Archive for 4.3 Delivery System Management

EDTECH506: Concrete and Concise

There are many factors to providing critical prehospital care. EMTs have to know how to determine if a patient is in immediate need of advanced care. The students taking this course will refer to this condensed chart which follows Lohr’s three C’s. There is a lot to remember in this section, so I concentrated a lot of information in one spot. In doing so, I also designed it to be concise and concrete with the white text dominating the field. I initially had the blue text fields extending out to the edge of the page, but decided to increase the white ground a bit to balance the high contrast of the blue and red after my reviewer complained that it “hurt his eyes.” I decided the problem was one in which the figure and ground competed (p. 102). When I reduced the width of the blue, I found that the text was enhanced by the white space around the blue text box.

I analyzed the figure to see if I had unintentionally created a visual conflict. Originally, I had. The blue textboxes made the graphic look like a US Navy add with the blue and white “stripes” creating a 1+1=3 phenomenon (p. 100). My reviewer’s complaint told me that the figure and ground were causing visual conflict. The revision is much better – allowing the learner to “focus easily and quickly on [the] key message.” (p. 105).

Overall, I am pleased with this part of my project. I used the same colors as prior projects to begin developing a color theme of red, white, and blue to match that of our ambulance service. It will work because it is easy to read and put into a logical format. These are not cardinal elements, so leaving them unnumbered helps to reduce the tendency to rank the elements.

References

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. (Second.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Leave a Comment

EDTECH 541: Considering the Outcomes

Social networking, Cloud-based computing, mobile devices, and Internet access offer myriad opportunities for my students to explore math on a whole new level. Excitement builds as I evaluate web sites, develop the LMS, and plan the online activities for my hybrid Algebra class.

Unexpectedly, I hit a policy barricade, beyond that a Family Rights and Privacy Act and Childs Internet Protection Act (FERPA/CIPA funding compliance barrier, and then headlong into firewalls and filter walls. Anticipation turns into frustration. How I will cross these obstacles becomes part of my planning and preparation.

Knowing I will have to have administrative and Board approval, I consider what solutions I will offer to provide relevant standards-based learning opportunities for student success. I have learned from Robleyer and Doering (2010) that I can use an evaluation tool to predetermine how to navigate the Internet and safely bypass common problems.

I work in reverse order, determining what content is relevant to my course. The Cisco ASA firewall, ESET Anti-virus,  and WebSense internet filter work in tandem to protect our network and our users from the obvious risks of offensive subject matter, malware threats, privacy and financial compromise, or illegal activities, but sometimes they also prevent access to desirable or allowable sites. In response, I create a WebPortal which features the sites I have planned to use in my instruction. To avoid syntax errors, I carefully check the URLs one at a time to ensure they are functional. Using the URLs featured in the portal, I submit a whitelist to the filter.

One-third of my students have an IEP, one-third test within “proficient” levels, and the remaining third are “advanced.”  Meeting the diverse needs of this student mix is going to be challenging. Eric Lawson’s article in the March 28, 2011 Technology & Learning prompted a grant to purchase iPads for a pilot program. The grant was funded. Eager to implement the recently purchased devices, I now have to consider what I must do to add the 3G access to our network. I call our consultants and they walk me through a process that allows our filter to work remotely so students can take the devices home, but remain accountable with publicly funded devices. I work with our administration to develop a new responsible use agreement for staff and students, confident that students will “love to use these handheld devices to learn about core curriculum standards within the classroom”(2011).

I’m getting closer to my objectives, but my most important task lies ahead of me. I must address the human element of this course. Even though my students immerse themselves in social media at home, their ability to use digital tools as a classroom resource is limited. Responding to the findings of a Cengage Learning/Eduventures survey (2010) entitled “Instructors and Students: Technology Use, Engagement and Learning Outcomes, William Reiders, executive vice president for Global New Media (Cengage Learning) states that, “Clearly, students are asking for better guidance, support, and training in using digital tools in the classroom and we, as an industry, need to pay attention and effectively respond to those needs in order to improve engagement and learning outcomes.”

In my opinion, my biggest responsibility is to provide training, model appropriate use, and enforce rules of netiquette, safe browsing, and responsible use of technology so that together we can soar into the 21st Century as learners and consumers in the digital age.

References

Brown, L. (2010, April 7). Debunking the Digital Native Myth: Higher Education Students Ask for More Support in Using Classroom Technology. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from CENGAGE Learning: http://www.cengage.com/trends/pdf/Survey Release and Results.pdf

Lawson, E. (2011). iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones as Assistive Technology in Education. Technology and Learning .

Robleyer, M., & Aaron, D. (2010). Educational Technology Into Teaching (Fifth ed.). Allyn and Bacon, Pearson.

 

Leave a Comment

EDTECH 541: Will the Wall Come Down?

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA, 1999 (106th Congress (Senate), 1999)) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. Unfortunatelty, Web 2.0 venues demand something that private and public sectors alike share; walled gardens. The Children’s Internet Protection Act mandates public schools have in place a filter to prevent predators from accessing impressionable children, or from children accessing the wealth of pornography and other harmful content.  According to the Pew Internet and American Life project,  learners are connected while not in school, with more than 80% of participants reporting they sleep with a cellphone by the bed. Today’s typical teen sends approximatelly 1500 text messages monthly. Mobile devices are closing the gap in the digital divide by giving less priviledged members of society access to the Internet. The rising popularity of social networking sites emphasizes that today’s students are social learners (Bull, 2010, pg 28-29).

