The Curation Assignment for EdTech 523 was another situation where this master’s program has given me hands-on tools that I can use in my classroom immediately. For the project we were to curate a topic of our choosing that could be used in an educational setting. I had never heard of digital curation before this. I found out that it is a vital form of manage online resources in a way that adds value to the original material for the benefit of the user (Kuna & Anderson-Wilk, 2011). Before this, I had organized a series of links for my students to follow in researching a topic. Curation goes well beyond that. The first unit I teach each year is an ode to geography, which in its entirety has been cut from our curriculum. The study of North America is also mostly nonexistent from Social Studies in the middle school level in my district. A curation assignment seemed to be a great way for me to offer many resources about the geography of North America to my students. I collected information about 25 digital resources, created a summary for each, and at times added links to other related content. Then I put the choices in the hands of the students. They needed to pick only ten of the links to follow and tell me about. This allows them to choose the topics that interest them, and hopefully raises their engagement level. Students could choose to listen to audio, watch video, visit a pinterest collection, or read articles, just to name a few. This assignment choice was an easy one for me to make to show my mastery of the integrated technologies substandard.
In EdTech 513 we created an educational podcast. The purpose of this assignment was to show that we could convey a message with educational content through non-traditional means. When teaching online, creating podcasts are an essential way to deliver information asynchronously. But even as a brick and mortar classroom teacher I can find uses for podcasting. Students who miss class need to find out what they missed, and it’s a great way to do that without having to take time away from instructing the rest of the class. By having a podcast of lectures or project instructions available on my class website, any student or parent can get classroom information no matter their location. For my assignment I chose to interview two educators who had taught in traditional and then online schools. When I started my degree program it was with the intention of someday teaching online, so I thought that for myself, and others with the same plan, this might be a topic worth hearing about. I used an iPod to record both interviews, then Audacity to mix and edit everything. Music can be a great way to make a podcast sound more professional, but you have to make sure it has the proper copyright permissions. I found various sites that had music to suit my needs and cited them accordingly. From the teachers I learned that both preferred the physical classroom to virtual. It has given me pause about choosing to teach online. Despite that, it confirmed for me how useful a tool podcasting can be to deliver a message. This student centered approach can be a very effective way to provide students with a summary of content that they can go back and review at their convenience, putting the learning experience firmly in their control (Van Zanten, Somogyi, & Curro, 2012). On my class website, I can see a rise in pageviews for both audio and visual review materials the night before a quiz or test, proving to me that students find them useful. My podcast example exhibits the standard of producing and delivering material using computer resources.
The Digital Storytelling video for EdTech 513 was probably one of the most fun assignments I got to work on during my master’s program. The purpose of the assignment was to develop the skill to be able to deliver a message using visual media. This meets substandard 2.2 perfectly. I’ve been doing this on some level since I started the program, using both Jing from Techsmith and Screencast O’matic for creating instructional videos that I can send to staff, parents, and students. But for this assignment we were told it was okay to make the content a little more personal. I chose to use Windows Live Movie Maker to create a video, using still photography, music, and the spoken word to tell the story of my wife and I, and our journey towards adopting two siblings from Africa. Because of the subject matter the assignment was fun to do, but creating videos in the classroom also serves an educational purpose. I teach in a school that has a sizeable minority population. Some research has found that using digital storytelling as part of project based learning can help students to find a voice to help express themselves that might not be available to them through traditional means. The use of pictures and audio to express learning can show a deep understanding of concepts that have been presented (Condy, Chigano, Gachago, Ivala, & Chigano, 2012). Digital storytelling puts the focus on the student’s ability to show what they know, and I believe I showed through my adoption story that I have mastery of the ability to create a digital story.
