Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

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

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard III

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One of the hardest things I have seen teachers do is to incorporate technology into their class lesson.  As a technology leader or facilitator ISTE standard III tells us we must be able to design, model, and apply ideas for implementing technology to maximize student learning. While every classroom in our school has at least 1 student computer it is not uncommon that it is hardly used.  This is something I plan to work on at our school to help implement change.  Studies tell us that students spend approximately 8 or more hours using electronic media, often using more than one form of media at any given time.  A majority of students often have to reduce their technology usage when they step into the school building. I find that schools tread on the side of extreme caution before they widely decide to allow a form of technology into school, often allowing the technology once it has become out of date. “As technology facilitators and leaders implement TF/TL III, they will find a strong disconnect between the ways technology is used for teaching and learning and the ways students use technology in their personal lives” (Redish and Williamson, 2009).  With a majority of students having access to one or more of smart phones, text messaging, Internet, and email devices, the are able to share and access information often more readily than they are at school. In the classroom they are often limited to a single perspective provided by a book and professor and are told not to use sources such as wikipedia because the content is not as reliable as the book or books that are in the library, which are often outdated.  Students want to learn often faster than what information is being fed to them on a scheduled classroom basis. “The high quality of the Internet education process means the molding of abilities to learn” (Arsham, 2002)

When technology is introduced into the curriculum in an affective manner students should feel engaged, and ready to learn.  It is an important step for a dedicated technology facilitator be available at each campus to offer training and assistance in integrating technology into their lesson.  The technology facilitator would help the teacher understand how the technology could be used to offer a broader range of learning opportunities for the students.  One key aspect that I would focus on is keeping abreast of current and upcoming technologies and research what potential it offers the students and teachers. As an example, our school recently added television screen in public areas for a continuous powerpoint presentation of daily information. Wireless connectivity was recently added for teachers, and a new Internet lesson management system and website has been started with some teachers offering limited activity on their pages.  In many cases these are technologies that are several years behind.

This standard is a very important standard because this is where technologist and educators have to start working together. An IT manager or tech support person may be able to make sure everything works well, but it is the educational technologist job to relate between the technology department and the educators. Of translating between the two the desires and goals to implement the best possible technology options for classroom lessons or for training and implementing tools to assist in teaching.  If I were in the position I would focus completely on communicating between the IT department and doing daily rounds to various parts of the campus to make sure everything is working efficiently and to make sure that all equipment is being used in the best possible manner.  “Even with better curriculum resources and documentation, educators will need ongoing professional learning opportunities providing instruction in best practices in implementing student technology standards” (Redish and Williamson, 2009)

As part of our assignment in EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology we created several projects in which we used technology as part of the lesson plan. Our first assignment had us creating a digital book in which we used to help teach students a topic. This provided multiple unique ways in which students could get information about the topic, including reading and listening.  Our group assignment had us creating a cross curriculum project where students had to use technology to create a brochure or a web page to tell about a historic event.

References

Redish, T., & Williamson, J. (2009). Chapter Three. ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards: What Every K-12 Leader Should Know and Be Able to Do (p. 58). Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Arsham, H. (2002). Impact of the Internet on Learning and Teaching. USDLA Journal, 16(3). From http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/MAR02_Issue/article01.html

Redish, T., & Williamson, J. (2009). Chapter Three. ISTE’s Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards: What Every K-12 Leader Should Know and Be Able to Do (p. 63). Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard IV

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Technology facilitator standard IV covers assessment and evaluation. For me this is both beneficial and hinderance to technology. Its benefit is that we can use technology to gain faster reporting results, provide analytics on students and break down groups having problems meeting standards. On the other hand it also becomes the goal to implement technology in order to improve scores, that it often does not achieve the desired result. As technologists we have to make sure we are using the technology, or planning on using the technology as the main solution to a problem. One of these tools is the use of online testing or computerized testing environments. Students can take a test over a subject with questions marked for specific categories that need to be covered, once the test is completed the students receive an instant grade and in some cases a small report of how they did in each category. For both standardized tests and local testing this is very useful. First it allows for teachers to see what areas need to be refocused or strengthened based on testing categories. It also allows teachers to see what students may have problems with over the course of time as information can be compared to past data.

There are other tools that are in use in classrooms that allow teachers and students to gain instant access to how they are both doing. One such item is the handheld student response system. We use these in a few our classes at school and find that it is very affective. “Teachers can use student response data to assess student mastery of content, stimulate class discussion, and identify common misconceptions” (Redish and Williamson, 2009). This is one tool I would like to use in my classroom, however it gets priority to classrooms with limited technology and students with special assistance in learning. I have looked into computer based tools but have only found limited options.

Since I am covering the idea of portability of education using Internet and mobile Standards IV focus on assessment and evaluation can be both easy to achieve, but also tricky, depending on if you are talking about local, state, or federal levels.  “Have Your Student Learnt It? Web-based courses are being used either as credit or non-credit, While the use of these means of knowledge delivery may offer many advantages developing more independant learners, there are also information handling skills which students must acquire” (Arsham, 2002). From a local school standpoint, test can be taken, assignments turned in all online and you trust that the student is learning and they are the ones learning.  But when it comes to federal and state testing, you have to offer a facility to give testing. Connections Academy which is an online public school, answers this question by saying “Your Connections Academy school will arrange testing locations throughout the state and will inform you in advance of where and when your child is scheduled to attend” (Frequently Asked Questions About Connections Academy, 2010).  Students are still required to take the standardized tests, but arrangements are made so they are properly proctored.

