Category Archives: 2.4 Integrated Technologies

2.4 Integrated Technologies
2.4.1 Use authoring tools to create effective hypermedia/multimedia instructional
materials or products.
2.4.2 Develop and prepare instructional materials and products for various distance
education delivery technologies.
2.4.3 Combine electronic and non-electronic media to produce instructional materials,
presentations, and products.
2.4.4 Use telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and browsing tools for the
World Wide Web to develop instructional and professional products.
2.4.5 Develop effective Web pages with appropriate links using various technological
tools (e.g., print technologies, imaging technologies, and video).
2.4.6 Use writable CD-ROMs to record productions using various technological tools.
2.4.7 Use appropriate software for capturing Web pages, audio wave files, and video files
for developing off-line presentations.
2.4.8* Prepare instructional materials, bibliographies, resource lists for instructional
units, and other materials as appropriate to support students and teachers.
[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.

EDTECH 541 Final Reflection

EDTECH541 final blog entry

  • Part One: Reflect on the entire course. Include –
    • What you have learned?
    • How you have grown professionally?
    • How your own teaching practice or thoughts about teaching have been impacted by what you have learned or accomplished in this course?
    • How theory guided development of the projects and assignments you created?

Answers to these questions are mixed in the paragraphs about each assignment.

I actually learned quite a bit in our class. Weebly was a new website tool for me. I like some of what it offers and managed to get it to work for me, but I don’t think I’ll be using it for future projects. Oddly enough, what was bothering me the most was how the panel slides out. I kept triggering it, and fortunately I am not dealing with charms any more, or I think I would have just freaked out at one point. What is it with people who want to put motion into things that really don’t need motion?

Just about every week gave me an opportunity to think about things a little bit differently than I have thought about them before. I may be at an advantage because I already have the MET, and all the experience that brings with it. I am also aware that I am not a typical student because I don’t actually have a real job like most students do. I have the utmost respect for my peers because they are taking on so many responsibilities while being a student. There is no way I could have taken even one class when I was working full time. I enjoyed lessons that gave me opportunities to blab about myself, and things I did in the past. It was nice going down memory lane, and being reminded about times when I was actually productive, and contributing to students’ education.

I don’t know if I have ever thought about technology having a “relative advantage”. I liked thinking through the chart I made, because it gave me an opportunity to write down my advocacy for including technology in classroom lessons. I wonder if having the insights I mentioned in the chart would open up an opportunity for me to work for a school or district to help them implement realistic technology components into everyday types of classes. I don’t know if any jobs exist like that, or if they did, would they be frightful because of the hardware that may be antiquated or breaking? I’m hoping, in May, to look into volunteering at a local middle or high school to see if I can at least get in the door somewhere, and if nothing else, contribute by tutoring kids at some time, in some way. I would not mind volunteering to be a tech person at this point. I’d be happy to just put my education to use.

The networks assignment was fun, and it got me to think more about the layers in which software and hardware are organized. I like it when I can make connections between things that I may not have thought about before. As you may know, Minecraft is making more of a move into the classroom with the formation of Minecraftedu. The network assignment helped me get a better idea of how the Minecraft servers work. I have not joined any that are freely online, but I have joined Minecraft Google groups, and am following many Minecraft tweeters on Twitter. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could volunteer or work at schools, so they can set up their Minecraft servers and student accounts, and be able to explain to the students and faculty why what they are doing is safe, and is limited to the school site’s servers (or the district’s servers)?

The Instructional Software assignment pushed me to find more websites that do science lessons, and try out a few of them. I liked the categories you wanted us to fill, it gave me another way to think about the purpose of a website. It also showed me where there may be room for science apps to be developed. Now all I have to do is learn how to program well enough to make the websites or activities.

Spreadsheets and databases were fun because I already did those with students. I enjoyed sharing my lessons with others, and hope they will be inspired to try them, if they apply to their classes. Only the lesson on the NCBI database is one that I have not done with students exactly the way I wrote it.

