CEP 812 - Applying Educational Technology to Problems of Practice

Throughout this class, we completed many different projects. However, there were two primary projects that we worked on including creating a "Special Interest Group" annotated links page, which I worked in a group with and created as a blog, and a project called a "TechQuest", where we had to apply technology to a problem of practice within our classroom. 

The instructor was Michael Partridge and the course was taken in the Spring of 2010. It was a hybrid course taken both at Saline Community Schools and online. 

Special Interest Group - Parent Communication Blog

To enhance oneself it is important to participate in professional development opportunities. We were given the opportunity to create a professional development outlet using any means we decided on, and we chose to use a blog. Using a blog, we were ablt to contribute to it at different times all using our own login. It was important to us that we could show our shared knowledge but still have ownership of our work. By using the features in Blogger, which allows up to 100 people to contribute to a blog, we were able to create a blog for others to follow to enhance their professional devleopment knowledge in the area of Parent Communication and Involvement. We chose to use the blog for the reasons above and that it is very easy to follow using a RSS Reader, which doesn't require you to visit the page to see the updated information. For other options, we would've had to create a newsletter or email updates to make sure that our followers were able to stay up-to-date on our material available. 

As educators, it's sometimes difficult to find the time to keep up communication with parents. It's even more difficult to do it when parents aren't interested in being contacted! Through our parent communication blog, educators of various backgrounds (including special education, world language, and general elementary education) will blog about different resources you can use as an educator to communicate effectively with parents. The resources range from very specific (BBC Languages) to very broad (Quizlet). There is something for everyone on this blog

New Student Academy TechQuest

A TechQuest is used for students to complete a piece of a course online with guided instruction from the teacher. Students work at their own pace (for the most part) and complete different modules to acquire knowledge in the classroom on their own. Of course, their teacher is available to answer any questions. The important aspect of a TechQuest is the final project or assessment that the student completes to show competency. 

A TechQuest gives a student the ability to learn at their own pace and on their own time, and gives students ownership of their learning and progress. It allows them to use the internet and online world to learn through a way in which they have become accustomed to at their age, with guidance still. It allows the teacher to be in control of their learning, but putting it in the student's hands and letting them dictate certain aspects of their own learning. It creates a sense of accomplishment and gives the student an engaging way to learn content in the course and showcase it. 

The New Student Academy is the beginning of the Barnes Elementary Spanish Review Program that is being created to allow new students that transfer into Barnes to "Catch-Up" and learn the basics of Spanish needed for the class. Students use it as supplement to their learning in the class and allows the students to learn the basics of the Spanish language necessary to be successful in the course. Even parents can use it to enhance their ability to help their students with projects!