OUT ON A LIM with Educational Technology

Take an Online Class This Summer!

April 2001/May 2002, Journal of Adventist Education, written by Janine Lim

     The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has been creating and providing Technology Standards for Teachers since 1993. A new version of the standards was released in 2000. They "focus on preservice teacher education, [and] define the fundamental concepts, knowledge, skills, and attitudes for applying technology in educational settings."(1) The standards also help practicing teachers assess their skills and need for training. In this column, we will look at various online classes teachers can take this summer to fulfill the Technology Standards for Teachers.

I. Technology Operations and Concepts (2)

      The first standard asks teachers to demonstrate introductory knowledge, skills, and understanding of technology concepts and to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies. Apple Staff Development Online offers several courses on topics such as "AppleWorks 5 101," "Internet 101," "Microsoft Office 101," "QuickTime 101," and "Introduction to iMac."(3) Most of these courses are useful for Windows users, too, and are available for credit.(4) Participants learn to use a tool or application in an educational context, and to create materials or a project to use in the classroom or for personal productivity.

     Classroom Connect's Connected University offers courses, step-by-step tutorials, and discussions with other learners. Teachers create a portfolio of projects for each class. A number of their classes fulfill this ISTE requirement: "Computer Basics," "E-mail Basics," "Internet Basics," and "Internet in the Classroom: First Steps." (5)

II. Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences

     To meet this standard, teachers must be able to plan and design effective learning environments and experiences that are supported by technology. Two courses offered this summer through TAGeducation focus on learning experiences:(6)

      • "Internet in the Curriculum" includes course modules on effective search strategies, Internet lesson plans and projects, organizing and planning student Internet research, and creating Web pages to support classroom instruction and communication with parents.

      • "Developing WebQuests" takes teachers through the process of creating a WebQuest, an inquiry-oriented activity that uses mostly online resources. At the close of the class, teachers will have a completed project to use in their classroom. Both of these courses integrate faith and learning and the unique Adventist perspective on education.

     Other course possibilities include "It's Never Too Soon: Using Technology in Early Childhood Education" from Connected University, as well as "Essential Questions," "Project-Based Learning Supported by Multimedia," "Research Using Technology's Information Tools," and "Teaching Multiple Intelligences Through Technology," to name a few. Apple offers two courses on technology integration: "Multimedia in the Classroom" and "Internet in the Classroom." Each of these courses focuses on technology-supported learning environments.

     This ISTE standard also asks teachers to plan strategies to manage student learning. Connected University offers a helpful course in this area: "Management Strategies in the Technology Classroom."

III. Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum

     In meeting this standard, teachers "implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning." Most online courses do not require teachers to actually test the unit with their students. However, this spring, a class called "Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum," was piloted with a select number of teachers. This course is taught through TAGeducation, with credit available from Griggs University in Silver Spring, Maryland. It addresses standards II through VI of the National Educational Technology for Teachers and strongly encourages teachers to test their units with their students and to reflect on the process.(8) During the course, participants experience the classroom use of inquiry, higher level thinking skills, active learning, and project-based learning that they can apply in their own teaching. Teachers learn to assess the use of technology as well as their students' learning and knowledge. This course also integrates faith and learning and the unique Adventist perspective, as well as the social, ethical, legal, and human issues of technology.

     Another course meeting this standard is being offered by Andrews University. The course, "Technology Tools for Literacy," meets online for five weeks, June 11 to July 20, 2001. Participants will create online activities for use with literacy units and learn to use the writing process tool, Inspiration. The course emphasizes the use of technology tools in the literacy curriculum.(9)

IV. Assessment and Evaluation

     So often, technology advocates forge ahead while neglecting the all-important assessment component. This standard requires teachers to use a variety of assessment techniques, to employ technology to collect and analyze data to improve instructional practice, and to apply multiple methods to evaluate student use of technology resources. Related courses include Connected University's "Assessing Technology Integration" and "Creative Assessment Strategies." The course mentioned above, "Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum," addresses assessment as well.

V. Productivity and Professional Practice

     Teachers should use technology not only to improve student learning, but also to enhance their own productivity and professional practice. As we noted in the last column, teachers usually start to use technology to create worksheets, record grades, communicate with parents, etc. Apple's courses on basic productivity software (such as AppleWorks or Microsoft Office) include the creation of materials for classroom and teacher use. Both Apple and Connected University offer classes on creating Web pages, a great way to communicate with the community and parents. Connected University also offers a course called "Collaborating With Parents," which focuses on how technology can help teachers involve parents in classroom learning.

