Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

EDLD 5370 Reflections for EDLD 5362 Information Systems Management

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Initially I had expected to learn about in this course was the basics on Servers, Networks, and general Information Technology.  During my first week I was disapointed when I learned we would be covering education based information systems that were built on databases of information.  However once I got into doing the assignments I began to realize the importance of these systems.

Our first assignment had us interviewing teachers who had been teaching over 20 years and what changes they saw in education with the introduction of computers and technology.  This assignment helped me understand why some teachers who have been teaching for a number of years still hesitate to use technology, for them it is a continuous process of change in an environment that previously did not require constant learning of additional tools and hardware.  Their regular habits had to change and new tools and technology took additional time to keep up with.  Many people believe technology and computers are supposed to help us live easier. The way they can do this in education is help with repetitive structure. Yes it takes time to switch from normal teaching practices to teaching with technology, but once it is stored, the information can be used over and over again to help with a faster process and offer more unique ways to present the information.  My direction of helping schools develop online based learning was also noted by Mrs. Napoles when she said “classes will be Internet driven and may have only a teacher to monitor the behavior of the students and assist if any difficulties” (personal communications, January 15 2010).  By talking to teachers and the community about how technology has changed education we are covering and implementing standard VI where we are to understand the social, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in P-12 schools and develop programs facilitating application of that understanding.

Our second assignment was to create a powerpoint presentation in which express our understanding of how networks can be used in education. I chose two online based networks and described how they could be used in education.  From this assignment I learned that the Internet and social networking tools can be very valuable to teachers as well as students. Unfortunatly many schools still block most if not all social networks. Teachers who utilize these networks can gain a better understanding of what others schools are doing to provide better learning oppertunities for students. My goal is to promote the access of social sites as a tool for students because students will have a better oppertunty to share ideas with each other.  Our high school currently does not allow the use of email between students through our new web based students, but students can email staff and administration and email their teachers.  Hopefully students can learn to use such tools appropriatly and we will be able to allow studnets to communicate to each other with e-mail in school.

Our third activity we reviewed our school’s Student Information System.  We were using a system recommended by Region X and we have purchased a majority of the components it offers. Unfortunatly, from what I discovered, we are not using the software to its full potential.  If I were the technology specialist, I would be working to develop time to put staff who would be using the software through full development. In addition I would make sure that we have the appropriate software that can function with the service in order to make sure all the information the school had access to was interchangable between systems.

Week 4 assignment had us write a model classroom that we might see 5 years in the future. It was this assignment that I was able to begin really looking at how learning will really be extending outside of the classroom in the near future. I covered areas of how students could use online tools to contact teachers or receive help outside of school hours.  Such tools as instant messaging, wikis, blogs are becoming common place in colleges and starting to find a place in some public schools.  One tool I recommended was the use of an online course management system called Moodle be placed into service. It is a low cost service that would allow teachers and students the ability to access their assignments and turn in projects and take tests 24 hours a day. For a while I covered Standard V evaluating and modeling of the use of Moodle to have students do their coursework and take tests in my technology classes. I stopped primarily because it was taking up more time than I had available to manage and it resides on my personal hosting service so the cost for the domain comes out of my pocket.  I hope to begin using it again after my work on my masters is complete. I found that students enjoyed using it, and I got better review of what students were learning because I could randomize the order of questions for each student, reducing their ability to cheat. Another nice tool is that when students were absent, they could still access and turn in assignments from any location, any time of day.  As I am a kinesthetic learner, actually putting this into action helped me learn more about what it takes in regards of technology and time for such a process to be implemented.  This topic of achieving education outside of school will be the key theme in my Comprehensive Examination.

Our final project was to create a video that presented our schools network and technology goals.  The video I created allowed me to share information with our school in a creative and informative manner. Once I am done with my masters I hope to spend time developing more video reports like this one where we can share information with the school district in an online accessible venue.


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