Week 10: Futures of Education

Today we live in a world where technology is the foundation of almost everything we do. As educators we cannot live in the past, we have to be able evolve and adapt to our ever changing technological environment. This is necessary because we need to be able to provide our students with the best learning environment possible. Thin clients and blade PCs was the first subject presented in the discussion. At WOU this is already seen campus wide. The school is based upon a centralized network where each individual, student and faculty, possesses a username and password that allows them to login to access their “profile” from anywhere on campus, and/or off campus by logging into the server through a remote desktop connection. This is a very justifiable investment for schools to make because it is cost effective, energy efficient, reliable, and easy to manage. Some of the problems that arise from this are server crashes. We encounter this at WOU on occasion. The server goes down and it takes some time to be able to fix but after it is fixed everything returns back to normal. I see this technological advancement as the most logical to be implanted in schools nation wide because of the reasons stated above.

Virtualization was a little hard for me to be able to grasp my head around. The best way I can describe or understand it would be to view all of the outside boxes as individual external hard drives connected to one computer. All of these external hard drives are able to function at the same time. With all of the applications existing on the external hard drives this allows your device to be able to run quickly and smoothly by keeping it free from all the clutter that it would have to run in order to do the same jobs. I believe that our school uses this and can be seen as our h: drive for example. Instead of saving documents into the device we save it onto this disk or drive. This allows us to be able to access it anywhere on campus. I believe that this is an example of using virtualization. Virtualization is user friendly, cost effective (allowing machines to run smoother longer, don’t need to have as many machines), and easy to manage.

Gesture-based learning is something that uses Kinect. Kinect observes your movements and allows a user to be able to control a PC or program through their gestures. This is creative and would be fun to be able to observe in a classroom setting. After watching the videos and reading the overview, I honestly can’t see this being extremely successful. I can see it being used yes, but when you take into consideration all of the variables I just can’t see this being a successful intervention. As the technology develops in the future it may become more useful and accepted, especially with mathematics. I can also see it being used with dynamic movement or exercise science. The number one underlying factor behind educational systems being able to use something like this is funds. By the time schools are able to afford this new innovation a new, better, more expensive one is going to be presented and the circle just continues. Instructor training, student’s ability to stay focused, and curriculum are all things that also play a factor when wanting to try to implement this into a school setting.

Learning analytics was the last topic, but certainly not the least. It was by far the most influential for me. Steve Schoettler’s presentation and reading presented some great features about being able to advance our educational system. At the beginning of his presentation he talked about “feedback”. The fact that it took our government two years to be able to analyze the data disturbed him. He looked at examples where feedback measures were implemented and the positive results that it created. He also looked that the learner and what we currently focus on, knowledge- skills, understanding. He continued to present that not only should we focus on this but we need to include cognitive ability, multiple intelligence, background, and personality and all of the subsets of individualizations that come from each of these characteristics. With technology we can create an educational system that will provide a personalized feedback system to develop a better learner centered curriculum.

Week 9: Resources

http://pbl-online.org/

PBL-Online provides teachers with a one stop solution for research when looking at everything revolving around PBL. Learn the background and what defines PBL. Learn how to plan a challenging project that revolves around proper standards, which also provides the student with 21st century skills and high level of learning and understanding. Learn different teaching strategies. You can review research that has been done on the subject and also a list of other online resources that you can reach out too as well. NETS-T # 1, 2, and 5 are met because this promotes students learning abilities and also allows the teacher to research and develop skills to be able to implement a successful project-based lesson into the class.

http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning

This site is great for teachers who are looking to implement PBL into their classroom.

It provides you with research, different strategies of teaching. It gives a teacher a ton of information in a lot of different ways that really gives a positive outlook on why and how to implement this intervention into the classroom. With all the different videos and other information given you can present the background and research to people to be able to successfully implement this into your classroom. NETS-T again #1,2, and 5 are met because promotes learning and creativity while also creating something through research to implement in the classroom.

http://www.bie.org/

I would consider this along with edutopia to be the best online resources available. It provides teachers with videos about PBL, different tools that are necessary, services that are available, and a blog for teachers as well. This is very a very organized online service that provides the teacher with everything they need to know to be able to implement this into their classroom. I believe that this resource meets all the NETS-T standards. Because this is really a one stop shop for educators to be able to do everything they need to accomplish in being able to implement this approach and grow as an educator as well.

