Thursday, October 19, 2017

Diversity in the Classroom and Media Influences

Begin by analyzing short “State of the village report” from 2005 originally created in 1992 by Donella H. Meadows

Ask yourself: Could I be racist? How to tell if I am?  Racism is when you draw conclusions about people based on racial stereotypes and believe that some races are better than others.  Consider the questions, answer to yourself.

Take a quick visual "snap judgment", gender bias, test on  Explore resources there

Read a short article about challenges in defining Multicultural Education and also about the areas of social transformation.

Read about “Key Characteristics of a Multicultural Curriculum” by P.Gorski

image source:

Read a short article “Transforming Myself to Transform My School: with the special attention to “Ten Critical and Self-critical Things I Can Do to Be a Better Multicultural Educator:

The following video was posted in 2011. Are men and women really equal today?

Watch the kids reaction to the Cheerios ad.  In the ad, a white mother tells her bi-racial daughter about Cheerios' benefits to the heart. The little girl grabs the box and leaves. The next scene shows her sleeping African American father awaking to finds Cheerios piled on his heart. Unfortunately, many people thought the video was offensive. It received such a large amount of angry and hateful remarks on YouTube that the comments section was shut down. Fortunately, when the commercial was shown to the kids, they did not see race in a  family as an issue.

Watch the videoMisconceptions; Do’s & Don’ts of a 1st Year Teacher” created by Mississippi State University students about racial stereotypes (4 min)

Pin and Browse the Kid World Citizen organization on Pinterest  for a variety of multicultural activities and resources

Additional resources (not required):

ISTE Standards  for students connection: Standard #2 c: Students develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures

ISTE Standards for educators connection:  

#3a Citizen: Educators create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.

#3b Citizen: Educators Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.

# 4d Collaborator: Educators demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents, and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

To read: We use media in different ways. The same media content may gratify different needs for different individuals. The resources below explaining the effects of the media from the point of view of audiences.
Needs and Gratifications model of the Media by Blumler &  Katz)

Books Matter! See the list of titles collected by ADL with the power to instill empathy, affirm children’s sense of self, teach about others, transport to new places and inspire actions on behalf of social justice.

To read: 10 ways Youth can Engage in Activism

To watch:  the An Anti-Bullying Message From the NOH8 Campaign (2.27 min)

To watch: 10 Misconceptions about Muslim: 

To read: Information for Teens: The Media &Your Life - How the media affects Teens & Young Adults

To watch:  The digital story about the depression and issues faced by Asian American girl - pay attention to the poem in the story (also typed under the video) (5.29 min)

To watchElders React to Nicki Minaj - Anaconda  (Age diversity)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Digital Citizenship

Begin by watching the short intro and download the NMC Horizon Report 2016  K-12 Edition:

  • Write down the long term, mid term and short term terms
  • Think, how the new trends and challenges may impact your future as a student and a teacher?
See what are the 9 elements of  Digital Citizenship: 
  • Are you well versed in all of the elements? 
  • Will you be able to help your students?
The latest incident during our lecture's back channel revealed that not everyone, even on a university level, EVEN someone in a teacher preparation program understands the rules of ethics, netiquette,  and responsibilities that come with being a digital citizen.
Read Principle V of Model Code of Ethics - Responsible and Ethical Use of Technology 
  • According to this list, are you an ethical educator?
Netiquette: Browse and bookmark for later  resources related to the common do's and don'ts of online communication

Check this resource collection related to youth & Internet safety put together by Scott Mcleod
  • What do you think about resources collected there?
  • Do you think that some of the common fears related to youth and Internet safety are overblown?
  • maggda

Check resources at WorldSavvy - an organization that helps students develop 21st Century skills for Global Competency - browse the resources and opportunities for schools around the world. Bookmark for future use!

Browse and bookmark for future use: -  A vision for a  Platform for Good is to start a dialogue about what it means to participate responsibly in a digital world. While recognizing the potential risks, they celebrate technology as a vehicle for opportunity and social change.

Bookmark for future use the blog with great cyber safety tips and resources

Follow our Digital Citizenship board on Pinterest

Standards Connection: 

ISTE Standards for Students connection: 
  • Standard #2: Digital Citizen: Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
  • Standard #3: Knowledge Constructor: Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
  • Standard  #7: Global Collaborator: Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
ISTE Standard for Teachers (pdf) connection
  • Standard #3  Educator as Citizen inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world
  • Standard # 4d: Educator as Collaborator demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents, and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.
Additional resources (not required):

To Read: Five Myths About Young People and Social Media - Five Myths About Young People and Social Media  - article based on book by Danah Boyd "It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens"

To Read about : Second Screen Culture 

To bookmark: Free ebook from Promethean Planet in PDF format: Play and learn: Being online -  The Trevor Project -  The leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. - It Gets Better Project -  video website created to sent the message and to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. Created in response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school.

