Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

Archive for the ‘Course Embedded Reflections’ Category

EDLD 5370 Reflections on Assignments in EDLD 5306 Concepts of Educational Technology

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Looking back at the assignments of researching the Texas STaR chart and creating a presentation over one of the key areas in which the STaR chart covers gave me a deeper understanding of how the chart is used. I can see how it can easily be misused as a tool. For example a school leader may say that the form needs to be filled out by the end of the day without giving detailed explanation as to what the data is used for and how it is used by the state and school. Without detailed understanding teachers may log into the website and simply choose the best answer for each category. While choosing these answers without thought the teacher may be harming the school from receiving additional funding by appearing that the school has better technology than what it may actually have.

My own personal learning experience regarding the Texas STaR chart makes me really look at the questions and answer them honestly in regards to what technology our school is using.  I find that our high school usually scores lower than our our Intermidate school and our Elemetary school year after year.  This often makes me think about what can we do, as a high school, to improve our technology targets to offer better learning for our students. The chart allows me to see where our schools weakness is with technology and provides me a focus of where I hope I can encourage our school to grow.  “To make education relevant to students’ lives and truly prepare kids for the future, we need to bring these after school attractions into our schools” (Prensky, 2008)

The assignment allowed me to put together information that can be presented to our school in a manner that can help encourage our district and campus to see where our strengths and weaknesses are. In addition I was able to develop a presentation that shares the information with teachers, staff, and the community explaining our own technology growth.  I will continue to share information like this that I learn about to improve our school and district to make it one of the best possible. As a small rural school we already face technology limitations, but the STaR chart is a tool that can help us focus our attention on improving.  As in the reading from week 3 of the course, in which the Eiffel Project staff recognize “that school leaders need to encourage as well as model the sensible use of technology and assure a reliable technological environment” (Mouza, 2003) our school has had the opportunity to have an administration who demonstrates a strong use in technology.

As a parent this information has taught me that just hearing that a school district is good or a school distristrict may not be good is not the best form of information to go by.  I will look at these reports to find what schools will be best for my children. As an educator I will use this information to improve both my classes that I teach and the school that I work at.  As a life long learner I will continue to look at schools as more than a building, teachers, and students. But as a facility that must be maintained from every aspect including technology.

References

Mouza, C. (2003). Learning to Teach with New Technology: Implications for Professional Development. Journal of Research on Technology in Education35(2), 272-289.

Prensky, M. (2008). Turning On the Lights. Educational Leadership, 40-45.

EDLD 5368 Instructional Design – Course Reflection

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EDLD 5368 – Instructional Design

When educators really begin to consider online learning they may have many doubts that it is a reliable form of education. In many instances this is a case of teachers who have not experienced an online learning system.  Over time more and more teachers will at some point be involved in an online learning environment, either as a student or as an instructor.  I feel that once involved in online learning and understanding how to develop an online course they will understand many of the benefits it has to offer.  I believe they will see that once the course is created it is easy to reuse it over and over and make modifications to it as time goes on. In addition multiple teachers can add to the same course, allowing a broader educational experience for the student.  If online learning systems continue to progress, more and more information will be integrated, such as email, TEKS information, lessons from other educators from around the world, and an increased ability for parents, students, and educators to increase communication.

The online course that I developed for the Instructional Design course using the online learning system Schoology will be utilized at the beginning part of my Web Mastering course next year.  Since our school is currently in the process of moving from a large static web site to a content management based system that will also in some ways act as our learning management system, I will be looking at how I can introduce it into that system or keep it with Schoology or even integrate it into a product I use from my own server called Moodle.  In any case I will be integrating online learning in more depth in the 2010-2011 school year.

As part of my action plan I will be rewriting my curriculum for my technology application courses and will be moving much of it to one of these online systems. In the past I have found it is very useful because it can save me time on grading, provide a location for students to turn in work and even keep their work in a location that is hard to lose, unlike a flash drive or even paper.

My plan to Integrate online learning at our school is twofold,  I will start by converting my courses over to an online learning system over the summer.  This will integrate approximately a fourth of the school student population into using an online learning system.  Since my courses cover grades 9-12, it will offer a chance for students to have time to integrate with online learning by the type they graduate.

The second part of my plan is to begin integrating staff development through the online learning system. This will begin to require teachers to have to interact with the online learning system as well.  If our new web site / content management systems offers a built in course management system it will offer an additional incentive for our teachers to begin migrating to an online system in which I will be one of the staff that leads the staff development of the program.

As the course comes to an end, I take into consideration my experience with online learning in while I do not have any questions on the topic, because I feel it is going to be a growing development in our educational and professional environments, I do feel I have gained much more information to support my stance on how this is a growing part of the educations system. Will it take the place of formal education? No, but it will offer an opportunity for a better education for a broader range of the population; from those in our towns who can’t make it to the school, to those around the world that may not have the opportunity to good local education, or to help people expand their knowledge base from just a local environment and into a global learning environment.

