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Instructional Design Case Study – Spring Wells High School

November 30th, 2011 Comments off

For this project, I read a case study about Spring Wells High School and responded to the following questions.

Suzanne Garner – Spring Wells High School Case Study

1.)  Describe the range of critical needs facing Spring Wells High School at this time.

Currently, Sprint Wells High School is facing some daunting and frustrating challenges.  They have one year left to bring 100% of their staff with a novice certification and 75% of their staff at practitioner certification.  They currently only have 75% of staff at novice practitioner certification and 40% at practitioner certification.  If they fail to achieve the goals, then their state technology funding will be forfeited.  For Suzanne Garner and teachers like Sandy Green, this is unacceptable.  Sandy Green uses computers nearly every day in her science classroom and has for the past 15 years.  Without the technology funding, maintenance and upgrades to the computer equipment cannot be performed.

Additionally, the school has been designated as “in emergency” for low test scores.  The school had two years to improve this status to “continuous improvement” by improving test scores.  The school is already in the second year and while test scores did rise by 6%, it was not enough to earn the designation “continuous improvement.”  If they fail to raise the designation the state will step in and decide on such matters as budget and educational changes.

The stakes are very high for Spring Wells High School.  They need to implement change in both areas to avoid losing funds and / or control of the budget and school.

2.)  Identify the available resources and existing constraints that apply in this case.

The school has many computers available to them to use in technology training as well as courses and programs designed to improve test scores.  For the past three years, Spring Wells has been receiving funding from the SchoolTech Equity Funding from the state.  The school has also been granted $20,000 to “improve teacher skills and knowledge in providing new environments for learning” from the Teacher Professional Development Grant Fund (Franklin).   Suzanne Gardner had, in previous years, offered after school workshops to get teachers and staff certified, however, many teachers did not attend stating that they were too busy to do it after school.

While the school has ample computers on hand, many teachers either do not know how to use them or include them in their classrooms, or they refuse to use them.  Teachers like Phil Nelson doesn’t believe in technology in the classroom and nearly refuses to participate in the workshops designed to bring him to at least novice certification.  Phil is probably not the only one with this mindset.

3.) Describe a plan for meeting the needs identified in question 1.

Basically, student test scores need to improve and teacher familiarity and certification rates with computers have to increase or the school will lose funding and control of budgets and educational decisions.  Both of these outcomes are not acceptable.

Some of the additional $20,000 in funding to provide some workshops those teachers could attend.  These workshops would be held during school hours and on an in-service day.  The workshops would be mandatory in this setting and teachers would be free from classroom work for the day in order to attend.  During the workshops, various activities could be implemented that show the potential for motivation that technology provides to students.   The workshops could also cover internet safety and resources for teachers to implement use of the internet in the classroom.

The workshops will be held at the beginning of the year so that teachers can implement technology into their lessons and units so that the benefits to the students can be maximized.

Some of the funding will be used to purchase a content filter service that will help to ensure that students are not only safe while online, but not viewing inappropriate content, or participating in activities that detract from the educational goals of the various lessons and activities.

Some of the funding will also be used to educate teachers and other staff that are responsible for the computers to maintain the machines that they control.  Proper maintenance is essential for error-free computing.

There is already a proficiency template in place to measure current classroom curriculum as it aligns with state standards.  The template is designed to identify areas and standards that are not being addressed.  Some funding should be used to teach teachers how to use this tool and why it is important.  Emphasis should be placed on the benefits of knowing what areas are lacking and what areas may be being covered too much.

With a more positive attitude towards technology, teachers will include it in their lessons, activities, and classroom more and more often which will lead to higher student motivation and interest.  If the students are interested more, then they will learn more and rising test scores should correlate with increased motivation and learning.

4.)  Specify the steps required for implementing the plan you developed in question 3, keeping in mind the resources and constraints present in the case.

