Posted by: jackjohnston | April 28, 2010

Threaded Discussion # 1 Podcasting Chapter 15

Summary: Chapter 15
As I was reading the chapter on podcasting, new titles for another article on podcasting kept on filling my head. At the risk of sounding very cheesy, here are a few: Channel (something)
New Horizons (sounds like a basal reader)
Anytime Anywhere (I think that one has been taken)
My reaction or response in such a positive and exciting way to the information is due to the fact that podcasting appears to be an avenue to meet the needs of learners like never before.
In the discussion that follows, I will address topics for discussion that Dr. Yuen presented to our class on Ning.com.

Main Idea / Summary
The main idea of the chapter is that podcasting is a flexible e-learning tool. The authors of the chapter organized the chapter into three main headings which included 1. A Dynamic E-Learning Environment, 2. Educational Efficacy of Podcasting in E-Learning, and 3. Podcasting Best Practice in E-Learning Design and Learning. Like effective podcasting delivery, I am glad that the chapter was not very long!
Podcasting levels the playing field. It changes the relationship between student and teacher by empowering and enhancing a global teaching and learning environment. Students are given more choices which aids in learning. They are empowered to make contributions, consume, and critically review knowledge as they bring the course content and their world together.
Teaching and learning has changed over the last ten years as a result of technologies that are taking advantage of new integrated technologies. The web today is about putting the power of information into the hands of the people, not just a delivery system as it once was. It needs to be pointed out that ten years ago was an exciting time with all its new technologies. One can only imagine as the web advances with the many positive influences on teaching and learning, what the future will hold.
Social change and technology are interrelated, a constant in our lives. As technology advances, it is used to make life “easier”. The higher education population has advanced to include many nontraditional students, a point that cannot be overemphasized. Reaching more students and encouraging lifelong learners is one of the goals of an educator. Podcasting is a method of advancing teaching to meet the learning needs of today’s society. Mobility and timeshifting are components of Podcasting that allows students to take advantage of e-learning potential. Lifestyles change to adapt with the advent of new technologies as illustrate with the loss of face-to-face in distant learning and the remaking of connections of communities of learners with social networking and powerful communication tool of Podcasting.
Expanding the boundaries of learning and time on task go hand in hand with Podcasting. Students enjoy the technology which promotes interests and learning.
Educators reach more students by providing a variety of delivery methods. This could be considered “Differentiated Instruction” as encouraged by K-6 schools. Podcasting addresses several of the different learning styles of students. Podcasting makes learning enjoyable. Students check for understanding, therefore leading to review and retention.
Not all content is suitable for Podcasting. Needs assessment is one of first steps in the Podcasting process. Providing different formats of delivery is inexpensive and encouraged in hopes that students will evaluate all three methods thereby having triple
exposure to lesson.
Communication is the key to the success of Podcasting. Instructions should be clear. Delivery needs to be short in order to avoid issues that arise with long Podcasts. The key is to understand the needs of the students, therefore helping them to be more efficient and effective in their learning.
Podcasting by far surpassed all related technologies as being the quickest attainers of critical mass. Learning can happen whenever and wherever using Podcasting as a tool for education. Educators need to examine this powerful means of reaching our students and take steps to ensure that our methods evolve around the student and not visa versa.

Strengths / Weaknesses
This chapter on Podcasting was very easy to read. It seemed as if every sentence was important and it really kept my interest. I gained a lot of information from the chapter. It left me feeling excited about the many possibilities for Podcasting. The information, however seemed to address mainly higher education. I am interested in ideas for applying Podcasting in the K-12 setting.

Relevance
In my opinion, Podcasting is not just another passing fad. As I have been working on this chapter, I was imagining how Podcasting could be used on the school bus routes to encourage safety and enhance learning. This idea could turn into a study!

New Information
This chapter gave me a basic understanding of how Podcasting is a very flexible e-learning tool for educators. It was interesting to me that last week when I googled “How to make a good Podcast” , the same information was discussed in the chapter. However, actually “how” to make a Podcast was not explained. I enjoyed the information that was shared about research in technology and learning. It was also beneficial that the information was current.

Technology and Education
My question at this point concerning Podcasting is how can it be used in the elementary school? In addition, how are we going to equip students with the technology? When I ask my students about computer assess at home, the majority of them do not have it.

