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Homework Assignments and Other Graded Activities

Brief Overview

  1. As in the DAE1 course, attendance is required and there are some quizzes over the required readings.
  2. There are four assignments. The activities in items a, e, and f in the list given below are all part of one term-length assignment.
    1. Needs Assessment for Staff Development
    2. ICT and TAG.
    3. Applications of AI.
    4. Mini-Grant Proposal.
    5. In-class Presentation on Staff Development.
    6. Written Document on Staff Development.
  3. Click here for a rubric and general discussion about written assignments.

Grading and Due Dates

Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due at or before the beginning of the class meeting in the week indicated. Unless otherwise specified, assignments must be turned in electronically as appropriately formatted attachments in email.

Graded Item
Points
Due Date
Attendance 40 Based on 10 classes @ 4 points per class.

Five Reading Quizzes

25

Dates not revealed in advance. However, the first will be in Week # 2.

Staff Development Needs Assessment

10

Week 3

ICT and TAG

25

Week 5

Mini-Grant Proposal

25

Week 6
Applications of AI 15 Week 8

In-class Presentation, on staff development, last day of class

20

Week 10. Class meets 4:00 to 7:30 or so Thursday June 2.

Written version of staff development term project

40

Week 10. Electronic copy due by 5:00 Friday June 3.
Total Points 200
  • Each written assignment is to be turned in electronically as an attachment to an email message to the instructor.
  • Written assignments are expected to be appropriately desktop published.
  • Sometimes an assignment is awarded the grade Redo, meaning that it should be redone and turned again. Typically a specific due date is assigned. This grade is used sparsely, at the instructor's discretion.
  • Late assignments. 10% is taken off for each day or fraction there of that an assignment is late.
  • Course grades will be based on the percent of points earned. The scale is 90% = lowest A; 88% = lowest A minus; 80% = lowest B; 78% = lowest B minus, etc. Since this is a graduate course, a grade of P on the P/N option is awarded to a student who earns a B minus or better.

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ICT and TAG Education

The reading material on ICT and TAG focuses on the idea of empowering TAG students to take an increasing level of responsibility for their own education and development.

The specific assignment is to identify two or more elementary school or middle school TAG students and two or more "average" students, and work with each one individually to develop a ICT-oriented Total Talent Portfolio. [Note: The TAG students need not be officially identified as TAG. It is quite acceptable to select students that you and their teacher feel are much more talented and gifted than the average students.] Details about Total Talent Portfolio are given in Chapter 2 of the "TAG" book readings for Week # 1. The specific written assignment to be turned in should include details of these four (or more) TTPs, a compare/contrast of them, and a summary of some of the things you learned by doing this assignment. A "good" assignment report will include an analysis of what worked well and what didn't work well in this activity, along with suggestions for changes to improve the value of the ICT-oriented TTP.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Select a grade level and a content area (such as Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Science, etc.). Select some important concepts or ideas from AI that are relevant to the grade level and the content area that you have selected. Write a paper of approximately two pages in length that discusses the AI ideas from the point of view of their relevance to curriculum content for the grade level and content area you selected. Begin the paper with a very brief discussion of the grade level and content area. Follow this by a short discussion of the important AI concepts and ideas you have selected. Then, provide specific details of how you would integrate the AI concepts and ideas into a unit that one might ordinarily teach at that grade level and in that content area. I do not want you to think in terms of creating a self-contained lesson or unit. Rather, I want to have you figure out how to appropriately integrate the AI material as part of the regular lesson plans in a unit. The learning goals in the unit include both the "traditional" content and also the AI content.

I want the focus to be on students learning something about AI. The goal is that through the unit of study, your students will learn some important ideas about AI and some of the vocabulary of this field. For example, perhaps they will have learned a definition of AI that has some meaning to them, will now have an appropriate mental "chunk" called AI and that can grow in the future, and will understand how computers (and people) do "look ahead" as they consider possible steps to take in solving a problem, accomplishing a task, making a decision, playing a game, and so on.

