Student Profile

Due 9/2/08

To allow us to get to know each other in the course, I have created a "Students" page in this site to allow each of you to create a profile of yourself. Either prior to beginning class or during the first week of the course, please click on the Students link on the navigation menu. Once there, click on the Edit This Page button and add your name (in alphabetical order) in the list. Then highlight your name and click on the Hyperlink button in the Editor bar. By default, it will suggest creating a new page with your name as the page title. Click OK, then Save your changes. Then click on your name link and you'll be taken to a blank page. Once there, click on the edit button, and complete the following items for your profile on the page.

Items to include in your profile:
- A picture of yourself
- Your intended level of teaching (primary, intermediate, etc.)
- Your teaching placement (if known)
- A brief statement about your interest in teaching and the kind of classroom you hope to create
- Your biggest hope and fear about teaching

Reading: Teens & Technology, Teens & Social Media

Due 9/9/08

In only the last few years there have been tremendous changes in use of the World Wide Web. Until 2005, posting content on the Web required either knowing how to code pages in HTML or use a Web editor program and transfer files to a hosting account. With the develop of "Web 2.0" tools (including blogs, wikis, Facebook, etc.), the Web has shifted for many from "read only" to "read-write." This opens up many opportunities for a more participatory Web. With this shift in mind, please read the following two research studies from the Pew Foundation - Riding the Waves of Web 2.0 and Teens & Social Media on how children are using the Web. As you read, consider the following questions:
  • Why might the "participatory Web" be particularly appealing to pre-teens and teens?
  • What potential dangers are inherent in the new Web for students?
  • What, if any, of Web 2.0 tools/elements/characteristics might best be leveraged to help facilitate or augment learning?

Reading/Exploration: Life on the Screen, Digital Directors Guild, and Podcasting

Due 9/16/08

Digital moviemaking and podcasting are two major trends in K-12 schools currently. Easy, free software tools enable students of all ages to create their own video and audio clips and post them online to share not only with their classmates and parents, but potentially with a worldwide audience. There is great variability of how videos and podcasts are created and the purpose they serve in the classroom. To get a sense of why and how teachers are employing these technologies in the classroom please explore the following avenues. As you explore these resources think about what elements of these approaches to integrating technology are appealing to you. What value might they add in education generally and more specifically in your classroom? What types of learning might these approaches be best suited to and what types of students might be most likely to benefit?
  • Read the article Life on the Screen, by George Lucas and take some time to explore the rationale for and examples of digital moviemaking in the classroom at the Digital Directors Guild site.
  • To begin exploring podcasts, start with the Wikipedia definition. From here, check out the podcasting site at Learning in Hand. For even more depth, check out their podcasting booklet. Be sure to take a little time to listen to some teacher and student-created samples.

Reading: Technology-Enhanced Interactivity

Due 9/23/08

Digital technologies (software, Web sites, etc.) offer many types of interactive learning experiences for students. From simple animations, audio captions, and dynamic images to more sophisticated simulations, databases and collaborative tools, technology may provide teachers with different means to help students engage with content and concepts. Research findings, however, have been mixed in terms of the benefits of interactive technology on student achievement. With this question in mind, please read Multimodal Learning Through Media: What the Research Says form the Metiri Group. As you read, consider the following three questions:
  • In general, how would you characterize the effectiveness of instruction augmented with multimedia tools and resources?
  • When selecting interactive or non-interactive multimedia tools and resources, what might you consider?
  • What are some of the limitations of this type of instruction that might concern you?

School Technology Inventory

Due 10/1/08 - 5 points

The purpose of the technology inventory is to get a sense for what technology tools and resources your cooperating teacher has available in his/her classroom and school building. You’ll need to schedule separate times to talk with your cooperating teacher and the school library media specialist/technology coordinator. In your conversation with each of these folks, try to fill in the attached form from each of their perspectives.

Just as importantly, as you’re talking try to get a sense of how easy/difficult it is to schedule the lab, check out a camera, etc. What are the opportunities and constraints for the classroom teacher in terms of using technology? Are the teachers aware of all that is available to them?

