School Evaluation Summary

This assignment was very informative and eye opening.  I definitely think that performing this evaluation would be a great way to orient myself to any schools’ technology maturity if I were a newly hired technology director.    This evaluation would need to be updated yearly though because technology use could change rapidly depending on lots of different factors such as new technologies, curriculum revision, training sessions, and more.  After completing this evaluation I was able to get a sense of what areas needed addressing within the school’s technology plan.  I think it would also be helpful if the Maturity Model Benchmark was updated to include all the changes we have seen in educational technology since 1998.  Subsections that deal with wireless networks, mobile devices, interactive whiteboards, etc. would be great to add to this model.  Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment and learned a lot about how to really learn about a school’s technological maturity.

Click Here to see Maturity Benchmarks Survey Sheet for Kennedy High School  

Digital Inequality Assignment

Learning about digital inequality was very informative.  The digital divide is not something I have thought much about because where I grew up everyone I knew had computers and access to the Internet.  Being a teacher, I have seen students who do not have the Internet or computers at home and the struggles they face to keep up with the technology.  Being more aware of the digital inequality in my own school will greatly help my instruction.  When using technology in the classroom, I know that some students may understand the technology more quickly if they have it at home.  Knowing this allows me to meet the needs of all students when using technology in the classroom.

The seven options we were given to explore digital inequality really helped break down the possibilities for how the digital divide can be fixed.  We discovered that providing low cost or free Internet would most likely be the best solution to bridge the gap because it would cover two of the main reasons for digital inequality—availability and accessibility.  Providing training to students about the technology could cover literacy, another reason for the digital divide. Students of the 21st century have to have access to technology to keep up with their education.  By not having access to the Internet, they are shut off from endless resources that other students have at their fingertips.  My focus was creating free educational content for all which I found would not be the most economical use of funds because if students don’t have access to the internet they can’t view the content.  This issues of access and availability need to be addressed before creating new content.

Collaborating with the gamma group was a fun experience.  I had never been a part of a group meeting using Blackboard Collaborate’s Elluminate, and it was great how we could view the project together and discuss the seven options and goals for the presentations.  I definitely want to learn more about Elluminate and how to use all the components of the program to conduct meetings.  It was also very informative hearing the different opinions on digital inequality.  Our group used Google form to discuss meeting times, Google docs to collect research, and Google presentation to complete the assignment.  It was helpful gaining experience with all these programs.

Through the development of our presentation we utilized many technologies as mentioned above.  This project required us to manage resources to create an effective presentation. This artifact aligns with AECT standards 2.4, 3.2, 3.4, and 4.2.

Horizon Report Tech Trend

This lesson plan teaches students how to use Garageband to create a podcast about the life of an American Composer.  As discussed in the Horizon report, mobile apps and tablet computing is a fast growing trend in education.  I designed this lesson to utilize popular music apps and iPads so that students would gain valuable experience with this emerging technology.

I believe the students will benefit in multiple ways from completing this lesson.  They can apply the knowledge gained to create other podcasts on topics of their choice or future classroom assignments.  They also will be learning about American music history through a way that they can relate to as a 21st century learner.  Podcasting creates a fun twist on a research assignment and the students are more likely to remember the information because they are more actively involved and engaged when modern technology is being used.

This lesson directly applies to AECT standards 1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, and 4.4 because students will be designing a podcast which requires them to utilize audiovisual technologies (iPad) and manage researched information.  From this assignment, I learned how to use Scribd, embed a document, and received more practice using google docs (I usually use Word for writing documents).  In preparing for writing the lesson, I learned a lot about the Garageband app because I had to make sure everything I wanted the students to do would actually be possible using the mobile version.  The more I learn about Garageband the more amazed I am about the capabilities of the app and its seemingly infinite uses for teaching music.  I plan to teach this lesson this school year, and I am really looking forward to it!

Zotero Library Assignment

Zotero is a very useful resource and makes creating a reference list simple! It took me awhile to figure out how to save my sources correctly because I wasn’t sure whether to save the pdf document or the website.  I will definitely be using this resource in the future when I need to create a reference list.  In the past, I had used sites like easybib.com but that requires you to insert all the information yourself.  It was great how Zotero does it all for you!  Using Google Scholar and Albertsons Library wasn’t new to me as I have used similar resources in the past when writing research papers.  I love the ease of finding articles from countless resources right at your fingertip!

Billings, E. S., & Mathison, C. (2011). I get to use an iPod in school? Using technology-based advance organizers to support the academic success of english learners. Journal of Science Education and Technology21(4), 494–503. doi:10.1007/s10956-011-9341-0

McCombs, S., & Liu, Y. (20110307). Channeling the channel:  Can iPad meet the needs of today’s m-learner. Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 20112011(1), 522–526.

Meadows, M. (20040000). Using rechnology in early childhood environments to strengthen cultural connections. Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual2004(1), 39–47.

Miranda, H. P., & Russell, M. (2012). Understanding factors associated with teacher-directed student use of technology in elementary classrooms: A structural equation modeling approach. British Journal of Educational Technology43(4), 652–666. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01228.x

Shin, N., Sutherland, L. M., Norris, C. A., & Soloway, E. (2012). Effects of game technology on elementary student learning in mathematics.British Journal of Educational Technology43(4), 540–560. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01197.x

Turja, L., Endepohls-Ulpe, M., & Chatoney, M. (2009). A conceptual framework for developing the curriculum and delivery of technology education in early childhood. International Journal of Technology and Design Education19(4), 353–365. doi:10.1007/s10798-009-9093-9

RSS Feeds Assignment

Click here to view my Google Reader Teaching Resources Bundle

Before completing this assignment I had very little knowledge of what RSS feeds were for and how to use them.  I was used to see the logo on blogs and websites but never investigate it.  I am glad that I have learned how to use them because it makes sorting through content on the internet much simpler and more enjoyable.  I will definitely be using RSS feeds while lesson planning.  There are many blogs that I follow that regularly post lesson plan ideas and by creating a folder in my google reader I can now access all the content in one spot.

One way RSS feeds could be used in the classroom is by creating a teacher blog and having your students/parents subscribe to the feed.  This way they could get all necessary content and information delivered right to them.  This would be very helpful to teachers, parents, and students because it would eliminate the need multiple forms of communication (emails, written reminders, website posts etc.)  To deliver information, teachers could simply post on their blog/site.

Another way RSS feeds could be used in the classroom is by having students create blogs and then subscribing to each others feeds.  Students could complete a research assignment, post it to their blog, and then be required to read RSS feeds from other students and respond.  If all students were writing about the same topic it would give them different insight and additional information to help them learn more about it.  If students were posting about different topics it would allow students to learn about multiple topics from their peers.

This assignment directly addresses AECT standard 4.4 information management because RSS feeds allows the user to select content and subscribe to it which helps filter out any unnecessary information.  Readers allow the user to further organize the content into folders or tags so that sorting through the material is simple and organized.

Learning Log Assignment

Write up a brief reflection about creating a learning log and how it aligns with the AECT Standard.

Remember, you can easily transform your WordPress learning log into your final showcase portfolio. This process is a performance indicator for Standard 2: Development, with the sub-standard 2.0.7 “Contribute to a professional portfolio by developing and selecting a variety of productions for inclusion in the portfolio” as well as Standard 4.4: Information Management.

Remember to tag your posts with your course number and include a Tag Cloud widget to easily sort artifacts by courses!