Friday, November 2, 2012

Reflective Blog #3

This blog entry will focus on what you have learned in this course, as well as your future plans to use and keep up with educational technology trends after the conclusion of this course. In other words, you should use this blog post to reflect and explore the future of educational technology in your own professional life.   Some questions you should consider answering:
  • What are the takeaways from the articles on 21st Century Skills and the Common Core AND/OR the material from John Hattie that will influence your technology decisions;
  • How your project experience has helped you;
  • How you see technology being used in your own classroom;
  • What your future plans are for technology in your teaching;
  • How do you plan to keep up with technologies (e.g., journals, PLN, PD); and
  • What outstanding issues or questions you think need to be addressed as you continue to learn about and use technology?

Please post your answers to these prompts on your own blog by Monday, December 3rd, at 11:59PM.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Reflective Blogging Assignment #2

We are currently in a transition between the NCLB/standardized testing/high stakes/evaluation/fact-based content standards phase and the Common Core Standards, which try to emphasize more process-oriented skills.  However, while this transition takes place, teachers are stuck in the middle:  they're being encouraged to promote these skills yet schools (and teachers) are being evaluated on "the test."  Further, as we've seen in this week's readings, inquiry-based learning is not a panacea for education, and some believe that good ol' fashioned direct instruction is better.

For this week, you need to address the following questions on your own blog:

  1. How can a teacher find balance during this transition from more traditional knowledge-based content standards and more process-oriented skills?
  2. What are key factors that help improve the success of inquiry-based lessons?
  3. What role can technology play in assisting those factors?  Give specific examples.

Please post the answers to your blog by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, October 31st.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reflective Blogging Assignment #1

Please note that this assignment is to be completed on YOUR OWN BLOG, and must be posted by 11:59PM on Wednesday, October 3rd.

Many of the studies that you were exposed to in Week 4 said that technology does have a positive influence on student achievement.  However, many of the studies noted that success depended on several conditions.  In your post, please answer the following questions:

  • What were some of the factors that played a role in ensuring positive results when technology was integrated in the classroom?
  • What are ways that you can, in your own setting (or for those not currently in a classroom, in your future setting), ensure that these factors are present or absent? (Be specific to your situation; do not make general statements.)
  • How would you go about evaluating the success of a unit, lesson, etc., that involved the integration of new technology?
  • Finally, what could you do to disseminate successes and failures to your colleagues, administrators, and school board members?

Please refer to the assignment description and rubric in the Assignments folder to make sure you meet the requirements for full credit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Intro post

Hi.  You've come to the right spot.

What you need to do for your first blog post is simply give a brief introduction.  Who are you, what do you do, what hobbies do you have, etc.  I'll go first.

My name is Jason Siko.  I am a new faculty member here at GVSU.  I recently completed my doctorate in Instructional Technology at Wayne State University in Detroit back in May.  I also got married in June.  I also left my teaching job at Clarkston High School in Clarkston, MI in order to come to Grand Valley.  So if you're keeping track, I just went through a heck of a lot of change in my life.

I taught high school biology and chemistry for 13 years in Clarkston.  It would have been 14 but I took a year off to pursue a Master's in Futures Studies (a topic for a different day) from the University of Houston.

My dissertation topic dealt with having students design (rather than play) games as a learning tool.  Instead of using game design software or having the students learn a computer language, we went with a low-tech approach using game design principles to design an interactive game using MS PowerPoint.

If you want to learn more about my academic life, visit my website at

If you want to see what I was doing back in Clarkston (at least until they figure out that my website is still active), visit