Instructional Technology Plan
The mission statement for my classroom is for students to understand academic material beyond the classroom and apply concepts in daily living situations. The purpose of education is to educate. So, I want my students to have the imperative skills to comprehend material (Math, Science, and English) that relates to their daily lives. Technology itself has revolutionized the way educators teach their students. Students, parents and teachers now have the power of knowledge in their hands. Technology allows all parties to investigate beyond the classroom. Thus, I would want to utilize the two instructional software programs of BrainPOP and Khan Academy.
BrainPOP and Khan Academy are two instructional software programs online. These two software programs offer students, parents and teachers in-depth experience of material ranging from fractions to stoichiometry. For my elementary classroom, I would use BrainPOP to introduce new material and prepare students for tests with the quiz at the end of each video on the website. Khan Academy is the same type of software, but it offers students additional examples of the material being studied. So, I would use Khan Academy as a reinforcement software after I have taught material to the students. This site also utilizes quizzes as review of material, so I would allow the students to complete these quizzes for a few points on homework or quizzes. With both software programs I would want to see an increase in student comprehension and participation in and out of the classroom. I would want the students to document small portions of how they used certain material at home or other locations.
When it comes to implementing the utilization of the software, schools in Aiken County already have Internet, computers, some have tablets, and SmartBoards. These are the materials used with each software in the classroom respectively. At home, students and parents can access these sites with Internet and a phone or tablet. With the resources connected to these software programs, Aiken County currently has in place from what I have observed in the classroom. The only type of resource that may be needed for better quality is the most recent update for Windows 10, which is also utilized in the school district.
Khan Academy is a free software for individual parents, teachers and students. BrainPOP, on the other hand, has an association of fees. The pricing is as follows for standard BrainPOP: $115 for home; $230 for classroom; $1,795 for school; district (priced at school rate) of 5-10 schools 10% off regular prices, 11-20 schools 15% off regular pricing, 21-40 schools 20% off regular prices, 41+ schools 25% off regular pricing. Some schools could qualify for Title 1 funding if more than 40% of students in the school are low-income and qualify for free/reduced lunch. Thus, the school is given money to assist in bringing technology to the classroom of low-income students to further their academic experience.
When it comes to measuring the success of these software programs, I would begin by having the students share the ways their learning has been impacted by the programs. Then, I would see if their responses are positive or negative in comparison to their actual test grades. If the student’s grades and responses do not display adequately, then I would find new ways to implement examples and instruction that furthers the comprehension.
BrainPOP. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://secure.brainpop.com/store/step1/.
Khan Academy. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://www.khanacademy.org/.
7 Ways To Get Funding And Grants For Technology In Your Classroom. (2016, February 11). Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://positivelearning.com/blog/2016/2/11/7-ways-to-get-funding-and-grants-for-technology-in-your-classroom.
Writing a Technology Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2014, from https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/primer/techplan.html.
Case Study 1
Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation:
o I found that PowerPoint was easier to use because I have been using it for years.
o The way that the buttons can connect to any slide makes the transition relatively easy considering the fact there are multiple slides in one presentation.
o Also, including photos seemed easier to me because you can connect to the internet within the PowerPoint Application.
o Another portion that I found helpful was the amount of animations and transitions that I was able to use. I am not certain whether Prezi had more options, but the animations I saw was limited to about 4 I believe.
o I found that it is easy to mislabel the links contributing to the buttons that you use in the PowerPoint. For this reason, you need to be very careful and cautious of the slides you are linking.
o Also, the use of photos is tricky because of copyright issues. I am not certain if the photos available in the PowerPoint Application are copyrighted or not.
o If you want to keep certain material together in animations, you must be mindful of the way you select them in grouping.
o I found that Prezi is simple in keeping the content of a presentation grouped together. At first, I was confused about how to keep my content separated properly, but once I began it was easy to see the connections.
o The subtopic levels of the frames allow for easier transition and connections between the overall topic being presented.
o Also, the layout of Prezi was manageable in the fact that it doesn’t take much to keep the presentation flowing coherently.
o It allowed for the original use of creating a template like PowerPoint.
o Prezi didn’t have as much creative inserts as PowerPoint.
o The application had very limited templates that could be chosen from to create the Prezi.