Selected Research on the Effectiveness of Technologies in Education: An Annotated Bibliography
Scott Hogan 3 July, 2012
For this annotated bibliography I tried to focus my attention on two popular movements in education within the last ten to twenty years; constructivist educational theory and the the inclusion of new technologies in the classroom. I chose constructivism because it is the most recent “new best method” being embraced for instructional design. I hoped to find support for my theory that there is enough empirical evidence to proclaim constructivism as the best theory and support my feelings that a mix of many learning theories is a better method for instruction. I also chose to include technology in my focus because I feel it also is being presented as a panacea that will cure most of the problems that face education today. While technology can present useful tools for educators if they are trained properly, given continuing professional development at sufficient levels, and have equipment that is modern and relevant, most schools do not commit fully to those ideas. I want my research paper to look at the promise of technology vs. the results we’ve seen in our schools.
Deaney, R., Chapman, A., & Hennessy, S. (2009). A Case-Study of One Teacher’s Use of an Interactive
Whiteboard System to Support Knowledge Co-Construction in the History Classroom. Curriculum
Journal, 20(4), 365-387.
The authors are faculty at the University of London and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and used research from the T-MEDIA project to observe the adoption of IWBs (interactive whiteboards) as a tool to enhance student learning in a history class setting. The study involved setting up cameras to monitor the teaching strategies of four highly skilled secondary teachers as they taught a set of six lessons. The authors acknowledged that the installation of technology like IWBs did not guarantee that the technology will affect learning, and that it must be coupled with an instructor who is willing to find ways to use the technology to increase the transfer of knowledge and deeper understanding of complex concepts. While they observed teachers in this setting using the IWBs as tools to scaffold knowledge in a collaborative setting, enhance questioning techniques, and highlight key concepts, and have students classify common themes, it was the willingness of a master teacher to employ this technology that made it useful, not some inherent quality of the technology.
De Castell, S., Bryson, M., & Jenson, J. (2002). Object lessons: Towards an educational theory of
technology. First Monday, 7(1). Retrieved from
The authors, educators at universities in the United States and Canada, use their own research and studies done throughout schools across North America to analyze the extent to which the use of technologies are being implemented in schools. They propose that we must come up with theories to educate using technology in ways that do not simply relegate the internet, hardware, and software tools as fancy ways to deliver the same information that textbooks have done for years. They use anecdotal evidence that rings true to my experience as a teacher, citing the proclivity of states or school districts to throw money at the problem (buying computers, projectors, smartboards, etc.) without the training and inspiration it will take to get staff to “buy-in” to the idea that the technology can increase their students’ success levels. Rather than partnering with on-the-ground educators, companies have tried to monetize technology into packages that teachers can feel familiar with, have some measure of success in raising standardized tests scores, and use those results to encourage more districts to buy their programs. They suggested finding ways to educate teachers about how to use technology in more meaningful ways, no matter how little or great their access to computer labs or the internet, that would increase education uses of technology in classrooms.
Green, B. (2010). Knowledge, the Future, and Education(al) Research: A New-Millennial Challenge.
Australian Educational Researcher, 37(4), 43-62.
Bill Green is a professor of education at Charles Sturt University in Australia who wrote a paper hoping to open a discussion about the future of knowledge in education, with a focus on how new technologies may be causing societies to reevaluate what they consider “knowledge worth knowing.” Green argues that with the increase of technology has also come an increase to access of new knowledge from previously untapped or unappreciated sources, especially native populations around the world who through the course of history have been subjugated by Western cultures. The author seems to hold current constructivist views about how knowledge is created by the learner, but also contends that some objective forms of knowledge must be preserved, and that in modern teacher education the study of disciplinary knowledge (science, mathematics, sociology, etc.) are being left behind to discuss strictly learner-centered theories of education. Green is proposing a marriage between objective knowledge and its place in teacher education (and education in general), and something he calls phronisis. Phronisis is practical knowledge or a person’s judgement, neither of which can be taught directly but must be built by experience. Objective knowledge forms and phronisis must be used side by side to direct teacher education of the future and ensure that knowledge that society deems important and valuable are being represented in our schools.
Issroff, K., Scanlon, E.. Educational Technology: The Influence of Theory. Journal of Interactive Media in
Education, North America, 2002, jul. 2002. Available at: http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/article/2002-6/90.
Date accessed: June 28, 2012.
