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ETEC 674- Session 10: Project

Option 2: Develop a Course Outline

 Course Description

This is an introduction to robotics course with a focus on the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/about-ev3) and programming using the Lego EV4 software (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/learn-to-program). The purpose of this course is to introduce students to concepts that they will apply in the classroom. It has been challenging to decide which resources I want to use for this course because there are so many to choose from. Thankfully, many teachers and reputable universities have tried to do this before me and have shared their resources so that I don’t have to create everything on my own. This course will teach students what the components of the EV3 kit are and what they do. They will also learn the programming language that they will use to program the EV3. Finally, they will program the robot to complete a variety of challenges.

This course is designed for sixth grade students and we will begin using it in two weeks when we return to school from spring break. One of my students wrote a grant for two Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robots, a collection of Lego EV3 books and books about robotics, and two solar powered robots (Why Legos? http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/lego_classroom.pdf). I am going to have two groups of three to four students learn how to use the robots first because the literature that I read recommended only two to three students per group. I am using the flipped classroom model for this course, so these students will follow the course online at home and use class time to work on building the robots. Eventually, my goal is for every student in the class to learn how to build and program the robots, so hopefully we will have enough time to repeat the course with another group of students before the end of the school year. Ideally, I would have more than two EV3 Robots so that everyone would be able to participate at the same time, but at $350 per robot, we will have to work with what we have.

Technology

Tool Purpose Type of Interaction
Google Classroom

www.classroom.google.com

CMS One-way: Instructor to Student
EV3 Software http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/download-software Student-Content Interactions One-way: Student to Software to Robot
YouTube- I will choose videos that show students specific and clear examples of the content, I will create videos to interact with students, students will create videos of their work and post it. Student-Content Interaction, Teacher-Student Interaction One-way: Student to content
QuickTime Screencasts Teacher-Student Interactions One-way: Teacher to student
Twitter Teacher- Student Interactions Two-way: Teacher and students can post and interact with one another
Student Blog- www.kidblog.org Student-Content Interactions

Student-Teacher Interactions

Student-Student Interactions

Two-way: Students will post responding to teacher questions, teacher will comment and ask questions, students will comment and ask questions to one another
Google Docs Student-Content Interaction

Student-Teacher Interaction

Two-way: students can share their work with the teacher and teacher can make changes/edit and/or make comments and suggestions
Google Forms Assessment, Student-Teacher Interaction Two-way: Teacher asks question and student responds, students receive feedback from teacher
Socrative Formative Assessment, Student-Teacher Interaction Two-way: Teacher asks question and student responds, students receive feedback from teacher

Course Outline

Session 1- Introduction to Robotics and Lego Mindstorms EV3
Goals and Objectives Students will be oriented to the course structure and learning goals. They will also learn the characteristics that make up a robot.
Technologies Video, Blog, Discussion on Blog, Twitter, Socrative, Email
Student-Content Interactions Students will follow the slideshow about what makes a robot and complete the accompanying handout to determine which items can be considered robots. They will then determine which robot they are from a variety of famous robots. Then they will watch the Ted Talk from the Crescent Schools Robotics team. Finally, they will begin watching tutorials on the EV3 Robot.

What is a robot?

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/what_is_a_robot.pdf

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/what_is_a_robot_activity_page.pdf

Which robot are you?

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/which_robot_icebreaker.pdf

Crescent Schools Robotics Demo- Ted Talks https://youtu.be/7XGgU_YSCfc

A0: Introducing the Lego MindStorms EV3 Robotics Tutorials- Students will want to keep going to this link because it has a series of helpful tutorials.  http://www.drgraeme.org/EV3/A0/A0.html

Student-Instructor Interactions Students will complete a weekly formative assessment using Socrative. The instructor will send a weekly email with feedback on the formative assessment. The instructor will also comment weekly on each student blog. The instructor will use Twitter to post updates on the progress of students in the course include photos and videos with the hashtags #legoev3 #eeev3 and #rusdlearns. The #eeev3 hashtag will be our own hashtag so that anyone following our work can easily find it.
Student-Student Interactions Student will introduce themselves to each other on their blog at www.kidblog.org. They will use their blog to add photographs and notes of their work.
Assessment Socrative: Essential Questions Response- Scored with Essential Question Rubric

Go to: http://b.socrative.com/login/student/. Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room.” Start the quiz and submit when complete.

Session 2- Sensors and Motors, Lego Technic Pieces
Goals and Objectives Student will learn about a boy who created a Braille printer with an EV3 kit, they will learn how to use a design journal to plan their projects, and they will become familiar with the sensors, motors, and technic pieces that are part of the EV3 kit by reading the plans for making a robot.
Technologies Video, Blog, Discussion on Blog, Twitter, Socrative, Email
Student-Content Interactions Students will watch vidoes and read about Shubham Banerjee, the twelve year old who built a Braille printer using an EV3 robotics kit. Then, they will learn how to use a design journal. Finally, they will learn about the sensors, motors, and Lego technic pieces by reading the plans for making a variety of robots.

Shubham Banerjee

https://youtu.be/IYrOwERJRO0

https://youtu.be/SRYKG2U47ig PBS NewsHour

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29920654

Using a Design Journal

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/engineering_design_journal.pdf

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/design_journal_template.pdf

Lego Mindstorms Constructopedia

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/lego_mindstorms_constructopedia.pdf

Build a Robot

http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/build-a-robot

Student-Instructor Interactions Students will complete a weekly formative assessment using Socrative. The instructor will send a weekly email with feedback on the formative assessment. The instructor will also comment weekly on each student blog. The instructor will use Twitter to post updates on the progress of students in the course include photos and videos with the hashtags #legoev3 #eeev3 and #rusdlearns. The #eeev3 hashtag will be our own hashtag so that anyone following our work can easily find it.
Student-Student Interactions Student will add a blog post to www.kidblog.org. This week their focus will be what they learned about robotics from Shubham Banerjee and explain what the sensors, motors, and technic pieces do when they are added to a robot. They will use a design journal page to create a plan for a robot and share an image of it in their post.
Assessment Socrative: Essential Questions Response- Scored with Essential Question Rubric

Go to: http://b.socrative.com/login/student/. Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room.” Start the quiz and submit when complete.

Session 3- Programming with EV3 Language
Goals and Objectives Students will learn how important it is to be precise when using programming language.
Technologies Video, Blog, Discussion on Blog, Twitter, Socrative, Email
Student-Content Interactions Students will begin this session by watching the video with students giving their teacher commands on how to make a sandwich. Then, they will go to the Lego EV3 website and download the EV3 software. Finally, they will continue watching programming tutorials to help them learn how to program using the EV3 software.