Rather than pushing against the tide, schools can embrace the benefits of social networking technology in a safe and controlled environment designed specifically for the unique needs of K-12 education. These tools help support diversity and the development of communities through safe user friendly platforms that encourage dialogue and the sharing of perspectives, ideas and events.  Such environments can be found with educational vendors such as Gaggle.net. (2011)

A brief skim or an in-depth review of any day’s current events quickly reminds us of the myriad ways we share our home planet with others who–despite our differences in culture, ethnicity, and demographics–are likely to share foundational values of stewardship, spirituality, democracy, diversity, and language. Niel Postman (1995) identifies those values as “the five inclusive human narratives” (pg 144). 

Great and simple minds struggle to answer the ethical dilemmas which confront us at every angle, giving rise to questions such as those that Walter Parker, Akira Ninomya, and John Cogan (1999) framed in regard to societal equity and fairness; balancing privacy with open access to information; meeting human needs in the face of a fragile environment; coping with issues relating to the growing population, genetic engineering, and poverty; keeping local values while developing shared global values; and making ethics-based decisions on the issues?

In their Learning and Leading with Technolgoy article “Save the World with Web 2.0” Lauren Cifuentes, Zahira Merchant, and Omer Faruk Vural (November, 2010) maintain that human narratives merge well with the ethical questions to form an “activity framework for preparing students for global citizenship (pg 34).” Sample activities include having learners research the importance and impact of an issue prior to promoting their cause on social networks, blogs, wikis, global networking, and other Web 2.0 venues to raise awareness and save the world.(Lauren Cifuentes, 2010). When browsing for content enrichment, teachers find similar activities, but are stifled by policies and procedures that prohibit most Web 2.0 applcations.  When will the wall come down?

 

RESOURCES:

106th Congress (Senate). (1999, January 19). S.97.AS. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:S.97.IS:

Bull, G. (2010). The Always-Connected Generation. (K. Conley, Ed.) Learning & Leading with Technology , 38 (3), 28-29.

Lauren Cifuentes, Z. M. (2010). Save the World with Web 2.0. Learning & Leading with Technology , 34-35.

Social Learning. (2011). Retrieved June 28, 2011, from Gaggle.net: https://gaggle.net/home/gaggle-apps/social-learning/#features

Leave a Comment

EDTECH 541: Would You Like a Nectarine?

 I stopped at a roadside fruit stand last summer. The air was heavy and warm and the aroma of nectarines and strawberries embraced me as I walked into the darkened building. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness from behind sunglasses that I forgot to exchange for my “other” glasses, I made out piles and piles of fresh produce. Southern gospel music played at a too-high volume on an old cassette player while green bottle flies landed on first one piece and then another of cut “sample” fruit, gleefully rubbing their tiny forelegs in anticipation of the juicy nectar.   The price was well discounted if I could afford the time and energy to go and pick my own fruit. I had time, and couldn’t resist the unexpected opportunity to traipse out into the orchard in anticipation of biting into a sun-warmed nectarine.

The owner, dressed in long sleeved plaid shirt worn under  faded denim overalls connected on only one side by some sort of “work around” where the original fastener had given way, led me out to a section of maybe a dozen nectarine trees. Peering out from the brim of a sweat-stained ball cap, he began “These here are Red Havens—they’re a bit early, but you’ll find a few that are ripe.”  Turning, he pointed to another section, “Those over there are ripe, but they aren’t as sweet and juicy as these…but they will keep longer.”

Smiling, he handed me the cardboard box that had previously held bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey. Cardboard dividers made compartments perfect for keeping fresh nectarines from bruising.  “Over here’s a ladder if you want to get up higher; I think that tree has quite a few ripe ones on the south side.”  Realizing I wasn’t in a big rush, he warmed up as he pointed here and there to the ripening fruit explaining how I would be able to see crimson freckles and smell the ripeness before I touched the fruit. If it was ripe, it would be sure to detach itself from the tree into my willing hand. I picked as he talked.

The digital future stretches before me with limitless opportunities. Each day I behold another use for technology – another venue for distributing information to myriad learners. Asynchronous versus synchronous, Apple versus PC, Telepresence versus self-direction, apps versus books. Choices flood the digital orchard.  My vision is to be a teacher to those who would learn. My vision is that my course design will lead learners to a set of specific objectives. The owner of the orchard did not lead me to apples, cherries, or peaches. He knew I was seeking nectarines, so he took me to the fruit and allowed me to pick while he provided guidelines, visual references, and learning.

Online learners need objectives – needless energy is spent trying to sift through the maze of information that is available when objectives are unclear. Well developed courses provide direction and clarification as well as satisfying the need to know that we learners are seeking. I have found that standards help me in providing clear objectives and relevant assessments. For my secondary education students I follow the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), 2011)and the International Society for Technical Education (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) (International Society for Technology in Education, 2011).

If my vision becomes reality, my students can anticipate the best there is to be had…would you like a nectarine?

Works Cited

International Society for Technology in Education. (2011). Standards. Retrieved June 13, 2011, from ISTE: http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students.aspx

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). (2011). Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Retrieved June 13, 2011, from Core Standards: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf

Leave a Comment