So where does Old technology meet new technology – when you take the Amtrak to ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in San Antonio.
Here are the logistics:
Get on train in Norman -(9 am)be there 15 minutes early or so..
get on train
carry all luggage with you.
2 hour layover in Fort Worth that turns into 4.
Arrive in San Antonio at midnightish.(so yeah that is 13 hours)
So pros and cons.. to my European friends, we don’t prioritize Rail in the US.. but this day long trip is only $52 dollars – which is cheaper than the gas it will take me to drive.
The bad thing – the rails are owned by the freight companies so rail work and freight backups means our train must wait, which is why so many delays.
This was a fun experience though..
turns out Vanessa Perez took the train too.. so that was fun to talk and not talk.
The Texas Eagle has an observation car and a dining car..
Each seat is super roomy.. They announced when there was cool to things to see like rivers and other natural sites because of a relationship with the National Parks service.
So great things..
So much leg room..
Seats are big and recline into beds.
the ride is overall comfortable
they have a dining car that is crazy expensive but we are doing it so we can say that we did it.
Cost is awesome.
Each chair has two plugs
Not so great things:
Rails owned by the freight trains so many delays.
(on the way back I am on a bus part of the way)
No wifi and very sporadic cell service.. if this thing had wifi – I would be 100% sold..(I really hate driving)
It is quite a juxtaposition. The old trains and going to a conference about modern technology.But with all things,if you don’t use them, you lose them, Let me challenge you to try to take train if it works into your schedule (lots of parts of the country do not have service). This is the my second Amtrak this month (earlier – Chicago to Milwaukee) but overall enjoyable and supporting alternative affordable transportation for many people who may need it.
so what did we do with our time? We talked about tech in education, I did an article review for JRTE, we talked about your schedule plan, a great way to build excitement and plan for ISTE 17.
I am an Associate Professor and Apple Distinguished Educator – and I teach those studying to be teachers how to use technology in meaningful ways with kids (and also some practicing teachers). I have been a professor for 11 years and lead a 1 to 1 iPad program. So obviously I am an Apple fan but just to put myself in a adopter continuum – I will say I own two chromebooks, don’t have an Apple watch or iPad Pro and my first iPhone was a 6s Plus which I am still using. (and intend to for least another year) I try hard to be aware as many new technologies as I can and trends in education because it is my job to help my students learn about many technologies and choose which ones they want to use..
A lot of the innovations that they are talking about in the New York Times article are great, and in many cases these startups, while free now move to a freeium model – so while these things might be really useful now, the subscription costs (for which schools are not well set up) will be coming.
I find these also to be pockets of innovation – and don’t get me wrong we need pockets but I feel as though the large scale, company commitments were left off from this article. I appreciate the CEOs that spend their own money, but I also appreciate the large scale initiatives that are looking at larger changes to education.
For example, Google got a small shout out in their article for Google Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) They said : “Already, more than half of the primary- and secondary-school students in the United States use Google services like Gmail in school.” A true statement and this free service has changed the workflow in so many schools. I can see it in my college students and practicing teachers getting their masters – we expect to collaborate in real time in our documents. Apple and Microsoft have just joined in on this, they are late the game, and don’t have the seamless nature to the collaboration yet. (ie.. they still have problems with conflicted copies etc..) However, educators are worried that this will become a freeium in the way that Dropbox SpaceRace gave free storage to University students and faculty and then forced us to pay once it was an important part of our workflow.
So definitely Google is changing productivity in education and is currently free. but what this article missed all together is more of the philanthropic nature of some of silicon valley’s work. I have had personal experience with ConnectED which is an initiative funded by Apple (100 million) in an agreement with the Obama White House.
I have had several opportunities to interact with the students and teachers at ConnectED and I can tell you that I believe this philanthropy is changing the lives and learning experiences of students, teachers and communities.
We have a Connect Ed school in Oklahoma City – Arthur Elementary (part of OKCPS) . This school was one of the first schools to get going with Connect ED. Not only are their teachers new iPads new ways with kids, many of whom are English Language Learners but they also have partnered with our College of Education to host practica students and student teachers. I have offered training to them and several of their teachers are pursuing masters’ degrees with us. Whenever I visit the school, I see many other educators from within OKCPS and other districts visiting to see how they can use technology to reach their students. Their impact is much greater than being measured.
