EdTech 513: Week 2: Discussion Board

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EdTech 513: Assignment 1: Creating My Learning Log

Ah!  Its a new class and this is the first post in creating my learning log.  In this course we will be using free open source  software to create our projects.   Some open source programs that I keep returning to use include: Prezi, Google Sites, WordPress, Glogster, and Weebly to name a few.

What I hope to learn from this class is get an understanding of how to use different media to produce quality learning materials.  My overall goal for obtaining a Masters in Educational Technology is because I love technology and wanted to find a good approach to learn how to focus on skills for improved performance at all levels of education, in a classroom.

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EdTech 505: Week 5: Decision Making: Whom to Involve, How, and Why (Chapter 3)

This week we covered how monitoring and evaluation are related and how decisions can be made using evaluation results.   What is very important is to have management and stakeholders all apprised and involved in evaluation from beginning to the end.   Everyone who has a vested interest in a successful program should have a way to take part and contribute their views and insights as their individual aims will be driven by their own interests.

Discuss Table 3.1 – Program Planning Cycle and Evaluation Activities (pp. 62-3). Pros/cons. Something you disagree with? Where does “monitoring” occur? Anything missing? Bring in any prior experience you might have with such a planning cycle. Will this model fit with the program/project you discussed in the chap. 1 and the subsequent assignments? Other aspects of chapter three you’d like to discuss? Other planning cycles you’ve used?

Table 3.1 provides a table format that is easy to follow, though I noticed that looking at the program cycle (figure 3.1) on page 51 of the text it includes philosophy and goals as part of the cycle.  Boulmetis & Dutwin (2005, p.50) note, “If the evaluator looks at the organization’s mission and goals, decisions regarding the appropriateness of programs or program activities can be examined before the program begins”.  Philosophy and Goals is really the foundation to begin from when looking at a program cycle.

Under the “Needs Assessment” discussion on p.51, I had to giggle when I read about “the gut feeling” and how many times I have seen decisions made by gut feeling for needs.  In a needs assessment a specific program, resource / material hasn’t been selected yet, and definitely not driven by gut feeling.  By clarifying goals and identifying needs it will help make that link between the program goals and what it is that you are trying to achieve.

The program cycle is and will fit into my class project:

  • Philosophy & Goals: provides the foundation for the project identifying mission and goals.  My project is to implement a social networking program and communication tool into teacher’s classrooms.  Why?  The school site is not using this form of technology to provide swifter communication to students.  The Edmodo program will provide the bridge to do so along with meeting the school districts 21st century educational technology goals.
  • Needs Assessment: An evaluation would help ensure that the project in consideration would both efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the stakeholders involved: Administration, teachers, and students.
  • Program Planning: This is where a lot happens from identifying and creating material to choosing methods of evaluation for quantitative and qualitative measures.  For my project, there will be a series of three evaluation methods: pre-survey, lesson(s) survey, and post surveys.  Though for my project this may be limited due to the time-frame of this class project.
  • Implementation and Formative Evaluation:  At this stage there will be a website set-up to provide an introduction to the project and lessons to cover all instructional goals.  Surveys are listed as well, and can be accessed right after each learning module.  The staff training will be completed all at one time for all instructors with staff available at all times.
  • Summative Evaluation: This will be based on results from surveys and analysis of all data.  Recommendations will be included in the final report.

This weeks assignment:

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EdTech 505: Week 4: Writing the Evaluation Report & Appendix B (Chapter 9)

This week was all about evaluation reports.

Discussion Board post:

I have finally decided to do my evaluation project on the use of Edmodo.  The school district has chose to implement a way to increase the uses of 21st technology in the school for admin, staff (teachers) and students.   They chose Edmodo as it is a content management system where teachers can use this for their class instructions on one subject to all subjects.  As of now, no one has implemented anything of this sort.  The training of Edmodo is to be given over a period of time (twice a month).  During this time is where I am thinking is the best time to do an evaluation.  The evaluation will include check list of items completed and then compare them to items implemented.  In addition, things that will be evaluated are students use. There will be surveys at two intervals and just before the end of this class so I can make use out of the evaluation project.

Discuss Appendices B (Sample Eval Report) and C (Sample Evaluation Contract) in the Boulmetis & Dutwin text. Any surprises? Any expected content missing? Anything that confirmed what you already thought? Anything contradictory? How’s this information align with the outline for your own Evaluation Project-Course Project?

Appendix B:

The Sample Evaluation Report is very helpful.  I would go as far to say that this evaluation was not written for the funding grant providers.  There are items missing such as the cover, executive summary, and data sheets that help bring the analysis of the data that is included in the report.   I found the notes inserted were helpful to point out why the introduction was not as detailed.  This point should be included in the final report for the funding agency.  In order for this evaluation to be duplicated by another group, the information included needs to provide all the evidence that made the program successful (or not).

Appendix C:

The Sample Evaluation Contract appears to be a document that you would use for preparing for a grant.  This section list what will be done covering evaluation questions and plan.  Each section provides how it will be addressed, how data will be collected, the activities, and the data sources.  The final part lists the projected budget.  It would have been nice to include the data source forms that are to be used for the evaluation.  I noticed that there may be discrepancies between the length of time of the project (one year) and no dates set for pre, interim and post-tests.  In the projected budget I would want to know more details about what a Fringe cost is/are.  There are many vague areas listed that are too general.  Perhaps a more detailed approach would help this.   Even with all this, a person can get a feel for what is entailed in an evaluation contract.  Both documents can be used as an example as they show some facts about a program project and what they have included in them.

