Web 1.0 and 2.0- Week 3

“The web offers so many opportunities to people with disabilities that are unavailable through any other medium. It offers independence and freedom. However, if a web site is not created with web accessibility in mind, it may exclude a segment of the population that stands to gain the most from the internet.”

(Naik & Shivalingaiah, 2009, p.10)

Katherine, Arkin, Chris, and Rae did a fabulous job on Monday presenting Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0. The discussions and learning really had me reflecting on the changes in technology I have experienced over my schooling and teaching career. The video my classmates shared is full of memories and prompts to reflect on technology then verses now.

Prior to my classmates presentation, I was not familiar with the terms Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Although now that they have been explained I can understand and consider the features of each.

Naik & Shivalingaiah (2009)
Naik & Shivalingaiah (2009)
Naik & Shivalingaiah (2009)

The web influences people’s way of thinking, doing and being, and people influence the development and content of the web” (Gerstein, 2014). I believe the web has a huge impact on people’s way of thinking, doing, and being today. Without the web our society would be very different. We would not have the same access to knowledge and to each other as we do. But is this a good thing? Should education keep up with this evolution? Does the web play a positive role on humanity today? Who is advantaged and disadvantaged using the web? All of these questions have been stirring in my head within this class and topic.

It is hard to imagine a life without the web and the technology we now have today. Classrooms would not run the same today without the web. Accessibility is an important topic when considering the web. Just within my short career teaching primary I have noticed a big shift. Of course the pandemic pushed the internet on to us and has been amazing to still be able to learn and stay connected. I think often about what it would be like to have gone through this pandemic 30 years ago and have to find a way to educate students safely.

Shifting from Web 1.0 to 2.0 to now 3.0 I believe we as educators need to have an open mind to this change. As my classmate, Rae, outlines in her blog, we should approach Web 3.0 with a growth mindset. Staying connected with other educators through twitter and other resources the web offers is crucial. The amount of resources and ideas I have acquired from classmates over the web is huge. Doing the majority of my masters over the web has been a great learning experience. I am privileged to have access to the technology I need to complete my masters classes smoothly.

What impact does the shift to Web 3.0 have on education?  What types of students and teachers are privileged/disadvantaged by the shift to Web 3.0?

Privileged

  • Teachers and students with access to technology and web.
  • Those with good internet connection.
  • Those able to afford technology.
  • Teachers and students with knowledge around the wed.
  • Teachers who receive professional development

Students who have a knowledge around using the web and are creative will thrive with the implementation of Web 3.0. Students with opportunities to use and learn how to properly navigate.

Disadvantaged

  • Digital divide. Access to technology at home and in schools.
  • Access to internet in rural areas.
  • New technology that works with apps, LMS, resources.
  • Religions and cultures against technology.

There can be many concerns about privacy and data collected through the web.

Many cultures and marginalized populations do not see themselves in the white dominant culture of the web.

Inclusion is important when discussing Web 3.0. Are all voices being heard? Is it a human right to have access to the web today? Is there equity in who can access and use the web?

These questions will continue to be the forefront of conversations as the shift to Web 3.0 is happening. We as educator need to think critically and cautiously while teaching these skills to students too.

Thank you for reading!

Christina

Assessment Technology- Week 3

“No matter which tools you select, make time to do your own reflection to ensure that you’re only assessing the content and not getting lost in the assessment fog. If a tool is too complicated, is not reliable or accessible, or takes up a disproportionate amount of time, it’s OK to put it aside and try something different.”

(Thomas, 2019)

The polls are in:

The majority of classmates seem to be familiar with assessment technologies and have used them within their classrooms. The global pandemic forced us to have to learn to assess student learning remotely. This gave educators time to explore some of these tools and apply them in their teaching. I wonder what these graphs would’ve looked like prior to the pandemic.

There is a wide variety of assessment tools online. My current classmates and some former classmates contributed to the following lists of assessment technologies.

Check out the threads below!

Clearly there are a lot of online tools that can be used for assessment. During remote teaching I used Seesaw. Seesaw provides many ways for students to display knowledge. Students can write, take pictures, videos, draw, etc. to show learning. Teaching primary grades I tried to keep things consistent and simple. Over Zoom I used strategies addressed in Thomas’s (2019) article, 7 Smart, Fast Ways to do Formative Assessment such as thumbs up, down, emojis, whiteboards, check-ins, and discussions. I found it difficult flipping back and forth to in-person and online and trying to get an accurate gage of learning when not all students participated online.

Throughout my career I have to admit assessment has not been my strong suit or a part of my job I particularly enjoy. I have felt like I can get a good read on students learning by observing, doing check ins, small group instruction, and discussions. I rarely have given a formal test or only marked a worksheet to fully understand their knowledge. As a student I would become very anxious when I had a test and often completely blank. I knew the content but tests were not a good way to be able to display my learning. Becoming a teacher I knew that was not a way I wanted to assess kids. Teaching primary kids I can get away with not giving out tests and being able to prove students knowledge without a worksheet. These assessment technologies create fun ways to show learning. I think I would’ve thrived as a kid using some of the tools above.

My teaching practice now when it comes to assessment would mostly exhibit the constructivism learning theory and some cognitivism. Prior to the pandemic I hadn’t used any online assessment tools to formally assess students. I use Razkids in my classroom which tells me a lot about my readers but I don’t take it as super accurate because many students are more excited about getting ‘stars’ than making sure they are answering the comprehension questions correctly. Moving forward into next year I think about implementing assessment technologies into my classroom but feel there are a few barriers. Access to devices at school and home are limited. I wouldn’t be able to accurately assess student learning. Not all students would participate. The only way I could is if students took turns on my six classroom iPads. In person it just seems easier to be able to walk around and assess without technology. If I was teaching online, I would definitely use all the great tools discussed on Monday. I cannot see myself using many within my classroom. But I am open to trying some as I have throughout this past year. My school board is changing to a new LMS so I will not be able to use Seesaw anymore. Within the LMS there may be ways to do online assessment but I know it will take time to get all students and families connected and familiar to a new tool.

