Tag Archives: ED655

Final Lesson Plan and Defense Paper

This lesson has been through an extensive process this quarter. It started out with an outline of a face-to-face course I teach. This course has never been taught through distance education and distance ed was never in our thought process while designing this course. So at the beginning of the quarter I had a course outline. Many of the assignments and discussions are done in class so they aren’t articulated in the same way as they would in distance education. Also, this course has been taught in the traditional lecture and written assignment format. Going through this process with the course and learning about pedagogy and meaningful assessment this quarter, I will no longer teach this course in that format.

Defense Paper:

The lesson I designed for this course engages students in Lummi history. The overall goal of the lesson is to familiarize students with inherent knowledge that has been passed down through the generations in our community. This knowledge is thousands of years old. And our students have a right to learn this knowledge today. At the time of creation the Creator, X’als gifted these knowledges to our people with the understanding that our people would protect this knowledge. This teaching creates an inherent responsibility to this knowledge and that changes methodology in teaching. Most history courses provide large amounts of information throughout a period in time. This particular course has that same goal but it also comes with this responsibility. Students attending Northwest Indian College are predominantly non-traditional tribal students. But over the recent years, we’ve seen more and more younger students coming straight out of high school. After conducting a visioning process in our community from multiple groups of people and talking with our elders, it was apparent there was something missing in the way our leaders conduct business and make decisions. They were missing that key foundational knowledge about their history and homeland. The history and connection to homeland is essential to understanding why we protect these things. This class will give students that background knowledge and hopefully instill a sense of responsibility to their community.

The lesson described provides students with building blocks that will assist them in their final research project. Throughout this lesson, students will be introduced to inherent rights and how inherent rights are present in all aspects of Coast Salish culture. All of these lessons will contribute to the final research project that will be described in the critical inquiry stage of the assessment process. The course is designed to ensure students begin to see how inherent rights are present throughout the culture and see specific examples. The first unit of this lesson is about Creation. The students will be introduced to inherent rights with a video from a Coast Salish elder. And once they are introduced to inherent rights, they will read a creation story and try to identify inherent rights in the oral history. Each of these units asks the students similar questions. Once they begin their research at the end of the lesson, they will be required to talk with family members about their family history. Through this process students will have the ability to identify inherent rights in their own family history.

This lesson takes a formative assessment approach. This is process includes three stages that follow a circular process. The first stage is domain knowledge, this stage is built into the curriculum through the PowerPoint, Prezi, videos, and readings presented to students. All of these resources will provide students with the knowledge they need to move to the next stage. The next stage is critical inquiry and this is predominantly student-led. In this stage it is expected that students will take what they’ve learned in these units and apply them to their life. The final product of this unit is a research project that students will present at a community event. The instructor will give the students a description of the research project. And the instructor will give guidance as needed throughout the unit. But this research project is student-led. Students will be expected to research their family history by conducting interviews with family members. The students will also be required to describe inherent rights from their perspective giving examples from the Coast Salish culture. Then students will make a connection to inherent rights and their own family lineage. At the end of the critical inquiry stage students will have a product. And students will be expected to present their research at a community event. But the instructor will not just send them out to the community without working with them on their presentations. The students will first present their research in class to the instructor. The instructor will give them feedback and ask questions prompting further exploration into their research. The students will revise and present again. Once this process is complete the students will present to the community. This presentation cycle is the third stage of the formative assessment process. The faculty will assess student learning by asking if the feedback and questions influenced the student’s behavior. Did the student show a deeper understanding or growth from their first presentation to their second? The instructor will provide narrative feedback to the students with their feedback and the instructor’s observations for both presentations. That way the student can also see his or her own growth and understanding.

Lesson Plan:


ED655 Unit Lesson Plan

Thank you for the feedback everyone. I’ll try to figure out what is going on with my WordPress site. I don’t remember how to get in there to edit. I would like to add this lesson to that site as soon as I’m able to access it.


Emerging Tools

I chose to examine the emerging tools Moodle, Prezi, and VoiceThread. These tools are a great resource for students and instructors.

I started by examining Moodle. I was unsuccessful in downloading the software needed to create a course. So that link will not be in this post.

