Zotero Group Library

Another project that I had initial discomfort starting (I guess it comes with the territory of being a numbers guy opposed to a wordsmith).  One of the problems I always had with research papers was note-taking, specifically what to include and how to say it.  I always figured the people who wrote the papers I researched already eliminated the unnecessary and stated the important information better than I could.  Which leads to the best way I could think of as to how to use Zotero for research and collaboration.

By working with others, I could improve my note-taking skills by learning from my group members.  In the meantime, I could provide valuable information by finding articles and providing the key concepts from them (even if not the greatest notes ever written) to determine how useful they would be to our project.

In general, Zotero makes research projects, both solo and group, less cumbersome.  It makes easier the tasks of cataloging documents, note-taking, writing bibliographies and organizing.  It allows for sharing in a much more efficient manner, even with group members halfway around the world.  It also accentuates the strengths of each person in the group, allowing them to best contribute to the project.

Here is the link to my group’s library and the article I have included:


A Meta-Analysis Examining the Impact of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Postsecondary Statistics Education: 40 Years of Research

Horizon Report Tech Trend

This assignment involved creating a lesson plan incorporating the utilization of a technology trend from the Horizon Report.  Although I have been teaching for the last 8 years (and about 11 of the last 16 since I got my certification), I have only been at one institution that required writing lesson plans.  Not writing them regularly made this a tough assignment.  I am not sure how good my lesson plan is, but I believe the main goal of this module is to get familiar with upcoming technology trends and practice with some of them.

I started the assignment by reading the Horizon Report.  I chose two trends to include in a list with my classmates:  SimSchool (http://www.simschool.org/) and RFID (http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/7628).  I did not choose to incorporate either of these in my lesson plan because they are trends that are more training and administrative and not conducive to actual lessons.

The trend I selected was ALEKS (Aleks).  This is a tool that is very useful in the arena of individualized instructions.  ALEKS allows students to demonstrate if they master certain concepts and, if they don’t, to work towards mastering them.  I did a trial membership of this program.  I was impress with the design of the program and would love to see my school include it as part of our GED Program.  I will discuss with my manager and see if it is something that could be included in the budget.

This assignment addressed standards 3.1Media Utilization and 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization.  The ALEKS program also addresses standards 2.4 Computer-Based Technology and 4.4 Information Management.  The former is addressed in that it is an online program, while the latter by how it keeps track of what students have mastered and what still needs mastering.

Overall, despite involving lesson plans, this was an assignment that I found very beneficial.  It introduced me to a lot of information on the future of technology and gave me more ideas on how to use current technology in my classroom today.