Concept Map: Static versus Dynamic Technologies

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Technology continues to improve itself which challenges educators to constantly be trained to teach their students how to exhaust all possibilities of the most current technology trend. The mistake most commonly made by educators is forgetting the personality of their audience. When deciding if static or dynamic technology is better, educators must be sure to understand and familiarize themselves with the technology used within their classrooms personalized for each student. Dr. Moller (2008) states technology is a great tool to help in capturing the students so the retention of information will be successful. Since technology rapidly changes, the necessity for educators to change as rapidly should be a well thought out process and transform how the teacher models their class. The beauty of technology is personalizing education to fit the student instead of trying to carbon copy every student to fit a certain academic mode. Both static and dynamic technologies allows this approach to be established and fortified.

Fahy (2008) eludes to many ways technology can foster a more engaging learning environment but the teacher must be aware and connected to their students so the implementation of technology will manifest a welcomed learning environment. Another pitfall that many educators fall into is the unwarranted rush to change as technology changes. Understanding that some static technology is still valid for use today, a rush to “stay with the times” for trend purpose can hurt the growth of a student in the future. Within this graphic map the difference between static and dynamic technology in some cases, subtle and others, very visible.

Textbooks and written papers are still valid because some teachers and students need these hard copied resources for annotation due to their disconnect with ebooks and digital papers. Emailing and Face-to-face (F2F) communication is still just as important as video conferencing and instant messaging because it allows human tangible skills that this generation still needs in order to remain connected to society and each other. Depending on the educators classroom, many of the static technologies are useful in collaboration with some dynamic technologies for that well roundedness prescribed to mold the whole student. With video conferencing, students can open up their collaboration because the constraints on location and timing is easily captured versus each group member reorganizing their schedule to find a neutral place to physically meet. Since instant messaging has taking the place of emails, emailing is still a viable communicative tool because of it’s security and longevity considering technology.

Even though, many of the static technologies will deteriorate, educators must be strategic in how the transference from static to dynamic will occur and maintain the sole purpose of education, which is to teach, train, exhaust the best out of each and every student that walks into their classroom to become the change agents for a better society. Having the opportunity to personalize any classroom has shown the affect technology has brought to enhancing education and extending the classroom beyond the brick and mortar structure. Now global education is feasible due to the limitless structure of the internet and technology.

Reference:

Moller, L. (2008). Static and dynamic technological tools.

Blogs I have visited and posted.

https://marcipe.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/moving-towards-dynamic-technologies-8842-blog-post-md5/

https://elizabethhurleyblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/module-4-engaging-learners/

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Engaging Learners with New Strategies and Tools

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Understanding the “new type of learner” becomes challenging only when an educator does not want to develop along with the students. With technology, bridging the gap between all types of learners is becoming more comprehensive and accommodating because learning now can be personalized and  manageable at the same time for educators within a classroom. For my students, we are a one-to-one school with  constant professional development to make sure retention and preparation for our students is top priority. Educating the whole student is our mission and vision for the school is to be a 21st century learning environment.

Blended learning has become the foundation within each discipline at Marin Catholic (MC). Google docs has replaced Microsoft word within our Macinstosh platformed base which has saved on cost and excuses for “no homework.” TED talks and other video presentation has helped in creating a more inclusive environment with our students because this allows students to help in facilitating the pace of the class and have true ownership. The educational resources provided for our students has improved the bridge between those students who enter needing resources to level their learning average to now normalizing their retention and habits of scholarship.

Even in my Art classes students have more authority and flexibility to lead a class project and present their concept, progression of project, and final artwork before the class as leader and teacher for the day. Group projects allows the students to be more of a design firm instead of a classrooms which gives them real life experiences due to the many tools they can use to formalize a final assignment. Constant 3 minute presentations are given as final grading with images and even video showing the process in which they used to execute their masterpiece. Curriculum across the board is a staple within the core of MC classes. This platform in which Siemens (2008) states does allow education to become more engaging and exciting for both educator and student. For the educator, reaching the majority of their students brings satisfaction and joy to know the percentages of students retaining what is learned continues to increase. As for the students, being prepared for society and higher education builds their confidence to continue finding their voice in todays world to help in putting together the puzzle of manifesting that utopia we all aspire to create.

Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum.

