Week 3 Reflection – 542

Created with bubbl.us.

We were busy this week. Found two other cohorts of like mind and interest to do our project. Deciding what we thought we wanted to do was not hard. Deciding what TO do was harder. Starting with the desire to create a unit of the present looking to a better future while focusing on a past event really appealed to me. Also, using the power of technology to have our class cohort with a class/school in another country in real time also heightened my interest.

I still remember pen pals in the elementary school of my youth. I also remember long deployments prior to the internet explosion where loved ones actually wrote letters. I have used SKYPE while my wife was deployed. Yes, it allowed decisions to be discussed in real time. However, until I started this degree program, I never really worked on projects in a synchronous Internet environment. Google Docs, Chat and other devices allow for research and decisions to be nearly instantaneous.

I created a Visual Organizer for our project using bubbl.us. It was a pretty simple program once I played with it for a few minutes. I would not rank it as the most amazing thing I have ever done. It is a first, outside of Google Docs and it does the job.

We (my group) chose a state first. Using Idaho High School Education Standards as our roots, we grew our project from there. Once we identified and agreed upon the standards we all wanted to address, we worked on our Welcome and Overview. We moved to the Driving Question and then really began to network. We wrote, rewrote and will likely rewrite in the future as this project evolves. I like how we are integrating technology into our PBL. Since our group is new, we are still in the Honeymoon phase and all seems good. I hope we can keep this up and continue communicating to each other and the PBL continues to grow and flourish.

Welcome page – https://sites.google.com/a/u.boisestate.edu/holocaust-pbl/home

Overview page – https://sites.google.com/a/u.boisestate.edu/holocaust-pbl/overview

Advertisements

Learning about learning – Week 2 – 504

I resisted this week’s readings and project because most of the times I have studied or been asked to study theories, I work to learn the information but when it comes to teacher in-service, there seems to be no execution on the part of leadership. It seemed when teachers teach other teachers they fail to address all the issues they would consider or be asked to consider were they teaching students. The concepts of teach, know and do resonate with me.

As much as I enjoyed reading and learning all that Ertmer and Newby had to offer, their article was written in 1993. Less than two percent of the courses in university curricula in the general area of educational technology emphasize “theory” as one of their key concepts (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 52). There were many other bullet points that fell short of their target because of the date of the information presented. So much has occurred in my own life and in the way I learn and educate others. I would like to see data that is reflective of current trends before I get over-excited.

Surprise of all surprises, the readings and opinions of many I have read support my own beliefs that any and all means should be used to educate. If drill and practice works with the student, then I will be a behaviorist. If PBL works better, then I am a constructivist.

I must admit, I am not a fan of drill and practice software. I will use it with students and they will not know I dislike that part of our day; but I would prefer other means to educate. Working at a boarding school for students who learn differently makes one really aware of HOW you go about educating others, including those who do not have a learning difference. You educate that student by the learning plan in his or her folder. You use the methodologies all the teachers in this student’s world agreed would give that student the best chance for success.

It is not enough to just include technology in the modern classroom. Educational technologists are considered change agents and the focus of Educational Technology includes the possibility of effecting major changes in society by transforming educational systems and practices (Luppicini, 2005, p. 106). We should master all we can to insure learning is integrated, relevant and valuable to our learners.

I believe that is what will motivate me in this class. Now I have an opportunity to learn a variety of theories and history and meaning behind them. This can only offer me more tools in my teacher/administrator toolbox.

 

References:

Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50-72.

Luppicini, R. (2005). A systems definition of educational technology in society. Educational Technology & Society, 8 (3), 103-109.

Week 2 Reflection – 542

Tasked to read an article on the effectiveness of PBL on diverse learners, I found such an article, byProfessional Development in Inquiry-Based Science for Elementary Teachers of Diverse Student Groups, (Lee, Hart, Cuevas & Enders 2004). I felt strongly that PBL works with diverse learners; but the authors stressed that in order to be truly effective, teacher training must be restructured.

 Effective teacher in-service should relate to specific subject matter and how students learn (Lee, Hart, Cuevas & Enders 2004). Teacher must be trained in their content area, have a variety of effective learning strategies and have specific tools in their toolbox to teach diverse learners, in order for PBL to be successful at reaching all learners.

I truly think that PBL fits my teaching style. I have taught Theatre for many years. It may not be Project Based Learning in one sense and yet, how I have taught it, I feel there are many parallels. I have never embraced those who teach & direct Theatre at the high school level surrounding themselves with adults (moms or dads) to be in charge of each of the areas. I never felt students were doing the learning. I want students to do and be. I want students to have a safe place to fall (or fail) and feel secure enough to dust themselves off and fix what is broken or not right.

