Welcome to Technology in Education in the 21st Century. This course will provide a wide-reaching background in the use of technology in language education. Students will be exposed to a potpourri of topics, including (but not limited to) theoretical underpinnings of technology usage, applications both known and obscure, linguistic aspects of technology usage, and research and pedagogical trends in the tech-ed world. Time will also be devoted to roles that technology can play as an aid to and object of research. This course will also feature a substantial dose of practical instruction in such areas as manipulating common software, utilizing keyboard shortcuts, expanding into the cloud, and facilitating classroom instruction. During class students will lead group discussions, introduce an element from the cybersphere in an oral presentation, and take occasional in-class. Outside of class students will compile a virtual reaction journal and produce a course project in which they delve into a self-selected aspect of technology relevant to education. This course can be used as elective credit for the M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees.
If you would like (for some inane or perhaps insane reason), here is the course syllabus for your reading pleasure. Of course, I reserve the right to amend it, so please treat this as a guideline.
You might be wondering about the course requirements. Not wanting to scare people away, I have wisely included them way, way, way down at the bottom of the page in 2-point font. Actually, you will find them hiding down below, but just not in 2-point font. Let's cover some admin things, just for fun.
Hereafter you will find a reasonably detailed synopsis of the respective classes we will enjoy this term. We will not be using any specific textbook, instead relying on various (and sundry) readings, which will be available on a certain Cloud service—details in class.
Thus, with no further ado, here are the sessions.
Session #1 (Friday, June 26) — Intros Left & Right
As often happens on the first day of class, we'll be speaking in somewhat general terms about our course and some of the topics therein.
Today I will provide paper for today's readings, but usually I refrain from doing so. In general, the readings you see will be used in the session in which they are listed, so please prepare accordingly.
- ✔ Shirky (2010)
- ✔ Clay (2010)
- ✔ Bohannon (2011)
- ✔ Yashchin (2014)
Session #2 (Saturday, June 27) — The Google Toolbox, Etc.
Courtesy of our friends at Google, this session we will be looking at some (certainly not all) of the tools / apps that are available through Google. Although there are far more than we could cover in a session, we will take a glance at some of the following:
- ✔ Google Docs
- ✔ Google Maps
- ✔ Google Sites
- ✔ YouTube
- ✔ Google Forms
- ✔ Groups and Hangouts
You might well be thinking that Google was a wealth (a cornucopia?) of tools, to which I would certainly agree. Not to worry, Good People, for you can (and should) treat this situation much as you would your handy-dandy cell phone: simply pick and choose what to use, and then add a bit of knowledge as you need or want to. I suspect most people use a core four of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Gmail—those represent a good starting point! (Ah, perhaps also YouTube?)
Three of those core four are Microsoft applications, but Google includes very similar apps that you will likely find useful. In the clip to the right you will find a nice tutorial about the basics of Google Drive by Anson Alexander of AnsonAlex.com. I have found his tutorials to be extremely helpful, even to the point of subscribing to his YouTube channel.
Google Maps material: You might take a visit to my Maps page as well as have a look at the Dropbox folder titled *Google Maps* with some material I've used for guiding students in making maps for my class(es).
- ✔ Sparrow, Liu, & Wegner (2011)
- ✔ Herrick (2009)
- ✔ Schneckenberg, Ehlers, & Adelsberger (2010)
(Lest you think I'm placing an unrealistic burden on you, please realize that only the Sparrow, Liu, and Wegner (2011) article really qualifies as a full-fledged article. The other two are worth a glance, but they're more fluff than anything else.)
Session #3 (Friday, July 3) — Social Media: To Tweet or Not To Tweet
Brevity — a fine word, and especially so when applied to a pre-dinner speech. Seriously, every time I think about social media and the inherent brevity (140, perhaps), a certain minimalist form comes to mind. Courtesy of NPR, let us consider telling one's life story in a mere six words. Can you do that?
- ✔ Friesen & Lowe (2011)
- ✔ Blankenship (2010)
In the latter article you will have noticed a certain mustachioed gentlemen, and here you'll find the website of Howard Rheingold. Of the several articles on this page, one that raises a particularly provocative point is "Mindful Disconnetion."
As you're certainly aware, many things on the Net have a limited shelflife. Think for a moment, if you would, about MySpace ... remember when it was going toe-to-toe with Facebook?
