EdTech 504 – Module 3 Reflection

I’m finally getting around to my reflection on creating my annotated bibliography and the connection to my classroom teaching. For my annotated bibliography, I chose to research various aspects of communication when it comes to Educational Technology. In order to find reputable sources, I used two online databases, JSTOR (Journal Storage), and EdITLib (Education & Information Technology Library) to look up peer reviewed documents. Luckily enough, we get access to these enormous databases through Boise State’s EdTech program.

One peer reviewed paper I I really enjoyed was one written over 40 years ago on the link between communication and educational technology. This paper is a review of trends in general communication theory, literature, and application in regards to educational technology. What I like best about it is how it is written over 40 years ago, yet is still relevant today.In this, Mielke recognizes the behavioristic learning theories of Gagne and how general communication theory would be filtered through the same screen of applicability. When it comes to mass communication in educational technology, Mielke recognizes creativity, practice, and primary research are what needs to be focused on, just done by a different medium than what is done today.

Another article I enjoyed tied together constructivism, communication and e-learning. Because of the increase in the number of students taking online courses, Koohang advanced a model based on constructivism learning theory that focused on the design of learning activities, learning assessments, and instructor roles.

It has been great doing research on the various theories of learning and theories of educational technology. Through this research, I have been able to get a better grasp on what my final paper will be on in this course.

Resources
Koohang, A., Riley, L., Smith, T. & Schreurs, J. (2009). E-Learning and Constructivism: From Theory to Application. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 5(1), 91-109. INFORM.

Mielke, K. (1972). ERIC/AVCR Annual Review Paper: Renewing the Link between Communications and Educational Technology. AV Communication Review, 20(4), 357-399.

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EdTech 504 Module 2 Reflection

This week we are to look at the linkages between our epistemological beliefs and classroom instruction. As I start to consider my own beliefs compared to how I teach, I experience mixed emotions. I am pleased with my progress, but know I have a long way to go. With the ever-increasing advancement of technology, I truly believe the role of the teacher is changing. I think the teacher’s role is becoming more of a facilitator of learning and less direct instruction. These days, the amount of knowledge that is at a students fingertips is overwhelming. Any topic the student is wanting to get information about is easily accessible and often overlooked. I believe a teacher needs to provide opportunities for the students to take ownership of their education while being open to many different avenues of information.
A few ways I offer students this flexibility in controlling their learning is through my Leadership class where I act as a facilitator, and through group projects in my Marketing 1 class. In Leadership, students are in charge of creating and implementing a plan for all student activities. They must be self-motivated and find the answers to their own questions. In my Marketing 1 classes, I like issue projects where students get to choose whichever source they would like to relay information from. Often times, the criteria will be vary vague, where students can negotiate what goes into their project.
Even though I believe students should be at the center of my teaching, I all-to-often find myself in front of the classroom delivering information. However, recognizing this flaw is the first step in my long journey to student-lead learning.

EdTech 504 Week 1 Reflection

In my first week of EdTech 504, Theoretical Foundation of Educational Technology, we were to reflect on our current teaching practice and inclusion of educational technology.
This year is my 8th year of teaching overall, and 4th year teaching High School. Currently, I teach Leadership, Marketing 1, and International Marketing to high school students. In each one of these courses, I do my best to incorporate technology on a daily basis. I use technology as a tool to enhance learning by my students and I try to stay on the forefront of current technologies. One tool I have started using this year is Google Classroom. I have found Google Classroom to be the most user-friendly LMS of any I have used before. It makes it so easy to assign, view, organize, and grade student work.Another tool I use in my classes is Twitter. As an activities director, one of my jobs is to provide as many activities as possible for our student body. To advertise, we are constantly creating infographics and posting them on Twitter and Instagram.

After taking this EdTech 504 course, I hope to have a foundation on the reasons I integrate this technology in my classroom. With this foundation, I hope to be able to share the technology I use in the classroom even more with my colleagues.