VI. Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

     To meet this standard, teachers must model and teach ethical and legal use of technology, address various learning styles and diversity, promote and use technology safely, and ensure equitable access to technology in their classrooms. The course mentioned above, "Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum," deals with these issues. Connected University offers a course entitled "Fundamentals of School Legal Issues" that partially meets this standard.

Other Online Courses
     Adventist colleges and universities are also offering online courses:

  • Walla Walla College (College Place, Washington), at the time of this writing, is developing summer courses for teachers.(10)
  • Southern Adventist University School of Business and Management (Collegedale, Tennessee): Master of Business Administration. This summer they are offering "Seminar in Entrepreneurship" May 7 to June 21 and "Contemporary Issues in Management" July 9 to August 23. (11)
  • Southern Adventist University School of Education and Psychology: Undergraduate level: "Technology in Education, Psychology," "Foundations of Education," and "Introduction to Psychology." Graduate level: "Introduction to Counseling" and "Contemporary Approaches to Youth Ministries." (12)
  • La Sierra University (Riverside, California): North American Division teacher credential courses. Check their Web site to see what will be offered this summer. (13)
  • Andrews University Department of Educational Administration and Leadership (Berrien Springs, Michigan): EDAL 670 "Information Management Technology in Education: Administration" and EDAL 520 "Foundations of Educational Leadership." Other classes are offered online by arrangement for individual students. (14)
  • Additional courses can be found by searching the Web.(16)

Considerations
     
Apple's courses are attractively priced at $49 each. To take advantage of Connected University's pricing structure ($300 for access to all courses for a year), a teacher would need to enroll in many courses during the year and commit a significant amount of time for professional development.

      Taking an online course requires significant learner commitment. In a traditional class, the student can sit at the back of the class and slide through. In an online class, he or she either gets actively involved or fails. Ask yourself, Am I serious, self-motivated, and disciplined? Am I comfortable with the idea of learning via technology? Am I persistent and resourceful in solving problems? How much time can I commit to the course work? Am I willing to stick to a schedule? You will need a computer, modem, and printer, Internet access, and E-mail as well as basic computer skills, the ability to browse and search on the Web, and a comfort level with E-mail.

     Taking a well-designed online course means exciting interaction with colleagues across the country and even around the world, along with the convenience of taking classes from home. Try an online class this summer and work toward meeting the Technology Standards for Teachers.

_____________________________________

Janine Lim is an Instructional Technology Consultant at the Berrien County Intermediate School District in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She works with Adventist schools, as well as with other private and public schools.

Notes and References

  1. Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers can be found at http://cnets.iste.org/teachstandintro.html. The NETS for Teachers (National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers) complete document can be found online at http://cnets.iste.org/index3.html.
  2. Detailed descriptions of each standard can be found at http://cnets.iste.org/teachstand.html.
  3. For more information and registration, visit http://www.apple.com/education/professionaldevelopment/workshops.html.
  4. Apple's courses are available for graduate and continuing education credt. For more information visit http://www.apple.com/education/professionaldevelopment/credit.html.
  5. Visit Connected University's course listing at http://cu.classroom.com/.
  6. For more information on the courses and on credit and registration, visit http://www.tageducation.org.
  7. To see a sample WebQuest integrating faith and learning, visit http://www.tageducation.org/1040window/webquest/.
  8. For more information on this course or to register for the summer, visit http://www.tageducation.org.
  9. For more information, E-mail Louse Moon at lmoon@andrews.edu.
  10. Find more information at http://YOU.wwc.edu. Email dated 12/13/2000, from David Bullock: BullDa@wwc.edu, director of distance education at Walla Walla College.
  11. For more information, E-mail Don Van Ornam at dvanorna@southern.edu.
  12. For more information, E-mail Jon Green at jgreen@southern.edu.
  13. Visit http://www.lasierra.edu/schools/education/distance-learning.html for more information or E-mail Norman Powell at npowell@lasierra.edu for more information.
  14. Visit http://www2.andrews.edu/~jimjeff/courses.htm to find more information about this course or E-mail Jim Jeffery at jimjeff@andrews.edu.
  15. Contact Dr. Hinsdale Bernard, Chair, Educational Administration and Leadership (616-471-6702 or hbernard@andrews.edu) for further information.
  16. Visit http://www.tageducation.org/profdev/3samples.html for a listing of other courses available online.
  17. You can find study tips at at http://www.tageducation.org/profdev/4studylinks.html.
  18. See "Professional Development Without Leaving Home," a presentation handout by Marilyn Eggers, found at http://www.tageducation.org/profdev/, presented at NAD 2000 Teachers Convention, August 2000.

© 2001 Journal of Adventist Education


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