In February, I was able to participate in a training for Connect ED leaders from about 75 schools that was put on by Apple. Meeting these educators who were not only preparing students to use technology but also providing for many of the basic physical and emotional needs of students who are often not in a stable environment and may need food, clothing and shelter was inspiring. These were some of the most dedicated educators I have ever met and I found myself inspired by their projects and stories. As part of this, Apple has been activating the Apple Distinguished Educator community to serve this group. In all of the examples in the NYT story, I did not see where educators were helping to lead these efforts. I can’t help but think of the other news story that keeps popping in my feed about the need for large reform and philanthropy about schools to include teachers. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gates-education-20160601-snap-story.html
I know many people will say that Apple has an up side, by giving away 100 million in tech, training and apps they must be setting themselves up to sell more. But lets look back to 1986 – in 1986 they did the Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) which is the still the gold standard for planning technology professional development programs for teachers. In the end, they added to the collective knowledge but the research but that project really did not change their sales that much. Much of what they learned has benefitted all tech companies and ed tech researchers.
I know that Microsoft and other companies spend a lot of money on education too.. but to my point, I think the NY times missed the boat here, individual commitments from CEOs to create new educational products is great, but so are company wide commitments especially those that have a strong educator input. Where is the talk of that?
I had the pleasure of being invited to speak to the Oklahoma Women in Technology Meeting last night at University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Bird Library.
They Screened the Code Documentary (https://www.codedoc.co/)about the women’s representation in Tech fields and then we had a discussion afterwards.This film talks about how there is a gender gap in the tech field and how we can make a difference.
I was so impressed by the people who attended the meeting. There were both men and women and kids in attendance and everyone was passionate about how to encourage more women into the field (both kids and adults). There were all sides of IT including project managers, programmers, instructional designers and recruiters. This group has fantastic networking potential.
The group also has some great philanthropy including:
Supporting http://thediv.org which offers camps for kids and training for teachers on coding.
Organizing technology exploration camps for girls in middle and high school to explore tech careers.
Having monthly speakers and networking events to aid in the professional development of their members.
This is a new but poised to be powerful group in the OKC and Tulsa metro. You can become a member too.
As for the program, you might want to see the movie yourself. It is downloadable at a variety of sites https://www.codedoc.co/watch-the-film/ (but be warned it has about 7 minutes of bullying info that has the Fbomb and the C word in the non educational edition)
Also I encouraged the participants to pick a way (beyond all that their organization is doing to make a difference). here are my suggestions.
Volunteer in a classroom to support a teacher teaching code and tell the students about your job and life.
Be a beacon for coding.. Wear it proud, let people know that you are a woman in IT so that girls can see that someone like them could be in IT.
One of the questions I got, what is the right thing to use to learn about coding – there are so many, pick one and go with it.. and you could be making a difference in someone’s life and career trajectory.
I was so pleased to be part of this discussion, I joined the organization and am excited about being part of this vibrant community in Oklahoma.
Special Shoutout to @KimT (Kim Thomas) at OUIT who invited me as a program chair. She is a force for change both within OU and within the IT Field.
The White House has asked people to vote to reorganize the executive branch. Seriously… seriously..
First, while our current POTUS may have experience by online polls that ask if we should vote off Omarosa or not, they are not scientific. They only sample those that are engage in a particular issue and those that have internet access and are comfortable with computers. (So let’s rule out my Mom, who does log into “the facebook” but really is not comfortable with a lot of navigation) and those without access (like IDK, people in rural appalachia)
Second – I ALREADY VOTED!!! I voted for a president, and I voted for senators and representatives – to represent me and my needs and it is time for them to do the job they are elected and paid for!!!!!!
Third, I am not qualified to vote on this.. (and sometimes I question our elected officials who don’t read the bills they vote for) but they have staff to educate them on their needs.
When I saw this survey I went immediately to the section for the Department of Education – What do you want to reform: and it lists the 9 Program Offices – Do you know what they all do? I am pretty knowledgeable (more than the average joe) because I am an Education Professor – but seriously – as an everyday citizen could you vote for which ones should be removed or reformed?
The Institute of Education Sciences provides national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge of education and produces rigorous evidence on which to ground education practice and policy. This is accomplished through the work of its four centers: the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, and the National Center for Special Education Research.
The Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students administers, coordinates and recommends policy for developing and supporting high-quality instructional programs designed to serve the education needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students, thereby helping these English language learners and immigrants attain English proficiency and academic success.
The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership, technical assistance and financial support to state and local education agencies for the maintenance and improvement of both public and private preschool, elementary and secondary education. OESE administers programs designed to advance the academic opportunities of the nation’s neediest children.
