In the Civil Engineering Unit of STEM, students will need to provide some supplies for the Marble Mineshaft. The Mineshaft is built out of cardboard, primarily toilet paper rolls, and paper towel rolls and the students will need to bring these supplies to construct the project. The software to design, and present the information will be provided along with the computers needed to view videos and prepare assignments. The resources will all be sourced in the LMS so that students have access to the information at school and home. The learners will be provided desktop computers to watch videos, work on discussion, assignments, and submit the projects through the LMS Schoology. At the beginning of the Unit when students are learning about forces involved with structures, students will primarily be answering the questions individually, but later in the Unit students will be working with one or more peers to design, create, and build the structures. These majority of the assignments and discussions will be submitted to the LMS. The hands-on bridge and marble mineshaft projects will need to be observed and given feedback in class without an online submission.
It is significant to spend time and reflection on which type of technology is best suited for the students learning environment. Many factors need to be considered, and as mentioned in Teaching in a Digital Age, teachers will adapt to use the most appropriate available technology (Bates, 2015). Bates has organized the most important factors to consider through sections. The first thing to take into consideration is the student’s demographics. The school I teach is diverse and some students do not have access to a computer at home. Therefore, students will not need to bring their own devices and the course has a blended learning model. This way students have access to resources at school and at home. I have made myself available before and after school for students that need additional time to finish an assignment.
To address students’ needs, the LMS or technology used should include diverse ways for students to learn (Bates, 2015). The majority of the videos have included captioned videos and resources for students to work at their own pace to provide accommodations for students with disabilities. This platform also provides students with many options as to how they learn the information. I have witnessed many students slow down the pace of the videos, and re-watch parts that they struggled understanding the content, especially students learning English as a second language.
It is important to understand the student’s level of technology use, students will be at different levels regarding their exposure to technology (Bates, 2015). I have found this to be accurate and student’s technology skills varies, especially if students are transferred from a school with little access to technology. In addition the students are provided specific standards from the district regarding technology use. They have to read and sign a contract that they will be using technology appropriately, and consequences if they do not follow the guidelines. This information will also be available at the beginning of the Unit with the syllabus and a video explaining how to navigate through the course.
The course design is a crucial component to consider with multimedia teaching, it is important to understand how learners process information presented (Bates, 2015). To address these concerns I have been conscious of content and course layout. The embedded videos are an appropriate length, containing graphics, audio, and an instructor presence. The information organized in folders allows students easy access to the content. When applicable the picture or graphic is directly near the discussion, or assignment. And I am in the process of creating an introduction video to allow students basic information of how to navigate the course.
Bates, A.W. (2015) Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/