Spreadsheet and Database Lesson Plans

I have an assignment to develop a spreadsheet lesson framework for creating tables and graphs in 6th grade science. I used the following lesson last year with my students. It was a tough concept to grasp, but eventually they got it.

  • Provide a description of the topic: A basic introduction to Tables and Graphs.
    • There are 3 common types of graphs. They are:
      • Line Graphs
      • Bar Graphs
      • Circle Graphs
  • List goals of lesson and the complex concepts students will understand after using the spreadsheet: Students will describe the differences between the 3 common types of graphs and when is appropriate to use each type.
  • Provide a description of the data that will be used, the column & row headings you will use, and where the data will come from.
    • We will use data from Glencoe Science: Level Red, Student Edition (2008).
    • For our line graph, our column headings will be Year and Number of Endangered Species.
    • For our bar graph, our labels will be Number of Species and Animals
    • For our circle graph, we will use the data from our bar graph to determine parts of the whole number of endangered species.
  • Create a sample (working) Spreadsheet to support your lesson ideas (either by “attaching” an Excel file or embedding a Google Spreadsheet).
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Instructional Designer Job Description

My first assignment for EdTech 503 is to create a job description for an Instructional Designer. I have completed my assignment and am posting it here for anyone to see :-).

Natalie Burr
EdTech 503
ID Job Description

Instructional Design Job Position in a K-6 Elementary School

1. Synthesis

An instructional designer (ID)’s duties are to collaborate with Subject Matter Experts to design, build lessons for, and create blended learning activities that will engage learners and encourage personal connection within a subject area. The designer will meet standards and provide ways to show measurable growth in the students’ knowledge of the content being taught in both face-to-face and online learning experiences. An instructional designer’s duties also include providing support to those who are implementing the ID’s work in their curriculum.

Minimum Candidate Qualifications:

  • Have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Design or related field
  • Evidence of experience in curriculum development
  • Elementary or Secondary Teaching experience
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and collaboration skills
  • Be flexible with technology
  • Knowledge in and experience with standard software applications
  • Have the ability to multi-task with little supervision
  • Be able to simplify technical writing for challenged learners
  • Proven research and writing skills
  • Provide curriculum support for the teachers implementing curriculum
  • Experience with managing multiple social media outlets
  • An understanding of technology trends in online education

Preferred Candidate Qualifications:

  • Have earned, or be working toward a graduate degree in Instructional Design or similar field, e.g. educational technology, education/curriculum development,
  • Experience teaching online higher education courses
  • Photo and video editing to implement different modalities of teaching and learning within the course design

2. Reflection
While looking at the differences between a classroom teacher and an instructional designer, the differences are few but clear. As an instructional designer, one would be creating courses and providing support to the teachers and staff using the designed courses. The ID would need to know and understand the standards that are to be met in order to create effective and engaging curriculum. The designer also works more with administration of design while the teacher is involved in the process of delivering the designed curriculum to the specified learners. The teacher would be involved in the day-to-day classroom responsibilities of daily classroom routines, management, grading papers, parent and student communications, and administrative aspects of a classroom. The teacher would implement the ID’s lessons and give feedback for ways to improve the Designer’s curriculum based on real-life application of the theories and principles in the design.

An instructional designer would be expected to listen to the suggestions and be willing to re-design their curriculum to improve the quality of the design, which would result in improved lesson structure in subsequent implementation. A teacher would not be expected to make permanent changes in curriculum, but to offer suggestions for improvement.

In summary, a designer’s job is to design and provide learning activities to others for implementation. They work with the administration and staff within their district, and make changes and improvements to the lessons they have created. Whereas a teacher implements the design, makes suggestions for improving the design, and fosters the relationships of his/her students in the classroom.

3. Job Posting URLs Reviewed:

New Semester

As I am beginning my second semester as an Educational Technology student, I am excited for the courses I will be participating in this go ’round. I’m enrolled in EdTech 503–Instructional Design, which is part of the core curriculum and my first elective: EdTech 541–Integrating Technology in the Classroom. I am looking forward to the courses, but a little nervous at the same time. There is a LOT of reading involved and I’m hoping I have time to put forth my best work. My kids are competitive gymnasts and a cheerleader, and we are in the throes of competition season for those activities as well. I’m traveling the next 8 weekends to some form of competition and hope I can find enough hours in the day to get it all done. Here’s to a new semester!

Final Reflection

As I am (already?!?) coming to the end of my first semester, I have enjoyed this course. I have a hard time evaluating myself because I am extremely hard on myself. Often, I don’t feel like what I would say to someone has much value (it’s a personal problem, I know) so instead of making comments/suggestions, I don’t say anything. It has been a problem with my 502 course as well. I understand that part of earning and obtaining higher leveled education requires stepping outside my comfort zone, so I contributed a few comments that I felt were meaningful. However, because I evaluate myself lower (my natural inclination), I am ‘punished’ in a lower grade. I have a hard time swallowing that, because if I’m honestly trying and making a few meaningful comments is more than I would’ve made initially, is that enough? I don’t know. Re-enter “Too Hard on Myself.”

