541- Final Course Reflection

Throughout this course, AECT content standards have been a driving factor. Technology standards around design, development, and utilization have been at the core of the direction and strategy of each unit.
Development of a technology integration vision is integral to the design process. One must have a complete vision of the “why” and “how” of integration before the implementation of design. Determining the relative advantage to using technology over other strategy methods is a key element in developing a philosophical approach to designing classroom integration. Each unit of study within this course was designed to implement best practices of instructional theory and design, targeted at specific groups of learners with a standards driven learning outcome.

The following is a list of course projects with links and the standards they address:

Vision Statement

Relative Advantage of Instructional Software

  • 1.1 Instructional Design Systems
  • 1.1.1 Analyzing: process of defining what is to be learned and the context in which it is to be learned.
  • 1.2 Message Design
  • 1.3 Instructional Strategies

Network Project

  • 1.2 Message Design
  • 1.3 Instructional Strategies
  • 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • 3.1 Media Utilization

Instructional Software

  • 1.2 Message Design
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • 3.1 Media Utilization

Interactive Presentation

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 1.3 Instructional Strategies
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 3.1 Media Utilization

Spreadsheets and Databases

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • The design of a spreadsheet or database driven lesson combines computer-based and integration technologies.

Social Media for Instruction

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations

Internet Safety

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 1.4 Learner Characteristics
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations

Video Enhanced Lesson

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 1.3 Instructional Strategies
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 3.1 Media Utilization

Content Areas

    Language Arts    Social Studies    Art, Music. PE    English Language Learners

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 1.2 Message Design
  • 1.3 Instructional Strategies
  • 1.4 Learner Characteristics
  • 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • 3.1 Media Utilization
  • 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations

Adaptive/Assistive Technology

  • 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
  • 1.3 Instructional Strategies
  • 1.4 Learner Characteristics
  • 2.1 Print Technologies
  • 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
  • 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
  • 2.4 Integrated Technologies
  • 3.1 Media Utilization

 

In working towards the conceptual framework of a professional educator as stated by the college, this course has allowed me to understand more fully the theoretical approach to technology integration for educating all learners, no matter their age, learning style or disability. The material for study and the development of relevant technology integration projects have helped me to better “create environments that prepare learners to be citizens who contribute to a complex world”. The development and study of tech implementation strategies that engage learners in content has been an integral part of this course, moreover, these strategies also serve to help students, “understand the implications of technology in today’s society”. The main thrust of this course for me has been building skills to develop strategies that help students learn how to use technology to become better thinkers and life-long learners.

Another benefit for me professionally has been the detailed look at integration in content areas other than my own. Developing strategies for tech integration into curriculum across all content areas is a personal goal for me in my career path with the intent of sharing a sound theoretical approach and effective strategies with teachers and administration. Considering the relative advantage of integration strategies I have found especially valuable. Using this approach with my own work and sharing the value of considering why you use technology in a given educational setting validates the process.

References:

Boise State University. EdTech Department: http://edtech.boisestate.edu

Blog Entries: Self Evaluation

  1. Vision Statement

This blog entry is a comprehensive look at my personal vision for technology integration, supported by several external sources.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Relative Advantage of Instructional Software

This blog entry outlines the relative advantage of instructional software in the classroom. My findings are supported by external resources and a multimedia Glog that gives specific examples of instructional software available for computer and tablet.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Spreadsheets and Databases

This blog entry examines the relative advantage of the use of these applications in education, including their ability to save time, contain and display a large amount of information and to quickly see the results of variables to a result.
Ranking: Proficient

  1. Social Networking and Walled Gardens

“Censorship, in the guise of protection, is evident throughout history when governments or religious organizations have controlled the flow of information or eliminated the expression of perceived subversive ideas, usually with the intent of suppressing dissent.” This blog entry examines my personal view of the value of social networks and the concept of “protecting” students from internet content.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Internet Applications via the class Voicethread

This blog outlines my personal views on using internet applications in the classroom. “…to ignore the capabilities of the Internet for gathering information, sharing resources, engaging students, communication, solving problems, building artifacts, and exploration is a disservice to students and does not prepare them for life in the world outside of school.” This entry includes a narrative on some of the ways in which I currently use the internet in my teaching and also has a link to the class voicethread on this topic.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Video Blog

This blog entry has a link to a video version of the text and is about the integration of video in the classroom. The entry discusses the use of video as an instructional tool, but also as a method for students to use in preparing artifacts of learning such as video documentaries.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Integrating Technology Into the Content Area

I believe this entry represents my best blog work for this course. I detail relative advantage and specific integration strategies for all content areas using external resources and my personal experience.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Obstacles and Solutions for Integrating Technology Into the Content Area