The authors are educational technologists from universities in London. One of the main points of their paper is to get other educational technologists to explore the theories that are the foundation for what they believe. They feel that educational technologists should not focus on only one theory, but try to incorporate various styles. Their paper focused on Artificial Intelligence Education (AIED) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and observed that (at the time of this paper both could have been considered relatively new) these technologies could aid in the building of, experimenting with, and analyzing the success of various teaching models. The authors very briefly, and with little depth, discussed the educational theories that have been dominated the field over the last fifty years. Their feeling was that no matter how AIED and HCI were going to be applied, researchers must be willing to look at the results to truly evaluate their usefulness in the setting they were applied. Context in the educational setting, which would fit with the current trend in student-centered learning environments, was a main theme of their writing. Issroff and Scanlon felt that at the time of their article HCI and AIED were more concerned with the design of various models that technology could enhance, but should have been focused on the context, culture, and students that would be using those technological tools.
Li, Q., Clark, B., & Winchester, I. (2010). Instructional design and technology grounded in enactivism: A
paradigm shift?. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 41(3), 403-419.
All of the authors are either professors or administrators at the University of Calgary. They spend some effort in their writing to explain what they feel are the shortcomings of objectivism and constructivism in regards to instructional design and technology (IDT), stating that in both theories the learner is somewhat separate from learning; objectivists feeling that learning is something to be imprinted upon the student, and constructivists feeling that knowledge about things is something that must be discovered or constructed. What they offer is an alternative called enactivism, a theory of education that sees learning or knowledge as constantly connected with the learner. The theory is based on the idea that any action we make in our world causes learning whether it is conscious or not, and they question whether traditional learning outcomes can be pre-planned if we don’t know in advance how various learners are going to interact with their environment. In this theory the learners would develop much of the content in an environment that I think would be very chaotic. They seem to have little to no empirical evidence to back up their ideas that this system would work. To me ‘enactivism’ is another example of theorists coming up with something and trying to get people to create design or instructional models based on their theory. Enactivism seems like another distraction in the field of instructional design that is already trying to decide among a myriad of choices.
McDougall, A., & Jones, A. (2006). Theory and History, Questions and Methodology: Current and Future
Issues in Research into ICT in Education.Technology, Pedagogy And Education, 15(3), 353-360.
The authors of this paper are educators at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The purpose of their writing is to challenge the criticisms that research in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) is not grounded enough is current theories of education. Since ICT is just one part of the system for educating, the authors felt that the theories used for research of education in general could be used to guide ICT based research. A concern for McDougall and Jones was also that competent research that had been done to help create ICT tools of the past (specifically software programs and simulation technologies done in the 1980s and 1990s) were being discarded simply because they were older and looked or felt dated. A specific area of concern for the authors was that money for research in the ICT area usually was focused on showing how a certain technology was effective in order to justify its purchase by states or school districts. They felt it would be a better investment of funds to use ICT to help observe social interactions among students, and to see how students interacted with technologies in a given activity, to help gauge the true effectiveness of technologies in education. Their paper supports the constructivist beliefs of Vygotsky in that students learn by interacting with information, developing questions and experiments, and assimilating new data with what they already know, and that most of this happens in a social educational setting.
Galbraith, J., & Winterbottom, M. (2011). Peer-Tutoring: What’s in It for the Tutor?. Educational Studies,
Jonathan Galbraith is a science teacher at Wembley High School in London, and Mark Winterbottom is a professor at Cambridge University in London. The study they based their paper on consisted of ten boys aged 16-17 years old who acted as tutors for a group of twenty 14-15 year old boys. Prior to taking on their role as tutors the boys were given guidance about questioning techniques to help them gauge the effectiveness of their tutoring. After the experiment the tutors participated in a survey via wikis to find how their preparation for roles as tutors affected their interaction with the content, how their experience as tutors changed their outlook towards the content, and what adjustments they made in their tutoring style during the course of their sessions. The survey did however find that even though this activity was based on constructivist ideas, the tutors tended to lean more towards objectivism in their questioning. In the post-tutoring surveys it was observed that the questions tutors developed for sessions mainly checked for understanding of concrete facts and had very short answers. Rarely did tutors develop long-answer questions that would have sought to confirm conceptual knowledge. While I do believe that this strategy can be effective as a way to help increase the knowledge base of both the tutor and tutee, I think that only a small percentage of students in most classroom settings would have the background knowledge necessary to serve in a role as tutors, and of those even fewer might have the social skills to fulfill the position.
