Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Because of our collaborative groups, I have gathered a plethora of sites, which will be related to my lessons, resulting in creating a hook to captivate my students and further provide an enriched learning experience. My curriculum has received an enormous boost by utilizing technology due to what I have learned from this course, instructor and colleagues. During this course, evaluation of student learning was also aided with technology, proving how important and simple technology is to incorporate. The opportunity for me to add technology within DI, are vast and endless and doesn’t require creating individual lesson plans for each student. Remembering how important it is for students to retrieve their prior knowledge, experience new information, and then be able to transfer this to the next level, was reiterated in this course.
After giving much thought and reflection, the technology I have learned through this class will immensely benefit my students. I cannot wait to partner my teachings with the various technology tools while watching my students have fun learning and preparing for the 21st century.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Since my last posting for my 2 GAME goals, I have made some progress. My first goal being more fluent with technology both current and upcoming, I have taken several progressive steps towards this. This past week, I attended a full day of training to learn about the Promethean Board that I have. I learned so much and was so very excited to get back to my students and start playing. I also learned how to use the clickers, which I have wanted to do this for some time now, and I learned how to create my own assessments for the clickers. This is a huge step towards my goal. Additionally, the Internet has provided me with sample rubrics that I can use for assessing my students and myself, and also in finding resources to help me work on improving my electronic communications with my parents. With all the information I have found, I am right now trying to sort through while absorbing it all in order to utilize what I am able to use for my plan.
The only part of my plan, at this point, that I have to think about modifying is sending out a mass email to all of my colleagues throughout my county, which will invite them to join a collaborative yahoo group. A supervisor I contacted about last week said she thought there was something in place for special education teachers to visit, but what she is referring to is a link from an existing commercial site that has to be subscribed to.
One thing I have learned since creating my GAME plan is that it takes time to follow protocol and sometimes you are not able to advance to the next step unless you have completed all the current formalities. Also, some of these formalities are hinged upon human responses/actions, which further means, when they become able or choose to act! In addition, I have become more aware of how technology is really not integrated into the classroom or lessons when it is crunch time in preparation for state testing. Other colleagues do not want to “waste” their time on “fun” activities with our TCAP (state testing) being right around the corner.
Finally, one question that I have started pondering is how do I get my parents involved electronically? Many parents are choosing not to take advantage of the technology that is already in place such as: teacher web pages and our Power School that posts student’s grades.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
As I consider my first goal, being fluent in technologies, the more it occurs to me that I do not know. Does this make sense? Technology is like an onion, the more you peel back, BAM! there is another layer underneath. For starters, I would like to make an inventory list of the digital tools and technologies: 1) I utilize often 2) I feel I use effectively 3) Impact on students’ performance. I would also like to review some rubrics used by teachers when evaluating their own teaching and then modify to meet my particular needs. Concurrently, there are several strategies that I have pondered, for instance, locating more professional development classes/sessions, talking with colleagues, and spending more time exploring/creating/experimenting. So far I have signed up for a technology conference in April and have already participated in an iGoogle webinar
For my second goal of conveying relevant information to students, parents, and colleagues through technology, I have spoken to some of my colleagues and inquired about using technology to achieve this goal. I discovered that several used emails or teacher web pages when outreaching to parents, and they also used emails and blogs for colleagues. As I plan to create a centralized location for both students and parents, I have started gathering and organizing links that I want to include. Also, I have emailed my principal and requested time to speak with her about a workshop for parents to help them access teacher/school information via technologies. At the same time, I have already sent a couple of emails to special education coordinators to ask for specific guidelines when contacting/communicating throughout my district.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Learning a new game can be fun, exciting, challenging or even the opposite; uninteresting. Recently, I have been discovered that I not only must learn a new game, but also be the inventor of this new game. WOW! It took me a minute to wrap my mind around what is being asked of me, especially because this game has such high stakes.
Being the winner of my game is defined as being an effective teacher by utilizing 21st Century Literacy Skills. In order to achieve this, I must have a solid perception of what being effective entails, therefore, I need to understand the National Education Standards for Teachers (2008) in order create my GAME plan. As Dr. Cinnamo (2009) explained, GAME signifies “Setting Goals, taking Action, Monitoring, and Evaluate and Extending” (p.30) therefore my first step is setting my Goals.
