Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest post

Should teachers Take on online Educational Technology graduate program?

Technology Education is a growing and important field for teachers. Teachers need effective strategies to incorporate educational technologies into the classroom. Some teachers have an understanding of social media and other education tools but have a difficult time translating their knowledge into effective classroom practice. Educational Technology Master's degree programs provide the knowledge and skills teachers need to make their teaching more effective through the use of today's technologies.


The Master of Educational Technology (MET) is a practitioner-oriented program designed to teach effective use of technology in the classroom, e-learning design, and school technology coordination. The programs cover the important trends and theories about learning and teaching with technology. The Master of Science, Educational Technology (MSET) is a research oriented program, preparing students for advanced studies in educational technology.

Typically, teachers taking an MET program discover useful technology they were previously unaware of. They learn how to find useful information and resources. The programs also provide the technical and research skills needed to evaluate the effectiveness of integrating technology into the classroom.

Online Master of Educational Technology Programs

Online programs yielding this degree typically require 30 to 36 credits and take from one-and-a-half to two years to complete. The typical on-campus 3 credit course last 15 weeks. Colleges such as Michigan State University, located in the United States, offer accelerated online Educational Technology Master's degree programs, which allows students to complete a 3 credit course in only 8 weeks. In the MSU program, students are expected to spend 18 to 24 hours per week covering the assignment material and completing the assignments.

Some colleges providing online MET programs, such as Boise State University, another American school, customize course assignments to a teacher's specific work setting.

MET programs cover a wide array of technology topics, including:

  • Website development

  • Digital video production

  • Graphic design

  • General productivity tools

  • Interactive media

  • Web 2.0 technologies

  • Developing multimedia materials

  • Using the Interment in the classroom

  • Podcasting

  • Educational hardware systems

Elective courses include topics such as:

  • Issues in distance education

  • Learning, technologies and organizations

  • Instructional needs analysis

  • Developing effective training with technology

  • Advanced instructional design

  • Computer interface design for learning

Educational Technology Certificate Programs

Certificate programs often focus on a particular aspect of educational technology. Some schools, such as George Washington University in the U.S., offer graduate certificate programs in subjects such as:

  • E-learning

  • Instructional design

  • Multimedia development

  • Training and educational technology

  • Leadership in educational technology

  • Integrating technology into education

Professional Network

Most online programs provide students with the opportunity to communicate and learn from each other on a daily basis. Students establish a professional network that supports them throughout their teaching careers.

This web page offers links to some online graduate degree programs in Educational Technology provided by schools located in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The University of Sidney is another top school that provides an online Educational Technology Master's degree program.

The University of British Columbia, located in Canada, offers an online Master's of Educational Technology degree developed by an international partnership. The program has attracted students from 35 countries, including New Zealand.

(It should be noted the author has no connection with any of the above mentioned schools).

Online Master's of Educational Technology programs provide teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to enhance the learning process through the use of current technologies.

Brian Jenkins, a staff writer, contributes feature articles about careers in high school teaching, among other career fields.

Earthquake update

Our power and water are still very fragile and likely to go down at the drop of a hat. The electricity frequently cuts out.

We have had assessors, builders etc out to check the house over the last two weeks and they do not know what to do at the moment. It is increasingly looking as though they will demolish it.

It is such a shame as we are right on the beach and have views all over the city looking out to the mountains as well as over the sea.

Monday, March 21, 2011


A Beta version of Twurdy is available to use for searching.

A really great search engine to use in schools to help children quickly see which of their results are written in such a way that they will be able to manage the text. It gives an approximate reading age for the text.

In the example on the left you will see the first result needs the viewer to be able to read at a higher level: about 18 years. The second result the text is written at a 10 to 15 year level and the last result shows the text is written at an 8 to 10 year level. In the classroom this enables the teacher to help the children go to sites they are able to read to gather the relevant information.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting good with Google

In the global world we need people who are able to access, evaluate and use information.
Something I find many people are not good at is using search strategies. On Google docs is a document, Getting good with Google, to help people become efficient at using the web.
I have always felt that these strategies should be introduced in the primary/elementary school and then reinforced and built on each year. In this way they will become adults who are able to access the information they want quickly and effortlessly.
The first thing they suggest is that the settings are changed to 'safe search' - this is something we need to ensure our children are doing.
A lot of the ideas are from the Google Help page but I find that many people don't even know it is there!
At the bottom of the document is an online quiz for the children to complete to see how good they are at doing efficient searches. Great ideas here for teachers in their classrooms.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The classroom using ICT to enhance the teaching and learning

Scott McLeod (video - Shift Happens fame) is currently visiting from Iwoa University. He has been saying that classrooms need to change and that the days of pupils sitting at desks listening to the teacher have gone. This is something I have been saying for over ten years and yet as I go round in schools I still see the traditional style of teaching in the classrooms.

Scott advocates that we must transform our classrooms into collaborative, technology driven, interactive teaching spaces. He argues that today's learners should be working with others from around the world on real inquiry or problem based issues, pursue topics they are interested in and be content creators rather than regurgitators. He says:

In a really robust, collaborative classroom where kids have good technology you often can't tell where the front of the room is, as teachers roam around helping small groups and the kids help each other. There is a lot of learning power that comes with these new technologies and we need to help teachers understand that power and how they can take advantage of it.

Christchurch Press Saturday Feb 21

He acknowledges that the transformation will be expensive but asks the question: What happens if you don't do it? He suggests that the schools who don't will be left behind in the global economy.

Mission Heights, a school in Auckland is teaching in this way. This is a new school which was set up to take advantage of the technologies.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Literacy resources for teachers

Our New Zealand web site, TKI, has Literacy Online which has many resources for all to use.

The Teacher Resource Exchange is a facility for teachers to contribute classroom resources, teaching notes, worksheets and assessments. In contributing a resource it will help your colleagues if you fill in all the information fields.

These materials are offered in a spirit of generosity by the contributors. They have not been through the normal English/Literacy/ESOL Online quality assurance process and we advise professional discretion in their use

Teachers are also able to add resources for others to use by clicking on Contribute a resource. This is a very valuable collection of resources which I know teachers will find very useful in their classroom practice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More on the earthquake

We have finally got water back on and power – a week and a half without!! Let me tell you you get over the ‘fun camping’ idea very quickly. I have put the hot water back on and am looking forward to having a bath (a good soak).

Having a flushing toilet – let me tell you they are a wonderful invention. We coped OK with cooking on gas but the water was another thing.

The bad news is that they are no longer looking for survivors and the expected death toll stands at 240

We have felt very isolated not really knowing just what was going on even though we had radio which was good for the first couple of days but went back to regular programmes after that. We haven’t really had any interest in what is going on anywhere else in other parts of the world which is a funny feeling.

Although I generally cope with things pretty well I have found myself in tears a lot in the last few days, I think that is because you worry about making things as ‘normal’ as possible for everyone else and then suddenly it all starts to fall in on you. I am still piling rubbish up ready to get rid of it all.


Well we do have power but no water.

The dust is now a major problem making breathing difficult. This has been caused through the liquefaction which was very bad throughout the city. I saw this at first hand when I went to get water last week and saw vans down holes in the road and submerged in the liquefaction. They have now been dragged out. Students have been helping to shovel up the liquefaction in the streets and there are huge mounds up and down the streets. The students have been fantastic. With the dry and dusty conditions the winds are now creating the breathing problems.

We are continuing to get a lot of after shocks which make everyone very jumpy.

I must admit this sort of experience makes you realise what is important and it is not the material things!!