Monthly Archives: June 2012

Horizon Report Tech Trend

After viewing the Horizon Report 2012 summary video and reading a lot of the actual report, I thought I would try to write a lesson that utilizes the classroom set of TI-Nspires that our district purchased for every teacher involved in teaching our 2011 the curriculum adoption. This way I could write a new geometry lesson plan that all the teachers in our district could use as well as any teacher that teaches geometry. The lesson plan includes three critical components including a wireless mobile device, Complex Instruction, and Discovering Geometry section 2.5.

If you are unfamiliar with the new Nspires and how they work, they could fall under the category of mobile devices and their increasing use over the next year or two. Texas Instruments (TI) has rapidly turned these calculators into wireless mobile devices for mathematics classrooms. When a teacher also has a TI-Navigator system to link to all the calculators in the room, the teacher can send pre-made documents to students to complete the work described or have students completely create their own document which is what my lesson does for this assignment. The Navigator also allows the teacher to view what all students are doing on their screens, and collect information from students, such as completed documents, polling results and even quizzes. In my building, one teacher does all of his quizzes in this manner now and the quizzes are automatically scored for the teacher giving the teacher and student immediate feedback about student understanding.

Because this mobile device is already readily available in my mathematics classroom, and many others, I chose to write a lesson plan utilizing the Nspire calculator as a mobile device. I chose this mobile device because students are eager to get any mobile device in their hands. They are so intrigued to learn and use technology in any venue, it makes sense that we do it in the classroom to maintain student attention. Also, one of the applications available is a geometry program allowing students to design pictures and measure accurately the results of the situation. The geometry program allows teachers to design lessons that more quickly allow students to discover relationships and therefore students retain the information better and have ownership to their knowledge. This lesson specifically addresses discovering the relationships with linear pair angles and vertical angles.

Also involved with this lesson plan is a group learning technique called Complex Instruction (CI). CI is an amazing way to organize your classroom for successful group work. Before I was trained about using the CI technique last year, my group work in the math classroom was mostly ineffective and allowed too many students to “opt out” of the activity. CI changed all that for me. In just one school year, my group discovering activities have been extremely successful.

The following outlines the main ideas of the lesson:

The task card mentioned can be found on my school district website in the files I provide for students to access when absent:

Task Card for Lesson Plan

The idea behind a task card is to give students guidance throughout the activity. The CI training emphasized to only give out one task card for every two students which is to encourage those sitting together to work together. I noticed it brought kids into an opportunity to have a conversation about the activity. Task cards work very well.

I greatly enjoyed completing this assignment as it is a lesson I plan to use next school year instead of the activity students did using patty paper, rulers, protractors and pencil. Although the activity I had in place was successful, I will prefer this lesson using the Nspire mobile devices. I think my students will enjoy it also!

The AECT Standards that apply to this assignment are numerous. Standard 1.1 applies because you really need to design the lesson such that a mobile device will be effective to gain the desired results. Standard 1.2 and 1.3 apply because you need to think through the various ways in which the lesson will physically flow smoothly throughout from start to finish. Standard 2.1 is relevant due to the printed task card being an integral part of Complex Instruction. And because the mobile device is the Nspire calculator, a computer-based technology, then 2.3 is a significant standard. Finally, Standard 4.1 is relevant due to the Complex Instructional design used throughout the school year in my classroom.

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Filed under 1.1 Instructional Systems Design, 1.2 Message Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 2.1 Print Technologies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 4.1 Project Management, EdTech 501

Zotero Beginnings

Zotero is an amazing organizational tool to keep track of anyone’s research progress. This program does so many things to make your life easier, it makes me wonder how we did anything prior to the existence of technology and the World Wide Web.

   One thing I discovered, and was warned about in advance, was to make sure to download Zotero with Firefox. I did not believe this at first as the Zotero download page assures that you can use a standalone version, however it is not nearly as user friendly with the Mozilla Firefox software. The programs run very smoothly together. And despite warnings from skeptics, Firefox has not appeared to slow down the functionality of my computer, yet. As new computers keep increasing their RAM and hard drive memory capacities, things seem to be getting easier to use successfully.

My first learning experience regarding Zotero involved its functionality. It will open in conjunction with any webpage you are investigating. Then when you find something that seems relevant to your research, you can just simply select the inserted Zotero icon to save the book, article or webpage information. You can also enter all information manually if the document does not automatically link with Zotero. Then as you build a library of information, which can become overwhelming extremely quick, you can sort and organize your collection of books, articles, journals, etc. into categories and subcategories. Where was Zotero when I was in college?!

