:  I agree with NSTA and ACS’s stance on having students manipulate objects whenever possible. (p.319). I do not have a personal stance on dissections, though.  If the student is going to be a surgeon, then it makes sense to have them literally cut up the flesh of animals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, or invertebrates.  I know I found it useful to have pig body parts I could handle and look at in three dimensions when I cut up the fetal pig in college. Could I have learned the same information from a computer program had one existed 25 years ago? I may have been able to do just as well on a test because what you study for a test are not lab techniques or skills. You don’t get evaluated on how well you don’t massacre your specimen. You get graded on being able to identify the location of specific body parts in a diagram.

In contrast to dissections, pretty much all other labs do involve students learning skills and techniques. As simplistic as it may seem, it is important for students to know they should use a glass rod instead of a thermometer to stir a solution. Yes, that is easily assessed in a multiple choice quiz, but when they break the thermometer and are asked to pay for it, they quickly learn they should have used the $0.25 glass rod to stir their stuff. I worked as a virtual teacher at a school that used the Gizmos for science labs. I have mixed feelings about the labs because some are so complicated that it was really difficult to explain to students how to do them. The company wrote directions, but they might as well have been written in  language the students had never seen because they are so hard to understand. Some of the “labs” also have kids explore really obscure concepts. It was like we are having students do mental gymnastics so they can have the frustration of not having a lab work for them. In contrast, some virtual lab companies do not let students make mistakes. It is literally impossible for students to select a wrong answer and see the consequences of that decision. I tried to get a job with a company so I could fix that part of their system, but I was not hired. I’m just going to have to create my own labs, which I wish I knew how to do! I’m still trying to figure out which software or programming language I need to learn so that I can create mistakes for students. That is how we learn science- by making mistakes.

One last science comment, I understand why there are virtual biotechnology labs, and with the way equipment keeps improving or becomes more automated, maybe it does not matter if a student knows how to use a micropipettor. Even so, there is no way a virtual lab can teach a student the nuances of how to use a micropipettor and shoot off the tip so they don’t contaminate their samples. Some things just can’t be done with a joystick or mouse, and then have the person be prepared for a real life lab situation.

Social Sciences

The NCSS standards include ten themes, all of which involve students looking beyond their home, and into the lives of others. Because the ideas go beyond what can be easily acquired at home, multimedia is used to show students what other cultures are like, how they change over time, what power structures are in place globally and locally, how there is disparity with production, distribution, and consumption of goods, how technology and science have influenced decisions and opportunities, how peoples throughout the world are connected, and what an individual’s civic responsibilities can be. (p.335).

Technology examples:

Simulated Problem-Solving Environments– think games. Over thirty years ago, there was a simple lemonade stand game that played on the first Apple computers. Here students learned about how to strategize to make the most money at a lemonade stand given weather conditions on various days. I am old enough that I was one of those little kids who started gaming with lemonade, moved on to Intellivision, and then stopped because my mom did not see a reason to own a computer. Had I grown up with a computer, I’d probably be making the games instead of writing about them. I’m not dead yet, so there are still some ways I can figure out how to use games to teach content. EDTECH 531 introduced me to Minecraft, Second Life, and World of Warcraft. I saw how each of them can be used to teach students survival skills, cultural situations, or spatial comprehension of items. We had two really awesome scenarios, both situated problem-solving events, in Minecraft. In one, we were shipwrecked and had to work together to build a town, and survive. In the other, we simulated the Oklahoma land rush. In that case, we were not initially comrades and were on our own to survive the night.

Our book mentions other, more mainstream, sources for simulated problem-solving issues. Oregon Trail is a game I’ve heard much about, but I don’t remember if I ever played it. The others are new to me: Muzzy Lane’s Making History, GeoThentic, iEARN Collaboration Center, The International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS), and Who Killed William Robinson.  (p.338).

Information Visualization- bringing data to life by giving it texture, character, or a two or three dimensional representation. The software used to do this can be as simple as making a graph, or more involved by making a timeline to document when and where events happened.

Virtual Field Trips– think free travel. Even though we don’t have to make travel arrangements, effective virtual field trips are still very thought out and well planned. There are people who spend time (and money) to build a cultural environment in Second Life so that other people can get a somewhat authentic experience by visiting their space. Naturally, museums have online resources so people can visit parts of the museum without having to be there in person.

Adventure Learning– think virtual exploration. There are companies mentioned in our book, Earthducation Adventure Learning Series, The JASON Project, and GoNorth!, where students virtually travel with a companion who is somewhere doing the things they are learning about. This external person is exploring a location with a webcam or photographic digital camera so the students can see what is happening. (p. 340).

Digital Storytelling– archiving biographies or making autobiographies to preserve history. I want to make digital stories of family members because they have seen and done things I will never experience. For example, my father-in-law was born on a farm in Kansas, worked his way up to management level with McCormick, and now as a retired person travels to various second and third world countries to help them with their agriculture. He told me some of his history once and now that I know about digital storytelling, I want to capture him telling his story. Even though I did not provide grandchildren, my sister-in-law did. I want my niece and nephew to be able to know about their grandfather when they are older.

I worked at a school that had a Holocaust survivor give a presentation to the students. At the time I was doing National Boards, so I naturally thought to videotape the presentation. Fortunately they did record it, and I think they got permission to show it to students in the future. There are so few WWII survivors left because it ended seventy years ago. There is only so long people can live. Preserving history using a digital medium is something students can do today, so that history is remembered in a more authentic way.

Geospatial Analysis- think where am I?  Geospatial analysis involves using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Along with Google Earth and ArcGIS, students can look at geography and visualize the places they are learning about in class. The GPS in our car is a type of geospatial analysis system. We can use the one in our phone to do Geocaching, a game where people visit a location, hide something, and then leave the coordinates for others to use to find the spot. (p.344).

 Music and Art

For music, technology can be used to create sounds and to record them. Both are skills that can lead to careers. Our book also points out the importance of listening to music to learn about what it means. Music technology includes software like GarageBand to record music, Practica Musica for music theory, and MuseScore for music notation.  (p. 358).

The visual arts use technology to produce works of art, as well as visiting artwork online or with software. Students take virtual fieldtrips to art museums. They can also create ePortfolios to show their work. Personally, by taking EDTECH classes at Boise State, I’ve become familiar with iPad apps that can be used for creating digital images. I’m taking an Adobe class on Photoshop where they have us turning photographs into unique images each week. I even do some of the work using apps on my iPhone.

Students can utilize low cost apps to complete projects in photography or digital media. Teachers can create tutorial videos to help show technique, or to explain a concept. There are also many multimedia resources to help students realize their potential, or to learn more about other artists and their work. (p. 365).

 

References:

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching [6th edition].

EDTECH 541: Hypermedia

This entry is a video blog. Hopefully it will be embeded!

EDTECH 541: Relative Advantage of Using Presentations

I am a fan of using presentation tools because it is something students can stare at instead of me. I did not use them often because students would whimper when they saw PowerPoint was on the way. I can understand their point of view because I had a student teacher who thought he was the most amazing teacher due to his prowess with PowerPoint. I had the advantage of sitting in the classroom with the students so I could see their glazed eyes and confused faces. Using PowerPoint just so you can say you’ve integrated technology into your daily lesson plans is not the right reason to use PowerPoint. It is akin to taking kids to the computer lab so you don’t have to write a real lesson plan for that day. They’ll be doing technology by using the Internet to do research.

I read Alice Keeler’s blog post on embedding PowerPoint presentations into your website, and agree with her about making the class’s content available to students outside of class. I did not start making websites until 2005 so the only time I had a website for students and parents to access was in my last teaching position. There are lots of problems with the links at the website because I did not properly move it to GoDaddy, but one day the links will hopefully work so you can see how I set things up for the kids. It is at http://www.biotechbiotch.com.  Essentially I had a calendar and linked to a copy of whatever I handed out or whatever website we used that day. If you are a teacher who can wrap up the entire lesson in a PowerPoint presentation so that kids and parents can review it at home, go for it. Anything we can do to provide useful structure for students will help them be able to focus on the content. After all, that is the main reason the teacher is there. We are a conduit that helps shovel factoids or thinking processes into our kids’ brains.

