Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week #5 Group Collaboration

This week was very trying for me. I am use to working on assignments individually. We completed our first group assignment and turned it in today. I am very happy with our finished product. We worked very well together as a group. We worked on sections of the project individually and came together collaboratively to create a finished product.
We initially met before beginning the project so as to come up with a game plan. This was very helpful because it gave each person direction and individual responsibilities. At different points of completion of the project we met online in "the Palace" to check on each others progress.
Let's talk about the Palace! What a wonderful technology it is. Students are able to meet with their classmates to discuss class assignments, questions with the professor, etc. Each student can create their own virtual reality room as well as dress their avatar. I think that it is a very neat and different way to communicate with each other. You are also able to capture the log so that you can recap on your conversations. I think it is very useful in integrating technology into education.
So back to the collaboration, in short as a group we were successful in completing a paper that flowed, not one that was choppy. I think this experience has allowed me to open up more to the idea of working with others and having a positive attitude towards group work. In all, I enjoyed it and will welcome future group collaboration.
Until the next time.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week #4 Constructivism

This week we learned about constructivism. This theory of learning is very different from what I have learned up to date with behaviorism. I like the idea of building upon life experiences and past knowledge to incorporate new information. I think this way of learning creates a foundation for meaningful learning as well as information that will be stored and readily accessible when one needs to call upon it.

According to Ismat Abda-Haqq (1998) constructivism is an epistemology, a learning or meaning-making theory, that offers an explanation of the nature of knowledge and how human beings learn. It maintains that individuals create or construct their own new understandings or knowledge through the interaction of what they already know and believe and the ideas, events, and activities with which they come in contact.

To me constructivism allows teachers to be able to create lessons and curriculum that maintains their continuity of learning. It also establishes the groundwork for teachers to collaborate lessons across fields of interest (i.e. English, social studies, science). By teachers being able to build upon other subjects, experiences and prior knowledge this will aide them in creating successful lesson plans that can speak directly to the student. It would seem that this type of learning would be more effective and engaging for students, thus leading to them wanting to learn.

I look forward to learning more about constructivism being implemented in education. Well that's all for now...

Abdal-Haqq, I. (1998). Constructivism in Teacher Education: Considerations for Those Who Would Link Practice to Theory. In ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education. Retrieved September 22, 2008, from http://www.ericdigests.org/1999-3/theory.htm

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Week Three: What is ITEC ?

What is Instructional Technology?

According to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definition and Terminology Committee instructional technology is “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources (AECT, 2004).

My own definition of instruction technology is “utilizing technological sources in education to better the learning experience. Instructional technologists use the learning theory to increase learners’ engagement in learning as well as communication.

My place in instructional Technology

Broad Perspective: On a more broad level my place consists of making improvement in creating college level curricula that is inclusive of current/modern technologies.

Specialized Perspective: I would like to:
*Work with University Council on Technology (UCT) to ensure that appropriate and most useful technologies are utilized on campus
*Work with the Universities Curriculum Services Department – by working with department will enable me to assist in the decision-making process as to what technology should be utilized and implemented
*Work closely with the Director of Curriculum services (currently that is, Theresa Tillet)
*In short I would like to make continuous contributions to Kent State University’s vision of fusing technology and education in a way that is most beneficial to its students.

Goals and Usage of my degree

*If none of my classes are canceled, I will finish up my degree program in August 2009
*My goal is as stated above in my specialized perspective in to make continuous efforts to fuse education and technology in a way that is most beneficial to Kent State University students.

What can you do with a degree in Instructional Technology?

*You can work in a governmental offices, nor-for profit agencies, elementary, junior high, high school and college level educational systems
*You can be a teacher (the degree with make you a hot commodity because you will have improved your teaching practice and be knowledgeable of the latest technologies)
*Corporate trainer
*Distance learning coordinator
*Purchaser of technology equipment for a business/college/etc
*Online curriculum developer
*Online teacher
*Train instructors or other campus officials on the latest technologies on their campus
*Test and troubleshoot educational technologies
*Among many other professions

What I plan to do

As I have mentioned before I plan to continue working at Kent State University. I will finish up my masters ITEC program and than look for jobs within my area. Preferably I would like to remain at Kent State University, but if not I will look into jobs at Akron Public School, University of Akron and/or small private college/universities in the area. I will also like to become a contributor to the University Council on Technology.

In order to keep my knowledge base current I think I will need to:
*Join professional organizations for the field
*Subscribe to magazines/journals about ITEC
*Continuously research the field
*Search for a mentor who already has experience in the field
*If time permits (because I work full time) participate in an internship to gain some hands on experience
*Network with other ITEC professionals
*Attend conferences/meeting

AECT. (2004, June). Definition and Terminolgy Committee. In Association for Educational Communication and Technology. Retrieved September 8, 2008, from http://www.aect.org/about/ div_.asp?DivisionID=18

Monday, September 8, 2008

Week Two Reflection

Hello Again,

Now that we have actually started on the course material I have become busier than ever! I do enjoy the work, so that is good. I have been reading the text (Ingram & Ingram) and have found it encompass an abundance of information. I am a bit overwhelmed about the complexity of some of the material, but I welcome the challenge. This week we had an online discussion that unfortunately I was unable to take part in, but I did read the log of it. I like how Dr. Ingram added that log to the site so that those who were not there can still get an idea of what was discussed. That was very helpful (thanks Dr. Ingram!)

Week One Reflection

I have registered for this course as part of my degree requirements. I am hoping to learn a lot of new information and material that will aide my in becoming a instructional technologist genuis! No not really but I am excited about the course content and all that has been prepared for us to learn this semester.