Identify and Evaluate Useful Online Technologies for the Elementary Classroom
Hi everybody, this is dr estes. I want to talk to you a little, bit about, identifying. And evaluating. Useful, online technologies. For elementary. Education. When i began preparing, for this presentation, the search was on it took me hours, to find what i needed for this presentation. It's like finding a needle in a haystack, sometimes. Looking for. Websites, for technologies. That are online. So. What can you do. There are four strategies. For locating, web sources that we use all the time, one we can go to a known page. We can click, on a relevant, link that we find on an, existing, page we're on. We might receive, targeted, marketing, information, and ads, from vendors, about technologies. That match our profile, because they're seeking out educators. We might even use a search engine to locate, a variety, of pages. On a topic, and that may yield millions. Of results. Um, so. When we do. A. When we do use a search engine let's say we don't know exactly. What it is, that we're looking for. What we want to try to do, is. Narrow that down because we often get irrelevant. Insufficient. Inaccurate. Information. We find websites. That give us viruses. Or threats. And websites, that require, an account or membership, that sort of stop, our our search altogether, because we can't get in, without. Some additional, steps. So basically. Um. To try to avoid. All of that, one thing that we can do. Is, use an advanced. Google, search, to narrow down what it is we're looking for. What are the key words, that you that you do know i know you don't may not know everything in a search, but what is it you do know and then putting. Quotes, around, those, will make. The search, engine, look for that exact, phrase. Let's say that you. Were looking for needs assessment, apps. You may want to put quotes around that, to. Get an exact phrase. Or, any one of those three words may be useful to you in that case you can put the word or between the words. If you knew that you did not want high school results, or college results to come up you might put a minus sign before, those words, as well in your search string. And if you have numbers. Put two dots between them so that they, understand. The search engine understands, that these are separate numbers. And adding unit measures, can help with that. There are many other things that you see here on the slide that can help. You can narrow your search. And these are often, options so you don't have to know up front you can just make choices, that will help you out, such as what language, what region are you looking at. Is there a particular, domain, like jmu.edu. All pages in that domain. You can look for terms, that appear in the page. It could be anywhere in the page just in the title, in the text, in the link. Or linking to the page, so you really have a lot of control, over where to find, those keywords, that you're looking for, you can hide explicit, results, if you want to do that you can find out the usage, rights there are multiple, different options. For looking. Up the usage, rights in an advanced. Google search. So let's talk about technology. And education. Who's using, it how are they using, it why would we be looking for it anyway. Turns out, um there are lots of sources, that point to, really good reasons, why we would be doing this for example, teachers use technologies. In their classrooms. For instruction. But also just in the, classroom, environment, for planning for preparation. And also to fulfill, professional, responsibilities. The ascd. Rubric, here for effective, teacher technology. Use, might be helpful, to you as you look to becoming a teacher, and understanding. What should i know how to do or be doing with technology, in order to be using it, effectively. As a teacher. K5, students are using technologies.
For All of the things here they're completing, tasks, developing, thinking skills, solving, problems, making decisions. Conducting, activities, related to research. Using technologies. To assist in communication. They're demonstrating. Ethics, and responsibility. When using technologies. These come directly, from standards. Of learning. Related, to different subject matters that, specified. The use of technology. For k-5. Students. So we want to begin, with this idea, of what do our students need to be able to do. Before, selecting, a technology. To do something. There are many needs. There are many expectations. In k-12. How do we frame, these, one would be standards. Another would be a framework, such as what you see here. The. 21st, century skills, framework. In the orange, area, it has to do with learning and innovation, skills such as critical thinking, communication. Collaboration. And creativity. These 21st, century skills span, all subjects, they're important to all students at all levels. And they can be integrated, into any class. So on the right, you see. A profile, of a virginia, graduate, from the vdoe, website. They consider, the same things, those, critical thinking creative thinking, collaboration. Communication. But also. Explicitly. Mention. Citizenship. So we want to think of apps, that help us help our learners. Do these sorts of things. Another way to frame, this to make it more manageable. Is to look at the 21st, century, skills. And. Associate. Technologies. With each of them, that's what this website, does if you were to go on that red banner to the web address you would see an interactive, website. That has 21st, century skills, including, those, that we've talked about. Mostly, so far. And you can click on for example collaboration, communication. Creativity. Critical thinking, each one of those, will yield, a list of apps. That, that support. That particular. Um. 21st, century, skill. Another thing that is important to consider. Is. Using research-based. Approaches, when choosing edtech. Apps and rubrics. This article, comes from iste, the international. Society, for technology, and education. And on the web address at the bottom of this screen. There are several topics, that i wanted to share with you so that you can go and dig further, on your own. Number one they talk about tools for evaluating. Educational. Apps. Such as rubrics. Or, existing, research, on what works when using educational, apps, there's a checklist. To make sure that the apps that you're looking at are inclusive. And equitable. And there's also certifications. That indicate, a certain level of rigor and privacy. With apps, so you can look for that. The article talks about tools. To help with pilot. Testing educational, apps if you decide to try one out and create a pilot test how would you go about that. It provides, a framework, to evaluate, whether particular, apps meet teacher and student needs and of course your needs may be unique. And also a tool to help educators, provide strategies. For parents and caregivers. Who are ultimately. Connected. To. The learning experience. And needing to be aware, of how you're using technology, and how they can. Support, the use of technology. For their child's, learning. So the question is what kinds of technologies. Then, address, common, needs. Well the reality is that there are way too many for me to list here but following. I will show you a few samples, that you might want to. Explore. Further, we do want to find technologies. That support, the needs, that have already been. Identified. And framed, out and that sort of thing. If you're looking for apps that relate, to things such as developing, learners to communicate. Develop, thinking skills, conduct, research, activities, and be creative. Book creator. Is a tool that will help with that. It's something that i will attempt to. Show you here. So that you get a brief overview of how it works. So i created. A book, using book creator. By simply adding text, recording, audio, putting a shape around my audio. And i did that by clicking that plus in the top right you can see i can import. Files in media, use the camera, the pen, text. I can record. In order to populate, this book with media. With multimedia. For my learners. And then off screen is an arrow that i'll use to advance. Through my book so you can see that i have multiple, pages here that i can fill. And create my own original, book, the learners can enter, in a separate way, and they can create their own books as well. It's wonderful, for what you see here interactive, stories, digital, portfolios. Research, journals and so forth. Gizmos, is another site, where you can solve problems where learners can solve problems and make decisions.
