Friday, April 17, 2015

Week 14-15

In discussion with my principle, we both agreed that the schools are struggling to keep up with the technology changes that are occurring in the state. The school’s main reason for this is resistance by the teachers to the changes that are happening. Many teachers feel that they cannot teach students without being in a face to face environment. Another issue is finances. Technology is expensive and so is training on the equipment that is being used. Most districts need to pass bonds in order to get the technology that is required. Our school is awaiting a technology bond to see what direction we will go next. The hope is to begin to have a one to one technology plan. The next step is to begin to get teachers to start using and becoming more comfortable with the technology. The hope for our school is to have a web learning portion in every class. However, when talking to our principle that date that would be started by is not something he has thought about yet.

Scenario 1 I think a rural school district would benefit greatly by offering online courses. The students would have more options to chose from when selecting courses. The school would not have to worry about having enough students enrolled in a course to make the face to face class run. It may allow the district to share responsibilities of running the course with neighboring districts to help reduce the work load that the teachers and staff would have. Maybe the online classes could be run by the county to help all districts within that area.

Scenario 2 I think the idea of not wanting a specific teacher is not a reason to move a student into a different class. I understand that sometimes there are teachers that not all students will get along with. I also understand that all teachers do not teach the same way and some teaching styles may not be best for all students. However, by moving a student into a different class simply because they do not like that teacher is not really preparing them for college or for a job. Let’s face it, everyone has to deal with people that they may not like or may not get along with as a college professor, a coworker, or even as a boss. Teaching the student to complain and avoid challenging situations does not prepare the student for life after high school.

Scenario 3 Situations like this are a great example of why we need to pretest and post test students. This way they can measure what they new before they got into the class as well as what they knew when they left the class. This will give a true representation of what the student learned or did not learn within the time they were with that teacher. Without pretesting a student’s grade does not measure what was taught by the teacher. Not every F student did not improve in their knowledge level while with the teacher, and not every “A” student improved their knowledge level while with that teacher.

Scenario 4 In this situation I think that the stress that is put on the teacher by not being able to have direct contact with a particular student is one that can make things very difficult. I think the teacher would need to work hard to embrace virtual communication tools such as email, Google hangouts, Skype, twitter, or facebook. I would hope that the district would not make the teacher teach all the regular classes as well as an online class. The teacher of an online class should teach one less class throughout the day to give them time to work on their materials and thing s that are necessary for the class.

Scenario 5 I think that online classes would be very beneficial to home bound students. It would make the current home bound situation much easier. The student would have access to the things that they need and not have to rely on one tutor to help them learn the material. The student would also learn from a person that was directly responsible form teaching that material and not a tutor that is working as a mediator between the actual teacher and the student.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

K-12 online learning part 2

I think for the most part I was correct in most of the things that I posted in my initial thoughts on K-12 online learning.  I was correct in thinking that schools offer online classes that are not offered as part of the regular curriculum, ever I thought most of this was done as part of credit recovery.

I did however find some things that surprised me when going through the readings. One of which was how quickly the growth of the online learning environment has occurred. The amount of students taking an online course has increased greatly since the early 2000's. After doing the reading I was surprised to see that Michigan had one of the bigger virtual schools, with a lot of courses offered to different students. I also did not know the Michigan had eight fully virtual charter schools. Another thing that surprised me was how many schools with smaller enrollments used online courses and virtual learning. I would've assumed that would've been more popular amongst bigger school districts. Another thing that I was surprised to see is how much your virtual schooling is used for advanced students in advanced classes. My current experience with virtual classes has been mainly in elective classes and as credit recovery. I was surprised to see that cheating in online courses is not more prevalent than regular courses. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

K-12 online Learning

I know a fair amount about K-12 online learning. I know that many elective classes in our building are being offered as hybrid classes. These classes have students meet once a week and then the other days are online learning days. I also know that our school uses American school as an online learning way for students to make up credits that they are behind. Online learning at our school happens on Blackboard. Similar to the way that the IT program uses it. I believe that most online learning is happening outside the “core” classes.