Program Your Teacher to Make a Jam Sandwich (Sandwich Bot) https://youtu.be/leBEFaVHllE

Lego EV3 Software download and tutorials

http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/learn-to-program

Programming Tutorials

Tutorial Videos for the Lego Mindstorms EV3 set

http://www.drgraeme.org/EV3/EV3.html

1- Programming Environment Tutorial

https://youtu.be/rla4NSfPmM4

Student-Instructor Interactions Students will complete a weekly formative assessment using Socrative. The instructor will send a weekly email with feedback on the formative assessment. The instructor will also comment weekly on each student blog. The instructor will use Twitter to post updates on the progress of students in the course include photos and videos with the hashtags #legoev3 #eeev3 and #rusdlearns. The #eeev3 hashtag will be our own hashtag so that anyone following our work can easily find it.
Student-Student Interactions Student will add a blog post to www.kidblog.org. This week their focus will be what they learned about being precise when programming. They will also discuss which robot they chose to study from the Lego EV3 website. They will use a design journal to plan their robot and include an image of the plan they came up with this week.
Assessment Socrative: Essential Questions Response- Scored with Essential Question Rubric

Go to: http://b.socrative.com/login/student/. Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room.” Start the quiz and submit when complete.

Session 4- Action Programming Blocks
Goals and Objectives Students will learn how to use the programming blocks in the EV3 software and use the EV3 software. They will also learn about the Laws of Robotics.
Technologies Video, Blog, Discussion on Blog, Twitter, Socrative, Email
Student-Content Interactions Students will learn about the laws of robotics, watch the tutorial, and practice using the action programming blocks with the EV3 software.

Three Laws of Robotics- Isaac Asimov

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/ethics_module_IV.pdf

Programming Tutorials

2- EV3 Programming: Move Blocks

https://youtu.be/m-XcGt8CsWc

Student-Instructor Interactions Students will complete a weekly formative assessment using Socrative. The instructor will send a weekly email with feedback on the formative assessment. The instructor will also comment weekly on each student blog. The instructor will use Twitter to post updates on the progress of students in the course include photos and videos with the hashtags #legoev3 #eeev3 and #rusdlearns. The #eeev3 hashtag will be our own hashtag so that anyone following our work can easily find it.
Student-Student Interactions Student will add a blog post to www.kidblog.org. This week their focus will be to explain the Laws of Robotics and what they think about them. Then they will write about how to use the action programming blocks. They will also discuss which how they are used with the robot they chose to study from the Lego EV3 website last week. They will include an image of their work in the EV3 software on their blog post this week.
Assessment Socrative: Essential Questions Response- Scored with Essential Question Rubric

Go to: http://b.socrative.com/login/student/. Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room.” Start the quiz and submit when complete.

Session 5- Advanced Programming Blocks
Goals and Objectives Students will learn how to use the advanced programming blocks to program their robots.
Technologies Video, Blog, Discussion on Blog, Twitter, Socrative, Email
Student-Content Interactions Students will watch the tutorials and practice the programming with the EV3 software.

Programming Tutorials

3- EV3 Programming: Display, Sounds, and Lights https://youtu.be/0fo8nidkg6g

4- EV3 Programming: Start and Wait Blockshttps://youtu.be/zuhsTD8NBQc

5- EV3 Programming: Putting it Together https://youtu.be/LiKSgODCpcI

Student-Instructor Interactions Students will complete a weekly formative assessment using Socrative. The instructor will send a weekly email with feedback on the formative assessment. The instructor will also comment weekly on each student blog. The instructor will use Twitter to post updates on the progress of students in the course include photos and videos with the hashtags #legoev3 #eeev3 and #rusdlearns. The #eeev3 hashtag will be our own hashtag so that anyone following our work can easily find it.
Student-Student Interactions Student will add a blog post to www.kidblog.org. This week their focus will be to explain how the advanced programming blocks work and what they do to their robots. They will use the programming they have written with their robots and upload a video to their blog to share with their classmates.
Assessment Socrative: Essential Questions Response- Scored with Essential Question Rubric

Go to: http://b.socrative.com/login/student/. Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room.” Start the quiz and submit when complete.

Session 6- Challenges
Goals and Objectives Students will continue to learn about programming and try some challenges with their robots.
Technologies Video, Blog, Discussion on Blog, Twitter, Socrative, Email
Student-Content Interactions Students will watch the tutorials and read the challenge choices. They will decide which challenge/s to try.

Programming Tutorials

6- EV3 Programming: An Ode to Simplicity

https://youtu.be/FWkVe74DUn4

7- EV3 Programming: Loops and Switches https://youtu.be/3dMAM3nnABQ

8- EV3 Programming: Wires

https://youtu.be/9YxLQMBpUwU

9- EV3 Programming: Touch Sensor https://youtu.be/5D7qCJu383k

10- EV3 Programming: Motor Stuff!

https://youtu.be/x_DPAF9SRfQ

11- EVR Programming: Brick Buttons

https://youtu.be/QSNgOvBGTgo

Challenges

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/simple_programming_challenges.pdf

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/obstacle_course.pdf

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/task_bot.pdf

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/docs/pen_tracer_attachment.pdf

Student-Instructor Interactions Students will complete a weekly formative assessment using Socrative. The instructor will send a weekly email with feedback on the formative assessment. The instructor will also comment weekly on each student blog. The instructor will use Twitter to post updates on the progress of students in the course include photos and videos with the hashtags #legoev3 #eeev3 and #rusdlearns. The #eeev3 hashtag will be our own hashtag so that anyone following our work can easily find it.
Student-Student Interactions Student will add a blog post to www.kidblog.org. This week they will write about the challenge or challenges they completed. They will also include a link to videos of their robots trying the challenges.
Assessment Socrative: Essential Questions Response- Scored with Essential Question Rubric

Go to: http://b.socrative.com/login/student/. Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room.” Start the quiz and submit when complete.

ETEC 574- Session 9: Assessment

Session 9 Focus Tasks

1. Create a test or a survey. The test or survey may be created using your CMS/LMS or with any other technology that is appropriate. If possible, try to create a test or survey that would be useful as part of your final project.

Socrative Student Login

  • Type in Room Name: 6thGradeCaudill and select “Join Room”
  • Start the quiz and submit when complete.

Session 1 Quiz

Quiz_session1 what are robots?

