LEC4: Module 6 Reflection-Technology and Assessment

eLearning

This module has explored the use of technology tools for both formative and summative assessment. As you think about how you will implement formative and summative assessments in the online and blended environments, what are some of the factors you need to consider?


As I describe below, there are a lot of great tools to use for both formative and summative assessments in online and blended environments. After having reviewed several web 2.0 and other online tools, I have two main reflections:

  1. Critical Reviews are a MUST!
    1. With so many options, it is important to review each tool carefully. Of course, no one has enough time to do a thorough review of every tool they find but doing so with a few top choices will save time in the long run. The advertising and cute videos may hook you quick, but make sure each tool does what you need it to do.
  2. Try Before you Buy (or download).
    1. Review videos on their website as well as reviews and videos from others who have used the tool. Even before trying out the software or app, you can sometimes exclude it based on that review.
    2. If your initial reviews check out, then download or install it for yourself. Make a teacher and a demo student account (if applicable) and go through a few use cases (examples of how you and the students would use the tool). My own experience in reviewing web 2.0 tools for this course included keeping a pros and cons list for each tool and then comparing each to find which tool best fit the activity. Having a few tools available helped focus my thinking and what tool worked best for each type of activity.

Time is well spent by going through these reviews and trials. It may seem difficult to spend so much time on just that part, but the better you know the tool, the better it will fit your (and your students) needs. Of course, I am not recommending doing this on a daily basis, but on a regular basis for sure…new tools are being developed all the time!

Module 6 Review of Online Assessment Tools

There are so many tools out there and it can get overwhelming, but after choosing a few options and then comparing them…I have a winner! I am going to try out ClassKick. From their website (http://getclasskick.com)-“As students work on a teacher-made Classkick assignment on their iPads, teachers see every students’ work progressing all at once. Students can privately raise hands, teachers give individualized, real-time student feedback, and so much more.” Sounds interesting and fun! From Tuttle’s Stages of Formative Assessment, this tool will allow students responses, allow the teacher to monitor and diagnose the responses, also allows the teacher to share feedback based on the diagnosis, it allows the student to immediately receive that feedback and hopefully learn from it but it does not seem to report growth.

I want to play with it some more and will report back with any interesting tidbits or experiences. I plan to use it in my iPad classes or maybe even in the 1:1 for additional practice after the class. Since my classes are typically less than 10 people, it should work out great. I could see this being a lot to manage for a larger class, however. But still valuable.

For those interested, my other choices were Kahoot, Verso, and Infuse Learning. Sadly I learned that IL is ending on April 3rd. So sad too, such a fun tool!!

LEC4: Module 5 Reflection-Accessibility

eLearning

Reflect on your learning and practice regarding Accessibility. How accessible are your current instructional materials? Are there elements of your instructional materials that could be revised to make them more accessible? Please share any resources you know or use to make your curriculum and course accessible.


It seems that there are two places where most of the training I do takes place…as a Tech in my current fulltime job, and with our local Community Education. Most of the training as a tech is JIT (Just In Time) training so little to no preparation or resources included. Just whatever is on hand at the time…So the answer to my question will focus on the other instance, classes I teach with Community Education.

The classes I teach for Community Education are mostly one-to-one or one-to-two people, but now and then I have classes in a group setting. I use most of the same materials for both classes, but there are a few differences. With the group classes, I used more videos and Powerpoint presentations, and with the 1:1’s I use more individualized Word docs or PDF’s. Overall, I realize I have not done enough in regards to making sure all materials are accessible. This is terrible! However, it is not as if I am not doing ANYTHING…Since many of the participants are elderly, I know I automatically consider pace, using larger fonts on the computers, and other tools, but I need to do more. Doing so would not only increase the level of enjoyment and learning for current students, but also might encourage others to take a class or two.

Here are a few things I would like to do:

  • Talk with the director about resources available such as screen readers etc.
  • As I develop online materials, incorporate transcripts to videos, alt tags to images, etc.
  • At the end of most classes, I give a list of tools, websites, video, and books each participant can use for review and/or further information and study-I plan to make sure that those resources are accessible.
  • Revitalize my interest in Universal Design. There are a lot of actions that can be taken right from the start of a project to make it accessible to individual with and without disabilities.

Resources:

Brajnik, Giorgio. “Comparing accessibility evaluation tools: a method for tool effectiveness.” Universal Access in the Information Society 3.3-4 (2004): 252-263.

Elias, Tanya. “Universal instructional design principles for mobile learning.” The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 12.2 (2011): 143-156.

Mcguire, Joan M, Sally S Scott, and Stan F Shaw. “Universal design and its applications in educational environments.” Remedial and special education 27.3 (2006): 166-175.

LEC4: Module 4 Reflection-Impact of the Internet on Learning

eLearning, Uncategorized

Think about how the Internet has impacted your own personal learning, communication, and sense of community. Write a new post that includes a screenshot showing your participation in a social or professional network, and a summary of how you use that network for personal or professional connections or for new learning. In your post reflect on:

  • When does the Internet help your learning? When does it distract from good learning for you?
  • How might your answers to these questions be similar to or different from the answers your students might give?
  • How might you support your students in using the Internet as their own personal learning space?

