Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

    I mentioned in last week’s blog that I use my Mimio board into my classroom often. Just this week, while discussing political and social issues in Africa, I used Google Earth to zoom in on several townships in South Africa. While doing so, I also use a split screen to show video of the rise and fall of Apartheid in the country. I was able to use my interactive board to stop and fast forward the video very easily, while never actually leaving the board.  Not having to use a remote is wonderful.  I was also able to draw over the video and map with the Mimio markers to point out different things as opposed to using a laser pointer or yard stick. I felt this lesson was a great step forward into my GAME plan.

    However, I feel my GAME plan progress has slowed down. There is pressure from my administration for my students to perform at an exceptionally high level on our district’s end of the semester course test. My gifted students have to pull the weight of other students on my grade level that may not do as well, in order to make our scores look better. With that being said, I am now in a crunch to cover four weeks work of material in just two weeks—which is when the test will administered, and it is hindering my progress. I am concerned that I will not be able to meet my goal of integrating technology into the classroom every single day leading up to Winter Break.  I believe I have the resources to integrate, but not the time. I feel it is very easy and convenient at the moment to use my traditional lessons, rather than create new ones or modify the old ones to integrate technology. Doing so will take time that I simply do not have at this moment in the academic calendar. I do not foresee this as a problem in the future, and eventually I will reach my goal.

    On the a brighter note, this setback has shown me that some of the best developed plans may go awry due to circumstances that may be in or out of my own hands. The most important thing is to adapt and adjust, and continue to move forward, and to realize if I need to “modify my goals” (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2009, p.5). This is the question that I will ponder over the next week or so. This time should give me an accurate measure of whether or not my original GAME plan goal is attainable.

 

                                                                                            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.

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At this point in my class, I have started to incorporate parts of my GAME plan.  This past week, I installed a new Mimio interactive board in my classroom. Once I installed this technology, my students were automatically interested.  In my GAME plan, I want to use technology every single day in the classroom. This interactive board will help me reach my students even more than I could before.  The interactive board is just the first step to what I need in my classroom to carry out my plan.  I will need technologies such as clickers, laptops, digital cameras, and digital recorders to continue to meet my plan.  Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) explained that “digital media are a key factor for implementing UDL based on the flexibility they offer both teachers and students” (pg. 126).  Having these technologies will help me achieve my GAME plan, and assist the students in learning. One of my goals for teaching and instruction is to transform my class into a self-directed center for learning. I want to provide my students with all the resources and materials they need construct their own meaning of content, while being a facilitator of learning. Building online classes, similar to the ones we have here at Walden, is a step in that direction. While the Mimio software in itself is not a game changer, it does allow me to be away from my personal computer and interact with students, as well let the students step away from their technology to interact with their teacher.

Even though I have incorporated the interactive board in my class, I still have a bunch of work to do to completely meet my GAME plan. I feel I still have some lessons and plans that I am having trouble integrating technology with.  Some days, I revert back to my old ways of teaching, which include reading and answering questions with pen or pencil.  Even though I make my lessons very interactive between students, sometimes I feel I need to incorporate some sort of technology.  That is why I am glad I have the interactive board because now I can use more interactive websites and media in the classroom and not just in the computer lab. I am currently encouraging my students and parents to have some type of technology available for use each day. This concept is essential for achieving my goals of my GAME plan.

References:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom

use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning

Developing My Personal GAME Plan

After reading the National Education Standards for Teachers, I compared them to what my personal goals are.  I found two standards that I wanted to improve on and master during my teaching career. The first standard is to “engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources” (ISTE, 1997-2009).  This standard interests me because I believe it fits in very well with social studies.  Part of the curriculum I teach is real world issues and what better way to do that by using technology to learn about them. 

 

The second standard is to “collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation” (ISTE, 1997-2000).  This standard stood out to me right away.  I have envisioned a 21st century classroom and community where little pencil and paper is used.  Where students get immediate feedback on their work and where parents, teachers, and students are all connected in a twenty-four hour classroom.  I can envision a classroom that is totally redefined by technology because students are independent and innovative.

 

To meet these goals, I will begin to integrate technology based lessons into my class daily. By integrating technology daily, I will be teaching my students to become independent learners and innovative thinkers.  I want to create a website where students go every single day to get their assignment.  From there, I want to incorporate Web 2.0 activities and give each student individualized learning to help each student succeed in my class.  I believe technology can help teachers reach more students because it makes lesson easier to individualize.  Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) reference Rose and Meyer (2002) who said “Universal design for learning (UDL) suggests that teachers can remove barriers to learning by providing flexibility in terms of options for materials, methods, and assessments” (pg. 117).  I would love for my classes to have no barriers of the type and the amount of learning that gets done by every single child.  I will know when I have reached my goals when I have included technology in every lesson and I act more as a guide to social studies then as a teacher of social studies. 

 

The way that I plan on extending my learning of these standards is to teach other teachers to use the technology skills that I have learned.  My school has just hired someone with a similar job description and I would love to be able to help more students in my school, not just in my classroom.  I figure the best way to do that is to teach other teachers to use technology in their 21st century classroom.

                                                                                         References:

 

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

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards.