Student Profile

Due by the end of class, 8/31

To allow us to get to know each other in the course, I have created a "Students" page in this site to allow each of you to create a profile of yourself. Either prior to beginning class or during the first week of the course, please click on your name on the Students link on the navigation menu. Once there, click on the Edit This Page button and complete the following items for your profile on the page.

Items to include in your profile:
- A picture of yourself (or a picture that represents you in some way)
- Your content area
- Your teaching placement (if known)
- A brief statement about your interest in teaching and the kind of classroom you hope to create

Snapshot and Reflection

Initial draft due 9/7, 5 points
Revised draft due 12/14, 5 points

To begin the course, I'd like to get a sense for how you see technology fitting into your future teaching practice. To this end, please create a Word document that provides a "snapshot" of what effective technology integration might look like in your classroom as well as general reflections related to technology in teaching. Please create a Word document that addresses the following two prompts:

Given your projected grade level placement and corresponding curriculum content, what would be an example of an effective lesson that incorporates educational technology? Describe the lesson in narrative form, including how the technology would be used.

Reflection Questions:
After you’ve described the lesson, please answer the following questions:
  • In general, when is it appropriate to use digital technologies in your teaching? Why so?
  • In general, when is it not appropriate to use digital technologies in your teaching? Why so?

Please email this document as an attachment to Dr. Hofer prior to class.

Blog groups

Ongoing, 15 points total

To engage with readings throughout the course, we will create small blog groups (approximately 5 participants per group) to enable you to share your reactions. Each group member will make one summary/synthesis post on a reading sometime during the semester. Please note that it is the responsibility of the group to determine who will create the initial post of each of the 6 readings throughout the semester. There should only be one initial post per reading. In this initial post, the author should post a substantive and detailed summary and synthesis of the assigned reading. The author should incorporate direct quotations and/or links to additional, related resources as appropriate in the post. The author may also choose to post a question or two for the rest of the group to consider if desired. This initial post is worth 10 points toward the final course grade. Each additional member of the group should post a response to this initial post at some time prior to the due date. These responses should also be substantive and contribute to the discussion. Each response counts 1 point toward the final course grade.

I suggest you use Blogger as the tool to create a group blog. If you are familiar and comfortable with another blogging tool that allows for multiple authors, feel free to use this as well.

Due dates:
Because the group respondents must be able to post their responses prior to class time on the due date, the summary/synthesis post must be posted 48 hours prior to the time the assignment is due. Points will be deducted for late posts.

Reading/Exploration: Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom

Due 9/14/09

Mark Twain once said, "Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet . . . Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble." Copyright law and Fair Use principles are difficult to understand and challenging to apply. Nonetheless, they are very important for you to be aware of and incorporate into your professional knowledge. While every school division has particular policies related to copyright, this activity will help to familiarize you with the key ideas and challenge you to begin to think about how you may apply them in your own classroom. To complete the activity, please proceed through the following steps:

  1. Before getting into the rights you have to use copyrighted works as a teacher, it makes sense to first understand how copyright works. To do this, read through the this overview, jot some notes about any points that surprise you or seem counter-intuitive.
  2. Read through this article on Fair Use - the special considerations given to educators using copyrighted materials. Add to you notes ideas from Fair Use that seem important for classroom practice.
  3. Check your understanding of copyright and Fair Use concepts with this quiz (you'll need to use the password, tribe.
  4. Because you will be dealing with copyrighted material - both in your own preparation of materials as well as in student work - it is important to have a plan for how you will handle this complex issue. To help you develop your plan, please create a blog post in your group with two parts.
    1. In the first part, identify five principles related to copyright and Fair Use that you find particularly important for the ways in which you see using copyrighted materials in your teaching.
    2. Then, discuss how you might address these issues with your students and/or their parents. Other group members should post comments to the initial post as well as any questions that have not been answered.

The initial post should be completed by 5pm on Saturday, September 12. Subsequent posts should be completed prior to class on September 14.

Reading/Exploration: Life on the Screen, Digital Directors Guild, and Podcasting

Due 9/21/09

Digital moviemaking and podcasting are two major trends in K-12 schools currently. Easy, free software tools enable students of all ages to create their own video and audio clips and post them online to share not only with their classmates and parents, but potentially with a worldwide audience. There is great variability of how videos and podcasts are created and the purpose they serve in the classroom. To get a sense of why and how teachers are employing these technologies in the classroom please explore the following avenues. As you explore these resources think about what elements of these approaches to integrating technology are appealing to you. What value might they add in education generally and more specifically in your classroom? What types of learning might these approaches be best suited to and what types of students might be most likely to benefit?
  • Read the article Life on the Screen, by George Lucas and take some time to explore the rationale for and examples of digital moviemaking in the classroom at the Digital Directors Guild site.
  • To begin exploring podcasts, start with the Wikipedia definition. From here, check out the podcasting site at Learning in Hand. For even more depth, check out their podcasting booklet. Be sure to take a little time to listen to some teacher and student-created samples.

