Category Archives: 5.4 Long-Range Planning
5.4 Long-Range Planning
Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic
planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to
five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide
in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the
5.4.1 Develop a long-range strategic plan related to any of the domains or sub-domains.
5.4.2* Develop and update a long-range strategic school media program plan.
Dr. Thompson had us “practice” writing a request for proposal (RFP) document. In this document we had to plan how to execute helping Far West Laboratory with their need to educate their school clients.
I think this is a reflection on what was done for the VoiceThread moderation:
Voice Thread moderation
How do you help students interact effectively in an online course?
A few of us have posted examples of how we help students interact effectively in our discussion areas. Although Chris has not held online discussions with students, she likes the small group approach. In addition she likes the idea of having students be facilitators. Bret confirms the importance of using multimedia and unique opportunities to engage a discussion. James also likes the idea of having student facilitators and freshness to the content, but cautions against overwhelming the students with too many new ideas or tools to learn. Sarah points out facilitator involvement is crucial, yet the facilitator needs to be careful to not become the discussion. Let the students be the discussion by finding a balance between facilitator input and student contributions. Earl stresses modeling effective communication so novice participants experience what they are expected to do in the discussion. So far our discussion has focused on group size, discussion format or setting, facilitator involvement that may involve student facilitators, and modeling what we expect of the participants. What other suggestions do you have about how to get students to interact in a discussion forum or even with wiki collaborations? We have a few more days left for this discussion, so please provide examples from your classroom, experiences with online learning, ideas from the readings, or unique perspectives you’ve acquired while in this or other online classes. What has motivated you to interact in our online courses?
How do you sustain online discussions?
A few people have shared aspects of online discussions including how the discussion is launched, what happens during the discussion, and how to prolong it. Kathryn stresses the importance of using open-ended questions to allow for freedom of expression of ideas. Bret cautions instructors to not assume that an open-ended question will guarantee student participation that stays focused on the topic. How would you build community building into the online discussion that may be more natural to create in a face to face environment? Sarah seeks the perfect balance between structure and flexibility. What suggestions do you have about how to create flexibility while still giving enough structure so students feel safe in the environment? Earl suggests extending discussions with hypothetical situations. With that in mind, what do you suggest we do to get people who have not posted to this discussion yet, to post to the discussion? Do the facilitators send out personal invitations to the discussion? Do we respect that for this discussion we are graduate students and therefore have the choice to participate or not? If you are working with adults like we are, but who may not be as comfortable with the online world as we are, how would you lure them to volunteer their ideas in an online discussion?
How do you keep a presence in online discussions without taking over the conversations?
So far, everybody recognizes the importance of having the facilitator being a part of the discussion. Kathryn points out that creating a social presence by providing feedback to participants. James suggests instructors target the posts that are not getting many responses by replying directly to those ideas in an attempt to stimulate discussion based on what is said in the neglected posts. Sarah’s audio file was not loading at the time I crafted this summary. Jessica recommends brevity while including leading questions to further the discussion. How do you suggest a facilitator follows these recommendations without overwhelming the discussion? How does one provide feedback, but not so much that it curtails further discussion?
How do you use online discussion in your blended courses?
So far we have heard a few ways people can use online discussion areas to allow for collaboration or submission of individualized perspectives on a topic. Glori has her students do mini-case studies by perusing the literature and deciding what they would incorporate into their own practice. Adam does a sort of jigsaw where he posts questions about themes in geography and allows students to self-select which ones they will respond to. Then he challenges students to visit a different theme and contribute to its thread. Bret confirms the uniqueness of using discussion forums as a review area for essay exams. He commends Adam for using the discussion area to stimulate student interactions and follows up with questions about procedures for doing such discussions. Kathryn suggested using the discussion areas as a place to do summarizing activities or for students to provide feedback on the course without having time constraints you can have in the face to face classroom. Sarah not only uses discussion areas as a place for students to brainstorm, but since it is out in the open, she can also give feedback and approve their ideas before students prematurely commit to a topic that may not be as fruitful as originally anticipated. What are some other concrete examples of ways you can engage students in an online forum?
The project for EDTECH 505 was a huge challenge and from what I understand, it strikes fear in all EDTECH students. We are expected to evaluate something real. I was no longer in the classroom and have no official affiliation with any schools. I know I was terrified about how I was going to accomplish the project. I thought about all the resources I have and all the people I have had conversations with about things that may be appropriate for the project. A former boss, who is also like a mentor, came to mind. At the time, she was the superintendent of a Regional Occupational Program I used to work with. We had had a conversation about hybridizing some of the ROP courses. Although I have never had an opportunity to teach a hybrid course, I think they are the ultimate way education can be done. The goal of this project was to see if I created a course her teachers would actually use, how they thought about using the course. They did not use the course I wrote because it was summertime, but if they had shown interest in using it the following academic year, I would have hosted it for them.
Somewhere along the way I picked up the website URL hybridclassroom.net because I wanted to make Moodle classes for teachers. At one time I thought my first million would come from selling pre-made units or courses in a Moodle format to classroom teachers who wanted to hybridize their classes. The Certificate in Online Teaching I did at Merritt Community College taught me how to design and structure Moodle courses, and the class I took from Moodlerooms taught me how to be a Moodle administrator. I was motivated to try Dr. Fujii’s teachers out as possible clients because I really want to influence online learning in a positive way. No I did not charge them anything for what I did for them. I was earning course credit for the project so it would be wrong to accept any pay. What Dr. Fujii and I wanted to figure out is if her teachers who showed an interest in hybridizing their classes would be receptive to the course I designed for them in Moodle. Unfortunately I can’t put a link to the course because the ROP owns the materials I used. I can, however, link to the report I wrote for EDTECH 505.