I have never received professional development around assessment technologies. I have received PD around certain assessments that I do in my classroom. In my career there have been changes to mandatory assessments. I used to have to do an assessment for grade two math that no longer happens. I do formal reading assessments at the beginning and end of the school year. Having knowledge around assessment technologies is a great bonus but I am not certain I will be using any this year. But like the pandemic you never know what could change and come. There are many advantages and disadvantages.

Thank you for reading!

Christina

Week 3.2 Assessment Practices- The What, Why and How!

Christina, Janelle, Laurie and Ramona did a fantastic job in their presentation showing several assessment tools, discussing the positives and challenges of some of the platforms and tools utilized.  Their presentation and the discussions during it got me thinking about the choices I make to assess.  After reflecting on their presentation, the readings and blogs from my peers it further reiterates the need for intentionality.  To be clear on what is being assessed, why it is being assessed, and how of it being assessed.  Their presentation and readings offered a wonderful opportunity to reflect on best practice.

One thing I noticed the past few years was how online and formative/constructivist assessment greatly aided student learning while simultaneously supporting outcomes.  The groups slide that showcased the positives with constructivist assessment really struck me as that is my goal with lots of assessment in my spaces.

Source: Kampman, Patterson, Ellis, Wagner, Alexson 2021

With digitized feedback I was able to provide ongoing feedback during larger projects or high stakes assignments that helped students modify and adapt their work during the learning process.  This ongoing dialogue and collaboration with myself (after modelled by me with their classmates), helped show that education is not just about summative assessment, learning is an ongoing process.  This shift in focus in my classroom not only helped students’ final marks, it also modelled revisions and ongoing learning throughout the process.  As stated above, after I model the process, I then ask students to provide that type of feedback to each other.  This working relationship between students and our learning communities showed that we can support each other’s learning.  Furthermore, it gave space to show that it is OK to be critical of peer’s work and do so with respect and honesty.  Feedback is not about saying something constructive that enhances their work and evolves thinking.  I found students deeply engaged with the process which allowed them to actively think about what we are doing, how much more deeply we learn.  During the process we often discussed what “good feedback” looked and sounded like.  We discussed what was helpful, or what created roadblocks or insecurities.  We discussed what do we do when we get feedback and how do we ensure we receive it to enhance our learning and not take it personal.  We modelled courageous conversations and my hope is that this not only aids their assignments, but also conversations with future coworkers, bosses, partners and families.  Technology allowed for this type of feedback and back and forth communication which gave me more time to unpack how we go about giving and receiving feedback.

Source: http://www.brenebrown.com

The article Assessing using Learning Technology, Timmis, Broadfoot, Sutherland, and Oldfield (2016) encourage teachers to reflect on the “four C’s” when using technology to enhance a lesson.

  • Ask yourself, does the use of technology allow for increased collaboration or critical thinking opportunities?
  • Are students able to communicate their ideas uniquely and are students able to demonstrate creative thinking?   (Nu-man and Porter). 
  • The structure provided by Nu-man and Porter allows me to further consider my why, how and when to incorporate and also be mindful of who is benefiting from the assessment practice and thus the need to diversify assessment to make sure all learners thrive.

With all that being said, there is a cost for constant and ongoing assessment.  In the article  The importance of digitized feedback and assessment, Cohan cautioned teachers that although this provides meaningful feedback, it is important to be conscious of the give and take of using digitized assessment as it impacts teacher intensification and workload.  The administrative processes and time involved in marking, as well as manual feedback and assessment can significantly add to teacher workloads. It’s also not conducive to a deeper understanding of topics if students aren’t receiving timely feedback in a way which resonates with them, or without the further explanation or context that’s often needed” (Chohan, 2021).  I must be conscious of this consequence when making active decisions of when and how to implement this type of constructivist assessment. It is not meaningful or helpful to receive feedback a week later, nor does it help if my feedback is not meaningful as that detracts from the original reason for providing it.  Furthermore, I must be conscious of the students who are utilizing this process and who it benefits.  I have students who are “good students” and ultimately hear that if they hand something in, they get to keep modifying it until they receive a “good” mark.  Also, I have to be aware of who has access to technology and Wi-Fi at home when collaboration is expected.  If students are not utilizing the ongoing process, it is integral to have conversations as to why they are not.  What is the roadblock?   I have to be aware of who is benefiting from this and thus had to change the way in which I offered this opportunity without it being another mark.  The group did a phenomenal job of structing who is a “good” student and that those who do not fit that dominant discourse will need alternate and adapted assessment strategies that allows them to reap the benefits and the learning.

For a majority of my assessment practices I utilize LMS.  As I have discussed in the Learning Online Post, this allows me to share my content in a single location, embed all materials, videos as well as assessment as students and parents are able to access assignment expectations as well as marking schemes at all times. In terms of assessment practices, I have students working on FlipGrids to share their learning. Students complete Formative checks for understanding.  Engaging in dialogue with their peers through discussion forums to further understand and discuss content.  As shared in the article Assessing using Learning Technology, Timmis, Broadfoot, Sutherland, and Oldfield (2016) echo my love for LMS with the notion that “The LMS allows for transparency amongst all stakeholders in the learning process. Students can access resources and assignments while communicating with their peers and teacher. Parents may monitor student progress while also communicating with the teacher. Often what is communicated in class does not make it home to the parents. The LMS removes this hindrance in communication”.  I have found that to be the case in my experience.  All parties are aware of the expectations and I am able to easily communicate with students and their support systems (parents/guardians/Tutorial teachers and if needed the Student Support team having access to the content). I find this wrap around approach helps all students, but specifically those who need a little more encouragement and explanation through supports provided.