When asked which application is preferred, one of my professors from last semester (Dr. McMurtrie) loved the use of Prezi and PowerPoint. She feels like each application has its pros and cons. However, she felt they are solid applications in producing lessons that students love and pay attention to. Also, I have a friend who uses Prezi more than PowerPoint after taking this course last semester. She uses Prezi for each of her lessons that she teaches, and I find it amazing that she uses it so fluently. In an article, Özcan Akgün wrote about how the attention of students are impacted positively by Prezi and PowerPoint. His results showed that Prezi encouraged student participation in class and increased cognitive processing. Prezi also allowed for higher conceptual learning than that of PowerPoint. Personally, I am still hooked on PowerPoint because it is all I have known over the years. Obviously, I am going to have to use new applications, such as Prezi, considering that the realm of education is becoming more technological. So, I believe that I will warm up to it once I begin using it more.
Case Study 2
Word clouds are “an image composed of words used in a particular text or subject, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency or importance” (Lepki). One use of word clouds in education is for review. The more a word is used in word clouds, the bigger and bolder they become (Feinberg). So, if a teacher is to generate vocabulary words for a test, students can see what words are imperative to take note of during their study session. Another possible use for word clouds would be before a new lesson is taught in a subject area. For example, if a teacher is introducing a new chapter on amphibians in Science, they could create a word cloud that would have different words relating to the chapter itself using animals and their environments.
Wordle had unique designs that could be used. I was not able to create an actual word cloud from this particular software, but the displayed work seemed intriguing. Tagxedo was interesting because it allows users to convert famous speeches into word clouds and take on certain shapes. For example, there was a word cloud of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech in the shape of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. WordArt was interesting as well because they allow users to turn their word cloud into text on mugs and clothing. The site itself is easy to maneuver and create the word cloud. The “downside” to the website is that you have to pay a price for the production of a word cloud that is high quality. The PowerPoint word cloud is nice because the download of this add-in is completely free and available for use in PowerPoint and Word. This would be one of the most convenient of the given software options because teachers already use PowerPoint for lessons in class. So, this add-in would make the production of a word cloud easier for the teacher to produce and use in the lesson. When it comes to the pricing of the software available in creating word clouds, the pricing is reasonable for one person I would think. You are receiving a hefty amount of software that will allow you to make lessons more intriguing in class. Also, software such as WordArt is allowing you to turn these word clouds into more than just text that is being used for classrooms or presentations. The Adobe packet is giving users who purchase a selection of more than 20 apps that could be used in addition to the production of word clouds for $60. One year of high-quality packets on WordArt is at $300. So, once you get passed pricing, I believe that Adobe would be feasible for a department because they allow you to obtain a better bargain for the money you spend on subscribing to the software.
Poll Everywhere is a software that allows you to create a word cloud that is dependent upon the audience’s response that you are presenting to. This happens by creating a live word cloud from the responses that the audience generates from the prompt that is given. I have worked with this software once before. When the responses are generated, the word cloud makes the most popular response(s) bold like other word cloud software. The only difference in this software is that it uses algorithms like Kahoot to create real-time results.
