End of Course Observations 12-10-2011Leslie Pirtle, Information Access & the Internet, INST 523 Professor Thanh Nguyen, Bridgewater State University
Week 1 Blackboard Netiquette and Academic Integrity Introduction and Home Page Collaborative Learning Agreement Checklist
Blackboard Observations• Given the minimal changes in BB since the late 90’s I would like to see it: – Update the look and feel – Add the ability to sort posts by student, date and number of listings – Allow for embedded media in posts – Add a built-in html generator – Include emoticons in its toolbar – Remove the ―Go‖ button next to ―Select All‖ –because it doesn’t ―go‖ anywhere!
Netiquette Observations• The most helpful ―take away‖ from this material for me was the reminder to use a more pointed subject line rather than simply saying ―help!‖ or ―hello‖ – I have been making this effort and striving to use a subject that would be easily searchable as well• Netiquette has not been a problem with my online University of Phoenix (U of Px) students, but it is a very important topic for my primary students
Academic Integrity Observations• Academic Integrity, Student Tutorial is an excellent resource that I will return to frequently – The ―You write…‖ ―Is it plagiarism?‖ format is an outstanding way of helping learners to sort through the thorny issues and gray areas of what and when to cite (Colorado Community Colleges Online, n.d.)
Introduction and Home Page Observations• Our cohort is comprised of a rich tapestry of learners• Yet, our shared similarities made me feel very much at home. Commonalities for me included being a: – South Shore resident – Silver Lake HS alum – Bridgewater alum – Classroom teacher – Technology teacher – Former college administrator
Collaborative Learning Agreement Checklist Reflections• I didn’t like this system at the beginning but tried to approach it with an open mind. After long and careful consideration, I concluded that as a matter of teaching style, I would be unlikely to use this with my online classes• I prefer the tracking of posts to be automated. I think learners’ time is better spent working with the subject matter rather than these ―housekeeping‖ functions• I worry that this system could actually serve to limit conversation—if the student is only required to interact with four people in a given week, where is the incentive to read all of the posts?• I appreciate that the underlying rationale is to ensure that no student is ignored. I just prefer to do this on a case-by-case basis through my facilitation. (Perhaps this makes me a control freak?)
Week 2 • Telecommunication & The Internet • Internet Safety • Bullies in Cyberspace
Telecommunication and the Internet Safety Observations• In the use of telecommunications, the technology coordinator’s duty to students is to protect them from that which is harmful to them as well as to guard their rights to privacy – This entails having a solid, knowledge of what is developmentally appropriate for each grade level as well as a clear understanding of parents’ and administrators’ expectations.• Cyberbullying – I feel the best tools for helping children understand the effects of cyberbullying are lessons in which they are asked to role play and watch videos that help develop empathy for victims. – The message about cyber bulling should not be a one-off lesson, but rather, reinforced as an ongoing message through signs in the lab as well as verbal and electronic reminders.
Week 3• AUP• Copyright• Legal and Ethical Issues
AUP, Observations• The school’s Acceptable Use Policy should be written to reflect expectations of parents and administrators for what is safe and appropriate for the school’s learners.• The AUP should be periodically reviewed to ensure that it is addressing current trends in both technology and user behavior.• This problems with AUPs in schools can be: – Too specifically or too vaguely framed – Ignorance by faculty and students of its existence – A wide disparity between ―what it says‖ and how its implemented – Not addressing current trends and technologies
Copyright, Observations• While Copyright Law and Fair Use Doctrine offer tests against which to gauge whether or not a work is protected, there are still gray areas.• The technology coordinator must stay abreast of how the laws are changing and being interpreted in order to protect the schools and individuals• After dedicating a lot of time to reading and studying copyright issues this semester, I am still uncomfortable with my limited knowledge. I feel I just do not yet know enough to make informed decisions when ―gray area‖ arise.
