Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 by specialk333

For the most part, I am finding the information and resources that I need. The one area that I am having difficulties with is professional development. I have not been able to find any workshops that are math-specific, and focus on utilizing technology. The only one that I was able to find was offered by Texas Instruments, but it was only for the TI-line of graphing calculators. Even though these calculators are beneficial, they have their limits, and they do not help every aspect of mathematics. Also, since we are experiencing big budget cuts, I would have to pay for these conferences/workshops on my own. I do not think that I have to change my GAME plan for this reason, since I know these offerings are only available sporadically throughout the year. I will simply continue to search for good ones, and see what happens.

So far, I have learned that students are very receptive to technology. They are quick learners, and instantly become engaged when introduced to a technology that they have not used before. I feel confident that most of my students can be introduced to a new system one day, and then be proficient enough in its operation by the next day, in order to complete the assigned task. Even if students do not have internet access at home (very few), they will go to one of my school’s computer labs and work on it after school.

A new question that has arisen for me is how to integrate blogs, wikis, and online discussions into their grades. If I do not make it count for the class, then most of my students will not do it. I figured that a rubric would be best to evaluate them, but I am still stuck on what areas to focus on (e.g. content, depth, participation, etc.). If any of you currently use these technologies in your classes, how do you assess them?

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS•T) and Performance Indicators for Teachers. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from http://www.iste.org

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Carrying Out My GAME Plan

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2010 by specialk333

In order to carry out my GAME plans, I will need many resources. Actually, I already have the resources available to me; I just need to find them. For example, I need to go and find WebQuests that focus on certain aspects of my curriculum. I have already found a few, but I can always use more. On my class website, I have compiled a list of resources for my students – many that contain online tutorials. However, I can always find new and more involved applications. One advantage that I have this year, is that my high school recently purchased access to the Plato Learning Environment, which offers personalized, data-driven instruction for students. They simply need to log into their accounts, take a few short evaluative tests, and then a whole curriculum is created to address the areas that need the most work.

Overall, I believe that I have prepared myself for further implementation of my plan within my own classroom, but I still need to make the connections outside my classroom. I have yet to find a colleague, within or outside my school, who would like to collaborate with my classes. We just finished our two weeks of state testing, complete with shortened and mixed up schedules, so maybe some teachers did not want to be concerned with something of this nature at that time. So, I will be persistent, and hopefully make some connections to allow my students the ability to extend their learning outside my classroom walls.

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS•T) and Performance Indicators for Teachers. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from http://www.iste.org

Developing My Personal GAME Plan

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2010 by specialk333

Overall, I feel rather comfortable using different technologies with my classes. However, after examining the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008) more closely, I realized that I could strengthen my confidence in indicator 1 – Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, and indicator 5 – Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership. In order to do this, I will develop a GAME plan (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009) to help direct my learning process.

NETS-T Indicator #1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

Goals:

  • Utilize collaborative tools to promote understanding and creativity
  • Creating virtual environments to expand learning outside the walls of my classroom
  • Promote creativity through application assignments designed for different technologies

Action:

  • Create a class blog and/or wiki
  • Employ computer-based tutorials
  • Utilize and/or create WebQuests
  • Create concept maps and digital stories
  • Collaborate online with other teachers, classes, and schools

Monitor:

  • Keep a journal of digital lessons, and their results
  • Compare unit assessments to previous years’ grades
  • Gauge student motivation/engagement in lessons

Evaluate and Extend:

  • Read through the journal to see if progress is being made
  • Conduct online polls for my students to evaluate lessons and submit their suggestions

NETS-T Indicator #5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Goals:

  • Participate in online discussions with educational professionals and teachers
  • Attend workshops regarding implementation of technology
  • Actively search for new ways to enhance student achievement by using technology

Action:

  • Continue to participate in my online degree
  • Join message boards at different educational and technological websites
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds for different educational and technological blogs
  • Become an Informational Technology leader in my school

Monitor:

  • Maintain electronic copies of blog discussions and posts
  • Reflect on my ability to introduce and implement new and existing technologies with my colleagues

Evaluate and Extend:

  • Continue to modify my plans and to explore emerging technologies
  • Regularly connect with colleagues regarding different technologies that they use in class

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS•T) and Performance Indicators for Teachers. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from http://www.iste.org

Reflection: EDUC 6712 – Supporting Information Literacy and Online Inquiry in the Classroom

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2010 by specialk333

With respect to teaching new literacy skills to my students, I was surprised to realize just how unprepared my district is. I found out that the scope of such a task is rather large. It requires knowledgeable staff, thorough safeguards for students, and most importantly, possession of, and access to, the proper technology. All of these concerns have the same thing in common – money. Teachers need professional development days to learn how to use web 2.0 technologies, and to learn how to integrate them into their curriculums. Solid web filtering software needs to be in place to protect students from the harmful aspects of using the internet. Finally, nobody can do anything if schools do not have an adequate amount of computers with internet access.

This course taught me that districts need to evaluate their curriculums to ensure students are learning the new literacies. If the current system within a school is not, then it needs to change. Rooney (2009) states, “…as we redefine ‘literacy,’ we must examine longstanding teaching traditions and abandon a few” (p. 92). In my mathematics classes, I always have my students apply the skills that they have learned to real-world situations. Now, I want to begin implementing more inquiry-based lessons that require students to use their new literacy skills along with their math skills, in order to solve real-world problems. The difficulty is not focusing too much on the technology itself. Warlick (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009) explains that classrooms do not need to be loaded with the technology, since the focus is becoming more on personal technologies. I have already started integrating smaller research assignments into my curriculum, but I have never tried to do a large project that spanned a few weeks of class. I do a few WebQuest projects now, and I am going to try and develop one for each unit that we cover. By doing this, students will become very fluent in the new literacies as well as the old literacies.

One professional development goal that I would like to pursue is connecting to other high schools in neighboring districts, in order to collaborate with other teachers and students. I do not think that this would require more money from any districts’ budgets, since there are many collaborative tools available online. Some of these tools are: VoiceThread (http://www.voicethread.com), ePals (http://www.epals.com), GoogleDocs (http://docs.google.com), and teacher or student created blogs and wikis. The only obstacles that I think I would run into is ensuring privacy and protection for all of the students, and gaining access to these services, if certain districts block them with their filters. I have friends who are mathematics teachers in other districts, so it would not be a problem finding who to talk to. We would have to all meet together to see where our curriculums align, and how we can integrate different inquiry-based lessons. Some world language teachers in my school already do this type of collaborative work, and I think that my students would also benefit from it.

References

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program 13. It’s not about the technology [Motion picture]. Supporting information literacy and online inquiry in the classroom. Baltimore: Author.

Rooney, J. (2009, March). Teaching two literacies. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 92–93.