Creating Effective PBL Assessments

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Assessment is always a touchy subject in education. The stereotypical assessments that come to mind include state or national standardized tests, multiple choice tests, and scantrons. However, assessments in PBL are much more than a simple measure of right or wrong. Well designed assessments help the teacher see how well students understand the material and whether or not they are growing academically. These measures should challenge students in a non-threatening way, align with their work in the unit, and guide their growth.

This week we developed assessments for our PBL units and were asked to reflect upon these assessments as they relate to J.S. McTighe’s key principles of assessment. Below is a list of my intended assessments and brief descriptions on how they relate to these principles.

Weekly Notes: Each student will explore the course materials for each week before we meet in class. They are to take notes on what they learned for use during in class activities. This is assessed as a completion grade but the true purpose of this activity is twofold. First, these notes are taken to ensure that students are exploring course materials before class. Secondly, the notes ensure that everyone has some sort of foundation before primary source analysis begins and that they have something to reference as they begin their analysis work in small groups.

Document Analysis Practice: This is the hard work of the course – learning to analyze and corroborate historical documents to answer guiding questions. Because this is truly difficult work, students do these activities in class in a small group with the professor available when they become stuck. These activities are designed to help them learn the analysis process in a safe environment, essentially scaffolding the research process.

RAFT Writing: Because this project focuses on how everyday people experienced history, working on understanding perspectives is an important learning target. As such, students will write from the perspectives of others about historical topics through RAFT assignments. Again, these are largely completed in class so that students can get the help of the professor or peers when they need it the most.

DBQ Writing: Similar to the RAFT writing, students will practice short document based question writing assignments in class. These are designed to teach students how to construct an argument using historical documents as evidence for that argument. These are also largely completed in class so that when students struggle, there is a support system immediately available to them.

Reflection Blog: The reflection blog gives students an opportunity to put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to practice on an individual level. In this activity, students research topics related to the course materials of the week and locate 3 to 4 primary sources that help them answer the driving question (what was history really like for those who lived through it?). This is an activity designed to scaffold the final assignment – the anthology book.

Anthology Book: My plans for this assignment are still a bit blurry but the overall goal is for students to answer the driving question for each era studied in class by compiling documents from their blog and creating an eBook that answers the driving question. Students will put the primary sources in context of each era’s reputation through secondary sources and either corroborate, add to, or challenge the narrative. Ultimately, this activity encompasses all of the goals of the prior assignments: content coverage\historical background, source analysis and corroboration, perspective, persuasive argument, and reflection.

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PBL & Active Audiences

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This week, our professor posed a question to us that I had been worrying about in prior weeks: is it still PBL without an active audience. According to the Buck Institute, having an active audience to view student project outcomes is a crucial component of the PBL process. While I understand that an active audience is part of establishing authenticity, it can pose challenges to teachers or schools who are not in a position to open their doors to the community for a variety of reasons (location, time, resources, etc.) At the same time, I think the meaning of active audience can be stretched to mean many different things in our current age of technology and interconnectedness.

In short, I do believe a unit can still be considered PBL without an active audience because it is not the audience that makes the unit project based. That being said, each PBL unit must have some element of relevance or authenticity to anchor the learning. Otherwise, the work students do loses some of its purposefulness. In lieu of a public presentation, the teacher could have students post their work online for others online to view. For a high school class, creating products intended to teacher younger students might be a motivating outcome. Alternatively, creating an online reference for users who need information could also be a useful outcome. I also think it could be really fun for two classes in two different places (i.e. different cities, states, or even countries) to study the same PBL unit and share their outcomes.

Understanding PBL Through Examples

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Exploring several PBL examples in detail this week has allowed me a few lightbulb moments or so about the focus of projects\process. First and foremost, many of the PBL units I discovered were very much inquiry-based and relied on primary source documents. Additionally, the examples were very student driven in that the students were doing lots of exploration and discovering information through the primary sources. Towards the end of the projects, students were tasked with reflecting on the consequences of the unit (i.e.

This realization occurred much to my relief as this is how I generally teach my classes. We do lots of hands-on primary source analysis and use those documents to answer guiding questions. The only major difference is that my lessons are day to day rather than an integrated, structured approach to a single driving question. As such, I think that it is going to be possible to create a PBL that will still allow me to cover material while simultaneously getting depth.