2. Create a rubric. If possible, create a rubric that would be useful as part of your final project.

Essential Question Rubric for Sixth Grade

  4 points- Thorough Evidence of Mastery 3 points-Adequate Evidence of Mastery 2- Partial Evidence of Mastery 0 to 1 points- Minimal evidence of mastery
Focus/ Information         CCSS RI 6.1; W 6.1 Responds skillfully to all parts of the question Responds to all parts of the question Responds to most parts of the question Responds to few or no parts of the question
Organization CCSS RI 6.1; W 6.1, 6.4, and 6.5 Includes a strong thesis statement

Strong use of organization of ideas, concepts and information

Includes a thesis statement

Organizes ideas, concepts and information

Limited use of organization of ideas, concepts and information Little or no use of organization of ideas, concepts and information
Support/ Evidence     CCSS RI 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.8, and 6.9; RL 6.1, 6.3, and 6.9; W 6.1 and 6.9 Written response integrates supporting evidence such as facts, details, questions, quotations, or examples to make connections and support their responses Written response that includes supporting evidence such as facts, details, quotations, or examples to support their responses Written response includes some supporting evidence such as facts, details, quotations, or examples to support their responses Written response does not include supporting evidence
Writing Conventions CCSS RI 6.4; RL 6.4; L 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4 Demonstrates exemplary command of grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling (No errors) Demonstrates command of grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling (1-2 errors) Demonstrates limited command of grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling (3-5 errors) Demonstrates insufficient command of grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling (6 or more errors)

3. Explain your ideas about and process for creating your test or survey.

I chose Socrative to build my quiz because it is a tool to create formative assessments that I found several years ago, but did not try out with my students because we did not have enough technology. It’s a great tool for assessment because it gives you instant feedback that allows you to see student results in real time, you can have personalized content and have all your assessments together in one place, it gives you instant class and student level reports, and it works on any device or browser. There are three Socrative apps for teachers and students: an iOS app, an Android app, and a app in the chrome web store. It is free for teachers to use and is supported by Edutopia and edSurge, two companies that give me valuable resources as an educator. I have been using Google Forms with my students, but I decided to go with Socrative to try it out and I really like the way it looks and works. Another great feature is that it will automatically grade the assessment if I give it the correct answers. Since my assessment is a written response, I chose not to use this feature, but I can already think of a variety of uses for it in the future. It was easy to create an assessment and I think students will find it engaging because it is something they have not used before. The reports can be downloaded in a variety of student or class options, including an email, a PDF file, an Excel file, or downloading it to Google Drive.

I created this short formative assessment to find out how well students learned what robots are and what makes a robot. I also included a video link to a video they already watched in the second question because I wanted them to think about the bigger picture when they learn about robotics and coding. It’s obviously fun to learn, but I want them to think about their purpose in learning it. What is their end goal? I hope the video inspires them to think beyond themselves and I’m curious to read about what they are thinking after they watch it. I decided that for this session, responding in a paragraph to an essential question would give me better data than a multiple choice assessment on what a robot is. Here’s the link to the video that I’m going to have my students watch: https://youtu.be/7XGgU_YSCfc.

2015-03-19 13.06.482015-03-19 13.10.33

4. Explain your ideas about and process for creating your rubric.

I created a rubric to assess their written responses to essential questions. I wanted something I could use to grade a shorter response because we already have a district rubric that we use to score essays. I took some of the language that I thought applied best to a short answer response and included it in my rubric. I also included the standards that the district added to our writing rubric. I decided to add a specific number of errors to the conventions and grammar portion of the rubric to make it easier to decide between categories. To score the students written responses, I will give a score for each of the four categories and find the average of the scores.

5. Discuss your final project progress.

My final project is coming along. I spent a lot of time reading a book that I bought a few years ago at an ISTE conference in San Diego (http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Started-LEGO-Robotics-Educators-ebook/dp/B0069VWWPK). I attended a session on LEGO Robotics and it was the first time I saw the possibilities of using them with my students. I visited the author’s blog at http://www.classroomrobotics.blogspot.com/ and found an overwhelming number of resources for teachers. I’ve spent a lot of time weeding through them and deciding what I can use with my students.

ETEC 674- Session 8: Annotated Bibliography

FullSizeRender[1]

Annotated Bibliography

  1. Citation:

Castledine, A.-R., & Chalmers, C. (2011). LEGO Robotics: An Authentic Problem Solving Tool? Design and Technology Education, 16(3), 19–27.

Summary:

The purpose of this study was to determine what problem solving skills sixth grade students were using when they worked with LEGO Mindstorms robotics to engage in math, science, and technology. There were two research questions: “1. What problem solving strategies do middle years’ students engage when utilizing LEGO robotics as an educational tool? 2. Are middle years’ students able to effectively relate problem solving strategies to other contexts?” The study took place in Brisbane at a primary school and there were twenty-three sixth grade students (12 male and 11 female) that participated.

The qualitative case study method was used in this study to collect data from the observations of the researches based on how groups problem solved, designed robots, made modifications, programmed software, and on how they completed two problem solving activities. It took place for two weeks with daily hour long lessons. The researchers recorded their observations after the lessons. The participants also completed a questionnaire after they completed the problem tasks.

The students in the study used estimation, number patterns, and trial and error strategies to complete their programming. Students in the study quickly learned how to program using the LEGO Mindstorms software. However, it was difficult for students to make connections with real world problems unless they were prompted to make the connections. Students need more scaffolding to learn how to make those types of connections.

Review:

This article is perfect for someone like me who is just beginning to learn about teaching robotics to sixth grade students. The methodology was laid out clearly and I could easily replicate it given the information they shared. The detail of the problems “The Race” and “The Maze” were great because I can now use those problems with my students when they are ready to program our EV3 robots. One problem is that only 23 students participated in the study. I am really thankful that I will not just assume that my students will learn how to make real world connections on their own, but that they need my help to come to those conclusions. I would recommend this article to anyone who is interested in teaching programming to elementary aged children.

  1. Citation:

Cheng, C.-C., Huang, P.-L., & Huang, K.-H. (2013). Cooperative Learning in Lego Robotics Projects: Exploring the Impacts of Group Formation on Interaction and Achievement. Journal of Networks, 8(7), 1529–1535. doi:10.4304/jnw.8.7.1529-1535

Summary:

The study looked at how the grouping of students influenced how they interacted with one another and how that impacted their achievement with LEGO robotics. Data was collected qualitatively though interviews and video recordings, while quantitative data was collected as students interacted and performed on specific tasks. The data was collected during a week long summer camp in Taiwan in which 179 students (104 male and 75 female) participated and a variety of groups were formed of three to five students each. There were gender groupings: same gender, male dominant, female dominant, and gender balanced groups. There were ten groups of each type of gender group. There were age groupings: same age, senior dominant, junior dominant, and age balanced groups. There were also background groupings: normal, underprivileged, and mixed.

The researchers used frequency tables to count how many times students interacted while working on activities. They found that collaborative learning with LEGO robotics allows students to learn while they are experimenting and practicing the technology. The variety of groupings resulted in different learning outcomes. The researchers found that age, gender, and the background of the family did not relate to learning outcomes. Groups that were of the same gender communicated better than groups in which boys were outnumbered by girls. Gender equal groups felt more comfortable and were able to engage in deeper discussions about their learning. They also found that the more students interacted with their group members, the higher scores their team would earn.

Review:

The article was very detailed and included many tables, but the tables made the results hard to follow because they measured so many variables in the study. I think they should have focused on one of the factors such as gender instead of gender, age, and their backgrounds. Overall, it is difficult for me to be confident in their results because of this. One important thing I will keep in mind is that the more the students in the group interact with one another, the better their performance will be. I will have to find ways to motivate my groups to communicate while they work together. I would not recommend this article to someone who is going to be using LEGO robotics with their students because the methods that

  1. Citation:

Lindh, J., & Holgersson, T. (2007). Does Lego Training Stimulate Pupils’ Ability to Solve Logical Problems? Computers & Education, 49(4), 1097–1111. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2005.12.008

Summary:

This study focused on how using constructivist learning theories during a one year LEGO robotics training would have an effect on student performance. They studied the participants before the treatment and after. They also had control groups. The study took place in Sweden and they gathered data from different schools from students in fourth and fifth grade, and eighth and ninth grade. The goal of the study was to investigate whether LEGO robotics should be implemented in more schools if their use improved mathematics performance. The null hypothesis was that the LEGO robotics would not have a positive or negative effect on how students solved math problems. The results of the study rejected the null hypothesis due to the results of a one-way ANOVA test for some students and it was not rejected in other cases, so while LEGO robotics might be beneficial for some students, it is not the case for all students. The students they found it to help were the medium-good students.

The role of the teacher in this study was as a facilitator since it was based on the constructivist learning theory. Students are expected to construct their own learning as they are active participants in their learning. The study used both qualitative research methods- observations, interviews, and inquiry, and quantitative research methods- mathematics and problems solving tests. The researchers did not find significant differences between age groups or between genders. They found that working groups should be 2-3 students per LEGO kit.

Review:

This article was helpful because it suggested some practical uses of LEGO robotics in the classroom. For example, before I begin using the LEGO Mindstorms in my classroom, I think I will give a math and problem-solving test. Then, I will break my students into groups of 2 to 3 students for each LEGO robot. I would recommend this article to anyone who is going to start working with LEGO robots because it gives some great suggestions for getting started such as having a large workspace available for students to spread out the bricks, giving them time to play, and choosing relevant problems for students to solve. I also liked that they think their study could be improved by making it a three-year longitudinal study with ten times as many students. They had 700 hundred students in this study, so I would love to see the results for 7,000 students.

  1. Citation:

Marulcu, I., & Barnett, M. (2012). Fifth Graders’ Learning About Simple Machines Through Engineering Design-Based Instruction Using LEGOTM Materials. Research in Science Education, 43(5), 1825–1850. doi:10.1007/s11165-012-9335-9

Summary:

This study was conducted as part of a National Science Foundation project called Transforming Elementary Science Learning Through Lego Engineering Design. They developed a simple machines module that was based on engineering for thirty-five fifth grade students from an urban school in the United States. The authors define engineering design as “an activity that involves the construction of a physical product that solves a human problem.” The authors mention that some people think that technology has to involve using a computer, but there are other forms of technology such as LEGOs that also help people solve problems.

The researchers followed Sternberg’s Triarchic Intelligence principles that involve using analytical, creative, and practical skills while learning. The curriculum was designed to teach both science and technology with inquiry. The researchers used qualitative research methods for this study by conducting semi-structured interviews before instruction and after instruction. They also used quantitative research methods by testing the students with an identical paper test before and after instruction. They found that students who participated made significant gains in their content understanding.

Review:

I would recommend this article to anyone who is planning to use LEGOs or any other tool to teach their students how to construct a physical product. It is well organized and easy for an educator to follow. It has a wealth of background information about engineering, LEGOs, and curriculum. The curricular module in the study is easy to follow and understand. I am looking forward to applying what I have learned from reading this article to my project for this course.

  1. Citation:

Norton, S. J., McRobbie, C. J., & Ginns, I. S. (2006). Problem Solving in a Middle School Robotics Design Classroom. Research in Science Education, 37(3), 261–277. doi:10.1007/s11165-006-9025-6

Summary:

In this study middle school students had to program and construct using LEGOs as they planned, built, and evaluated their projects. Teachers had to write clear goals and rules to teach students the programming language and LEGO construction. The study took place in Brisbane and investigated the implementation of a robotics unit for 20 weeks with 19 students in eighth, ninth, and tenth grades. They worked in six groups of three students and one group had four students. The unit required students to design a robot and program it to do a challenge. One challenge involved the robot moving six cans of soda from one circle to another within the two-minute time limit. Each group had a variety of tools at their disposal including: flow charts, Labview (programming language), LEGO’s, and a LEGO RCX brick.

The research methods were qualitative and quantitative and included observations, recording of students in the classroom, interviews of students, and artifacts including programs, plans, reports, photographs. The article includes quotes from both teachers that participated in the study about their goals for their students. The researchers found that the beliefs and goals of the teachers led to different approaches to the study. They also found that students spent less time building the robots than they did programming them.

Review:
This article reinforced some of the information I had already learned about teaching with LEGOs. I think that one key thing is that regular classroom tools such as pencils, paper, and desks, are not key tools for teaching and/or learning robotics. Students learn by trial and error. When something does not work, they have to figure out a way to make it work. I found the quotes from the interviews to be valuable because they showed two different viewpoints from two different teachers. I also found the student interviews to be valuable. Overall, this is a good article, but I think there are other articles that I read that I learned more from.

  1. Discuss your investigation into distribution methods. Name the distribution methods you investigated, how you learned about them and how you might use each one you investigated.

YouTube

I have used YouTube to distribute materials that I have created. The great thing about it is that everyone knows about YouTube and millions of people use it every day to distribute materials. Millions of people also use it as a source of materials. If I want a lot of people to access my instructional videos, YouTube is one of the best ways to share my material. If I have multiple resources that are related, I can create channels specific to that topic. My district does not block YouTube from student or teacher accounts, so my students would have access to any videos that I post. I can also include YouTube videos in my Gooru Collections (www.goorulearning.org).

TeacherTube

I found that the materials that were available as sources of information were limited on TeacherTube. It is great that it is a “safer” site than YouTube, but it still has advertising. I have never created an account on TeacherTube and it seems that most of the material that is available there is also available on YouTube. I would worry more about what might happen to my materials if TeacherTube disappeared one day than would have to worry about YouTube disappearing. I do not think that I would personally use it.

  1. Discuss your investigation into sources of information. List the sources you investigated, what you found and how you might make use of them.

YouTubewww.youtube.com

search “Lego Robotics” about 139,000 results

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lego+robotics

YouTube is a great resource for finding resources. I was quickly able to find many videos about Lego robotics. If I wanted to be more specific, I could add the specific term “Mindstorms EV3.” However, just by skimming through the results I found many introduction to robotics videos. I might make use of them by including them in my Gooru collections for each session of my Lego Robotics course. I would need to find videos more specific to each session that I am planning to teach.

MIT OpenCourseWare- http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

search terms “robotics” and “lego robotics”

There were a lot of robotics courses that came up when I searched for robotics, but only two for “lego robotics.” The courses that I found were http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mechanical-engineering/2-12-introduction-to-robotics-fall-2005/ and http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/special-programs/sp-293-lego-robotics-spring-2007/. It was easy to click on the course and have the entire course available to look at and to use. There are components of both courses that I chose that I can use with my students. There was a great idea for a final project in the Introduction to Robotics course that requires students to build a rescue robot that would be used to rescue people after a natural disaster such as a hurricane (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mechanical-engineering/2-12-introduction-to-robotics-fall-2005/projects/final_project.pdf).

