ePortfolio

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As  simple as the word portfolio can appear, there is more to it than just jam-packing all the things I have accomplished into one single place.  Critical considerations need to be made when choosing content to be publicly displayed and perused by others.  But whatever decisions I make and choose to put forth, I know it needs to resonate, connect and relate to an audience.  I hope the materials that I gather provides an understanding for the viewers of who I am and what I am capable of.  I hope to also demonstrate to my audience how I have developed as a scholar-teacher not just as an art teacher but an art teacher who have gained valuable technological skills.

The contents of my ePortfolio will include:
  • An introduction that announces my beliefs on teaching through a given philosophy statement.  A short paragraph stating a little bit of who I am, what specific area and level I teach and what I look forward to doing with the skills I have learned.
  • A place to put my contact information.  Perhaps this is where I can also share my link to my blog.
  • There will be a section to share my thoughts on teaching with a collection of artifacts gathered from relevant responses from given assignments and academic activities.   Perhaps provide links to resources that discuss topics about education and technology.
  • A section that showcases my ability to create various multimedia work.  I hope to make my audience aware of the various digital tools that I have used and the content I have created.

21st Century Skills

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With continuous growth of technology and as generation of digital natives continue to develop, it is important to change the way we approach teaching, learning and assessing with out students.  We as educators need to be able to equip our students to be prepared with the necessary skills to compete in a globalized world.  The world is increasingly diverse, and complex.  As seem from the Gapminder data video, the world and many societies continue to grow and change.  Many countries and able to participate  and compete in the global economy.  Information nowadays are readily available and accessible that students need to be taught to how effectively locate information, create content, share content and be able to work collaboratively with other people.  It is important that students are educated with 21st century skills in order to be able to meet the challenges and new discoveries of the future.

As Tony Wagner stated on his video, “Do you have the skill and do you have the will to use the knowledge you have acquired?”  Wagner referred to the concept of students being able to use the information that is all around us and knowing how and what do to do with that information.  From Wagner we learn about several important skills students need to survive in our information and technology saturated world.  These skills include critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, adaptability, initiative, communication, accessing and analyzing information and curiosity.

When thinking about 21st century skills, I think that one of the important skills to have for a student to attain is a combination of critical thinking and problem solving skills,  I know those words have been passed around in the education world, but as education shift their teaching methods and embrace the changes with the increased integration of technology in the classroom, it important for educators to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills to students.  Students need to be able to think critically by being able to identify relevant information and facts, organize the information, apply that information, analyze the information, be able to do something with that information and be able to make reflections. It important for teachers to teach critical thinking skills to the generation of digital natives so that students understand how to navigate the Internet filled with tons of information.  Students need to have the skills to evaluate the information whether or not the information is reliable.  With problem solving skills, students should be able to work through complex problems both by conventional and innovative methods.  Students need to be able to analyze and solve from multiple perspective to consider best solutions.

Since students are growing up as digital natives and technology is infused in their daily lives, it also important that educators not only teach and have students learn 21st century skills but educators need to be able to assess 21st century skills in a 21st century classroom.  With available technology and increasing use of iPads or other tablets in the classroom, web application like Nearpod is a great tool for teachers to assess students.  Nearpod allows educators to create engaging presentations with embedded assessments.  The presentation is interactive and controls the student’s activity by having students submit their response using various devices.  Analytics are provided from the data collected so that teachers can make adjustments to their instruction.

As an art educator, I think is important for students to really understand the art making process.  With the readily available technologies such as digital cameras, iPads or mobile phones, students can document their art making processes to demonstrate their learning.  The use of Youtube would also be a great use of technology to assess 21st century skills.  Students can use 21st century skills to develop and create content and share their content with their peers.  Students can also use their Youtube product as a means of self reflection and self assessment to evaluate their work.

As educators continue to integrate technology in the classroom and are embracing the changes in how we teach students, it important that teachers are able to effectively use technology in the classroom to teach, learn and assess.  Knowing which digital tools are effective in the classroom will help support students with the growth and acquisition of 21st century skills.

