NO. OF CREDITS:
6 QUARTER CREDITS
[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]
|WA CLOCK HRS:
This course meets OSPI's STEM requirements.
Twitter, Delicious, WordPress, blogging, RSS; these terms may sound familiar, but are you using them to enhance your classroom and learning opportunities as a professional? If the answer to that question is no, maybe, or not as much as I would like, then this course is for you. Come along and join the fun as we explore how to wrap many powerful web 2.0 technologies into a usable and functional system that will support you as an educator. This course will ultimately change how you view technology and enable you to design a website and personal learning network (PLN). Many assignments are packaged into individual modules that build upon each other. Modules become more complex as you proceed, but each previous module prepares you for the next one.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:
Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.
Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.
UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT INFORMATION
REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.
CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.
AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.
ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION
Easy Wordpress Guide is required (it is free) Pick only ONE of the other books.
The required text for Anthony Horton's, . "Easy WP Guide V3.0 (PDF) Archives - Easy WP Guide." Easy WP Guide is free online at https://easywpguide.com/download/ Choose one of the two texts below • Tapscott, Don. Grown up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print. OR • Boyd, Danah. It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR HOURS OR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
A. INFORMATION ACQUISITION
Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments.
Assignment #1: Understanding Today’s Students
Today’s students have never known a time without the Internet. They have only lived in a connected world. As they become older they will likely become even more wired and connected to each other.
Seemingly, with some exceptions, schools are only slowly changing their teaching practices to better match our students. While there is debate about the prudence of teaching in a way that matches our students’ digital lifestyles, it is helpful to at least understand where they are coming from and how they access information and each other.
Our students are really not any different than we were at their age. For most of them, there are three reasons they go to school: Friends, friends and their parents make them. While this statement is a bit satirical, it does have elements of truth and students use technology to study a bit, but mostly to stay in touch with each other and make new friends in worlds once unreachable to them because of distance. Want to join a group of people who love sewing, there will be a group out there! What scares adults is the change in scale in regards to the speed and reach of communication. Now students can “shout” out to a much bigger online world and have less control over who sees the message they are sending.
Assignment #2: How Web 2.0 Impacts Our World
The primary advantage of Web 2.0 technologies, and perhaps the reason for its popularity, is that it allows for easy collaboration. This is a fundamental shift from the past when there were barriers to collaboration. For the most part, it had to be synchronous (live) vs. asynchronous (email, voicemail, YouTube, message boards, chatting, etc.).
This change in collaboration has allowed for much larger groups of people to find each other and contribute to each other’s interests. Sites like Wikipedia, Reddit and YouTube are but a few of the examples.
Assignment #3: Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is a way to share bookmarks of websites with other people such as students, parents and coworkers. It is also a convenient way to keep an eye on what websites your students are bookmarking during their research. Social bookmarking sites use a system called “tags” to help recall and organize information. Tags are really just another way to say “keywords.” They are words to describe the site you are saving. Tags for a site website about Indonesia, for example, might include islands, fishing, Tsunami, earthquakes, Jakarta, Bali, dance, etc.
There are a bunch of different social bookmarking sites out there and depending on your needs, one or more of them should fit your needs. I like to use Diigo myself.
The use of tags can be difficult. I mean, it is easy to type out the tag, but harder to fully understand what tags are for. Basically they are just words that describe the content of the page you are bookmarking. Say you were bookmarking a travel site about beaches and hotels in the world. You might use the following tags: “beach, travel, hotel, sunscreen, deal.” You can use an unlimited number of tags, so feel free to get crazy with them.
Assignment #4: Online Document Collaboration (Google Apps)
Online document collaboration is one of the greatest “most excellent” things to come along in the Web 2.0 world. For a while now, browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) can run programs on their own inside of the browser itself. While this sounds a bit nerdy, it is really an important upgrade. No longer to separate programs have to be launched to make something happen. Online games are now better than ever, but most importantly (at least for the purposes of this course), online document collaboration is possible. Google and Microsoft have built free online writing, presentation, spreadsheet and storage systems for anyone to use.
While Microsoft has invested some energy into the concept, Google and its Google Apps for Educators program is the clear, clear leader in the space. Many of you reading this are already part of a Google Apps school. If you are not? Go find your tech director and scream from the top of your lungs “What do you mean we are not a Google school yet?” At this point, the only reason to use OneDrive from Microsoft is if you live in a country like China, where Google is blocked. I taught in China for eight years and having Google blocked was a huge bummer.
