Thursday, May 24, 2012

Module 6

I provided feedback to Vida Martin and Martha Thibbodeau

Module 6 Post

 I believe the one thing that is critical and non-negotiable in both teaching is that all students be provided with an equal opportunity to succeed. It is the teachers job to provide that opportunity, but it is the learners job to cease the opportunity.

Although some students may come in far below grade level, it is still possible for all students to achieve success when provided the right opportunities. Throughout this course, we have read and discussed various learning theories that imply methodologies and practices that can be applied to promote student learning. If teachers have students who are struggling due to a lack of motivation, the behaviorist theory can be applied in a sense where students recieve positive reinforcement whenever they complete an outcome as desired by the teacher. If the problem stems from a student who appears to be disengaged, the teacher can try integrating Gardner's multiple theories of intelligences to accomodate the students preferred learning style. In the case where a student is simply struggling to grasp a concept due to limited background knowledge, the teacher may want to start off by applying the connectivist theory in which the student is encouraged to corroborate with other students who may be able to enlighten the struggling student in ways in which the teacher wasn't.

All in all, there are so many approaches educators can take to ensure success in all students. As long as teachers acknolwedge that "one size does not fit all" they will be doing their students justice as they incorporate a multitude of theoretical approaches to meet the various needs of their students.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Module 5

I provided feedback to Laura Lee and Vida Martin.

Module 5

Recently, I encouraged my fellow faculty members to utilize Google Docs to facilitate department meetings and collaboratively record meeting minutes. For the most part, the (math) department that I am a part of of was very supportive and willing to try this new approach. However, many of the other staff members appeared to lack enthusiasm and viewed Google Docs as an addition to the technological demands to which they were already trying to adjust and incorporate in daily routines. The behaviors were not rude or pessimistic, but instead, were rather passive and lacking in any visible signs of enthusiasm or willingness to try. Using Keller's Model, the motivation of my colleagues can definitely be changed.

As Driscoll (2005) suggested, I would first want to get the attention of my colleagues. Using a staff meeting as my platform, I could project the creation and participation in a Google Doc so everyone could see how simple it is to do. I could enhance the relevance by explaining how it is difficult for us to travel from classroom to classroom throughout the day - - and this technological tool allows us to communicate and collaborate without being face to face. In addition, when we assign one member of a team to create an artifact such as a lesson plan or a quiz, there is disappointment when the finished product does not reflect everyone's standards of quality. With the use of Google Docs, all members of a team can collaborate in the creation of artifacts together. This is turn builds confidence in each member since they are a contributing factor. Lastly, there is a general satisfaction since the contributors and administrators can view the 'revision history' in the Google Docs to see the contributions that every member of the team made. That way, the administration can be satisfied that every member of the team is on board. And the members of the various teams can be satisfied in knowing that there contributions do not go unacknowledged.

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Module 4

Connectivism Theory takes into account the fact that learning and knowledge are acquired differently today in comparison to past years. I chose to represent my mindmap in this particular fashion due to the fact that many areas encompass other areas as well. For example, when I think of aquiring information, I realize that can be done by accessing resources in isolation. Whereas, acquiring knowledge can also be the result of engaging in cooperative environment in which individuals work togeter or in collaborative environments in which individuals contribute together. Therefore, it was difficult for me to separate the entities into separate categories since there is an obvious overlap in the nature of all areas depicted in my mindmap.

In terms of how my portrayed networks have change the way I learn, I would say the time and quality have improved. The timing has improved in terms of efficiency in learning. Rather than waiting to learn or discover on my own or in isolation, I am able to collaborate with other educators (who are more experienced with technology integration) and discover new ideas through them. My learning is no longer limited to exposure to people in my same enviroment. I am able to access a plethora of ideas via people from different geographic areas with varying level of experience as it applies to educational technology. With this is mind, the quality of my learning is enhanced since it is broader due to the exposure to diverse opinions via modern technologies (Siemens, 2004). The collaboration that is also available online has added to the quality since my shortcomings can be corrected by others and vice versa.

To reiterate the impact that digital technology has had on my learning, I will expound on my use of Google Docs. For the first time, the math department at my school used Google Docs as a platform to facilitate our weekly meetings. I shared the document with my building administrators and district leaders to show them how powerful this tool could be to promote collaboration (contributing together) and decrease cooperation (simply working together). In the past, the math department has always split up responsibilities. The problem with this was quality control and timing. Timing was a problem since some individuals would not complete their assigned task within the specified timeframe. And quality was a problem since there was one person working on each component and there were varying standards of expectations with regards to what quality work should look like. Utilizing Google shared documents will resolve this matter since all members of our team will contribute to the creation and development of the documents (lesson plans,formative/summative assessments, meeting minutes, team goals, etc.) and can address any revisions or editing issues up front in lieu of waiting to see an error filled artifact that was completed in isolation by one member of our team.

When I have questions, I am now able to learn by posting those questions in an open it a social network such as facebook or a educational form such as the Class Cafe in my online course. I can also do a Google search to find the answer to my question as well. I no longer have to spend tedious hours reading through pages of material or waiting to encounter an experience that will help answer my question. Efficiently being able to find an answer via the computer and assess the quality of the answer based on credible sources are two of the benefits that connectivism theory correlates with many of the digital age technologies included in my mindmap.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from

Tuesday, April 10, 2012