Reflection

My goal to “Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others” (International Society, 2008) by sharing the benefits of blogging with other teachers at my school is going well. I am all set to offer a training to teachers next week as we head back to school. I will of course need to monitor this as the school year continues. It is easy to get sidetracked by a busy schedule. I feel good that I have established some good habits this summer though in regards to blogging that will help me stay on task during the school year.

My other goal to “Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning” (International Society, 2008) has gone much better since revising my plan to follow fewer but the most pertinent blogs for me. Again this is something I will need to monitor once the school year begins and the schedule feels up. I can see many applications in lessons I have done previously with students, but as a co-teacher I make suggestions and the classroom teacher has the final word so I will hopefully win teachers over through example to this idea. I would love to start including blogging into our library projects as a way to promote writing and sharing with a global audience.

As a library teacher I have always implemented technology when applicable into the research process and product creation, but now I have more tools and a better understanding as to the purpose of integrating technology. Collaboration and communication skills are critical 21st century skills that technology can foster and promote (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009a). Project based learning is something I can increase in my practice and again I have to get the classroom teacher on board with this. Increasing the number of research projects that are also PBL projects is a goal of mine for this school year. There is such value in creating a real-world application through PBL for student engagement and to address 21st century skills (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009b).

Social networking is another area that I have used in the past but want to increase moving forward. I see an immediate use for Diigo in the library setting and with the research projects I help co-teach. I also use the collaborative features of Google Classroom, but I want to vary the tech tools I use for this by using VoiceThread, wikis, and blogs. I am super excited about using digital storytelling as it requires the combination of so many skills and can cover so many standards. I received an email from the Library of Congress about the use of poetry in the Olympics that ignited the idea to have students write poetry and share that through digital storytelling that I am excited to try out this school year.

Although I was doing many of the things advocated by this course, this course made me aware of the purpose and therefore increased my motivation to do better. I have learned about new technology tools that will help me increase my integration of technology as well as match the technology better to the learning objective. I am excited to start a new school year with the information that has empowered me to do better.

References

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009a). Integrating technology across the content areas: Spotlight on technology: Digital storytelling, part 2. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009)b. Integrating technology across the content areas: Spotlight on technology: Problem-based learning, part 1. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Continuous Improvement

I did well this week with my goal to “Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others” (International Society, 2008) by sharing the benefits of blogging with other teachers at my school. Now that I have a training scheduled with teachers at my school, I started to prepare for it. I created a fun Animoto video to email out to the teachers about the training I will be offering on implementing blogs. I have created a blog to use for this training. My principal suggested waiting until the first of August to start advertising, so I have not sent out the email yet with the video link.

I will include in this email the link to the blog and request that teachers write on the blog what they would like to walk away with from the training just to make sure that my vision and their vision for the training match up and as a way to create some interest by using the blog. I have started to post information on web 2.0 tools that I think the teachers will find useful and fun.

I have so much information from all of our resources from these courses plus some of my own discoveries, so I now need to organize and synthesize this information into a presentation that fits the time constraints and expectations of the group. I will need to get some feedback from the teachers before the final revision of the presentation. I also need to find information to help me create an evaluation for the training.

My other goal to “Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning” (International Society, 2008) went better this week. My goal was to review my daily feed of posts from the blogs I follow, but I found that I was a little too enthusiastic and followed way too may blogs. I was finding it difficult to go through all the posts from the various blogs I was following, so after monitoring how ineffective I was being I decided to modify my plan.

I spent some time to determine which blogs I found the most useful and have limit myself to the best ones. This modification has made the daily reviews manageable and effective. I have made some notations on lessons where I can see a connection from what I have learned from these blogs as to how I can improve these lessons in order to improve student achievement. I now need to schedule some time to rewrite these lessons.

After reviewing this week’s assessment information, I can see that I need to add an action step to my lesson revisions to see if there is technology that I can use to perform assessments with. According to Ben-Jacob M.G. and Ben-Jacob T.E. (2014), “Technology can support and facilitate the process of assessment” (p. 245), so I would really like to take a more deliberate approach to trying to improve my lesson plans with technology based assessments by looking for a blog that might focus on assessment practices. I do feel that the GAME plan will improve my practice and therefore student achievement.

