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.

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EdTech Challenges


In the New Media Consortium Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition , they listed 6 significant challenges schools face in adopting any new technology.

  1. Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline
    and profession, especially teaching.
  2. K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.
  3. The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.
  4. Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructive way with emerging technologies.
  5. Learning that incorporates real life experiences is not occurring enough and is undervalued when it does take place.
  6. Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and thus are not part of traditional learning metrics.

For this assignment, I chose to focus on the rise in importance of digital media literacy in schools.

Reflection

After reading through the six challenges schools face when adopting any new technology, I immediately knew which challenge I wanted to focus on. At my school, there is little to no training in the skills and techniques of digital media literacy. We have professional development days, but they do not focus on integrating technology in the classroom. Also at my school, there is not a lot of turnover amongst teachers. Once teachers get hired, they typically continue teaching here until they retire. This can be great for collaboration, predictability, and fluidity amongst teachers. However, this tends to have a negative impact on our school because teachers tend to teach the same way year after year unless they learn a new way to teach the same material. Without technology-focused training for our staff, our students are not going to learn the digital media literacy skills needed in order to be successful 21st century learners.

References

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012).NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium

Xtranormal was used to create the video. http://www.xtranormal.com