If you’re going to use PowerPoint for its structure, that is great. Just don’t make it too wordy or too boring. I may do the extra credit activity for this week because I had students do presentations in the past and I want to improve upon that lesson. I want to do it virtually and as a part of my course in 3dGameLab. This would be a good time to set it up for the kids. With that presentation, I require them to use the scientific writing at the Protein Data Bank to present one of the Molecule of the Month structures. They get to pick the topic and have to focus on using images from the website. I did this in 2009-2010 and it was a very eye opening experience for me. I’ve always tried to integrate one oral presentation into every semester because I know students need the practice. These presentations showed me how bad it had become for the set of kids I had. Laziness had crept up to a new dimension. I had a sample presentation for them, I did a sample for them, and put in as much structure as I knew about at the time. We were a Google school and students uploaded their presentations to the school’s site. Because of this, there is a firewall preventing me from sharing their horrific work with you. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Bottom line…if PowerPoint is being used for positive structure, then it is totally necessary. If it is just being used so you can say you or the kids are doing technology, save yourself the time and frustration. Find something else for the kids to do that will engage them more than your lecture. Even if you have amazing slides created by the textbook publisher, make sure what you choose to include is absolutely necessary.

If you are interested in seeing the presentation I did this week, check out: http://getzedtech.weebly.com/presentation-on-python-strings.html

References:

Keeler, A. (2014, June 15). Embed a PowerPoint on your Website. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2014/06/15/embed-a-powerpoint-on-your-website/

EDTECH 541: Instructional Software and Technology Tools

Relative Advantage of Instructional Software

When I can find software to use in class, everybody benefits. Obviously it means I don’t have to lecture that day, other than to explain how to use the software. Chances are the students will be more interested, especially if the software is fun to use. Unfortunately some of what I have had students use is less than ideal. For example, I had students do a webquest to learn about doing protein gels. I could have lectured, but it seemed better for them to see the animations. For this particular webquest, I gave them questions and links to various websites where they can find the answers. I learned that if I were to do this again, I may have to put the link to the website adjacent to the question it answers. As much as students like using computers, they don’t necessarily like to use them for research, or to find an answer that can’t be easily found in a Google search or a wiki.

To teach students how to analyze data by using software that gives them the opportunity to read graphs or the results of an experiment, is not as good as having them do it hands-on in the classroom, but it is better than them not getting any experience with the information. Unfortunately many of the virtual labs I have used with students are either so difficult that it takes me hours to figure them out, like Gizmos, or they are just point, click, and drag exercises that they actually end out being a waste of time. Until my abilities with creating software or using software to create lab scenarios gets better, I am afraid that if I use software with the kids, it is going to be written by somebody else.

Interested in what our textbook has to say, I started skimming through it. Sadly on page 77, they say, “Today, after more than 30 years of development and experimentation, there is less talk of computers replacing teachers…” which is actually an optimistic perspective. What is sad about it, is that from my experiences in the last 4 years, it is not true. Computers and scripted curriculum are replacing teachers. There are companies who are making lots of money by replacing the teachers that used to be in the classroom by replacing them with virtual teachers. These virtual teachers will often have a load of 200 students per day from whatever states they have a credential to teach in. While I realize this post is supposed to be about how educational software and technology tools help the classroom teacher, I feel the need to point out the disparity that exists between a classroom teacher and a virtual teacher. Software IS replacing the classroom teacher. I know this because I taught kids in Delaware who did not have a classroom teacher. The software and I replaced whoever should have been the classroom teacher when the school was restructured. For my Pennsylvania kids, I was their teacher, even though I never met them in person, and live 2000 miles away. I did not actually ever teach them anything. I tried to tutor them if they would stay focused enough during a tutoring session to let me explain things to them, but even then, I had some kids who were not used to the idea of being responsible for their learning. This is not at all what I meant this blog post to turn out as so I will curtail my digression on how bad virtual schools are at this point, but I do want to point out that in my presentation of tutorials, drill and practice, and other categories of instructional software, this is not the same software being used in virtual schools. The software links I am presenting for this post are stuff that I either used when I was in the classroom, or would use should I ever get back in a classroom. (The later seeming further and further away from possibility, but you never know. So far using a wheelchair rocks using a walker, and if I upgrade to a power wheelchair, who knows what my limits will be?)

Robolyer and Doerling point out on page 78 that “instructional software packages are developed for the sole purpose of supporting instruction and/or learning.” It is important they differentiate between technology that is merely a tool, technology that is replacing the teacher, and technology that supports the teacher. Granted, they are not acquiescing that software is replacing teachers, but trust me, it is. They go on to elaborate which types of software can allow for directed and / or constructivist approaches. Naturally, as the students are given more control of the software environment, the more constructivist it can be. For example, having students build a website gives them more freedom than merely doing a webquest where they go hunting for answers to questions. (I have had students do both.) I see a parallel between paper and equipment lessons and computer software ones. The tutorials and drill and kill are like the worksheets or notes I used to print out on paper for the kids to use.  Simulations are like cookbook labs. Problem solving scenarios are like inquiry based labs. At the moment, I don’t have a parallel for instructional games, unless doing a Jeopardy review or having kids make board games qualifies as an instructional game.

In chapter 3, Robolyer and Doerling give advice on how to select good examples of software in each category. In addition they elaborate the pros and cons of each type. Many teachers scoff at having any rote memorization types of drill and kill, whether it is a worksheet or a computer program. It is comforting to see that I am not the only one who finds value in having students practice specific types of problems repeatedly. I am currently tutoring an algebra 2 student, and while preparing for her winter final, it became pretty chaotic with so many different problems to figure out. One thing I started to notice, however, is that what was becoming more important than getting the right answer, was learning how to evaluate the situation to determine which technique best solves each problem.  We may never recognize we are factoring a binomial in the real world, but learning how to be calm while sorting through our resources and evaluating them is a skill both my student and I will benefit from knowing.

Tutorials are my favorite type of programs to create because I love learning how to use Articulate Storyline. I took the BSU class on Flash, and it was pretty much a nightmare. I used Articulate’s free 30 day download for two classes, and became hooked. Fortunately I have significant support from my husband and family, so I was able to purchase Storyline.  Flash will integrate with Storyline so I may do some flying numbers in Flash to bring in to a Storyline project, but otherwise I think I am stuck on doing the “explanation screen” way of trying to help students with various science topics. I have not created many tutorials, but you are welcome to see what I have done at www.getzguides.com. For my students who were enrolled in virtual classes because they were at a treatment center, my guides were a way they could get additional support for the classes if a live tutor was not available.  Robolyer and Doerling point this out on page 88, tutorials are useful for instruction when no teachers are available. You may be surprised by how many students are taking classes that don’t have a readily available teacher. It is for these students I write my tutorials.

I am a huge fan of physics simulations. Even making apps with Corona or other simple programs lets you use physics. Even though I did not figure out how to make an app by coding in lua for one of my BSU classes, I did come to appreciate how physics can easily be integrated into simple software programs. As much as I am addicted to Minecraft, it is odd how they only have physics apply to two types of blocks. Then again, because they suspend the laws of physics, students can easily make three dimensional representations of objects when building in creative mode.  Redstone mimics electronics and minecarts can travel based on gravity, so Minecraft is not completely void of physics. The redstone and use of minecarts on trails can give kids an opportunity to participate in something a teacher created, therefore making it a simulation or game, or they can create their own situations which would fall into the problem solving category.

