Your First Developer Notebook Entry should therefore include the following elements:
Notes, comments and reflections grounded in your readings:
When reading through US Dept. of Ed Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning there were several points about online learning that I felt were worthy of mention.
Out of meta-analysis of 50 study effects, 43 (of older learners) found that online performed better than face-to-face; however, blended instructed showed an advantage over online only or face-to-face only. (page xiv, xv) Overall, the evaluation showed that blended learning has been more effective and when looked at separately, face-to-face and online learning effectiveness were about the same. However, the caution of some weaknesses in the studies examined needed to be noted (such as small same size, reporting retention rates, author of studies were both instructors and authors). (page xviii)
I think to get a true pictures of what online learning, blended learning, and face-to-face learning is all about, you have to experience it for yourself. It has been my experience that online courses have provided me with more teacher/student interactions and the MSU courses have been to the highest level when it comes to this interaction. I have taken several courses over the years through BGSU and the teacher/student engagement has been minimal, except for “grades”. The engagement of the MSU teachers has made a huge difference. Things that have helped with this: weekly email updates on course, weekly “lecture” via adobe connect, response to emails/discussion board posts regarding course questions are within a day. Even though the course totally online, the use of technologies such as skype and adobe connect, where we can see, hear, and interact in real time almosts creates more of a blended environment, maybe not strictly by definition, but it provides the “human”, put a face with a name/email address, which hasn’t always been the case with online only learning.
As for using online adult learners, I think that an individual needs to have a clear understanding of ones own learning. They have to be driven and have a personal commitment to learning. With that said, I wonder how that might affect online learning if/when adult learners, especially those who struggle with the idea of using technology, are expected to complete coursework online. (Thinking of my course plan with this one.) How can we develop teachers technology comfort levels and competencies enough for them to participate in online learning? How can we get them to the place they need to be so that they can effectively teach students how to be those kind of learners as well?
Course instructors, whether face- to-face or virtual, are certificated and “highly qualified.” The online course teacher possesses a teaching credential from a state-licensing agency and is “highly qualified” as defined under ESEA.
As I read through the standards, I thought about my school districts use of Moodle. I think the intent was to use it to supplement classes, mostly at the high school level, but was only used by one teacher. They attempted to begin using to provide staff PD, but no one knew what it was and it wasn’t explained. We had access to the Moodle; however, no one offered training.
I think that using the iNACOL rubric will help guide me in developing this online PD for my staff. Some consideration that I will need to take into account:
Creating beginning mobile technology course with focus on using iOS devices
Some staff have ipads, smartphones, and iPods - these staff are comfortable with the technology, but limited in their understanding of classroom use/how to integrate. Some staff have never touched an iPad and still own an analog cell phone -these staff need to know the basics of using mobile technology, such as on/off, mobile tech “lingo”, etc. This group will also require support with integration as well.
6/6/2012 **some revisions made above and questions answered**
Is there a reason you're choosing to develop something for professional development, rather than for the K-2 population you work with in the classroom?
I chose to do a professional development course because that is what is the greatest need for the school at this time. Due to my students’ limitations, many cannot access the computer independently. Also, they are limited with their internet access – only 2 out of 7 students with internet access at home and one 1 can access the computer without adult assistance. I have tried to incorporate some online work in the past, such as comments on blog or exploring various websites to get the parents and students working together and that has been unsuccessful. When choosing a focus, I was choosing a topic that I felt I (and others) would get the most use out of.
In your role as a special education teacher, would you want to create professional development around using the iPads focused on meeting diverse learners' needs? Or would you create the PD for learners in general?
At this point, our use and availability of iPads is limited in my school/district. We only have 10 in our building. Right now, the focus in our building is having people know how to functionally use the iPad (such as taking a picture, turning on/off, etc.). I have received 3 emails so far this summer about functional questions and the iPad. I think once the staff understands the basics, then incorporation of how to use it to meet the needs to the diverse learns would be the next step. That is why I started the course with basics, but in further lessons I incorporate Universal design for Learning and TPACK so that they begin to see the connection between the device and uses.
Would you partner with your school's PD coordinator to set up some required/invited days? If the PD is entirely optional, then your work in developing the modules in edmodo may become particularly important. If you desire for teachers to be able to learn more about the iPads but are aware that this learning may need to take place on teachers' own time and driven by their own interest, then you may need to get creative about how to facilitate communication. Do you see yourself as "instructor" responding to the work of the teachers as you described as being helpful in "communication" under the Chickering principles?
