Week 1—Activities

1.1—Introductions

Write a post, introducing yourself (include a brief bio) and tell everyone what you are currently doing in your work and/or educational endeavours. Include a photo and links to your website, blog or any other materials you may have already published on the Web. Also include your email address in your introduction, but you may want to format it in such a way as to prevent the spam bots from harvesting your address. Example: Jsmith|at|gmail|dot|com. You can also use a graphics program or web-based application that will turn your email address into an image so that it cannot be read as text.

If you are a practicing teacher, tell us at what level, what subjects, and briefly describe the state of technology support for learning at your school. Let us know if you happen to be involved in a one-to-one laptop program in your class.

Finally, tell us about your expectations for this course. What do you want to learn about, where do you think your ‘gaps’ are in the use of educational technology?

Before you publish your introduction, make sure you include the posting in the “EDDL 5101” category and use the tag “introduction”.

If you are new to WordPress, or if you aren’t sure about using categories and tags in your posts, go to the tutorials on the ‘WordPress Basics’ page.

1.2—Technology Self-Assessment

Teaching in a technology environment involves competencies related to both applied skills and the pedagogy of using technology. Topics related to applied skills might include computer hardware, operating systems, software and troubleshooting, and information communication technology. Pedagogical topics often include considerations of the effects of technology on schools, the integration of technology into teaching and instruction, the use of technology for assessment purposes, the use of technology to address differences in students’ learning styles, the use of technology for communicating with students, parents and the community, and the enhancement of professional productivity.

The standards that are included in the TSA are based in part from the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) guidelines for teachers and students. ISTE has taken a leadership role in providing standards that will ensure that students and teachers routinely use computers and information technology in preparation for life beyond the classroom.

The main focus of the TSA is to not only help you evaluate your level of competency at the beginning of this course, but also to give you an opportunity to revisit your evaluation at the midpoint of the course and once again at the end. The activities and assignments in this course are designed to give you an opportunity to apply technologies that you are already familiar with, and to allow you to explore new technologies to see how they can be integrated into your students’ learning.

You can post this to your blog, or keep for your own information.

Part 1: Technology Skills

Rank your competency level for each of the following technology skills related to teaching and learning with technology. 1 = No experience 5 = Expert

An expert is someone who has significant experience (2 or more years) using the defined skills and who could easily teach someone else the defined skill.

  1. Use terminology related to computers and technology appropriately in written and oral communications.
  2. Describe and implement basic troubleshooting techniques for computer systems with related peripheral devices.
  3. Describe and implement basic troubleshooting techniques for computer systems related to connecting to a network, including the Internet.
  4. Describe and implement basic troubleshooting techniques for configuring a computer to server such as Web servers, email servers, and FTP servers.
  5. Select and use desktop and online applications effectively in teaching.

Part 2: Pedagogical Competencies

Rank your confidence level in your ability to do or facilitate the following items related to teaching and learning with technology. 1 = Not confident at all 5 = Highly confident

A highly confident person is someone who has significant experience (2 or more years) in teaching with technology and has demonstrated a high level of success with students.

  1. Promote, support, and model technology-enhanced experiences to support learning.
  2. Promote, support, and model the use of technology and digital resources in authentic problem solving.
  3. Promote, support, and model the effective use of technology to find and evaluate digital resources for learning.
  4. Promote, support and model the ethical and legal use and adaptation of digital resources (copyright and attribution) that have been created by others.
  5. Promote, support, and model the use of technology for creative and innovative learning.
  6. Promote, support, and model the use of technology in collaborative learning including knowledge building and the demonstration of learning.
  7. Promote, support, and model collaborative learning using technology in both face-to-face and online environments.
  8. Promote, support, and model the use of technology to encourage discussion and interaction around learning.
  9. Promote, support, and model the use of technology to enable self-directed learning.
  10. Promote, support, and model the use of technology to address different learning styles.
  11. Use a variety of assessment tools related to both subject specific and technology learning outcomes, and use those assessments for both student evaluation and shaping teaching and learning practices.
  12. Create assessment rubrics that contain performance criteria related to technology learning outcomes.

Part 3: Communications

Rank your confidence level in your ability to do or facilitate the following items related to teaching and learning with technology. 1 = Not confident at all 5 = Highly confident

A highly confident person is someone who has significant experience (2 or more years) in teaching with technology and has demonstrated a high level of success with students.

  1. Feel comfortable communicating online in asynchronous (email, forum etc.) and synchronous (chat, video conference etc.).
  2. Promote, support, and model appropriate online etiquette and help students identify appropriate and inappropriate online behaviour.
  3. Promote, support, and model the use of online technologies to help students become more aware of global issues, human issues, cultural differences, and equity.
  4. Promote, support, and model the use of both synchronous and asynchronous communication tools and learning environments.
  5. Use technology to communicate with students, educators, parents, and local and global communities.

Part 4: Professional Development Activities

Rank your current participation level in each of the following professional development activities related to teaching and learning with technology. 1 = Never 5 = Regularly (once a week or more often)

  1. Identify activities and resources to support regular professional growth related to teaching and learning with technology.
  2. Continually evaluate and reflect on professional practice to make informed decisions regarding the use of technology in support of student learning.
  3. Identify and participate in professional organizations and groups that support the field of teaching and learning with technology.
  4. Stay abreast of current and emerging technologies related to teaching and learning with technology.
  5. Experiment with current and emerging technologies related to teaching and learning with technology.
  6. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others, employing a variety of teaching and learning strategies using technology.

1.3—Collect Some RSS Feeds

There are many resources that provide regularly updated material of interest to you or useful for your teaching areas. Once you begin to fully investigate the resources available on the Internet, it becomes obvious that you could spend all the hours of the day checking for new content.

RSS readers gather content for you from various sites that generate new content and publish an RSS feed.

In this activity, you will collect some RSS feeds and assemble them in an RSS reader to help you keep on top of the resources you need as a teacher.

Check the RSS resources listed on the Resources page.

Once you have set up your RSS reader, create a blog post, listing a few of the feeds you have subscribed to and why. Put this post in the ‘EDDL 5101’ category.

1.4 – Digital Natives?

Read the articles by Prensky and Bennett, Maton and Kervin. How do you come down on the debate about ‘digital natives’. How do you think this issue impacts your decisions about the use of educational technology and your design of learning that uses educational technology? Write a short forum post (no more than 500 words but as little as a few paragraphs) in the Week 1 forum in the Moodle site. After completing this post read the other posts in the forum and respond to at least two. Consider how they have approached this issue differently from you and how this may have impacted your own position.

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