DESIGNING STUDENT INSTRUCTOR INTERACTIONS IN COURSE PROTOTYPE

Mathematics, Maths, Computer, Laptop, Business, Graphs

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Hello ECI834!

The primary concern of most students and parents have about online courses and classes is that they lack communication between students and teacher, time management and discipline to do the work because everyone thinks that they don’t have an instructor watching over them to make sure they are following the lessons and completing their assignments. When it comes to a math course and that too, which is delivered completely online then the fear and anxiety doubles. Our main concern while planning this course was to address this issue and in our course students are surely not on their own, bouncing around the coursework. They have a comprehensive course outline and accessible teachers to interact with via Google Classroom, Zoom, and Flipgrid to help them run the course, not get run over by it!

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After a lot of thought and planning, we decided to use Google Classroom as our LMS platform and for a collaborative space where we can upload or course material, Outline, pre-class videos and instruction. Furthermore, Google Classroom is an easy-to-use tool that helps educators manage coursework. With Google Classroom, we can create classes, distribute assignments, grade and send feedback.

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Foundation of mathematics by Vedic Math course will be formatted in a fully online form, which combines a flipped self-learning procedure with weekly synchronous sessions. It should be noted that conceptual videos of related every course content will be posted to Google Classroom. Prior to each online session, students must watch the foundational knowledge video associated with the upcoming class content by accessing through Google Classroom. When they are done watching the video, students are expected to fill and submit the Google Form regarding the description of their understanding of the problems they are struggling with.

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Our synchronous sessions will employ zoom– an online conferencing software (available for PC, Mac, and smart devices) to give lectures every week and help students solve the problems encountered. Zoom is a great tool for teaching mathematics online, the application not only offers the text and video chat, but it also has built-in recording features which are great for our course. The built-in recording feature of Zoom is very useful for a math online class because students can get a copy of the classroom lecture and discussion to review. This allows them to revisit areas they struggle with and to revisit the lesson objectives so they can prepare properly for the follow-up lesson.

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Formative assessment will happen after every class section which aims to record students’ pace for learning outcomes and help students gain an insight into Vedic Mathematics. Teachers will deliver quizzes via Google Classroom, and students will give their video responses to each assignment by using flipgrid. Their response video requires a methodical approach, which means in their video, students have to thoroughly describe how they approach the problems and explain their train of thoughts, instead of simply providing an answer. The idea behind using flipgrid was to give students a platform where they can explain their learning by their voice or video and not just by text. Students record short, authentic videos where they solve the problems and can also reply to their peer’s videos. It is another way to get students talking with each other in different ways is to have them use video or audio to interact.

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FlipGrid is an easy way to pose a question and have people respond via videos. It can be used within many of the most widely used LMSs, so students do not have to set up a separate account on FlipGrid or navigate to a different place. Finally assigned teachers will give feedback and provide guides by tracing each students’ flipgrid video.

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Our course is designed to assist students to recognize their hidden potential, improve their mathematical abilities and also drastically enhance their academic performance and ultimately eradicate Math-Phobia.

By the end of every session, students will have a better understanding of Vedic mathematics and will be able to solve problems faster than normal methods. By having regular Interaction with the teacher by multiple tools incorporated in the course, students will have more support in mastering the concept, which will boost their self-confidence and cultivate an Interest in numbers.

 

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OUR RESPONSE TO FEEDBACK

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Hello ECI834!

First of all, I want to thank our evaluators for their time in reviewing our course prototype and before I dive deeper into the feedback which we received for our course, I first want to give a shout-out to everyone in EC&I 834 for the construction of their prototypes. I am thankful that I was able to see what others have created and I can only imagine all the work that has gone into the courses that were developed.