In a most timely article, here we have—if you care to be amazed for a moment— a eulogy for Twitter in The Atlantic in which Adrienne LaFrance and Robison Meyer suggest that "[t]he publishing platform that carried us into the mobile Internet age is receding." An interesting read whether or not you agree.
Joy Nelson offers some sage advice here in a post from February, 2015, titled 16 best social media resources of 2015, which, cleverly, offers some advice on using Twitter and its ilk to enhance your classroom.
A bit tangential but nevertheless of interest, social media has gained some footing as an integral part of social activism. We'll have a look at some footage from Arab Spring, but not everyone agrees that upcoming revolutions will be tweeted.
Session #4 (Saturday, July 4) — Blogging
Text here soon. Maybe. Unless I just leave this meaningless space here for posterity.
As if we need more tools for blogging (do we?), here is a recent addition to the
pantheon. While preparing a speech, Evan Williams, a Twitter co-founder, had an
that bothered him about the Internet: it hadn't changed the world but had
instead become a convenience. Taking some of his many millions, Mr. Williams founded another
platform and blogging tool called Medium for writers to author longer
noted by the New York Times, Medium has gained a following among writers of various stripes.
What are we trying to do with Medium?
Now that sharing information is virtually effortless, how do we increase the depth of understanding, while also creating a level playing field that encourages great ideas coming from anywhere? We think that words (still) matter, so we built a better system for sharing them.
I'd like you all to have a look at a blog that absolutely demands some time be spent on meandering, moosying, and such. I speak here of Lorelle on Wordpress, which has a wealth of information not only on blogging but also on many other things.
- ✔ Halic, Lee, Paulus, & Spence (2010)
- ✔ Robertson (2011)
Session #5 (Friday, July 10) — Our Friend, The Screen
Your first chance to impress me, folks—Quiz #1 on this day.
In the second half of this evening's session we will be receiving a brief introduction to gaming in education from a good friend and very talented gaming expert, Professor Robert Cvitkovic. This is in preparation for tomorrow's class, in which you will be actually be doing some basic programming.
As promised, here is the explanation sheet for the webpage review homework. Note that this assignment is due in Session #9 on July 24.
Session #6 (Saturday, July 11) — Gaming in Education
Professor Robert Cvitkovic will be enlightening us in this class, which will be held in one of the computer classrooms. We will be meeting in Room 505, which is (cleverly) on the 5th floor.
Session #7 (Friday, July 17) — Wisdom of the Crowd
Of course, you all would be "the crowd", and I would be the one enjoying your presentations. Yes, good people, on this day you will be enlightening your fellow students.
- ✔ Kittur, Chi, Pendleton, Suh, & Mytkowicz (2007)
- ✔ Niederer & van Dijck (2010)
Thank you all for your interesting presentations. Here I'd like to add some links to some of the pages you introduced—please let me know which you'd like to include.
Session #8 (Saturday, July 18) — Corpus Linguistics
In the first half of our session this afternoon, I'd like to provide a brief introduction to corpus linguistics. Because this is a large and growing area in our field, I've opted to add a separate page to only begin to scratch the surface. Follow this link to our resource page with some information on corpus linguistics.
As you'll know from class, we will be looking at software developed by and available courtesty of Dr. Laurence Anthony of Waseda University. These various programs are available on the software page on his website.
In the second half of our class we will hear from Professor Rick Romanko about his dissertation research that uses corpus linguistics. The growth of corpus linguistics (and the related fields of computational, historical, and forensic linguistics) is, of course, intrinsically linked to the ongoing growth of computers.
- ✔ Bednarek (2012)
- ✔ One more article from the Corpus Linguistics folder.
Session #9 (Friday, July 24) — The Magic of HTML
This session will be held in one of our computer classrooms, and the purpose (which you might have guessed) is to have a hands-on html workshop.
Readings & Homework:
- ✔ Webpage reviews due
This evening we'll be looking at the source code of our class webpage.
Session #10 (Saturday, July 25) — Classroom Management Systems
On this day we will be joined by a virtual guest speaker, Professor George MacLean of the University of the Ryūkyūs. Professor MacLean will be speaking about his classroom management and his use of the Google Suite for exactly that purpose.
- ✔ West, Waddoups, & Graham (2007)
- ✔ Sanpraseri (2010)
As promised, here is the explanation sheet for the journal review homework. Note that this assignment is due by August 12, so you have lots of time to complete it.