A needs analysis has to be done to determine what types of workshops to offer. An assessment tool has to be developed to determine if the teachers and staff have achieved the desired proficiency.  This tool may already be in place with the novice / practitioner / expert certification guidelines.  Pre-assessments should be conducted and preliminary surveys as well so that Suzanne Gardner can properly design workshops that will be informative and motivating so that teachers will bring more technology into their classroom.  Each teacher should use the proficiency template to determine the areas that their curriculum needs improvement or new content and adjust accordingly by implementing technological tools and computers into the lessons.  A needs assessment should be conducted to determine current levels of technological expertise in order to develop guides and procedures for regular computer maintenance.  With the addition of all of these factors, student achievement and test scores should rise.  An assessment of student skill levels should be conducted as well and the post assessment should be administered regularly possibly in the form of MAPS testing or something like it three times yearly.  This gives teachers the ability to determine if what they are doing is helping and what students or areas need more work.

5.)  What are the ethical issues related to the use of funding for assessment and curriculum alignment when the grant was originally written for technology professional development?  

The money was granted to the school to use for professional teacher development in the areas of technology.  While, I can understand the desire to use the funding to help raise test scores, it is not ethical and, depending on the grant, could result in losing further grant monies but possibly needing to repay the current grant.

It is also worth noting that if teacher’s certification rates are not improved, other monies from the state could be lost.

It is clear.  The grant money should be used as it was intended for—to provide professional development opportunities for teachers in the field of technology.  If the money is properly used for this purpose, school test scores will rise as a result.  Now, there is nothing saying that that the money and programs funded by the grant money cannot be used quickly.

 

Standards Addressed

S2 – Development – Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.

  • 2.3 Computer Based Technologies – Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.

S3 – Utilization – Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and policy-making.

  • 3.1 Media Utilization – Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.

 


Module 7 Reflection

November 29th, 2011 Comments off

This module was interesting.  In the past, I’ve always thought of evaluation and assessment as synonymous.  When I first started the module, I had thought that assessment would be driving my work for this module.  I see the importance of evaluation.  It’s like beta testing the instruction.  It doesn’t matter how carefully it is designed, it will still have flaws and items to be improved.  Also, nothing is ever perfect and can always stand to be evaluated, reevaluated, and improved upon.

 


Reading Quiz

November 29th, 2011 Comments off

This was a fun assignment in which I had to demonstrate my understanding of the readings with a presentation that used my creativity to explain the concepts in my own words.  I used Google Slides to Create the presentation and then saved it into PDF format.

Reading Quiz

Standards Addressed

S2 – Development – Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.

  • 2.1 Print Technologies – Print technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials, such as books and static visual materials, primarily through mechanical or photographic printing processes.
  • 2.3 Computer Based Technologies – Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources

S3 – Utilization – Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and policy-making.

  • 3.1 Media Utilization – Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.

 


Instructional Design Job Description

November 28th, 2011 Comments off

I created a fictitious job posting in the instructional design field.  I used other ID job postings to formulate and design my fictitious one.  I also answered some questions about the difference between teachers / instructors and instructional designers.

The posting has been published to the web.

ID Job Description

Standards Addressed

S2 – Development – Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.

  • 2.3 Computer Based Technologies – Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources

S3 – Utilization – Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and policy-making.

  • 3.1 Media Utilization – Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.

S4 -Management – Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise instructional technology by applying principles of project, resource, delivery system, and information management.

  • 4.1 – Project Management – Project management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling instructional design and development projects.

 


Module 6 Reflection

November 15th, 2011 Comments off

This module was a bit tough for me.  I really had to examine my methods and plans for delivering this unit and adjust some things as necessary to provide a more logical flow as well as increased motivation.  I also want to make this unit flexible and independent of the method of delivery.  I want instructors to be able to deliver this to both in-classroom students as well online students.  I had thought to convert it to an asynchronous delivery method for online, but that might require more time  to complete, but the total instruction / practice time should be 2.5 – 3 hours.  We’ll see.  I need to clear up some of my steps and refine some of my activities.  My goals is for students to have the knowledge of where to find the knowledge so to speak.  I don’t want them to memorize the rules, but know where to find them since APA style changes so often.  By giving students this ability, it also opens them up to use a different style like MLA or Chicago very easily.  Since the information that is needed to make the citation is nearly identical across styles, students should have no problem transition from one style to another.  At least, that is my hope.

 


Week 12 Reflection. Synchronous Lesson Ideas

November 15th, 2011 Comments off

Initially, I had planned on using Facebook to deliver a synchronous text based literature discussion.  While I find great interest in this project, I don’t feel that it is right for this assignment.  To those ends, I have decided to think of some other ideas.

