University of Massachusetts at Boston
Graduate College of Education
Teacher Education Program
Computers, Technology and Education
Ed 610 (Section for Middle/Secondary educators)
Fall 2001 Syllabus
Instructor: Peter Taylor, Critical & Creative Thinking Program
Office: Wheatley 2nd flr 143.09 (near Counseling & School Psychology)
Classtime: Thursdays 6.45-9.15, Sept. 6- Dec. 13 (except Nov. 22)
Classroom MacLab D in Healey Library basement UL
Office/phone call hours: M 2.30-3.30, W 6.40-7.20, Th 5.00-6.20, or by
Course Website: http://omega.cc.umb.edu/~ptaylor/610-01Fp.html
Class email list: Emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will go to everyone in the
E-clippings: Send course-related items you find on the web to
An introduction to using computers and technology in education. The various
uses of computers and technology in education are examined in depth as
participants are introduced to a wide variety of K-12 educational software and
the Internet, and explore pedagogical issues raised by the use of computers for
students, teachers and school administrators. These include the consequences
for learning; problem-solving; organizing data; creativity; and an integrated
curriculum. Finally, the course looks at ways in which technology may be used
as a tool to facilitate changes in the ways teachers teach and students learn,
and ultimately to stimulate reform in education. The course has a field
component where students observe computers being used in the classroom.
PREREQUISITES: None, except curriculum development/lesson design
TEXTS: Xeroxed readings available on reserve in Healey.
SECTIONS TO FOLLOW IN SYLLABUS:
ADDITIONAL SECTIONS ON COURSE WEB PORTAL: Student Projects, present and
past; Current issues and conflicting viewpoints about computers in education;
Online resources for teachers who are students of computers in education; Links
for teachers to the curriculum ideas/lesson plans/assessment ideas of other
teachers; and more.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Sections 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 offer guidelines for curriculum modifications and adaptations for students
with documented disabilities. If applicable, students may obtain adaptation
recommendations from the Ross Center (287-7430). The student must present
these recommendations to each professor within a reasonable period, preferably
by the end of the Drop/Add period.
Throughout this syllabus attributes of the Thoughtful and Responsive Educator are indicated in brackets:
Commitments: cE Ethical behavior, cL Lifelong learning, cD dedication, cM Modeling and mentoring
Understandings: uC Content, uP Pedagogy, uA Assessment, uT Technology
Practices: pC Caring, pCo Collaboration, pR Reflection, pJ Social Justice
ASSESSMENT & REQUIREMENTS:
More detail about the assignments and expectations is provided in the
Teaching/Learning Tools and Rubirc sections of the syllabus, and will be
supplemented when needed by handouts and emails
Written assignments and presentations, 2/3 of grade
A. Project on the sound use of computers and educational technology to
aid thinking, learning, communication and action in classrooms or other
educational settings. This may be a curriculum unit/supplement or a research
paper, and optionally may involve a website or other
software-basedpresentation. A sequence of 5 assignments is required--initial
description, notes on research and planning, work-in-progress presentation,
complete draft, and final report (1200-2000 words). [uP, uT]
B. Three mini-essays that weave the course material--readings, activities,
homework tasks--into your own thinking [uP, uT, pR]
C. Group presentation evaluating software and software-based lesson (see
handout for guidelines) [uP, uT]
D. Report analyzing fieldwork observations (500-1000 words) (see handout for
guidelines) [uP, uT]
Participation and contribution to the class process, 1/3 of grade.
E. Prepared participation and attendance at class meetings (=14 items)
F. Professional Development (PD) Workbook submitted for perusal week 6 or 7
& week 14 (=2 items)
= Professional Development Worksheets and Homework tasks, including Notes and
reflections on readings, class discussions, clippings (including copies of
items posted on ed610Clips), progress in your individual project, etc. [cL,
uP, uT, pR]
G. Minimum of two in-office or phone conferences on your assignments and
project, before weeks 6 and 12 (=2 items) [cM]
H. Peer commentaries on two other students' draft reports (with copies
submitted to PT) [pCo]
I. Assignment Check-list maintained by student and submitted week 12 [uA]
J. Process Review on the development of your work, included with your PD
Workbook at end-of-semester perusal [cL, pR]
This syllabus is subject to change, but workload expectations will not be
increased after the semester starts. (Version 3 September 01)
Students are advised to retain a copy of this syllabus in personal files for
use when applying for certification, licensure, or transfer credit.
