Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Monitoring the Progress of My GAME Plan


For the past two weeks, I've been looking at ways to make my GAME Plan come alive.  To begin with I decided I would love to have deeper knowledge in  the following areas of the NETS-T.  This week I must take time out to reflect and monitor my goals.  For each standard, I will address each question posed individually.

Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Students Learning and Creativity, with an emphasis on indicator b, “engaging students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources,” (NETS-T, 2012). 


Are you finding the information and resources you need?

To answer this question, I must say yes.  Yes I am finding the resources and information I need to carry out this task.  In fact I have been able to find a plethora of information, such as websites, articles, lesson plans, and not to mention, the knowledge I am able to gain from my peers and colleagues.  I have come to realize that solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources is a great way to get students involved in their learning.  It is said that learning is more successful when it is situated within real-world task or simulated in a problem-based learning environment, thus increasing the likelihood that students will be able to use what they have learned in new situations, and in new innovative ways (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 35).  The technology resources that are available in my class will also assist with bringing this goal to light.


Do you need to modify your action plan?

At this time I do not need to modify my action plan.  At the beginning of this assignment I originally looked at addressing four different indicators.  I am grateful that I did not follow through with that decision, since this has been a very tedious task.


What have you learned so far?

Thus far, I've learned quite a few things such as;
a.) that exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources, is a great way to "jump-start" students learning and creative thinking in my students.
b.) that by incorporating technology tools my students are able to step out-side of the classroom.
c.) that technology supports active learning when used as a tool to represent and stimulate real-world problems, situations, and context  (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 28).  
d.) that these projects do not have to be long and drawn out, they can also be short and sweet.


What new questions have arisen?

At this time, I have no new questions.



Standards 2: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, with an emphasis on indicator c, “customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources,” (NETS-T, 2012).


Are you finding the information and resources you need?

I am definitely finding the resources I need to carry out this task.  Last weeks learning resources and application was of great assistance to me in this area. The UDL framework, made it possible for teachers, such as myself, to be able to develop flexible curricular which will provide our students with multiple ways of assessing content, multiple means for expressing what they learn, and multiple pathways for engaging their interest and motivation (Howard, 2004, p. 26).  I was also able to see that most of the resources I needed to make this goal a reality, were already available to me.


Do you need to modify your action plan?

For this standard, there is no need for me to modify my action plan, as it is panning out great.



What have you learned so far?

So far I've learned quite a few things, such as;a.) that the UDL framework makes it easier for teachers to meet the need of all students  b.) digital tools can help to "customize and personalize learning activities to address students' diverse  learning styles, working strategies, and abilities (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 108)c.) any form of technology can be used to assist students learning needs.

What new questions have arisen?

At this time I have no new questions


Resources:

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

Howard, K. L. (2004).  Universal design for learning: meeting the needs of all students. Learning and Leading with Technology, 31(5), 26-29. Retrieved from the ERIC database.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008).  National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved September 10, 2012, from: http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx






Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Carrying Out My Game Plan



Last week in My Personal Game Plan, I stated that I would like a deeper understand in the following standards;

Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Students Learning and Creativity, with an emphasis on indicator b, “engaging students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources,” (NETS-T, 2012).

In order to achieve this goal, I approached a few of my peers in both the mathematics and science department, to see how they have used authentic real-world issues in their classroom.  My science peers were most helpful at this since they have been doing more hands-on instruction with the use of technology, with assistance from my peers I steered towards Project-based learning, Learning-by-design, and Problem-based-inquiry.  This moved me to look back on a previous course EDUC 6711, where I was previously introduced to these different types of learning strategies.   I visited the following website Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching and Technology this website provided me with articles and scenarios of how to implement these on different strategies.  After reading these articles, I realized that there are many ways in which I could incorporate project-based learning into my curriculum.  I also decided on using voicethreads for carrying out this task.  As stated by Ross, technology provides us (teachers) with a venue to reach many more students than we were able to reach with print and analog (Laureate Education Inc. 2009).

I decided to show my students my voicethread, and get them familiarized with this technology tool.  I have also secured space in the computer lab to have them sign up for this tool.

Standards 2: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, with an emphasis on indicator c, “customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources,” (NETS-T, 2012).