To watch all 7 segments of the pbs feature “Growing Up Online” (56 min), and consider the questions below.

Questions to ponder after watching "Growing Up Online":
  • The program describes social networking sites as places where kids post pictures, accumulate friends, post messages to others and describe themselves. Social networking also allows young people to express themselves, experiment with different perspectives, and play with aspects of their identity. Do you think it would be possible to use social networking in the classroom to better facilitate students learning? Can you imagine an example to support your opinion?
  • Who should be responsible for teaching about cyber safety-- parents or school?
  • What is or should be a teachers’ role in students' online life?
  • Do you think that we should restrict (block) students from using Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, Ning...) and other user generated websites (YouTube, Wikipedia...) or rather teach them how to use them wisely.
To Watch:  the pbs follow up to the “Growing Up Online” video: "Digital Nation - Life on the virtual frontier" (90 min)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Visual Literacy

Color matters! Read about color symbolism in different cultures and explore other parts of this website to learn more about the significance of color in our lives.

As you design your WebQuest website, it is very important to make conscious decisions about how you present the content of the pages.  What makes page user-friendly? How to present the text so it is useful to the learner?  What are the most common design mistakes made when creating educational websites?  To help you answer that , I created a short video about the web design considerations

Browse these  great resources collected by Frank W. Baker. Note the lesson plans ideas. Bookmark (Pin?) the links that may be useful in your future.  

Image: Ray eye reused here in accordance with a creative commons license
Visual Diagraming, Concept mapping, Mind Mapping - all of these phrases apply to the way we may visually brainstorm or organize the ideas. This video explains the benefits of it:

Resources related to a Digital Storytelling (our next big assignment): 

Please read the resources organized in this sub-post. Bookmark the links to the two videos about script and storyboard

Additional optional resources:
ISTE Standards for students connection:  Standard #2b Communication and Collaboration:  Students communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats  and #2c Students develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.

25 of the most iconic photographs (according to CNN) - How many can you name just by looking at them?

Play with colors on a professional level: The color scheme designer

The Smithsonian Institution Archives. The lesson plans and resources with ideas about how to use primary sources (including diaries, letters, and photographs) in the K–12 classroom.

Is visual literacy an academic skill? If so, how do we define it and how do we learn? Studium Generale asked ten researchers from various fields to think about pictures, how we see them and what we need to know about the way they are made and interpreted. Watch their explanation (7min) . I will talk about it more in my lecture:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Technology Trends and Education

Iowa Department of Education - Educational Technology Plan 2009-2013
word cloud created via

Are you ready to write your lesson plan for the next 10 years? I hope this blog post changes your mind if you said yes!

What are the technologies that are affecting K-12 education? This infographic by Corey Murray,  from Envisioning Tech shows that many grade school kids will have jobs that have not been created yet. It also shows 40 ways that education and technology are moving towards in the next 30 years.

How will you intertwine your Content knowledge, Pedagogical knowledge, and Technological knowledge, to best engage the students with what they are learning?


What is STEM:

Drones in Education 

Examples of Drone Usage in Education: The Washington Times (

7 things you should know about Makerspaces

Transformative Learning Approach

Additional Resources:

This blog introduces 50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know. Those tools includes social learning, learning tools, lesson planing, and some other useful tools. This blog post is 2 years old now and there are additional tools that you can add to each category. How many of those tools are you familiar with, and how many of them sound educational to you?
3D Printing:
3D Printing at the Rod Library!


Watch some of the following to know more about some technologies that you might find at your school.

Augmented Reality

Magic Books (Augmented Reality)

There are more videos available in the EmergingEdTech  about the new technologies and their application in education.

How do you think these technologies will impact your future classroom?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Global Collaboration

Global Collaboration is an empowering opportunity for students and teachers to connect and engage in authentic, meaningful experiences.  It is an opportunity for students to learn about people from different cultures and backgrounds.  These connections don't need to be with learners in other countries.  You will find people of different cultures and backgrounds in different states, cities or even down the street.

This Primary Sources video talks about our world without global collaboration.  While this video is an advertisement for the services they offer, it provides a thoughtful opening for our exploration into global collaboration.