I am torn when it comes to digital dissection because I know I truly learned more about animals by dissecting them, than if I had just gone through a point and click way of learning body parts. I wonder, though, how necessary it is to kill so many animals just for tenth grade dissections.  Our book quotes from studies that showed digital vs physical manipulation does not seem to matter in terms of what information students retain (Roblyer & Doerling, 2013, p.91). For many teachers, the benefits of no set-up or clean-up, less costly equipment once the software is acquired, unless its license has to be renewed annually, and less supervision needed during the class period, outweigh the negative perception that what the students are doing is not actually real. The American Chemical Society (ACS), and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have come out against virtual labs. Even the College Board will not accept credits in classes where students did a virtual equivalent of a lab. (Robyler & Doerling, 2013, p. 93).  This means students will be doing PCR and running agarose gels for their AP biology lab, instead of imagining the bands migrating through the gel.

The last two categories, Instructional Game Software and Problem-Solving Software, are more difficult for me to see in the science context. The book recognizes Geometer’s Sketchpad, which is a very good program. It helps make geometry more spatially available. They also mention Spore as a game for studying evolution. I can’t comment on Spore because I’ve never played it. I do have to say, though, that I did an internship for a nanotech company in Emeryville, and the folks who created Spore were either on our floor or above us. It was interesting to ride in the elevator with them. But I digress, once again…

You may notice in my presentation , instructional games and problem solving software have very few entries. Hopefully I will be able to add more links after I post my blog. Fortunately the book treats the last two categories like it did the first three by giving example scenarios, and pro/con lists. One possible con that struck me was the idea of having to choose software that can handle limited physical dexterity (Robyler & Doerling, 2013, p. 95). I don’t think many students like having me in class because I can find faults easily in student work, and I will mention it. It is not to be mean; I’m actually trying to be helpful. People who don’t have disabilities really have no clue what it is like to have some. Just ask me about how ludicrous some of the ADA adaptations are where I live, and I’d be glad to tell you how we need people with the disability to create the adaptive physical changes, or in the case of my classes, adaptive software. We used Minecraft as a game, and as a way to do problem solving when I took EDTECH 531. In 531, we created an example of how to use one of three software packages as an educational tool, and there were some lessons I could not physically do because of the way they were designed. I did not have the manual dexterity to click and drag fast enough. If you know how to contact me, and you want me to evaluate any website or program you create for its difficulty with my limitations, just ask. I happily volunteer my eyes, hands, and defective brain as a testing environment.

In 531, I was incredibly impressed with how Minecraft (MC) can be used to simulate many social studies situations. I thought of a few ways it could be used with science, and I plan to make quests in 3dGameLab that have students use Minecraft to look at some science concepts. I feel like Minecraft is predictable enough that you can act like a scientist, and evaluate the game in survival mode as if one is going through the scientific method. I wish I qualified for minecraftedu so I could create scenarios that have students go mining for organic and inorganic resources. I can do that with regular MC, but it will be much more difficult to control student access to specific areas, and to protect blocks. The possible lessons in Second Life are also amazing, but from what little I’ve experienced, they are not on the level of games or problem solving. I can see World of Warcraft being used for problem solving because that is what you have to do continuously- the first problem being how to play the doggone game. I felt that way with Minecraft, too. I think any of these software programs that are easily intimidating at first are actually really good tools for students to learn resilience, endurance, and perseverance.  I was a MC misfit when I first started playing it. I later became addicted to it. The book makes a distinction between doing problem solving software activities merely for the sake of learning how to problem solve. (Robyler & Doerling, 2013, p. 97). I can totally see using software for that purpose, at least until someone figures out how to create something that can be open ended enough for students to be able to make mistakes and therefore be able to learn from them

One thing that should be in any of the interactive software games is a chance for failure. When click and drag scenarios are too predictable, students won’t be challenged and will complete the activity because they are required to, and not necessarily because they are enjoying what they want to learn. We need to be careful, though, to not build in failures that students will take too strongly or  too personally. I still don’t know where I am going to fit into education in my next stages. I’m hoping it will involve creating quest based courses in 3dGameLab that other teachers will want to use. If I can figure out how to turn a quest or a course into how to problem solve something in science, other than an easily predictable physics or genetics lab, I will be ecstatic.

References

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching [6th edition].

EDTECH 541: Acceptable Use Policies

Acceptable Use Policies are used to communicate expectations for student behaviors when they are on a school computer or device. Like most “rules” that are written for students, they involve acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Whereas in the classroom, we have safety rules that are obvious like “don’t throw things”, where computers are used, the safety rules may not be as obvious. How do you know what is dangerous with communicating on the computer when the point of the communication is not for the student to ultimately meet the other person.

Safety rules may seem like common sense, but they still need to be stated because as teachers, we only want to see the good in people. We work with kids who are full of potential and is our joy to see them learn how to do something. Likewise, they like to impress their peers or adults in their lives by showing what they can do. It is in our protective nature to want to shield the students from ones who could do harm to them, but a firewall can only do so much. Just like they need to learn as children to not run out in the street before looking, they need to be taught how to be aware of potentially dangerous situations.

My professor found some really good links for us to use to research Acceptable Use Policies. I encourage you to check these out if my interpretation of them sparks your curiosity to learn more.

Edudemic: http://www.edudemic.com/school-social-media-policy/

Times must be changing because I swear that four years ago when I started to submerge myself in this online learning world, having to come up with rules on how to behave in social media was not even close to something I thought I’d have to contemplate. Yes, I had a colleague who used Facebook with his students (2009), but since our IT person had told us not to do that, I just figured he was a renegade teacher who could not be held back. Now I know not only how to use Facebook as a teacher, but I know how to use it safely.

The idea of a school having a social media policy should be commonplace now. I do not know if the school where I taught has one now, but I expect they have added onto their computer use contracts something about safety, netiquette, and other behavioral expectations. In 2009 it was acceptable to just tell teachers to avoid certain websites and therefore not connect school liability with online dangers. Now, in 2015, the school can still choose to not have a designated way for teachers, students, and parents to communicate in an academic way, but we should still be responsible and let students know what is possible. This particular website “crowdsourced” acceptable use policies. They essentially created a wiki and invited anybody to add their two cents worth of ideas.

I love what they created. It covers every conceivable situation. Above I mention how do we know what can happen to our kids in a social media situation? Well, fortunately for me, I don’t have to imagine all the horrible things that can happen because someone else has done it for me. Edudemic took the ideas and created acceptable use policies any school can borrow, adapt, or use for their purposes. If I am asked to create an AUP, I know I will be coming to this website to make sure I included everything that should be there.

Education World: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr093.shtml

Education World took the National Educational Association’s acceptable use policy and summarized its components. This has two interesting perspectives. First, Education World is a website that currates education websites and hopes to make money from its advertising. They certainly figured out how to use the pop-up window to their advantage. The second thing that catches my attention is that they chose to use the NEA policy. NEA is one of the two major unions that cover teachers. It is only logical that they would have people who could create a document to meet legal obligations.  If I do create my own AUP, I may very well go to NEA or the American Federation of Teachers websites to see what they recommend for the policies.

I wanted to impress you by finding the NEA document, but I am not sure it exists. I have found two places that purportedly quote an NEA AUP document, yet neither one links back to it. Education World does not list it as a citation at the end of its article. This Classroom 2.0 blogger practically quotes the same thing, but does not give a link to where she found her information. The closest I found to an NEA document that gives suggestions on the use of media or technology is their resolutions document from 2013.

Apparently the American Federation of Teachers is now the United Federation of Teachers. I was not able to find a policy statement at their website concerning an acceptable use policy.

BYOD,K12 Blueprint:  http://www.k12blueprint.com/byod

Remember the good old days when you’d see a paper note being passed across the room? I actually used to help students pass their notes because it was less disruptive than having them toss it across the room. Then came the time when you’d hear the cell phone ring, and you’d call out asking for it because you were required to confiscate it. That turned into “make sure your ringer is off” as students entered the classroom during first period just so they would not disturb class during class time; you no longer had to confiscate them. Now we are asking students to bring their own devices to class. We’re having them tweet us during a question and answer session. They are texting us the answer to their question of the day. We may even be taking attendance by having students sign into a document we put online. Times, they are a changing…

I’m familiar with BYOD being bring your own drink. Now we have BYOD or BYOT. BYOD is now bring your own device. The “T” in BYOT is for technology. Naturally if we are expecting kids to bring their own equipment to school, we have to have rules that govern how they  use it. Some schools do not require students to bring their own devices. Instead they are able to check out equipment to students so an income disparity does not get in the way of student success. Plus it evens the use field because one device may be able to do stoichiometry for you, while another can’t even bring up the periodic table. Ye gads!

