Driving Question: Reflection

This week involved much reading, reviewing, updating and planning of my PBL lesson: Garden Plots.  This week’s assignment was to create a “Driving Question” and 10 sub questions, along with describing in the forum, characteristics of a quality driving question and explaining how my driving question meets those criteria. Additionally, I broke down each sub question to further explain how an entire unit, using more than Math core standards, can be created around my driving question.

My driving question is: 

How many fruits & vegetables can be grown in a community garden plot?

My 10 sub questions & further details: 

  1. What types of fruits & vegetables do we eat the most?: Students decide which plants they consume regularly, based on the area they live in. This could vary, depending on the area’s culture, type of foods eaten and access to fruits & vegetables.
  2. How are seeds obtained?: Students will research the process of growing plants to obtain them for a garden, along with the characteristics of each plant’s seeds and its identification. (not including simply purchasing at the store….)
  3. How long does it take to grow these plants?: Students will research plant germination to harvest time, based on each type of plant and its characteristics and where and how they’re planted.
  4. How and when do we harvest these plants?: Students will determine when they will harvest their fruits & vegetables and how to do so, not affecting other growing plants, and how to keep their fruits & vegetables from rotting or going to waste, ie: canning, farmer’s markets, donating.
  5. What nutrients do these plants require to grow?: Students will research required growing conditions and nutrients needed, applying those nutrients to their garden, in the form of fertilizer or UAV, etc.This could also branch off to conduct experiments or hypotheses, comparing different growing conditions for similar plants to determine what works best and why…
  6. How much area does each plant need to grow?: Students will research the area each type of plant needs to grow, without affecting other plants in the garden.
  7. What is needed to grow these plants in a community garden plot?: Students will research and determine the basis of a community garden plot and what is needed to create and manage one.
  8. Which of these plants can we grow in a community garden plot?: Based on the above answered sub questions, students will research, collaborate and determine the contents of their garden plot.
  9. What measurement tools and formulas will you use to determine the overall perimeter, area and boundaries for each family’s plot?: Students will apply mathematical formulas for perimeter and  area to later, equally divide their garden plot, based on sub-Q #10.
  10. With the community requiring at least 12 separate plots for 12 families, how much area does each family require if they grow 2 of each regularly eaten plants that we identified in Q5?: Students will apply their knowledge thus far to find the answer to this question, and finally, present their findings to the class in a professional manner.

EdTech 541: Final Reflection & Blog Self Assesment

As EdTech 541 comes to a close, I feel that I have learned so much, that it would take me hours to explain all that I have learned in a blog post, but I will try my best.

When I started the MET program, again after 8 years, I was a little nervous about my decision. I took 2 classes in 2008 while working at an Army Reserve unit in Boise full time, along with being a new Mom and a Company Commander for drill weekends.  I tried to do well, but near the end of these 2 courses, I was called upon to attend training and could not finish. That has been bothering me for the last 8 years.

Being in the Army, from 1997 – 2015, has taught me to persevere, no matter how uncomfortable or rushed I believed I was going to be, and now that I am retired, I know that I can finally earn a Master of Educational Technology from Boise State University by Fall 2017. Happy Days!

I have learned to explore new software, apps and ways to present informative and provide in-depth lessons to students.  I have also discovered many resources that I can use when I do begin teaching, for Elementary level Mathematics or for really any other subject, due to the flexibility in lesson planning and resources available concerning technology integration.

I categorized my blog posts & related assignments with applicable AECT standards on WordPress.  The AECT standards drove what I produced for the class and I am glad that they are available for reference, not just for me but for all technology instructors.  If these standards were not available, it would be very difficult to determine what we should be doing to prepare to teach technology related material to our students.

I have grown professionally, due to the insightful course readings, assignments, resources and software I researched and used for this course.  I feel that the open forum resulted in understanding how others are applying the tools I received or learned about for this class and it helps me understand what I could do later or further research & try out ahead of time to be better prepared for technology integration.

Unfortunately, because I am not teaching currently, I have not been able to apply what I have learned in this course to a classroom environment, which means that until I do, I will lack the “Ah Ha” moments that many classmates have had during this course. However, because all of my material will be saved and presented as a portfolio later on, I will always have this material to build upon and integrate into my curriculum.

Different learning theories, multimedia principles, effective lesson planning and professional presentation has guided my projects that I completed for EdTech 541.  It is important to understand that different students have different abilities and ways of learning, therefore I should keep an open mind and be flexible.

My Blog Assessment:

  • Rich in content, full of thought, insight and synthesis with clear connections to previous or current content and/or to real life situations made with depth and detail.
    • I believe that I have completed thorough blog posts which have evoked questions by fellow students, involving material currently or previously studied. I have also applied appropriate AECT standards, effectively showing which area my class assignments belong to.
    • 70 Pts.
  • Readings (from course text) and other resource materials are used to support blog comments. APA style is used to cite references.
    • Each blog post references the class textbook. I also read and researched more than the week required. I believe that I have used correct APA citations and references.
    • 20 Pts.
  • All required postings are made early in the module to give others time to comment.
    • The majority of my posts were completed near Friday, providing 3 days to receive responses from other students and reply. I noticed that some students completed their posts within the first few days, and then responded to two other early blog posts. This impacted the amount of views and responses I received.
    • 15 Pts.
  • Two or more substantial posts with at least one detailed response made to address another students’ post.
    • I provided substantial responses for two other students’ posts each week, and I included my thoughts on their blog, in addition to my personal experiences.
    • 30 Pts.