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COURSE SHELL:

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As for the peer evaluations, I am very happy and pleased with the feedback we received. I feel that the whole process was very helpful and gave us some ideas about how we can better our course. It also pointed out a few issues with verb tense/grammar in some of the sentences which we honestly hadn’t noticed before or details we omitted without even realizing it. We found the evaluation process to be beneficial and appreciated the constructive critique we received. We are very happy that our evaluators felt that the course was very laid out well and easy to follow. They also pointed out that there are many opportunities for interaction within the course like pre-lesson google form, discussion area, and flipgrid which has definitely motivated us. Having said that they suggested that the pace of video instruction was good and we should change voice tone once in a while when emphasizing a key point with voice inflection which will be definitely implemented while coming up with the next modules.

COURSE MODULES:

The evaluator’s think that our modules would work well in an online and/or a blended setting and it’s great to know that they are even thinking about sharing our course in their math class. Our main focus while coming up with the modules was to make it as engaging as possible and they found the lessons engaging and the promise of being able to do math quicker was motivating. The course of learning a new math technique takes time and practice and once students master the  Vedic math technique they can definitely perform mathematics calculations 10 times faster than the traditional method. The evaluator’s reason that Intro Video of Vedic Maths was thorough, but the timing on the slides was sometimes too fast for them to finish reading what was on the screen. And suggested that It may be beneficial to have a voiceover for students so they don’t have to read the words on the screen which will for sure be taken care and thank you for pointing it out.

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We got some great positive feedback about the course modules and pre-class videos but having said that they suggested that we need to add more visuals, like circling which digits we were multiplying at different times which I think is a good observation and we will make sure that such detailing will be executed while coming up with the next modules.

 

COURSE PROFILE:

The evaluators unanimously agree that the course profile was well organized, Well thought out and thoroughly done and we were overwhelmed with such a positive response. One of the comments really made us happy which said “I appreciate that they identified that Math can be a hard subject for many students, and they do not always enjoy it. Their whole goal is to make math an enjoyable lesson, and if I am being honest, I enjoyed myself. I honestly hate math, and I am so proud that I was able to learn the method through your video. I wish I had something like this in high school to help me learn outside of class. I needed more help and often found it embarrassing to ask or go for help. Great idea team! Good work”. We are really overwhelmed and want to thank you very much for such a positive response.

Overall thank you for your kind feedback and for your time in going through our course. We are very happy and pleased with the feedback we received and feel that the whole process was very helpful and gave us some ideas about how we can better our course.

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MY THOUGHTS ON ONLINE LEARNING AND EDTECH

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Hello ECI834!

The internet today is very much alive, and the evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 all happened in my lifetime. I was fortunate enough to witness this evolution, and it surprises me quite often to the fact that where we were and where we are now and is still evolving as we speak. Web-based platforms have allowed us to remotely replace or facilitate many interactive processes in a day to day activities. Getting an education online was the next frontier for web-based convenience, and there are many reasons why I felt this is a practical and attractive platform.

Online Learning and Education technology has done wonders in the field of education. In her ted talk video Daphne Koller a professor of computer science at Stanford University and a co-founder of Coursera explains how College education has traditionally been a privilege reserved for society’s elite, she narrates the advent of the Internet which has torn down barriers to education, allowing the world’s citizens to access higher education online for free. She explains how online classes can provide a “real class experience.” Students receive grades on homework assignments and earn a certificate upon successful completion of a course. The structure of online courses guarantees student engagement and interaction. Finally, she states how free online courses elevate education to a human right. Education for all would unleash boundless creativity for innovation and support lifelong learning.

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The article How OER Is Boosting School Performance and Equity From the Suburbs to the Arctic is another example and speaks of how Open educational resources bringing Equity in education. The article narrates a story of Kotzebue, a village in Northern Alaska, which knows the meaning of “challenge” when it comes to education. With the help of OER, school districts adapted content to meet their local needs, maximize education budgets and ensured access to resources and educational rigor. By being able to serve all student whatever their race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, family background, or family income OER supported the goal of educational equity

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I couldn’t agree more with Dean in his recent blog post that “ if an online environment is well organized has rich content delivered in an engaging manner with assessment opportunities, how different is that from a typical traditional classroom”. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Education and Open educational resources, Virtual classrooms and many such technological benefits are leveling the educational playground. There was a time where one was supposed to get this education and knowledge by enrolling to the expensive educational institutions, it was reachable for only privileged class, but today the whole educational arena has changed, the concept of open education and open educational resources has revolutionized the field of education, it has replaced the traditional classroom and made education free, affordable, Flexible and accessible to all.

