Tag Archives: EdTech541

Final Reflection-EdTech 541

Standard

Artifact Introduction: During our twelfth & final week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to reflect on the entire course including our learning, professional growth, project creation, and connection to the AECT standards. The coursework that I completed is in a portfolio site created specifically for this course, found here. We also were asked to provide a self-assessment on our blogging throughout the course therefore, there are two artifacts for this blog post.

Artifact #1 Reflection: 

This course has taught me how to integrate technology into my classroom curriculum not only with ease but how to do so in effective and innovative manners. Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways from this course is that integrating technology isn’t as simple as is often interpreted, it is not simply putting a child in front of the computer playing a game (although it can be!), there is much more and it requires a lot of thought and planning. As Robyler says, “It requires a complex combination of what teachers know about the content they teach and how they decide to teach that content.” (Robyler, 2016) It requires that educators combine our content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and technological knowledge or the  “TPACK” as Roblyer calls this combination, to integrate technology to create an enhanced learning experience for our students. I have also learned how to navigate and utilize many different sites and tools to enhance my own classroom curriculum. One of my favorite projects was the instructional software lesson because the journey to create it was so enjoyable. I was fascinated by the various types of instructional software and the various advantages for each of them-I refer back to this information regularly.

This awareness of various types of tools and technologies and how they have a direct impact on my teaching and student learning is where I have most grown as a professional throughout the semester in this course. I find myself always evaluating my lessons and ensuring that they are integrating technology whenever possible to help my students be prepared for the 21st century but also that I am integrating technology in the most effective manner to reach the goals I have for my students. This has been one of the biggest changes in my thoughts about my pedagogy, I have always had a drive to help my students reach their goals and the ones I have set for them but now I see the immense role that technology plays in this process. Not only is using technology effectively a goal I have for the students, but technology is a key component in these goals because it allows for differentiation. Students can use technology to learn and to grow as learners and creators. Before taking this course, I knew that technology in the classroom, was important but I was still hesitant to employ it regularly in my classroom because I was afraid of the outcomes, this course has changed my perspective to now thinking that the good will always outweigh the bad in effective technology integration. In each project I created in this course and continue to create to use in the classroom, the theory I learned in this class, as mentioned above, has guided me. It is the theory and concepts behind technology integration that helps to create an effective lesson with technology incorporated. In this course the AECT standards were a guiding light, ensuring that I became demonstrated mastery of various standards in my research, practice, and project creation. The specific AECT standards that were met are referenced below.

References:

Roblyer, M.D., (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Artifact #2 Self-Assessment: 

As per the blog grading rubric, I would grade myself as follows:

Content: 70/70
The content on my blog is insightful with rich detail and full of thought and synthesis. There are many connections to real-life situations in my classroom and experience in education.
Reading/Resources: 20/20
My blog entries included references to the course text and regularly to other outside sources provided in the references or that I found on my own to support my blog content.  APA format was always used to reference my sources.
Timeliness: 20/20
Most of my blog posts were done early to allow for others to comment, and all were completed and posted by the due date.
Responses to other students: 30/30
I always responded to at least two other student blogs, at times more, referencing this on each modules blog discussion. My responses were detailed and spoke directly about the content of the students post or contained questions to encourage and enhance the dialogue.
Overall Grade:  140/140

 

AECT Standard Connection:  The coursework I completed in this course can be found on my Weebly site here. What you will find demonstrates mastery of the following standards:

  • AECT Standard 1-Content Knowledge:
    • 1.2 Using: Throughout this course, I demonstrated the ability to select and use technological resources and processes to support student learning and to enhance my pedagogy. I had to select the appropriate resources and tools when creating the various lesson plans I created in such a way that would enhance student learning and help further develop my pedagogy.
    • 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating: Throughout this course, I demonstrated the ability to assess and evaluate the effective integration of appropriate technologies and instructional materials. Selecting and evaluating technologies was a great part of my blog reflections when I focused on relative advantages of different support tools as well as a lot of the readings I conducted to prepare for my lesson/project creation.
  • AECT Standard 2-Content Pedagogy:
    • 2.1 Creating: Throughout this course, I applied content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve my student’s learning and performance outcomes.I developed as a reflective practitioner by reading the course text, reflecting via writing, engaging in dialogue with my classmates, and applying what I learned in my projects.
    • 2.2 Using: Throughout this course, I implemented appropriate educational technologies in my projects and lesson plans and processes that I use in my classroom based on my appropriate content pedagogy that was enhanced in this course.
  • AECT Standard 5-Research:
    • 5.2 Method: Throughout this course, I applied research methodologies to solve problems with technology that I encountered in the classroom or that I encountered when creating lessons/projects and this enhanced my learning and teaching practice.
    • 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating: Throughout this course, I applied  formal inquiry strategies to assess and evaluate various processes and resources when creating the projects/lessons. This helped me to explore, evaluate, synthesize, and apply methods of inquiry to enhance my learning and improve my performance.
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Assistive Technology