COURSE OVERVIEW and OBJECTIVES
This course does not simply assume that computers and other new technologies
are good for education and then try to maximize the software tools you master
in a semester. Instead, in learning about computers and technology in
education [uT], the thoughtful and responsive educator or traineee-educator
A. Make educationally justified and sustainable choices of when and how to
integrate technologies [uP]
In this spirit, class activities and homework tasks acquaint you with specific
computer-based tools, the ideas behind them, and evaluating their
effectiveness. Guidelines are introduced concerning specific situations and
specific ways in which specific technologies can be of significant educational
benefit [cE, cM, uC, uP, uA, uT]. The course addresses the following
general ways (from most important to least) that teachers and/or students use
computers and other technologies as tools in education:
B. Plan to learn--during this course and in for ongoing Professional
Development (PD)--how to use the technologies you decide to adopt or adapt
1. To extend thinking [uC]
2. To facilitate group interaction by freeing teacher from the bookkeeping
part of class simulations and activities [cM, pCo]
3. To enhance communication of knowledge (a.k.a. Presentation tools) [uP]
4. To organize a personal workstation (or virtual office) [uT]
5. To occupy the attention of some students while the teacher focuses on
others (the course discourages this!)
It is important to acknowledge the context in which educators are being asked
to develop their capacity to use technology effectively in education. Although
the information potentially available to anyone with internet access is rapidly
expanding, knowledge, as the poet T. S. Eliot observed, can be lost in
information. We need to provide tools for ourselves and for students that
genuinely enhance learning. Among other things this means--as always in
education--addressing the diversity of students' intelligences, backgrounds,
and interests [pJ]. In this multi-faceted endeavor, teachers trying to keep up
with best practices will find many unevaluated claims and unrealistic
expectations, controversy, uncertainty, and rapid change. In the area of
educational technology, therefore--even more so than in others areas of
education--teachers need to:
C. Develop Learning Communities in which we help each other to learn about
learning and think about change [pC, pCo]
D. Understand and Respond to the Push for Teachers to Use Educational
Technology [pR, pJ]
E. Examine the Wider Social Changes Surrounding Computer Use Technology [pR,
A key requirement of the course is that students maintain a Professional
Development Workbook, which contains records or products of homework tasks,
assignments, and other reflections on the course and the objectives A-E above
[cD, pR]. The homework tasks include computer exercises designed so
that you digest the ideas and practices you are introduced to, that is,
incorporate them into your own thought and work. Other homework tasks are
designed to engender a commitment to and capacity for ongoing professional
development and building learning communities [cL, pC, pCo].
There is also a fieldwork requirement in which you a) observe how the
tools are actually used (or not used) in classrooms or interact with people who
have considerable experience in using the tools (ref: Hubbard and Power), and
b) reflect on and analyze that experience [uP, pR].
Around mid-semester you start projects on topics related to your
individual concerns as an educator [uP]. At the end of the semester you
showcase your projects, which will be linked to the course website [cM].
In summary, the course as a whole aims for you--as a teacher or educational
professional--to better fulfill the needs of your school, community, or
organization [uP, cD]; address the information explosion [uT]; adapt to social
changes [pJ]; and collaborate with others to these ends [pCo].
See also the Guidelines for assignments given in the secttion on
Key Teaching/Learning Tools and summarized in Rubrics. Additional
information about classes, assignments, and other tasks may be provided in
handouts (which will also be posted on the course website) or emails (which are
archived on http://www.egroups.com/group/ed610).
Bring an old pillow or piece of material to cover your monitor when your
attention needs to be elsewhere.
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES
Class on September6, 13, 20, 27// October 4, 11, 18, 25 // November 1, 8, 15, 29 // December 6, 13
Class 1. (9/6) Internet searches by teachers for lesson plans integrating
Appreciate contrasting emphases in teaching computers in education [uP, uT]
Understand and apply the guideline that sound lesson or unit plans that
integrate technology should precede professional development (PD) to learn the
Learn or refresh search strategies for internet and on-line databases [cL,
Begin to plan and manage your own PD [pR]
Powerpoint presentation on contrasting emphases in teaching computers in education
Introduction to Technology in Education standards and PT's "Guidelines about
specific situations and specific ways in which specific technologies are of
significant pedagogical benefit"
Internet search to locate lesson or unit plans using technology for your
subject area and grade level. Assess those plans in relation to standards and
guidelines. Evaluate your own competencies and sketch PD needed before
teaching with that technology.