I have really had my mind opened to issues that are involved with Education and Technology  and their relationships to continuing education in our world. I have been introduced to and been able to apply the AECT Standards to my own work and experiences. It has been a good introduction to furthering my education in Educational Technology and I’m even more excited about continuing in this field.

School Evaluation Summary

As I read the assigned readings for the last couple of weeks, I found that the setting in which I work was very easy to evaluate. We are a publicly funded online school that provides free technology to students that want to participate in our online program. I found that we are doing very well and ‘intelligent’ly reached many of the Maturity Benchmark, mostly because our format is such that we are online, but are still required to provide intervention for students that need it, have weekly staff meetings, and have a lot of support from our district with funding because of our compliance with regulations. I’m glad I got a chance to see, on paper, what a great place I get to work.

While completing my readings, survey, and evaluation, I was able to apply quite a few AECT Standards. Starting with our first standard, Content Pedagogy, I applied indicator number 3, Assessing/Evaluating while looking at the benchmarks and essentially grading my school, administrators, and access to technology and the support required. Standard 2, Content Pedagogy, I used both the managing and assessing/evaluating indicators to take a closer look at our curriculum content and the ways I effectively, and in some cases ineffectively, use our curriculum.

Here is a copy of the Maturity Benchmarks Survey Sheet and here is a copy of the evaluation of my survey sheet.

Tech Trends

As I’ve been reading about Tech Trends in NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition, I was interested in a lot of the things I read. I also felt a lot of frustration because I live in a district where we don’t have access to many of the tech trends referenced. We are a bit behind the curve in technology integration. For example, I think it would be more beneficial to students if we would invest in classroom sets for 1:1 technology versus maintaining computer labs. We do have a superintendent that is supportive of teachers and their desires to try new approaches to education, which is very refreshing, but I still think we lack a lot of support in terms of new approaches to technology. I do understand the hesitation of their allowances regarding the network security, but if we let students BYOD, we would be helping ourselves tremendously. Last year, in my 6th grade class, there were more students that had iPads and tablets than didn’t. I gave them permission to bring them to school for personal choice reading. I was both impressed and appalled at the amount of access these kids had to technology. If our district would tap into that potential for access, there would need to be less money spent on devices than they realize. Back to the Horizon Report.

In the Mid-Range Trends, there was a trend that really piqued my interest. Though I teach in our district, my job is a little bit different this year in that I am THE middle school teacher for our online school. That means that I have 54 students that I am responsible for monitoring progress, attendance hours, and mastery of concepts. I also do Tier II intervention weekly with students who are in the “Watch,” “Intervention,” and “Urgent Intervention” categories based on STAR Testing. Needless to say, it is a demanding position in which to be. Students have 1:1 laptops and access to any app and/or program they want. Viruses included :-/. As I have been tutoring my students on an individual basis online, we have been using a platform provided by K12, the Standards-based company that provides curriculum for our students. As I have gotten more experience with it, the less I have liked it. For this assignment, I have chosen to compare and contrast different online collaborative platforms and their usefulness/applicability in my everyday teaching life. Here is the link to my spreadsheet containing the comparisons.

As I assessed and evaluated some of the different platforms available to me, I was implementing indicator 4. You can see the results of my research HERE. If I had access to whichever platform I wanted and cost was not an issue, I would probably go with Vyew. I’ve used TeamViewer, Google Hangouts, and Collaborate Blackboard personally. I experienced frustrations with all of them, though I have had the most success (technical issues and connectivity issues) with Collaborate Blackboard. One of the things I need to remind myself is that not everyone is as tech savvy as I expect them to be. The other problem I find, in general, is that as I try and implement AECT Standard 4 indicator 2 regarding leadership in Professional Knowledge and Skills, attitudes of parents that then trickle down to their students, is an unwillingness to learn new platforms and processes. They would rather throw their hands up in the air, not work through their own frustrations to figure out the technical aspects of the work we do, and meet in person at the office, a hassle for all parties involved. It has been a learning curve for all of us, though some are not willingly learning what is going to be an expectation of future cyber citizens.

M-Learning Activity

I feel a sense of accomplishment–I gave myself TONS of extra time to work on this assignment because I needed to create a mobile-learning activity. I finished it really early so I could tweak it as much as I wanted to before the actual time due. I had my kids look at it and give me advice on what i should change and they were so proud of me!

I decided to go a little bit different route this time. All 3 of my daughters are/were competitive gymnasts through USAG. There are multiple times per meet that we attend that people ask what the different events are and how the girls are scored. I decided to use this chance to create a web page for those people who have basic questions about how USAG sanctioned meets are judged.

It doesn’t really apply to a classroom, but I sure had fun doing it! 🙂