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Staff Development

This is an individual term project, but some of the work can be done in a cooperative manner by the people who happened to be doing a practicum field experience together in a school. Each person in the class is expected to individually write and turn in the required reports.

The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice in three aspects of staff development in a school:

  1. Doing a Needs Assessment that is appropriate to supporting your choices for (2) and (3) given below. (The write-up on this is a written assignment worth 10 points.) Typically a Needs Assessment contains some state and/or national data from the literature, some school district data (typically from the literature), and some school-based data that is gathered specifically for the assignment. However, you should draw upon any school-based needs assessment that has been done in the past and is still relevant. At the school level, Needs Assessment can be done by informal conversations with teachers , students, administrators, parents, and so on. It can be done by observations of what is happening and what is not happening. It can be done by comparing your own insights into effective use of ICT in a school versus what you see is actually happening in a school. You want to gather data that provides good justification for the staff development that you will do. In the process you will likely gather data on other staff development that is needed. Your written report should include a brief discussion of such other areas of need. The reading assignment Moursund, D. and Bielefeldt, T. (1997). An effective inservice model. will prove helpful.
  2. Doing one or more "demonstration teaching inservices" with a class of students and the teacher. The most desired outcome from this is the teacher learning how to do the lesson and then actually doing the lesson or a very similar one or a follow-up one later in the term. Thus, this piece of the assignment expects that you will facilitate the happening of this most desirable outcome. However, this is a situation in which "I really tried, and here is the evidence of my trying" suffices if you happen to work with a teacher who is unwilling or unable to do an appropriate implementation. (The write up on this is to be approximately half of the final written report on this term project. It includes information on what needs in the Needs Assessment are being addressed, what you actually did, any materials you prepared to support your work, and outcomes from what you did (including affects on the teacher).

    Note added 6/9/05. The next time I give this assignment, I need to stress the importatnce of demonstrating approppriate classroom managment techniques in a hands-on environment. Also, make it more clear that during the demonstratoin teaching, the regular classroom teacher needs to function as a particpant- observer, or as a student. Get active involvement of the teacher, rather than passive obsrvation.
  3. Doing a one-on-one or small group inservice of sufficient length (a minimum of two sessions) designed to help a teacher (or small group of teachers) learn and then implement their learning of some aspect of ICT in education. The most desired outcome from this is the teacher learning how do something new in ICT in education, and then doing it. Thus, this piece of the assignment expects that you will facilitate the happening of this most desirable outcome. However, this is a situation in which "I really tried, and here is the evidence of my trying" suffices if you happen to work with a teacher who is unwilling or unable to do an appropriate implementation. Note that before you begin implementation, you should get verbal agreement from the teacher(s) that you work with that they fully intend to do an implementation of what they learn. This section of the report will likely be approximately half of the final written report on this term project. It includes information on what needs in the Needs Assessment were addressed, what you actually did, any materials you prepared to support your work, and outcomes from what you did—including affects on the participants and their students..

The final report should be organized as a document consisting of:

  1. Title Page that includes a Table of Contents.
  2. Needs Assessment.
  3. Report on Demonstration Teaching inservice activities.
  4. Report on one-on-one or small group inservice activities.
  5. Brief Summary & Conclusions.
  6. References (briefly annotated).