Video of slide show- this means it has audio!
I wish there was an easy way to embed videos or I wish this class had taught me how to do it.
Ok, so as a last resort I am putting the video up at YouTube. We’ll see if the YouTube embed code works.
I did the video in Camtasia because it is really easy to add closed captioning with that software. I just need to find a place other than YouTube where I can use an embed player. I have no problem hosting videos at my website- I just want to be able to put them in an embeddable player. I know this should not be so hard to do!
A link to the mp4 of the Technology Use Plan, but I still don\’t know how to embed this! Argh!
Guess what? the mp4 does not have the closed captioning! so if you want to read what I’m saying, use one of the links toward the top- they will connect you with the version that is up at Screencast.com. OR you could watch the YouTube video- the captioning traveled there quite nicely.
Slide Show using Google Presentation doc:
This is an assignment for EdTech 501. We were given 7 recommendations and were asked to evaluate them, followed by our suggestions on how to spend the money. I made a PowerPoint presentation that can be accessed at: http://www.slideshare.net/ntropi/suggestions-for-state-allocations-of-technology-funds There is no audio at the SlideShare link.
In addition, I made a video in Camtasia, but it turned out to be huge. I don’t know if you’ll be able to open the video. Here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/MGetz501mod3
Instructions: You will explore and provide your perspective/reflection on one of the following elements, specifically how the word relates to or enables a better understanding of the definition of educational technology: (1) Study (2) Ethical practice (3) Facilitating (4) Learning (5) Improving (6) Performance (7) Creating (8) Using (9) Managing (10) Appropriate (11) Technological (12) Processes (13) Resources.
Definition of Educational Technology (2004):
According to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
The one I pick is number 3, facilitating. Even though it may seem like I picked facilitating because it was near the beginning of the chapter, that is merely a coincidence. When I read the description that goes with facilitating, it proved to be different than what I expected. I expected to read about how as education has become influenced more by the invasiveness of technology, the teacher’s role has been replaced by that of a passive facilitator who merely monitors the students. I thought that in this facilitator scenario, teachers do not have the responsibility of determining what gets taught or how to teach it because when the technology comes in to play, the teaching is exuded through whatever media the students are using. Turns out I was wrong! It has been known to happen.
As I read the passage about facilitating, I felt like I was reading my ideal job description. The way the authors described the teachers’ actions is more like the teacher being a coach who has made it possible for students to have open ended opportunities to interact with content such that they gathered the important parts and built them into their psyche. The teacher still scaffolds the lesson, but it is done in such a way that the students take ownership of the direction of the learning and therefore they have mastery of the subject and not just a spectator’s point of view. The concept of constructivism comes into play because the students are constructing meaning. Fortunately when I was taught how to be a teacher, I was taught methods that follow the constructivist approach. It is something that I’ve tried to embody in all of the classes I’ve taught, however the factoid based tests tended to interfere with the slower methods used in constructivism. That soapbox is one I shall stand upon at a later time.
Another aspect of the facilitating philosophy is that the teachers are not seen as the oracle of knowledge. Being in a classroom is not for students to sit and listen to a teacher talk at them. Even if the teacher is using “technology” via PowerPoint slides, the point of the technology is not to make lecturing easier on the teacher. The point of the technology may be to use the PowerPoint slides to engage the students by having them take roles in explaining concepts shown on slides. Technology is used to facilitate getting the information in the students’ hands so they can determine how to use it and to make sense of it. Page 4 has a statement that sums this up perfectly, “the key role of technology is not so much to present information and provide drill and practice (to control learning) but to provide the problem space and the tools to explore it (to support learning).” There are so many teachers I’ve taught with who really need to think about that statement. Too many times they act like they are doing the right thing because they are using the technology, but in reality they are merely fooling themselves because they’ve transformed the technology to be yet another way for them to control student behavior.
I hope that I will be able to become a facilitator of student learning by using technology to help students acquire and utilize information. I still want them to guide the direction and flow, but I hope to have the opportunity to build their scaffolding. The TECH museum in San Jose, CA has done just that by creating curriculum that empowers students to find solutions to what may seem like common everyday problems. With these projects, students construct solutions to the design challenges. Most of the challenges are low-tech, meaning the students don’t have to use anything that involves electricity to do their project, however if they found a technology that helps them build their solution, it certainly would not be discouraged. The point of many of the design challenges is for students to collaborate and come up with something that exists in three dimensions. They often create a prototype, test it, and then make changes as they see the flaws that remain. This is not dissimilar to what happens in educational technology where instructional designers use technology in a ethical manner as a way to foster student projects that reflect what they learned and the means by which they learned it.
Video of someone at the TECH museum in San Jose explaining how their Design Challenge activities work. This is one way constructivist ideas can be brought into the classroom:
Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (1977). The definition of educational technology. Washington, DC: AECT.
Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Chapter 1: Definition. In Educational technology: A definition with commentary (pp. 1 – 14). NY: Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc.
Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). (2004)The Definition of Educational Technology.
Washington DC: AECT, Definition and Terminology Committee