This annotated bibliography is a list of ten topics emerging in K12 educational technology. Each of the 10 listed discusses the importance and relevance of the topic, differentiation opportunities, and associated resources. I would submit that K12 and higher education are different on some topics and I have included topics where those differences are included in the discussion.
What is the technological source presented? An instructional design strategy
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? A distribution system such as the learning management system (LMS) or a mobile/text-based system.
Microlearning is an evolution in the size and delivery timing of training or professional learning. While the existing learning management systems (LMS) can deliver microlearning, defined as 5- 10 minutes sessions (Torgerson & Iannone, 2020) and most often on the demand of the consumer (Torgerson & Iannone, 2020; Zhang & West, 2020). Microlearning is designed as independent, but able to be sequenced, components of learning. If microlearning is left to the demand and interests of the end-user it is highly customizable, resulting in differentiation by the end-user.
New applications are being built around the idea of microlearning. If the content is truly micro in size, platforms like Arist (n.d.) text messaging courses should be considered a more cost-effective investment than an LMS. Watch for more offers to enter the market space for microlearning in the near future.
- How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment?
I am working to created mobile/text-based professional learning for the next two years. I will apply both to my day job in district professional learning and I will launch a pre-school credentialing offering to pre-schools in Georgia in the next two years.
Badging or Microcredentials
What is the technological source presented? Badging or Microcredentialing Platforms
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? Badging or Microcredentials
Referred to by both terms, the current platforms leading in the educational spaces are Credly (n.d.) and Badgr (n.d.). Badges, or microcredentials, are digital representations of validated skills or achievements. What differentiates badges from digital stickers is badges and microcredentials have verifiable achievement digitally attached to them. The Digital Credential Public Page (n.d) show what prospective employers or colleagues view if they click through an awarded badge or microcredential.
Badging is something individuals can pursue with minimal effort to differentiate themselves from their peers. Within district or school professional learning or development the idea of microlearning and badges or microlearning are connected. Rapidly built due to the compactness the possibilities of differentiated professional development, microcredentials and badges are expected to become very common with professional organizations and large public institutions.
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment? I am planning to integrate this into future professional learning in my district.
K-12 Blended Learning
What is the technological source presented? The Learning management system (LMS)
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? How the LMS empowers blended learning.
Hrastinski (2019) describes blended learning research as a “study on blended learning commonly describes instructional methods and media and then conducts an evaluation from the learner perspective. … it can be assumed that blended learning research has an interest in instruction and learning.” Because of the implied concentration on instruction the LMS is an ideal delivery system and moderating influence for intentional blended learning.
Allen, et al. (2007) initial quantified blended learning as between 30-79% of content delivered online. Terry et al. (2018) refines the definitions to between 30-50% of content delivered online. Both Allen et al. And Terry et al. Refer to higher educational settings; the higher education setting has the most research on blended learning and was the education level to which Hrastinski (2019) referred. Peterson & Horn (2016) present a survey where stake holders in K-12 secondary education describe 30% as the preferred amount of independent online work for students. Blended learning coursework can be developed with these targets in mind without limiting the teachers to a narrow prescription.
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment? The LMS can be set up to deliver exemplars and templates to meet the needs of K-12 teachers to deliver 30% of content online. I will pursue this in the coming school year.
What is the technological source presented? Social media platform Twitter
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? Acquiring and honing a professional learning network (PLN).
Initially, all educators should use the PLN Enrichment Framework (Krutka et al., 2017) to evaluate social media use. Twitter specifically can be used by educators in a silo for positive professional growth. I have authored blog posts on creating a Twitter Challenge within a district (2018) and creating a blog challenge (2016) specifically leveraging Twitter. Xiaofan et al. (2016) see the best results within a virtual learning community (VLC), meaning educators need guidance in joining in and participating in educational experiences. Experienced guidance is the best way to include Twitter in K12 professional growth.
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment? The framework can be a galvanizing point for leaders to realize the value of a PLN. The framework can be a reality check for educators how well Twitter is utilized as a PLN versus entertainment.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
What is the technological source presented? Understanding by design documentation as used in online classroom environments in the LMS.
