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References:

Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., Cocking, R. R., (eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school: Expanded edition. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Retrieved from: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/9853.html

Malamed, C. (2009). Dual coding theory. Retrieved from: http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/learning-theory-and-multimedia/

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (1998). A cognitive theory of multimedia learning: Implications for design principles. Retrieved from http://www.unm.edu/~moreno/PDFS/chi.pdf

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The relative advantages chart I created is for K-5 general music. The spreadsheet is embedded on my 541 Web page.

For those searching for the embed code for a non-Google page, this is what I used:

<iframe width=’720′ height=’320′ frameborder=’0′ src=’https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AraAQcsMu2HZdF9BVFZORjQwLUFydzlxN1BnM1JvQmc&hl=en&output=html&widget=true’></iframe&gt;

Width can vary – I used 720 (and adjusted column width in my GoogleDocs spreadsheet) so that it would fit on my Web page and there would be no horizontal scrolling. I liked 300 for height as it gives you plenty to look at without gobbling up lots of Web page space. If you want a border around your embedded document, you can change the number for frameborder. For the URL, you will put in the link you get from your GoogleDocs page – make sure you include the end bit with output=html&widget=true.

My response to the two essential questions for Module 2 can be accessed by clicking the links in the sidebar, the titles below, or simply scrolling down if you’re on the home page. The presentation that follows was made using Keynote. Slides were exported, audio was edited in GarageBand, then slides and audio were combined in iMovie and uploaded to YouTube. A slide show version of the presentation can be viewed on my EDTECH 541 Web page.

Tech Tools and Integration Concerns

Sustaining Technology Innovation

Essential Question:
How can innovations, including technology, be sustained in schools?

Response:
On the Essential Questions Web page, the topic of sustainability is viewed from the perspective of implementation. The author states that sustainability of technological innovation will depend on the depth of change, maintenance of new practices over time, shift in ownership, ongoing evolution, and emotional response and may not be realized for two or three years (Deubel, 2010). When I considered my answer to this question my first thoughts were not about the people, but rather the tools. Innovative technology in schools is not possible unless you actually have the technology to work with, and when we talk about access to technology, it often comes down to funding. Funding technology acquisition, ongoing maintenance, and upgrades are key to sustainability.

A long-time boon to funding of technology in schools is E-Rate. Education Rate, or E-Rate as it is commonly called, is part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and helps to fund telecommunications and Internet access for “all eligible schools and libraries, particularly those in rural and economically disadvantaged areas” (http://www.fcc.gov/learnnet/).  An approved Technology Plan, that meets the FCC’s five core requirements, plus successful completion of lots of paperwork, will get your school on it’s way to receiving federal funds to support technology.

Another federally-funded program is linked to No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT), part of NCLB Title II D, has provided competitive grants specifically for educational technology. In 2009, $269,872,000 was appropriated and that amount was supplemented by $650,000,000 in Recovery Act funds. Regrettably, for 2010, the appropriation was reduced to $100,000,000 and EETT is currently slated for elimination from the 2011 Federal Budget. In theory, however, those technology dollars would now be spread across three non-technology specific programs. [Link to May, 2010 article in THE Journal.] While EETT funding seems to be a thing of the past, Federal funding continues to be available for assistive technology. Funding is available based on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and funding sources are listed on the Disability.gov Web site. Grants from other funding sources (see links below) are well worth investigating, but schools can’t rely on one-time sources of income to fund ongoing programs. Many school districts will budget based on the life-cycle of hardware, with funds allocated to replace equipment every 2-5 years (University of Rhode Island).

While securing a funding source is often the primary focus, cost-cutting measures can help. Spending less on software – open source software like Open Office, or browser-based applications like GoogleDocs – are no-cost options when stretching those funding dollars. One must consider security, however. Some districts will opt to pay for their own secure server space over shared public storage. Other considerations include:

  • Infrastructure: While many think of start-up costs (hardware, software) there are infrastructure impacts. Got COWS (Computers on Wheels)? That’s great, but you also need a wireless network if all those mobile computing devices are going to connect to the Internet. Will your 50-year-old school building be able to support the increased need for power? How about grounded outlets? Surge protectors?
  • Maintenance/Replacement: Are your 1st graders using Netbooks? How about budgeting for maintenance/replacement costs for the damage that will accidentally occur?
  • Obsolete Equipment: What do you do with all those overhead projectors that nobody is using anymore? Did you take down screens when Interactive White Boards were installed? E-Bay or auction may bring in some dollars.
  • Related Savings: Computers in my district now have the capability to print (LAN) to the Xerox machine. As printers break they are not replaced. Printers going unused are removed. Toner for the copy machine is much cheaper than ink for the printers, so even though technology can cost, it can save money elsewhere.

