Tag Archives: 501

Ed Tech 501 Final Reflection Video

The final reflection video started out as a frustrating experience, I couldn’t figure out how to create a video while going from screen to screen.  Thanks to my peers, I figured out how to do a screenshot of the desktop, so I could navigate between links as I created the video.  Sounds simple, but for some reason, it had me stuck!  I realize that this little snag was appropriate as the final assignment for this class.  In this class, were were encouraged and expected to ask questions, push ourselves, challenge ourselves, and ultimately come out on the other side armed with new knowledge to take with us on our journey as we complete this program.  My experience with creating this video is just one small example of this.

Here is the link to the you tube video of my reflection.



Ed Tech 501 Additional Artifact #2: Rubric to assess technology use in classroom

My original intent was to create and find a district approved platform for either my class website/communication or for my students to create a digital portfolio.  In my Earth Science class, my students currently create a paper portfolio, but I wanted to take it to the next level.  Since there are two approved sites for our school, X2 and Richer Picture, the options are limited.  After thinking about this, and communicating with our professor, I decided to create a rubric to assess different technologies that are available to determine which will best serve the needs of mys students and me.

I made list of things that I would like in class website.  The list includes, type of site, ability to email or message students, ability to make private (if needed by district or wanted), user friendly and intuitive to set up and use, ability to attach lessons and links, ability for students to submit work, grading capabilities, district approved, discussion board, ability to allow other teachers to view.  These are all things that I have found to be helpful as I try to find the best platform for my classroom.

I looked at the following sites: Blog sites including Weebly, WordPress, Google Blogger, Google Sites, Google +, Richer Picture, Haiku, Engrade, Moodle, Edmodo, X2 by Aspen, Wikispaces.

I created many accounts, and spent a lot time playing at the different sites, some to no avail as they were cumbersome to navigate without training.  I was definitely on user id and password overload keeping all the accounts straight!  After looking at these sites, setting up accounts, and playing with each, I found that the two school approved sites, Richer Picture & X2 do not have all the capabilities that I would like, and /or are note very easy to navigate without training.

The blog sites are similar, and offer great communication capabilities, but  to use a blog site as a class website is rather cumbersome, and it does not allow for grading.

The class management sites all have grading capabilities, which is important for me.  Moodle has many capabilities, but is not that user friendly without any training.  There is one teacher at the school who is Moodle certified, and has offered to help me, but again, to start anew during the school year, is difficult given the demands of teaching.  I have heard a lot of “buzz” about Edmodo, but did not find that it would be worth the learning curve to switch from my current system to Edmodo.

The best sites in my opinion, after playing and analyzing the sites are the class management sites such as Engrade, Haiku, and Wikispaces.  All allow for grading, and student and or class communication.  All three are fairly easy to navigate & intuitive to set up.  Granted, they take time to set up they way a teacher would like, but I think that any of these three would be a a good choice.  I like that both Haiku & Wikispaces allow for students to post work for peers to see and comment on, that is not available with Engrade.

Another ides would be to tie Blogger, Google sites & Google + together, but this does not offer a grading function.  These three are easy to use, students could share via blogger, comment on G+ or on Blogger.  Class discussions could be set up on G+.  I think that I will use G+ at some point, with my students, but need to first determine the needs first.

I am currently using Engrade, this is my first year, that I have gone beyond the grading functions, and am starting to use some of the other functions, such as creating and posting lessons on line, and using the calendar function.  I may trip to include links for “flipped lessons” as well.  There are also several teachers at our school using Engrade, mostly for the grading function, but some are moving beyond grades.  My students like having the ability to go on line and see their grades, or check the calendar for the days were absent.  I have decided to stay with Engrade, as I did not have the time during the school year to switch to a new platform, but am considering changing to either Haiku or Wikispaces for next year, assuming I have time to play with it over the summer months. If not, I will continue to find ways to use Engrade to create a more engaging classroom experience for my students.

This was interesting in that it forced me to look at many different sites, and determine which would work best for my needs.  There are so many options available, but sometimes, simple is best!

I chose the following AECT standards…

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies because this required a computer to create the documents, and analyze the sites.

3.1 Media Utilization because this required analyzing different sites to make informed decision on implementing in class.

