Sunday, September 11, 2011

Module 6: Final Reflection

There have been many lessons for me throughout this course. Some of them were embedded in the course itself but others came about because of the personal situations that coincided with the course. This course allowed me to reflect educationally and personally as I worked through the requirements. My passion for the use of websites as instructional tools became more apparent to me as I researched and found objective support for the academic tool that I found so successful in my own classroom. I knew it worked for me but finding that this concept was based on a strong foundation of parental involvement and differentiating for students gave me a deeper understanding of why the process worked.

Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies. The materials throughout this course and the discussions with our professor and peers helped to provide unique perspectives and an opportunity to share thoughts about the role of educational technology. In addition, I am beginning to differentiate between quality integration and that which is more trivial through the readings and research that I have done.

Education is founded on the concept of sharing information, whether that be from teacher to student, peer-to-peer, or administrator to teacher. The importance of continually seeking out opportunities to share and learn from peers as well as share discoveries that have made a difference in the academic success of students is at the core of education. Education without this component would simply not exist.
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Final Video Project


Center for the Study of Education Policy. (2004). School/Home Communication: Using Technology To Enhance Parental Involvement (p. 100). Retrieved from

Dias, L. B. (1999). Integrating technology. Learning and Leading with Technology, 27, 10–13.

Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190–193.

McMillen, P. S., & Pehrsson, D.-E. (n.d.). EBSCOhost: Improving a Counselor Education Web Site through Usability Testing: The Bib... Retrieved June 19, 2011, from

Munkittrick, D. P., Coudriet, J., & Zhou, D. L. (2010). ConneCting Your K-12 Communiti A strategic Approach for Leveraging tec n support of District imperatives — The K-12 Unified Technology ModelTM. Retrieved from

What Research Says About Parent Involvement in Children’s Education In Relation to Academic Achievement. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Module 5: Concept Map

I have extensive experience in using the dynamic resources as shown on the graphic organizer. I believe that most of my work is done using this side, especially in the area of dynamic webpages and interactive websites that support student learning. That said, I have found that there is a place for some of the static resources as well to ensure that I meet the needs of all learners, some of who learn better with some static resources. In this case, a mixture of both resources is important. With this said, my goal is to continue to embrace new technologies and opportunities as they are developed and ensure that I am using the dynamic tools effectively. My belief is that there is always a way to improve and I will continue to strive for that improvement.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Module 4: Tools for Online Courses

With your graphic organizer, include a reflection describing how you can bring the technological tools learners are using outside the classroom into the educational process, and which tools and strategies are best for this purpose. Make sure to explain why each tool works well in a learning environment and the benefits and advantages it provides.

Learners today are using a variety of tools outside the classroom. By employing tools that have already been accepted by users, the instructor can facilitate collaboration and communication between online learners. For example, Google Docs is a popular tool that allows users in different locations to collaborate on a document, spreadsheet, or presentation in real time. The learners may also use the Chat feature to communicate with each other while they are working on the document. Other programs provide this type of group collaboration, as well. Zoho and Redliner are just a few of the commonly used applications that facilitate learning in this way.

To facilitate brainstorming sessions among online learners, Wallwisher may be used. This allows users in different locations to post notes, ideas, videos, and graphics up easily in real time as they develop ideas for online projects. One of the highlights of this product is that it is extremely easy to use and requires no membership so an impromptu meeting can be held easily.

For online chat communication and whiteboards, programs such as Vyew, Stixy, Dabbleboard, and Twiddla are wonderful for allowing learners to add graphics and notes in real time as they collaborate on a project.

In terms of online learning centers, a wonderful tool to provide content to students, TrackStar is an incredible tool. This allows the instructor to create a group of activities for students and provides the content in a framed environment. For younger students, this keeps them safer than environments that are open to the web.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Assessing Collaborative Efforts: Module 3

There are a variety of ways to access learning in a collaborative learning community. It is critical, however, that the student understand what the assessment is and what is expected of them. "Students need a road map not only to guide the activity, but also to know how that activity will be assessed and evaluated" (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). Therefore, before any collaboration assessment is given to students, it is critical to clearly explain to the student the expectations and process of that assessment.

One valuable tools for students is a self-assessment. This is an appropriate tool because it allows the learner, the focus of the course, to provide information about their own perception of their abilities. This assessment may come in many forms such as a reflective writing or essay or it may be done in the form of a portfolio that is provides the highlights of the students work as chosen by the student.