Reading: Technology-Enhanced Interactivity

Due 9/28/09

Digital technologies (software, Web sites, etc.) offer many types of interactive learning experiences for students. From simple animations, audio captions, and dynamic images to more sophisticated simulations, databases and collaborative tools, technology may provide teachers with different means to help students engage with content and concepts. Research findings, however, have been mixed in terms of the benefits of interactive technology on student achievement. With this question in mind, please read Multimodal Learning Through Media: What the Research Says from the Metiri Group. As you read, consider the following three questions:
  • In general, how would you characterize the effectiveness of instruction augmented with multimedia tools and resources?
  • When selecting interactive or non-interactive multimedia tools and resources, what might you consider?
  • What are some of the limitations of this type of instruction that might concern you?

Tech Expert Module

Due: 10/5, 20 points

I understand that not everything we cover in class will pique your interest. In fact, I hope that you view the concepts, topics, and tools with a healthy dose of skepticism. You should constantly be asking yourself if a given tool or resource would add value to your teaching in the context of your content area and grade level and your particular pedagogical approach. With this in mind, I do not require that you produce some type of artifact for each of the major topics we will cover in the course. Rather, I ask you to select two of the focal areas to develop artifacts, one for the "Tech Expert Module" and one for a lesson plan that you might use in your student teaching.

The first artifact will be a Tech Expert Module. Sometimes as teachers we run across a particular technology tool or resource that really captures our interest. While this is not necessarily the ideal starting place, sometimes this may be a starting point for integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. We must not be too quick, however, to try to force a fit of the technology into our teaching. This project will challenge you to critically analyze the affordances and constraints of a particular technology tool or resource and consider its application in the classroom. Your "deliverable" will be a tech expert module that will be made publicly available through the Connexions Web site - both for your classmates and the larger ed tech community world-wide.

To develop your module you should proceed through the following sequence of steps:
  1. Identify a particular technology tool or resource that seems particularly promising for your teaching. To ensure that we don't have any duplicate modules for this class, please post your idea here prior to beginning any substantive work. If a classmate has already posted your idea, you may choose to work together, develop a slightly different approach to the topic, or choose another topic of focus.
  2. On the Connexions Web site, users have the option to either upload a properly formatted Word document or use the online editor. Past experience shows that it's much easier to use the template and upload a Word document. So, to begin, please download the Word document template to begin developing your module. Follow the instructions contained on the template document for headings and formatting. This will save significant time later.
  3. Once you've selected a tool or resource, take time to explore your topic in depth (to the point where you'd feel comfortable answering substantive questions on the topic from a colleague). In this exploration, you should EITHER create some type of help sheet (preferably including screen shots) that would help a new user to become familiar with the essential steps and functions of the tool/resource or create annotated links to effective help sheets you've found online. This should be completed in the Word document template you downloaded in step 2. View this module as an example of appropriate depth/detail.
  4. Now that you've become an expert on the operational aspects of the tool/resource, you will now need to explore classroom-based examples of how teachers have implemented the tool or resource in their teaching. Ideally, these examples will be from your grade level and content area, although this is not necessary. After you have explored many examples, select four of the best examples and create a brief description of each implementation with a link to the write-up of the lesson project you found online.
  5. After exploring the tool or resource in depth and examining classroom examples, please develop an annotated list of the affordances and constraints of the tool or resource. In other words, what value might it add to the classroom and what might teachers need to be wary of in incorporating the tool or resource into their teaching?
  6. Finally create a short list of tips that teachers might consider in implementing the tool or resource into their teaching. Try to keep this as concise as possible while still being useful for the teacher.
  7. Please post a link to your published module on the class Tech Expert Module page.

For the Tech Expert Module Assessment Rubric, click here.

Reading: Parent Communication

Due 10/19/09

Communication with parents is a vital part of the educational process. Many times a phone call home can help to clear up many issues you'll encounter with students. In addition, keeping parents informed about the activities and assignments in your classroom will help them to support their students. Many digital technologies including Web pages, blogs, instant messaging, and even Skype provide a multitude of opportunities to include parents in your learning community.

Please explore the following articles related to communicating with parents and respond to the following prompts in your blog groups.

Communicating with Parents by Kathleen Casson
Writing for the Web by David Walbert
Using a Classroom Webpage to Communicate with Parents by Sydney Brown
Should Teachers, Kids be Digital "Friends?" by Rhonda Bodfield

  • What factors do you think are most important to keep in mind in communicating with parents? How do think technologies may support or inhibit these factors?
  • What technology(ies) do you think are most promising and realistic to help you to communicate with parents?
  • What issues might you need to keep in mind in using technologies to communicate with parents?