The first page I reviewed on the webpage was the Course Homepage: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Course_homepage

This page gave step-by-step instructions on how to create a course on Moodle. It also had YouTube videos for How to lay out a course, and What is considered a course.

The links are here:



These videos were helpful and started the learning process from the very beginning. As I stated above, in order to create anything on Moodle I needed to download the program and all the necessary software. This process did not work and I ended up at a dead end. But from prior experience with using Moodle I can say it is fairly easy to use. But instructors have to pay attention to the organization of the course. Each heading that describes where to find Assignments, Resources, Discussions, ect. all have to be inserted into the course. I’ve enrolled in courses as a student in Moodle where instructors just dump all the course resources into weeks but there is no instruction or organization to the course.

The next tool I reviewed was Prezi. Creating a prezi presentation only requires the user to have an account. There are options for different types of accounts. There is a free account but there is no security to these accounts. So all work that is created under a free account can be searched and viewed by the public. I created a Prezi presentation from one of my course powerpoints about traditional villages. The PowerPoint was already created and all I had to do was download the slides from powerpoint to Prezi. From there I was able to drag and drop the slides to the Prezi slides. There are presentations that are already created and all the user needs to do is upload their information to these designs. I chose to create my own design. So I found a picture online and uploaded that as the background to my presentation. This process took a few hours. I think it would have taken longer if the Original Territory presentation wasn’t already created. One interesting and user friendly tool that Prezi has the snapping tool. This tool aligns all of the slides to ensure they are all the same size and aligned with each other. It just makes the presentation look nicer. Another user friendly tool is the autosave tool. Once a change is made to the presentation, Prezi autosaves the changes. That way there is no issues with a student’s presentation disappearing. Here is the link to my presentation:


I also reviewed VoiceThread. VoiceThread is another presentation tool that can be used by students or instructors. Again, I used the Original Territory presentation and created a VoiceThread. This program required the user to have an account. This account can be a student account or instructor account. The instructor account is $99/year and will allow for the instructor to have up to 50 students licensed under this account. If the instructor needs additional licenses, they can purchase them. My account is through another course at UAF and I don’t know if I was technically allowed to create a VoiceThread for another course beside that one. So I may delete this presentation after a few days. There are layers to the process of creating a VoiceThread. These layers were not described to me when I created my first VoiceThread for my other class. I had to figure all of this out on my own. So if VoiceThread is used for lower-division students, these layers should be described at some point to the class. The first step is preparing a PowerPoint. This step is pretty self-explanatory and most students already know how to use PowerPoint. The second step is to figure out to some extend what you are going to say about that slide. I usually script my VoiceThreads. Then you upload the PowerPoint to VoiceThread and record a description for each slide. Overall it is fairly easy to use, but I think students need some direction if they are going to be required to use this software. Here is the link to my VoiceThread:


Defense of Unit Activities and Assessments

The desired outcome of my unit is social change. The underlying objective is for students to recognize that every one of us is part of the water shortage/pollution problem and every one of us has the ability (and responsibility) to initiate positive change for the benefit of the environment and the survival of mankind. The intended audience for my unit is 4-6 grade, and the lessons are scaffolded for students to construct knowledge.

The first step in change is recognizing there is a problem. My first lesson focusses on the limited availability of fresh water on our planet. The visual simulation format was created to capture attention and physically demonstrate how precious fresh water is as a resource. The assessment for activity one is designed to solidify the understanding that, although it seems that water is everywhere on our planet, the freshwater we use daily is in very limited supply.

The assessment for lesson one is also designed to spark conversation and stimulate critical thinking regarding how each of us waste water and contribute to pollution. This concept is explored further by the Home Environment Checklist in Activity two. At this age, students have limited exposure to environmental issues, and daily routines are filled with reading, writing, and math. Self reflection and meaningful dialogue can be a powerful tool in constructing knowledge. It is important to note the characteristic of the learners for this unit is somewhat unique. My unit is designed as a field trip where students from a variety of classrooms would come to me for a portion of the learning. Some sections of the unit are designed to be facilitated by the teacher in the classroom while others will be hands-on with me during the field trip. I hope this unit would be related and connected to a curricular topic of study in the classrooms, but it is possible that it will be somewhat artificially inserted into a rigid schedule. The discussion and follow-up activities are where much of the real potential for learning lies. All are designed with collaboration and social interaction in mind. Discussing new ideas and understandings with classmates, as they brainstorm lists and define vocabulary terms, helps make meaning of the new information.

