For this post, I want to take a moment and reflect on my experience in the Introduction to Educational Technology class. I received my Bachelors Degree three years ago and began teaching right away, then decided it was time to go back to school and technology has always been something that has fascinated me so I went for it. I decided to take this class and another as my first courses in the program during the Summer session of 2015. I wanted to begin during the summer session because I felt that since I am on summer break from work, I could really use this as an opportunity to experience the program without the distraction of work. However, one of my biggest challenges was simply getting back into the swing of managing the idea of homework and setting time aside to read, learn and explore. I can’t imagine if I had been away from the school setting any longer! I had to setup times (just as Chris suggested) to “go to school” and have conversations with family to make it clear that “mommy was working” and needed to be alone. Another challenge that I faced was in the realm of research. I have never been a fan of writing research papers or conducting research with peer reviewed articles and such and the annotated bibliography really pushed me full force into this world once again. I am happy to say I survived and the information provided that allowed me to explore how technology has really facilitated research and writing helped my attitude shift. The artifact that I feel was my best was the Tech Trends assignment where I explore the idea of podcasts and enabling students to create their own for their classmates. I was so proud of this project because I think I felt that it reflected exactly what I wanted while exploring this program. To develop skills in order to help my students use technology effectively in the classroom to increase their learning. I plan on using blogs in the classroom such as I am in this program because of this course, I think it will be extremely beneficial for my students to have a technological tool such as this to monitor their growth and learning. I am very excited to see what else this program has to offer and am very grateful that this course provided me with a strong foundation on which to grow.
Artifact Introduction: During our sixth week in Introduction to Educational Technology, we were to revisit the definition of Educational Technology in Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary & reflect on the current definition of Educational Technology. Once we felt like we had conceptualized what elements Educational Technology encompasses we were to create an original graphic, using the program of our choice, to demonstrate our understanding of the definition. Before creating my graphic, I explored several different programs to see which I felt most comfortable with. It was fascinating (and a bit overwhelming) to see all of the different options available. I decided upon using a program I had never explored in the past called Piktochart. It was a very user-friendly program that had enough tools to make my graphic interesting but not too much as to overwhelm me with options.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: Educational Technology as defined by The Association of Educational Communications & Technology (as seen in Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary) is: “…the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” (Mishra, 2009, p.1) In my graphic, I have a ladder leading to a lightbulb with a fast-forwarding symbol inside because educational technology enables growth (ladder) and leads to learning (lightbulb) and improving that learning (fast-forwarding symbol). In the ladder rungs are various technological means (mouse, cellular device, sharing, computer screen, & internet) because these items facilitate that growth. In the spaces between the rungs are various representations (watering can, paintbrush, magnifying glass, balance, link, globe)of the things that are achieved throughout the growth process like continuous growth, creativity, exploration, ethical awareness), & worldwide interconnectivity. On the outside of the ladder, are arrows that represent that educational technology is a never-ending process, the more that is explored, the more of a need with have for continuous growth. A small wrench and a hammer are by the words “Educational Technology” which reminds us that the definition is always being built upon and therefore forever changing.
- AECT Standard 1.2 Using: Upon creating this graphic I demonstrated the ability to select and use technological resources and processes to enhance my pedagogy of education.
Mishra, S. (2009), Educational technology: A definition with commentary – By Alan Januszewski & Michael Molenda. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40: 187. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00925_4.x
Artifact Introduction: During our fifth week in Introduction to Educational Technology, we were to explore issues of technology use planning. We were to do this by reviewing the NETP (National Education Technology Plan), reading through the Guidebook for Developing an Instructional Technology Plan and reviewing various articles from the National Center for Technology Planning. Then we were to use all of this information to critically review our own school or district’s plans and collaborate with our classmates about these plans using Twitter. Once we became very familiar with our school/district plan we were to conduct a survey and evaluation of our school under five distinct categories (Administrative, Curricular, Support, Connectivity, and Innovation) using the Maturity Model Benchmark Rubric.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: This assignment was extremely eye-opening for me in regards to Mystery School’s ranking on the Maturity Model Benchmark. I had always thought our school was not doing too bad in terms of using the technology available effectively and that we were preparing our students for the future in technology. However, after careful consideration of the rubric and each level, I realized our school was falling behind, quickly. Much of this has to do with an effective District plan that is being implemented ineffectively at the school level. I believe that is the greatest pitfall of our school and until that problem is corrected, nothing significant can change. There is definite room for improvement at the school level by conducting staff training at school (instead of relying on teachers to sign up at the District) and teaching teachers to use technology effectively to increase student learning. I realized that implementing technology effectively within a classroom requires the support of not only the teacher but of so many people at the school, district, state, and national level, it truly takes a village.
