Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

Archive for the ‘ISTE Standards Reflections’ 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education technologist must keep research with the cutting edge of technology in order to implement it before it become out of date.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 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 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 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