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Formative Assessment with Technology

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This week’s assignment focused on formative assessment with technology.    After learning about various ways of conducting formative assessments in the classroom, I thought about my own art classes and ways I have used technology for formative assessments.  I have used formative assessments to check prior knowledge, to see if students understand art making processes and for students to reflect on the result of their constructed art projects.  What is important about formative assessments is that it certainly helps to gauge and identify areas of success and concerns regarding student understanding of concepts taught.  Formative assessments are useful for checking to see what students have learned and are what they are capable of doing.  It also helps to guide teaching decisions for future instruction.  I have created an EMAZE presentation for this week’s assignment.

Here is my presentation. (Best viewed using Chrome)

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Assessment and Technology

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Over the course of this week, the topic of assessment and technology was broken down into two parts.  One part looked at using technology as means for assessing student work.  While another part looked at assessing student’s digital literacy.  Through our readings, my classmates and I were able to find relevant information to evaluate, summarize key points and share key main ideas about assessing with technology and assessing student digital literacy.

Technology is infused in our daily lives and becoming an important role in education.  Paper and pencil delivery of student assessments are moving towards the use of technology tools to assess student skills and knowledge.  Jody provides several options of technology tools that teachers can use to assess students with technology.  Technology tools such as Socrative and Kahoot are great tools to create formative assessments such as short quizzes or polls to collect information from students and gauge their understanding.  Using these types of applications provides an interactive experience for students.  Mimi brought up a good argument that assessing with technology simply looks like the format of traditional pencil and paper while not really utilizing what technology is capable of.  What she also mentioned is that assessments such as simulations through the use of technology can be great use of technology to really measure complex knowledge.  As both Cari and Kara mentioned, part of assessing with technology is that assessment with technology should be engaging to the students.  The ability of technology to differentiate quizzes and test allows students to share what they truly understand and what concepts they are struggling with.  The results of these assessments will be a great indicator of students’ learning abilities in multiple content areas.  Teachers can use this data to drive their instruction and target low performing students with remedial instruction to help improve their learning.  As Josh points out, when considering digital assessments, it is important to align learning objectives so that when students are being assessed the teacher can examine areas of student success and failures.

Not only using technology as a tool to assess students knowledge, it is also important to be able to assess student’s understanding of digital literacy.  Today’s students are the generation of digital natives where the use of technology is abundant and encompasses their lives.  Though students constantly use technology from computers, tablets to smartphones, many students lack digital literacy.  It is then important that while using technology in the classroom, that students also acquire the skills and knowledge of digital literacy.  Students should be assessed in their ability to navigate the Internet, ability to find, collect, share and synthesize information gathered from online.  Students should also gain the skills to develop digital citizenship and understand their digital footprint.  Christel points out an example such as TRAILS 9 that can help to assess students knowledge of digital literacy.  Collected data from this tool can help teachers gauge students’ understanding of technology use so that instruction can be developed to address other areas of concerns.  Monica also specifically mentioned methods for assessing students when creating blogs and posting commentaries.  Technology use in education continues to grow and teachers need to recognize the importance being able to assess student’s digital literacy.  As teachers prepare students to face the workforce, students need to be equipped with the skills to be able to find information, know what to do with the information, share information as well as be able to create content using the Internet and other ICTs.

Teacher’s use of technology in the classroom not just for instruction but also for assessment with continue to grow.  There are many available technology tools that teachers can use in their classroom in place of traditional methods of assessments. Teachers will be able to find creative ways to use online tools and applications to measure knowledge and skills of their students.

