Friday, June 24, 2011

Week 5 Web Conference

Last night I was able to participate in a web conference for my class. I was not able to participate in a web conference since the first week due to prior web conferences. This conference was so much better than the first one and I fully saw the benefit of attending the web conference for the class.
I wish the web conference was held on the first day of the course instead of the fourth day. The discussions about the assignments would have benefited me on Monday not Thursday night because most of us started the assignment on Monday/Tuesday. Having the web conference at the start of the week would have steered us in a strong direction and would have given us the extra days to work on the assignments. Today, many of my colleagues will be working on their assignments with only 2 maybe 3 days left in the week.
This week I also felt a connection with my cohorts. The first web conference we did not know each other, but this conference we were even able to support one another, have private conversations during the web conference, and truly connect. I am looking forward to hte next 16 months and developing some new relationships!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reflection for Course 5306

I cannot believe it is the end of my first graduate class! After waiting almost thirty years to get my masters, I was a little overwhelmed at first with all the new technology I was learning. The first week consisted of many frustrating hours working with the instructions that were not matching with the website. Finally, I just chunked the instructions and muddled through the assignments using the tools the internet provided. It was aggravating to have URLs wrong only to find out a day or two later. When we completed the STAR report and it was loaded for 2008, I could not help but think why is this not current? During the fourth week’s assignment, I never could get the Wordle assignment to work. I tried step by step, and then some! Finally, I threw in the towel, which is not like me. After calling tech support to no avail, one of my cohorts so graciously walked me through the process and it is completed!

After taking the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, I felt it was wrong and was not a true depiction of who I really am. Feeling this was not me, I began to look inwardly at task and situations I was currently involved in with several other consultants. While working on this task, I realized that in knowing the temperaments, we are able to better collaborate with others and understand their temperament along with ours. As an Artisan, I can see the picture and can move forward without details while a Guardian needs those details. My friend and I are opposites and when we conduct professional development, it all works out because she takes care of those details. All teachers and their administrators should use this in working collaboratively together in order to gain a deeper appreciation for each other and their styles.

Each week we read articles related to aspects of technology in schools and I found myself reading every article, even when we were only required to read two or three that week. The article, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, by M. Prensky was one of my favorite. Prensky’s definition of “digital immigrants” truly explains and defines about seventy percent of the teachers I work with in schools. I truly understood my frustrations this week as I was trying to learn new aspects of technology which are so first nature to the “digital natives” in our schools. (Prensky, 2001) Prensky immolated me when he stated “They include printing out your e-mail (or having your secretary print it out for you – an even “thicker” accent); needing to print out a document written on the computer in order to edit it (rather than just sending them the URL).” (Prensky, 2001) As I read this statement, I was looking at the printed version of the article and the binder in which holds all the documents for this class. I print out my writing so that I can edit it because I seem to miss so much when I try to do it on the computer. My students on the other hand want to complete all tasks on the computer and I require them to keep electronic folders or binders with all the stages. Compared to my students, I truly am a “digital immigrant”!

I also discovered I am a little OCD when it comes to studying. I want everything perfect and would work all week on planning for the assignments. I was able to plan my week beginning on Sunday reading the articles, Monday watching the videos, Tuesday or Wednesday posting my quote, and then the remainder of the week was left to working on the assignment. I enjoyed the ability to work any time day or night on my assignments. The rubrics facilitated by inclination to make a perfect score. By using the rubrics, I knew exactly what was expected of me and how my assignments would be graded. Each assignment embedded different uses of technology tools that were new to me. Have I mastered them all? No, but I am a lot closer now than I was five weeks ago. Here we are in the last week of the class and I just now discovered where you can get your detailed feedback from your assignments! I was so caught up in the task and assuming I would receive an email about the assignments that I never noticed the “detail” button to the right of the grade. This will definitely help me in future classes.

This course has taught me the importance of embedding technology lessons into the curriculum. With each of our assignments, we were learning a new tool and learning about different aspects of the technology. I was able to implement some of the things I learned during an administrator’s strategic planning workshop that I co-facilitated last week. Due to the articles that we read, I was able to discuss topics like cyber bulling, copyright laws, blogs and wikis in school to increase parent communication, embedding technology into lessons to increase student performance, and motivation. Prensky also states, “More and more of our students lack the true prerequisites for learning – engagement and motivation – at least in terms of what we offer them in our schools.” (Prensky, 2006) We definitely need to look at the ways our students are connected and move in that direction if we want to move into the 21st Century classroom. It is my desire I will be able to demonstrate just that for the teachers I will be working with in the future.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Part 1.On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6

Prensky, M (2005/2006). Listen to the natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8-13

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"E-Rate Powerpoint

EDLD 5306 Cohort 21

Week 2 Assignment, Part 4: Creating and Posting a Slide Presentation

This week my task was to learn how to post a slide presentation to this blog, using one of the sources available to us: authorSTREAM and slideshare. Both I am familiar with in reading but not in posting. What an experience the past 24 hours have been, somewhat frustrating, to say the least. I have emailed my cohorts and one has given me a tip, I am going to try it. Here goes nothing!