Hypermedia integration was a great way to organize a topic I have wanted to teach. One reason I love teaching chemistry is because of the colorful products we often create.

The Web Based Learning Activity came along at the perfect time to have students look at the purpose of vaccinations. I live in California so the vaccination issue has been in the news fairly often. Living in the Bay Area, I can’t help but be informed about the folks who live about twenty miles away from me in Marin County who see vaccines be the epitome of poisoning our children. They are now in the courts, who may be leaning toward saying that if those children want a public education, they can have it at home. CA is fairly liberal with home schooling anyway, so it does not surprise me that may be the place un-vaccinated children will be educated. If you look at the list of places you can go to do creative work online, it may look like I got a little obsessive with finding places. I think these links also landed in my resource page. If they did not, then I was very foolish. While doing the research for website links, I was not as surprised as you may expect when I saw that the website was no longer working. Web 2.0 “apps” are so much fun, but there is an idea in the culture that they be free. Anybody who needs to make money from a website can’t actually have it be free all the time. I hope that if I do figure out how to run a website that offers something unique, I will be able to let people use it for free, while still finding a way to pay the bills for server space and security certificates.

Using Social Media was like a short visit back to EDTECH 543, but this time I investigated software/ apps I did not pursue in that class. I am finally a member of Instagram, and anticipate being more involved with it as I organize my photos. I am very impressed with what people put on Instagram and will be compelled to share quality images with them, too. It is like an anonymous way to share something that may make someone smile. Finding a way to have a coherent and collected way for students to progress through an assignment using online tools reinforces my hope of one day having a classroom of students from multiple states taking the same high school course. (This is one reason I applied for multiple teaching credentials in various states. I did not realize at the time, though, that students are still segregated by state when they take company-run classes online.)

I am thrilled to have found a way to bring reading and writing literacy into the chemistry classroom, other than having the students read The Periodic Kingdom and write something about it. Doing a lesson that involved students writing or making books is something I have wanted to investigate for a while, but it has amplified for me ever since I learned about Minecraft books. I really want to have students write a Minecraft book because I think it would be something they’d have fun doing. Using this project as a way for me to test out book-making software to see if it is something I could do easily served two purposes for me: 1. Could I write not just a book to be read by students that teaches them chemistry, but could I also integrate it into interactive lessons I can make in Articulate? 2. Can I now figure out how to organize a Minecraft book myself to be able to show students step by step how to make their own?

Doing a lesson on sports, music, and the arts in chemistry was an amazing excuse for writing lessons on materials science. Many, many years ago, I did a summer class at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, which taught materials science. It was one of the last years the Institute for Chemical Education did a summer class, and losing that resource from teaching really stinks. (I think ICE is defunct- I did the class something like 15 years ago.) Because of the way standards had been written, I found it hard to integrate some of the fun parts of materials science into the chemistry class, which is really a shame since so much of what we enjoy in our daily lives depends on materials created by scientists and engineers. I have not scoured the NGSS standards to see if materials science fits in better, but I have a feeling I could now create lessons that let me use materials science as an excuse to teach something that is standards-based.

The geography and history of the atom, at times was like doing the geography and history of science because early chemistry was based on alchemy, and alchemy was the beginning of science, too. Teaching the history of the atom has always been boring. When I was a science student, I could just not relate to learning over and over again about all these white men who did these amazing things. Sure I learned about Marie Curie, and after reading her biography in 11th grade world history she became one of my heroes. I still think about how bittersweet what she chose to do with her life led to so many people’s benefit, and yet it killed her. That’s probably not the mindset to have when it turns out later in life you have something like MS that physically prevents you from doing your craft. If my only choice to teach about the history of chemistry in the years where the parts of the nucleus and electrons were being figured out is a time when white males were involved, the least I can do is have students look at it as more than just a list of random facts that don’t seem to have many connections to each other, other than being put in the same chapter in a chemistry textbook and are now things we take for granted. Of course atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Who doesn’t know that? It was not that long ago, though, that we did not know what is now obvious and accepted as fact. There was a true mystery of figuring out how things existed, and in many ways, this mystery still exists. If I can get a student turn on to chemistry by using the curiosity of scientists, then maybe this is one person I can help on the journey to becoming a scientist. If I can get them to see it as something that is not necessarily about WHO did the work and what HE looked like, but it is about the IDEAS that were being tested, maybe someone who would not have originally planned to be a scientist will become one.

