Category Archives: 3.1 Media Utilization

“Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning” (Seels & Richey,
1994, p. 46). Utilization is the decision-making process of implementation based on
instructional design specifications.
Examples include:
3.1 Media Utilization
3.1.1 Identify key factors in selecting and using technologies appropriate for learning situations specified in the instructional design process.
3.1.2 Use educational communications and instructional technology (SMETS) resources in a variety of learning contexts.
3.1.3* Provide services and resources to all users in all formats that support curriculum
needs and recreational reading interests of the students and teachers that are consistent
with the mission, goals, and objectives of the local school community.
3.1.4* Provide accurate and prompt reference information and exhibit strong
communication skills when responding to reference inquiries.
3.1.5* Use interlibrary loan and other resources, such as statewide and/or other electronic
gateways, to acquire resources for students and teachers through the school media center.
3.1.6* Identify collection development resource tools to establish, maintain and evaluate
a high quality collection for the media center in a variety of formats that supports
standards-based curricula and addresses the information and learning needs of all
learners.
[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: Integrating Technology for the Content

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

English and Language Arts

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

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

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

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

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

Foreign Language and Second Language Instruction

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

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

Mathematics and Science Instruction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Sciences

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

Technology examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Music and Art

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

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

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

 

References:

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

EDTECH 541: Hypermedia

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

EDTECH 541: Instructional Software and Technology Tools

Relative Advantage of Instructional Software

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

EDTECH 531: MC build something epic

The Epic Build is finally done. Here’s a video of it:

Epic Build

What is written here is somewhat of a diary of the process.

I am building a store called Purse-n-Boots as my epic build in MC. It may not be as amazing as others’ will be, but I want to take an approach that is not conventional. I’m still convinced that not enough girls are playing MC because it is a boy thing. The skills in MC really don’t require a gender.

As I build the quest, I’m taking snapshots. I want to start loading them so it won’t be a menace later once I’m really ready to post.

Screenshot 2014-10-09 20.47.15 Screenshot 2014-10-09 20.47.21 Screenshot 2014-10-09 20.49.44 Screenshot 2014-10-09 20.51.43 Screenshot 2014-10-09 20.54.20 Screenshot 2014-10-09 21.09.03 Screenshot 2014-10-09 21.16.03 Screenshot 2014-10-09 21.19.42 Screenshot 2014-10-10 18.54.54 Screenshot 2014-10-10 19.00.53 Screenshot 2014-10-10 19.26.15 Screenshot 2014-10-10 19.28.06 Screenshot 2014-10-10 19.49.46 Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.21.12

Screenshot 2014-10-10 21.25.14

Starting to put in the spruce wood floors. (Captions tend to take images out of sequence. Sorry)

Screenshot 2014-10-11 19.56.13

No roof (or full walls) yet. So when it rains, it rains.

image of epic build Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.48.03 Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.47.24 Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.58.11 Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.58.21 Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.58.32 Screenshot 2014-10-10 21.25.09 Screenshot 2014-10-10 21.28.05 Screenshot 2014-10-10 21.40.58 Screenshot 2014-10-10 21.43.37 Screenshot 2014-10-10 23.55.58 Screenshot 2014-10-10 23.56.54 Screenshot 2014-10-10 23.56.38 Screenshot 2014-10-10 23.56.16 Screenshot 2014-10-10 23.57.23 Screenshot 2014-10-10 23.57.31 Screenshot 2014-10-11 00.05.23 Screenshot 2014-10-11 01.06.42 Screenshot 2014-10-11 01.10.11 Screenshot 2014-10-11 01.10.17 Screenshot 2014-10-11 01.10.24 Screenshot 2014-10-11 01.10.38 Screenshot 2014-10-11 19.57.48 Screenshot 2014-10-11 19.58.33 Screenshot 2014-10-11 20.53.12

Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.25.44

Yellow blocks of wool (I forgot there is a sponge) were thrown down to absorb the waterfall I created.

Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.25.12

Yellow blocks of wool (I forgot there is a sponge) were thrown down to absorb the waterfall I created.

Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.21.38

Guess what? Ice melts! When it melts, a spontaneous water flow happens. Note: don’t make shoes out of ice.

Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.07.58

I put in a partial 2nd story. I’m thinking it is going to be a cafe. Why put a cafe in a shoe store, I don’t know, but I had the space and was not convinced I really needed to make more shoes.

Screenshot 2014-10-10 20.48.03 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.17.15 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.17.09 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.15.45 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.07.49 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.07.36 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.07.12 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.07.06 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.06.56 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.06.42 Screenshot 2014-10-11 20.54.25 Screenshot 2014-10-11 20.54.29 Screenshot 2014-10-11 23.06.36 Screenshot 2014-10-11 20.53.51 Screenshot 2014-10-11 20.53.28 Screenshot 2014-10-11 20.53.12

I am not sure where my words will land because this is a WordPress site that I haven’t figured out how to fully control, or how to put in a carriage return after the last image. So my description and narrations may go in random places.

I did a videotape of quickly putting in wooden floors. ht

tp://www.screencast.com/t/5kD6jwvwI

I don’t know how to get text to align with the images, so please bear with me while I add commentary and more pics.

After cleaning up the water spill, I worked on the walls. Here are some shots of putting up walls and putting blocks that glow in the letters of the name of the store.

I created a video to show a fast way to put in floors. Essentially it involves chopping up the line of blocks you want to replace, and then hit the S (backwards) button and your drop button quickly one right after the other and the row will fill easily. It works best if you have blocks on either side of you while you do this so that you don’t go off course.

Putting in Floors Screenshot 2014-11-02 01.24.12 Screenshot 2014-11-02 01.32.17 Screenshot 2014-11-02 01.46.26

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Look who joined me as I was building!

Look who joined me as I was building!

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Building the roof

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2014-11-06_23-40-58 2014-11-06_23-41-19 2014-11-06_23-52-06 2014-11-13_15-42-40 2014-11-13_15-42-54 2014-11-13_15-43-30 2014-11-13_15-43-41 2014-11-13_15-43-54 2014-11-13_15-44-10 2014-11-13_15-44-31 2014-11-13_15-44-39 2014-11-13_15-45-14

EDTECH 523: First Discussion Post

Questions:

  1. Imagine that you are about to lead a discussion in a subject that you teach. Based on the required and any optional readings, what aspect(s) of leading or preparing to lead a discussion stand out to you as the most important, and why?

The most important parts of leading a discussion are

  1. Establishing a safe environment.
  2. Having students be aware of the grading rubric
  3. Having students be aware of an “I agree” versus a more substantial post. They should also understand how the grading works for both.
  4. Having students understand when to start a new thread vs continuing ideas in an already existing thread.
  5. Having it in an environment where it is easy for me to keep track of who posted, when they posted, what they said, and who they were responding to.
  6. Having it in an environment where students can easily keep track of what they posted and where it was posted- our set-up of Moodle 2 does not seem to allow that to happen anymore. I have not played with my Moodle set-up enough yet to see if Moodle2 can do it at all.
  7. Having students’ email addresses so I can reply to them privately and off of the discussion board.
  8. Encouraging students to share their ideas.

(Choose and respond to one of the following)

2a. What obstacles have hindered the use and effectiveness of online discussions in a class you have taught or taken?

I would love to respond to both of these, but for now I will just address the first one because most of the discussion areas in the BSU classes have been less effective for me than they were in the community college classes I took online. Actually I was really spoiled in Alex’s classes because they were so well organized and were really easy for me to follow ideas, figure out where I had posted so I could see if anybody replied to my posts, and they were very safe environments. I was as clueless as my peers in those classes.

A few environments that were ineffective were ones where:

  1. Students do not start their own thread with their initial post.
  2. The deadline for the initial post is not set at a reasonable time frame.
  3. The deadlines for follow-up posts are not set for a reasonable amount of time after the initial posts are required.
  4. Netiquette is taken to an extreme. (I tend to be too frank in my posts at times.)
  5. I have used VoiceThread with students and found grading their discussion to be a nightmare. I did this before I even had a clue Moodle existed and at the time was the only safe way I could figure out how to enroll students onto a discussion board. I used space at a “free” phpBB board and often tried to get students to be able to do discussions there, but there was always some logistical hang-up that got in the way. I don’t know php and don’t remember why I was not able to get students to engage with that setting, but the phpBB’s failed and VoiceThread was more energy consuming than effective.
  6. In one online class, our discussion board was a list-serve. Yeah, doing discussions via email was less than organized or productive.