http://cell.uindy.edu/transformingeducation/NTHSresources.php

Cell (Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning) was created in 2001 at the University of Indianapolis serves as one of the leading organizations and collaborator for dynamic and new educational practices to dramatically impact student academic success and achievement throughout Indiana. CELL believes that all students should gratduate high school no matter what type of background they come from. Students will also be provided with all the skills necessary for education after high school along with necessary tools needed in the 21st-century. NETS-S this allows the educator to be able to meet all the NETS standards that students need. It allows students to be creative, collaborate, research, problem solve, and learn techniques that they will carry through their life.

http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic43.htm

This resource provides you with a guide to the different types of interventions; project, problem, and inquiry based learning. The resource gives you different links for each type to be able to get background knowledge on each approach. Each intervention has its specific advantages in technology rich environment but these approaches don’t necessarily focus on the technology as much as it focuses on the individuals learning experiences and making it meaningful to the student. NETS-T I believe that this meets 5 the most because it allows teachers to be able to compare and contrast which approach best fits them and their classroom.

http://college.cengage.com/education/pbl/background.html

This is another great site for teachers to look at when considering PBL or looking for projects. The site gives information about the background and research of PBL and helpful teaching tips. I would use this site to find ideas for PBL projects, although there are not many projects to look at, the projects provide a good model when designing your own PBL project. This site meets NETS-T 2 and 3 because it allows them to be able to use technology to be able to present this type of intervention to their classroom.

http://www.4teachers.org/projectbased/

This website presents what PBL projects are and offers helpful printable PBL checklists. You can customize the checklists by grade level and/or by the type of project that the students will be completing. Teachers can use this website to be able to show their students how to create a proper checklist to be able to manage and track their progression an plan as they complete certain tasks of the project. This provides structure for the student to follow to be able to create a successful project. NETS-T 2 and NETS-S 3 and 4 because allows the instructor to provide the students with a structure and foundation to create their project from.

http://pblchecklist.4teachers.org/index.shtml

As with the previous resource this source allows you to see what and how to present checklists for PBL projects. You can customize the checklist by grade level and by project type to better fit what the project is trying to accomplish. Teachers can use this site to be able to present to their students on how to create a proper checklist so that they can manage their process as they work on their project. Again this allows the student to follow a structured list to complete a successful project. NETS-T 2 and NETS-S 3 and 4 because allows the instructor to provide the students with a structure and foundation to create their project from.

http://www.project-approach.com/

This is a great resource for teachers because it provides examples of projects, early child hood development projects, pre-school projects, curriculum, lesson plans, project templates, different approaches, and activities. Teachers can come to this resource and go in any direction they would want to be able to research the different projects and how to approach implementing PBL in their classroom. NETS-T this resource meets all of the teacher’s standards. It allows the teacher to be able to go in any direction they need to, to be able to develop a successful lesson.

http://www.thinkquest.org/promotion/white_papers/WhitePaper.pdf

I took the following directly from ThinkQuest because I thought that it best depicts what this resource is trying to accomplish. “In project learning, students discover the meaning of what they learn by working together to solve complex, real-world problems, rather than being taught facts from books. In response, the Oracle Education Foundation has developed an online learning platform called ThinkQuest to extend the benefits of project learning to classrooms globally. This paper draws on a broad international research base and case studies of actual classroom projects supported by ThinkQuest to illustrate both the theory and practice of 21st century teaching and learning.” (http://www.thinkquest.org/promotion/white_papers/WhitePaper.pdf, p. 1) NETS-S this resource meets all the NETS-S standards as it touches on all aspects of what students need to be able to be successful in the classroom as well as into their adult life.

 

Week 9: Article Review

Title: GETTING A GRIP ON PROJECT-BASED LEARNING: THEORY, CASES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Author(s): Michael M. Grant

Source: MERIDIAN: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal

This article found in a journal designated, specifically, for middle school, provides a great overall summary of why and how to implement project-based learning (PBL). This article looks at the background, theoretical reasoning, anatomy, and foundation for teachers to be able to successfully implement this type of intervention.

PBL has a long history and can be dated back as far as the early 1900’s. The theory behind this intervention is based upon two concepts, constructivism and constructionism. Constructivism: “individuals construct knowledge though interactions with their environment, and each individual’s knowledge construction is different. So, through conducting investigations, conversations or activities, an individual is learning by constructing new knowledge by building on their current knowledge.”(p. 2) Constructionism: Individuals learn best when they are constructing a project that is personally meaningful that can be shared with their peers and reflected on. The personalization of these artifacts allows the individual to become more engaged in their learning process. “By focusing on the individual learner, project-based learning strives for “considerable individualization of curriculum, instruction and assessment-in other words, the project is learner-centered” (Moursund, 1998, p.4).”(p. 2)

The foundation and anatomy PBL consist of 7 characteristics.

