Tag Archives: Research

Analysis of the Discovery Learning Theory

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Artifact Introduction: During our first week in Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology, we were to review a serious of resources including the textbook Theoretical Foundations of Learning Environments. We were then to choose a learning theory to research and reflect upon on. I chose the Discovery Learning Theory and my reflection on it is included below.

Artifact: 

References:

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71. doi:10.1002/piq.21143

Castronova, J. (2002). Discovery learning for the 21st century: What is it and how does it compare to traditional learning in effectiveness in the 21st century? Literature Reviews, Action Research Exchange (ARE), 1(2). Retrieved from http://chiron.valdosta.edu/are/Litreviews/vol1no1/castronova_litr.pdf.

Saab, N., van, J. W. R., & van, H.-W. B. H. A. M. (2005). Communication in collaborative discovery learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 4, 603-621.

Sun, L. & Li, F. (2010). Online instructional design based on meaningful discovery learning theory. 2nd International Conference on Education Technology and Computer, Shanghai, 2010. pp. V1-237-V1-239. doi: 10.1109/ICETC.2010.5529260

 

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to delve into several articles and websites to develop a thorough understanding of the Discovery Learning Theory.  I got the experience to analyze various perspectives and synthesize the information I’ve learned to explain the theory clearly.

  • AECT Standard 5.1 Theoretical Foundations: To write about the Discovery Learning Theory, I had to develop and then demonstrate foundational knowledge of the contribution of research to the past and current theory of educational communications and technology.
  • AECT Standard 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating – o write about the Discovery Learning Theory, I had to apply formal inquiry strategies in assessing and evaluating processes and resources for learning and performance.

Assistive Technology

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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.

Obstacles & Solutions:Integrating Technology into ELA

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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 reflect on the obstacles of integrating technology into the classroom. We were then to apply this information to our own classroom and chosen content area (ELA) and reflect on the solutions to these obstacles.

Artifact: 

“The definition of literacy has changed dramatically in the United States over the course of its history, from being able to sign your name, to being familiar with certain canonical texts, to begin able to read and write and make meaning from the written word, to being proficient in 21st-century literacies.” (Roblyer p. 261) With this constant change in the definition of literacy comes the constant evolution of teaching and the responsibility of the teacher to evolve with the times. The Common Core State Standards clearly address the importance of technology implementation in English Language Arts by stating that students need to: “…employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use…” (Common Core 2010) As Robyler states, this is because Educational policy has begun to recognize how the internet is changing how people learn.

As noted above, integrating technology into ELA is important. However, obstacles to do so  effectively are often encountered, some of these obstacles are listed below:

Problem: Adequacy of Professional Development for Teachers

Teachers are regularly being asked to change and modify their strategies in teaching and many are happy to do so if they have proper training, time to implement, and evidence that demonstrates the benefits for the students. The problem that is often found and that I see with teachers at the school where I work is that those things were not given to them. GAFE (Google Apps for Educators) was adopted by the entire district and all of these wonderful tools were displayed and then the training ended. These teachers needed more and Roblyer states  four ways that professional development about technology integration could be improved that could have been used in this situation and these are:

  1. “Time to learn, explore and develop literacy lessons
  2. Access to the technologies
  3. Access to more knowledge and knowledgeable others
  4. Continued, direct support”

Solution: Personal Learning Communities & Self-developed Professional Development

Roblyer points out that when teachers do not have the support they need in order to find their own professional development. “By developing themselves into a connected educator who interacts with professional educators around the world in order to construct new knowledge and deepen understanding.” He also suggests “teachers assume personal responsibility for professional learning through organized professional communities, teacher-selected personal learning communities and interest-based communities of practice.” All of these are valid solutions to enhance teacher education but I think there needs to be an improvement of support systems by districts to provide for time for teachers to do such things and even resources to get them started.

Problem: Access to appropriate tools/resources

While developing many of the lessons and projects for this class and integrating them into my content area I found that there are a plethora of resources for teaching ELA concepts to students. I also found that within this wealth of information there were a lot of tools and resources that did not live up to their full potential. There were also a lot of resources that did not have correct information or were not user-friendly. Since the internet is a place for everyone and everything, this is a problem that was bound to arise.

Solution: Sharing of Resources in Teacher Learning Communities

As Robyler mentioned above teachers can become members in organized professional communities like the NCTE’s Connected Community website and/or personal learning communities such as Twitter, blogs, digital portfolios and using RSS feeds. These technologies can “help educators identify new trends, connect with educators, share and receive ideas, build relationships, and ultimately become connected educators that know the affordances and challenges of using digital tools and support the development of new literacies”. Being a part of a connected learning community and sharing resources is the best way for teachers to ensure that they are using the most up-to-date resources that will give them the most “bang for their buck.“The definition of

So as the definition of literacy has changed over time so will teaching and to do so we need to pull together as educators and collaborate to grow together as a community of learners teaching the future.

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.

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to really delve into the ELA curriculum and textbook to analyze the obstacles teachers face when integrating technology in the ELA content on a regular basis and how those obstacles can be lessened or solved.  I got the experience to analyze various situations and synthesize the information I’ve learned to solve these problems.

  • AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To write about the relative advantage of technology in the ELA classroom, I needed to apply content pedagogy to reflect upon appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes.
  • AECT Standard 2.2 Using: To write about the obstacles and solutions of integrating technology in the ELA classroom, I thought of ways to implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy and what problems one might encounter along the way.
  • 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 problems and solutions of integrating technology in the ELA 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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

Instructional Designer Job Posting

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Artifact Introduction: During our first unit in Instructional Design, we were to look through various job postings for instructional designers in various fields & then synthesize what we learned about the job to create our own fictitious job posting for an instructional designer. This would, in turn help us reflect on the similarities and differences between educators and instructional designers.

Artifact:

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to research and analyze the requirements of instructional designers to then determine the similarities and differences between them and teachers.

  • AECT Standard 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating: To create this job posting, I needed to apply formal inquiry strategies in assessing and evaluating resources.
  • AECT Standard 5.4 Ethics: To create this job posting, I conducted research and practiced using accepted professional  and institutional guidelines and procedures.