Digital Story – My First Year Teaching Adventure

This week, I chose to create my digital story using an iPad app called Adobe Voice. This was an easy to use app that allowed me to share my first year teaching adventures in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Resources
Clark, R. & Mayer, R. (2011). E-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley & Sons/Pfeiffer.

Instructional Software

There are many advantages students have in today’s technology-filled world. The teacher is not the only source of knowledge, and Instruction has gone from the traditional classroom setting to a wall-less virtual classroom with a push of a button.

With so many resources available, the main problem for teachers today is trying to evaluate which resources are best for their students. Unfortunately, not all instructional software are created equal, so teachers must do some research before choosing which program to recommend or require for students. When choosing between resources, Jackson says to look for: platform requirements, goals and objectives, the content, the pedagogy, ease of use, and costs.

Here is the link to my site and presentation on The Relative Advantage of Instructional Software and my Relative Advantage Chart.

References

Jackson, G. (2000, May/June). How to evaluate educational software and websites. TechKnowLogia. 57-58.

Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching  (6th ed.). Boston, USA: Pearson Education.

Digital Divide & Digital Inequality

I found this Digital Divide & Digital Inequality assignment to be the most fascinating, endless research I have ever done. I found myself researching one topic, then learning new information that would lead me to research a different topic.

For my project, I initially wanted to find out more information on the digital divide at my affluent high school. This then lead me to look at 3 other high schools of the same socioeconomic status, and 4 high schools of different socioeconomic status.
To do this, I had to find common comparable data among high schools. I chose to investigate schools based on the percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunch and the correlation of state test scores, graduation rates, and SAT scores. I chose 8 schools total with 4 schools having the highest percentage of free/reduced lunch, and the others have 4 of the lowest percentage of free/reduced lunch in Oregon.

This project was tricky because there are so many different variables that go into State Testing, SAT scores, graduation rates, and whether or not a student qualifies for free or reduced lunches. However, I do think there is a correlation between access to technology and achievement on State Testing and SAT scores.
I truly believe I could have researched this topic for another 4 weeks and found many new avenues to add to this project. My understanding of the digital divide has developed immensely through all my research and I look forward to diving into this topic even more.

Additional Artifact #1

For my first additional artifact, I chose to create a presentation on the benefits my district would experience if we were to “Go Google”. Currently, my district uses Microsoft Outlook for our email and calendar, EdLine for our teacher sites, and the Microsoft Office for our documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. I believe the current Microsoft products we use are valuable tools, but Google Apps for Education would provide our district the collaboration, accessibility, streamlining, and unity our staff, and students need for the ever-evolving 21st century.

A few benefits of using the Microsoft products are that they are fairly reliable and all teachers know how to use them. The allow us to use basic email, create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and many others. However, these Microsoft products are the same products I have been using since I started using the computer. They have updated their ease of use, and added some flair, but they have not evolved into the collaborative machine that is needed in today’s world. I also realize Microsoft has come out with it’s own cloud-based products called Office 365, but those products are computer-based that have been modified to be cloud-based (unlike Google).

In the presentation, I evaluated the accessibility, storage, collaboration, maintenance, streamlining, finances, security, and connectivity. In all of these categories, I believe it is more advantageous to use Google. I created this presentation to be interactive with numerous links that my administration and colleagues can click on to learn more information about the Google Apps for Education I discuss.   I included links to all the Google Apps, videos, editorials, and what Google believes are the benefits to using Google Apps for Education. I created it this way because I wanted the viewer to be able to watch the videos Google does such a great job creating rather than listening to me explain the benefits of using Google.

I hope this presentation will educate my administration on the benefits of “Going Google”. This will not be an end-all, but I hope it will help open discussion on the future of collaboration within our district.

RSS for Education

Teaching Resources Bundle

I have now begun my journey into the overwhelming world of RSS feeds. Really Simple Syndication, or RSS feeds, are a way to organize and streamline information from your favorite websites.

Even though I am familiar finding ten or more daily new emails from websites or blogs I subscribe to, I am finding my Google Reader feed to be quite mind-boggling. I’m not sure if this is because I am reading my feed in addition to my emails, or because my feed is a new system I am getting use to. Currently, I read multiple emails from multiple email accounts and delete or archive the email once I am done reading the article.

The way I see myself using RSS in the classroom is using my feed as a database for new ways of effectively using technology in the classroom. I do not plan on having my students use it at this time, but I do plan on “unsubscribing” to all the emails I am receiving and now just checking my Google Reader for all the new updates.  RSS seems to fit well with my motto of work smarter, not harder.