Standard

Artifact Introduction: During our eleventh week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to review a serious of resources including the textbook Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & identify the accessibility features on our computer. We were then to identify the types of disabilities that might be accommodated with these features & how specific disabilities would benefit from using the device.

Artifact: 

“…The rapid development and application of computer-based technology, however, has created a sea change in available options for disabled students, ending the isolation and limited opportunities disabled students have long faced. Computer programs have been designed to make it easier for disabled students to access material, communicate their ideas and work, and participate in educational experiences.” (The Role of Assistive Technologies in Supporting Disabled Learners, 2012) This is assistive technology.

In this post, I’m going to be reflecting upon the assistive features for various disabilities found on the Windows 10 Home Edition, of my HP ENVY TouchSmart Sleekbook 4 laptop.

Hearing Disability:

For hearing disabilities, the features already included on the computer were scarce, but the following were available. The “Narrator” feature reads more than just the text on the screen but all the elements including text and buttons and by adjusting the volume, this may be a helpful tool. “Sound Sentry”is another feature that provide(s) visual notifications for sounds. So for instance, when an error sound plays, there will also be a visual alert displayed if you have this setting enabled. (Ability Net, 2013). There are also text captions for spoken dialogue that is provided “as available”.

Vision Disability:

There is a “Narrator” feature which reads more than just the text on the screen but all the elements including text and buttons. You can also change the volume, speed, tone of voice, and even the voice in the Narrator settings. You can also choose what kinds of things you’ll hear like audio cues and characters that you’re typing. This feature would be extremely helpful to someone with a vision disability as it narrates what you’re toggling on, what screen you’re currently on, and what you opened/closed. The “Magnifier” feature magnifies the screen and also has the option to invert the coloring of the screen. There are various options such as changing what is being magnified and following the keyboard or mouse. This would help someone with a vision disability as it would provide a much larger magnification of the material on the screen. Additionally, you can control the thickness of the blinking cursor and change the color and size of the mouse cursor.

Physical Disability:

“Sticky Keys” is a feature that could help someone with a physical disability by allowing them to press keyboard shortcuts, such as CTRL+C for copy one-at-a-time. “Filter keys” allows users to ignore or slow down brief or repeated keystrokes and adjust keyboard repeat rates.  The “toggle keys” feature plays a tone when CAPS LOCK, NUM LOCK, or SCROLL LOCK are enabled, as these keys are often pressed unintentionally and I imagine even more so if you have a physical disability in your fingers/hands.

Learning Disability:

Some of the same features listed above, “narrator”, “sticky keys” “toggle keys” and “filter keys” are available for those with a learning disability. There is also the “mouse keys” features that allows the user to move the mouse with the keyboard keys. Additionally, you can control the thickness of the blinking cursor, change the color and size of the mouse cursor, turn off all unnecessary animations, and remove background images.

What impressed me the most, was that in the “ease of access” center you can complete a short questionnaire that recommends settings based on the answers to your questions. The questions range from “I have difficulty hearing” to “I have a hard time focusing”. I used the questionnaire to discover the features and explore their application and applicability. The Ease of Access Center also provides a direct link to the Assistive Technology Products for Windows online page to learn about additional features with demos and tutorials on how to use them.

 

References:

Microsoft. (2015). Microsoft Accessibility Assistive Technology Products for Windows. Retrieved from: http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/vista/default.aspx

MyComputerMyWay. Ability Net. Sound Alerts in Windows 7. Retrieved from: https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/sound-alerts-in-windows-7-sound-sentry/

Roblyer, M.D., (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Teachthought. (2012). The Role of Assistive Technology in Supporting Disabled Learners. retrieved from: http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/the-role-of-assitive-technology-in-supporting-disabled-learners/

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to take an in-depth look, to analyze the assistive technologies available on my laptop to help those with disabilities.  I got the experience to get a look at technology from diverse perspectives and that, in turn, helped me reflect on my teaching practices.