Unfortunately, at this point, our district does not have anyone as a PD coordinator. The past few years, our district offices have delegated the PD duties to the principals. Even when tackling larger initiatives, such as PBL or Common Core information, the building principals are the ones planning and implementing the PD. For special education this past, I have been the primary PD facilitator creating and implementing 3 various PD sessions. And my principal used my “tech wiki” when doing the last Common Core PD day.
As a member of my school’s technology team, I am responsible for providing PD opportunities throughout the school year. Last 2 years our focus was on using the SMARTBoard. The optional PD opportunities were well received my the staff, their only issues was fitting time into the already packed school day. The tech team works with the school principal to set up times/days for us to provide the PD. The principal is very supportive of the use of iPads and I feel that she would support the of completing the PD as a requirement for using the set of iPads in the classroom. This precedent has already been established as staff who took home an ipad for the summer on a “loaner” basis needed to complete a intro PD day and they will need to submit a lesson/project they will complete with students during the first semester. I think that this online PD would offer the staff an opportunity to learn and share with others. Selfishly, I also see it being a way for staff to ask questions without bombarding my email or stopping by my classroom.
Basically, implementation would be worked out with the principal.
CMS comparison spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ApsuOfnPEdWtdEZldVRoeE40U1Q5QXJjVEJ6R1NBaWc&output=html
Initially, I was thinking that edmodo would be the best route to deliver the content. The staff already has accounts and I could easily set up a ipad group. I went ahead and started a group see the response and surprisingly I had 2 responds who were very excited about the possibility of having this resource.
● Are you surprised by the result? Why? Why Not?
○ As I reviewed the various CMS’s available, the first thing that surprised me was the amount of options in CMS’s out there. Then, within each CMS, the choices and options were amazing.
● Which CMS are you going to use for this course? Why?
○ After reviewing the CMS options, I chose Moodle. At first I was unsure of the “user friendliness” of Moodle, but once I was able to complete the demo website I was impressed with the ease of use from an instructor aspect. I like how Moodle offers options for file uploads, multimedia, and discussion boards. I feel these are the biggest tools that I would use.
○ I talked with the tech department at my school and they will be “maintaining” Moodle use for at least the next year so I was made a course manager and I began explore our Moodle site and began some course organization.
● Why is this CMS a good match for your course and curriculum?
○ I think Moodle matches what I need because of the various embedded features and the user interface allowed for easy setup of the course material.
● What additional tools/functionality, if any, might you need beyond the features available in the CMS you have chosen?
○ I am considering using edmodo for questions and for posting some material so that ALL staff can benefit from some of the course material and to offer peer to peer (staff to staff) communications between individuals who are not “in the course”.
● What support will you need to be successful in this endeavor?
○ Any resources about Moodle would be the most help at this point. I have enough material for ipads.
○ If you have any information about using weebly as a CMS or examples of this, I would be very interested in this. I have 2 websites through weebly and love the “click and drag” features. I have several teachers want to start blogs/websites. I plan on introducing blogger and weebly as they are pretty user friendly. I would love to provide them with the CMS option as well.
Review of CEP820 Showcase of Student work
Other things to consider adding:
Additional web 2.0 tools to possibly include:
iNACOL - National Standards for Quality Online Courses - using Appendix A (pages 20-42) as the guide
guest access → password: MSU
all letters in capital letters
Rubric created. It can be found HERE.
In this module, we will explore every changing world of mobile technology. The objectives for this section will focus on: understanding and identifying the operating systems relating to mobile technology and explore the history of mobile technology by focusing on the advances in the past 3 years.
In the module, we will explore the ever changing world of mobile technology. The module will begin with looking into the history of mobile technology, especially use of the iPad for classroom use. This module will help you get to know your iPad, provide activities that will guide you to understanding the place iPads (or another mobile technology) have within the classroom. When bringing technology into the classroom, a pedagogical shift in instruction and assessment will need to occur. This module will begin to address the connection between technology, content, and knowledge as well as how technology can “level the playing field” with students who experience learning challenges. This module will require you to reflect on a teaching lesson and bring to think about now you could use technology to enhance your lesson. With over 500,000 apps available in the app store, choose just the right app can be difficult. Lastly, in this module you will work with a partner to develop a rubric for reviewing and evaluating educational apps.