My accessibility unit was not as good as it should have been. I think I was starting to be a little worn out with doing projects and mistakenly thought I would have this issue down since I apply to so many of the classifications. I also have a grudge because so many of these assistive devices were not accessible to me when I needed them most. The disabled department at Boise State blew me off. I’m not someone who came through the k12 system and in to college with an IEP. I had no advocate to help me figure out what would help me. I had to figure things out on my own, so going back and reading about accessible equipment that I have not figured out how to get is really frustrating for me. I also dislike seeing kids be categorized and therefore treated as the “other” kids, when in reality all of us have limitations of some sort. Even people who run marathons get tired at the end. My marathon at the moment seems to be from this chair to the bathroom, and I’m barely able to walk the distance, let along run it, but it is my marathon. I suppose my point is that finding assistive equipment or devices should not be something someone has to do because the barriers should either not be there, or the equipment should be so ubiquitous that it is not an afterthought. Accessibility should not be an afterthought. We should not have to justify closed captioning as being something useful to everybody because it should just be there to begin with. I admit I am really at fault with doing closed captioning, and have been faulted because I will read my slides in a video, but isn’t reading the slides the same thing as closed captioning, but in reverse. With words on the slide, and then having audio added, isn’t that the same thing as having audio with words added? I think I also let my bias about how disabled people have their locations chosen for them, enter into my lack of excitement for this project. I can’t help but feel like this was put at the end of the course because it is required for teachers to learn about disabilities in our students. Just like we have to have the one location in the classroom set aside for the disabled child to sit, or the few seats in the auditorium that can handle the accessible equipment, putting in a unit on disabilities is stuck at the end because it is something that has to be done. By the way, I still have not figured out what a “daisy” is, how it works, or how I can get one. I would have loved to be able to listen to our textbook being read to me. Heck, I could not even read the book on multiple devices because the publisher put so many restrictions on it. I could only read it on my kindle. I tried several times just to bring it up so I could read it on my computer, but the restriction would not allow it. Am I now seen as being lazy because I did not want to call the publisher to see if there was an accessible version of the book? Should I have paid another $100 + just to have the paper version to use at times my Kindle was being a flake. (By the way, resetting it to the company default does wonders with cleaning up a clogged Kindle.)

If you are looking for the connection to standards, please click here.

EDTECH 541: Accessibility controls on my computer

In response to question 1: Accessibility Features on My Computer:

The main accessibility features I use have changed in the last few months because I had to get a computer that could handle gaming programs. EDTECH 531 practically destroyed the two laptops I was trying to use for that class, so I now have a desktop. I am happy to share with you what I did on the laptop, and now do with the desktop to help make my computing easier. After I tell you the ones I use, I’ll tell you about the ones I don’t use, and possibly why I don’t use them. I have found that many accessibility devices are created by people who don’t have the disability they are trying to accommodate with the device. The designer thinks what would be the best way to solve a problem, but can’t authenticate his/her design unless s/he knows someone with the disability the device is being designed to help. For me, lots of accessibility situations or equipment gets chalked up for a FAIL because my situation is so unique.