Blogs I have replied:

https://elizabethhurleyblog.wordpress.com

http://adavenporteducation.blogspot.com/

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Assessing Collaborative Efforts

As an instructor, there are several issues to consider. So many ways to assess learning in a collaborative environment but the real question should be, “how to successfully asses collaborative efforts by the students or learners?” Within this research to locate the best possible direction, many common factors mirrored the other. The key to learning is making sure retention is achieved in whatever curricula prescribed to the learners regardless of the manner in which the instructor chose to present. Assessing that retention for an individual is much easier than that of a group because individuals have an easier time hiding within the collective work ethic. This is where the instructor must make sure collaborative rules are set in place and the clarity is given to all participating, how they will be graded and assessed (Durrington, V., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J., 2006).

First, the instructor must ask themselves how will they grade equitably? How many rubrics will be given for each project and will there be an area for self reflection and direct questioning to clearly grade the efforts of the individual? Deciding on what should and should not be graded. How will the individual accountability effect the group grade or the individuals grade within the group? How and will there be a criteria and standard for the collaborative work? Punishment for the freeloaders within the group structure. These are all key questions in creating a valid and fair grading platform for collaborative projects. The main goal for this community is to encourage and maintain constant interactivity amongst the students (Durrington, V., et. al., 2006).

The Instructor’s key role in initiating a collaborative learning community is matching the right teams. Many instructors allow students to select their team members, which in the end, can cause major problems because the students can not assess their classmates as well as the teachers can regarding work ethic, learning differences, and cooperative nature. For the best results, the instructor should create the groups and allow the leaders to rise within the groups chosen (McInnis, J., Devlin, M., 2002). This puts pressure on the instructors to evaluate their students so they will know the strengths and weaknesses each student possess. How they should select can be any formula; age, sex, culture, or mix them up in any way. Whatever is their formula, the instructors’ evaluation must be good in order for a group to be successful (Laurette, 2015).

Not only should the instructor establish the rules, they should also establish grading for both individual and group assessment, clarity in expectations for the habits of scholarship, and they should also clarify penalty or punishment if equal participation is not given. This should be done in the rubric where self evaluation is given, as well as, group evaluation. With the group evaluation section, there should be description emphasizing fairness in the grading amongst peers.

Every aspect of a successful collaborative learning community is important. Even though the format is for a collaborative learning community, the role of the instructor can vary depending on if the model of community is cooperative or collaborative. In a collaborative community, the instructors role is minor. Their primary role in a collaborative learning community is more of a consultant role where the instructor checks in with each group/s to make sure they are on task and following the timeline set by the instructor. The group members basically run the community. They set the work schedule, communicate with one another to keep each other on track, decide how to define and solve any problems that might show themselves. The instructor helps in negotiating assessments which promotes them as overseers to the community and points the finger if a good plan is not set in place for a growing community (Diaz, V., Brown, M., & Salmons, J., 2010).

Even though the instructors position is limited in the day to day process, their role is still very vital because they help set the tone to the success of the groups and how they will move forward. Not only should this not affect their significance to the group but they still understand and know each group members strength and weaknesses based on previous interaction and projects done. .

Diaz, V., Brown, M., & Salmons, J., (2010). Educase. Unit 4: Assessment of Collaborative Learning Project Outcomes. Learning Initiative.,

Durrington, V., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J., (2006). Strategies for Enhancing Student Interactivity in an Online Environment. College Teaching; Mississippi State Univ., Vol. (54), No.(1), pp. 190-193.

McInnis, J., Devlin, M., (2002). Assessing Group Work. Assessing Learning in Australian Universities.

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Storyboard Presentation for: Blended Classrooms

Listed below is the storyboard for my video presentation about my chosen topic, “Blended Classrooms.”

Intro Video Fade In

Narrative                                                                   30 secs.
opening of clouds, then I speak about distance learning being used as the new innovation for educational element for learning.

Voiceover beginning then (throughout)                 1.5 mins.
Introduction keynote speaker with image of information regarding their history and accolades regarding their leadership for blended classrooms.

Definition of “Blended Classroom”                        30 secs.
Still shot of definition, then a slideshow with photos showing Marin Catholic High School students with tools for blended learning.

Elements of blended learning                                 30 secs
A listing of different tools used to create a successful blended classroom.