A couple environments that were effective or slightly effective were:

  1. WebCT with new science teachers. Here we discussed various ways of teaching different science concepts with our students. It was with the eMSS program, of which I was a part from 2003-2007. I was a facilitator in the chemistry area for two years.
  2. Blackboard with my student teachers. I used to teach science student teachers. They were required to do a reflection each week. The first year I taught with the program, I followed what I was told to do. Students emailed their reflections to one of the two instructors who by themselves gave feedback to the student who sent in the reflection. I wanted to make the reflection part of the course more interactive because I am not the source of all knowledge. Our students were very talented people who also had good ideas or may have been able to commiserate. I was able to talk my co-instructor into letting students turn their weekly entries in to a discussion board in the Blackboard course I set up for our class on the weeks they were to be turned in to me. She did not want to bother with Blackboard or to share the authority on teaching with the students who were obviously too inept to share constructive ideas with their peers. What little I was able to do with my student teaching graduate students was as good as I could hope it would be given the opposition I faced from my superior co-instructor. This happened fall 2005.
  3. I did get to use Moodle with my students once and that worked great for me, but since it was their first time, our product was not as good as I imagined it could be. I did not know how to use Moodle at that time so I was learning how to use it as they were. I had facilitated discussions with WebCT many years before so I knew the concept of a threaded discussion, but Moodle was a new environment. My students wanted to use Facebook but our IT person told us at the beginning of the year that we were prohibited from using fb with kids. That, of course, did not stop the cool teachers from using fb with their kids so my popularity got another ding by not using fb.
  4. I took a SQL class online where we had to turn in our homework assignments to the discussion forums. Our instructor set it up so that you could not see what other people posted until you posted your solution. This was effective because you could not cheat by looking up the answers before posting your own solution. Plus after you posted your ideas and then you saw how others solved the problem, then you could learn from your mistakes. She did have a discussion forum set up for each week’s major assignment where we could post questions to solicit help from the instructor or our peers. I almost failed the course, but not because of how the discussion forums were organized.

2b. Based on your experience with online discussions as a teacher and/or a student, what techniques do you consider most effective for soliciting interaction and critical thought? Are there experiences you have found particularly fulfilling or frustrating?

This is the question I did not answer

Edutainment, spring 2011

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

Four Categories of Edutainment

Explain how these items are edutainment

Edutainment has many limitations

Evolution of edutainment

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

Instructional elements of comic strips

Comic strip I made

Copies of individual assignments:

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

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

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

How her books focus on entertaining:

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

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

How did it focus on learning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assignment: Evaluation about the purpose of comic strips:

link to assignment on Google drive

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

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

References used for content in this paper:

Deliverable1_StateoftheArt. (2008). State of the Art

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

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

Assignment:

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

Title:  NCIS

Content:

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

Teaching strategies:

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

Entertainment/instructional elements:

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

Assignment: Create an example of Edutainment

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

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

Title: ASCD 2011 in 10 minutes or less

Instructional Purpose:

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

Target Audience:

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

Pedagogy:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assignment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDTECH 521: Community Strategies

This was a project in EDTECH 521:

The assignment: Use the framework provided in the article as a template and identify community building strategies for use in your own classroom. Provide a rationale for each. I don’t usually like to put minimum and maximum counts on assignments, but some of you will ask, so let me suggest that you include between 5 and 10 strategies. What I’m most interested in is that you think carefully about how you will incorporate strategies for building community into your online classes.

My response: I am writing this chart to match up with a hypothetical class on high school chemistry. It is partly based on a class I created while taking classes at Merritt College in the last year.

The table won’t fit here so you’ll have to see the document as it is stored in my Google Drive:  Community Strategies

Statistics Final Project

In EDTECH 562, our final project was to do a proposal where we did research that involved statistical analysis. Throughout the semester, lots of things changed for me, although I have a feeling I never fully grasped what the assignment was. Here is a link to the proposal I created for the course. I will probably also include a copy of my reflection at my Learning Log, too, because this was a phenomenal course in so many ways. I now understand chi-square!

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