Module 2 Instructional Tools Review

1. Description: iStation (https://www.istation.com/) is a comprehensive e-learning program that offers the following:

Formative Assessments
Adaptive Curriculum
Personalized Data Profiles
Teacher Resources
School-to-Home Connection
Professional Development

      Situation/environment: I have personally used iStation in my teaching setting. My school used iStation as an RTI intervention for students that was incorporated into our scheduled computer lab time so all students could benefit  in extending their learning. I was able to control what activities the students used according to the content we were studying and/or the content they needed to focus on. iStation also provided extended lessons with printables to use as classwork or homework. There is also a home connection where students can access the program from home since it is web-based. My favorite feature as an educator is the data tracking. iStation automatically tracks the students’ progress in each domain of learning. It breaks the data down to something specific as identification of nouns. It can also track according to grade-level expectations. It provides updates with every 30 minute sessions. It also tracks data such as idle time, number of log ins/outs, and how long it takes a student to answer questions.

     Example:

The follow attachment is an example of a classroom summary report created by iStation:

Priority _ IstationBClassroom Summary _ IstationbyTieryStudent

The students are grouped by tiers according to RTI levels. The symbols in the chart represent how long the students have been in that tier and the severity of the low according to the time of the school year. It also shows how many times they have completed an intervention cycle in a particular area.

2. Description: Padlet (https://padlet.com/) is an online interactive message board that members can add photos and/or a virtual sticky note to leave their feedback or comments to the person who created the board.

Situation/environment: This is a great online tool or app to use in the classroom or even professional development. The participants are sent a code to join the message board and posts can be submitted as photos or messages that look like sticky notes. The participants can be anonymous or show their identity. I have used Padlet as a question/response tool and as a feedback board. I think it would also be great as a general question board for online classes for students to post questions where all students can have access to the questions and answers.

Example: Click on the embedded link and post to me!

Made with Padlet

 

3. Description: Rewordify,  https://rewordify.com/ is a website that rewords difficult text into simpler terms to increase understanding. Rewordify also has the option for the user to learn the meaning of the difficult words as a teaching tool. Rewordify actually analyzes the text for difficult language and replaces it as a thesaurus would.

      Situation/environment: This is a great tool to teach students vocabulary in more challenging text. A particular text can be assigned and Rewordify can help “translate” the text into simpler terms to increase understanding of concepts first, and then enhance the learning by challenging students to learn the original vocabulary. This would also be a great tool for teachers to help students understand more difficult context in a simplified language as opposed to rewriting a text or attempting to find an age-appropriate version of the necessary content. This would save a teacher valuable time.

Example:

From: https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-debate-over-the-physics-of-time-20160719/

Original text:

The idea that time moves in more than one direction, and that we just happen to inhabit a section of the cosmos with a single, locally defined arrow of time, isn’t new. Back in 2004, Carroll, along with his graduate student Jennifer Chen, put forward a similar proposal based on eternal inflation, a relatively well-known model of the beginning of the universe. Carroll sees the work of Koslowski and his colleagues as a useful step, especially since they worked out the mathematical details of their model (he and Chen did not). Still, he has some concerns. For example, he said it’s not clear that gravity plays as important a role as their paper claims. “If you just had particles in empty space, you’d get exactly the same qualitative behavior,” he said.

Rewordify text:

The idea that time moves in more than one direction, and that we just happen to inhabit a section of the cosmos with a single, locally defined arrow of time, isn’t new. Back in 2004, Carroll, along with his graduate student Jennifer Chen, put forward a similar proposal based on eternal inflation, a relatively well-known model of the beginning of the universe. Carroll sees the work of Koslowski and his colleagues as a useful step, especially since they worked out the mathematical details of their model (he and Chen did not). Still, he has some concerns. For example, he said it’s not clear that gravity plays as important a role as their paper claims. “If you just had particles in empty space, you’d get exactly the same qualitative behavior,” he said.

 

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Module 2 Reflection

This week’s topic in our Knowmad Society struck a chord with me again. During my teaching career I have been very big on teaching kids HOW to learn. I know my personal learning experience started with finding resources to answer my curiosities. Back then, I would ride my bike the 2 miles to the next town to go to the local library to satisfy my curiosity. When I was in middle school my mom invested in the infamous Childcraft encyclopedia set and in high school she invested in a more sophisticated set.

I think the fact that information was not at my fingertips gave me a better sense of HOW to learn. I had to figure out what keywords worked best to find the information I needed in the library card index files. I had to learn how to use a glossary, a phone book, a table of context, a thesaurus, and a dictionary. Once I got to undergrad college I had to take a class that taught me how to research, what Boolean phrases are, and how to identify a creditable resource. With kids growing up with endless information at an instant and without a somewhat formal training, they don’t take the time to verify the information they find. Many people use sites like Wikipedia to find the answers to their questions.

“Industrial education is a method of experimentation for the purpose of finding out what adjustments can be made to bring the culture of the public school into the harmony with the culture of machine industry and its accompanying organization.” However, the industrial age is no longer the prominent setting for work and business. The technical age has advanced to the digital age and jobs and business has advanced with it. Technology advances at such a rate that the most important skill for today’s worker is the ability to learn and adjust to change and advancements.

