Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

Archive for the ‘EDLD 5370 Educational Technology Leadership Internship’ Category

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard VIII

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Standard VIII of ISTE’s technology facilitation and leadership standards is that of leadership and vision.  I feel this standard went along with EDLD 5301 Research course because we have to have vision, followed by research, combined with leadership in order to produce quality results.  If you take away any of those 3 components you will not receive desired results. A technologists can be a good leader and have a good vision, but without the research or a team of researchers the results will not be as one desired.  Leadership is often a trait that comes natural to people. They are defined as charismatic  they desire to show people a better way.  Some individual that is often seen as a leader is Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. They had both vision and leadership, they saw what could be and could produce an energy of those around them that they wanted to help make that vision come true.

Technologist leaders in school districts in many ways have to fight harder.  They are pushing the budgets and trying to show what can be done in a field that has been slower to adopt to technology change than many others.  Even still education technologist must keep research with the cutting edge of technology in order to implement it before it become out of date.  They must have a passion about what they believe in and a passion to educate others in how this can be achieved.  They must be able to get others to follow them in making the desired goal become a reality, and to continue to try until they succeed or at least know when to make changes to other goals.

In my field based activities I can’t say I was the best leader. I personally have a hard time presenting ideas to others, not to say that I am not excited about them or believe that they not important, but I feel as if when I present them, I can tell others don’t think they are that important.  Where I feel I exceed is doing research and developing a test product or example and then presenting it. Thus allowing the work itself to do much of the talking for me.  It may waste a bit of time, but I like presenting a working demonstration.

If I were to be a technologist at a school, I would propose such items as dedicated laptops for each student, digital books, open source software when possible, and web based course management system.  Not only would this be a reduction in paper, but a reduction in cost of books, no need for lockers thus allowing continuous movement in hallways, mobility in classes, and more open learning environments.

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard VII

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Standard VII in which technology facilitators must be able to implement procedures, policies, planning, and budgeting for the use of technology has been very important in my field activities.  My key project for this course was maintaining our districts website and working to develop a better functionality of how we provide information to our community via the web.  Over the past 18 months we have gone from a static site that was manually updated, to a site that had contributors and provided a larger amount of content down to what teachers were doing, and finally to a site that integrates students access to courses and calendars, parents access to student work, and teacher access to additional utilities to increase communication to the school.

As part of this process, I had to develop plans and procedures for which the website was updated, discuss the use of copyright policies and plan for the deployment of files, templates, and additional resources to make our site public and usable.

In ISTE’s book concepts of budgeting are also discussed as part of Standard VII. While I do not do any budgeting in my department, I have been an IT manager in the past and understand the importance of this role in an educational setting.  Budgeting can be difficult for technologist because school districts have a very tight budget and if a system goes down, it can affect other items that may also need to be purchased in the future.  I have often seen the situation where funds run out in our district and we are left without replacements for broken computers until the next budget year.  Another problem I see is that technology often changes faster than schools can prepare for.  An example might be a school sees the benefit of using a form of technology that seems to have great potential, it is reviewed and awaits to be put into the next budget proposal, and then once the budget is passed and the items are allowed to be purchased, the technology has changed or is no longer a good standard.

EDLD 5370 Reflections on assignments in 5365 Web Design

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The assignments for Web Design and Development offered me a unique perspective of what the name suggested it covered.  Our first assignment was useful because it had us create a website policy.  This something our school district needs to improve upon so that we can put certain standards into place.  This assignment falls into Standard VI of the ISTE’s Technology Facilitation standards, in which individuals have to set policies and procedures for how technology is used.

The development of the website project charter was very interesting to me.  As a former web developer for a web development firm I did not see these in our company, that is not to say they were not used. If they were they were kept between the client and the sales department.  I can see how the charter is very useful in the sense that it controls who is involved in the development process, and what is expected to be completed in the scope of the project.