EdTech 543 Final Reflection

As I finish up my final project reviews for EdTech 543, Social Network Learning, I’m looking back at all that I have learned. This summer course was 8 modules long and I spent many hours indoors rather than outside enjoying my teaching-free summer hours. I even spent part of my vacation in Maui inside finishing up my final project.  Overall, I really enjoyed this course. I came into thinking I knew a lot about Social Media, but this course really opened my eyes to how I can utilize my foundation in Social Media to benefit my students.  One of the greatest things about this course was how we were given so much flexibility to explore various Social Media. I can now say I am comfortable using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Edmodo, Scoop.it, Diigo, Moodle, Jing, and Flickr in the classroom.

During the first module, we familiarized ourselves with Facebook, Twitter, Diigo, and WordPress. Luckily for me, these are all platforms I am familiar with through my own personal social media interactions, and from taking other EdTech courses.

For module 2, we started to develop a PLN (Personal Learning Network) through Twitter and from creating a mini PLN with EdTech 543 classmates. My mini PLN consisted of Jennie and Dan and we gave feedback to each other during the course as well as created a final project together.

In module 3, we focused on creating and maintaining a positive digital footprint, followed different hashtags, and started to be part of live professional development via Twitter and other interactive platforms. I found this week to be very applicable for me because I want to stress the importance of a positive digital footprint to my students. This module was also challenging in that I had to participate in multiple online professional developments while communicating in the “back-channels” via Twitter. This was something I had never done before, but I found it as a great alternative to traditional professional development.

For module 4, we focused on curation using Scoop.it. In a previous EdTech class I had to do a similar project using Scoop.it and really enjoyed it. I often find many different articles that I want to use later, but am too unorganized to find them again. Using a curating tool like Scoop.it will help solve this issue.

In module 5 we finished up our participation in live professional development and also created a diagram that represented our PLE. The PLE diagram I created was a road that represented my professional learning experiences.

Module 6 is the week that I liked most. During this week we had to create a social media policy for our classroom or school. I chose to create a policy for my teaching situation that I plan on using once school starts back up.

Our last module was a group project where we had to create a social networked mini curriculum unit. For my final group project, I chose to use the learning platform of Edmodo. I am not familiar with Edmodo, but decided to just go for it. I found that it was fairly easy to use, but I did not like the overall structure of Edmodo. After using it, I would rather just create a Facebook group and add students that way. I worked with two other high school teachers, whose focus is on Mathematics. We created a unit that had students use social media to find out different ways Math will be used in their future.

I really enjoyed taking EdTech 543 and will definitely be integrating social media into my teaching this upcoming year.

Using Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

One motto I have always tried to use is “don’t re-invent the wheel”. As a teacher, we are constantly trying to keep our students engaged in our material with the latest and greatest ways to connect with our students. In this week’s module, we focused on doing research to find educational projects that have social media as a key component.

As a business teacher, I found many ways that other Marketing teachers have integrated social media into their teaching. One of the most common things I found is that many school are teaming up with local businesses and using the power of social media to market their company. Often times, students would have to come up with a marketing plan that would integrate Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and the business would choose the group that they believed would work best for their company. The students would then follow through on their plan and be a resource for the local businesses. I think this is something I would like to integrate this next year in my advanced marketing classes. Not only does this give the students real-world experience, but it also helps out local small businesses as well. This is also a great opportunity for students to develop relationships with businesses in the community, which can lead to internships and other job opportunities.

Another topic that was common was how schools are using a school wide Twitter hashtag to get feedback from students on a variety of different topics. I definitely would like to start doing this with my leadership class to get feedback on spirit weeks, assemblies, and other activities that we plan.

Overall, this was a great assignment that is very applicable for my upcoming school year. Here is my curated content on educational projects that integrate social media

PLE Diagram

A Professional Learning Environment is like a road. It is constantly under construction while being re-paved, re-routed, and added to.

PLE

 

As I viewed many of my classmates diagrams, I noticed many similarities and many differences. Because we are all in an EdTech program, we had very similar content such as Social Media and content creation sites. However, the way in which each diagram was constructed was very different. Some people drew theirs out on whiteboards or paper, while others used advanced photoshop skills to create theirs. When comparing mine to theirs, I find mine in the middle of the road. I used an infographic creator called easel.ly that had the theme of a road. I believe everyone has a different road to their current PLE, and this road is constantly being re-paved and re-routed. As I was creating my PLE, I only put in resources that I currently use (re-paved), even though I could have added resources from when I was younger.

Through the creation of my PLE Diagram, I learned that many different things make up my learning environment and that those things have changed over time. I have many different resources I currently use, but soon those may become obsolete and I will have to re-pave my road and add to it.

 

Twitter Chats and Webinars

For the past three weeks in EdTech 543, we have been exploring the world of Twitter Chats and Live Webinars. Our mission was to “attend” and contribute to four live webinars and four live Twitter chats.

In order to participate in a Twitter chat, you must first find a topic that interests you and determine if there is a set time that topic will be discussed. Once the time has come for the Twitter chat to start, you will search for the hashtag (ie – #EdTechSN) and contribute tweets with that same hashtag. A dashboard application I like to use for participation in Twitter chats and helping manage Twitter is TweetDeck.

For Live Webinars, you watch and listen to a presentation while simultaneously participating in discussion via the webinars chat feature and/or via a specific hashtag on Twitter. These Webinars can be held through a multitude of online platforms such as Blackboard Collaborate. Once again, I like to use TweetDeck to contribute to these webinars.

All the webinars I participated in were for an online global event highlighting teaching and learning through The Future of Education website and used #RSCON5 (Reform Symposium Free Online Conference). This was a new experience for me to both watch a presentation online while participating in discussion via Twitter. I found it to be so much more engaging and allowed me to share my perspective and learning through Twitter. One thing I found quite amazing about contributing to discussion was how my Personal Learning Network expanded because of new followers developed from my tweets referencing #RSCON5. A hashtag can be so powerful.

My experience with Twitter chats was mixed. It was amazing to see the participation level difference among the hashtags. Some were easy to follow, and some were overwhelming. One example was the difference between the #educoach and #edmodochat chats. For the #educoach chat that was focused around Instructional Coaching, I asked a question about what attributes people looked for in an instructional coach and never got an answer. This chat was also easy to follow because hardly anyone participated. On the other hand, the #edmodochat I participated in was quite overwhelming. Even using TweetDeck, it was hard to follow conversations because so many people were posting at the same time. When I asked a question in this chat, I had multiple people respond within a minute, which was pretty amazing.

What I took away from the Twitter chats and Webinar discussions was a whole lot of knowledge on the process . Like most first experiences, I know what I will do differently next time. Most of the knowledge I gained was about the whole real-time chatting and getting used to the multi-tasking of watching a presentation, answering questions, and following hashtags. I really like using TweetDeck and found that it was much easier to use on my computer than just using the Twitter app on my phone. As far as the content is concerned, I learned that we must realize students are not just like we were when we were in school. They are a different generation that thinks differently and has different social norms than we did. In a separate session, they talked about how Gamification has become such a great motivator for today’s generation of student who does not thrive in the traditional classroom. students who In a different webinar, an 18 year old named Paige Woodard talked about her mission to explain the benefits of social media in the classroom. She gave 5 tips for educators:

  1. Respect students’ creativity
  2. Encourage 21st century resources, tools, and innovation
  3. Utilize technology/social media in the classroom for professional purposes
  4. Discuss with students what it means to be a digital citizen
  5. Facilitate student brainstorming and collaboration with peers and professionals

After being immersed in the world of Twitter chats and backchannel discussions during Webinars, I look forward to my future of interacting and collaborating with others from around the world. It’s amazing to see how the professional development experience has evolved over time. Thank you Twitter.