With that being said, although Moodle is available in the division I work for, not all teachers utilize this program.  In fact, in Mike Wolf’s post (he works for the same division I do) he spoke about Moodle being cumbersome.  He stated in a response to my post singing it’s praises: “I’ve always wanted to explore Moodle more in-depth, but the learning curve/time spent to do it well has always deterred me”.  Mike is an avid tech user who has tremendous ways of utilizing tech to teach and assess his students.  If he feels this way about this system, he is certainly not alone.  Thus, it is important for me to consider this and to expand my horizons as perhaps my students/other stakeholders feel the same.  As Katia alluded to in the presentation, all tech comes with its positives and its challenges. What I am learning it is integral to consider both and make conscious decisions to utilize tools that aid pedagogical practices.  

Assessment has been the forefront of my division’s priorities about student engagement and learning.  One thing that they do allow is teachers choice about what platforms best suit students.  Perhaps it is a good thing students are able to show their learning utilizing a variety of platforms and assessment strategies. But I can also see how this would pose a challenge as students are constantly needing to access a variety of platforms in order to access their work.  Are we helping prepare them for a future of change?  Or are we just adding more to an already full plate?  With assessment being a pillar to our divisions strategic plan it is important to have dialogue like this class is providing to consider the implications of assessment. I plan on utilizing the readings and the groups presentation with my Department in the fall to continue the conversation post COVID. After reviewing the positives, challenges, learning theories and epistemologies I am hoping we have an increased vocabulary to really reflect on our practice this past year and prior years without a global pandemic. I want us to consider:

  • What assessment practices worked in your classroom this past year?
  • What streamlined the process in order to meet the needs of the students and to help your workload?
  • What did you not miss with all the changes COVID required that you can let go? Are there assessments you did not use? Did you miss them?
  • What do you want to bring back that was from the “before” days? How can we adopt and let go for this upcoming school year?

In my opinion, one of the most important things we do as educators is assess.  Assessment not only lets students know where they stand in terms of a mark, at its best it also can spark curiosity, innovation, and motivation to become active and lifelong learners.  I like to think of assessment as ongoing dialogue.  It’s not about the end game, or “mark”, it’s about the learning process, the problem solving, the collaboration, the learning process that matters to me.  At its best, assessment gives space for conversation, collaboration, feedback, modification- all critical aspects to the learning process.

Week 3.1 The Evolution of the Web

This week’s presentation by Arkin, Katherine, Chris and Rae was incredibly interesting to listen to.  I found their ability to explain each level of Web simple and applicable, and as someone who has taught through each facet of change it was incredibly interesting to reflect on how it has impacted my teaching practice.  What I found interesting is that in my 15 years of experience in the classroom I have seen all iterations of Web in my spaces and practices. 

As Arkin alluded to in his first post his definition of Ed Tech was influenced by both his personal education and his teaching practice.  He spoke about his high school experience and his teachers using tech, but not to its potential.  Arkin stated: “In high school, my exposure to tech was limited” (Kauf, 2021.  Not to date myself- but I was a teacher when Arkin was a student. . . and I was DEFINITELY one of those teachers who tried to use tech but lacked the accessibility and ability to integrate it meaningfully. I recall in my first few years of teaching you had to book the school projector and laptop that hooked up to said projector (filling in two separate duo-tangs to make sure both devices were available).   You then took the laptop and projector to your room from the main office, located the one plug-in for both devices while being able to face the overhead screen in the room.  I’d then power up the schools laptop and wait 45 minutes for the 750 updates to cycle through.  Once the computer started you brought your USB port with the video you tried to download off of YouTube (Wi-Fi was not accessible unless you were on your desktop computer that could not reach the projector screen in order to broadcast).  You then waited with baited breath to show your students the mastery of your teaching- “here is a 10 minute documentary I wanted you to watch as an introduction to the outcome we are going to learn”.  I can’t imagine why Arkin didn’t feel like technology wasn’t a big part of his learning… must have been some other class.

projectorlaptop.com

All joking aside, when I started teaching in 2006 technology was not easily accessible, it was big and difficult to set up, and you had to share it with an entire school.  I did my best to try new tools and to integrate them, but it certainly was very Web 1.0.  I recall assigning a WebQuest for students to understand the main tenants of the Islam faith.  Students were required to read, and answer fill-in the blank questions.  We used the Computer Lab to access the internet and also had a print copy of the assignment to fill in as they read (note- not research, it was literally read and fill in directly from the site).  They could record their answer utilizing a Microsoft word document, but then they had to find a printer so often they would just write responses on a piece of paper for me.  Fast forward to my current classroom set up and in 2 minutes of a conversation I can have a meaningful and engaging video that was sparked from class conversation playing on my screen.  Or even cooler, students can share their screen through the Connected Educator program where I am privileged to have 1-1 devices in my class.  Suddenly we are seeing the Pilgrimage to Hajj and watching people interact with their faith.  We are not just reading a static page that lists the 5th Pillar, we are seeing the Kaaba and watching the beauty of the ritual.  