I LOVE this prompt! For lifelong learners like myself, the Internet has been a blessing (and a curse, at times)! I mostly joke about the curse, of course…but it has led to more than a few other tasks not getting done and even more than a few late nights! This mostly happens when I lose focus on my objectives and what I am working on at that moment. It is almost always something related to what I am working on, and not Facebook, Pinterest etc. But sometimes there are those shiny articles in other areas of interest that pop up…and I have to reign myself in. I find bookmarking and to-do lists in One Note to be a huge help at times like these!

THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON MY LEARNING

I have several hobbies that have benefited over and over again by engaging in forums, researching websites, ordering materials (books mostly), checking my social media connections etc. I have been able to learn new skills, enhance or refresh current skills, discover new passions/interests and meet people who more than likely would have never otherwise crossed my path! I think student answers to these prompts would be less on the learning side in most cases, and more on websites/apps that enable them to socialize with their friends more. This could be a gray area, but I think most students K-12 and many in college like to and should be socializing with their friends. It is just harder to balance that and school for them, I think. Again, some, not all. I encourage students to use the Internet for finding out more about topics of interest, to share their work, and to get to know others…BUT, in a responsible way. Good digital citizenship does need to be taught or at least made aware that it is a focus in the classroom. Just because they may use the Internet and social media, does not always mean they know how to do so in a responsible way.

COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNITY

My job history, like many I would assume, includes jobs that were not entirely suited to my career goals. Having groups and forums online that I could participate in and people who I could network with allowed me to keep up what I was learning in college and continue to move forward in my field. For the most part, my professional life has existed mostly online. Due to that I feel a real sense of community when I am online…so many people who I have never met, but appreciate and enjoy learning from and talking with! Communication within those groups often makes more sense to me. This could probably be (as we have talked about in past modules) due to being able to better focus on the message when online…in person, there are tendencies to misread people or be distracted by other things going on around you. Different personality types can conflict more easily and sometimes the communication is one-way. True, there is the possibility that messages online can be misread or misinterpreted, but I feel that is something that can be overcome.

ONE OF MY PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS

One of the most useful and frequented professional networks that I participate in is the Adobe Education Exchange. I engage in the community as a learner, a trainer, an instructional designer and a moderator. There are live and on-demand classes to take and tons of great resources on using Adobe products. Since I use a lot of these in my work as a trainer and ID, I find it invaluable.

Adobe Ed Ex profile

My profile on the Adobe Education Exchange.

Most recently I have become an Adobe Campus Leader (ACL) and an Adobe Education Trainer (AET). Some of you may have seen my past post from my T4T classes (Training for the Trainer)…the first Adobe T4T was last Summer. The most recent one I am actually finishing up this month...the focus of this T4T is eLearning. The courses are a great way to learn new features of Captivate, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Muse, etc. (Photoshop alone could keep almost anyone occupied with things to learn for a long time!) I have used a few of the resources and lessons here in my Community Education courses and with staff at my full-time job. Last year we received a grant from Adobe (HOORAY) for Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements, and Captivate so I am gathering ideas and formulating a plan for professional development. This site and the ConnectEd group I am a part of is and will be a primary resource as I work on that project!

Online and Blended Learning Course

eLearning, instructional design

This week began with a full day introduction to the Leading Edge Alliance course “Online and Blended Learning”. After the completion of this 8-week course, participants such as myself will received the certification and have a completed portfolio showcasing our skills in that area. Like others, I have learning objects and lessons in various places so it will be great to put some of that together in a professional and organized fashion.

Part of the course requirements include regular reflections on the weekly units, and I will be posting those reflections here. I encourage feedback, tips, and other related information on those posts (as I do for any posts).

For more information on this course, please visit their website.

The existential post…why am I here?

Blogging101

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a Blogging 101 course…it dawned on me yesterday that I had not received anything and knew it would be starting soon. Well, it had started…a few days ago. Ugh! Nothing worse for a lifelong learner like myself than being “late to class”. I blame my spam filter. haha.

Anyway, today I am to write about who I am and why I am here. I have written some about this in my first few posts, but here is a new summary. Questions I hope to answer include:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

I am writing publicly to share my knowledge on Education and Technology and to collaborate and share with others interested in the same topics. Keeping a personal journal is not something I have ever really been interested in…not that there is anything wrong with that, however. For me, it just does not seem to help to only write things down…I would rather write and then here what others have to say-another lifelong learner trait…always more to know.

I will write about the obvious-Education and Technology, but am not opposed to writing about other topics or “taking requests”. Within Education and Technology, I plan to write about instructional design, software, hardware, gamification, tablets/mobile devices, MDM, community education, iOS development, apps in Education, minecraft in education, programming (coding for kids and what I am working on), eLearning, higher education, and probably get into some educational theory along the way.

I would love to connect with others interested in similar topics above. I work in an elementary school, but have spent most of my adult life in college courses-so people from both areas would be interesting. Not to be too general here, but really anyone with expertise or interest in these topics are welcome! No trolls tho, please. 😉

If I blog successfully throughout the next year, I hope to have written some interesting, fun, and insightful posts that are of interest to others. I also hope to have grown my network of educated professionals and have a good follower base. At this point, I am not certain what I a realistic number for a year would be, but to grow at any rate is good for now. I also hope to maintain a consistency in what I write about and always give readers something to think about and a reason to spend their time here.