In The visual, here on the screen in that dark blue area. Is a picture of a circuit. That is closed, and, the, light bulbs have lit up. So. Basically. The screen is blank. And the learner, clicks in different areas. To, build the circuit, add a battery. Add the lights, add the switch. And then turn it on, it's a very interactive. Little lesson, about how to build circuits. That comes from gizmo and you may want to take a look at that site as well, some of these are free, some of them are not, but there are lesson materials. And specific. Identified, learning objectives, associated. With this. The vex virtual, robot. Here i've included. Two links at the bottom, on the left, is a link to code. The robot, and on the right is a link to test your robot. The beauty of this you don't have to purchase a robot you don't have to have a robot at your house if you're working virtually, online. You can simply. Do the coding electronically. And then you can test, online. What happens. When you. Start up the robot. So again i'll try to show you an example. Of this, in just a second. So here we are inside. The. Vex vr. Virtual, robot. You can see on the left. There's, visual, coding, that has been done that the students, can do and that you can do. And on the right i have a little, visual. Showing, what that code is making that virtual, robot, do, kind of how it's navigating, the space. So a very exciting, way, to. Engage, learners, in, these. In these. With these tasks, in a virtual environment. So the topic of engaged and enlightened, citizenship. Was mentioned early on, let's go luna from pbs. Has videos, and games about luna and her diverse friends, traveling to different cultures, and just learning to appreciate, and value. Differences, in people and differences, in culture and geography, and that sort of thing. So, there are lots of resources. Related to citizenship. Digital citizenship. Other kinds of citizenship. Relating to being a global citizen. Another question, how, are online, technologies. Evaluated. Let's take a look, at that. One, place that you can go are online, repositories. In this example, the repository. Is called go open virginia. It's filled with open educational, resources, contributed, by educators. For educators, to use, it's and you can use them freely. On the screen here you'll see information.
That You can select, to narrow your search by subject. Education, level and so forth you can even type in what you're looking for if you know what you're looking for. I have a screen grab on the right of algebra, explorations. Pre-k, through grade 7. It has a rating of four out of five stars, which is helpful. Uh a description, where i can learn more about it and actually access, it. Uh i can see the details, like what's what subject, is this what material, type. Even, when was it added this was added in 2011. So when i as i evaluate, this resource, just looking at the screen without going into it i might think. It's kind of old it's a little dated i wonder if it still works, right i wonder, you know what was used to create it and is that still working. By the way flash, is something used to create a lot of things like this and flash, is going away at the end of december, so keep that in mind. On the left, of that screen grab, is the licensing, information, that needs to go with it, also extremely, helpful, if i decide, i do want to use this resource. Merlot, is an online repository. That's been around for a very long time it's been developed, into a really robust. Archive. Of. Materials. That can be used freely, and donated, freely by individuals. Much like the last one we saw. This one is very, in-depth. It involves a formal, peer review, process. On this screen i filtered by education. Pre-k. Grade school. And even on this screen there are more filters, i could apply to get even more specific. Over there on the left. Along the. Page here you see the paper project, for example. It's got, peer review rating. It's also got a user rating people out in the field anybody who's just tried it out you know what do they think. Um, and also, the very basic description. And other details. Uh dates and so forth. The the fourth, one, to the right, uh national, library, of uh virtual, something. I can see right away that this is older. But it does have a newer. Um. Update. Date, in 2020. Actually, so, making that a little more, uh desirable. The nice thing about merlot, is that it also comes with pedagogical. Information. How this is effectively. Used, in, education. So that you're not left hanging and wondering should i use this or am i using it correctly, or in a way that's meaningful. There's already some advice about that from the authors. Common sense education. Is another site that offers, ratings, and reviews. Like you see here in the screen grab on the right. I can search and filter. By, a grade. And by subject, over on the left. I can also. Once an artifact is pulled up i can see how it was rated by the star rating. But also those star ratings have different meanings, as you can see on the screen here so instead of just one, it, the rating relates to some aspect, of that artifact. And then i can see, the grade level, any price associated, with it which is another reason we may or may not decide, to use a particular. Technology. Common sense education. Is known for offering, these. Evaluation, tools, and in addition to what you see here. They offer. Other ways to evaluate, for example. You can post on their website, and simply talk about a technology. That has been used. Giving it a good or bad rating and explaining, why. Just because a tool is found, on this website, do not think it's good, good game, for you to use. In fact there are some really bad readings, and questions, about why is this even out here. Uh for students. So you'll definitely