Archive for the ‘2.2 Audiovisual Technologies’ Category

Schools and Walled Gardens

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Please click the link below to access my Voicethread presentation.

Schools and Walled Gardens


The Relative Advantage of Multimedia in the Classroom

October 15, 2012 1 comment

EDTECH 541: Powerful Presentations

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Powerful presentations can have a powerful impact.  I once saw Ben Zander, the conductor for the Boston Philharmonic, give the presentation of a lifetime with only a piano on the stage.  He had no presentation tool.  Conversely, I saw Alisson Rossett, a professor of instructional design, use PowerPoint in ways I didn’t think it could be used.  The presenter makes the presentation.

That being said, I think that presentation tools can greatly enhance today’s classroom.  Personal experience has shown me that students love visual aids.  I can show a black and white video of the 1950’s McCarthy trials or a Disney cartoon.  Of course, students like the color of Disney better, but they would rather see a black and white video than hear me lecture at them for 50 minutes.  They engage with media!

I use presentations daily.  I mainly use PowerPoint, and I confess that I don’t spend hours on them.  However, I have used Prezi and Animoto with great success as well.  Students like to see something visual.  It engages them in the conversation, which I feel is the most important part of any lesson.  The relative advantage of using presentations is that they give the students a point in which to focus their attention.  Properly created presentations that aren’t loaded with text, can give students thoughtful information to consider while I present relevant content verbally.  This approach helps to enhance students’ ability to multitask by giving them information to view on the screen and having them take notes on the auditory part of the presentation.  Students engage with class content more deeply when it’s presented to them using a presentation tool.  Additionally, I become a more creative person with presentations as I strive to add images, graphics, and videos that will spark the interest of my students.  The bottom line for teachers is that presentations are a great way to engage students with the content.

My interactive presentation can be found here.  I hope you like Chaucer!

Technology Use Planning Overview

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

The term “technology use planning” can best be described as an ongoing, fluid plan for how to use technology in education.  The planning includes the budgetary and spatial requirements for technology as well as the plan for implementation of those technologies.  The idea of technology use planning assumes incorporation of technology but also a careful analysis and plan of how that technology will be used.  John See makes a good point that effective technology plans should be output based starting with the goals or competencies that we want to accomplish rather than the actual technology needed.  This concept is the “planning” part of the process as it assumes a broader knowledge of both the curriculum and the desired learning outcomes (1992).  The technology becomes a vehicle for arriving at that outcome rather than an outcome itself.

The National Educational Technology Plan 2010 can be very effective for technology use planning because it acknowledges several important facts.  One such fact is that students have completely different technology experiences in and out of schools.  There is a disparity between the technology they are allowed to use in school and what they freely use outside of school.  We need to plan for better integration that includes technology that students will encounter in their daily lives.  The NETP also recognizes that faculty need training and support for integrating technology.  It reads, “The best way to prepare teachers for connected teaching is to have them experience it. All institutions involved in preparing educators should provide technology-supported learning experiences that promote and enable the use of technology to improve learning, assessment, and instructional practices.”  We cannot forget that our technology use planning should be focused on the users of the technology.  Anderson notes that a technology plan should be less about computers and more about people (1999).  This is for both planning and execution purposes.  Finally, the NETP includes specific goals and recommended actions that institutions can put into place to help them with their own planning.

I agree with See that plans should be short; however, I think there should be long-term evaluations built into the plan.  For instance, as See mentions, a five-year plan would be completely obsolete five years from now as new technology emerges so quickly that we cannot conceive today of what will be available five years into the future (1999).  However, I believe that we should also have a long-term goal of continually evaluating our technology use plan and making changes to it to address both emerging technologies and the efficacy of the current plan.

I couldn’t agree more that effective plans focus on applications.  I see this daily in my own school.  Our technology is monitored by a person who doesn’t teach and is mostly concerned with accountability for the hardware.  As a result, we have computers available, but we have so severely limited the access to them and their access to applications that they become merely, to use See’s word, keyboards.  As I said above, if we could design our desired outcomes and then plan how to achieve them using technology, education becomes more about the learning and less about face or seat time in front of the technology.

