503 ID Case Analysis

Case Study:  Suzanne Ganer

1. Describe the range of critical needs facing Spring Wells High School at this time.

Spring Wells High School has two major needs.  They need to improve their proficiency test scores so that they are in-line with state requirements, and train teachers on technology so that they don’t loose funding.  Some other issues that stem from these two major needs are the learner characteristics of the teachers and administration.  There are lots of varying opinions among the staff that is detrimental to their needs. Lastly, there is also the question of how to spend the $20,000 that was acquired through a grant by the technology coordinator.

2. Identify the available resource and existing constraints that apply in the case.

The biggest constraint that applies to this case is the learner characteristics of the teachers and administration. There are issues with motivation, attitudes, interests, age, beliefs, and problems with cooperation.  The principal should be mandating that the technology training needs to be done but seems unsure of the need for it.   There are teachers that see the technology as a distraction and are only focused on the test scores; whereas other teachers see it as a vital part to their teaching.  Another constraint is time.  The school has had 3 years to meet the technology requirements and is still far below where they need to be.  Had the technology been taken care of long ago they could focus solely on improving proficiency scores.  The resources available are the School Tech Equity funds, the $20,000 grant, and a technology coordinator who is ready and willing to train staff.

3. Describe a plan for meeting the needs identified in question 1.

In order for Spring Wells HS to address their two major needs they first need to address the attitudes of the staff.  This can be done by completing the following steps:  evaluate the situation, determine valued course of action, choose valued action, and perform action (S&R p. 90).  The principal should be taking lead on this and making sure all staff members are committed toward the same goals.  It needs to be a team effort and everyone should be on the same page.  Furthermore, it can be explained that the technology can be valuable tool for improving the proficiency scores—not a separate entity.  The plan should be to provide professional development that is designed to teach how to use the technology toward the goal of improving test scores.

4. Specify the steps required for implementing the plan you developed in question 3, keeping in mind the resources and constraints present in the case.

Steps that need to be taken to implement this plan are:  address attitudes following the steps listed above, figure out a time when teachers would be able to attend training (maybe during an in-service of faculty meeting time), create learning goals, get all teachers up-to-date on technology training, find technology that targets material on the proficiency tests and train teachers in that technology, use the technology with students and assess to see if it’s making a difference, and revise lessons as needed while continuing to develop new ways to use technology with the purpose of improving test scores.

5. What are ethical issues related to the use of funding for assessment and curriculum alignment when the grant was originally written for technology professional development?

Using the grant money for anything other than technology professional development would be unethical because the money was only granted to the school for that purpose.  The school would be performing a bait-and-switch with the funds.  If discovered that the funds weren’t used as intended it could hurt their chances of getting funds in the future.  However, I think that the money can still be used for technology by linking the technology used to the proficiency test needs.


Module 2 – Analysis

ID Project Description: The target audience will be upper elementary students.  After two hours of instruction, they will be able to create a one-minute musical composition using loops and smart instruments in GarageBand.

My ID project falls under condition B: there is something new that the learners need to learn.  I will conduct my needs assessment using the innovation model.  First, I will determine what the new technology is, if my schools educational philosophy has changed, and how the use of technology will affect the music program.  Next, I will determine the learning goals for the project, see what knowledge these goals will require of the learners, and make sure these goals can effectively be taught.  Lastly, I will determine if the technology is available for use, if these goals conflict with the current curriculum, and if anyone will object to this change in the music program.  I am sure I will discover some additional steps that need to be taken as I work through the needs assessment.

The learning environment is an elementary school.  There is a set of 25 iPads kept in the technology room that can be signed out for use.  The classroom has a white board, Smart Board, projector, apple TV, and computer.  The students are in 4th grade, and the school encourages the use of new technology.  I am unsure of the community’s feelings about the use of technology in school; this will have to be researched.  Since I will be teaching the lesson, I know that I am comfortable with technology-based instruction, and I have a strong knowledge of the iPad and GarageBand software.  This project fits into the existing curriculum and directly applies to the national standard for music: composing and arranging.

Some learning characteristics that are important to my ID project are: cognitive and learning strategies, level of visual literacy, specific prior knowledge of iPads, interests, motivations to learn, attitude toward subject, and reading level.  I can obtain a lot of this knowledge by having the students complete a survey that asks questions regarding their feelings about music and iPads.  I can learn about the students’ cognitive levels, reading ability, and level of visual literacy by talking to their classroom teachers.

Design and Instructional Design

Design, Instructional Design, and Systematic Instructional Design

The word design implies the process of taking an idea and making it a reality.  Usually when design is involved the end goal has already been established and it is time to figure what steps will need to be taken to reach that goal.  Design could mean that one is creating something from just an idea or it could mean that one is taking materials and putting it together in a way that is appealing and understandable.  For example, a web designer might be assigned the job of creating a website for a company.  The designer could be supplied with virtually nothing and expected to pick the layout, images, colors etc.  or the company might provide them with logos and ideas that they would like the designer to arrange in a sensible way.

Instructional design means to create materials to use for instruction and determine how the information will be presented to students.  Instructional designers organize lessons and information in a way that facilitates learning and can create brand new material to use for lessons.  Systematic instructional deign indicates that the designer is following a methodical step-by-step process in the creation of the learning experience.

How does Instructional Design relate to Educational Technology?

Instructional design and educational technology relate to each other because in the 21st century, technology in education is a continually growing trend.  Instructional designers must be well versed in technology in order to create courses and content that are up-to-date and cutting edge.  Also when designing a learning experience instructional designers must determine what technology is available or needs to be created to reinforce or help teach concepts.  All the instructional job postings that I reviewed for our previous assignment required strong knowledge of educational technology.

Experience with instructional design

A recent experience I had with instructional deign was creating a unit for fourth grade students on Ludwig Van Beethoven.  There are thousands of ways to learn about this composer and I have many books with lessons written about him.   Rather than simply follow already made lessons I wanted to create my own unit by piecing together the best instructional material and leaving out what wasn’t needed.  I started by finding as many different lessons as I could in books, on blogs, websites, etc.  I took my favorite ideas and saved them.  Once the research was complete, I took the material and organized it in a way that made sense to the intended audience and would keep the students engaged.  I decided how long each lesson would be and an end goal (students would be able to create a presentation on Beethoven’s life and music). Once the lessons were taught I made note of what could be improved upon and what went well.  I am planning to change the presentation to utilize Educreations now that our school has iPads.

Another essential component of instructional design is creating materials to be used for instruction when there is the need.  For example, I teach piano lessons after school and I like to use iPad apps to reinforce note-naming skills.  There is a wide range of apps available but one thing I consistently find is that many apps don’t allow the teacher to customize which notes are being drilled, making them useless to me.  If I am focusing on only five notes with a young student, it doesn’t help me if the app asks them about fifteen notes that they haven’t learned. As an instructional designer I could create a new app or redesign old ones to allow the teacher to choose which notes are drilled so that it can be streamlined into their lessons.

Description of Project

The target audience will be upper elementary students.  After two hours of instruction, they will be able to create a one-minute musical composition using loops and smart instruments in GarageBand.