Welcome!

Join me in reading about my journey towards a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology at Boise State University.  My Learning Log will be a place to reflect on and store the artifacts created as part of this degree.  It will also be a place to receive comments and critiques from fellow students.

Final Assignment – Synchronous Lesson

I invited two former students who are currently taking an online class during one of their class periods to meet with me. They are super bright young ladies who are ahead of schedule on their work. They did not have any experience with an online meeting room. synchlessonWe had a great discussion when we completed the recording about what they liked about the experience. They currently communicate with their online teacher through telephone calls (and I think they have the option to Skype). They really liked the fact that I used the webcam and they could see me. One student commented how much she liked the fact that we were able to visually write on a whiteboard and she could see what I was doing as we talked about it. We all agreed that this would be a great idea for a teacher to offer a help session after school maybe one or two nights a week. I really appreciate these young ladies being willing to work with me on this. They were super sweet.

One issue we did encounter was the echo. The students did not have earphones. There were two solutions to this problem (I failed to realise either one until we were finished). I could have instructed them on how to mute their microphones until they wanted to speak or I could have muted their microphones. Earphones would also be an option to cut out the echo. Overall, I felt really good about this first attempt. Of course, I had put a good bit of prep time in getting ready to meet with them. I really enjoyed using Adobe Connect.

Here is a link to the recording:  D. Killen Graphing Linear Equations

 

Teacher-Centered vs. Learner-Centered

I love the video clip our professor provided for this week’s lesson.

I think we have all been in classrooms and felt like these students. This is definitely not what I want my  classroom to look like. As a math teacher, I feel like my instruction has always leaned towards the student-centered side. In math, it is so important that students actually practice the skills needed to solve math problems. It is almost impossible to learn math by just listening to someone lecture.

Since I took a position as Educational Technologist, I no longer spend my time in my own classroom. I do get to travel to many different classrooms and try to bring about my own little “student-centered teaching” rebellion. Our school has been slow in adopting technology (and that is why I am in the position of Ed. Tech). We have struggled with bandwidth issues, resources to purchase equipment, and, honestly, teachers who don’t know what to do. I had already begun to use Nearpod, Kahoot, and any other interactive components I could bring in to add excitement to our practice time in math class. After completing the asynchronous lesson from last week, I would love to record my math lessons and provide the lecture or instruction component of the lesson before class for students to view so that they come to class ready to practice. It is very difficult to squeeze in time to answer questions on previous homework, lecture or instruction time, and time to begin practicing the new skills for the day. It would be great if all we needed to do in class was answer questions and practice our skills.

We were also asked to reflect this week on lesson ideas or strategies that might be especially suitable for live meetings using synchronous delivery tools. I can’t think of any math lesson that wouldn’t work well using synchronous delivery tools. There would have been a time when I felt that it would be difficult to demonstrate for students the skills needed to solve problems in math. With the addition of graphing software like Desmos, a teacher can easily demonstrate graphing. There are many interactive whiteboard software packages that will allow teachers to annotate on the screen while having a discussion. There is also the “good-ole” document camera that can be projected so that the teacher can write out explanations. I think Khan Academy is a great example that any math concepts can be taught in a synchronous or asynchronous manner. I am so looking forward to our final weeks as we partner up and practice teaching using a synchronous method.

Far West Laboratory – Proposal

Our assignment for this week in Edtech 505 was to respond to a request for proposal from Far West Laboratory. Our job was to prepare a proposal to perform an evaluation of their training package Determining Instructional Purposes (DIP).  All the information needed to prepare the proposal was provided in the course.

View my final proposal: Far West Laboratory Proposal

Self-Evaluation – Asynchronous Lesson

We have been working for several weeks on an asynchronous lesson. This week we were page1photoasked to reflect and complete a self-evaluation of the lesson. I choose to use the website Teachable to set up my lesson. My school currently does not have a Learning Management System (LMS). Our teachers either set up a Google Site or use Google Classroom if they need a place for their students to visit for class information. This is really uncharted territory for most of the teachers at my school.