The Office of Innovation and Improvement administers and coordinates programs and activities designed to support and test innovations throughout the K-12 system, including a number of teacher quality programs and reforms that expand parental choice of schools for their children and information about best practices. It is also the Department’s liaison to the non-public education community.
The Office of Postsecondary Education is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy and administering programs that address critical national needs in support of increased access to quality postsecondary education for all students. OPE also promotes the domestic study of foreign languages and international affairs and supports international education research and exchange.
The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools administers, coordinates and recommends policy for improving programs and activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. Such programs and activities comprise drug and violence prevention programs, character and civic education, and a variety of other comprehensive efforts to promote students’ physical and mental health.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services supports programs designed to meet the needs and develop the full potential of children with disabilities, reduce dependency and enhance the productive capabilities of youths and adults with disabilities, and support research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.
The Office of Federal Student Aid administers the systems and products related to providing tens of billions of dollars annually in federal financial aid to millions of students pursuing postsecondary education and training opportunities. The office provides the information and forms needed to apply for loans, grants and work-study funds, as well as information for students, parents, financial aid administrators, lending institutions, auditors and others in the field. It also leads the U.S. government-wide initiative to deliver Web-based services from government agencies and organizations to postsecondary students (seehttp://students.gov).
The Office of Vocational and Adult Education supports a wide range of programs and activities that provide adults with the basic skills necessary to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent and support them in their pursuit of postsecondary, career or technical education and lifelong learning.
So what goes?
Given that information? Even just a paragraph – what needs dropped or reformed? Do you want students with special needs to not be given an appropriate education – Get Rid of 7 ! Do you want those people who lose their jobs to not be able to get an education – no problem Get rid of 9! How about making student loans a free for all – that meaning – an uncontrolled predatory lending situation – (When did you last ask yourself – why can’t student loans be like a title or pay day loans?)
Now given the current leadership and the proposed education budget presented by DeVos to the Appropriations committee last week – many of these things will go away.
What should do you? I have no idea how this “survey” will be used by the whitehouse.. but I have two action steps.
Watch Devos testify to House Appropriations Committee last week.
WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND SENATOR:
In the end – this survey is unscientific and I ALREADY VOTED. Please take the time to write your congressperson or senator and tell them how you as a consitutient would like them to represent you.
Met with Adam Croom this week and he showed me how to shorten my URLs so old tweets may point to the wrong things – but now was a good time to do it before I blogged more.. feel free to use the navigation here to link to it..
It is plenty tough to be an educator, especially in Oklahoma. The pay is bad, the respect is bad, and the confirmation of Devos to Secretary of Education is going to make it tougher.
I have two issues that I think will affect us right away. The pressure to have charter schools in Oklahoma when the state and schools are already broke – is only going to increase with someone like DeVos at the helm. My husband also talks about “squirrels” or diversions.. The pay for Superintendents is our squirrel and in the end, even if its a charter school – teachers are not going to be paid well and a business model – just leaves our students behind.. However, expect that momentum to create more charters to pick up in Oklahoma.. its so odd to me though, because I don’t know of any business that buys into something that someone says is not generating money.. I know that Charters are big money, but its all at the expense of our students.
Issue 2: Student loans – We in Higher education better keep our eyes on this one, folks.. Yikes..
First, Trump wants to repeal the Dodd Frank Act – which put in place some protections about borrowing. And with Devos in charge of Education – I only worry that interest rates, and borrowing is going to go up.. And then Pell grants will go down..
I am currently reading Paying the Price by Sarah Goldrick Rab. She is speaking at OU on Tuesday February 21st.. It about student loans and the debt that students rae getting into..
Guys this is the next Subprime mortgage crisis.. One of the senators (Jack Reed RI) was holding the floor last night talked about how Realtors have come to him and said that they cannot sell houses to young people because they have too much student loan debt. Folks if they can’t spend money, our economy is in trouble. Even though she has never had a student loan in her family, I sure hope that people keep their eyes on the economy – if we cripple our young people.. we are all in real trouble.
So remember that Betsy Devos is over both K-12 and higher education..
The hardest part for me now is to not lose hope.. I called, I tweeted, and Senator Lankford (especially) and Senator Inhofe – I know you did not value my input, but now I will not go away.. I am watching you, and looking forward to your challengers who really care about Oklahoma students both K-12 and higher education. And Senator Lankford, I am not going to “move on”
So at the end of the Fall 2016 semester I earned my Apple Teacher certification for 2016 in iPad, Mac and Swift Playground… I also required my students to get their Apple teacher badges for iPad and encouraged them to grab more..