- AECT Standard 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating: For this assignment I had to apply formal inquiry strategies to assess and evaluate processes for creating technology plans and the resources available for our school to increase the learning and performance of our students.
Artifact Introduction: During our fourth week in Introduction to Educational Technology, we were to explore The Horizon Report which is a report that is released every year that releases the newest technologies and their application and influence in educational settings.This report addresses the following questions: “What is on the five-year horizon for K-12 schools worldwide? Which trends and technologies will drive educational change? What are the challenges that we consider as solvable or difficult to overcome, and how can we strategize effective solutions?” (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2015). After reviewing this report, we were to select one of the mentioned tools or trends, analyze it’s effectiveness in our classrooms by conducting research and then create a tool or artifact to describe or give an example of this tool’s possibilities in our classroom or school.
I was motivated by the section of Rethinking How School’s Work and the article titled How to motivate students to gain ownership of their learning by Angela Watson. In this article, Angela talks about increasing student engagement, responsibility, and critical thinking all by simply changing the way we think about educators, to more of a facilitator role. All of this can be done when we give student’s the reigns on their own learning.
I had already been exploring the idea of podcasts in the classroom and developed a podcast idea of my own where students listened in for homework, to increase their Spanish comprehension. However, after reading this article and conducting additional research on this concept, I had an even better idea. Having the students create the episodes for the podcast series, handing them the reigns for their learning, giving them the responsibility of teaching their classmates and allowing them to think critically to develop an episode. It was fabulous!
Therefore, I decided to create a mini episode where I “sell” this idea to the other dual language teachers at my school, because I believe all of the students (from the youngest to the oldest) can utilize this tool to increase their speaking ability, listening comprehension, and confidence in the target language. This idea could even grow to become a school-wide podcast where students record weekly or monthly podcasts that we post on the school website, it has so much potential!
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: The modality principle states that individuals learn better when listening to audio narration rather than on-screen text. In this podcast idea, students will be listening to their classmates speaking in Spanish and not seeing any text at all. The redundancy principle states that having both on-screen text and narration is redundant and impedes learning. (Clark & Mayer, 2011) Therefore, creating a Podcast is ideal for this situation because there is no redundancy. While creating the podcast, it is important to teach students to keep the narration in mind to ensure that they make a plan, speaking clearly and slowly.
- AECT Standard 1.2 Using: For this podcast creation I had to use Audacity (& all of the effects it offers) to create a podcast that enhanced my abilities and ideas as an educator.
- AECT Standard 3.1 Creating: I created a podcast for my fellow teachers which facilitated the employment of the modality and redundancy principles in presentations.
- AECT Standard 3.2 Using: While creating this podcast I had to keep the narration in mind to ensure that I was speaking clearly and slowly.
- AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: For this assignment I had to analyze various artifacts and trends. After choosing my trend, I conducted research in order to reflect on the development and implementation of this technology within my classroom. This entire process helped me grow as an educator.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf
Watson, Angela (2015, January). How to motivate students to gain ownership of their learning. Retrieved from http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/2015/01/how-to-empower-students-to-take-ownership-of-their-learning.html
Artifact Introduction: During our fourth week in Introduction to Educational Technology, we were to delve further into research. We gained familiarity with Google Scholar, the Albertsons Library, Google Docs (for research), APA & many other tools for researching and then citing the sources. We were to explore Google Scholar and the Albertsons Library to find recent, peer-reviewed articles on an area of technology-supported instruction that interested us. We needed to read these articles in depth to be able to summarize, assess and reflect upon it. Our project was to create an annotated bibliography on five of these articles, incorporating the citing techniques we learned. I decided to conduct research on problem-based learning (PBL) and create an annotated bibliography using articles that I found on this subject.
Reflection of Learning: One of my favorite aspects of this lesson was getting to choose what we conducted research on, I decided to choose PBL, and learned so much about it. It was a little overwhelming to explore APA citations since it has been so long since I’ve used researching and citing information. Learning what DOI was and using Cross Ref Simple Text Query was one of my favorite aspects, it really helped me understand the importance of not only citing but making the citation information accessible to the audience. Once I started composing my Annotated Bibliography I found myself looking at the prompting questions for summarizing, assessing and reflecting, regularly to remind myself what my goal was in the bibliography. Overall, I found this assignment to be challenging because of the quantity of information for researching and citing that we reviewed and because we had the ability to choose what we wanted to research (which made me weary that I was making the “right” choice). I feel that my biggest accomplishment after completing this assignment was really becoming familiar with APA citation and researching techniques.
