Master of Educational Technology ePortfolio Rationale Paper Robert Santi
-- Master of Educational Technology Candidate Boise State University Spring 2012
INTRODUCTION I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Education in 1983 from Boise State University. As a high school teacher for the first 11 years of my career, I lived and worked through the technological transforming of education. My first classroom had three Atari game computers that where able to do word processing and programming in the BASIC language. This type of computer that had a cartridge that could be inserted to enable it to perform a computing task. Because of the rural setting of this school and the acquisition of 20 new IBM-PS2 computers the summer before my second year, I had the opportunity to teach a community outreach program sponsored by the College of Southern Idaho during my third year in education. The next ten years found me searching for my 'perfect' teaching position. In 1997 I received a opportunity to teach middle school computer applications. I am currently in my 15th year teaching computer applications to middle schoolers where all the curriculum over the years has been designed entirely by me. It isn't heaven, but it is pretty perfect.
Sensing something was missing, I enrolled in the Ed Tech program at Boise State University to get my Master of Educational Technology degree in 2009. Because of the focus on educational technology, I thought the MET program would help me to fine tune the design of my curriculum. Also, with the recent push of online education, I saw this degree as a positive stepping stone. As can be seen by the image at the top of this presentation, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The major purpose of this paper is to show my level of competency in the coursework required for the degree that I am seeking according to AECT Standards. Each artifact selected for this paper will show a mastery of the standard being mapped to, show an understanding of a connection between theory and practice, and discuss a relevant impact on my teaching. My paper will be organized in numerical order starting with Standard 1: Design and ending with Standard 5. A conclusion will also be provided along with a list of references.
STANDARD 1: DESIGN 1.1 Instructional Systems Design
According to Smith and Ragan (2005, p.5), "instruction is the intentional arrangement of experiences, leading to learners acquiring particular capabilities." In ID Project II, III from EDTECH 503, a systematic approach was used to develop a Stop Motion Animation (SMA) activity. The design process was divided into the six following parts: Topic, Analysis Report, Planning, Instructor's Guide, Learner Content and Formative Evaluation mirroring the formal ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) instructional design process. Through the process of analysis, design, and development instructional experiences were created targeting the specific needs of the learners. Through the implementation and evaluation process, learners were able to acquire the skills needed to successfully create a Stop Motion Animation. Because of the "golden triangle" described by Smith and Ragan (2005, p.356), I have learned the limitations of instructional design. The criteria of time, cost, and quality must be considered. "Given three criteria for doing a job--high quality, low cost, and rapid completion of the job--you may have any two (Smith & Ragan, 2005, p.356)."
1.2 Message Design
In demonstrating the AECT standard for message design, the Final Project from EDTECH 506 was selected. This instruction was designed according to the ACE (Analyze, Create, and Evaluate) model. This model identifies function and classification with regard to visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (doing), then it generates a message. The message is then edited for effectiveness based on trial and error. In this final project--City Marketing Project--student build a city using the Sim City game. Visual designs are used to guide the student through the activity. Upon completion of the city, each student will analyze their city's statistics, create a city seal, design a promotional brochure, and create an informational website. CARP (contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity) principles were used throughout the design to increase its consistency and appeal. This design has increased the productivity of my students during this activity--going from 12 class periods to only nine. I attribute most of this time reduction to the use of 'chunking' to reduce cognitive load. Similar tasks are grouped together making completion more meaningful.
1.3 Instructional Strategies
In determining the artifact to be use to demonstrate AECT standard 1.3, both Virtual Field Trip and Web Quest from EDTECH 502 were selected. Each shows the generative nature of the instruction where a low level of scaffolding is provide. Students are encouraged to create their reality of what they have learned. According to Smith and Ragan (2005), the primary load conditions for learning are carried by the learner. Though these artifacts are differing in content each provide the learner with the opportunity to build on previous experience. The Virtual Field Trip gives the students the opportunity to create a Stop Motion Animation as a way to show what they have learned about different Civil War battles. According to Bloom's Taxonomy (Ko & Rossen, 2010), an activity such as this--a video product--would be a high level of thinking--synthesis. The high level of learning--evaluation--would be required to complete the Web Quest, because the learner would have to evaluate and critique three ancient civilizations to determine if they would fit into one of them.
