Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EDUC 6713 week four

The first objective of my GAME plan was to help students become more reflective thinkers. I began by creating a blog that would allow them a place to reflect on their learning and knowledge, and they would be able to comment on one another's posts. As I continue to develop my GAME plan, I know that students will need guidance on how to do this. Therefore, I have begun to compile a list of resources to help students with their reflections. I have begun gathering as many different types of reflective tools as I can, and have started thinking about when they should be used with students. For example, I can post open-ended questions on the blog, such as what did you learn? How do you know? What obstacles did you run into? What helped in your learning? I can also provide students with rubrics and have them grade their own projects and assessments to see how they feel about the knowledge they've gained. However, I am worried about using the same types of reflection tools repeatedly and losing the value of them as students become accustomed to them. Therefore, I will continue to search for helpful tools and try to continue to come up with innovative ways for students to assess their learning and reflect on it.

My second goal dealt with becoming more involved in my profession, such as keeping up with news about education, particularly in technology. I also wanted to gain more interaction with peers. I have subscribed to several rss feeds to gain information and also to several blogs and online journals. Another step I have taken is to talk with my superintendent in regard to PLCs. Our district does not mandate learning communities, but he is in favor of the concept. Therefore, he has agreed to let me pilot an online community based on gaining knowledge and sharing. He has purchased a set of books for the staff to read. This is voluntary right now, but I hope it will grow. The superintendent has allowed me to set up a blog for staff where we can discuss the book we are reading and how it applies within our classrooms. He has requested that I update it weekly, noting important information from the book we are reading and helping to head up the discussion. I think this is a great opportunity for my district to share ideas and begin communicating on a higher level. I hope it will lead to further PLCs. I will continue to look for new books we can share in this format, and hope that anyone who has suggestions in this area will share them.

Within the next few weeks, I hope to add to my portfolio of reflective resources and see more participation within my district in the new PLC blog.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

EDUC6713 week3

Last week, I developed a GAME plan to help me implement some of the technology standards into my classroom. One area I wanted to develop was promoting student reflection. To do this, I wanted to establish a classroom blog where students could reflect upon items from class and their own work and then "discuss" this with one another. I want them to have accountability and take ownership of their work. This week, I established the blog and I will introduce the concepts to students in the coming weeks. As I move forward, I will need to look for some reflective tools I can use to help students see what areas they need to analyze within their own work, and ways they can reflect upon what is being done in the classroom. I will search the Internet and ask colleagues for advice on what types of tools would be most effective.

Secondly, I wanted to focus on evaluating and reflecting on current research and professional practice. I want to be aware of what information is out there, learn to implement new technologies into my classroom, and then reflect and evaluate the work I am doing within my classroom. This will take many steps and resources to accomplish, yet this type of evaluation and reflection will never cease in a classroom. First of all, because there are no PLCs in my district, I need to locate one that I can be a part of. I have done some online searching and have joined two learning groups through my diingo account. I have joined elearning 2.0 and Google in education. However, I have not yet had much opportunity to read the majority of the articles. I do, though, have the ability to comment on things I am doing in my classroom to ask for advice or to reflect upon the outcomes. I can use these sites to read for new information and hold myself accountable for trying new ideas. I would also like to look for and subscribe to educational magazines that deal with new technology. My next step will be to search for these and subscribe. Finally, I am using my personal blog as a reflection tool and will continue to do so.

These beginning steps will help me implement these new standards in my classroom. As I look at what I am doing and need to do, this will change and need updated as well.

National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) retrieved from on November 10, 2009.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

EDUC 6713 GAME plan

The National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers reflect the skills and abilities of teachers that are becoming more and more important in modern classrooms. As classrooms continue to evolve to meet the needs of 21st century learners, it is more important than ever that teachers continue to adapt to those needs.
The ISTE Standards address these areas for teachers. I feel comfortable with many of the standards, but there is always room for improvement. There are several that I would like to work on in particular.
The first indicator that I developed a GAME plan for is "promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students' conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes." (National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). One action I will take to complete this is developing a reflective blog for students. They will be able to log on and address concerns and questions about completed projects. They can comment on their ability to work in groups and indicate how comfortable they felt with assignments. They will also be able to comment on one another's suggestions and ideas. As they leave comments, I will also be able to address their responses. Then as we work on new or continuing projects, we can reflect back on what was previously stated. To monitor this, I will check the blog every few days and be sure to address comments by students, whether on line or in person. I will ask additional questions to help them dig more deeply into their reflections. I can evaluate this by the comments students make and the differences I see in the classroom in collaborative work. I can extend this for my own learning by keeping a personal log or journal reflecting on what I think is going well or needs improved.
Another indicator I would like to work on is "evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning." (National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). I will take several actions to accomplish this. First of all, I would like to find a professional learning community to interact with. My district does not have PLCs as of right now, so I will search online or check with colleagues from other schools to find one I can share information with. I will also subscribe to media regarding information technology. I will read to keep current with new technology and share that information with others. To monitor this, I will keep myself accountable with other colleagues to try new tools periodically and reflect on their use. I will evaluate my efforts in this by reflecting and journaling new lessons I try or new tools I use. I will contribute to a PLC to share this information.

National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) retrieved from on November 10, 2009.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

EDUC 6712 Reflection

After completing this course, one thing that stands out to me is the fact that my students need a whole new set of skills in order to be literate in today's world. It is no longer enough to be able to read and write or work with printed materials. Students need to navigate and manage the electronic information they are bombarded with daily. I need to help students learn how to read and write in a global society.
To begin with, I will work with students on managing information. I would like my students to become more literate in today's technology. I would like to help them set up readers or other types of accounts to manage information. I also want them to understand how to paraphrase information and research properly, giving credit as appropriate. The knowledge I have gained in this course will influence how I help students maneuver through this information.
One professional development goal I have for myself is to investigate methods of instruction that will help students develop new literacies. I would like to investigate online courses and written materials that will help me understand how students think and process information so that I can better teach them the processes they will need to understand to be successful.
Ginger Holloway