541 – Multimedia in the classroom

Here is a link to the video blog on Youtube

Here is the text of the video:

This week’s learning log entry topic is to discuss the benefits of using multimedia in the classroom, and appropriately the media chosen to discuss this topic is video.
The concept of multimedia in classroom instruction is not a new one. Teachers have been finding ways to deliver information and facilitate learning using multiple strategies since the early 1900’s. Today, however digital media has made it possible for teachers and students to learn in ways not possible as little as 15 years ago.

Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching lists some of the many benefits of the use of video for example as being

the ability to demonstrate procedures

the development of student created presentations

video lectures – which is gaining traction today in the Flipped classroom concept spearheaded by such organizations as the Khan Academy.

student video portfolios

video simulation and problem solving simulations

documentation of school activities

Visual literacy instructions

teaching video production

real time communication, collaboration, and presentation through the use of such services as Skype.

As I stated earlier the ability for teachers and students to access digital video has changed dramatically over the last 2 decades. Personally I was using video production in the classroom in the early 90’s when students produced their work using large format VHS cameras and editing linearly using two vcr’s. The final product was crude and unpolished, however even with that limited technology the benefits for students was obvious.

Students producing video documentaries were forced to think about storytelling as well as research and interview techniques to teach their audience about their topic. As we all know one of the best measurements of learning is whether or not you can teach it to someone else. A unit I developed focuses in on the abstract concept of metaphor as discussed in a TED talk by James Geary found in my list of video resources. As part of this unit students grouped themselves in specific areas of interest chosen from the TED talk and created short documentaries that included research, experiments, interviews and good storytelling. Here is a short taste of some of their work.

Other forms of successful multi media instruction are the use of podcasts and the creation of visual representations of concepts in literature. I have students in my ninth grade language arts class create podcasts as part of a unit of instruction in Shakespeare’s A Mid Summer Nights Dream, where students record themselves performing scenes and creating the mood and atmosphere of the scene through the development of a soundtrack. Students practice and record the language of shakespeare which requires an analysis of the ideas within the dialogue. My students have created presentations where they are asked to find images that represent concepts within short stories and explain the metaphor presented, which calls on higher level cognitive strategies such as analysis and synthesis.

When teachers use multimedia in the classroom it is clear that students are more engaged, however careful considerations must also be made not to over stimulate the learner. According to e-learning and the science of instruction by clark and meyer adding extraneous elements to multimedia learning material that do not support educational objectives can actually damage the learning process. Graphics and sounds that are not related to the educational objectives of the presentation are nothing more than distracting. Spicing up a lesson by adding extraneous elements damages the process. Another  psychological theory is that the human brain can only upload a finite amount of information at a time. Too much information can lead to cognitive overload. The brain processes information through visual and aural channels, therefore multimedia strategies that present information on the separate channels are found to be successful. However studies have also shown that redundancy by using text and animations or narration and sound effects overloads the channels and impairs learning.

Using multimedia technology to enhance learning is clearly becoming more and more a necessary part of education. It is one way of increasing engagement, deepening impact through increased relevance and also supporting the variety of ways that people learn.

References:

1. Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

2. Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

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541 – Voicethread Blog Entry

The following blog entry can be found as an audio source in the following Voicethread

The Internet and Learning

As education evolves further into the 21st century the list of reasons why, and evidence for using the Internet in education is steadily growing. It is no coincidence that educational resources for Internet use is expanding while the capabilities and ease of access increases and the cost of hardware and software declines. For many schools the only reason there has not been consistent use of the Internet has been prohibitive costs and lack of access for all classes. Today the cost of equipment for schools has dramatically reduced and implementation of “Bring Your Own Devices” programs have alleviated the equal access issue.

Today the only real arguments against harnessing the power of the Internet for education are access to inappropriate material, safety and privacy issues, Internet fraud, computer viruses, and copyright or plagiarism issues. Although all of these issues can have serious consequences for students, to ignore the capabilities of the Internet for gathering information, sharing resources, engaging students, communication, solving problems, building artifacts, and exploration is a dis-service to students and does not prepare them for life in the world outside of school.

