EdTech 541 Reflection and Final Evaluation

Part I – EdTech 541 Reflection

What have you learned?
This course has taught me a lot about technology integration in the classroom. It has opened my eyes to the relative advantage of choosing to integrate various technologies into your teaching while making sure they are accessible for all students. Through having to use the resources that were recommended and resources that I discovered, I now have a great list of tools I will be able to immediately use and share.

How the course work demonstrates mastery of the AECT standards:
Throughout EdTech 541, we created projects that centered around Design, Development, and Utilization. Below, you will find each project I completed throughout the course, and the corresponding AECT Standard.  The projects that we created not only met these standards, but they allowed us to create lessons, presentations, and projects that will empower our students to be evolving digital citizens. Even though my focus was mainly on high school business students, this course helped me to think as an educational technologist on how to create an effective classroom environment that incorporates technology utilization in the classroom. This course aligned with the EdTech Mission Statement and the College of Education’s Conceptual Framework.

How you have grown professionally?
This course has helped me think outside the box by thinking more as an an educational technologist and less as a business/leadership teacher. I was able to come up with many useful lessons, presentations, and projects that integrate technology for my business class, while simultaneously making me look at things through a broader lens.

How theory guided development of the projects and assignments you created?
This course has really solidified my belief that students and teachers alike learn best through doing. With technology, the best way to develop mastery is to actually use the tools rather than hear about them or see them being used. In the projects I created for my students, I centered them around using the technology tools to enhance their learning. 

Part II – Blogging Assessment

Overall – 118/140pts

Content (60/70)- In everything I posted, I tried to have some type of real-world connection. However, I could have been more detailed in these posts.

Readings and Resources (18/20) – I supported my blog comments with readings, but most of them were not from the textbook that was required of us.

Timeliness (10/20) – This is the one I struggled with the most. I completed all of the postings except one, but a lot of them were done Monday afternoon instead of early on in the week where other students could have commented on them.

Responses to Other Students (28/30) – I responded to other students quite often, but the content could have been more rich.

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Computer Lab Accessibility

This past spring my high school just  updated our three computer labs with 35 new desktop computers in each lab. Each computer has a standard monitor, keyboard and mouse. Even though all of these accessories are great, we do not have any alternative accessories for students that have any sort of disability. Our labs do have enough room for wheelchair accessibility, but we do not have any tables that are height adjustable.

In order to provide computer access for all students, I believe each computer lab needs to designate 5 computers in each lab for students with disabilities. These 5 computers would sit on adjustable tables ($150) and have headphones ($18), ZoomText ($600), and WiVik ($400). ZoomText is a computer software that zooms in on screen text and will read specific text back to user. WiVik is a virtual keyboard software that predicts text and helps students who have difficulties with standard keyboards.

I believe that with the addition of the above items, our computer lab would be accessible for all students regardless of their disability. Even though this would be quite a financial investment, it would be worth it to ensure equal access for all students.

Resources

AI Squared. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.aisquared.com.

Department of Justice. (2010). 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Retrieved from http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm

School Outfitters. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.schooloutfitters.com.

Obstacles and Solutions

The two biggest obstacles of technology integration in schools is a lack of professional development and resistance to change. Both of these obstacles revolve around teachers, yet one is at the district level of professional development, and one is an intrinsic motivator.

According to the NMC Horizon Report: K-12 Edition, there are six significant challenges to technology integration in K-12 Education.

  1. Ongoing professional development needs to be valued and integrated into the culture of the schools.
  2. Too often it is education’s own practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies.
  3. New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to traditional
    models of schooling.
  4. K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.
  5. The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.
  6. We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should.

When I evaluate the top two significant challenges to technology integration, I come up with one common theme: time. It takes time to learn a new tool, and it takes time to re-evaluate your current way of teaching to integrate technology. With increased class sizes and decreased support, time is what teachers are needing, but time is not what they are getting. In order to fully come up with a solution for this technology integration, districts need to find ways to give teachers more time.

References

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

Student Safety on the Web

The Internet has become the greatest resource for students. With the evolution of technology, they have access to friends, data, information, games, images, news and more at their fingertips. With this, however,  comes a lot of responsibility and it is our job as teachers to guide students in their internet decisions.

Below are four guidelines that high school students can use while using the internet:

1. Know your privacy settings
If your profile is public, make sure you only post things you would want your grandma to see…because she might. If your profile is private, it still doesn’t mean you should post any private information about yourself or your family that you wouldn’t want the world to know. You never know who your “new friend” is.

2. Pause before you post
Know what your current mind-set is before you post. Maybe you should wait until the next day before posting anything that could be harmful or funny at the time.  Once again, go back to the grandma analogy.

3. Cyberbullying is not ok.
In fact, it is often more harmful than physical bullying. Unlike physical bullying, these words, images and any other harmful material can be seen by a mass audience and are permanently stored online. Make sure you let a responsible adult know if you or someone else is being cyberbullied.

4. Not everyone has to be your friend.
They may look good in their profile picture, but you never know who is the real person behind the image. If they are not your friend in the real-world, do they need to be your friend online? There is a song by Brad Paisley called “Online” you should listen to. 

https://sos.fbi.gov/
This is a great site put together by the FBI. It is designed to help teachers teach students about internet safety. There are 6 different grade-specific units and they integrate games throughout.

http://www.isafe.org/outreach/media/media_tips
T
his site is put together by the non-profit iSAFE that specializes in educating and empowering youth to make smart decisions when online.

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/internet-safety-tips-high-school-kids
T
his site is by Common Sense Media and focuses on how to keep high school students safe while using the internet.

http://www.netsmartz.org/resources/pledges
T
his is a great resource for all ages that was developed by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Here, there are “pledges” that students can take that will help spur conversation between students and parents regarding internet safety.

Relative Advantage of Using Spreadsheets and Databases in Education

Spreadsheets have been around long before Google, Microsoft, or Apple ever created any type of way to organize data on a computer. What originally began as a resource for accountants has now become a necessity in the classroom. According to Roblyer & Doering, teachers use spreadsheets to save time, organize displays of information, support asking “what if” questions, and to increase motivation to work with mathematics.

One of the great things about the evolution of spreadsheets is how they have evolved into being web-based. What started as a paper-based ledger has now become a collaborative online document that can be accessed by computer, tablet, smartphone, or any other internet accessible device.

Check out this site to see four examples of how to integrate databases and spreadsheets into your teaching.

Resources

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

Relative Advantage of Using Slide Presentations

Slide presentation software have been used since the early 90’s throughout education and the business world. What started out as simple text has evolved into interactive, colorful, and engaging way of communicating information. When done right, a presentation can keep the audience engaged through audio, visual, and interaction. If done wrong, your audience is bored, disengaged, and does not learn the information.

The most common presentation tools used today are Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Prezi, and Apple’s Keynote. All of these presentation platforms are designed to relay information in an engaging way. However, often times the information is poorly delivered through overuse of text, and non-complementing graphics.

Regardless of which presentation software you are using, one must remember the following ten tips by Garr Reynolds in order to communicate information most effectively.

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Limit bullet points and text
  3. Limit transitions and animation
  4. Use high-quality graphics
  5. Have a visual theme, but avoid templates
  6. Use appropriate charts
  7. Use color well
  8. Choose your fonts well
  9. Use audio or video
  10. Segment information

 

Resources

Gaskins, R., (2012, July 30). ViewPoint: How PowerPoint changed Microsoft and my life. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19042236

Reynolds, G., (2013). Top ten slide tips. Retreived from: http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/design/