Activity Types Reading

Due 11/2

Over the last several years, my colleague here at W&M, Dr. Judi Harris and I have developed a unique approach to helping teachers plan for integrating technology into their teaching that we call the Activity Types approach. It's predicated on three key ideas:

- First, all planning for technology integration (or any kind of instructional planning for that matter) should begin with curriculum goals and student learning needs.
- Second, lessons and projects are made up of building blocks that we call learning activity types. These learning activity types vary based on curriculum area (i.e. teaching and learning in math is different than in a Spanish class). Each learning activity may have one or more technology tools and resources that may support it.
- Decisions about what technology to incorporate (or not) in a lesson or project should be made after the teacher has selected and sequenced the learning activity types.

We believe that this approach to planning for technology integration will help teachers to more closely link curriculum goals, teaching strategies, and educational technologies. To help you learn about this approach in preparation for you Lesson Plan assignment (and hopefully for your methods courses as well), please read the articles posted in the course BlackBoard site under Course Documents. Once there, please read the first article - Grounded Tech Integration. After this, please read the article that focuses on your content area. Finally, review the taxonomy of learning activity types for your content area.

NOTE: Please note that many of the content articles are slated for publication, but not yet published. Please do not copy or distribute these articles prior to their print publication.

For your blog posting, please reflect on your perception on the intuitiveness and utility of the AT approach to planning. Think about how this approach might support or conflict with what you're learning in your methods courses. Finally, please post any questions or concerns you have relating to the AT approach itself, particularly activity types, or any of the articles.

Lesson Plan

Due 11/23, 25 points

The thoughtful integration of technology into teaching and learning is challenging. Effective technology integration supports learning curricular content and concepts in ways that connect well with the chosen pedagogical approach and provides a relative advantage over other ways to approach the lesson. The learning goals should be focused on the curriculum; not on the technology. This is a tall order, but this approach to using technology pays significant dividends and makes the extra time and effort "worth it."

The lesson design process will be composed of three parts: identifying the lesson focus, drafting three possibilities in the AT planning guide, and the creation of the final lesson plan. Each phase of the work is described below.

  • Lesson focus possibilities - 10/26
    The first step in the process will require you to identify five (5) possible curriculum foci for the lesson. Ideally these should be topics that you will teach in your student teaching semester or topics that coincide with work you're doing in your methods course. One way to begin this process is to peruse the Virginia SOL's for your grade level/content area to see which content/process objectives are emphasized. I would suggest selecting possible focal areas based on a) your interest in the topic, b) possible connections to your methods courses, and c) possible technology connections. Please create a post in your blog group with the five possibilities, referencing the appropriate VA SOLs (including grade level and content area) and the highlighted portion of the standard you'd like to focus on prior to class on 10/26. After discussing the possibilities in class on the 19th, you will select three of the five possibilities to flesh out in the next step.
  • AT planning guide drafts - due 11/9
    As you reflect on the five possible focal areas above, you may see greater potential for effective technology integration in some more than others. At this stage, you will select three of the most promising lesson focal areas to further explore how technology could be used to support the teaching and learning process. To do this, you should complete an Activity Types Planning Guide document for each of your three ideas. For each "block" or portion of the lesson, please identify at least three different possible activity types to help students advance towards the learning goal. For each activity type possibility, please identify a range of digital and non-digital technology tools or resources that would support the learning activity type. This document should be submitted to Dr. Hofer prior to class via email. After discussing the three possibilities in class, you will select the most promising approach to draft your final lesson plan described below.
  • Final Lesson Plan - due 11/23
    The final lesson plan you develop will be comprised of three parts.

  1. First, you will write a lesson plan in the format required by your methods instructor informed by the AT planning template. Please note that in whatever format you write up the lesson plan, you will need to specify (in bold text) the learning activity types you include in the plan, the technologies/resources (both digital and non-digital) you will use in the plan (in bold text), and a "plan b" for what you might do if the digital technologies in the plan would fail.
  2. In addition to this lesson plan, you will create an accompanying technology product. If the teacher will use the technology, you should create what the teacher might present to the students. If the students will be using the technology, you should create a sample of what the students might do or create. The technology product should be complete and demonstrate mastery of the particular tool or resource you are employing. If you have questions about what would be appropriate to turn in for this portion of the assignment, please consult with Dr. Hofer.
  3. The final component of the lesson plan is a reflection in which you explore how you feel the use of technology is: a) rooted in the curriculum and student learning, b) inspires student learning and creativity, and provides a relative advantage over other means of instruction. The lesson plan document, technology sample, and reflection should be posted in the appropriate BlackBoard discussion forum where they may be accessed by the rest of the class.The activity types planning guide document (for the focus you selected), the lesson plan document, technology sample, and reflection should be posted on the BlackBoard forum.where they may be accessed by the rest of the class. Click here for the assessment rubric.

