Course Reflection

This course has been a great introduction to the Educational Technology program. I have learned a lot, and I have enjoyed working towards implementing the things I have learned into my own classroom.

The biggest challenge I faced during this course was finding the time to complete assignments. It has been difficult to manage my part-time job as a teacher, my full time job as a wife and mother, and two graduate courses. I knew this was going to be a challenge when I began the program, but I also knew my schedule wasn’t going to become any less busy in the future. I am fortunate that my little boy takes good naps, and I have a lot of family members around to offer help. I learned to be more organized and plan ahead in order to get things done in time.

I believe my best artifact was the Professional Ethics paper. I worked hard to gather adequate and appropriate research for this assignment. I learned a lot about protecting students’ privacy online, which is important and useful for my own classroom. I felt that this was some of my best writing because I was interested in the topic.

Going forward, I plan to become more involved in technology integration throughout my school. I would like to try to become a part of the committee that is involved in the Technology Plan for my district. I would also like to be a resource for my colleagues to come to as they are trying to implement technology into their own curriculum. I am grateful for all that I have learned as a result of this course, and I am excited to continue on with the rest of the program.

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EDTECH Definition Graphic

This was by far my favorite assignment of this course. As I was creating this graphic, I really had to stop and think about what educational technology really means and how I could explain it to someone else. Before beginning this program and more specifically this course, I thought I knew what educational technology was. To me, it was a simple definition- using technology in education duh! I have since learned that I was very naive, and it encompasses so much more than that.

Educational technology is not just about using technology, but HOW we use it. It requires us to expand our thinking and allow our students to conduct their own learning by providing them the tools and resources to do so. I believe educational technology redefines the role of the teacher. Teachers are no longer just presenters of information or dictators of learning. Teachers are there to serve as guides to students throughout the learning process.

I have learned a lot about educational technology, and I am beginning to incorporate the concepts I have learned into my own teaching style and classroom. I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I am excited to continue on the journey.

I used Piktochart to create my graphic. My students and I have viewed several infographics together, so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at creating one. Piktochart makes it very easy. There are templates, icons, photos, charts, maps, and more right there on the site for you to use. I enjoyed creating this, and I plan to create more infographics to put up in my classroom.

Educational Technology Graphic

 

School Evaluation Summary

As I completed the groundwork for this assignment, I was amazed at how much really goes into implementing technology. I knew it required some planning and a lot of resources, but I did not realize the depth of effort that is put into technology implementation. I was surprised at the amount of money that the school district spends on technology. I did not think much before about the amount of money the school spends on things like PowerSchool for student attendance and grade records. I was also surprised at the amount of technology our district has. There is quite a bit of technology available, but I think many people do not realize how much is there because it is not always used. I truly believe that further technology training would provide the greatest benefit to the district. It does not matter how much technology is available if students and teachers do not have the knowledge and skills to use it. I was also surprised and disappointed at how few people were involved in the planning process of the technology plan. The plan could benefit from more input from different sources.

I was not as surprised at the information regarding the implementation of technology into the curriculum. I have been in several different classrooms throughout the school building, and I have seen how teachers are using technology. As I stated in my summary, the technology at Marsh Creek High School is still being used mostly in the substitute phase of the SAMR model. There are a lot of improvements that can be made as to how the technology is used. This assignment was very eye-opening to me, and I am now excited about getting more involved in the process of technology implementation within my school and district.

School Evaluation Survey

School Evaluation Summary

Tech Trends

Classroom Blog

Lesson Plan 

This assignment was my favorite of the course thus far. I really enjoyed the freedom to explore technology and create something to use in my classroom. I am really excited to try my artifact out with my students. I originally planned on creating something using Google Apps, but I kept feeling like I wanted to do more so I went back to the drawing board. I have always been intrigued by blogging, and I wish I was one of those creative people that can make money from blogging. As it turns out, there are many ways to incorporate blogging into education. I have done some research on blogging in the classroom and have discovered that blogs are a great tool for students to use. Blogs allow students some creative freedom. They also allow students to reach a worldwide audience, learn online etiquette, and create a positive digital footprint.

For my artifact, I chose to create a blog for my classroom. I chose to use Blogger because it is connected to my G-mail account, which is what I use for school, and all the students have G-mail accounts. I still wanted to incorporate an aspect using Google Apps, so I included a Google Calendar, Google Doc, and Google Sheet on my blog. I also used Screencast-O-Matic to create a video tutorial showing my students how to create their own blog. I wanted to show how I would use and incorporate the blog and my students’ blogs into my classroom, so I also created a lesson plan and posted an assignment for students on the blog. The lesson plan uses another technology I have found to be really fun and great for students to use: Adobe Voice. My lesson plan and the blog post explain what this app is all about and shows an example of what it can do.

