Creating an annotated bibliography is a great way to begin research. While I had not done this in a while, I found it to be very useful. I was able to review multiple sources and evaluate whether they were effective and applied to my needs. It helped give me a “critical” lens to look though as I read each article, and I feel as if I can take away a lot of new and useful information from my research. I researched the flipped classroom method, since it is something I am trying to move to in my own classroom. I was excited to read all of the positive research that has been done on this method. Many teachers have piloted a flipped classroom, and student survey results and test scores show that it is successful. My research led me to multiple different methods that could work in my classroom and I am excited to design lessons and units around these ideas. I particularly like the idea of using primary sources and online discussions outside of the classroom to facilitate discussion prior to class time. I also found some articles on the “logistics” of a flipped model for a whole school. This article explained the benefits of having students meet less times during the week and the cost benefit of a flipped model. While this may not pertain to my current job, it is useful information to consider as I move forward with my career.
I found the Boise State Albertsons Library Database to be very useful in finding scholarly articles on this topic. I was able to read through the results and their abstracts to discover which sources might be most beneficial. Using APA format was new to me when I began this course. I have used Purdue Owl and many of the other resources provided to gain a better understanding of how to use APA properly. While this assignment was time-consuming, it was very useful to my educational growth and research. I feel confident with new ideas for my classroom in the fall, but also confident in how to continue to research new ideas and information.
This assignment introduced me to a great resource and also led me to create a practical lesson plan I can use this fall. While using an RSS Feed reader, like Feedly, can be great for everyday life for staying up to date, it can also be a great tool for a social studies classroom. Feedly was easy to set up and provides great “starter-kits” for new users. I was able to find some great education sites to follow, as well as news sites. I love the ability to view all of these sources up-to-date and in one place. This helped inspire me to create my lesson plan. While Feedly can be a great resource for current events, I wanted to make a connection to “past.” After a lot of thought, I decided to create an “On this day in history” lesson plan. Students would use provided links to discover events from the past that happened on the day of the lesson. Then they would use Feedly to access the most current news sources. After evaluating the events, students would create a blog post in Blogger, titled “On this day in history,” combining what they learned about the past with the current events. My school uses Google Apps for Education and all students have created a Blogger using their Google Account. Overall, I can see how this lesson could be a great way to engage students in both content and technology. Feedly and other RSS Feed Readers will be a great tool to use this upcoming school year. However, it was challenging to discover a way to incorporate an RSS Feed Reader into a lesson, while still relating to my content area.
I also enjoyed learning how to use Screencast-o-matic. It was challenging to use at first, but after a couple of “trys” I was able to create a flip video on how to use Feedly. This will be a great tool as I work towards a “flipped” classroom in the upcoming years. One thing I would like to learn is how to make the transitions between takes look “smoother” so it seems more seamless to a viewer.
If I had more time, I would have worked on adding more examples to my student worksheet, for students to use as a guide. I also think that with more time, I might have found another tool for the students to create an “On This Day in History” project. While I think Blogger is a great way to start, I would have liked to have researched other tools that student could use to combine both content and technology.
Currently, I am unable to test this lesson since it is summer break. However, I think this would be a good activity for my students to do early on in the year. It will help introduce them to two new tools, while also getting them excited about the content.
Researching digital divide and digital inequality helped give me a better understanding of the gap that exists in our digital world. I now understand how the divide goes beyond just simply having access, but also looks at how that access is being used. Internet access is increasing worldwide, through wifi, and mobile broadband. But with that increased access does not come increased digital competencies.
This assignment has helped me understand my role as an educator in ensuring that my students become digital citizens, and that they are prepared for their future professions. The National Education Technology Plan, created in 2010, provides a great resource for improving technology use for students and for helping teachers in the process.
In reflecting on my district’s technology plan, I began to realize some areas where the digital divide was present. There have been many times where I have had to modify an assignment or provide an extension to a student without technology access. I have also encountered a big gap in digital skills. Some students are “tech wizards” while others struggle with using Google Docs, Microsoft Office, and many more basic applications. I can see the importance of setting standards for all students to achieve. My school uses standards-based report cards for content knowledge and skills, I now see that it should also include digital skills within the content.
One area that I would like to learn more about is the idea of “connected-teaching” where teachers essentially work as a team to share ideas, create lessons, and work with the students. I think that having this collaboration among teachers would be invaluable!
This project also helped me learn more about multimedia principles. I learned how to keep a presentation focused and effective. Garr Reynolds’, Presentation Zen, was a great resource. It gave good guidelines to follow when creating a presentation. I like how he emphasizes starting with an “end in mind” and not “diving” right into Google Slides. I created an outline before hand to make sure I had all of the proper content in my presentation, and then went back through to find graphs, images, and statements to include on my slides. This will be a great resource as I complete future presentations for both projects in my coursework and also for professional development in my district.
By reading and reflecting on the AECT Code of Ethics, I have learned many of the “ethical dilemmas” educational technologists face during their job. While completing this assignment, I began to reflect on my own experiences and began to gain a better understanding of how the code of ethics works and its importance to the field of educational technology. The AECT Code of Ethics defines a uniform set of expectations for all in the field. The Code also provides a means for reflection as educational technology continues to advance. Referring to and applying these ethics will help me as I continue my role as an educator and leader within my school.
While analyzing the Code of Ethics, I decided to reflect on the integration of technology in my school district. By looking through an “ethical” lens, I was able to reflect on the process more critically. I can now see that with great ideas and initiatives, comes great ethical considerations.
Welcome to my Ed Tech Learning Log! Technology has become a huge part of our world, especially in the lives of my students. Since finishing my undergrad, I have been searching for a master’s program that would provide me with the opportunity to discover all of the possibilites technology can have in my classroom. I am looking forward to using my learning log as a place to document my journey through Boise State’s M.E.T. program. I hope to use this space to showcase my coursework, reflect on my successes and challenges, collaborate with others, and ultimatley discover new ideas to bring to my classroom!