Sunday, August 6

Technology Tools - Introduction

For this assignment, students were required to write one short paragraph each for 8 technology tools and assess them for educational purposes. In previous assignments, students practiced in class and then wrote a final draft of their evaluations for educational games and a critical analysis of selected web sites. They were given a rubric of 4 questions to think about when assessing the 5 required technology tools and the 3 tools of their choice from a given resource list. They were prepared, therefore, to write an assessment of specified technology tools. Additional, the instructor requested that they give a rating for each tool of 0 to 5, from poor to excellent. All students were required to write their assessments on the same 5 technology tools that were used for final projects and homework. These tools were as follows: Firefox (the browser of choice), MOODLE (content management system), iKeepbookmarks (bookmark management), Yahoo Briefcase (online file storage), and Tripod (our web server of choice). Students were given a list (with URLs) of approximately 45 other sources from which to choose 1 from each of 3 categories - Communication, Pedagogy, and Miscellaneous. As an entire group, the students completed writing an assessment in class of MOODLE.

Here is a little information on the courses using these technology tools. The undergraduate courses were: ED 451 - Audio Visual Education is the required class for all education majors. ED 481 - Second Language Teaching Methods is a methods class for teachers of second-language learners. The graduate courses were: ED 664 - Bilingual Education: Theory and Practice, and ED 647 - Special Topics in Literacy Education. All courses were taught in computer labs using either the Windows XP operating system or the Macintosh (OS 9.2) operating system.

In this multi-part BLOG, I will share the comments, recommendations and assessments submitted by my students. This first installment will relay the information about 2 of the 5 required tools for assessment: MOODLE and Foxfire. The second installment will relay the information from 3 of the 5 required tools for assessment: Yahoo Briefcase, Tripod and iKeepbookmarks. The third part of this installment will present comments about other tools, such as Writely, Learn Out Loud, and Hot Potatoes.

It is possible that you might be introduced to a new tool or a new way of using a familiar technology tool. There were surprises for me, and I plan to adjust my resource list for next semester accordingly.

Share with me, if you wish, your comments and reactions to my students� assessments of their experiences using technology tools for the Spring 2006 education courses that integrated instructional technology elements. This un-scientific sampling is from 2 sections of ED 451 and one section each of the other 3 courses. For these technology ratings, the n = 20.


Anonymous said...


This blog is a neat way to share ideas about these open-source tools and how you're using them with your classes. The choice of tech tools, from Moodle to Tripod to ikeepbookmarks to Yahoo Briefcase represents a nice suite of "free" tools that future educators should be aware of. While the tools themselves will change and evolve, it is great that pre-service teachers are being exposed to the applications of these tools and their potential for integration with curriculum.

Thanks for posting excerpts from your students' evaluations of the tools. It's interesting to read the range of reactions and comments from students as they use these tools. I have been curious about how different users find Moodle so your students' feedback was interesting. It's a great open source tool, but I know the interface can be a bit confusing to new users. I was glad to see that the comments implied that it was a good system to use for communication.

I look forward to reading about Writely, Learn Out Loud and Hot Potatoes.

David M.H. Mantanona said...

Part # 2: MOODLE Commentary
Because it is open source, this module will be freely available to all schools along with Moodle which will always be free. The best part is the interface, which is intuitive for teachers and fun for students. It is quite flexible and powerful regarding pedagogy. For instance, the sequential (or branching) learning lesson modules are easily created & accessible.
Moodle is a course management system (CMS) - a software package designed to help educators create quality online courses. Such e-learning systems are sometimes also called Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). It was designed to be used with a certain "style" of teaching called "social constructionist pedagogy".
Unfortunately, the grading system in Moodle is archaic. (For example, pull down menus for grade entry, rather than a text box). If you have a large number of students in a course, this system bogs you down quickly. In addition, Moodle doesn't have support for extra credit, if you make use of that in your class.

Antoinette Arriola said...

Introduction of Technology Tools for Pre-Service Teachers (5 out of 5)
The Moodle and the BLOG are effective ways of communicating with your students. It is can become an important tool to use in the classroom. Teachers can give educational updates to the latest technological tools online either on the Moodle or the BLOG. Both websites can be used as an online syllabus or be used as an educational online tool.

Veronica Ramirez said...

Dr. Cyrus
I am very grateful that you came to this University to share your knowledge. I have learned so much that I am having a bit too much fun with the free soft ware, online utilities, and online games. I have shared the knowledge you shared with me in class with family and friends. My family and friends are having bit too much fun as well with the tripod. Most of their comments are that they wished they learned this when they were in high school or while they are in high school. A couple of them said that they have great ides to utilize the tripod for presentation. But the issue at hand is that the schools they are currently attending has know internet service provided in the classroom nor do they have a computer lab unless you are currently enrolled in one. As for others is that paying for just dial up or investing in a computer is financially challenging. I challenge my self each chance I get to improve my web site and eportfolio. I like it . I like it…! Thanks

marisa lansang said...

This is a great way to get students feedback regarding the course. I honestly think
Moodle and Tripod were brilliant because it allowed students to gain a better understanding of how have an online course management and creating a web quest of their interest.