Upon reflection on my instructional and assessment strategies and how I utilized tech I noticed “The evolution of the web from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now to Web 3.0 can be used a metaphor of how education should also be moving, developing, and evolving from Education 1.0 towards that of an Education 3.0” (Gerstein, 2014, pg. 83).   Upon reflection here are some things I noticed about my trajectory as a teacher utilizing tech and diverse learning theories:

Years 1-8 was very much Web 1.0 and Behaviorist learning theory. Lots of lists, lots of definitions, lots of “receiving, responding and regurgitating” (Gerstein, 2014, pg. 84).  Yes, it was as exciting as you are imagining it. I mean, just ask Arkin 😊.

(Gerstein, 2014, pg. 84)

Years 8-14 I integrated more Web 2.0 and constructivist practices in my spaces.  Focusing on “communicating, contributing and collaborating” (Gerstein, 2014, 87).  This was evidenced with students interacting with Islamic faith, communicating about what they learnt via discussion boards, connecting using Social Media with people in Regina who practice the faith and coming back to collaborate with their learning.

(Gerstein, 2014, pg. 87)

Year 14 and Beyond!

This past year I realized I have been moving my teaching and assignment design to incorporate Web 3.0. I did not have a name for it prior to this presentation but Gerstein perfectly articulate where I hope to go: “Education 3.0 is also about the three Cs but a different set – connectors, creators, and constructivists. These are qualitatively different than the three Cs of Education 2.0. Now they are nouns which translate into the art of being a self-determined learner rather than “doing” learning as facilitated by the educator” (Gerstein, 2014, pg. 91).  This heutagogical, connectivist approach to teaching and learning is evidenced in my personal learning in Graduate Studies, which in turn inspires my classroom assignments.  This past year I created a Podcast called “I’m Curious About”.  It was an opportunity to have curious conversations with people I admire and respect and share that content within my learning communities.  Once I recorded three episodes, I saw the growth, the creativity, the collaboration that was needed.  I had to be fully prepared, I had to think of branding to make it aesthetically pleasing. I used WeVideo to put together the introductions, music and epilogues.  Finally, I wanted to make it accessible to my classmates so I created a Spotify Podcast so it was accessible on all devices.  This process required creativity, innovation, time and also a vulnerability to take something and put it out “there”.  I saw personal and professional growth as this pushed me to go beyond an assignment between myself and my professor, and worked hard to create something that would go out in the world. 

This past year, I assigned a similar task with my students.  The medium they used to express their learning was up to them, but I asked them to consider how they saw the world and how they could contribute that learning within their communities.  They were asked to conduct interviews and prepare a “product” that showcased their conversation, their learning and how it applied to course outcomes.  I implemented a space for myself and my students where “Education 3.0 is characterized by educational opportunities where the learners themselves play a key role as creators of knowledge artifacts that are shared, and where social networking and social benefits play a strong role in learning” (Gerstein, YEAR, pg. 90). As I think of the shift to Web 3.0 I often consider who will further benefit.  We have already seen a huge gap in the Digital divide due to the COVID 19 pandemic.  Add in another evolution where there is now an evolution to share content, Artificial intelligence, 3D Graphics and Connectivity and I am officially that old person who thinks it is all moving so fast.

I wonder if society really prepared for this new of interacting with content, with data and with each other?  Have we shown an ability to discern when and where to share content? Have we exhibited enough empathy and understanding to the power of our words and comments?  Are we able to discern our worth isn’t a result of our likes or the comments?  As alluded to in the first readings, Postman said technology will always have humanity attached to it.  And that humanity is also evolving, but I contend not at the speed of technology.  I realize that life and technology will keep moving, and I will use my classroom to further unpack the positives and opportunities for growth found in each, but I do contend this train is moving at warp speed.  I hope I can look back on this post and see the growth I will exhibit through presentations and dialogues like this class provides to ensure I am moving alongside with it.  But I do wonder if we are ready for another iteration of the Web when 2.0 provided so much opportunity for growth (which is a nice way of saying it can be quite challenging).  My hope is with time and reflection I will notice a similar trend when I think back to my first few years teaching and that I will be happy to report that I evolved with the changes to find meaningful ways to interact with content, students and the world.  Here’s to the next 15 and embracing all that comes my way!

EC&I Post #5 (Week 3, Post 1)

Blog prompt: Web 1.0 & Web 2.0: “The web influences people’s way of thinking, doing and being, and people influence the development and content of the web. The evolution of the web from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now to Web 3.0 can be used as a metaphor of how education should also be evolving, as a movement from Education 1.0 toward that of Education 3.0. The Web, Internet, Social Media, and the evolving, emerging technologies have created a perfect storm or convergence of resources, tools, open and free information access.” (Jackie Gerstein)
Discuss Gerstein’s metaphor. What impact does the shift to Web 3.0 have on education? What types of students and teachers are privileged/disadvantaged by the shift to Web 3.0? Make connections to tonight’s student presentation as well as the readings provided by the group.

Blooket

Would have done better if (soon to be Dr.) Katia didn’t steal so much of my gold.

Honestly, we live in Saskatchewan. I believe we’re dead last in vaccine uptake, and generally not considered a very forward-thinking province. (Peiris: Saskatchewan’s new tax on electric vehicles a sign of more silliness to come). Much of our provincial curriculum is in desperate need of updating (and not the kind of updates Alberta is getting). With so many people championing memorization and banning Wikipedia outright (I’m guilty of this, too. Sometimes you have to pick your battles) instead of teaching students how to properly use it as a resource, I am not convinced that Web 3.0 is going to make a difference in Saskatchewan. At least, not for a while.

web3

I have a feeling this crew might resist Web 3.0. Can they fight it in court, too?

