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!