One of the fastest growing categories of Internet use in education is distance education. The use of the Internet in post secondary distance programs has been common for some time now, however distance programs in K-12 institutions are becoming more commonplace. As Roblyer and Doering state in Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, fifth edition,“Thanks to distance technologies such as broadcast systems and the Internet, learning has escaped the physical boundaries of the classroom and the school, and students and teachers have become part of a virtual classroom they share with counterparts around the world.”(Roblyer, Doring 2010) Schools and classes right down to Kindergarten are accessing the Internet to mine resources, material, and experts from around the world, as well as collaborating and communicating with other virtual classrooms, increasing global awareness.

As part of this audio blog post we are required to outline some of the ways in which we use the INternet in our classrooms. Here is a breakdown of some of the ways in which I utilize the Internet in my classrooms.

I utilize Internet extensively in all my classes to increase engagement, deepen relevance and impact. My classes are centered around the philosophy that technology is a rich tool that must be used to break down the walls of the traditional classroom in order to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century world.
All of my classes utilize Wikispaces to act as the hub of all information on assignments, assessment, calender of events and due dates, resources such as down-loadable assignments, external links, embedded video, images, and widgets. I requires each student in all of my classes to create their own wiki and invite me to become a member of that site. I then records the URL of each student and can access my students’ virtual notebook at anytime from any location to assess and provide feedback for students. My students often communicate through the Wikispaces account with me asking questions or requesting reevaluation of assignments. Parents are sent an email early in the semester which contains the URL of their son or daughters site so that they may actively participate in their child’s education.
In Media Arts, Language Arts, and Photography I strive to engage student to discover and utilize productive and safe online practices. My lessons often include strategies for assimilating and evaluating online content for relevancy and reliability while encouraging students to use best practices of netiquette. In Language Arts, students extensively utilize a class blog for
the purposes of inquiry, collaboration, and discussion. This process includes instruction on the importance of quality responses to posts that include supplemental information, possess questions, and stimulates further discussion. All of my Language Arts students are required to establish and share a gmail account with me. This process allows students to collaborate with each other in pairs, small groups and as an entire class on projects in Google documents and create collaborative presentations in Google presentations. Through the gmail accounts list I can share documents and presentations with my students and students can share their work with me for assessment and revision.
Students in my Language Arts classes create high quality projects that solidify and demonstrate learning through the development of podcasts in a variety of units such as the study of Shakespeare and documentary video production when analyzing the power of metaphor.
The use of technology in my Media Arts class is the cornerstone for instruction, exploration, discovery, and creation. In Media Arts students engage in film analysis that requires students to be able to discern quality from the overwhelming amount of trivial online video content. This process then leads to the creation of their own quality online content. Students create their own online portfolio which houses resources and showcases projects. Many student video projects are uploaded to Youtube and embedded on their personal e-portfolio for viewing and assessment. Students in Media Arts collaborate using web 2.0 tools for script development and pre-production.
In Photography students often look to the world wide web for examples of exemplary work through sites such as National Geographic or directly from the sites of professional photographers. Students create their own online digital portfolio that includes digital slide shows of their assignments, multimedia photojournalism projects, written reflection on the work of professionals, resources and links. My photography class also harnesses the power of mobile technology in a unit which requires students to travel to locations given on a Google map and record images and audio clips that capture the essence of each location, edit the files and upload to the class website. For assessment purposes I often utilize online rubric creation websites  to establish evaluative benchmarks for students.

References:
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

541-instructional software in the classroom.