When you’re telling your school board how much the new technology is going to cost, fiscal benefits as well as educational impact can be considered.

So, now that you’ve got the technology it’s time to talk about staff development and ongoing support. That’s what will make the implementation of technology innovations most effective and long-ranging. However, that will have to be a topic for another day!

References:

Deubel, P. (2010).  Technology integration: Essential questions. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from Computing Technology for Math Excellence Web site: http://www.ct4me.net/technology_integr_2.htm

University of Rhode Island. Solutions to Funding Technology in Schools K-12. Retrieved from: http://www.uri.edu/personal/dfis3368/fundsol.htm

More About Grants and Funding:

Essential Question:
What are some of the new technology terms, tools and concerns about integrating such tools into instruction?

Response:
In the Glossary of Terms, Tools and Concerns, on the Essential Questions Web site, the authors begin with information comparing Web 1.0 (read only), Web 2.0 (read-write), and Web 3.0 (semantic web) and information about common web 2.0 tools for educators: aggregator, blogs, and social networks, to name but a few. For each tool, the reader will find a description, examples, cautions, and links to resources – very valuable information. For many of the Web 2.0 technologies included, common concerns are presented (i.e. online security) and in some cases, more education-friendly alternatives are provided. As an overview, the article provides a good deal of information and useful starting point. Delving into the details, however, will help educators make best use of available tech tools. Evolving technology means that we, as educators, need to continually evaluate the appropriateness of the tools available to our students and potential implications of their use. The features that we look for in Web 2.0 tools – interactivity, collaboration, and easy access to information – are the very things that can cause concern.

One of the blogs I follow is written by Larry Ferlazzo; an ELL teacher who is known for his lists of Web sites. His The Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education – 2009 includes links and descriptions for 32 free, online applications, most of which I had never heard of before (if that means anything). As a teacher who utilizes technology in the classroom, having someone else do that initial legwork is fantastic, but tools need to be examined. Aside from the appropriateness of the tool to meet curricular objectives, concerns may arise related to online safety, privacy and acceptable use.

Aside from funding, Internet safety seems to be one of the primary concerns regarding technology in schools. Just two weeks ago, the Online Safety and Technology Working Group submitted their final report, Youth Safety on a Living Internet, to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Their taxonomy of safety issues is based on categories rather than specific devices or tools. In the report, safety concerns fell into four groups: 1) Physical safety, 2) Psychological safety, 3) Reputational and legal safety, and 4) Identity, property, and community safety (OSTWG, p. 13). When considering Internet safety, however, the approach that schools take is sometimes extreme, severely limiting student Internet access. Internet safety advocate and lawyer, Nancy Willard, includes the following quote in e-mails, publications, and on her Web site, http://www.cyberbully.org/: “Trying to prepare students for their future without Web 2.0 technologies in school ~ is like trying to teach a child to swim without a swimming pool!” (Willard, 2010).

Finding the balance between educational value, student safety, and privacy issues is a challenge. Some considerations:

  • FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student records. “Any record that contains personally identifiable information that is directly related to the student is an educational record under FERPA. This information can also include records kept by the school in the form of student files, student system databases kept in storage devices such as servers, or recordings or broadcasts which may include student projects” (U.S. Department of Education). FERPA has huge implications for Web 2.0 technologies as digital media and online collaboration may include personally identifiable information. Nancy Willard’s downloadable book ($14), Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World, deals with that topic at length.
  • Acceptable Use Policy: Setting forth expectations, standards, rights and responsibilities for technology use is key to safeguarding students.
  • Terms of Service: It is important to ensure that online content is not only educationally appropriate, but also legal for use. For example, while many younger children commonly use Google and YouTube, Terms of Agreement state that users must be at least 18 and 13, respectively. YouTube Terms of Service go so far as to state, “If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use the Service. There are lots of other great web sites for you. Talk to your parents about what sites are appropriate for you.”

References:

Online Safety and Technology Working Group. (June, 2010). Youth Safety on a Living Internet: Report of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group. Retrieved from http://www.ntia.doc.gov/reports/2010/OSTWG_Final_Report_060410.pdf

Willard, N. (2010, June 15). Cyber-Security Schools in a Web 2.0 World [E-mail distributed to members of the EDTECH LISTSERV].

U.S. Department of Education. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

Links:

Web 3.0

Internet Safety

FERPA

AUP

Prompt:
Create a personal statement defending the use of technology in schools.

My Response:
Use – particularly fiscally-sound, effective use – of technology in schools is a frequent topic within the educational community. Thoughtful purchasing decisions will stretch technology dollars, but those decisions are highly scrutinized by school boards, taxpayers, and technology-critics alike. Arguments are often fueled by research findings that are conflicting or offer mixed support for technology’s impact on student learning. Being mindful that “technology effects are difficult to assess in schooling, because technology is generally not a direct cause of change but rather a facilitator or amplifier of various educational practices” (Lesgold, 2003, p. 2), will help to build a balanced view of technology’s positive impact on learning.