Gerstein says that “Web 3.0 is affording us with relevant, interactive and networked content that is freely and readily available and personalized, based on individual interests.” This does not sound like our public education system as I have come to know it. While individual teachers can allow some personalization and flexibility, that is not how our school system is designed. There are (24?) required credits to graduate high school. The system is by design not very flexible. With many teacher’s horror stories about how poor engagement was during remote and hybrid learning, I am unsure if less structure and more flexibility will motivate students or demotivate them.

The Comparative Study of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 was a good read. Where Katia noted in the chat that Web 2.0 is considered the “read-write” web, 3.0 is the ” ‘read-write-execute’ web. Web 3.0 is defined as the creation of high-quality content and services produced by gifted individuals using web 2.0 technologies as an enabling platform.”
This article was perhaps a bit too technical for my small brain, but it provided some context and history on these different web paradigm shifts.

In theory, the shift to Web 3.0 will provided traditionally marginalized voices with more of a voice than what is currently scene in the Western-straight-white-mail-dominated internet that I grew up using. When reading about Web 3.0, my concern is that the content a user sees seems heavily geared toward their interests based on previous web browsing history. Not only are there privacy concerns with this, it all emphasizes the internet feedback loop that we’ve been warned about so much in regard to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

EC&I Post #6 (Week 3, Post 2)

Blog prompt: Assessment technologies: The way in which we choose to assess and evaluate students tells a great deal about where we perceive knowledge to be located in the classroom and how we believe that learning should be demonstrated and expressed. This, in turn, means that our choices around assessment technologies are of considerable importance. Think about your own classroom practice (past, present, and/or future). What do your choices (current or past) around the incorporation of assessment technologies tell us about your pedagogical and epistemological beliefs? Are there things that you might do differently now that you have examined your practices in this light? And how do your school and/or district-wide practices around assessment and assessment technologies align with your own?

Some technology-based assessment tools, like Class Dojo, may be psychologically damaging for students.  Immediate connections were drawn between it and Pavlov’s Dog.

This year, I pivoted to using an LMS called Schoolantis for students to hand in the majority of work for my courses.  In some cases, tasks are more of a formative check-in so I can give them some quick feedback in the comments section of the assignment.  It’s not the most visually appealing LMS, but it connects directly with Microsoft OneDrive, where the majority of student work is stored. It works well for students in that they can see at a glance what they have to do and what they are still working on.  For me, I can tell at a glance exactly what has been handed in by each student.Schoolantis

Assessment varies from task to task.  In some cases, I copy the assignment rubric to students along with the assignment itself.  That rubric is editable by them, and in some cases I ask that they self-evaluate prior to submitting the assignment to me.  I will then go through that rubric and evaluate the assignment.  They see this feedback immediately as it is attached to Schoolantis as I am editing the live document.  It’s interesting to see the self-evaluations, as I may have them highlight their self-eval in green, and then I will evaluate with yellow.  Often students are harder on themselves than I am on them.

With many tasks, students have the opportunity to correct the mistakes that were made initially and can re-submit the assignment with the issues corrected.  We try to go for master as much as possible.

As far as other tech tools I use in evaluation, I have used Kahoot, Microsoft/Google Forms, and FlipGrid with some success.  Kahoot is great for lower-level stuff.  The competitive nature, even though there are issues with that, is something that many students enjoy, and the immediate feedback is effective.  For Microsoft and Google Forms, I usually use the short/long answer questions.  This obviously doesn’t speed up my assessment process at all.  They’re mostly used as a way for me to organize so that I have all of my eggs in one basket.  Years ago I would have students used a shared folder to submit work, or would have them submit via email.

With the tools I used currently, I think it’s clear that I value formative feedback and students taking ownership of their work.  By the time a finished product gets to me in a PAA class, the students have seen examples, have reviewed a rubric, and have received feedback along the way from me and from their peers.  One tool that I love for formative assessment is Microsoft Office.  The commenting functionality was incredibly useful when I used to teach ELA classes and was invaluable for peer editing.  With my current courses, I use it to comment on storyboard and script work that student submit.

assessment

Regina Catholic has a system-wide document for high school evaluation and assessment.  It breaks down components like what should and should not be evaluated for marks, as well as category weightings for different kinds of courses.  There is a common weighting, for example, of a 20-level math final.  I’m going to pretend that I know what the weighting is, so let’s pretend that it’s 25%.  So, assuming that teachers are following the document, all math finals in Regina Catholic are worth 25% of a student’s overall mark.  There is nothing specific in this document about evaluation using technology.  For the most part, I don’t have an issue with this document, but the rigidity of these set percentages does hinder teacher autonomy.  I get the need for consistency, but I do not agree with the one-size-fits-all approach.

Having examined my practices within the context of these readings and this presentation, I like to think that I’m doing some good things.  I think that I do need to get better at giving timely feedback.  A lot of that is a function of how busy I am with other aspects of my job.  I need to streamline some of the processes, and maybe tech like plickers can help me with that.  My biggest issue is that a lot of the meaningful feedback that I want to give is not a multiple choice, “this answer is right, and this one is wrong” scenario.  That meaningful feedback can take some time.  I appreciate Chohan’s point about humanizing feedback.  On Schoolantis, there have been many instances where I will use the comment function to have a dialogue with a student after the assignment is submitted.  This might be quick note of encouragement, or perhaps the student missed a portion of the assignment.  This live document allows me to check in with students and to continue the learning process beyond the student just receiving the mark or the rubric back.  And it’s quick and easy to have these dialogues given the technology available.  The reading shared this week from Thomas gives me a lot of good ideas for formative assessment.  I’ve never really thought about doing an tech-based exit slip.  I think the big thing here is finding a tool that works best for the needs of my students and me and sticking with it.  I brought this up in the Discord tonight.  Students are busy juggling a whole bunch of different tech tools since they’re in 4-5 courses a day in high school.  Throwing a new assessment tool at them every few days, even if the novelty of it makes it engaging, may frustrate and alienate students.  I need to find something that works and stick with it.