5.1 Problem Analysis because I needed to determine the problem and parameters before moving forward with analysis.
5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation because this required gathering information, and using it to make an informed decision.

Ed Tech 501 School Technology Evaluation

This assignment was very interesting in that it helped to quantify some of my thoughts about the state of technology at our school.  The Survey asks questions  about a variety areas, and gives a grade of emergent, islands, integrated, or intelligent.  Before doing the survey, I thought that the result would be Islands.  The survey confirmed this for me.  Embedded below is my analysis, as well as the survey sheet.

I think that completing this survey will help me better articulate some of the needs that our school faces, and hopefully allow us to move along the technology spectrum.

I chose the following AECT standards:

4.2 Resource Management  because I needed to examine a variety of school resources including personnel, budget, curriculum and facilities.

5.1 Problem Analysis because I needed to collect, analyze, and interpret data on a school’s use of technology.

5.2 Criterion-Referenced Measurement because I used a specific  survey instrument to evaluate the school’s technology climate.

5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation because I gathered information to help inform decision process on technology.

5.4 Long-Range Planning because this asignment required looking at the long term five year strategic plan.


Ed Tech 501 Technology Use Planning

Technology Use Planning Overview

My favorite quote while doing research on the topic of technology use & planning is “The curriculum must be the vehicle for technology integration. Just as reading is content-free (i.e., incorporates all subject areas), so is technology. We must weave technology into the fabric of learning.” (Earle).  To me, this sums up technology use, technology is not the end, it is the one of the means to reach the end. Technology  becomes part of the lesson, like the textbook, calculator, pencil or worksheet.

What is Technology Use Planning?  Technology use planning is the deliberate act of setting goals for a school (or business, or other organization), and determining how technology can help achieve those goals.  According to Gilbrahar, “technology planning is a major determinant of what is taught, how it is taught and which technology will be used.  As technology determines the instruction directly, the decisions about choosing appropriate technology get worthier.  By choosing the appropriate technology, teachers have opportunities to change and adapt curriculum in different ways or to improve the quality of classroom activities.”   Gilbrahar continues that Technology use planning is not about choosing the tools, but rather determining which technologies will help accomplish the educational goals.  Technology planning begins with goal setting, and then determining the needs based on the goals.  Schools need to set their goals, next develop a plan to meet those goals rather than just invest in technology for the sake of technology.  Kleiman states, “the rapid influx of technology into schools is, in many cases, running ahead of the educational vision and careful planning.”   Also, having technology will not improve learning unless schools address the need for professional development, technical support, the availability of appropriate software, classroom management, and curriculum integration. (Kleiman).

How can we use the National Education Technology Plan as a resource for technology planning?

The National Education Technology Plan calls for “revolutionary transformation” of education using technology.  The Plan lays out several areas for improvement.  These areas are: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. Schools can and should use the NETP as a foundation as they develop their own technology plans. The plan recommends that states continue to set their curriculum, and update the curriculum to include 21st century skills such as s critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, multimedia communication.  These skills can and should be expected learning outcomes in curriculum planning.  As part of that planning, districts must assess what technologies will help students achieve the learning outcomes.

Thoughts on See’s Article

This was my favorite reading for this assignment.  I agree wholeheartedly with See’s assessment that schools’ technology plans should be output based, not input based. Technology planners should develop a plan that specifies what it is that students, staff, and administration will be able to do with technology and let those outcomes determine the types and amount of technology that a school needs.  See continues that “technical applications must be taught as part of an existing subject so students understand how technology can be a tool that makes them a more productive and powerful person.”  As a teacher, I agree 100%, I also know that I will need to learn in order to understand how to use the tools, and what kind of lessons I can create to seamlessly integrate technology.

Personal Experience with Technology Use Planning

From the classroom teacher perspective, I have had very limited experience with technology use planning.  In March of 2012, our school published a five year strategic  technology plan.  As a classroom teacher, I did not have any input into the plan (although there were teacher representatives from all the schools in our town), nor had I reviewed it until this project.  I reviewed the plan, and think that it is a good first step, the success of the plan will come with the follow-up and adjustments to the plan.  Technology planning has had an impact on the daily operations of the school where I teach.  The school recently switched its grading and attendance programs so that we would be compliant with state record keeping requirements.  The program that we use, has many components that we do not utilize, and is not always very user friendly.  Professional development would help in allowing us to fully integrate the tools into our planning.

