EDTC 603

EDTC 603 – Web Development for Educational Use

Reflection

In this course we looked at the basics of web development and how we could apply them to building sites for our class. Having a background in web development there was nothing on the technical side that I found particularly difficult. What I did find interesting was looking at curriculum management systems (CMS) and other tools that are commonly used to create graphics and build the interactive parts of a site. The artifacts I’ve included here are discussions about, and research into, these tools and their uses.

In the first artifact I looked into the CMS frameworks which are commonly used in education and business, with a focus on how one can build their own site using them. I chose to look at Joomla and WordPress for more a more stripped down CMS that one could modify on their own, and then Moodle for something is an educational platform right out of the box. What I found was that these work well for a school or even a large department, but for an individual teacher they are too much to keep updated.

In my own classroom I’ve been moving more and more towards a mix of tools as opposed to trying to cram everything I want into just one. This has led me to keep at online grade book at LearnBoost, my own website at leftpeel.com, and to use sites like Quizizz and Kahoot for informal assessments. In addition, I pull a lot of information from various physics websites for my mechanics classes, and videos off YouTube for reference materials. While playing with and experiencing what a CMS can do was useful, I found that using more purpose-built tools to be the most effective in getting the results I want for my class.

The second artifact includes a discussion of different tools that are available for graphics development. While I’ve primarily used Photoshop over the years, this part of the course allowed me to take a closer look at tools like GIMP and Flash, which I don’t have much experience with. After playing around with them I was able to find some uses in projects of my own. Also, GIMP is open source, so I was able to install it on my laptop without have to purchase an additional license like I would have with Photoshop. I was also able to recommend it to student who are looking for something more powerful when it comes to editing graphics.

Artifacts

Review of Graphics Apps

Discussion of CMS

Research

(08, 08 12). What is a CMS? Exploring Content Mangagement Systems. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/what-cms-exploring-content-management-systems-1758623.html.

In this article the author takes a look at the different CMS tools commonly available for teachers, such as Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. He compares these tools and their ease of use with respect to one another.

Parker, D. (2009, 01 27). How to choose the right CMS for education. Retrieved from http://davecormier.com/edblog/2009/01/27/how-to-choose-the-right-cms-for-education/.

This is more a general overview of the criteria that one should have when choosing a CMS for school. The author talks about how one should stick with simplicity at first and then use add-ons and other tools to increase functionality. The main ones that are looked at are WordPress, Drupal and Moodle. The final choice seems to be WordPress because it has such an active community and is continually being updated and refined.

Standards – NETS Standards and 21st Century Skills

The NETS Standards for Teachers addressed in this artifact are:

– Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning

– Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations