Digital Compass is an emerging technology tool that helps kids learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship and literacy through playing interactive games. These games provide a simulation of the digital world we live in today and provides the kids with an understanding of the potential impact of creating digital identities. Digital Compass is a web based tool what will soon be available on mobile devices. Games start by providing kids with a short introduction to the game, followed by prompting them to select a character and dive right into the game. Students create a story for their selected character engaging in a multitude of thinking and conceptual skills along the way. Students must strategically think about how they are going to create a good digital path for their character, solving unexpected problems and how to anticipate potential risks.
I selected this technology because as I stated in my discussion post for the course, I believe digital literacy is the most important of the digital citizenship themes. This tool appears to provide an excellent learning environment to teach kids digital literacy.
Although this technology is designed for younger students I can see where it would be effective in an adult learning environment with students that have little to no technological skills. For example, career individuals that return to school to learn technical skills to keep their job or get promoted.
This technology engages students in the classroom, on their mobile devices or in the home through the use of animated movies, learning games, interactive quizzes, concept mapping and much more. This technology covers a multitude of school subject areas and is mapped to the common core standards and aligned with academic standards. BrainPOP can also be utilized in a multitude of educational settings: blended, flipped and traditional classrooms in addition to supporting individual, group and entire class learning. Also, BrainPOP is ideal for mobile learning and can be very effective in BYOD classrooms.
I really liked the videos available that cover topics such as netiquette, social media, cyber bullying, online safety, and much more. Videos were short, easy to follow and understand, and engaging. I chose netiquette because this seems to be a topic that is in all educational policies however rarely spoken about. It is my belief that it is often assumed that all technology users understand proper netiquette therefore there is little need to review the standards.
BrainPOP is an excellent tool that could be used in the form of short training modules during breaks or lunch in the office.
Common Core standards have resulted in uniform expectations of what students across the country must know and be able to do. Therefore, this collective knowledge opens the unique opportunity to assess students’ knowledge in relation to other students across the country. In addition, this will allow professionals to share their input and experience in order to further develop the assessments. There are two emerging assessment tools that gauge student learning according to common core standards.
PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)
PARCC has been adopted by approximately 12 states and offers a set of assessments for the subjects of Math and English. These assessments are designed to establish a route to secondary education and career readiness by the end of student’s high school careers. Key components to this assessment method are:
- Diagnostic assessments are given at the start of every school year
- Mid-term student assessment predictive of their probable performance by year’s end
- Last quarter performance based assessments are given
- Summative assessments at the end of the school year.
SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium)
The SBAC has been adopted by approximately 18 states. This assessment is designed to support instruction, provide accurate information on student knowledge and skills. Additionally, it is intended to measure student achievement against standards established to ensure students gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college and the workplace.
Much like PARCC, SBAC has a few key components:
- During the final 12 weeks of school a computer-adaptive summative assessment is given
- Interim assessments are utilized as predictive performance indicators and to provide student feedback on their progress.
- Formative assessment resources to assist teachers in identifying and address student needs in reference to the Common Core Standards.
Wimba technology enables instructors to create a virtual classroom specifically designed for distance education. It allows instructors to create a fully-featured live virtual classroom utilizing a content area within Blackboard. This technology supports features such as audio, video, application sharing, content display and electronic whiteboard. Most instructors believe live, synchronous, and personal interaction are the most crucial component of teaching and learning. Wimba enables teachers and students to experience this type of environment in an online setting through interactive technologies. Wimba classrooms have been meticulously designed to give learners access to their instructors, courses, and content beyond the four walls of traditional classrooms.
I selected this technology because I am one who believes that a synchronous learning environment is important to distant learning. Wimba appears to enable instructors such as myself,to create a live virtual classroom which will enable the all important live interaction between instructors and students to take place.
Although Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Blackboard and WebCT, are some of the most widely used LMS, there are options that are less-expensive yet highly effective. For Example, ETUDES Classic was one of the first LMS that pioneered community colleges in California. ETUDES offers easy to use interface for distant learning that has features comparable to Blackboard and actually scores higher than Blackboard in web accessibility.