Because I am a huge fan of organizational systems and being organized in general, the assignment to create my first bibliography using Zotero was really fun! Well, maybe it was fun once I figured out what all the buttons do within the Zotero program. As I struggle with my technological curse, there are always some things that slow me down. The following is the resulting bibliography I created when researching Educational Technology and Mathematics.

Bossé, M. (2003). When equalities are not equal: Missing mathematical precision in teaching, texts, and technology. College Mathematics Journal, 34(5), 383. doi:10.2307/3595822

Christensen, R. (2002). Instruments for assessing the impact of technology in education. Computers in the Schools, 18(2-3), 5–25. doi:10.1300/J025v18n02_02

Lowerison, G., Sclater, J., Schmid, R., & Abrami, P. (2006). Are we using technology for learning?  Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 34(4), 401-425. doi:10.2190/ER58-3H7P-Y8FK-U8F7

Milner, H. (2006). The digital divide. Comparative Political Studies, 39(2), 176–199. doi:10.1177/0010414005282983

Schreyer-Bennethum, L. (2011). Evaluating the incorporation of technology and application projects in the higher education mathematics classroom. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 42(1), 53–63. doi:10.1080/0020739X.2010.510216

Zotero did most of the bibliography work in setting up the correct formatting when following the APA guidelines. There were several things to fix I need to remember for the future such as, Zotero did not capitalize correctly, it did not alphabetize the chosen results, and it did not provide the DOI information. The hardest thing to do here is find the DOI numbering system, but using a website such as CrossRef,  http://www.crossref.org/guestquery/ , made it quick and easy to do.

Now I just have to figure out how to read all of these articles at the on-line Library. But I am very glad that the EdTech 501 course is teaching us all this technology, one step at a time.

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June 25, 2012 · 9:34 pm

RSS for Education

Teaching Resources RSS Bundle

Upon embarking with the RSS Feeds hunt, I come to find out, many of my frequented sites do not have an RSS Feed option. This is quite disappointing especially since several of these sites are related to my own school district. However, my classroom website that I began developing about two years ago does have an RSS Feed.

I have discovered some uses of an RSS Feed prior to EdTech 501. My own students have been able to subscribe to my website. Within the website, I use the blog to report about what we do each day in class, in a files menu option I post documents and put important upcoming dates on a calendar. Many students utilize the RSS Feed option and therefore they automatically receive any updates that I make on my website. It is fabulous because they don’t have to guess when I have made updates and added information. For example, if a student checks my website at 4pm, but I update at 4:15pm, they might think I won’t be adding anything that day. By having the subscription, it takes all guess work out of checking a website maintained by an inconsistant individual (aka…a mom who updates when she has the chance)!!

The downside to my website RSS Feed that I am finding out while working on this assignment, is the RSS feed sends out updates for everything associated with my website. For example, if I update information for Geometry, then my AP Calculus BC students don’t need it, but they receive it anyway. I am going to be looking into how to change that for the better.

One of the news related websites I visit is King5News.com. They had an excellent RSS Feed option. You can pick among many very specific topics so you don’t receive everything, which could be overwhelming. For example, I mainly read about high school sports results, the weather and educational articles. The following is a link to their set up…

http://www.king5.com/content-toolbar/rss

Additionally, I absolutely love the RSS Feeds bundle option on Google Reader. When educators already have so little time, this ability to go to one place to see what has been going on while teaching, planning and grading all day could really save teachers time. Now we just need more websites to add an RSS feature so teachers just need to set up a bundle once. Later they could add or take away RSS Feeds as needed within Google Reader.

I believe the following AECT Standards apply to the RSS Feeds Assignment:  1.2 Message Design, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.1 Media Utilization, and 4.3 Delivery System Management. These standards seem well aligned with this EdTech assignment about RSS Feeds.

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Filed under 1.2 Message Design, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.1 Media Utilization, 4.3 Delivery System Management, EdTech 501

EdTech Learning Log On Word Press

I completed the Learning Log by setting up a blog on Word Press…Week 2 of EdTech 501. DONE!
Overcoming the Technological Curse during week 2, mission accomplished.

While setting up this website, or blog, I have learned a lot about word press. Just like most technologies, it is about learning your way around the programming and all the options that accompany it. I think I am getting the hang of wordpress.com now! I am looking forward to using this more and adding to this website. It will be quite the work or technological art once folks complete the M.E.T. program.