Gaming, Educational websites                               30 secs.
Website links to educational gaming sites now adopted by elementary schools (Study Island, Math playground).

Kids playing games                                                 15 sec
A video spot of students working at computers and tablets on these sites.

Progression of learning                                           30 secs.
Stats showing the growth of blended classrooms and bridging the gap of learners.

(cont. of progression of learning)                          15 secs.
Comments and quotes by students and faculty praising blended classrooms.

Ipad, Kindle, Laptop, and iPhone                            30 secs.
Still shots of these items showing accessibility with the gaming sites.

Introduction of keynote speaker                             1 min.
Photo of keynote speaker while reading their accomplishments and accolades.

Video Fade out Speaker begins to speak…..

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Elements of Distance Education Diffusion

Due to new innovations within the spectrum of communication catered to our society and globally, distance education has benefitted from this growth as well. Dr. Siemens (2014) speaks about how many factors have contributed to the global acceptance of distance learning and educational technology. I agree to a certain extent with Dr. Siemens (2014) when he states, “Communication has helped in manifesting more meaningful relationships online due to the enhancement and improvement of video tools used by consumers today.” As a society we are becoming more comfortable with using various online venues to communicate whether it is personal or professional. The ability to connect regardless of location helps in creating that comfort and the accessibility only adds to the growth and innovation of communicative online options. When this is welcomed in many circles, comfort becomes a more natural response which is slowly becoming the integration to distance learning.

In regards to education, I am mixed with my approval or disapproval of Dr. Siemens (2014) comments about distance education taking the place of Face-to-Face. I feel that communication has definitely improved, however, I still feel there are moments and levels when F2F is more apparent and applicable than online. Even though online offers accessibility and the quality of the tools used to access technology to it’s fullest potential, online is still limited when it comes to constant communication. For example, high school education should continue to prescribe hybrid, blended models and not strictly online. The reason for this decision is based on the need for a teacher to be present to answer, elaborate, or encourage students as they grow and strive for excellence in a high school setting. With online learning, it is not promised when your question will be answered and how fast it will be answered. The only promise given with online education is eventually it will be answered.

When we think about how common using Facetime, Skype, and other video conference devices when years ago this concept was something considered a trend and the question was if it would last or change how we communicate today. Dr. Siemens (2014) pointed out more evidence of new communication technology allows for an increased use of simulations, multimedia games, and multiple benefits within the corporate sector, as well as, education. The increase of diverse groups helps in the educational arena because students can now experience the cultural benefits they wouldn’t have received in a F2F due to cost, location, and accessibility. Now more experts can collaborate in increasing productivity and growth with distance learning. With distance learning, connectivism continues to match perfectly with online learning and technology being that missing puzzle to truly illustrate learning without limitations. In fact, Dr. Siemens (2014) also states, a new Triple Hex Model of Education which includes Universities, businesses, and government with students for online educational environment that bridges the gap of a natural learning hybrid for students so they can receive through online interaction the information the experience they need from each proponent for success.

As distance education continue to challenge its limits and expand it borders, online learning is proving itself more and more accessible and common in our society educational fiber. As long as this innovation understands there is still the need for F2F  because tangibility continues to display it’s need in an existing tactile society.

Reference

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: The future of distance education. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Fellow Bloggers:

marcipe.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/elements-of-distance-education-diffusion/comment-page-1/#comment-46

http://jenraesmithgamification.blogspot.com/

http://alperdistanceeducation.blogspot.com.br/

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The Next Generation of Distance Learning

Positive learning experiences help in discovering a learners true potential (Dewey, 1968). John Dewey (1969), a true scholar practitioner, was one who truly believed in experiential learning. Distance learning (DE) is the epitome of experiential learning. When discussing distance learning or as it is illustrated in various forms, online learning, having no limits to transferring knowledge to those who desire it regardless of where or who they are, will be able to unlock the world of the unknown just by the click of a finger. One factor of why DE is vastly becoming a legitimate outlet for lifelong learners is because of it’s growth worldwide and the accessibility that is now opening up to any and every community.