Empowering a student to become a Global Collaborator is one of the seven ISTE Standards for Students. This standard includes indicators where students use digital tools to connect with distant learners; they collaborate with others to examine issues and problems; they challenge them to contribute to these collaborative projects, and they use collaborative technologies to explore local and global issues.

You won't have the opportunity to actually engage in a global collaboration project in this course, Ed Tech and Design, but learning about the various projects/strategies, resources and digital tools will help prepare you for turning your students into global collaborators.

Write Our World

We will have to an opportunity to Zoom with Julie Carey at the University of Colorado Denver.  She developed the Write Our World project where she is building a digital library of ebooks that have been written "by kids for kids" that document their languages and culture.  The best part about this project is that the kids write the books in both their own language and English so that it will be a way to preserve their language.

Visit the Write Our World website and read a few of their books. Explore what kids are writing from around the globe.

Global Read Aloud

The Global Read Aloud project involves students around the world reading one or more of a set of selected books during a 6-week period and then they try to connect with other students who have read the book so that they can share their ideas and thoughts. Watch the What is the Global Read Aloud? video and then visit the official website where they have identified a set of 10 books from which they can select their reading material. These books range from picture books to young adult.   Envision how you could do something like this in your future classes. 

What's Possible?

This 13-minute video provides an overview of what is possible with Global Collaboration.

How to Connect with Another Classroom

These ideas are great, but how do you find another classroom of students?  There are many resources but consider Classroom Bridges website. This is a website that was actually created by a classroom teacher, Katie Siemer, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She created an online database where over 250 teachers from around the world have signed up because they want to connect. 

Visit the Classroom Bridges website. Click on the Find a Classroom link and see if you can find a classroom or classrooms that you would probably want to collaborate with when you have your own classroom.   

Here is another website that provides the resources, including several organizations and facilitators of online spaces, that can assist in your future efforts.  

Finally, it is important to know how to manage a global collaboration project. The following graphic gives some ideas about the steps that you can follow for implementing global collaboration in your future classroom.  To fully integrate global collaboration into your classroom curriculum is is not a one-shot process.  It is a process that is most effective if your first project begins at the bottom of the Global Connection Taxonomy (see below) and then your following projects progress up the taxonomy throughout the year. 

Lindsay, J., Davis, V. (2012). Flattening classrooms, engaging minds:  Move to global collaboration one step at a time. Chicago: Pearson Publishing. 

Begin your dreaming here . . . 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Developing Digital Age Learners
To Develop Digital Age Learners, we must first understand what kind of learners they are so that we can create learning experiences that align with their strengths. Once we understand our learners, we need to prepare them with skills that will lead to success in the digital age.

Generation Z 

While many of you are Millennials, those of you who are under 22 years old are at the upper end of Generation Z.  Why should we care about these generations? It's a matter of addressing students' learning needs. Teaching your future students the way you were taught would not be fair to them. They have specific strengths and experiences that can make their learning opportunities more valuable to them if you address their needs. 

Last week we studied Universal Design for Learning. We discussed that the more we know about our students the better we can address their needs and create learning environments that address their learning preferences and make learning available to all students. 

Here are a few comparisons:

  • Millennials are optimistic, but Gen Z s are realistic.
  • Millennials curate and share content, while Gen Zs create new content.
  • Millennials like to collaborate, but Gen Zs want their own workspaces.
  • Millennials like to meet through digital tools, while Gen Zs prefer face-to-face.
It's interesting. The Millennials were the first generation to be born into the Computer Age and the Gen Zs are the ones who are working to strike a balance between offline and online experiences.

Here is a short video comparing the generations. Take note of the differences they describe.  Do you agree with them?  Are they characterizing you and your generation correctly?  What about the "other" generation?  Does this video depict characteristics that you see in your friends and relatives? :

Read this article as it shares The 8 Differences You Need to Know.  

Realizing the differences between your generation and your students' generation is useful, but how do you address it?  How can you design your teaching to better address your Generation Z's specific needs?  Here are 6 Simple Ways to Better Engage Generation Z.

Alpha Gens

Those of you who will be Early Childhood Education teachers (0 - 8 years old) will be working with the Alpha Gens.  These are the students who were born since 2010. It will be important to know about their characteristics as well.  While it is still a little difficult to analyze the learning styles of 7-year-olds, here are some suggestions of what we might expect from the Alpha Generation.  Read Meet Generation Alpha: Teaching the Newest Generation of Students.

