Artifact Introduction: During our third week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read chapter four in Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the advantages of utilizing the basic suite in the classroom. We were then to apply this information to our own classroom and chosen content area and reflect on the relative advantage of utilizing the basic suite.
Artifact: By definition a suite is “a set of programs with a uniform design and the ability to share data” while adding basic, modifies that definition to say that this suite is one that “(forms) an essential foundation or starting point; (one that is) fundamental.” Therefore, a basic suite is a fundamental set of programs with uniform design. The basic suite is comprised of three types of software tools: word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software (Roblyer, 2016). These software tools have numerous advantages as they help increase productivity, accuracy, and appearance of presentations/documents in the business world and consequently the educational world. (Roblyer, 2016). As technology has developed so has the basic suite, it has moved from programs that need to be downloaded (Microsoft) to web-based software such as Google (for all three), Prezi (presentation), and Open Office (word processing). We’re going to focus on basic suite in the educational world, specifically in the fourth-grade classroom in and its use in the ELA curriculum.
Some examples of word processing software tools are Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Open Office among others (Roblyer, 2016). These tools facilitate the process of typing text to create a document and then formatting and editing this text. Google Docs goes further and allows for collaboration between multiple users on a single document at one time, automatic saving, commenting and tracking of changes. The relative advantage of using word processing tools in the fourth-grade classroom is that students can work collaboratively to create research, narratives, and/or expository papers all done in a quick and efficient manner. The Common Core State Standards clearly state that fourth grade students must: “With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting” (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers).Word processing software is the key to ensuring students are meeting this standard. In my fourth grade classroom my students regularly work projects using word processing software; currently, they are working on writing a persuasive paper utilizing Google Docs where they present a persuasive piece encouraging others to donate money to their charity of choice. Word processing software and in this case, Google Docs, helps my students write an organized paper, collaborate with others to edit and revise it by allowing the document to be “shared”, tracking changes and allowing comments. Using word processing software and therefore, participating in the drafting editing, revising, and publishing process is an invaluable skill they will have mastered.
Some examples of spreadsheet software tools are Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel (Roblyer, 2016). These tools facilitate the process of gathering and organizing data, and then creating graphs and charts to easily comprehend this information. Google Sheets goes further and allows for collaboration between multiple users on a single document at one time, automatic saving, commenting and tracking of changes. Google Sheets can also be paired with Google Forms (which is a Google Survey tool) which further facilitates the process of interpreting data. The relative advantage of using spreadsheet tools in the fourth-grade classroom is that students can work collaboratively to gather research and then in a quick and efficient manner translate that research into a graph/chart to ease comprehension of information. The Common Core State Standards clearly state that fourth grade students must be able to: “Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources” (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers). Spreadsheet software enables students to take information that they gather and organize it in an efficient and logical manner. In my fourth grade classroom, my students work on many projects using spreadsheet software, in the spring my students work on a Science Fair project utilizing Google Sheets to create a chart to demonstrate the findings of their research of their chosen Science Fair project. Spreadsheet software and in this case, Google Sheets helps my students create an organized graph where they show growth or compare items and learn at a young age how information can be displayed in effective manners, a skill needed in the 20th century.
Some examples of presentation software tools are Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Prezi among others (Roblyer, 2016). These tools facilitate the process of presenting information in a visually appealing manner. Google Slides goes further and allows for collaboration between multiple users on a single presentation at one time, automatic saving, commenting and tracking of changes. The relative advantage of using presentation tools in the fourth-grade classroom is that students can work collaboratively following best practice in presentations to create individual or collaborative presentations to teach others and/or demonstrate their mastery of a subject (Roblyer, 127). Students can gather research and then in a quick and efficient manner translate that research into a presentation to ensure their audience is immediately captivated with the information they are providing. The Common Core State Standards clearly state that fourth grade students must be able to: “Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes” and “Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace” (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers). Presentation software facilitates the process for students to report on topics, texts and/or tell stories in an organized manner and add audio recording and visual displays while doing so. In my fourth grade classroom, my students work on many projects using presentation software, currently they are working on a presentation utilizing Google Slides where they present an informative piece stating their process in the engineering process of creating Valentine Box that uses a Simple Machine in a creative manner. Presentation software and in this case, Google Slides, helps my students create a presentation where they explain step by step their process and learn at a young age how to create visually appealing presentations, this is no doubt, a skill they will utilize in the future.
The basic suite is a fundamental set of programs with uniform design, therefore; once a student is familiar with one program their intuition serves as a guide to work with the others. The basic suite software tools of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software have forever changed the way information is created, organized and presented; providing our students the ability to receive and share information like it has never been done before. The numerous advantages these software tools provide in the fourth grade ELA classroom and beyond of increased productivity, accuracy, and appearance of presentations/documents and much more make it vital for students to utilize and master these tools in the classroom.
Basic [Def.1]. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionary Online, Retrieved February 3, 2016, from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/basic
Suite[Def.3]. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionary Online, Retrieved February 3, 2016, from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/suite
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington, DC: Authors. Retrieved fromwww.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: This assignment required me to really delve into my curriculum and analyze the relative advantage of using the basic suite in my classroom on a regular basis. I got the experience to really become familiar with the benefits and various uses of the basic suite, some ways that I was already familiar and others in novel ways that I had never heard of before but want to implement.
- AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To write about the relative advantage of the basic suite, I needed to apply content pedagogy to create and reflect upon appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes.
- AECT Standard 2.2 Using: To write about the relative advantage of the basic suite, I thought of ways to implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy.
- AECT Standard 2.3 Assessing/Evaluating: I demonstrated an inquiry process that assessed the adequacy of learning and evaluated the instruction and implementation of educational technologies and processes grounded in reflective practice while reflecting upon the relative advantage of utilizing the basic suite in the fourth-grade classroom setting.
- AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to effectively reflect on the relative advantage of using the basic suite in the fourth-grade ELA classroom, I needed to make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.