Hybrid learning, online learning, personalized learning, e-learning and blended learning are all components of distance learning which is now becoming common within our educational system. As more schools test this effectiveness of DE, students are beginning to reach their potential, let alone their grade level at best. Moller (2008), Foshay (2008), and Huett (2008) discuss in various articles the implementation of online learning and how it will and is changing our society both locally and globally. However, administering this new innovation in a very well thought out approach with key instructional design will help in fostering a more profound and advantageous educational system. Simonson (2000) also eludes to the greatness of what potential online learning can posses only if cyber discipline and the appropriate technologies are coupled with the right educational platform. This was illustrated in his three steps in achieving equivalency for all learners. Those steps are instructional technologies with available assessibility, determining the learning outcomes, and identifying and matching the learning experiences through the appropriate available technology.

What was common from all of these scholars is the agreement that equivalent learning experiences must be a factor in order for true positive and effective learning to be discovered. They all agree that online learning is not just beneficial for one particular system but key to educating all lifelong learners. The one caveat to this fact is the proper training and development must be issued to those targeted in order for true growth to ensue (Moller, L., Foshay, R., & Huett, J., 2008).

Dewey, J., (1968): Experience and Education. New York, NY, Collier Books.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Distance education: The next generation. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Equivalency theory. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008a, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web; Part 1: Training and Development. TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008b, July/August). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web; Part 2: Higher Education. TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

Simonson, M. (2000). Making decisions: The use of electronic technology in online classrooms. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 84(Winter), 29-34.

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A Brave New World

“Personalized learning” is one component of distance learning that adds a diversity of learning experiences, strategic academic support, and different instructional approaches that are designed to cater more to the barrage of needs for students within a community. Due to these many attributes, personalized learning is vital to the success of online learning and many scholars, educators, and policymakers have high hopes in this aspect of learning to continue to challenge the traditional brick and mortar classroom model and grow. The versatility of this innovation is its ability to stand alone or collaborate with blended learning as the future for educating students to reach their full potential through various learning styles and approaches. The term “personalized learning” can be interpreted in different ways. The term online learning is used interchangeably with other epithets such as cyber learning, distance education, learning and virtual learning (Corry, M., Bancroft, A.C., 2010).

One article that touches on the subject of personalized learning and it’s different epithets is Pilot Program of Online Learning in Three Small High Schools: Considerations of Learning Styles by Abigail Garthwait. The reason I chose this particular article is because it speaks about personalized learning should cater to the community and students it tends to educate. This article is a qualitative case study that  was conducted in three different schools based in Maine to research the implementation of online learning in a small educational system. The research spanned over one academic semester and the researcher focused not only on the progression and sustainability of online learning in a small rural educational system, but to also focus on the a student’s support system (Garthwait, 2014). This data was collected using observational interviews, learning style questionnaires and semi-structured bi-semester interviews using 10 students.

The data was grouped into two sections, one based on substantiated prior research and the other based on contradictory conclusions. The population of students who signed up for this research online or were referred as beneficial for distance learning, is part of a low population density state of Maine. The population exist from a median income household of $36,745.00. The ethnicity breakdown is 94.6% white, 2.3% black, 1.4% asian, .76% native american, and 1% hispanic (Garthwait, 2014). Even though each school used a different setup the commonality for the data was the same. The common categories studied for measuring the students progression were the responsible educator, physical space, scheduled time, and other support systems. Other variables were considered such as, prior computer skills, home access to computers, students learning styles, students expectation of online learning, and organizational skills. All these factors can determine the success of online learning for any school or community.

After research and data collection, the information was as expected. Each school discovered different conclusions and using a qualitative research limits any overall findings that is conducive for a larger percentage. However, this does allow educators to see how and where improvement can happen and it also welcomes the idea of distance learning as a new prominence in education and where it should transform for the 21st century. This article also confirmed my thinking regarding distance learning in all it’s capacity. Online learning has allowed classrooms to open up education to the realm many of our forefathers envisioned it to be. Classrooms that meet the unlimited possibilities that education does to the hungry minds of those who want to learn. Distance learning also creates a new way to address critical thinking and cognitive skills for a generation that has lost the necessity to enhance these skills based on their lack of cyber discipline.

References:

Corry, M., Bancroft, A.C., (2010): Transforming and Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: The Role of Online Learning. Turnaround Schools of Online Learning, pp. 1-31. Journal of Educators Online. An Open Access Journal.

Garthwit, A., (2014): Pilot Program of Online Learning in Three Small High Schools: Considerations of Learning Styles. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 12 Issue 4 2014, (pp353-365)

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