Palloff and Pratt (2005) state, "A simple rule to remember when assessing collaborative work is that collaborative activities are best assessed collaboratively." With this in mind, rubrics that are written for collaborative expectations is preferable. Another method would be to provide students a survey of their perceptions of the workings of the group as a whole.

To ensure fair and equitable assessment, the use of a rubric with clear expectations produces a more objective evaluation of the product.

In order to work with the challenge of a student opposed to working collaboratively, the instructor should being the course with the expectation of collaborative work. Many of these individuals who might balk at the idea of working collaboratively are more willing when the instruction, preparation, and expectations for roles and are clearly laid out. (Pallot and Pratt, 2005, p. 34)

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Comments left for other students in course:
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Storyboard: Module 3

Dear Fellow Students: Please forgive my lack of artistic talent in these storyboards.

Please click on the storyboard pages below to see the large image of the storyboard.

From Walden University Course Blog

From Walden University Course Blog
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Communication: Module 2

The ability of technology to aid communication has led to an increased acceptance of distance learning. Individuals now are able to easily interact with others in a distance learning class and engage in live dialogues as well as view the other students live, if desired, and use a whiteboard much like a face-to-face teacher uses a whiteboard in the classroom to work out problems, add notes, or draw figures.

In addition, individuals are using these communication technologies for non-educational purposes in their homes to bridge the distance gap between family members and friends. As Dr. Simonson (n.d.) described in his video, the impact of distance has been changed so that it is no longer significant in terms of communication.

There are many tools available today that further the communication that supports the distance learning environment. For instance, there are services such as Skype that provide users the ability to video chat and hold conversations informally or formally. Programs like Elluminate allow educators to host a classroom of students and hold a class meeting while sharing an interactive whiteboard that the whole class can use for discussion and providing examples to further understanding. It should be noted that these are just examples of a growing number of resources available to educators to host interactive and collaborative meetings and communication environments.

Even the use of blogs like the one I am using here or Wikis supports the learning environment so that communication is simple and engaging users in dialogue is emphasized and supported. In addition, commercially created virtual classrooms are available through products like Angel and eCollege. Moodle provides an open source classroom environment at no charge.

Simonson, M.. (n.d. ). Distance education: Higher education, k12, and the corporate world. Retrieved from

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

(EDUC 7102-2) Principles of Distance Education - Module 1

Moller, Huett, Foshay and Coleman (2008) are emphatic in their belief that, in order to flourish and to continue as a legitimate and respected educational opportunity, a distance learning model must be developed that is widely accepted and proven effective. Simonson (n.d.) is also concerned about distance learning but believes that that the key lies in ensuring that the outcome of a distance learning experience is equivalent in terms of content mastery as it is in other environments such as face-to-face classroom learning.

Moller, Huett, Forshay and Coleman (2008, p. 65) express their concern with the equivalency theory because they feel it limits the research to simply comparing the distance learning and face-to-face learning environments. Instead, the authors believe that there should be a move towards research on identifying and elaborating on the best practices that will help ensure distance learning is as effective as possible. They are, in effect, saying that it is time to move away from basic comparative or equivalency reviews and move towards the type of research that traditional education enjoys; the time is here to expand upon the methods and approaches that are proven to improve effectiveness in distance learning environments.

I am primarily in agreement with Moller, Huett, Forshay and Coleman. I feel strongly that a industry standard needs to be developed to serve as a model for the distance learning in the the educational environment. I have two Masters degrees both earned in an online environment, have completed doctorate hours at another university, and now am enrolled in Walden for the Specialist in Educational Technology degree. In each case, the format of the educational offerings and priorities was completely different. One university clearly employed an approach that took the face-to-face curriculum and forced it into the online environment. The other employed a similar approach but integrated a more collaborative work requirement. Neither of these environments used best practices of differentiation or customization and neither took advantage of the multiple tools available in a distance learning environment to improve upon the learning experience. Therefore, it seemed to me that the individual schools were simply applying whatever practice they were most comfortable with instead of determining a research-based approach that would support learning online.


Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5). 63-67.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70-75.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66-70.

Simonson, M.. (n.d. ). Distance education: The next generation. Retrieved from Http://sylvan. Live. Ecollege. Com/ec/crs/default. Learn? Courseid=5260644&survey=1&47=8720107&clientnodeid=984645&coursenav=1&bhcp=1.

Simonson, M.. (n.d. ). Equivalency theory. Retrieved from Http://sylvan. Live. Ecollege. Com/ec/crs/default. Learn? Courseid=5260644&survey=1&47=8720107&clientnodeid=984645&coursenav=1&bhcp=1.

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