The k12 Blueprint is an amazing site if you want to bring use of digital devices to your school. Intel sponsors the site, which makes sense because their chips are probably in most of the devices that will be brought to campus. The website is thorough, including sections for:

Just about anything you want to know about how to set up a BYOD program at your school can be found at the k12Blueprint website.

If you are just looking for a policy document on BYOD, check out the TeachThought website.

Actual Examples:

Some schools are considerate enough to put their AUP documents online. Here are a few you can look at.

 

References:

9 Steps For Schools To Create Their Own BYOD Policy. (2013, October 29). Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/9-steps-for-schools-to-create-their-own-byod-policy/

BYOD. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.k12blueprint.com/byod

Dunn, J. (2012, May 3). It’s Time To Crowdsource Your School’s Social Media Policy. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.edudemic.com/social-media-policy-crowdsource/

Getting Started on the Internet: Acceptable Use Policies. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr093.shtml

Lepi, K. (2012, June 11). Crowdsourced School Social Media Policy Now Available. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.edudemic.com/school-social-media-policy/

Linking to learning. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.uft.org/news/ny-teacher/link-to-learning

NEA Resolutions. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/nea-resolutions-2013-14.pdf

Owen, C. (2015, January 22). Acceptable Use Policies. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from http://www.classroom20.com/profiles/blog/show?id=649749%3ABlogPost%3A1049227&commentId=649749%3AComment%3A1049569&xg_source=activity

EDTECH 541: Vision Statement

Tech vision statement

I think I may have had to write one of these when I first started in the EDTECH program, and am glad I get to write one now because I have had the experiences of earning the MET since I last wrote one of these. Even though I am to avoid a personal perspective, it will be very difficult to make this unbiased. I downloaded our text to my Kindle and since I can annotate the text, I have been. Much of what I have been reading in chapter 1 are anecdotes I can relate to because I have experienced what they describe.

The most significant theme in the literature is how technology for the sake of using technology is not how it is meant to be used in schools. Robyler and Doering (2013) discuss the role teachers can play with technology and are quite optimistic that teachers want to use the technology and are interested in finding ways to integrate it into their curriculum. They go on to say, “We need more teachers who understand the role technology plays in society and in education, who are prepared to take advantage of its power, and who recognize its limitations.” (p.10). The chapter continues with suggestions on what is currently possible and how these possibilities connect to current educators.

Teachers now need to understand more than just the hardware- which components to use and how to use them correctly; they also need to be aware of the power in much of the software available for classroom use(p. 11) Robyler and Doering (2013) also recognize the responsibilities teachers now have if they choose to use interactive media that involves a social component(p. 13). There are concerns about software tracking student input along with peer to peer interactions which can lead to cyberbullying (p. 16).

The parts addressing virtual or distance education are optimistic because they recognize there are states that now require students to take a virtual course before graduating from high school(Robyler & Doering, 2013, p. 17). While they bring up the digital divide and how it appears that there are still students who do not have access to equipment or the Internet, they did not emphasize how at least within the last few years, there are companies that will provide the students with a laptop and Internet access. I worked for one such company and they actually had a logical plan to keep the students engaged with the curriculum. They had to demonstrate progress before the computers would be “unlocked” for use beyond the program’s lessons.

Standards for technology use are continuously being examined. They are not revised so frequently that there is a continuous learning curve, but there is the reality that technology can change, so the legal structure or educational suggestions for guidance will need to be revised. I think the “hour of code” may have started at around the same time the sixth edition was published so they were not able to include statistics for the impact that is happening worldwide. According to the website, http://hourofcode.com/us, fifteen million people participated in 2014’s hour of code. There were over seventy seven thousand hour of code events last year. Even though I do not have direct access to students, the hour of code has inspired me to write lessons that will ideally engage students in learning how to code or how to adapt current games like Minecraft and make them more personal. I have no idea if I will ever get to see my lessons used with students, but I know that students won’t be able to try them out if I don’t write them. My teaching credentials for science have not opened the doors I was hoping they would, so I will just have to rely on current trends and projections to give me the inspiration I need to create without already having an audience.

Robyler and Doering (2013) bring up having teachers make portfolios as a part of their credentialing programs. (p. 21). California passed the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) in 2008. http://www.pacttpa.org/_files/Main/CalTPAPromo-Teacher.pdf. Leading up to this law, several California public and private colleges and universities developed the PACT- Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT). The PACT is like a mini-National Board portfolio process. I know this because I was a student teacher supervisor in 2005 at UC Berkeley, and we were testing out the PACT with our students. Because I was not a National Board Certified Teacher at the time, it was strange being the one to guide pre-service teachers in this process. When I had an opportunity to be back in a classroom in 2007, I immediately started working on a National Board Portfolio. It took me the three years to pass, something I am not necessarily proud of sharing, but those three years made a huge impact on me as a teacher. All three years I spent on working on entries, trying to figure out the instructions, and preparing the videos and paperwork were incredible. This blog entry is about a vision statement, and I would love to elaborate on the section Robyler and Doering (2013) use to discuss the roles portfolios play in teacher development and showcasing student work, but I want to respect that those ideas may be beyond what I am expected to do for this assignment. This segment is in here, however, because Robyler and Doering do recognize the power of portfolios, and how now that there are more free electronic resources available, both teachers and students can create them easily.

It is good to see that HyperStudio from back in the mid-1990’s is not completely gone. It has become involved with portfolio software (Robyler & Doering, 2013, p. 23). Robyler and Doering (2013) mention Adobe software having an impact on students building websites, however they did not seem to recognize the strength of Google apps like Google pages or sites, or mini-learning management systems that let students display their work to their classmates like Edomoto or KidBlog. (https://www.edmodo.com/, http://kidblog.org/home/).

Whether or not we like it, technology is going to be a part of the classroom environment. If I could physically be in a classroom, it would be a blended situation. I subscribe to the thought that the school day does not exist merely during the hours students have seat time in a room with tables and chairs. In my latest in-classroom teaching experience, I learned that my philosophy has not fully reached current teachers and students. I left the classroom in 2010 after spending three years at a charter school. While at this school, I learned that students expected their academic obligations to stop at the end of the day (we did not have any bells so I can’t say at the ring of the last bell), and the majority of teachers thought their obligations ended at around 4 pm. Summers were for them to do as they wished, most of the time involving travelling to places outside of the US. It was a new experience for me because I have always seen my time with students as not being enough time; it is the best ten months of the year and always too short. I see technology as a way to get the academic learning to continue after students leave their chairs in the classroom.

In 2009 I tried to get students to engage with VoiceThread and Moodle to have asynchronous discussions outside of class time. I was one of their first teachers to ask them to first do work outside the classroom, and outside class time that was not merely paperwork homework. I was also asking them to use technology that the school did not actually know how to support yet. In 2008 I had students make websites in Google sites/pages to express the use of genetically modified organisms throughout agricultural parts of various countries. I was doing this at the same time they were still making paper posters to defend their senior social justice projects. The following year, I noticed website construction becoming a part of the social justice presentations. Unfortunately once I left the school, my connection with them was completely severed, so I do not know if the person I shared a classroom with has figured out how to teach without relying on prepared PowerPoint slides to guide her instruction, or has asked students to do their year-end biology project in media other than making a colorful self-standing poster. I shared a classroom with her for three years and heard lots of stereotypical comments about why she could not do something, which was very frustrating because she also liked to point out how she was the youngest teacher in our department, and therefore she had the most recent relevant teacher preparation. Although I wanted to point out to her repeatedly that in my third year of teaching I started a biotechnology program for my school, which also allowed the course to be taught in my district, I kept myself quiet, which unfortunately may have led to my body malfunctioning.