Artifact Introduction: During our third week in Introduction to Educational Technology, we were introduced to RSS & the benefits and uses in the education profession. We subscribed to different feeds that we were interested in and also to our classmate’s learning logs. Afterward, we reviewed how to make a lesson plan and develop objectives. Our project was to then use all of the information we learned and reviewed to create a lesson plan for our classroom’s that incorporates RSS. I decided to create a lesson plan to have my students use RSS to subscribe and keep up with their classmate’s blogs in order to provide an efficient way to provide feedback and critique one another.
Reflection of Learning: I enjoyed this lesson very much because once I began exploring Feedly and learned how to use RSS to bring information to me instead of looking for information, I felt that I had access to a wealth of knowledge that I had never felt before. I found myself using Feedly so much throughout this week to plan and obtain ideas for my lesson because I had so much information, that I was interested in, at my fingerprints. What was difficult was trying to go through the mental process of simplifying and explaining RSS to my students. I realized after trying to put it into words, that this was much better learned through experiencing it first hand, just like I had done. Therefore, I included time in my lesson plan for the students to use Feedly to explore their classmates blogs. If I had more time I would like to develop this lesson into a unit to specify what my students will be blogging about on a monthly basis. Currently, we do monthly projects, but I would really like to make them all technology related so they can be put into their blogs. Therefore, I plan on developing some new projects to further extend this plan. Using Feedly as the feed reader to access RSS is something I am definitely going to incorporate into my classroom this coming school year.
Artifact: RSS in the 4th Grade Classroom
Artifact Introduction: During our third week in Introduction to Educational Technology class, we were to research the digital divide and digital inequality. Then we needed to identify some of these within our school and reflect on possible solutions to these issues. We demonstrated what we learned in a narrated presentation applying multimedia principles using Haiku Deck.
Reflection of Learning: Upon researching the digital divide and digital inequality, the first thing I learned is the difference and correlation between these two concepts and how interconnected they are. Digital divide is the separation between those who have access to technology and those who don’t while digital inequality goes further to explain the disparity in how people are using the technology they have. Throughout my research, I came to the realization that diminishing the digital divide will increase the inequality therefore both concepts need to be tackled simultaneously. I believe this is vital for educators at the elementary level where students are introduced to technology. At the school where I work, I will be an advocate for technology. I will use technology in my classroom, in ways that help diminish digital inequality by teaching students the true benefits of technology. For example, when having students create presentations I will make them aware of the multimedia principles below, that I learned during this project, so they can also learn to communicate effectively. If I had more time and school was in session, I would develop a questionnaire to assess my student’s understanding of the application and benefits of technology in their society. I would then use the projects (that we currently do) but have them continuously reflect on the purpose and benefit of using technology in their work.
- The Signaling Principle which describes how individuals learn better when headlines are used.
- The Segmenting Principle which explains how individuals learn better when receiving small amounts of information.
- The Modality Principle which describes how an individual’s understanding increases when presentation text is narrated instead of displayed on the screen.
- The Multimedia Principle which explains how individuals learn better from both text and words than from words alone (ensuring individuals are leveraging dual channels)
- The Coherence Principle, which describes how individuals have limited cognitive processing, therefore, less is more.
- The Contiguity Principle which explains how individuals benefit from graphics being close to one another, again, because of limited cognitive processing. (Atkinson & Mayer, 2004)
Giving students a vast tool, such as access to the internet (ridding them of the digital divide) is not enough. We also need to provide proper knowledge of how to use this tool, in an efficient and beneficial way (diminishing digital inequality). I believe it is our ethical responsibility to ensure students become well-prepared adults who have the knowledge of how to use technology around them.
Atkinson, Cliff & Mayer, Richard E. Five Ways to Reduce PowerPoint Overload. (2004) Retrieved from http://www.indezine.com/stuff/atkinsonmaye.pdf
Artifact Introduction: During our second week in Introduction to Educational Technology class, we were to research a real-life scenario about professional ethics in Educational Technology and compose a paper about the scenario, it’s applicability to certain Codes of Professional Ethics, and a reflection on how we would resolve the scenario to ensure it complies. I chose to write about a scenario that I was involved in during the last academic school year.
Reflection of Learning: I learned that it is not possible to truly teach or facilitate Educational Technology within a classroom without following the standards written in the AECT Code of Professional Ethics. Therefore, in order to teach technology to students, there is a direct moral responsibility to comply with these standards. I also reflected upon the large role that the institution for which educators teach plays in the ability to abide by these standards. How, it is necessary for all educational institutions to develop an awareness and furthermore, begin putting the AECT Code of Professional Ethics into play when making overarching decisions for an educational population. This assignment provided the opportunity for me to truly delve into and become familiar with the Code Professional of Ethics and find their applicability and importance of their role in my life as an educator.This was a great opportunity to read, reflect, and apply the Code of Professional Ethics.