Find research on case studies or reviews of integration of technology in
classrooms. Propose additions to standards and guidelines. Sketch PD plan to
implement those guidelines.
Pair-share about discoveries and insights. Whole-class discussion.
Class 2. (9/13) Active learning by students through internet searches
Preparation: Homework tasks from class 1
Refresh thinking about effective use of co-operative groupwork [uP, pCo]
Understand and apply guideline that computer use should be modeled on best
non-technology teaching practices, e.g., that promote and assess active
reading. [uP, uA, uT]
Video and review of heterogeneous group work.
*A* Asmt due: Mini-essay 1.
Small group activity to analyze typical case of student use of internet and
design internet search lesson to ensure learning/knowledge-construction is
happening, not simply downloading of information
Groups lead another (acting as students) through lesson and assess its
Class 3. (9/20) Software that facilitates group interaction
Reading: Snyder, "Blinded by science."
Appreciate the potential of educational software to facilitate interaction
among students in a classroom (in contrast to drill, mastery of
software-specific commands, and working in isolation) [uT, uP, pCo]
Decisions, Decisions simulation from Tom Snyder Productions
(http://www.tomsnyder.com, software for "teachers who love to teach" in "the
one computer classroom"). Guest instructor (to be confirmed): Greg Palmer
Discussion of the experience in light of Snyder's educational philosophy
Class 4. (9/27) Software for Problem-posing, Problem-solving, and
**meet in W-2-031 (first corridor on left off catwalk)**
Reading: Peterson and Jungck, "Problem-posing." Also review
Mendelian genetics in any introductory biology book.
Understand and discuss guideline to use computers first and foremost to teach
or learn things that are difficult to teach or learn with existing (not
computer-based) pedagogical approaches [uP, uT]
Through working with the Genetic Construction Kit (GCK) software, experience
and learn the 3Ps model of student learning, which has been implemented in GCK
and other biology education software compiled by the BioQuest consortium
(http://www.bioquest.org) [uC, uP, pCo]
Virtual science -- fruit fly mating using Genetic Construction Kit software
(Guest instructor TBA)
Discussion reviewing the experience in light of the 3P's model.
Cartier, "A modeling approach" (on reserve)
Eisenhart, "Learning science" (on reserve)
*A* Asmt due: Mini-essay 2
Class 5. (10/4) Communicating knowledge
Understand and apply guideline that computers should be used first and foremost
to teach or learn things that are difficult to teach or learn with existing
(non-computer-based) pedagogical approaches [uP, uT]
Practice designing and preparing powerpoint presentations, informational
websites, or concept maps [uP, uT]
Guest presentation on visualizing material from biology (Steve Ackerman,
Biology; email@example.com, to be confirmed)
Design on paper (with evaluation criteria) powerpoint presentation,
informational website, or concept map, then prepare it with peer tutoring
Parker, "Absolute Powerpoint"
*A* PD workbooks of students with last names A-L collected for first
perusal (returned week 6)
Demonstration 10/11 5.30-6.30 Mac Lab D
PT will run demonstrate the different features of his personal
workstation. A handout will be available of tips for implementing your own
Class 6. (10/11) Workshop on evaluating software and software-based
lessons, starting individual projects, and revising PD plans
Readings: Review Reports and Briefings from previous classes (linked
to course website)
Apply and adapt guidelines for pedagogically sound use of technology in
education [uP, uT]
Apply rubric for evaluating software for education [uC, uP, uT]
Develop a rubric for evaluating software-based lessons in your own area [uC,
Apply guidelines for effective group work [pCo]
Verbal reports on fieldwork participant observation of computers in
*A* Asmt due: Mini-essay 3 or Fieldwork report
Small group work evaluating software and software-based lessons = first step
towards week 8
Guided freewriting towards Initial description of individual projects (with
carbon copy submitted)
Brainstorm about what you'd like to learn about computers (in light of classes
