(u05a1) Blog – Students Meeting the NETS-S

The following post is for my PBL grad school class.

Review the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) at (click here).

Also review the Student Profiles (click here).

Explain how student use of communication, collaboration, and publishing Web 2.0 applications can help students to meet the NETS-S.

The use of the tools we reviewed this week empowers students to meet the NETS-S standards IF and WHEN they are used appropriately. As I review each of the 6 NETS-S I will highlight how the tools we reviewed could be used to meet the standard.

1. Creativity and Innovation. This standard states that “Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.”

Publishing tools such as Prezi, Glogster, Animoto and Voicethread provide students the freedom and flexibility to create original pieces of work in their own words. The key is to give students the freedom to choose their publishing tool of choice and to limit the number of requirements and guidelines in creating the finished product. If a student has to use Prezi and is giving a laundry list of things it must include, it does little to foster creativity and innovation. They are simply following the checklist.

2. Communication and Collaboration. This standard states that “Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.”

The communication tools such as Skype, Edmodo and Today’s Meet are wonderful tools that allow students to communicate and collaborate asynchronously and from a distance. Students can video Skype with classes from around the world to learn about their culture and their perspective on a specific topic. They can also use these communication tools to collaborate on a shared problem or issue such as global warming or bullying.

3. Research and Information Fluency. This standard states that “Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.”

The collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Diigo are perfect tools to help with this standard. As students conduct their research they need to leverage digital tools to organize information and evaluate the credibility.

4. Critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. This standard states that “Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.”

Again I think the use of Google Docs as well as Google Calendar help students to plan and manage a project. I also think a chat room such as Today’s Meet give the students a space to discuss and problem solve with team members. In order to foster critical thinking, the teacher must find a balance between guidance and freedom. There needs to be enough of a structure that students understand where they need to go, but also enough freedom to allow them to be creative and think critically about their project.

5. Digital Citizenship. This standard states that “Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.”

I think anytime the students use technology and Web 2.0 tools they are learning how to use these tools appropriately. The teacher can play a huge role here by modeling the appropriate behavior when interacting online. Students can learn how to use social media such as Facebook by first learning within the confines of a safe environment such as Edmodo.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts. This standard states that “Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.”

When using any new technology for the first time there is going to be a learning curve and it might slow the pace of learning while students get up to speed learning the ins and outs of the tool. However this is necessary as they are learning lifelong skills they will carry with them as they learn to use the technology through the creation of a project. For example, the students may be creating an anti-bullying PSA, and in the process they are learning how to use iMovie. This is a powerful software that they can use again and again to create powerful digital stories. Giving students access to Web 2.0 tools allows them to become comfortable using computers, iPads and other internet enabled devices.

References:

International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). NETS for students 2007. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students/nets-student-standards-2007

International Society for Technology in Education. (2007). NETS for students 2007. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students/nets-for-students-2007-profiles

Our Love Story

I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. It seems like a made-up holiday created by a group of florists, candy shop owners, jewelry stores and Hallmark. Luckily I married someone who shares my feelings towards V-day so neither one of us has to waste money on over-priced flowers and heart shaped candy to please the other. Wedding

That being said, I am a fan of love stories. I grew up surrounded by inspiring love stories. My parents are high school sweethearts and have been happily married for over 35 years. Both sets of grandparents were married for over 50 and 60 years before my grandfathers passed. As for me- I’m living my love story. So in the spirit of Valentine’s day, I thought I would share it. My hope is that one day my children can read this and know that they are surrounded by love.

I met my hubby my freshman year of college at the University of Iowa. One of his high school friends was in a few of my classes and the two of them came over to hang out with me and my roommate. We had an instant connection. I don’t know what it was, but every time I saw him I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach. But it was freshman year and neither of us were looking for a relationship, so we maintained a friendship for the next three years.

The summer after my junior year we started hanging out more and it was obvious we had feelings for one another. Then one day he told me he was leaving for good at the end of the summer to live in Atlanta where his family had relocated a few years earlier. I will never forget that day. We were playing basketball at a local park and I was trying to figure out why he was being so distant. I forced the “let’s talk” conversation every 22-year-old guy wants to have 🙂 When he said the words “I’m moving” I felt my heart sink into my stomach. I felt like I was losing my best friend. I tried to play it cool and said we could just hang out the rest of the summer and see where things go after that, but I knew I wasn’t going to let him go.

Summer came to an end and we said our good-bye as he packed up his car. I wrote him a ridiculously long letter professing my love for him and asked him to give us a chance. I promised I would move to Atlanta as soon as I graduated (I had another year and a half of school) if we could make it long distance. To be honest I don’t think I really gave him an option, so he politely agreed to formally be my boyfriend 🙂

It was tough to maintain a long distance relationship but we made it work and after I graduated I packed up my car and moved to Atlanta. With no job and no money this small town Iowa girl was a deer caught in headlights trying to adjust to big city life. But it was all worth it.

In July of 2003 we took a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina. On our last night there, we went out to dinner and then to a park. As we sat on a bench and reminisced about our time in Charleston, my best friend got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had kept a home made “coupon” I had made him a few years earlier that said “One person to spend the rest of your life with- redeemable only by Ginny”. He said we forgot to use a coupon while we were on vacation, and when he gave it to me I looked up to see him on his knee. I have no idea what he said next, but I’m pretty sure I said yes.

Married in 2004, moved to Chicago in 2006, started a family in 2007, expanded our family in 2009, and now expecting our third in 2013. Our love story is just beginning. No love story is perfect, and we have certainly had our share of challenges and struggles. But I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life.

Babe- you are more than I deserve and I have loved you since the first day I met you. I’m so blessed to call you my Valentine.