One key component to technology use planning is professional development.  Teachers need to learn not only how to use the technology, but also how to integrate it into the curriculum.  Teachers need to understand, that technology is just another tool, like a calculator, the technology becomes part of the everyday learning.  “For  technology to be used fully in K-12 schools, significant changes are required in teaching practices, curriculum, and classroom organization; that these changes take place over years, not weeks or months, and require significant professional development and support for teachers; and that the needed levels of training and support change as teachers progress through these stages.” (Kleiman).  “Integrating technology is not about technology—it is primarily about content and effective instructional practices. Technology involves the tools with which we deliver content and implement practices in better ways. Its focus must be on curriculum and learning.  Integration is defined not by the amount or type of technology used, but by how and why it is used”. (Earle).  Again, its how we use the tools to reach the goal, a key part is professional development, teachers need to know how to use the tools, so the content is learned by the student.


I found this assignment challenging.  There is so much that goes into a good Technology use plan, that I felt, how will I ever know all of this!  Of course, that is why I am enrolled in the program.  Since the start of this class, I have already learned an incredible amount, and my thoughts on technology in education are growing and evolving everyday.  Back in January, my focus was, how can I use technology in the class?  Now, I’m asking more questions such as, how can I get access to technology in our school?  How do we plan effectively for technology integration into curriculum? What tools are available, and how can students use them to learn?  How do we create a dynamic acceptable use policy?  I am excited to see where this journey will take both my students & me!

I chose the following AECT standards:

3.4 Policies and Regulations because any policies put in place need to be part of technology use planning.   “Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47).  This includes such areas as web-based instruction, instructional and community television, copyright law, standards for equipment and programs, use policies, and the creation of a system which supports the effective and ethical utilization of instructional technology products and processes.

5.4 Long-Range Planning because Technology use planning requires schools to look out to the future to plan their needs.  Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.” (Certo et al., 1990, p. 168).
SMETS candidates demonstrate formal efforts to address the future of this highly dynamic field including the systematic review and implementation of current SMET developments and innovations.


Bennett, H. (2003) Successful K-12 technology planning: Ten essential elements, Teacher Librarian, 31(1), 22-25. retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.boisestate.edu/docview/224878294/fulltextPDF/13D93428AB3502EDD2D/1?accountid=9649

Earle, R. (2002). The Integration of instructional technology into public education: promises and challenges. ET Magazine Website: 42 (1), 5-13. Retrieved from http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic87187.files/Earle02.pdf

Gülbahar, Y. (2007). Technology planning: A roadmap to successful technology integration in schools. Computers & Education, 49(4), 943-956. retrieved from http://www.mdecgateway.org/olms/data/resource/3917/Technology%20Planning.pdf

Kleiman, G. M. (2000). Myths and realities about technology in K-12 schools. Leadership and the New Technologies, 14(10). Retrieved from  http://www.sfu.ca/educ260/documents/myths.pdf

Mansfield Public Schools, (2012). Five year strategic technology plan. Retrieved from http://www.mansfieldschools.com/pdf%20files/5%20Year%20Tech%20Plan%202012.pdf

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher, 19, (8). Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm

US Department of Education.  (2010).  Transforming America, learning powered by technology. retrieved from  http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf

Ed Tech 501: Additional Artifact #1, Unit Plan using technology to allow students to create, collaborate & take responsibility for their learning

Here is the link to the Google Document of my unit plan on severe weather in Massachusetts / New England.  The goal of developing this unit plan is to use technology to allow students to create, collaborate, and ultimately take responsibility for their learning (w/ teacher guidance!).

In this lesson, students use the internet to learn about severe weather in Massachusetts/New England including: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Nor’Easters, & Blizzards.  Students will research each type of weather phenomenon, learn about historical events that have affected our area, understand how to remain safe during severe weather events.

First, students explore Thunderstorms, create a recipe card for a thunderstorm, and upload to a “to be determined page” (most likely Wikispaces or Haiku).   The reason this has not been finalized, the current grading/class communication system that I use does not allow students to see each other’s posted work, and reviewing & commenting on classmate’s work is a key component to this unit.  Students will then “review each other’s recipes” & make constructive comments.