You should record your responses on the paper, and then upload them to the class web database so that we can "pool" our results and identify interesting trends (and anomolies) across placement sites.

Reading: Our Agenda for Technology Integration

Due: 10/7/08

As you read Our Agenda for Technology Integration, consider what assertions the author makes about: a) the history of technology integration, and b) the envisioned future view of technology in teaching and learning. Then determine what evidence Harris offers for each of these claims. Finally, identify any assumptions that the author makes in the assertions offered. At this point, where would you come down on the debate?

Tech Expert Module

Due 10/21/08 - 20 points

Brief description:
I understand that not everything we cover in class will pique your interest. In fact, I hope that you view the concepts, topics, and tools with a healthy dose of skepticism. You should constantly be asking yourself if a given tool or resource would add value to your teaching in the context of your content area and grade level and your particular pedagogical approach. With this in mind, I do not require that you produce some type of artifact for each of the major topics we will cover in the course. Rather, I ask you to select two of the focal areas to develop artifacts, one for the "Tech Expert Module" and one for a lesson plan that you might use next semester in your student teaching.

The first artifact will be a Tech Expert Module. Sometimes as teachers we run across a particular technology tool or resource that really captures our interest. While this is not necessarily the ideal starting place, sometimes this may be a starting point for integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. We must not be too quick, however, to try to force a fit of the technology into our teaching. This project will challenge you to critically analyze the affordances and constraints of a particular technology tool or resource and consider its application in the classroom. Your "deliverable" will be a tech expert module that will be made publicly available through the Connexions Web site - both for your classmates and the larger ed tech community world-wide.

You may work alone or with a partner on this project. To develop your module you should proceed through the following suggested sequence of steps:
  1. Identify a particular technology tool or resource that seems particularly promising for your teaching. To ensure that we don't have any duplicate modules for this class, please post your idea here prior to beginning any substantive work. If a classmate has already posted your idea, you may choose to work together, develop a slightly different approach to the topic, or choose another topic of focus.
  2. Once you've selected a tool or resource, take time to explore your topic in depth (to the point where you'd feel comfortable answering substantive questions on the topic from a colleague). In this exploration, you should EITHER create some type of help sheet (preferably including screen shots) that would help a new user to become familiar with the essential steps and functions of the tool/resource or create links to effective help sheets you've found online. View this module as an example of appropriate depth/detail.
  3. Now that you've become an expert on the operational aspects of the tool/resource, you will now need to explore classroom-based examples of how teachers have implemented the tool or resource. Ideally, these examples will be from your grade level and content area, although this is not necessary. After you have explored many examples, select four of the best examples and create a brief description of each implementation with a link to the write-up of the lesson project you found online.
  4. After exploring the tool or resource in depth and examining classroom examples, please develop an annotated list of the affordances and constraints of the tool or resource. In other words, what value might it add to the classroom and what might teachers need to be wary of in incorporating the tool or resource into their teaching.
  5. Finally create a short list of tips that teachers might consider in implementing the tool or resource into their teaching. Try to keep this as concise as possible while still being useful for the teacher.
Please post a link to your module on the class Tech Expert Module page.

Lesson Plan Individual Consultations

Due - week of 10/28

Please sign up here to schedule time to meet with Dr. Hofer on your lesson plan design. Time will be tight, so be sure to sign up early, be prepared, and show up on time!

Technology-Integrated Lesson Plan

Due - 11/4/08 - 20 points

The thoughtful integration of technology into teaching and learning is challenging. Effective technology integration supports learning curricular content and concepts in ways that connect well with the chosen pedagogical approach and provide a relative advantage over other ways to approach the lesson. The learning goals should be focused on the curriculum; not on the technology. This is a tall order, but this approach to using technology pays significant dividends and makes the extra time and effort "worth it."