Since the whole idea of creating an asynchronous lesson was going to be new to me, I decided I should probably use a topic that I felt very comfortable with. I chose to take a lesson on Scatter Plots and Lines of Best Fit and create the lesson as a set of online sections the student could work through at their own pace. I began with the idea that I videophotowould find some videos online but quickly realized that I would need to create some of my own screencasts in order to break the material down into the pieces that I wanted. I did include other videos and websites for extended references.

In looking at the Asynchronous Lesson Rubric provided by the instructor, I feel that my lesson meets all the criteria in the outstanding category. All of the content requested is available. Some of the information is available in the preliminary area of the site as the student logs in, but most of the content appears in the different sections presented. Videos, websites with written instructions, and websites with simulations are all part of the material provided which I believe addresses many different learning styles. Students have the option to work through the lesson quickly, to review material, to look at extended resources, all of which provides many ways for students to access and complete the sections. Students are also provided with a variety of assessment methods. The one area that I feel is lacking (and this is due to the structure of the Teachable site) is in the student interaction. There doesn’t seem to be a discussion board in this system. As an attempt to work around the lack of a discussion board, I have students commenting on a padlet site to peer review the graphs submitted by their peers. Students should be able to use the adaptive features available on their devices if they need adaptive/assistive help with the lessons. One thing that might be useful if there was more time would be to close caption the teacher created videos. There are several assessments throughout the lesson. Students have a variety of options for completing them. I am probably most proud of the Google Form that is part of the first section. This form provides differentiation for students taking the quiz. If a student misses a question, they are taken to another section to watch a video on the topic and asked another similar question. The final assessment for the lesson allows the student to choose the presentation method for the required elements.

In looking through the Common Core Standards Coaching Guide, again, I felt the weakest area is in student discussion. Students are asked to record themselves explaining their solution to a problem but there isn’t a great deal of student-to-student discussion due to the lack of a discussion board. The material presented begins with the most basic and is broken into small sections that students can work through and revisit if needed. Many sections contain additional resources for students if they need more instruction on a topic. There is also an extension section at the end where more advanced students can learn more about the topic.

Overall, I am pleased with the lesson I created. I look forward to trying it out with my students. I think this would even make a great review for students who need some remediation on the topic. You can read my comments in the Asynchronous Lesson Rubric.

Learning Preferences

This week we are reflecting on learning preferences. We were asked to determine what our own learning preference is and then discuss online technology and instructional strategies learningstylesthat could be used with our preference. We have also been asked to find online technology and instructional strategies for a preference different than ours.

I used the VARK Questionnaire and a few others and each one rated my highest on the Visual Learner preference. I also have some Kinesthetic Learner tendencies as well. I had fun answering the questions on each of the surveys I took. This would be fun to try with students.

Visual Learner Auditory Learner
MindMeister, Coggle, LucidChart: Any type of mind mapping or diagramming tool that will allow students to diagram or map out information. Also great for brainstorming activities. Audio recording of lessons, podcasts: Students benefit from having the lesson in recording form so that they can listen to the information being presented.
TeacherTube, YouTube, EdPuzzle, teacher-created videos, screencasts: Students who are visual learners benefit greatly from seeing visual representation of the information they are learning. Demonstrations, charts, graphs, and illustrations are all great to include in the presentation. Have students teach the lesson or explain a concept to other students. Have students record a lesson or explanation and then share it with others.
Graphic Organizers: Providing opportunities for students to synthesize the lesson by visually organizing the information in some way. Use music, find songs that relate to the material, make up a rhyme or song for one of the concepts being taught.
Illustrate, draw pictures, build models: Have students complete visual models or representations of some aspect of the material. Socratic seminars, discussion groups, debates: allow students to discuss, debate, or brainstorm the material being taught.

