Calling all Educators!


This past April 1, 2009, I decided to take the plunge and start a master’s program. I enrolled at Western Governors University and am working towards a Master of Education in Learning and Technology. As a culminating project, I will be writing a capstone project about the following instructional problem:

Teachers frequently express frustration with the quality of professional development they receive about effective ways to integrate technology technology into their teaching.

I have posed a possible solution to the above instructional problem:

mwsnap01247“A learning management system will be created featuring an online Moodle community with modules that will train teachers on basic technology skills and ways to integrate technology into teachers’ content area(s) to enrich student learning. This will result in teachers taking ownership of their learning, changing negative perceptions of online professional development and creating similar online  activities for their students to participate.

Moodle will be the tool used to deliver the online training sessions. The goal is to deliver quality professional development online that is accessible 24/7, that is meaningful and relative delivered online to the participating teachers.  I haven’t worked out all of the details as I am just in the needs analysis phase and am just starting to gather data.

I have created two different instruments to gather data. One is a Google form at:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=cEROTTBDOTItTFN1QkdWbVlEV0VKRHc6MA

If you could take a moment and share the link with your colleagues I would great appreciate it. Feel free to tweet, plurk, post on your blog, Facebook, or anywhere that you think would help drive educators to complete the survey. Educators from Superintendent to the beginning teacher are invited to complete the two instruments to get a wide range of responses. The audience is all educators; more specifically educators new to using technology.

The second is a short questionnaire embedded at one of my wikis:

http://caisefiles.wikispaces.com/capstone_project_questions

The questions are completely open ended and your answers can be very brief or extensive – whatever you have time to write. I know time is a valuable commodity for everyone so I understand if you are not able to complete either one of the intruments. If you aren’t able to complete the instruments but can share with colleagues the links to the instruments I greatly appreciate it.

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9 responses to “Calling all Educators!

  1. Good luck. Have posted the url to this page to my twitter community

    • Thank you so much for tweeting and helping get the word out! I greatly appreciate your assistance – take care!

      Kim

  2. Of of my perpetual questions is: even in schools/districts that provide a variety of PD opportunities (F2F and online; just-in-time, before/after school, 1-2 hour long, 1/2 and full day, summer workshops, grad courses, long-term strategic initiatives, etc.), some teachers don’t participate for a number of reasons: too busy/not enough time; optional/choose not to participate; fear/lack of confidence/perceived lack of knowledge; minimal administrative “push;” difficulty seeing how technology and curriculum “fit” together; unreliable resources/lack of access, etc. The list could be longer.

    It’s my perception that much of this is tied to leadership, or lack of it. Basically, if the school leader (principal) doesn’t “get it,” teachers will be more likely to view technology-curriculum integration as optional.

    So, I am hoping that your participation in your new Master’s program at Western Governors University will get at this. Even with the ISTE/NETS standards for admins having been around for a while now, I still think there’s a major accountability gap: schools continue to purchase lots of new computers and related hardware and software and yet the use of technology is often designed to internet searching, online LOTS activities and basic word processing.

    Interested in your thoughts…

    • Thanks Jeff for responding to the surveys and my blog post! I always appreciate your feedback on Plurk and Facebook. I hope that the online course I structure will incorporate the convenience and flexibility features that meet the needs of busy teachers with the needs of beginning users of technology. The feedback from the participating teachers will be interesting to see if they feel comfortable and that they learned how to integrate technology at a pace and level that feels comfortable to them. My experience has been that leaders can be large obstacles that stifle creative efforts to effect change on campuses. Hopefully I will have been able to meet this objective as I won’t have the obstacles of ‘leadership’ per se to hinder or wait around to approve things. It will be interesting to see the participating teachers’ view of the aspects of the course.

  3. Kim, I, too, have taken the plunge and am working on a master’s program in Adolescent Literacy and Technology. Also, I was one of those teachers who felt the frustration of trying to implement the technological skills that I had been introduced to in inservices because our classrooms were not equipped for what we had been exposed to.
    Your learning management system would be a great help to teachers who want to or have to implement technology because it would give more hands on activities for them to get involved in and it would be somewhat self-pacing. With 24/7 access, their opportunities would be unlimited. Also, since there is a requirement for a certain number of technological inservice hours, this (with administration approval) could fulfill that requirement. It can and would be of great benefit to the teachers. Some teachers would love technology use in the classroom if they were a little more competent with it. I am one of those teachers; but, like I said, I decided to take the plunge!

    • Thanks Shirley for commenting on my post about starting a master’s degree program. Many teachers desire the flexibility and convenience of online courses but don’t necessarily need advanced technical skills to succeed depending upon how the sessions are constructed. I plan to create an online community that incorporates the convenience and flexibility features that meets the needs of busy teachers with the needs of beginning users of technology. The feedback from the participating teachers will be interesting to see if they feel comfortable and that they learned how to integrate technology at a pace and level that feels comfortable to them. Stay tuned!

      • Kcaise, I will definitely be tuned in. Thanks for your encouragement and optimism for me and others who may feel a little intimidated with this educational trend that will soon cease to be an option.

  4. Andrew Peterson

    Kim,

    Excellent choice on schools. One of the board members, Mark Milliron spoke at my college. His message seems inline with the content of your website. In contrast, I’m about 80% of the way through my education and technology masters degree at University of Phoenix. My current class is called “Technology in the Classroom” and we spent several weeks talking about spreadsheets and databases.

    Good luck,
    Andrew

    • Thanks for the feedback Andrew. I hope throughout the process I don’t regret my decision but from a financial standpoint it was definitely a great choice. I don’t think I could have withstood spending weeks on spreadsheets and databases even in practical contexts. Congrats on being 80% of the way through your program. Soon you will have the piece of paper you were seeking that says Master’s degree!

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