Posted in 1.2 Using, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge)

EDTECH Graphic Definition

I used to create my EDTECH graphic definition of educational technology. Piktochart is an online tool that allows you to create an infographic or presentation. I used one of the templates that they offer to get you started on your project. The template that I used had seven steps originally, but it was easy to figure out how to modify it for my needs. The format of the text was easy to follow; you simply double-click to change it. As for the icons, there were several that I could use to communicate my understanding of each aspect of the definition. Finally, it was easy to convert the image to a jpeg file so that I could attach it here. I look forward to trying Piktochart for other projects.

What does educational technology mean to me? Educational technology is constantly changing to fit our current technological trend. Even as I was creating my graphic definition it changed several times as I began to construct the meaning. Each step of the definition is an intricate part of the whole, each one building on the previous steps. Without each part, there would be a flaw in the design. However, it does take some time to understand and build an effective educational technology program.

As I began to understand the definition, I realized that the learner needed to be part of the design. Their ability to use and understand the technology has to be the focus of how the technology is developed for the classroom. Introducing technology without sound research is like trying to plug an American lamp into a European outlet; it just won’t work. Also, we can’t have technology as a means to “get better test scores,” but to improve the overall education of the student to give him an edge in the rapidly evolving digital working world.  Students should be given the time to create and use resources that will help them have a solid platform to build on as technology advances.


Posted in 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating, AECT Standard 5 (Research)

School Evaluation Summary

I am familiar with using rubrics to evaluate students’ work as it is a great tool to show students what they need to do to complete their project.  I was unfamiliar with using the Maturity Model Benchmark.  However, it did not take me long to understand the criteria for each of the categories.  Early on in my evaluation process I contacted the Technology Chief Officer to get a better understanding of our school district’s technology plan.  After our conversation, I began working on the rubric, and I felt that I could successfully “grade” our district’s technology use.  As a teacher, even the Digital Integration Lead, I didn’t know what all went into the planning and funding of technology.  I wasn’t too surprised to see that my school would be ranked between Emergent and Islands in Behavior because the technology use isn’t integrated.  I feel that as some of the programs are made available, such as student email and OneDrive, we are moving forward to Integrated.

My school has four computer labs, two for keyboarding classes, six laptop carts (36 laptops each), and a class set (36) of iPads for teachers to use.  Even with the available technology, it seems that there isn’t enough to go around for the staff to use it when it fits in their schedule.  There is training available, however, there are teachers that don’t take advantage of the training.  For this reason my school is ranked between Emergent and Resources/Infrastructure.  The district has provided high speed Internet and sufficient WiFi capabilities for the teachers and students to access regularly.  The district is updating their Technology Plan that expired two years ago.  Even though it has expired, the Technology team is working on finding new technology in the classroom, such as the Promethean boards.

As I went through this process, it gave me a better understanding of our challenges that we have with technology use.  I feel that I can take what I’ve learned back to my administrator to discuss our plan to move forward at the school level.  I’ve discussed finding grants to help build our laptop resources next semester after I take my grant writing class.

Click here to view the results from the Maturity Model Benchmark survey.

Click here to see a detailed analysis of the School Evaluation Summary.

Posted in 1.2 Using, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge)

Emerging Technologies


The emerging technology I chose for my artifact for Week 9 was using QR codes in the classroom.  I used QR codes once last year, but I found the lesson online with the work done for me.  This time I wanted to use it as an answer key (Scientific Method Review Sheet PDF), so students could check their work.  This is Modification on the SAMR model because I am redesigning the task, grading papers, to using technology to check their work.

I used QR Code Generator to create my QR codes for the review.  It was able learn quickly how to create the codes, and it was user friendly.  As I created each of the codes, I used Photoshop to crop the images to the correct size.  I used the images to create a Review Sheet with the QR codes and a web page.  The Scientific Method Review QR Code Answers can be used to hang throughout the classroom.

Prior to handing out the review guide to students, I sent home a note with the students asking parents to download a QR code reader.  I shared with them that I prefer the “i-nigma” app on the Android phones.  However, any free QR code reader would be fine for either an Android or iPhone.  I also mentioned that they would not be using any data while they used the QR code reader.  As students finish their work, they can use their phones and scan the QR codes to check their work.

I designed a web page Scientific Method Review Answers Using QR Codes so students can access it from home.  By making it available on my website through my school,  students can access it if they didn’t finish the assignment or they forgot to download the QR code reader.  I have the web page scheduled to post the next day, so students can’t go home and copy the answers.

Today (October 18th, 2016), I handed out the review sheet for the students to work on during class.  I explained to the students if they finished with the assignment they could check their work.  However, they will be working on the review sheet tomorrow in class as well, so they didn’t have to rush through it.  I did have a few students that finished and they started checking their work.