Resources:

30 of the Best Educational Tools for Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic Learners. (2016). Learningpath.org. Retrieved 26 October 2016, from http://learningpath.org/articles/30_of_the

Helping Auditory Learners Succeed | Education.com. (2016). Education.com. Retrieved 26 October 2016, from http://www.education.com/magazine/article/auditory_learners/

Visual Learning Style: Strategies & Activities – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com. (2016). Study.com. Retrieved 26 October 2016, from http://study.com/academy/lesson/visual-learning-style-strategies-activities.html

Standards – Online or Not?

This week one of our tasks included reviewing the  iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Teaching (Version 2). The International Association for K-12 Online Learning brought together a group of experts to refresh the standards that are available to guide
states, districts, and online organizations onlinelearningin best practices for online instruction. This document is a result of that effort. We were asked to reflect on several points.

While reading through this report, one thought that came to mind is that these standards to not differ greatly from standards that would apply to a classroom where technology integration is taking place. For example, Standard A, “The online teacher knows the primary concepts and structures of effective online instruction and is able to create learning experiences to enable student success.”  You can remove the word online from this statement and it applies perfectly to a brick and mortar classroom. All teachers should be “able to create learning experiences to enable student success”. With increased technology use in the classroom, teachers should be able to “use a range of technologies, both existing and emerging, that effectively support student learning and engagement” (Standard B). Each of the standards listed can also be applied to the brick and mortar classroom in some way.

The most important standards for an online classroom would be Standards B and C. Key to an online classroom are engagement and communication. In an online classroom when the physical presence is missing, it is very important to make sure the students is engaged with the material being presented and that a sense of community is created between the students and teachers. Standards B and C are focused on using “a range of technologies, both existing and emerging, that effectively support student learning and engagement” and  planning, designing, and incorporating “strategies to encourage active learning, application, interaction, participation, and collaboration”. All of the standards provided in this report apply to any form of teaching whether online or brick and mortar but I do think that B and C are much more important.

This report includes a list of standards that all teachers should read and consider as they are teaching. Especially with the addition of technology into the brick and mortar classroom, these standards are valid for all teachers.

We are in the process of planning our first asynchronous lesson and we are looking at the different types of technology that we can use to enhance our lesson and engage our students. There were several activities that I discovered (0r re-discovered) this week. Three of the tools I am looking at are: Recap by swivl, Desmos, and Classkick.  Recap is an app that allows the teacher to provide prompts for students and allow them to respond by creating a short video. I think this app would be great in a math lesson to allow the students to describe how they solved a problem or teach a lesson to a fellow student. If a student can explain the process, they understand that process so much more. Desmos is a long time favorite of mine. Especially in an online classroom, the ability to graph equations and visualize what is happening can be a challenge. Desmos is a great way for students to graph equations and manipulate them to see what happens. Using Desmos may require the teacher to scaffold instruction, especially in younger grades, as student may not have had experience with this program. Classkick is a new app I learned about just this week. It is an app that allows teachers to provide an assignment and see a student response. The student can use a device that has touch screen capability and draw on the screen so that the teacher can see how the student answer. I need to do a bit more research on this app. One concern would be whether or not all the students in the online classroom would have access to a device with touch screen capability. So many students have access to smartphones, it seems like this wouldn’t be a problem but I need to do a bit more research.

Resources:

iNACOL. (2011). National Standards for Quality Online Teaching (v2)(Publication). Vienna, VA.

Netiquette Lesson – EdTech 521

We were asked to create a lesson that could be used in an online classroom setting to explain class netiquette. Even though I don’t care to hear myself talk, it was fun to record narration to go along with my netiquette slide show. I used screencastify which I love because it saves your screencast to Google Drive. It is so easy to link to the file. I decided to create a really small website that would contain the screencast, some additional resources, and a scavenger hunt. Check out my netiquette website.

webpagenetiquette