Infographic

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Infographic on Social Media in Education

When I began this infographic project, I knew I wanted to do something relevant especially with the use of technology and forms of communication.  I thought choosing a topic such as the use of social media would help me and other people understand the relevance it has on education.  Technology continues to be integrated and implemented in the classroom and many teachers are finding creative ways to use technology in the classroom.  The ability for people to easily communicate with each other through various forms of social media platforms makes sense to consider these forms of communication to be utilized in the classroom as a way to engage students.  The data collected and used in my infographic provides readers a positive outlook of some of the ways social media has impacted on education.  Many students are using social media not only communicating with friends and family about daily life events and happenings, but they are also using social media to talk about school, receive information and schoolwork.  Social media is becoming a mixture of tools that teachers can use to communicate with students, parents, other professionals as well as connecting to other classrooms around the world.  Students continue to use social media to create content, share resources and consume information.  While several forms of social media applications may not be suitable for school, alternative forms of social media applications are available.  These alternative platforms allows familiarity with the students so that they are able to connect and easily use these applications.   It is important for educators to recognize social media tools as education continues to adapt to changes in teaching practices and the constant developments of technology.

The biggest challenge throughout the process of creating my infographic was organizing my content so that it was fluid, easy to follow and that the design complemented the data.  As an artist I knew this wasn’t going to be a short process.  I knew that I was going to spend more time than I should because I wanted it to look professional.  I have used Piktochart chart in the past but with minimal design use.  By looking at other published infographics, I was able to get ideas on how I could make my own infographic read in a professional manner.  I decided to start from a blank canvas instead of using a template since I felt that I would have more control of the design.  I was able to create a layout with color blocking in order to divide the information so that it was easy to read and follow.  Piktochart and other infographic creation applications are a great tool for providing information with visual impact.  Infographic helps to communicate a message and information visually.  It helps to showcase data in a concise and meaningful way.  Because of available templates and the simplistic process that infographic applications provide, many people can easily create custom infographic to display information.  Besides Piktochart, teachers, students and other professionals can also use infographic creation tools such as Easel.ly, Creately, Infogr.am, or Visual.ly.  Teachers and students can use infographics to easily translate collected data and information into a visually pleasing product.  Infographics can be used for various content areas.  Some examples of how teachers can use infographics are to research topics and present findings, to create timelines, compare data, visual gallery, etc.  It is important to note that when creating infographics is to start small.  Be able to play with the tools to learn how to use them as the many features of an infograpic creation tool can be confusing.  It is also good to get feedback from other people to get their input so that the design and intent of the infographic is heading in the right direction.  Also, by looking at other infographic examples, ideas can be generated so that the design of an infographic makes sense and organized.

WEEK 2: Technology-Based Lesson Design

BLOGGING this week is through your technology leadership voice. It will include your suggestions for technology leaders in guiding teacher’s work and the value of having a support team during this process. Include evidence that you have read, understood, and can use the SAMR model, and incorporate any additional information you believe relevant to others in your role.

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The role of technology use in the classroom continues to grow.  Technology has provided many ways to support and enhance the learning experiences for students.  It has also provided teachers with additional tools to teach meaningful learning and instructional experiences.  More and more, teachers need guidance, support, knowledge and skills to appropriately use technology not just as a supplement to lessons but fully integrated into lessons and curriculum.  The integration of technology has brought changes to teachers’ instructional roles.  The use of technology in the classroom enable teachers to not only act as an instructor but can be a facilitator of learning as well.  We are reminded by this as seen by Raj Dhingra’s presentation as he comments on allowing lessons and instruction to be student-centric while integrating technology allowing students several options for students to be engaged in instruction and transforming the role of teachers.

