Posts Tagged ‘edtech’

EDTECH 513: Digital Story

It seems as though many of us encounter life events that in hindsight were defining moments. Perhaps not always near death experiences, but something that results in a change of perspective and a memory that won’t ever be forgotten. My digital story is of just such an event that occurred days before I began dating my lovely wife and long before we were married and started our life together. Even longer still before we became parents and found a whole new set of adventures that life would send our way.

Through using personalization, I hope that my digital story will help to inspire those that happen across it to seize their life and live it to the fullest. Since we aren’t likely to know when the trip is over, it’s imperative that we not leave things undone or unsaid; enjoy everything that we have and be thankful for those that touch and add meaning to our lives.

This was a fantastic assignment and I had a lot of fun putting it together.

EDTECH 513 Creating My Learning Log (2.3 Computer-Based Technologies)

One of the benefits of the rapid progression of web based tools is the relative ease of which someone can go from nothing to a full fledged website/blog with a few quick clicks of a mouse.  While there are many blogging/CMS platforms available, I have found that WordPress meets my needs and is relatively straight forward in its structure.  Of course, nothing is perfect, and there is always likelihood that some other product or platform will rise from obscurity and knock WordPress out of the top spot.  I have been using this WordPress blog for the past several semesters as a clearinghouse for my reflections and various assignments that were completed and shared with my peers.

Conducting activities such as this blog can be culminated over time to show a mastery of the various AECT standards.  This blog, for example, is a representation of 2.3 Computer Based Technologies!

505 Reflection #6

Collaboration is the key to good evaluation!

Being able to successfully evaluate frequently means that ideas must be exchanged to arrive at some form of consensus which can then be further processed.  One of the many benefits of the rapid advent of technology, both personal computing and web tools, is that now it is not only possible, but extremely convenient for individuals to collaborate.  Using online media like Google Docs, individuals from across the country or around the world can exchange ideas and work in tandem with no more than a few clicks of the mouse and an Internet connection.  It goes without saying that this ability to quickly discuss concerns and exchange ideas results in a dramatic boon to productivity as opposed to a more delayed exchange of communication by way of email or forum posting.

Just this evening I was able to see the benefits of moving evaluation into the cloud.  After more than a week of very slow and labored progress on a project, four of our six person group were able to come together and discuss our current work, pose constructive suggestions on how to modify the evaluation, achieve consensus and modify the target document as a group.  All the while conversing together, marking the document and exploring various project alternatives.  In the course of 90 minutes we were able to accomplish more than we had in the 7 days prior.  Not only was the time productive, but as the work was done together (as opposed to individually ) the likelihood that time would later have to be spent undoing individual components that the group may disagree with.

The wealth of collaborative tools that are available to evaluators today is nothing short of incredible.  The fact that so many are open and available at no charge makes it incredible simple and easy to effectively come together to address objectives regardless of the geographical location of the participants.  This kind of technology is a major boon to evaluation and will only continue to improve as new tools become available.

505 Reflection #5

Problems and their specific solutions are rarely a cut and dry affair.  As we each interpret, or perceive, our surroundings differently, so to can problems be seen from many different angles leading to different interpretations as well as a variety of potential solutions.  Having a very clear and thorough understanding of the problem that must be overcome is critical.  Unfortunately, in many situations when a problem is first presented there is a rush to judgement regarding the nature of the problem, based on this initial assessment plans are undertaken to resolve the problem.  Unfortunately, when the problem is mis-understood, or not fully understood to begin with a large amount of time and energy is wasted solving part of, or worse yet, none of the actual problem.

Being able to thoughtfully identify a problem is the first step towards achieving its resolution and as we proceed in our roles of evaluators we are certainly going to come across problems that require resolution.  Rather than rushing to judgement and heading down the first suggested solution perhaps we should pause.  Engage in thoughtful analysis and participate in some collaborative discussion to ensure that the parties involved are in agreement as to the nature of the problem and obtain a consensus on how to resolve it.  Maintaining a focus on the big picture can help to avoid becoming mired in details that may be inconsequential and ensure that the final resolution will ensure that the issue can indeed be put aside once and for all.

505 Reflection #2

Mastering evaluation is a significantly more involved process than I had first anticipated.  While I have participated in various program evaluations in classes as well as product or service evaluations in business, there is considerably more depth to the process than may be evident at first glance.  This week I learned that of the four levels of data, nominal and ordinal data are typically used in qualitative evaluation and quantitative evaluation makes use of interval and ratio data.  It was also interesting to put specific thought towards the types of instruments that I would most likely be using in the future and how I might go about performing a specific evaluation project.

Because the scope of evaluation is so vast, spending time considering the specific instruments that I would be developing in the future really brings home the fact that this is the kind of work that I will be undertaking in a professional capacity in the near future.  The more I ponder my current plans for the evaluation project the more concerned I am becoming that not only is the scope too large to undertake for this project but that the topic also needs to be boiled down to a much finer point to provide real value.

I wonder now, how one can consistently produce a viable and meaningful evaluation platform at the earliest stages of their career.  Obviously, with time and experience it likely becomes second nature. However, having just gotten started it is proving to be a considerable undertaking.