Relative Advantage

The relative advantage of using instructional software in the classroom ranges from simple increased engagement to fostering deep understanding of complex issues and concepts. Software that is carefully designed with sound educational theory as the basis for construction can help teachers deliver curricular content while promoting digital literacy. Drill and Practice software is sometimes considered ineffective for long term retention of material however, as a tool for mastering basic concepts before progressing deeper into content this approach can be effective. Tutorial software can be used by teachers for instruction and practice and is making a resurgence today with the growing popularity of the “Flipped” classroom. Students can learn the material at their own pace, in many cases on their own time, and apply that knowledge in more complex classroom activities with the teacher as facilitator. Problem solving software can be used to teach concepts, or stand alone as an approach to building the skills involved with the process of problem solving. This type of software allows students to explore through a process of trial and error. Simulation software can immerse students in any environment or time period, similar to a role playing experience, and allow learners to discover knowledge from within that experience. Simulations can allow students to do the impossible within the safe, cost effective platform of the computer and can compress or expand time. Simulations allow learners to learn from “virtual” experience. Educational game software can be an engaging and entertaining strategy for learning that utilizes game play rules, competition, and reward.

All of the above categories of educational software can be effectively applied in a Language Arts classroom. There are many good examples of software that utilizes drill and practice, tutorial, and game play software in Language Arts to establish basic and advanced grammatical concepts. With the proliferation of tablet hardware and applications has come an explosion of apps designed specifically for Language Arts concepts from spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure, to creative and essay writing.

The following presentation contains examples of instructional software, with a Language Arts emphasis, for five genre’s:

  • Drill and Practice
  • Tutorial
  • Simulation
  • Problem Solving
  • Games

The presentation contains links to an outline of the genre and examples of instructional software in each of the genre’s for both the PC and Tablet (OSX) platforms. Following this link  to view the presentation in full screen and navigate through the various links to tour the presentation.

References:

Dr. Dave Perry – Associate Professor of Education – College of Education and Organizational Leadership – University of La Verne – La Verne, CA

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Creating My Learning Log – 513

Create a new post, calling it “Creating My Learning Log,” discussing how you used a blogging platform to create a website. Include information on how this activity aligns with the AECT Standard(s) you included on the post label.

This learning log was created in my first semester of study at Boise State University as a way to keeping track of, and reflect on the learning activities within the course work. I have posted comments and displayed work here from each course I have taken over the past year. The use of the wordpress blogging platform is an easily accessible strategy for students to create content, generate discussion, gather feedback and display their work to the world. Through the use of tags and categories students can keep track of posts and access material quickly. By using an RSS feeds students can also keep track of posts from classmates and access those posts to reply. WordPress offers many free templates for users to customize the look and feel of their site, with new templates developed by users being offered continually. Of course, the biggest advantage to the use of a blogging platform to set up a website is that there is no cost and students do not need coding knowledge or a subscription to a web hosting service. Students can use the many widgets available to customize their site and embed images, audio, and video material directly on their site.

With the ease and convenience of a blog platform to develop a website students and teachers will address many of the AECT standards in learning. Teachers and students can use the the website to design and develop engaging, interactive instruction and multimedia responses that demonstrate learning. The management standard is addressed as students and teachers organize and manage information that is used on their web page to organize project material and deliver content in an easily accessible manner.

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.

AECT Standards

STANDARD 1 DESIGN
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design conditions for learning by applying principles of instructional systems design, message design, instructional strategies, and learner characteristics.

STANDARD 2 DEVELOPMENT
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.

STANDARD 3 UTILIZATION
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and policy-making.

STANDARD 4 MANAGEMENT
Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise instructional technology by applying principles of project, resource, delivery system, and information management.

STANDARD 5 EVALUATION
Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to evaluate the adequacy of instruction and learning by applying principles of problem analysis, criterion-referenced measurement, formative and summative evaluation, and long-range planning.

541 – Integration of Technology into Teaching – Vision Statement

Why Integrate Technology into our Schools?

