February 27, 2012

Using Our Blogs For Collaboration

Posted in My Portfolio tagged , at 10:06 am by izzatrinbago

Blogs have become a widely used tool in a variety of industries and educational settings. It is a useful way to highlight someone’s thoughts, personal reflection about what is important to an individual. In this class our blogs can be used to obtain information that we would not normally have thought about and it provides a range of perspectives on topics that are spotlighted in the media, current events and other.

Students can participate in cooperative learning allowing the class to communicate ideas or suggestions about particular topics garnering instant audience and feedback. 

We can use our blogs for collaborative discussions and projects.  Students can reflect on assignments and provide insights on what was read, discussed, raising questions, and sparking authentic conversations thus extending the lesson.

Our blogs can serve as a depository of ideas and topics to support and to promote communication, inquiry, for peers and colleagues to refer to and access readily from anywhere. 

Students can post an image, video or link to another online source which can be analyzed in relationship to how it applies to the course content.

National Education Technology Plan 2010

Posted in Technology tagged , at 9:57 am by izzatrinbago


Highlights from the National Education Technology Plan
View more PowerPoint from michelina2012

February 11, 2012

Looking at Models of Innovation in Credit Repair Programs

Posted in Reflection tagged , , , , at 4:14 pm by izzatrinbago

How Brownsville Academy High School and eCademy innovatatively and transformatively address the following core topics.

 

BROWNSVILLE ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL

 

Student Role

Student’s environment consists of smaller classes with approximately 12-17 students. They participate in both in class directed by a physical teacher and online courseware sessions. Students should be able to show they have a real understanding and a mastery of what they have learned.

Teacher / Staff Roles

Teachers utilize the DPNet system and is responsible for managing both the face to face in class session and the online part at the same time. The teacher starts off the class by reviewing content then a task is assigned to the students and the class divided accordingly.  In addition, teachers create their own content specific to their methods.

Leadership Role

This system allows leadership to focus on essential principles, performance, supportive school culture, future focus, effective supports, and enable leaders to ascertain how students are progressing on a weekly and daily basis. The short cycle assessments also provide valuable information as it relates to how and when students learn. Leaders also make sure that the core standards are being met.

School Scheduling (Creative Use of Time)

Student classes consist of 90 minutes sessions and the class is rotated between direct instruction, some DPNet-based curriculum, and some commercial online courseware. The learning system includes a student area where students can access their calendars, schedules and other communication tools. Teachers can also use the DPNet-based learning system to communicate with their colleagues and to keep abreast of students’ progress, assessments etc.

Budget

The school does not expect to have any significant savings as a result of utilizing this program. However, the inclination is the program will allow them to be able to increase both students learning time and their access to content while costs remain constant.

Learning Environment

A  Rotation Blended Model was implemented

 

eCADEMY

 

Student Role

In the initial semesters students are expected to meet face to face with teacher. If the students maintains at least a c average they are no longer required to meet in class. However, students are free to use the computer labs and there is an open door policy where students can continue to meet with teachers  face-to face-during office hours if they so desire. These students are also required to logon on to a virtual classroom for the same amount of days as they would be required to in a traditional classroom setting.

Teacher / Staff Roles

Although teachers create courses themselves  they also incorporate content from the state’s virtual high school, Ideal New Mexico and the National Repository of Online Courses. They are expected to offer two or three classes with the class size being about 30 students. They are also required to obtain a district certification in online teaching.

Teachers are available during office hours to meet with students, and utilized Blackboard with short cycle assessments which includes end of week assessments and pretest to customize pacing for students, and to post and upload information.

There are designated mentors (teacher or parent) who receive a “flag” if students have not logged on enough to their online environment. Teachers maintain a log on any communication they have with parents. Teachers are able to work and earn a decent living throughout the year

Leadership Role

The blended program has increased parent involvement and changed the dichotomy of the role leadership plays in student’s life. Instead of leadership taking on the role of disciplining students this program encourages parents and the school’s leadership working in unison for the success of the students. The success of the program has prompted leadership to envision partnership with entities and corporations like Sprint, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce etc. that will further elevate and enhance the program and allow students to take courses at their location.  In addition, technology like iPad, Cloud, 24hrs desktop support, an integrated system that will collect students assessments information and pinpoint where students need help and how this help can be given to them etc. are being considered as a means to better serve students and teachers.

