Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The vocabulary assignment helped me to understand the concepts behind research, evaluation, and data collection better.  I always assumed that research and evaluations are carried out in objective manners, but the vocabulary that I defined was obsessive about objectivity and reliability of the data collection.  That is the way it should be, and I guess I would be surprised by how much research is comprised all the time by the lose of objectivity.

I believe that final project is going to be more difficult that I thought.  At first, I thought would be easier to do because I have to do a quasi-evaluation for the grant.  Now that I’m faced with the project, I think it is going to be harder because almost everyone else will go through the steps of doing an evaluation.  I will be doing a lot more research to prove my methods and instruments for evaluation.  I’m not saying that data collection is easier, but I always think it is easier to take on smaller chunks to make the whole, then have one beefed up area to make up for the lack of other areas.  It should be interesting and helpful.  Otherwise, I would scramble during the school year to make instruments to measure the growth of students.

I have been wondering as I have read though the class materials, how do evaluators help to make sure that the “impact” program is still measured in the future.  I assume that most outside evaluators are contracted by the sponsor, so with end of the evaluation the evaluator is no longer connected to the project.  Impact to me is the most important of the three things measured in the evaluation process.  I believe the impact is rarely though of, because we are a society of the right now.  It amazes me that the training can be effective, but the impact of the training can be minimal.

I have a link here the fake new site The Onion which has an article on placebos, which is fun to me after reading research.


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Having just had a meeting on technology professional development this morning, and having read last weeks assignment. I have pondered what makes good technology professional development when it comes to teachers. I think what is important is more frequent development meetings over long meetings once a month meetings. Give the teacher a tool for the classroom that they can make in the learning session, and also an opportunity to get feedback from an administrator or peer. Too often we instructor teachers in a way that not consistent with what we would expect out of a classroom teacher. I also think that the teacher need choice or voice in what they need for the classroom. Mandating a skill that not everyone needs for the classroom, or has already mastered is a waste of time. You need baseline data on where you are in order to figure were you what to go. Lastly, someone needs to make sure that everyone is sticking to the plan, and focuses the attention towards the end goal.

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We have always used technology in the classroom to instruction students. Be it chalkboard, chalk, and books or their modern counterpart the projector, Internet, and computer. Instructional design was started to make sure that instruction took into account the environment factors, learning styles, obstacles to the instructional delivery, and so on. The main point being that they wanted to make sure that the instruction was teaching their intended audience the intended goal or outcomes. Technology is another tool in the delivery of the materials, media, and interaction (hands-on activities) that help in adding to effectiveness of the instruction. The effectiveness of the instruction and the technology involved in the instruction, hinges on the engagement level of the student, constant assessment and continued evaluation of instruction.

One could show a modern class of students the videos that the WWII soldiers watched and some of the students would learn from it. Now if you a WWII soldier facing the idea of the front line, the video is much more engaging. That is why the video alone showed that the soldiers learned as much from the video as the other types of instructional medium. (Reiser, 2001) Thankfully our students’ learning doesn’t result in life or death in the coming months for them, but it very important in the long run. Engagement is the key to why the WWII soldiers learned. It was a very real and important thing to their immediate future. Computers, mobile technology, and the Internet have the same impact on modern students engagement. These are the tools they will use in the real working world, and it is sad that they have to “power down” to come to school. These instructional technologies do not alone make students learn, but they can be one more advantage for the instructor for engagement in the classroom.

A great deal of assessment take place in effective instructional design, and its history tells the story of theories that have developed throughout the years. No matter what type of instructional design model a person uses, assessment has to take place. Assessments is key to understand if the instruction is working, and when the audience has become proficient it the educational goals of the program. Assessment is helped by technology. At first it was bubble sheets, and now there are things like MAPs (Measures of Academic Progress). Technology can allow more data than ever to be collected and analyzed. It takes time for teachers to be trained, but it gives a real picture of what is actually being learned when applied right.

Lastly, evaluation is always taking place in instructional design. Let’s face it, no one ever teaching something perfectly the first time they do it for an audience. Technology can add in the evaluation of the instruction through assessment.