I think different aspects of my artifact reach different levels of the SAMR model. The use of Google Apps fits in the Augmentation category as it is simply another way for students to view information and complete a task, but with a few added features. The assignment for students to write a blog post reaches the Modification level because their writing will reach a much wider audience than would be otherwise possible. Finally, I believe the assignments for my students’ to create their own blog and an Adobe Voice presentation reach the Redefinition level. Each of these tasks would be impossible without technology. These tasks allow students to be create something new and are different from what they normally do in the classroom.

Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

Google Slides Presentation

Voice Thread

I have created many power point presentations in my lifetime, but I learned something new while doing this assignment. I have always included bullet points on nearly every slide. I include a lot of the information I plan to talk about so I don’t forget what I’m going to say and so my students can take good notes. While doing this assignment, I realized I do not always have to include everything I am going to say, in fact, I can have a slide without any words at all if I want to. If I were to start limiting the amount of information and bullet points I put on my presentations, student might be more worried about what I am saying than writing down each slide word for word. I will be changing the presentations I use in my classroom in the future. I also like the idea of provided a Voice Thread with my presentations. It would allow students to go back and access the notes along with what I said with each slide. Voice Thread would be a great way to provide accommodations to students with special needs.

I also learned a lot about the digital divide and digital inequality. To be honest, when I began this assignment I did not think there was a big difference between the two. The digital divide gap may be closing, but digital inequality is still a huge concern. I think it is very important to look at how technology is being used because access to technology does not do much good if it is not being used in a beneficial manner. The use of technology is something I plan to keep in mind as I continue to use technology in my classroom. I should spend more time teaching students how to conduct a proper search, evaluate sources, and use other web tools. It made me think about the fact that social studies content is important, but even more important is teaching my students life skills.

If I had more time, I would have liked to change my survey and sent it out again. There are some questions that are not very valid from a research standpoint. I would have also gone into more depth on the questions and asked for more written responses. As I was working on the assignment, I found myself thinking a lot about how the students view educational technology. I would have liked to create and administer a student survey to get more information and the other side of the story.

Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology

Professional Ethics Assignment 

This assignment was the most difficult one for me thus far in the course. The most difficult part was choosing an issue to focus on. I was amazed at the amount of challenges that can come with incorporating technology when I really sat down and began to list them. The AECT Code of Professional Ethics made me think about many possible challenges that could arise within educational technology.

Before beginning this assignment, I still did not have a firm understanding of what the AECT Code of Ethics is. I have heard it referred to throughout the course, but I did not pay it much attention or seek out any information regarding it. As I completed the reading and my writing assignment this week, I saw a portion of the value the AECT Code can bring to a profession. I began to reflect on myself as a professional and as an educator thinking about whether or not I was meeting the standards set by each of these standards. I found many areas that I could improve upon. One that stood out to me was that of protecting students’ privacy online, which is why I chose to focus my research on that topic. I know this is an area that my co-workers and I could strive to be better in. I have set a goal to incorporate some of the solutions from my paper into my own classroom practices.

The AECT Code of Professional Ethics provides many ideals for educators and professionals to strive towards. There is a lot of value in having a set of standards for everyone to follow and that allows everyone to be on the same page. Educational technology is still a relatively new field of study, and the AECT Code provides instructors and students with some direction. I truly believe anyone involved in educational technology would greatly benefit from taking a close look and familiarizing themselves with the AECT Code of Professional Ethics.

Research Assignment

Research Assignment Link

When I first looked over the requirements for this assignment, I was not overly excited to say the least. I have never enjoyed research, and citing sources makes the list of my least favorite things to do. As I got to work, I was pleasantly surprised that I found myself interested and even enjoying the research a little bit. I found that when researching a topic I am truly invested in, I do not mind putting in the work to find my answers.

I have conducted research online before in high school and in my undergraduate studies, so that was not new to me. The new part to me was the use of Zotero. I found Zotero very easy to use, and I thought it made citing sources so much simpler. I wish I would have been able to utilize Zotero during previous research assignments throughout my education. APA formatting was also something I am unfamiliar with. Previously, I had always been required to use MLA format. Although I was unfamiliar with APA, I did not find it too difficult. There were enough resources available to be able to check the citation with that produced by Zotero.

The research I conducted was actually very useful and relevant to my career. I have been exploring the option of incorporating social media more fully into my classroom for some time, but I have not been brave enough to try it out. Through my research, I found ways that I can start incorporating it and ideas on how to manage students use of those tools. One of my biggest concerns was being able to maintain a professional relationship with my students if I brought social media into the mix. The research on this topic calmed my fears and made me realize it is possible to keep that professionalism. I am eager to put the things I have learned into practice in my own classroom.