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? Instructional Design elements within content in the LMS.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has both flexibilities in the approach for different contents and a call to uniformity (Braham, et al., 2018). UDL can help make the learning management system (LMS) a vehicle to both amplify and streamline the learning process. UDL then should be considered by the Instructional Designer in higher education or the teacher in K-12 online classrooms.
The learning management system can culminate several authors and iterations to build an increasingly quality online classroom experience. Typically purchased by the school district or higher education institution, the LMS use of any content makes the course and coursework work products of the institution and easily stored and replicable. The ability to maintain a highly accessible and relocatable classroom experience is made possible only because of the presence of the LMS.
K-12 communication differences between Online and Blended/In-person Learning
What is the technological source presented? Communication via any technology
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? The art of teacher presence through communication.
Communication as community building is important (Moore, 2021). To maximize the community building communications must be predictable and consistent (Gurley, 2018). In order to maximize communication to create positive experiences for participants, the differences between a blended learning environment and a completely online learning environment should be examined. To understand how best to plan communication is the best way to build classroom community.
Gurley (2018) tells us that whenever there is any face-to-face component of a class, the face-to-face component is where the communication takes place. That means the learning management system (LMS) can be leveraged to reinforce and support communication. However, that reinforcement and support needs to be tailored to the instructional modality.
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment?
I am designing different professional learning curriculum for both blended and online teachers. I will include these nuances in any curriculum created for teachers in my district.
What is the technological source presented? Turn It In or Google Plagiarism Checker
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? Do students understand or care about the difference between learning with online resources and cheating?
Students are often accused of cheating when completing online work. There are other possibilities, however. Students may not understand how to learn with technology while avoiding unintended plagiarism (Shaw, 2021). Educators need to educate students on how to learn with technology while upgrading the learning opportunities online for students.
Moore (2012) lists options which, more experienced, institutes of higher learning use: an academic honor code which applies to both online and face-to-face. Intellectual property rights for faculty is preserved in different ways in higher education and should be considered for K-12 as it inspires more creative content from instructional design processes.
K-12 Synchronous Online Meetings
What is the technological source presented? Zoom (or equivalent video conferencing solution)
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? Teacher and students’ unique participation in online synchronous sessions.
During unprecedented pandemic teaching, educators were not certain which of their classroom management skills should be called upon in synchronous online video conferencing. Due to the lack of previous teacher experiences, educators instead allowed themselves to experiment ethically with a variety of strategies with their existing students in the expectation of learning to teach in these unprecedented conditions going forward. From the myriad of experimentation, Trust (2020) details the in-person teacher practices which need to be altered to be successful online.
The Using Video to Assess Student Attention in Virtual Class Meetings infographic (Trust, 2021) lists best practices for K-12 synchronous online meetings. The infographic suggests substituting previously successful in-person practices for more appropriate techniques. For instance, instead of long lectures, worksheets, high stakes tests, etc., Torrey (2021) suggests short verbal followed by activities, interactive scenarios, and several low-stakes activities culminating in mastery.
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment? Now that teachers have experience, they can reflect on the techniques which worked and did not work for them and their students. We will build reflection into the start of the year planning.
Online Content Development
What is the technological source presented? Articulate software
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? The differences between K-12 and other levels of content creation.
Software such as Articulate (n.d.) offers advantages of creating high-quality online content with what you see is what you get the interface for easy compilation. While career instructional designers use such software to craft learning experiences not everyone designing content has the funds, the time, or the dedication to create content. K-12 teachers who are often the teacher of record and the instructional designer in fact often over-rely on either inapplicable or over-generalized readily available online open educational resources (Blomgren & McPherson, 2018).
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment? I may use this resource to create professional development for teachers. I may make microlearning components for use in classrooms.
What is the technological source presented? WAVE web accessibility tool
What technological topic(s) is (are) addressed? UDL and alignment of content to assessments.
Unique to K-12 educators, classroom teachers often must create their own content. Because teachers must create their own content, they may not naturally consider all the aspects of how content should be created to be accessible to all Basham, et al., 2016; Smith, et al., 2016). Potential issues could involve a student with a disability encountering content with which he or she cannot interact. As students could have documented disabilities, this could result in unwanted liability.
The WAVE tool (n.d.) can result in catching unintended accessibility issues. Color combinations, type of fonts, and or web coding may present unintended challenges to certain students. The ideal time to build in accessibility is when creating content, the first time, as the content may be missed if accessibility is only considered in iterations and revisions.