This week’s learning resources has provided me with many ideas on how to achieve this goal.  By implementing the universal design for learning (UDL) framework, I am able to develop flexible curricular which will provide my students with multiple ways of assessing content, multiple means for expressing what they learn, and multiple pathways for engaging their interest and motivation (Howard, 2004, p. 26). I have decided to give students access to our online text, where they are able to review the materials and view the different tutorials available for the lesson.  I have also decided to provide students with the “student works” CD which will supply students with all the worksheets we will be utilizing in class.  While reading this week’s resources I understand that I will also have to develop a drop box on my computer in order to store student’s assignments. 

With the aid of our technology coordinator, I will be able to burn the “student works” CD, and develop a student drop-box. The steps I have taken for reaching this goal, is looking over each students data, to see which ones have IEP and to familiarize myself with their disabilities. 

Resources:

Howard, K. L. (2004).  Universal design for learning: meeting the needs of all students. Learning and Leading with Technology, 31(5), 26-29. Retrieved from the ERIC database.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008).  National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved September 10, 2012, from: http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology.  Retrieved September 17, 2012 from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

My Personal GAME Plan



At the beginning of EDUC 6713-Integrating Technology across Content Areas, I was introduced to the GAME plan concept.  According to Cannamo, Ross and Ertmer (2009), the GAME plan requires one to think about and take steps to direct their learning process, specifically while learning about technology and how to integrate it into their curriculum (p. 3).  The Game plan emphasizes self-directed learning, a strategy that all teachers are familiar with and have implemented in their own learning many times over.  This week’s assignment ask that I, examine the National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T), choose at least two indicators I need strengthening in, and share my GAME plan for achieving these goals.

GOALS
After reviewing the NETS-T, I decided on the two standards I would like deeper growth and understanding in.

The first standard I would like deeper growth in is Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Students Learning and Creativity, with an emphasis on indicator b, “engaging students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources,” (NETS-T, 2012).  As a mathematics teacher, it has been my goal to design lessons to motivate and engage my students using more thought provoking real-world issues, while implementing technology.

The second standard I would like deeper growth in is Standards 2: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, with an emphasis on indicator c, “customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources,” (NETS-T, 2012).  With the NCLB Act it is imperative that I find ways in which to reach all students, by designing lessons which incorporates a wide range of technology tools for differentiated instruction. 

ACTIONS
To achieve the stated goals it is important for me to ask myself the following questions, a) what information do I need to meet my goals, b) what learning strategies will I use, and c) what resources are needed (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 4). 

To engaging students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources, I must first look at my curriculum to see where I can implement more authentic real-world problems, while using technology, thus leading to more project-based learning.  This will also require self-directed learning on both teacher and students.  Then I will research different technology tools that can be aligned with project based learning. 

In order to customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources, I must first evaluate my students Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores, paying attention to their exceptionalities, and also by providing students with a learning inventory assessment.  This will lead to the incorporation of differentiated instruction; I will also research different software programs which will align with this standard.

MONITOR.
It is imperative that I monitor whether I am making adequate progress towards meeting my goals, and also reflect on whether the strategies I have selected are working (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 4).  I must also incorporate a timeline; indicating dates I would like to implement my goals.  I will also access my strategies to ensure that they are assisting me in meeting goals.

With implementing differentiated strategies, I must ensure that I am meeting the needs of all students.  Therefore I will have to monitor students learning on a weekly basis, to ensure that they are all learning the materials while utilizing different technology tools.  I must also assess whether the chosen technology tools are benefiting students.

EVALUATION
To evaluate whether or not I am meeting my goals based on the standards, I must determine whether or not I have met my goal and reflect on whether my approaches worked or whether I must modify my strategies for the future (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 5).

For Standard 1, indicator b: engaging students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources, I must first, a) access student’s attitude towards project-based learning, b) survey students  and c) observe and take antidotal notes while students are working on assignment.  If this is not working then I will look at different ways of introducing students to project-based learning.

For Standard 2, indicator c: customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources, I will survey individual students to see if this way of work is working for them.  Another way of evaluating this Standard is by assessing students, this will provide me with the required data needed to evaluate whether or not these different software are assisting in students' comprehension of the lesson.

Resources:

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

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved September 10, 2012, from: http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx

No Child Left Behind-Ed.gov. Retrieved September 10, 2012, from: http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml