What Do Teachers Want From Tech Tools?

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This is going off topic from a blog post that is due for class. I appreciate blogs like this because I want to know what teachers want. Today, I went to EdCampOKC!! It was amazing. I will talk about it more on another blog post but I learned that if you want to work in education sector you need to understand the teachers and their kids. I want to build edtech tools for students, teachers, and parents. How can I do that if I don’t understand where they are coming from? Seeking out their pain points, interests, needs, and the wiggle room they have we can help create better tools. Better yet, let us include them in the development process. We can step away from thinking we know or even asking once and then coming back with a finished product. Engaging the teachers and students through the whole process to make them feel as if they helped build it which they should. None of these tools would be possible without their input and approval.

If you don’t have the support of the teacher, then what do you really have at all?

Pernille Ripp

image from icanread

Too often when we discuss technology and what to use in  our classrooms we get caught by the flashy gadgets, the promises of something new, or the latest tool to be sweeping the community  We think we need the newest thing to keep us current and connected.  We think we need more tools to have better tech integration.  And yet, I often find that it is not so much about getting more tech, but rather using the things I have better.  So what does this teacher really want from her tech tools?

  • User friendliness.  I am not afraid of technology, meaning I will gladly play around with something until I make it work, but sometimes even I throw in the towel.  If a new tool is not something I can figure out a little within a half an hour then I doubt it will find a permanent…

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BP5 – OSU Research

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Tony Ivey is an assistant professor for Special Education. She has written on science education and policy as well. Kathryn Castle is an author and has written books on Early Childhood topics. This is so interesting that she has written on early childhood education, curriculum, and teacher research. Lynna Ausburn is an assistant professor for occupation education studies. One of the titles to her publications that caught my eye was “Are we there yet? The digital learning inflection pint revisited.” Recent, I have been learning a lot on digital learning. The question keeps beckoning when will we be ready for this and how can we adapt to this new style. Another one by Ausburn is on the strategy patterns and instructional preferences of students within career and technical education. Vocational Schools have been a hot topic recently. The perception that they  are only for the poor and unmotivated is completely false. Vo-tech can be for anyone even college bound students. I  attend a Pre-Engineering Academy at a local vo-tech. High schools are changing to more of a model where students graduate with more than a diploma. They have certifications and other awards as they graduate. YoonJung Cho is an associate professor for educational psychology. Her research focuses on “on students’ achievement motivation and self-regulated learning process and teachers’ motivation and its impact on instructional practices, both in traditional classroom setting and online instruction.(3)”

You might notice that none of the professors are from the computer science college. No of the topics in the CS College fell under what I was passionate about. In the near future, I am thinking about reaching out to some of these professors and interviewing or talking to them. All of their research topics are so interesting and I want to learn more about their topics. I want to see how they stay up with current trends and topics. Improving how I am informed and the breadth of sources I grab from needs to be broadened. This is really exciting to see all these professors working on papers that I am interested in and ready to learn about.

Sources:

  1. http://education.okstate.edu/tivey
  2. http://education.okstate.edu/kcastle
  3. http://education.okstate.edu/ycho
  4. http://education.okstate.edu/lausburn

Reddit – BP4 – EdTech

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Subreddits: Edtech | Education | Education Reform

I have used Reddit before this assignment to share my blog posts I had wrote. Never would I think I would be allowed to surf through the subreddits for an assignment.

How To Build Evidence-Based Educational Tools That Work For Every Child

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Michael Connell states that some educators do not take research to heart. He wants to through his company bring the bests research journals on how students learn math directly to students. Native Brain, his company, built a iPad app for young kids to learn math. One of the challenges for them is keeping true to the base research and keep up with newer findings. Being able to deliver a wonderful product and keep in line with subject matter is a balancing act.

Will EdTech excel in America’s classrooms?

We spend a ton of money on K-12 education yet are not seeing the same results as other countries. With that, many have turned to edtech to be the answer to help us recapture our students and begin to head towards improvement. Chelsea McCullough , the write of the post, is from Texas and highlights Texas’s forward thinking approach to our education problems. There are numerous edtech companies and initiatives to discover the best ways of improving our test scores. Students approve to these new change in teaching as referenced by a study in the post. My generation grew up with technology and the generations below me even more so comparative to our parents. The future holds great promise with the use of technology in education.

The Government Doesn’t Know How Much Its Student Loans Cost

This article is simple. It talks about how the government doesn’t know how much it is making and spending off of student loans. One thing is evident that student loans and dept are both growing.

