The first class I took at Boise State was EdTech 501. As a requirement of the course, I started my first blog using WordPress. Over the next 2 years, I have added to it while taking various classes at Boise State. I have used this blog as a place to post both thoughts and completed projects. On this blog you will find discussions on social media policies for educators, reflections on real time digital professional development, a slideshow for establishing a positive digital footprint and more. Here I take the knowledge learned in various classes and put it into action.
The goal of the assignment was to choose a school that you are familiar with and thoroughly examine it’s technology integration. I chose Michigan High School where I work. We were given the a Maturity Model Benchmark reference guide to help us analyze the school. It focuses on 5 main areas: Administrative, Curriculum, Support, Connectivity, and Innovation.
I have been critical of my school’s integration of technology in the past. However, this assignment has helped me realize that the school is actually pretty strong in many areas. I tend to be a critical person, but should be more appreciative of what the school is offering. All the staff may not be taking advantage of it, but I am fortunate enough to have it available for my classroom. In addition, the school is not that far from a really strong well rounded integration. This evaluation helped me pick out the individual areas of strength and weakness. I hope to do two things with this. One is share it with Tech Committee so that they have my outside opinion (outside as in not a part of the committee and have to “horse in the race” regarding any particular program/technology). Also, this opened my eyes to some of the tools available that I could take better advantage of.
Below are my overall analysis and the survey I filled out.
Role: I researched the option of providing free internet content to lower socioeconomic people. It was ranked lowest by our group because it fails to address the issue of access.
Research: I researched alternative options to make the plan work.I found that schools in Arizona are looking to open more distance learning classes, but the overhead of developing content is a limiting factor in it’s growth. I also learned that nearly half the people living in poverty rely on the public libraries for internet access. Content could be developed to help those people better use the internet for: job hunting, education, accessing government resources, or managing finances.
Evaluation: The school I work at definitely has it’s digital divide. There are kids with iPhones and kids that don’t even have a parent with a working phone number. Some students are at a major disadvantage. It is important to give every kid opportunities to work with the technology available in school and help familiarize students with the apps, websites, programs, and hardware that they may need to understand for their future education or career. For some kids, the school is the only chance they have to really engage and take ownership of internet based technology.
Group: I was lucky to have a very organized group. Despite being in many different time zones, the tasks were divided clearly. The due dates and expectations were discussed, refined, and shared as we all moved through the project. Google Docs turned out to be a really good collaboration tool. It was my first time really using to collaborate and I think it was effective in it’s purpose.
For this week’s assignment, I have created a lesson plan that utilizes the Dropbox App. Dropbox allows a user to save files on one computer and have them automatically saved and accessible on any other computer, tablet, or smart phone. This is important for me as a teacher because there often isn’t enough time (or availability) to spend a whole week in the computer labs working on a project. If students find media, sources, or need to revise their work, they need to be able to do it from school, home, the bus on the way to their baseball game, etc. Flash drives are ok, but they are often misplaced, forgotten, and they don’t plug into smart phones. Personal email like Google would meet the student needs, however, where I work, all personal email sites (Google, Yahoo, etc) are blocked. This leaves a program like Dropbox as the best solution. Students can work on their projects in school, at home, and on the go.
For this assignment, students will need to present a portfolio and resume highlighting the accomplishments of a famed Renaissance artist. Besides basic facts about the life of the artist, it must also include samples of work, analysis of the work, and the reasoning as to why the artist was a key member of the Renaissance. The time spent in the computer lab will only be enough for students to get started and receive feedback on a rough draft. There is not enough time to complete the entire assignment in class. Therefore, Dropbox will be used to save media, websites, Word documents, etc. so that students can start the project in school and seamlessly build on it anywhere.
The AECT Standards that seem to most with this lesson are 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.1 Media Utilization, and 5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation. This lesson connects to Computer-Based Technologies because it is putting students on the computer in order to find research and create a polished product. I also included Integrated Technologies. Students will be looking for text information, images, video, and audio about their Renaissance figure. Using the computer, they will then be able to integrate them into their final project. Media Utilization involves a planned use of resources. The Dropbox app will allow students much more freedom in managing and planning how they will work on the project. It also will create a clear and surefire way for the teacher to be able to assess the project and resources as the students are developing them. There is time built in where students will have to share their Dropbox. The teacher will be able to see the media being used, sources found, and the rough draft of the project. The teacher can then offer feedback. This is formative assessment. The teacher can give ideas for improvement. The summative assessment will come after students have had opportunities to make improvements. The assignment will be graded per the rubric.