EdTech 541: Final Reflection

Part 1: Course Reflection:

By taking this course I have learned a lot and will leave with numerous resources that I can begin using in my classroom right away! Before this course, I never imaged all the ways that technology could easily be integrated into education. I have learned the foundations of how to effectively integrate technology by using 21st century software, websites, and tools. In addition, I now know that creating cross-curricular lessons is doable and should be done to enhance learning!

Theories that I learned from reading Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching will go beyond the creation of the course assignments. I now have a clear understanding of how to not only incorporate technology into the classroom, but how to do it effectively. This book will be a great resource as I continue to evolve as an educator and look to utilize technology in education. By reading and learning about each module topic prior to the creation of the assignments, I was easily able to apply what was learned and emulate meaningful lessons to engage my students.

The coursework demonstrates the mastery of the AECT standards very well. Prior to each assignment, I read and learned about the theoretical foundations and completed research to learn more about each topic and explore resources. The assignments required me to create authentic work that will be used in my classroom. Content knowledge and relevant pedagogy was applied and allowed us to evaluate ourselves and our classmates as well. Finally, I reflected on my learning and believe this course will make me a better teacher and more thoughtful in how I use technology in the classroom.

I have grown as professional and as a teacher by becoming more mindful of how I used to use technology in the classroom and how I can improve by using the new resources to stay relevant in a digital age. I have realized that I was quite single-minded when it came to technology. I know have numerous resources and ideas that I can utilize in my classroom and am excited to continue to grow and learn about new technologies. The term life long learner has never seemed so relevant! As an educator, I plan to try to incorporate technology more in the classroom when it is relevant and provides meaningful experiences for my students. I really enjoyed this class and look forward to using the knowledge and resources gained from this course!

Part 2: Blog Performance:

For each blog post, I kept the blog grading rubric in mind. I did my best write thoughtful posts, provide connections to my current content area and real life situations. I referred to the course readings, found meaningful resources that related to each topic and provided further insights. I was careful to site all resources accurately in APA format. I tried to post early in the module, but struggled with this at times, combined with completing other assignments, however I never posted late! I received comments on most of my posts and was able to get thoughtful feedback from others. Finally, I always commented on two of my classmates posts, providing meaningful feedback, how it related to similar things that I experience, and asked questions when necessary. Overall, I think I did a nice job on my blog posts. See below for my self-assessment scores:

  • Content: 66/70
  • Readings & Resources: 19/20
  • Timeliness: 17/20
  • Responses to Other Students: 30/30
  • Overall: 132/140
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EdTech 543: Final Reflection

Crazy that another semester in the EdTech program is coming to an end! I can remember when I was considering the EdTech program at Boise State and recall seeing this course as an elective option, thinking how awesome it would be to take a course such as this. I can honestly say that this has been one of my favorite courses in this program so far and have gotten so much out of it! Here are the key components that I have learned from this course and how I will apply them to my professional practice.

Social Media Interactions Set Up (Module 1): The basic set ups for this course helped me to realize that there are several platforms that can be used for classroom communication. I look forward to incorporating this into the courses that I teach, by using something such as Google Sites, a class Facebook page, or Edmodo to post announcements, assignments, and a place for collaboration.

PLE & PLN (Module 2): I now know what these acronyms stand for! I loved creating my PLE diagram and seeing the uniqueness of everyone else. I loved that we got to create our diagram using the platform of our choice. It was awesome to be able to develop a PLN within the course. This really helped with any questions that I had, I always knew that I would have people there to help. Our group ended up working very well together and I appreciate the team effort, as this is not always, especially in an online course. Developing a PLN within this course opened my eyes to see the importance of having a PLN not only where you work, but outside your school as well. There are so many people around the world that you can connect with and can benefit from. I am happy to say that I joined an amazing PLN group on Facebook of business educators that are willing to share ideas and resources with one another. I hope to stay in contact with Katie, Ben, and Jasmine, my amazing PLN members!