 

References

Ben-Jacob, M. G., & Ben-Jacob, T. E. (2014). Alternative assessment methods based on categorizations, supporting technologies, and a model for betterment. International Association for Development Of The Information Society,

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers

 

 

 

GAME Plan: Part Two

I chose the “Teaching Every Child Means Reaching Every Child” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 110) scenario because this scenario best matched my every day challenges. I teach in a district where some of our schools have 86% of the population receiving ESL (English as a second language) services. Being mindful of providing the necessary scaffolding for our ELL (English language learner) students to be able to have equal access to the content of the curriculum is a district expectation. I also identify with the other individual needs of the students in this particular classroom. Clearly with such diverse needs, UDL (universal design for learning) is necessary so that learning activities can be customized and personalize for each student in the class (Cennamo et al., 2009).

I would design lessons for a class like this by first focusing in on the content vocabulary of the lesson as a way to proactively remove barriers. Pre-teaching the vocabulary can be done in an engaging and effective way through a variety of technology tools. PowerPoint type presentation can be done to present the new word with an image to help the students remember the new word. I include on the slide a meaningful sentence that includes a context clue as to the meaning of the word. Students make a Vocabulary list that has the word and a drawing that they make that represents the meaning of the word to them.

An additional language support web tool that I have available to me is a state funded website with a variety of databases that allow students to highlight, listen, select other languages, and use a dictionary feature. This will help students struggling with decoding, extracting information, and encountering unknown words. For students who do not like using the computer as mentioned in the scenario, additional vocabulary help can be provided with games via technology. There are templates to use for PowerPoint vocabulary games, or I could make an interactive game using a web tool such as Thinglink. Students could “quiz” themselves by first looking at the word on the Thinglink and then click on it for the image or definition to verify the answer.

All of these options for providing scaffolding via technology appeal to learners particular strengths such as the visual learner. By using technology to appeal to students strengths, instruction is enhances (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). The scaffolding and engaging instruction will alleviate apprehension and improve retention. The UDL is a proactive approach to insuring effective tier one instruction so that each student has access to the curriculum and success.

References

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.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas: Meeting students’ needs with technology, part 1. Baltimore, MD: Author.

So Sorry, I just realized that I copied and pasted the wrong post. Here is the correct one:

My goal to “Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others” (International Society, 2008) by sharing the benefits of blogging with other teachers at my school is off to a good start. I talked to my principal about this goal and wanting to schedule some professional development time for this. We have several days before school starts to prepare our rooms and get organized as well as attend some required professional development opportunities. There are always multiple professional development opportunities and teachers select two to attend. One of the options for professional development now is with me on blogging! I am now in the process of preparing advertising to entice teachers to come and researching how best to present and engage teachers.

My other goal is Standard 5A, which states, “Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning” (International Society, 2008). I have added some blogs to my feed, but have not been consistent with reviewing my feeds daily for a minimum of 15 minutes. I keep telling myself that it is summer and once I get into a normal routine upon returning to school this fall I will do better at this. I am concern though that on busy days this might get put on the bottom of the list. I am wondering if daily reviews are manageable and should I adjust that expectation? Perhaps I need to be more selective on the blogs I follow because sometimes the amount of posts to read are extensive. As part of monitoring this goal, I am thinking that it might be good to limit the blogs to my favorites in order to limit the amount of posts I read.

 

References

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers

 

 

 

 

GAME

I have decided to set GAME plan for NETS-T standard 5A so that I can improve my practice and therefore confidence and enhance the learning experiences of my students with the use of technology. Standard 5A states, “Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning” (International Society, 2008). My Goal is to participate in the global learning community by blogging and following blogs that focus on technology in the classroom applications. The first Action step is to continue to follow the blogs that I have already selected and to add additional blogs to my feed. The second Action step is to dedicate 15 minutes every day to review posts. The third Action step is to take the recommendations from the posts and apply them to my lessons during my Friday planning time. I will Monitor my plan by first reviewing if the daily 15 minute post review is doable and then reflecting on if I am implementing technology into my lessons. I will Evaluate the lesson implementation to see if what additional research or help I might need to insure a positive learning experience for my students.

I also want to implement standard 5, which states, “Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others” (International Society, 2008). As the library teacher, I am responsible for helping teachers be aware of new technologies and to implement them, so my Goal is to be able to improve that practice through standard 5B. My first Action steps are to take what I learn from my blogging goal and share that with the teachers in my building through co-teaching, tech training meetings after school, and video messaging sent out through e-mail. I will Monitor the implementation by asking teachers for feedback on the trainings and communications. I will Evaluate this by surveying teachers to see if they are implementing the technology in their lessons.