Laws I Learned About• The technology coordinator must stay abreast of laws enacted to protect the privacy of children as well as to shield them from viewing that which is deemed harmful and inappropriate. These include: – The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPA) – Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). – Federal Education Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Information Portability Act (HIPA) – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – The Broadband Data Information Act of 2010 – Copyright law & Fair Use – The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001 (TEACH)
Legal, Ethical and Safety Issues, Observations• This unit helped me to feel fairly secure in my ability to understand and comply with laws pertaining to children’s privacy and safety.• Because of parental and administrative expectations, we err on the side caution regarding what the students are exposed to• My efforts this past trimester have been to help children develop judgment about what they view. I pair this with time management concepts. Students are asked: – What does inappropriate mean? – How do you decide what is inappropriate? – What do you do if you view something that makes you uncomfortable? – Is this the best way to be spending your time online? Why or why not?• The Common Sense Media Curriculum is an effective way to promote safety and good judgment among students in the lab. The only drawback is the lack of time to go into greater depth. (Common Sense Media. 2011).
Week 5• What is Technology Integration?• Examples of Web Resource Design• Digital Natives• Designing an Effective Website• Flow charts
What is Technology Integration? Observatons• Okojie, Olinzock & Okojie-Boulder, (2003) state: Technology should be implemented in the classroom only if its role in a given instruction is determined along with pedagogical issues related to a given instructional task. The role of technology in education can only be determined if teachers who implement technology at the classroom level are involved in technology decision- making because teachers have the responsibility of facilitating instruction• In my opinion, these scholars are stating the very obvious ideal which in practice is the exception, rather than the rule. Some schools may be a full generation away from this happening.• While some of the teachers I work with are beginning to integrate technology, it is anything but seamless at this point. For example, one teacher recently directed his students to: 1. Write a paper using MS Word 2. Use the internet to find images 3. Print the images, cut them out with scissors and glue them into the Word document
Week 6• Identify your target audience• The purpose of your website resources• Identify goals of your website resources by trying to answer 7 items in Chapter 3 (general goals, audience/learners, subject matter, objectives, prerequisites, aims, rationales)
Audience and Purpose of My Website• Having the opportunity to choose the audience and purpse of my curriculum web was very helpful both to me as author and to my teachers for whom the site was conceived.• Because I personally know each member of my target audience, I could be certain that none would require assistive technologies to view my site. This permitted me to create a purely Flash site. While there are technologies that will allow for visually impaired person to experience a Flash based site, the Wix WYSWYG application did not offer the option to add alt text to my links or images.• The objective of my website was to offer highly palatable ―spoonfuls‖ of information about the Mimio Interactive whiteboard, its benefits and ease of use in the classroom.
Instruction, Assessment & Resources• Although I feel proficient at making rubrics, I believe that assessments are overall a weakness for me.• I do agree with Jackson (2002) that online assessments can be very engaging for students. My students seem to enjoy them and I like that they give them instant feedback.• The material provided in this unit was very helpful. I will take more time to review and reflect upon it.• I found the search strategy resources helpful and will add them to the lessons I have created for my middle school students
Project Drafts 1 and 2, Observations• Having your website critiqued by others is a bit like giving birth after a long and painful labor, only to have people tell you your baby is fine, but also a little ugly and wrinkled. Yet, unlike with newborns, frank critique of nascent websites is highly valuable!• My test subjects included my professor and classmates in INST 523, three former colleagues who teach web design at Wake Technical Community College, one webmaster and a former professor who is now a PhD candidate in Social Media Psychology.