  • AECT Standard 2.3 Assessing/Evaluating: I demonstrated an inquiry process that assessed the adequacy of assistive technologies in my laptop, grounded in reflective practice while reflecting upon assistive technologies and the applications in the fourth-grade classroom setting.

Relative Advantage of Technology in ELA

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Artifact Introduction: During our tenth week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to review a serious of resources including the textbook Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching reflect on the advantages of utilizing technology in the classroom. We were then to apply this information to our own classroom and chosen content area (ELA) and reflect on the relative advantage of utilizing technology.

Artifact: 

“The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and International Reading Association (IRA) Standards for the English and Langauge Arts emphasize the importance of students having opportunities and resources to use technology to develop their language skills…” (Roblyer p. 263)

The Common Core State Standards clearly address the importance of technology implementation in English Language Arts.

“Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.” (Common Core 2010)

As Robyler states this is because Educational policy has begun to recognize how the internet is changing how people learn. Learning doesn’t merely refer to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught but it extends to how their brains are processing and organizing inforamation. A reason to use technology is because it increases student motivation, when you tell a student to go online and read an article it immediately become a more exciting task than opening up an encyclopedia. However, teaching students to be literate in language arts requires teaching students to be literate in technology. This is because “many readers are now doing the majority of their reading online.” (Serafini 2012) This is in reference to adults who did not grow up with the internet, the children whom we are educating will not know a world without it. Serafini goes on to say that teachers should teach readers to not only be literate of written text bt of multimodal text as navigators, interpreters, desginers, and interrogators. (Roblyer p. 263)

That being said, technology integration into the English Language Arts classroom supports many differerent areas. For word fluency and vocabulary development integrating technology offers increased motivation and engageing strategies. In reference to comprehension and literacy development it allows for more flexibility and increased interaction with text (as was noted above as necessary). It also allows for scaffolding that is often difficult to accomplish because of increased class sizes and/or lack of time or resources. Technology also helps support writng instruction by helping students organize their thoughts prior to beginning a writing task, providing models of good writing, and offering more flexibility to edit and revise while writing. The flexibility technology allows when writing is a great advantage over pencil/paper writing. Another benefit of technology in writing is that there is instant feedback for revision and editing purposes while writing that students do not receive when writing on paper. Technology allows for our students to share their learning to authentic audiences and gives them added purpose to grow and succeed.

According to the Office of Educational Research and Improvement using technology as a  tool for communicating with others allows students to take “an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast” (“Technology and Education Reform,” n.d.). This is what we want of twenty first century students, we want them to be active creators of their knowledge. Using technology in the English Language Arts classroom allows for students to take the drivers seat in their learning and interact in ways that will help them be continuous learners and drivers of their own education.

 

References:

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.

Roblyer, M.D., (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching     (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Technology and Education Reform. (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2016, fromhttps://www2.ed.gov/pubs/EdReformStudies/EdTech/index.html

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to really delve into the ELA curriculum and textbook to analyze the relative advantage of using technology in the ELA content on a regular basis.  I got the experience to really become familiar with the benefits and various uses of various tools in various areas.

  • AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To write about the relative advantage of technology in the ELA classroom, 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 technology in the ELA classroom, 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 technology in the fourth-grade ELA classroom setting.
  • AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to effectively reflect on the relative advantage of using technology 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.

Social Networking & Walled Gardens

Standard

Artifact Introduction: During our seventh week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read chapter six in Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the advantages of utilizing social networking 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 social media utilizing the social networking tool Voice Thread.

I invite you to join the conversation by adding a comment on my VoiceThread by clicking on the link below.

Artifact: 

VoiceThread on Social Networking & Walled Gardens

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to really delve into my curriculum and analyze the relative advantage of using social networking in my classroom on a regular basis.  I got the experience to really become familiar with the various types of social networking and the benefits of utilizing it in the classroom. Some ways that I was already familiar with and others I had never heard of before. I learned so much about how social media can truly enhance learning for students of all ages and that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

  • AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To reflect upon the relative advantage of social networking in the classroom, 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 reflect upon the relative advantage of social networking in the classroom, 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 social networking in the fourth-grade classroom setting.
  • AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to effectively reflect on the relative advantage of using social networking 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.

Acceptable Use Policy

Standard

Artifact Introduction: During our sixth week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read chapter six in Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching and other articles, as well as analyze our own & other school district’s Acceptable Use Policies to develop a complete understanding of them.  We were then to demonstrate our understanding by describing Acceptable Use Policies and their specifications.