 

References

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers

Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn

In order to prepare students with 21st Century skills, the integration of technology and instruction must move beyond technology only being used as an instructional tool to include technology being also used as a learning tool by students. This will also require a shift from the teacher being center stage to the teacher being a guide on the side (Edutopia, 2012). This will require a great deal of teachers to make this change in their approach to teaching as it will require them to unlearn and relearn.

I have been going through this process and it has given me a deeper understanding of the value for all, including students, to know how to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Being able to recognize when one needs to try a different approach or tool to solve an information problem, is critical to success. Being able to solve problems and be creative are required of a 21st Century learner (Voogt, Erstad, Dede, & Mishra, 2013). Being able to witness students who are able to meet these challenges of problem solving and being creative is very rewarding.

Technology is constantly changing, which requires teachers and students to be able to adapt. A challenge associated with all these changes and the need to learn, unlearn, and relearn is making sure that the learner does not feel overwhelmed; the goal is for the learner to feel challenged and not overwhelmed. Providing the necessary structure and scaffolding without taking over the stage is challenging at times. I am excited to learn more in this course to help me with this challenge.

References

Edutopia. (2012). David Thornburg on the evolving classroom (Big Thinkers Series) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/david-thornburg-future-classroom-video

Voogt, J., Erstad, O., Dede, C., & Mishra, P. (2013). Challenges to learning and schooling in the digital networked world of the 21st century. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(5), 403–413.

 

Reflection

My personal theory of learning has been reinforced through what I have learned in this course. I was and am a big believer in the importance of application of new knowledge, which has been reinforced by this course. Added to this person theory of learning is the important role that technology can play. Technology can create student engagement as well as discovery and deeper understanding. Technology provides ways for teachers to see and understand student understanding of new information.  For example, I have been using mindmaps and VoiceThread lately with my students and love the increase in student engagement as well as the data I am able to pull from these two tools.

The two technology tools that I am most excited about moving forward that I learned about as a result from this course would be mindmaps and VoiceThread. I also have been integrating Rewordify with my ELL students. I learned about Rewordify from one of the postings from a fellow student in the course. Rewordify has provided valuable scaffolding for my ELL students and is making a big difference.

One change that I would like to make is to increase my use of cooperative learning groups. My SMART goal for this is:  I will plan and implement the cooperative learning strategy three times a term for each class. Another change I plan on making is to use a wiki as a technology learning tool with my students. My SMART goal is: I will design a unit that utilizes a wiki collaboration piece for students to be able to work together once a term.

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

The key to social constructivism is the emphasis on the interaction amongst people and learning from and with one another (Laureate Education, n.d.-i). Cooperative learning is an instruction strategy that aligns perfectly with social learning theories. Cooperative learning helps students to move beyond their own zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) because they are able to receive help from a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO), which means the students are able to receive the help they need to learn (Orey, 2001; Laureate Education, n.d.-i). Connectivism is making connections and building networks of knowledge according to Siemens (Laureate Education, n.d.-d). When students collaborate, they are able to build those connections and networks.

Pitler, Hubbell, and Kuhn (2012) also addressed additional instructional strategies and tools that have the potential to emphasize the use and power of collaborative learning such as websites, wikis, Google Apps, Glogster, and WebQuests. I particularly was drawn to the site www.jigsaw.org, which was recommended by Pitler et al. (2012) as the jigsaw instructional strategy is one I use with my ELL students. Jigsaw is a great way to build in personal accountability as well as interdependence as recommend when doing cooperative learning by Pitler et al. (2012).

My experience with VoiceThread this week has me excited to use this technology tool in the future. The collaborative nature of VoiceThread and the engaging format and options for ways to collaborate not only align with social learning theories, but they also address multiple learning styles. This is a great example of how someone might have insight, experience, or content knowledge that can benefit me and therefore through sharing and collaborating with me will help me increase my understanding and create new meaning. Here is the link to my VoiceThread:  https://voicethread.com/share/7700598/

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.-d). Connectivism as a learning theory [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.-i). Social learning theories [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

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

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Constructivism In Practice

The constructivist theory is based on one’s schema and experiences. It is about making connections and linking information. Generating and testing hypothesis strategy relates to the constructivist learning theory in that students need scaffolding to help them organize the information (Pitler, 2012).  Graphic organizers help students not only organize information but also to link information, so a good instructional strategy that is related to the constructivist is a graphic organizer. The generating and testing hypothesis moves beyond the constructivist theory as students problem solve their way into the constructionist theory.