Next, students research the other types of severe weather, and create a “traditional poster” on one type of storm.  We will do a “museum walk” in class, and write reviews of the show.  The individual posters will be photographed, uploaded to the page, and reviews will be written on line.  This will blend traditional classroom assignments with technology.

Lastly, students in small groups will create a documentary on one type of storm, and one historical storm event.  The format of the video is up to the student, it can be a video, a narrated power point, or some other electronic medium.  Again, students will upload the documentary to our class page for review by classmates.

This is the final unit in the class, and hopefully students will use skills developed throughout the course to create these final projects.

As I explore, new and better ways to connect with my students, I anticipate this lesson will evolve, this is just the beginning.  I hope to add more video links, as well as examples of work.

picture courtesy of: www.ngdc.noaa.gov

Here is the Google Doc

I chose the following AECT standards:

1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD) because it required designing a unit plan for a variety of learners
“Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction”(Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31). Within the application of this definition, ‘design’ is interpreted at both a macro- and micro-level in that it describes the systems approach and is a step within the systems approach. The importance of process, as opposed to product, is emphasized in ISD.
1.1.1 Analyzing: process of defining what is to be learned and the context in
which it is to be learned.

1.1.2 Designing: process of specifying how it is to be learned.

1.1.3 Developing: process of authoring and producing the instructional
1.1.4 Implementing: actually using the materials and strategies in context.
1.1.5 Evaluating: process of determining the adequacy of the instruction.
1.3 Instructional Strategies because, this lesson has a clear sequence for acquiring knowledge
“Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31). In practice, instructional strategies interact with learning situations. The results of these interactions are often described by instructional models. The appropriate selection of instructional strategies and instructional models depends upon the learning situation (including learner characteristics), the nature of the content, and the type of learner objective.

2.4 Integrated Technologies because in this unit plan, students will use a variety of medium to learn & create.
“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40).  Integrated technologies are typically hypermedia environments which allow for: (a) various levels of learner control, (b) high levels of interactivity, and (c) the creation of integrated audio, video, and graphic environments. Examples include hypermedia authoring and telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and the World Wide

Ed Tech 501: Digital Divide/Inequality Presentation

Reflections on Digital Divide assignment (weeks of 04/01-04/14)

This assignment spanned a two week time period, with week one being spent on researching the digital divide & digital inequality, and week two preparing a narrated presentation on an issue and possible solution relating to digital divide that we have experienced.

First, this project required a lot of “thought time” to develop the topic, and figure out how to proceed with the presentation.  My first thoughts were that I haven’t experienced that much with the digital divide at our school.  In my six years teaching, only one student did not have internet access at home, and we are fortunate in our town, that most people have access to wired internet through our local cable company, and some people actually have the choice between cable access and Fios access.  It is still expensive, but in this town, it appears that accessing the internet at home is not the problem.  I then thought about two issues that I have been confronted with at school relating to the digital divide.  One is giving students who are out on extended medical absences access to the curriculum digitally, the second is having access to technology and the internet at school.  I chose the latter because, if we can harness digital power at school and create lessons incorporating access to lessons via computers, it will begin to address the former issue as well.

On that note, I set out to explore the digital inequality that exists in our high school.  This presentation attempts to outline the problem of accessing computers at Mansfield High as it relates to our core learning values.  The presentation proposes a possible solution via a hybrid one to one computing initiative combined with BYOD.

Here is the link presentation.  Simply click the play button to listen to & watch the presentation.  Looking forward to your feedback.

I chose the following AECT standards for this topic.

2.4 Integrated Technologies because this assignment required us to use different media to create the presentation.

“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40).  Integrated technologies are typically hypermedia environments which allow for: (a) various levels of learner control, (b) high levels of interactivity, and (c) the creation of integrated audio, video, and graphic environments. Examples include hypermedia authoring and telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and the World Wide Web.

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations because I hope that this presentation will begin the discussion of integrating technology at the school where I teach.

“Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 46). With an ultimate goal of bringing about change, the process includes stages such as awareness, interest, trial, and adoption.

