Hello everyone! As you may be able to tell by my profile pictures, I am not a traditional k-12 educator, but rather a radiologic technologist. I work full time second shift performing Computed Tomography scans at a local emergency room. I received a Bachelors degree in Medical Imaging from Misericordia University in 2014 and I have been slowly working on my Masters degree so that I can transition from the hospital setting into the classroom. Just 2 more classes! In addition to my regular job, I have also been working as an adjunct faculty/clinical instructor for Misericordia. As a clinical instructor, I visit radiography students at various local hospitals and instruct in a very hands-on manner. Last semester, I also started teaching my very first online class titled Principles of Computed Tomography. Anyway, as a very new educator, I look forward to learning as much as I can from everyone in the class.
I always seem to revert to the same old programs when it comes to creating with online tools. So, not surprisingly, the course introduction video really opened my eyes to the immense availability of web 2.0 resources that I would have otherwise not bothered with. Furthermore, it helped me construct ideas in what ways the tools could be useful. For example, my online videos and projects tend to focus on brainstorming solutions or demonstrating competence. The video supplied me with dozens of other unique opportunities. However, I think the most important thing I realized from the readings was the need for daily practice of web 2.0 tools for the greatest success. I tend to deploy web 2.0 in the form of projects or assignments, which are not necessarily daily activities. That is something I could work on going forward, but my challenge is finding something appropriate to my audience that is valuable, and not just for the sake of technology.
If I were to pick a pedagogical model to follow in the classroom, I would probably choose TPACK. Just as a disclaimer, I am not overly versed in any one of the particular models. My choice is based solely on the content I read this week and what I thought would fit best with my background. In my opinion, the TPACK model was just straightforward: you need to know the content you are teaching, how to effectively teach it, and how to effectively use technology. The sweet spot is overlapping the three areas. I liked the SAMR model as well, but I feel like the bottom half of the model is just inserting technology for the sake of technology without any improvement. I understand that the goal is to reach the higher levels, just as the goal in TPACK is to overlap the three areas, but I think TPACK (at least in my understanding) gives more leeway. For example, the bottom of SAMR uses technology even if there isn’t a functional change or improvement. In TPACK, there are areas where content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge crossover without technology. I love technology, and I love to implement it wherever possible; but I also believe there are areas of study where it isn’t necessary.
In my opinion, there is fine line to tread when considering social media in the classroom, and perhaps that is why it is often shunned by the education community. I enjoy social media, and also believe it can benefit classroom practices. However, it has to been conducted in the right context. For example, I try to keep my professional and personal/social lives separate. I do not befriend my students on Facebook, twitter, etc. I do, however, connect with them on LinkedIn. The difference is that I use LinkedIn in a strictly professional manner, whereas I use Twitter and Facebook in a purely social manner. Thus, for this assignment, I created a new Twitter account. I focused it on professional and educational resources, and would consider using this account for my classes. It's all about the context. I think it could be a great way to grow a PLN (personal learning network). It's also a great way to post updates, make connections, follow other professionals, learn from others. Most of my students use Twitter regardless, so why not have them use it for educational purposes? As for the assignment, I followed the EDIM class and tried to involve myself in discussions. I'll admit the discussions weren't overly in depth, but it doesn't mean they weren't of value. First of all, it forced me to finally create and use Twitter for professional purposes. Secondly, I will continue to follow and learn from all the educational professionals in the class, and invaluable resource to my own PLN. I don't know how I will use Twitter as an exact assignment as of yet, but as a first step I would encourage my students to do the same as I did: follow professionals in their field, follow societies, and use it as part of their own PLN.
