Communication with Technology
Communication within the classroom is changing rapidly as technology advances on. It is possibly to communicate with classmates and the teacher without any face-to-face interaction or communication. I have seen communication similar to this at both the college and high school levels. The opportunities for students to communicate differently than I did in high school is simply amazing and will be a challenge in terms of digital ethics. I am using some new tools to communicate with my students to help connect them to the content and learning.
Affordances of Web Design
As a teacher of technology, I have had the opportunity to view and critique design for many years. I have applied good design practices while creating this ePortfolio, the Educational Technology Blog, and Instructional Design & Technology Blog. My goal is to create a positive experience for viewers of this ePortfolio with information that is both relevant and visually appealing. Donald Norman (2002) defines affordances as the ways we interact with our surroundings and is reflected in good and bad design. All of the images and graphics used throughout this ePortfolio and the aforementioned blogs have a reason for their inclusion. Just like technology integration into the classroom should complement the learning process, the design and layout of this site, the graphics, the videos, and the text all have a purpose of complementing each other. I have focused on design principles which will be a reflection of my skills and aptitude of educational technology leadership. Furthermore, this Ed Tech Leadership ePortfolio is an extension of my qualifications as a leader of instructional design and technology.
Blogging is Communicating
Communication has always been important in education. I have been exploring the use of blogs to foster communication and writing skills. Blogs allow students to have a voice in the digital world. In the Digital Video & Audio Design Blog students make weekly posts over what they have learned, constructed throughout the week, or general social topics. Writing is a focus on my campus and these weekly blog posts assist students with writing skills and proficiency. The focus is to get students comfortable writing and dispel their negative feelings towards writing. Blogs offer students the ability to ask questions and get feedback in and out of the classroom. Communication is a very powerful tool and I am also providing students a chance to have a voice with this blog. Students who might be intimated to ask questions in the traditional classroom, might gain confidence expressing themselves in an online setting.
Through my Educational Technology Blog the world of education is explored with 21st century technology resources. Current trends and issues relating to the adoption and integration of technology into the classroom are explored throughout the blog. This blog is an extension of my technology skills and knowledge needed to make educated decisions about new and evolving technologies. An ePortfolio tour along with options and creative resources are evaluated to generate informed decisions on the different platforms and software available.
As the 21st century is evolving and changing so is the landscape of education with technology and learning. My Instructional Design & Technology Blog reflects the theories on learning and different instructional technologies to promote learning and effective teaching methods. Just as technology is continuing to evolve so is the field of instructional design. Performance methods, future directions, and current trends are all explored throughout the Instructional Design & Technology Blog.
The use of online course management systems is becoming more common throughout education. The second use of technology I am using to communicate with students is GEO Online (Garland Education Online), which is based on the Moodle content management system (CMS). My use of GEO in the classroom is the method of instruction I use for all my classes. All of my course content (book, lessons, projects, quizzes, and exams) is online. A few of the many projects in GEO are:
These project packets are examples to illustrate the foundation for students to begin their collaboration and production cycle.
Working together and exchanging ideas on projects teaches students how to interact to complete objectives in a small group setting. Google Docs is a third tool I utilize to foster communication through collaboration. Students are able to edit and revise documents and send notes for projects in and outside of class. Each student has a school assigned Google email. With this email students are able to send emails to classmates and myself similar to how real world organizations communicate.
Google Docs has also developed as an instrument for communication for the Ed Tech PLC (professional learning community) in my sub-department. Twelve teachers in both Career Technology and Education (CTE) and Technology Applications departments comprise the Ed Tech PLC. As the Ed Tech PLC leader, I create weekly agendas in Google Docs and share this among the members of our PLC group. Google Docs allows PLC members to collaborate, edit, and add to the weekly agenda to foster communication, promote student learning, and develop professional learning opportunities. The following are examples of the Google Docs with students and faculty:
- Capstone Project
- Digital Video & Audio Design Blog
- Ed Tech PLC Agenda
- ePortfolio Affordances
- Instructional Design & Technology Blog
- Student Productivity Forms
- Producer Project
- PSA Project
- Norman, D. (2002). The design of everyday things. New York, NY: Basic Books.
- vladgrin. (Artist). Media human mobile [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-25539932