Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reflection-Week 7

My initial GAME plan focused on two indicators. Those indicators were promoting and modeling digital citizenship and designing digital learning experiences and assessments (ISTE, 2012).  Incorporating the GAME plan into my classroom has added “positive vibes” to my classroom environment. My students are having fun while learning. This not only encourages students to come to class, but also to participate and become involved in the learning process. My classroom has transformed from the traditional teacher lectures and assignments to an environment where students are becoming self-directed learners and have the opportunity to teach and learn from their classmates.
I believe that I was able to incorporate my GAME plan very well in my classroom. I designed these lesson plans for the new course I have this year, Principles of Business and Finance. All of these lesson plans worked well in class and I believe I was able to create an authentic learning experience for my students. I believe my lesson plans were successful for a number of reasons. First, I involved my students in deciding which forms of technology to use in their assessments. I was already familiar with Edmodo and Voicethread but my students actually suggested and taught me how to use Prezi. A second reason I believe my lessons were successful is because my lessons were designed to incorporate critical thinking and self-directed learning skills. In each lesson, students were given all of the information and materials they would need as well as a rubric that clearly outlined what was expected of them.
Overall, I am very pleased with my GAME plan.  Based on the products my students are creating, I can see that the desired learning outcomes and objective I outlined in my lesson plans are being met by my students. One adjustment I could make is researching new forms of technology to use in my classroom. My students have given me some great suggestions so far and I am sure they have more. For example, I am looking in spider scribe and I can also discuss with my colleagues which forms of technology they are using in their classroom. This could provide an opportunity to design a cross-curriculum content assignment or project using technology.  One thing that I have learned is that technology can be used to enrich any lesson weather the lesson plan involves problem-based learning, online collaboration, or digital storytelling.
Using the GAME plan was a new way to assess student learning. With the “checkpoint” assignment this class provided I was able to reflect and make adjustment quickly. As a teacher it is my job to reflect on the instructional strategies I use and determine if they meet the learning needs of my students effectively (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2009).  This class, the assignments I complete, and the advice and feedback I received from my classmates help me to accomplish the goals of my GAME plan. I am very excited about the future GAME plans I will design and incorporating these ideas into my classroom.

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 teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

My GAME plan is progressing nicely and both my students and I are making progress. The main focus of my GAME plan is to designing digital learning experiences while promoting digital responsibility.  The foundation of my plan is based on my interest to use of social forms of technology in the classroom. So far I have create an Edmodo group for each of my classes and students have completed several assignments online. In order to gather information on my students and their technology usage, students has completed both a technology data sheet and a technology survey. Thanks to the wonderful suggestions of my classmates I was able to conduct this information quickly by using the online service of .  The purpose of this was to estimate how many students have access to technology outside of class and what forms of technology students are interested in using.  The good news is that the majority of my students have access to technology outside of school and show interest in collaborating with their classmates online which encourages me to move forward with my plan.

I do believe that in order for my GAME plan to be truly effective a slight modification needs to be made. In my opinion Edmodo is a great social education site to use with students. My students are communicating with me online outside of school and making great academic progress. However, I need to modify my lessons and activities where students communicate with each other.  My desire is that students will become self-directed learners by using Edmodo to learn from and with their classmates (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I am currently working on creating discussion assignments similar to our discussion board assignments where students have to respond to a post and their classmates post. This will not only create classroom communication but critical thinking skills as well.  These types of assignments would create a digital community and further the integration of technology by requiring students to conduct research and develop thought out responses to the content being taught (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2009). The feedback students receive from their classmates will promote collaboration, communication, and perhaps more questions and research which in turn promotes effective learning.

So far I have learned that my students like Edmodo and are currently using Edmodo in several of their other classes. I also have learned how to grant parents access to Edmodo so they can view the assignments and the grades of their child. I have found that this is home and school collaboration is a great advantage to my GAME plan because parents will check their child grades and ensure that their classwork is completed before their child using the computer and Internet for “social reasons”.  I have questions about what other forms of “social” technology I can use with my students. I also have questions about how my colleagues and I can collaborate with our students through the use of Edmodo. I am constantly promoting collaboration in my classroom but I think it would be interesting to create a cross-curriculum project for students to complete.

I am excited about my ideas and the progress I am making on my plan. It is obvious that I have some planning, designing, and collaborating with my colleges to complete. I would love to start this project soon. Any suggestions, advice, or feedback from my classmates would be greatly appreciated.


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. Baltimore, MD: Author.