Activity two involves the whole class in a role play scenario. Students are assigned an occupation and a container of contaminants. As the Catchment Story unfolds students physically dump their pollution into a clear tank of water. Because water waste/pollution is a real-world, collective problem, I chose to incorporate a Project Based Learning model. The use of storytelling and role playing in this activity aims to immerse students in the problem, and collectively generate possible solutions. Differentiation is incorporated through multiple methods of communication and delivery, thereby catering to various learning modalities. The Home Environment Checklist bridges the gap between home and school. It is designed to critically examine habits and behaviors that add to pollution with the assistance of a parent (who will be paramount in initiating any lasting change). The Checklist offers real-world examples to begin solving real-world problems.

Activity 3 involves students in another role-playing situation. Students learn about, and conduct various indicator tests to measure levels of pollution in different water sources. The activity and discussion, based on The Water Quality Interpretation Chart, is designed to help students understand how human behavior leads to the diminished water quality from samples they just tested. This is a very busy, active-learning experience with characteristics of the learners in mind. Because this is not my class of students and therefore I don’t know individual learning styles, preferences, or disabilities, this activity incorporates a variety of learning modalities. The assessment is largely built into the activity. The predicting, comparing and contrasting, and measuring water quality with indicator tests are all objectives and activities in which the students will participate.

The final activity brings the unit together with a deliverable. Students take their newly gained information and create a product that shares a message with the greater community. This fits into the model of Project Based Learning as well, by engaging student voice as well as collaboration with peers, teachers, professionals, and community. This activity is designed to be completed with the guidance of the classroom teacher, and the provided prompts, resource videos, and student created projects will assist in idea generation. I would like to facilitate publicly posting brochures and posters at the store to create incentive and add perceived value to the final product.

Throughout this course, and specifically through the study of learning theories, I have discovered that my philosophy for teaching and learning is deeply rooted in constructivism.
The lessons and activities in my unit are developed so that students are active participants in constructing knowledge through social interactions and hands-on learning.
In general, assessments are designed to reflect the knowledge that students have constructed through learning activities and discussions. Assessments are measurable and speak directly to the learning objectives outlined.

Review of Tools

The first tool I chose to review was Socrative. I picked this tool because it was relatively new to me and because feedback on my unit suggests the assessments need work. I’m planning to present my unit online for other teachers to utilize. It seemed that Socrative could be an alternative and possibly engaging way to assess knowledge acquisition.

When I first navigated to Socrative.com, the first thing that jumped out at me was “Get a FREE account. I’m all about free things, especially at the exploration stage when you don’t know if it’s going to be a value-adding tool or not. The main page is attractive and uncluttered, offering a brief product description and demo video. The website states: “Socrative empowers you to engage and assess your students as learning happens. Through the use of real-time questioning, result aggregation, and visualization, you have instant insight into levels of understanding so you can use class time to better collaborate and grow as a community of learners.” Essentially, the teacher has a digital device that collects and organizes data submitted from student devices. The demo was really helpful in giving an overview of the software capabilities. New users are then given an option of looking at the user manual. Maybe it defines my generation, but I’m still one to look over a manual before jumping in and “mucking around” with something new. One of the potential barriers to effective use that I found was that the user manual is very cluttered and confusing. There are arrows from text boxes to screencast images everywhere and in no particular sequence or structure. The lack of continuity with this makes it hard to know where to start reading a page and what description is related to what graphic.

After briefly reviewing the manual, I dove in, starting with a quiz for my first unit activity. When creating a quiz, you have the option of selecting a multiple choice, true/false, or short answer questions. The format of Socrative makes this process a breeze. It’s simple to add, delete, or re-order questions to fine-tune your assessments. One of the best features of this program is the “explanation” box following each question. Teachers can choose to include an explanation that will appear after students select or articulate their answer. I love the immediate feedback this provides students. If they answer correctly, the explanation is a confirmation of their understanding. If they answer incorrectly, the explanation immediately addresses the shortcoming. The feedback happens instantaneously, allowing students to reflect on their answers while the new ideas are still fresh in working memory. The “explanation” box would also be an asset to a teacher who finds the unit online and wants to teach it, but has a limited knowledge of the subject matter. There was one problem I encountered while creating quizzes in Socrative. I couldn’t find a way to add graphics, shapes, or text boxes to the quiz. One of my original quiz questions focused on the proportion of freshwater available relative to the total amount of water on Earth. I used text boxes in Pages to graphically represent volumes. I wasn’t able to replicate anything close to this in Socrative.