I started getting dizzy / having vertigo in 2009. It did not stop so I left the classroom. I sought out the MET degree with Boise State, and am continuing to take classes here because I like what I am learning. I am disappointed that the individual experiences I had with my classes have not led to more than a part-time temporary 1099 position with a company, but my reality is so different than what should be happening in a classroom. The manual wheelchair was delivered this morning and we’re interviewing another company tomorrow for home care services. I certainly do not mean to disrespect this assignment by bringing up my personal situation, but this is my supposed Vision Statement for technology use. Because I cannot physically go into a classroom and force teachers to learn how to hybridize their classrooms, or force them to take time outside the “bell structure” to learn how to integrate technology into their courses I can’t physically get current teachers to go that one more tiny step beyond mere constructivism. My ideas embrace the ideal scenarios, and contain hope that the educational system will change to allow all students to have the opportunities they need in order to become creators, makers, and leaders of how they will use their knowledge. For my vision to happen, I will create what I can to make avenues for students’ learning to be possible. It will still be up to the classroom teachers and students’ parents to decide if they want to be aware of what I can offer, and use the products I will be creating.
References

Get Secure Account. (2014). Retrieved January 23, 2015, from https://www.edmodo.com/

The Hour of Code is here. (2014). Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://hourofcode.com/us

Kidblog. (2015). Retrieved January 22, 2015, from http://kidblog.org/home/

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching [6th edition].

What is PACT? (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://www.pacttpa.org/_main/hub.php?pageName=Home

EDTECH 523 Module 6 Reflection

Module 6 is where we teamed up with a partner to plan a live presentation for our peers using the Adobe Connect software. This is the reflection I wrote after Bret and I did our presentation, which was a fantastic experience.

Module 6 reflection

The readings and how they are reflected in our presentation:

Chapter 5 of the book was my favorite chapter. Even though Bret and I scoured through chapter 6 figuring out what type of interaction was possible and feasible, chapter 5 contained stuff that had tangible meaning for me at this time. In our presentation I played the role of behind the scenes host. I tried to calm people’s worries if they were expressed in the chat area during the presentation. I made it to one of the breakout rooms to help them get started with their conversation and let them know that they were doing great by writing on the notes screen. I also let them know they could use audio and video cams in the breakout room without bothering others. Before we pulled people out of the rooms, we sent the 20 sec warning that you were going to have your reality change. For the anticipated review of what went on in the groups, I pulled up the notes screens so they could be seen by everybody and therefore not be left out of any discussion. We also planned for a parting gift, which apparently did not download for some people. I have no clue why that didn’t work because we put the documents in there correctly. I also hope that some people get to take the survey so they can see what a Google form can do and if they use the links at the end of the form, they can view the data as it comes in. I was glad to see some welcomed the idea of having a “parting gift.”

I did not get to enact all that was suggested in chapter 5, in part because I was not a solo presenter. Also, since we were doing a round-robin of classroom jumping, there really was not a way to be prepared enough to welcome people as they entered. I understand that it was difficult to get people in as guests and Bret and I learned that barrier early on. I think this is why he came in our room as a guest and had me turn him into a host. Somehow everybody was turned into a host so it did not matter that Bret did not enter as a presenter/host. In some ways, the software is too friendly by putting a cookie in our machine and not making us re-register for each room. That is why I used my Mac when I was a participant and my PC as the presenter. I anticipated quick room changes and knew I’d mess it up if I tried to enter the other rooms while using my PC because the PC is cookied. It is not reasonable to expect people to have 2 computers to do this lesson so we could not expect everybody who had already presented to be out of the presenter registration. I think that is why so many people showed up as hosts when they entered the room- their machines were cookied and it is tough to remove that status.  I guess since I spend so much time trouble shooting things because I often find them difficult to maneuver through quickly, that it proved to be an asset for me to know the Mac would work fine in the guest position.

Bret and I also used the Mac as a guest computer when we prepared for our session. Since we could not talk very clearly when we were not in the same room, it was hard for one of us to be presenter and the other to be guest when we practiced. I signed in to our room as a guest from my Mac laptop so I could see what the guests would see during the presentation. That is what taught me how the breakout rooms work. I could tell that putting ‘Mel on the Mac’ in a breakout room did not stop “her” from being a part of what was happening in the main room until the “start breakouts” button was pushed. Part of my nervousness in the beginning of our presentation was being afraid everybody would let their curiosity get the better of them and they’d move themselves out of the breakout rooms before we started them. The plan was originally to keep people as guests because we did not want them to play with stuff that was already set up to go. Fortunately we are working with adults so my fears were unnecessary. Everybody behaved themselves as perfect students and none of our tricks got messed up before they were delivered.

The backchannel- Bret and I did not necessarily see eye to eye on the backchannel, but this was not my place to be the total control freak so I went along with our main chat area being a backchannel. I don’t know if Bret has ever participated in a backchannel chat during a real presentation. I’ve actually only done it once, and that was when it was being taught to me at an ASCD presentation last year.  I wanted there to be a backchannel and a real chat area, but it would have been too chaotic in the short amount of time we had. We named it the backchannel anyway so people could see that if they had enough room on their screen area, they could have 2 chat windows during their presentations- one for real concerns and the other one to be social.   I am biased toward letting people use presentations as a way to make friends because sometimes not everything that is said needs to be heard.

That was another place I was not able to communicate well enough to get it into Bret that he did not need to do a lengthy introduction to what an LMS is. In our last practice he did narrow it down to maybe 2-3 min of talking, but today he went for more than 3 I would guess. I know my patience started to wane and I came close to just sending out the polls while he was talking. If you think today’s presentation was long-winded, you should have seen it during our first practices. I respect Bret because he wanted people to learn something during our presentation and he really is an expert on today’s talk. That is one reason we did this topic; it is relevant to what we may do as teachers and Bret had to do something similar for people in his district. Plus it had so many components that let us expand it in ways that let us play with Adobe Connect.

Bret did a fantastic job of outlining our expectations and establishing the norms for our session. You may have noticed that he built it in to the beginning of the PPT slides. He designed the presentation slides and let me go crazy with Adobe Connect bells and whistles. We somewhat followed the suggestions given starting on page 84 where there is one main person up front and someone else behind the scenes. I did not do all of the logistics alone; Bret helped with setting up the 4 types of polls and how to space everything so it would be ready to be used when we needed it to be there. I took care of naming things in a way that would make sense to us and others, putting the exit survey in a website link pod, uploading files for the file share, and creating the exit survey in Google Forms. Since I bought the eLearning suite when I was taking 521 I wanted to play as much as I could with the software. For some reason I could not get Bret’s slides to upload correctly so he did a screen share for our presentation instead of it being a file he used from the EDTECH servers.  It would actually be really cool if the eLearning suite was required instead of the other CS5 suite because then we could possibly have lessons on how to use Adobe Captivate. I’ve only played with it once, but that is something that would be an asset to know how to use for online teaching. Dreamweaver , Flash, and Photoshop are also a part of the eLearning Suite so if you get to make suggestions to the department, you would not be too out of line if you suggested having the department use the eLearning suite in the future.

