Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bumper Sticker

So, I got carried away to really make this bumper sticker demonstrate and wrap up my thoughts about my technological curse and what EdTech 501 did for me. Because there is sound and animation effects, it seemed like a simple image would have not done this bumper sticker justice. Therefore, I embedded with authorstream…

By using authorstream, I chipped another piece away from my technological curse. I figured out how to rewrite the embed code AND GOT IT TO WORK!! This is thanks to Barbara’s tutorial on her website and the instructions she wrote up on Clarify-It. This was actually easier for me since the image didn’t look very nice once it was a jpeg…it was really blurry and hard to read, so there is still a little bit of curse left that I need to overcome!

Overall, I really feel better about tackling how to get things to work on the computer. And we learned about all these awesome websites to help you do expectional work on the computer, hardly any I was aware of prior to EdTech 501. I was skeptical about several, like Diigo and Delicious, but now I use them all the time. Zotero will be priceless as will be wordpress. Getting a good start on this website/blog for the M.E.T. program has been an amazing accomplishment. I can’t believe how many things we have posted just from the first class in the master’s program. I am very happy with all that I have learned.

Now onto EdTech 502 Fall 2012!! – Angie

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Filed under 3.1 Media Utilization, EdTech 501

School Environment Evaluation

THE ASSIGNMENT:

This assignment incorporated an evaluation of technology within our own school and ended up being quite more involved than I anticipated. We were to fill out a survey about how our own schools are doing involving technology. There were four levels of possible choices which included Emergent, Islands, Integrated and Intelligent, where Intelligent would be the highest possible rating. We were to rank the main five topics regarding Administrative, Curricular, Support, Connectivity, and Innovation. Then each of these topics had subcategories, which also had subcategories. In the end, we were to evaluate and comment on 38 different rankings.

MY REFLECTION:

Going into this assignment, I was assuming my school, “Freedom High School”, would have come out with the highest rankings. However, after completing this survey, I realize my school and district still have a way to go before we could claim the highest ranking of Intelligent. Although our school(s) have a great Infrastructure, the school and district have a lot of work to do before technology is truly embedded in all curriculum at all grade levels for all students. For example, every year the district is spending tons of money on adopting new curriculum in all topic areas, but is still buying it in the form of books. I imagine they would save money in the long run by buying iPads for all students and then having students download the books they need. Or I know all our math books are now available on-line, so students don’t all have to check out a book. Instead I retain a class set of books in the classroom. Now not a single student has to carry a huge math books to and from school. The wear and tear on my geometry books is far less than those teachers requiring students to bring books to and from school.

By issuing iPads, it would also solve some of the digital divide we have within our own school. Many students do not have computers and/or internet, but if the school district would issue them an iPad with wireless connection it would also solve this problem.

Another problem is the district is now mandating students and parents to do all student account processing on-line. But not all families have internet access at home. If all students were issued an iPad, then the district could go completely paperless knowing they have issued every enrolled family with an iPad. Wouldn’t this save money in the long run?

HERE IS THE SURVEY:

EVALUATION OF SURVEY:

AECT STANDARDS:

The standards that align with this assignment include 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.3 and 5.4 as described in the EdTech 501 course syllabus. For a further description of each standard, either click on the specific standard at the upper right. Or click on “a complete listing” at the right and all the standards will be listed.

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Filed under 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, 4.1 Project Management, 4.2 Resource Management, 5.1 Problem Analysis, 5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation, 5.4 Long-Range Planning, EdTech 501

Technology Use Planning Overview

https://i1.wp.com/ww2.bullittschools.org/technology/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/TechPlanLogo.gif

WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY USE PLANNING?:

A simplistic viewpoint to describe Technology Use Planning is to look at what a school (or other organization) currently has for technology and envision where they would like to be in the future. (Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan, 1996)

There are several characteristics that help to make an effective Technology Use Plan. According to John See in his article “Developing Effective Technology Plans” in 1992, components that are necessary for an effective Tech Use Plan comprise of keeping plans short term, what outcomes the school wants to achieve, helps everyone work smarter not harder, manages instruction, has curriculum applications, defines technology beyond the idea of hardware, embeds technology within the curriculum, includes immediate and long-term staff development , discusses funding as part of the annual budget, takes into account on-site technical support, provides adequate hardware and software, is designed by the staff who will be implementing the plan, and focuses on a long-term vision. Whether or not all of these ideas hold true today would be a matter of opinion and/or the changes we have seen in technological advancement over the past 20 years.

