Final Project

My Final Project

Global Socialization

In today’s society, many of America’s youth walk down the school hallways or pass people along the streets while talking on their cell phones, and listening to their iPod players. Often times, there is always an individual within sight who is tediously typing away on a keyboard or glaring into the screen of their laptop. With this knowledge in mind, educators need to apply this way of living to the learning environment.
The focal point of this project is ePals, http://www.epals.com (ePals, 2009). The Visual Blooms (Fisher, M., 2009) Technology Tree will also be used to help enforce technology in the classroom and further expand its acceptance and reassure the comfort level of technology use in the school environment. The Visual Blooms website, http://visualblooms.wikispaces.com/, provides a number of alternative links that further expand on the Technology Tree.

I chose to introduce an educator and past coworker, Mrs. P., to different aspects of technology and how to apply those aspects to distance education. A short discussion about what was needed to complete the final expectations was discussed, followed by a string of emails. The emails set up what we would discuss in our official meeting and when this meeting would take place. After bulleting a couple of topics of discussion, an appointed time was set for December 09, 2009 after school. Mrs. P. feels very strongly about wanting to learn what is available and how to best utilize those tools. With spring 2011 classes, I will be able to further design and implement a more structure-like use of the tools; hence, this paper is being written as a project summary, the development will continue into future Education Technology courses. I will personally be assisting Mrs. P. with any activities she should need a collaborative aide for.

Firstly, Mrs. P. established her interest in digital storytelling. EPals also happens to have a classroom connect link on the home page for this very same idea. The page lists subtopics in which every educator must address:
• Essential questions (4)
• Objectives (5)
• Culminating activity
• Standards (2 Language Arts, 6 Technology)
Project Elements:
• Overview
• Objectives
• Essential questions
• Supporting questions
• Academic vocabulary
• Culminating activity
• Materials / Handouts
• Reflection / Assessments
• Related resources
• Extended learning

A Project Calendar is also included where the instructor is to know when everything needs to be completed. Since all participating educators will be operating on this calendar, there should be little room for confusion or miscommunication. EPals makes digital storytelling a very fun and an educational learning event.

There are many other projects that stem from ePals that enforce the importance of distance education and how it has become not only a natural way of learning, but is fundamental for success. The global awareness is now a key feature in our society and one way we can best solve the need to form a global perspective is through long-distance web based communications. Of course there are many other alternative ways of communication, but the focus of this project is computer based.

Moving on, Visual Blooms (Fisher, M., 2009) is a nicely laid out tree of technology tools. Mrs. P. has informed me that she has heard of Ning, a type of forum/chat, in which she was interested in making a classroom for her kids in. Ning takes up several positions in the tree and would be a valuable resource to look into for the future. At this point, I provided a printout of the Tech. Tree to Mrs. P. to further evaluate.

As a guide, Laurence Peters book, Global Education, Using Technology to Bring the World to Your Students, has been a phenomenal resource. Peter mentions that Web 2.0 and the Learning Theory is an opportunity to globalize classrooms and breakdown barriers. The book is extremely well laid out, and is a joy to read. It would make a wonderful addition to any Education Technology course or for any educator who is ready to take that next step into the web arena. Peters provides an exciting outlook for the 21st century student and the educator. His book spans topics from wikis, iEARN, to ePals. In fact, Peter includes projects with the sites he mentions. I intend to introduce and hopefully carry out many of these projects with Mrs. Powers after digital storytelling. What is most phenomenal has to be the APPENDIX. A collection of links to mega sites offering lesson plans and other resources.

This project has been very constructive in the many places it has lead me in my mind and in person. In reality, it only has begun, so I look forward to a whole new chapter when the semester starts up again. Mrs. P.’s enthusiasm and motivation, I believe, will be a spark not only for the students, but for other faculty. With any luck, other educators will join in on the process of social globalization before the 2010 school year is out.

References
ePals. (2009). Retrieved December 9, 2009, from http://www.epals.com/
Fisher, M. (2009). Visual Blooms. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from http://visualblooms.wikispaces.com/
Peters, L. (2009). Global education Using technology to bring the world to your students. Washington D. C.: International Society for Technology in Education.