3.4 Policies and Regulations because any change that involves technology in the classroom compared to our current curriculum delivery involves reviewing and updating current district policy. “Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47). This includes such areas as web-based instruction, instructional and community television, copyright law, standards for equipment and programs, use policies, and the creation of a system which supports the effective and ethical utilization of instructional technology products and processes.


Governing the States and Localities. (2013). Broadband speeds and availability in the US. Retrieved from http://www.governing.com/gov-data/broadband-speeds-availability.html

 Mansfield High School.  (2012).   Mansfield High School Student Handbook, retrieved frohttp://mansfieldschools.com/MHS/pdf%20files/MHS%202012-2013%20Student%20Handbook%20(sent%20to%20Primeir).pdf

Mullin, John (2012).  Towards the implementation of Mansfield’s five year strategic plan, the priorities. Retrieved from http://www.mansfieldma.com/The_Strategic_Plan_Priorities_5-1-2012.pdf

The Endicott Research Center, (2012). New England Association of Schools & Colleges Commission on Public Secondary Schools self-study survey results for Mansfield High School, retrieved from http://mansfieldschools.com/MHS/pdf%20files/NEASC/NEASC-CPSS_Aggregate_Report_10-11.pdf

US Department of Education.  (2010).  Transforming America, learning powered by technology. retrieved from  http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/netp2010-execsumm.pdf

Ed Tech 501 Challenges in Educational Technology

Over the past couple weeks, we read the New Media Consortium’s Annual Horizon Report on both trends and challenges in adopting technology in K-12 educational settings, as well as up and coming technology in grades K-12.  The report identifies six trends, six challenges,and six areas to adopt in the classroom.

The six trends in educational technology according to Johnson and Cummins are:

1. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.

2. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.

3. As the cost of technology drops and school districts revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming increasingly common for students to bring their own mobile devices.

4. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want.

5. Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate, and succeed.

6. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based, active learning. (p7).

These trends have varied sources, but paramount is that technology is advancing,and our students need to have access to technology to fully engage in their learning.

The six challenges in educational technology according to Johnson and Cummins are:

1. Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession, especially teaching.

2. K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.

3. The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.

4. Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructive way with emerging technologies.

5. Learning that incorporates real life experiences is not occurring enough and is  undervalued when it does take place.

6. Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and thus are not part of traditional learning metrics. (pp 9-10).

Another key challenge that is mentioned, but not included as one of the six is individual district’s constraints in terms of policy, human resources, budget, and physical plant.   

Lastly, the report reviews six emerging technologies.  The technologies are broken into three different time frames one year or less, two to three years, and and four to five years out.  The six technologies are as follows according to Johnson and Cummins:

One year or less

1. Mobile Devices

2. Tablet Computing

Two to three years

3. Game based Learning

4. Personal Learning Environments

Four to Five years out

5. Augmented reality

6. Natural User Interfaces

I thought about the trends, challenges, and possibilities listed in the report.  Our assignment was to think about the challenges listed in the report, and how one (or more) of the challenges relate to experiences in my class, and ultimately propose a solution.  We also needed to create an Xtranormal video to go along with the challenge(s).  I chose challenges 1-3, as they relate to accessing technology in the classroom.

 For my classroom, I see two obstacles.  I would like to create a student centered curriculum, where students have some freedom in choosing how they learn the standards and goals of the class.  As an integral piece of that, my students need to have access to technology to research, collaborate, share and create.  Currently our school has  desk-top computers in the library which can house about 40 students per period.  Our department also has a mobile laptop cart.  These are good starts to accessing technology, but our school has 1500 students, and the laptop cart is shared by 14 teachers.  As one might imagine, it is not always easy to access technology when needed.  In order to create a more student centered, project based classroom environment, I need to have access to technology in my classroom as needed.