Despite my increasing comfort with some aspects of PBL, a couple of new concerns have arisen. First, most of the topics in the project seem to fall into one of two types – a) the project topic is very narrow (i.e. putting Truman on trial for dropping the atomic bomb) or b) the project topic is exceptionally broad (does history repeat itself?). Normally this would not be a major concern but the timeframes of the example projects (two to eight weeks in duration) do pose issues. This next semester I will be teaching eight-week sections of US History. That means that my students have to learn an entire semester’s worth of US History content in a short amount of time. Spending two weeks on a mock trial for President Truman won’t work for us. As such I don’t know that the narrow focus is a possibility in my classes. I am learning towards the possibility of a broad question we can revisit each session or week that helps us tie major ideas in history together between the eras.

For those curious, below are the links for the sample PBL units I explored:

Initial Thoughts on Project Based Learning

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This week has been a whirlwind introduction to project based learning. I have been interested in the topic for some time because of the extreme creativity of the instruction that goes along with PBL as well as the stories of impressive outcomes. Though I have never taught a PBL unit or created a training for teachers on PBL, I have always remained interested and curious about the process. Designing a  PBL unit or training has just seemed like a big, scary audacious goal to tackle on my own.

In this first week of study, I really tried to delve into the research on outcomes and was surprised to discover that there is not much of a body of literature on the topic. What I did find were a few case study-like articles and stories where project based learning has been adopted as part of a cultural approach. For at risk or struggling students, this instructional approach seems to have a positive influence on their academic and personal performance. Regardless of research on outcomes, PBL seems to have important benefits for students in terms of skills. The capacity to make decisions, conduct research, work in cooperative groups, and think independently are all skills students must have to succeed in the workplace.

There are only two elements that I cannot reconcile yet with PBL. First, I am a bit uncomfortable with the requirement that projects are somehow presented or shared publicly. This is not always a practical option in the classroom – especially in a small rural community with little technology resources. My second concern involves the coverage versus depth issue that always plagues discussions on curriculum and instruction. PBL is a great way to get depth in a history course. That being said, many state and institutional standards have coverage requirements. This is especially troubling in history where major eras, events, people, and dates are crucial for student understanding at a foundational level before any real depth can be achieved. I’ll be considering both of these issues in more depth as we continue along in the course.

References

Boaler, J. (2002). Learning from teaching: Exploring the relationship between reform curriculum and equity. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 33(4), 239-258.

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1992). The Jasper Series as an example of anchored instruction: Theory, program description, and assessment data. Educational Psychologist, 27(3), 291-315.

Creghan, C., & Adair-Creghan, K. (2015). The positive impact of project-based learning on attendance of an economically disadvantaged student population: A multiyear study. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 9(2). Retrieved fromhttp://dx.doi.org/10.7771/1541-5015.1496

David, J. L. (2008). What research says about…Project-based learning. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 80-82. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/feb08/vol65/num05/Project-Based_Learning.aspx

Heitin, L. (2012). Project-based learning helps at-risk students. Education Week, 31(29), 8-9. Retrieved fromhttp://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/04/25/29projbased.h31.html

Acceptable Use Policies

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In today’s world, there are few environments that are unexplored, wild, and free. When I think of the Internet and Web 2.0, it reminds me of the famed Wild West of the 1800s. Potential fortune and dangers lurked just beyond the horizon of the settled eastern United States for anyone brave enough to venture westward. Though we have already settled from coast to coast, Americans are always looking for new horizons to explore and expand into. The Internet today is no exception to these opportunities. Though virtual, the general theme is similar. 

In the West, there were tales of lawlessness and of brave, unconventional law enforcement agents willing to give their lives to counter such chaos. Though there are no outlaws or bandits to worry about online, the virtual world still harbors dangers that teachers and institutions must help students learn to avoid.  Acceptable use policies are a good step in that direction. 

AUPs stand to protect both users and institutions online (Roblyer, 2016). These policies are devised to communicate policies for use of institutional devices and services. They apply to employees and students alike though there may be separate policies for each group. The Consortium for School Networking (2013) states that AUPs exist for two reasons: to protect students online by managing approved behaviors and to provide quality access to online resources and media. Designing the AUP to do both is possible but can be challenging and may require revisions and updates over time. 

