This page contains a showcase of some of my work as a professional education and student of the M.A.E.T. program at MSU. I will continue to update this page as I grow as an educator, a technology leader, and a student of life.
Building an online course
This screenshot is from a sample Civics module I am designing using the LMS program Haiku. Haiku lets you design your own course by writing content, graphic organizers, and even entire websites. It also allows you to create multiple assessments and track student progress.
For free access, please send me an e-mail by clicking the picture to your left. To see a walkthrough of my course, watch the video below.
Cellphones in school
One of the courses I took in the College of Education was CEP 822 taught by Leigh Graves Wolf. CEP 822 is all about Educational Research. In this course I learned how look critically and objectively at what research studies are saying about education. At the same time I was following what research had to say, I was creating my own research proposal. I chose to look at the potential effects of cell phones in the classroom. This document is available in two formats, Adobe PDF Download or an online Google Docs Version.
Other forms of Assessment
Technology allows teachers to get creative with their forms of assessment. One great resource is ToonDoo, a free and easy to use program that lets students create their own cartoons.
In CEP 812 my group created a video on the benefits of using ToonDoo in school. Please watch the video below to learn more.
Laptop Pilot Program Proposal (L3P)
Our students face a well documented and dangerous phenomenon, the dreaded “summer loss” effect. Over the summer months students not only forget what they've learned, when they return to school in the fall they are less prepared than when they left in June. "Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer. (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004)."
The problem is even worse for low-income students. When these students reach high school and take standardized assessments they often score 2 or more grade levels below their actual grade. "More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007)." There is one strategy schools can implement that will not only stop this “summer loss” but will also boost student engagement, confidence and ability.
Many schools face the issue of what to do with machines when they are replaced with newer models. Although these machines are a bit older, they are more than capable of creating documents, running learning software and accessing the internet. These laptops could be tested and, if they are in working order, could be issued to students as a way to keep them motivated, engaged and connected over the summer and into the following school year, at no cost to the district. In addition to this, a national Non-Profit program “Motor City Free Geek” has offered to partner with schools to help train students about computers and digital responsibility. Students not only build confidence during the program, at the end of the program they earn their very own laptop.
While students would benefit from getting their own laptop, this alone is not enough. Students will need support and encouragement over the long summer months. "The idea that we can close the knowledge gap by just providing access to computers is a terrible fallacy." (Neuman, 2008) What is necessary is providing these students with the resources, support and guidance needed for their success. Change is not easy, as the presentation below explains.
The first week of the program has students learning about computers while also playing educational games and building their math and language arts skills. There are many resources that can be used free of charge to increase student achievement. Spots are limited for this program and should be capped off at no more than 25. To enroll, the student must have a recommendation letter from one of his or her teachers. This program has the added benefit of parental involvement because students would need to be dropped off and picked up from school. With the support of Motor City Free Geek students will learn how to upgrade and maintain their machines.
To qualify for this program, students would be required to do the following
- Get a letter of reccomendation from a teacher
- Be in good standing
- Be able to attend the four-day "kick-off" session.
- Complete a brief post-session survey
After students complete the program they have the option of earning additional credit in their core classes. This material would be accessed by student either on-site or virtually using either Haiku LMS or Moodle. Initially teachers would develop these lesson plans, which could be reused the following fall by other students. This gives students multiple representations of the curriculum and would increase student involvement. Students will retain what they've learned, catch up on what they have not, and get ahead for the next school year.
As the Prezi and the table above show, change requires five key elements. If any one of these are missing the outcome will not be change but confusion, anxiety, resistance, frustration or the dreaded treadmill effect. The vision for this laptop proposal is to engage students in meaningful learning over the summer, the skills are something that the staff can gain over several Professional Development sessions with support from the IT department. The incentives are an end to "summer loss" and increasing student involvement and enthusiasm, the resources are freely available, and I believe I have outlined an action plan. For more information about the action plan, please click this link. For questions, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
Summer is coming, are you ready?
For free access, click the link to send me an e-mail.