Creating and using documents online in a collaborative way is a massive game changer for how we can both teach and share information with other educators. I have seen many a school make a large, positive change as it embraced document collaboration.
Many of you may already work for a Google Apps school. So… I differentiated the assignments below to help you get the most out of this lesson. Pick the assignments that work well for you.
New to Online Document Collaboration
Not New to Online Document Collaboration
Create a Google presentation, spreadsheet and document. Please share it with me at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assignment #5: Twitter
Twitter is a fantastic way to find new ideas and resources that can help you as an educator or in your personal life.
Often when people take a look at or hear about Twitter, their response is “I don’t get it.” Or “Why would I care if someone tells me about their breakfast?”
The power of Twitter is that you can follow people that are helpful and interesting to you. If they talk about their breakfast, just don’t follow them. On my Twitter account I follow people or companies that enhance my primary interests: technology, autism, funny stuff and politics. Just like Facebook, I only stay connected to people that help me to learn or laugh.
Twitter helps me to find new links and stories everyday.
When it comes to using Twitter, you may have a love/hate relationship with it. The people who get into Twitter end up finding friends and colleagues with similar interests and communication styles. If you do not enjoy a fast paced stream of links and information coming at you, then you may not enjoy Twitter too much. That is ok; it is not for everyone. I hope that you will give it a try for a while and see if it hooks you too.
Assignment #6: Blogging
Blogging is an online method for communicating to a wider audience on issues that you care about. Blogging started out as a way for people to drone on and on about their life experiences, but has evolved into a more diverse communication medium for individuals, educators and corporations.
As an educator, blogging is a super way to post important events in your classroom. It could be pictures or videos of events in your classroom, or something as simple as a place to post your homework.
All of my students are required to have a blog. They post nearly all of their work (writing, videos, pictures, etc.) on their blogs. Depending on the assignment, other students are required to read their fellow student’s work and post a comment. This two-way communication gives the students valuable (usually) feedback about their work and how it is seen by other people. Lastly, by having students post their work on a blog, it creates an electronic portfolio that they can share with family.
Blogging versus websites. Really they are the same thing. They both appear on the internet and they both have exactly the same abilities to share videos, websites, photos, etc. The main difference is that a blog is considered a personal expression of the writer. For example, Concordia, where I used to work, has a HUGE website with a ton of content on it. This content represents Concordia as an organization and not so much as individuals. \Now, if Concordia added a blog component to it, then the words on the blog would be the personal observations, thoughts, feelings and expressions of individuals within the organization.
So, you will need to decide if your web presence will be a personal expression of your thoughts and ideas or if it will be an “organizational” destination where people can find and use content relevant to your classroom.
You can have it both ways if you want!
Assignment #7: Subscribe To Content With RSS
There is a ton of awesome content out there on the web; you could spend your whole day jumping from site to site reading, watching and listening. When you go to various sites your are part of a “pull” process that entices you to enter a website address and check out the content. But what if you would rather the content come to you? Say, subscribe to some service(s) that send you content you can enjoy? Instead of the content “pulling” you in, it is “pushed” to you.
Now, you may already do something like this through email where you have signed up for newsletters or listservs that send you content on a regular basis. As you know, our email boxes are generally stuffed with content and adding more to it is not a light decision. There is a better way today thanks to the power of RSS.
Nerdy explanation…RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, a detail you don’t really need to know, but is highly coveted by nerds in the world of the Internet. RSS creates a “feed” that is stuffed with content from a website, audio podcast, video site and more. The feed is readable by some programs that make it all very visual for you. It takes a feed like this and converts it to something like this. See the difference? Huge! It is now visual and easy to browse and enjoy to read!
Normal explanation… Basically, you can now have content pushed directly to your via one of these readers. Maybe you use it already? Most people don’t know that RSS is behind all this and makes it possible. Now you do! But, again, don’t worry that part is not so important. What is important is learning how to use the awesome, mostly free tools.
To make all this happen you need a reader of some sort to pull it together. There are a variety of readers out there (see list below) and some are easier than others to use. My personal favorite is FlipBoard. You can see all the FlipBoard magazines I curate here. The power in all this extends beyond easily pushing content for you to enjoy as an individual. Instead, you and your students can create virtual magazines full of interesting content that relates to what they are learning. For example, I teach another course about how to build a website for teachers. Because things change so fast, I curate this magazine to help teachers in the class (like you) keep up with the latest changes.