Sample AUPs

Because I work at a community college in Texas, I sought out several examples from similar institutions within the state. Other examples are from larger institutions within the United States. Also included are some recommended\sample AUPs from the National Center for Education Statistics.

References

Consortium for School Networking. (2013). Rethinking acceptable use policies to enable digital learning: A guide for school districts. Retrieved from: http://www.cosn.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Revised%20AUP%20March%202013_final.pdf

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

 

Relative Advantage of the Basic Suite for Learning

Blogging about tools I have used for almost two decades was a true challenge. It was not until I had done some research and completed this week’s activities that I could truly reflect upon the power of the basic suite tools. Here are a few of those thoughts. 

Most of us familiar with technology have used the basic suite of software tools (word processor, spreadsheets, and presentations) so frequently that they have blended into the day to day routine of work and personal life. As an instructional coach and adjunct instructor, I find that I use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (or Google Docs) on a daily basis to created assignments and instructional resources. Helping students learn to use these tools in a professional manner is a great strategy to teach them organization and productivity skills.

1. Everyone can create professional products

Regardless of ability level, with a small bit of knowledge of basic software tools, anyone can create professional-quality documents and resources (Roblyer, 2016). With such a strong push towards 21st-century skills arms authentic assignments, basic suite tools provide the foundation for such work to occur in a classroom. Students can quickly pull together flash cards in Microsoft PowerPoint or collaboratively create a document based question outline in a Google Doc with a group of students. The possibilities are endless.


2.  As an improvement to existing in-class activities

Discussion is a critical component of the social studies classroom. History content is, by its nature, filled with controversial topics best explored through class discussion and debate. As Roberts (2013) notes, face to face discussion on challenging issue proves problematic for even the most adept teacher.  Students may prefer to have time to reflect on comments made by peers or on the material itself. Others may not feel comfortable expressing their opinion in a large class of students.

The high level of collaboration potential on basic tools, such as Google Docs, provides solutions for teachers struggling to implement discussions in the social studies classroom. Roberts (2013) documents a case study where a face to face strategy called Chalk Talk was transformed into a digital one using Google Docs. Chalk Talk traditionally occurs on a whiteboard or chalkboard. The teacher writes a challenge question or controversial topic in the center of the board. Students take turns silently responding to the prompt. This strategy is effective but poses a few challenges in terms of logistics. Depending upon the amount of writing tools and board space, a limited amount of students can participate at one given time. Shy students are notoriously difficult to motivate in this type of activity. By using a Google Document as the Chalk Talk medium, students can simultaneously post and reflect upon comments at a pace that suits each individual. While new logistical issues arise with this solution (such as students deleting other’s comments), document organization or division into smaller groups may help improve the experience.

References

Roberts, S. L. (2013). The “chalk talk” 2.0: Using Google Docs to improve silent discussion in social studies. The Social Studies, 104(3), 130-136. doi: 10.1080/00377996.2012.703972

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Relative Advantage of Instructional Software in Social Studies

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This week in our Technology Integration course, instructional software has been the topic of focus. According to Roblyer (2016), instructional software differs from tool software (i.e. Microsoft Word or PowerPoint) in that instructional software exists solely for the purposes of instruction and learning. Instructional software can fulfill both objectivist and constructivist purposes depending upon the content being taught and the software utilized.

Roblyer (2016) identifies five types of instruction software important in education including drill and practice, tutorials, simulations, instructional games, and problem solving software. Below is a brief discussion of each software type along with a description of its relevance to social studies. Example software applications for social studies are also provided at the end of each section.

Drill & Practice Software

Used to help users practice content knowledge, drill and practice software allows students exposure to concepts with quick, individualized feedback on their progress. Common drill and practice software applications include flash cards and fill in the blank charts or sheets. More advanced versions of this type of software may include branching drills (students take different pathways based on responses) and extensive feedback applications (beyond “good job” or “try again”).

Good drill and practice applications should provide students with the ability to control the pace of the content. Students who are struggling with the concepts being practiced may need extra time to review feedback provided by the software whereas those who have almost reached mastery may be able to progress at a faster pace.

Mastering facts, vocabulary, names of historical figures, and sequencing of events and dates are all critical foundational pieces students need before moving to higher order thinking skills within the content. A student cannot have a deep grasp of the causes of the American Revolution without a fundamental understanding of the colonial story that precedes it. As such, drill and practice tools fulfill an important need in social studies classrooms.

