July 15, 2006

Day 6--Professional Devel cont. Equity

**Learning Communities is another model of PD
--Focused on student learning, results and a culture of staff collaboration
--Tapped in is a cool web site where you can join/make virtual learning communities, promotes communication--very cool.

**Short term inservices
--Considered a drive-by solution to the need of PD
--Could be used as a focused strategy to provide specific skills to those who want them.

**Independent learning
--Most powerful for those that are self-reflective and know what they want.
--Least useful for those who need their horizons extended ie pedagogical conceptual change
--Other issue is that the person will be moved further distance from their context as they grow and those around them don't (as which is more likely to happen with a mandated PD experience.
--All in all, this is a very powerful method, though and needs to be encouraged with PDP's

The rest of the class was for students to show their cool tools. This was incredible--should have been done 1 per day though and spread them out. I'll refer to the document that Joan posts which has notes, and comment on that.

Really liked the Visual thesaurs; Moodle; Spanish site; the expensive science one Dave talked about was incredible, PortalPortal, the MusicMaker, really, I was very impressed with all of them and even if not for me then to show to a colleague.

This has been a good class and I'm looking forward to see what I do with the reflection... it will be good.

July 14, 2006

Day 5--Applying what we've learned to help new teachers use tech


Connecting technology learning to professional knowledge
**identified by another
**identified by practioner (requires good self-reflection)
-careful to not over-scaffold--may inhibit teacher reflection (goal, give a man a fish and he has food for a day...)
-both methods require self-reflection and awareness of their knowledge.

Privileging subject matter and pedagogical content connections
**move beyond technology-pedagogy connections
**esp w/ novice teachers
**strategy of grouping novice and expert teachers

Using technology learnit to challegne professional knowledge
**Intro tech and lesson examples to challegne teachers believers
**new subjet matter epistemology or ped can challenge a belief

Teaching many technologies
**not one solution existf roa all teacher/student
**must provide an array of options
**often limited budgest constrian enacting this principle

Awesome activity--We broke into groups and each group was charged in evaluating 1 model of technology professional development. Each of these models were quite distinct. We were to use the Hughes and Zhao models to evaluate the model. The models were:
1. Learning communities (including face-to-face and Online approaches)
2. Short term inservice
3. Students helping teachers
4. Independent Learning
5. Mentor Approach

• "Idea Virus" an idea that gets people excited to do something
• "United Streaming" a huge, subscription based service that streams tons of different videos
• Gen Y kids--students support teachers doing tech stuff like recording parts of a play with audacity
• I need to find ways for kids to give me feedback on the tech and other aspects of my lessons
• Elective class start w/ FLE discussion: "how could we use Sci/Tech to improve our school?"

July 13, 2006

Day 4-- Contextual issues to classroom innovations

How does technology play a role in student learning, instruction and curriculum--Important thread.

Technology Knowledge Framework
Content knowledge---what does the teacher know about their domain eg Newtons laws
Pedagogical Knowledge---what does the teacher know about teaching eg Strategies to spark discussion
Technology Knowledge---What knowledge and skills does a teacher have eg use spreadsheets
When these overlap in a venn diagram, the center is a special area in that it has complex knowledge that is uniquely applicable to their content/technology/pedagogical situation.

Again, I think it is important to emphasize that the TPCK model, like the RAT model, isn't a simple continuum from good to bad. As a teacher, we

Elaine told a nice story about a teacher who had deep tpck but hadn't put them together in the classroom. He finally asked for help from her, he took the dive and tried to use geometry sketchpad and things turned out great. She also noted that 2 other teachers at the end of this year asked to learn to use this program for the start of the next year...

Reconsider the idea of removing technology from a student for extended periods of time as a consequence and instead, only remove it until I've had a home contact. Also, the idea of having a ladder structure so that each time it were to happen the consequence might increase. If so, then I would also need to have some data recording of this...

--To Do---e-mail Joan a description of the project for grant possibilities.

July 12, 2006

Day 3--Practice using evaluative frameworks...

Started class by reviewing yesterday--I need to look into NETS-S and NETS-T--has lots of rubrics.

Importance of considering the use of a technology tool--anything could perhaps be a 'from' or 'with' technology (Using Jonassen ideas of mindtools). In other words, there is a whole continuum from computer as tutor (rigid scaffolding) to Mindtool (open scaffolding).

Need to use case-studies with video and have the teacher there to answer the specific questions, otherwise it is hard to assess things because assessment must be based on a large background of knowledge.