I started using IBM Thinkpad laptops in 2005 (I think) because in 2004 I lost full use of my right arm, hand, and some of my right side of the body. Fortunately much of it has come back by now, but at the time, asking me to use a mouse was torture. I could not control my fingers, could not click and drag, or even move the mouse without doing random clicks because I lost control of my fingers. I took a summer class in 2005 in Mandarin Chinese which forced me to learn how to write with a pencil again.  I had mostly lost my ability to write, too. My handwriting is still a mess, but at least I can now hold a pen or pencil and write when I have to.  I chose the IBM Thinkpad because I could use one hand to click “mouse” buttons and the other hand to “move” the mouse. Their ultra nav device, I think it is called, was one of the first to have buttons on top and on the bottom of the square that served as the tracking surface. I could not physically use other laptops because that one tiny area was so poorly designed. With the IBM, I was in bliss.  As you may know, IBM became Lenovo. Fortunately, for a few years, Lenovo kept the same layout on some of the laptops. Recently, even Lenovo has gone to the two buttons only on the top or the bottom of the square. I am disappointed to see this feature go.

With the desktop, we found full size keyboards made by IBM that had the same trackpad style, four buttons: two on top, two below. At first I was using the IBM keyboard and was happy for the most part. I could still easily do two handed mousing. I also have a Logitech wireless touchpad, which is great for me to use even though it only has clicking buttons at the bottom. The problem with the IBM keyboard is that it is old and the Windows 8 computer could not handle it. I did everything I could to turn off charms, but because that keyboard used some 3rd party drivers, the charms got launched just about every time I tried to use the touch pad.  I bought a gaming keyboard to see what it is like- actually this is just an ordinary keyboard that has backlit keys, a regular number keypad, and volume controls that are obvious. It is somewhat like driving a car- the more controls they put on the steering wheel, the easier it is to drive and change the music. Having the ability to instantly mute obnoxious YouTube videos is priceless.

Changing keyboards meant I had to either move to using the Logitech touchpad as my mouse, or I had to get a mouse. It has been about 10 years since I had the mouse problem and I have found ways to make sure I don’t drop things like I was when I first lost use of my hand, and I know my dexterity has somewhat come back. I don’t have the speed someone with working nerves would have, but I think the spontaneous clicking is now able to be controlled. Doing research for the mouse was fun. I have small hands so many of the mice just looked to doggone big for me. I wanted one that would be ergonomically useful and did not require me to put pressure on one of the buttons to get the mouse to move. I don’t know if that was something I deliberately chose or if it was just a coincidence, but the mouse I am  using, a Logitech 700, has curves that let my thumb go alongside of the mouse to control movement, without having to automatically click buttons. The other MAJOR feature that drew me to this mouse is that it has extra buttons that are programmable. The IBM keyboards come with keys that will let you go back a page or forward a page. They are the only keyboards I know that have this feature. I should photograph it and put it up so you can see what I’m talking about. Anyway, I was able to program one of the keys on the mouse to go back a page, and the other one to go forward. I am in heaven. I don’t have to move the mouse to the arrow to move back- I just use my thumb and do a tiny click on one of the tiny buttons, and the page goes back.  Saying that reminded me of scrolling- if there is time / space, I’ll tell you about my scrolling challenges.

To summarize some of my keyboard / mouse choices: A backlit keyboard so I can see the letters more easily than not having the light. A keyboard with sound controls that work. A programmable mouse that fits my hand, and does not force me to put undue pressure on any buttons to move the mouse. Plus the shape of the mouse does not encourage any fingers to do any random clicks.

Accessibility features built into the computer operating system: I’m on a Windows 8 computer. I use the “beep” for CapsLock because my pinky keeps hitting it. Reading in the book about the keyboard that lets you add and remove keys has given me the idea to possibly remove the caps lock key somehow. I may also look into that keyboard to see if it makes more sense for me anyway. I don’t know if turning off charms is an accessibility feature, but for me it is. Holy smokes, it is hard enough for me to concentrate for long periods of time. Having things jump out of the sides or cause the screen to change every time I touch the touchpad was driving me crazy. If I was not affected by attention disorders before, I certainly was having them with the charms problem. I turned off the charms, and replaced the keyboard to one that has drivers for Windows 8. I have not had any charms problems ever since I started with the “new” keyboard and mouse.