There are two options available for implementing a one to one computing initiative, one, where the school provides the same type of device for all students, or a BYOD program where students bring their own electronics to school.  The former can be quite cost prohibitive, as it requires not only building the wireless infrastructure, but also buying, maintaining, and upgrading the devices.  For some districts, this is not feasible.   For example, Edina, Minnesota piloted a one to one computing strategy in the 2008-2009 school year, but realized “one to one computing is financially unsustainable” (Wong).  The Edina school district also did a study that suggested 55% of students prefer doing their homework on their own devices, rather than the district provided devices.  Accordingly,the district decided to adopt a BYOD program, where students were able to bring their own devices to school.  The district used the money that would have been spent on devices to “to train teachers and to build the technology infrastructure that would be needed to support BYOD. Specifically, the IT department beefed up the wireless network in its two middle schools and the high school and standardized on a set of cloud-based applications.” (Wong).  One concern about BYOD is that students do not always bring their devices with them or that students do not have their own devices.  The Hanover, PA district has 175 laptops on hand for students to use if they do not have one of their own or if they do not bring one with them.  According to the Hanover district, they are still working on this piece of the puzzle. (Wong).

When the Edina, Minnesota school district made the switch from one to one computing to BYOD, “91% of students reported accessing their own devices improved their learning, the majority of parents reported that their children were more organized, and completed more of their assignments, and lastly 97% of staff report that BYOD combined with a robust laptop cart program enhanced instruction”. (Walker).  It is in this light, that I chose implementing a BYOD for my challenge.

It is critical for a district to have a clear program and plan before beginning to implement any one to one or BYOD program   Studies show that to improve student achievement, any one to one program must have clear planning and implementation. (Herbert).  

The Edina district lays out 6 guidelines for a successful BYOD program including:

1. Define goals.  In order to be successful the district must have a clear picture of why/ how technology is important in the classroom.

2. Prepare the Infrastructure.  Before a school can roll out a program, the wireless network needs to in place and tested.  Schools should have access to cloud applications.  Also, schools need to have the necessary filters in place to ensure students are accessing appropriate sites.

3. Set Policy. Set acceptable use policy, be sure handbook is updated with policies.

4. Communicate with staff, students, parents. Some districts require permission slips and parent meeting before students can use their own devices.

5. Professional Development in terms of classroom management, curriculum integration ideas and differentiated products.  “Teachers should remember that there is often an analog equivalent to a student’s use of a device in the classroom. The same students who daydream out the window, doodle or write notes in the analog world will likely find ways to distract themselves in the digital world.” (Walker).

6. Address Equity and access to technology.  Some ideas include having a laptop cart available for students to sign out a laptop as needed.  Increase media center hours for students to work on computers before or after school.

Challenges in the assignment.

At first glance, I had a good solid plan for completing the assignment.  However, the more I read, and re-read the instructions, the more, I realized, I had to do.  I knew with some clarity, that the topic I had to research is obtaining technology in the classroom, but researching the different papers proved to be extremely time consuming.  Also, the Xtranormal video, although not difficult was time consuming.  I also wanted to keep my video simple to ensure that it was free technology.  It is important for me, as a teacher, to try free tech tools to determine their potential in my classroom, and free access is very important.   Playing with the camera angles was also time consuming.  After completing this assignment, I have a better idea of how to begin the conversation with school administration about the importance of integrating technology, as well as some basic information on how to begin to plan for any program.

Here is the xtranormal video.



Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from:  http://www.nmc.org/

Herbert, M. The advantages of Properly Implemented One to One technology.  District Administration. (November 2010).  Retrieved from: http://www.districtadministration.com/article/advantages-properly-implemented-one-one-technology

Walker, M. (2012).  6 Steps for increasing student access with BYOD.  Retrieved from: http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2012/03/6-steps-increasing-student-access-byod

Wong, W. (Spring 2012). One to One or BYOD? Districts explain thinking behind student computing initiatives. Ed Tech Magazine, Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2012/04/one-one-or-byod-districts-explain-thinking-behind-student-computing-initiatives

I chose the following AECT standards…

3.1 Media Utilization
3.1.1 Identify key factors in selecting and using technologies appropriate for learning situations specified in the instructional design process

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations
3.2.1 Identify strategies for the diffusion, adoption, and dissemination of innovations in learning communities.

3.2.2* Publicize the value of school media programs within the school, community, and local school district.

3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization
3.3.1 Use appropriate instructional materials and strategies in various learning contexts.3.3.2 Identify and apply techniques for integrating SMETS innovations in various learning contexts.
3.3.3 Identify strategies to maintain use after initial adoption.