L. Yancey

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carrying Out Your GAME Plan

The main focus of my GAME plan is to design digital learning experiences while promoting digital responsibility.  I am attempting to carry out my plan through the use of social forms of technology in the classroom. What I have noticed is that students have a wide variety of technology available to them but this technology is only being used for their personal reasons. I believe that students can use social forms of technology on an academic level to achieve learning goals. If I can take a social form of technology and transform it into a digital learning community where students are collaborating and communicating then this can enrich my classroom and the learning experience of my students.

In order to ensure that my plan is carried out effectively I need to conduct research and gather resources. One resource I will need is Edmodo and the instructional materials on how to start and use this site. Edmodo is a great instructional tool to use because it combines the social elements of Facebook with the academic characteristic of posting content as well as viewing and posting assessments. The website is also a great way to enrich a lesson by having student interact with the content without having technology as the main focus of the lesson (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I have discovered that this website has a wide variety of introduction materials for teachers to use including ways to introduce and explain Edmodo to your students and their parents. A second resource I will need in the support and feedback of my colleagues. As we know our colleagues can offer use support and guidance on how to improve our instructional strategies. Our colleagues are great resources to use because they share the same problems and concerns and are also looking for ways to positively impact student learning. Although I have research Edmodo and am comfortable with using it, I have a few Edmodo who have used Edmodo longer than I have and I am sure that can provide me with ideas, tips, and successful of how I can benefit fully from using Edmodo with my students.

A second item that must be taken into consideration in order to execute my GAME plan is information on my students. I understand that each one of my students learn differently, however I will need information on what their learning styles are in order to incorporate the technology tools that will address their learning styles effectively (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). The biggest advantage of using technology is that it can be used to present information in various forms in order to meet the learning needs of all students. The second piece of information I will gather is the amount of technology students have available to them. If the majority of my students have access to technology outside of school then I have the freedom to design activities where students can collaborate and conduct research outside of the classroom. However, for students who may not have this access  I can adjust my lesson plan and class time to still accomplish the goal of students researching and collaborating with each other.

I began executing my GAME plan this summer by attending a workshop on social forms of technology in the classroom. During this workshop, the presenter discussed several ways that teachers could collaborate with students and colleagues while ensuring that we all understood the district acceptable use policy when it comes to technology. I made sure I reintegrate these guidelines with my students by having them and their parents sign an acceptable use policy for using the computers in my classroom. I also talked to several colleagues who use Edmodo and I am currently using Edmodo with my students. I believe these steps are helping me fulfill by plan by creating a digital community both inside and outside my classroom where students can collaborate and communicate with each other while still being social responsible and safe online.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Personal GAME Plan

As a teacher it is my goal to be a continuous learner. This is also a goal I have for my students. In order to accomplish this goal I need to model this behavior for my students. Therefore, it is my responsibility to learn, study, and research effective instructional strategies that will benefit my classroom. It is important that I follow the same learning strategies that I teach to my students because with the increase use and changes in technology the learning environment is also changing. This is an important factor in learning how to be a self-directed learner. It is important for teachers to practice professional development on the integration of technology in order to help students achieve their academic goals. The ISTE National Education Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers provide teachers with an evaluation system on their own technology inclusion. I use these standards as a resource to provide me with insight on how I can increase the integration of technology in my classroom.

 One indicator I would like to focus on is promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility. For a while now it has been my personal professional development goal to incorporate social forms of technology into my instruction. I believe that creating a digital community would help me accomplish this goal. I have discovered that students are aware of the digital and social resources available to them and most students have access to these resources at their fingertips with their smart phones and personal computers. However, most students fail to realize how this technology can be used in an academic setting. I would like to create a digital community both inside and outside my classroom where students can collaborate and communicate with each other and with me.

A second indicator I would like to focus on is designing digital learning experiences and assessments. In today’s society computers and technology are rapidly replacing tasks that we once completed with pen and paper. Therefore I believe it is important that I teach my students how to use technology to create and share a product. In this week’s learning resources, the presenter stated that the integration of technology should be used to enrich a lesson and not become the focus of the lesson (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). Technology can be used to enrich a lesson in order to address various learning styles, conduct research, answer questions, and accomplish goals. As a teacher it is my goal to design assessments and meaningful learning experience where students can relate the content to real life. Technology is a useful instructional tool that can help me reach this goal. 

In order to accomplish these goals there are several steps I can take. The first is conducting researching on which social forms of media I can use in the classroom that is acceptable to my school’s Internet policy and is accessible to all students. A colleague suggested that I used Edmodo so I have decided to give it a trial run. In fact I am currently using Edmodo in all of my classes. I like using Edmodo because this technology is not only giving me a different way to present the content but it also allow students to internet with the content in their own way, which helps students become self-directed learners (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I am monitoring my progress by student reaction, assignments, and usage. So far things seem to be going pretty well because students are logging into their accounts from home to finish and submit assignments. Students are also building on their communication skills by asking questions to the class and responding to discussion post.