EdTech

The effect that EdTech has had on schools today has been quite substantial. This incorporation of technology has totally changed the way educators teach and children learn. Emerging technologies and various educational applications has changed the whole game of teaching and learning and transformed the traditional classroom setup. By adoption and integration of technology in the classroom, we are equipping our students for a fruitful life after school.  There are many advantages of using technology in the classroom and school, some of them are stated below.

Technology in the education Makes Learning More Fun and Technology in the classroom is also a great way to attract students towards interactive education. Technology encourages individual learning. Every student is different and their learning styles and pattern are different. Technology offers great prospects for making learning more effective for everyone with diverse needs. Children can learn at their own pace, review tough concepts and be confident with them by referencing. Technology can offer more opportunities for students with difficulties or special needs.

When technology is integrated into education, students will be more interested in the topics that they are learning. Technology offers several prospects to make learning more exciting and pleasant in terms of teaching the same topic in a new and exciting way. Furthermore, technology can encourage more dynamic participation in the learning process, which can be difficult to achieve through a traditional teaching environment.

With everything that been said, I also feel concerned for those students who cannot afford such technology and have lack of access at home. If our teaching practices are entirely be based on technology how can we accommodate those students who do not have access to such privileges?  How can we as educators and school deliver equal learning in a world of unequal access? There is a lot of unanswered question, and it also raises a problem are we ready for such a shift of taking education completely online and be more dependent on EdTech???

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ANALYZING STORYTELLING TOOLS

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Hello ECI834!

After this week’s class, I was just amazed to realize that there are so many content creation tools and getting a task to review one of them was just like a cherry on top of the cake. As a mathematics educator I am always looking for unique and different way to make my class fun and creative, but for a math educator, it is not an easy task. Finding the right tool is always challenging and is also a perfect recipe to change student’s perspective of boring Math session to an interesting and memorable teaching moment.

As a teacher, it didn’t take me long to realize that Instruction via storytelling creates more vivid, powerful and memorable images in the student mind than any other means of delivering the same content and like Amy C even I like to incorporate new technology and new ways to present knowledge to my students. Teaching students by storytelling is an effective way to keep the learners occupied and PREZI offers a great platform to achieve it. For this week’s blog post I am exploring option 1 and reviewing Prezi, an excellent presentation tool which has the potential to make teaching moments memorable.

Prezi is a visual storytelling presentation tool which is an excellent alternative to conventional slide-based presentation programs which we use in classrooms. Prezi uses a large canvas that allows us to move and approach to different parts of the canvas and underline the ideas presented there, it also supports the use of text, images, and videos and also offers a collection of models to choose from and help new users get used to the interface.

As educator’s, we invest a lot of my time in creating presentations and use it in classrooms but most of the time it will be tedious and end up having a dull presentation which will not keep students interested and in a math class, as a math teacher I cannot afford this. It takes a lot of creativity and in-depth knowledge of using software ’s to create interactive and informative presentation but Prezi offers a great solution for educators with its unique platform for making and delivering presentations. As an alternative of slides and boring animation, Prezi infuses fun and creativity into our presentation.

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After analyzing Prezi, I found it very outspoken presentation tool and easy to use, even for a newbie like me. We have complete control over the details such as font size, adding audio files and images, importing PowerPoint slides, Embed PDF’s, sharing in social media. It also comes with a number of premade templates which can be used and yet gives us the flexibility to relate it to our topic and make it interesting. Prezi creates splendid visual impact in the classroom with its cinematic experience of the zooming function and students will feel ecstatic with the topic which we have designed. The presentation can also be easily shared on the internet and can be accessed by our students at home and they can navigate with Prezi and play around with it observing the connections of ideas and visualize concepts.