In this module, you will explore the advances in technology over the past few years and how those advances translate into the mobile technology that is available in the classroom today. It seems that each week, a new devices is coming out that is smaller, lighter than the first. At the end of this module, you will be able to explain the changes in mobile technology in the past 3 years as well as distinguish between the mobile operating systems and availability of what devices.
To appropriately integrate the use of mobile technology into the classroom, one must understand the technology itself and how it relates for the pedagogy, content and knowledge (TPACK). At the conclusion of this model, you will better understand the basics of the iPad, understand why there needs to be a shift in teaching with technology, and you will become a more reflective educator when looking at including technology into lessons as well as choosing the appropriate app for the job.
Success of this unit will be determined through discussions taken place in online forums as well as an end of the module quiz. The students will be expected to make predictions about how/when mobile technology started becoming popular and answers will be recorded in a forum. After completing parts of the assignment, the students will be expected to comment on initial forum thoughts as well as complete a short end of the module quiz.
Your success in this module will be determined online discussions forums, quizzes within sections, and completion of course projects. You will be expected to make create original postings about given topics, constructively comment on classmate postings, complete assignments within a given time frame as to be active participate within the learning community, and be share course projects in an online format. Your successful completion of this iPad module will provide with the opportunity to “check out” the school set of iPads (currently 10) to be used for a specific project.
Once PD course is over, teacher will be expected to provide lesson information before and after iPad use within classroom. This information will be shared with staff with the tech team meetings as well as part of staff development.
For each forum post, the student will need to respond to at least one other classmate. In the initial forum posts, students will be expected to answer specific questions as well as expand on classmates ideas.
Students can email teacher with questions, comments, concerns. Teacher will respond within 24 hours.
Please take the time to craft the answers to these four prompts in a thorough and thoughtful way. Keep in mind that having explicit language about each of these points built into the course is key for successful communication. Consider that this developer "notebook" material will likely, with a little tweaking, end up as course material. We know that you have already begun to articulate these issues -- DN #1 asked for many of these point...but now, we want you to make these points stronger, more specific and detailed.
Reflection of case studies
We would also like to read your thoughts on the following two prompts:
I think that I was most surprised by the comment I received to my initial post to Case Study #1. In my response, I gave the student a second chance at completing the assignment. I classmate questioned my decision citing that it didn’t follow class policy. This made me really think about how my response was coming from an elementary teacher. As an elementary special education teacher, we always try to “make peace” in many situations. I know within my school district, it has happen more than once, we are expected to make the parents “happy” and sometimes are not backed by administration when we try to hold our ground.
As I reflect on what I may need to do in an online setting, especially with older students, I will need to be very clear on my expectations and be prepared to not give in so easily. At the elementary level, students need their parents help and the responsibility is often on the parents when it comes to school work. I have to remember that as the child gets older, we do have to begin to teach them how to be accountable for themselves.
As I continue to read and think about this course, I realize that it has to provide the students with authentic learning experiences. The experiences and activities I choose as a part of the course need to reflect things that are applicable to the classroom. A practice that I am trying to avoid is providing the students with lecture only material. I am trying to research videos, interactive websites, podcasts, etc. to provide variety of materials. I also think that it helps tremendously to have taken a variety of online course, from videos sent to my house and responded in a forum to the highly organized, multi-modal courses through MSU.
One section of the course that I am struggling with is the use of Asynchronous and Synchronous communication - when and where would be best for each method. I think this is the part I need to explore the most over the next week.
Introduction to class:
* rubric updated 8/2/12
References for rubric: http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/profdev/rubrics/discussionrubric.html
2) I have to start off and admit that this has been a very challenging course for me. It has stretched my thoughts on assessment and learning which I don’t have much experience with outside of the special education classroom. Often my focus in the classroom is so narrow (can student A trace her name or can student B match his colors) and related to a specific skill that a lot of thought into the assessment, evaluation, and feedback is left out. This course had made me stretch my thinking on student assessment as well as provide me with an opportunity to focus on assessing professional development which I think doesn’t always happen when PD is provided within a school district.
As far as the broad scope of assessment, I think that teachers need to provide a balance of strategies for students. I think that students need to be able to answer questions (both verbally and written), but there also needs to be creative assessments (storyboards, videos, etc.) so that students can demonstrate what they know. I also think that criteria for evaluation needs to be available so that students can see how the teacher will be assessing the assignments. One thing I think that is always left out of assessment, especially at the younger grades, is self assessment. I found that choosing and creating the rubric for grading my Moodle course was extremely helpful in helping me focus. Now, grant it, I haven’t looked at in about 2 weeks, but now that I have more completed in my course design, I feel that I can use the rubric to re-evaluate the course.
