Category Archives: Standard 3: Utilization

RSS Feeds for Education

I had so much fun working on this assignment. There is nothing that I love more than being organized, and for some reason, I have managed to miss RSS feeds in all my internet explorations. As an educational technology student, this tool will help me to keep all my informational blogs organized, just like Diigo helps me to keep all my bookmarks organized.  The key thing that I enjoy about RSS feeds is that rather than having to go out and seek information, the information comes directly to my Reader, which is a huge time saver as well as extremely convenient. Additionally, as an educator, there are a variety of advantages to using RSS Feeds in my classroom.From a teacher’s perspective, RSS feeds allow me to collect information from sites that are consistently publishing interesting and relevant information, which is a huge time saver. RSS feeds allow educators to have access to consistently new and interesting information for their students. Also,  if the classroom is set up to with student blogs already, it is a great tool for a teacher to save time by subscribing to their student’s blogs.  Again, this provides the benefit of the  information coming to the teacher, rather than the teacher having to seek out the content.
While RSS Feeds provide great advantages for a teacher, they also can provide great opportunities for students of all ages as well.

From a student’s perspective, RSS Feeds allow a student to collect information on a particular subject for a project, paper, or research.  They could further demonstrate knowledge of the topic by organizing it into different categories, or folders. RSS feeds provide students with consistent access to news and current events very easily.  It is often difficult for schools to provide economical and simple access to current events and news. RSS feeds provide a great alternative to newspapers and allow students to access and read information that they are interested in, which is key for student engagement and interest.

To summarize, RSS Feeds are a key tool for any educator that is wanting to integrate technology in the classroom. They allow the user to control what information they recieve, as well as the amount of information they receive. RSS feeds allow the user, teacher or student, to easily classify and categorize information. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, RSS feeds allow the user to easily locate information in a world that can easily make anyone feel inundated with information.

Click here to visit my RSS Feed for Education.

Horizon Report Tech Trend

This assignment was interesting and enlightening. I enjoyed researching various technology trends and wasn’t  very productive because I kept spending too much time on “research.” I believe that the Horizon Report is an important and fascinating publication that is a valuable tool for educators. It was wonderful to  be able to see a picture of what is “up and coming” in education.I chose to focus on games for my lesson plans because I think that their importance and value in the classroom is significant. Although to some, the Six-Word Memoirs may not seem like a game, students very much approach it as one. They like the challenge of telling a story with a limited amount of words and it forces them to focus on their word choice.  This is an important skill to develop and using a fun platform, such as this one, provides them the opportunity to engage in their learning more than they would have in a technology-free environment.  The following is a lesson plan that I developed for using six-word memoirs in the classroom.

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Xtranormal Plagiarism Video

 

 

Digital Inequality

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This was a fascinating project. I enjoyed learning how to work with a group in an online environment as well as learning more about Digital Inequality and the Digital Divide. As an individual who grew up with access to technology, it was good for me to stop and think about what my life would look like without that access to technology. Additionally, not only do I have access to technology, but I also know how to utilize it to it’s maximum benefit. I know how to use it for research, job search, and education. As a group, we identified that the education on the many uses of technology is the most important aspect in addressing Digital Inequality.  I strongly believe that this is true and that the way to close the gap between the “have” and the “have not’s” is through education.

This project aligned to the AECT Standards 3.2, 3.4, and 4.1.  In this project, I examined the policies and regulations that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology by researching the rules and regulations that are currently in place and examining how those could be changed and adjusted to make better use of technology. As part of the task force that examined the issues, I helped to develop strategies that could lead to the adoption of and change in the way that technology implemented and taught.  Additionally, as part of the task force that examined the issues surrounding Educational Technology, I helped to plan, monitor, and develop projects that will lead to the improvement in the use of Educational Technology.

Elements of Educational Technology

The use of the word “creating” in the definition of educational technology is essential in understanding not only the definition of educational technology, but also the  requirements of both the student and instructor in the educational process. The Definition and Terminology Committee of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology defines educational technology as, “The study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources” (p.1). In reading the chapter and considering how each of the words enables a better understanding of the definition, I picked the word “creating” to focus on. From a teachers perspective, an understanding of what it means to create meaningful and informative lessons for students is an essential element in creating a successful classroom that incorporates educational technology. From a students perspective, creating is also a key word because in today’s learning environment, it is essential to be open, willing, and able to create one’s own learning.

“Creation refers to the research, theory, and practice involved in the generation of instructional materials, learning environments, and large teaching learning systems in many different settings, formal and nonformal”  (p.7).  The paradigm shift in learning theories has changed the role of the teacher to one of a guide and puts the student front and center as constructivist, rather than receiver of knowledge.  With this shift, it then falls on the shoulders of the instructor to create and design curriculum that is not focused on simply delivering the information to the student, but rather creating a platform in which the student is allowed to do his or her own learning and discovering.  This requires more creativity than the old way of recitation and regurgitation of facts. The teacher must think of the “whole” students and help guide students with different learning styles to meet the standards that have been established. Deeper, more authentic learning is the result, and with this, both the instructor and the student must be more creative in designing the lessons and in learning from them.  As the committee says, “In these environments, the key role of technology is not so much to present information and provide drill and practice (to control learning) but to provide the problem space and the tools to explore it (to support learning)” (p. 4). Learning must go beyond the simple retention regurgitation of information and dig deeper to the use and application of the information. Again, this requires real, thoughtful, and creative lessons that incorporate a hierarchy of though processes and learning style. Lessons that incorporate the learner-focused, constructivist method of instruction are creative and thought provoking.

When considering the definition of educational technology, the concept of creativity in lesson and curriculum design stood out to me as a key factor in the success of this definition.  From my point of view as a teacher and a student, it is easy for me to see how “creating” is such an essential element of a classroom that successfully incorporates educational technology.

The Definition and Terminology Committee of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.Definition.
        In Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary  (Chapter 1). Retrieved from