TweekDeck, Live PD, & Digital Footprints (Module 3): Before this course, I had no idea what a TweetDeck was. I have learned not only how to use this site, but also utilized it when participating in Twitter chats. The live PD was very beneficial as well. I especially enjoyed the Twitter chats. I was able to make new connections through these chats, gain numerous resources that I can use right away, and expand my PLN. I plan to not only use these resources, but participate in more Twitter chats in the future. I think live PD is an a different, yet rewarding way of learning through collaboration and interaction. I would definitely suggest this to others. The idea of digital footprints was also introduced in this module. I think this was a very important assignment and something that is quite relevant to the business and marketing courses that I teacg. I am excited to incorporate this into a lesson with my high school students and also use it to discuss brand and company images through the words and pictures that they post on social media and online.

Curation (Moduel 4): It took me awhile to understand what the word curation actually meant. I appreciated be able to explore this module with my PLN and I think our group did a great job of creating our curation criteria. I loved using my new resource ScoopIt, and look forward to using it in the future to curate content. In addition, I really benefited from examining my group’s curated data. It allowed me to explore new resources and ideas that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise learned about.

PLE Diagram (Module 5): This was an assignment that I thought I would struggle with to come up with something unique from everyone else, but it ended up being one of my favorite assignments! As mentioned, I loved the freedom to create your own interpretation of the assignment using the platform of you choice. Through assignments such as this, I was able to explore sites such as Piktochart and Canva. This assignment was one of my favorites because I was able to make it personal to me. Through this assignment, I realized the numerous parts that make up my personal learning environment, that it has really grown since the beginning of this course, and that it will only continue to expand!

Research & Social Media Policies (Module 6): The research assignment allowed me to explore how business and marketing teachers incorporate social media in their classrooms. I got so much out of this assignment and can’t wait to incorporate the resources that I acquired next semester! The other assignment had has look at different social media policies and then create our own. Again, I was able to use Piktochart to create my own set of social media policies that I will be able to use in my classes as guidelines for proper social media use.

Social Media Mini Unit (Module 7): This assignment allowed me to work with my awesome PLN once again. I think our group worked very well together and I realized how easily technology and social media can be incorporated into any subject. I look forward to enhancing my social media unit that I had last year for my Marketing II students, I know there is so much more that I can include from this course! I also enjoyed the peer review process through a screen cast. This was a great idea and allowed me to see what others did for their social media mini units. I would like to incorporate a peer-review process such as this in my classroom in the future.

It is obvious that I gained multiple resources and learned so much from this course! I am excited to transfer what I have learned through this course into my own classroom and know my students will greatly benefit. I give myself a 75/75 points on my blog posts because I was always very thorough in each post, made sure that I had everything included that was expected in the requirements, and was reflective throughout. Thank you all for an awesome semester, only 3 more classes to go! ūüôā

 

EdTech 543: PLE Diagram Reflection

Before creating my personal learning environment (PLE) diagram, I decided to break it down into for categories. I came up with explore, create, collaborate, and share. Then, I brainstormed a list of networks, resources, and tools that I utilize in each category. It wasn’t surprising that some of these ended up in multiple categories. After seeing my classmates great ideas I wanted to come up with a visual that really focused on the connection between the 4 areas. I Googled “connect” and saw a picture of hands coming together. This was my inspiration! I decided to show through icons that there is an overlap in some categories and that in order to have a beneficial PLE, they must be connected and working together. I used Piktochart to create my image and I am pleased with the finished product!