David Ashby, Michael Andreasen and I will collaborate on a PBL together. David Ashby and I chatted on Google + for quite a bit tonight. We decided our unit would begin with a study of the Holocaust. Our students will collaborate, or at a minimum, perform with a high school class in Spain. Our students will be high school, and most likely be 11th or 12th graders.  Our students will study the past, analyze and appraise the present and chart a course for the future. Much like the TV show What Would You Do?, we would like them to respond to What Should You Do?.

Our project is not complete and our direction still not quite focused. I have faith we will work well and start completing the puzzle together.

 

Reference

Lee, O., Hart, J. E., Cuevas, P., & Enders, C. (2004). Professional development in inquirybased science for elementary teachers of diverse student groups. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 1021–1043. doi:10.1002/tea.20037

Definition of Educational Technology – 504

Educational Technology is the field responsible for the integration of ever-changing processes and electronic resources to all facets (including but not limited to: training, planning, preparing, researching, organizing, communicating, collaborating, documenting, student acquisition of information, implementation, networking of both/between faculty and students) of education to improve and enhance the performance of learners, teachers and administrators as they work toward their purpose and learning goals.

If you asked my 99-year-old father what laptop was when he was my age, he would have pointed to the tops of his thighs. Technology is changing and morphing as I type. I fear I might be outdated when I finish this program in December of 2014. I read recently that my iPhone’s processor is faster and more capable than a 2005 desktop machine. With this rapid evolution, the challenge for public schools is to educate the public on Educational Technology.

My struggle with the definition process? It is altitude-based. Are you viewing from within the field or from a different elevation? Much like James Finn’s viewpoint that we view technology as a process over objects (Dorbolo, p. 69, 2003), the public has not caught on. The general public spells technology, c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r-s (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 2013). States cannot agree on Science and History curriculum. Even the National Education Technology Plan of 2010 does not attempt to define Educational Technology (2010).

The Harkness Table, where students and teacher sit at an oval table and all have an equal voice, positively changed classrooms at boarding schools starting at Philips Exeter in 1931. Teachers had to retrain the way they do business to make that change effective, as it was not just a tool but a concept and process. You may have the best computer, the most sophisticated curriculum software, and the fastest Internet connection…but if that teacher does not know how to use any of that, its not going to improve education (Rivero, 1999, p. 54). Training teachers to plan, teach, utilize and incorporate technology creates potential to impact all schools in a similar fashion as device-bearing students in every classroom then have the ability to hold the chalk.

References:

Dorbolo, J. (January 01, 2003). Alan Januszewski, Educational Technology: The Development of a Concept. Ethics and information technology, 5, 1, 68-70.

Executive Summary | U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Retrieved June 13, 2013 from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010/executive-summary

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. (2013). Technology Education. Retrieved from http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?TechEd&DefinitionofTechnologyEducation

Rivero, V. (April, 1999). Top state edtech leaders talk about data-driven decision making. Coverage, 52-54.

Introduction and Ad – 542

Hello everyone,

My name is David Bernheim; but folks just call me B. No one calls me May-B, yet. Currently, I serve as the Key Spouse and Key Spouse Mentor for the Surgical Group Command Squadron, 366 Medical Group, 366 Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. I insure that my spouses are well informed as they arrive, while they are here, when their spouses are deployed and during times of crisis or accidents.

Previously, I worked in many different educational settings – public, private and private boarding. Though I was trained to teach K-12 and specialized in English and Theatre Arts, most of my experience has been at the high school level.

Prior to my wife’s return to active service, I worked in the Dean of Students office at a 9-12 boarding school for students with learning differences. Additionally, I served as a house parent for 11 young men, Strategies of Instruction teacher, Project Adventure coordinator, coached rock climbing, both boys and girls soccer goalies, and girls hockey. It may seem like a lot; but should you ever get the chance to work at a boarding school, I highly recommend it.

I am an early adopter of technology, though my skill set does not equal my passion or interest. I do not own the latest gadgetry because I am a dad first and foremost. Now I am a grandfather as well. I like watching students and teachers get excited about learning. (We used to say watching the light come on.) Well, my light is on now too. I am trying to absorb all that I can to make me better as an educator and a mentor.

I like all things outdoors. Golfing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, barefoot water-skiing, bicycling, hiking, utv trail riding, and camping are just some of the activities my wife, our dog and I enjoy.