There are an abundance of websites and apps online intended to help with organization, management, and increased efficiency. After exploring the “Best Online Productivity Tools” page I realized that I utilize a few on a daily basis, but I am unfamiliar with many. One feature I use every day is Google Calendar. This helps me stay up to date with meetings, practice times, and game days. I have a shared calendar with all the coaches in my baseball and basketball programs so we are all well informed. I also utilize Google Docs with other teachers in my school. Anyone has the authority to update student folders and meeting notes at their convenience. This is an extremely beneficial tool to help with collaboration and productivity. One tool I really liked from this list was Toodledo, an online to-do list. I always find myself writing down notes and reminders on post-its throughout the day on work I need to get done. However, Toodledo is more than just a to-do list, it provides you with a place to store your notes, lists, and outlines. I am also able to cooperate with friends, family, and co-workers, while I safely store and sync all my data to my devices. I am also intrigued by the online tool Delicious that bookmarks specific websites and pages I visit. I constantly set goals for myself, so Joe’s Goals and Dreaminder are two tools that can support my effort in achieving them. I would also like to introduce those goal trackers to my students and athletes so they can monitor their progress. I am also a big fan of listening to music on Pandora.
This course has not only enabled me to become more tech savvy, but it has also given me more of a professional existence online. The most influential piece of technology I have created so far is my personal web page. It is a great tool for representing who I am and what I believe in as a Physical Education teacher, and baseball and basketball coach. I intend to utilize my PWP for the duration of my career by updating it on a daily basis. I envision having class information, assignments, schedules, grades, and other relevant topics for my students to acquire knowledge. I have also created a Facebook and Twitter page for my athletic teams. All my players will be able to follow our team with the click of a button, and at their convenience. Another important aspect of this class is becoming a part of personal learning networks around the world in which I can collaborate with other professionals about best practices to incorporate in my classes and teams.
The article Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects by Cebeci and Tekdal (2006) explains how audio casting, also known as podcasting, affects education. Podcasting is defined as “a simple realization of audio content syndication that mainly targets mobile digital devices via audioblogs on the Web” (Cebeci & Tekdal, p. 47). This article highlights the valuable role that podcasts have in the classroom environment. It provides students with the opportunity to learn through listening instead of traditional reading out of the book. As a result, students are allowed more freedom and convenience to learn at an effective pace. They are also able to take what they learned from a podcast in the classroom setting, and expand on it anytime and anywhere on their own, known as mobile learning. Podcasting is a great way to attract students to the curriculum and keep them engaged. “Podcasting is an opportunity to extend and improve lectures beyond classrooms” (Cebeci & Tekdal, p. 54). Giving students additional resources with a powerful tool such as podcasts is extremely beneficial to their learning and development.
History to Go: Why iTeach with iPods by Deborah Vess (2005) agrees that use of podcasting in education is advantageous for student learning as technology continues to develop. This article discussed the significance of being able to re-listen to and review the material with podcasts, which is not possible with traditional lectures. In this study, students used podcasts as an educational tool to complete an iPod project, and conducted a survey after completion of the course. Most of the feedback was positive and met the needs of diverse students being able to enjoy the different learning methods that podcasts offer. “The most significant aspect of the iPod project was that it created a learner-centered environment that prompted continuous engagement with course material, and encouraged active learning” (Vess, p. 490). Utilizing podcasts also freed up class time so students can have more class discussions. With these discussions students were able to share ideas and collaborate more effectively with one another.
The article Getting Their iLessons from the FresnoBee.com emphasizes the advantages of a new digital phenomenon of recording classroom lectures and uploading them to podcasts online. Many professors have embraced the technology with a hope that students will access the material multiple times whenever they prefer. Other professors are concerned that podcasts will hurt attendance and ultimately take away from learning. I believe that podcasts are necessary to keep up with technological advancements of our generation and those to come. Professor Sailor said it best, “We need to take a step toward students and start speaking their language.” This type of learning is the future, and the quicker we adapt the more of an impact we can have on student achievement and learning.