Artifact: 

With the increased use of technology in education comes Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s) in order to ensure students are safe online and accessing appropriate materials. An Acceptable Use Policy is a management plan in guideline format to ensure the appropriate use of technology in education, business, and other organizations. AUP’s are contract agreements made between staff, students, and parents indicating their cooperation to ensure the internet is being used ethically and educationally.

Robyler (2016) defines AUP’s as “an agreement created by a school or other educational organization that describes the risks involved in Internet use; outlines appropriate, safe student behavior on the Internet, asks students if they agree to use the Internet under these conditions; and asks what information about themselves, if any, may be posted on the school’s website.” and as as a document “that outlines appropriate use of school technologies for students and educators.” That being said, no two AUP’s are identical, each organization can create their own that is personalized to their needs. According to Roblyer, (2016) the biggest reason AUP’s are necessary is because of “the increasing likelihood of students being contacted by online predators, or student accessing inappropriate material”.

To combat these problems, and protect both the students and themselves, AUP’s frequently include the following information.

  • What is allowed for students to do with technology
  • What needs to be avoided by students when using technology
  • Guidelines for teachers monitoring student technology use
  • Consent signature/agreement from parents for students to utilize technology
  • Consent signature/agreement from students agreeing to terms
  • Disciplinary measures if contract is broken

As previously stated, AUP’s can vary in information, depth, and guidelines but all must adhere to the  provisions set forth in 2000 by The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). According to an article in Education World, the NEA (National Education Association) makes the case for an acceptable AUP to include the following

  • Preamble (AUP purpose)
  • Definition (term clarification)
  • Policy Statement (AUP coverage explanation)
  • Acceptable Uses (encouraged behavior)
  • Unacceptable Uses (unaccepatble behavior)
  • Violations (reporting & consequences)

The AUP for the Boise School District is a document that is hard to find embedded on page 73 of the 277 page document that outlines all guidelines students must abide by while in the District. It does include all of the sections listed above. The most extensive portion of the Boise School District’s AUP is the unacceptable uses of technology section. It is not written in student-friendly terms which is unfortunate but it does clearly identify the reasons technology is used. The Charlotesville City Schools’ AUP is very similar to the Boise School District’s. However, their definition section is much clearer than the short section BSD had. Another thing I noticed about Charlotesville’s is that the terminology was also not written in student friendly terms but instead use a lot of technology jargon. The San Francisco Unified School District’s AUP (p. 78) had sections of classroom use that explained the purpose and use of technology in the classroom as well as a section on electronic communication which went over netiquette. I think those componets are valuable for an AUP in a school setting. Campbell Hall has a great AUP that outlines their guidelines in a easy-to-read, student friendly format, this was by far my favorite, as I see it being much easier to explain, implement and follow.

Common Sense Media (a wonderful resource for parents and educators on technology use) clearly outlines the importance of  internet safety using guidelines such as AUP’s.

Internet safety goes way beyond protecting kids from strangers or blocking inappropriate content. It’s about helping your kids use the Internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior — especially when you’re not there to answer their questions or check in on where they’ve ventured (Common Sense Media, n.d.).

Acceptable Use Policies help ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and adhere to a set of guidelines to ensure students success with technology in education. These are just the first step in helping schools implment technology effectively in classrooms.

References:

 

Common Sense Media: An overall guide to all digital media and safety.

Federal Communications Commission (2015) Consumer guide: Children’s internet protection act. Retrieved from https://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.pdf

Getting started on the internet: Developing an acceptable use policy (aup). (2011). Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr093.shtml.

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 explore Acceptable Use Policies and consider the connection they have with technology integration.  I got the experience to really become familiar with various AUP’s and analyze the similarities and differences between them.

  • AECT Standard 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating: For this analysis  I had to assess and evaluate Acceptable Use Policies and their role in effective technology implementation.
  • AECT Standard 5.3 Ethics: For this reflection I had to conduct research and analyze  accepted professional (p. 296) and institutional (p. 297) guidelines and procedures.
  • AECT Standard 4.3  Reflection on Practice: – I had to analyze, interpret and reflect upon effectiveness of the design, development and implementation of Acceptable Use Policies to enhance their professional growth.

Relative Advantage of Multimedia

Standard

Artifact Introduction: During our fifth week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read chapter seven in Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the advantages of utilizing multimedia 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 multimedia in a Vlog (Video Blog) format.