The articles both points out that technology is a fad that comes and goes in instruction. (Reiser, 2001b)That it can never deliver on the promises of new best thing. It is maybe true that technology cannot delivery everything, but with the advent of the computer and Internet, and their rapid development I believe that we are reaching a day when can do more with technology in instruction than we think we can. The problem is making sure that we are not using technology in instruction to just replace an older technology. That is what good is a computer, if you only use it to type; it is too expensive of a typewriter for just that one function.

Reiser, R.A. (2001), A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part I: A History of Instructional Media. Educational Technology, Research and Development; 2001; 49, 1; ProQuest Central.

Reiser, R.A. (2001b), A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part II: A History of Instructional Design. Educational Technology, Research and Development; 2001; 49, 2; ProQuest Central.

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Digital Natives

A “digital native” is someone born roughly after the 1980s, and speak the “digital language” that “digital immigrates” have more trouble grasping too.

In my opinion, after reading these articles they’re not enough empirical evidence to back up everything that both articles, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants and Educating the Net Generation. However, I personal believe there is a generation of “digital natives”

All the articles emphasis that technology should play a role in the education of this generation and the following generations, and the debate seems to boil down to is it too much of a generalization to call a group a people tech savvy because they were born at a certain time. I would say that it is fair to label this generation “digital natives” because they have grown up with the modern technology of the Internet, Web 2.0, and mobile devices, and are more comfortable with using it. It is fair to generalize a whole generation of children, maybe not but that is what people do. Is everyone is this generation going to have access to technology and be a technological literate, no. Was every person in the “great generation”, brave and willing to die for their nation, no. But the label is fair because it mostly accurate, and that is all you can ask for when labeling a group that is so large and diverse.

In the Bullen, Morgan, Belfar, & Oayyum study they complained that the other studies were to board in their generalization, but yet they only interviewed 69 people on their campuses to somehow refute the myth of the idea of “digital natives”. While they is not a great of empirical evidence for “digital natives”, 69 students doesn’t give a valid sampling for a generation.

The Selwyn article reads more of a cautionary tale of the use of technology in the classroom, then any real hard data that shows that is students are technology savvy or not. I do agree with Selwyn when he talks about concern of the digital divide, and how it could impact students if a teacher thought that all students were tech ready to go.

Maybe I own background makes me basis towards believing that we have a generation that is ready to exploit technology in education, and that is why I agree with the “digital native” group. In my personal experience, I have seen a change in my years of teaching from students that thought using computers was a treat, to a vast group of students that expect to use computers on everything. Since we opened up the wireless access in my building, I have seen a rapid rise in the number of laptops in my classrooms. Anybody in education can tell you that you cannot generalize when it comes to the background knowledge of your students. The articles are worried about the labels that we put on students, and I believe that good instruction assess skills and knowledge of their students to maximize the potential of those students. I think that these types of debates are great to bring up concerns and hopes, but the real concern should be that students will need technology skills in most professions that they will pursue after school. We need to teach children how to think and create to make sure that they can be productive citizens in the future. Factory jobs are drying up, and this next generation needs these skills to compete with the world. This website has a great argument for the future of employment of children. dangerouslyirrelevant.org

Bullen, M., Morgan, T., Belfer, K., & Qayyum, A. (2009). The Net Generation in Higher Education: Rhetoric and Reality. International Journal of Excellence in E-Learning, 2(1), 3-4

Owen, M. (2004) The Myth of the Digital Native. Futurelab innovation in education. Retrieved from http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/publications-reports-articles/web-articles

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon. 9(5), 1-6.
Selwyn, M. (2009). The digital native: Myth and Reality. Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, 61(4). 364-379.

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I happen to be home the other day babysitting my niece, nephew and daughter when Xbox put on their live presentation from E3.  I was impressed with Xbox new game interaction hardware the Kinect.  Professor Hutchison wondered what this would mean for learning after looking at this link?  It is hard to tell.  Educational software is not a huge part of these platform type consoles, but I don’t see why they should be for younger children.  The LeapFrog is wildly popular among small children.