Assignments for this week:

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EdTech 505: Week 3: Decision Making: Whom to Involve, How, and Why

 

Discuss Table 3.1 – Program Planning Cycle and Evaluation Activities (pp. 62-3). Pros/cons. Something you disagree with? Where does “monitoring” occur? Anything missing? Bring in any prior experience you might have with such a planning cycle. Will this model fit with the program/project you discussed in the chap. 1 and the subsequent assignments? Other aspects of chapter three you’d like to discuss? Other planning cycles you’ve used?

Table 3.1 provides a table format that is easy to follow, though I noticed that looking at the program cycle (figure 3.1) on page 51 of the text it includes philosophy and goals as part of the cycle.  Boulmetis & Dutwin (2005, p.50) note, “If the evaluator looks at the organization’s mission and goals, decisions regarding the appropriateness of programs or program activities can be examined before the program begins”.  Philosophy and Goals is really the foundation to begin from when looking at a program cycle.

Under the “Needs Assessment” discussion on p.51, I had to giggle when I read about “the gut feeling” and how many times I have seen decisions made by gut feeling for needs.  In a needs assessment a specific program, resource / material hasn’t been selected yet, and definitely not driven by gut feeling.  By clarifying goals and identifying needs it will help make that link between the program goals and what it is that you are trying to achieve.

The program cycle is and will fit into my class project:

Philosophy & Goals: provides the foundation for the project identifying mission and goals.  My project is to implement a social networking program and communication tool into teacher’s classrooms.  Why?  The school site is not using this form of technology to provide swifter communication to students.  The Edmodo program will provide the bridge to do so along with meeting the school districts 21st century educational technology goals.

Needs Assessment: An evaluation would help ensure that the project in consideration would both efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the stakeholders involved: Administration, teachers, and students.

Program Planning: This is where a lot happens from identifying and creating material to choosing methods of evaluation for quantitative and qualitative measures.  For my project, there will be a series of three evaluation methods: pre-survey, lesson(s) survey, and post surveys.  Though for my project this may be limited due to the time-frame of this class project.

Implementation and Formative Evaluation:  At this stage there will be a website set-up to provide an introduction to the project and lessons to cover all instructional goals.  Surveys are listed as well, and can be accessed right after each learning module.  The staff training will be completed all at one time for all instructors with staff available at all times.

Summative Evaluation: This will be based on results from surveys and analysis of all data.  Recommendations will be included in the final report.

Assignment for week three:

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EdTech 505: Week 2 discussion

Chapter one really gets you thinking about many ways evaluations are and can be used. The two definitions are similiar but different at the same time. Take for instance, scenario one, and the gardening program. If during an evaluation you measure the overall succes by attendance, it would be a measurable item (quantative). Now, how do you value someones perception of the program and the impact on the attendee’s. This is something that you could probably use an evaluation sheet check off list for all types of impact improvements: mental health, physical health, and garden results.

After reading what I have learned is that the first evaluation technique would be used like a business approach, especially if you are applying for a grant from an organization.

Once I had been called in to help a department head fix her grant application that had been denied, when it had been funded for the past six years. When I looked at what was sent in I could see that there was no tangible data to look at. When the grant application was resubmitted, it was funded for the next three years and had received an addition $10 K per year. That was my first time actually working on a grant with someone and was able to help improve the overall outcome.

Karrie Cox

I made a Prezi for the assignment.

Here is assignment 2:

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EdTech 504: Module 5 Reflection

This course has given me a better understanding of the 3 major strands of learning (i.e. behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism). Noting that they don’t always stand alone, but rather are mixed together as part of a collective whole for how learning takes place. In order for effective learning to take place, all three major learning theories must be implemented, sometimes individually, and at other times simultaneously.

What I found interesting is how each learning theory has evolved and transformed, a living organism. As technology tools change, education is transformed. How classrooms have evolved from learning rote knowledge to learning how to deal with information. Students are more involved and take more control of their learning and learning how to apply this new found knowledge into real world application(s).

Finally, when I began working on my synthesis paper, I had read much of the research on the effectiveness of web based tools and how much of what has been created can be enriched by incorporating a variety of emerging technology tools. My synthesis paper revolved around using Flipped Learning and explains how all three theories of learning are incorporated. That this type of educational technology tool can be powerful, both for students and educators, by providing just in time help when it is needed and can help track individualized learning. Curiously enough, though, I had not been convinced of their usefulness as learning device since there is not a lot of evidence available. Then it’s funny how we can be oblivious to the things that are right under our noses.
Over this course I have learned so much and how learning theories can work together. I had always thought my school of thought of learning is/was strongly based in constructivism, only to find out that there was more than that incorporated in my previous projects.
Well, here it is, my final blog. I have learned so much while taking Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology. Before this course, I was aware of a couple different schools of thought in educational theories. Now, I am aware of so many more theories and have found out that instead of one theory, in my case constructivism, I have realized that my teaching style is actually a combination of many different theories.

I am really glad that our schools are changing curriculum to meet the needs of our 21st century wire students. We really need to be on their playing field in order to help them help themselves for a brighter future. Technology is here to stay, and it is our jobs as educators to find out how best to use it to get the greatest benefit. We must make sure that technology is used to help us reach a goal.

Unfortunately, I still see some educators that are not up to snuff in their classrooms, though I don’t know if that is from the school district(s) restrictions or if they are just waiting out their time until retirement. We must make sure that our use of technology as educators is well thought out and planned and goes along with our personal educational theory to create the best learning environment possible.

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