Horizon Report Reading

Due 11/30

"The New Media Consortium's Emerging Technologies Initiative focuses on expanding the boundaries of teaching, learning and creative expression by creatively applying new tools in new contexts. The Horizon Project, the centerpiece of this initiative, charts the landscape of emerging technologies and produces the NMC’s annual Horizon Report."

The annual Horizon Report is a kind of forecast for what we might expect in terms of emerging technologies in higher education in three time spans (one year or less, two to three years, four to five years). The report every year since 2006. In 2009, for the first time, the Horizon project has also published a K-12 addition of the report.

To prepare for your blog post or reaction, please read through the report here (PDF). In the report they highlight six trends in educational computing. Please identify one trend that you see as a potential boon for teachers and students in your particular area of teaching and one trend you see that may prove highly problematic for schools.

In your blog groups, if you have an initial poster, this person should summarize the findings of the report and post his/her two trends of focus. The other group members may either comment on another's post if they identified the same potentially positive or negative trend, or start a discussion of a trend that no one else has addressed. In this way, each group member should comment on one potentially positive and one potentially negative trend. As usual, first posts should be completed by 5pm on Tuesday, 11/17. Other posts should be completed by the beginning of class on 11/19.

Research Presentations

Due 12/7, 10 points

Snapshot and Reflection Revisited

Due: 12/14

At the beginning of this course, I challenged you to provide a "snapshot" of what effective technology integration might look like in your projected grade level as well as general reflections related to technology in teaching. As a culminating experience, I would like you to revisit your initial response to this assignment, suggesting how your thinking about technology integration has changed over the course of the semester.

To complete this assignment, please open your original Word document and carefully read through the snapshot and reflection portions of the assignment. Consider how your ideas regarding the snapshot have changed as well as your view of the reflection questions. You may choose to formulate entirely new responses to either/both sections, or you may choose to edit your original statements using "Track Changes" in Word or with a different color font. In either approach, please be sure to address the following two prompts.

Given your projected grade level placement and corresponding curriculum content, what would be an example of an effective lesson that incorporates educational technology? Describe the lesson in narrative form, including how the technology would be used.

Reflection Questions:
After you’ve described the lesson, please answer the following questions:
  • In general, when is it appropriate to use digital technologies in your teaching? Why so?
  • In general, when is it not appropriate to use digital technologies in your teaching? Why so?
  • After reviewing your reflection from the beginning of the technology course, please compare your responses to the previous questions. What are the similarities and/or differences that you see? What do you think precipitated or led to these similarities and/or differences?
  • After reviewing the lesson snapshot from the beginning of the technology course, please compare how you integrated technology in the snapshot with the lesson plan you created during the course.

Please email your response as an attachment to Dr. Hofer by 5pm on 12/14.


Draft Due 10/26
Final Due 12/14, 20 points

A portfolio (electronic or print-based) can serve many purposes in education. In the School of Education at the College of William & Mary you will develop an electronic portfolio (efolio) over the course of your program to document your work, demonstrate learning over time, and to promote reflection on your teaching practice. Your efolio will document your work for the purposes of program completion, teaching certification, and will be a valuable asset for you in your job search process.

In this assignment, your challenge is to create the framework or shell for your efolio. While this portfolio will not be completed by the end of this semester, the expectation is that you have completed the following components in a clean, professional manner which you can then "flesh out" in your other courses.

By the end of the semester, you should create the framework of your efolio website based on the William & Mary Teacher Education Program. As you move through your classes you can begin to write your reflective statements and link to artifacts (you will probably be able to use between 8-15 artifacts to connect to each competency and area). For the purposes of this class, your portfolio must:
  • include a home page with a brief description of the purpose of your portfolio, some information on who you are, and a picture that represents you in some way (3 points);
  • include links in the navigation bar to working pages (although they may be blank at this stage) for each area required by your methods instructor (2 points);
  • develop the Educational Technology page, which will include a reflection for each of the five ISTE NETS-T standards with supporting links and artifacts. (15 points).

To create your efolio you are encouraged to use the William & Mary WMWikis site. You will start by creating your account. Once you've created your account, you can visit the efolio Helpdesk to assist you in creating, designing, and editing your efolio. Once completed, please add a link to your efolio on the Students page for this course. The efolio must be completed by 5pm on 12/14.

Sample ed tech pages: