Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monitoring My GAME Plan

As I reflect on my GAME plan, I am making some progress but not as much as I have hoped.  This week has proven to be extremely busy which has not left me a lot of extra time to work on my plan.
Am I finding the information and resources I need?
At this point, I am finding the resources that I need.  The internet has a plethora of resources that I can utilize to enrich my lessons.  I have found several possibilities to use with my next unit in science.  The problem is deciding which one I want to use.
I have talked to the third grade teacher in California and she is on board to do pen pals.  I threw out the options of using Epals, a wiki, or KidBlog and she does not have experience with any of them, so she is leaving it up to me.  I therefore went to my technology coordinator to ask his opinion.  I asked him which tool he feels would be the best.  He suggested KidBlog.  Since I am already familiar with KidBlog, which was the direction I was leaning as well.  I have set up my new class in KidBlog and need to contact the other teacher and help her get started.
Do I need to modify my action plan?
I am happy with my action plan at this point and do not see a need to change anything.  As I proceed if I find an area that needs modified, I will take the time to do so.  The only thing I wish I could modify is time.  If I could only add a few more hours into a day (or not need as much sleep) then maybe I could accomplish a little more.   
What have I learned so far?
I have learned that students really enjoy WebQuest and authentic learning.  Every time I have engaged my students in project-based learning, I have been amazed at the level of learning going on and how engaged my students are.  They are thinking creatively, using high-order thinking skills, producing quality work, and having fun! They are anxious to get started and are not usually ready to quit and move on to something else.  Even though developing authentic learning activities takes more time and effort, it is well worth it for my students.
As I have been conversing with the other third grade teacher in California, I am learning that I know a lot more about how to integrate technology into quality, authentic, creative, collaborative activities than I realized.  The teacher in California is excited to learn and wants to engage her children in collaborative learning outside of her four walls but is relying on me to have the ideas and be a big part in implementing our projects.  Several years ago, before I started this master program, I would never have had a clue of what to do. 
Even though my students are quite technology savvy, digital citizenship and staying safe on the computer is not an area they have had a lot experience with.  They think if it is on the internet, it is there for anyone to take and use.  They also are very naive (they are third graders) about giving out information.  What can happen right?      
What new questions have arisen?
One question that the third grade teacher in California and I have to figure out is how to handle the KidBlog posts and comments.  Will we require them to post a certain amount of times a week, make so many comments a week, and will we give them topics or let the conversations develop naturally?  I know we will monitor the posts and comments before they are published.  The logistics need to be established. 
What next?  After we set up our pen pals and allow them time to converse, we need to compare our content standards and decide what collaborative project would be beneficial for both classes to engage in.  During the collaborative project, we can continue to incorporate digital citizenship and responsibility as well.        

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

After only a week, I have made some progress on carrying out my GAME plan.  The following are the ISTE standards that I am working on gaining confidence and proficiency in:
1)      ISTE NETS-T Standard 2:  Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
2)      ISTE NETS-T Standard 4:  Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
What resources will I need to carry out my plan?
1)     I will begin by using the resources I have at my disposal within my school building.  My colleagues and technology coordinator can help me find resources to enhance my curriculum.  I will also get on the internet and search for lesson plans that other teachers have already developed to enrich their lessons.  In addition, I will go back through some of my class resources that can help me.

2)    I will once again use my technology coordinator as he continues to help all the staff to not only integrate technology but to do so responsibly.  He has held several staff developments on how to properly cite internet sources. 
What steps have I been able to take so far?
1)    *I have already begun talking to my colleagues and my technology coordinator about resources they have used to enrich their lessons.  I have also taken a small amount of time to do some internet researches.  Within this research, my teaching partner and I found a Continent Adventure WebQuest to use for our social studies unit on continents.  The WebQuest takes them on a trip to a continent of their choice to meet the people, experience the local culture, and see the sights.  After their research, they will create a travel brochure to present to their class.  The class will then compare the continents and vote on the class destination.  
*Just this week I have been in contact with a third grade teacher in Orange County, CA. We are working together to develop a collaborative project for our two classes via the internet (wikis or blogs) and through Skype.  We are also looking into setting our classes up to be pen pals.

2)      *The last several weeks I have had students posting to our classroom blog.  I have already been talking about how to stay safe when posting to the blog. 
*During our Continent Adventure WebQuest, some students have asked to Google    other sites to find the information they are seeking.  Therefore, I have had the opportunity to talk about what to do if they find themselves on an inappropriate site.  I have also had the opportunity to talk about not copying “word by word” unless they are going to cite their source. 
*Today during our novel study, I used some pictures on the Smartboard to talk about the setting of our story.  I cited the source and explained to my students why and how I did this.

What additional information do I need?
1)    *I feel that I have an abundant amount of resources and have learned a lot about using authentic learning experiences throughout my master program.  At this point, I feel I need to work on developing and implementing authentic lessons.  As I am implementing the lessons, I will monitor that my students are engaged and the lessons are effective.  Gathering this additional information will help me to adapt my lessons as needed.  My principal has also volunteered to come critique any of my lessons as I implement them.
*The teacher in Orange County, CA and I need to brainstorm and research projects that we can work collaboratively on.   
*I need to research different technology tools to use for the pen pal project.  I have heard of people using epals, wikis, and blogs for such projects.  I need to gather information to see which would be best for us.  Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?  I would love any input you have.

2)    At this point, I do not need any additional information.  I need to continue to stress how important it is to be safe on the internet, even at home, and model how to reflect legal and ethical behavior.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Developing a GAME Plan

I have always felt comfortable with and have enjoyed using technology both personally and in my classroom.  I have considered myself relatively technological compentent.  However, as I have been progressing through my master’s classes, I realize that I still have a lot to learn.  As an educator, it is important that I continue to learn how to integrate technology to enhance and enrich the curriculum.  Using technology to support my student’s efforts to become good thinkers is important so they are ready for the ever-changing work world.
After looking at the ISTE standards for teachers, I have chosen two areas that I will develop a GAME plan.  The GAME plan will help me in my own self-directed learning as I work on gaining confidence and proficiency in these two areas.
ISTE NETS-T Standard 2:  Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the NETS-S. 
G – Goal:  Learn more about how to design authentic learning experiences that guide my students in self-directed and creative thinking.  To search for resources that will help enhance and enrich my lessons while still meeting content standards.
A – Action:  Utilize my colleagues and my school’s technology coordinator as well as my classmates and other teachers who successful use technology in their classrooms.  Use the internet to identify lessons that other teachers have developed.  Develop and implement lessons that allow my students to be self-directed learners.      
M – Monitor:  Continuously monitor my students to ensure they are engaged in creative learning while meeting content standards.  Reflect on each lesson, take notes, and adapt as needed.
E – Evaluate and Extend:  Evaluate how the lesson went to determine if lesson needs modified.  Assess students to evaluate success in learning content knowledge.  Survey students to evaluate their views on the lesson.

ISTE NETS-T Standard 4:  Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
 Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.
G – Goal:  Model the proper method of using and citing sources for my lessons and presentations.  Teach my students safe methods when using the internet.
A – Action:  Utilize my technology coordinator and colleagues to ensure I am ethically using digital information.  Teach my students how to maintain ethical behavior and how to cite their resources when researching the internet.  Model safe internet methods. 
M – Monitor:  Continuously monitor my digital usage and my students’ digital usage to ensure legal, ethical, and safe behavior.  Reflect on daily activities that utilize technology to ensure proper etiquette.
E – Evaluate and Extend:  Assess student’s digital usage and citations on projects.  Evaluate/survey student’s knowledge on proper technology etiquette at home and at school.  Reflect on goal:  Do students understand the importance of legal, ethical, and safe technological behavior…did I model appropriately. 
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