to date) and how to go about that (update PD plan) = advance prep for week 9
*A* PD workbooks of students with last names M-Z collected for first
perusal (returned week 7)
Class 7. (10/18) Achieving Equitable Access to Learning
Readings: Meyer & Rose, "Universal design," Anon, "Universal
Understand principles of universal design, i.e., considering access for all in
the design of educational technology, not only in its use [uP, uT, pJ]
Appreciate and discuss the social dimensions of equitable access [pJ]
Appreciate and discuss social vs. technical approaches to achieving equitable
Presentation on Universal design (guest: Mary Brady)
Video and discussion on GenTech project to prevent middle school girls leaving
technology to boys
de Castell et al., "Object lessons" (on reserve and on WWW)
*A* Before class 7: First in-office or phone conferences on your
assignments and project
Class 8. (10/25) Teacher Evaluations of Software and Software-based
Demonstrate application of guidelines for effective group work [pCo]
Demonstrate application of guidelines for pedagogically sound use of technology
in education and rubrics for evaluating software for education and
software-based lessons in your own area [cM, uC, uT]
Group Presentations Evaluating Software and Software-based Lessons
*A* Asmt due: Group Presentation
*A* Asmt due: Revised initial description of your individual project
Class 9. (11/1) Workshop and peer coaching to learn and practice more
Appreciate the value of peer coaching [cM, pCo]
Acknowledge the social and affective dimensions of your learning, whatever
learning preference you have [pR]
Appreciate the logistics of your learning new technological competencies and
plan accordingly [uT]
Half the classtime: Serve as guide at workstations on setting up email groups;
powerpoint presentation on learning software; spreadsheets for class records
and grades; simple (non-flashy) course websites and portals; internet searching
for lesson plans; wordprocessor used to log websites and links; or concept
mapping (using inspiration). The other half of classtime: Circulate among the
*A* Asmt due: Mini-essay 3 or Fieldwork report
Update PD plan.
Class 10. (11/8) Work-in-progress presentations by students I
Experience how preparing presentations, hearing yourself deliver them, and
getting feedback leads to self-clarification of the overall direction of your
project and of priorities for further work [uA, pCo]
Appreciate the range of concerns teachers have about the use of computers and
educational technology to aid thinking, learning, communication and action in
classrooms or other educational settings [uP, uT]
Work-in-progress presentations (13 minutes) including questions and peer commentary
*A* Asmt due: Presentation (or next class)
*A* Asmt due: Notes on research and planning for your project
Class 11. (11/15) Work-in-progress presentations by students II
Learning objectives and Activities: see week 10
*A* Asmt due: Presentation (or previous class)
No class 11/22
Class 12. (11/29) Computers as tools that extend and constrain thinking:
Case of Computer models of Global Change
Understand the idea that computer programs (including computer models) build in
rules that restrict the user's options. Understand and apply guideline that
ways should be explored to expose this restrictiveness [uP, uT, pR, pJ]
Review basic spreadsheet commands [uT]
Spreadsheet exercise to predict future populations
After-class Reading: Taylor, "How do we know"
The two islands game on inequality
Identifying moral-technocratic language in text
Homework task: Locate additional articles to support the positions(s) you
favor in the readings for class 13 and counter those you oppose.
*A* Before class 12: Second in-office or phone conferences on your
assignments and project
*A* Asmt due: Complete draft report plus electronic version by email or
*A* Submit a copy of your assignment check-list so PT can alert you
about discrepancies with his records.
Class 13. (12/6) Reinforcing and dismantling barriers and
Readings = Zhao and Conway, "What's in," Kraut, "Internet paradox" plus clippings in response, Van
Gelder, "The strange case," Turkle, "Computational Reticence," Turkle, Life
on the Screen, 9-26, Sclove and Scheuer, "For the architects of the
Info-Highway," Kling, "Social controversies," "The net that binds" and other
clippings (xeroxed handouts).