A second step I can take to accomplish these goals is asking students and colleagues for their input about how to integrate technology into the classroom. If I want to create a digital community then the community around me needs to be involved with how the community is structured. I would like to think of myself as technology savvy, however I do realize that my students are more tech savvy than I and they can teach me a few technology skills. And if they cannot, what better way to promote self-directed learning than to have students learns and teach the class a new technology skills (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I will monitor my progress based off of the feedback and suggestions I receive from my colleagues. For example, the colleague who suggested the Edmodo site to me has been using this resource for quite some time. I use her advice and previous experience to ensure my students are on the right track when it comes to using this social form of technology successfully.

I believe that I can evaluate my goals and progress by reflecting on teaching and the successful of my students. As a teacher it is my job to reflect on the instructional strategies I use and determine if they meet the learning needs of my students effectively (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2009).  If students do not learn the content, then I need to review and modify my teaching strategy in order to accomplish this goal. This could also involve me reviewing the GAME plan of my students to see what modifications or changes need to be made to classroom instruction and how information is presented.


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 teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Final Reflection

As a computer teacher I would like to believe that I am a digital native. I grew up with technology and I use technology constantly on a daily basis. However, this course has introduced me to a variety of new technology tools that I can use in my classroom and my everyday life.  Throughout this course I have discovered new technology tools that I can use to enhance my instruction and will actively engage my students.  The knowledge I have gained in this course is not only making me a better teacher but it is positively affecting how my students learn.

During week one of this course I developed a personal theory of learning. In my theory I discussed how the brain functions and how information is processed. I also discussed my interest of the constructivism model and how technology is applied in the classroom and to this theory. Now that I am in week seven of this course I would make a few modifications to my personal theory of learning.  I now have a better understanding of all the different learning theories and how they apply to the classroom. This class has shown me that different learning theories are used in the classroom to meet the needs of diverse learners. Teachers choose a learning theory depending on what is being taught and what students should be able to do at the end of the lesson.  What I discovered through the course is that I often use a variety of different learning theories in one lesson so that I can reach all of my students. Regardless of which learning theory is being used, technology can be used to not only assist with how the information is processed but also to demonstrate what students know.

One adjustment I will make regarding technology integration is putting more thought into which technology tools I will use in my classroom and how this technology would be use.  This course taught me a very interesting distinction between technology as an instructional tool and a learning tool.  One technology tools I will use as an instructional tool is voice thread software. This technology tool is beneficial because it address the needs of auditory and visual learners. It is a new way to present information because it allows you to lecture or present information while looking at informational images. Another form of technology I would use as a learning tool is concept mapping. This tool is used to help students with summarizing and organizing their notes and information presented in class.  It also helps to retain information because it allows students to view information as text and graphics.

One goal I would like to accomplish with technology integration is creating more activities where technology is use as learning tool. In this course I was introduced to a concept called the jigsaw method. Under this instructional strategy the student is required to become knowledgeable about a particular topic or subject and teach this knowledge to their peers. Because of what I have learned in this course I have a variety of different technology tools that students can use to present their information such as concept maps, voice threads, prezi or PowerPoint presentations, or smart boards. If I start this assignment at the beginning of next year and maybe pair students up with a partner, hopefully by the end of the year every student will have the opportunity to change role from student to teacher.

A second goal I would like to accomplish is to incorporate web 2.0 tools not only in my classroom but help my colleagues incorporate these tools in their classroom as well.  In this course I have communicate with classmates all over the world that teach a variety of different subjects. Communicating with my classmates has given me ideas on how every subject can use technology to assist with learning. For example, a voice thread can be used as a replacement for a PowerPoint presentation or as a remediation tool for students who need read aloud modifications or testing.  Because of the course work I have completed in this course I have web sites, online resources, examples, and ideas I can share at staff and PLC meeting with my colleagues during the next school year.

Technology is changing the way we view information, the way we communicate, and it is even changing the way we teach. Technology is allowing teachers to step out of their comfort zones and teach the same information in new and innovate ways. Teachers should embrace the advantages of technology and take more of a facilitator approach to learning which allows students to heighten and elevate the concepts and skills taught by the teacher. This course has taught me so much valuable information that enriches my classroom. I am sure that over time, I will learn more and creative ways to change my teaching style through the use of technology, but at least this is a start

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

The social learning theory is another effective teaching strategy that is used in many different classrooms. This learning theory is often called cooperative learning. Many teachers use cooperative learning as way to teach our students how to interact, connect, and communicate with each other. It can also be used to teach our students how to take responsible for their learning. By having our students work and communicate in small groups it allows them to talk, share, and discuss with each other. During these discussions, students bounce ideas off each other, ask questions, and hopefully figure out the answers together. This allows students to take on the role of both teacher and student and in the process they learn from each instead of always relying on the teacher for help.