This is what the Ease of Access Center looks like in Windows 8

ease of access center for Win 8 image

Ease of Access Center

Now, I may use the Magnifier because even though I’ve set the display for big icons and letters, the words in the navigation bars/menus in Adobe software is still teeny tiny. Sometimes I take screenshots and enlarge them just so I can see what the software says. Everything in Microsoft products is a good size; it is just Adobe that wants to remind me how bad my vision is. (I have an especially hard time differentiating vertical lines like i and l or multiple ones next to each other.)

The Narrator drives me crazy because it does not stop. It is useful for a time, but when it just keeps talking to me, I lose my concentration. I empathize with people whose vision is so poor that they have to have the narrator or a screen reader going at all times. If there is a way to pause it while I am working or creating a draft of something, I don’t know how to do it, so I don’t use it at all. I don’t have a touch-screen display so the on-screen keyboard is not applicable to me. I’ve thought about getting a touch-screen display, but that would make the screen too close to me. I need distance from viewing screens because I get motion sick really easily (another vision problem). Plus, my husband had two amazing displays he was not using so now I’m really spoiled, and can have the paper I’m writing be on one screen and the ease of access center on the other. I don’t have to deal with the mouse and changing between software screens. I suppose that is an adaptation- less work to keep things organized in my workspace. I just tried “high contrast” and had a really hard time reading the white text on a black background. I thought I changed it back by doing the alt-shift-print screen again, but now I have a yellow background. Excuse me for a moment, I need to now get rid of the yellow. That was fun- I’m now back to a basic boring blue background.

I will not be marking to use the computer without a display, but if I did, the narrator could read all text to me and something else could give me descriptions of videos on the screen. There is the text to speech feature here, too, which I may revisit. The last time I tried to set up text to speech, I was not successful. I have not tried it in Win 8, yet, though.  I may select “Turn off all unnecessary animations” unless it means I won’t be able to create or enjoy gif files.  I may also change the Windows notification dialog box timer- I’m a slow reader and have not felt like they were disappearing too fast for me. Now that I’m aware of this feature, I will probably notice it more.

Make the computer easier to see:  I turned on the Magnifier, but I can’t tell if it is on or how to turn it on. On the laptop, it was pinned to my taskbar (?) and was obnoxious because it did not magnify locally- either the entire screen got enlarged or nothing did. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the magnifier tool. I just toggled the focus rectangle thicker- and also saw no changes there. I have a feeling my screen resolution is overriding some of these features.

Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard: does not apply to me- it would be really good for those who function better on a tablet like surface, or who function better with a joystick instead of a mouse. Speech recognition is also useful for those who have troubles with dexterity. Like I said, it has been a few years since I tried using Dragon or Microsoft’s speech recognition software. Maybe I’ll try it again to see if it has improved. Maybe I can learn the commands, and say them clearly now.

Make the mouse easier to use: So far, I’m fine with this cursor, but if I was on a tiny screen resolution, I could see myself using a larger cursor. I noticed that sometimes the cursor does not show up, but I think it was because I was in an Adobe LMS, and not because my mouse was too small. The mouse keys are interesting because they can be useful, especially when I’m playing games. I know that in Minecraft, I had to change the default keys because I was on a laptop that I used while laying back. Now that I sit upright in a chair, it may make sense to use the default aswd keys for movement. The mouse keys are good for someone who has trouble with a mouse, but has spatial understanding by clicking on keys in the numeric keypad.

Make the keyboard easier to use: I use Toggle Keys sound because I am otherwise unaware I have hit the wrong key until, of course, I look at the screen and it is in ALL CAPS.  I just tried to put on the underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys, but I don’t see anything different yet. I’m also stopping the automatic arrangement at the end of the screen because that was driving me crazy. I hope this means my windows will stop automatically expanding when I try to just move them up the screen. The exploding window is incredibly distracting, too.

Use text or visual alternatives for sounds: I respond better to sounds than visual cues. If I were deaf, this would be a useful feature, though.

