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Week 1 – Reflection

I do not have a current practice of teaching. Almost everything that I have learned about teaching has been in my class studies. I have been fortunate to have worked for the Anchorage School district and see many different styles of teaching. Through my previous employer and circles of other friends, I have formed new friendships with teachers. I think that these relationships help me with relating to topics that rise in our class studies. Furthermore, my friends are able to help me when I have a topic that I am stuck on. I have asked them this same question, “What theory or research can help inform you of current practice of distance education?”

 

Most of the answers I received are (as I have shared) are through online course, conferences, and workshops. I have heard that there is a required amount of development training that needs to happen yearly. My friends go out of state to a convention with other friends to learn new methods and styles. They get to talk of their challenges and achievements in the classrooms. For my friends, the conventions are something they look forward to every year. I do plan to attend these meetings as well.

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EDET 674- Week 1

EDET 674- Week 1

Essential Question: What theories or research can inform your current practice of distance learning?

More Than Two Million Distance Education Students Expected by 2002 (1999 Council for Higher Education Accreditation).

I found a web article from CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), when online learning was just making its way into the education industry. Even at that time, it was recognized as being a fast growing avenue for alternative learning. The article talked about the lack of qualified teachers and equipment at that time. These challenges are no longer an issue in our current day.

The first time I really heard of Distance Education was from a DeVry online university TV commercial a long time ago. I remember hearing the benefits of taking classes at your convenience. Today, Distance Learning is now a common method for homeschoolers and even offers the alternative classes to wayward students. The resources for online independent today, are limitless. We can learn a new language, write a software program or repair a car engine all without leaving your living room.

Although Moor & Kearsley might define distance education differently, I will define distance education as an online class, comparable to this EDET 674 course. I do believe that Distance Learning has changed the delivery of learning. In my experience, the online classes do require that the student be more organized than the usual traditional “in-class” student. Also, online classes can require more work, in my opinion. I have learned with traditional classes that a large portion of my grade was showing up in class. Participation versus attendance is usually the requirement for online classes. Group projects usually involve the students being self-motivated to coordinate meetings and timelines.

Our textbook supports that there is no significance difference to the effectiveness or average grade score of the learners when comparing traditional classrooms to distance online classes (Moor & Kearsley, 2011). I would have to agree with the cost effective benefit. Reports show that distance classes do save faculty time and other hidden costs, plus there is more convenience for both the students and the instructor.

E-learning does save me a lot of time and of course money when compared to traditional classes. I do not have to drive to campus or purchase a parking pass. Thanks to this technology I can have multiple choices and freely select for the most suitable training course for myself. I don’t have to stay far from family or separated from work to complete my willingness of learning.

“Teaching degrees train professionals to educate learners of diverse ages, in diverse environments. Teaching has come a long way, moving from classical theoretic textbook studies to more applied, interactive and career oriented style of learning…

Distance or online learning is a mode of study that allows students to study most or all of a course without attending at a campus-based institution. Distance can refer to both material and interaction. Distance learning provides access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both.

During this type of education students communicate with the faculty and other students via e-mail, electronic forums, videoconferencing, chat rooms, bulletin boards, instant messaging and other forms of computer-based interaction.

The programmes often include a online training system and tools to produce a virtual classroom. The tuition fees for distance learning vary from institution to programme to country. It is certain that the student saves expenses related to accommodation and transportation, because you can maintain your current living expenses. Distance learning is also a great solution for people that already have a job, and still want or need further education” (DistanceLearningPortal.com).

I would think the method to stay update to date on current trends for Distance Learning is different than traditional classes, as mentioned there are different challenges. Conferences, Email articles, workshops and or course E-Learning (like the Distance Learning Portal websites) sites are common events to inform us of new technologies. I have many teacher friends that attend summer conventions to learn team building and new methods for teaching. I plan to participate in these Educational workshops as well.

 

Resource:

Moore, Michael G, and Kearsley, Greg. (2011, April). Distance Education:  A Systems View of Online Learning 3rd edition.

Council for Higher Education Accreditation. (1999). Retrieved on September 8, 2016 from http://www.chea.org/Research/distance-learning/distance-learning-2.asp

StudyPortals B.V. (2016). 6 Online Short Courses in Teaching by universities in United States Retrieved on September 8, 2016 from http://www.distancelearningportal.com/study-options-c/short/269779239/teaching-united-states.html

 

678 ET Week 11 – Reflections:

Reflections

This week we talked about the policies our schools may or may not have for emerging technology and how we can lead the process. Although my school district has policies in place, being able to maintain and updating the polices is just as important as a creating the regulations. Because technologies are continually changing, we need to be aware of the changes and ensure that we are adequately protecting our network and systems for changes tomorrow.

What I learned from my classmates this week is that a common factor is the shift in mindset that students will be in charge of their own learning. I think the push back is appropriate and we can learn from history that this is change in a good direction.