School Scheduling (Creative Use of Time)

Although the classes are smaller than in a traditional school because of the schools long hours ranging from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. the school is able to accommodate the same number of students. In addition, this school fits nicely for students who are not able to attend classes during the regular class hours because of their job responsibilities

Budget

The teacher pay formula has enable eCademy to see substantial savings. Teachers are paid a set amount of $190.00 per student per class and the school can only offer classes for a few students. There is significant facility costs savings because of the size of school and as there is not a gym, shares campus space with another school building, there are few specialized rooms, the cafeteria room is used for different purposes, and the parking lot is small. This of course reduces overhead for example, security, utilities, custodial, operating costs, cafeteria expenses.

The school’s elimination of text books, paper reproduction storage expenses, as well as through the reduction of aides and support staff has also led to extensive savings for the school.

Learning Environment

Blended- Online Driver. The first meeting is face to face and students are allowed to complete the rest of the course online as long as they maintain at least a C average.

February 8, 2012

Technology and the Problem of Divided Attention

Posted in Thoughts tagged , , at 5:07 am by izzatrinbago

Why Texting in Class Is Not a Good Idea

Recently, I was browsing the internet and came across a video that at first had me thinking about how there seems to be a saturation of technology and their use. Cell phones, text messaging, computer, iPads, laptops etc. and the widely used wireless communication in a variety of settings, has led in my opinion to the creation of an issue called the problem of divided attention. Research suggests that after an individual respond to an email or a text message it takes more than 15 minutes to re-focus or resume the “task” they were previously doing before the interruption occurred. In addition, other studies indicate that the brain is unable to do two tasks at once. One task has to be relinquished in order to effectively accomplish the other. Although there is much talk about multi-tasking, according to research, our brains are not fully able to do this effectively. This video depicts a teacher’s frustration with a student texting in the classroom…. and what can happen…take a look.

Review: Insight 360™ Formative Instruction System

Posted in Technology tagged , , at 4:27 am by izzatrinbago

Description

Insight 360™ Formative Instruction System is a fully integrated system of mobile hardware and intuitive software formative instruction system consisting of Mobi 360 for iPad, and a Pulse 360 or Spark 360. It is a student response system that utilizes software, instructional material and mobile technology to help mobile users track student progress and provide feedback. Insight supports educators’ best practices and accelerates student understanding.

What I Like About It

I like that you can conduct ongoing formative assessments during the teaching process, so that more frequent information is readily available to ascertain if students understand the instruction. As instructional content is projected onto any surface at the front of the room, teachers can lead instruction from anywhere in the classroom using either a Mobi freeing them from a position at the front of the class. I also like that it combines the capabilities of a student response system with mobile interactive whiteboard technology and integrated content as part of a complete mobile formative instruction system. Finally, I like the fact that it helps strengthen instructional strategy and it can be used to foster better student progress.

 How can this innovation be used in an educational setting?

Various tasks can be assigned to groups or individuals using the devices to simultaneously show their work on open-ended formative questions. For example students might show the steps to solving a math problem and the system enables students to input from up to four devices all over the classroom.

 What I Do Not Like About It

The price of this system is a little costly and the lasting positive effect of using this system will only be seen if teachers are willing to adjust their instruction to a more interactive mode.

February 7, 2012

10 internet technologies that educators should be informed about

Posted in Technology at 5:22 am by izzatrinbago

It is harder than ever to keep students engaged in the classroom, however, there are a variety of tools and technology available for educators to incorporate in the instruction. I recently came across a list I feel will be helpful to use in the classroom and every educator should understand what these are, and their potential.

  • Video and Podcasting
  • Digital Presentation Tools
  • Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools
  • Blogs & Blogging
  • Social Networking Tools
  • Lecture Capture
  • Student Response Systems & Poll/Survey Tools
  • Educational Gaming
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Virtual Worlds
  • The iPad and other tablet devices

To view a more detail information\description of these tools, please click here

What do you think? Is this a good list? Feel free to comment and offer your insights, please. Thanks!

The Future of Browsing

Posted in Technology at 1:31 am by izzatrinbago

What will Web browsing look like in the future? Augmented reality, or AR, could be the next big leap.

Think of it as a more interactive Internet experience, taking in our physical environment and adding a layer of digital information. Companies like Aurasma are using the concept to develop a new way to browse.

SmartPlanet’s Sumi Das explains how augmented reality will help museum paintings turn into talking art teachers and ordinary billboards play movie trailers.

This video originally appeared on SmartPlanet

February 6, 2012

Why Schools Struggle to Teach Differently When Each Student Learns Differently?