My goal has been to “teach technology”, but as I progress in these courses I see that it is becoming where I want to “teach technology in order to advance others”.  Technology has long been a passion of mine, and after years of tech support, and then migrating to the field of education, I only see that this is the path I am to be on at this point in my life.  I plan to integrate what I can into our school district by opening up new forms of learning opportunities whether it be a tool that a teacher uses or a new piece a software that a student has never thought he would ever learn.

Written by admin

September 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 pm

EDLD 5344 School Law Reflection

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School Law was a very difficult class for me as I have only been teaching for 2 years. All of this information was relatively new for me. Coming from the corporate technology world, most of these laws were not relavant. Terms such as IDEA and 504 did not matter in getting technology out the door, or training a computer user on using a new software program.  In many ways the school teacher and staff have more legal boundries that they have to be aware of than individuals in other organizations.  A teacher has many rights that can protect them as well. Whether it be from administration, or students.  Educators are under a microscope to make sure they are providing the best education and well being based on what is mandated by the law, not just state law, but federal law.  We are required to give free public education to all school age children.

EDLD 5368 – Instructional Design – Course Reflection

without comments

When educators really begin to consider online learning they may have many doubts that it is a reliable form of education. In many instances this is a case of teachers who have not experienced an online learning system.  Over time more and more teachers will at some point be involved in an online learning environment, either as a student or as an instructor.  I feel that once involved in online learning and understanding how to develop an online course they will understand many of the benefits it has to offer.  I believe they will see that once the course is created it is easy to reuse it over and over and make modifications to it as time goes on. In addition multiple teachers can add to the same course, allowing a broader educational experience for the student.  If online learning systems continue to progress, more and more information will be integrated, such as email, TEKS information, lessons from other educators from around the world, and an increased ability for parents, students, and educators to increase communication.

The online course that I developed for the Instructional Design course using the online learning system Schoology will be utilized at the beginning part of my Web Mastering course next year.  Since our school is currently in the process of moving from a large static web site to a content management based system that will also in some ways act as our learning management system, I will be looking at how I can introduce it into that system or keep it with Schoology or even integrate it into a product I use from my own server called Moodle.  In any case I will be integrating online learning in more depth in the 2010-2011 school year.

As part of my action plan I will be rewriting my curriculum for my technology application courses and will be moving much of it to one of these online systems. In the past I have found it is very useful because it can save me time on grading, provide a location for students to turn in work and even keep their work in a location that is hard to lose, unlike a flash drive or even paper.

My plan to Integrate online learning at our school is twofold,  I will start by converting my courses over to an online learning system over the summer.  This will integrate approximately a fourth of the school student population into using an online learning system.  Since my courses cover grades 9-12, it will offer a chance for students to have time to integrate with online learning by the type they graduate.

The second part of my plan is to begin integrating staff development through the online learning system. This will begin to require teachers to have to interact with the online learning system as well.  If our new web site / content management systems offers a built in course management system it will offer an additional incentive for our teachers to begin migrating to an online system in which I will be one of the staff that leads the staff development of the program.

As the course comes to an end, I take into consideration my experience with online learning in while I do not have any questions on the topic, because I feel it is going to be a growing development in our educational and professional environments, I do feel I have gained much more information to support my stance on how this is a growing part of the educations system. Will it take the place of formal education? No, but it will offer an opportunity for a better education for a broader range of the population; from those in our towns who can’t make it to the school, to those around the world that may not have the opportunity to good local education, or to help people expand their knowledge base from just a local environment and into a global learning environment.

My goal has been to “teach technology”, but as I progress in these courses I see that it is becoming where I want to “teach technology in order to advance others”.  Technology has long been a passion of mine, and after years of tech support, and then migrating to the field of education, I only see that this is the path I am to be on at this point in my life.  I plan to integrate what I can into our school district by opening up new forms of learning opportunities whether it be a tool that a teacher uses or a new piece a software that a student has never thought he would ever learn.

CAST Lesson Builder

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As part of my assignment for week 3 of EDLD 5364 I had to use the CAST Lesson Builder to create a lesson that allows for universal learning. My experience with the site was very disappointing. The information about Universal Design for Learning that they provided on their web site was limited and somewhat difficult to take in. While I understand they are trying to provide multiple ways for people to learn, the site could have been organized a little better. The lesson planning tool for me was not very helpful. It seemed as if they were simply providing a basic template. Maybe because I was not developing a lesson in a core curriculum. When I choose to create my lesson plan, all it gave me was a blank template. Each section did provide a little help box. I have used other sites that provide a little more assistance with developing a lesson plan.