This blog entry addresses some of the problems with technology integration in content areas such as equal access for all, and security issues and includes a link to a screencast presentation that addresses technology integration strategies and solutions for English Language Learners.
Ranking: Outstanding

  1. Assistive Technologies

This blog entry outlines the accessibility capability of my Macbook Pro and was written in conjunction with the unit on adaptive and assistive technologies.
Ranking: Proficient

Overall Blog Assessment

  • Content 70/75
  • Readings and Resources 33/35
  • Timeliness 25/25
  • Responses to other students 28/30
  • Total 156/165

 

Advertisements

513 – Worked Example Screencast

The following is a demonstration of a sequential approach to poetry analysis. The video was created using Camtasia.

541 – Obstacles to Technology Integration

The main challenge with integrating technology into any content area starts with access. I am fortunate enough to teach all my courses in a lab of computers and laptops which have enabled me to plan and implement technology based strategies in my content areas for several years. One of my main challenges has been ensuring that my instruction is content driven and not technology driven. Too often teachers fall into the trap of overusing technology to the point where it becomes distracting to students and actually hampers learning. However, for teachers who do not have consistent access to computers, integration in content areas becomes difficult to implement. Portable tablet labs and BYOD programs are beginning to alleviate some of the strain of access for all students in school, but it still remains a barrier to integration.

One challenge facing Language Arts teachers is the issue of plagiarism. Whether the written material is produced with the aid of technology or not, teachers must always be vigilant for work that is copied from another source. Plagiarism has become easier to accomplish using the internet by a simple process of copy and pasting, however the internet can also be a resource for teachers who suspect plagiarism. There are many web applications available for teachers to input phrases which then search the internet for a match. Related to this is an issue where students in classes where e-portfolios or notebooks are used could potentially access work done by other students on assignments given in previous semesters. This requires the teacher to carefully customize material and assignments on a regular basis.

It is easy for teachers to find reasons not to integrate technology in their classes by citing issues of access or security, however the benefit for students is potentially too great to find reasons not to integrate technology. Instead of find excuses not to adopt 21st century strategies teachers must find ways to make it happen. As Roblyer and Doering state in Integrating Educational Technology in the Classroom, “ The Internet and other forms of information and communication technology (ICT) such as word processor, Web editors, presentation software, and email are regularly redefining the nature of literacy. To become fully literate in today’s world, students must become proficient in the new literacies of ICT. Therefore, literacy educators have a responsibility to effectively integrate these technologies into the literacy curriculum in order to prepare students for the literacy future they deserve.” (Robelyer and Doering, 2010)

Below is a link to a video I produced with Camtasia that addresses technology integration strategies and solutions for English Language Learners content area.
http://www.screencast.com/t/YsuJvGXciK

541- Content Areas

What is the relative advantage of using technology in the classroom to increase engagement, relevance and authenticity of major content courses? The obvious response to this question is that the lives of students outside of school is becoming more and more immersed in technology, therefore in order to increase relevance for students in school, educators must leverage technology. Technology in education has the power to connect the major areas of study in schools with each other and with the world around us. Through the use of technology students can see relevance in math as it applies to science, exploration and discovery. Students can connect the study of literature to history through the examination of primary sources and the subsequent ramifications for today’s society. “Today. thanks to the Internet, the classroom is a worldwide classroom in which networked technologies for literacy enable us to communicate with people around the world” (Roblyer, Doering 2010).

In language arts literacy has always been a focus of the curriculum, however the definition of literacy has evolved. Today, if language arts teachers are focusing on literacy, they must also include digital literacy. As technology changes students must be equipped to adapt to those changes; understanding how to interpret digital media and technology is a twenty first century life skill that is relevant in school and in life. Information is easily accessible by students today, however they must be given the tools to discern accuracy from bias, rumor, or blatant misinformation. Roblyer and Doering state that “students need instruction in processing the information and separating out bias and inaccuracies (intentional and otherwise)” (Roblyer, Doering 2010). In Language Arts, and in all curricular areas, technology motivates students to learn through immersive, media rich resources and interactivity which strike at the heart of educational objectives related to reading, writing, critical analysis, and problem solving.

Integrating Educational Technology into teaching lists 10 strategies for using technology to enhance teaching of reading, writing, and language skills.(Roblyer, Doering 2010 p. 284).