What I learned while creating this graphic is that I have really expanded my PLE. Prior to this course and other courses at Boise State, I feel as though my PLE was rather one-dimensional, sticking to social media sites, resources, and tools that I have used before and am comfortable with. I have really expanded my PLE by discovering and exploring new resources and tools. This PLE will only continue to grow as I network with others.

gilin-ple-graphic

Image created by Ally Gilin using Piktochort

There were multiple great examples created by my classmates. Like myslef, Mary divided her PLE into 4 categories: creating, communicating, connecting, and collecting. Although her categories had a few different names than mine, our ideas where similar. I loved her puzzle piece example. We are different in a few of the icons that we chose to represent. I only use Google docs and Gmail when completing graduate work, but I didn’t really think to include those in my graphic!

mary

Image created by Mary Carter

Jasmine had an awesome graphic using a Christmas tree has her visual. She also divided her PLE into four categories: collect, communicate, create, and collaborate. I noticed that Jasmine included Voice Thread which is a tool that I don’t use that often. She also added PowToon which is something that I will have to explore its uses! Feedly was an icon that I should have added to my PLE, but just forgot about it!

jasmine

Image created by Jasmine Quezada

Katie’s Venn diagram approach was similar to my thought process of different areas overlapping. Her for areas included¬†collecting, connecting, publishing,¬†and¬†reflecting.¬†I really liked that she added the reflection aspect. This is something that I did not consider when creating my own PLE.

katie

Image created by Katie Lauritsen

Alanna did an awesome job creating a unique Bee Hive visual. Again, it was broken down to 4 categories, the bee, sources, hive, and the new product. The man difference in our PLE’s is that I did not mention much about the “bee,” or the teaching doing the collecting. None of this would be possible without the teacher!

alanna

Image created by Alanna Shaw

Kristi¬†divided her PLE into 4 categories as well:¬†research, create, connect,¬†and¬†share. A difference from others is that she displayed her PLE as a process, using arrows to show the connection to one another. I enjoyed this about her visual. The icons that we used to describe our PLE’s were very similar. She added in Edutopia which I could have put on my graphic as well as Canvas.

kristi

Image created by Kristi Christensen

Finally, David continued the categorical trend: connecting, collecting, reflecting, and publishing. A few icons that he included in his graphic were Dropbox and a Wifi signal. I do not use Dropbox often, but think it was really important that he included the Internet. This is something that I should have added to my graphic, many of the other resources and tools would not be available without a proper Internet connection.

david

Image created by David Yargo

Overall, there was a common theme of dividing a PLE into 4 sections. Regardless of what each class member referred to each category as, they were similar in nature. Although a majority of the resources and tools were similar, there were some differences. This is because it is a personal learning environment and it will be unique to each individual person depending on preference. As mentioned, there were some icons that I did not have that others did that I would have benefited from including in my PLE image. This assignment reinforces that our PLE is always growing. What may work one day may be replaced by better tools or resources. This is why staying connected is vital and as educators, we should always be seeking to be life-long learners.

EdTech 543: Creating a Positive Learning Environment (curated content)

For this week’s module, we were assigned to pick a topic and use a curating tool to find 25 resources that aligned with our topic. I chose the topic of ways to create a positive learning environment. I used the tool Scoop It and loved it! I had no idea that such amazing tools existed. Before this discovery, I was a person that would¬† just bookmark resources that I found valuable and then struggle to find it later when I needed it. Those days are long gone and I can now organize everything in one place according to each topic! I am very excited to use this tool again. Click here to view my curated content!

Click to look at my self-assessment using our group’s curation criteria.

EdTech 543: Creative Expression of CoP, PLN, & Connectivism

543-image

I really enjoyed creating a nonlinguistical image for Community of Practice (CoP), Personal Learning Network (PLN), and Connectivism. It helped me to realize that even though these three are independent concepts, they are all connected in some way.

CoP: A community of practice is defined as “learning that occurs in social contexts that emerge and evolve when people who have common goals interact as they strive towards those goals” (Shin & Bickel, 2008). In the top, grey section of my nonlinguistic image, this is displayed by showing different people coming together through ideas and common goals.

PLN: A personal learning network is described as a personalized group of “fellow educators and resources who are designed to make them a better teacher. This network exists both in their real-life relationships and online through their social media connections” (Catapano, n.d. para. 1). This is displayed in the bottom right, light green section of my nonlinguistic image. There are several social media platforms displayed as well as Google, email, blogs, Skype, etc. These forms of digital communication make connection, collaboration, and the sharing of resources possible across the globe.