Graphic from: Huffington Post

BP3

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Our group was assigned to read “The Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894” by Stephen Devies. Stephen talks about how over history a problem presents its self and humanity has to solve it or face consequences. For people to solve whatever it is, there needs to be the correct incentives. Through this we can overcome the obstacles that present themselves in our life.  He uses one particular time in New York’s history to illustrate is point.  Back when horses was the method of transportation there were a few cons that followed. In larger cities, the manure would pile up on the streets until it was cleaned. Also, there was a rise in food and expansive land used up to house these horse. The urban planners met to resolve this but disbanded after a few hours. “It seemed as though urban civilization was doomed “. Others were not so quick to take the current situation as the definite solution. Gottlieb Damiler and Henry Ford were two of those people. Stephan then relates this old problem to our reliance on oil now. He states that “as any resource becomes more costly, human ingenuity will find alternatives.” Two lessons are laid out near the end. One being that if the correct environment is setup with the right incentives the problem will be solved. However, if this is replaced by a political motive then problems will continue to be as they are. Secondly, the future is hard to predict. We should still questions and push forward.

What are some of the manure crisis in education currently? May that be secondary ed or higher ed.

Who are the Henry Ford’s and Gottlieb Damiler’s of today’s education reform?

How will technology play a role in the new era of learning?

What will happen to the next generation if we resemble the urban planners?

How are we questions tradition to innovate towards better schooling?

Computer Science Research – BP 2

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There are two areas that I am interested in, one is programming and the other is educational technology. Our library has research hubs for different majors. My major page is located at http://www.library.okstate.edu/acaddept/compsci.cfm. With my other interest in education is located at http://info.library.okstate.edu/higher_adult_occupational_education. On top of having these awesome resource pages, each subject has a dedicated librarian. Kevin Drees is the Computer Science Liaison Librarian. Steve Locy is the Education Liaison Librarian.

The computer science home page has quite a few links and that is all. Most of the links lead to a science or engineering page. Some of the databases include IEEE XploreComputers and Applied Sciences Complete, and KnovelWorld Wide Web ConsortiumYahoo! Science — Computer Science are two of the useful links provided to help us stay informed on what is happening in our subject matter. Searching Engineering Village on Computer Science came with top results touching on computer science education. The topics varied from communication skills into the curriculum to bridging the gap between theory and practice.

After looking at an excellent paper on CS trends, I have a better idea of where research efforts are being spent. A couple of the topics that are popular are security, privacy,  and artificial intelligence. Security and privacy are pressing issues in many sectors. These two particularly impact everyone’s lives. Here a couple months ago, Target was attacked and lost an enormous amount of credit card information. The NSA Prism program came to light after Edward Snowden leaked information.  As I said, these topic are at an all time high with events like these in headline news.

PS. Listen to this youtube channel as you write! Here is the link.

About me – BP1

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 Last semester, I changed to computer science because I discovered a love for creating from nothing. By getting a degree in CS, I am working towards getting a job at an educational technology company such as Khan Academy or Coursera. With a job in that sector, both my love for programming and learning collide. Working somewhere that impacts education by correctly utilizing technology would not feel like a boring job. There are numerous challenges that come with attempting to merge education and technology. Questions arise about how should iPads be introduced into the classroom and what’s the correct balance between online learning and face to face interaction.

How did I come to this path? Everything started senior year of high school when I was in a open ended research course called Engineering Design and Development. Here I learned the value of self-directed learning and the power of no boundaries. I began to seek out online learning resources and community that would support this style. This is where I was introduced to the world of MOOCs. These are websites that have online courses usually for free. I taught my self to program on websites such as CodeSchool, Codecademy, and Lynda. Next, I was able to go on trips that opened my eyes to even more. I went to a Hackademic in San Francisco. We talked about alternative forms of learning. Then, I was selected to go to a Teach for America & Zappos Trip in Las Vegas. I saw the beginning meetings on their iPad program at the school I was paired with. Our project while we were there was to form a team and work on a project. We choose to create a district wide iPad policy. I learned the importance of correctly introducing technology into the classroom.

I want to be a programmer for a education technology company. My mission will be to create dialog between the teachers, students, and programmers. We need to create a tools that teachers and students will both want to use. Beyond my job, I want to continue to volunteer with FIRST Robotics and STEM in Oklahoma.