I really liked using the QR codes in this capacity because the students were excited to try something new.  They did like the fact that I designed a web page for them to access at home too.  I will be using this technology in my class for other reviews.  The preparation does take some time to complete, but I felt like it was worth the extra time to provide students an opportunity to use their devices in class.

Additional Resources:  This website helps teachers implement QR codes into the classroom.  Another site that has useful information on QR codes.  I actually pulled many of my resources from this site.  This site discusses 25 ways you can incorporate QR codes into your teaching.  You can sign up for their newsletter and receive a free ED Tech resource book.


Posted in 1.5 Ethics, 3.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Digital Divide/Digital Inequality


During week 6 and 7 I worked with a group (Andy, Brigid and Andy) to complete a Prezi presentation on Digital Divide/Digital Inequality (see link) for the state of Mississippi.  In the past I’ve had a problem with working in groups because I end of doing most of the work, however this time wasn’t like that.  We each took a role in the process and completed what we were expected.

What did you learn about multimedia principles in creating this artifact?  I’ve worked with Prezi in the past,so that wasn’t new to me.  I created the template for the group and I found a template that encompassed what our main idea was: climbing the mountain of digital divide.  Brigid added the narration and that is something I don’t know how to do.  I would like to go back and create a Prezi for my classroom and add narration to it.

What did you learn about digital divide and/or digital inequality that was new to you?  I really didn’t know anything about digital divide.  I knew there were some students that had access to the Internet, while others didn’t.  I also noticed that over the past three years there has been a decrease in the number of students that didn’t have devices.  So for me this was an eye opener.  I suggested Mississippi because of how low they are ranked in the nation when it comes to access to the Internet.

What do you plan to do with this knowledge in the future?  When I asked my students to bring in their devices to create a project, like Paper Slides, I make adjustments for the ones that don’t have a device.  I create groups of four students and make sure that at least one student has a device to record the video.  So far that has worked out.  If there isn’t enough devices for the students to share, I can borrow iPads from the library for a few days too.

How might you change/improve this artifact if you had more time?  I don’t think I would change anything.  The slides and narration really flowed together and the pictures were a great touch visually to the slides.


Posted in 1.1 Creating, 4.3 Reflection on Practice, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge)

RSS in Education

This is a screencast of what RSS is, how to download an RSS aggregator to Chrome, and how to subscribe and unsubscribe to RSS in your news feed.  After creating my screencast, I used Camtasia Studio 8 to edit my video to remove the pauses for my project.  Below I have included three ways in which I would use RSS in my classroom.

How would I use RSS news feeds in my classroom?

  1. There is an added value for teaching social studies while using RSS.  Throughout the year, my students are introduced to different cultures around the world.  I could use RSS to gain a better understanding of the different cultures we have studied.  At the end of each unit, I would have my students search for RSS subscriptions that they can subscribe to.  When they are finished with their assignment, I would have them read their news feeds and take notes on each of the cultures we have learned throughout the year.  Finally, I would give them the opportunity to choose one of those cultures and create a PowerPoint or Prezi demonstrating what they have learned.  See Prezi for more information.
  2. Another way that I can use RSS news feeds will be in my science classes.  I want students to be able to connect to the real world for different science projects that I assign them throughout the year.  I will have them find different science RSS subscriptions that demonstrate experiments that they could reproduce for assignments.  I have done this, myself, in my classroom with the double stuffed Oreo experiment that a middle school conducted.  The students enjoyed connecting what we were learning to contemporary
  3. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  I would add a photo of the day to my RSS feed to share with the whole class.  For the first 5 minutes, I would project the image with a projector.  I would have my students write a story about the picture, adding as much detail as they can to their story to make the picture come alive.  At the end of the five minutes, I would have the students turn to their partners and share what they have written.  Afterward, I would share the story (if available) to the class.
Posted in 5.1 Theoretical Foundations, AECT Standard 5 (Research)

One-to-One Computing: An Annotated Bibliography

For this assignment I was introduced to Zotero, an online file system that helped me keep track of the articles I reviewed for my bibliography.  I found it to be a quite useful tool because it help my articles for me to read at a later time.  I didn’t have to worry about saving them on the computer or losing them in my bookmarks.

This is the first time I’ve had to use APA for any research project.  I found Purdue OWL to be quite useful as I worked on my citations.  I also used it to become more familiar with an annotated bibliography.

As for the subject matter, one-to-one computing, I found it to be interesting.  I use laptops in social studies and I always wondered if there was enough research to show positive outcomes for the use of the laptops.  I found five articles that show laptops do benefit students’ learning.

Click on the link.