A more recent document from the National Educational Technology Plan 2010 lists some current day qualities vital for a successful plan. The plan contains the ideas to provide quality access to technology, train a technologically proficient staff, use a technology rich curriculum, keep learning a student centered activity, continually evaluate the plan, and be sure to provide funding and leadership. Several of these ideas overlap with See’s ideas from 1992. Having a well developed Technology Use Plan in place will benefit education tremendously as described throughout this document.

SHORT TERM VERSUS LONG TERM PLANS:

Although See emphasizes short term plans for a successful Technology Use Plan, I believe long term goals also need to be taken into consideration. You have to spend a lot of money to continually support technology while keeping the long term in mind. This could prevent you from making immediate purchases that could have been spread out over time. Again, times have changed, and although everyone in a school may not have the exact same hardware or operating system, the networking of it still all works together as a whole. Sometimes it takes multiple years to slowly trade out older hardware or software to replace it with upgrades as now there are many more computers within a facility then there were in 1992.

My particular school district now has a technology levy to fund the districts technological needs. However, this required having the foresight of a long-term plan; how to fund hardware, software and employ a continual on-site tech support person year after year in every building. Without this levy, we would surely struggle. Therefore, thank you to all the voters who have supported renewing the levy every few years or so. It was even passed recently amongst difficult economic times.

However, what if one day our tech levy does not pass? What do other school district’s do that have trouble passing a levy? A long-term funding solution needs to be put in place in Washington State, otherwise, continuation of this type of process is creating an even larger digital inequality. The socioeconomic areas that can afford a levy will have better technology than those areas who cannot fund a levy.

APPLICATIONS VERSUS TECHNOLOGY:

In regards to John See’s idea that applications need to be focused on more than the technology itself, I do not completely agree. I believe both applications and technology should be considered, not one or the other. Without the technology how do you have any applications? Without applications of technology, why have any technology? These two ideas must remain intertwined.

NETP 2010 AS A RESOURCE FOR PLANNING:

The NETP 2010 or National Educational Technology Plan 2010 is an excellent resource when designing a Technology Use Plan. It explains in detail “a model of learning powered by technology, with goals and recommendations in five essential areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity.” (NETP 2010) Technology is the crucial tool to help achieve the goals of the NETP 2010. The goals include increasing the percentage of our population that graduate from college (from about 41% to 60%) as well as the goal of having more high school graduates prepared to attend college.

The first essential area is about learning. It focusing on using technology to offer more personalized learning environments for students. The idea is to better understand the who, what, when, where and how behind learning. For example, do all students need to really achieve success in mathematics at the calculus level? Or do all students have to go to six classes every day? The document encourages schools to think outside of the traditional school model. Another important aspect of the learning piece is empowering the student. By offering alternative means of learning, technology will help to draw in more students who will want to learn because they enjoy using technology. NETP 2010 truly wants to see all students learning well and becoming lifelong learners.

Assessment was an additional essential area to concentrate on by applying technological improvements. This is a topic that is long overdue for a nation wide adjustment in what assessment should look like. While I do not agree with showing teachers even more statistics, I do believe there is a better way to analyze assessments with more detail. Details about specific topics and how each student or small group of students perform in each topics. With evens today’s technology we should be able to do this better. However, in Washington State we currently receive little to no feedback about how our individual students performed on the state math exams. A vague reference for a school wide group of students to improve in probability and statistics is little to no help for an individual teacher to improve their covering of content within their own classroom. The national test for AP Calculus does a bit better describing which topics need improvement, however, the reports are still not detailed enough and the technology is available to do so. Could my students find related rates, integrals, or derivatives? The average score for a very involved free response question does not help me know which part of the question students understood and within which portions of the question they needed more help.

The third essential area outlined involves teaching. By using more technology in the classroom, the NETP 2010 hopes to “empower [teachers] to create, manage, and assess engaging relevant learning experiences.” (NETP 2010) And to create students who are “learning both in and out of school.” (NETP 2010) In fact shouldn’t all educational plans, technology or otherwise, include these ideas?

