Director's blog

February 2014

Screenshot for February 2014
University of Idaho

February at the Doceo Center was packed with finishing up construction on our lab, sponsoring a conference, publishing book chapters, presenting at multiple conferences, beginning a new Faculty Fellows program, and exploring new tools.

Though it has been long in coming, our advanced technologies learning lab is now almost completely operational and ready for bug-testing and workshops in the month of March, and we are planning to hold an official ribbon-cutting ceremony in early April.  The purpose of the lab is to provide students, faculty, and K-12 teachers with a space for learning and exploring new technologies in a collaborative, flexible, and innovative manner.  The lab is equipped with six interactive displays, five collaboration stations, an AMX switching system, and a variety of devices including tablets, wearable technologies, and laptops.  With these technology resources, instructors will have full control over the display of information resources in the lab from a remote iPad app that will allow them to easily move around the lab and facilitate learning while still maintaining a level of control suitable for their learning activities.  When it is complete, the Doceo Center lab will be available to faculty for classroom use and workshops starting this semester, and through this lab, we will provide ongoing access to emergent technologies, research their effectiveness and educational uses, and demonstrate best practices for technology integration for the state.

2014 Idaho Google Apps Festival (North) Report

The University of Idaho Doceo Center sponsored the first ever Idaho Google Apps for Education Festival in Post Falls on February 15, 2014 (organized by Level 33 Consulting). This festival brought together K12 classroom teachers, administrators, and technology staff to explore the educational application and management of Google Apps for Education in school settings. Skilled presenters from California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington led sixteen sessions on topics including: Google Earth, Information Literacy, Accessibility, Scripting, and Google Hardware. In total, seventy-two (72) educators from Bonner’s Ferry to Blackfoot participated in the day-long conference, and through its grant provided by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, the Doceo Center was able to offer registration scholarships to most participants.

During the festival’s closing keynote, festival participants were asked to reflect on their experiences and to share feedback in an open online forum. Responses were overwhelmingly positive and highlighted the overall value of the experience for participants.

January 2014

Screenshot for January 2014
University of Idaho
We've entered the new year with a bang at the Doceo Center and are working with local K12 technology leaders to roll-out Chromebooks in schools throughout northern Idaho. This month marked the first time that Chromebooks were made available to students in partner research schools, and some of the schools we are actively working with include: Moscow Charter School, Troy High School, Boundary County Middle School, Timberlake Junior High, Lakeland Junior High, and Palouse Prairie School. The total number of Chromebooks that we have in K12 schools now numbers around 350, and part of our efforts were recently highlighted in a news article in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. In these endeavors, we are excited to work with our partner schools to gather data for informing large-scale technology integration efforts in the state. At the University of Idaho, we are also conducting a parallel study, in which we provide Chromebooks to a set of teacher education students to study usage patterns as they progress through their coursework. We currently have around fifty participants in this study, and by coupling our research efforts together and comparing findings, we hope to be able to better understand technology integration across multiple contexts and educational levels.

December 2013

Screenshot for December 2013
University of Idaho

This month we, along with our Doceo Center counterparts at NNU, had the opportunity to participate in New School Venture Fund's Learning to Teach Convening in Washington, DC. At this convening and additional site visits, we were able to see first hand some of the exciting work being done by a variety of innovative organizations including traditional public schools, charter schools, universities, non-profits, and for-profits. We hope to use the knowledge and connections gained through this experience to inform the ongoing work we do in Idaho with using technology to support teacher education and professional development efforts.

On the K12 front, this month marked our first rollout of student Chromebooks to participating schools. Troy High School and Moscow Charter School both have started using Chromebooks to support their teaching and learning efforts, and we expect the rollout to continue into early spring semester with up to five more schools. As we provide devices to schools, we work with local personnel to effectively implement the technology and to collect data to assess meaningful outcomes. Our work with Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks is gaining traction, and we continue to provide a growing number of valuable resources to the educational community and to lead efforts to support K12 teaching and learning with such tools.

November 2013

Screenshot for November 2013
University of Idaho

After traversing all K12 school websites in the state and cataloging nearly 300,000 links, we are happy to share with the educational community Idaho's Top 200 K12 Websites. This list represents those websites that K12 schools in the state of Idaho link to the most through their public websites and reflects some of the tools and resources that they find to be of value. As a first attempt at utilizing publicly available data to inform educational technology decision-making and innovation, this list provides valuable data to decision-makers and ideas for educators, giving a snapshot of what is going on in K12 schools regarding educational technology use.

Following up on my report of presenting at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) in last month’s blog post, this month I have received the great honor of being nominated for the office of President in the Research and Theory Division of AECT. This truly excites me, because I value the great work and perspectives of the educators and researchers in AECT, and I feel that the Research and Theory Division serves an important role in the organization (and within the field of educational technology generally) to emphasize and support rigorous, innovative research practices. As I continue my participation in AECT, I look forward to many collaborative opportunities with my international colleagues to review, critique, and support one another’s work.