Social Studies Drill and Practice Applications:

 

Tutorials

Tutorials are applications that are similar to direct instruction in the classroom. A good tutorial should consist of an explanation phase, practice opportunities and feedback related to those activities. Roblyer (2016) identifies two main types of tutorials – linear and branching – based on the sequence they follow. A linear tutorial provides the same content for all learners regardless of their mastery level. Alternatively, branching tutorials differentiate the experience based on a student’s performance on questions or activities. If a higher level of mastery is observed, the viewer may be directed to a more complex path in the tutorial sequence.

A good tutorial should include interactivity or responsiveness in design, especially in terms of practice opportunities and associated feedback. The student should be able to control the pace of the tutorial to meet their personal needs, as with the drill and practice software. The tutorial should be sequenced in a manner that facilitates learning (i.e. concepts build over time throughout the tutorial). Roblyer (2016) also notes that purposeful graphics and video are crucial – too much can be a distraction, especially to younger learners. Teachers may benefit from record keeping capabilities within the software as well.  Finally, a good tutorial provides relatively flexible feedback. A student first learning the content should be able to provide an answer, which if correct, is recognized as such. Rigid rejection of correct answers due to spelling, capitalization, or wording is not a beneficial element in tutorial software.

The benefits for tutorial software are similar to those of drill and practice applications. Students benefit from the immediate, individual feedback possible through tutorial software. These applications also save on time for both students and teachers. Since tutorials can act as a chunk of instruction on its own, they can prove especially helpful in cases of absence (teacher or student), reteach, and the flipped classroom model.

Tutorials with some form of assessment or drill and practice feature are difficult to find in social studies. There are numerous videos available for history content but they lack the interactivity required. Consequently, this resource section is a bit small. There is certainly room for growth in social studies with respect to this instructional software.

Social Studies Tutorial Applications:

 

Simulations

Simulations, often confused with games, are applications which give students the opportunity to visualize or manipulate complex content being explored in class. Often, these applications have a focus on systems. Roblyer (2016) identifies two major categories of simulations: those which teach about something and those which teach students how to do something.

The simulations which fall into the about something category include physical and iterative simulations. Physical simulations allow students to manipulate something, such as an electrical circuit. Iterative simulations allow students to observe and analyze a process or concept through manipulation (speed up or slow down a process). This might include a simulation on a concept as complex as genetics.

How to simulations include procedural and situational simulations. Flight simulators are a great example of procedural simulations, which are designed to teach the sequence of steps to carry out an objective. A stock market simulation exemplifies a situational simulation, which is used to create a problem-solution scenario where students must make choices based on their knowledge.

The perk of simulations, according to Roblyer (2016), is that they “make the impossible possible,” a concept especially important in social studies classrooms (p. 90). Any simulation which allows students to travel in time virtually to experience the Age of Exploration or Feudal Europe during the Middle Ages is a powerful teaching tool.

Social Studies Simulation Applications:

Frequently, social studies simulations and instructional games are treated synonymously. These simulation resources ask students to behave or play as a person in history or as a civics professional.

Instructional Games

Instructional games, one of the more recognizable software applications in this post, take content and situate it with gamified elements including rules, credentialing, and competition. Good instructional games should include visual elements and activities which students would find appealing and, consequently, motivating. The content featured in a game should have value in terms of instruction. Additionally, a good instructional game considers student’s physical and cultural needs so as to include as many as is possible.

Instructional games can be used to replace worksheets or practice activities in the classroom. They are also quite valuable as rewards given that they are not used too frequently. Instructional games are especially helpful in teaching additional personal skills such as empathy or perseverance – a need especially important in social studies classrooms.

As with simulations, instructional games help to place students in situations in order to experience history content in a personal way. Games have the capacity to take boring information from the textbook and make it come alive through adventurous stories, lively characters, and student-centered decision making. There are not a tremendous amount of quality social studies games online. That being said, those that do exist are spectacular. Below is a short listing of some high-quality social studies instructional games.