Beyond simple quiz generation, there are other features of Socrative that I think would be advantageous in education.
Teacher Collaboration – Teachers can share quizzes based on the code assigned. Importing/exporting quizzes is efficient for sharing course design and delivery.
Real-Time Questioning – The Quick Question feature allows teachers to stop instruction at any point, ask a question of the class, and gauge understanding based on instantaneous results they receive. This “snapshot in time” seems like it would provide the basis for real data-driven instruction. If results show most of the class “gets it,” the teacher can move on. If results show one particular concept is proving difficult, they can re-teach that day. Teachers have the ability to see exactly who is giving each answer, providing opportunities for differentiation. The live results provide an option for customized teaching difficult to match with paper.
Exit Ticket – This is another assessment option, which the teacher would have students complete digitally at the end of the lesson. Teachers can customize questions for the Exit Ticket that tell them whether students understood and can achieve objectives. The Exit Ticket could be used to solicit personalized and confidential feedback from students about delivery, effectiveness, gaps in understanding, etc. Based on this, teachers could work individually with students or choose to cover a lesson again on a subsequent day.
Space Race – A fun and engaging way to introduce a little competition into assessment. Students can compete individually or in teams against others. Students are “competing” to correctly answer quiz questions. Results are displayed as rockets moving along a racetrack and show competitors progress as well.

Overall, I thought this tool was easy to use with a fast learning curve. If one can get past the equipment resources necessary to implement, the advantages of real-time feedback are constrained only by imagination. Once I got over my initial (predictable) hurdle of diving in and messing around to learn how to use the tool, I began to see many educational advantages. With about 3 hours invested, I learned the software, revamped, and re-producing all my lesson assessments on Socrative.

To view the quizzes created for my unit of instruction, first sign up for a Socrative account. Then, log into Socrative as a teacher, and select manage quizzes. From here, choose import quiz. On the next screen you will have the option of importing a quiz from another teacher using the SOC share code (there is also the option to upload quizzes an from Excel file). The SOC code for my quizzes are:

Water Availability: SOC-19023441
Water Quality Testing: SOC-19025827
A Day in The Life of Campbell Creek: SOC-19025308

The second tool I chose to review was Camtasia. I picked this one because a classmate suggested I might use it for creating and sharing videos during our Peer Review session. I had no experience with it, so this was an ideal opportunity. The Camtasia website describes the software as follows: “A powerful, yet easy-to-use screen recorder, Camtasia helps you create more professional videos without having to be a video pro. Easily record your screen movements and actions, or import HD video from a camera or other source. Customize and edit content both on Mac and Windows platforms, and share your videos with viewers on nearly any device.”

Although they tout a “30-day free trial” it seemed to me they tried hard to make the free-trial process confusing enough to encourage frustrated people to just sign up for a paid subscription. In attempting to download the free trial version, I kept getting prompted for the activation key. I ended up downloading it 6 times trying to figure out where the activation key was displayed. Finally I called their support center for help and was told the activation key was only for customers buying a paid subscription. I was told how to skip this step and proceed with the free version. I find this type of thing very manipulative. I understand that companies are in business to make a profit. But if you offer trial product to stimulate interest in your for-profit product, you have a responsibility to cater to that user as well.

I wish I could say things got better when I finally got my free version downloaded. After looking over the new platform and exploring the menu bar, I found a “start a new project” tutorial. I watched this and the process for capturing a screenshot video seemed pretty straight forward. I set the same controls they recommended and tried to create my own. The video worked fine, but there was no audio. I tinkered with the internal input and output on my computer, changed settings, and tried every combination of built-in microphone, built-in input, built-in speaker possible. I made a dozen test screenshots and simply couldn’t get the audio to work. I’ve taken classes with Collaborate that require use of a headset, so I tried this next. Plug in the headset, change audio settings in system preferences, and try again. This yielded the same results. I spent another hour messing with connections, verifying that the headphones worked on another computer, changing settings, and trying to make a simple test video. Same results. The screen capture function worked fine in two dozen test videos, the audio never picked up sound.