The annotated bibliography for EdTech 504 is the second artifact I’ve chosen to show my mastery of this standard. Again, the substandard 2.1 deals with producing visual materials via a mechanical process. Whether you’re the writer or another researcher, annotated bibliographies can serve various purposes. For the writer; your bibliography should make it obvious that you’ve read the material and gives you a chance to make sure that the resources you include truly fit the purpose of your research paper or other work. If someone looks at my bibliography it should quickly give them an idea of whether or not it is something they want to include in their findings. It also can give them a point of reference that they can return to later for more in depth research. My bibliography was related to a paper I wrote about constructivist learning theories and Web 2.0 technology in the classroom. Both are relatively new to the education landscape. I hoped to find out whether the promise of results for student gains in achievement had been met. In my writing I summed up the main points of the work cited, tried to give some information about the author when available, and aimed to give those who might read my bibliography some idea of whether or not I felt this was helpful in the field I was researching. I used the APA style manual to guide me in the citation process. The annotated bibliography showed that I could digest, summarize, and critique various works for the purpose of research. It was produced using a computer and could be disseminated through various methods to validate my research or aid others with their own. I feel that it meets this standard for the development of materials.
The Story Behind History
Student Handout A
Goal: For our livability unit we’ve been learning about how geographic features affect peoples’ feelings and decisions about where to live. In this assignment, we’re going to try to find stories that are connected to those feelings. For example, one of our questions asks about whether or not people would want to know about an areas history of natural disasters before choosing to live there. We’re going to read first hand accounts of what happened in various situations like floods, droughts, earthquakes, fires, etc., to find out the stories behind the history of an area. Hopefully this assignment will help you appreciate the story behind why a region or place is or isn’t a desirable place in which to live.
You will choose from the following sites/stories:
Westward Expansion: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/buildingamerica.htm
You Decide: http://news.google.com/archivesearch
You get to choose one site that interests you from the blue section, then you must go to the Google News Archive search and find one additional first-person account to read and summarize.
For the blue section simply choose one of the sites to go to, read the article, and summarize it using the 6W format we’ve used before. For the news archive search, you might type into the search engine something like ‘Idaho flood,’ and find an article like this. Again, summarize the article with the 6W format.
Schedule a time while in class to get on our classroom computer and open up Google Earth. Once you’re there, you’ll need to placemark the item you researched from the You Decide Google News Archive search. In the label for the placemark include a very brief description of what even happened there. Give a more detailed (but still brief) overview of what your research uncovered. You placemark label should have your last name and first name initial, then the title (i.e. hogans–Spokane Firestorm).
Extra Credit Opportunities:
1) Many of you probably live in a family that has a ‘first person’ account of how geography or nature has affected you. We’d love to hear it. A fun way to report the story would be to post it on VoiceThread. You can tell the story, and it would be great if you included an interview with a family member. For the image you link the thread to, it would be great to use a news article written about the event in a local paper, or a link to an online article.
2) Using your knowledge of geography, try to predict where a natural disaster may occur, and placemark that location on our classes Google Earth map. Again, the placemark title should have you name as shown earlier, and a brief description (with more detail attached to the placemark) for what you feel may happen at that place in the future.
Something that seems to be permanently attached to the idea of a historian is the smell of newspapers or the hum of a microfiche machine as one does research. The current generation of students may never experience either one of those. The EdTech 541 Story Behind the History project was meant to address that in some small fashion. I found primary source documents (in the form of newspaper clippings that had been digitized) that gave historical events from local papers a more personal connection to students. It was done in the context of a larger project where students were asked to consider if knowing the history of natural disasters in a place might change whether or not someone might choose to live there. I tried to expose the kids to newspaper accounts of floods, earthquakes, fires, etc., to show them how history was recorded before blogging and Facebook. My students used these primary source documents in conjunction with Google Earth to complete the assignment; creating a connection between old and new world technologies.