Posted in Reflection tagged , , at 2:50 pm by izzatrinbago

Throughout the years I have always felt that a student’s scholastic ability is not always apparent in the classroom because of how the curriculum is set up and how some teachers teach especially difficult subjects like Chemistry, Physics, math etc., so realizing there is specific phenomenon about this called ’intellectual cliques” and reading in the book “Disrupting the classroom about what the term means and represents further solidifies my thought process.

In a classroom with students with varying learning capacity and styles I feel this phenomenon does not consider the individual student and contributes to students who fall “by the side,  do not do well in tests and are label as “not smart”.  Garner‘s theory on Multiple intelligences spotlights different views on this phenomenon and makes how people learn the focus.  A Visual Learner  will not be receptive to a teacher who simply lectures/reads without incorporating some aspect that will be aligned with the way he/she learns. This  type of instruction will allow them to be disengaged, become easily bored and loose interest and not succeed in school.

Some teachers  teach based on their own intelligence strength and might not have the wisdom to reach students with different learning modalities apart from their own and it also difficult and more time consuming for them to produce customize lessons. However, teachers have a responsibility to consider all intelligences, not only those that are similar to their own or those that were considered the tradition in the past. Unfortunately, students who are more creative in nature or musically inclined, and process their learning in terms of sounds, pattern, and rhythms will have an “uphill battle because they are faced with a “cookie cutter” curriculum or teachers in classroom who have no concept of how to inspire learning in these students. This contributes to student having low self-esteem because they will be unable to keep up with the classwork, and this will negatively affect their performance.

The shared  pattern of thinking in this phenomenon does not provide various opportunities to other students to learn and does not even consider the strength of other intelligences that exists outside of this standardize way of viewing how students learn, which  has an impact on how the curriculum is developed. When certain students are able to do well in a particular subject under this type of standardize curriculum this is seen as working and successful and supports the idea for this type of curriculum in schools. Therefore, there is  no consideration for students with different intelligences that might need a curriculum that addresses their specific learning needs. For example allowing them more time to grasp a particular concept and a more individualize instruction.

The intellectual cliques showcases the fact that people in general have strengths in certain areas whether it is being able think logically, or they excel in language skills or other subject matters. This can be a motivating factor for them to select certain disciplines to focus on in schools and transpose them in their adult lives which can affect the type of occupation they enter. It also affects the way they teach which does not afford the best education for all students who according to Howard Gardner learns differently and it is the students who can relate to the type of learning will obviously be the one who excel.

We can all identify at one point in our lives with this phenomenon never realizing that the way how the subject is taught, the curriculum etc. conflicted with the way we learn. The subjects we excel were the ones easier for us to grasp and the ones we enjoyed, paid more attention to and felt “smart” in those classes. The ones we struggle with were simply referred to as “hard” subjects. Personally, I can relate to a total block on calculus and other math related subjects which left me frustrated and wondering how can I make sense of these equations regardless of how hard I tried or how much time and effort went into trying to understand the basic concepts.  It was not until I started to take extra lessons with an after school teacher I was able to associate the concepts and the logic in way that I can understand, and was I able to successfully pass these classes.  This I can refer to as my “light bulb” or “ah ha” moment.

I believe schools can address this phenomenon by providing differentiating instruction on various levels, so lesson will encompass a spectrum of multiple intelligences. There will be instances where there will be the need to differentiate the learning environment like in the area of math, chemistry, physics, while in others the content should be differentiated facilitating the different needs that exits in the classroom, and also using tiered level activities. (McKenzie, 2003)

Accommodating the different learning modalities in a classroom can be a challenge for teachers and a schools budget can limit the resources available to them. However, it is important for teachers to be aware of these differences, so their lesson can be customized to bring about the desired learning outcomes they would like students to achieve from the instruction. Educators should incorporate innovative measures to stir student “creative juices”, their interest and to be able to motivate them.

In addition, the lesson should be “student driven” enabling students to be active participants in their own learning process. Student should be able to think, ask questions collaborate and to participate in group activities that promote responsibility and accountability, and that parallels the work environment which will further develop the skills needed in the workplace.