Make it easier to focus on tasks: I am not convinced the Narrator actually helps with focusing me. For those who respond to audio instruction, this would be useful. Removing background images would be useful for those who are easily distracted. I need to remember this is available because I may need to use it in the future. Sticky keys- I usually avoid this because it seems like whatever I set it to, it is the wrong thing. One thing to keep in mind, do not set “shift” as a functional key in a game if it means you will be clicking on it a lot repeatedly. I think I set “down” as the shift key in Second Life and kept turning on sticky keys when I was trying to move down in a game. Using “shift” as a repetitive use key was a bad idea.

Make touch and tablets easier to use: you can set one command to be automatic when you press the ‘Windows button’ and ‘volume up’ at the same time on a tablet.

As if this was not enough to read, I may come back and also address question 2: Accessibility Features on iOS Devices: because it was really hard for me to do some things when I started back in school. I found that I had to use my iPad to help me with annotating papers, reading the book to me with the “Speak to me” app, and with making drawings for the visual literacy class (506?)

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

My link to this week’s assignment: http://getzedtech.weebly.com/accessibility.html

An editorial I wrote about UDL is on page 10. 

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: 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 4 Reflection

Module 4 reflection and summary

Summary:

I restrained my participation in Module 4 because my style of taking online classes is not congruent with how this class is organized. I am changing what I normally do to meet the expectations of the class. This is not the only time I have had to change my behavior so it is not a big deal; it just decreases my enthusiasm for doing the reading or for challenging me to think or to come up with new ideas or solutions to problems.  In contrast, the discussion forum Bret and I did was not totally new to me, and I appreciate that Bret was open to having our discussion’s focus center around a video instead of a paper. I went hunting for various videos on how to hold online discussions- there is a playlist at my mgetzedu YouTube channel if you want to see what else is in the list that I put our video in. The video we used better fits my way of doing discussions because as Bret taught me, we could have a different panel per main idea. We did not have to squish divergent ideas into one thread- they could be spread out and people had a choice about where they wanted to post or not post. Viewing the responses, we stayed consistent with the topic within a panel instead of being bombarded with too many divergent ideas in the same space. The ideas were focused around a question that had sample answers in the video clips. If nothing else, I hope people learned how they may be able to use Voice Thread with their classes. Voice Thread can develop a discussion in both a horizontal and vertical direction- horizontally it has breadth whereas vertically people can develop one aspect to a lengthy degree. Since we do not have a large class like we do in public school, we did not get to see the full extent of chaos that can happen when inexperienced people participate in VoiceThread.

Reflection of my activity during the VT discussion thread:

The discussion board was a success. I was able to try out the discussion techniques I was taught for the eMSS program and through the PBS online facilitator’s class. It has been a long time since I’ve had an opportunity to facilitate so it felt great to be able to do it again. This was my first chance to try landscaping posts and rereading them, I am not sure they are as succinct as they could be, but they are not that bad either. The personal emails to initial posters got some pretty good feedback and it let me develop more of a relationship with a couple of my peers. I am glad to see some people had the time to visit the VT discussion and tried the various ways it lets you communicate to others.

Reflection of: Use your checklist/rubric and assess 1 of your own postings from previous discussions. Did you meet the criteria outlined in your own assessment tool?

Discussion post: Online Discussion Management Issues and Strategies, Sunday, March 18, 2012, 08:41 AM

Relationship to my rubric:

When did I post? Satisfactory because it does not start a thread and it was later than 4 days after the discussion opened.

What did I post? Satisfactory because it is on topic, demonstrates a perspective that has not been mentioned yet, and stimulated at least one other person to share an idea. Although my idea did not stimulate several other responses, what people said in response to what I said did stimulate more conversation.

Usefulness of post? Satisfactory because I do not think what I said was inspirational enough or relevant enough to other people for them to care about the need to have introductory courses for students new to the online environment. Just about every successful school I’ve attended or taught with has had minimally an introductory lesson on how to use the LMS so I thought it was relevant to bring it up in this particular discussion.

  • What changes might you make in your teaching practice based on what you now know about facilitating effective online discussions?

