Thursday, December 15, 2011

PSA post production reflection

My experience during this course was that of chaos, humility, creativity, and amazement. Sometimes I felt as if I couldn't do anything correctly, such as, when a type of software wasn't performing the way I thought it should, chaos! At other times I felt humility in the way that I needed to learn how to trust and rely on someone else to do part of the work for me, and that it's okay to ask for help if you don't know or understand how to perform a task. With working with a group of fellow educators, I felt the creativity of how a group of strangers can come together and build something without ever setting foot in the same room. This area of collaborative creativity allows us to know what our students are experiencing in our newly advanced technological society. While working on the PSA project I learned how to create videos, but while working with my group I learned how to create cohesive production. This will help me to assist my students when I assign them to work in groups on how to work together as a team to achieve a common goal!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week 5 Web conference for EDLD 5363 Multimedia & Video Technology

The web conference tonight answered many questions that a lot of us in 5363 had in mind.  Dr. Abernathy addressed the mistake in Epic regarding the final exam, and blog reflection questions.  She said that since we all don't see the final exam or blog refelction questions we are not required to complete these tasks for course credit.  She did however address what three main requirements we as a group and individuals needed to have completed and turned in for course credit for this week.  She spoke about current hardships she is experiencing and connected with all the students on a personal level.  We now know more about what is expected of us for the final week of our course and can comeplete our required tasks with comfidence!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Windows Movie Maker 2.6 Podcast

View my podcast tutorial discussing the basic functions and tools of Windows Movie Maker 2.6 by clicking on the link below.  Please leave any constructive comments that you feel will help me in the learning process of educational technology.  This week's assignment was some what difficult to complete, but mostly because the software suggested to use wasn't that user friendly.  The assignment itself was very informative and fun to do.  I'd never created a podcast before this assignment and it gave me the opportunity to obtain new knowledge in an area that interest our students and facilitates new learning environments.  The assignment also forced me, in some cases, to learn how to use new and interesting software.  Audacity is a type of software that records a persons voice in order to insert that recording into a video or podcast.  This will be very useful in creating new ways to connect with students.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jackson Hole Digital Story

This is a digital story I created for my week one assignment.  I created the digital story over a trip I took to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the summer of 2010.  I hope you enjoy the photos and storyline of some of the activities we experienced while visiting this awesome area of our country.  During the creation process it was difficult at times to know what to do.  I became frustrated many times, but in the end I was able to figure out what needed to be done in order to produce the digital story.  It was challenging, but interesting to practice at the design and implementation of the Photo Story software.  I am interested in creating new and exciting projects to share with my students, and see what type of creative projects they will create when making their own digital photo story.  Please leave constructive comments about what I could have done better and let me know what you liked about it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week 4: Action Research Plan

Please review my action research plan and leave any constructive comments you may have to help me progress during the implementation of my action research plan. 

Action Planning Template

Goal:  To offer nutrient dense food choices to the students and faculty at Weatherford High School to promote improved nutrition that will help support a better learning environment.

Action Steps  

1.  Obtain a copy of Weatherford High School’s current nutrition plan and food choices offered, and compare these choices with the current state guidelines for student nutrition.

2.  Survey 25 random boys and girls at WHS, and WHS faculty to assess their nutritional wants and needs.

3.  Compare the surveyed results and compile a list of suggested foods, which will be of a nutrient dense nature, to serve in the WHS cafeteria. 