Selected Observations by Web Design Educators• With so much Flash, I was wondering about accessibility. How does it look on a mobile device? Hit area for arrows on create lessons could be larger - especially on film strip. Not sure I would like opening random files to watch video, prefer them as part of the site. Color contrast between yellow background & white text on leave feedback is not so good. Looks like you have been working hard!! (Consol, 2011)• MIMIO looks amazing! I found it confusing from the home page - while it says click the Mimio tab - I kept trying to get the bubble to work - eventually figured it out. Overall I like the tab structure - once I got it, could easily go between different options. (Seo, 2011)• I like the layout, color, sections basically layout is quite nice and effective. There is an initial slow response to load site and some sections but that is the only negative i see. I get who the audience is meant for so there seems to be a nice balance between static and interactive content. I don’t see any reason to make changes except for the response time of loading. I rechecked with safari and Firefox on my pc and looks and works well. i also used my flash browser on my Ipad and it also works well. (Sotille, 2011)
Response to Feedback• While I had checked my site on Firefox, Chrome, IE 32 bit, and Safari, one of my test users reminded me to ensure that my site renders properly on handheld devices. This was not a concern when I was teaching web design in early Y2K and it is not something I thought about now because I do not use my cell phone for Internet access.• I found it intriguing that my tagline and one of my animated graphics elicited polar opposite reactions from my classmates. It demonstrates how important it is to have a wide selection of test users who resemble my target audience. – I removed the animation – I hope to construct a better tagline
Technical Issues• After quite a bit of study, I found the Wix site and WYSIWYG application fairly easy to understand and navigate. The site offers the ability to create a site from scratch as well as templates at varying levels of difficulty• I chose a moderately challenging template that allowed me the flexibility to make some changes• The ―Wixipedia, Videos and Webinars‖ were easy to search and rendered clear and helpful directions• The only thing I was unable to fix was the Facebook Widget that seems to ―drift‖ from one spot to another each time I bring up the site. Wix addresses this: ―The Wix HTML Widget is here - but its still in Beta! Wix is a Flash platform and we offer support directly related to our product. By adding external HTML code you are adding products /code we have not created or tested.‖ ("Wix support," 2011)
My Next Steps: Site Changes and Improvements• I would like to create some detailed help/troubleshooting documentation for Mimio and add it to my website• I would also like to develop an archive of quality lessons using Mimio Studio 8 (I was able to locate very few)• One tweak that I need to make on my site is to go back into my ―Create Lessons‖ page and fix the hit area on the buttons that lead to the movies. I need to create a Transparent shape, send it behind each black button, group the two objects together and then reinsert the links and behaviors. (There are 26 of them, so this will be a little time consuming)• If the site grows substantially, I will need to add a search feature and a site map page.• I would like to add a widget that allows users to ―add a link.‖
My Next Steps: Promoting The Site• Had planned to present in detail using the projector at a staff meeting. Had to cut it short when the principal asked me to present on something else.• Addition of the site’s URL to my e-mail signature• Will send e-mail blast to faculty notifying them of any changes or additions to the site
My Next Steps: Future Websites• Now that I have learned to use Wix, I think it would be an excellent solution for showcasing student work. I do not foresee accessibility issues as we are a private school with a very homogenous demographic in terms of ability (our one visually impaired student recently left to attend a school where she could be better accommodated)• As much as I enjoyed working with Wix, for next web project I will be scaling the learning curve or the First Class web page author
Concluding Observations• This experience afforded me the opportunity to develop a curriculum web with more structure than I have done in the past. It was very worthwhile.• This course helped me add to my knowledge the legal and ethical issues of instructional technology• I still feel that I have a long way to in developing a working knowledge in the areas of assessments and copyright
SourcesColorado Community Colleges Online. (n.d.). Academic integrity student tutorial. Retrieved from http://www.ctdlc.org/Members/Hot_Topics/AcademicIntegrity/Students/CaseD.htmlCommon Sense Media. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/alignment-gradek- commoncore.pdfConsol, A. M.Ed.Internet Technologies Department Head Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, North Carolina. A. (2011, November 29). Interview by L Pirtle [Personal Interview]. E-mail exchange.Cunningham, C. A., & Billingsley, M. (2011). Curriculum webs. (2nd Edition ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Firpo-Cappiello,R. ASCAP & Schreer, S.P. BMI. (Composers). (2011). Wings of the wind. [Song]. Retrieved from http://freeplaymusic.com/search/category_search.php?t=f&i=50Jackson, L. (2002). Motivate while you integrate technology: Online assessment . Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech125.shtmlPentilla, B., M.Ed., Former Internet Technologies Department Head, Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, North Carolina (2011, November 30). Interview by L Pirtle [Personal Interview]. Facebook exchange.Okojie, M., Olinzock, A. A., & Okojie-Boulder, T. C. (2003). The pedagogy of technology integration Epsilon Pi Tau. Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JOTS/v32/v32n2/okojie.html
Sotille, L, Instructor, .Internet Technologies Department ,Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh North Carolina, A. (2011, November 28). Interview by L Pirtle [Personal Interview]. Facebook exchange.Smile Templates. (2011). Look powerpoint template. Retrieved from http://www.smiletemplates.com/free-templates/powerpoint- templates/1/0/6.htmlSeo, Catherine, PhD Candidate in Media Psychology, Fielding Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara California. (2011, December 1). Interview by L Pirtle [Personal Interview]. Facebook exchangeWix support. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.wix.com/support/