Other than my own teaching, I haven’t had much use with technology use planning.  However, I am constantly amazed and dismayed at the narrow-minded thinking that goes into using technology in education.  I recently had to restrict my students from using electronic devices to access e-books for my literature class. Teachers are not to allow students to use any form of technology except the laptops that we check out on a cart.  I wasn’t told if this was due to bandwidth issues or viruses introduced into our network from outside devices.  Because there was no explanation, it seemed like we are just trying to limit exposure to these devices.  I have students that use electronic dictionaries and thesauri during writing assignments, e-books for in class reading, and i-pads to write papers.  These are devices the students bring with them, and they want to use them!  It’s hard for me to plan for technology use when I am discouraged from allowing students to use technology.

Anderson, L. S. (1999, February). Technology planning: It’s more than computers. Paper to accompany keynote address in Singapore.

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. The Computing Teacher, 19(8). Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming American education learning powered by technology. Retrieved from

RSS Feeds for Education

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi Everyone,
I loved the RSS assignment. I honestly marvel at people who have the time to search the web for information. I have those friends who must spend hours just searching for the latest articles and videos. Hopefully, they are set up on something like Google Reader because I can’t imagine the time they’d spend without a reader. I really like this option for keeping up to date on the things that I want to know about without having to go find it on a constant basis.
Here’s the link to my shared items:
Darla’s Shared Items

I think that teachers could easily use RSS in the classroom. There could be a class blog posted or moderated by the teacher in which the students all need to subscribe. Similarly, if a class is using a particular weblog for information for course projects, the RSS could simplify the process of accessing required information. Since I am a high school teacher, I am leery of requiring my students to access anything on the web that has any type of insecure information. So, I would have to give a lot of thought to making a RSS feed required.

Students could be subscribers or contributors to a feed. Just as our class has a WordPress bundle, this could be an exciting way for students to become authors and readers of each others work. I also think that students would be encouraged to create blog/journals to reflect on their classwork and or topics of interest to them. So, the RSS feed becomes a great tool for students to use in collaborating and even peer reviewing each others work.

Truly, I feel that the best thing to be gained from knowing and using the RSS is knowledge. I am often completely unattached to the digital world purely because I lack the time to search the net.  Using RSS feeds is a quick way for me to get the information I need from the people or sites I value. It’s a tremendous time saver that delivers knowledge to the reader.

Horizon Report Tech Trend

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

This week I researched various technology trends.  As my classroom isn’t as technologically savvy as I would like, I made use of a technology that we can use.  My lesson plan (linked below) has students using Kindle for PC to read and analyze a literature text.  In a previous lesson, I demonstrated how to access and create an account on Amazon, download Kindle for PC, and “purchase” a free book.  The lesson below makes use of the Kindle for PC as we read and analyze the text in class.

This type of lesson is very important to show students that technology is evolving with books.  Many students think of books as old and tired because there isn’t anything flashy about them.  Incorporating lessons that use books and technology together can help to show students that books have a relevant place in today’s technology.  This makes teaching an learning more interactive and fun for students and teachers.

I would really like to do more of this type of lesson in my classroom, and it has given me ideas on how I might accomplish this type of lesson in a technologically stunted environment.

Tech Trends Assignment

Plagiarism Video

October 2, 2011 Leave a comment

I created this video for EDTECH501.

This is a video between two roommates who are taking the same class in school. One is a good student who understands the rules of plagiarism; the other student just hopes his plagiarism won’t get caught. In this video, I discussed patchwriting, taking another’s work and calling it your own, and not using proper citations. The good student also discusses possible penalties for plagiarism.

Prior to this assignment, I didn’t really put the name patchwriting to it’s action. This is the type of plagiarism I see most as a teacher. I find it interesting that students don’t think of it as unoriginal work because they took the time to patch it together.