Social Studies Instructional Game Applications:

 

Problem Solving Software

Lastly,  problem solving software helps students to learn and practice higher order thinking skills. Roblyer (2016) identifies two types of problem solving applications – either content-based or standalone (without a content foundation). Content-based problem solving applications teach these skills through the lens of the content being studied. Alternatively, standalone problem solving applications teach students the process of how to solve problems by modeling the sequence of procedures. It is hoped that by knowing this sequence, students can apply the process to any content or life situation.

The elements required in a good problem solving application include providing students with interesting challenges. The contents of the software should have a clearly delineated connection to specific skills. Problem solving software allows students to visualize the process of higher order thinking skills and provides the interest and motivation needed to solve complex problems. As mentioned previously, good problem solving software models complex thinking for students through the activities provided.

Social Studies Problem Solving Software:

 

References

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Vision & Mission Statement

Technology often garners a reputation for societal reform among a variety of experts including historians, reformers, politicians, and other specialists. Many believe that a new device has the deterministic power to change the world as we know it. After all, history classes continue to learn that Eli Whitney’s cotton gin essentially led to the Civil War. Educational technology is undoubtedly a critical component in today’s academic world but it must be implemented in classrooms on an educator’s own terms.

In Defense of Choice for Educational Technology

As technology continues to evolve and change at an increasingly rapid pace, the pressure to implement it into classrooms surges (Friedman & Friedman, 2013). Regardless of funding issues or background knowledge, reformers, politicians, and other stakeholders criticize schools for not using technology.  Proponents of educational reform often cite rapid changes in the business world as a major factor for the preparation of students for the workforce. When these rapid changes are not matched in the classroom, schools and teachers are branded as failures (Selwyn, 2011; Sheninger, 2014).

This pressure to emulate the business world or other societal domains places unwarranted pressure on schools to implement technology in ways that do not benefit the unique needs and challenges of their students and communities. Educators and leaders of schools struggle with methods of technology integration into established systems of curriculum and procedures.

It is within this maelstrom of policy and opinion that educators must learn to navigate a new age of education in a way that best fits their students, schools, and community. Educational technology is undoubtedly a right for students and a needed element in all schools. However, what that implementation should look like must be catered to the needs of students. What works for Wall Street or even the campus down the street may not work for another school. Educational technology should have a presence in every school. That presence, however, should not be dictated. Educators and school leaders must have the space and time to find innovative ways to implement technology in a manner that solves local problems and best fits their unique situation.

When unique solutions can be found, student learning moves to new levels resulting in experiences that were not possible previously. Students well-versed in the world of technology can use it to interview experts, create professional products, and communicate with an audience beyond their immediate geographic region. Take for example John Boyer’s World Regions class at the University of Virginia. Through the power of Twitter, his entire class made enough requests to get to interview Noble Peace Prize winner and Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi (under house arrest at the time) via Skype (Boyer, 2011; Marshall, 2011). When harnessed in fitting ways, technology can transform students and teachers alike. When forced, technology results in failures, frustration, and eventual abandonment.

What issues can educational technology address in my area?

My geographical area is somewhat desolate. Despite living in a city of a moderately-sized population (approximately 200,000 people if you include our sister city 30 minutes away), many of our students have never left the region. When it comes to teaching social studies, lack of exposure to other cultures and places can prove detrimental. Educational technology has the power to open student’s minds to these experiences without physically leaving West Texas. Ultimately, this exposure would facilitate student growth in the social studies content.

Another major issue in our area relates to pedagogical practice. Many of the teachers in my region have not yet begun to shift away from daily lecture-based, whole class instruction. Our state standards and assessments have increased in depth and rigor in an attempt to test student’s ability to apply history knowledge and skills. The lack of student-centered instruction has left our students unable to apply their history knowledge and skills at a high level – both in assessment and higher education situations. Educational technology has the capacity to increase student engagement by giving teachers new opportunities to shift their mode of instruction towards more personalized, student-centered activities.

As such, my overarching goal for educational technology implementation in social studies is to increase student-centered learning opportunities, expand student horizons (knowledge, exposure to other cultures), and provide digital opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge through assignments that promote the application of history content and skills. Building professional skills and digital citizenship characteristics will also exist as benefits of technology implementation in our courses.

What learning theories that drive educational technology?