Additional Notes You Should Read

  1. The document should contain a Table of Contents and the pages should be numbered sequentially starting with the Contents page. If you are using Microsoft Word, then I want you to learn to use the Table of Contents feature of that software to generate the Table of Contents.
  2. The Needs Assessment part of the report is the Needs Assessment done as an earlier assignment. You may modify that initial Needs Assessment if you like, based on additional needs assessment you did after the initial document was turned in. If you want me to read the new Needs Assessment, please indicate in the document that it is a New, Revised Needs Assessment and also include the original or tell me what has been added or changed. In exploring potential inservice "targets," find out if the teacher or teachers have had one-on-one or small group or demonstration inservice in the past few years and also find out about specific inservice education they have had on ICT.
  3. Parts 3 and 4 are guided by the specifications of the assignment. Keep in mind that you are being given a very valuable learning opportunity. Feel free to do more inservice work than the requirements specify. Your written description of what you did, what seemed to work well, what didn't seem to work well, what you learned in the process, and so on should be fairly detailed. It should contain enough detail so that a reader can learn from your experiences.
  4. Parts 3 and 4 can be on two different ICT topics, or they can be a carefully integrated focus on one topic. For example, suppose you want a teacher to learn to make effective use of a computer and projector in teaching reading and writing in the first grade. The demonstration teaching would illustrate this. Individual meetings with the teacher before and afterwards could focus on the teacher developing the needed computer hardware and software skills to implement the ideas. The overall intervention might end with you observing the teacher actually implementing the ideas in the classroom a couple of times later in the term. The Summary and Conclusions needs to have some depth. What are key ideas you learned? What would you do different next time? What are your recommendations to next year's students doing this assignment?
  5. The References section is a combination of references, resources, handouts, and so on. For example, an inservice for a Kindergarten teacher probably should include a handout with links to Websites suitable for use by Kindergarten students. Generally speaking, a good inservice includes providing the teacher with materials that are of immediate use to the teacher.
  6. The staff development activities in a school are to be done in addition to the practicum field placement assignments associated with the practicum placement. While these two activities may overlap, it should be clear to the instructors of the two courses that you have done an amount of work that is the total of the work expected in the two courses.

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25 Point Mini-Grant Proposal

Select a school site. It can be a school where you did your student teaching, a school in which you have done a practicum, a school where you hope to be teaching next year, etc. Each year the PTA/PTO for "your" school awards up to $8,000 to a teacher in the school building. Write a proposal for "your" school based on the following RFP.

PTA/PTO Request for Proposals

Each year the PTA/PTO funds one grant for up to $8,000 to one teacher in our school. The funds are to be used to: 1) Improve the quality of education being received by the students that the teacher teaches; 2) Advance the professional and leadership career of the teacher; and 3) Pilot test ideas that might be implemented school wide.

  1. Proposals are due on or before 15 September. They must be hard copy (Faxes and Email are not allowed). Grants will be awarded on or before 1 October, and all funds must be spent by the end of the school year.
  2. A Title Page (which should include your name and teaching assignment, a Table of Contents and a short Abstract) is required.
  3. Proposals cannot exceed five pages in length, counting the Title Page. A "page" must not exceed 2,500 characters (counting blank characters) in length.
  4. The proposal should contain:
    1. A careful statement of the educational problem(s) being addressed. [A proposal can address more than one problem.] Choice of problem(s) should be guided by the overall intent of:
      • Improving the quality of education being received by the students that the teacher teaches.
      • Advancing the professional and leadership career of the teacher.
      • Pilot testing ideas that might (at some time in the future, but not as part of your grant project) be implemented school wide to improve the quality of education that students are receiving and to advance teachers professionally.
    2. A detailed plan of how the funds will be used to help solve the problem(s).
    3. How the project activities and overall project outcomes will be assessed.
    4. A budget and budget notes. Funds cannot be used to enhance the teacher's income. The budget should not request funds for hardware, software, and other materials that are already readily available in the school. Thus, your proposal should reflect knowledge of what is already available.
    5. A very brief set of references that help support the idea that your project reflects research-based improvements in education.
  5. For the project that is funded, a Final Report (not to exceed three pages in length) is due at the end of the school year, after the project has been completed. [Note to students in the DAE2 class. Since you will not be actually carrying out the project, you will not be writing such a final report. Moreover, I expect that you will turn in this assignment electronically, just as for the other assignments in this course.]

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 In-class Presentation, Last Day of Class

Each student is to prepare and present a 15 minute report on their term project on Staff Development. Plan on a presentation that is about 10 to 12 minutes in length, and question answering that is three to five minutes in length. (If the class does not ask questions, then you should ask them a question or two to facilitate interaction with the class and encourage them to ask questions.) Remember, the expectation is that you will make full use of your 15 minute time slot.

