Integration and Impact of Learning in Technology
Digital Citizenship is a concept that I can easily get behind. As an educator and mom/stepmom of teenagers, I frequently observe the ramifications of questionable internet ethics and behavior seeping into real life. The influence of children spending hours of unsupervised time online absolutely plays out daily in the classroom and at home. There is enormous need for an ethical and etiquette-drive code to help guide the citizens of the metaverse as explosive advancement continues to occur. We are living in an unprecedented time in which children can easily stumble upon developmentally inappropriate content online without adults to help them filter. My parents limited my TV and gaming time to 2 hours per week, and due to the public nature of screen consumption in those days (TVs and computers were purposely placed in community areas. There was no such thing as a "personal device." My parents knew everything that I was watching or influenced by and we were able to discuss openly what I was consuming. Now it is difficult to control and monitor screen usage by kids, and I have many concerns surrounding how little I know and understand what exactly is influencing my children. I have personally observed children going "Lord of the Flies" during screen time. Minecraft is an extremely popular way to spend screen time, particularly in my home. Some users create beautiful structures and communities with friends. Other users run around and destroy other users' creations in Minecraft, kill other players for sport since they can quickly re-spawn. Children can make choices and actualize their instincts in the digital landscape in ways that can be good learning experiences but also in ways that can affect follow them for the rest of their lives. The addictive nature of digital media is another great concern I have for the children of the 21st Century. I see children act in ways similar to drug addicts when they are craving screen time. They will lie, cheat, and steal in order to get back onto a gadget, which I find disturbing. I see an undeniable change in child behavior, which influences their personalities due to the amount of hours throughout the years spent on screens. Due to this enormous range of possible impacts on a person's life and the wild west nature of some online communities, it's about time the concept of digital citizenship be brought into focus and we hold humans accountable to each other despite powerful perceptions of online anonymity and radical freedom. Thanks to the sudden and forced implementation of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed a critical turning point in the tech sphere, resulting in a wide-reaching ripple effect. I believe we will see many benefits to the existing online world going forward. The influx of educators who are now contributing to the development of technology and the metaverse will absolutely guide and shape human behavior patterns that occur online. A friend of mine who works in AI for Adobe shared with me that he believes ethics are so desperately needed in his field right now since technology is developing faster than ever, even in the past six months. Teachers train humans not just in subject matter material but in social skills as well -- we guide social behavior or our schools descend into chaos and dysfunction -- and our presence is needed more than ever to help shape the digital citizens of the 21st century. I am encouraged to see the extent that educators are now being invited to the table to participate in the construction and development of technology used to educate and train humans of all ages, and I expect that we will see more ethics, civility, and organization in the metaverse as a result. I completed the following Digital Citizenship Certificates: Google: 1. For Students: Be Internet Awesome 2. For Educators: Digital Citizenship and Safety Course My review and feedback on the Certifications: Google “Be Internet Awesome” was a very engaging and effective way to turn an important learning experience into a game. I thought the puzzles were fun and kept me moving efficiently through the program. The graphics were not the best, but stylistically the game was artsy and well put together - it reminded me of Monument Valley, which is a favorite puzzle game in my family. I recommended Google’s “Be Internet Awesome” to my children because I think they would genuinely enjoy this learning experience. I would also certainly recommend this content to my school for use in the classroom. Even reflecting on this set of games a week after completing all the games, I still remember the concepts vividly and even feel that if I had time, I might like to go back and replay some of the games. I received the certificates with my name showing that I progressed through all the levels. I also completed the Google Educator training materials and received a “Digital Citizenship and Safety Course” certificate. I felt this training experience was boring and it was very difficult for me to remain engaged. I kept spacing out and having to re-read the slides. This was not very efficient because I ended up taking longer to get through the content since I had to read and re-read so many times. There were very random graphics included in the presentation which actually served to distract me rather than enhance the learning concepts. Now, just a week after completing this training, I don’t remember exactly what I read and so my retention was quite low. I believe the Instructional Design could have been more impactful to help tie the content to more retainable memories. I perused the BrainPop Digital Citizenship games. The first one was a “The Meaning of Beep: Digital Etiquette.” I completed this game once but forgot to get a screenshot showing my results and so I played it again. My second time through, I did better and started to understand the outcomes of the game. The repetitive nature of the game required you to answer prompts (such as “My brother and I always _____ about what we should watch on TV.”) with a descriptive word such as: “argue,” “mean,” “thoughtful,” “respect,” and so after awhile I began to associate the scenarios with the same adjective and I suppose that may stick with me over time. I didn’t feel the game was explained very well but eventually I caught on. I don’t think children would be as engaged with these games since the directions were not clear. I could also imagine my students not being very engaged with the presentation of this content and starting to goof off instead of taking it seriously and engaging with the content. The second one was “Newsfeed Defenders” which I found interesting as a simulated social media platform where you could click on items to explore and evaluate their credibility and legitimacy. You could pick a topic and mine was “Health and Wellness.” You are given a time limit, and each “day” you get to check in on your progress and possibly receive a promotion to the next level. As you explore the posts with sources cited (or lack thereof), a student would learn to evaluate and verify information from a number of angles. Then as you find success at the end of each day, your abilities on the site expand to commenting, moderating, becoming an admin who may curate and feature content, and approving of posts or reporting for removal. As you grow the site, there is feedback about how well regarded your site becomes. I really liked this format as a learning tool, but I have used social media for 20 years now. I wonder if kids who have never used a social media platform would understand or be able to put this simulation into context. Perhaps most kids have seen social media by the age they would use this resource - via family and friends who show them their Facebook pages. This is one issue that may arise if this resource is used in the classroom particularly for younger students (which I do not recommend), however, I am not too concerned about this possible issue based on the fact that I recommend this resource for older students. This online certification is best directed at tweens and teens attending middle school and high school. The content was at times more mature, but also introduced a number of interesting topics that teens may want to follow up on. There was a post about Meditation and Test Taking Results, a post on Teen Dating and Domestic Violence, and a post about WHO naming a Gaming Disorder. When I googled the “Gaming Disorder WHO,” it turned out that this is actually a legitimate topic and I am all set to read more about it. I found the game raised questions that I would hope my tweens and teens could read more about. This was a very time consuming but interesting learning experience and I felt the time spent earning the certification was well worth it. I would recommend this particular game to be used in the classroom.