1.4 Learner Characteristics
The most critical aspect controlling the successful balance between a generative and supplantive approach is learners' characteristics (Smith & Ragan, 2005). In selecting an artifact to support competency of AECT standard 1.4, Evaluation Report created in EDTECH 505 was selected. This report evaluated a pre-survey and post survey of learners' characteristics. Learner characteristics fit into four categories (similarities, differences, changing, and stable). Once the designer understands where the learners fit -- level of existing experience -- the easier it will be to create effective instruction. Without the use of such an evaluation report, the designer can not be sure effective instruction is produced. Time and money is lost producing useless instruction.
A second artifact supporting this standard is the Needs Assessment created in EDTECH 501. A portion of this assessment report conducts a survey of learners' needs. A list is developed of what type of technology the learn uses. This knowledge is critical in instructional design. As a designer, it is important to know the learner's past experience with technology so an easy transition to new experiences can exist. Since I developed this survey in EDTECH 501, I have been encouraging my colleagues to survey their students before they get any lab time. The ones that follow through seem to have a better grasp of how to make their lab time more effective. The ones that see the survey process as a waste of time or unnecessary waste a lot of time while in the computer lab.
STANDARD 2: DEVELOPMENT 2.1 Print Technologies
I have chosen Users Manual from EDTECH 511 as a way to demonstrate competency of AECT standard 2.1. This print document provides the learned a supplementary resource for the Flash application I created. It provides information to properly use the interactive Football Blocking Assignment project. This was one of my favorite activities. I love to read manuals on how things work. This gives me a better understanding of the purpose. I have many students that learn by clicking. I have discovered over the past several years that this method of learning takes much more time to gain real understanding of a new tool or program. Users manuals provide essential information.
Another artifact that shows competency of this standard is A Unit of Instruction created for EDTECH 506. This instructional unit defines in print format all aspects of the City Marketing Project. This document includes learner characteristics, assessment rubrics, materials to be needed, unit objectives, and standards to be met. I can see this being a starting point for most instructional units. Though it is in digital format, it is easily printed--making a hard-copy available is needed. It is unlike other types of digital formats like web pages and wikis. According to Ko and Rossen (2010), reading a great deal online can be very hard on the eyes.
2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
The Software Tutorial created in EDTECH 533 is the artifact being used to demonstrate AECT standard 2.2. This tutorial required the use of a video capture and editing software along with a scripted storyboard. I've used several instructional videos like this in the past. However, this is the first time developing one. Once completed, the usefulness outweighs the amount of time and planning in its development. Along with operating the mouse in the visual part of the tutorial, the timing of the audio needed to be created.
A second artifact, also from EDTECT 533, that show competency of this standard is PowerPoint Movie. I have been using PowerPoint as an audiovisual technology for several years. This is the first time I create a movie from a PowerPoint. The use of a screen capture application (Camtasia) was used. Camtasia has changed the way I view teaching. I am trying to encourage my middle school colleagues to product 2 Camtasia lesson per trimester. If every teacher had student access to video lessons, a whole different approach to learning could be sought. I see having all of my 7th grade computer technology lessons in video by the end of the summer.
2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
The AECT standard 2.3 will be demonstrated by the artifact Interactive Concept Map from EDTECH 502. This activity required the developer to design digital information with computer-based technologies. Using Dreamweaver and CSS, information was created for an upcoming course offering in programming. Through the use of this web page, the learner can receive additional information to make an informed choice. I enjoyed designing this computer-based technology, because it places all principle parties in the same mindset at the offset of the program. I had never created a 'hot link' using Dreamweaver before, so it was very rewarding to have a successful web page.
A second artifact that I chose to demonstrates this standard is Time-Lapse Video created in EDTECH 533. In this project entitled "A Morning at MMS", I set a video camera at the far end of the hallway at school just before the kids arrived. The video in its full form is less than 20 minutes. However, it is sped up to be only 5 minutes in length. This is a wonderful video technique. I frequently share YouTube videos I find with my classes that use this technique. Most recently, I shared a video of a person designing a house using Google's Sketchup. It is an excellent tool to show the learner what is possible in a very short time. I plan to make other more instructional videos in the future.