Developing Digital Age Learners

Now that we have identified the learner preferences of our students, let's discuss what it takes to develop Digital Age Learners. This is a phrase that is used throughout the education field, but ISTE defined 7 attributes for the Digital Age Learner.  

These attributes are isolated skills for the 21st century learner to master, but rather roles that the digital age learners will assume on an on-going process.

  • Empowered Learner
  • Digital Citizen
  • Knowledge Constructor
  • Innovative Designer
  • Computational Thinker
  • Creative Communicator
  • Global Collaborator

Here is a short rap video about the standards.  It goes through the 7 standards. This format was selected to emphasize that digital age learners will succeed when they are given opportunities to be creative.  

Visit this web page showing the ISTE Standards for Students.  It includes the more specific indicators for each of the standards.  Click on the links so that you can review the complete standards so that you might better appreciate them.

Conforming with Copyright Laws One of the most important parts of the Digital Citizen standard is indicator 2b where it is says that the Digital Age Learner must engage in positive, safe, legal, and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

An important part of this ethical behavior is to follow the Copyright Laws. You know that the copyright laws rule against copying other people's writing or music or intellectual products without permission or without paying for the media's use. As an educator, you MUST model following the copyright laws for your students' and for your own professional well being. We will require you to follow the copyright laws throughout our Educational Technology and Design class.

Watch this video to learn about the copyright laws and what is expected of you as an educator.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Systematic Instructional Design & Universal Design for Learning

This set of Readings, Watchings, Listenings, and Doings (RWLDs) will prepare you for the lecture on "Systematic Instructional Design and Universal Design for Learning." It is meant to help you plan an interdisciplinary thematic unit of instruction.  

Systematic Instructional Design

Identifying Your Destination
The Teaching/Learning situation is not limited to identifying a "coooool" activity and then connecting forms of instruction and assessment to it. To effectively design and develop learning activities, it is necessary to identify the desired outcome first.  This provides direction for your instructional activities.

Your desired outcomes for Iowa classroom activities are determined by the Iowa Core Curriculum (or other relevant standards that you will find on the Assignment page.) The subject-specific standards are organized by Essential Concepts/Goals. Each of these Essential Concepts/Goals is supported by Skills/Objectives that will provide observable  behaviors that can be measured to indicate a student's mastery.

You, the teacher, want to do a thematic unit on Plant Life.  You want to do some experiments with plants (Science), Capture the data with graphs (Math) and create a report on your findings (Literacy).  

You have identified what your students will be learning and now you must design and create a set of lesson activities that will help your students master this skill.

It's just common sense to begin with the end in mind, but this is called Backward Design. If you don't know where you are going, how will you know how to get there?

Here is a video that uses the metaphor of planning a trip to describe Backward Design.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?  If you don't know where you will be going, you won't be able to figure out how to get there.

Backward Design is the basis for an instructional design system called Understanding by Design.

The Understanding by Design framework has 3 parts:
  1. Identify Desired Results
    1. What will students know?
    2. What will students be able to do?
  2. Determine Acceptable Evidence
    1. What performance will meaning-making and transfer
  3. Create the Learning Plans
    1. Learning Plan (instruction)
    2. Learning Activities (experiences)
Bernajean Porter does a good job of explaining the aspects of Understanding by Design. The most significant point that she makes is that starting with the "End in Mind" is just common sense.

Understanding by Design
is a framework which provides direction for unit lesson planning. It begins by identifying the Desired Outcomes and Results and then makes a plan to achieve that outcome.

Universal Design for Learning

Effective Instructional Design can only be successful if you consider the learning needs of your learners. Your learners do not all have the same preferences for ways to learn so you need to consider various ways that new ideas and skills are introduced and how your learners can engage in mastering this content.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a combination of pedagogy and techniques that acknowledge the different levels of needs. UDL uses brain-based research to identify the need for addressing multiple methods of representation, expression, and engagement of learners with information and knowledge. It involves instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments. 

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is a leading organization in the field of UDL. Here is a 5-minute introductory video on UDL.

NOTE: This video has been enhanced using EDpuzzle. It includes explanatory voice-overs, multiple-choice quiz questions, an open-ended question and a link to a website.  This EDpuzzle enhancement has been included to demonstrate how you might enhance a video as part of the Interactive Learning Tool that you are creating for your final project. 

This is NOT your final quiz for this module.  You will still have to complete the module quiz as you have been doing all semester.  