APPENDIX
1 Technology Tree from Visual Blooms (Fisher, M., 2009)

2 Full Digital Storytelling Calendar is not pasted (ePals, 2009)

3 25 Tools Descriptive Chart (Fisher, M., 2009)
Category TOP TOOLS SMIL
TUTORIALS LEARNING TOOLS
DIRECTORY LISTINGS
1 Web browser Firefox | Google Chrome
Firefox
Browsers, Extensions, Toolbars & Players

2 Social bookmarking tool Delicious | diigo
Delicious
Social Bookmarking tools

3 Blogging tool Wordpress | Blogger
Wordpress
Blogging tools

4 RSS/Feed reader Google Reader | Bloglines
Google Reader
RSS/Feed readers & Alerts

5 Micro- blogging tool Twitter | Tweetdeck
Twitter
Micro-blogging tools
Twitter apps

6 Email gMail/Google Mail | Outlook£
gMail
Email, SMS, Voice & Video Messaging tools

7 Instant Messaging Skype
Skype
Instant Messaging & Voice call tools

8 Personal productivity tool Evernote | Google Calendar
Google Calendar
Note Taking & Sharing tools
Calendars, Event & Meeting Scheduling

9 Mind mapping Freemind | Bubbl.us
– Mind mapping & brainstorming tools

10 Presentation tool PowerPoint£ | Prezi
– Presentation tools

11 Presentation sharing tool Slideshare | VoiceThread
Slideshare
Presentation hosting & sharing tools

12 Online office suite Google Docs | Zoho
Google Docs
Document, spreadsheet & database tools

13 Web conferencing Dimdim | Adobe Connect£
Dimdim
Web conferencing (& screen sharing) tools

14 Course authoring tool Articulate£ | Lectora£
– Course authoring tools
Interactivity tools
Quizzing and testing tools

15 Screen capture SnagIt£ | Jing
Jing
Screen capture, screencasting and software demo tools
Learning games and simulation tools

16 Demo/Screencasting tool Camtasia | Adobe Captivate£ | Jing

17 Web authoring Dreamweaver£ | Google Sites
Google Sites
Web authoring tools (& HTML editors)

18 Wiki tool PBworks | Wikispaces
Wiki tools

19 Image/photo tools flickr | Adobe Photoshop£
flickr
File hosting/sharing tools
Media creation and editing tools

20 Audio/podcasting tools Audacity | iTunes
Audacity | iTunes
Podcasting tools

21 Video tools YouTube | Flip£
YouTube
Video tools, hosting and sharing sites

22 Personal dashboard iGoogle | Netvibes
iGoogle
Start Pages

23 Course management system Moodle
Moodle
Course & Learning (Content) Management System

24 Social networking Ning | LinkedIn | Facebook
Join a Ning | Set up a Ning
Social networking (& community) tools
Social Networks
Facebook apps

25 Integrated social media platform Elgg
Elgg
Social learning systems
Team, Group & Enterprise Collaboration tools

The WOW factor -must check out!

Okay, so I was looking atthe journal. The cover article is the WoW factor. The picture shows a guild, nice one too, standing atop a hill. The group is armored to the hilt. Being a previous Warcraft player, I was curious as to why the educational dept. was recieveing mags about WOW. So, I went to the journal‘s web site to sign-up (free) and low and behold, I discovered a guild of educators!!! Guild Name: Cognitive Dissonance

WOW Guild: Cognitive Dissonance
(Guild Master Vyktorea is center front)


They are ranked #8 out of 333 guilds on their server, so they are no small group to trifle with. Their guild leader,Vyktorea, is an assistant super. Another biggy I met last night (I joined up of course: Camdenai) was Syzyrgy and he is a Tech. Dir. They are both out of New York. I also met Denata and she is from Shepardsville, KY.

If you ever thought of joining a MMORPG and talking a little education, this is the group.

They also spoke of a WOW project in the article. Check it out (includes lesson plans, etc…) wowinschool

Differentiated Instruction and Technology

This is one of the more interesting sessions from the NMSA ’09 Conference. Below is the link to the website that will open the Powerpoint to the session. To those who don’t want to go through the whole session, I will highlight a few videos and links in the PP.

Dr. M. Monte Tatom
P Theroux, Teacher,
Alberta, Canada
Updated 11/09/2005
ptheroux@shaw.ca

Enhance Learning with Technology : Differentiated, Instruction, Technology

Visual Blooms
visblooms02

Web 2.0 VERY COOL Web Site: Cool Tools for Schools

National Coneference of State Legislatures: Interesting facts and figures to twirl around.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!

Keynotes

I will expand on all the good info later, but I thought I would give you something to chew on. I just got back from the National Middle School Conference (NMSA) in Indianapolis. Technology was all the rage this year. One of the keynote speakers on tech. was Novemeber. His site is at http://novemberlearning.com/ is filled with much of what he believes we should know beyond just tech tools, but should apply in knowledge. He spent his Sat. session showing us how to find out if a site is valid and proving that it would be worthwhile for our students to also have these skills. There is also some simple syntax skills that are really neat. I hope to update you on all the really cool things in the near future. Unfortunately, I also managed to get the flu the first day I was there and I am under the weather. I’ll be right as rain soon and will have the video for the closing speaker, Rick Wormli, to share with everyone.