Session #11 (Friday, July 31) — Wisdom of the Crowd
As you likely are aware, the title immediately above is in reference to the 2006 book titled The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. As we've seen in our weeks together, our collective wisdom far outstrips that of any one member of our group (myself included, of course!); your presentations a couple weeks ago were ample proof of that.
You might well wonder where this is going, for which you should be commended. The "where" is to whether the "wisdom" manifest in the connected masses (the "crowd" or "crowds") is worth tapping for research purposes. In short, with so much information floating around in the cloud, is it a viable data source?
- ✔ Kittur, Chi, Pendleton, Suh, & Mytkowicz (2007)
- ✔ Niederer & van Dijck (2010)
Sadly, while unicorns might (possibly) be imaginary, quizzes are not. Expect Quiz #2 to flutter your way this weekend.
Session #12 (Saturday, August 1) — Cyber-Assessment
In today's session I would like to look at tech-ish ion, good people.
- ✔ Mork (2014)
- ✔ One of the three remaining articles in the Cyber-Assessment literture folder
Session #13 (Friday, August 7) — Research in tech and education
In this, our penultimate session, we will be discussing research in the tech/education sphere.
- ✔ One of the articles in the Research folder.
Speaking of research, good people, we have a bit of recent news: Twitter has announced that all of its archived tweets (dating from 2006) will be released, thus providing researchers with a wealth of tweeted data that will allow them to "find patterns in human behaviors, tease out risk factors for health conditions and track the spread of infectious diseases."
Session #14 (Saturday, August 8) — Student presentations
Quiz #3 (take-home, to be submitted by Wednesday, August 12)
Be aware that your journal review is also due by August 12 (as part of your blog).
- Three quizzes: Each quiz will cover the material touched on since the last quiz and will require approximately one hour. The third quiz will be a take-home quiz and must be submitted by August 12. (15%)
- One written project: An extensive survey and exploration of the published literature of any one of the topics covered during the course. (15%)
- One blog, on which you will write your 'Notes on Various Things'. These will include:
- Reflections on at least one article from each class in which readings are assigned;
- Reports on three additional articles related to class topics (of your choosing, so these may be from the additional readings or related articles that you locate);
- One journal review (selected from list provided or in consultation with instructor)
- Note: Treat your blog as a chance to explore and question and extend your understanding of ideas in the field. What is wanted here is your reactions to the readings, not a summary of the readings themselves. (25%)
- An introduction of some tech-related element in Session #7 on Friday, July 17. This will entail explaining and demonstrating one of the following: (a) a particular piece of hardware, (b) software, or (c) a teaching technique that utilizes technology. 15-20 minutes would be a reasonable length. (10%)
- Reviews of two webpages (due by Session #9, July 24) (10%)
- A presentation of an assigned reading from class. In this you will summarize the main points and results of the article as well as critique it. (5%)
- Your final presentation on August 8, which will be similar to the presentation in Session #7 on July 17. You may not, however, present the same tool (software, etc.) as you did in the earlier presentation. I would happy here if this were a more in-depth presentation that includes any appropriate theoretical background as well as relevant research. (15%) Note: Much like your blog, this is an opportunity for you to be creative and expand the toolbox at your disposal.
- Active participation in class. (5%)
For other things (my procedure regarding late assignments, for example), please speak with me directly.
Please be aware that I have to submit grades by August 17, so please plan accordingly and submit everything in a timely fashion. I will not be pleased if I receive a mountain of homework on that day (hint, hint).
Tech in Ed Conferences
Below you'll find a smattering of conferences dealing with technology and education. It's certainly not an exhaustive list, of course, but it should give you an idea of what is lurking out there.
For those interested, the Kyōiku IT Solution Expo (abbreviated EDIX) is a local event dealing with IT in education. If interested, you might add it to your calendar: May 21-23 at Tōkyō Big Site, which is accessible by either the Yurikamome Line or the Rinkai Line.
For today's session with Professor O'Neill, we have a handout on plagiarism and technology in the classroom. I will prepare hard copies, but here is the digital version if you prefer.
In case you ever are in need of something to borrow some of your time, there are, of course, many books dealing with technology. A quick list of fiction works off the top of my head would include the following:
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
Chat in 1964
So, gentle student, you thought video chat was a recent development? Not so, folks, simply not so. Have a look at the video link to the right for the tale of an idea that was just a wee bit before its time.
Classroom management readings
- West, Waddoups, & Graham (2007)
- Sanprasert (2010)
- Houser & Thornton (2005)
New (June 17): Here is the piece by Professor MacLean about using various online groups for classroom management.