It is important for distant learning instructors to monitor their student’s success. ETUDES allows instructors to monitor which students need guidance and additional support without having to go through the gradebook data or assignments. Instructors get alerts if and when students are missing in action and with a simple click of a button, instructors can reach out to students.
Also, ETUDES allows instructors to see whether any students are in the class, any new activity since last log on. In addition, open dates, due dates and announcements from all the instructor’s courses can be viewed in only one listing.
As an online instructor this technology peaked my interest because I’m always looking for more efficient methods of teaching online courses. I currently use the E-College LMS as an instructor and Blackboard as a student, it appears that ETUDES may be more conducive to students and instructor online education needs.
Knowre is an online adaptive math learning platform which is designed to help students perform well in math by assessing, personalizing and engaging the students with game-like characteristics, attractive and engaging graphics as well as social learning. This math tool is designed for teachers and students who have a desire to learn math in a fast and easy manner. Knowre allows students to select specific chapters from a menu and allows them to practice or challenge the skills they have learned. Teachers can start a chapter using a “start” button near the chapter. Instructors can also check chapter completion, readiness, and student learning growth by assigning stars. After the completion of a chapter instructors can test student knowledge.
Knowre technology is a great math tool for interactive math learning. It provides ease and progress by assigning readiness or stars. Teachers can also test students readiness in any course and develop a specific curriculum which addresses individual student needs.
I found Classdojo to be very interesting. It was the first technology I have come across that allows teachers to address student behavior. This technology enables a teacher to track a student’s behavior in a non-threatening manner. Teachers can assign each student an avatar and give rewards or consequences via devices such as computers, smart boards or even cellphones. This tool also allows for the teacher to select multiple students at a time and is based on game mechanics. For example; teachers can enable level-ups, badges and achievements to unlock leader boards, other avatars and in-class games.
Classdojo also allows instructors to develop a specific list of behaviors (positive & negative) to track. It is customizable and comes with options such as smartphones or tablets that can be used as a remote.
Biography Comics is a fascinating emerging technology. It is an app that would be great for teaching students about important, influential or significant people in our culture. This app presents biographies of significant people from our culture in comic book form with clear language and vivid pictures. In addition a great feature of Biography Comics is it allows for a number of activities to be utilized with it. For example, it includes activities for summarizing, visualizing, and vocabulary activities. One feature that I found truly exciting is that once students learn the technique and structure of this app they can create Biography Comics of their own for people in their lives such as parents, friends, family, etc.
This app could enhance the student’s learning environment in any course subject.
Kahoot, officially launched in 2013, is a game-based classroom response system. It can be easily accessed on any device that has a web browser and internet connection. It enables instructors to test student’s knowledge and enhances student engagement in the classroom. Kahoot is based on a loop from “learner to leader,” which encourages students to become leaders through conducting research, creating their own quizzes and then presenting the quizzes to others.
The “learner to leader” loop starts when instructors present their own Kahoot on a topic for students to answer questions. Students then create their own quizzes about the topic by doing research which teaches them more about the topic. Once students create their own Kahoot, they present them to other students thus displaying their leadership skills. Instructors are able to evaluate student’s knowledge about the topic via the quality of questions developed by the student. Kahoot also allows for each quiz created and the scores to be downloaded to the teacher’s profile where they can be saved.
Lore is a facebook type learning platform that provides students with the ability to create a learning profile, communicate with classmates and instructors, share with one another, discuss course work and presentations, join academic communities and groups, and use synchronous messaging to anyone in their network. This app also allows for document uploading, sharing calendars, and it has a gradebook option. The best part about this app and why it would be more beneficial than Facebook is their interaction with classmates and instructors would be free from the embarrassing photos and posts that take place on Facebook.
It seemed very appropriate that I found this technology due to us discussion social networking in this week’s discussion. A technology such as Lore would definitely be advantages to utilize in education because it appears to be more secure and safer than Facebook.