1. Electronic Publishing projects to encourage student writing
2. Electronic penpal activities to encourage student writing
3. Internet resources to engage students in literature
4. Online book clubs
5. Concept mapping software to help students plan their writing
6. Talking books to engage students in reading
7. Alternative formats for writing stories
8. Threaded discussions to motivate student writing
9. Blogs and fan fiction websites to motivate student writing
10. Tracking systems to motivate student reading

Roblyer and  Doering suggest that in order to motivate students, teachers need to tap into their  interests and engage students by presenting literature in a meaningful, relevant manner.  Some possible technology driven strategies could include networked literacy projects, interactive storybooks, student generated digital stories and videos, as well as writing in blogs and threaded discussions. One justification for this approach is to open up the potential audience pool for student writers to more than just one…the teacher. Through technology the perceived importance of student work is elevated through the increased audience potential. This approach lends professionalism to the process and the product and encourages the editing and revision process.

Technology integration in science and math is essential. Modern math education strives to prepare students for a highly technological society where workplace skills require advanced computational ability as well as finely tuned problem solving and logic based decision making.
Engaging students in math has traditionally been difficult due to a perceived lack of relevance; with technology, teachers can move toward a student centered approach that emphasizes real world relevance and demonstrates concrete examples of mathematical principles in everyday life.

Integrating Educational Technology into teaching lists 6 strategies for using technology to enhance teaching of mathematics.(Roblyer, Doering 2010 p. 320).

Using virtual manipulatives allows students to manipulate data in a virtual hands-on environment and provides concrete representation of abstract concepts. Using technology to foster mathematical problem solving gives students opportunities to apply knowledge in a constructivist environment, promoting deep understanding and educational impact. Computer based applications can generate visual representations of mathematical principles making concepts easier to visualize and understand. Through the use of spreadsheets and databases teachers can implement data driven curriculum which promotes experimentation with data and a cause and effect type analysis. Technology also has the inherent capability to motivate skills building practice for students to master basic computational skills and through communication based applications students can now access the knowledge and skills of professionals world wide or collaborate with other students on a global platform.

Science and technology are often viewed as one in the same. The National Science Education Standards differentiates the two by stating that “…the goal of science is to understand the natural world, and the goal of technology is to make modifications in the world to meet human needs.” (NRC, 1996) Technology integration into science supports student learning through providing authentic experimentation, inquiry, and access to information and tools. Making science authentic involves connecting inquiry to students’ lives. Technological resources provide a platform for authentic scientific inquiry and discovery at all phases of exploration. Data collection, storage and analysis is enhanced through technology. Visualization and manipulation in virtual environments makes the impossible, possible. Communication with experts and students around the globe is made possible through the integration of technology in the science classroom.

“The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as  citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an independent world. (NCSS, 1994) No other school based discipline has the potential to harness technology in a more relevant, poignant manner. Students of social sciences can now gain immediate, knowledge of world events in a media based environment. Students can use the Internet to mine information in a quest to locate relevant, accurate primary sources in the creation of artifacts that represent learning.  Students can communicate directly with students and experts across the globe, gaining a sense of social empathy and understanding of other cultures and in turn a rich appreciation of our own. “Not only is there more to learn about the world than ever before, but the information is changing constantly and dramatically. Fortunately, the same technology that created this more complex world also can help teach about it” (Roblyer, Doering 2010).

Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching lists 10 strategies for using technology in Social Studies Instruction (Roblyer, Doering 2010 p. 351).

1. Adventure Learning
2. Virtual Field Trips
3. Geocaching
4. Live through History- simulated immersion experiences
5. Webquest activites to learn history of political actions
6. Apply geospatial technologies to study the connection between the Earth and people.
7. Stock Market simulations
8. Electronic storytelling to recreate history
9. Real time collaboration
10 Digital media creation through the use of cameras

Technology in music and visual art instruction has allowed students to express themselves in a highly professional, creative environment, as well as enabling students to access, view, and analysis art from around the world and throughout history. Visual Arts now encompasses many highly technical mediums such as digital photography, media arts, 2D and 3D animation, while music instruction now includes computer assisted music composition. Music teachers can now rewrite or arrange compositions for performance easily using music notation software, which allows student parts to be altered to compensate for range or technical ability or even to alter the tonal center for the entire piece. An instructor of music history can now use technology to instantly access music files as examples and information on composers and musicians while making connections to the political and social standards of the period.
Music directors for high school musicals can sequence parts for performers to utilize in home practice or, in some cases, sequence the entire musical score for accompaniment of a performance. This allows predictability for rehearsal and a guarantee of a polished performance by the pit orchestra.  Music directors can also use sequencing software to supplement performance material giving the final product a professional edge that engages and motivates students.

Technology integration in education has many benefits for students in specific content areas, however the true power of technology in education is in connecting each of the disciplines to each other and to the world in which we live.

References:

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

National Research Council (1996) National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

National Council for the Social Studies. (1994). Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum standards for social studies. Silver SPrings, MD; Author.

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 – 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/