EDU 625 Unit 3 Reflection

EDU 625 Unit 3 Reflection

Key Issues and Concepts

Although I think that some of unit 2’s tools were more interesting or applicable to my own work, I found the tools in unit 3 to be more credible for some of the reasons mentioned below.  The following are considerations when evaluating online content and global resources:

  1. Is the information current?  Is there a date on the site as to when it was last updated?
  2. Is there a sound writing style for the site or product?  Is the site design appropriate and acceptable or is it distracting or uninviting?  Are there grammar issues?
  3. Is the site/content ‘pitching’ something or trying to persuade you to make an investment?  Is it just an advertisement?  Is there a cost or is it non-profit?
  4. Does the site or tool use references or citations when necessary or are wild claims made with no support?
  5. Is there any acknowledgement to competitors or the other side of the ‘argument’?
  6. Is your personal information shared?
  7. Is there an author for this content or tool?  Is the information peer-reviewed or is the author accomplished or published?
  8. Is the tool or product from a .gov or .edu site which tends to be more credible?  Or is it from a .org site which tends to be more for-profit and may have an agenda?

Many of these questions can be used to discuss with students or teachers to differentiate between credible content and content that may have other motives. In our technology literacy courses at the middle school, our students are given ample opportunity to learn about and identify content that is both credible and not credible.  The result is a more informed and responsible user that can quickly identify information that helps build their argument or critique someone else’s ideas (P, 2014).  Many of the global resources referenced this week are free however more robust versions are offered at a cost to the user.  This does not necessarily imply that the tool or product isn’t credible rather that the organization or individual seeks compensation for profit.  When gathering data in any organization it’s imperative that the conclusions drawn from the data are reliable and valid.  The data must measure what it’s intended to measure and deliver consistent results over a period of time or multiple tests (Cherry).

Image

(Picture used with permission fro http://www.creativecommons.org)

In reference to Using Real Time Data Resource Guide, many if not all of the sources listed are ‘.org’ or ‘.edu’ sites and have more credibility and legitimacy.  They all have reputable authors and are not looking to ‘sell’ something, rather attempt to convey information in an unbiased format.  Many sources, like Investigating El Nino Using Real Data, have additional credible resources embedded within the document as well as footnotes to reference sources used.  Differentiating between social sites and peer reviewed articles, for example, also yields information to the legitimacy of the content and resources contained within.  Connecting students and teachers to global content also allows the participant to view data and information from a different perspective or culture.  Further, using this data to solve real problems allows students to learn about the world around them at the same time.

My Experience in this Unit

I‘ve always loved TED talks.  They are groundbreaking, informative, thoughtful and funny.  For this week’s Learning Challenge, I wanted to somehow incorporate a TED resource with a valuable learning experience for some of my teachers.  Many have asked me about ‘Flipping’ the classroom so after some investigation I learned about a new tool called TED Ed: Lessons worth sharing. Located at ed.ted.com, this site allows you to build a lesson around any TED Talk or You Tube Video.  So, I created a free account, selected a video and crafted a lesson I could use for training with my teachers.  The link is below, but please be aware that in order to actually answer the questions, one needs to create an account.  Without the account, you can still watch the video and scroll through the questions however you won’t be able to answer the questions.

Here is the link to my lesson: http://ed.ted.com/on/AMVIoe7t

Image

(Picture used with permission fro http://www.creativecommons.org)

Observations and Questions

When gathering data in any organization it’s imperative that the conclusions drawn from the data are reliable and valid.  The data must measure what it’s intended to measure and deliver consistent results over a period of time or multiple tests (Cherry).

For my learning challenge I incorporated information/data from the video and built it into the multiple choice questions.  I also created an open ended question and added links to resources to allow the user to gather more information on the topic.  I found this experience to be a positive one although I felt this tool was limiting.  There are other tools/sites that can ‘flip’ a lesson and are more robust.  But, as I am a beginner to this, I thought it served the purpose and it’s easy enough for me to share with teachers in my district.

Conclusions

This unit has been extremely valuable and applicable to my field as an instructional technology specialist.  Allowing opportunities for investigation and reflection affords the learner the chance to actually ‘figure things out’ and to see how a tool could be used to enhance instruction and improve student learning.  Flipping a lesson using video in particular fosters an environment of engagement and allows for a visual and auditory understanding of complex ideas or problems.  TEDEd is also an easy way to share information quickly with any number of people/students, making sure that the most significant concepts are investigated.

Resources

Flip it and create your own lesson: http://ed.ted.com/

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab: How do you know if a source is credible? https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/02/

Reference

Cherry, K. (n.d.). What is reliability?. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/researchmethods/f/reliabilitydef.htm

P, M. (2014, January 29). How can I tell if a website is credible? Retrieved from https://uknowit.uwgb.edu/page.php?id=30276

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