CEP 822: Approaches to Educational Research
Instructors: E. David Wong, PhD, Sandra Sawaya
In order to understand the language of educational research, I was introduced to a new vocabulary based on empirical studies, data interpretation, and statistics. There were several components of this class centered around the idea of evaluating information and debating its findings and credibility.
We discussed science misconceptions throughout the class and used this as a guideline for formulating questions and assessing student understanding. For the first mini-research project, my group surveyed ten elementary age students and asked them about direct and indirect sunlight. Here is my report on our findings of this project.
For my second mini-research project, we focused on surveys and analyzing results. I created a survey regarding shopping habits and received data from twelve individuals. Here is a copy of my survey, my Summary of Means with a representational graph, and a Short Report of my findings.
The major project for CEP 822 consisted of identifying an issue within education that could benefit from technology. I chose to learn more about using smartphones and mobile devices for learning in a classroom setting. My initial thoughts were that these devices do not belong in a classroom environment. However, as I read and evaluated articles on both sides of the argument, I began to see how these devices could be beneficial. One of the main components stressed throughout the course was not to limit ourselves to preconceived notions. We needed to think objectively and base our work on the pros and cons of the issue. This project truly enabled me to see the utilization of these tools in a completely different mindset.
For this project, we needed to complete three separate sections, which were then combined at the end of the course. I wrote a Focus and Rationale of my issue, completed a comprehensive Literature Review, and envisioned the Research Design component in the event that I chose to study and analyze this issue within education. Here is my Final Proposal of the three sections in one pdf document complete with feedback and revisions.
CEP 800: Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings
Instructors: Zach Mural, PhD, Sandra Sawaya
CEP 800 addresses the ideas of assessing understanding and learning. How can these two core ideas be taught to ensure that educators are effectively instructing students while using technology-based instructional interventions?
The psychology of learning and the study of several major psychologists and their work was a primary focus for this course. Topics we discussed were the Cognitive Theory of Learning, Cognitive Constructivism, Social Constructivism, as well as the ideas of schemas, disequilibration, and assimilating new ideas into current thought patterns.
To learn more about these theories from a practical, real-world perspective, I completed several projects. Using Audacity, I interviewed my 7th grade niece and asked her questions relating to the topic of who discovered America. The purpose of this assignment was not to evaluate her knowledge, but to understand her understanding. Here is an mp3 file of my Audio Podcast Interview. You can also access it from my blog.
I also learned more information about digital storytelling. For this project, I wanted to tackle the issue of counting back change. Students are introduced to the concept of money at an early age, in school and in their everyday lives. Our world is a commerce-based society. I wanted to explore the idea of how much change a consumer would receive when they purchased an item. For this assignment, I worked with my other niece, a 4th grade student. I took digital photographs, added them to iMovie, and recorded my narration from a script I created using Celtx before uploading my final product to YouTube. Here is a pdf of my script and my final digital storytelling project. You may also view my work on my blog.
Finally, I wrote a Lesson Plan designed for second grade students in which I planned to learn and understand what my students knew about the parts of speech. I wanted to know if they could identify and correctly use the different types of words that compose our language. Once the lesson had been taught, I wrote a reflection of my Lesson Implementation so that I could determine how well my students understood the concepts I presented and what types of learning theories were present.
CEP 815: Technology and Leadership
Instructors: Nick Sheltrown, PhD, Andrew J. Saltarelli
The focus of this course was to enable students to think about “the aims of education, the history/evolution of technology, the principles of leadership, and the intersection of these three element.” (Taken from the course syllabus.)
While the idea of working with technology in education was not a new element, the true challenge came to thinking in terms of leadership. How can an effective leader implement changes and migrate a school toward embracing technology? It’s an unfortunate fact that the state of education is constantly scrutinized and some educators voice their opinions that “It’s always been taught like this, so why should we change now?”. However, change and leadership for that change is what is needed.
By learning how to address these issues and finding the balance between education, technology, and leadership, we can begin to direct our schools toward understanding the long-term benefits. Since communication is vital to this effort, we focused on writing concise messages (“tweets”) in regards to different issues each student felt was worthy of attention. Here is a link to my 5 Tweets Assignment where responses for different leadership types were compared and contrasted.
Also within this course, I created a visual presentation of the article “7 Transformations of Leadership” by David Rooke and William R. Torbert to demonstrate a significant idea. Here is a link to my Prezi: Leadership Action Logics.
For my final project, I designed a sustainable technology project that could be implemented in my school and successfully continue being used if I leave the district. My Sustainable Technology Project Proposal for integrating a wiki for students to use details the learning problem, a technology-based solution, funding the solution, a path for implementation, and core communication. As was one of the course objectives, it addresses the balance between education, technology, and leadership.
CEP 820: Teaching K – 12 Students Online
Instructors: Michelle Schira Hagerman, Ammon Wilcken
Examining ways in which K-12 teachers can bring the world into their classrooms with technology to better meet the educational needs of students. The course focuses on ways in which teachers and students can broadcast their ideas and information to the outside world for purposes of collaboration and communication. The course includes discussions of various online learning management systems including their functions, strengths, and weaknesses along with the exploration of various teaching methodologies and how they should be used in the online environment to ensure teaching and learning success.
The objective for this course was to create an online course using a course (or learning) management system, CMS or LMS. The only previous experience I had with course management systems was as a student using the ANGEL system through MSU. I was amazed by the different platforms available and their capabilities. And best of all, many of these tools are free! After evaluating several choices, I decided to create my online course using Haiku LMS.
This course forced me to consider my teaching pedagogy and learning objectives and how I can relate content to all students, especially if we are not meeting face-to-face on a daily basis. My thinking also evolved toward understanding the benefit of fully experiencing and appreciating the journey as much as the final product. This resulted in my consideration of having students focus on the content throughout the course rather than projects which may or may not be remembered once they have completed the class. I see how important it is for students to try to learn a new concept and be able to apply it toward their overarching goals rather than cramming it into their short-term memories for an exam that is valued more than the learning process. Content, not grades, should be the major focus for any learning experience.
I created a course for middle school students in which they will learn about different aspects of the artistic culture (art, artists, sculptures, and architecture) of Rome, Italy. For each module within the course, students will engage in a different type of writing or technology-based assignment either independently or by collaborating with classmates. Here is a link to my course Roman and Writing. It has been created through the Haiku LMS, so you will need to create an account in order to access the course. Here is also a pdf link to my Developer’s Notebook that details my journey through the course and what helped shape my decisions as I created my online course.
CEP 807: Capstone in Educational Technology
Instructors: Dr. Matthew J. Koehler, Penny Thompson, William Cain
For the final course toward my educational technology degree, I am creating my online portfolio in WordPress. The purpose of this portfolio is to highlight the work I have accomplished through various projects and the use of technology and to share this work with a global audience.