  1. an introduction to “set the stage” or anchor the activity;
  2.  a task, guiding question or driving question;
  3. a process or investigation that results in the creation of one or more sharable artifacts;
  4. resources, such as subject-matter experts, textbooks and hypertext links;
  5. scaffolding, such as teacher conferences to help learners assess their progress, computer-based questioning and project templates;
  6. collaborations, including teams, peer reviews and external content specialists; and
  7. opportunities for reflection and transfer, such as classroom debriefing sessions, journal entries and extension activities. (p. 3)

Project-based learning allows students to be active in constructing and developing their knowledge. Based from constructivism and constructionism the students learn through communication, cooperation, and collaboration to develop a project or artifact that can be shared and reviewed by peers. This type of learning allows the student to be more engaged and have a better overall understanding of the task at hand.

The theme for the last two weeks has been project-based learning in grades 6-8. This article is a perfect resource because it provides us with the background, theory, examples in research, theory, and an anatomical foundation of how to implement this intervention. Through this course I have developed a better understanding of the constructivist theory behind teaching and learning and it is something that I want to implement in my classroom in the future. This article was extremely interesting because it allowed me to develop a way of being able to successfully implementing PBL in the classroom.

As stated last week this type of intervention doesn’t discriminate toward any of the NETS standards as far as teachers or students are concerned. It’s almost as if the NETS standards were based off of this type of teaching/learning.

Students

1.      Creativity and Innovation

2.      Communication and Collaboration

3.      Research and Information Fluency

4.      Critical thinking, Problem solving, and Decision making

5.      Digital Citizenship

6.      Technology Operations and Concepts

Teachers

1.      Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

2.      Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessment

3.      Model Digital-Age Work and Learning

4.      Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

5.      Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Week 8: Project Based Learning

Title: Learning History in Middle School by Designing Multimedia in a Project-Based Learning Experience

Author(s): Pedro Hernández-Ramos, Susan De La Paz

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education

This article looked at the effectiveness of Project-Based Learning (PBL) versus a teaching that did not rely on group work or collaborative activity in two eighth grade history classes in Northern California. The theoretical reasoning behind PBL in this study was generated from the Constructivist Theory and its instructional strategies. Key points that the article points out are:

• Learners bring unique prior knowledge and beliefs to a learning situation.

• Knowledge is constructed uniquely and individually, in multiple ways, through a variety of tools, resources, and contexts.

• Learning is both an active and reflective process.

• Learning is developmental. We make sense of our world by assimilating, accommodating, or rejecting new information.

• Social interaction introduces multiple perspectives on learning.

• Learning is internally controlled and mediated by the learner.

Given the principals above the article suggests that it provides a solid structure for instruction based upon PBL that involves students in a shared, collaborative, reflective and active learning experience.

The method in which this study was conducted was between two eighth grade history classes in Northern California that had two veteran teachers. Both classrooms had the same lesson plan of learning about westward expansion during a six-week period and they also had the same number of lessons for learning content. The defined the two classrooms as a comparison group and an intervention group. The comparison group did not alter its previous lesson plan during the six week period where the intervention group completed a lesson plan that consisted around PBL. Both schools conducted a pre and post-test to be able to compare and analyze results.

Results from this study showed promise in favor of the intervention group. Results from students in the intervention group stated that the group showed better knowledge gains and also allowed the students to increase their historical thinking. A lesson plan that was based around activity, creativity, and collaboration (working in groups not alone) enhances the argument of the constructivist theory and its ability to create a better learning environment.

My theme for the week is Project Based Learning in grade levels 6-8. This article is a good resource because it provides us with a general structure and theory behind why instructors should implement PBL in the classroom. This article was extremely interesting to read through because it was thorough in its explanation of why and the theory behind PBL, the method in which the study was conducted, and the statistical analysis and results that the data was able to provide. The discussion in the article was very interesting to read because it indicated that this type of learning environment is very suitable and justifiable. It provides students with the ability to perform better, retain the information, and enhance their thinking and creativity. In the future with my students, this sort of lesson plan will be very beneficial in being able to involve the kids in the classroom with each other and allow them to develop better communication skills while working together. Help them develop their skills with technology because of the need to access both primary and secondary sources to be able to develop their project, while also, enhancing their creativity and thinking abilities at the same time.

There are plenty of NETS standards that are met by this resource. For students, it really meets all the standards that NETS provides us with. There isn’t one that gets neglected by implementing PBL. For teachers, I would have to say that it also meets all the NETS standards as well. Again this type of learning environment does not neglect any of the NETS standards in which they present us with.

