Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

Archive for the ‘EDLD 5362 Information System Management’ Category

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.


Teacher Related Social Networks

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Maypearl ISD Technology Plan Presentation

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Learning Environment: 2015

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Learning Environment: 2015

Michael C. Warren

Lamar University


When I think about the classroom of the future, I don’t want to think about a classroom, but the learning environment.  The learning environment of 2015 will not just consist of the classroom, but also the school, the home, the town, and the world.  By incorporating a number of technologies into teaching we can expand the model classroom of today into the learning environment of the future.  Learning will be a mobile event, not tied to a particular classroom or building, it will take place at any time and at any place.  Implementing communications technologies and adapting to a growth of new technologies will allow this change to occur with ease.

When we stop thinking about a model classroom of today and start thinking about a model learning environment of the future we see that students will need to be able to access their learning tools at any time.  In order to do this we need to begin adding some additional technologies over the next several years that will allow global access to and from their classroom.  With the idea that a current classroom has a few computers that are connected to the Internet, let us build on this base to design the learning environment of 2015.

Broadening our communication with the students should be our first focus. For the most part students have between a 50 to 90 minute block of time with a teacher for any given project, and if they need to get extra help they are limited to the small amount of time after school and before school that competes with work, extracurricular activities and their social life.  By implementing some technologies that are currently available, such as e-mail, instant messaging and chat services students can contact the teacher and other students outside of classroom to answer questions.  As reported in the 2009 Horizon Report  “Many schools are now beginning to see instant messaging as a learning tool rather than a distraction”.(The New Media Consortium, 2009)  In many cases web based e-mail service or chat programs are also available in a mobile platform.  A student would not even have to be at a computer to send a message to other students or to their teacher.  This should be the first step Maypearl ISD takes to step into a model classroom of today.

Second we will see that students will need to collaborate together. Classroom collaboration will begin with a course management system. “Course management systems are software packages designed for teachers and students to easily share information relevant to their course”.(“WikiaEducation,” n.d.) They are Internet based and allow students to collaborate with other students in school, take tests, write papers, and turn in assignments from any computer with Internet connection.    One of the greatest assets to teachers is the use of question banks that can be built either by a single teacher or by a group of teachers and be used in a test year after year. Course management systems allow tests to pull from these question banks, and placed either in a specific order or in a random order that can help reduce the possibility of cheating. In addition the system then auto grades the test allowing the student to know instantly how they did.  Students who take dual credit courses are already using this technology through the Navarro Blackboard system.  Maypearl could place this type of offering into service with no cost by installing Moodle.

Once we have allowed students to access their coursework and their teachers outside of the standard classroom setting, we should focus on allowing learning inside the school to be more mobile. Just weeks ago Apple introduced the iPad, advancing the standard e-reader to a multimedia tool for both entertainment and education.  Similar readers such as Amazon’s Kindle were limited by black and white display and often only able to read.  The iPad could change the way we read.  Digital music players began appearing in 1999, with the first iPod debuting in 2001. By 2009 Apple has sold over 220 Million iPods that now offer the ability to play music, take pictures and movies run applications and offer the ability to read books.  Just like film and music (records, tapes, and CDs), will paper become primarily digital? “A great many developers and publishers are working on applications that will run on the iPad and other digital devices”. (Links to Me*dia, 2010)  If the trend follows then learning environments will need to be ready for portable devices such as the iPad that can allow textbooks, interaction, and communication.  Without the need to carry around heavy textbooks, laptops, or many of the school supplies they currently carry students can be anywhere and do work.  Not only will e-readers allow us to allow education to become more mobile, we will begin to use applications that are cloud based. Cloud based applications are programs that run on remote computers and have interfaces that we connect to often through a web browser or applications that allow direct connection to the service.  The benefit of such applications is that we do not have to carry around hardware or buy software to install on systems.  Students and teachers could use an application such as Google Docs or other online based document systems to work collaboratively on a paper from anywhere with Internet connection and a web browser.  In order to be ready to handle cloud technology classrooms need to begin now to incorporate it into their technology plan. By making changes now schools can look at reducing technology costs in the near future. “In the professional world, the trend of discovering and using technologies in your personal life, and then bringing it into your professional life is called “consumerization”. Our education system should take advantage of this same trend, which will both enrich our student’s technology-enabled education, and importantly, reduce our budget impact.” (Bittman, 2008)  Maypearl ISD could reduce the strain of their current technology department by implementing tools and services that are based in the cloud. Reducing cost and maintenance time, both students and faculty would have the opportunity for greater technology service, without searching for ways to keep up with costs.

As we can see the model classroom will extend to consist of anywhere the students and teacher are at any given moment.  The model classroom will become a model learning environment where students collaborate on assignments and learn at any given place and time.  These changes can produce new opportunities for students and teachers to expand their lessons out of the standard classroom of today and into a learning environment that is always with them.