Person(s) Responsible                      

1.  Matt Rhidenour


1.  8/2011- 12/2012

Needed Resources    

1.  The current nutrition plan for WHS and the current state guidelines for student nutrition

2.  A survey created that effectively represents the feelings and opinions of WHS students & faculty

3.  A spreadsheet that will easily compile the surveyed results in an orderly fashion for review


1.  Review survey submissions

2.  Make suggestions on nutrient dense food choices based on surveyed results

3.  Implement survey results according to what is feasible for the students and faculty of WHS

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 3 Action Research thoughts

During week 3 of action research, I have gained a broader perspective on what this project will entail.  My plan to address the nutrition choices and needs of the WHS students and faculty will be a long and tough road.  I will have to look at numerous current policies and guidelines in order to help in the best way possible.  There are many steps I will take in order to utilize all my resources for research including my principals, peers, students, and government agencies.  Gaining the opinions, perspectives, and rules I will need to help bring more nutrient dense food choices to WHS will be a challenge but a challenge that I hope will help to create a more nurturing environment to all at WHS.  I have also discovered this week how I will use surveys to gain opinions of the students and faculty at WHS to make this endeavor more meaningful to the students and my peers.  By conducting surveys I hope to engage the students and faculty in a way that gives them a feeling of self worth.  I want them to feel as if they had input in the decision of what types of nutrient dense foods that will be offered at WHS.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week 2 thoughts

In week two, I learned about new ideas for action research.  Our schools currently have multiple areas of concern with which the practice of action research can help greatly.  I have been able to look more deeply into what action research practices are, and what other school district's have done to improve aspects of their campus'.  I look forward to finding out new ideas to help my school run more efficiently and improve the overall campus environment for students and faculty.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Topic: Educational uses of Blogs

Teachers may use blogs to develop an open line of communication with students and parents using the internet.  By utilizing blogs in education students can take the classroom anywhere, whether they are on vacation, an extra curricular activity, or perhaps snowed in for four days.  Teachers can use blogs to share ideas and collaborate with faculty at their district, campus, or other campuses across the world.  Blogs can be used by students to answer questions about assignments, or see how their class score on a quiz/test averaged with other class periods.  Blogs can be used in many positive ways by teachers and students to facilitate a better learning environment for everyone.

Topic: Action Research

Action Research

I’ve learned that action research is a helpful tool for administrators to use in developing better plans of action for their campus.  It can help administrators grow closer to their faculty by organizing groups to come up with solutions and new practices for the campus.  Action research can help administrators and teachers to better understand what is happening on their campus, and provides a decision making process that helps to guide instruction on their campus.  It is also a form of continued professional development that helps to improve teaching and learning, and put the administrator in a guidance position to help their faculty in the implementation of new teaching principles.  Action research also helps administrators and faculty to be more open to new ideas and ways of thinking forming more diverse educators who are striving to achieve the same goals.  This creates a team atmosphere among faculty members, and this thought process starts to transcend from one classroom to the other.  Action research brings the faculty together so that instead of being one teacher with 250 students, they are team teachers that are teaching the entire student population.  Another aspect of action research is the reflective time an administrator must take in order to evaluate what’s best for the campus.  In the book, Leading with Passion and Knowledge, Dana (2009) a story about regular exercise is compared to inquiry.  In this situation Dana describes inquiry as something that must be scheduled into your day, week, month, and year in order to better facilitate a positive learning environment for students.  This is what we must all do, never settle for what we have done, but strive to do better every day for ourselves, our students, and our community.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

EDLD 5306 Course Reflections

EDLD 5306 Course reflections

            When I registered for the Instructional Technology program I believed that I would learn many aspects of technology.  During the beginning of the course I thought all I was going to learn was how to fill out a survey, but after the survey’s were completed I learned many new aspects of technology facilitation.  I learned on how to create blogs for public/private reading, wiki’s to plan and organize information, free technology to use in school’s, and a free video creation website.  All of these parts of technology are useful in the classroom, and I will do my best to incorporate these into my physical education classes.  Aspects I haven’t quite learned yet, but I think I will, are website and graphic design.  I will most certainly learn and develop those skills thru my completion of my internship plan and principal competencies and skills.  I completed the assignments with relative ease, but they did take a lot of time to do the work in a complete manner.  The assignments sometimes were difficult to figure out what was being expected, but the instructor’s assistant was very helpful in deciphering what was to be done in the week’s assignment.  I learned that things aren’t always as they seem in regards to the way others perceive Lamar’s online programs.  I had always been told they are a walk in the park, but I think this program is very in depth and will teach me many aspects of technology that I can pass on to my fellow faculty members.  I will take the knowledge that I learned from this course and be an ambassador for technology use in the classroom. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