I’m an English teacher so, there are lots of ideas that run through my head about lessons.   I could still use the Facebook idea and incorporate video conferencing into my lesson, but I want a tool that will allow me to present a presentation live that they can see as well as me.  It looks like Adobe Connect is a good option, but I use a Mac often and I  really wanted to use something that I could take with me after graduation.

I just recently received a promotion.  I know will be training new DirecTV call center employees to answer technical support phone calls.  I’ve worked as an agent for a while now and one of my biggest challenges was calming angry and irate customers on the phone.  My company has many work at home agents and all of their training is delivered via online methods.  Some is synchronous and some is asynchronous.  I think that I might do a workshop on de-escalation methods, basically methods and strategies that will calm and sooth an angry customer.

 


Week 11–Self Assessment of Asynchronous Lesson.

November 8th, 2011 Comments off

Currently my lesson scores on the basic range from 6-10 points.  I have a title, introduction, and assignments.  I plan to include links to resources, objectives, and staff information.  I just haven’t finalized these components.

My lesson includes a video clip and more to come as well as an audio / visual presentation.  The resources that I have in mind will include differing styles of learning as well.  I guess right now, I would score it in the proficient range 11-15 points.

I would estimate that my lesson is proficient on the engagement area.  I have message board activities, videos, presentations.

I currently use Moodle to present my lesson.  Content is both textual and auditory / visual.  There is a presentation that does include a handout.  The videos can paused and re-watched.  The screen can be zoomed.  I think that I might include an audio overview so that students can listen to instructions as well.  Currently I would score it in the basic range.

As far as assessment, there is some formative assessment as well as summative.  Currently, I have not included objectives so I have to rate it at below expectations, but I do have objectives and the assessments are tied to them so eventually, I could rate it in the outstanding range.

 


Week 10 : Accessibility Features of a MacBook and iPad

November 1st, 2011 Comments off

I use both a desktop PC when I’m at home and also a MacBook running OS X Lion, when I’m on the go. I also use an iPad (iOS 5) quite often in places where it is not feasible or appropriate to get out the notebook. Many of the same features that are available on the Mac for accessibility are available on the iPad as well. One of the best features that is available on both is called Voiceover. Voiceover speaks what you are doing. It’s designed for those who have trouble seeing the screen. They function a bit differently on the two devices. On the Mac, the keyboard is utilized for a variety of shortcuts that the user can memorize based upon feel. The computer voice reads out what is being selected and can even go into a mode in which it will tell you what keys are what. On the iPad version of Voiceover, obviously, the keyboard is not used, but the computer voice informs the user of what is being selected. The user now must double tap to launch an app and select an item.

Bothe Mac and the iPad have a screen zoom capability that allows the screen to be enlarged for those who have trouble seeing. This is an obvious benefit to the elderly and others with poor eyesight. A high contrast screen option is also available on both devices that inverts the color spectrum and provides more contrast for the user to discern the different areas.

All of these visual tools will help people with varying degrees of vision problems.

Sadly both Apple machines had few options for those with hearing disabilities. Both systems allow stereo audio to be played as mono so that those with hearing difficulties can discern the sounds better. On the Mac, there is an option to flash the screen when there is an alert rather than make a sound. This would help the hearing impaired to be able to take advantage of the robust alert system that the Mac makes use of.

The Mac uses sticky keys to assist those with psycho-motor difficulties. It allows a sequence of modifier keys to be pressed rather than a combination. So for example, you could press control and then option and have it be the same as pressing control and option at the same time. It also allows the keys to slow down the rate of acceptance for those with shaking hands or ticks. It reduces the number of repeated key strokes. The Mac also allows the keyboard arrow keys to control the cursor and act as a mouse for those that cannot use a mouse or don’t have the fine motor skills that a mouse needs to operate properly. The mouse cursor can also be enlarged for those that have problems with eyesight.

While the iPad does not need to have keyboard or mouse assistance, it does have assistive touch modes in which the user can press a menu and bring up a whole list of options to perform. Many iPad apps require the shaking of the iPad to perform a function. This can be mimicked, as well as other commands like the swipe of pinch-to-zoom feature if the user does not have the motor capability to perform these actions.

I’ve noticed that Windows has many of these options as well. Generally speaking both systems attempt to make their systems accessible to the broadest range of users and the tools that they provide are well implemented and perform their functions well.

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