Reference
Liu, Y., & McCombs, S. W. (2010). Podcasting: A Flexible E-Learning Tool. In Yang, H. H., & Yuen, S. C. (Eds.), Collective Intelligence and E-Learning 2.0: Implications of Web-Based Communities and Networking (pp.268-280). Hershey, Pennsylvania: Information Science Reference.

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Posted by: jackjohnston | March 20, 2010

Assignment 3 Podcasting

Podcasting is something that I have wanted to know how to do for some time. In fact, when I would look around the internet and see teachers Podcasting I would feel so behind the times. That is one reason I enrolled in IT780. As a result of this decision I am spending as much time as I can, learning as much as I can about technology and learning___as fast as I can.

The task for our third assignment in IT780 was to create and post a Podcast related to the curriculum in our area. I was so relieved when I was finally finished with the assignment. Everything that I read and hear says that Podcasting is simple process. Dr. Yuen gave complete instructions during our face-to-face class and additional information and resources on our class web site about Podcasting. Nonetheless, it seemed like I worked on this assignment for three weeks.

Now that I look back on the situation, I probably spent most of my time deciding what to “do” the Podcast on. That decision had to be just right for my unusual teaching environment and I think that the decision made is one that will be successful.
I decided to create a classroom Podcast. I wanted to create something, if possible that I could apply and continue to use in the classroom. This Podcast will be a series that students not only share content, but they will react/respond to content. Students will also learn how to create a Podcast.

Podcasting is going to be a great way to expand the learning environment of my students. There are so many ways that Podcasting is relevant to education. It will address the students different learning styles and will be highly mobile. My students love to perform. Podcasting will be a great opportunity for them to share their learning experiences though performances. Hopefully, parents will have the ability to access the Podcast on the web. I really look forward to experimenting with what I think to be a tool that will make the students learning experience authentic and personally meaningful.

I am confident that the next episode of Podcasting will be easier like everyone promises. There were just several things that I had to get worked out that I prematurely let frustrate me. At the same time my computer was not staying connected to the internet. First, my Ocean account was not activated…we all (IT Tech) thought that it was. Next, my computer was not compatible with WinSCP…I panicked, and, I was forgetting to type http.
Thankfully, a classmate saved me from a nervous breakdown and worked things out for me. Next time I Podcast, which will be next week, I think it will work the first time.
Here is Episode 1 of Starcast.
ocean.otr.usm.edu/~w200898/starcastI.mp3

Posted by: jackjohnston | March 5, 2010

Assignment 2 SlideShare

SlideShare, the You Tube of Power Point as it is sometimes referred, is a Web 2.0 tool that can be used for sharing and discovery.  A SlideShare presentation can be converted to a slidecast simply by synchronizing slides with an audio file.  SlideShare is a free web application that can be used in numerous environments for communication and collaboration.  Since I am a teacher, my main concern is if and how I can use this tool to truly enhance learning.  I believe the answer is yes.  In a classroom setting, students could construct SlideShare posts that apply and integrate their learning.  Classmates collaborate through comments, as they use higher order thinking skills to critique and evaluate presentations.

In IT780, Dr. Yuen basically asked us to model this learning activity by producing a slidecast .  Here is the assingnment that was given:

You are required to select a “topic” related to this class. You will present to the class online using Slideshare.net. Your presentation should have at least 10 slides with audio.

Since this is my first recent course ( I took Computers in Education under Dr. Yuen about 13 years ago…a great class!)  in IT, deciding on an appropriate  power point / keynote presentation topic took some thinking.  Finally, I decided that Benjamin Bloom was a good place to start.  Since I had been researching technology and learning, I discovered Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and found it to be informative and interesting. Realizing that the objective of the assignment was to gain experience with SlideShare, I tried not to spend too much time on my research.  This was hard not to do because there is so much to learn about technology and teaching.

It took quite some time for me to complete all the steps required for creating and completing the SlideShare assignment.  I look forward to being able to easily work with this tool.  Probably the most difficult part was the synchronizing…..well, let me say so far.  I haven’t embedded the slidecast in my blog yet.  If I had not had Bronchitis while working on the audio part of the slidecast, it probably would have been easier.

Needless to say, it was a positive learning experience.  There has not been anything in this class that could be considered busy work.  Everything is so current and connected to the way technology is shaping teaching and learning in the 21st Century.

Here is my slidecast, “Why Bloom, Why Now”.

Posted by: jackjohnston | February 13, 2010

Teachers and Technologies

There are many technologies available for teachers to use enhance learning. K. Walsh discusses 10 of these technologies that educators should at least know what they are and understand their potential, even if the educator is not using all of them in their teaching setting.