Need to move students to the point of automicity with a tech tool so that students can use their automicity to do the conceptual work! What kinds of lessons are best for teaching students to learn a tool to automicity? Maybe use replacement lessons? A very important thinking in my curriculum development is to decide on the tools I need students to use (for the higher order critical thinking that helps for concept development) and develop their use of these tools to automaticity

July 11, 2006

Day 2 of class

The goal of class today was for students to start to develop a personal framework by which to assess the quality of teacher technology integration into the classroom. This is a useful thing. I've always thought of using the technology to create a new kind of educational environment. However, I can see that I haven't really had a structured way of doing this. Sure, I've had lots of structure that has helped the process, but this seems different--not sure how at the moment.

Jonassen has an approach that focus on using technology as a "Mindtool". In this sense he means using computer technology to support learner cognition instead of controlling it. Of course, any tool places constraints on a situatation depending on the properties of the tool. However, this is analogous to a closed or narrow question and an open question--both channel the topic addressed, however one allows for an infinite number of correct responses while the other only one or a few. Look to my comments on the Jonassen paper for more details.

We used induction to create categories for criteria that would help us evaluate the quality of technology integration in a lesson. We used the comments that different individuals used to describe the qualities of the lessons/tools which we explored on the first day of class (very clever!).

Joan presented her framework, abbreviated "RAT" for the kinds of Tech Integrated lesssons (TI): Replacement, Amplification, Transformational. One might assume that Transformational is where we always want to be at. However, as she said, that isn't necessarily so. She emphasized the role of this framework isn't to evaluate a lesson so as to place it on a continuum from yuck to yum but instead to help teachers think about how they are using technology in their lessons. Also, that in an observational sheet of the lesson their will be many R's, A's and T's at different points in the lesson. I think this is wonderful--the goal of assessment ought not to be one of simple good/bad judgement as that can lead to a focus on inflating or defending our ego instead of improving our instruction.

I know I will use this tool as a way to think about my own lessons as well as work with my colleagues in thinking about their lessons.

**Lesson ideas--start with a bunch of bubbles in inspiration such as "hobbies" generated by the students and have students manipulate these to form groups--introduce terms of categorizing, category heading, sub-category, group, member.

**Lesson idea--use FLE3 for tasks that involve concept differentiation eg "How can you tell the differentce between R, A, and T" elements of a lesson?

July 10, 2006

Day 1--experience a few tools

I met the class today, that is good! Note to self: don't sit next to the air conditioners--hard to hear. I was excited to play with nasa's atmoshere flash site. This was a good source of visual info to see the relationship between certain atmospheric variables and dependent variables such as the health of some cows. To make this work, I would want students to have a networked database where they could type in their comments.

Also, I'm trying to think of some way to graphically represent this knowledge.

July 8, 2006

Looking forward to class

I'm looking forward to this class. I've just finished 2, concurrent, 4X speed online courses and am looking forward to a face to face class. Both of those classes were quite interesting and applied not only to my PhD program but also to the middle school classes I teach, or will be teaching again in a Sept.

I have similar hopes for this class. I've done computer technology, first for myself when I started teaching 17 years ago, and later to expanding levels of inclusiveness up to a school level technology plan/grant. Since that time I've shrunk down my level of focus to teaching-team level and more specifically to my own classes. (Although I'm currently on the Mpls. Public School's, District Technology Advisory Committee.)

I've got an interesting hardware setup in my science classroom--4 person tables each imbeded with 2 computers which are viewed through glass ports in the table top. The real interesting thing of course is what students can do with these networked computers. I've been experimenting with different applications, first databases I created but moved to an open source content managment system, Plone, almost 2 years ago.

This CMS has been very full of potential and also had a steep learning curve. I pretty much can manage it now and am experimenting with different open source add-on products which provide services such as blogs, wikis, easy web-page layout programs, specialized content types to facilitate discussions around student experiments (Gowin's Vee's) as well as a cool product called, "FLE3". The instructional model I'm trying to work within is called 'knowledge building' and am excited about learning to teach within it.

I'm providing this large amount of background so now I can place my thoughts about this upcoming week within a meaningful context. I'm excited to learn anything that will provide depth or breadth to my knowledge of knowledge building, user knowledge of the software tools with which to further my students education, pedagogical knowledge of the use of these tools, ways to meaningfully integrate our teams effort (4 teachers/120 students) with the use of technology. I'm also looking for ways that technology tools can be used to support collaborative teamwork between colleagues. I'm also interested in seeing how schools and districts can use technology in an effective, coordinated method.

I hope to collaboratively work on projects of interest, listen to short lectures, participate in class dialogs, research/share findings on topics of choice within a range of topics. Hoped for outcome? Learning!