A critical piece of the NETP 2010, incorporates infrastructure. This discusses the need for technology equipment and internet access to be readily available to all teachers and students. A technology use plan would be wise to consider this piece first and foremost. Because without the actual equipment, many students are at a severe disadvantage and caught in a digital inequality. Personally, I know I have students without computers at home and/or internet access, therefore I am limited in what I can assign in terms of technology outside of school. And the school library closes shortly after school is dismissed. So how can a student be expected to do a lot of work on the computer outside of the school day when they have just over one hour of free access. Until the issue of a digital divide is addressed, we will be slow to reach a goal of 60% of students obtaining post high school degrees.

The final essential element discusses productivity. This idea encourages the use of technology “to rethink basic assumptions and redesign our education system.” (NETP 2010) It goes on to state that one assumption to reconsider is “seat time as a measure of educational attainment.” (NETP 2010) It was developed in the late 1800’s… Another assumption to reconsider is “organizing students in age-determined groups.” (NETP 2010) Already this is done in the area of mathematics, but has developed a negative title of tracking. It also discusses utilizing “more flexible scheduling that fits students’ individual needs rather than traditional academic periods.” (NETP 2010)

The National Education Technology Plan 2010, does an excellent job of addressing why we don’t have a higher percentage of students ready for college and obtaining college degrees. The same technique of teaching in high schools (and colleges as well) via a stand and deliver approach within a traditional six period day may be getting the nation 41% of the population to a college degree, but it is also holding us back from doing better. Technology can be the way to engage more student interest, keep them interested and encourage them to seek more information…watching students with their cell phones and iPhones during the school day should be a powerful indicator of what it takes to gain the attention of a student, technology.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH TECH USE PLANS:

My math dept restructured the math storage closet into a computer lab. To accomplish this, we convinced the principal to help by funding the reconstruction of the room. Then the math department consolidated the small numbers of computers from each math classroom into the one lab. Now instead of just having a few computers in each classroom and only a few students able to work on them, a full class could go to the lab and all students could actually participate. It also helped the entire school by providing another lab that all subjects could utilize.

Part of an extension of this new computer lab was that I wrote a grant with a co-worker and received $7000 from our local schools foundation. The money was used to fund the fee for the on-line class that students would be using. The course was a math lab where students could work on math independently based on individual needs. Most students were enrolled to support their own remedial needs. However there were students that self selected the course to work independently and get ahead of their current math level. The classroom was very heterogeneous as students could be enrolled in the same section but be working on anything from pre-algebra to pre-calculus. The classroom worked just as NETP 2010 describes: all students were working because you put that computer in front of them and they were more interested in being on task. And they didn’t have to follow what anyone else needed help with as they could solely focus on themselves and their own needs and questions.

In addition, just a few years ago, I was on the district’s math adoption committee to update curriculums for our Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2 courses. Once we choice a curriculum, I helped to promote the idea of supplying classroom sets of TI-Nspires for every math teacher teaching the new curriculum. Thus, this also helped to break down the digital inequality in the classroom regarding those that have graphing calculators and those that do not.

Some good outcomes I have seen or experienced includes the school district’s tech levy as explained earlier. Also, I now enjoy the implementation of e-mail versus double digit numbers of pieces of paper in my teacher mailbox everyday. Currently, there is not a single piece of paper put into my mailbox for days. E-mail also made it possible to complete correspondence at any time of the day or night which helps everyone when there are busy schedules involved. It also easily creates a record of all teacher and parent correspondence. Then there was the establishment of the world wide web which was an amazing invention and opened up the availability of information exponentially. And also makes the world seem so much smaller and accessible.

However, I have also seen some outcomes that were not positive. These include purchasing technology but then it is not utilized. The technology or software is purchased but without professional development to train staff how to use it. Or training does occur but without immediate application therefore how to use it is quickly forgotten. And several of these issues involve a lack of time to immerse oneself into the learning of technology. High school teachers continue to be a 1 to 150 ratio which consumes most of one’s time dealing with what used to be paperwork is now a time consuming data entry job. The NETP 2010 mentions that we should rethink the basic assumption about how we still traditional structure schools and keeping a teacher to student ratio this unbalanced is a symptom of an ongoing problem. I have worked both full-time and part-time as a teacher. As a part-time teacher with fewer students (and a part-time paycheck) but still working full-time hours, I was more able to help students and be more creative about it. Nonetheless, it is frowned upon in our district and building to be a part-time employee. Administration has subtle ways of making part-time employees lives harder without breaking any rules. Whereas, the Department of Education may embrace the idea of lowering the number of students per teacher to free up the time to prepare better student centered class activities.