Now I will be the first to admit that I’m not terribly tech savvy. I think it somewhat likely that operator error was to blame in this scenario and not necessarily a problem with the software. But if I’m having this problem, isn’t it likely that someone else has experienced it? I searched their in-house help service extensively trying to find answers to my questions, but there was nothing on the topic. I ran out of time and finally walked away. With 24 hours to reflect on the process though, I don’t know exactly what I would do differently. I had already spent 20 minutes on hold and conversing with tech support to just get the free version. I felt stupid calling back with another simple issue. I would argue that a service is hardly free when it takes 2-3 hours to figure out how to access the point where you start learning the tool.

I spent enough time scratching around the software to realize it isn’t what I thought it was anyway. I had a vision of a movie making software, this wasn’t it. Camtasia is great if you want to teach how to navigate somewhere online or demonstrate some technical skill that requires multiple steps. It basically records your cursor actions, what’s on your screen, and your voice (apparently). It would be very beneficial for teaching someone the process of getting to a desired location or the steps necessary to set something up. The editing capability appeared to be efficient and the sample screencast I watched look very polished. I see plenty of value in the software for educational purposes, sorry I can’t give a better review.

The third tool I chose to review was TeacherTube. I selected this one because I thought supplemental videos may help hook interest and engage students in the activities I’m putting together. The TeacherTube website states: “Stop wasting hours looking for learning tools and relevant content. TeacherTube is your one stop shop for user generated educational videos from around the world. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Find exactly what you’re looking for within a quick search.” It was love at first read. They had me at “stop wasting hours looking for learning tools,” after my Camtasia experience.

I started exploring this tool with the intention of eventually creating a short video introducing topic(s) covered in my unit. After searching the site for a half hour, however, I realized there were already a plethora of videos hosted there that were relevant to my project and probably better than I could produce with time constraints in place. However, the creation of a video was a part of my unit, so I further explored TeacherTube by creating and uploading a video. (The tool I used to create the movie is an iPad app called Doodlecast Pro Video Whiteboard
https://appsto.re/us/6P8-B.i This awesome resource is available for $4.99)

Learning curve – I was quick to pick up the basics. Within 20 minutes I was searching for content related to my unit. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pool of videos related to catchment.
Ease of use -The site was relatively easy to navigate. The help section needs some improvement. All tutorials are screen recordings without audio. It is difficult to watch a tutorial video without audio because I am wasn’t really sure what skill I was learning in the help video. Constant pop-ups and advertisements are distractions that take away from the instructional value of the resource. In my search, I did not find enough videos that would warrant a paid subscription.

Time required to create – TeachTube is not a tool for content creation. It is a resource to host instructional videos. I choose to use Doodlecast Pro as the tool to create videos. In order to upload content to TeacherTube, you will have to have software to create content. According to TeacherTube, the following file formats can be uploaded: wmv, avi, mov, flv, mp4, jpg, png, gif, mp3, doc, docx, .ppt, .pdf, .txt, .csv, .xls, .mp3, and .wav. Having used Doodlecast Pro in the past, it took a total of about an hour to create the script, graphics and compile the content to upload it to TeacherTube.

Problems encountered – Constant splash ads. Every time a user selects a video to view, a splash ad appears in the video window. This is confusing, annoying and distracting from content. While I watched many good videos, there were a lot of movies that were poor in quality. For example, some movies had pixelated images and very poor audio.
Barriers to use – A paid subscription is required for many of the features. This also does away with all the advertising pop-ups. When videos are uploaded they are not available immediately, so teachers will need to plan ahead if videos are included in lesson plans. Also, when I uploaded, I received notification my movie needed to be reviewed before publishing. I imagine content is vetted for copyright etc; however, in order for me to endorse and recommend this resource, the review process needs to cover video quality.
Educational Uses – There is a lot of value in using movies as instructional resources. I support video use (creation of instructional content, telling stories, PSAs….) in the classroom. As a parent, my children’s privacy is a concern. I think schools should consider internal servers and software services for video use, especially if the videos include students. To me, resources such as TeacherTube should be local (site based) to assist in student privacy and quality control.