ED Blog Overview
Blog 1: Discovery Educator, Blog 2: Emerging Ed Tech, Blog 3: Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, Blog 4: TeachThought
Who is the audience for the blog you are reading and does the content, writing style, and navigation meet the need of that audience? The target audience for all the blogs seem to be mostly educators, and in some instances students. Both the navigation and writing style of all the sites were pretty straightforward and would probably meet the need for any audience. But as expected, the navigation and organization varied slightly among each respective site, and the writing style varied depending on each author. For a very brief overview: The Discover Educator blog is broken down into categories, current trends, most popular, etc. It really has a wide-ranging variety of stuff to discover – it just takes some time to sift through the masses and find what you’re looking for. The Emerging Ed Tech site is much simpler and cleaner, and in my opinion is much easier to navigate through topics. The Educational Tech and Mobile Learning was very similar to Emerging Ed Tech in terms of appearance and presentation. It is also pretty similar in terms of organization. TeachThought was probably my least favorite of the blogs I visited. The content seemed on par with the other sites, but the relentless pop up ads made it extremely difficult to navigate. In sum, all the sites vary slightly in terms of organization and navigability, but follow the same basic premise and design to meet the needs of the reader. Is there anything similar in the blog-writing styles across all the blogs you read? The writing styles seemed to vary depending on the author, article, format, etc., but they were all relatively concise. A lot of them contained lists, graphs, charts, and a number of clickable resources. Is reading a blog different from other types of reading? Why or why not? If you’re used to reading structured articles and periodicals, you might find blog reading to be very different. However, if you do a lot of your reading online, you’ll probably feel right at home. Does it seem that writing blog entries (not comments) is different from other types of writing? Yes, in my opinion. Writing a blog gives you more freedom whereas other types of writing tend to be more structured. Other writings can be more difficult to engage whereas blogs are shorter, more personal, and often more pleasant to write (and read). Do the comments from others on a blog post help make the blog post more meaningful? Absolutely. Reader comments are like instant feedback. Comments can add validity to your post, add depth, and open up further discussion. What aspects of a blog would enhance student learning and why? Writing or even just participating in blogs can enhance learning by encouraging open discussion with other colleagues or professionals. They also encourage interactions, feedback, critical thinking, etc. For example, I am a member of a professional society in radiology called the ASRT. I am always surprised by what I learn by just reading through and sometimes participating in the blog section. It’s a great way to gain perspective from other professionals across the country.
I used a site called iPadio for the podcast assignment, and it was probably one of the easiest and most user friendly sites I've ever visited. Registration to recording and uploading a podcast took mere minutes. When I first read the criteria for the assignment, I figured I would record my audio through a separate program and then upload it, but I found that recording it over the phone was just simpler and easier. The quality of the audio is what you could expect from a phone call, but I thought it was reasonable. The only con of the site is the inaccuracy of the length of recordings. For example, when I recorded my podcast and uploaded it, the site said something like 1:22. I recorded it three more times trying to get it closer to the 2 minute mark. However, when I replayed and listened to my original recording, the time was actually 2:03. Nonetheless, I thought the site was worthwhile and it is definitely something I will consider going forward. Here's a link and RSS feed to my podcast. iPadio link: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/ArtGialanella iPadio RSS: http://www.ipadio.com/channels/_eqHiSL-pMOVW_SXYVBaXA/rss
After reviewing the page and information regarding critical evaluation, I decided to create a simple poll asking which method was the most useful in today's classroom. I chose to ask this question because resources are no longer limited to just text and traditional websites, but now include things like apps, blog, podcasts, etc. The goal of my poll was to find out which of these newer resources is the most difficult to vet. The results of the poll were supposed to be included within my slideshow; however, as of this moment the poll only has 1 response. So instead of discussing the results, I included the poll itself in the slideshow
Creating the slideshow also meant exploring the usage of creative commons licensing. I've briefly dealt with this topic in the past, but nothing to this extent. To be honest, I never even knew that Google had a filter for this. It was very easy to find images this way. I was able to find all of the images I needed for my slide show under the public domain option. The other images came from discovery education as required. The only confusing part (at least in my mind) was trying to properly label which image came from where, and where to put the cc license if needed. Nonetheless, I definitely think it would be worthwhile for my students to review cc licensing and how to critically evaluate newer resources.
RSS feeds took me a while to grasp. I struggled to understand the difference between an ordinary link and a feed. I've seen RSS icons before, but never bothered to look into what they meant. Nonetheless, after doing the assignment, it finally clicked. Once I followed a handful of blogs, the usefulness became incredibly apparent. Perhaps I didn't see this before because I'm not a regular blogger, but having every blog you like in one place is very convenient. It was also nice that you can group the blogs by category. I don't know if I would use something like this to share information with my students simply because we don't use blogs very often, but it is something I may personally use (although it still may take some getting used to).
One of our assignments this week was to create a Thinglink. There were a ton of sample models to choose from, but an identifying/informative image made the most sense for my type of classroom. I uploaded my own radiographic image for the assignment rather than using an image from Discovery Education - there are a lot of great images on that site, but none of them apply to my classroom. The image that I uploaded demonstrates certain anatomy and pathology and each item is labeled with a letter. Clicking on the label takes the viewer to a link with a broader description of the item. I would have liked to been able to upload an audio description of each item, but that option was not available with the free version of the site. Nonetheless, I was pleased with the outcome as it is. Check out the interactive image here: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/889211521463222272
Check out my blog post of this week's assignments here: https://radiographyweb.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/online-presentations/