This assignment was the first time that I have created a word cloud from scratch. I used the software Word It Out (right photo) and Word Clouds (left photo). The words I decided to use were adjectives relating to characteristics. When I first began, I did not know how to operate the websites properly. Thankfully, wordclouds.com had a wizard that would help you step-by-step in the production of the cloud itself. However, I decided to begin with Word It Out when producing my word cloud. This website was easy to manipulate once I started because it was straight to the point. The word cloud that produced was in a predetermined shape. It was more so an awkward blob that is zoomed in on the words versus an actual shape. Word It Out also had a few funkier options for the text that the word cloud would embody. For example, the text that I used on the Word It Out word cloud makes the text seem like it is cutting in a certain direction when written. Another aspect of Word It Out that I liked was that of the ability to see the word cloud change instantly when a change to the background or text was changed. Word Clouds took a bit longer to make any changes. When it came to the text that was available for the word cloud, Word Clouds had a larger variety of applicable text variations to the cloud. This is a downside to the Word It Out word cloud because they only had about ten text variations that could be applied versus Word Clouds who had at least fifteen text variations. Word Clouds had the ability to shape the word cloud into shapes, such as trees and a pacman variation. However, once I tried to make a shape in Word Clouds, my word cloud did not look like the shape I selected. In the photo below (left), this is supposed to be the shape of an eject button, but it does not curve into a triangle properly. Also, the bottom is not of a defined rectangular shape. I also tried to make a tree variation as well, but that did not turn out properly. On the other hand, Word It Out did not give me an option to shape my word cloud other than the way that the software produced it. Given the choice between these two software programs, I believe that Word Clouds is worthy of being used again because it gives a large variety of variations for text and shapes towards the word clouds which are two things that can grab a student’s attention in a lesson.
Word clouds are used to create innovative ways of relaying important information to an audience. I believe that word clouds are becoming useful tools in allowing students to study in different ways and giving them intriguing ways to gain knowledge in the classroom. I believe that these word clouds are ground breaking in education. I make this statement because the technological advances that are being made allows teachers to use this type of software to keep students attentive and focused on the information that can be gained from the production of such material.
Feinberg, J. (2014). Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds. Retrieved from http://www.wordle.net/.
Lepki, L. (2016, December 12). What the Heck is a Word Cloud and Why Would I Use One? Retrieved from https://prowritingaid.com/art/425/What-the-Heck-is-a-Word-Cloud-and-Why-Would-I-Use-One.aspx.
Case Study 3
For this Case Study, I chose the educational software of MimioStudio (interactive whiteboard) and Vivi (screen mirroring presentation software). With MimioStudio, the download required my name and what type of educational aspect I was involved in, such as a student or educator. Vivi was straightforward with download because I only had to select the type of software I have on my laptop, which is Windows. My Internet connection was a little slow, so the download time was a little longer for MimioStudio versus Vivi which downloaded in ten minutes on my connection. MimioStudio took about 30 minutes.
Documentation for both MimioStudio and Vivi were clear and accurate. Computer skills are required for both software packages because MimioStudio is like the Paint app that comes on laptops and computers. Vivi allows screen mirroring based on presentations, so basic app comprehension is required for the use of this app. From what I observed on both programs, content is error free. On Vivi, organization was spelled with an -s instead of a -z. Other than that, it was comprehendible. MimioStudio offers a limited version without plugins, but there are few that are required (only one that I observed). Vivi does not require any plugins.
As with any program software, bugs come and go. While I did my demo for Vivi and MimioStudio I did not notice any apparent errors. The load time for both programs was almost instant, and they did load properly when I opened them. I feel like Vivi is more geared towards middle and high school level courses for presentations. MimioStudio could be used for any grade level because it becomes an interactive whiteboard for the class. There was not any video nor sound associated with these two software programs. Hyperlinks, such as the save button and view button, worked well on both programs. Navigation for Vivi was much easier than MimioStudio because MimioStudio has many options that require getting acquainted with. Vivi controls would take some time to learn as well.
Both programs meet educational objectives because they are making the classroom virtually interactive. The types of objectives and tasks will vary from teacher and class. MimioStudio and Vivi allows for the educator to control what is and is not appropriate for the grade level being taught. MimioStudio and Vivi maintain interaction, however, MimioStudio would keep user interest in my opinion. MimioStudio extends student learning and Vivi saves time when it comes to class presentations.
MimioStudio and Vivi offer help online or over the phone, which is very convenient. Vivi has the latest “issues” posted on their site, so this saves time in that being used for technical support. Peripheral devices are not provided by wither software, but you are able to purchase the devices, such as the MimioPad. MimioStudio has a comprehensive help button in the applications downloaded in the event assistance is needed.
Overall, I believe that I would want to use MimioStudio in my elementary classroom. Vivi could be used for presentations, but MimioStudio is more interactive. I think that this software would provide a more immersive setting for elementary school students.