National Education Technology Plan

The national education technology plan's main goals are 21st century learning, measuring what matters, improving learning through connected teaching, creating a set infrastructure, increasing productivity, and solving challenging problems. The learning level of the plan involves engaging and empowering our students learning experiences.  The model asks us to teach on a basis of what they need to know; how, when, and where they learn, and who needs to learn.  This type of learning involves using the newest forms of technology to engage students of every level regardless of race, social status, or disability.  It is trying to get us away from the one-size fits all ways of teaching.  Assessment needs to be converted for the 21st century learners as well by requiring new and better ways to assess learners by measuring what matters in order to diagnose strengths and weaknesses.  We need to initiate these assessments early enough in the learning process so that we can help to correctly teach our students before they get "set in their ways" of learning.  Once assessed we can use the data to effectively manage what our students need to learn, and what subject(s) in which they are already profficient.  The national technology plan also calls for a reinvention of the way educators are teaching our students.  Thru the use of technology the plan creates an environment for educators to fully connected within each others classrooms to facilitate more optimal learning.  It wants to strengthen and elevate educators to move into a connected classroom and away from the isolated classroom by using technology.  This idea creates an educator team environment is to use online tools and resources to keep students, educators, libraires, and even administrators together working on a common goal.  Another part of the 21st century technology plan is create a solid infrastructure of to provide students and educators the resources they need to teach and learn successfully.  The principle of the infrastructure model is to include people, processes, learning resources, policies, and substainable models for continuous improvement.  Reaching this objective will help to keep people on every level of education striving to acheive similar goals and educational values.  Improving productivity is the next step in the technology plan for the 21st century.  If education follows the business world of productivity where output meets input we will reach a higher level of learning with our students.  Productivity simply means if we teach our children using a process of "you will get out of this what you put into this" then our students can acheive greater success in learning.  In the business world workers have a goal or quota each day.  During the course of their workday they strive to meet that quota and if they are successful then their day has been productive.  In the classroom if we have a technology learning objective for our classes each day, and we work to meet that objective, then we can strive to be more successful in using technology in the classroom.  The reserach and development part of the plan creates a mission of serving the public good thru the use of research and development in the areas of science, technolgy, and education.  Thru "Grand challenge problems" we can bring together a community of sicentists and researchers to solve bigger problems facing our world.  they can design and validate a system that provides access to learning experiences, desgins and validates assessments, an approach for learning across many different learning platforms, and creates learning systems that are more cost efficient and reaches a broader range of expertise. 

The schools and libraires program A.K.A. "E-Rate"

<div style="width:425px" id="__ss_8207351"> <strong style="display:block;margin:12px 0 4px"><a href="" title="E rate presentation">E rate presentation</a></strong> <iframe src="" width="425" height="355" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe> <div style="padding:5px 0 12px"> View more <a href="> from <a href="> </div> </div>

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reflection on web conference 8/2/11

On June 2nd we had our first web conference with Ms. Borel and nine other students in the cohort.  We discussed a variety of topics about our first course EDLD 5306 and the program itself as a whole.  We went over required textbooks, our class cohort website, our internship and requirements, and the post web conference activity.  She also went into detail about the ISTE and Texas principal framework exams that we can take after completing our course to become certified instructional technologists or principals.  Ms. Borel also told us about the accreditation of Lamar University, that we will have 36 hours credit for the program, and that an 18 month internship is included during our time with the program.  She also discussed the field based activities and the course embedded hours during our internship.  She showed us the names and numbers of the courses we are going to be taking, our degree plan, and the internship requirements.  Finally we learned about the details of our comprehensive examination summative final report which is due at the end of our coursework.  She signed off with a few encouraging words and a nice good luck to all of us!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Technology plan summary for Weatherford ISD