I will be honest, when Apple Teacher first came out, I was skeptical. I thought not another badging certification. I see many people talk about being Google Certified but they know the clicks, but not the pedagogy behind it. I worried that it would weaken the distinction and all the steps that I went though to be an Apple Distinguished Educator but Apple Teacher actually changed my mind about badging in education, especially Ed Tech preservice teacher education and I want to share my experiences to tell you why.
My Skepticism of Badging
So let me give you a quick history. My Dean has been encouraging me to think about badging and credentialing for a few years now. It was not terribly easy to do (but @Badgelist has really changed that) and I thought it was kind of insulting. would you expect a theories of education class to badge? then why an ed tech class? I talked several times to Rick West at BYU about it.. but still did not see its value – and had plenty of other work on my plate.
Then in Fall 2016, Apple Released Apple Teacher and I started to see the usefulness of it in a few ways.
1) It was free (a major plus for education)
2) It helped us to document what our students were learning in a transferable way to the real world..(ie.. Administrators got it) and we could help build student resume and portfolios.
3) It linked students to resources available throughout their device- and helped them to be lifelong learners and identify resources they could use in their future careers.
4) To my surprise the questions were both technical and pedagogical. It talked about how but also why you would use tools. In introducing it to teachers and students, it facilitated important pedagogical conversations about using technology for teaching.
So I investigated it further in a few ways..
1) I had one student do all the Apple Teacher certificates as a makeup assignment. I asked him to review the process, keep track of his time, and tell me what he thought of it.. (This is an important step in that I am pretty knowledgeable on the tools and my time would not equal student time to complete) . He talked about how he had to use the books for some tasks and found himself jumping between devices to test out tools and find the solution.
2). I started taking a few tests myself.
3) I required students to do at least the iPad test after I found out how much time it took (less than 2 hours for each test even if they were unfamiliar with that app to begin).
4) I watched on social media as #AppleTeacher gained momentum – and I saw how people were excited to share the credential and how many schools were starting to use it as a personal or building-wide PD goal for teachers.
So what did I find out..
the Apple Teacher questions lead us to a great conversation about assessment in class. . How can you assess skills with objective tests? How do you support students in taking such a test? How can 5 questions assess a complex skill. Great teachable moments for future teachers.
I failed GarageBand in front of my students – Yes humility is good.. and no I was not cheating the questions are randomized and they got different ones.. But it sure made the task more accessible to everyone.
My students felt like they were walking away with something. One student said – It was great to see what I had really learned and how easy it was to complete. They liked that it transferred directly to their resume.
Several students went to take on more tests because they could. I saw several students change their Twitter profile to reflect their accomplishment.
So I want to encourage my preservice teacher education educational technology colleagues to consider doing Apple Teacher with their students as a way to document their technology skills and to add to their portfolios and resumes. You might ask, why I am not making the same endorsement of Google Certified Educator – it costs money – and I will mention it, but really can’t compel students to pay. It is less convenient and the time turn around to pass it, does not work as well with the traditional semester. Also philosophically my goal is always to introduce to students what they can do, give them a taste, and information to go further. I view that test as an extension to the beginning activity. My goal as a teacher educator is to get them to value credentialing and badging and then make it their own.
This Badging and credentialing is the future of teacher education and this is an easy and free way to engage your students in it today for technology skills.
So how has this changed my view of on Badging?
The students liked it, and I realized that many of my assignments, I want students to do, but the paper they have to write is not the goal of the assignment. I just want them to do it. In the end the Essay ends up being a collection of disingenuous statements – (I am so thankful that Dr. Cullen made me participate in a twitter chat, now I know i will be a great technology using teacher).
So this Spring, I am going to give badging some technology skills a try. What am I finding so far.. Badgelist seems easy to use, and I am actually going to increase what I ask students to do. I will be asking them to show more evidence of the activities (screenshots, selfies, videos) and will be able to ask them do more skills. I will be cutting down on the disingenuous essays but increasing the public sharing of their work..
So spring 17 is my test, but I probably would not have tried going to badging had I not seen the positive reaction of my students to Apple Teacher..
Virtual Reality is when a learner puts on googles and blocks out their reality to experience something in the virtual world. It is different than augmented reality because you block out your surroundings and just interact in the virtual world.
Virtual reality has come down in cost considerably. Most people think of very expensive solutions like Oculus Rift to experiences VR but so many now are accessible using smartphones and holders like Google Cardboard.