Students

1.      Creativity and Innovation

2.      Communication and Collaboration

3.      Research and Information Fluency

4.      Critical thinking, Problem solving, and Decision making

5.      Digital Citizenship

6.      Technology Operations and Concepts

Teachers

1.      Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

2.      Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessment

3.      Model Digital-Age Work and Learning

4.      Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

5.      Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Week 7: Resources

http://www.educationalnetworking.com/home

“Educational Networking” is the use of social networking technologies for educational purposes. Because of the negative feelings toward “social networking” the name “educational networking” may be a better way of looking at the educational tools that social networking can provide in the classroom. This website provides articles from research that has been done. It also gives links to other resources as well. Teachers will find this very useful when looking at the why and how when it comes to social networking. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning. Students 6. Technology operations and concepts 4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. 2. communication and collaboration.

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/05/teachers-comprehensive-guide-to-use-of.html

This resource provides an educator with a comprehensive guide to why social networking should be implemented into the classroom. Social networking is not going away, so instead of allowing students to use it as a tool for procrastination allow them to use it as an educational tool. This is also an important resource for teachers when they are researching the why and how of social networking in the classroom. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning. Students 6. Technology operations and concepts 4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. 2. Communication and collaboration.

http://www.sophia.org/

Sophia is a social network whose sole focus is on education. Sophia is a free social network that provides teachers with credible content to be used in the classroom, an open education environment, provide study groups for the teacher and the students. It provides the students with help on homework, connect with students, teachers and tutors, collaborate with others. Sophia is a great resource because it provides everything that you could think or want out of online services. It is a social networking service but it is also an open network of teachers and students. This resources meets all of the NETS standards. There isn’t a standard that is left untouched by all that it provides.

http://www.sklobal.com

This resource is a social network that focuses on the social and professional networking between educators across the world. They wanted to educators to be able to connect, communicate, collaborate with each other on an international level to be able to grow, share ideas, teaching practices, and also job opportunities. This is a great resource for educators to continue learning and also sharing what they have learned through their teaching career. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership 2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessment.

http://www.classroom20.com/

Classroom 2.0 is a great resource for educators interested in what social networking can provide for the classroom. They have over 70,000 members from 188 different countries that connect and participate in educational discussions. This resource provides educators with the ability to connect and share and learn with others internationally. . NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning

http://www.iste-community.org/

ISTE is a membership association for educators that want to improve learning and teaching. This group of members consists of 100,000 members world wide. This is a great social network for educators to be able to provide tools and experiences as well as to obtain them. Educators can be involved in discussions as well as start new forums and blogs. ISTE is also formed around the NETS standards which is mentioned in the ISTE about us section. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning.

http://www.edutopia.org/

This is a great resource for educators when researching the why and how for social networking and its implementation into the classroom. This resource provides models for implementation and how it can be used. It also gives links to other resources as well. This is also a great resource for other educational uses other than social networking. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning.

http://www.technologyintegrationineducation.com/

This resource is a good for educators to become member to be able to communicate and collaborate with other educators. Membership allows you to be involved in discussions and forums and create blogs. This is a great way to be able to connect and advance your teaching ability and career and network with others. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning.

http://www.the21stcenturyteacher.com/

The 21st Century Teacher is a network of educators internationally that collaborate to integrate technology into the classroom. This network of educators have discussions and forums, post blogs, and share different opinions and success and failure stories. This is a great resource for educators when looking at all technology integration not only social networking in the classroom but by being in a social network themselves and networking with other educators internationally. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning.

http://betterlesson.com/

Better Lesson is a resource for educators to be involved in a social network as well. Like many of the previous resources this allows educators to be involved in discussion, forums, and blogs. By being in a social network as an educator allows an educator to advance his/herself individually as an educator and provide a better learning experience. Technology is something that we are going to have to integrate into our classrooms and this allows teachers to be able to communicate and collaborate together to be able to obtain the best results out of integration. NETS 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. 3. Model digital age work and learning.

 

 

Week 7: Article Review

Title: Findings on Facebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and

student uses and perceptions of social networking sites

Author(s): M.D. Roblyer, Michelle McDaniel, Marsena Webb, James Herman, James Vince Witty

Source: Internet and Higher Education 2010 Volume 13   pp. 134-140

The growth of social networking is increasing at a high rate within all ages of our population. The use of social networking within our students from adolescents to those in higher education is quite abundant. Because students use social networking as a tool to interact with each other in a social manner many teachers and education systems don’t allow the use of these social networking sites in the classroom. On the other hand there are educators who see this as a potential to increase the students involvement by implementing social networking into their classroom. This study wanted to look at the different perceptions of using social networking in the classroom between students and faculty.