Reference

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

Arsham, H. (2002). Impact of the Internet on Learning and Teaching. USDLA Journal, 16(3). Retreived from http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/MAR02_Issue/article01.html

Frequently Asked Questions About Connections Academy: FAQs. (n.d.). Free Online School from Home: Connections Academy. Retrieved from http://www.connectionsacademy.com/faqs.aspx#tests

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October 13th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

EDLD 5370 Reflections for EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology

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During this course I worked with a group of other teachers to create a lesson utilizing universal design. One of the tools we used was the CAST Lesson Building site to help us understand universal design and layout a good lesson plan.  This was probably the first class in which we were involved in a group project over the whole 5 weeks. At first I was not sure how it would work out, but we used a number of tools such as Google Sites and Google Docs for managing our group information to develop and share ideas.  One of our first assignments had us using Book Builder to create an online book that allows students to see pictures hear or read text and have fun little animated characters tell little facts regarding the story being told.  I can see how this can be highly motivated for little kids, but I think that secondary level students would be easily bored with what they were watching.  As a technologist I would encourage the use of this tool by the elementary teachers and the middle school teachers. I would see how it would work in high school as well, but would not expect the same interest that younger grades will have.

For the remaining 4 weeks our group work to develop a classroom project that offers universal learning concepts to help students of all backgrounds learn the content.  We made a history lesson about World War II that would cover geography as well as technology concepts as web development or desktop publishing for students to utilize multiple aspects to learn about the historic event.  I was group leader I think because I was already doing this project in my classroom. We created sample works for student to have an idea of what we would be doing prior to starting the project.  Working together in this manner worked out quite well. Since we all worked full time it seemed that the days we actually produced work was on Saturday or Sundays often working up until the last few hours before an assignment was due.

Overall I thought this was a very good project and many of us worked together or later projects.  I want to try and encourage the use of google docs or an online wiki for students to share documents and even help teachers develop high quality cross curricular lessons that can be done in multiple classes or outside of school at any time of day or night.  I could see how elective and science courses could work together, or even core courses could work together to develop projects where students would work independently as a group.

Assignments

Book Builder Assignment

CAST Lesson Builder

Website for Group Assignment

Google docs for assignment

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.

Reference

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard II

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As a former Information Technology manager I know the advantages of knowing how to use technology in a workplace. This is also true with education. If the staff do not know how to use technology or are at least technologically literate then integrating technology into a classroom lesson.  From what I have seen in my four years of teaching it is usually the older individuals who have a set routine on how they teach who do not wish to integrate technology into their lesson, or at least find it difficult. Younger teachers are often eager to integrate technology into their lessons, if not make it a primary part of the learning process.

Studies tell us that while many teachers may be proficient in the use of technology, often using for daily tasks such as attendance and communications, there are a much lower number of teachers who integrate technology into their daily lessons.  While teaching itself is often difficult with preparing content, instructional materials, managing classroom and much more, it can be difficult to integrate technology into the lesson. I believe it is also difficult because many teachers may have an established process that is repeated year after year and to begin to switch to a method including technology will interrupt and slow down the process that is already in place. In essence change may be disliked. Those who do like to integrate technology into their lessons face a number of problems.  “In the planning process, teachers must also consider how students will acquire technical skills needed to complete learning tasks” (Redish and Williamson, 2009).  While many students may understand the technology to do the work, there are those that still need to be taught the technical instruction.  This is an additional set of instruction that normally the teacher would not have to do.  With the implementation of introducing a website that the teachers use as a teaching utility to provide what is going on during the week in the classroom, many teachers have been hesitant, or chose not to find the time to update their own pages.  Even with ample training sessions and one on one help being offered if was not quickly adopted as a teaching tool. “Teachers often feel uncomfortable using computers and are unaware of the teaching and learning pedagogies that computers and the Internet are able to support” (Mouza, 2003).  However I was just as guilty at times at not providing information on the website because it was difficult getting time in to implement the extra steps on top of developing the lessons, and working through everything else in the day.

With the use of technology, teachers must move away from conventional instruction that is teacher-led to a new method of instruction where students explore and teachers help facilitate the learning.  I think this is imperative in order for students to think on a higher level. In many ways students do this more outside the classroom while playing video games than they do in traditional learning, primarily because these students “represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology” (Prensky, 2001).  I myself have seen that if I give students a problem to solve they are much more focused than if I teach them in a lecture format.

I think it will be important to spend dedicated time with teachers in order to help them integrate technology into their lessons. It is more than having the teacher use technology to teach, it is providing a way for students to use technology to learn. To help them explore and return learn a skill.  I think when I look forward to helping a teacher develop a lesson integrating technology, the first thing I will ask myself as well as the teacher is “how will this help the student learn” instead of “how will this help you teach”.