To overcome this struggle and to prevent “surface learning,” instead of the teacher taking on the traditional role in the classroom, he or she should be the facilitator.  This gives students a voice and there is transformation in the method of delivery of instruction by incorporating the various experiences students bring into the classroom, and the instruction then becomes more students centered. There should be lessons that include problem based learning which utilizes real world scenarios to capture all students’ attention and interest. For example students can be required to design an experiment of their choice individually or work in teams to present to the class or in a science fair. This will definitely challenge them, cause excitement and enthusiasm to work on their projects and demonstrate their understanding of the task at hand. In addition, supplement instruction by trained staff should be provided who will work separately with students who are struggling with certain subjects.

To combat the problem that exits, educators can have Online Learning or Blended Learning to include a different dimension to students learning process and provide them with different pathway to learn. This allows for flexibility, enables students learning environment to be different than the norm and the lesson to be more structured. In addition, teachers are provided with another opportunity to reach some students outside of the traditional  and the regular delivery method. Students are also able to self-pace themselves and keep up with assignment and the lesson when needed.

Instructional technologies removes the limitation that exists in traditional delivery methods, and allows the lesson to be tailored to different leaning styles making it more interesting and a fun leaning experience. It provides a richer and more in-depth instruction and helps students associate better with concepts they may not understand. It can connect or address the multiple intelligences and enable teachers to incorporate it in the activities to match the multiple learning styles in the classroom as it is easier for educators to include different elements in the instruction that’s not limited to a classroom setting or because of time.

Instructional technology brings about a shift in the role of teachers allowing them to see the benefits of utilizing these tools and how they can add to the interaction in the classroom and aid in students’ discovery and learning. It can also bring about a change in attitudes, in the pedagogy of teachers, and educators believe system giving importance to the needs of students and their individuality, improving the desired educational outcomes. It also helps by bringing about reforms in assessments practices, administration, teacher development, curriculum, school policies etc.

January 22, 2012

About Me

Posted in Brief Bio at 5:47 am by izzatrinbago

My name is Michelle and I work at Theatre Development Fund in the IT department. Technology is a very important part of my life specifically in my job responsibilities. I constantly have to learn and upgrade my skills and take  technology courses that will be an asset in my job.  I have always been interested and love technology, so my job is very fulfilling in that respect, and although I work in the IT field, in my personal life, you can always find me on the computer or tinkering with some new technology whether it is software or hardware.  In my personal life I use Desktop, laptop, iPad , cellphone  etc. consistently in a variety of ways which can range from communicating via emails, music, e-books, games, work related projects, research, quicken, testing new systems, software etc.

Reflection

Posted in Reflection at 4:38 am by izzatrinbago

Why do we need to change educational practice?

A supportive learning environment in school is essential to assist students in their college and career endeavors. Students should have a personalized learning plan that reflects their interests, goals and academic strength that will serve them well when they progress to college or in work environments.

Schools should help students thrive by allowing them to be involved in the learning process allowing students to own their various learning experiences that they will be part of which will enable them to explore topics and fields that are of interest to them, and provide the freedom they need to learn.

The traditional way of learning is not beneficial to today’s students and this technology age has challenged the pedagogical practice status quo that existed and in some places still does. Student centered instruction should be a part of the curriculum and schools should make adjustments to their curriculum and their learning process in order to provide students with an education that will allow them to have opportunities to learn what is needed in this global economy.

Effective educators should be able to provide instruction and activities that is conducive for collaboration, innovative utilizing emerging technologies for example ipad, blogging, podcast etc with rigorous content that will encourage student to analyze, be creative, use cognitive skills, be critical thinkers that will provide a more fulfilling experience in the classroom. This experience will allow students to be comfortable working in teams and with other people as this is a definite requirement in the working environment and at college level.

Teachers are instrumental in preparing students for success in colleges and the workplace. Their methods of teaching should be able to motivate students to help them think logically and for the transition to college and their career choices to be a positive one. Also teaching should not be only delegated to the classroom but the learning process should provide students with different environments\ avenues to learn outside of the classroom like going on field trips, community services, museum, etc. Giving students different opportunities to learn being mindful of the different learning styles that exist in the classroom i.e. example Kinestic, Visual, Verbal etc.

Schools should aligned and partner themselves with corporations and organizations who are able to provide suitable internships/ and or mentors for students to get relevant experience and see firsthand how the work environment is and become familiar with it even while in school. Participating in internships students will better be able to understand why it is necessary to learn certain subjects they might feel is not important.

Since todays students are very technological inclined and rely heavily on it in almost every area especially outside of the classroom the learning process has to be adaptive to it and educators need to incorporate some of these tools/ devices to assist in keeping students engaged whether it is to work on projects in teams, use the internet to complete assignments a to correspond with their teacher etc.

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