   

AECT STANDARDS:

The following AECT Standards apply to this assignment: 1.2, 3.3, 3.4, all of standard 4, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.4.

REFERENCES:

Al-Weshail, A., Baxter, A., Cherry, W., Hill, E., Jones, C., Love, L., … Woods, J. (1996) Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan. Mississippi State University. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf

See, J., (1992) Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher 19(8). Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming american education learning powered by technology: National educational technology plan 2010 executive summary. (DOE Contract No. ED-04-CO-0040) Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf.

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Filed under 1.2 Message Design, 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, 3.4 Policies and Regulations, 4.1 Project Management, 4.2 Resource Management, 4.3 Delivery System Management, 4.4 Information Management, 5.1 Problem Analysis, 5.2 Criterion-Referenced Measurment, 5.4 Long-Range Planning, EdTech 501

Ethical Issues in Educational Technology

DIGITAL INEQUALITY ASSIGNMENT: Our Group Project

WHAT I LEARNED:

For this assignment, I not only learned about digital inequalities, I experienced it. When the due date changed, it put me in a very difficult position; I was going on vacation for two weeks which had been planned and paid for last fall. So I packed my laptop for the trip, but when I arrived I did not have internet access for the first five days, then I did for two days, then I did not again for three days and then finally did have access for 3 more days as the due date was approaching. This was a true example of a digital inequality as my group members were starting and I could only text message one other group member to receive and give input. So now my family and I are back at home and all restoration of internet access and equipment has been restored.

But this isn’t the case for students who may have a permanent digital inequality. These students are at a huge disadvantage and I can completely relate to any and all of their frustrations. One of my favorite parts of the presentation is to provide free wireless service for everyone everywhere. This would have solved my issue when I had the necessary equipment but no internet access.

Another thing I enjoyed about this assignment was learning about the three main things that hold back many in our society from being technologically sufficient: having the equipment, having internet access and learning how to use it all. I think I have personally hit a roadblock at any of these three things at one time or another while completing this EdTech 501 course. And I have the resources to overcome any of the three limiting factors. But imagine someone who does not have the money to purchase the technology, or doesn’t have internet and/or the money to pay for it, or opportunities to learn how to use it all. Any student in this situation is at huge disadvantage within the educational system. As a society, we must figure out a way to stop limiting technology between those that have and those that have not.

WORKING WITH MY GROUP:

What an awesome group! Because of the organizational set up and start by Kim and Rashell stepping up to do the narration and Tyler setting up the power point and dealing with the downloads, I was able to step in when I did have internet access to help edit, polish and finish the group project after reading the research. I was very worried about working with a group on the internet, never seeing anyone face-to-face and being on vacation.

My original plan before the due date change, was to use my one late pass for the individual tech trends assignment since I knew vacation was going to severely interfere with my ability to access the internet. But thanks to how this group naturally laid out the duties for each group member, it was a huge success. My largest contributions were helping to get pictures for every slide, dealing with the difficulties of the authorstream embedding (Thanks to Barbara for helping with this!), and aligning the AECT standards for the group.

HERE IS THE RESULTING PRESENTATION:

AECT STANDARDS:

The following standards are relevant to the Digital Inequality Assignment for the subsequent reasons. Like the Tech Trends Lesson Plan, this week’s assignment includes a vast array of standards that were addressed.

Standard 1.2 is applicable due to the more difficult planning involved to physically plan and present this assignment with a group involved over long distances.

Also, standard 2.2 is appropriate since the final document included audio and visual technologies to deliver the message our group was presenting. In addition, computer-based technologies from standard 2.3 are frequently valid whenever a student delivers materials using a micro-processor.

Because the Digital Inequality Assignment involves adopting our group’s plan to reduce the digital divide and digital inequalities in Washington State, therefore standard 3.2 relates. And the presentation includes actions to help develop state policy as standard 3.4 discusses.

Standard 4.2 and 4.4 should both be included because the presentation involves planning, monitoring and controlling technological resources provided for the general population, especially those in need or without any technology.

Finally standard 5.4 applies because the presentation involves long-range planning. The ordering of the plan discusses what needs to be done immediately, in the near future and beyond.

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Filed under 1.2 Message Design, 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, 3.4 Policies and Regulations, 4.2 Resource Management, 4.4 Information Management, 5.4 Long-Range Planning, EdTech 501