Is there a connection between the data produced from your Cycles and the research reported in your Literature Review?
Yes, there is a connection between the data produced in my cycle and my Literature Review. The utilization of the available technology in 2012-2013 was crucial in keeping up-to-date with the moral compass of organizations, particularly in the terms of ethical and professional development of staff (Coleman & Wilkins, 2009). As Marsick & Meyer (2003) stated, the world has become smaller due to globalization and advancements in technology and communications, educators, trainers and executives needed to be proactive and effectively communicate educational and professional standards in line with organizational values, ethics and goals while effectively educating and training individuals (Marsick & Meyer, 2003).
The use of technology, such as computers, Smart Boards, iPads, video screens, collaboration applications, interactive multimedia applications and hardware, assisted in explaining, educating and training individuals (Marsick & Meyer, 2003). When these technologies are used to challenge a student, it fully engages them through the use of different learning styles, and students do learn the material. Web 2.0 tools were used to teach these tools, and my students were fully engaged as we used those tools.
How did your AR project turn out for you? Describe as a practitioner, how did this project improve your practice?
Teaching in a strictly distance learing, online classroom was a tremendous challenge. At times the trouble shooting involved to get the classroom engaged, up and running and working efficiently seemed near impossible. While there was a syllabus and scheduled timeline to follow, the unforeseen difficulties posed many problems. Adapting to the students and school district’s abilities, capabilities and learning styles always is a challenge.
When I first started to analyze my data and I looked at the differences in engagement through Cacoo and Asana, I felt my project failed, which in turn feels like I failed the students I was trying to teach. As obstacles began to appear, the flexibility of an online environment became easier and more adaptable than an in class environment. I realized that though the students were not as engaged in Cycle using the Web 2.0 tool of Asana, they DID complete the tasks and goals set out before them, as a team in a collaborative environment, which was the ultimate goal.
Through the obstacles and challenges of not being physically there, grew something more than I expected — I developed relationships with these students in a virtual realm that was motivational and exceptional — something data truly cannot measure. With this virtual communication and collaboration, the students kept each other on task, provided assistance to one another and worked as a team. They learned how to work together, get tasks completed and worked toward a common goal, therefore, in my opinion, my AR project was a success! Now I know areas I need to change to make it better and further engage and help any students.
This AR project has truly opened my eyes to developing a broad reach to many different learning styles and abilities within a diversity of students in a short period of time. Creating video’s to train students on a Web 2.0 tool have become a lot easier. The students loved to see and hear me on the big screen (Smart Board) and were able to get feedback and questions answered by me through video if a live session was not available. I will continue to use the tools I have learning throughout this course of study, because I know it has made me a better educator and trainer.
Is a personal learning environment or an LMO something that could
be part of your AR project in the future? Why or why not.
The LMS Edmodo is going to be what I will use in an educational or training environment. Right now I am developing a series of videos, interactive PowerPoints and Prezi’s that will be used to give presentations and training to those in the public relations and marketing field. I truly enjoyed working in Edmodo as I was able to track the students, reach out when I saw they did not complete an assignment or directly answer questions posed on the posts. Posting assignments, gathering homework, and allowing students to collaborate and blog about each others work was incredible and I am trying to find a way to incorporate it in a training project.