Sunday, August 3, 2014

Course Reflection of Learning

This has been a great summer of learning! The EDTECH 501 course really helped me to formulate my understanding of educational technology and it allowed me to research tech tools and trends that would make an impact in either my own class or the class of a colleague.

The main challenge presented in this course was simply finding the time and place to complete the coursework required. I moved from Okinawa, Japan to Tacoma, Washington at the beginning of the semester and have been living, with my family, in my parent’s home. This coupled with an active search for employment and a domicile, has made completing course assessment difficult. To manage this challenge, I employed a strategy that Chris presented early in the course; that being to dedicate a specific location and time period for completing coursework. I found that the only way to have a quite spot for study, in our crowded-to-capacity home, was to wake early.

Of the artifacts created in the course, I would have to say that my Tech Trends artifact was the best. I feel that not only was the content relevant, but my presentation of the content was visually appealing and sought to provide an objective overview of technology tools that could be employed to add video logs in the classroom to foster discussion and collaboration. I enjoyed creating the artifact as it made me think about technology problem and solution from the perspective of an Educational Technologist, advising on the technologies to be employed by the whole organization, rather than a teacher.

The whole EDTECH 501 experience was enjoyable, from the content presented, to the artifacts created, to the discussions had with my small group members. I would have to say the one thing that I am sure to use as a result of this course would be the incorporation of Google+ in my classroom to foster student engagement and collaboration.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

School Evaluation Summary

This week's task of evaluating my school's technology maturity benchmarks using the Maturity Model Benchmarks rubric was a bit difficult. The reason being, our school is governed by a larger overarching school system that encompasses 14 different districts and over 150 schools and our school's technology maturity is partially made up of its own plans and processes, but it is also made up of the plans and processes of the entire school system.

The evaluation results are unique in that they are the outcome of a dynamic relationship between my school and our school system, as my school is the only virtual school in our school system. I believe my school's high ranking on the Maturity Model Benchmark rubric was mainly due to the fact that the rubric was created for standard brick-and-mortar schools whose level of technology integration is considerably different from our school's level of technology integration.

Overall, this was an interesting activity that made me look closer at the technology plans and processes within my school and my school system.

Please see my linked evaluation survey and summary below:


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tech Trends

In my Tech Trends artifact, I seek to find a resolution to the problem: "How do I [we] foster greater peer-to-peer and peer-to-instructor communication in the online environment?" Through research and consideration, I offer two possible/viable technology tools as solutions to the problem, highlighting the pros and cons of each tech tool, and offering suggestions for the integration of the tools in the online environment.


Tech Trends Presentation Link

Sunday, July 13, 2014

EDTECH Research

I found this activity interesting and informative. The fact that we were able to create our own specific learning goals/outcomes ensured that the information gathered in the activity was meaningful and useful.

The learning goal I created for the activity dealt with the integration of blended learning in the middle/high school math classroom to increase student mathematical reasoning. To be honest, I assumed that their would be more research that specifically addressed blended learning and math, but I was wrong. In fact, I only found two articles that specifically discussed blended learning and math. This probably has to do with the fact that blended learning practices are fairly new to the educational landscape. At any rate, I still found the information gathered through the activity useful and I am sure I will be referring to these articles if I do indeed incorporate a blended learning model in my math class.

Please see my Annotated Bibliography.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

This was an interesting assignment. As I was assessing my school, in regard to digital divide and/or digital inequality, I found digital inequality to be more of an issue within my school. This is due mainly to the unique student population of our school system, as well as student's relatively stable socioeconomic status.

What did you learn about multimedia principles in creating this artifact?
I didn't really learn any "new" multimedia principles in the creation of this artifact, due to my taking MET courses out of order and having taken a course in Multimedia. Much of the information presented for creation of this artifact was presented in my Multimedia course; however, refreshing one's understanding of multimedia principles is always a good thing.

What did you learn about digital divide and/or digital inequality that was new to you?
I found this assignment interesting as not only did it provide better clarification in regard to digital divide, but it also sought to differentiate between digital divide and digital inequality. As I was creating my assignment/artifact, I looked to my previous school system as source of reference. Due to the unique makeup of our student body, my artifact focused more on digital inequality rather than the digital divide.

What do you plan to do with this knowledge in the future?
Of the factors addressed in my assignment/artifact, the one that I have most control over, as an Educational Technologist, is the knowledge base of school staff (administrators and teachers). I understand how important it is not only to train teachers and administrators on technology integration, but also to create a school-wide integration plan that focuses on creating subject or grade-level communities focused on increasing integration of technology in the classroom.

How might you change/improve this artifact if you had more time?
If I had more time, I would likely have recorded my speaker notes. Google presentation's inability to incorporate recorded speaker notes is a blight on a fabulous suite of technology tools.

My presentation is below.


RSS in Education

RSS feeds and RSS readers are excellent tools for bringing news to the user. This is a refreshing change from the old method of news acquisition in which the user had to search for news. Now the user simply adds the RSS feed content they want to follow to their RSS reader and new content is presented to the user as soon as it is published. Too cool!

RSS feeds and RSS readers have a multitude of uses in the classroom. In fact, right off the top of my head, I can see major implications and uses for RSS feeds and RSS readers in Social Studies and Civics courses. For instance, Social Studies students could be instructed to subscribe/follow a variety of news feeds. Each week, students would then be instructed to use their RSS reader to select an interesting article to be used as a current event. Additionally, a teacher could subscribe/follow a variety of political science RSS feeds and use the content presented to create more lively, current class discussions. Lastly, RSS feeds and RSS readers can be used by teachers as a repository of tips and tricks for technology integration in the classroom. Teachers could take a quick glance at their RSS reader to get ideas for new technology integration.