Having the opportunity to review a lesson and evaluate the lesson with recommendations and find areas to improve technology use helped to strengthen my technology leadership voice.  Technology leadership can come from various forms. It can come from am administration, fellow worker/colleague or IT support.  These persons of support will be able to assist with ongoing challenges with implementation of technology.  Many teachers carry a range of technological skills set and may know more about a particular piece of technological tool or application rather than knowing about everything.  Combing through the lesson plan, I was able to use my knowledge of certain technological tools and applications that could enhance the lesson.  Using the SAMR model, redefinition of the lesson could be done by having students work in pairs to research various cultural masks on the Internet to build foundation knowledge of mask making and provide an introduction to the project.  Modification of the lesson plan can be done by using various online application tools and presentation tools to conduct reflection and analysis. Substitution of the lesson could be done by using various digital media tools to document the process.  While augmentation of the lesson could be done by having students create digital portfolios to document their step by step process and final product.  The recommended opportunities given by the additional use of technology within the lesson helps to further engage students in their learning experience.  My technology expertise has its limitations so it always good to have a support team.  The support team allows for a different set eyes to look through and further recommend other areas in which the lesson could be improved.  The support team carry additional skills that I may not have.  Their role is as important and valuable for achieving high learning gains using technology through this collaborative effort.  As Barbara Means writes, “Sound guidance on how to implement technology in ways that produce student learning gains is integral to efforts to use technology as a lever for education change (287.)”  Implementation of technology is just not a solo act but rather, the efforts of many provides a greater impact.

References:

Mask Lesson, SAMR Model, Technology and Education Change: Focus on Student Learning, Raj Dhingra

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Effective Instructional Strategies

Week 1 Assignment: Summarize your learning, recommend a strategy to your readers, make suggestions to educators on aligning technology with standards, explain the importance of this alignment, describe how Marzano/Hattie fit with CCSS, etc. In other words, your blog should be informative, not simply reflective.

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It is important to recognize upon using Marzano’s and Hattie’s strategies of knowing when to use a particular strategy or a set of strategies in the right context so that it is much more effective in student learning. Teachers cannot assume that all strategies will work for all teaching and for all students. Teachers should consider their student population and be able to determine which strategy is more fitting for their learning styles. The instructional strategies presented by both Marzano and Hattie are researched strategies that promote effectiveness both in teaching and student learning. Not only do these instructional strategies improve student successes but can also help to promote improvement in classroom behavior as well.

One of Marzano’s nine strategies is identifying similarities and differences. Such a strategy will be important on guiding students to develop the ability to analyze, breakdown problems and apply learned knowledge. Such a cognitive skill with enable students solve complex problems and help students develop stronger problem solving skills. Besides just asking students the obvious similarities and difference when comparing two things, teachers can extend and further deepen the discussion by allowing students to dig deeper with additional inquiry based questions. Teachers can provide feedback to ensure students are on the right path and ensuring that students are on the correct thought processes.  Hattie supports the importance of providing feedback to students as an indicator for student achievement.  Students will then be able to think further outside the box to find additional ways to analyze text, image, video, audio, etc. Students will be able to link, make connections and bridge learning from other content areas. Students can evaluate relationships between two things using prior knowledge or applying new knowledge. Marzano’s strategy of identifying similarities and differences connects well with CCSS as the CCSS also highlights the importance for students to be able to compare and contrast similarities and difference in many experiences. CCSS calls for skills of being able to classify and analyze from various formats.

As education continues to integrate the use of technology in the classroom, many available digital online tools and applications can be used for the strategy of identifying similarities and differences. Such tools can include Mindmeister, Popplet, Bubbl, and Coggle. With such digital applications, students are able to create idea maps and brainstorm their ideas. When given two things to compare and contrast to find similarities and differences, students are able to use these digital tools to create a visual and text representation of their analysis. It will help students to organize and formulate their thoughts. Using such applications will reinforce and build 21st century technology skills. It will support technology use with the Common Core Standards. Learning these online applications and their functions enable students to understand and navigate the online environment. Students will learn and develop new technological skills that are applicable to their learning and collaborate with others. It will help to create and present information using different formats and media. Along with mind maps, students can also use many graphic organizers available on the Internet for classifying, analyzing, creating analogies and comparisons. The web provides many resources and templates for students to use to make Venn diagrams, charts, tables, etc. to identify similarities and differences.

References:

Technology in Schools: Future Changes in Classrooms

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