Cebeci, Z. & Tekdal, M. (2006). Using podcasts as audio learning objects. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects. 2, 47-57.
Voss, D.L. (2006). History to go: why iTeach with iPods. The History Teacher. 39(4), 479-492.
Elon Universities’ article “Generation Always-On,” explored how people born during the early 1990’s will transform the world we live in. Technology experts around the world are essentially split down the middle on positive and negative outlooks for our future as a society. However, they agree that human brains are being rewired as a result of advancements in technology and reliance on the internet acting as an external brain. The article highlights many pros associated with students in this generation. Dave Rogers, from Yahoo.com agrees “It’s still early, but I believe we will see significant, positive, and even astounding improvements in the cognitive abilities of young people within the next five years” (Anderson, 2012). Kids from this generation were raised having complete and total access to the internet and social media from the time they were old enough to understand it. They have had instant access to the entirety of human knowledge along with opportunities to connect, create, and collaborate. On the contrary, critics argue that dependence on technology will be problematic. Cybersecurity expert Richard Formo worries that “Society is becoming conditioned into dependence on technology in ways that, if that technology suddenly disappears or breaks down, will render people functionally useless” (Anderson, 2012). Many experts believe that technology will have a negative impact because of people’s inability to concentrate, lack of patience, and absence of critical thinking. I believe we must find a balance between how much we incorporate technology into our lives. We should use it to our advantage in regards to education and job growth, but we should not forget about the importance of genuine human interaction and social skills.
The journal article “Social Networking in Undergraduate Education” by Nicole A. Buzzetto-More focused on the increase of use with social networking sites for teaching and learning. Services such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are being utilized to supplement traditional classroom environments, as they provide opportunities for an enriched curriculum. This study found that social networking services “have been shown to foster social learning while engaging students in a complex array of communicative and creative endeavors including new literacy practices” (Buzzetto-More, 2012, p.87). Through this course, students developed positive perceptions and considered using Facebook as a valuable instructional tool in their education. Participants concluded that Facebook helped strengthen relationships, build learning communities, and kept students engaged. Trends in education continue to increase towards a computer and technology based curriculum.
I could relate to this study as a result of the format and structure of this masters program, and this course in particular. My experience with discussion forums, blogs, and networking has been extremely rewarding and meaningful. The available resources allow me to successfully interact with my classmates in a personal manner. Since many of us share the same goals and attitudes, we can support and learn from one another. Reading and commenting on my peer’s PWP’s will be beneficial to my professional development as well. As a current educator, I believe that Facebook and other social networking sites have many advantages for quality learning if used appropriately. In this study, “60% of students responded that Facebook can make classes more interesting” (Buzzetto-More, 2012, p. 77). From personal experience, I know that most students are basically addicted to social media. It allows them to stay up to date on current events, along with staying connected easier. I believe that teachers should embrace social media and allow for academic purposes with technology within their classes. This supports opportunities for social learning, student centered learning, and relevant and authentic instruction. If educators are concerned Facebook is a distraction, Learning Management Systems (LMN’s) such as Blackboard can be utilized as a more effective academic source. Overall, social networking sites facilitate student learning through collaboration and building students’ communication and technology skills.
Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2012). Social networking in undergraduate education. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 7, 63-90. Retrieved from http://www.ijikm.org/Volume7/IJIKMv7p063-090Buzzetto611.pdf
Flickr- Coaching Pictures
For my entire life, three things have made me who I am: family, faith, and education. My name is Ryan Gaedele, and my passion is teaching and coaching. I am a middle school teacher, and a baseball and basketball coach at the high school level. Every day I strive to be a positive role model and make a difference in my student-athlete’s lives.
I graduated from Illinois State University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. Go Redbirds! After four years of teaching and coaching, I decided I wanted to further my education, which brings me to where I am today. I am currently a graduate student at Fresno Pacific University, working to achieve a master’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education. My goal is to become a Physical Education teacher, in which I can promote and provide my students with opportunities in health-related fitness and lifelong physical activity.