How might you use this resource in your current or future educational environment? I am teaching teachers to look for UDL elements to enhance course content in online or blended learning.
Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., & Garrett, R. (2007). Blending in the extent and promise of blended education in the United States. https://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/blending-in.pdf
Articulate 360-One Subscription That Simplifies Every Aspect of Course Development. Articulate 360 – One Simple Subscription with All the Best E-Learning Development Apps – Articulate 360. (n.d.). https://articulate.com/360.
Basham, J., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S., & Zhang, L. (2018). Universal design for learning. In K. Kennedy & R. E. Ferdig (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 and blended learning (2nd ed., pp. 477-508). ETC Press. https://doi:10.1184/R1/6686813
Basham, J. D., Smith, S. J., & Satter, A. L. (2016). Universal Design for Learning: Scanning for Alignment in K-12 Blended and Fully Online Learning Materials. Journal of Special Education Technology, 31(3), 147–155. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162643416660836
Blomgren, C., & McPherson, I. (2018). Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017. Open Praxis, 10(4), 359–375.
Christensen, P. (2016, January 16). I Created a Blog Challenge & You Can Too! [web log]. https://www.hotlunchtray.com/i-created-a-blog-challenge-you-can-too/.
Christensen, P. (2018, August 13). How To: Twitter Challenge in your School/District [web log]. https://www.hotlunchtray.com/twitter-challenge-schooldistrict/.
Credentials and Lifelong Learning | IMS Global Learning Consortium. (n.d.). https://www.imsglobal.org/initiative/digitalcredentials.
Credly. (n.d.). Digital Credentials. https://info.credly.com/.
Digital Credential Network Powered by Badgr Pro. (n.d.). https://badgr.com/.
Digital Credentials and Lifelong Learning: IMS Global Learning Consortium. Digital Digital Credential Public Page. (n.d.). https://badgr.com/public/assertions/zZbxOCfITqySxnZs0aIvLA.
Gurley, L. E. (2018). Educators’ preparation to teach, perceived teaching presence, and perceived teaching presence behaviors in blended and online learning environments. Online Learning, 22(2), 197-220. http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v22i2.1255
Hrastinski, S. (2019). What do we mean by blended learning? TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 63(5), 564–569. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-019-00375-5
Krutka, D., Carpenter, J., & Trust, T. (2017, May). Enriching Professional Learning Networks: A Framework for Identification, Reflection, and Intention. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 61(3), 246-252. doi:10.1007/s11528-016-0141-5
Moore, J. C. (2012). A Synthesis of Sloan-C Effective Practices, December 2011. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(1), 91–115.
Peterson, P. E., & Horn, M. B. (2016). The Ideal Blended-Learning Combination. Education Next, 16(2), 94–95.
Shaw, A. (2021). Teaching or cheating? Using collaboration and technology to support student learning. International Journal on E-Learning, 20(1), 47-58. https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/215594/.
Smith, S. J., & Stahl, W. M. (2016). Determining the Accessibility of K-12 Digital Materials: Tools for Educators. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 29(2), 89–100.
Terry, L., Zafonte, M., & Elliott, S. (2018). Interdisciplinary Professional Learning Communities: Support for Faculty Teaching Blended Learning. International Journal of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, 30(3), 402–411.
The text message learning platform. Arist. (n.d.). https://www.arist.co/.
Trust, T. (2020). Rethinking Teaching 2020. Torrey Trust, Ph.D. https://www.torreytrust.com/projects.
Trust, T. (2021). Using Video to Assess Student Attention in Virtual Class Meetings. Torrey Trust, Ph.D. https://www.torreytrust.com/projects.
Torgerson, C., & Iannone, S. (2020). Designing microlearning. Association for Talent Development.
WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. (n.d.). https://wave.webaim.org/.
Xiaofan, L., Xiaoyong, H., Qintai, H., & Zhichun, L. (2016). A social network analysis of teaching and research collaboration in a teachers’ virtual learning community. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(2), 302–319.
Zhang, J., & West, R.E. (2020). Designing microlearning instruction for professional development through a competency based approach. TechTrends, 64, 310–318. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-019-00449-4