Edtech 503 Instructional Design Reflection

Module 1

The word design to me is when an idea is taken, worked, and created into something tangible. Instructional design to me encompasses standards, materials, and activities culminating them into effective tools for instruction. Systematic instructional design to me means what it name implies. It is design with a purpose in mind. There is a rhyme, reason, and method in reaching goals for a unit.

Instructional design relates to educational technology by technology being one of the tools used to create an effective unit of instruction. I believe that educational technology is an important tool for instructional design, but I don’t believe that creating an effective unit depends solely on the use of technology. I believe that instructional design is important with or without technology being incorporated, but use of technology in education is more effective with instructional design.

I always start with the standards and the question, “what do I want my students to learn?” I think about what kind of assessment I want to do such as a report, presentation, or standard test and make sure that all the activities are designed to get the students to that point. This procedure helps me with making sure proper goals are met and pacing.

I am thinking about doing an instructional lesson on how to create a database for classroom use. I have done this before, but I want to learn more. I have seen it used in the classroom by the students to create a “classroom database” over a certain topic (I’m leaning towards the planets). I believe this type of project will create an authentic learning experience for the students as well as teach them another use of technology.

Module 2

There are a few things that I would apply after reading peer feedback about my project.

1. I need to make sure that there is a clear plan for addressing the learning gap.  I can apply that here as well.  I am not worried about the students and technology as much as I am about content.

2. Some of my peers made great points about how to use the database for use later on. Either at a different grade level for research, or even adding information to the database.

3. I will add a diagnostic to the beginning of the unit. This is what I do for all of my units. I give a snapshot “test” divided up into the standards in a unit. Then I myself keep a database with my roster and the standards. I mark which student has the most prior knowledge of which standards. This helps me figure out which standard needs the most time, or which students I may need to pull out. It also helps with grouping. I can group according to ability with standards. For instance, putting someone who has not mastered a concept with someone who has for a bit of peer teaching. I then create a bar graph of the diagnostic and then create another bar graph based on their assessment. This way I can see what standards have been mastered and what I need to work on. It is sort of a self assessment. I think that would help with the learning gaps here.

I really do enjoy the peer feedback. It really gets my mind going.

Module 3

The feedback for my project has been really helpful. I realize that I have subtopics that need to be added in a different way to my flow chart instead of treating it like a primary step. I also know now to make sure that my objective is worded in a concise and easy to understand manner. It has been a good tool to see how others “read” my work and to understand what is clear and what is muddy. It really gives me a good jumping off point for the next phase in my project. There are some things I will need to go back and redo and think longer about to see how they can be improved. Overall it has been a wonderful tool for insight!

Module 4

I still have much to do on my project. I need to work on the way my objectives are stated to make sure that the intent is clear. I also need to make sure that my assessments are easy to pick out and understand. Objectives are always tricky because I don’t like feeling like I am repeating myself. Maybe it is not such a bad thing we doing objectives. I will also take a look at my examples to make sure that they are easy to understand and that they are relaying the idea without it being muddy. I believe my idea is a strong one, but I do need to work on making it more so.

Module 5

his module was somewhat difficult for me as I am not a very creative person. The peer feedback I have been receiving has been really helpful. They are guiding me to be more specific and pointing out things that I am surprised I did not see the first time.

Whenever I write lesson plans I am not as specific in the steps as I need to be when I take the role of a Instructional Designer. The ARCS table and Instructor Guide helped me work through the steps in a more efficient way than I could have done on my own. I also never had to take the time to really look at motivation strategies. As a teacher in schools that I have taught at, lesson plans were really all about standards and procedures, not motivation. As a teacher I supplied that when I taught. But as an Instructional Designer, I would say, I had to put more thought into what motivation was, how exactly would I hook the students, and how would I keep their interests. This is a lot more difficult since as an Instructional Designer, you can’t really depend on the charisma of a teacher, because the teacher you are working with might not have any.

Module 7

I had to really step out of my teacher shoes on this one. I really dug deep to come up with ways to create an evaluation that a designer would do. Some things that I would change according to my peer review are:

1. I need to make sure that I am asking my Expert about my content standards to make sure that they are being met.

2. Am I missing any information.

3. Am I meeting all objectives/standards.

4. I need to ask the students if the material makes sense to them.

5. I need to ask students about the wording of instruction as well.

These insights really help me figure out how I can better write my evaluation in order to produce a better evaluation.