The easy answer to this question is that technology is ubiquitous and therefore a necessary element of public education. It is true that digital literacy is an important factor in the integration of technology, however the real power of technology in our schools is when integration strategies “… address specific instructional needs identified by educational theorists and practitioners.”(Roblyer, Doering 2010). The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) supports the notion held by teachers that, “…simply having students use technology does not raise achievement. The impact depends on the ways technology is used and the conditions under which applications are implemented.”(Roblyer, Doering 2010).

In justifying technology in the classroom teachers must ask themselves what are the ways in which technology integration can address instructional needs that support learning in a more efficient, impact-full way than non-technology driven strategies, and whether or not the planning and resources necessary are worth the projected outcomes. How, then can technology support student learning? According to Roblyer and Doering, there are four main categories that are the basis for an argument for technology inclusion in classroom instruction:

  1. To Motivate Students
  2. To Enhance Instruction
  3. To Make Student and Teacher work more Productively
  4. To Help Students Learn and Sharpen Their Information Age Skills

Student engagement or motivation is a key argument for technology inclusion. Students must find relevance and connection to their individual needs in order to fully engage in an academic pursuit. The use of technology to make curriculum meaningful through inquiry based learning encourages cross curricular connections which inherently reflects real world applications of acquired  knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Students using the Internet for exploration, collaboration, development and presentation are engaged in a meaningful process which results in deep understanding as well as the formation of important twenty-first century skills. This approach directly supports educational theorist that subscribe to the constructivist theory which emphasises that people learn through participation; it is the process itself that unravels understanding. Direct instruction through the use of technology can also be a motivating factor for students.

Objectivist educational theorists propound technology integration to identify weaknesses in students and promote fluency of skills. Computer software for direct instruction, which provides customizable instruction and immediate feedback, allows scaffolding for the individual pace and needs of student learning. This process is proven to increase motivation and achievement especially in the attainment of government mandated standards.

Enhanced learning through classroom integration of technology can promote higher level thinking skills such as analysis and synthesis of information. Students can use technology to “bring down the walls” of traditional classroom by accessing global resources and connecting with people around the world. Teachers are no longer the sole source of knowledge and information in the classroom. Educators can call on experts in any field to become guests in her class leading to the acquisition of high levels of complex information which can result in in-depth analysis and deep understanding or impact.

Technological solutions are regularly being discovered to solve learning problems associated with students with disabilities. Assistive technologies are currently in use, and are being developed to enhance learning for students with physical impairments and cognitive challenges.

The use of technology in schools can increase productivity and efficiencies of administrative activities on the part of teachers and administrators as well as reducing the use of consumable materials. Through the use of various applications students can submit digital assignments and teachers can assess student work and provide digital feedback in a timely manner. Teachers are then able to input and track progress quickly, providing academic intervention as necessary.

Technology integration as a vehicle for sharpening information age skill allows students to learn how to synthesis the volumes of information and media resources available in our age and make informed decisions about what to believe and how to respond.

Enhanced learning through technology integration requires careful planning, implementation, and assessment of strategies. Teachers must consider their own ability, access to equipment, and curricular objectives when formulating an integration plan. The Technology Integration Matrix produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, goes beyond simple statements of how to include technology in classrooms by publishing a matrix that delineates levels of integration and its result from simple adaptation of technological strategies to transformational activities that would not be possible without the inclusion of technology. This matrix allows teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of technology based educational strategies.

The education system is evolving away from a teacher centered system of information delivery to a differentiated student centered approach that allows flexibility in terms of when, where, and how students learn. Integrating technology into student learning will enable this approach, resulting in generations of forward thinking individuals who are capable, creative, informed, versatile, capable of working in groups, and globally aware.