want to look at the reviews. Before, making a decision, to use something. From a review, site, like this one. You might decide to use rubrics. And if so you'll definitely, want to create meaningful, criteria. There are some existing, rubrics, to help with technology, evaluation. Such as under letter a, triple e evaluation, of educational, applications. That whole rubric is available at the link, that's at the bottom of the screen. Under letter b is a rubric for e-learning, tool evaluation. It says it was designed for higher ed but, as i look at it i think it could probably, be used by anyone. As a heads up it's about four pages, long it's very detailed, with main headers, subheaders. A lot of criteria. And detail. So if that's what you're looking for and you need a reference or a starting, point or you want to use that rubric, as it is you're welcome to do that. Under letter c, there are two links to technology, evaluation. Rubrics, that i found on the i rubric. There are tens of thousands of rubrics, on the irebrick, site that is linked there where you can just search the gallery, for what you want no matter what it is. I found two in a quick search of technology, evaluation. And, they show. Criteria, and sort of matrix, format.
Rating Skills and so forth, so that you can get a sense of. What people are thinking when they're when they're creating their own rubrics. On the irubric, site you can download, the rubrics, and use them, for many of them you can edit them, for some of them you have access, to use them online, just to embed or link to them in your. Work. So a nice flexible, site with. With tens of thousands, of resources. In there for you, and then you may want to use uh comparison. Charts, instead of rubrics. Uh and in this in this case you also need meaningful, criteria. About what you're looking for, but generally the driving, question, will not be. What are the features, within this technology. But instead, the question, would be. What are the features, across, technologies. For example. Should i use canvas, or google classroom. We often find ourselves, not just asking, about one tool, but really wanting to compare, which one is better than the other and that's where comparison, charts come in, you can see a bit of this chart here but at the link, below will be the full page, chart. So you get a really good idea of the different categories. Used, in this kind of. Comparison. Chart, you'll also notice that under each technology. Along the top. Is just a check, in the box, for the criteria. Indicating. That yes that tool does it or no it does not. All right i also recommend, professional, networking. You can do this through. Technology, conferences, for educators, in k-12. For example, every year we hold a conference, called the brainstorm, conference. In 2020. It had to be moved online, and it was free. You can go to this link to see all of the pre-recorded. Presentations. From professional, educators, around virginia, and beyond, many other states. A very exciting, and interesting, way to, see. What our educators, doing right now with technology, in their classroom. And they're presenting, on it because it really, works well for them. The visti, conference. Will be held in december. You can visit the website, to register. They offer free organizational. Membership. Not registration. Necessarily, i don't know what the registration, will be, but you can join visti for free and get all kinds of updates and invites, and information. About technology, and education. The iste, conference, is the international, society, for technology, and education. They are having a conference, this year also in december. You can visit this website. To register, for it, normally, it's very high powered, lots of synergy, lots of apps and many many educators. I would say the same for all of these conferences. But they. Go from smallest, to largest, in the order you see on the slide here. In summary, my recommendation. Is to first determine, best practice, and learner needs and let those really drive, your surge. When you're searching, go directly, to websites, and repositories. That you know about such as those mentioned in this presentation. If you don't, if you don't think you'll find what you need there you can do an advanced google search rather than just random searching. To really narrow down and get what it is you're looking for. Um in a repository. You can also filter by level and subject, and so forth and understand, reviews, and ratings, to see how these are evaluated. By people who've already, used them. You can determine, the rigor and privacy, of vendor products. By looking for certifications. From that iste website, that was shared, earlier. You can use existing, checklists, also shared to determine, whether or not that app is inclusive. Or equitable. And you can use or create, your own rubrics, or comparison. Charts. To evaluate. Tools, in a way that is customized. For you and what your needs are and what you want the learners to be able to do. And then finally i recommend networking, and learning from others whether that be through conferences. Or contacting, your itr, t's, in the public schools. Looking for technology. Experts, and other places, and so forth, you have many different options, for both identifying. And evaluating. Really, strong. Online. Technologies. For educational, purposes, in the elementary, classroom, i think. My name is dr michelle, estes. Just as a reminder, and here's my email address. I am a professor, in educational, technology.
In Memorial, hall my office is in 3245. C. False, fallen spring semester, of the 2021. Year i'll be teaching online, primarily, but feel free to stop by at any other time, i'm in the learning technology, and leadership, education, department, on the third floor of memorial, hall at jmu.