Lynda www.lynda.com

Search “lego mindstorms” results 26

I found a course titled Foundations of Programming: Programming for Kids (http://www.lynda.com/JavaScript-tutorials/Foundations-Programming-Programming-Kids/155284-2.html) that looks like it would be an awesome introduction for myself about programming. The creator discusses that the course is actually designed for parents and educators so that they can teach their students. I was really impressed with the introductory video and I think I will actually take the course to increase my knowledge about programming so that I can help my students and even my daughters to learn how to program. It looks like I can start a free trial and watch all the videos that are a part of this course. I love that each video includes a transcript that you can follow along with on the same page

ETEC 674: Session 7- Project Plan

Option 2: Develop a Course Outline

Topic

My original topic of study was gamification but that was a very broad category. I narrowed it down to the specific topic within gamification: programming with Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots. I decided to focus on this topic because it is relevant to what I am planning to do in my classroom when our robots arrive.

My sixth grade class is soon going to have a two Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robots (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/about-ev3). One of my students wrote a grant through the Riverside Enhancing Education Fund and it was fully funded. Due to the limited amount of time we have in the classroom to work on fun things such as designing and programming robots, I decided that the best way to teach my students this course would be in a hybrid format. They will learn the basics online and then come and apply what they have learned with the robots.

I have struggled with making the decisions for the creation of this course because I do not have enough experience with programming to know exactly what I need to teach my students. However, there is a lot of research on the Lego Mindstorms and how well they support the learning. I found a lot of articles specific to the research on Legos.

I am going to develop a course outline for a hybrid course Programming Introduction- Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot. This course will teach students what the components of the EV3 kit are and what they do. They will also learn the programming language that they will use to program the EV3. Finally, they will program the robot to complete a variety of challenges (http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/learn-to-program).

Each time students complete a session online, they will be able to meet with their group and apply what they have learned with the program and the EV3 Robot.

Technology

Tool Purpose
Google Classroom

www.classroom.google.com

CMS
EV3 Software http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/download-software Content-Student Interactions
YouTube- I will choose videos that show students specific and clear examples of the content, I will create videos to interact with students, students will create videos of their work and post it. Content-Student Interaction, Teacher-Student Interaction, Content- Student Interaction

http://youtu.be/rla4NSfPmM4 example video

QuickTime Screencasts Teacher-Student Interactions
Twitter Teacher- Student Interactions
Student Blog- www.kidblog.org Content-Student Interactions
Gooru Learning Collection

www.Goorulearning.org

Content- Student and Teacher-Student Interactions
Google Docs Student-Content Interaction
Google Forms Assessment, Student-Teacher Interaction

Sessions- 6 Week Course (half of a trimester)

 

Session 1 Introduction to Lego Mindstorms EV3
Session 2 Sensors and Motors, Lego Technic Pieces
Session 3 Programming with EV3 Language
Session 4 Action Programming Blocks
Session 5 Advanced Programming Blocks
Session 6 Challenges

Findings of Preliminary Investigation

I was excited to find many scholarly articles about Lego Mindstorms and how they can help students collaborate as they work cooperatively, improve their problem-solving skills, and how learning to program when they are young can lead to successful programming careers. One thing I found interesting is that the EV3 can be used with students as young as kindergarten, and for undergraduate engineering students for the same outcomes.

Resources

Castledine, A.-R., & Chalmers, C. (2011). LEGO Robotics: An Authentic Problem Solving Tool? Design and Technology Education, 16(3), 19–27.

Chambers, J. M., & Carbonaro, M. (2003). Designing, Developing, and Implementing a Course on LEGO Robotics for Technology Teacher Education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 11(2), 209–241.

Chen, C.-Y. (2013). An Exploration of Developing Active Exploring and Problem Solving Skill Lego Robot Course by the Application of Anchored Instruction Theory. Educational Research and Reviews, 8(17), 1551–1558.

Cheng, C.-C., Huang, P.-L., & Huang, K.-H. (2013). Cooperative Learning in Lego Robotics Projects: Exploring the Impacts of Group Formation on Interaction and Achievement. Journal of Networks, 8(7), 1529–1535. doi:10.4304/jnw.8.7.1529-1535

Greenwald, W. (2013). LEGO Mindstorms EV3. PCmag.com. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.lib.csusb.edu/docview/1532671806?pq-origsite=summon

Hirst, A. J., Johnson, J., Petre, M., Price, B. A., & Richards, M. (2003). What is the best programming environment/language for teaching robotics using Lego Mindstorms? Artificial Life and Robotics, 7(3), 124–131. doi:10.1007/BF02481160

Karp, T., Gale, R., Lowe, L. A., Medina, V., & Beutlich, E. (2010). Generation NXT: Building Young Engineers With LEGOs. IEEE Transactions on Education, 53(1), 80–87. doi:10.1109/TE.2009.2024410

Karp, T., & Schneider, A. (2011). Evaluation of a K-8 LEGO robotics program. In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2011 (pp. T1D–1–T1D–6). doi:10.1109/FIE.2011.6142977

Klassner, F., & Anderson, S. D. (2003). LEGO MindStorms: not just for K-12 anymore. IEEE Robotics Automation Magazine, 10(2), 12–18. doi:10.1109/MRA.2003.1213611

Lindh, J., & Holgersson, T. (2007). Does lego training stimulate pupils’ ability to solve logical problems? Computers & Education, 49(4), 1097–1111. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2005.12.008

Liu, E. Z.-F., Lin, C.-H., Liou, P.-Y., Feng, H.-C., & Hou, H.-T. (2013). An Analysis of Teacher-Student Interaction Patterns in a Robotics Course for Kindergarten Children: A Pilot Study. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – TOJET, 12(1), 9–18.

Lye, N. C., Wong, K. W., & Chiou, A. (2013). Framework for Educational Robotics: A Multiphase Approach to Enhance User Learning in a Competitive Arena. Interactive Learning Environments, 21(2), 142–155.

Marulcu, I., & Barnett, M. (2012). Fifth Graders’ Learning About Simple Machines Through Engineering Design-Based Instruction Using LEGOTM Materials. Research in Science Education, 43(5), 1825–1850. doi:10.1007/s11165-012-9335-9

Norton, S. J., McRobbie, C. J., & Ginns, I. S. (2006). Problem Solving in a Middle School Robotics Design Classroom. Research in Science Education, 37(3), 261–277. doi:10.1007/s11165-006-9025-6

Ringwood, J. V., Monaghan, K., & Maloco, J. (2005). Teaching engineering design through Lego ® MindstormsTM. European Journal of Engineering Education, 30(1), 91–104. doi:10.1080/03043790310001658587

Rogers, C. (2012, July). Engineering in Kindergarten: How Schools Are Changing. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations & Research, pp. 4–9.