Assignment #8: Personal Learning Network
A personal learning network (PLN) is something you likely already have. It is your group of friends, colleagues, family, etc. that you turn to for advice and learning. Today we can now easily expand that PLN to a much larger group. You can create a PLN that includes a wide variety of people, thoughts and ideas. This is all so easy now and the new concern is our PLN is becomes too big and hard to manage.
Time and experience will help you better understand how to develop your PLN so it suits you well. I use FlipBoard (earlier lesson) andTwitter to aggregate, or collect, all the details from my PLN. This lets me sort through all the ideas in one easy to manage location.
A PLN using Web 2.0 tools may include:
Assignment #9: Build a Wordpress Website
WordPress.ORG is where you find the wordpress software that you can download and install on your own server or host. For example, I use it to run a bunch of websites including the one you are on right now!
WordPress.COM will host the WordPress software for free. What a deal! You can host your own website free of charge. Your address will be something like. coolteacher.wordpress.com.
Which one to use? Hmmm… I have a list of articles that might help you here, but if you are new to the idea of using WordPress, then WordPress.COM is likely for you.
If you are interested in purchasing your own domain (web address) then you can host your own site with your own name. That is a really neat option and if you don’t mind spending the money (about 100 USD per year) then go for it. You will first need a web host. I use Dreamhost, but there are a zillion others. I do really like mine though.
Be sure to use the required book, Easy WordPress Guide, for help.
This will likely be the most time-consuming and challenging assignment of them all!
This is your chance to bring together all the work you have done so far in one place.
Assignment #10: Book Reflection
Assignment #11: STEM Career Choices
The future of work, as you know, is shifting. Even education which is often one of the last structures to change embraced remote learning for certain courses or entire programs. These are designed to meet the needs of students who prefer to school from home and/or enjoy the chance to take a specific course their school is unable to offer.
Some sort of STEM-related skills is becoming nearly mandatory for access to a middle class or above lifestyle.
Take a read of the two articles below. One discusses the future of work and how it is (no surprise) embracing remote workforces. The other lists the top 30 STEM careers of the future. This list, of course, will end up changing over time but for now, it is a starting point.
After reading the articles, pick one or more of the 30 careers and in 250 words or more, speculate how the five changes of the future ( fluid gigs, decentralized workforces, motivation to work, lifelong learning, artificial intelligence) will impact the career you choose. For example, if I choose the career of web developer, what would my career look like based on the five future changes in how we work?
ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
B. LEARNING APPLICATION
In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators active in the course. Feel free to read and respond to others comments.
This is it, you are almost at the end of all the assignments. This time, I am asking you to update the website you built in an earlier lesson.
Another assignment with permission from the instructor
Choose ONE of the following:
Assignment #14: (500 Level ONLY)
Choose ONE of the following
C. INTEGRATION PAPER
Assignment #15: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)
SELF REFLECTION & INTEGRATION PAPER
(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)
Write a 350-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:
INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS ON YOUR WORK:
Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE:
Michael Boll is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Podcaster and Technology Coach at the International School Bangkok.. Michael enjoys helping educators, parents and students harness the transformative powers of technology. Michael is an enthusiastic instructional designer and presenter. He works to make his courses and presentations information packed, slightly provocative and fun. Michael has a teenage son with profound autism and is keenly interested in the special needs community and its population of diverse learners. This interest led Michael and his wife, Lori Boll, to open an innovative school in Shanghai (ShineAcademy.asia) for their son.
WEB 2.0: Powering Up With The Latest Technology
Hortin, Anthony. “Easy WP Guide » An Easy to Follow Guide for Updating Your WordPress Content.” Easy WP Guide RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2013. <http://easywpguide.com/download/>.
“My aim for the Easy WP Guide was to write something that was easy to read and that covered the basics in regards to editing & updating your site content. You’ll find that some topics within the guide are only touched upon lightly. My intent wasn’t to cover setting up your WordPress site or editing theme files, there’s plenty of information on those topics within the WordPress Codex and on the web.
Tapscott, Don. Grown up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.
Super book! Discusses the Net Generation and how they think, behave and their future. Published in 2008, so is now a bit dated. Still has lots of great information though.
Boyd, Danah. It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
danah boyd (she really does spell her name lower case) provides fantastic insight into how our teens operate today. Well researched and an easy read, I took what I learned to my teenage daughter and was told that I “get it” now!
Sales, Nancy Jo. American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
“Instagram. Whisper. Yik Yak. Vine. YouTube. Kik. Ask.fm. Tinder. The dominant force in the lives of girls coming of age in America today is social media. What it is doing to an entire generation of young women is the subject of award-winning Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales’s riveting and explosive American Girls.”