It was also great to see that these tools have research to back them up.  From the Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology: 

“Moreover, the findings showed that using Plickers for formative assessment aid the learning process as it improves students’ participation; saves the learning time, guarantees equal participation opportunities, and creates fun and exciting learning environment. The findings also encourage instructors to integrate technology tools such as Plickers in their classrooms to help them assess the effectiveness of their teaching and their students’ learning.”

The presenters did an excellent job sharing some of the pros and cons of some of these tools, such as Plickers.  I look forward to trying out Plickers to bring some low-tech tech into my classroom.

Plickers

EC&I 833 Post #4 (Week 2, Post 3)

I messed and and did both the part 1 and part 2 posts for the Online Tools portion and missed the post about productivity suites, so here it goes:

Blog prompt: Productivity suites & presentation tools: This video, titled “Single-tasking is the new multi-tasking, addresses the extent to which multi-tasking has become the new norm for work and suggests that we need to find better ways to focus on only one item at a time. Watch the video and write a blog post in response to the following questions: Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions? And to what extent have the productivity tools discussed today made us more “productive” (or are they only necessary because we now live in a world of distractions)? Are we more productive than we were pre-Internet and pre-Microsoft Office?  Be sure to make connections to tonight’s student presentation as well as the readings provided by the group.


I feel as though most workplaces on significantly more productive because of the internet and Microsoft Office tools.  From my perspective as a teacher, most of my planning for instruction and assessment are done using the internet and Microsoft Office programs.  I could not imagine how much more time my job would take if I was looking up information in books or if I was using a typewriter to create documents.  Most of the work I do is paperless, and my courses are very technology-based, so pulling the ethernet cables out or telling students that they would not be able to use the office suite would drastically change what I teach and how I teach it.

I did a bit of research and found this article from the New Yorker (What happened to the Internet Productivity Miracle?).  This quote jumped out at me:

Once practically everybody was permanently online, with the entire resources of the Internet at their fingertips, surely productivity would take another quantum leap.

It didn’t happen!

Since the start of 2005, productivity growth has fallen all the way back to the levels seen before the Web was commercialized, and before smart phones were invented. During the eight years from 2005 to 2012, output per hour expanded at an annual rate of just 1.5 per cent—the same as it grew between 1973 and 1996. More recently, productivity growth has been lower still. In 2011, output per hour rose by a mere 0.6 per cent, according to the latest update from the Labor Department, and last year there was more of the same: an increase of just 0.7 per cent. In the last quarter of 2012, output per hour actually fell, at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent. Americans got less productive—or so the figures said.”

I then began thinking back to James Hamblin from the video linked in the prompt.  What distractions are people facing not just in my workplace, but in other workplaces?  I sometimes reflect on how much time I spend during a day reading and responding to emails.  What was it like teaching thirty years ago when I didn’t have to spend all of my time doing this?  Do emails make my job easier or harder?  Do emails make me a better teacher or make my students better learners?

Do I have difficulty focusing on a single task?  Though I don’t think I’m nearly as unfocused as James, I do have quite a few tabs open right now:  tabs

Eight tabs.  All of the tabs are related to my current task, which is writing this blog post.  Because the screenshot is small, here’s what they are”

  1. Christina’s Blog Post from this week — because I screwed up and did two posts on the same topic.
  2. The Weekly Plans for this class (which I won’t link on here)
  3. A reading from this week (Google vs. Microsoft)
  4. Another reading from this week (How Google took over the classroom)
  5. A third reading from this week (Link)
  6. The video from this week
  7. The post I’m currently writing.
  8. The New Yorker article that I just referenced

This is pretty indicative of how I usually work.  I’m not on a random Wikipedia page.  I do not have multiple Facebook tabs open.  Particularly when I am physically at work, I feel as though I am getting paid to work, so I try my best to avoid those distractions.  I’m never on my cell phone during class time, and I am rarely on it when I am on my prep period.  Last year I removed my work email from my phone in an effort to have a better work/life balance, so there is really no reason for me to be on my phone during a work day unless I am killing time during lunch.

Overall, in my circumstance, I feel as though my job is easier and that I do a better job of it because of the tools at my disposal (Internet and Office suite).  That being said, there are some definite disadvantages.  In the breakout room discussion, many pointed to privacy concerns regarding how much data Microsoft and Google now have some our school systems.  The article shared this week on Google taking over classrooms (my 4th tab), makes an interesting point, as well”

Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in public education — prioritizing training children in skills like teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas. It puts Google, and the tech economy, at the center of one of the great debates that has raged in American education for more than a century: whether the purpose of public schools is to turn out knowledgeable citizens or skilled workers.”

Are students at a disadvantage in the workplace if they do not know their way around Microsoft/Google programs?  Is it our job to turn out skilled workers?  As someone with a lot of experience in Office Suites, who sees students in computer labs on a regular basis, I would argue that students are less knowledgeable in these suites than they were when I was in elementary and high school, despite having to rely on them more and more and at an earlier age.  Student at the high school regularly have issues with basic things like knowing where they saved a file, adding a printer, or knowing how to do basic formatting in Microsoft Word.  If our goal is to turn out students who are fluent in these programs (that’s not our goal), then we are, based on my observations, doing a very poor job at it.

