INST 5330, by far the most challenging class that I have encountered while obtaining my Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from UCMO, actually impacted me professionally more than all other courses I’ve taken to date. INST 5330 course has required extra time to complete the assignments, more of my attention to detail, and used my creativity. I consider myself to be fairly creative and INST 5330 definitely allowed me to accomplish that while bringing my somewhat odd personality to a professional forum. For this I am grateful.
Three assignments in particular absolutely forced me to address the ISTE standards. I will address each assignment individually and their relationship to the ISTE standards. First, the audio file assignment addressed teaching, learning and assessments under ISTE standard 2.e, which essentially tackles the aspects of digital differentiation. The audio file, a type of mini-podcast, reached students who might have difficulty reading text due to low reading level, language barriers, or a sight disability.
The audio assignment also tackled digital age learning environments under ISTE standard 3.b, which calls for teachers to maintain digital tools available for student use. A digital audio file is definitely a digital tool and having it available for students to either stream online or download makes for easy accessibility for student users.
Furthermore, the audio assignment displayed digital citizenship under ISTE standard 5.b, which calls for the legal and ethical adoption of online materials available for students. Having created the audio file myself, there is definitely not copyright infringement.
The second assignment I’m discussing is the digital library assignment. The library assignment focused on teaching, learning and assessments under ISTE standard 2.a, which undertook the implementation of digital learning experiences while addressing content standards. The digital library is definitely a digital experience for students as they can only access it by way of the internet. Within the digital library, there are sixteen different content standards focused on, ranging from the difference between the inner and outer planets to the difference between series and parallel circuits.
In addition, the digital audio assignment also covered digital age learning environments under ISTE standard 3.b, which calls for teachers to maintain a plethora of digital tools and resources for students. The digital library has a large number of resources and tools, ranging from YouTube videos to pHet simulations. With a large diversity of digital objects housed in one location, the digital library simultaneously addressed ISTE standard 2.e, offering several types of digital tools which reach a myriad of different types of learners from visual to audio to tactile (in the form of simulations).
Lastly, the digital library ensures digital citizenship, meeting ISTE standard 5.b, which requires for teachers to facilitate proper handling of digital tools. All tools within the library are reference to the creator or host site and all sites have been tested to ensure the digital tool meets the expectation for addressing the content standard and nothing else.
The third assignment that undertook several ISTE standards was the digital object lesson plan. The digital object lesson plan focused on teaching, learning, and assessments, meeting ISTE standard 2.a, which requires for teachers to design and implement digital-rich lesson plans. The digital object lesson plan, filled with digital technology, met several content standards. Students accessed a digital object, experimented with a digital simulation, and lastly created a digital product.
The digital object lesson plan also met ISTE standard 2.d, also under the umbrella of teaching, learning, and assessments. ISTE standard 2.d specifically asks teachers to develop digital experiences which allow students to access higher-order thinking skills and creativity. The simulation involved in the lesson plan fosters higher-order thinking skills as it is completely inquiry and student driven. Direct instruction does not occur until after students attempt the simulation. The final product spurs creativity as there is no specific design required of the students.
Moreover, the digital object lesson plan met ISTE standard 2.e, asking teachers to allow for differentiation for students. Students can choose between Microsoft or Google products, allowing them to operate the tools they are most familiar or comfortable with. During direct instruction, students use digital technologies or draw on paper.
The lesson plan also tackled ISTE standard 2.f; allowing students to experience research based best practices in instruction. The lesson plan is rooted in the 5E scientific lesson plan approach, also incorporating a digital simulation that is inquiry based.
Maintaining digital age learning environments, as suggested by ISTE standard 3.b, is met with the lesson plan assignment as the digital objects students interact with exist on different web sites.
Digital citizenship, as required by ISTE standard 5.b is evident throughout the lesson. The digital objects are definitely safe and legal. As evidenced above, INST 5330 has definitely met several of the ISTE standards. I am also currently involved in a STEM literacy grant requiring digital lesson plans. While writing the course reflection paper, I realized other ISTE standards that I have met performing the grant’s work and also feel I have amassed knowledge about the ISTE standards while writing.
Overall, INST 5330 has forced me to work harder than I’ve needed to in my other courses. I have even incorporated the creation of a website for my advanced students at school. As an instructional technology leader at my school, I have even created a staff resource website with the knowledge I have gained from this course. The result of this is that I feel deeper competency about my role as an instructional technology leader. It is extremely satisfying to learn something in my graduate program that I can immediately practice in my professional life. INST 5330 was a tremendous learning experience.