DORK

I just had to do this quick post. Has anyone ever been in a room of people and found that they were the only one laughing (or close to it). A professor has been kind enough to let me sit in on his Computer Information Systems (CIS) 101 class for the next two weeks. I am observing a program he is teaching to the freshmen/sophmores in the class.

The story: I take a seat to the far side of the class to try to keep the curious youngl’ns from stare’n at me. While he is going over past work and so forth, I pull up my Alice (software) program. I begin to work on my alien scenario and am manipulating the legs of my robot when the Prof. announces that they are going to discuss the issue with the knight falling off the horse. I turn my attention to the big screen to observe. As the knights ride toward each other, the Prof. quotes some piece of historical literature (can’t remember now). I bust up laughing. I was the only one laughing. He meant it to be funny and it was. The entire class looked at me like I was nuts. Someone should have just taken a big black felt marker and wrote DORK across my head. I just couldn’t stop giggle’n. What made it worse, is when the Prof. hit play and said the quote again…I started laughing even harder. I was grinning the whole class period, because of that. Guess that’s what I get for being a Language Arts component, but I would never take it back. I love every giddy moment of being an educator and student.🙂

Failure in its Finest :-)

This is just a personal update on my studies and life posting.

I have spent all weekend, hours upon hours, perfecting an action research proposal (EDUC 611). The topic: Reading and Technology. Star Reading to be precise. I went to propose my idea to the appropriate people and kaboom!- disaster! They were very open minded and would love to have let me carry it out, but I just didn’t have the “stuff” it takes to convince them that I could do it in four weeks. As all my work on that proposal seems to have gone to waist, they offered several solutions and contacts as to how I may reshuffle the research project. Like I said before, they were very accomadating.

In the end, my original project had made an impression in all the right places and I will be looking forward to making a presentation to the Tech. Committee. Wish me Luck 🙂

As for my personal endeavors and I know many are asking where I find the time, I want to run my own Action Research Project. That is what I will be confronting the Tech. Committee about. I have jabbered endlessly to many about the Alice System. For those interested in further readings on a program that can enhance Reading, Mathematics, and Computer Literacy…here is the Preface to the Instructor.

I am also using Alice for my game development in my EDUC 688, Gaming and Simulation class, to create a video game. This is going to be a toughy. I have yet to be fully schooled in Alice, so I need to teach myself the software and it’s a pretty thick book. – but fun –

EDUC 685 has kept me busy with my readings and contemplating the qualitative value of an online teacher. A lot of work goes into forming a personality of a person behind the keyboard. Of course the development of the course is very key to a successful and smooth running course, but an open communication is what I believe to be top priority. Speaking of 685, I need to go finish reading Chapter 10.

Good night classmates and congrats, were to week 9🙂

Hit the Screen Wk 8

In the article “Teachers and Students meet in the Middle: As Learner!” the reader discovers the role of the student is also the role of the teacher. A joy of the author, Jim Moulton, is seeing the teacher willing to become the student as they learn from the students. The school children are much more efficient at times with computers, laptops and miscellaneous gadgets then the teachers at times, that they become the educators.
When it comes to a “know-it-all” or “teacher’s pet” student, I think it’s time for them to do a project on netiquette. It is an odd way to go about it, but proven. Shaming people into doing what is right without embarrassing them. Even I will admit my embarrassment at reading Chapter 5. My netiquette skills need to be worked on. No one really has explained them to me. The very first one – Keep messages short. Yikes!!! I busted that one to pieces. So, I will work on #1 one anytime we have our class group chats. #5- Avoid sarcasm. I love humor and I am never rude, but I guess I could see how a pessimistic person may take an optimistic person’s love of life and turn it around. Humility, candidness, with a slight note of understanding is the order of the day then. Anyone else’s thought on appropriate behavior as an online educator or even a student?
Putting together an Online Course:
The chapter begins by discussing what it would take to make an online class, whether it is from the beginning or from an existing class. When creating a class, Kearsley recommends that you always start with a class that is already well structured. That way you will only have to worry about the issues that were previously considered major factors from Chapters 5 – learning activities and Chapter 6 – interactivity and student participation. Course documents discussed in Chapter 7 (syllabus, lesson plan, and study guide) are developed after Chapter 5 and 6 decisions are made.
The hardest part for most educators is dealing with the idea that they no longer will be lecturing in front of a class. I have a tendency to want to communicate all the time and have even wondered how well I would do without a class to talk to. There should not be any doubt in my mind as to my abilities to communicate as an educator online. I have spent most of my last five years glued to a computer. That doesn’t sound like much time, but before that, all I did was gaming. It wasn’t until five years ago, that I realized how truly fascinating the web was and still is. Almost nightly my eyes grow fuzzy looking at a computer screen. The power to dump more enlightening knowledge into my mind just does not cease and not enough hours in the day are available to complete my undertaking. Educators who are use to lecturing or have a pure enjoyment of moving about a classroom will spend an extra effort trying to enhance the online experience. – Probably more so then it should be.
A great deal of the chapter discusses getting connected, software, and money. Much of these decisions are left up to the Tech. Director, Committees, and Administrators. Typically, teachers have very little say as to what occurs with any of the previous 3 mentioned subjects. Most would consider this wrong and think that all faculty and staff should have a say, but honestly, if all the staff were handed a brand new laptop, state of the art educational software, and asked to give their opinion on it…who is going to say it is a wonderful idea. Half of them probably would not even get the disk in the laptop. (That’s happy sarcasm.) I will use me as an example of total embarrassment for this. The first time they brought Macs to MSU (A few years back). I had to raise my hand and ask how to turn it on. I also had to ask where to put the disk in at – and this was me…the gamer nut. I had no idea how to operate this Machine or any of its software. I stayed after class to toy with it for about 4 or so hours just to learn how to open and close programs. Which, brings us to the final part of the chapter, Troubleshooting. It’s an essential part of online teaching. Know it, do it, keep up with it.
The End!

