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.