Posts Tagged ‘edtech501’


ISTE Standards and Needs Assessment

November 9th, 2010 Comments off

In order to determine what students and staff need are with a needs assessment, however what type of assessment should be conducted and what areas of technology should be focused on.  It’s fine to do needs assessment on use of digital cameras and scanners, but if students and teachers need to be more knowledgeable in the area of software application, then the digital scanners and cameras assessment would not be suitable for evaluation.  Technology standards play an important role in determining criteria for needs assessment.  The ISTE standards seem like thorough and well developed goals to strive for.  These standards set the benchmark for what we as educators need to teach to each other and to our students.


Publications in the Field of Educational Technology

October 5th, 2010 Comments off

The field of educational technology is vast and covers many different areas. The number of publications, journals, and websites that are available that cover educational technology is just as vast. A simple Google search for educational technology yields over 69 million results. That is a vast and murky bog to wade through, however there are a number of indexes and directories that can assist with narrowing down the selection to a manageable number as well as weeding out the less credible sites and journals. One of these directories is the Educational Software Directory (2010). This site lists many websites, publications, software, tech tools, and journals. The directory lists thirty different scholarly journals that publish peer-reviewed research studies from all over the globe including Australia, The United States, and Great Britain. There are wide number of other directories. A search for educational technology publications or educational technology directories will yield many results.

There are a number of e-magazines and print magazines that cover issues and new trends in educational technology. EDTECH Magazine provides articles and opinion pieces about EDTECH and offers several different focuses including higher education and K-12 education. There are many such magazines and websites that offer similar content.

When it comes to peer-reviewed research journals, the availability is not as large, but still respectable. (“Educational technology journals,” 2008) lists journals published in Australia, Great Britain, Canada, The United States, and other countries. There are journals that focus on a specific topic like computer assisted language learning. There are journals that publish studies pertaining to computers in the schools. The categories go on.

When it comes to publications for and pertaining to educational technology, the possibilities are virtually endless and range from publications that try to encompass the entire field to publications and journals that narrow the focus down to a specific type of technology. There are research base, peer reviewed journals throughout the world and there are more typical magazine format publications with articles and editorials. The bottom line is that there are resources out there in the form of publications, it just depends on what purpose needs to be fulfilled.

5 Sites that I found the most beneficial:

  1. I discovered the site, Educational Software (2010) was a good place to start looking and finding my way through the bog. Under its publications tab, there is a list of a number of different publications that focus on educational technology including a sub-section listing scholarly journals that provide peer reviewed studies pertaining to the field of educational technology. Most of these journals and publications require a membership or subscription, however they do have some that do not.
  2. Another good site that is the International Society for Technology in Education (2010). This site is a vast resource for educational technology tools and books as well as news and event listings.
  3. Tech and Learning (2010) offers reviews of many educational technology products as well as forums discussing current Edtech issues and blogs from current leaders in the educational technology field.
  4. EDTECH Magazine (2010) has a number of articles and opinion pieces focusing on the use of educational technology in the area of high education. It has a little bit for everyone from teachers to IT administrators. Another version of EDTECH Magazine (2010) focuses on the K-12 system
  5. The Educause review (2010) features many articles dealing with educational technology and the open source movement. It is a great place to keep up on current educational technology issues and projects.


Educational software (2010, August 12). Retrieved from

Educational technology journals. (2008, March 17). Retrieved from

Educause review. (2010). Retrieved from

Edtech. (2010). Retrieved from

International society for technology in education. (2010). Retrieved from

Tech and learning. (2010). Retrieved from


The Digital Divide

September 28th, 2010 Comments off

I’ve heard the term digital divide before. I knew that it described the have and have-nots. When I first heard the term, it described those that had computers and those that didn’t. Now it has grown to include those that have access to high-speed internet at home and those that do not. Thinking back to the days of my dial-up experience and thinking about what I now do with my internet access, I shudder to think of those that cannot afford broadband access. It was interesting to learn that the have-nots not only refer to those that cannot afford the service, but also those living in areas where the service is not even available. I recently moved to a small town in the middle of Wyoming. There is only one provider here that offers broadband service. It’s expensive and somewhat unreliable in the tiny town that I live in. For some time, I did without access while waiting for over a month for the company to get an overworked technician to my house. That month was a difficult one. I don’t want to think about what it would be like to not have this access all of the time. I don’t think that I could conduct my life without the internet and I certainly would not be able to have the same level of digital convenience.


