My final project for Edtech 501 was to research and determine the maturity benchmarks of technology use in my work place. I really enjoyed this assignment because I was able to utilize and understand my learning from this class to directly respond to the maturity of our Technology Use Plan within my school. I found that my school is fairly mature in most areas of technology use, but needs to address the areas of Stakeholder Involvement and Administrative Support. Washington Elementary bodes very well and is increasingly doing better in the curricular filter. All staff and staff support employees have access to great equipment and online technology resources that make their jobs more efficient, but it also allows them to do a better job of communicating, tracking, adapting, and extend learning opportunities for all students. Washington Elementary.
Washington Elementary is intelligent when it comes to the Connectivity Filter. High-speed access is available for all with wireless access points for teachers and guests. Video streaming services are utilized by staff to enhance teaching and learning. Email is used heavily for communicating, collaborating, and sharing on a regular basis.
Like most places of business, the innovative filter maturity is mixed. Most staff jump on board when new technologies are implemented and really take advantage of its capabilities. Some learn the minimum, but lack more advanced technology techniques. Overall, Washington does quite well and is integrated in its maturity.
One benchmark that needs more maturity is the Support Filter. In the last school year, this area has improved with the hiring of a Technology Teacher Leader position. Because of this, teachers have the option to attend short technology trainings that help them to better incorporate the resources available to them by the district. However, time is still an issue and several staff members don’t come to the trainings – usually the ones who need it the most. Many new resources have been added to the district’s technology arsenal in the past two years, but with little representation for implementation and training.
Now that I am more aware of our districts maturity, as my building’s Technology Teacher Leader, I will spend a lot more time working to make training activities more meaningful for all. I will spend more time with staff members that need the most training. Because I am in a leadership position, I am in more of a place where I can give feedback to the district technology department. Hopefully, I can volunteer myself for future planning and technology implementation.
View my Technology Use Survey here.
This week in Edtech 501, we learned another useful way to collect and organize information using Google Reader. In the past, I have dabbled with Google Reader a little, but not to the extend of this week. I now see how valuable this resource is in so many ways, especially for teachers and students.
As a student, you can search and subscribe to feeds about topics that you need to learn more about for research or projects. Many sites constantly update feeds with new information as it becomes available. For example, students who are studying current events or government could subscribe to news media sites so that they can stay up to date on events taking place around the world. Or, if you are studying World War 2, you can search feeds for information that will help you with your research. Students however, must be made aware that not all information on the internet is always accurate.
Teachers who use Google Reader can share bundles of feeds with students to help their students research projects and obtain information. I think this is valuable because it allows the teacher to control the sources or feeds that his or her students are obtaining essentially guaranteeing that the information is accurate and legitimate. Another great tool Google Reader provides for teachers is that it helps them to stay current in their area of expertise. For example, I am now subscribed to professional organization feeds that will relay information, ideas, and suggestions for using best teaching practices in my classroom.
My RSS Bundle contains feeds that will help me stay current on educational topics that relate to me. I am excited to begin using Google Reader on a regular basis. For me, I look forward to reading feeds about topics that interest me and that will help me be a more effective music teacher to my students.
This assignment covers AECT Standards: 3.1 Media Utilization, 4.3 Delivery System Management, and 4.4 Information Management.
Zotero and Zotero Group Library is an amazing resources for research, organizing research and information and sharing. If only this resource was around about 10 years ago when I was doing my undergraduate work! I would have been able to find a plethora of researched-based articles that I could have saved for research for assignments and papers, or I could have shared info to other students as we work in groups or partners to get our information. I love the simplistic User Interface, especially how all your research is in an easy to find spot right within the web browser. Organizing is as easy as drag and drop, and your items are always safe within your browser synced to Zotero for access anywhere.
In another class, we wrote a lesson plan and web page using a jigsaw activity. Zotero would be awesome for a jigsaw-type activity. Groups of students would create a Zotero Library group and each person would be responsible for researching a particular topic and then share the information to the groups. What a great tool for secondary teachers to teach to their students so that students can fully utilize an amazing Web 2.0 tool in their learning!
As music in schools becomes more and more scarce with budget constraints, I am excited at the notion of presenting researched-based articles using Zotero about the importance of music education in schools. I will compile facts within articles, journals, etc about how research supports that students who are active in music perform better in schools and testing. As a music department we can create our own Zotero Library Group so that each of us can research and share articles amongst us so that we can make a better presentation to the school board on why music in schools is so vital for children.
This assignment covers the Following AECT Standards: 3.1 Media Utilization, 4.3 Delivery System Management, and 4.4 Information Management.
Link to my group library
This assignment was really cool because it allowed me to try Google Hangout with 4 other students while editing a “shared document” simultaneously with Google Docs. I have never had the opportunity to use both technologies before. It was awesome! I enjoyed researching both pros and cons to the scenarios for helping to close the digital divide gap, but I also like looking at other options that might work better. I learned in terms of connectivity Washington State (we chose Washington as our focus is quite connected compared to other states in the country. It is clear to me that digital inequality will always exist in some form or another. Yes, we can work to bridge the infrastructure problems we have in terms of connectivity, but some people have no interest in learning new technologies and in essence, will be left behind. This is a fascinating topic and I look forward to learning more about the digital divide in education and possible solutions to close the gap.