The strength’s and advantages of Prezi are enormous yet it has some weaknesses too.

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The first issue which caught my attention is that it lacks auto-correction feature which can be a hassle for users. Prezi is completely web-based, even though it is an advantage but in a few circumstances, it can be a disadvantage when we have limited internet access. It is not printer friendly so printing out our presentation may become a challenge to students.

Overall, Prezi is a great content creation tool that most of us would find very useful in the classroom, especially for Math teachers like me. It is a visual storytelling software alternative which will be a great advantage to educators and embeds cinematic experience in classrooms which makes teaching moments memorable. I believe that storytelling in mathematics is an excellent approach to creating a safe learning environment where a student might openly appreciate, comprehend and enjoy mathematics. I feel that storytelling in mathematics classroom creates an atmosphere of imagination, excitement, and thinking which make math fun and memorable for students and by the help of Prezi we can create such an atmosphere in our classroom.

What is your experience with Prezi? Do you find it interesting and have you created any content for your class using Prezi?

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TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION IN TEACHING MATHEMATICS

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Hello ECI834,

I am a Mathematics educator and have always been delighted, proud of my profession and I must say that the integration of technology into my classroom has greatly enriched my teaching practices. After this week’s class, I began to reflect my own experience using technology in my classroom and researched a lot about the integration of technology in the educational context. The more I read the more I realized that technology in the classroom is an excellent way to engage learners and in a math class, technology can be a massive help for students with mathematics learning problems and creates an interactive, engaging learning environment.

As educators, most of us would reasonably accept the fact that technology has transformed almost every area of life and the educational sector is no exception. when I reflect my own experience of technology integration in my professional context, my words change and the advantages it has to offer, possibilities are limitless. I believe that technology has so much to offer especially in education and for an educator to get closer to our students and deliver the knowledge effectively and efficiently.

It is an unquestionable fact that the major drift in the education today has one or the other means of entanglement with technology integration. As educational institutions explore different ways to implant technology into the classroom, teachers are trying different methods for effective incorporation of technology so that it promotes success and knowledge gain among students. Technology has presented us with many vigorous learning tools and these tools are the most versatile learning tools in the history of education; where our students have immediate access to enormous amount of information which is both informative and collaborative. Technology incorporated in education has many advantages and serves multiple purposes. One of the vital and notable benefits of educational technology is that it improves overall access to education

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During my past seven years of teaching experience, I have used several EdTech tools in my classroom. I have utilized various kinds of Calculators, Math notation tools, Fathom, Geometer’s Sketchpad software, graphing tools, drawing tools which help students draw lines, shapes, angles, and other geometric topographies, Equation-solving tools, Manipulatives, and Text-to-speech. These tools are designed to help students who struggle with computing, organizing, aligning, and copying math problems down on paper. They assist the instructional process and makes math class lot more interactive, interesting and fun.

Although integrating technology gave me some major advantages in math instruction, but not without challenges. The first and foremost challenge was how to avoid student distraction. Yes, most of my students were either entirely occupied with the technology or they were getting distracted from the actual course. Further, even though students were familiar with the general use of technology, the correspondence

to a particular mathematics tool was a difficult task. Making them familiar and comfortable to use few tools consumed more time and some of them also complained that understanding the tools was a lot more difficult than the math concept. Fixing the frequent technical issues was another challenging factor and finally, Instructional Difficulties with using various tools and understanding them was the biggest challenge because it required a lot of time to update our own skills about new technology. I couldn’t agree more when Kelsey states in her blog post that “Often, educators and educational assistants are not well trained in how to utilize technologies to full capacity.   This can definitely lead to difficulties when technical issues arise and a lack of time and energy on professionals parts to try and make the tools work”.