Here are some great apps that allow you to use virtual reality in Education
NearPod – Nearpod offers virtual field trips as part of their presentation software. Students can use Nearpod and iPad or a smartphone to explore sites all over the world.
The New York times has begun to publish virtual reality stories as part of their reporting. This is a wonderful way to bring your students into real world experiences beyond their classroom and geographical location. I especially like the VR experience for a pilgrimage to Mecca. You can use this app to help improve student empathy and understanding or larger global issues.
I am very new to playing with this tool but this is one of the ones that I am most excited about. Co Spaces is a virtual reality app where users can log on online and design their own Virtual Reality Spaces.
So why I am excited about CoSpaces –
I am really new at this – they added scripting 2 weeks ago.. (as you can see my birds are flying no where!!) But it is enjoyable, allows for problem solving, and allows for the great “Look what I made” moment. They have a lot of examples that students can use to problem solve and prototype. For example, to make my flock of birds fly, I used 1 bird and then modified the code from their example to make a flock. Think of the questions I could ask – how do I get them into V formation? How do I get them to fly farther? What do the coordinates mean?
Augmented Reality adds technology enhancements to everyday views and experiences. You do not tune out from reality but add to it.
What is Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is the ability to overlay an interactive
virtual environment over real life. Right now most Augmented reality is provided by a website, but in the near future they expect that you could add your augmented reality over the top of learning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09vxKN1zLNI
Tips for Using Augmented Reality in Education
There are many ideas for using AR in the class. Many of
them are based on using AR as a way to embed codes or learning around a classroom or a school. Students use their devices to scan and interact with clues or QR codes in order to learn more from signs or topics.
Barcy, a coloring app, for example discusses how they address Gardner’s Multiple
Intelligences with their app. I can especially see how it helps with Kinesthetic learning and allowing students to move and interact with their learning.
How does this fit in the curriculum?
There are many standards that make AR relevant to the
curriculum. If I looked at the 21st Century standards for the American Association of School Libraries
21st century standards
It would fall under inquiry where students can manipulate their learning.
I believe that Augmented Reality apps like Barcy would allow learners to be Creative communicators – by communicating in multiple modalities. It would also allow them to be Innovative Creators. They can show creativity in how they style their coloring sheets, but by adding additional apps that allow for creation, students could create their AR content.
There are five different groups of Augmented Reality in my mind:
Games – these are games where you are looking for virtual items – the most famous is Pokemon Go. (http://www.pokemongo.com/)These objects are seen on your phone while viewing your actual surroundings.
2. Coloring Apps – These apps use QR code style sheets that are printed out that students can color and then interact with. if we think about the SAMR model – this truly lives the Augumented Level. Take regular coloring and Augment it to allow for interactivity. If we look at Bloom’s taxonomy in general when used as intended these apps don’t really move up the learning very high – however in true redefinition style – people are using these augmented apps to create other uses.
For example, Quiver App has a bunch of templates like their Dot template that creates an AR orb – many teachers are using it this for all kinds of activities – not just associated with Dot Day.
Chromville and Barcy – these offer coloring pages that deal with water and science. Characters are interactive and you can manipulate variables in some of the science related content.
3. Augmented Pals – I am not sure what to call this category – but there are several apps that will just create augmented items in your view.
ZooKaazam creates things like dinosaurs and bugs that you can display on any “busy” surface (think magazine cover)
4. Flash Cards – There are many AR Flashcards. These apps generally are geared for really young ages. Their images are not very complex but students can practice using letters, numbers and math with Augmented reality.
Here are the big ideas that I have prepared for tomorrow’s discussion, they are self-reflective – so you might just want to let them percolate a little.
First, the authors ask at the end of the introduction
During my years in school, the mentor who had the biggest impact on my life trajectory was __________ because ______________
And this will be a great way for us to introduce ourselves to each other.
Is Jacob a typical student? Thinking about Jacob’s learning style in high school – how are we now and could we in the future engage Jacob in his college learning?
In our time at OU how has our curriculum changed to be more based on skills versus credentials alone – has it gone far enough? If we focus on employable skills – are my undermining a R1 education? Are our students being prepared for an innovation society?
What is the purpose of an Undergraduate education at OU? Graduate education? How well is our experience aligned with our purpose?
Remember, it is a lunch meeting, feel free to bring your lunch or coffee.. I look forward to the discussion..
Hopefully that will give us a few things to start our discussion, I am excited to hear your perspectives.
Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education