Connectivism: The learning theory of connectivism explains how “Internet technologies have created new opportunities for people to learn and share information across the World Wide Web and among themselves” (Siemens, 2005). This can be accomplished through numerous Web 2.0 technologies and social media platforms such as blogs, email, Web sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Wikis, discussion forums, etc. My image of connectivism can be found in the bottom left, blue box. It shows a connection through technology across the world through these types of social networks. It allows users to be connected to people they may not necessarily know, but share common goals or subject interest.

These three concepts are great on their own, but even more powerful as they are connected together. To display this, I added a continuous arrow connecting the images of CoP, PLN, and connectivism to a target. This shows that the goal is the main purpose, but all parts need to work together in order for all parties to benefit and grow.

References:

Catapano, J. (n.d.). What is a pnl? Why do i need one? Teacher Hub. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/what-pln-why-do-i-need-one.

Shin & Bickel (2008) – in Chris Kimble and Paul Hildreth (2008). Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators. Information Age Publishing. ISBN 1593118635. Retrieved from http://www.innovativelearning.com/teaching/communities_of_practice.html.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-10. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/connectivism-siemens-downes.html

EdTech 543: Thoughts on Social Media!

I am very excited about this Social Networking course! I use social media frequently in my personal and professional life. I also teach about it! I am a high school Marketing teacher and we discuss different social media platforms and how companies utilize social media marketing. As technology and social media continue to evolve, it is interesting to me to see how it can have both positive and negative outcomes for companies that have a presence on social media, resulting in a good or bad brand image that can change at any second!

I have used Twitter and Facebook for awhile so I am very comfortable with both platforms. In module one, I learned about something new, TweetDeck, which I think will be quite helpful! I have never used Diigo before and am interested to see what it is all about. I am a quick learner and am ready for the adventure!

As far as professional development, I use social media to search topics that I need help with (classroom management, marketing curriculum ideas, etc.) and have participated in a few discussions such as #edtech chats. The last class that I took, EdTech: 537: Blogging in the Classroom, I used Twitter and Edublogs to communicate with classmates, share and read blog posts, and discover new users to follow that would benefit my curriculum area. I am looking forward to learning how I can utilize social media more professionally.

I use social media (Twitter specifically), frequently as a means of communication with my students. I have a teacher Twitter (@plsgilin) and another Twitter account for our school business club, DECA (@papiosouthdeca). In my advanced marketing course, we have used Facebook to create pages to market products/services, Twitter to create a specific campaign for a company, and LinkedIn to professionally share information. I am looking for ways to effectively use social media more in my regular marketing class for things such as discussions or other unique ideas!

I would like to learn more about how enhance my social media use both personally and professionally and how to incorporate social media more in the classroom. I am very excited form this course and am looking forward to learning about new social media platforms and skills!

social

EdTech506: Final Project/Reflection

Graphic Design for Learning has been one of my favorite classes so far in the EdTech program! I really enjoyed learning about and how to use different graphic design principles. The final project was intense, but I am pleased with the final result. I chose to create a lesson that was about The World of Marketing. For this lesson, I used several images that I created throughout the semester and also incorporated similar assignments for my students. I now have a better understanding of how to use Adobe Fireworks and Piktochart. For my lesson, I chose to use the website generator Wix. This was a very easy interface to use and I plan to use this site to make a class webpage in the future. Click here to see The World of Marketing lesson plan!

EdTech 506: White Space

gilin-whitespace

Users: The users are high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, ages 15-18 that should all be at, or about at grade reading level. Students will have most likely heard of the terms headline, copy, illustration, and signature, but most likely not in the context of advertising.