The NET Standard I am creating my GAME plan for is “Model Digital-Age Work and Learning.” This first Goal involves me being able to demonstrate fluency in technologies both current and rising, while sharing my information to support students’ learning. The Action is to incorporate many of the skills I have learned from previous and future courses via Walden into my lessons as well as using my classroom technologies to their fullest potential on a daily basis. In terms of Monitoring, this will be more of a trial and error event that will need adjusting, but most importantly, I will need to be very honest when reflecting objectively on my teaching. By monitoring students’ performances through informal and formal assessments in addition to creating a rubric for myself, these day-to-day notations will help me track specific moments while considering either modifying or moving forward. In order to Evaluate and Extend these specific moments, I will test my students’ content knowledge on the lessons that I have incorporated the aforementioned technologies. From here, I will reteach or enrich, which will show me the level of mastery of my students based on my teachings.
The second Goal is conveying relevant information through various digital venues in an effective manner to student, parent, and colleagues (2008). My Action will include a multi-facet approach starting with creating a group account for my colleagues in which to share files, questions, and information. After I create the group account, I will send a mass email to all schools within my county asking each principal to forward the invite for colleagues to join, but will also set the group’s profile for special education teachers around the world. Within my classroom, I will provide ‘show and tell’ with my students showing them my teacher webpage and the various links that are available. For my parents, I will offer times (PTA meetings, parent-teacher conference night, and even during/after school) to demonstrate how to access my webpage and the wiki that I will create for parental use. To eliminate confusion, I will also provide my parents “quick step” guide outlining the steps to take for obtaining different options. Monitoring will be on-going, by providing my contact information, my parents contact me at various times for various reasons. During the times mentioned above, I will be available for monitoring, questions and even conferences. Concurrently, I will be Monitoring the colleague group account on a daily basis via my email. Evaluating and Extending will be based on the volume of response in which is received through the various digital venues. After examining the reactions, I will then continue, adjust or alter for the start of the next school year.
I look forward to doing this project for the remainder of this year, which will enable me to tweak as needed, therefore, starting off next year strong from day 1. GAME ON!!!!
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.
National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
As my journey through Walden’s master’s program, Integrating Technology in the Classroom has brought me to the end of EDUC 6712; I have evolved into a teacher who grasps the importance of the new literacy skills. One of the most striking revelations about my teaching of new literacy skills to my students is the fact that without evening realizing it, I am incorporating these skills without thinking. Because I understand how the definition of being literate has changed to now encompassing the need for our students to acquire the new literacy skills in order to be able to compete in tomorrow’s work force, I will strive to add more of them into my daily lesson plans.
Due to the knowledge and experience of this course, I am more equipped to teach and guide my students through the process of being able to indentify websites that are reliable and valid as opposed to websites that are created with the intent to mislead or spread untruths. Never realizing such faulty websites existed, I take satisfaction in being more conscious and skilled in educating my students in where to find kid-friendly appropriate sites and search engines such as http://www.ivyjoy.com/rayne/kidssearch.html and even researching an existing site by finding out who the true author is by using www.easywhois.com. Will Richardson states, "They (students) must be able to assess its authority by examining the incoming and outgoing links from and to other sites on the Web to ensure it references--and is referenced by--credible sites" (Richardon, 2009, p. 29).
One professional development goal I would like to pursue is to create a wiki for all special education teachers throughout my school district as a collaborative site to post and share ideas and links that have been enjoyed within their classrooms or as a place to ask for assistance from colleagues. This would also be the perfect avenue to share how to adapt 21st century skills to each learner according to their individual needs. Current trends of technology could be shared as to how it is being incorporated into the curriculum. Just think of all of the resources that would be available to share with just a click of a computer button; powerpoints, voicethreads, lessons for Promethean and smart boards, and since special education ranges from K-12, there would not be limited materials by any definition. Another added benefit is that this wiki encompasses all realms of special education, which includes speech/language, physical/occupational therapy, gifted, resource, and co-teaching. My steps to accomplishing this goal is to contact my immediate special ed supervisor and acquire contact information for each school or sped teacher. Then I would set up the wiki and invite all to join. Between word of mouth and a great need for this collaborative effort among my peers, I feel I could accomplish this particular professional development goal without too much difficulty and we all would reap the rewards especially the students.