Static and Dynamic Technologies
Definition
Moller (2008) presented a continuum for evaluating educational technologies that includes three categories; static, middle, and dynamic (p. 1-2). Static technologies simply transmit information. The middle of the continuum provides limited interactivity between students and the content. Dynamic technologies immerse students in interaction with the content (p. 1). The following discussion utilizes the concept map shown in figure 1.

Content

Dynamic
• Siemens (2008) presented “blogs, wikis, podcasts, and user-generated content (p. 8)” be utilized for content delivery. He called these activities the “participative web (p. 8)”.
• Moller (2008) explained that virtual simulations were an example of a dynamic technology (p. 1).
• Moller (2008) listed gaming as a dynamic technology (p. 1).

Static
• Siemens (2008) suggested using traditional lectures when appropriate to foster student exploration of additional content (p. 16).
• Anderson (2008) presented customizing online content to reflect individual student needs by adjusting the course at it happens (p. 346).
• Anderson (2008) lamented the reliance of many online instructors on “text based lectures (p. 349)” for content delivery (p. 346).
• Anderson (2008) suggested using personal reflections and experiences to motivate online students (p. 347).
• Siemens (2008) suggested utilizing the new curriculum suggested by Harvard that focuses on a modern collaborative model (p. 8).
• Siemens (2008) listed Google Scholar, Scopus, and open access journals as new resources for content (p. 3).

Communication

Dynamic

• Siemens (2008) listed blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, Instant Messaging (IM), Skype, and Ning as modern methods of communication (p. 3).
• Fontana (2010) discussed using Facebook as the central platform for his art class at Bowling Green State University.
• Harms (2010) shared his use of group Skype communications between social studies students and Mayan archeologists.

Static

• Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) suggested implementing non-graded discussion areas for questions to help establish a positive online environment (p. 191).
• Anderson (2008) believed establishing “trust and safety (p. 350)” is the first key element in establishing online communication. This is commonly achieved through class introduction postings (p. 350).
• Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) stressed the importance of a “clear and detailed syllabus (p. 196)” for communicating expectations (p. 196).
• Siemens (2008) listed modern communication methods as email, Skype, and Instant Messaging (IM) (p. 14).
• Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) reported timely responses help create a positive course environment. They also reminded teachers to use proper tone and communicate clearly using proper netiquette when communicating with students (p. 191).

Collaboration

Dynamic

• Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) suggested Problem Based Learning (PBL) utilizing small groups to encourage collaboration (p. 192).
• Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) introduced student moderated discussions as a strategy to increase student collaboration (p. 191). Anderson (2008) also recommended student moderated discussions but warned that students need to receive instructions on proper moderation techniques (p. 351).
• Moller (2008) included multi-user environments in his list of dynamic technologies (p. 1).
• Rymaszewski et al. (2007) explained Second Life as a, “metaverse (p. 4)” defined as a virtual world where everything is created and designed by the inhabitants (p. 4).

Static (In my chart, I included Middle Technologies because there would not be any collaboration in Static Technologies)

• Siemens (2008) reported that blogging allows students to share their work with their peers (p. 15). Cameron and Anderson (2006) as reported in Anderson (2008) suggested that blogging instigates student reflective writing skills (p. 351).
• Siemens (2008) suggested that teachers should assume the role of network administrator to help create student learning networks (p. 16).
• Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) discussed creating a small group discussion area for collaboration (p. 192).
• Moller (2008) listed “wikis, blogs, discussion boards, chats, and other similar approaches (p.1)” as belonging in the middle of the continuum (p. 1).

Static-Dynamic Reflection

I would consider myself to be in the middle of the static-dynamic continuum. Moller (2008) listed the following technologies in the middle of the continuum; “wikis, blogs, discussion boards, chats, and other similar approaches (p. 1)”. I currently utilize all of these technologies in my classes. I did my research for my Master’s Thesis on WIKI implementation and content area writing skills and discovered that student achievement in content-area writing can be facilitated using a wiki (Harms, 2008, p. 36). In secondary education, there are many legal issues that need to be addressed before more dynamic technologies can be introduced. Penta Career Center is governed by Ohio law that requires all computers have filtering systems. This is designed to protect students from being exposed to inappropriate content found on the Internet. Blogs, although an excellent collaborative tool, are blocked by a filtering system. Social bookmarking sites such as Delicious are also blocked as well as any social network including Ning. Skype is blocked as well; however, Harms (2010) shared how conversations done at home can be recorded and shared with students. Google Apps are also blocked because students can save documents online that administrators are not able to access them. In class, I have students create podcasts on various subjects and post them to the class wiki. These laws and policies are put into place because the students are minors which make the school responsible for their protection during school hours.

I am currently designing my first online course at the post-secondary level. Currently the course is very static consisting of text, discussions, Wink recordings, and homework assignments. I have put a lot of thought into changing the design to be more dynamic; however, this course does not lend itself to dynamic. The course teaches students the basics of Microsoft Excel and Access. Students are given real world based assignments and complete them. There are step by step examples in the chapters that prepare students for the homework assignments. Additionally, the Wink recordings show the students step by step where everything is on the screen. This experience has led me to hypothesize that not all courses are meant to be dynamic and that the course design needs to reflect the nature of the content.

If I get hired to design an online education class at the post-secondary level, I would love to explore some of the dynamic technologies. I started researching Second Life in 2007 for my Master’s Thesis, but had to change my topic because of my secondary specialization. In Second Life, I participated in virtual world lectures and discussions. One science teacher was able to lead a chemistry lab virtually. I was also excited about the global connections I had access too. I went to Virtual Mexico and talked with actual Latin American residents. I believe this would be an excellent learning experience for my secondary world issues students. Unfortunately, there are lots of places in Second Life I would not want secondary students to experience. In post secondary, teachers are not responsible for what students do when they are not in class. Fontana (2010) recommended that teachers add a disclaimer in their syllabus that states that students agree to abide by all the rules of any online service provider used in class to protect the teacher from potential lawsuits.

References
Anderson, T. (2008). Teaching in an online learning context. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed., pp. 343–365). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.

Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.

Fontana, A. (2010, November). Using Facebook as a learning management tool. Northwest Ohio Symposium on Science, Mathematics, and Technology Teaching conducted at Penta Career Center, Perrysburg, Ohio.

Harms, D. (2010, November). Incorporating STEM activities into academic classrooms. Northwest Ohio Symposium on Science, Mathematics, and Technology Teaching conducted at Penta Career Center, Perrysburg, Ohio.

Rymaszewski, M., Au, W. J., Wallace, M., Winters, C., Ondrejka, C., Batstone-Cunningham, B., & Second Life residents from around the world (2007). Second Life: The official guide. Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.

Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum.

Siemens, G. (2007, September 18). 10 minute lecture – George Siemens – Curatorial teaching [Online Web log post]. Retrieved from: http://learnonline.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/10-minute-lecture-george-siemens-curatorial-teaching/

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