Somyürek, S. (2014). An effective educational tool: construction kits for fun and meaningful learning. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 25(1), 25–41. doi:10.1007/s10798-014-9272-1

Sullivan, F. R. (2011). Serious and Playful Inquiry: Epistemological Aspects of Collaborative Creativity. Educational Technology & Society, 14(1), 55–65.

ETEC 674: Session 6- New Media and Social Media

  1. Identify three examples of a “new media”. Identify three examples of “social media”. Explain the difference between new media and social media using your examples.

New Media: E-Books, Blogs, YouTube

Social Media: Skype, Twitter, Pinterest

Traditional media includes books, television, and newspapers. Although those types of media still exist today, e-books, YouTube, and newsfeeds on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are quickly replacing them. The distinction between new media and social media is in the way that interactions occur. Reading an e-book, a Twitter post, or watching a YouTube video are all ways that we have one-way communication with new media types. However, when we interact with the media through comments and open two-way communication, the new media becomes a part of social media. Taking a picture with a phone is an example of new media, but posting it on a social media site and allowing others to see it and comment on it takes it to another level of interaction and communication. One example that I have seen of this different level of communication is when a customer complains about a particular company on Twitter. Prior to social media, a phone call may have been made or a letter written and the individual may or may not have received a reply. However, now by tagging the company and/or using a hash tag with the company’s name, gives everyone access to the information in the complaint. Instantly, everyone knows the story and forms an opinion. When I post a picture or video on Instagram, I instantly see people that liked it or commented on it. I would have never received so much feedback if I had taken the photo or video and had it in a frame or in a box at my house.

  1. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of integrating newer technologies into an online class? Be sure to cover the perspectives of the instructor and the student.

Advantages of integrating new technologies in online classes include the improved interfaces and capabilities of the new technologies. They are often easier to use and are designed to make the learning experience smoother and more successful for both the instructor and the student. Another advantage is that new technologies can offer new experiences that make learning online more like the learning that takes place in face to face classes in which the instructor and the student develop a strong sense of social presence.

Disadvantages of integrating new technologies into online courses include the challenges in learning how to use the new technology for both the instructor and the student. Sometimes new technologies are forced upon instructors from their employer and they do not have buy in because they did not choose it themselves. For students, they might lose interest if the tools the instructor is using are considered outdated to them, especially if the instructor is using Facebook and less young people are using Facebook as a form of social media. As an instructor, you have to decide whether or not the new tool is worth the trouble to use and to teach others how to use it. Nowadays, students are expected to intuitively figure out new tools sometimes, but they cannot always do it on their own, so time becomes a factor.

  1. Consider each of the new media and social media examples from item 1 (you may also choose new examples if you like) in terms of their capabilities to be used as a communications tool, a collaboration tool, or a tool for sharing work/ideas/opinions. At a minimum you must identify the capabilities of each media, identify them as synchronous or asynchronous, discuss their relative richness according to Media Richness theory, discuss their potential Social Presence capabilities and compare them to other well known tools, especially those available in a common CMS.
E-Books E-books are a type of new media that is a one-way asynchronous form of communication. They are often used just as regular textbooks would be used as an information communication tool, but the cost to produce them is considerably cheaper and the process to distribute them is much easier than distributing a textbook. E-books can be loaded on to any device including cell phones, tablets, and computers. They are easy for anyone to access. The media richness is limited because e-books cannot give instant feedback or transmit cues that would be transmitted in a face-to-face setting; however, they basically do the same thing that a textbook is intended to do. Social Presence is also limited because we only have access to what the author was thinking when they wrote the e-book and not what they are currently thinking. Some e-books are very similar to the PDF files that instructors post on Blackboard.
Blogs Blogs are an asynchronous type of new media that is used to communicate the authors’ thoughts and ideas about a particular subject or field of study. They can be used to share ideas and opinions. Blogs are basically websites that can hold text, images, and videos depending on the purpose of the blog. As far as media richness, it is still a lean type of media because it does not completely mirror the face-to-face course. The level of social presence can be high depending on how the instructor uses the blog and how he or she interacts with the people who read the blog through discussions on the post. Blogs can be used in place of the discussion boards available in a CMS.
YouTube YouTube videos are a one-way asynchronous type of communication. Comments can be made, but for the most part, videos are created and posted without input from the people who watch the videos. It is a tool to share the work, ideas, and opinions of the creator. Instructors can create instructional videos and post them on YouTube to share with his or her students. Media richness is high because it can recreate some of the components of being in a face-to-face course, but it cannot recreate the interactions that would occur between the instructor and the students or between the students. I think students would feel more social presence with the instructor through videos than through a blog because they can actually see what they look like, watch their expressions, and listen to their thoughts. YouTube videos can be easily added to any CMS.
Skype Skype is a two-way synchronous type of communication through audio or through audio and video. It is used as a collaboration tool and has a high level of media richness because it is a close representation of what would happen in a regular classroom. The instructor can also use it as a communication tool if they use it to present a lecture and give students the opportunity to be engaged in the lecture. There is also a high level of social presence because it is very similar to being in a classroom environment. Blackboard has a Collaboration tool that is similar to Skype, but it seems to be more difficult to use from the experiences that I have had with it.
Twitter Twitter can be a one-way type of communication in which the author uses it to share their thoughts and ideas. It can also be a two-way asynchronous or synchronous (depending on who is logged in at a particular time) collaboration tool where people exchange ideas and work together to create new things or solve problems. The media richness and the social presence really depend on the user and how they choose to use Twitter. It would be most like a discussion board in a typical CMS and the results would vary depending on the interactions of the users.

Users can choose to use it as a professional development tool by following people that are in the forefront of their field of study. Before starting the MA Instructional Technology program at CSUSB, much of my professional development came from Twitter because I follow many people that are in the field of technology that post things that I find useful. I would also search different hash tags for more information on particular subjects.

Pinterest Pinterest is a two-way asynchronous communication tool with a low level of media richness. Although many images are shared, it is difficult to recreate the experience in the same room. The level of social presence is also low because although people communicate by sending pins and by commenting on pins, it often feels like you are interacting with the site more than with one another. I can’t think of a similar tool in Blackboard or another CMS.

Pinterest is another tool that I use for my own professional development, but I don’t necessarily find it as resourceful as Twitter. I feel that there is less communication with Pinterest because anyone can pin a picture that you think is interesting, but it isn’t always clear what the purpose of the picture/link is. However, that doesn’t stop me from being a speedy pinner because I don’t want to forget any cool ideas..

  1. Locate three high quality examples for the use of new media/social media in online learning. These examples may be existing courses, how-to discussions on a website or even in a journal article or book. Discuss each of these examples in turn. How much of the discussion is hype and how much is potentially useful?

