Sunday, May 5, 2013

Technology Curriculum & Instruction Portfolio

Below is a link to my curriculum and instruction portfolio as it relates to technology curriculum development and consultation experiences.

Innovative Experiences-Daniel Downs
     My most innovative experience in education has come from the process of developing a curriculum focused in the development of mobile applications. I consider this experience innovative because it addressed a gap in the curriculum between web development and the modern use of mobile application technology on devices. Addressing this gap was a process of understanding what the existing curriculum addressed and projecting what the future needs of web development curriculum would need. In developing the curriculum and presenting the benefits to a variety of audiences, I was able to make several amazing professional contacts.  These contacts put me into a position to be able to write the curriculum into the community college curriculum as a part of a Department of Labor Grant. This experience enriched my knowledge of curriculum development and also provided me with a range of teaching and presenting experiences.
     Identifying the critical tools and resources which would make the curriculum successful was a dominant part of its success. It was my goal with the curriculum that it is written to address a range of learners. To address a range of learners in the field of Computer Science is not always an easy task. Often students interested in Computer Science fields have a hard time finding courses which address a range of learning levels. I chose to address this concern by creating a curriculum strategy which focused on the design process, integration of technology components and testing and debugging of  mobile applications. By integrating these different stages I was able to integrate an authentic approach to student’s projects. Students were able to choose the topic of their design based on an authentic question and design the technology components to meet their design. This process assisted in making the applications address real world questions and teach relevant employability and workforce soft skills.  Students of all skill levels have now successfully created mobile applications using the tools and curriculum I outlined.
This curriculum and my introduction of it to my classroom gained national attention from and opportunities to consult with other school districts and technology departments. These interactions have added to the continual revision of the curriculum and its adaptations to a variety of age levels. Receiving positive attention for my initiative provided me with the confidence to continue developing a variety of new courses related to technology and multimedia. These developments would never have been possible without the creation of a vision for how something could be improved and developing a plan for the integration. I was able to apply out of the box thinking and find resources which brought together the technology driven components of creating apps for devices (software, tablets) and the curriculum components such as rubrics, outcomes, and teacher developed training videos.
These successes have continued to influence how I develop lessons and assessments. I have successfully develop blended lessons using video formats and
several hundred tutorial videos online to assist with learning technology skills and software. I have also developed new forms of video assessments for students that allow them to describe their learning experiences and development of skills. Gaining recognition for my work has been a great reward but the greater reward has been the push it has given me to design better learning tools and assessments for students. I am challenged everyday to create ways to introduce technology to students and inspire a high level of productivity with the tools.

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