  • Jessica brought up great points about education being in place to prepare students for bigger things in life. Although students learn about history and past events related to personal culture, these topics prime the brain for other areas in life. Example, we can use a history lesson for English papers.
  • Gerald talked about his district plans to move to more affordable laptops to ensure a one-to-one ratio among their students. This is a great plan. Students will be able to have more opportunities for learning when armored with a personal computer. My daughter for example was able to take extra online classes during the summer months to graduate a year early so that she could attend a hair classes at our district vocational school.
  • Sarah L talked about being able to implement the emerging technology in a way to meet the need of the school district. Solving the needs is just as important as selecting the right technology. I have seen so many times when a software solution was purchased to meet a need, but no one knew how the technology worked. The software just sat and when it was used it, it was not efficiently as it could have been. It takes the right solution and the right implementation to be successful.

 

 

 

678 ET – Week 11

Essential question:  What specific policies will help your district prepare students for current and emerging technology use? How can you help lead your district in creating these policies?

In my experience, any specific (BYOD is a great example) technical policies should align with current technology. School policies should be written in an easy format for staff and students to comprehend.

 

Infographic-2015-PolicyLead-A

According to k12.blueprint.com, when creating new policies, we need to ensure that the policies are being constantly applied on a daily basis. We also need to ensure that the regulations should be relevant to what technical equipment the students are exposed to. Laws should attempt to secure the network, but also not be so tight that users cannot user their tools (laptops, pcs, and tablets) to do their work.

Infographic-2015-PolicyLead-B

One of the ways that I have found to be successful with policies is researching what is already in place, if applicable. We as well what other schools are doing. As with anything, not reinventing the wheel every time is wise advice, so is not using anything outdated. We can help lead the way on creating and maintaining policies by being updated on the current trends. Knowing what devices or software are popular. As well as what new educational software solutions are offered to schools.

Infographic-2015-PolicyLead-C

We need to ensure that the policy includes a focus on student learning, being student-centric is why we are all here. Does your policy promote responsible use of technology? Students can learn what is expected and responsible behavior. This type of responsible mindset will carry over into home life and into careers later in life. Is our school meeting current state and federal regulations if we were audited? This law comes into place when we make our students use logins with their devices so that there is an audit log, in case research is needed for an individual account (k12.blueprint.com).

 

Sources:
Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom.

Winske, Chrissy. (2014, Feb 17). Tips for Creating Technology Policies for K-12. Retrieved July 29, 2016, from http://www.k-12techdecisions.com/article/creating_an_acceptable_use_policy_for_mobile_learning_initiatives#

American Enterprise Institute: Hess, Frederick M, Hochleitner, Taryn, and Saberg, Bror. (2013, Oct 22). E-Rate, education technology, and school reform. Retrieved July 29, 2016, from https://www.aei.org/publication/e-rate-education-technology-and-school-reform/

 

 

678 ET – Wk10 Reflections

Week Ten: How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?

This week we learned about how crafting is an emerging technology. I loved seeing new simplistic and exciting inventions. I saw so many that the possibilities to inspire classroom learning were endless.

 

What I learned from my classmates:

  • Brian took a similar approach that I took; he explored the new world of The new invention has so many uses already. He spoke of how the interactive stickers are great for younger students.
  • Kayla discussed squishy circuit technology and how the conductive pens can be a great tool for the classroom.
  • Jessica took a great approach on the metrics to Makersday. She listed increased SAT scores from being exposed to the art side of learning. The experience made learning a positive experience and increased test scores across the board.

 

I love how we are now exploring how emerging technologies can be used in our current day, not just for industry fields, but also in the classroom. Crafting has been around a long time. I think that we are now reinventing the idea to include technology in the scope. I love that we have circuitry boards and squishy lights to help students understand how AC/DC power options work along with simplistic boards and drivers.

678 ET Week 10: How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?

How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?

I believe that electronics are a viable addition to all industries today, especially in education. Our current day is a technology inspired era. Our students need to be familiar with the current inventions so that they are more prepared for tomorrow’s world. What better way to familiarize yourself with technology than tinkering with the devices?

Our focus topic is about crafting with electronics. Wearable fashion was something new to me, one of my favorites was Bike Turn Signal Jacket (Wired.com).

 

turn-signal

 

While I have been able to sew for a few decades now, it is nothing compared to what I learned this week. When I read the included articles, the wearable sites probably caught my eye the most. We have definitely moved passed the Bedazzled gun. I thought wow, I wonder if Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) used a comparable technology to set Katniss’ dress on fire.

Chibitronics was probably one of my favorite sites. I loved seeing all the design ideas how we could use simple circuits to do so much more. The site listed many classroom ideas and kits. The Craft page contains beginner tutorials, DIY cards, textiles, home décor, Holidays, and of course crafts.

 

 

Wearable technology is just one way that shows us how valuable electronics is to crafting for our students. It is another avenue for students to express themselves through learning and tinkering about our current technologies today. When students learn the electronic concepts through sites like Chibitronics, they have fun without realizing they are learning a new skill. Students are able to reapply the new concepts to other technologies.

 

Sources:
Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom.