Even in my PreK class, I attempt to give students the skills to learn and their own and find the information they need. I provide posters with the names of colors, numbers and their words, shapes and their names, and I encourage them to use these resources to answer the questions I have given them to answer. Students take more ownership and a sense of pride when they figure out things themselves. I also use the phrase “figure out a mystery” when referring to questions that are in a text we are reading.

With the internet being the center of our way of life, people have more opportunity than ever to be life-long learners. As Cobo mentioned in our reading: “Time and location ar therefore no a limitation, at least not the theoretical level. inevitably, this becomes an opportunity to expand learning throughout one’s life, as well as continuously develop new skills in changing contexts. Doubtless these ideas can enrich learning, as well as open up possibilities for non-traditional learning experiences”, (2011).

In my last course I was shocked to find that there are these wonderful things called MOOC’s! They are FREE courses for those who want to continuously learn. Even the prestigious Standford University offers MOOC’s in a myriad of topics. They are online and self-paced. I was so excited to learn about this to continue my own life-long learning journey after my degree with UWF is earned.

In 1988 McCall, Lombardo, and Morrison claimed a 70-20-10 rule of learning development. They said that 70% of learning comes from real life and on-the-job experience. 20% of learning development comes from relationships, feedback , and working with role models. Only 10% comes from formal learning. I’m not sure I can find these percentages completely accurate, but I can see their point. As a teacher, most of my development came from being able to practice what I was taught. However, I feel I got more than 10% of my knowledge from formal education to put into that practice. I can justify that I took the feedback I received from my peers very seriously and used that feedback to improve my practice.

Again, this reading solidified my reasoning for selecting this career path. Education will become more transient and less formal. The work environment will become less and less focused in an office setting. The education world must adapt to the pace and environment o the world we work and live in. Students must be given the skills to know HOW to learn and well as the tools to be able to learn by discovery as opposed to following rigid curriculums and standards of learning and assessment.

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Module 1 Reflection

“Predictably, the impacts of accelerating technological and social changes on education are enormous. Today’s stakeholders in our youths’ future must prepare kids for futures that none of us can even dream are possible.” – John W. Moravec

I chose this quote from our Knowmad Society reading because it very much summarizes my reasoning for pursuing my degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

Since the creation of the internet and the ever-shrinking microcomputer, technology has become more and more embedded into our lives. It has made the world a global market and business is more mobile than ever. It’s only a matter of time before education, at any age, becomes just as mobile as our economy.

In my 13 years of teaching, I have watched and incorporated more and more technology into my classroom and work tools. Schools are now data-driven and that data is created and stored by students manipulating technology. Students, from the youngest to the oldest, have had to learn some sort of technology to function in the classroom. However, this isn’t enough. OUTSIDE the classroom, technology is driving the world. The education sector is stuck in the “Society 1.0” mode and the world around is headed to “Society 3.0.”

“Society 1.0 reflects the norms and practices of pre-industrial to industrial civilization. Society 2.0 refers to the radical social trans-formations that we are experiencing today, largely due to technological change. The 3.0 or Knowmad Society points to a state of society that is developing into our near future, where accelerating technological change is projected to have huge trans- formative implications.” (Knowmad Society, p. 35).

The major downfall to incorporating more technology into our classrooms is allowing the government to regulate the educational system. The government and our society has attempted to make education a way of profit for businesses and organizations. Instead of treating our children and their education as an investment of the future, organizations are trying to flood schools with the “modernized” version of the same resources for a quick buck and not teaching toward the future. The infrastructure of funding schools themselves is archaic and sets up those with the least chance of success to have the highest rate of failure with the school funding of local taxes. The whole educational system needs to be revamped. If the United States is to become a true powerhouse of the modern world, the current outlook of education within our society needs to be revamped by creating a more “socialist” view of how our education system should work. The true way to feed our capitalistic society is to give strength to our educational system for all students to have the knowledge to grow into successful people. Our current educational funding isn’t going to do this. All students need to have access to the latest technology to be able to become the free thinkers that is required for success in our post-industrial world. The fact that our government wants to water down public school funding with giving more funding to charter schools makes the epidemic worse. The need for charter schools would be non existent if we invested in the public schools we already have.

Education MUST be aligned with the demands of working society for the advancement and success of our students’ future and society. It is my intention, as a future online teacher, to be able to provide some of those tools to my students.

 

About This Page

My name is Jessica Bresnahan and I have been an educator for 13 years. I have my bachelors degree from Purdue University in Elementary Education, my masters degree from University of Phoenix in Early Childhood Education and I am currently working toward an additional masters degree from University of West Florida in Instructional Design and Technology. I currently teach PreK and became a teacher because I love to learn and I hope sharing that love inspires others to become lifelong learners too. I created this page for my current course at UWF but I would like to keep it going as a reflection tool and a personal interest tracker in my personal journey of discovering types of media, especially online technology that will be useful as my career evolves into a mobile and online educator. I recognize that even after 13 years of teaching, I clearly do not know it all, especially as the large paradigm shift with embedding all types of technology within education becomes more prominent. I will be using this blog for my classmates at UWF as well as any educator that wants to join and share. Welcome!