I don’t feel that week 3 and 4 exercises really lived up to the possibilities that they could have been.  While Amaya is an open source web development tool it lacked in features and usability to other products that are readily available. As a technologist, nor as a technology teacher are we really being good advisors with limited understanding of how something works.  Our district is a prime example. Our technology department consists of a head IT person, an assistant, and a contract person who is employed by our Internet provider.  None of these individuals have an understanding of web development. Since I came on board with the district until this school year, I have been the web developer for our district. This is a second responsibility that was to go along with my primary teaching responsibilities.  While we do now have a product called eChalk in place, and I have passed the key responsibility over to the art teacher who keeps the site up to date, I am still called in to look at programming details for the site.

Over the course of 5 weeks we could have covered basic HTML or if we were to have used a 30 day trial of Adobe Dreamweaver there could have been a deeper understanding of Web Design and Development in the course.

The final assignment of the project launch planning was a good assignment that I put together as a plan for our release of eChalk in our district.  However the followthrough has yet to match with the plan.  Often slowed by teachers that do not want to update their part of the site, and other problems that arise. However through observation we are learning how to continue to make changes to improve each new task we implement.

Assignments

Create a Web Policy for your school

EDLD 5370 Reflections on assignments in 5363 Video Technology and Multimedia

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The assignments in EDLD 5363 Multimedia and Video Technology have been very useful. I learned about public service messages and how they are developed. I really liked the readings because it gave me a deeper understanding of concepts that I have been trying to pass on to my own students.  The Digital Story Cookbook by Joe Lambert was an essential tool in this course. Not just for the first assignment. but for each one.  It provided information on helping to develop a story for our videos.  The first video was a pictorial based movie telling about an event in our life.

During weeks 3 through 5 students in the class worked together to develop a public service announcement.  This was a very good project because it offered the chance for a group to work together over the Internet to complete a project. In working together over the Internet to develop the project we had to develop an idea, assign roles and meet on a regular basis to make sure each member had a clear understanding of the project.  Using the tools on the Internet such as Google docs, our wiki site, gave me better understanding of these tools and how beneficial they really are.  Our group created pages on a member of our groups wiki, where we shared ideas, produced a script and produced a final product.

I want to teach people how they can utilize these tools in order to develop a lessons in which students can work with other students throughout the district, or throughout the world to create a product.  This opens doors to how others live that can be a positive influence on students who may have limited understanding of people from outside the current culture.

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard VI

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Technology is easy to implement, but the choosing why and how to implement is harder.  I have learned this over the past year helping to implement a district website that provides teacher interactivity and individual posting of data.  Originally we had a site that I managed, but the district wanted a way for teachers to update their own pages.  This was easy to implement, but we had to go through the process of training the teachers to use the software, as well as explain the ethical and legal issues of what they would choose to place on their pages.  All of these issues came under TF/TL standard VI in which technologists are to consider the social, ethical, legal, and human issues of technology.

Throughout the entire masters program we continued to improve and make changes to the technology of our website. Moving from a static site, to a site managed by select contributors, to a site that is operated by eChalk and where we have teachers, students, and parents interacting online. Some of our biggest questions came in the form of deciding what students and parents should have access to. In the end, students may only email staff and not other students.

What I find interesting is that this is the first time I really see how much Standard VI has related to my work. For most of the time I have been focusing on Standard V, specifically TF-V.D.4 which states “Design, develop, and maintain Web pages and sites that support communication between school and community” (Redish and Williamson, 2009).  In reality Standard VI in which “Educational technology facilitators understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and assist teachers in applying that understanding in their practice” (Redish and Williamson, 2009).  This is essential when dealing with what is to be published to the web and who has access to it.

I have also seen this occur at other schools in which it was requested that copyrighted information be put up on the website by the administration. In this case technologists should step in and say that the information was copyrighted and not allowed to be placed on the web.  Many teachers use the concept by Harry Wong in which he says “They are able to steal the work, change it to fit their own situation, and use it in their classroom.  Effective teachers don’t need articles specific to their grade level or subject.  They adapt” (Wong and Wong, 2008). Teachers and administrators have to be careful with this concept, as it becomes an easy practice for a teacher to take a quick lesson from a book or a website and make some copies and assign it to their class, in turn they break ethics and copyright violations.  Many teachers do not know where to turn for media sources that have a creative commons copyright, or a copyright that allows for educational use.  I even see where schools create commemorative videos for students that include music that is copyrighted.