I wish I had an online teaching practice so I could make changes. I am still at the beginning of my online career. Although I have a lot of experience with taking classes online that included discussion forums, I do not have much experience facilitating courses online. I am sincerely hoping that I will one day get to use what I have learned in this and other BSU classes so that I can contribute to other people’s learning.

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.

Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Guidelines

Setting: I work for an online school that does not have formal discussion groups built into the curriculum.  The students are, for the most part, independent learners. I hold office hours, but few students ever come. What if I was to set up a place where we can do online discussions or collaborations on the projects?  Of course, I would have to get the consent from my company to do it if I did it as their employee.  So these guidelines are written with the idea students are engaged in the social network that involves our class. These are kids who are already doing work via the computer so wherever they are, be it at home or at school, there are already policies in place that govern tech use.

  1. Netiquette matters.
  2. You do not have to post your real name to the forums, but you do need to tell your instructor what name you are using as your screen name in the discussions.
  3. You may create an avatar and use it instead of your photograph.
  4. Do not assume the forums are safe- the forum is open to any student who is taking our class, but that does not mean Ms Getz knows everybody personally.
  5. Be careful about what personal information you share with others. Do not give out your social security number, passwords, or any other information that could potentially lead to identity theft. Also be careful of giving out your residential address, especially if you also mention that your family is going on a vacation.
  6. Be punctual with your responses to other people’s questions.  If you know of a solution, say it.
  7. Choose your words wisely. If you are frustrated, you may want to write about your frustrations offline and not immediately write them into the forum.
  8. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should follow academic structure and language.
  9. You may link to anywhere on the web that is a legal website for minors, to help explain your ideas.
  10. You may post or upload any documents or images to help explain your ideas, just make sure you are using a machine that has anti-virus software. Some exceptions apply- see restrictions below.
  11. When we have formal discussions, your first post must be from your own point of view and must be posted within three days of the question being released. You will then have another 3 days to respond to one other person’s post, and an additional 3 days to have responded to at least a second person’s post or to reply back to the first person with whom you created a discussion.
  12. If you post something in a “help needed forum” and do not get any response within 24 hours from anybody, you are encouraged to tweet us.  Hashtag to be given out at the time these rules go into place- it may be unique per section.
  13. You should monitor our hashtag channel in Twitter continuously for messages from your peers.
  14. You may not post any answers to any questions on any tests or quizzes. You may discuss the concepts on the tests or quizzes, but you may not release any actual questions or flat out give any answers.
  15. If we are doing projects, you may not upload or link to your code online. You can share your fla files with your instructor, but not your peers. You can post or upload the swf file so we can see what is happening, but we don’t want students to literally be able to copy each other’s’ code.

What we’ll be doing outside of our normal classroom management system software:

    1. Discussion forums
      1. Based on concepts brought up in the course material
      2. Based on your own questions
      3. Based on real-life applications of what you are doing in the class
      4. Setting up rooms so students can asynchronously work on projects together.
      5. Oops, look what I did! …. And what I learned….
  1. I will post reminders about some projects. Since everybody is on their own schedule, you will have to rely on your individual calendar for due dates.
  2. Tweeting links to information that is useful for our content or projects.
  3. Arranging for G+ Hangouts or meetings in our Blackboard room so you can collaborate on group projects simultaneously.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Email Ms. Getz at getzedgenuity@gmail.com with your questions, comments, or concerns. She set up a Google Form where you can give anonymous feedback.  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Z0bhJ6Plz3GoDW1-ilLfTO4znC-6Blk-L4nhTSORJtU/viewform

Resources consulted:

Anderson, S. (2012) Social media guidelines. Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson

Staff. (2012). A teachers guide to social media. Retrieved from: http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2012/07/26/a-teachers-guide-to-social-media/The diagram

Staff. How to create social media guidelines for your school – Introduction to the School Community. Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create-social-media-guidelines-school-4

Tolisano, S. (2012). Twitter in k-8 classroom- globally connected learner. Retrieved from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/63331406/Twitter-in-K-8-Classroom-Globally-Connected-Learning