Artifact: 

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to really delve into my curriculum and analyze the relative advantage of using multimedia in my classroom on a regular basis.  I got the experience to really become familiar with the benefits and various applications of multimedia, 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 multimedia, 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 multimedia, 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 multimedia in the fourth-grade classroom setting.
  • AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to effectively reflect on the relative advantage of using multimedia 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.

Relative Advantage of the Basic Suite

Standard

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.

  • Word Processing:

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.

  • Spreadsheet:

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.

  • Presentation:

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.

References:

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.

Instructional Software in the Classroom

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Artifact Introduction: During our second week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to explore chapter 3 & 5 of Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the types of instructional software. Furthermore, we were to describe examples of these and their relative advantage to teach our content. I analyzed all five types of instructional software and you can find that information below.

Blog Post: Instructional Software for 4th grade ELA

Integrating instructional software into educational settings is important and is now recognized as such. There are vast amounts of resources that are easily accessible. This software has been sorted into five categories:

  1. Drill & Practice: is a type of educational software that allows students to practice a previously learned skill by providing problems/questions and then providing students & teacher instantaneous feedback.
  • Some examples of drill & practice software for ELA in fourth grade are QuizletIXL for Language Arts & Henry Anker. The relative advantage of this type of software is that it replaces the need for a “worksheet” with a more engaging tool, saves teacher time and frees them to help other students, and immediately gives feedback to help students self-correct.
  1. Tutorial: is a type of educational software that serves as a teacher by providing an “instructional sequence” that is self-paced on a topic. When complete, it provides information, explanations, an opportunity for practice, feedback & assessment.
    • Some examples of tutorial software for ELA in fourth grade are Essay Punch, Developing Reading Fluency, Time For Kids A+ Papers. The relative advantage of this type of software is that students can access and learn (or relearn) when a teacher is not available, as in the case of a substitute, student absence, flipped classrooms or at home for homework. It is often more engaging by providing various media types (photographs, videos, etc.) and students are able to work at their own pace and repeat concepts (or skip) if necessary.
  2. Simulations: is a type of educational software that provides models of systems where learners choose, interact, manipulate, and ultimately learn how the system works. There are for types of simulations: physical, iterative, procedural, & situational.
    • Some examples of simulation software for ELA in fourth grade are ICivics and Read Write Think. The relative advantage of this type of software is that it gives students opportunities to practice higher order thinking skills and apply their reading/writing knowledge. It also allows students to do the “impossible” by experiencing things like drafting laws, and participating in elections, and it provides a safe environment where students are more willing to make mistakes than in a “real” situation (interacting with others in writing).
  3. Instructional Games: is a type of educational software in the format of a game that has a reward or competition to motivate learners. Provides drill or practice with the added component of reward or competition with adds in the expectation of entertainment.
    • Some examples of instructional game software for ELA in fourth grade are Fun Brain and Language Art Skill Builders. The relative advantage of this type of software is that is that it is very engaging and increases motivation to do well in identifying parts of speech and it frequently increases the time students spend practicing reading and grammar skills.
  4. Problem Solving: is a type of educational software that directly or indirectly teaches students how to solve problems and then provides opportunities to apply problem-solving strategies.
    • Some examples of problem-solving software for ELA in fourth grade are Brain Pop-Quandary and Discovery Education. The relative advantage of this type of software is that it provides “real world scenarios” and opportunities to apply critical thinking and problem solving. It also helps to integrate various skills and apply them to solve engaging “problems’ which results in increased motivation and confidence in research, writing, editing, and revising.

As described above instructional software provides many benefits in the classroom. It is up to teachers to use their professional judgment backed by research to effectively integrate these various types of instructional software in their classrooms.

Additional Artifact: Instructional Software for 4th grade ELA Graph:

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment was of a lot of value for me because I had the opportunity to immediately apply what I learned about instructional software. I needed to make professionally sound decisions to assess and evaluate software to ensure that I was labeling them as the correct software type and applying them appropriately to my content area of ELA. In this way, I developed a deeper understanding of the various instructional software and their applications in my classroom.  I had to delve into many different online resources and analyze the information presented to come to a solid conclusion (label) and determine if each offered something my students would benefit from.

  • AECT Standard 4.3 Assessing/Evaluating : For this blog post, I came to a research-based conclusion on the best software to choose for ELA for each software type. It required me to interpret the data from research on why and how each software should be integrated into the educational setting.
  • AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to create this instructional software chart, I needed to make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate software to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices of various the instructional software types.

