You are on page 1of 7

Introduction

The importance we place on technology in our daily lives is well documented not only through

case studies but also through our personal experience. As educators continue to grow their

practice, they must find effective ways to implement technology into their classrooms to ensure

they are staying relevant. The following document will summarize my decisions about the

structure and pedagogical objectives of this course.

Rationale for a Blended Learning Environment

Creating a course that could be utilized in my own practice played a large part in my decision to

design a business course that would be delivered in class. The resource I created for

Entrepreneurial Marketing and Accounting 12 is designed to be a portal that will both be a

supplement for classroom lectures and activities but also used to deliver resources such as

videos or other media; In this regard, there will be times when the course is blended. I agree

with McTighe & March (2015) when they state that more technology is not the answer to a

blended classroom and that we should always attempt to start with our learning goals. They

argue, teachers and students can use just a few digital tools to achieve many learning goals

(McTighe & March, 2015, p.36-37). One of these learning goals that form the foundation of

many of my courses is driven by the fact that many students still rely on teachers to provide

them with content and answers related to their courses but, will use the internet for almost

every other aspect of their lives. McTighe & March (2015) state that with much of the worlds

information readily available to anyone with a smartphone in their hand, the true value in
education has shifted from knowledge retention to knowledge acquisition, meaning making,

and transfer (McTighe & March, 2015, p.41).

I teach mathematics and business education at the Rick Hansen Secondary School of Science

and Business in Abbotsford BC. Over the last two years, our school underwent a large transition

and shifted our focus to allow students in the senior years to concentrate on STEM or take a

business focus. We are currently in the process of working with local universities to ensure our

content and graduates are given the best chance to succeed in post-secondary studies. From a

technology perspective, by the time this course is delivered in the classroom, all students will

be bringing their own device; this opened the door for us, as educators, to bring technology and

resources into the classroom that otherwise would have been difficult or impossible.

Layout of Resource & Google Apps for Education

The layout of the website itself is meant to flow in a linear fashion from one section to the next

so as to mimic the flow of content in the classroom. Further, students can be confident that as

the course progresses and they navigate through the resource that they are not missing

anything. By the time students arrive in my classroom, they are well versed in digital literacy as

they have completed a required course at the Rick Hansen Secondary School called Digital

Literacy 10. A considerable portion of the course is spent gaining an in-depth understanding of

Google Apps for Education, a cornerstone for how students will complete and submit

assignments in Entrepreneurial Marketing and Accounting 12. Google Apps for Education

includes Gmail as your email service; tools such as Docs, spreadsheets and presentations for

content creation; Drive for storing folders; and a variety of other tools to help keep your class

organized and to help students collaborate (McCloud, 2014, p. 52). Another great benefit of
this tool is that it is web-based and thus allows numerous users to be online and collaborating

at once and is accessible from almost any device with an internet connection and web browser

(McCloud, 2014). There are currently over 30 million users of Google Apps for Education

including seventy-four of the top 100 Universities in the United States and seven of the Ivy

League schools (McCloud, 2014). From a classroom management perspective, having students

collaborate on group projects on Google Drive allows me to stay in the loop but also to avoid

the age-old problem of forgetting stuff at home.

Pedagogical Explanation of External Electronic Resources

As a high school educator, I can make use of a wealth of publicly available content and tools.

One such tool that has been widely covered in the media and has been described as a

glimpse of the future of education is the Khan Academy (Cargile & Harkness, 2015, p.21).

Khan Academy is a free web-based resource available to anyone with an internet connection

that has been created to allow educators more class time to engage in meaningful discussion

about course content and less time standing and delivering lessons (Cargile & Harkness, 2015).

Although only the introductory module of my resource is complete, I intend to link many of my

course content topics to previously created Khan Academy lessons for the following reasons:

- Students can watch, and re-watch lessons on topics they might find particularly

challenging

- Instructor will have classroom time to reinforce learning through engaging classroom

activities or projects based on content area


- Students who are not present can watch lessons and stay up to date and instructor can

create an environment of accountability for students who are absent

Without teacher intervention, this obviously requires a student to be self-driven and proficient

in previous content in order to build meaningful connections with new material.

Khan Academys popularity is apparent when we learn that it is currently being used in more

than 29,000 classrooms worldwide in 216 countries. There has also been statewide

implementation in Idaho with more than 10,000 students piloting the system in 2013-2014

(Cargile & Harkness, 2015). From my own experience at the grade 9 level of mathematics, the

Khan Academy pedagogy coincides with my own and it is clear that research is done to create

short, concise lessons to maximize student time. One of the goals of the Khan Academy is to

allow educators to flip the classroom where students can watch the lessons at home and be

able to spend class time engaging in content in other ways. Salman Khan, founder of Khan

Academy stated that with Khan Academy a teacher can finally have every kid going at their

own pace and have the teacher really focus on what we would consider higher value-added

activities, which is running simulations with students, doing actual interventions, [and] getting

students to teach each other the concept (Cargile & Harkness, 2015, p.23). Not only does this

align with the vision of RHSS, but it also fits with the new K-9 curriculum currently implemented

in British Columbia (and set for implementation in 2017-2018 for grades 10-12). My intention is
to pick and choose applicable lessons that fit in my classroom and not have students complete

an entire course online.

Outcomes Based Assessment

One of the goals of the Rick Hansen Secondary School of Science and Business is to transition

completely to outcomes based assessment. This method of assessment allows the educator to

gain evidence on learners progress and achievement using a variety of alternative

assessment methods such as observations, portfolios, teacher-constructed performance tasks,

projects and self-assessment (Brindley, 2001, p. 394). Although there will be a portion of

assessment (20%) based on summative tests, students will be able to attempt to show

proficiency numerous times based on individual outcomes. Further, as we learn more about

testing environments and assessment, we are finding that even though students may have a

proficiency in an outcome, they may not be able to demonstrate it for any number of reasons;

providing students with multiple opportunities and methods will allow us to get a better grasp

of how they are doing. In regards to assessment on the resource, Google Forms is an effective

formative tool I will use to provide students with quick checks of their understanding.

Challenges with WordPress

One large challenges I faced with using WordPress was there was no clear way to create an

online discussion forum where students could ask questions of their peers and the instructor. I

posed the question in the discussion forum for ETEC565 to my peers and was not able to find a

solution. A discussion forum is important for my class as I want my students to have an outlet

where they can ask questions and engage in the content with their peers, especially if they are
watching lessons or doing readings at home. A work around for this is having students use

Google Docs to collaborate but an obvious limitation is that it is more difficult to moderate and

keep organized. Although all my students will have their own tablet, Chromebook or laptop,

many still choose to use their mobile devices to access content; the WordPress themes that

maintained a clean, uncluttered look (which is important to me) were becoming difficult to

navigate on a mobile device. Although this limitation is not a deal breaker for me, it may

discourage students from accessing my site and engaging in my course.


References

Brindley, G. (2001). Outcomes-based assessment in practice: Some examples and emerging

insights. Language Testing, 18(4), 393-407.

Cargile, L. c., & Harkness, S. (2015). Flip or Flop: Are Math Teachers Using Khan Academy as

Envisioned by Sal Khan?. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 59(6),

21-28. doi:10.1007/s11528-015-0900-8

McCloud, M (06/24/2014). Introducing Classroom, a new tool in Google Apps for Education.

(2014). District Administration, 50(8), 52-53.

McTighe, J., & March, T. (2015). CHOOSING APPS by Design. Educational Leadership, 72(8),

36-41.