Category: AECT Standard 4 (Professional Knowledge and Skills)

Candidates design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-rich learning environments within a supportive community of practice.

EdTech 501 Course Reflection

I have put off starting my graduate degree for several years as I thought it would take sooo long to finish, but here we are! I cannot believe we are at the end of the semester already. I really believe I am getting a bit more sentimental in my older years. Am I crazy in wanting to take another course to continue this awesome camaraderie and friendship it seems we have all established? Well call me crazy then. =)

There have been a few challenges so I will do my best to summarize them, not necessarily in order:

  1. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a class so I would have to say that the struggle with APA writing for me was real. =) I thought since I have been doing APA style writing (similiar but different) for the Army I would be good to go, but it is NOT the same.
  2. Not being a teacher, it was a challenge coordinating meeting times and gathering information from teachers. It was doable but not as convenient as being in the schoolhouse teaching. On top of that writing a lesson plan was probably second nature to most in the class but I had tremendous difficulty since this was the first time I had ever attempted a lesson plan.
  3. Here in Germany we are six hours ahead of EST so that was a definite challenge…mainly for the Adobe Connect classes. Thankfully due to the quality of the online class setup, this setback wasn’t too bad.
  4.  I had difficulty with the online portion but only at first; this was supposed to be my most challenging area but it ended up being the least. Sadly, this is what kept me from enrolling in classes sooner…but better late than never right? I’m here now so let’s keep the ball rolling. =)  Once I got the hang of it, it was like second nature. I think this is because my job requires a significant amount of social media interaction. Not to mention I think Anthony did a great job of organizing and presenting the class as a whole.

My favorite artifact for this course was definitely the augmented reality videos that I made. I really had a lot of fun with those once I got going. I would place the course motion graphic a close second. That was a lot of fun as well.

After taking this course I was able to decide on which track direction I will take on my journey through the MET degree. I will be looking to become an instructional designer and developer and would love to work in a university environment setting up and/or enhancing their online learning environment.

It has been my sincere pleasure (and I really mean that) taking this class and I want to thank Anthony AND everyone here for helping me learn so much! I have a tremendous respect for all of you teachers helping our kids grow up to be outstanding citizens and lifelong learners. Hopefully I will be able to add my little part to help other teachers and educational professionals.

Tech Trends: Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality Animal Alphabet Video

“Help me Obi Wan Kanobi. You’re my only hope,” pleads Princess Lei from Star Wars (1977). OR, who can forget those cool life like books and newspapers from the famous Harry Potter series? Yes! These are both famous examples of an amazing technology called Augmented Reality (AR).

When I started this project, I was having a hard time getting going, but once I did, it was off to the races! I went back and forth on what technology to research, then narrowed it down to AR.  As I started researching, I was amazed at how much AR is already out there and even more, how powerful this technology already is!

Augmented Reality Research ScreenCast video

After researching and finding A LOT of websites and blogs with ideas on how to use and implement AR, I decided to make a screencast video to help others. The purpose of this project is  to introduce AR Flashcards and provide a lesson plan but to also introduce everyone to the exciting and growing world of Augmented Reality. Keep in mind that I’ve really only scratched surface of what’s available. Along with my screencast video, I have created a lesson plan and sample  AR animal alphabet video that I made (it was so much fun!) with my 5-year-old son Moses, to bring some of this to you.

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Augmented Reality Animal Alphabet Cards (photos courtesy of Moses M.)

What is Augmented Reality (AR)? In 1990, Boeing researcher Tom Caudell first coined the term “augmented reality” to describe a digital display used by aircraft electricians that blended virtual graphics onto a physical reality. As for the computer science world’s definition of augmented reality (AR) though, it’s more detailed, but essentially the same: Augmented reality is the interaction of superimposed graphics, audio and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment that’s displayed in real-time.  (DigitalTrends.comDena Cassella, Nov. 3, 2009)

Augmented reality has evolved in recent years and its application in classrooms is limitless. Educators don’t need to feel overwhelmed when trying to introduce AR in their classroom because there are many great apps that don’t require a lot of knowledge in the field. There are useful apps for every subject and there are also apps that when a teacher is ready they can create their own AR targets.

Augmented reality works well in schools because it brings close to real life experiences to the classrooms. It’s fascinating to see the faces of students when they have the opportunity to explore space, the human body, cells or chemistry elements. You appreciate how eager and engaged they become with some simple AR apps (EmergingEdTech.com, Suzette Mirabal, Nov 5, 2015).

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SAMR model (image courtesy of schrockguide.net)

As we review the different stages of the SAMR model I think it’s apparent that this project as a whole is being redefined through the use of AR. A teacher standing in front of a class with a chalkboard (original) or even a white marker board (substitution) are not nearly as effective as engaging students through the use of AR Flashcards. AR Technology has redefined the way we are able to NOW teach many subjects; in this case, the Alphabet.

4.5 Ethics

Candidates demonstrate ethical behavior within the applicable cultural context during all aspects of their work and with respect for the diversity of learners in each setting.