As a technologist we must set an example of what we can and cannot use, explain how we can use it and how we should get permission and cite what we are using on websites and in classwork.  It is important that we teach these ethics and legal practices to students as well because students are easily persuaded to use illegally obtained software and media, and if they see teachers and schools doing the same, then we are only encouraging illegal use.

For me, as a technologist it is important that all parts of standard VI are covered along with other standards.  This is one area that I will begin focusing on in the future with students and staff at our school.

References

Redish, T., & Williamson, J. (2009). Chapter Six. ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards: What Every K-12 Leader Should Know and Be Able to Do (p. 113). Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Wong, H., & Wong, R. (2008). Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching – Teachers.Net Gazette. Teachers.Net. Retrieved from http://teachers.net/wong/JUN08/

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard V

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Standard V is really what technology is all about, productivity as well as professional practice.  I believe this is very important. If a teacher is not willing to use technology for their own benefit, in essence improving their own productivity then they will not successfully be able to encourage students to use it as an effective learning tool.

It is a good idea to implement new technologies in schools. “However, many educator experiences run counter to these examples. Although most schools usually purchase and install many types of these tools, educators complain that they do not have time to learn how to apply them to educational purposes” (Redish and Williamson, 2009). It is not uncommon for technology to be put into place and have it used in a limited manner. Often we have tools readily available to us to use if the knowledge was there to use them. In many cases new tools are purchased to help when we currently have tools available, thus causing overspending.  “To realize a tool’s potential, users must envision how it can be used to meet their needs and purpose” (Redish and Williamson, 2009). This statement is only half true, Redish and Williamson also state “Another barrier to realizing higher levels of productivity from technology in schools is the extended amount of time required to master use of a productivity tool” (Redish and Williamson, 2009). For example, I want to use Microsoft Access to store test questions for classes based on a category and subcategory, and when needed I would run a report to create a test with randomly selected questions based on the category and subcategory. While I have the tool, I am struggling in my knowledge of Microsoft Access and query statements to make it function properly.  Once I get it to function, I plan to offer it to other teachers on campus to use.

What I have learned with myself is that I often get so overwhelmed with the different technology tools for productivity, as well as the technology applications I am learning to teach students that I myself am overwhelmed and my teaching performance drops. I am the undeclared technologist on campus, but I also teach full time as well. I can not image those teachers who are not technology savvy must feel.  It would be nice for our campus to have a dedicated technologist that can work on developing training sessions and reviewing software that is being implemented into the curriculum.  Currently we have Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers, and other staff presenting technical training on an as need basis, often the training sessions are quick overviews lasting about an hour. I don’t feel our school will be able to meet Standard V until we have a dedicated professional technologist that can work full time to help teachers, provide training, and truly help implement these new forms of technology into our campus and district.  I do not feel it is something that can be an extra part of a job to be effective.

If I were to be a technologist, I would implement a policy and procedure for new technology to be examined and required paperwork to be completed defining the purpose of the technology and its use on campus.  This would help in defining if it can help more than one department and if there is a need to purchase more or less of the item in order to incorporate the technology in other departments or classrooms.

In EDLD 5368 we utilized Standard V to review and test a course management system called schoology.com. The exercise allowed me to look at a product from both a teacher and as a technologist. Overall I would choose not to implement the technology on our campus as it had a number of limitations and I felt the data placed on the server could be at risk.