2.4 Integrated Technologies
The Final Project from EDTECH 512 will be used to demonstrate AECT standard 2.4. The Alice programming language is used to create an animated movie. This is designed to be a 9-week online course. After completing the several modules, the learner will have created a mini-movie and sound track. Several technologies are used in the creation of the final product. When creating this course, I wanted an animated movies to be the final product. Therefore, a problem-based learning approach was taken. According to Smith and Ragan (2005), a primary benefit (of problem-based learning) is high student interest and motivation. This course requires students to take an active role to product an end result.
A second artifact chosen to show competence in this standard is an app I developed called Where Is My Car. In this app a telecommunication devise is used to help the learner locate their car. This app merges computer technology and GPS. I can see several other applicable uses when merging these technologies. I am presently perfecting an app called 'Teen Leash' to be able to pin point my daughter's location after sending her a text. Someday, parents from around the world might be using my mobile application.
STANDARD 3: UTILIZATION 3.1 Media Utilization
The AECT standard 3.1 will be demonstrated using my Annotated Bibliography created in EDTECH 504. This activity required the me to develop a list of resources to be used in a research paper--Cognitive Load Theory: Relationship to Educational Games and Simulations. In this Annotated Bibliography topic related resources were discovered and summarized with accuracy and strong communication skills. Several resource formats of publications were used that supported the topic. This was my first Annotated Bibliography. Even though I didn't use each and every resource, I found it very helpful to have a summary of the articles in the preparation of the research paper. A second artifact that shows competency in this standard is Online Teaching Tools -- Interactive Whiteboard created in EDTECH 522. The objective of this activity was to teach my partner Web 2.0 application. The Interactive Whiteboard application Dabbleboard was used. After becoming familiar with this application, my partner was required to create a learning activity. This demonstrated the standard because it incorporates SMETS resources. I have found this type of Web 2.0 application very useful in my 6th grade graphic arts unit. Students share an idea and build it together to develop an animation.
3.2 Diffusion of Innovations
In demonstrating the AECT standard 3.2, I have selected the Memo I wrote in EDTECH 501. This memo was written to shine light on the Digital Inequality in Society. This memo was intended to raise the level of awareness and to encourage interest in this topic. Almost all of the research included in this memo points to the up side of digital equality. One major up side being the creation of jobs and the expansion of the economy. Every year I conduct surveys of my students to determine the level of digital inequality in my classroom. Each year I am pleasantly pleased with the results. In my corner of the world, digital inequality is having less of an impact on student learning.
3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization
To demonstrate the AECT standard 3.3, the Communication Tools for Teachers artifact from EDTECH 522 was selected. Parent involvement is crucial for a productive and positive educational environment. This design places communication tools in the hands of the teachers and parents. These tools are not limited to subject matter, grade level, or learner context. The implementation of a good communication strategy has benefited me in my current classroom. Each week I have set time aside in my daily routine to make contact with parents of my students. Though it is mostly through the use of email, I am looking forward to utilizing other methods of communication present in this artifact.
3.4 Policies and Regulations
In demonstrating the AECT standard 3.4, both the Netiquette and Copyright scavenger hunt websites developed in EDTECH 502 are chosen. In hese activities the student learns about the use of netiquette and the important of copyright observance on the web. The incorporation of ethics when using the internet is important. Little misunderstandings and confusion can be avoided if good, ethical behavior is followed. Copyright laws are hard to enforce on the internet. Most of the time it is thought that things on the internet are there for the taking. This web page copyrights provides the learner with an opportunity to research copyrights and plagiarism. As a middle school teacher, this is one of the hardest lessons to teach and hardest for my students to learn. Students at this age view everything on the internet as being 'free'--free music, free photos, and free information. This is becoming or has become a cultural issue that needs to be tackled by educators.