Develop a framework for analyzing effects of computer use for particular people
in specific situations, that is, move beyond equating technology with progress
or inevitablility [pJ]
Roundtable discussion/debate about the internet's role in reinforcing or
dismantling gender, class, and other social barriers and inequalities
Additional readings: Section in Kling on "social relations in
Zhao and Conway, "What's in"
*A* Before class 13. Comment on at least two of the draft reports
(linked to the course website) emailed to the student. (Include copies with PD
Class 14. (12/13) Taking Stock of Course: Where have we come and where do
we go from here?/ Showplace for Websites
**meet in Center for Library Instruction, 4th floor, Healey
To feed into your future learning (and other work), course participants take
stock of your process(es) over the semester [uA, pR]
To feed into instructor's future teaching (and future learning about how
students learn), I take stock of how you have learned [cL, cM, pR]
Professional Development Planning
Showcase of each others' projects
*A* Project final reports: due one day before last class by
email attachment or on disk
*A* PD workbooks collected for end-of-semester perusal. (Arrange to
collect this after one week or supply a self-addressed stamped box to post it
back to you.)
*A* Process review
KEY TEACHING/LEARNING TOOLS
including guidelines for assignments.
Note: If you get behind, ask for an extension or skip the
assignment/item--it defeats the learning goals to submit a stack of late
A. Stages of development for course project [cM, uA, uT]
The course project should not be seen as a "term paper," but as a process of
development that involves dialogue with the instructor and other students
and revision (re-seeing) in light of that dialogue (see examples of previous
students' assignments and my comments, on reserve). To facilitate that
process, a sequence of five assignments and peer commentary is required. The
goals of each stage are described below.
Building on your in-class draft and comments back from me, compose an initial
overview of your project. This overview may, several revisions later,
end up setting the scene in the introduction of your project. In one-two prose
paragraphs (not bullets), an overview should convey subject, audience, and your
reason for working on this project. The subject must relate to the sound use
of computers and educational technology to aid thinking, learning,
communication and action in classrooms or other educational settings. The
project may be a curriculum unit/supplement or a research paper, and optionally
may involve a website or other software-basedpresentation. For previous
semesters' projects see http://omega.cc.umb.edu/~ptaylor/610-01p.html.
Notes on research and planning [uT]
Pull together notes on your reading and your thinking and present it in
a form organized so it can elicit useful comments from a reader (in this case,
me). Show that you are finding out what others have been doing in your area of
interest. You should include an updated overview and an outline and/or
annotated bibliography of readings done or planned. Record the full citations
(not just the URLs) for your sources. I recommend starting to use a
bibliographic database. Endnote can be downloaded for a 30 day trial from
Work-in-progress presentation [pCo]
Preparing presentations, hearing yourself deliver them, and getting feedback
usually leads to self-clarification of the overall direction of your project
and of your priorities for further work. In this spirit, 13 minute
presentations of your work-in-progress are scheduled early in your projects and
are necessarily on work-in-progress. Convey the important features of work you
have already done and, to elicit useful feedback during 3-5 minutes of Q&A,
indicate also where additional investigation or advice are needed and where you
think that might lead you. A website or powerpoint presentation is not
expected at this stage, but may be used.
Complete draft report
Whatever form your report takes, it should Grab readers' attention,
Orient them, and move through Steps so that they appreciate the Position you
have led them to and how it matches the subject of your project. You should
also include material that conveys your process of development during the
semester and in the future. The report should not be directed to the
instructor, but conceived as something helpful to your teacher colleagues. The
draft must get to the end to count, even if some sections along the way are
Final report (1200-2000 words, plus bibliography of references cited,
optionally including website or powerpoint presentation)
For the report to be counted as final, you must have revised in response to
comments from instructor and peers on complete draft. Allow time for the
additional investigation and thinking that may be entailed.
B. Mini-essays [pR]
The goal of mini-essays (200-400 words) is for you to weave the course
material--readings, activities, homework tasks--into your own thinking, and for
this to help you bring your own thinking back into class activities. Provide
sources or support for any views you present. Although I will suggest some
possible topics for the mini-essays, the choice of topic is open as long as it
meets this goal. Mini-essays topics can include lesson plans. Write as if the
audience were other teachers, not only the instructor.
C. Software evaluation
In groups of 2 or 3 students with a similar area/level of teaching, identify some software you want to examine and find lessons using that software (suggestions/listings will be provided if needed). Each group will fashion their own manageable evaluation rubric from a selection provided (see course web portal) and will illustrate its use in a 10-15 minute presentation to the rest of the class. A 200-500 word handout shoud accompany the presentation. This assignment allows to class to experience a greater range of software and software-based lessons than the instructor on his own could.
