Category Archives: Assignments

No more class sessions, but ED628 lives on…

I’ve received a number of very good questions, so I wanted to address them with everyone.  Please remember to cc: everyone in the class when emailing me with questions about the final assignment, as I’m sure there are others with the same or similar questions 😉

Regarding the blog comments, and what kind of blog it needs to be, as long as the blog covers education and technology, it’s fair game. Once you submit a comment, send me an email with the link, or you can just send one email with all three links. Sometimes it takes a few days for the comment to be moderated, so if that’s the case, I’ll take your word that you’ve submitted the comment. It’s usually better to comment on a more recent blog post, as those get the most attention by the authors.  The comment doesn’t have to be profound; I just want to make sure you have the experience of participating in this kind of dialogue.

A good question came up regarding Throughlines on the unit plan assignment.  The book defines Throughlines as:

…long-term, overarching understanding goals, because they provide a focus for the entire arc of a course or project, just as a throughline shapes an actor’s performance in method acting. (p. 147)

It was fairly pointed out that my language in the ED628 example does not match the language suggested by the book.  So, I’ve updated them to better reflect that.  Throughlines are really about the bigger picture:  how does this unit connect to the goals you have for your students over the course of the full year?  How does this unit relate to your students’ identities (in formation), structures of meaning, and the “ends of education”?  As you can see, my Throughlines for ED628 were big, but just specific and concrete enough to organize an entire course–with sub-goals, activities, and performances.  I didn’t, however, exactly describe what that looks like (e.g., doing well on the final exam, scoring proficient on the MCAS, graduating to the next grade level, etc.) so there was some wiggle-room depending on the individual student’s background, goals, and abilities.  This is not easy, because the Throughlines are asking you to connect with the bigger picture.  As a masters student and working on an assignment like this, I had difficulty with this part as well.

For this assignment, however, the keystone is the unit-level Understanding Goals.  Make sure that you develop Understanding Goals that are clear and deep.  I will tell you that typical performance goals won’t cut it here, so please take some time (and a couple of revisions) in figuring these out.

Lastly, make sure you think about how all these different pieces relate and interact.  The map doesn’t do such a great job of doing this with a great deal of depth, so you will probably have to touch on this in your reflection paper.

Best of luck finishing up the semester, and please make sure to include everyone on your questions about the final assignments.

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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Assignments


More on the Technology Fair

Greetings from (finally) sunny California.

I have received a number of inquiries about the Technology Fair, so I thought I’d try to answer a few questions that have come up.  I want to help move this assignment from confusing to be challenging, so if you have any further questions, please let me know before it is too late.

Anyway, it would probably be helpful if you find and write a case of your technology in use or write a scenario for your technology in the classroom.  This would be helpful both from an “imagining what it can do” perspective as well as a “connecting it to the frameworks” perspective.  A case is an example of the technology already being used; there are plenty of examples on the interwebs, such as Google Wave Use Cases: Education.  (Ironically, Google Wave is now defunct.)  A scenario is you imaging how it could be used in order to accomplish some goal, and writing up a concrete story about the technology in use in the classroom.  See Scenario Writing in Education and Example Scenarios for some background and examples.

The case/scenario writing is not a requirement but you are more than welcome (and encouraged) to not only write them but to include them either in your wiki write-up and/or in your Technology Fair exhibit.  I think for many of you, it will help provide a concrete base for you to think about your technology.

Related, you can think about it first in terms of working towards an educational goal, and then how the technology can be used to support that working towards that goal.  This also might help make the use of the technology more concrete.  That way you can pull in a range of related technologies/software/web sites to support working toward this goal.

You can still do a more “traditional” exhibit about a technology.  By providing you with some options about how to “present” your technology in your exhibit and wiki write-up, I’m hoping to reduce some of the confusion and anxiety.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.  If you are celebrating any spring holidays this weekend (such as Easter or Passover), I hope you have a nice holiday and I will see you on Monday afternoon.

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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Assignments


Following Up on Deadlines and Wikis and Stuff

Just to recap, here are the upcoming deadlines:

Note that I’ve moved the final deadline from May 9 to May 15 at 5:00pm.  The syllabus has been updated to reflect this new date.

I will be posting the rubrics for these assignments (with the exception of the Tech Fair) in the next week or so, and you should have received the rubric as an attachment to an email for Philosophy Statement Remix #2.

I have invited you all to join the ED628 Technology Fair Wiki.  Please accept the invitation.  If you did not receive the invitation, please let me know.

Lastly, I will be setting up an “AirDropper” for you to submit your reflection papers and/or any other files for Philosophy Statement Remix #2.  You may submit more than one file, but they all need to be submitted at the same time (that is, you can’t submit one file and then go back later to submit something else).  I will be setting up AirDroppers for your last two assignments later.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Assignments


Your Upcoming Assignments

Please post as a comment two things:

  1. The technology, website, web service, gadget, etc. that you’d like to do your Technology Fair exhibit on;
  2. The unit plan that you will be adapting with technology and Teaching for Understanding.

Again, everyone has to choose a different technology to showcase for the Technology Fair, so if two of you want to do the same technology, please work it out.  You can work it out over e-mail, in person, over the phone, through the comments, etc.  Just keep it civil 😉

Also, when considering a technology, don’t choose a specific brand of technology, but rather a class of a technology.  For example, if you are interested in showcasing the iPad, you will actually be showcasing tablet computers with touchscreens, which include iPads, Android-based tablets (like the Motorola Xoom), Windows-based tablets, and Blackberry-based tablets.

For software and websites, consider it the same way:  you are looking for a class of software and websites.

As always, please e-mail me if you have any questions.


Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Assignments