Constructionist theory focuses on providing a learning experience where students investigate, create and solve problems (Orey, 2001); it moves beyond obtaining information. Orey (Laureate Education, n.d.-e) stresses the importance of teachers using the constructionist theory in order for students to move into higher order thinking. An important strategy to use with constructionist theory is to let students know where they are headed as they work on inquiry-based, problem-based, and project-based projects (Orey, 2001). Rubrics and learning objectives are needed to accomplish this.

Generating and testing hypotheses engages students in problem solving as they test and re-test their hypothesis (Pitler, 2012). Pitler also stresses the roll that technology can play in generating and testing hypothesis. The constructionist theory includes students building something in order to share what they have learned, so once again technology tools will help teachers accomplish this learning goal with their students (Laureate Education, n.d.-e).

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.-e). Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

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

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: AS

Cognitivsim In Practice

Advanced organizers can often be overlooked during the instructional process, when in fact using advanced organizers are a powerful way to start the instructional process. Advanced organizers help to establish the content to come for students (Pitler, Hubble, & Kuhn, 2012). According to Pitler, Hubble, and Kuhn (2012) advanced organizers help students’ to retrieve and organize information.  Advanced organizers allow the opportunity for students to anticipate the learning going forward and also assists in providing schema for the learning. Since the cognitive learning theory is about informational processing, the advanced organizers connect to cognitive learning theory because students use the advanced organizers to help themselves organize and analyze the information (Laureate Education, n.d.).

Summarizing and note taking are important instructional strategies that also help students to analyze information and create a new product representing the information (Pitler et al., 2012). In order to summarize, students must extract and synthesize information, which requires them to evaluate and prioritize information. This information is then put into their own words, which shows that the students have been able to process the information and therefore connects to cognitive learning theory. Note taking also requires students to process the information and prioritize it in order to extract what information to include in the notes.

Designing lessons that implement cognitive learning theories is critical for helping students process new information into long-term memory (Laureate Education, n.d.). Key points that I intend to incorporate in my lesson design include limiting the amount of new information I introduce at any given time, planning for dual coding hypothesis as I implement advanced organizers and teaching explicit note taking strategies as recommended by Pitler et al. (2012). This will help my students by making the new information a manageable amount. By dual coding, students will increase the number of connections they are able to make to new information and thus be able to retrieve it better. Having students use advanced organizers and take notes, students will have the opportunity to construct their own understanding of the new information and be able to deepen their understanding of the new information.

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Cognitive learning theories[Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Behaviorist Learning Theory

According to Orey (2001), Behaviorism is based on “…observable and measurable aspects of human behavior” and that this behavior is based on stimuli. Clearly classroom management strategies are all based on the principles of behaviorism, and there are a few choices for monitoring the positive and negative reinforcement of a classroom management system such as ClassDojo. There are also instructional strategies that are based on these same principles. For example, drill and practice activities are based on training students to select the correct answer through the use of repetition and positive reinforcement. The drill and practice strategy is a useful and effective way to teach basic skills (Laureate Education, n.d.).

Online the drill and practice strategy is often referred to as a tutorial. These tutorials present a manageable amount of information for the student to practice and focus on. After looking at the prompt (stimuli), the student makes a choice that the student receives positive or negative reinforcement for depending on if their choice was correct or not. Orey (Laureate Education, n.d.) talked about how tutorials are really good for remediation. Smith talked about four important elements of Behaviorism of active participation, repetition, positive reinforcement, and behavioral objectives. When students are doing online tutorials, students are the ones actively making the choices, repeating those choices, and receiving immediate feedback, which aligns with Behaviorism.

In addition, Pitler, Hubbell, and Kuhn (2012) addressed how technology can be used to recognize students’ work by publishing it for all to see.  Recognizing their work is a form of positive reinforcement that is based on behaviorism. Technology and behaviorism have a clear connection that educators need to be aware of in order to use it in the most appropriate and effective ways.

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Behaviorist learning theory[Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Smith, M. K. (1999). The behaviourist orientation to learning. In The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/the-behaviourist-orientation-to-learning/