Educational Devices

September 14th, 2010 Comments off

Today’s newer devices like the smart phone, mini-computers, and tablet devices have great potential for the educational setting. They provide an interaction that incorporates all three learning modalities and therefore increases learning. However, just because these devices exist and have tremendous potential does not mean they will be utilized. As Rieser pointed out, the increase of computers in the schools did not have an impact on the use of the computer in schools. Many educators do not want to incorporate new teaching methods, styles, and devices into their classrooms. It’s this attitude that has to eliminated. I feel that the ease of use of modern educational devices will help to diminish this thinking, but other steps must be take to get these beneficial educational technologies into our schools.

Mandatory training and implementation could be one solution. The school district that I work at requires all teachers to submit their lesson and unit plans to an on-line standards mapping application to better track the teaching of standards and help point out deficiencies. Many teachers grumble about this (including me) but it is beneficial and has helped the district increase proficiency in a number of content areas.


What We Have Learned from the History of Educational Technology

September 13th, 2010 Comments off

With over one-hundred years of development, the field of educational technology has come far, but one thing that we have learned is that the type of media that instruction is present on is important. Based on Gardner’s research and theories about multiple intelligences and Brandler and Grinder’s research into learning modalities, we know that each medium will not be a an effective delivery tool for every student no matter how well designed it is. To be effective and deliver high quality instruction, any type of educational technology has to incorporate learning activities that address each of the three modalities (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). Educators have to also be aware of each student’s area of excellence to determine if the medium is effective for that student.

With the advent of the internet, multimedia applications, and web 2.0 applications, the potential impact for digital media is staggering. Applications can be designed with a multi-modal approach and increased student interaction. These applications can then be launched and delivered over the internet to involve and engage the student in an interactive, student-directed, student-centered activity to maximize learning.

Let’s face it. Students use these types of applications everyday like Facebook and Twitter; iTunes and Xbox-Live; and YouTube and Google, so the opportunity to introduce similar applications that target learning across the intelligence spectrum and incorporate all there learning modalities is huge and one that we cannot ignore.


Facebook Apps for Learning

September 7th, 2010 Comments off

I read the article from TOPYX about Facebook applications for learning and education that Dr. Hutchison posted on twitter. I was amazed and excited to find out about the learning potential that Facebook has. The apps that it offers could be very useful to me in my classroom. I’ve already set up a Moodle site that has a community forum and chat, but to incorporate facebook into my curriculum would motivate my students and possibly get them to participate more in classroom activities outside of class on a regular basis. I only know a few students who do not participate on Facebook. It’s all the craze right now and I can see why. Digital identities are important to the adolescents of today since they spend a great deal of their time in the digital world.

The article has spurred my mind to think of other possible uses that Facebook could bring to the classroom like a forum that students will actually use, a place where students can get help from each other, or a resource for them to use (via the applications). The only obstacles that I can foresee are parental disapproval, the potential for students to get sidetracked, and the fact that my school and many others routinely filter and restrict access to Facebook on school computers. The school content filter might not be that big of a hurdle since what I’m envisioning is a place for students to use outside of school hours, but getting some parents on board (like my wife) so that their children can set up and use a Facebook account might be a little more difficult. As far as students getting sidetracked, well students will always sidetrack themselves if they don’t want to do something and Facebook is always there for them to goof around on anyway. My hope is that since they are on Facebook anyway, they might utilize it to help them complete assignments or get help and advice from each other. We’ll see. I might implement the use of Facebook and Twitter into my curriculum.



September 7th, 2010 Comments off

My name is Fabio Cominotti.  I graduated from the University of Idaho in May of 2010 with a degree in secondary education.  I’ve always been interested in and enjoyed using technology.  Whether it was running my own business upgrading and building PCs for clients or just playing video games, technology has always been a part of my life.  While I may have been an anomaly while growing up, today’s adolescent has much more technology at their fingertips.  They use it everyday and in almost every aspect of their life.  Why should school be any different?  If educators force them to unplug when they enter the front door, they will be disappointed and less motivated to learn.  By incorporating technology into curricula, teachers can engage students in a way that they are accustomed to.  This increases enjoyment, comprehension, motivation, and interest.  Basically, it increases learning.

My goal is to learn new and innovative ways in which to incorporate technology into my classroom and maybe even start teaching online.