Resources:
1. Roblyer, M.D., and Aaron Doering Herbert. Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2012. Print.
2. http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description
3. http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/

Annotated Bibliography

1. Flanagan, Brian and Calandra, Brenden. Podcasting in the Classroom. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ728915&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ728915
This article is written for teachers who are using technology in their classrooms and who wish to include the use of Podcasting. The article gives an overview of what podcasting is in general, it describes its benefits and provides issues to consider. The article describes podcasting as a cost effective way to deliver instruction, as well as having benefits for music students, foreign language students, and for collaborting across the globe. The article suggests the use of podcasting to conduct research and take notes. The article gives instruction on subscribing to podcasts online and creating and uploading podcasts. The article discusses the use of copyright issues when mixing prerecorded music and that teachers should be aware of appropriate content for younger listeners. Another issue of concern for teachers wanting to use podcasting in the classroom is having adequate technical support and file storage. This article is another example of excellent ways teachers can use technology to enhance learning in the classroom.

2.Ertmer, Peggy and Gopalakrishnan, Sangeetha. Technology-using Teachers: (n.d.). . Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://www.edci.purdue.edu/ertmer/docs/AERA_2000.pdf.
This article, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association New Orleans, LA in April 2000, investigates how teachers perceive their own use of technology in the classroom. The article emphasizes the difference between using technology for instruction and using it to deepen learning. The article stresses the idea that technology should be used to enhance meaning and not just a way to disseminate information. Technology can be used to focus instruction on complex tasks, not just facts. Technology can create an environment where learning is student centered and directed. This article supports the assertion that there is a difference between using technology in the class and using it well.

3. Staples, A. (n.d.). Rethinking the Technology Integration Challenge: Cases from Three Urban Elementary Schools. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://fh8fe2xb7x.scholar.serialssolutions.com/?sid=google&auinit=A&aulast=Staples&atitle=Rethinking+the+Technology+Integration+Challenge:+Cases+from+Three+Urban+Elementary+Schools.&title=Journal+of+research+on+computing+in+education&volume=37&issue=3&date=2005&spage=285&issn=1539-1523
This study and resulting article looks at three urban elementary schools and the results on student learning when technology is infused in their classrooms. For all three schools the study describes the school culture and existing technology before money and resources are provided and the resulting observable changes. The study found that the keys to successful integration were aligning the use of technology with the curriculum and mission statement of the school, having clear teacher leadership at each facility, and having a private/public partnership in investing in the benefits of technology. The study concluded that often the need for new hardware/software is pitted against the cost of teaching teachers how to most effectively use the equipment. The study also concluded that in order for a school staff to buy into technology as a tool it must have clear connections to curricular objectives. The study did conclude however that there is a direct connection between the use of technology and deep, meaningful learning.

4. Koehler, MJ . (n.d.). Teachers Learning Technology by Design. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.130.7937&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
The main objective of this article is to outline the optimum approach for teaching teachers how to use technology effectively in the classroom. The article asserts that many teacher training institutions believe that teachers will become proficient in the use of technology merely by mastering a basic set of skills. In collaboration with the ISTE the article suggests that teacher training should include an appreciation between artifacts, users, tools, and practices. An exemplary teacher training program should keep in mind content, pedagogy, and technology while working to develop appropriate context specific strategies and representations. The article suggests that meaningful insight into technology in the classroom occurs when small groups of teachers work together to find ways to use technology to solve educational problems. Through this process teachers learn about the technology and how to use it in real life situations.

5.Hopson, Michael . (n.d.). Using a Technology-Enriched Environment to Improve Higher-Order Thinking Skills. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from http://eec.edc.org/cwis_docs/Vivians/Hopson_et_al.pdf
This study and ensuing article looks at fifth and sixth grade students and how significant use of technology in the classroom encourages and develops higher order thinking skills such as critical analysis and complex problem solving skills. The study suggests that twenty first century students need to know how to access information, but more importantly how to manage, analyze, critique, cross-reference, and transform information into something meaningful. The study outlines how computers in the class can be used to provide active learning tasks that require students to use complex problem solving skills. Teachers involved with the study reported that learning was more student driven in technology assisted classrooms with less emphasis on textbook driven facts acquisition. Technology transformed the role of teacher from lecturer to guide.