Defending the use of technology in schools is, at times, a moot point as the technology is widely used in the majority of our schools already. In the May, 2010 National Center for Education Statistics report, Teachers’ Use of Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools: 2009 (Gray, Thomas & Lewis, 2010), survey data indicate that 97% of teachers have computers in their classroom everyday and 54% are able to bring additional computers into their classrooms. Further, 93% of classroom computers and 96% of mobile computers, have Internet access. Though computer technology is already in place in the majority of classrooms, the divide between high- and low-poverty schools remains as it relates to hardware availability, broadband connectivity, and the manner in which technology is used – basic skills vs. productivity/creativity. While many schools have computers available for student use, the debate has moved on to use of emerging technologies. Though dialogue has shifted from computers to interactive whiteboards, student response systems, 1:1 initiatives, and Web2.0 resources, the universal concerns of fiscal responsibility, network security, acceptable use, and the maintaining of student privacy, remain.

Regardless of the quantity or type of technology that is available, it is in the implementation and integration that we will find the value of technology use in school. Whereas the question, “Why use technology in schools?” has often been posed, more and more the question is becoming “How can we best use technology in schools?” In Marzano’s 1998, A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction, nine categories of effective instructional strategies emerged. A later publication, Using Technology With Classroom Instruction That Works, connects those research-proven instructional strategies with examples of classroom technologies that support them. In their introduction (pages 2-3) the authors cite research findings regarding the positive impact of technology use on learning, increased student motivation, and more effective differentiation of instruction (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007).

This information parallels much of the rationale presented by Roblyer and Doering (2010) in Table 1.3, Why Use Technology? Summary of Elements Underlying a Rationale, in our class textbook. Roblyer and Doering (2010) cite the positive impact of technology use on student motivation, teachers’ instructional methods, productivity, and Information Age/21st century skill development. While a textbook on technology integration may not present the most objective viewpoint, as the authors are preaching to the choir, research to support the authors’ views is provided. The National Education Technology Plan provides further research to support effective technology use in school and presents a model for 21st century learning powered by technology, with goals and recommendation in five essential areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity” (Atkins, et al., 2010).

There will always be discussions and decisions to be made regarding the best possible use of technology dollars, and educational funding is challenging, at best, in most school districts. Of the various rationales and arguments supporting technology use in schools, one that resonates strongly in me is that technology resources available to children outside of school should be mirrored, as closely as is feasible, by technology resources available to children inside of school. “The challenge for our education system is to leverage the learning sciences and modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all learners that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures” (Atkins, et al., p. vi). Accomplishing that will pave the way for effective use of equipment and software. Technology use that is standards-based and research-driven, coupled with impactful staff development and ongoing teacher support, will allow schools to move beyond teacher-centered instruction that is too-often “one size fits all,” to dynamic learning communities that promote lifelong and lifewide learning (Skolverket, 2000).

“Technology can provide teachers with tools, data and means
to engage their students, but “teachers, not technology,
are the key to unlocking student potential.”
Protheroe, 2005

References:

Atkins, D.E., et al. (2010, March) Transforming American Education: Learning Empowered by Technology, Draft:  National Education Technology Plan. Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. Retrieved from: http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/NETP-2010-final-report.pdf

Gray, L., Thomas, N., & Lewis, L. (2010, May). Teachers’ Use of Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools: 2009 (NCES 2010-040). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010040.pdf

Lesgold, A. (2003, October). Determining the effects of technology in complex school environments. In G. Haertel and B. Means (Eds.), Evaluating Educational Technology: Effective Research Designs for Improving Learning. New York: Teachers College Press. Retrieved from https://www.ewi-ssl.pitt.edu/psychology/admin/faculty-publications/lesgold_2003.pdf

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Protheroe, Nancy. (2005). Technology and student achievement. Principal- Effective Intervention – Research Report. 85 (2), November/December 2005, 46-48. Retrieved  from http://www.learning.com/resources/NAESP-Technology-and-Student-Achievement.pdf

Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A.H. (2010). Integrating Technology into Teaching (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Skolverket. (2000). Lifelong Learning and Lifewide Learning. The National Board of Education, Stockholm, Sweden. Retrieved from: http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/193/url/0068007400740070003a002f002f0077007700770034002e0073006b006f006c007600650072006b00650074002e00730065003a0038003000380030002f00770074007000750062002f00770073002f0073006b006f006c0062006f006b002f0077007000750062006500780074002f0074007200790063006b00730061006b002f0042006c006f0062002f007000640066003600330038002e007000640066003f006b003d003600330038/target/pdf638.pdf%3Fk%3D638

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