To complete this learning log, I learned how to name the blog, completed an Intro Post as well as two other posts, worked a lot with the reformatting aspects of the wordpress blog, and saved the URL to the Moodle site. Reformatting included a lot more than just removing or changing the sample posts and comments. It really included correctly embedding (not just linking) the Intro Video from YouTube, creating posts, categories, pages, widgets, and tags, and then correctly meshing them all together.

I think I am now understanding the organizational structure being used by WordPress. I am a visual learner and like to be able to “see” what is going on with the layers of a website. It makes it easier for me to navigate through the various components.

I am surprised this assignment was only worth 20 points as it is a vital aspect to complete the M.E.T. program. After reading some other folks comments about this assignment, it seems like we all put in a lot of time figuring the ins and outs of wordpress…well on to week #3 and further overcoming the Technological Curse!

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Filed under 5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation, EdTech 501

Introduction Video by Angie Kruzich

This was our first assignment for the M.E.T. program in EdTech 501. It was quite a learning experience.

There were a lot of firsts for me when making this video. I had not made such an elaborate slide show before other than power point. Eventually, I figured out how to add sound and special effects to the slide show. Also, I was cropping pictures to improve the quality and limit any pictures that were too busy with extra background distractions. Some of the pictures were aligned to match the lyrics in the Bon Jovi song I chose. In addition, I used a webcam for the first time and uploaded the entire resulting video onto YouTube…definitely another first.

“2.4 Integrated Technologies
Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer.”

This introduction video is definitely a form of media that we could use in our classrooms with our own students also. For example, you could do a webcam presentation of an important lesson and post it on a blog. Then students can access it at home if they were absent or if they needed the information repeated. Plus, students love YouTube.

I wish I had more time to do such elaborate side projects just for fun…this is a fantastic slide show to share with family. Now I just need a personal assistant at school to do all my grading for me so I can spend more time making great videos!!

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June 14, 2012 · 8:15 pm

Introductory Post

Hi…my name is Angie Kruzich. I have been teaching mathematics since 1992 and have been operating my own tutoring business since 2001. I work at Liberty High School located in Renton, Washington which is part of Issaquah School District. Currently, I am teaching AP Calculus BC and Geometry. And I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do so again next year as I embark upon the M.E.T program at Boise State University. I have been at Liberty for nine years now, and for five of those years I was the math department’s co-chair.

I have been married for 16 years to Boyd who lives to talk about it…still! We have a beautiful 11 year old daughter named Andrena. I love her name as it is unique but not too much so. We found her name in a baby book of 15,000 names and I didn’t want to name her after any of my students that I had during my first eight years of teaching. Then my mom actually found Andrena as a variation of Andrea and we loved it! I still haven’t met anyone with the same name. We also have a dog named Cola, who has been a handful lately. In his short two years with us, I could write an entire separate blog on his medical issues.

Our spare time is spent gardening, watching movies and attending Andrena’s soccer games. She is a goalkeeper and pretty good at it too as she is fearless on the field! I am very proud of her as I played goalie when I was her age. I ended up playing center mid after two years in goal but Andrena seems to love being in the goal box…I think it doesn’t involve as much running. Since I just signed on as the Team’s Manager, I imagine my spare time just disappeared.

This is actually my second blog. I do keep a blog already for my regular classroom. You can go read it anytime, especially if you are having trouble sleeping.

http://connect.issaquah.wednet.edu/high/liberty/staff/kruzicha/default.aspx

Our school district now mandates a “web presence”. I have found it to be extremely useful for students to access “me” outside of school. Students can read about what we did in class if they are absent, download documents for guided notes or study guides, check homework answers or check for important dates on my calendar. I just started the calendar recently, so I am still figuring out its uses. The documents are probably the most accessed items by students. Next year I would like to somehow get kids reading the blog entries more often.

Why I am pursuing a degree in Educational Technology involves several reasons. First of all, I want to be more proficient with different technologies and the EdTech 501 course is certainly helping us to dive right in. It is amazing how many different things I have been exposed to in just a few short weeks. I imagine by the end of the M.E.T. program we will be extremely proficient with many of these technologies. Also, I would really like to be able to use many of these technologies in my classroom. There is never enough time to learn everything and I am hoping this program will introduce me to things that I can integrate into my math classroom. Again, the 501 course already has!! Then of course, when a teacher has a Master’s Degree, it involves a pay raise. This is why I started looking for programs. But the Boise State M.E.T. program stood out as an excellent opportunity to help me improve and modernize my classroom.

Well time to go learn more about wordpress and its large amount of uses. I hope you enjoy reading my subsequent entries for EdTech 501.

-Angie Kruzich

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Filed under 1.4 Learner Characteristics, EdTech 501