D. Fieldwork [cM, uP, uT, pR]
Building on what you have learned in Teacher Inquiry courses and/or Hubbard
& Power, "The artist's toolbox":
1) Observe and make a record of how computer tools are used in actual
classrooms or interact with people who have considerable experience in using
the tools. (See options and contacts on course portal.) Your record could take the form of
notes, interview, student work, sociograms, transcripts of audio- or videotape.
If you have a specific concern or question to begin with, focus your
observations and record around that. This will help you decide whether your
note-taking will take a methodological, theoretical, or personal orientation
(see Hubbard & Power).
2) Reflect on and analyze that experience in 500-1000 word report. If you
didn't have a specific question or concern in part 1, use part 2 to come up
with a question. Design future teacher research. Revise the report in
response to my comments.
For A-D, Dialogue around written work [cM, uA, pR]
I try to create a dialogue with each student around written work,
that is, around your writing, my responses, and your responses in turn.
Central to this teaching/learning interaction are requests to "Revise and
Resubmit." The idea is not that you make changes to please me the teacher or to
meet some unstated standard, but that as a writer you use the eye of others to
develop your own thinking and make it work better on readers. I may continue
to request revision when I judge that the interaction can still yield
significant learning--such a request does not mean your (re)submission was
"bad." Even when the first submissions of written assignments are excellent,
angles for learning through dialogue are always opened up.
In my comments I try to capture where the writer was taking me and make
suggestions for how to clarify and extend the impact on readers of what was
written. After letting my comments sink in, you may conclude that I have
missed the point. In this case, my misreading should stimulate you to revise
so as to help readers avoid mistaking the intended point. If you do not
understand the directions I saw in your work or those I suggest for the
revision, a face-to-face or phone conversation is the obvious next
step--written comments have definite limitations when writers and readers want
to appreciate and learn from what each other is saying and thinking. Please
talk to me immediately if you do not see how you are benefitting from the
"Revise and resubmit" process. I am still learning how to engage students
in this given your various backgrounds and dispositions and my own.
Students should keep a copy of all typed assignments because I usually supply
comments on a separate sheet and keep your original.
E. Prepared participation and attendance at class meetings is expected,
but allowance is made for other priorities in your life. I do not require you
to give excuses for absence, lateness, or lack of preparation. Simply make up
the 80% of participation items in other ways (F-J).
F. Professional Development Workbook [cL, cD, pCo, pR]
In your workbook keep records or products of homework tasks,
assignments, and other reflections on the course and its objectives. Specific
instructions for the tasks are provided in handouts. I do not expect all tasks
to be completed, but you will learn as much in this course as you put into the
class activities and homework. When you submit the PD workbook for perusal, I
will let you know if you need to undertake more of the tasks. If you are using
the workbook effectively and undertaking the homework tasks, the workbook
should convey your developing process of practicing tools and critical thinking
about course readings, activities, and discussions.
Homework Tasks [cL, pC, pCo].
include computer exercises designed so that you digest the ideas and
practices you are introduced to, that is, incorporate them into your own
thought and work. Other homework tasks are designed to engender a commitment
to and capacity for ongoing professional development and building learning
Clippings and E-clippings [cL]
The goal is that you get in the habit of keeping up with current
developments and debates concerning technology in education (see Course
objectives d and e). Include with your workbook relevant clippings or copies
of articles from newspapers, magazines, journals, and websites (average one
every two weeks). Make sure the full citation on each article is included. In
your workbooks, include your own reflections on specific points in the articles
you choose. For clippings you find on the web submit the URL and brief
annotation to firstname.lastname@example.org. These can be viewed at
http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/ed610Clips. Use the search box to find
clippings on specific topics.
for discussion of comments on assignments (see Dialogue around written
work, above), ideas for course projects, and the course as a whole. They are
important to ensure timely resolution of misunderstandings.
H. Peer commentary [pCo]
After the draft report is completed I require you to comment on at
least two other students' drafts. Send me a copy by email and/or include in PD
workbook. Keep Elbow, Writing with Power, chapters 3 & 13 in mind
when you decide what approaches to commenting you ask for as a writer and use
as a commentator. In the past I made lots of specific suggestions for
clarification and change in the margins, but in my experience, such suggestions
led only a minority of students beyond touching up into re-thinking and
revising their ideas and writing. On the other hand, I believe that all
writers value comments that reassure them that they have been listened to and
their voice, however uncertain, has been heard.