STANDARD 4: MANAGEMENT 4.1 Project Management
To demonstrate the AECT standard 4.1, the Evaluation Proposal created in EDTECH 505 is selected. I had to practice project management techniques such as interviews of both staff and administration, needs assessments, and general research were used in this proposal. This activity also required me to manage a task schedule, project personnel, and budgeting. I found this a very useful activity because it gave me knowledge of how to produce the Implementation Plan that will be discussed in the next standard. It's funny how often we hear about or even jump into a project without knowing what we are truly after. I would really like to view the evaluation proposal the Idaho State Department of Education prepared when determining the 'Students First' plan. As a middle school computer teacher, I do not see how a mandatory 2-online credits before graduating will be successful. Since the beginning of the school year, I have been monitoring my student's use of their computers. With the help of a network monitoring program, I have turned off the internet of over 25% of my students for being in inappropriate websites. I don't see this behavior changing through a year or two of maturing. Even if the students can successfully complete these online classes. How will the schools have enough bandwidth to successfully carry out this task with all those additional laptop added to the system. Currently, my 8th grade class that is working on Googles Sketchup uses 87% of the district bandwidth. Project management is an important step in developing any type of program.
4.2 Resource Management
In demonstrating the AECT standard 4.2, I chose my Technology Use Plan created in EDTECH 501. This comprehensive plan defined the planning team, described the process to be used that included the selecting and organizing of the planning team, research, constructing a technology plan, and formalizing the planning, and create a vision statement. It also included goals and objectives and professional development. I found this to be a very useful activity. As a computer technology teacher for the past 15 years, I often find myself on outside looking in. After writing my own Technology Use Plan, I see everything that is included and understand how and why every detail isn't available to each staff member. If every detail were available, too many opinions and personalities would come into play and nothing would get accomplished. I also demonstrated this standard when I created an Implementation Plan in EDTECH 512 for the Web-Based Instructional course I designed. This implementation plan primarily manages effectiveness of personnel, and their ability to recruit learners and provide instruction. Tasks to be completed are defined, which include, such things as advertising the course and setting technical requirements. This activity helped me to understand what was involved in getting an online course started. There are more things happening than I realized.
4.3 Delivery System Management
Delivery systems consist of Correspondence Courses, Broadcast Systems, Teleconference Systems and Communication Networks, Computer and Digital Technology, and/or Internet and World Wide Web (Davidson-Shivers and Rasmussen, 2006). To demonstrate the AECT standard 4.3, I chose my Final Project from EDTECH 512 -- an Internet and World Wide Web delivery system. This Web-based Instructional (WBI) unit is a complete 9-weeks course. The course requires the learner to create an animated movies using the Alice programming language. I had several tools to choose from when developing this WBI. In the end, I chose to use a Wiki, because I had some previous experience with Wikis. Other choices included Blackboard, Noodle, and Sakai. Due to the nature of this activity, and all of the parts that were included, the choice of a Wiki turned out to be a good one. Parts included in this WBI unit are Announcement, Modules, Project Rubric, Resources, Syllabus, and Tutorials. I have future plans to develop similar WBI units in other programs that I teach like SwishMax2 and Bryce 5.5.
4.4 Information Management
To demonstrate the AECT standard 4.4, the Project Design Proposal I created in EDTECT 511 will be used. This design proposal begins the process of creating an interactive Football Blocking Assignment tool for the Double Wing Offense designed using Flash. During the planning process, a flowchart and storyboard were used. I found this to be a very helpful activity in the development of this interactive tool. Because of its interactive nature, I saw an immediate interest in the use of this tool. According to Cornell and Martin (1997), interest, curiosity, attribution, and aspiration are factors affecting motivation. The systematic approach of the design proposal required me to determine an outcome before actually building the interactive tool. I have always found myself building before planning. The creation of a flowchart and storyboard helped me to organize my construction process. The tactic of trial and error that I am accustomed to was totally eliminated giving me more time for details of the design.
STANDARD 5: EVALUATION 5.1 Problem Analysis
The ID Project II, III created in EDTECH 503 will be used to demonstrate AECT standard 5.1. In this project a description of learner need as well as a description of learner context was determined. The learners' needs were documented using a survey questioning access and use of technology where as context was observable data collected by describing classroom equipment and network access. Since the completion of ID Project II, III, I use a modified version of this survey to assess the needs of my current students. Technology is becoming more accessible to a greater number of students. Understanding both learner need and context is important in knowing what instructional design approach would be best suited for each situation. Learners' needs gives the designer a starting point when developing instructional strategies. There are several natural stages that I have designed in my curriculum. Depending on what the students know depends on where the instruction begins.
