Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kevin Oliver's tech integration course

In the current issue of TechTrends, Kevin Oliver describes the redesign of a tech integration course offered to licensure and master's students. The APA refernce is:
Oliver, K. (2007). Leveraging Web 2.0 in the redesign of a graduate-level technology integration course. TechTrends, 51 (5), 55-61.
The course helps teachers learn to integrate technology into their teaching, and uses many of the tools we've sampled in class - blogs, Google docs and spreadsheets, Powerpoint, del.icio.us, and so forth. Overall the class was well received by students.

Our focus is different, of course - we teach adult educators and trainers, in addition to K12 teachers - and trends in general rather than tech-integration principles. Still, I'll be drawing on this article for revisions to our Trends class, as we figure out how best to use Web 2.0 tools in our activities.

One item of interest - the blogging assignment seemed to be the least preferred activity. Teachers reported blogging as useful, but several had complaints, e.g.,:
I didn't enjoy the blogs as much as some other aspects of the class, however, I did understand their purpose and appreciated being able to apply the material to my classroom. Plus, it ws advantageous to know how to do blogs now, since it was my first time doing them.
The article doesn't describe teachers' specific concerns, but I'd guess they're similar to our struggles - the time and efforted needed to post and keep up with others; how to present yourself publicly and have something to say; etc.

Other tools I want to explore described in the article:
  • Trailfire - a tool that lets you superimpose comments or instructions on top of websites, and lead people through a trail of sites
  • Cmaps Tools - for concept mapping and decision-making
These both seem to have good potential for educational use - I know Cmap tools, but hadn't heard of Trailfire - it looks really cool!

Kevin also requires a multimedia presentation, similar to our Trends Analysis report. He mentions several possible tools and sharing sites that I'll explore and report on soon.

As a teacher, I benefit tremendously from careful reports of other teachers' successes. These articles may not be the most theoretical or research-oriented, but they are extremely valuable forms of knowledge sharing. Thanks Kevin!