To begin the lesson design process, I suggest you review the suggested lesson planning sequence discussed in class. The lesson plan you develop will be comprised of three parts. First, you will write a lesson plan in the format required by your methods instructor. In addition to this lesson plan, you will create an accompanying technology product. If the teacher will use the technology, you should create what the teacher might present to the students. If the students will be using the technology, you should create a sample of what the students might do or create. The technology product should be complete and demonstrate mastery of the particular tool or resource you are employing. The final component of the lesson plan is a reflection in which you explore how you feel the use of technology is: a) rooted in the curriculum and student learning, b) inspires student learning and creativity, and provides a relative advantage over other means of instruction. The lesson plan document, technology sample, and reflection should be posted in the appropriate BlackBoard discussion forum where they may be accessed by the rest of the class.

Reading: Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning

Due: 11/11/08

You will have students in your classes with highly variable learning styles, preferences, and specific learning challenges. Some of these differences will be fairly common and others will be quite specific. In all these cases, technology can be used to help meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom. To begin to explore some applications of technologies for diverse learners, please view the Edutopia video on assistive technologies and read the second chapter of Reaching Every Student in the Digital Age from the Center for Applied Special Technology. As you watch and read, please fill out this organizer to help you identify the differences between the two approaches.

Reading: When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web

Due: 11/18/08

Much news has broken recently about inappropriate/sketchy behavior by teachers on the Web. When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web is an interesting piece underscoring this point. However, the Web also offers a great opportunity to connect with our students and their parents as well. A classroom Web site or portal can be a wonderful way to build community, share resources, make information available, and to help keep us organized. To prepare for the creation of your own classroom portal, I encourage you to explore some of the classroom Web sites linked here as well as the Tech Expert Module on Classroom Web sites. As you explore, jot down some notes on possible elements you might want to include in your portal. During the class session on November 18th we will try out several different technology tools to enable you to create your own portal.

Classroom Portal

Due - 11/25/08 - 10 points

Increasingly, classroom teachers find that having a classroom Web site or portal is an effective way to communicate with students and parents. While a classroom portal will never replace parent/teacher conferences, classroom newsletters, a phone call, or sending a note home, a well-designed classroom portal is an effective way to augment these other forms of communication by providing a repository of classroom information, a calendar of upcoming events and assignments, a collection of extension Web links, and even examples of exemplary student work. A portal is an efficient means to bring parents into the classroom to help them stay connected with what their students are learning. In addition, it can be very helpful for the teacher to keep classroom materials, handouts, grading rubrics, etc. organized and available throughout the year and even from year to year.

A portal can be designed for many purposes, in different ways, and created with different tools. Here you can explore several examples to give you some ideas for what you might want to incorporate in your own classroom portal. Your challenge in this assignment is to create the shell of a classroom portal you could use in your teaching. I encourage you to design a portal with the elements you think might be most useful to yourself, your students, and their parents. Additionally, I hope that you will find a tool that you find appealing, that will meet your needs, and that you think might best support the approach of your portal.

In addition to creating the shell of your portal, please write a one-page explanation of the purpose you see for your portal, how and why you designed the structure, and how you might keep up with and develop it over time. Please post a link to your portal and this reflection in the appropriate Blackboard discussion forum.

Instructional Challenges

Due: 11/25/08

In an attempt to bridge the theory discussed in this course with the "real world" of your classrooms, you will engage in a design team project that will focus on leveraging technology to help solve educational challenges. To prepare for your design team project, you should schedule 30 minutes to talk with your Cooperating Teacher and any other teachers with whom you've connected about challenges they experience as teachers. While teachers face many challenges in their role as teacher, for the purposes of this project, I'd like you to focus on instructional challenges they encounter. These challenges may include challenging topics to teach, challenges with motivation for learning, collaborative work, etc. Try to gather as many ideas as you can from your colleagues. Before class on 11/25 pick 1-3 challenges that you might be interested in exploring for your design team project.

CT Feedback

Due: 12/2/08

Once you have identified a focus for your project, formed a teacm and developed a draft of your design team project with your group, schedule 30 minutes with your Cooperating Teachers to discuss what you've come up with. Encourage them to help you explore the goals of the project, the steps and procedures of what you've created, the feasability and how it might address the challenge you've focused upon, etc. Encourage your CT to be open and honest about the strengths and limitations of your approach. Please take notes of your CT's reactions and suggestions to share with your group on 12/9.