Other people’s presentations:

Even though I tried to follow advice and looked at other people’s eval tools when I revised mine for tonight, I found what I thought was important was somewhat tangential to what happened. Since the presentations went so fast and I did not want to take time to watch the recordings, I had lots of gaps in my evaluation forms. Regardless of what it seems I did not learn, I found these things to be new to me and very useful:

  • Students writing on whiteboards. I knew it could be done, but had not experienced it myself in Adobe Connect yet. Actually I don’t know if I knew there could be interactive whiteboards in Adobe Connect. Had I known, we may have set up a whiteboard for each breakout room instead of using notes windows to record student interactions.
  • Students could format their notes screens. When we pulled up the Notes screen for group 1, they had done some formatting. That was so cool. I don’t know if anybody else noticed it, but it was neat to learn that students could take ownership of some of their output if Notes pods were used for collaboration.
  • I am still not sure what Adam did so we could move things on the whiteboard. I may have to email him to see if he can tell me. Adam did the music lesson, didn’t he?
  • I liked Barry’s equations on the board. I had not thought of being able to pre-arrange whiteboards for each student until I thought about how to use what he did in his lesson. I do not expect you have had a chance to read my feedback to him yet so I will also mention it here. If I knew who my students were that were going to show up, I could create a whiteboard for each student. They come to class and put up a problem on their whiteboard while they wait for others to arrive. Another way of doing it could be to “seed” the whiteboards with problems and assign the whiteboards to students as they arrive. They would put up their work so they could explain it to the rest of the class during the session.
  • This sort-of ties in with what Janette and Earl did with the chat windows. Even though we followed directions and only wrote on the chat screen we were assigned to, I wonder if they could have been set up to be pre-assigned to students and restricted from others being able to write on them.   I had not thought of using chat windows as a way to run small discussions. Watching that process was very useful.
  • I liked how Chioma used the chat window for formative assessment- she kept us alert because she was asking questions that required feedback. Even though I was a little disoriented because her Adobe Connect window would not open on the Mac at first, I found her technique to be effective. It was quick and she could use online learner cues (p.82) to gauge participant interest.
  • Travis and Kirkland were very creative by having a game be the final assessment. I also found it interesting how they assumed everybody should know how to do a screen-shot. Is that the level of our online students? Do they know all of these techniques?  If I did not have Snag-It I would be at a loss for how to do screen shots and actually use them.

The only problem I had with the presentations, other than them going at a pace that was a bit too fast for me to be comfortable with the changing scenery, was that there were not enough of them. I thought we were excluded from the rest of the spreadsheet because we were not welcome in other sessions so I did not try to be a part of them. Now that I see how talented my peers are, I wish I had been. I learned something from everybody today. It did not matter if their presentation had been memorized, polished, perfect or not, everybody offered something unique that let me walk away with more than I had arrived with in my bag of tricks. Thank you for this opportunity.

Reflect on assessment of learning outcomes in online environments. Consider the following questions in your reflection:

  1. What are appropriate assessment strategies in synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods?

I think formative assessment is more readily done in synchronous sessions because the feedback is instantaneous. It could be done asynchrously, but the instructor won’t know what the students are thinking until the student remembered to turn in his/her assessment.

In both cases, written assessment where students analyze something can be effectively done.

  1. Does this look different than assessment in traditional classrooms? How and why?

I think it looks somewhat different online than in a traditional classroom because students who are afraid to volunteer an answer in the classroom will often speak up online. Even today, everybody participated in Chioma’s questions. She did not call on single students like what normally happens in the traditional classroom.  This is one reason I want to be an online teacher and enjoy being an online student. I hate answering questions in verbal face to face discussions, but as you have seen, I am quite prolific online. I know I am not unique so I wanted to used online discussions to compliment the ones we did face to face. Once again, I assert that hybrid instruction is optimal because the learning environments are diverse and can cater to the diversity of our learners.

Edutainment, spring 2011

I actually took Edutainment before entering the Boise State program. In Spring 2011 I took a few classes online, including the Edutainment class to see if I wanted to come to Boise State for a degree. Here are some links to things I wrote or projects I did while in the Edutainment class:

Four Categories of Edutainment

Explain how these items are edutainment

Edutainment has many limitations

Evolution of edutainment

An Edutainment movie– this is a movie plot I would write if given the appropriate opportunity to write a movie script.  The Edutainment class let me realize how historical fiction is a form of edutainment and this movie would be historical fiction based on my teaching experiences with some rather unique children.

Instructional elements of comic strips

Comic strip I made

Copies of individual assignments:

Assignment: What was the significance of playing and learning within edutainment? Link to document online

Include the title of the edutainment you analyzed and a basic introduction. Indicate how it focused on playing (entertaining) (more than 100 words), how did it focus on learning, what were the learning objectives and which teaching and learning methods were used (or how they were trying to deliver the contents to players).

The edutainment I am analyzing was inspired by one of this week’s articles,” Edutainment- Is there a role for popular culture in education?”.  I tend to make assumptions, one of which is that edutainment involves electricity.  It is either found through watching TV, a movie, or playing a computer game. I never really considered books to be edutainment, but I can see how historical fiction qualifies as Edutainment.   In light of this realization, I will discuss how Lisa See’s novels instruct me about Chinese culture and history.   After some thought, I realized that a few of See’s books that I read were on my iPod, so I suppose that even though they were merely books to read, electricity is involved after all. Lisa See is part Chinese and through her family and personal connections, she has traveled to many parts of China that very few non-Chinese visit. These trips and meetings with a wide variety of people fuel the factual information she includes in her books.

How her books focus on entertaining:

Lisa See presents her characters and includes their histories and circumstances.  For example, Shanghai Girls was about two sisters who were sold by their father to a businessman to cover a gambling debt.  The girls were to accompany their new family to the United States and essentially become their sons’ wives.  As the wives they would be obligated to perform all of the traditional Chinese duties.  They would have the lowest significance in the house which means they would do all of the chores that were too disgusting for other people.  They would be obligated to service their husbands and would be expected to have many children, ideally all boys. For the sisters, however, this is not the upbringing they expected.  The father they knew was a rich man so they were spending their days in Shanghai posing for an artist’s calendar images. This was one way they could earn money independent of needing money from their father, however it turned out that when the father sold them, they too lost their money. In an attempt to circumvent the obligation their father set for them, the sisters tried to avoid immigrating with their new family. We are caught up in their circumstances as we experience the consequences of their decisions.

The time period for the book starts around World War II and at first we learn about the Japanese invasions into China.  The two sisters, along with their mother, go through difficult challenges just to try to leave China.  Reading the book, you feel their hunger, their fear, and their uncertainty for their fate. The sisters have to leave their mother and venture by themselves to San Francisco. Upon their arrival I learn about how immigration at Angel Island worked and the prejudices people coming from China faced. One of the sisters got pregnant during her last days in China and gives birth on the floor in the Angel Island women’s dormitory bathroom.  By bringing in anecdotes that seem plausible, the reader is brought into the story and wants to keep reading.  Ms See creates characters we can relate to or who have behaviors we find so intriguing that we have to keep reading. We are entertained by the conflicts, challenges, and ways her characters solve their problems.  Meanwhile, we are learning Chinese history and about its culture.  We are having too much fun imagining what the characters are going through to realize we’re learning about World War II (Shanghai Girls) , the history of the Three Gorges Valley (Dragon Bones), the social circumstances for foot binding (Snow Flower), the consequences of respecting familial obligations (Peony in Love), China’s Cultural Revolution (Flower Net), how American consumerism leads to exploiting Chinese women for cheap labor (The Interior), and Chinese politics such as the All-Patriotic Society (Dragon Bones).

How did it focus on learning:

The introductions and/or prologues include credits given to people that helped Ms See with her research.  Just reading these passages, you start to trust that what you are about to read (or just read) could have been true stories. Some of the stories are real and she tells you who they are actually about.  The characters in the book are conglomerates of historical figures and anecdotes that are shared by friends or people she meets while doing her research. Clearly one of her goals is to educate people about what it is or was like to be a woman in Chinese society.  Her stories are validated by Organization of Chinese Americans and the Chinese American Museum.  Each of those groups recognized her with an award that also acknowledges her contributions to Chinese American women’s culture.

What were the learning objectives and which teaching and learning methods were used:

The learning objectives are to teach Chinese history and culture as accurately as possible.  Ms. See also incorporates common Chinese words, written in pinyin, to help bring us into the culture.  I’ve taken a class in Mandarin Chinese and find the words to be anchors that bring me even more into the story than I would be if she used the English version of familial relationship words. There is baba and jie jie which, to me, show stronger ties between people than merely saying dad and older sister. Ms. See will often pause in the writing to explain Chinese terms, their significance, and in the process shows us why they are integral to the storyline.