                I think it takes a self motivated, organized, and discipline student in order to be successful in an online environment. The students are responsible for staying on task and up to date on things that are happening in the course. The students must be organized in an effort to meet deadlines that they set within the structure of the class. The students must also take time to learn material on their own and look for additional sources in areas that they feel they may need more help or information. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Judging the Quality of Wikis and Non-vetted Sites

As far as Wikipedia goes I do allow my students to use it as a source. I ask them to trey and validate all the information they find by using multiple sources for the information that they include into their projects. I think allowing kids to use all types of sources and then try and validate that information with other sources gives  them a realistic idea of how to find credible information. In my opinion Wikipedia may not be the best source for information but it often one of the first places that people can get information from. This is something that people tend to look for when accessing information. People want the quick easy answer, therefore, I think it’s a good idea to teach students how to get quick correct information.

At my school YouTube is blocked on all student accounts. Teacher do have access to the videos placed on YouTube. I don’t allow students to use youtube videos in their projects but I do use some videos for class. I show the students the Tony Gwynn OTL video from ESPN in my health class.

Building and Refining your PLN
                This is a blog I added to my list because I follow and like their ideas on twitter. I am not sure that it counts so I did four but I figured if I like their twitter post I’ll probably enjoy their blog too.
                This blog gives technology ideas that may be useful within physical education. Obviously this is something that caught my interest.
                This blog gives a lot of ideas on getting kids especially girls involved in physical education. It also gives advice for fellow PE teachers.
                I selected this blog as I found a link to it on the Guardian website. It was under the heading of physical education blogs I should read. The blog gives lots of ideas on physical education.

I followed because I started reading his blogs

I followed him to see the PE trends in the UK

Followed to get some ideas for class

Followed him because he is a presenter at many PE conferences

Gives technology ideas for PE teachers

I feel have used the twitter tools a lot this semester. I usually seem to see ideas for class or games pop up on my timeline at least 3 or 4 times a week. The twitter ideas are not something that I have tried yet but they are something that I would like to begin to use in my classes. I think the Pinterest and Youtube things that I have added have been less useful. I do not use Pinterest or Youtube that often so that may be why I have not gotten much out of the sites. Overall I would say that the PLN things I have added have already been beneficial to me as it has gotten me interested in adding new games to my current classes. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

IT 6230 Unit 2 Blog

I currently teach at Lakeshore high school in St. Clair Shores Michigan. I teach physical education and a few sections of health. In this current trimester I am teaching more health then in the last two years. Therefore I'm going to use health as the class and lesson for my example of the Web 2.0 lessons. 
For the substitution in my health class I currently allow students to take notes using your tablet or their phone. This allows the students to have access to their notes as long as they have their phone or tablet. It also allows students to take pictures of slides that may be part of my presentation.

For the augmentation step in the SAMR model, I am going to start using the app my fitness pal as a way to track and record your weekly diet. I used to do an assignment that had the students track the food that they ate throughout a three day. They then looked at how much of each food group they ate and wrote a short essay on what they would like to change in their diet. Using the my fitness pal app, which is free on all smart phones and tablets, the students no can look up the brands of the food they eat and scan bar codes to get more accurate data for their diet. 

As for the modification step my thought is to have students began using Google Drive and Google docs as they write their research papers and do the drug PowerPoint presentation. This will make the group work and assignments easier for the students to share responsibilities within their assignment. This will also allow them to share them with me and for me to help them throughout the assignment.

After the students have done the assignment of tracking guy at using my fitness pal, I will have them write a blog using blogger. The blog will focus on explaining what they have found to be the main concerns within the normal teenage diet as well as the healthy portions of their diet. The students will use the information that they recorded using the my fitness pal app for baseline data for their block. The students will include a list of changes and reasons for making the changes to create a healthier plan of eating. Finally the students will post the blog and share the link to the blog with at least one nutrition expert by using a source like Twitter.