References

Redish, T., & Williamson, J. (2009). Chapter Five. ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards: What Every K-12 Leader Should Know and Be Able to Do (p. 103). Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Redish, T., & Williamson, J. (2009). Chapter Five. ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards: What Every K-12 Leader Should Know and Be Able to Do (p. 103). Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Redish, T., & Williamson, J. (2009). Chapter Five. ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards: What Every K-12 Leader Should Know and Be Able to Do (p. 103). Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

EDLD 5370 Reflection on EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics, Animation, and Desktop Publishing Assignments

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Our primary project in EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics was to create a newsletter. This assignment provided a lot of personal growth. I think it can be easy for us to say we can put together a newsletter, after all many put together a simple newsletter for friends and family at the end of every year. What I had to learn while doing this lesson was a number of rules and standards that most people do not think about.

The layout of pictures, the style of the font, the size and spacing all have to go into the consideration of what you are trying to say with your project.  The knowledge that I had to learn made the assignment much more difficult, but in return the finished product was much more precise.

My approach to this assignment was to hopefully create a newsletter that can be used at our school to provide tips and new information to teachers and staff about technology and how the district is using it.  While I do not see the use of the newsletter taking off at our school due to budget demands and how much paper is limited and at times even out at the end of the school year, using paper for a newsletter would not be wise.  In addition the web offers much more opportunities to create interactive media than what is just available in a newsletter.

However with interactive sites, I could see a digital multimedia based newsletter in which much of these same design concepts could be put into place.  The iPad has caused Newspapers and Magazines to begin to look at how their traditional methods can be placed into newer technology.

EDLD 5366 Digital Graphics Assignment

EDLD 5370 Reflection on EDLD 5368 Instructional Design Course Assignments

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Looking back at the assignments for EDLD 5368 Instructional Design, I focused much of my attention in this course to the development of an online assignment through the website schoology.com. This course content management system was new both to Lamar educators as well as to us.  One of my biggest concerns that I can see school systems having is that student data is stored on a website that is hosted elsewhere and out of their control.  While our school district has taken the first leap in allow some data to be hosted with an external source, as we have moved our web hosting to eChalk where students have unique logins, and our pdas and student information is also posted through eduphoria’s SchoolObjects product.  Overtime I see that we will move our classrooms to web based scenarios.

One of the difficulties our school will run into is the cost of online course management solutions.  Such solutions as Blackboard can cost in the range of $10,000. While other solutions like Moodle are relatively free, but they are open source and may cause a risk in data.  For a while I worked with Moodle hosted on my personal server with students using to take tests and turn in assignments.  What I found is that it did take a large amount of time to initally get things up and running.  I was surprised that most teachers were not interested in moving to an automated based system in which students could log in and take a test and have it grade it instantly.

From what I have learned from my initial perspective to now is that while technology offers many new opportunities to learning, it is not easily implemented. Is it the lack of knowledge by teachers as to how to implement it, or is it just not wishing to change methods?  In either case it seems an online system that can be initiated over and over again, year after year would be the smart choice.

In using Schoology, I thought the site had some benefits, but lacked in a number of areas that was offered in Moodle. Looking at the service now, I can that it has grown significantly itself since we used it in our course.  It was good to work with students and fellow cohorts in testing out the Schoology service. We each created assignments and had others test them and provided feedback.

EDLD 5370 Week 3 Web Conference

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Week 3 web conference was held with very few questions. Students seem to be doing well with their assignments and much of the time in the conference general conversation took place.  Some of the questions that were asked were in regards to APA style and how things should be structured.  It was a short and quick meeting.

EDLD 5370 Internship – Week 2 Web Conference

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The course conference call this morning helped relieve some stress that I was having because I had not received any grades on my first week. I was hoping to have week 1 grades so I could see what I was doing right and what needed to be improved on before submitting week twos assignment.  While I am probably making a few errors I was relieved when I was told by the professor that week 5 will over-ride weeks 1-4 assignment grades and that once we receive our graded assignments back we should make the corrections in order to have a very good complete assignment for week 5.  Of note was that the audio was not working and we resorted to just typing our discussion, much like the days of AOL Instant Messenger.  I look forward to getting my grades back, making changes and getting started with week 3. Just 3 more weeks left.