In Snow Flower and the Secret Fan we learn the term laotong and its significance for Chinese women who otherwise would not have a close friend specially picked for them based on the circumstances of their birth.  In this story we learn about foot binding.  The details are so thorough that we can feel the women’s’ pain and commiserate with them. When they lose a child, which was common at the time the story takes place, we cry for them. After reading Snow Flower, I really felt like I had a much better understanding of the history and significance of foot binding, arranged marriages, and familial obligations.  She also had her main characters represent two social classes so we get to experience prejudices and assumptions that are made merely because of birthrights. Even though we do not formally label social classes in the US based on parental lineage, we are aware that there is a social strata in the US.  China, by comparison, has a societal class system that pre-determines a person’s life.  Women do not get to make choices because their social status determines what they can and cannot do.

One’s birth, and therefore social class, and its impact her future is a theme found in Snow Flower, Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, and Flower Net. Each story takes a period of time and focuses on historical as well as cultural events that would be happening at that time.  Flower Net takes place in 1997 where we learn about the impact American desire for objects has on the peasants who work in dangerous labor shops to create the objects we want. This is one of three books whose main characters are a Red Princess who went to college in the US and now works for the Chinese government as a detective, and her boyfriend/later husband who is an American lawyer.  In the Red Princess Mystery Series we learn more about the ways American and Chinese cultures contrast each other and yet are dependent upon the other.  The scenarios are ones that people my age can relate to because they are ones that could have happened during my lifetime. Even though the locations and events are contemporary to the early 21st Century, Ms. See still manages to integrate history lessons into the plots. In Dragon Bones, a historical site becomes an archeological dig so we are introduced to the relics they could actually find in that location if that site were being researched today. Even though the characters are from the modern day, the purpose for the archeological digging is to find evidence that Chinese culture has existed continuously for 5000 years.

I am not actually sure if the learning objectives and teaching methods are deliberate, but what Lisa See does is captivate the reader into exploring humanistic stories that create a novel that paints a much broader picture of the history of Chinese culture, and how that history still influences decisions made today.

Assignment: Evaluation about the purpose of comic strips:

link to assignment on Google drive

What are the instructional elements in comic strip and how do they affect learning?

Instructional element Examples of comic strips
Motivation- use of color or extreme characters to capture the curiosity of the reader. Peanuts certainly appealed to many with the big round heads and Snoopy with his side-kick Woodstock, the tiny yellow bird.http://www.hippoworks.com/hippoHELP.html includes music and animal noises in the background to capture the attention of viewers. It is also a very colorful website.
Literacy- to increase the reader’s control of the language. It could be to enhance a language they already know or in the case of Living Books, it could be using the media to teach the reader a “new” language. Living Books.In the educomic deliverable 1, an example was given of how an ELL instructor used Calvin and Hobbes comic books as his text.You can pull up a bunch of comic strips about the English language at: http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/bysubject/subject.php?sid=2951The website, http://www.grammarmancomic.com/ has many comic strips available to be used to help teach English and grammar.
Literacy- as in content knowledge of a topic. Larry Gonick’s  cartoon textbooks like the Cartoon Guide to Physics, the Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, and others. Many high school teachers use his books to supplement their curriculum or as an alternative to the required textbook because the imagery shows what is happening.  Words would be confusing whereas illustrations can explain changes that happen over time.  (Comic books referenced in the educomic deliverable 1.)
Visual- visual learners are attracted to the images that often show what is happening instead of having to read a narrative explaining the plot. The comic strips at http://www.grammarmancomic.com/ illustrate what is being discussed so the reader can make sense of the words that are there.
Visual permanence- the reader determines the pace at which the stimulus happens.  The reader decides when to move on to the next topic unlike in video media, where it progresses while the watcher is separate from controlling the pace. Any graphic novel  or “cartoon guide to…” falls in this category.  Sidekicks is a website that caters to the graphic novel. The ones she reviews are suitable for all audiences, including children. http://www.noflyingnotights.com/sidekicks/what.html
Intermediary – the level in which comic books are written varies.  Many of them are at a basic level so they are able to capture new readers, while others can be more complicated and are geared toward experienced readers who may just be looking for something amusing to read. Comics in the New Yorker would cater to the experienced reader who is looking for a moment of humor. Likewise, political cartoons in newspapers cater to the person who has to know something of the background of the subject matter to get the “joke.”  The comic strip, Rhymes with Orange, also has a dry sense of humor. It can be found through the website, http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/search/results.php where the search was for the name of the cartoon.
Popular topics- the lessons being taught in the book may be universal like “be nice to each other” but the context can change easily to adapt to current events or topics. Although not a comic strip, at this website, http://comicsintheclassroom.net/2010/reviews/trickster.htm, Scott Tingley the webmaster of Comics in the Classroom interviewed Matt Dembicki, the author of Trickster. Mr. Dembicki writes comic books with themes with the intent of exposing readers to various cultures and themes that are found in those cultures.  Trickster is a graphic collection to illustrate Native American tales.  (link to site was in the EduComic article.)
Development of thinking skills- apparently there are cartoons that help you with spatially understanding what to do or how to approach a problem. Ikea directions on how to build their furniture falls in this category.  I don’t know if they have any directions written in words of any language with their assembly instructions.

References used for content in this paper:

Deliverable1_StateoftheArt. (2008). State of the Art

EduComic Project: Using Web Comics in Education  Retrieved March 18, 2011, 2011, from http://www.educomics.org/material/deliverables/Deliverable1_StateoftheArt.pdf

Various websites are listed adjacent to the information that came from them.

Assignment:

Choose one edutainment TV program or one 40-60 minute video, not listed in this week. Describe it: its title, content, teaching strategies and entertainment/instructional elements (300 words).

Title:  NCIS

Content:

Although I do not think NCIS is intended to be edutainment, they do spend time explaining how the science of forensics works.  Much of the time they are wrong, which is one reason I see it as a concern for teachers. Our students may see the time in the lab or how to handle a crime scene as being portrayed accurately in this show.  As a science teacher, I need to be able to explain to students why they can not trust entertainment shows as being educational.

Teaching strategies:

  1. It uses blood and guts to attract students- it captures the viewer’s attention with its storylines.
  2. It finds a way to incorporate forensics into being key to solving a mystery.
  3. At times they explain the equipment or procedure used during the forensic analysis.
  4. The viewer sees that even goofy females can be forensic scientists.
  5. They portray the scientist’s position as one deserving respect.  They are not the “geek” who needs to be shunned.  The scientist’s role is one that any person can do if they study enough.

Entertainment/instructional elements:

  1. Common set of characters from one episode to the next. They develop the characters over time and allow the viewer to grow with them as they learn more about their circumstances. The continuity keeps viewers attached to the show. We may not come back from one week to the next to see which forensic trick we’ll learn this time, but we’ll come back to see what circumstances the characters get into each time.
  2. The science is a perk of the show. Not only are we entertained with the story line where the good people solve the mystery about how someone died, but we get to journey with them as they investigate the crime scene, do tests on materials from the crime scenes, or think through the rationale for the crime.  Can we, the viewer, figure out what happened before they do on TV?  How good is our intuition with the limited amount of information we have?

Assignment: Create an example of Edutainment

Submit your assignment including its link to YouTube, title, instructional purpose, target audience and pedagogy.

Link to You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcF9kv9-Kb4

Title: ASCD 2011 in 10 minutes or less

Instructional Purpose:

  1. To show people why they would want to attend an ASCD professional conference.
  2. To give people an idea of what they can learn from ASCD authors
  3. To give people an idea of where they can go to learn about some of the latest education jargon like Understanding by Design and RAD

Target Audience:

  1. Teachers
  2. Educational professionals
  3. People curious about research done in the education field

Pedagogy:

Too many of my peers do not understand why a membership in ASCD is useful, let alone why they should pay the hundreds of dollars to attend a conference. This was my second ASCD annual meeting and like the last one, I feel energized and excited to be in the field of education.  Walking the vendor floor I was often asked if I was having a good time or if I was learning anything.  My answer simply put was, “Of course I am.  This is ASCD.”