I. Assignment check-list [uA]
Please keep track of your assignments and revisions submitted and when
they are returned marked OK/RNR. To gauge whether you are on track for at
least a B+, simply note whether you have submitted 80% of the assignments by
the dates marked and attended 80% of the classes.
J. Process review [cL, pR]
Identify 4-6 examples that capture the process of development of
your work and thinking about computers, technology, and education. Journaling,
freewriting, drafts, etc. may be included, that is, not simply your best
products. Explain your choices in a 1-2 page cover note and through
annotations (large post-its are a good way to do this). Submit with your PD
workbook, or extract into a portfolio.
Other Teaching/Learning Tools
Rationale for the Assessment system [uA]
The rationale for grading the different assignments simply OK or R&R
(revise & resubmit) and granting an automatic B+ for 80% satisfactory
completion is to keep the focus of our teaching/learning interactions on your
developing through the semester. It allows more space for students and
instructor to appreciate and learn from what each other is saying and thinking.
My goal is to work with everyone to achieve the 80% satisfactory completion
level. Students who progress steadily towards that goal during the semester
usually end up producing work that meets the criteria for a higher grade than a
B+ (see rubrics). Use the Assignment Check-list to keep track of
your own progress. Ask for clarification if needed to get clear and
comfortable with this system.
Simulations and other class activities [uP]
Class activities, on and off the computer, are designed so that students
participate in discovering the guidelines and other ideas I want to teach
themselves. Specific descriptions of the activities are provided in handouts
or during the class in question.
Learning Community and email group/list [cM, pC, pCo]
Individually and as a group, you already know a lot about using
computers as tools and can help each other learn what you don't know.
Moreover, you can learn a lot from each other and from teaching others what you
know. The email group or list (emails sent to email@example.com) can be used
to help the community develop.
Taking stock at end of semester involves multiple angles on course
evaluation (including written evaluations during class, Process reviews and PD
planning in your PD workbook): [uA]
a) to feed into your future learning (and other work), you take stock of your
process(es) over the semester;
b) to feed into my future teaching (and future learning about how students
learn), I take stock of how you, the students, have learned.
Overall course grade. This rubric is simple, but unconventional.
Read the Rationale in the Key Teaching/Learning Tools amd ask questions to make
sure you have it clear.
B+ is earned automatically for 80% of Written items (=8 of 10, including Final
Report) marked OK/RNR (=OK/ Revision-reflection-resubmission Not Requested) and
80% of Participation items fulfilled (=16 of 21).
The qualities below will determine whether a higher grade is earned. If you
show half of the qualities to follow, you earn an A-. If you show almost all
of these, you earn an A:
A sequence of assignments paced more or less as in syllabus,
often revised thoroughly and with new thinking in response to comments. [pR]
well planned and carried out with considerable initiative, and
indicates that you can guide others to use technology with sound pedagogical
rationale. [cM, uP, uT]
Project report clear and well structured,
with supporting references and detail, and
professionally presented. [cM]
Active, prepared participation in all classes. [pCo]
Consistent work outside class on preparatory and follow-up homework tasks
Process Review that shows deep reflection on your development through the
maps out the future directions in which you plan to develop [cL,pR]
If you do not reach the B+ level, the grade for Written assignments &
presentations will be pro-rated from B+ down to C for 50% of assignments
OK/RNR. Similarly the Participation & process grade goes down to C for 50%
of participation items.
Converting points to percentages to grades. Count each writing OK/RNR
as 10 points up to a maximum of 80 and each participation item as 5 points up
to a maximum of 80. Combine these points into a % grade = Writing points x2/3
+ Participation points x 1/3. If your combined total is 80%, the rubric above
is used to assign grades of B+, A-, and A. Below 80%, the minimum grade for B
is 72.5%; for B- is 65%; for C+ is 57.5%; and for C is 50%.