Bittman, T. (2008, November 26) Cloud Computing and K-12 Education. Message Posted to http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_bittman/2008/11/26/cloud-computing-and-k-12-education/

Course Management Systems. (n.d.) In WikiaEducation. Retrieved from http://schoolcomputing.wikia.com

Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith R., and Smythe, T. (2009). The 2009 Horizon Report K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Links to Me*dia  (2010, February 3). iPad eTextbooks Coming to a Classroom Near You?, Message posted to http://newmedialink.blogspot.com/2010/02/ipad-etextbooks-coming-to-classroom.html

A Survey Regarding Computers and the Internet on Education

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A Survey Regarding Computers and the Internet on Education

Michael C. Warren

Lamar University


In writing this paper I decided to expand from one teacher to several teachers. I wanted to compare viewpoints from several people to gather a better understanding of how the Internet has provided change to education.  In addition to interviewing multiple people I also decided to interview some office staff as well as teachers. These teachers and staff cover a broad range of schools including private schools and public schools.

A Survey Regarding Computers and the Internet on Education

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 created the E-Rate program allowing discounts of 20%-to-90% to purchase Internet access for the school or libraries” (Lenhart, Simon, and Graziano, 2001, p 3).  The use of computers in school many responses were similar to this from Mrs. Christine Napoles who taught at a private school and said that students began using computers in the classroom during the 1990s however the teachers did not feel it was a good tool. “We wanted them to look it up in the reference books.  Students continued to have to manually write their papers by hand and submit them to the teacher” (personal communication, January 15, 2010).   Even when the Internet was introduced to schools and classrooms it often took a year or so before it became accepted as a useful tool. It was not uncommon for some of the teachers to feel that their might be a loss of jobs because technology could take the place of teachers, and that students would be shortchanged and get less of an education.  However a 2002 Pew survey states “Much like a school-issued textbook or a traditional library, students think of the Internet as the place to find primary and secondary source material for their reports, presentations, and projects” (Levin and Arafeh, p. 6).

Training varied by schools and districts. While Mrs. Napoles who worked at a private school received regular computer and Internet training, other teachers received training and still did not have the hardware at their school.  Those who lacked the hardware and software at their school often found it difficult to remember the concepts that were taught to them.

While initially computer and Internet usage was slow in becoming recognized as a useful tool. Hosein Arsham indicates from an early studies in 1997 and 1998 that “it is clear at least at this time that such Web-based innovations cannot serve as an adequate substitution for face-to-face live instruction” (Arsham, 2002).  However teacher have a different opinion on how the Internet has an affect on a student’s education.  “It has definitely elevated the ability for students to learn and teachers to teach.  It further advances the curriculum and a lot of the curriculum is tied in to various sites for each dept” (Napoles, January 15th, 2010).  It has helped teachers produce better lesson plans that incorporate curriculum from other departments as well.  These lessons may tie together history with reading so students understand about the author from a literature and historical perspective.  Administration and support staff have been able to improve their efficiency and be more accurate in their work.

One of the biggest problem with Internet usage early on was the need to monitor students on a regular basis to make sure they were not going to sites they were not suppose to.  “37% of teens believe that “too many” of their peers are using the internet to cheat” (Hitlin & Raine, 2005).  Another concern is that there is still risk in using the Internet, weather it be from students accessing the wrong types of web sites, or unauthorized access of information about students.

The Internet has also increased communication with  both the parents and fellow teachers as well. Parents have the oppertunity to be contacted by e-mail, go online and check their child’s grades, attendance, and assignments.  Mary McMillan, a retired registrar with Plano ISD states “Teachers, parents, students can all come together through the Internet to be able to teach as well as learn” (personal communication, January 15, 2010)  A teacher can share lesson plans much easier with other teachers allowing departments to stay on track, multiple departments can develop lessons that are aligned to work together.

Teacher and staff feel that the Internet will change the way we teach. Mrs. Napoles felt that “classes will be Internet driven and may have only a teacher to monitor the behavior of the students and assist if any difficulties” (personal communication, January 15, 2010).  There is also the belief that textbooks will be online, and education will become more global, allowing students from all countries to work together.

Reference List

Arsham, H. (2002). Impact of the Internet on Learning and Teaching. USDLA Journal, Vol. 16: No 3, 1537-5080

Hitlin, P. & Raine, L. (2005). Teens, Technology, and School

Lenhart, A., Simon, M., & Graziano, M. (2001). The Internet and Education: Findings of the Pew Internet & American Life Project

Levin, D. & Arefeh, S. (2002). The Digital Disconnect: The Widening Gap Between Internet-Savvy Students and their Schools.

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November 6th, 2009 at 10:58 am