Einarson, Earl. (2013, Jan 02). Go Bionic With These Wearable Arduino Projects Retrieved July 21, 2016, from http://www.wired.com/2013/01/wearable-arduinos/

Qi, Jie. (2012). Interactive Light Painting: Pu Gong Ying Tu (Dandelion Painting). Retrieved July 21, 2016, from https://vimeo.com/40904471

Unknown. (N.D.). Chibitronics. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from https://chibitronics.com/

 

 

 


	

678 Robotics ~ Reflections

Reflections

This week we talked about a very serious current topic, the great debate of “Bringing your own device” to school. All of the posts I read were in support of having some kind of regulation for the devices. I learned some interesting challenges in classrooms today and how the control of the devices are being forced on the teachers. As a tech in charge of 11 different elementary schools and a background of 15+ years of experience I found it hard to police the devices that we supplied.

What I learned from my classmates:

  • Sarah L brought up the fact that not all schools or students can afford devices. How do we handle these challenges? I agree with her that supporting the devices should not be up to the teacher.
  • Gerald as talked about the divided of availability of devices per student. He suggested a few devices suitable for classroom use.
  • Brian, brought up a great point about the school’s infrastructure needs to be able to handle all the devices the students are brining in. As a network problem, running out of available IPs is a reoccurring problem.

I am not sure that I can confidently say I can navigate the OS on all the devices my children’s friends have. I do think that most tablets have the capability to use most web applications like RAS, StarFall, and MobyMax.

With that said, my (all my classmates) response is Yes – every school needs a BYOD policy. As everything in life, we need structure and rules for all to have a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

678 ET: Week Nine: Does every school need a “BYOD” policy?

Does every school need a “BYOD” policy?

We learn from Teachthought.com that “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is one of the fastest moving technology trends in the education industry. BYOD can increase student and teacher collaboration, extend learning beyond the traditional classroom walls and cut costs for many school districts.”

 

Mobile technology

 

Since I was a tech for the Anchorage School District for over 5 years my opinion might be different from some of my peers. First I want to state that every student having some kind of technology device does open up limitless possibilities to new avenues of learning. I have seen where the devices do stimulate learning and independent learning.

Some of the challenges I foresee with BYOD are:

  • The teacher could have limited knowledge on how to assist with any technical problems
  • The student might not have the programs needed
  • The device might not be able to support the needed program
  • If the student leaves the charger at home, they might not be able to borrow one
  • Viruses, so many tablets are used for surfing the web and do not have any kind of antivirus installed to protect them or the school’s wifi
  • Children are children, who would manage the transportation and / or possibility of theft

My first choice is to supply the students with standardized mobile devices. Having standardized equipment such as a rolling cart with tablets or mini pcs has issues as well.  There is a learning curve for students; some will require more direction than others. If the devices are standardized, you can install any needed programs ahead of time. Troubleshooting any technical issues is easier when all the devices are the same.

If that is not an option, then yes a BYOD policy needs to be implemented. Having a pre-session so that the instructors know what devices the students have is a great idea so that they know how to navigate through the system. I have been in IT for over 15 years and there are so many tablets that I still have not seen. Students will also be able to show where their skillset is and what their device is capable of.

I know what it is like to manage 100+ mobile devices. It is not easy. Children will pick up devices carry them out of the lab switch with their friends. The positive side is when you get passed the implementation phase and into the learning stages. Once you lay down the ground rules and put up a few reminder posters, children will understand what the expected behavior should be. Children love having tablets. You can see the sense of ownership in learning when they show you their progress in a program. Children can be taught to be responsible. In my schools, the students knew where the sign-up sheet was located to report any problems. They knew to flip them over to see the label I created to see the device number. They also learned how to place them back in the mobile carts for charging so that they are ready the next time they had their mobile learning device time.

 

 

Sources:

Martini, Peter. (2013, Dec 22). 4 Challenges That Can Cripple Your School’s BYOD Program. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/4-challenges-can-cripple-schools-byod-program/

Heick, Terry. (2015, Feb 6). The Brutal Authenticity of BYOD. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/byod-is-shortest-path-to-student-centered-learning/

Quetti, Rachel. (2015, Sept 17).  BYOD: The Challenges, How it Can Succeed in the Classroom. Retrieved July 14, 2016, from http://www.k-12techdecisions.com/article/byod_the_challenges_it_presents_and_how_you_can_overcome_them/P3#

Reflections:

678 ET Week Eight: What Minecraft game could you create that would help students learn?

Minecraft is a great tool for education. There are countless websites dedicated to lesson plans and how to implement them in the classroom. This week we interview a player for more insight on what they thought of the game and how the game worked.

This is what I learned from my classmates this week:

Kayla did not have any direct experience with the game before this week’s assignment. She stated that she also thought that the game was a great way for students to express their own creativity. Also lesson plans are great inspirations for the game. Gerald spent time with his son playing the game. He had great visuals for math concepts in his post. Douglas brought up great points about how the game can help under privileged or shy kids interact. He spoke of making maps of his school for navigation which are great ideas to help students learn.

Whether you are trying to help connect with a student or get a math concept across, Minecraft might be your tool. I can see how students can express History and science worlds into their adventures. Kids are excited about it and love learning new tricks. I don’t think that it will take much convincing for student participation.