The same learning theories that drive education today also support education technology. Directed instruction (based on objectivism) and Inquiry-based instruction (based on constructivism) support the different viewpoints on technology integration (Roblyer, 2016). Directed technology integration models are rooted in behaviorist, information-processing, cognitive-behaviorist, systems approaches, and objectivist learning theories. Alternatively, constructivist technology integration models are rooted in social activism, social cognitive, scaffolding, child development, discovery learning, multiple intelligences, and constructivist theories (Roblyer, 2016).

Roblyer (2016) support a needs-based approach to choosing a learning theory when considering technology integration.  Depending upon the instructional situation and a student’s needs, an objectivist or constructivist approach may work best for a learning environment on any given day. If a student struggles to recall the sequence of battles in the Revolutionary War, an objectivist approach with digital flash cards may best suit the student. If students are exploring the concept of war and what causes it throughout all of American History, a constructivist approach where students collect sources and build an eBook or web page may be best.

References

Boyer, J. (2012). Aung San Suu Kyi interview with Prof. Boyer’s World Regions class at Virginia Tech [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/33219064

Friedman, L., & Friedman, H. (2013). Using social media to enhance online learning. Journal of Educators Online, 10(1), 1-22. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/114389/

Marshall, J. (2011). A memorable Skype call between Aung San Suu Kyi and Virginia Tech students. Retrieved from http://blogs.skype.com/2011/12/16/a-memorable-skype-call-between/

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Selwyn, N. (2011). Education and technology: Key issues and debates. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Sheninger, E. (2014). Digital leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Smith, M. R. (1994). Technological determinism in American culture. In M. R. Smith & L. Marx (Eds.), Does technology drive history? The dilemma of technological determinism (pp.1-35). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

 

 

Looking Ahead

This summer semester has been a rollercoaster ride exploring social media and the variety of ways Web 2.0 tools can foster learning. Before this course began, I would have argued that I was relatively well versed in social media tools. Upon reflection 6 – 7 weeks later, I can easily say that I was wrong. At the end of any course, I like to think about what information I will take with my to embed in professional and personal endeavors – ideally I come out of a class with 3 goals for moving forward. Here are my plans for utilizing the information and techniques I have learned about in EdTech 543.

  1. Twitter Chats: By far the Twitter Chats have been my favorite way of gathering information and professional development in this class. I learned so much and connected to an incredible amount of people in the short time we completed the PD unit in class. My favorite Twitter chats are set up on my Google Calendar so that I get notifications on my phone and email. While my (part time) teaching load in the fall will consist of four classes – in addition to doctoral courses and my full time job as an instructional coach, I am hopeful that I can attend at least one Twitter chat a month.
  2. Building a better SEO: The digital footprint unit really forced me to slow down and consider how I am professionally represented online. While I have had to consider aspects of this in other courses, this unit made me think through the big picture. I realized that I am professionally not where I want to be in terms of a digital footprint. My work is too localized and could help many others just like me lurking out on the internet. As such, my roadmap for a digital footprint is one I intend to follow through to the end. I still want to blog and research every Friday during my time in the office. I will also need to begin working on customizing my WordPress site to make it uniquely my own. The first step will be adding my domain name to the site. Over the course of the fall, I will begin sharing and publishing some of the presentations and resources I have built in the past through my blog, Slideshare, Pinterest, and Twitter.
  3. Digital Curation: I loved the digital curation unit. It’s something I was doing at work when building professional development. I just did not realize that the process had a name. This is something I am good at doing! However, I now know I need to do a better job of sharing it with others above and beyond those teachers who attend my trainings. My goal is to curate topics at least once a month. I am constantly saving and bookmarking resources every day in my spare time. Now, on Fridays, I will try to begin pulling those saved resources and put them to work in a public forum.

A last part of my final reflection for this course is to reflect upon my blogging performance. I am going to give myself 68 of 75 points. I feel that I did a really good job reflecting on the course materials, activities, and conversations each time we had a blog assignment. However, at times my posts were more rushed than they should have been. I also wanted to blog more above and beyond the requirements of the class, which I did not do this summer. Lastly, I should have done a better job reading through others thoughts on their blogs and left comments. Part of learning is considering the perspectives of others and I felt that my lack of initiative in that area resulted in a valuable missed opportunity to expand my horizons.

I have to say, I learned far more than I expected to when this course began in late June. Thank you all so much for the wonderful resources, activities, feedback, and conversations. Best of luck in the future! I hope we meet again – even if just on Twitter!