Edtech 504 Reflection Blog

Module 1 Reflection

Right now in terms of my own teaching, I am very much a constructivist. I am a relatively new teacher (3 years), so there are many things that I try in search of a specific “way” that I teach. I was lucky enough to be in a top notch, technologically savvy school my first year in the classroom. I learned how to implement whiteboard technology as well as computers. I like to have the kids work with technology because I believe it helps to depict real world situations.

I am hoping that this class will give me more confidence in the realm of non traditional lessons. I feel like there is so much to learn, and I am always wanting to find out more.

The last school that I taught at had little to no technology. I am hoping that I can show others around me who might be stuck in the traditional sense, and could benefit from the use of technology, how to go about it. Some teachers do a wonderful job with little technology, but could still benefit in many instances by utilizing it. I hope to be a inspiration and a benefit to help them become more comfortable with technology too.

Module 2 Reflection

I have always thought of myself as a true constructivist, but after doing the reading, it has been brought to my attention that I do have inconsistencies between theory and what is truly constructivism. I am realizing that many times educators can fool themselves into thinking that they are creating student centered learning environments when what they are really creating is activities with little educational merit and no connection to constructivism. I have done this and couldn’t understand why the activity failed. But now I understand that what happened is that I did not truly follow the theory. It was an activity, that’s all.

While doing the readings, I was drawn to sections that discussed scaffolding.  This is another area where I fall short, especially in “mini lessons”.  This is where I believe technology could help me. I could use technology to show abstract things, which I do already, but could implement further. For example, in the textbook it discusses the “Virtual Human” to get a close up look at the anatomy of the human body in a way you could not without technology. I use technology for the larger assignments, but I now see how it could be used in mini assignments to explain ideas and principals too complex to understand without a reference. Educators still have to be careful, though, and not treat technology as a band aid for a larger problem such as making sure that we understand the true underlying purpose for the theory be it constructivism or whatever theory we strive to teach by.

Module 3 Reflection

The learning theory Constructivism really applies itself to the use of technology in the classroom. This learning theory basis itself on authentic learning and a student’s self discovery of knowledge. It also accentuates placing instruction into real world scenarios. Technology can do all of that for students. It can bring experiences to them as well as create scenarios to make all topics relevant. In my own classroom, I could utilize technology better than I do. That is one reason why I am getting my Masters in Educational Technology, because I dislike having all this great technology available, but cannot see the connection or how to best use it. I have really learned a lot since taking these courses, and I am excited about implementing them in my classroom. I take myself to be a constructivist type of teacher, now I just have to put technology and theory together to create a holistic classroom environment and make things somewhat easier on myself.

Module 4

All learning theories can benefit from using technology in the classroom. Whether the instructor is online or in a traditional classroom, or whether the teacher is a Behaviorist, or Constructivist technology has become a crucial part of education. Over the years technology has evolved to meet societal changes in relation, educational theories shift to include these new technologies. On the other hand, learning theories play an important role in how these technologies are utilized.

I have chosen to discuss technology and the learning theories of Behaviorists and Constructivists since they are two different theories to show how all encompassing technology can be. For Behaviorists, I think that technology can meet the need of being the external stimulus that is believed necessary for a student to learn. For Constructivists the use of such emerging technologies as Social Networking sites creates learning that supports the idea of environment and social interaction as being an integral part of learning.

I believe in students benefit from learning socially, and I really like Social websites such as Edmodo that are secure and meant for educational purposes only. I think having a place for students to go and post questions and comments (within certain guidelines) creates a real sense of community and lets student know, especially with online environments that they are a part of a classroom community with others who are dealing with the same issues.

Final Reflection Blog

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 have learned how all different theories can benefit from using technology in the classroom. That technology is a tool that can enhance learning in any classroom when implemented properly. Technology does not only help learning theories it also helps with different methods such as differentiated instruction. Technology can be a great tool in creating individual learning experiences for a classroom that otherwise would be difficult without the benefits of technology.

The one thing that I will take away from this course, more than anything else is that even though there are different ways and ideas about how to teach, all have things about them that are beneficial. Also, each theory can use technology no matter how traditional the school of thought. 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. If in fact technology does not help us meet our end, then its use is superficial at best. 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.