I chose these because the project involved identifying strategies to adopt new technology.  I hope to share this with my principal to at least begin the discussion of implementing a technology policy and program.


Ed Tech 501: Research in Educational Technology

English: Albertson's Library at Boise State Un...

English: Albertson’s Library at Boise State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Link to annotated bibliography

One of my main objectives in pursuing the MET from Boise State is to use technology in my classroom, to both share information with students and also, to help students engage more fully in their learning by taking responsibility for their learning.  Accordingly, I am  interested in exploring the classroom efficacy of a one to one computing program, where all students have their own electronic device: laptop, tablet,smart phone, or other device.  I thought long and hard on the topic to research for the annotated bibliography artifact.  Two ideas came to mind immediately: 1. determine if one to one electronic device programs are effective learning tools in the high school setting, 2. determine if bring your own device (BYOD) programs are effective.  I decided to research the former because step one in my mind is to determine if having a one to one program in the high school classroom is an effective learning tool.  Step two is to determine what that device should be: laptop, tablet, or BYOD.  To that end, the five peer-reviewed articles that I researched relate to technology use in school, the efficacy of a 1:1 program in schools, and the potential of one to one programs on learning outcomes.

Subject Area: High School Science (Physics, Earth Science, Physical Science)

Instructional Objective: Pilot a 1:1 program in my classroom to to help students increase learning, and increase responsibility for their own learning.

Based on anecdotal stories that I have read in a variety of, blogs, and from speaking with peers, I have come to believe that each student should have access to some type of electronic device in the classroom via a dedicated one to one program.  However, my just saying that I think we need a dedicated one to one program in my classroom will not get the devices for my classroom,nor does it prove that it is a worthwhile program,  I need to demonstrate to school administration that access to electronics will enhance and increase student learning, and student’s ownership of the learning.  It is not enough to simply have technology, but to use that technology to  empower students to take ownership of their learning by using technology to learn, annotate, and ultimately showcase their learning.   A dedicated one to one program would help achieve this goal by giving students more choice in their learning, and in how they present they learning.  A dedicated one to one computing program will also help students hone their research and presentation skills.  Of course, living in the 21st century means that most schools will want proof in terms of high stake test scores; however, other important skills are developed by 1:1 programs that cannot be given a score on a high stakes test.  Some examples are research skills, collaborative skills, varied ways (beyond the test) to showcase learning, etc.  I envision interactive lessons, where the teacher guides the students with a series of questions, whole class activities, and project based learning activities.  The students then have the responsibility of learning the material with teacher guidance, and ultimately demonstrating that knowledge via both traditional test & other summative assessments that utilize the technology.

Reflections on the assignment

It took me several days  to figure out where to go with this assignment.  I knew in general, the topic that I wanted to explore, utilizing 1:1 technology in class.  I think that in order for a program to be effective as a learning program & cost effective, schools need to explore the BYOD method as part of any one to one initiative.  If a student does not have access to a device, the school can provide one in class. This way, students are using devices with which they are familiar, everyone in the class has access.  I have talked to my students, and those with laptops thought it would be a good idea to use their own device rather than one from the portable lap-top cart that I currently use.  At any given moment, several of the laptops seem not to work, adding to student frustration.

Another challenge was the initial research phase.  With the exception of one paper I did for a grad class about ten years ago, the last time I did serious research, I used a card catalog and the Dewey Decimal System to find resources.  Using the databases was a learning experience for me, and it was amazing to see how much is available.  I did find it challenging to figure out the best databases, but doing research is a skill that requires practice, and it will get easier.  I enjoyed the Google Scholar , and in fact showed my students this week in class how to use the Google Tool to do research directly from their Google Document.  I will definitely continue to fine tune my research skills as I prepare more artifacts, and share my knowledge with my students.

One of the more difficult aspects of this assignment was finding relevant articles that were both current and accessible to anyone.  I was able to find many articles using the databases available at Albertsons Library at Boise State University, but most of these could not be accessed by anyone, only people with access to the databases. Using Google Scholar, I was able to find some current articles accessible by everyone, but it seemed that many of the articles were several years old.

I chose the following AECT standards

1.1 Instructional Systems Design:  Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction.

I chose this because for this assignment, I needed to analyze and evaluate a variety of articles.