Tech Training Videos
Video tutorials are a great way to asynchronously present educational technology tools and resources, effectively training fellow educators on how to get started and use the technology in their classroom. I created a two part video tutorial series that relates to my Capstone project with a focus on the use of Extended Reality (XR) in the classroom. I became intrigued by the benefits of learning with the use of XR and was surprised to find out that my school did not yet have an XR program or even a plan for one. I identified that the Merge cube and VR headset were good for potential use in the classroom because they are both extremely student centric.
The objective of this video is to provide teachers with a step by step guide with a demo of the AR Merge cube, showing them how to use the AR technology and also to giving them grade level and subject area specific ideas as to what AR content to use in their curriculum. The expected outcome for viewers is the achievement of a higher level of XR ed tech know-how and confidence. The survey on the left of the video (below) will help educator determine next steps after watching the tutorial, and will also indicate how I can further guide them.
Instructional Coaching in Educational Tech
Coaching Models and Strategies inform Ed Tech Specialists on best practices for training sessions and interactions with school staff members. Different approaches will work for each unique school site, and there may even be a need to alter one's coaching style from person to person depending on their prior knowledge/experience and their preferred style of communication and training.
For this unit, my cohort and I collaborated to create a presentation (please look to your right for our slide deck) which gives an overview of some coaching models. We also assessed and then recommended which approach would be best for our particular school sites.
Models of Professional Development
Social Media and Professional Development:
I have used Social Media platforms a lot in the past, particularly to advertise the tribute band that I performed professionally with for 4.5 years. I was able to build a following and network with my peers and other contacts within the music industry. I used Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook primarily. I had to take a break from social media when I stopped performing and began the Teach-Now credential program. I also began teaching in schools full time and did not have time/could no longer afford to be a working Performing Musician (it's definitely a pay to play industry). I had to take a break from social media because it is so time consuming, and as a teacher, I never had spare time anymore! Now, whenever I dive back into social media and skim through my feeds, there is so much paid advertising on social media that it all feels a lot less personable and more self-serving. As a result, I am not on social media much, which has its pros and its cons.
For this assignment, I found that it was difficult to post Facebook Groups that I belong to and engage with on Wakelet. Due to group privacy settings, I cannot share these groups here. I do belong to a number of private Facebook groups created for general education music teachers, voice teachers, piano teachers, etc. I searched Twitter and found the following hashtags relating to my specialty in Music Education Tech: #musiced #musiceducation #musictech #musictechnology #musicmatters #elementarymusic #primarymusic #musicactivities
I find it tremendously helpful to consult with associations that are dedicated to my profession, as these organizations have a plethora of resources for educators. Here are some that I peruse on a regular basis and they are on the cutting edge of research in my subject area: NAFME (National Association for Music Educators), NATS (National Association for Teachers of Singing), MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and EdTA (Educational Theatre Association) are wonderful resources across all Social Media Platforms. They all have numerous resources for incorporating Technology into the music classroom and the private music teaching practice.
I created a Wakelet (posted to the left) dedicated to using technology in the Music classroom and also for other private music instructors/studio owners: https://wke.lt/w/s/7W1syS
I am also now curating Wakelets for other aspects of Ed Tech that interest me:
1. Ed Tech Coaching: https://wke.lt/w/s/gtk5Yq
2. Instructional Design: https://wke.lt/w/s/x5hCZW
3. Computer Science and Coding Learning Resources: https://wke.lt/w/s/TUat_K
Instructional Needs Analysis
For this unit, I spoke with multiple coworkers to find out what technology training gaps they have experienced. I found there was a real need for the school's Learning Management System (LMS) -- Schoology -- to be better customized by teachers so that the tools utilized within the LMS would be more appropriately fine tuned for different grade levels. Teachers want to create courses and provide tools that target the zone of proximal development (ZPD) for their students, but many of them do not know how. Upon identifying this need, I created a training proposal to target and fill this knowledge gap.
I also created a training proposals and fliers (3 of them) for the Extended Reality (XR) Ed tools that I plan to roll out at my school site, most likely during the Spring Semester of 2023.
(Please see document to the right for my proposals)