I made the video to cater to adult learners. Adults do not have time to waste. Their 10 minutes of the video needs to be well structured, not boring, and give them information they can still use when they walk away. I grabbed photos of the main sessions I went to that I thought might grab the attention of the people in the EDTECH class. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to detail everything I sat through or every conversation I had, but this video gives a glimpse of what the average person can see and learn when attending an ASCD conference.

My peers who are going into the field of education that involves teaching theories need to know the names Carol Ann Tomlinson, Jay McTighe, and Judy Willis.  My photos of Dr. Tomlinson did not come out well so I used the introductory slide to introduce her talk. What are important are the theories she explains in her numerous books. I made a slide that lists the “catch” phrases she used in her presentation to stimulate the viewers’ curiosity.  Hey, if I can get the learners’ dopamine to flow, then I am setting them in a good direction to want to learn from some of the best researchers in our field.  There are two people I did not get to see this time, Robert Marzano and Grant Wiggins, but I sat in their presentations six years ago when they were in SF for the ASCD conference. These are two people not mentioned in the video, but if my classmates watching the video also get to read my rationale for the video, they can add those names to the list of people’s works to read.

Judy Willis’s theories are actually new to me because I let my ASCD involvement relax.  I am glad I got to see her present because I now appreciate the acronyms she has brought to edu-land and the power that is in her ideas. I am impressed by her background, a doctor of neurology and a classroom teacher, so I put more trust in what I am learning from her than I do in most papers I read that seem to be published for the sake of being published. Now I need to go through the house to see how many of her books I actually own and start reading them.

I’ve been a fan of Understanding by Design (UbD) since 2005 when I tried to teach my student teachers how to use it to do lesson plans. When I went back in the classroom in 2007, I modified UbD to fit my needs.  I think it is important for my peers to see that UbD is flexible and even the people who generated the UbD acronym recognize that there is a need to change our approach to the 3-step process.  Personally I think they have seen some of the damage that has happened with the emphasis on memorizing factoids and want educators to create more authentic assessments that are based on standards instead of the multiple choice questioning rote recall that has happened over the last several years.

Intentional or not, there were some themes in many of the sessions I attended.  Our students are digital natives, we are digital immigrants.  I even saw their generation abbreviated as iGen- that notation was new to me. There is more of a focus on the neurology of learning than I’ve seen in the past- the emphasis on what to learn seems to have shifted back to how do we get the kids to learn what they need to know so they can transfer it to new situations. My video was produced so educators can see that these themes now co-exist along with how the digital or online world is incorporated into how time is spent learning.

Assignment:

Week 14: Summarize one game which you are playing. Describe motivating factors in it. Is it enhancing your motivation? Evaluate the game in terms of categories (Challenge, Fantasy, Control and Curiosity, etc. ) Malone (1980) suggested. (600~800 words)

While reading the Malone paper, I could not help but reflect on how particular characteristics he describes are embedded in the game We Rule Quests. The most obvious factor to me is the sound. Malone presents it in a positive light: sensory curiosity.  I saw it as an opportunity to control the game by turning it off. The sound in We Rule becomes mundane and is too annoying to even just be background noise. The immediate feedback, however, when you click on a person is amusing. I will turn up the sound at times just to see if it is doing anything other than playing the jovial music and I am amused by the various languages my peasants use to say hello to me.

Other ways We Rule captures players is by not having an obvious rule book. I went online at one point just to see if there were rules I was not aware of, but there really is not anything beyond what I figured out by playing the game. Although it is in a fantasy setting, what keeps me going is my curiosity. What will happen when I tap on this or that?  To start the game, you get plots of land and grow crops until you have enough money to buy objects to put in the town. That part seemed obvious. What is not obvious is, what is the point of buying different objects?  I still don’t know is why I would want to buy specific objects.  For example, buying a library is very expensive. Does this mean that I’ll amass a lot of coins by collecting fines? If I buy the cheaper tailor’s shop, will I make less money?  Is there a relationship between how much an object costs, how much coin I can make from it, or how fast its timer resets? Payoffs happen in specific time increments, but only if I come back to tap on the object. My curiosity pulls me back because I feel like I am being challenged to figure out the rules of the game. I have no interest in conquering other kingdoms, nor do I even know if that is a part of the game. I keep thinking it may be because many of the objects I can buy are for the sole purpose of defending the kingdom, but other than acquiring defensive objects, I have nothing suggesting I need to conquer my neighbor. My interactions with my neighbors let me acquire objects while on a quest, but that is all I can really see for the value of knowing other people in the game.

Curiosity is also fueled by the quests. We are challenged to go on quests. It is as if our purpose in the game is to gather objects that we find by visiting neighbors and going on a quest. Malone says with respect to curiosity and challenge, “They should be novel and surprising, but not completely incomprehensible.” (p.165)  My cognitive curiosity is being tampered with because a part of me wants to see what the outcome is by doing quests, but another part of me just gets frustrated and does not see the value in having this be a part of the game. I am still in the stages of “What happens if I tap on or if I buy…”. I am still engaged in the game because my cognitive structures are being formed. I don’t need to see the results of a quest to get me to keep playing. I can play the game even if I don’t do any quests, so why should I frustrate myself when I can’t always ask for things when I visit other kingdoms? Again, not knowing the rules lets my curiosity be fed, but in time I will just give up on a part of the game because I don’t get enough feedback telling me why I want to continue following my curiosity.

Another part of what I am missing is the fantasy component. I understand the setting is probably Europe in the 1600s.  What I don’t understand is why. Why am I put in this environment?  I think all of the wizard and magical stuff is nifty, but is there a reason for it being in the game other than as decoration to create a specific environment?  My dragons don’t seem to do anything. They don’t blow fire. They don’t eat my peasants. They are no threat. Why should I want to buy an object with a dragon? Is it because they are cute and flap their wings when the program is communicating to the server correctly? I see how Malone describes fantasy as a way to put the game in a context that lets it break the rules of physics and real-life. This game certainly breaks the rules of reality, but I fail to see why it matters.  If following Malone’s reasoning, the game is not really a fantasy game even though it takes place in the land of wizards, crystals, and frogs that are as large as cottages.

Perhaps what I am taking for granted are the skills I use without thinking about them. If fantasy is built on a skill, then my imaginary life in We Rule depends on making enough coin to buy objects. I wanted to see if I could get through the game without buying more mojo. Since I was learning by trial and error, I used up almost all of my mojo in the first 10 minutes without realizing what was happening. Other than using real money to buy more mojo, from what I can tell there is no other way to acquire it. That is frustrating because there is no skill other than giving them cold hard cash to give me the advantages that mojo can buy. Is this an intentional part of the fantasy?  I expect that I’m supposed to be learning not only how to buy objects wisely so I don’t run out of coin prematurely, but I’m also supposed to figure out how to budget mojo which represents real money. Am I supposed to see how real money equals power and how fake coin is just for amusement? The metaphors I could make to go with this would take up much more space and words than you probably want to read at the moment- please let me know if this is what you want to read. In the end, I may give them some money because I respect people who make “free” apps and really only accept donations from their patrons who show their appreciation. I feel like I’ve spent at least $5 worth of time on this app that I’ll buy some mojo as a way of thanking them for giving me some entertainment.

As far as We Rule being edutainment, I’m torn. I am certainly amused, my curiosity is satisfied by immediate feedback- having numbers pop out of objects lets me know immediately what they are worth, the time keeping controls tell me exactly when I can harvest my next set of income, and other immediate feedback mechanisms are in place.  Other than learning how to budget coins and mojo, I am not sure what I am supposed to be learning. Yes I find the scales of coin and xp on each crop and how long it takes to grow a crop to be interesting- how can I maximize my income in as short of a period as possible?  Plus I have to think of when I need to harvest the crop because it will decay if left out for too long. To me, however, this is very small scale learning for the amount of time I’ve put in to playing the game.  I may continue to play the game when I need some brain candy, but it won’t be because I feel like there is some amazing educational theory or concept I will gain by putting more hours into it. I think I am at level 26 and have given the game enough of an opportunity to show me what I can learn about the culture and mechanisms that were present in this historical community.