 

 

 

Relative Advantage Chart

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Artifact Introduction: During our first week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read the first two chapters in  Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the learning problems that technology can help solve. We were then to synthesize this information to create a relative advantage chart that showed ten learning problems (connected to our chosen content area & grade level) with related technologies, relative advantage, and expected outcomes.

Artifact:  

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to really delve into my curriculum and analyze how technology could help solve a lot of the problems I (or my students) encounter daily. I got the experience to research a lot of available technologies or apply tools that I was already familiar with in innovative ways.

  • AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To create this relative advantage chart, I needed to apply content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes.
  • AECT Standard 2.2 Using: To create this relative advantage chart, I implemented 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 to create this relative advantage chart.
  • AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to create this relative advantage chart 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.

Vision-Mission Statement

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Artifact Introduction: During our first week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read the first two chapters in  Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the information to then synthesize what we learn to create a research-based Vision-Mission Statement. Within this statement, we were to explain why technology needed to be integrated into the teaching-learning setting. In order to create my statement, I explored some additional resources and professional references to solidify my understanding and give myself a thorough view of what integrating technology into education truly looks like.

Artifact:   Vision-Mission Statement

 

The changes in the world of today have come quickly; everywhere you go you will see technology incorporated into the lives of those around you, everyone from toddlers to adults.  This is the world our children have been born into; every single student currently in the K-12 education system at this present day have never experienced the world without the World Wide Web.

 

The graduating class of 2016 was born between 1998-1999, that is 5-6 years after the World Wide Web “was born” and the “internet exploded.” (Roblyer p. 6) That means every single one of our students was born in the mobile technologies, social media, and open access era. Technology domination and information access via the internet at one’s fingertips is a foreign world to them.  Never before has technology changed at such a rapid pace, and with this change in technology comes an inevitable change in education.

“Our schools, community colleges, and universities should be incubators of exploration and invention. Educators should be collaborators in learning, seeking new knowledge and constantly acquiring new skills alongside their students. Education leaders should set a vision for creating learning experiences that provide the right tools and supports for all learners to thrive.” (U.S. Department of Education)

As Robyler describes, the days of fact memorization and drill practice are over, one can no longer determine the set of skills that a child will need for the future when change is coming so quickly. Therefore, a child must “learn to learn”. (Robyler p.34) This is where technology comes into play. With technology student’s “work (is) more efficient and productive and (it provides) access to sources and ways of learning that they would not otherwise have.” (Robyler p. 23)

Furthermore, almost all states have adopted the Common Core Standards which in themselves “outline rigorous content expectations with the intent to make all students ready for life in a technological society.” (Staff Development for Educators) The CCSS don’t add technology as a suggested activity (as it is often seen in classrooms) but instead explicitly state:

“The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section.” (Common Core State Standards)

 The decision to interconnect technology with education hasn’t been a drastic one; it has come with time and with the support of a significant amount of research. The Federal Department of Education and other private studies have concluded that in order for true learning to occur, it must be interactive and inquiry based.

It is, however, important to remember that “no technology is a panacea for education” (Roblyer & Doering). Laptops, IPOD’s, tablets, Chromebooks are merely tools that can enhance learning but are not the end all. These tools, like all tools, require training (for teachers first & foremost and then for students) in order to use them correctly. These technological tools have the ability to facilitate inquiry by bringing a vast amount of information to our student’s fingertips and interaction with not only other classmates and the teacher, but with the world. The integration of technology into the educational setting is vital in order to prepare our students for the future and to teach them the love of learning and feed their innate curiosity that will fuel their future endeavors.

 

Resources:

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards. Washington, DC: Authors.

Roblyer, M. D. (2015-01-30). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching  (7th Edition). Pearson. Kindle Edition.

U.S. Department of Edcuation. (2016) National Education Technology Plan 2016 Executive Summary. Retrieved from: http://tech.ed.gov/files/2015/12/NETP16.pdf

 

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment was of a lot of value for me because the reading provided me with a good foundation on which to build upon. I developed an understanding of the evolving relationship between technology and education and present day definitions of educational technology. I also analyzed how several different learning theories contributed to technology integration. I had to delve into many different resources and analyze the information presented to come to a solid conclusion of my own.

  • AECT Standard 4.3 Assessing/Evaluating : For this analysis I came to a research-based conclusion after analyzing and interpreting data from research on why and how technology needs to be integrated into the educational setting.