Written assignments (10 assignment points each up to maximum of
Each assignment will gain 10 points if marked OK/RNR (=
Revision-reflection-resubmission Not Requested) meaning you have met almost all
of the guidelines described in the section on Key teaching/Learning Tools (and
summarized below), but Revision and Resubmission will be
requested if you have not (0 points). Rationale for the assignments is
conveyed in the Key Teaching/Learning tools section. Comments made as part of
Dialogue around written work (see earlier in syllabus) provide guidance
tailored to each student's specific interests and needs.
In addition to the specific rubric for each assignment, the following
General Expectations apply:
All papers must be turned in during class typed on standard 8.5" x 11" paper,
using at least 1" margins, a standard 10- or 12-point font such as Times or
Helvetica, and (preferably) one and half line spacing. Do not submit work by
email unless specifically arranged with the instructor.
The student's name, course number, assignment number, and date of writing or
revising must appear on the first page at the top right. Subsequent pages must
contain the student's name and the page number. Do not use a cover page.
Proofread your work for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and coherence of
paragraphs. (Each paragraph should have one clear topic that is supported
and/or developed by what is in it.) If writing is difficult for you, arrange
peer or professional assistance -- do not expect the instructor to be your
i. initial description. OK = Overview conveys 1. subject, 2. audience,
and 3. your reason for working on this project. 4. Subject relates to the
sound use of computers and educational technology. 5. One-two prose paragraphs
ii. notes on research and planning OK = 1. notes on your reading and
your thinking organized to elicit comments; 2. show that you are finding out
what others have been doing in your area of interest; 3. full citations (not
just the URLs) recorded for your sources; 4. Updated overview; 5. Outline
and/or annotated bibliography of readings done or planned.
iii. work-in-progress presentation OK= 13 minutes incl. 3-5 minutes of
Q&A. ; 2. conveys the important features of work you have already done; 3.
indicates where additional investigation or advice are needed and where you
think that might lead you.
iv. complete draft. OK= 1. gets to the end to count, even if some
sections along the way are only sketches; 2. not directed to the instructor,
but conceived as something helpful to your teacher colleagues; 3. Grab readers'
attention, Orient them, and move through Steps so that they appreciate the
Position you have led them to and how it matches the subject of your project.
v. final report. OK= 1. 1200-2000 words; 2. bibliography of references
cited; 3. revised in response to comments from instructor and peers on complete
draft; 4. time allowed for the additional investigation and thinking that
comments may entail.
B. Mini-essays (3 required). OK = 1. 200-400 words; 2. the course
material--readings, activities, homework tasks--woven into your own thinking;
3. sources or support provided for views presented; 4. written as if the
audience were other teachers, not only the instructor.
C. Group presentation evaluating software and software-based lesson OK = 1. active contribution to a10-15 minute group presentation to the class; 2. 200-500 word handout; 3. software plus lesson based on that software; 4. manageable evaluation rubric fashioned by the group; 5. reflects the insights of the different authors in the selection provided and elsewhere.
D. Report analyzing fieldwork observations. OK = 1. 500-1000 words; 2.
based on observations made and recorded of how computer tools are used in
actual classrooms or on interactions with people who have considerable
experience in using the tools; 3. reflects on specific concern or question
formulated in advance or through the fieldwork and writing; 4. future teacher
research in this situation/area defined.
Participation items (5 participation points each one fulfilled up to
maximum of 80)
E. Prepared participation and attendance at class meetings. One
item fulfilled for each class attended except NOT if you arrive late and have
been more than 10 minutes late once or more before or if you are clearly
unprepared/un-participating and have been so once before.
F. Professional Development (PD) Workbook. One item fulfilled if you
submit your workbook for perusal week 6 or 7 and & another if you submit it
in week 14 it shows you have been working consistently between classes on PD
worksheets and homework tasks, making notes and reflections on readings, class
discussions, clippings (including posting items on ed610Clips), and your
individual project, etc.
G. In-office or phone conferences. One item fulfilled for each of two
conferences on your assignments and project, one before week 6 and the other
between then and week 12, except appointments missed without notifying me in
advance count as a participation item not fulfilled.
H. Peer commentaries. One item fulfilled for commentaries on two other
students' draft reports with copies submitted to PT.
I. Assignment Check-list. One item fulfilled if check-list is
maintained and is submitted in week 12
J. Process Review. One item fulfilled if process review with 1-2 page
cover note and 4-6 annotated examples that capture the process of development
of your work and thinking is included with your PD Workbook at end-of-semester
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