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies:  Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.

I chose this standard, because in creating the annotated bibliography, I used computer based technologies to create the references, and complete the research.

3.4 Policies and Regulations:  Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology.

This standard may pertain to the rules of bibliography formatting.

4.4 Information Management:  Information management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning.

This is the bulk of the assignment.  For the assignment, I needed to plan and analyze a variety of articles for use to support my educational goal of implementing a one to one program.


Ed Tech 501 RSS in the classroom & beyond

RSS in the classroom…I created three bundles, one related to science in the news, since I teach science, and love to read the latest news.  The second bundle is related to Educational Technology resources, since that is what the scope of the assignment is all about.  The third is  a bundle of Teaching Science, some involve technology so could be in bundle #2, but I liked pulling out the science specific teaching resources.

Science in the news

Educational Technology Teaching Resources

Science Teaching Resources

First, I had to figure out exactly what is RSS, and second how to use it, before I could begin to think about how to use it in the classroom.

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a way to collect all the resources (news articles, blog posts, etc) you want to review in one convenient location.  I think it is a useful tool, as I already subscribe to news stories via email, but now that I use RSS, I no longer have to weed through so many emails to find information.  It really will help to clean up my inbox, and organize information into one convenient place.  Of course, it took me some time to figure out which websites to choose.  It seems, like all things web related, each click brings one to a new & interesting site.  Weeding through all these sites can be time consuming, but now that I have done it, all the news that I want is delivered to my Google Reader in one convenient location without filling my inbox or requiring me to search the web daily.  Once I get into a routine of using the Google Reader, I think it will be a real time saver.

Of course, it will require maintenance, as I delete some feeds, and add others.  The one organization that I wish used RSS is the National Science Teacher’s Association list server.  I have signed up to receive email updates from fellow teachers of Earth Science and Physics, but there are days when my email box is filled with these valuable teaching questions and ideas, and emails are rejected as a result.  It will be great if and when this email list server goes RSS!

When I think about how to use RSS in the high school classroom, a couple of ideas come to mind.  First, if a teacher has a website or a blog, the teacher could set up RSS feed to which students could subscribe.  Any updates or changes to assignments could be posted there.  That way students could get the latest information without having to go the website or blog.  It might be a way for the school or school district to communicate with families as well.  Second idea that comes to mind, is that it might be a way to help students with research for projects.  Perhaps RSS could be a way to organize acceptable  articles and resources to use for research.

Taking it a step further, students could create their own blog as a way to showcase their learning, a digital portfolio.  I think it would be a good way to notify classmates and teachers when new content is added.

Since RSS is new to me, I am sure that my ideas will evolve as I learn how to use it.  One thing is for sure, RSS is another tool that we can use in schools to help keep students connected.

I chose standard 2.4 Integrated Technologies because RSS uses a computer to integrate information from a variety of sources.  Additionally, I chose standard 4.2 Resource Management because creating the RSS feed involves  monitoring & controlling support systems.  I enjoyed this assignment.  I hope it cleans up my inbox & helps to keep me more organized and informed.

Ed Tech 501, beginning of class thoughts…Learning Curve

Whenever I take a class, at some point, I am always struck by just how much there is to learn!  That’s a good thing, its fun to learn new things, and improve skills.  Sometimes, knowing how much there is to learn can be stressful.  I don’t want to let it worry me, so I try not to think of it as so much to do, but rather an opportunity for me.  Same is true with this class.  As Dr. Schroeder said, “Relax!”.  I also feel like in this class, there is an added learning curve, as I’m not   tech savvy.  I thought I was making strides using Twitter, but boy do I have a lot to learn! There are so many options out there, I have to figure which avenue is best for the task at hand.  For example, there is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, work email, personal email, Boise State Email.  There is also Diigo, Google Circles, Google chat, Google Reader, Adobe Connect rooms, and Boise State Moodle forums.  Not to mention other on-line tools such as Edmodo, Engrade, and the on-line tools such as x2 and Naviance that we use at work!  So many websites and webtools, I’m sure some have very different functions, but I bet there is some duplicity.  I need to figure out how to manage all these sites & tools, while also learning which tools will help my instruction.  Let the learning begin!