95% of all students involved said that they had an account with a social networking site. 73% of faculty members said that they also had an account with a social networking site as well. Frequency on checking accounts did not differ between the two groups. The majority of people checking their Facebook 1-5 times a day, with a quarter of the people checking it less than 1 time per day and a quarter of people checking it 5-10 times per day. Given the frequency that both groups check their social networking account the use of connecting in an educational manner was almost non existent. Some students did use it to connect with other classmates and faculty used it to connect with alumni and past students as well. The perception that social networking sites did differ in a manner in which students were much more willing and open to the idea that it would be convenient to use in an educational manner where faculty leaned toward the idea that social networking did not belong in the classroom.

With the uprising use of technology in students there is a large interest in being able to use social networking as a tool in education. This study shows that there is a difference in perception of how social networking can be used. Students are much more open to the idea where faculty members aren’t convinced that there is a place for it.

This is relevant because we are at a stage where technology is starting to take a huge priority in everything we do. In higher education social networking can be used to help students communicate, collaborate with each other and with their instructor in a way that is different from the formal setting of the classroom. It also makes the ability to be able to communicate with each other much easier because of ease of access at anytime anywhere. Social networking allows the classroom learning to move beyond the classroom setting and into a persons life throughout the day instead of having to wait till next class period to be able to address a question or problem. NETS standards that are met by this 2. communication and collaboration 4. critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making 6. technology operations and concepts and by teachers 1. facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity 3. model digital age work and learning 5. engage in professional growth and leadership.

Week 6: Article Review

Title: Facebook© Goes to College: Using Social Networking Tools to Support Students

Undertaking Teaching Practicum

Author(s): Rebecca English, Jennifer Duncan-Howell

Source: MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

As technology has grown from our near past to now, we have seen many changes and advantages that the internet can provide to everyone. One of the most popular things that people use the internet for is social networking, mostly to stay in touch with friends and family. With the large amount of students who use social networking; educators have thought about a way to engage students in an educational manner that involves the use of social networking. Facebook© Goes to College: Using Social Networking Tools to Support Students Undertaking Teaching Practicum focused on a cohort of students in an undergraduate university setting while doing their teaching practicum off of campus.

The study took a cohort of students while doing their practicum off campus and measured the involvement and collaboration between students and educator. The study wanted to measure the involvement between students and their lecturer to be able to provide resources tools to one another because of the off campus setting. There were 28 students involved and two administrators that controlled the study group. The study used Facebook©, and its ability to create a closed group page, which means that students had to request to be in the group and nobody outside the group could access or see the contents of the page. Posts were posted on the “wall”, which is the front page application and made available when you open the page. “The wall” allows students or people to be able to comment about you or certain subjects.

“The wall” posts were categorized by the two administrators in to five themes; excitement, problem, joke, solution, and other. The “other” category contained posts that usually involved group reinforcement, encouragement, and support. This category was usually initiated by the students themselves and consisted of answers or comments of previous postings or general comments and received the largest number of comments on the group page. Excitement was the second largest category that received comments. Most of these comments came from before and during the beginning of the practicum about how excited they were about doing the practicum and after the practicum was over about how excited they were to be a teacher and start their career. Problem, Solution, and Joke categories all equally had the same number of comments. Students would post problems that they were concerned about and were often met with solutions by their peers instead of by the lecturer. This is interesting to see that students were able to collaborate together and generate a positive solution to a problem.

Overall this study looked at social networking with students based in an off campus setting while doing their practicum and its ability to collaborate students and their lecturer to provide tools and resources to each other. The easy to use front page application of “the wall” provided by Facebook© might be the reason for the high involvement students took in the social networking. This study concluded that it was successful in being able to provide tools and resources needed by the students during the duration of the course.

Social networking in this study met many NETS standards. Standards met by the students 2) Communication and Collaboration, by providing the students with an easy to use application to be able to comment and reply to in a quick and easy manner. 4) Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making was also a standard met. Through the time students were conducting their practicum many of them came across problems that needed to be addressed. The students would post the problem on the page and in most cases other students would provide a solution to the problem instead of the lecturer needing to do so. Standards met by the educator 1) Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity; again going back to the problem and solution topic where students would come across problems while doing their practicum students would look to other students for solutions to their problem, thus learning how to become and better teacher.

This study interested me very much because it looked at students that were doing their educational teaching practicum in a school setting. Social networking with Facebook© allowed students and the lecturer to easily be brought together and provide each other with tools and resources needed while doing their practicum off campus. This study was directly connected to my topic of social networking with undergraduate students. It is also relevant to all of us because of what we are doing now and what we are going to be doing in the near future.