View the short video I produced with Doodlecast and posted to TeacherTube here: https://www.teachertube.com/video/catchment-404285

Preliminary Thoughts: Emerging Tools

How many of the proposed tools are contextualized primarily for teacher presentation (passive learning)?

There are several tools that are designed for the use of teachers. And there are some that can be used by teacher or student. Prezi is a presentation tool that could be used by teacher or student. TeacherTube could be a passive presentation tool if teachers find presentations or videos on that site. It could also be a place where teachers get ideas for interactive learning. Powtoon could be passive or active depending on how teachers use it. If they create a presentation and share it with the class, that would be passive. But teachers could also assign their students to make a presentation.

Which have potential for active learning or afford students opportunity to display a product of their learning?

There are tools that allow students to make videos through video editing. Camtasia and GoAnimate are both tools that allow students to make their own videos to display. There are also tools that allow students to create things other than videos. Prezi allows students to create a presentation via the internet. Powtoon allows users to create animated presentations and Seesaw allows for digital portfolios. There are other tools such as Toontasic that allow users to create storyboards.

Which of the tools have potential for developing or enhancing the community of learners?

Learning platforms such as Moodle and iTunes U have the potential to develop interactive learning communities. These sites don’t automatically have this feature. It is up to the teachers to design the interactive piece and insert it into the class. Socractive is also an interactive tool where teachers can ask questions of students and get real time responses. This allows for the teacher to know instantly where students are in their understandings of the topic. I haven’t looked too far into Seesaw nor do I have any experience with it to know if there is an option to work with another student on this digital portfolio. But that might be another interactive learning opportunity if it has the option. Remind is also another interactive tool where teachers can communicate with parents and students

Which features most actively support learner engagement in a community?

I think the interactive storyboard tools and the video tools could help to engage the community. Students could recreate oral histories and show them at a community event. I think the language learning tools could also be used for community engagement. Students could learn language in class through this tool then participate in community events and speak the language.

Reflections about Learning in Public Spaces

There are many concerns about online learning. Some concerns are valid and require the instructor to address them. Others are created under false pretenses. As Northwest Indian College transitions into offering more online and online/hybrid courses we see more and more of these concerns in the Native Studies department. Though we are trying ensure online learning environments are a place where students feel safe, there are some instances where we feel that we can accommodate every student issue in these courses. So weighing the concerns to determine the value is something we have to do as educators.

One of the main concerns that I see is insecurity. This insecurity emerges in many ways. There are some students who don’t feel they know enough about the topic to create an opinion and post about it. These students are predominately non-Native students and at Northwest Indian College these students are the minority. In Native Studies our topics and discussions in online classes are about Native issues. Non-Native students sometimes feel insecure about posting in a public place when they feel they don’t have enough context about these issues to form an opinion. Some don’t feel its their place to even form an opinion on these issues. Online learning communities are a different space than face-to-face. Sometimes people feel more inclined to voice their opinions in online spaces. Non-Native students sometimes feel like they could get attacked if they voice their opinion.

Another form of insecurity come from Native students. I’ve observed some students feel they don’t know enough about the topic to comment publicly. Students react to this insecurity in different ways. Some students just avoid the situation all together, causing them to not do the assignments. Some students will struggle through, get feedback, and improve. I think both of these examples are valid. These insecurities impact student engagement and success in the course. The instructor should address these issues.

Other concerns that I’ve seen, given we haven’t had much experience with online courses in the Native Studies program, have to do with technical competence. Technical competence isn’t really an issue with dangers in public spaces, but it is really the only one I could think of. This concern  I feel could have easy solutions if they are approached properly. Faculty have reported that some of their students haven’t checked into the course at all. Canvas is new to our campus and  there are many instances where students don’t know the new software. This results in students not knowing how to access the site. At Northwest Indian College we have one person implementing online programming. These  factors should be considered when placing a value on this concern. But overall if a student communicates with the instructor and the the instructor responds to correct the issue, it wouldn’t  be a hinderance on student learning.