RSS Lesson Plan

RSS is something that I was not overly familiar with before this class started.  I thought of newsfeed only as something connected to social media sites; however, the research for this class has really been an eye opening experience.  I learned an immense amount of information on what an RSS feed is, how it can be incorporated in the classroom, the information that can be found, and more.

The most difficult part of this assignment is that I feel there is still so much more to learn.  Feedly has so much to offer that one week just did not feel like enough.  I am looking forward to learning more about Feedly and how to incorporate it even more in the classroom.  I feel like Feedly (or something similar) is a wonderful way to encourage reading articles in the classroom.  If I had more time, I would have spent more time on Feedly.  I feel like I could spend hours reading and posting articles.  I hope that students feel the same loss of time in reading and researching the articles on Feedly.

While I have not yet incorporated this lesson in my classroom, I am excited to do so.  I feel that the students will show growth in reading comprehension and analysis of text.  I cannot wait to try this out.  I may be able to modify it and incorporate it second semester only.  I really like the idea of using Google Drive to create a portfolio for students to assess their own work.

Here is the link to my lesson:  RSS Lesson Plan.

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Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

For this week’s assignment, I had to create a Google Slides presentation about digital divide and inequality at DeKalb High School.  In addition to creating the presentation, I also had to narrate it using VoiceThread.  Find the presentation here.

Throughout this presentation, I learned a lot of new information.  While I am not a fan of narrating my work, I did find VoiceThread easy to use.  I’m looking forward to using a tool similar to this in my own classroom.  Additionally, I learned that many presenters are too wordy on their PowerPoint/Google Slides presentations.  I found this link shared by my professor to be very helpful.  In fact, I shared it with members of my department, and they are now using it with their students.

Before this project, I did not know that digital divide and digital inequality were two different concepts.  I always assumed that they were different terms for a similar concept.  I’ve always known that technology is not equal in all of the world; however, through my research on the topic (and there is a lot of research) I have found that the problem is much larger than I had originally thought.  This technology was not readily available when I was growing up.  Once I took this knowledge and applied it to my school, I found that the divide at the school is because of deeper problems that are difficult to solve.

Now that I have this knowledge, I hope to enlighten some of my colleagues.  There are many teachers that do not have this very important information.  I also plan to meet with the superintendent about some ideas I have to combat this problem.  While I may not have a lot of solutions, I feel that I can help solve this deep rooted issue.

As an educator, I am constantly reflecting upon my lessons.  The same is true for me now that I am a student.  If I had more time, I may add graphics to my presentation.  I had never used Google Slides before, so I spent a lot of time playing with it.  I have to say, I really like Google Slides.  I find it much more user friendly than PowerPoint.  I spent time this last week trying to convince my department about how great this program is.

In terms of the AECT Code of Ethics, I find it difficult to justify this supporting any of them.  With the digital inequality in my district, I feel like the students are not supported as individuals.  As much as I feel the district is trying to help, I think it is hard to do so.  We cannot force families to pay for internet access at home.  Additionally, the school can only force students to take one computer class and classes are getting cut at the middle school level.  Consequently, many students are not receiving the instruction that they require to be proficient in their use of technology.

Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology

The world of technology is every changing, and, as such, so is the definition of professional ethics.  The AECT Standards give wonderful insight into the world of professional ethics.  I wrote a paper for class about an incident that happened in my school district a few years ago.  In brief, we had a substitute teacher looking at pornography while subbing.  This led to him being banned from the building.  What it did not do was keep him from being elected to the School Board.  Feel free to read my paper for more details and my reaction.

I find it very difficult to come up with a solid definition as ethics vary from person to person.  Students today are on information overload!  They have so many answers that they do not know what questions to ask.  Additionally, instant access to anything can create blurred lines on what is acceptable and what is not.  It is my belief that districts need to come up with very clear (and perhaps overly explicit) guidelines for parents, students, and staff to see that can be modified as technology changes.  This will help guide any unethical issues that may arise over time. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the right answer is to some of the ethical situation questions. That is why I feel it is so important to have the Code of Ethics spelled out for employees.

EdTech 501 Definition Graph

One of the first assignments for EdTech 501 is to define educational technology in graphic form.  I didn’t want to default to PowerPoint as I am too comfortable with it.  I feel it is important to attempt new programs and methods during this course.  For this project, I decided to use Lucidchart as I found it while playing with Google+.  If you have not had a chance to check it out, I implore you to do so.  It includes numerous graphic organizers on the free version.  I can only imagine what I would get if I paid for it!  I found graphic organizers for essays that I have not yet tried, but I am hoping to integrate a few of them in the curriculum this year.  The organizers are easy to manipulate to create the perfect organizer for the assignment.  It is not like some organizers where I feel like I have to change the assignment to fit the organizer or create my own from scratch.  It would be difficult to find an organizer that could not be tweaked to fit any assignment.

My EdTech501 definition graphic incorporates what I believe is important in the ever evolving field of educational technology.  

#edtech501

Here is the definition graph I made using Lucidchart.

Here is the definition graph I made using Lucidchart.

RSS in Education

You can copy and paste directly to your post page, embed an Evernote or Google Doc or any number of ways to display your artifact. Include a reflection for each artifact, along with assigning the proper AECT Standard.

As you can see in this post, the AECT Standards, “3.1 Media Utilization” and “4.4 Information Management” have been assigned to this post.

You will want to include a discussion of how the AECT Standard aligns with your artifact, why it is important, and probably revisit this artifact later in the program to identify how the artifact connects practice to theory.

You will need to decide which artifacts to use for your final portfolio for the M.E.T. program. You can easily “hide” artifacts from view by changing their status from “published” to “draft.”  That way, you will always have the artifact in your website.

Category Widget

Can you also see how the Categories widget shows the AECT Standard assigned to this post? Think about how handy this will be as you continue to post your artifacts to your learning log, assigning the AECT Standards. All you will need to do is click one of the standards in the widget and all of your posts will appear for you to review. This will come in very handy at the end of the program.