Why Will These Work?:¬† I could easily relate to this chapter about white space because I teach about it in my marketing class! White space is used to “divide text and graphics.” (Lohr, 2008, pg. 272). According to the Marketing Essentials textbook, an advertisement “should make a generous use of white or unused space for a clean look.” It also “helps to make the copy legible and creates an “eye flow” for the ad” (Farese, Kimbrell, & Woloszyk, 2012, pg. 478). For my graphic, I decided to created a print advertisement that shows good use of white space. I chose to use an asymmetrical balance which means that “the elements appear to be off balance…which tends to create more visual interest” (Lohr, 2008, pg. 275). I also added in the four different elements of a print ad with arrows showing each part. If I were actually teaching this in class, I would point out the white space and how it makes the ad look well organized and gives it a clean look, directing the customers to through the text and illustrations.

User Test/Changes:  Originally, I did not have the dotted lines above and below the copy and the background was a darker gray. After the user test, my friend suggested that I add something around the copy text to make it look better visually. She also suggested a lighter gray for the background for better contrast. All changes have been updated, please let me know if you have any further feedback.

References:

Farese, L.S., Kimbrell, G., & Woloszyk C.A. (2012). Marketing essentials. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

 

EdTech 506: Organization

Gilin Organization

Users: The users are high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, ages 15-18 that should all be at, or about at grade reading level. Students will have most likely heard of “lower prices” and “new and improved products,” but probably have not heard of “economic utility” at this time.

Why Will These Work?: This image was created to help students understand the 3 economic benefits of marketing. Ch. 6 helped me better understand organization through hierarchy. I wanted to organize the information using shapes and cues – which are “a form of hierarchy that uses visuals such as arrows, headings, and lines in instructional materials” (Lohr, 2008, pg. 123). I wanted to be a little more creative than using arrows and lines so I used dotted lines to direct the learner to each economic benefit of utility. I also wanted to create a direction of the students’ eye when reading the graphic. “By placing important information onto a horizontal or vertical alignment, it is more likely to be noticed” (Lohr, 2008, pg. 128). I worked to accomplish this by placing the most important information at the top and then include the three benefits below. The user will use the vertical and horizontal alignment to direct their eye, top, then left to right. I used figure 6-4 on page 129 for inspiration. I tried to incorporate some nice colors and use of shapes as well and really enjoyed this assignment!

User Test/Changes: Originally, I did not have the black box around the “Economic Benefits of Marketing” title. After the user test, my friend mentioned that I should ad this in to make the groupings and hierarchy clearer. I really like the added contrast between the black and pink as well. She also suggested that I make the dotted lines thicker as they were smaller and had more dots that were not as easy to see. Finally, I ended up changing the fonts in each circle, because I felt it was blurry and looked a little hard to read. All changes have been updated and I am really pleased with the final visual! Please let me know if you have any further feedback.

References:

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

EdTech 506: Color & Depth

Gilin Color

Users: The users are high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, ages 15-18 that should all be at, or about at grade reading level. Students have been studying the definition of marketing all year and should be familiar with most terms within the definition.

Why Will These Work?:¬†For this assignment, I wanted to create a visual that clearly states the definition of marketing, but also provided images to help students learn and understand. The definition is broken down into three parts with corresponding images.¬†Color is defined as “a tool of instruction that can make or break the appearance and effectiveness of a document or image” (Lohr, 2008, pg. 264). I used a grey background to provide contrast to the images and text. For the text, a primary color (blue), complimentary colors (blue and orange), and secondary colors (orange and purple) were used. Depth was utilized by having the main background blue and layering black before the grey. My goal was to create a frame-like visual for the definition to “make the information stand out”¬†(Lohr, 2008, pg. 270). I believe this was accomplished!

User Test/Changes: Originally, I did not have the images and the graphic was not as visually pleasing. It looked incomplete with just the definition broken into parts. I also had the text and visuals closer together which made it look too crowded. This was all feedback from the user test. I found several helpful images to describe each part of the definition and spaced it out better, making it look more organized and effective. The above image is the updated version. I feel as though this image will help students not only learn, but actually understand the meaning of marketing.

References:

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.