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, Marc (2001).  Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part I.   On the Horizon: The Strategic Planning Resource for Education Professionals, 9(5), 1-6.

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

EDLD 5370 Reading Reflection for Technology Facilitator Standard I

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We find that in Chapter One, Technology Operations and Concepts, that computer usage in itself is a higher thinking process that incorporates multiple factors for even a simple task. educators must keep up in order to continue to teach students and other staff changes in technology related to their work.  One thing that is highly recommended is that we train teachers on the basics of technology instead of using the technology for curriculum purposes. In essence teach a technology to the teachers and let the teachers discover how it can be used. “Teachers at intermediate or advanced levels of understanding have needs that are different those of novice users and cannot be expected to benefit equally from the same training experiences” (Redish and Williamson, 2009).

Researchers speculate that the teachers with the lowest levels of technology proficiency are likely serving some of the nation’s highest-need students (Market Data Retreival, 2004).  From what I have learned from chapter one is that technology leaders need to have a proficient understanding of technology as well as be able to build proficiency among fellow staff members. I find this requires a unique position. Many technology people are not quite personable. A good technology person will have the understanding and communication skills of a teacher and the knowledge, skillset, and awareness of a person who would work in the technology department.  This technology leader will work in a one to one or small group basis training educators and staff how to use technology provided.  Some staff will need more advanced training while some will need basic training.

I think about how I will interact with teachers from now on. My background has given me a strong knowledge of technology, but we must request that other teachers have an above average knowledge as well. If a teacher is going to teach and access some form of technology as part of their daily work environment they must be able to utilize the technology.  This leads us into Standard II in which teachers should understand technology in order to teach and integrate technology into their lessons.

References

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

Market data Retrieval. (2001-2004). Technology in education surveys 1999-2004, as reported in E. Fox (2005, May 5). tracking U.S. trends. Education Week Special Issue: Technology Counts 2005, 24(35), 40-42

EDLD 5370 Reflections on 5333 Leadership for Accountability Assignment

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The assignment of creating an action plan for our campus helped me understand how schools create a plan to improve themsleves. By researching Academic Excellence Indicator System reports a school or department can decide what needs to be improved, what group of students to that might need extra help.  Prior to this course I did not know what information was really available to individuals regarding how schools are rated.  Even in my certification courses I did not find out this information.  Knowing this as a teacher helps me understand my students better, how test scores reflect students learning ability.  While I do question the reliability of how the tests are given and in some ways feel they may be geared toward some ethnic groups.  As a parent I can see how schools are doing in core areas. What percentage of students pass standardized tests is important, but what I found most interesting is that according to The Educational Trust “Each state begins by setting academic standards–a process of deciding what all students should know and be able to do” (The Educational Trust, 2004).  To me this can limit some states and districts, as some states may push for higher standards than others.  Some districts may choose to follow how teaching is taught in states that have higher rankings in order to do better in their own state.

Based on what I learned on the AEIS report, I developed a plan for our school that would focus on mathematic core subjects with additional help for hispanic subgroups.  I focused on developing a plan that would incorporate regular meetings with the math department in order to keep ideas shared between teachers on improving scores.  My second step was to introduce a math software program that would be installed by the technology department that would allow students to do additional work in class and at home.  The final step of the plan was to have the math department work with elective teachers to develop better ways in which math can be implemented into assignments.

This assignment taught me to look at data from all perspectives in order to see how something is guaged. From researching information to contacting individuals in person and over the Internet, I was able to gather ideas and put together my plan for my project.  The use of wikis was the best part of interaction because a document could be edited by many people in order to come up with a final version.  I will continue using tools such as wikis, blogs, and online chat groups in my career and encourage others to use these tools.

“A vision is much more than the articulation of statements and beliefs” (Connexions, 2010).  This is something I have learned in this course and relates very well when presenting information and developing a plan for change.  I am good at having a belief in a direction that a school should go, but my weakness is being able to articulate them to other staff and more importantly administration.  My own personal shyness keeps me behind the scenes working the problem instead of leading the change.

References

The Importance of Visions for Schools and School Improvement. (n.d.).Connexions – Sharing Knowledge and Building Communities. from http://cnx.org/content/m15634/

The ABCs of “AYP”. (2004). The Education Trust. 1-9

Assignments

EDLD_5333_Week_1_Assignment
EDLD_5333_Week_2_Assignment
EDLD_5333_Week_3_Assignment
EDLD_5333_Week_4_Assignment
EDLD_5333_Week_5_Assignment

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 5370 Internship – Week 1 Web Conference

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The web conference this week had its ups and downs. Primarily the downs were the technical difficulties that seem to plague Adobe’s web conference program. In this case the sound and picture faded in and out, and sometimes service was lost.  In the end we resulted to a bsic group chat in order to answer questions.  The best thing I got out of the evening was a link to a former students web site to see how they had done their work  which also gave an example of how our final report should look.  This answered my questions regarding how the introduction should be written.  By looking through the students website and the paper she wrote, I was able to get a better understanding of some changes I need to make on my site, as well as what is expected for each week.