Welcome to E Rate
View more presentations from marythrasher

Lisa you are a genius!! I works. I learned something very valuable today that actually goes with everything we have been reading this week. Collaboration! We as teachers need to reach out to one another and collaborate. Together we can teach each other everything we need to learn about implementing technology into the classroom. Just as we want our students to collaborate, we must be willing to do this with each other and with our students.
Thank you classmates for all your input, and thank you Lisa, especially.

Friday, June 3, 2011

EDLD Blog Posting #3 National Educational Technology Plan

National Educational Technology Plan consists of seven goals.

1. Strengthen Leadership goals include strengthening leaders at every level-school, district, and state to lead with informed, creative, and transformative leadership for systemic changes all around.
2. Consider Innovative Budgeting includes the ability to carry funds over yearly budget cycles, to lease with 3-5 year refresh cycles, to reallocate expenditures to provide the necessary monies.
3. Improve Teacher Training so that there will be sufficient training to make significant impacts on learning in the classrooms.
4. Support E-Learning and Virtual Schools will now be as common as the brick and mortar schools on the corner. This will enable students of all levels to receive high school diplomas and it will provide educators the ability to participate in e-learning classes.
5. Encourage Broadband Access 24/7/365. By doing this, we will enable teachers and students to reach their full potential in technology.
6. Move Toward Digital Content and away from expensive, outdated before they are in the hands of students, textbooks. The digital content will provide many advantages which will include costsatins, efficiency, accessibility and enhanced learning opportunities for our students.
7. Integrate Data Systems so that educators will be able to transform teaching and individualize instruction based on data. Using the assessment data will result in competent informed decisions and differentiated instruction for every child in the school system.

Education continues to play catch up while the business and industry world continues to exceed the school. We must change if our students are to be competitive in the 21st century work force.
If we are going to prepare our students for the work force, these changes must be made.

EDLD 5306 Blog Posting #2

This week my assignment was to view our campus technology plan. Since I am currently not employed by the district, but an outside consultant, I was not able to get the technology plan. I do have a meeting with our district's technologist next week, but because of the end of the school year, she was not able to meet with me. There are some components of this class that I am not sure how they will work in my situation. I need to discuss these concerns with my professor.

Where's the Value in Assessing Educator's Technology Leadership Knowledge

The last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to take several assessments in regards to my technology leadership knowledge and my school's technology plan. At first I thought they were taking way too long and that they would not report a true assessment of my strengths and weaknesses.

Was I wrong? Yes! After taking the assessments and getting the results, I was able to see where my weaknesses are and how to achieve mastery in the available courses. I do agree that assessing one's technology skills will facilitate a school districts ability to differentiate their technology training. Just as we have huge disparities in our student's technology aptitude, our teachers have even greater disparity. The only way we can address what every student and teacher needs individually, is to use the technology skill assessments.

Among the things that were assessed, was "Technology Learning Style". In the classroom, I became a Master Teacher in Learning Styles from Dunn & Dunn Learning Styles Institute. Naturally, I was interested in the difference and similarities to learning styles. So often, I have observed the "one-size fits all" teaching style that falls short in meeting the needs of all learners. The technology learning style for me revealed exactly the type of learner I am. I excel with hands on learning, the ability to jump in and get started, with the security of a place to ask questions or find answers to my questions. I never did like reading the instructions for a pattern and I feel I am the same way when it comes to learning techonology.

If schools would use the data from the technology learning styles to facilitate their classes, students would become self-reliant, energized, and highly-motivated learners!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Web Conference

Last night I experienced my first web conference. It was not what I had expected. There was way to much technical difficulties of which was too be expected from all of us newbies. After about twenty minutes, we were able to begin without voice. This was disappointing but at least we were able to submit questions that were answered in real time. Unfortunately for me, I had already received this idea in my head of what the experience would be like. Being familiar with Skype, Oovo, and of course conferencing on the telephone, I will look forward to more web conferencing with the ability to speak. I was not surprised to find the majority of my cohorts younger than me but with limited experience in web conferencing. This of course, made me feel comfortable in this journey ahead. We are all a community of learners and I look forward to the rest of the journey.