Blog- http://blog.web20classroom.org/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/web20classroom

Twitter- #edtechhttps://twitter.com/hashtag/edchat?src=hash

Blog Post on Technology Tools http://instructionaltechtalk.com/talk-twitter-apple-tv-interactivewhiteboard/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost

Pinterest Pin- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267471665346152860/

Pinterest Pin Source- http/::www.educatorstechnology.com:2013:01:4-great-ed-ted-comictutorials.html%3Futm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed/+educatorstechnology:pDkK+(Educational+Technology+and+Mobile+Learning)

Steven Anderson has a blog about the Web 2.0 classroom. His posts are full of great ideas and tools for teachers. I have been following him on Twitter for several years now and I could read all his posts for days and days. Although, I have taken a break from my online professional development while I’ve been working on my degree. He hosts edchats on particular subjects each week and they are also very informative. His blogs live up to the hype.

I use Pinterest to pin ideas on education and technology, but I still think that Twitter is a better professional development tool for teachers. I think it lives up to the hype and that is my excuse for being on Pinterest often. Twitter is great as a tool to gather information, but as a user, I struggled to have my students and parents follow my account. I started posting in 2010 and many students were not able to use Twitter to its full capacity. I’m not sure if it was because of the hype or because they just did not want to use Twitter as a tool.

  1. Choose one of the examples from item for and develop a method for using a new media/social media in a class you would design and/or teach. The method you develop should identify the tool, the reasons the tool you choose is most appropriate, a process for guiding the use of the tool, a sense of the scope of the use (length of time, amount of use), what kinds of interactions (student-content, student-instructor, student-student) the method is intended to foster and how the product or use would be graded/evaluated.
Tool Twitter
Reasons for Tool To discuss ideas with students and to share information and ideas by using hash tags
Process for guiding the use of the tool I would create a screencast using QuickTime to show students how to navigate through posts and how to choose one. They would also learn how to access
What interactions? Student-content: students can respond to questions about what they have been learning in class

Student-instructor: teachers can share important information including learning resources and important dates

Student-student: students can have discussions with a group and use hash tags to keep track of their conversations.

Scope Students would use Twitter daily to respond to my questions as a check for understanding and to work together in groups. They would use Twitter all year long.
Evaluation I would be able to view each student’s Twitter feed and give him or her grades based on their responses to the discussion questions.

ETEC 674- Session 5

  1. You have been asked to create a podcast. Which of the above tools (or name another) you would use? Briefly explain the procedure you would use to create the podcast.

To create a podcast, I would most likely use GarageBand because it is an app that I have on my iPad. It is a popular app and it is free, besides a one-time in-app-purchase for $4.99. I would start by choosing audio recording by sliding until I find that option in the app. Once I choose it, I will record by clicking the red record button. Once I am finished recording, I can choose different sound effect filters for my recording. Then, I will save it into my songs and export it as an m4a file that I can then share anywhere.

  1. You have been asked to help create a presentation that demonstrates how to resize a photograph using Adobe Photoshop. Which of the above tools (or name another) would you use? How would you go about creating the presentation?

I learn better when I can see someone doing what I want to learn. The best way to create a presentation that teaches how to resize a photo would be to start by writing down all the steps in order. Then, I would create a screencast with audio using the QuickTime Player on my Mac that shows exactly how to do each step. To create the screencast with audio, I have to make sure that the microphone option is turned on and then I choose file and select new screen recording. When I am ready, I start recording and stop recording when I am finished. Then, I can save the file and I can export it to YouTube.

  1. What are tools like Articulate and Captivate for? What features do they offer that would be hard to replicate with less expensive tools?

The tools Articulate and Captivate are used to design courses for eLearning. They both offer features that turn a regular slideshow presentation into a Flash video. They both have quiz makers, LMS connectivity settings, learning interactions, and the customization of skins, color schemes, and interface. Captivate also has capability for animation and audio synchronization. The tools for animation would be difficult to replicate with less expensive tools as well as the customization of the interface, skins, and color schemes. They are both expensive tools, but they seem like great tools for eLearning development.

  1. Create a presentation! 

YouTube Video: 

Google Docs Transcript: http://bit.ly/1DfPWIG

Google Slides Presentation: http://bit.ly/1CyTLFS

  1. Explain your presentation development method, procedures and technology. This is to be posted on your blog. Cover the following:

5a) What did you do to prepare to develop the presentation?

I decided to create a screencast because I have been teaching teachers how to use Google Classroom and I wanted an easier way for them to replicate what I showed them. I read about using QuickTime to create a screencast, but I had never used it before so I read a few blog posts about using it to record a screencast. Then, I realized that I needed to add audio to the screencast and I didn’t know how to do that, so I had to do more research. I found a blog post that had images showing how to turn the microphone option for the screencast.

5b) Did you create the transcript first? Why or why not?

I did not create the transcript first because I thought it would be hard to follow as I went through the steps on the screencast. However, I think that if I did it again, I would create the screencast first and it would make the audio more professional.

5c) Explain your development process.

I decided that I would go over how to create a class, how to add materials to the class, and how to create an assignment. Those are three basic skills that are needed to use Google Classroom. I had to start over a few times because I made a few early mistakes and because I kept coughing while I was recording. There are still a few coughs in the video, but I couldn’t stop from coughing for five minutes.

5d) Explain how you addressed (or would address) ADA considerations in your presentation.

I think that I addressed ADA considerations in my presentation by creating a video with a transcript in which the text can be resized and the font can be changed for students with visual impairments. For students with hearing impairments, I made sure to record the audio with the screencast. I tried to keep the screen clear and easy to follow by staying in the same browsing window and not zooming in and out of anything.

5e) What did you learn about creating presentations? If nothing, then you didn’t create the right kind of presentation as you should not do something you already have mastered! Challenge yourself!

I decided to create a screencast video because it is something that I have never done before, but that I felt I needed to learn, especially if I want to teach other people how to do things with technology. I feel that screencasts can be an important tool for my students. I have recorded a different type of screencast on an iPad using the app Explain Everything, and I think that involved many more steps than using QuickTime, but the end result was different because with Explain Everything I was able to record myself writing on the screen with a stylus to solve a math problem and it worked like a slideshow because I could record within each slide and create a video of the entire presentation by exporting it. With QuickTime, I felt more pressure not to make a mistake because I would have to start all over.

ETEC 674- Session 4

Session 4

ADA Assignments

  1. What are three types of disabilities that students in a course you create might have? Explain the accommodations that you would need to provide for each.
  • Visual Impairment- Low vision
    • I would use a high contrast background with the text.
    • The font in any document that I share with students would be changeable to give them the option to choose a text that they can see well.
    • By giving them a text version of my lecture, they would be able to change not only the font, but also the size of the text to fit their needs.
    • For blind students, they can also use screen readers and the alt tag feature that will describe any visual media to the user.
  • Auditory Impairment
    • I would make sure students had alternatives to the audio lecture including a text version.
    • I would create videos and slide shows that would include captions for any audio.
  • Seizures
    • I would avoid any flickering images, fast animations, and high contrast close lines on my website and in multi-media presentations.
  1. According to the text, what is the percentage of the population that has a visual, auditory or physical limitation? How does that compare to other sources for this information. (Please list at least one other source you found.)