5.2 Criterion-Referenced Measurement
To demonstrate the AECT standard 5.2, I have chosen the following two artifacts: Evaluation Report from EDTECH 505 and Evaluation Planning from EDTECH 512. Each of the above establishes measurement criteria for learner mastery. In Evaluation Report a pre survey and post survey were given. The results of the surveys were compared to the course objectives. In Evaluation Planning criteria was establish based on effectiveness, appeal, and efficiency. In the area of effectiveness, the learner's finished product will demonstrate mastery. I have found that mastery is very elusive if specific objective are not present. This activity has provided me with the skills to evaluate present objectives to see if they are really seeking mastery. According to Smith and Ragan (2005, p.12), "in systematically designed instruction, we are typically more concerned with whether a student can demonstrate a certain skill or knowledge than we are with whether the student performs better or worse that his peers." I believe the level of mastery should focus on the individual student not on groups of students. This is probably why I have always been opposed to 'bell' type curves in grading students. Students should be evaluated on pre-set objectives.
5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation
In demonstrating the AECT standard 5.3, I will be using the Learning Assessment part of ID Project I that was created in EDTECH 503. This part of the project includes both formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment can take place in any number of ways and is on-going. In this case the formative assessment was done by simple observation. By observing students when performing a task, immediate feedback can be given. According to Smith and Ragan (2005, p.130), "knowing what you did right and wrong, how close you got to good" is feedback. Summative assessment on the other hand requires the learner to affirm some level of mastery. In this case the learner would need to utilize the process of collaboration using Google Docs. By utilizing Google Docs in a collaborative activity, the learner will show a level of mastery affirming that learning took place. If put into a sports analogy, formative evaluation is like a practice, and summative evaluation is like playing a game--not that games don't provide an opportunity to use formative evaluation. I really think this is why most sports contest have 'time-outs'.
Another artifact--a Tutorial--from EDTECH 511 shows ongoing formative assessment. By going through this tutorial, my middle school football players can practice their blocking assignments on six different plays against three defensive fronts. Mastery can be shown by watching game films from an upcoming game. Because this is a Flash tutorial, students with smart phones and internet access can practice blocking assignments over and over.
5.4 Long-Range Planning
I will demonstrate the AECT standard 5.4 with the two following artifacts: Synthesis Paper and Technology Use Plan both from EDTECH 501. Each document looks to the future of technology use in education. In the Synthesis Paper reference is made to technology's impact on teaching and learning. I have learned that technology in the form of devices and gadgets is not the answer. Technology is more than 'stuff'. It is an instructional tool to be used, just like a hammer is used to strike a nail. More than that, an educational strategy needs to be developed for the use of technology. I am afraid of where technology is headed--we have too many decision makers pushing devices and gadgets without a plan for their use. In Technology Use Plan a rationale is defined along with the organization of stakeholders. The assessment of needs is also included. With money becoming scarce Long-Range planning is more important than ever. I hope political will doesn't trump common sense.
As I get nearer to the light at the end of the tunnel, I think about how far I am come. In the fall of 2009, drawing from my vast experience with technology, I recall feeling like the 'Jack of all trades and master of none". After 12 years of teaching computer technology to middle school students, I had no idea how to measure my effectiveness as a teacher. Most of the lessons my students learned were on the lower end of Bloom's Taxonomy. I had an idea of what outcome I want my students to produce, but I didn't have objectives that could be measured or the knowledge of how to align my curriculum to standards. Now, as I reach the end of my journey, I have several instructional designs and knowledge of how to proceed. In fact, I have used 506-Final Project, Educational Slideshow, Software Tutorial, and 511-Final Project in my classroom. I have noticed a significant improvement in student performance when participating in these instructional designs, and I have plans to introduce 512-Final Project during the next Trimester. I really believe that my MET journey has made me into a better teacher.
Davidson-Shivers, G.V, & Rasmussen, K.L. (2006). Web-based learning: Design, implementation, and evaluation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Ko, S. & Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practical guide (3rd ed). Routledge.