The means of blending technology in math classrooms posed many kinds of challenges. There were times where technology posed problems, while sometimes the curriculum did not furnish much support for learning by using technology, and sometimes there were moments where we as educators faced challenges using new tools which required adequate skills. But still, I think that technology extends opportunities for fostering learning and is helpful for instruction and assessments

Finally, I think that EdTech offers an enormous advantage and I really think that it is working well in our classrooms. However, with the advantages, there are always challenges and opportunities. So, what are your thoughts on Integration of educational technology in the classroom? and what are the challenges you face and how did you encounter it?. 

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The Beginning of the Learning Journey

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Hello Everyone,

 My name is Sapna Bajantri and welcome to my blog. I am a Mathematics educator and have been teaching from the past seven years. Over the past seven years of my teaching experience, I have taught various Math courses for students from grade 12 to undergraduate. I love teaching Math and also a technology-hungry person and I love learning new platforms of teaching. Being a mathematics educator from the past seven years the first thing I notice in my students is the fear of mathematics and have always worked hard to change this perception and make Math a joyful learning experience. Aside from my profession, I am also a wife, and soon to be a mother. I and my husband are expecting our first child in February 2019. We are very excited and just cannot wait to meet the newest addition to our family!                     

This is my tenth master’s class and fifth EdTech course with Alec, and I am so excited to be part of EC&I 834. I really enjoy taking online classes with Alec which is always interactive and informative. I am even more excited because by completing this course I will be completing my masters.  During this course, I want to learn many things in regards to online and blended learning. For now, I have set three goals.

  • To gain and explore new resources and tools to build an online learning course.
  • Become more active with my twitter so that I could connect with other professionals who can provide examples and ideas.
  • To be more creative and interactive in my blogs

I am certain that these goals will change and improve over the time during the course and I am looking forward to learning with all of you over this term!

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MATHEMATICS AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

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Hello ECI833!

First of all, let me start my blog post by thanking Haiming, Channing, and, Kelsey for an exciting and informative presentation about  Assistive Technologies and tools which greatly enrich our classrooms. The interesting perspectives they shared throughout their presentation was so inspiring, and I must say that I was impressed with the whole concept of assistive technology and the fantastic way of presenting the facts. Even though Assistive technology was created to aid students with the special need but today it has gone beyond that purpose by helping even those students who require more support and assistance in carrying out a specific task. 

After the presentation, I began to reflect my own experience using Assistive technology. Assistive technology can be a massive help for students with mathematics learning problems like dyscalculia. As a mathematics educator, I have used several Assistive technology tools for math which are common in most math classrooms, like

talking calculators and graph paper. However, there are many other Assistive technology tools which can effectively enrich our teaching practice and in return help students. I couldn’t agree more with my classmate Amy.C when she states “With all the challenges teachers are facing and have many diverse needs in the classroom, we can’t imagine the class without assistive technology. But having said that as a mathematics educator, it was always essential for me to first to understand how a student struggle with math and that understanding helped me to figure out which assistive technology tools suit that particular child. 

Using technology just for the sake of using it will never serve the purpose, as an educator, I think we must first have to analyze what the situation demands and which assistive technology to use to that particular situation. In short education to educators is vital because many teachers do not have an adequate level of knowledge and skills of using assistive technology and the article “Teachers Knowledge and Use of Assistive Technology for Students with Special Educational Needs” provided by the presentation team is an excellent example, which showcases the need of assistive technology knowledge and skills among teachers.

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In my seven years of teaching experience, I have used many assistive technology tools in my classroom. I have utilized various kinds of Calculators, Math notation tools, graphing tools, drawing tools which help students draw lines, shapes, angles and other geometric topographies, Equation-solving tools, Manipulatives, and Text-to-speech. These Assistive technology tools for math are designed to help students who struggle with computing, organizing, aligning, and copying math problems down on paper. Such Assistive technology tools not only help students with special needs but also will be a boon for those students who are struggling with math and overcoming math difficulties.

Finally, as a math educator, I am curious to know which math assistive technology tools are being used in your classroom? And are they effective?

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