Design Team Project

Due - 12/9/08 - 20 points

Brief description:
One way to approach curriculum-based technology integration is to identify and address an instructional problem or opportunity using value-added technology. The purpose of this assignment is for you to identify a range of instructional problems/opportunities you are seeing in your school placements and collaboratively plan a solution/approach that leverages the unique affordances of a particular (or combination) of technology tool/resources. you will create a product that can (and hopefully, will) be implemented in your practica or student teaching experience.

The first step of this project is to identify instructional challenges or opportunities where you think the integration of technology might help make a difference. These challenges and opportunities can come from your own observations or in discussion with your cooperating teachers. You will share these ideas in class on 11/25. Based on common interests in topics, groups will form around specific topics to explore. In your self-selected group (not necessarily by content area, although this may be beneficial), you will debate the ways that technology might add value in each of these scenarios. You will then collaboratively develop a project plan that outlines the instructional challenge/opportunity, the instructional objective(s), how you propose using technology, and the value you feel the technology adds. After consulting with Dr. Hofer, you will begin to design a model of how your chosen use of technology may help you address the challenge you've identified. Once you've developed a draft of model, you should then share this with your cooperating teachers and record (in notes) any feedback they share with you on the project by 12/2. Once you consider and incorporate this feedback, you can then begin to develop the technology component and any other ancillary materials required to implement the intervention in the classroom. You will present your work in progress to the class. All this work you will turn in as a group. The last component of the project is your individual statement of your work. In this one-page document, you will explain how you were involved in the group process, the value added of the technology you incorporated, your overall assessment of how your work might play out in the classroom, and any suggested areas for further work, revision, or enhancement. You will post your project documents on your group's wiki page. Please email your individual responses to Dr. Hofer.

Research Response

Due - 12/16/08 - 10 points

Brief description:
The research response gives you the opportunity to respond to educational research regarding technology integration. To complete this response, you will need to draw on the knowledge you have built during the course of the semester to answer the response prompt. Your response will be evaluated on your ability to:
  • identify the salient issue(s) in the research
  • analyze the research findings
  • developing your own synthesis of the findings in regards to the question response.

More detailed instructions will be distributed in class.

eFolio Shell

Due: 12/16 - 15 points

A portfolio (electronic or print-based) can serve many purposes in education. In the School of Education at the College of William & Mary you will develop an electronic portfolio (efolio) over the course of your program to document your work, demonstrate learning over time, and to promote reflection on your teaching practice. Your efolio will document your work for the purposes of program completion, teaching certification and will be a valuable asset for you in your job search process.

In this assignment, your challenge is to create the framework or shell for your efolio. While this portfolio will not be completed by the end of this semester, the expectation is that you have completed the following components in a clean, professional manner which you can then "flesh out" in your other courses.

By the end of the semester, you should create the framework of your efolio website based on the requirements of your methods instructor. In each area, the portfolio components may look a little different, but your portfolio must in some way provide space for you to link to artifacts which demonstrate your competency in each of the 30 student teaching competencies, and offer reflection (with embedded links to artifacts) on the six professional areas, and four components of the conceptual framework in the School of Education at the College of William & Mary. Please see this sample of a completed efolio.

As you move through your classes you can begin to write your reflective statements and link to artifacts (you will probably be able to use between 8-15 artifacts to connect to each competency and area). For the purposes of this class, your portfolio must:
  • include a home page with a brief description of the purpose of your portfolio, some information on who you are, and a picture that represents you in some way (3 points);
  • include links in the navigation bar to working pages (although they may be blank at this stage) for each area required by your methods instructor (2 points);
  • develop the Educational Technology page, which will include a reflection for each of the six ISTE NETS-T standards with supporting links and artifacts. (10 points).

To create your efolio you are encouraged to use the William & Mary WMWikis site. You will start by creating your account. Once you've created your account, you can visit the efolio Helpdesk to assist you in creating, designing, and editing your efolio. Once completed, please add a link to your efolio on the Students page for this course.