The main goals of the technology plan of Weatherford ISD are integration of technology in all curricular areas, professional development in the use of technology, connectivity and infrastructure, and student/teacher/parent access to data.  The first strategy to implement these goals is to have an instructional technologist at each campus to provide professional development and help to integrate curriculum with technology.  Another strategy mentioned is to have Dell Mini 10 laptops given to all teachers who complete six hours of training at a level 1 proficiency of technology.  The next couple of strategies is to have a wireless laptop carts available at each campus by department or grade level, and to provide all students with a Windows Live email account.  More strategies involve the Infinite Campus SIS system that provides parent and students with a portal account in which they both can check progress, grades, and attendance, using Eduphoria to track and log faculty professional development seminars, and to a project share software Epsilen so that teachers can network to improve instructional strategies.  Final strategies of the plan include a customer service plan for improvement, increase bandwidth, internet filtering, antivirus software, and email archiving.  There are professional development opportunities available to take throughout the school year and during the summer as well.  A few examples are, Blended learning- your students with Epsilen, using the IPad and ITouch, teaching with Powerpoint, and digital storytelling: Moviemaker and Photo Story 3.  The professional development opportunities are setup by the technology department and they use instructors from their departments to teach the courses offered.  Yes there is a sufficient amount of funds to facilitate these professional development courses.  The hardware used is assessed by surveys from the technology department to students and teachers.  The feedback they receive is used to make changes to software, hardware, and other telecommunications services to further facilitate student learning.  The district evaluates the progress of technology by using the information collected in the student/teacher surveys.  They take this information and decide where our strengths and weaknesses are and then allocate funds and personell to improve our weaknesses and maintain our strengths.

Technology accessment of educators and students

Is there a need to assess the knowledge and skills that educators have with technology?  What about the skills of our students with regard to knowledge and skills of technology?  Of course there's a need to access these areas.  First of all we must know, as educators, where we stand in regards to the use, instruction, and professional development of technology.  As educators we must know how to use the equipment we are working with.  This quote from, Document management tools Quick tips for saving time space and patience (McLeod) states, "A quick scan turns my memos, articles, reports, monthly bills, and other papers into searchable PDF or Microsoft word documents. I then can throw the papers into the trash or shredder, knowing that I can retrieve them digitally in just a few seconds-and the amount of paper I have lying around is drastically reduced."  Now if an educator sees this quote and can't make out what a scanner is then this article will not be much help to that educator.  We must assess what our educators know so that they can be taught through, professional development, the skills needed to help our young people grow in our advancing society.  Students also need to be tested in order to see what level of technology they are proficient at.  If we are going to effectively educate students on using technology to further their education then we need to know where to start.  Our society has evolved from a "passive consumer based culture to a participatory, production based culture." (Richardson)  This means that our students no longer learn from being told how to complete a task or solve a problem, but rather they learn from analyzing and breaking down the problem first in order to find a viable solution.  While there are many pros to assessing the knowledge of our teachers and students, such as a starting point and what they need to learn, there are a few cons as well.  What if an educator/student thinks they are very knowledgeable about technology and after being tested they find out they aren't as proficient at it as they thought.  This could derail their enthusiasm to learn more aspects of technology causing them to shut down to the idea that technology is going to be a helpful component of learning.  Another con for an educator or student may be a limited resource of technology at home.  If they come from a economically disadvantaged home they may feel that devices of technology are out of their reach causing them to feel inferior to other students.  Educators could be in a similar situation due to lack of funds available in their district which causes them to think they will miss out on technology advances and resources.  All of these situations could be averted if we assess what students and educators first know about technology, and educate both groups on how to use it and acquire technology in their school district.

1st blog

This is my first blog.  Actually I've never even read a blog, but I do know what they are.  Who can't know at least a little about blogs!  Our country & world have been overrun by technology so much that we have the need for a campaign to get kids to play for 60 minutes a day.  Nevertheless, here I am!