From the discussions on the night of this presentation, the one thing that stood out as an advantage over these “new” cloud-connected Office suites is the potential for peer editing and quicker feedback.  If I teacher is so inclined, they can go paperless and give students comments and feedback as they’re writing.  Students can do peer editing without having to rely on a classroom printer functioning properly.  Another one of the article provided by this group does a good job doing through some of the benefits of these suites.  Among them, maximizing collaboration, cross-curricular implications, and providing professional development to make the switch to these suites an easy shift.  This includes making sure that parents are educated as to why and how students are going to use these tools in their learning.

I kill a lot of time on technology. More than I probably should. But I also know that my productivity this space is much higher than it would be in a tech-free setting. What is important, and what James speaks to in the video, is being mindful and being mentally present. That has to be be done consciously. During the presentations for this class, as an example, I have my phone on silent and only have the zoom room on my screen. In the past, with synchronous sessions, I have tried to work on blog posts during Zooms, and I find that I end of up doing a poor job of both the blogging and listening during the Zoom. Once I had to go back and re-listen to the entire Zoom because I was so focused on blogging. Not the most productive way to do things.

Being Productive!- Week 2

  • Can we focus on one thing at a time?
  • Are we constantly distracted?
  • Is the internet decreasing our ability to concentrate?

Watching the above video, Single-Tasking is the new Multi-Tasking, I found myself relating to James. As I was watching the video, I was doing many other things, I had many tabs open, my phone distracting me, my kettle boiling with my next cup of tea, I had the washing machine and dishwasher going, etc. I am never doing just one thing. Had the internet caused me to live like this? After laughing at this video I really started to reflect on the use of the internet and how it has affected us all.

I think media balance is so important. I believe we need to teach this starting at a young age. Prioritizing time for everyone to do a single task at a time and shut everything off is important. Taking time to be mindful and meditate is a way I try to clear my busy mind and do some self-care. Common Sense Media has great resources to teach Digital Citizenship. Below is a song for primary students to learn and sing.

It is natural in our world now to become distracted. It is socially acceptable to be on phones while interacting with others. When I got a cell phone I was not allowed to be on it during supper or any family time. Time to connect is very important and I believe that is fading away. Distractions are a part of our world.

Katia asks: Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?

It is now essential to know how to work productivity tools. In certain context they are very helpful for organization and work. I enjoy having access to Google and Microsoft through my school board. When I started teaching I did not utilize all the features in these suites but now find them to be part of my everyday. I use Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Jamboard, Google Slides, and Google sheets almost everyday for work and with my personal Google account. There are positive and negative aspects to using productivity tools. I cannot picture life without them now. Even if you are not using them for work or school, they are a household item in many places. Maybe I was more productive before these tools came into place. I always think of teaching before the internet. I can’t imagine not having it as a part of the classroom and to easily access resources. Educators before the internet did not have the same access to resources and spent a lot of time creating their own lessons. I bet the time spent creating doesn’t add up to the amount of time we waste on the internet now.

In the article, How Google Took Over the Classroom, the author asserts that we now rely on Google for so much. It has been embedded so quickly and easily into schools. Google now has access to the privacy of many students and classrooms. All students at my school start using their school email accounts through Google at grade 3. They will continue to use those emails throughout their schooling. Raquel, Deidra, Allison, and Kelly highlighted the privacy concerns around these productivity tools. They emphasized the positive and negative features of productivity tools.

It is hard to even remember back to before the internet being a part of our everyday lives. The question of whether we are more productive as human beings now or then is a mystery to me. What do you think? Are we more productive than we were pre-Internet and pre-Microsoft Office?

Thank you for reading,

Christina

Online and Remote Learning- Week 2

“In almost every way, education drives development resulting in
technological changes that push the educational agenda.” (Ananga, 2020, p. 310)

Remote learning came at us out of nowhere and has had the whole world rethinking education. In March 2020 when it was announced we would be moving to online learning, my heart completely dropped. I cried a lot of tears. I did not believe there would be any positive that could come out of this situation. I worried so much about my students that I knew I wouldn’t be able to reach and would fall so far behind in reading. I happened to be taking EC&I 830 about Educational Technology and Digital Citizenship at the time. Through this course I was learning about many educational tools and finally taking time to explore them. When the pandemic hit, I had already been trying out tools with my students that I would end up using for remote learning. It made it a bit more of a smooth transition. I was very thankful to have been taking this course and received lots of help from my classmates that I could pass on to my colleagues.

During remote learning I used:

In the fall when we came back to in-person learning, it was crucial to have students set up to these online tools right away. Seesaw became a large part of the classroom. Knowing we could be shut down any day and have to move to online created a frantic energy to make sure we were prepared this time. Around Christmas, we moved to online teaching and were able to use Zoom. I was able to see my students each day and assign work through Seesaw. I did not have the best attendance so it was difficult to assess or teach anything new. Fast forward to being shut down for a month in April, I started to loath online teaching. We had a great routine and I was having better attendance but I still found it not ideal for my students. We needed to be together and learn. I found the hardest part trying to manage them and keep them focused with all the distractions around. I constantly had to tell them to “stop unmuting yourself and interrupting”, “stop playing with toys”, “come sit down and focus”, “we already saw your cat in show and share many times”, etc. It was a good experience and I learned a lot but was VERY thankful when they announced for us to come back to in-person. The time during this pandemic I learned about so many tools that I will continue to utilize in my classroom.

Seesaw is a great tool for teaching primary grades. The assignments are easy to create for teachers, teachers can share lessons, and it is easy to assess learning. Students can show their learning in many different ways. When they add a response to an assignment, they can speak, make a video, illustrate, write or take pictures to display their learning. This is also helpful as many students are using a variety of devices that may be old or not sync well to many educational tools. Moving forward, I have found many ways to implement Seesaw into my in-person teaching to create a blended learning experience. When we were in person, I created assignments on Seesaw each week that covered the topics or themes we were learning. This way if any students were sick or had to stay home, they weren’t missing out on the key concepts being taught. I will continue this practice as I found it very effective. Students also were more engaged in reading apps during the weekends after using them for remote/online learning.