I am expecting professional quality presentations. This means (among other things):

  • Being professionally dressed. (For example, think about how you would dress for an important job interview, or if you were doing a presentation to the School Board.)
  • It includes appropriate use of presentation media. (Be sure to practice in advance setting up, accessing, and using the multimedia.)
  • It has good, useful, well thought out content that your fellow students can (and should) learn from. You learned a lot while doing the inservices—help your fellow students to learn from your learning and experiences.
  • It has a well thought out handout not exceeding two pages in length. The handout includes the title of the presentation, your name and email address, your Website address if you have a Website, a short abstract containing the key ideas of the presentation, a list of key ideas, and references. The reference section should consist primarily of Web-based references, and each reference should have a short, informative annotation. Generally speaking, a copy of your "visuals" used in the presentation is not a good handout.

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Written Assignments

The following is a general purpose rubric used for written assignments,. You will note that it lacks details needed to align it with a specific assignment. In this example, we are assuming a 10-point assignment. A corresponding scaling of points would be used for an assignment with a larger or smaller number of possible points.

The first page of each written assignment should include your name, the name of the assignment, and the due date of the assignment. When grading a written assignment I am looking three major things:

  • Reading and following the directions. Your document shows that you have a clear understanding of the assignment.
  • Demonstration of higher-order understanding and knowledge—analysis, synthesis, and evaluation on the Bloom's taxonomy scale
  • Effective communication, appropriate desk top publication, and freedom from errors in spelling and grammar. If the document has a bibliography, use a standardly accepted format for the bibliography.
Level; Points on 10 point scale; Letter grade
Brief Description

Level 1: Emergent
Points: 0-3
Grade: F or N

Student displays little, if any, of the rudimentary knowledge and skills that are expected. (We also use this level, and a score of 0, if the assignment is not turned in.)

Level 2: Limited
Points: 4-5
Grade: D

Student displays rudimentary knowledge and skills, but these are not at a level appropriate to a graduate student.

Level 3: Developing
Points: 6-7
Grade: C

Student displays a minimally adequate level of the expected knowledge and skills.

Level 4: Capable
Points: 8-9
Grade: B

Student displays a functional, adequate level of the expected knowledge and skills.

Level 5: Strong
Points: 10
Grade: A

Student displays a high level of the expected knowledge and skills.

Level 6: Exceptional
Points: 11
Grade: A Plus

Student displays an outstanding and creative/innovative level of the expected knowledge and skills, and receives extra credit for this exceptional work.

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Inventing Your ICT in Education Future

Note to Students: This is not an assignment. It is my thoughts on an assignment that I considered giving. I am saving my thought here for possible use sometime in the future.

Select a grade level and a content area (such as Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Science, etc.). Select some important concepts or ideas from Inventing Your ICT in Education Future that are relevant to the grade level and the content area that you have selected.

Write a paper of approximately two pages in length that discusses the Inventing Your ICT in Education Future concepts and ideas from the point of view of their relevance to curriculum content for the grade level and content area you selected.

Begin the paper with a very brief discussion of the grade level and content area. Follow this by a short discussion of the important Inventing Your ICT in Education Future concepts and ideas you have selected. Then, provide specific details of how you would integrate the Inventing Your ICT in Education Future concepts and ideas into a unit that one might ordinarily teach at that grade level and in that content area.

I do not want you to think in terms of creating a self-contained lesson or unit. Rather, I want to have you figure out how to appropriately integrate the Inventing Your ICT in Education Future concepts and ideas material as part of the regular unit. The learning goals in the unit should include both the "traditional" content and also the ICT Futures content.

I want the focus to be on students learning something about ICT Futures. The goal is via the unit, your students will learn some important ideas about ICT Futures and some of the vocabulary of this field. Quite likely you will want to focus on change that is being brought about by ICT, the increasing pace of change, what some possibilities are for the future, how one copes with ICT changes, and so on.