The main draw back of the consoles for smaller children and people that don’t play video games is that they cannot figure out the controls for the games.  When using the Kinect system it is not an issue how to control the game because you are using your body to control the game from the demonstration I saw.  The system I hope will develop games that the elderly and young can use to be more active in their daily lives, much like the Wii Fit has done, and other Wii games.  I don’t know what kind of educational value it would have at home or at school, because I feel that developers will overlook it’s capability to teach children.  I can only image about the exciting and fun educational games that could be developed for this system.  It would make virtual field trips amazing, or other interact experiences. My hope is that this type of system takes off, and other companies develop similar devices for the computer, which will than make more realistic for classroom use.  I really do think these types of things are a glimpse of the awesome interactive tools of the future.

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My final blog entry for the Spring semester is final here, and I need to evaluate my blog entries. I will first start with the “Content”. I felt that my blog entries drew more from the real life situations and were full of content and observations from dealing with technology in the classroom. My thoughts related back to the topic of the week. I’m sure that I bent the topic to more fit my own personal experience. Overall, I thought I did do a good job of backing my opinions up with examples, and research. I know that I missed one of the weeks post, because I couldn’t really type with one left hand, and heavy painkillers. I would say that I deserve a 69/75 for that reason.

I always to my knowledge properly sighted in an APA style. I was guilty of not have two sights source on two posts. I picked relevant research papers, and if they were not available I searched out articles that backed my opinion. For these reasons I would only give my self-21/25.

I posted on time for the most part. I might have posted late twice (the morning of Wednesday). I always responded to other people’s post by Thursday. I followed up on posts that were made on my posts, and I tried to post on other people’s post that had not gotten any feedback yet. For these reasons, I deserve a 24/25.

I wrote lengthy response to numerous posts, and when possible tried to maintain a discussion. Sadly, I rarely could keep a discussion going on a post. I did however make an effort to post on people’s post that had no feedback. I tried to make early posts in the week and asked questions I thought would lead to more conversation. I believe I deserve a 25/25.

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I have learned a great deal from this class. I think have about a hundred website links for educational and web 2.0 sites built up after this class. I would say that have grown in my ability to my make and publish my own content on the web. I have a better understand of how to infusion technology into the curriculum through a variety of tools. I felt that workload was project heavy, but yet practical materials for the classroom. I felt that the projects lead me to think about incorporating technology in all of the curriculum areas.

My course work has met the ACET standards. Standard 1(Instructional Design) covered almost every substandard. I have designed instructional materials with goals, assessments, evaluations, and strategies. The material shows conscious thought about the intended audiences, and design message. Standard 2 (Development), standard 3 (Utilization), and standard 4 (Management) is covered because of development of material from the activities and the requirement that the activities be pulled together for a thematic unit. Standard 5 is covered mostly by reflections and blogging entry required for the class.

I had to push myself to think in creative ways on how to develop a cross-curriculum thematic unit. I have often done cross-curriculum units, but nothing that incorporated almost every discipline represented in my school district. I have changed way of thinking about how to develop and deliver content to my students using the Internet and web 2.0 tools. I have only scratched the surface of using web 2.0 tools in my classrooms. I have to temper myself in using of them. Normally I would want force a tool into a lesson or project, just because it is cool. Now I understand that the educational goal is more important than using the newest cool tech tool. I have also realized that I can spend days searching for new web 2.0 sites, software, etc. I would be better served to focus on the blogs, wikis, and websites that have done all the groundwork. It can be overwhelming the choice a person has in educational technology, and thought should be given to how appropriate is for the educational goal that is trying to be achieved.

I feel that I have been pushed to think about educational technology in all the curriculum areas, and not just my own special interest. It has been a struggle at times to wrestle with subject areas that I’m not an expert in, but the struggle only helps you to better understand what a teacher or person that is technology illiterate might go through when I’m trying to teach them how use educational technology. Struggling is not as was a bad thing if you learn from it, and I have.

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