Friday, February 21, 2014

RSS in Education

Last week we were asked to think of how we could use RSS feeds in our classroom or place of business.  I thought that I could use this technology to solve a problem I have in my Grade 12 social studies classes.   I lose classroom contact with these classes during our final exam week.  In the past, I would create a website to act as a study resource.  With RSS feeds, I can take this idea further and have my students subscribe to a "study blog" which will allow them to review on ongoing basis rather than cramming for their exam.

This week I decided to put that plan into action and create a blog for one of my social studies classes who have an exam coming up.  I structured this blog to have a review activity in every post.  In fact, I scheduled  some posts to publish over the next week so the students won't have all of the review activities at once.  To satisfy the requirements of this week's artifact, I included a video tutorial on how to subscribe to its RSS feed and how to use Feedly as an RSS reader.  I introduced the review blog to my students and they seemed receptive.  I am  positive that this will work quite well, and I plan on monitoring the page views each post receives to gage the effectiveness of my idea. I will be looking for a correlation between the page views of the posts and the how well the students do on the corresponding concepts of the exam.

I learned quite a few things creating this artifact.  I learned how to create a script/storyboard which proved to be very helpful.  I learned how to make a screen cast which is something I wanted to do for quite some time, and I learned how to use RSS and incorporate it in my teaching.  I am noticing that my classmates and I are  showing considerable growth and we are becoming more comfortable with the technological tools introduced to us since starting ED Tech 501.  I appreciate being able to use what I am learning in this class at work with my students.

Here is the video tutorial I created for my students.

If you are interested, you can access the blog I created for exam review here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Elements of Educational Technology

Our assignment this week was to analyse the Association for Educational Communications and Technology's definition of educational technology.  We were expected to choose three elements of this definition that we thought were the most important.  Educational technology has always interested me but I have never really thought about this field in a philosophical sense. Like most people in this program, I see this field as an exciting, fast paced aspect of education that will lead us into the future.  As I worked through the introductory paragraph that was assigned, I felt myself thinking of the responsibilities an educational technology professional has to address and how important a field educational technology is for students and teachers.

By doing this assignment, I have furthered my understanding of the impact an educational technologist has on the learning environment.  They set the course a jurisdiction will follow in terms of planning and acquisition of resources.  They manage the resources and create ways for teachers and students to succeed in the use of the technology that was acquired.  Ultimately, they help ensure that learning takes place either in the classroom or in terms of professional development for educators.

I can certainly see the value in having us complete this assignment as we begin our studies in educational technology.  I wouldn't say my attitude has changed about educational technology, but I would say I now have a broader idea of what educational technology is.  Below, you will find a link to my assignment.

Brian Plastow's Introductory Paragraph on The Definition of Educational Technology