AECT’s conference is not the only venue wherein we at the Doceo Center are sharing our work and contributing to the field. We also received notification this month that we have been selected by our peers to share work at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Philadelphia, PA. At the AERA meeting, my colleague Dr. George Veletsianos, who serves as the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University, and I will present our research on teacher candidates’ experiences using social networking sites. These conference presentations are very important for us to both receive peer feedback on our efforts in the Doceo Center, thereby improving our practice, and to inform the larger educational community of our efforts.

October 2013

Screenshot for October 2013
University of Idaho

We are excited this month to announce the acceptance of six proposals for our Technology-Infused Research Projects. These proposals represent collaborative partnerships between Doceo Center researchers and university faculty and students. Each project represents a unique research study geared toward improving teaching and learning through technology, and these proposals represent a variety of emphases, including: science education, special education, teacher education, physical education, computer science education, and working with Native American populations. As these research projects move forward, we are excited to work with a diverse group of researchers and K12 partners to impact teaching and learning in a way that produces generalizable and transferable results.

As a center, we had the opportunity this month to lend our expertise to our colleagues within the university, to the state, and to the educational field at large by leading seminars, providing perspective to evaluators, and presenting at an international conference. Within the university, I led a seminar with teacher education students on the impacts of emerging technologies on teaching and learning, and Cassidy Hall led a seminar with the same group on utilizing technologies to support classroom management. Cassidy and I also led a brown bag seminar with College of Education faculty, which provided an overview of our theoretical view of technology’s role in educational practice and research and our efforts and achievements in the center to date. This was a great opportunity to increase awareness of our work within the university and to make additional connections with faculty on common interests.

September 2013

Screenshot for September 2013
University of Idaho

It has become pointlessly redundant to say that we had a busy and eventful month, but perhaps sometimes redundancy is needed: We had a busy and eventful month! Over this period, we added a number of resources to our Research and Sharing Portal, hired a new staff member, conducted many professional development sessions at schools and within the university, received a set of exciting research proposals from a variety of collaborators, and progressed in a number of our partnerships and research endeavors.

On our Research and Sharing Portal, we created an easy-to-use, filterable list of common core technology standards, developed a beta version of a dynamic impact dashboard to quickly communicate our efforts and successes to the world, and began creating comparison charts to provide quick-glance overviews to readers on different technologies.

August 2013

Screenshot for August 2013
University of Idaho
School is off to a roaring start, and we in the Doceo Center are moving fast to work with K12 schools and the university to conduct research and provide professional development surrounding technology integration! At the university, we have begun conducting our first workshops in the newly renovated TLC 23 classroom, located in the Teaching and Learning Center. With two 80" Sharp interactive displays, a projector with retractable screen, a flexible node-type seating system, and Huddleboards, the classroom provides new technology and classroom configuration opportunities to University of Idaho faculty. In these workshops, participating faculty explore how to use the renovated room to support interactive learning and collaboration, and Cassidy (our technology integration specialist) helps them to determine how these technologies and affordances can be useful for supporting learning in their subject areas and contexts.

July 2013

University of Idaho

This month the Doceo Center welcomed Cassidy Hall to our ranks as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies and as our Technology Integration Specialist. In this position, Cassidy will serve as our first line of communication with schools and districts surrounding professional development. Cassidy brings with her a great deal of experience in the realm of technology integration and school change and has a proven track record of working effectively with teachers and other school and district personnel. We are excited that Cassidy has joined us, and she has hit the ground running: meeting with schools, setting up professional development workshops, and taking a lead in helping to form the strategic vision of the Doceo Center.

One of the challenges in the current educational ecosystem which we seek to address in the Doceo Center is the rift between K-12 practitioners/administrators and academic researchers. This rift is problematic in both directions, because it prevents researchers from expanding knowledge, identifying best practices, and teaching new teachers in a way that is grounded in practical applications of what is seen in schools, and from a school's perspective, this rift prevents school and district personnel from recognizing the value of much of the work that is done in higher education and to benefit from findings related to best practices in instruction and assessment.

June 2013

University of Idaho

Greetings! My name is Royce Kimmons, and I am excited to begin as the Director of the Doceõ Center for Innovation + Learning!

This position is very exciting, because through the Doceõ Center, we plan to positively impact K12 student learning throughout the State of Idaho by researching and sharing best practices associated with technology integration.

As such, this past month has marked the beginning of several initiatives and projects in the Doceõ Center that will have a considerable impact on K12 learning in the state as time goes on. Some key milestones are as follows:

  • We began partnering with school districts and exploring ways in which we can provide professional development to schools and districts. One of these partnerships has already yielded a successful grant that you can read more about in the attached newsletter!
  • We released a Request for Proposals to University of Idaho faculty in the form of Technology-Infused Research Projects. These projects will impact K12 learning by connecting university researchers with K12 students and teachers around technology.
  • We launched our Research and Sharing Portal, which will serve as our primary method for sharing resources, research, and announcements with educators throughout Idaho and beyond.

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