The Role of the Teacher

I have searched through several blogs and have not really found much on the changing role of teachers. There was one paricular post that I found interesting in which the author, a classmate and an online teacher, said they would not trade their profession for bricks and mortar. The brick class room has a tendancy, in there opinion (and mine) to sometimes override the family. With online teaching, it allows the family and friend structure to be a little bit more stable. I will need to research more into this topic, but the topic seems pretty clear cut to me. The online class does require a little more educational professionalism out of the teacher with less time from physical family interactions. The role of the teacher has become more mental than physical.

Chapter 5 Online Learning (Wk 7)

With this week’s discussion of the difference in the classroom between f2f and online, Kearsley gives us our best solution through the Engagement Theory: suggest that learners must be actively engaged in meaningful tasks for effective learning to occur. This is where every teacher reading this blog will say that should be occurring in a f2f classroom also. Sorry, it just doesn’t happen that way. Most of the time, and I do mean most, students finish in sporadic times and a teacher will have them all doing worksheets for busy work while others finish up until the bell rings. I have yet to see a well constructed lesson plan executed in a f2f class. It’s just not possible. I’m not saying it is a bad thing. It’s just that as teachers, we need to realize that student’s are individuals. Yes, we are taught that continuously in our undergraduate classes, but no one ever really seems to grab the concept. With online education, student’s can take the next step in education. As educators we can take the next step and move from the Instructionist to the Constructionist. As a constructionist the students will be actively engaged and will become the effective learners we are so eager to have in our class rooms.

As for the relationship between the teacher and student: E-mail, discussion forums, and conferencing are key factors in maintaining the students’ motivation. Online education is still relatively new and does take a lot of encouragement, support, and mentorship in order to maintain enrollment/success. The retention levels for online classes tend to be low, but with proper communication, the problem can be rectified. One of the best things to remember is Netiquette…always be respectful of others. I have even had my moments of anger, but I realized my mistake quickly and asked for advisement. Netiquette is very important.

I believe the role of teacher is something that is a sole responsibility in which one should assume, but it will be imposed upon a person by their students. It’s not a matter of insult, but a matter of someone reaching out a hand in request of mentorship. Look at it as an honor.

Day-Dreaming

On a good note…

On the way back from Cincinnati this Fall Break, I was staring out the window, thinking of what I would do if I won a few 500 million or so dollars. First thing I envisioned was building a futuristic building structure for that hybrid high school I can’t shut-up about. RCHH. Not really a ring to it, but it will do for this post. As much as everyone cherishes the look of the brick building around here, the prison walls will have to go. I have envisioned white walls / glass walls, silver rails (have to change colors for academic purposes), and light grey marbled steps (office atmosphere). Below is a picture of an art school in Singapore that I found on flickr. I like the edginess of it, but I would not use such a design in a 6-12 school probably.
edesign
Futuristic Looking
Lunch Room is totally all High School. Football Field, Tennis Courts, Baseball/Softball Fields, Track and Field, etc……Auditorium, A place in which the Drama and Dance clubs/classes can put on plays and dances can be held. A quality Gym. All the indoor parts of the extracurricular activities would also be able to adapt to hi-tech equipment for concerts or professional developments, assemblies.

Students would attend online classes and f2f according to their learning styles. Every classroom will have a teacher, even the ones meant for just online. The instructor in there will be either the teacher themself or an aide to monitor. That is about as far as I have got in my day-dream so far.

I did envision myself in it. My hair was still dyed blond to a point that it wasn’t noticeable, so I must still be in my 30s…lol

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