An essential part of UDL is to use Multiple Means of Representation. This means that if you learn things better by reading than watching information, you may not have learned much from the video you just watched.  You might do better if you visited this website and read about UDL.  The National Center on Universal Design for Learning has a wealth of information about UDL as well.

You should consider creating instruction that integrates a variety of methods of instruction including written text, speaking, listening, watching, and creating (to name a few.)  This will be discussed further in the lecture on Monday.

Putting It All Together with TPACK

We may have already introduced TPACK, but this Instructional Design is a good place to consider how we can most effectively integrate content, pedagogy (teaching skills), and technology Teaching and Learning through technology is much more than just using Powerpoint and Twitter. The Venn diagram below shows how each of these areas can combine and impact the others.  Certain forms of Technology can be used to support specific teaching strategies (Pedagogy).  That is TPK intersection.  Specific forms of pedagogy (teaching skills) are used to teach specific forms of Content Knowledge.  Ultimately the TPACK educator is interested in teaching in the "sweet spot" in the middle where all three areas are fully integrated.
    Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by
Read more about the TPACK model (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) which we consider a framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology. 
You can also watch this video which provides a brief introduction to TPACK in 2 minutes. 


Prepare for Your Thematic Unit

Find the Thematic Unit Description project requirements in eLearning under Labs (Class Projects). Familiarize yourself with the expectations and resources provided for your first big project in the course.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Building Higher-Order Thinking Skills

Thinking comes in many forms.  

Sometimes it just requires remembering where you put your keys or the capital of Iowa.  Other times thinking is more complex as we decide how to apply the new skills we just learned or analyzing the differences between two approaches to solving a problem. Sometimes thinking requires us to evaluate different opportunities so that we can create something that is uniquely original.

An educator's responsibility is to build these skills in our learners. We need to develop thinking skills that range all the way from remembering a simple fact to creating a complex project. As educators, we need to be aware of these different levels of thinking and mindfully create learning opportunities for our students that will develop thinking at all levels.

The basic level of thinking is called Lower-Order Thinking (LOTS).  This is the level where you memorize fact and poems and equations. You are rewarded by remembering them when needed. Remembering things is useless unless you understand what these things mean. Knowing what things mean is important, but it takes another level of responsibility to actually apply your knowledge to the real world.

The more complex level of thinking is called Higher-Order Thinking (HOTS).  This is the level where you really have to be engaged.  You use what you know to analyze original situations. You evaluate them for good and bad.  You even take on the responsibility to use your background and knowledge to create new and original projects and ideas.

Knowing about these levels of thinking will enable you to create learning experiences this semester that will challenge your students. Basic facts (like the names of planets) are useful, but being able to list those facts is not enough to be valuable in real life.  You will need to provide your students with challenges where they can apply these basic facts in a new and creative way.

Bloom's Taxonomy
These levels of thinking are captured in Bloom's Taxonomy. Developed in 1954 to identify different types of questions, this taxonomy has evolved into a model which classifies the various levels of thinking that we have been discussing.

As we progress through Ed Tech and Design, you will be asked to write statements that define what you want your learners to be able to do to prove that they have learned throughout your thematic unit.  These statements (Objectives) will use observable verbs to define the behavior you want your students to exhibit. The key to success is for you to use the appropriate observable verbs so that your learners will know what to do.  Here is a list of observable verbs that you will be able to use during this week and next week as you learn about instructional design.  This will all be discussed in more detail in this week's lecture.

Examples of Activities that Promote Higher-Order Thinking
This title isn't completely true.  Some of the activities encourage Higher-Order Thinking Skills, but some of them are actually Lower-Order Thinking Skills (LOTS).  Use a copy of Bloom's Taxonomy to identify which are HOTS and which are LOTS.

Higher-Level Thinking in the Classroom - Middle School
Teachers from Georgetown School District demonstrate how they promote higher-order thinking in the classroom. This even includes a principal's perspective on the process.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
Nurturing Higher-Order thinking is the basis for developing and rewarding creativity. Steven Johnson, one of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from? Johnson provides the story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our education, our society, and our culture forward.

So HOW do we integrate Higher-Order Thinking Skills into our Learning and Teaching?  Here are a few ideas by Sir Ken Robinson.

Collaboration in the 21st Century: Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Robinson explores how education can prepare students for the collaboration they will use in their future lives. This is an inspiring video that explains how collaboration supports innovation.

REMEMBER to watch this week's video by Dr. Z.  You will find it in the Integrating Higher-Order Thinking Skills folder on our eLearning website.

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