1. Video and Podcasting

2. Presentation Tools

3. Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools

4. Blogs & Blogging

5. Wikis

6. Social Networking

7. IM

8. Twitter

9. Virtual Worlds

10. RSS Feeds

Reading, 10 Internet Technologies that Educators Should Be Informed About, made me think about my particular educational environment and look at how these technologies could be integrated into our curriculum.

emergingtechwordlecloud

There are  restrictions to all students having these new learning opportunities.  There is a technical restriction.  Classrooms are not equipped with enough computers for student access.   Cultural restriction is another problem that interferes with technology integration in instructional settings.   With cultural restriction teachers are not actively encouraged to make technology an active part of the learning environment through, time for teacher training using the new tools and needed resources and support.  Hopefully the divide between those students and teachers with these instructional advantages and those without will soon lesson.

Definitions of  the technologies addressed in the article  with examples of applications appropriated for educational instructional environment encourages easy access for implementation.  While teachers cannot easily use YouTube in the classroom,  there is EduTube and TeacherTube dedicated to educators. Links suggests  how to use these applications  in addition to why they are important to education.   For example, Twitter included in the list of 10,  is linked to information on how to use it in an educational setting.

These technologies clearly have many benefits in teaching and learning for the classroom.  In fact , many of the technologies are already being used by students.  Informing and educating teachers on these technologies and allowing access to their usage  in the classroom would create a high interest learning environment for today’s students.

Posted by: jackjohnston | February 12, 2010

Assignment 1 Introduction to Blogfolio

Thank you for joining me on this new adventure.  I look forward to exploring the world of wordpress.com as an avenue to engage and challenge learning.  Creating this blog is one of the assignments  for Instructional Technology 780, at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  In this class we are  investigating specific issues related to Instructional Technology in various environments.   My particular  instructional environment consists of gifted students in grades 2 through 6. These students are eager to connect, interact, create and share.

One of the goals of my graduate class is to gain an understanding of the challenges and obstacles associated with successful technology use.  Another goal is  to learn how to integrate emerging technologies into  our teaching and learning.  Attaining these goals will aid me as I cater to   the ever-changing needs of my classroom students.

So this new journey begins!  It is truly amazing how much I have learned already in IT780 .  I know that the rewards will be great from taking this course , the beginning of the next step in continuing my education as a lifelong learner.     In this blog, I will look at information related to issues in Instructional Technology such as research development, emerging technology, and current trends.  I think that it is so very exciting and a great time for  teaching and learning.   As I learn how to apply this new knowledge and understanding, I hope to pass it on to others. I hope you will join me.

Posted by: jackjohnston | February 12, 2010

Welcome

Thank you for coming to my blog.  For those of you who do not know me, my name is Jacque Johnston. I grew up in Shubuta, Mississippi, a small town in southern Mississippi. That’s right…shoo bu’ ta . It is as interesting as it sounds, and I am proud to call it my hometown.   Shubuta, on the Chickasawhay River, is known by many as the “Town of Opportunity.”  It is famous for its artesian well water and peaceful living . After many years in the comfort of Shubuta, I went off to the University of Mississippi for college. It was then and is now, a long four-hour drive up Highway 45.
Education has always been my passion and how fortunate I am that it is my career.    I began my quest as an educator by first receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a focus in Early Childhood Education.   I then ventured to Denver, Colorado where I gained valuable teaching experience in the public school system .   My experience teaching in Colorado included first grade, third grade, and summer camp.

Soon I began to miss  Mississippi,  so I returned to the University of Mississippi to further my education. While continuing my study in elementary education I was able to work as a graduate assistant.   I became the diagnostician and clinician at the Ole Miss Reading Center.   I earned a Masters of Arts in Education and a Specialist Degree in Education.

Now more than ever, I could not wait to get back in the classroom and apply what I had learned.   I soon found a wonderful teaching position at Leinkauf Elementary in downtown Mobile, Alabama.   Although teaching at Leinkauf Elementary was one of my earliest experiences as a teacher, I knew that the cafeteria food would be by far the best school food I would ever find . In fact, people in the neighborhood would walk over for their Gulf Coast cooking.

Currently, I teach in the Jones County School District, Laurel, Mississippi,  grades 2-6 gifted.   I look forward to going to work each day.   I am  extremely excited about teaching and learning and  its many opportunities.   I hope that you will interact and enjoy this blog.

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