Mike, Jacquie, Fahmida, and Josie did a wonderful job describing tools for distance and online learning. They sparked me to reflect on my experience online and what I liked and disliked about it. As stated above, there are useful tools I will bring with me that I learned through teaching online. It is something I can add to my resume but do not think I would chose to do again. I prefer having the energy of the kids in front of me. My classmates started their presentation by asking what we prefer for learning in graduate school. I only took one in-person grad class. I have really enjoyed being able to do my masters from the comfort of my home. Not having to find a parking spot and walk so far to class. (especially in winter) I never thought I would prefer the delivery of online learning for myself as a learner but have grown to prefer it. My professors were able to create a great learning environment that still allowed us to feel connected. I learned so much from classmates and was able to check-in about our pandemic teaching experiences as well. I do not like teaching this way, but liked learning this way. The connection felt in the classroom with students is something I did not feel online. Going back and forth teaching online and in-person really created a gratitude when we were together. Knowing we could be shut down at anytime made us treasure each moment we had in-person together and created a strong classroom connection. This past year teaching was full of ups and downs but I felt like I knew my students better then any other year because everyone got to share their homes while we were online. I was able to see them in the comfort of their own home-something I hadn’t experienced pre-pandemic. There are many pros and cons to my experiences throughout this past year that I can take with me moving forward and ones that I can shed and never look back on. Teaching young children, there is a need for connection and social-emotional learning that is a lot easier to learn in-person.

Thank you for reading,

Christina

EC&I 833 Post #3 (Week 2, Post 2)

Prompt: Part 2: If you moved to partly or fully remote teaching this past school year, how did you bring/could you have brought these tools into your current context? How did the shift to online, blended, or remote learning affect your experience, and (how) were you able to use tools to support your teaching? OR If you did not move to a remote context this year, how would you feel about teaching with these tools in an online or distance education class, and how would your current context be impacted if you were to shift to an online/distance format vs. face to face? Be sure to make connections to tonight’s student presentation as well as the readings provided by the group.

microsoft-team-2019

I utilized all of the tools mentioned in my previous post during remote learning.  The nice thing about it for me and for students is that the routine was something they were used to.  Go to my website and see what’s up for the day.  That part didn’t change.  What did change is my method of delivery (Live via Microsoft Teams or screen recorded using a mixture of Teams, QuickTime, and Camtasia).  It went as well as it could have given the level of attendance of engagement that I was receiving from students.  In tonight’s activity revolving around distance learning, many noted the frustration with lack of attendance and overall student productivity.  Many teachers were working harder than ever before trying ton engage students, and many student simply weren’t pulling their weight.

One of the articles provided this week, written by Patricia Ananga, confirms this sentiment:

“In an interesting twist, e-learning is seen as an educational means that involves technology, communication, efficiency, and self-motivation (Bloomsburg University, 2006). This perspective goes further to indicate that due to the limited social interaction that exist between student-student and student-instructor, it is very necessary for the students to motivate themselves and have frequent communication to ensure that assigned tasks could be accomplished.” (312)

That intrinsic motivation that Ananga references, at least in the experience of many of the secondary teachers in this EC&I course, simply wasn’t present.  Between emails, phone calls, messages via Remind and Microsoft Teams, there was only so much I could do to motivate students to participate in remote learning.  I also got the sense from parents that they were unsure how to motivate their children, as well.

The Caruth article from this week, which outlines some of the historical context of remote learning, outlines seven aspects for assessing effective online learning:

achievability,
believability,
measurability,
desirability,
focusing,
motivation, and
commitment


In reflecting back on some of the work that I did during remote learning, I feel that I hit a lot of these areas with the assessments that I was doing.  For achievability, I often focused on tasks that students would be able to achieve within the span of the class time for that day.  Whereas in a f2f situation I might have something take multiple days of build up before any type of assessment, I found that having smaller assessments worked better for students.  I tried to keep assessments as practical as possible, thus hitting the believability aspect.  Assessments were measurable with examples, rubrics, and with explanations.  Through smaller tasks and assessments I feel as though that kept student focus and motivation more than the alternative.  I probably could have given students 2-3 weeks to work on their final portfolios during remote learning, but giving that much “free time” to students who had already had a less-than-productive hybrid learning experience was not going to be a good experience for anyone. 

I think that the biggest impact that remote learning had on me was on my mental health.  Though I had my wife at home with my during remote learning, I found the experience very isolating.  Occasionally I had live sessions with a tenth of the students that were on my attendance list.  I felt useless teaching to such a small number of students, and I received very few assignments in “on-time.” I missed socializing with my students, my friends, and my colleagues from work.  While I tried to keep as productive as possible planning for future remote and hybrid learning, as well as taking graduate courses, It was difficult for me to stay positive.  I realize that I was in a very privileged position to be able to work from home and receive my full salary, I just felt horrible in that despite some long work hours and additional communication required during remote learning, I did not feel as though I was really earning my wage– at least, certainly not to the extent that I feel I earn my wage during a more traditional teaching year. (Complete with all of the additional volunteer work that I do not get compensated for).

Ananga, P. (2020). Pedagogical Considerations of E-Learning in Education for Development in the Face of COVID-19, International Journal of Technology in Education and Science, 2020

Caruth, G. D., & Caruth, D. L. (2013). Distance education in the United States: From correspondence courses to the Internet. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 14(2), 141-149.