For my Moodle course, I plan on providing feedback both individually (through email) as well as provide responses in the discussion forums. When the students are working on the collaborative projects, I would also provide feedback via google doc comments, as you have done for this course. I think that this is a great way to have ongoing dialogue without having to flip between emails, programs, or websites. I think that this document (the developer notebook) is going to be the demo part of conversations I have with 5th grade teachers in my building. I think that is they see these possibilities, they would love to use this in class.
For the rubric, I made it fit the discussion forums, but tried to make it a little broader to fit any of the assignments as well. I wanted the rubric to be fairly simple and easy to understand. I made the rubric so that it can be used by the instructor, other students, or the student themselves. Since my course will not really be “graded”, I hope to have the students be more involved some self-evaluation so that they can begin to build their own capacity to learn independently. I also think that having them involved will provide them with an opportunity to reflect on their assignments and know if they are ready to implement use of the ipads within the classroom. The goal for the course is that the teachers will only be able to check out the set of iPads once they have “successfully” completed the course. My next step is define “successfully” in terms of assignments and forum posts.
3) Areas of focus
The two areas I would like to focus on relate to the goals and organization of the course. I think that these two aspects are the foundation of the course. I want the goals and objectives for the course to be understandable and upfront so the learners understand the direction of the course from day 1. I want them to see the course as a whole from the beginning, but I also want the course to unfold with each section. The second area I would like to focus on is the organization of the course as a whole as well as the individual lessons. I started out with weekly sessions and quickly realized this was NOT going to work for what I was going to do. I want the lessons to be paced appropriately, but also want to allow for flexibility in the course due to varying student abilities levels. Within each section, I want to make sure that the lessons are organized and include a variety of learning opportunities, such as reading, videos, podcasts, etc.
As a special education teacher, I would like to think that I think of accessibility FIRST and foremost. As I planned my course (as I do with many of my lessons at school), I tried incorporate the principles of UDL within my course. I provided multiple modes of representation by including diagrams and videos that complimented the text. I provided multiple means of expression by having students respond to questions in forums and create visual representation versus “writing” about topic. I also provided group work that would allow for student choice within the various tasks, such as choosing tool to do visualization, picking partners, and using peer and self reflection which would be included in the multiple modes of engagement.
As a reviewed the principles of UDL and reflected on the course material, the three things that I could improve on would be:
I chose to add a podcast to the module introduction that summarized the tools and expectations of the module.
Some additional resources I found:
Accessiblity with Moodle video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDGDnLh5QVA
Additional Info - http://irlt.yorku.ca/events/AssessingAccessibility.pdf
Block Accessibility - Provides options for changing text size and colour scheme. Settings can be saved to persist between sessions. Also integrates ATbar from Southampton University ECS. However, not accessible for Moodle versions earlier than 2.2
Creating this online course required some thought and reflection on the aspect of how individuals learn. The flow of the course and the use of the developer notebook helped me keep focused on the course as well as provide a guide for decision making as our course reading reflections were part of the notebook.
Critical design decisions were made through careful use of reflections on course readings as well as completing the CMS comparison. The CMS comparison made me think about what I wanted the CMS to do MOST, what I would like it to do, and what would be a BONUS if it had that feature as well. Although I am not 100% sold on using Moodle as I found it difficult to navigate as an instructor, I still think the process from Developer Notebook Entry #1 to sharing the course with colleagues provided me with the opportunity to see the pros/cons and ease/struggles of trying to fit content into a CMS. As my school district continues the discussion of integrating technology, experience with creating this course will help me make more informed decisions.
Pedagogical decisions for this course were interesting to reflect on as my "student" base was adults and colleagues. Often we, well at least I, think of “pedagogy” as relating to children. However, the strict definition relates to “the art, science, or profession of teaching” (Merrium-Webster). Since this course had a professional development focus, I found that I had to really think about how the activities would relate to adults completing them as well as making sure that I was providing activities that were useful the teachers. One specific component that I tried to include throughout the course was the use of web tools. Through using these tools to complete the course activities, my goal was to make the teachers aware of some of the tools available. Lastly, with the focus on authentic learning and authentic audiences for students, I felt that I needed to be sure the activities were also authentic learning experiences for the teachers as well.