According to Waterhouse (2005), 29% of people in the population have visual, auditory, and/or physical limitations. The U.S. Census from 2010 reports that 20% of people are living with some type of disability. I think the data from the Waterhouse book may be a little out of date since it was published in 2005, and even the census data is already five years old.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau Report, there are 1 in 5 people living with a disability, or 20%. They also say that 54 million people have a disability, including 5% of people age 5 to 17, 10% of people age 18 to 64, and 38% of people 65 and older. On the twentieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, they also reported that 12.4% of females had a disability, while 11.7% of males had a disability. There were 1.8 million people who had trouble with text, 1 million who could not hear, 2.5 millions with speech issues, and 16.1 people with limited cognitive functioning, mental illness, or emotional illness, or 7% of the population over the age 15. Some interesting educational facts that they shared were that 28% of people with a disability of the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma, compared to only 12% of the rest of the population. 31% of the population has at least a bachelor’s degree, but only 13% of people with a disability have at least a bachelor’s degree.

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb12-134.html

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb10-ff13.html

  1. Identify three factors other than the actual disabilities that exist in your student population that influence how an institution or a course creator is required to address ADA in an online course.
  • Students with behavior problems- I would have to make sure that the students with behavior problems that do things to disrupt the learning of themselves and other would behave appropriately online. Digital Citizenship is important for all of my students because I need to be able to trust them to go online period. When creating my course, I would have to think about how students might misuse certain components, such as downloading a photo I have posted and editing it, and posting it on a social network.
  • English Learners- We have a large population of English Learners and even some newcomer students who are brand new to our country. They would need more scaffolding for the information that I post on our class website. For example, if we were learning about word roots, I would include a link to the membean.com site about that particular root word. Of course, this scaffolding would actually benefit all of my students because they all seem to struggle with word roots.
  • Poverty- Some students may be lacking in technology skills because of the lack of technology resources at home and at school. It might take them longer to type out a response if they are using the hunt and peck method for typing. The instructor would have to think about what the student could do to show him or her that they’ve learned the concept.
  1. According to the text, what is “assistive technology”? Give some examples.

Assistive technologies is a combination of hardware and software designed to help overcome disadvantages that disabled students face when viewing and navigating web pages. Some examples of assistive technology that can be used when the user cannot use a traditional mouse are:

  • Voice activated mouse
  • Voice recognition software (Dragon Dictation is an example)
  • Alternative keyboards
  • Mouth activated switch
  1. Identify and explain two different ways to check a webpage to ensure that it meets the needs of disabled students.

There are two websites: WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) http://webaim.org/ and CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) www.cast.org that focus on making material on the Internet accessible to all students. CAST launched the application Bobby that would report how the site complied with the standards for disability access. However, they sold Bobby in 2004, and IBM acquired it in 2007.

WebAIM has a checklist that includes four overarching goals:

  1. Perceivable- Web content is made available to the senses- sight, hearing, and/or touch
  2. Operable- Interface forms, controls, and navigation are operable
  3. Understandable- Content and interface are understandable
  4. Robust- Content can be used reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

From: http://webaim.org/standards/wcag/WCAG2Checklist.pdf

According to http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/preliminary.html, you can check for accessibility by:

  1. Increasing the text size on the web page to make sure all the text becomes larger and that the text does not get cut off or disappears.
  2. All images must have an alt text option that offers a detailed description of the image.
  3. Identify two types of presentations used in online courses (for example, podcasts, PowerPoints, Videos, Slide Shows, etc.) and that you might use and explain how you can ensure that each is ADA compliant. Discuss the relative cost or difficulty of producing the accommodation.

 

Podcasts are easy to produce and cost little money to create. They are designed for the learner to hear the lecture. The instructor records himself or herself giving a lecture and shares the audio with the students in the class on the class website. The student clicks on the file and listens to the podcast. Students with visual disabilities can listen to the podcast without missing anything. Students with auditory disabilities can read the text with the instructor, or reread it by themselves if the instructor makes the text available to the students. There is no other media available during a podcast besides the audio and the text.

A PowerPoint is a fairly easy way to produce and create visual information to support the learning objectives of a course. It can be created with a high contrast background and text. This makes it easier to see. The PowerPoint can also include images and videos. These are all important for the learning with the hearing impairment because now they are able to see what they’ve been hearing about. It would be difficult to include the alt text for every image on the slideshow, but it also makes the instructor choose only the very best images to include in the slideshow. Also, captions should be added to any embedded videos or audio clips.

 

  1. Develop a course usability checklist that is appropriate for your anticipated needs. Use the example provided in the text as a starting point and explain your modifications.
Features Yes No Comments
Easy to navigate?
Announcements easy to view?
Easy to find what you want?
Easy to return to start?
Are the resources for the class located in the same place so that they are easy to find each time you need them?
Is the course broken down into modules?
Is the text of any audio/video available for the student?
Files download quickly?
Effective web design?
Documents print OK?
Easy to find how to get help?
Forum features easy to use?
Easy to respond to forum topic?
Tutorials easy to use?

I added the questions “Are the resources for the class located in the same place so that they are easy to find each time you need them?” and “Is the course broken down into modules?” because those are the most problematic areas for me when I talk an online course, and I can’t imagine how students with disabilities would be able to navigate them to find what they needed. I also deleted some features that related to tools such as the whiteboard, calendar, gradebook, and online tests because my sixth grade students would not need those extra features. I also added a “text of audio/video available” feature to my

  1. Choose an online course and use your checklist to generate a report on the usability of that course. Your report should include bullet points of things that you recommend be done to improve the usability of specific elements of the course.

Illuminate Training Course- We have a new online data program in our district and I have to learn how to use it, so I had to login to our district Haiku page to find this class. https://www.rusdlearns.net/dpatterson/illuminatetrainingcourse/cms_page/view/16250297

Features Yes No Comments
Easy to navigate? x
Announcements easy to view? NA
Easy to find what you want? x
Easy to return to start? x
Are the resources for the class located in the same place so that they are easy to find each time you need them? x
Is the course broken down into modules? x There are four modules and each one has a set of instructional videos with captions for that module.
Files download quickly? x Videos play quickly
Is the text of any audio/video available for the student? x There are no available transcripts of the videos that are posted on the course page. These should be made available to all students, and would really benefit students with visual disabilities.
Effective web design? x
Documents print OK? NA- There is nothing to print.
Easy to find how to get help? X
Forum features easy to use? x The tab “Connect” has a link to the discussion page.
Easy to respond to forum topic? NA
Tutorials easy to use? x I used one to learn how to build a report.