I believe that in order for the social learning theory or cooperative learning to be effective, it needs to be paired with another learning theory. For example, teachers often combine the social and constructionism learning theory. By combing these two theories, teachers require that students work and communicate with each other to create a meaningful artifact that can illustrate what students have learned. To make the activity more engaging, teachers incorporate the use of technology. Technology gives students the opportunity to not only communicate and create in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well. In this week’s resources the theory of connectivism was introduced. This theory incorporates many advantage of technology such as the abundant amount of information available and the multiple outlets or networks available for use. In today’s technology world, students can use their small phones, laptops, and computers to access vase amounts of information and communicate with anyone regardless of their location. Technology allows gives student of advantage to visualize, see, and view information which aids with learning. Cooperative learning is an effective strategy to use because it requires that students work with each other and hopefully learn something from each other. It can be effective because when students learn from each other that switch roles between student and teacher and in turn are responsible for their own learning.

The social learning theory can be a powerful instructional and teaching strategy when used correctly. I think it is important to use this strategy to aid with other learning theories and not rely on this strategy as student’s only source of learning. It is important to allow students to create meaningful artifacts based on the information taught in order to avoid inert knowledge. We use the cooperative learning to have students communicate with their peers but we also need to ensure that our students can apply what the information taught to a situation or task.

Voicethread Link:


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (2010) Social Learning Theories. Retrieved from
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (2010) Connectivism as a Learning Theory. Retrieved from
Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Constructivism in Practice

The constructionist theory focuses on the individual concept of learning. This theory is based on the idea that each individual constructs their own meaning of knowledge.  As teachers, this should be an easy concept to understand because we understand that each student learns and processes information differently. However, teachers focus on the constructionism theory of learning, which suggests that individuals learn best when build or create something that can be shared with others. Many teachers use this learning theory as a form of assessment. If our students can build a product, finish a problem, or complete an assignment or project that we can measure if learning occurred. Together in a “perfect classroom” the two can be used to create equilibration. This would mean that teacher and student can find a balance between the content being taught and how well the student understands the information in order for learning to occur.
There are several instructional strategies that can be applied to the constructivist or constructionist learning theory. One of the most common instructional strategies that teachers use is technology. Technology is useful because it applies to both theories. Each individual student can use technology to construct a product based on how they understand and interpret the information. I see this a lot when PowerPoint presentations are assigned in my classroom. Each student puts the information in their own words so it is easy for them to present and understand.  Every PowerPoint and presentation is created, designed, and presented differently to fit the personality of each student. However the end result is the same, the concept or subject matter is learned effectively. A second instructional strategy that teachers use is generating and testing a hypothesis. In this strategy we allow students to assimilation or generate a question based on the information they understood and then we allow students to accommodate by testing their hypothesis or proving if they were correct. In the classroom the concept of generating and testing hypotheses is done in many different forms including problem-solving, inquiry based approaches or projects. Again technology can offer a huge advantage to this different because technology can be used to view, interpret, analyze, and report data. We can even use technology to translate data into visual aids such as spreadsheets, charts, or graphs.
I do believe that in the classroom constructivist and constructionist theories are used often. It is important to let each student process and learn information that best suits their learning style. At the same time, every teacher strives to have their student create a meaning product that can demonstrate what they have learned. By creating activities that allow students to create an artifact we are not only promoting effective learning but we are keeping students engaged as well. This creates an ideal environment where students are not only learning from the teacher but from each other as well.  I have learned that this helps tremendously in the classroom. Students may not always understand when I explain a concept but sometimes having a classmates explain the same concept in their own language can make a world of difference.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (2010) Constructionist and Constructivist Learning Theories. Retrieved from
Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cognitivism in Practice

The cognitive learning process focuses on processing information. In today’s classroom, teachers are using technology as a cognitive learning tool to help students retain and understand information. Technology is being used to not only retain information but it is also being used to process information as well. When information is processed it goes through the stages of input, short term memory, and long term memory. As discussed in this week’s learning resources information is stored not only as text, but also as images. The advantage of using technology is that it gives students the opportunity to see, practice, and demonstrate what they have learned.

In our textbook there are two strategies that are normally associated with technology; cues, questions, and advance organizers and summarizing and note taking.  These strategies can also be used to demonstrate the cognitive learning theories. Cues and questions are used to retrieve information, while teachers provide students with graphic organizers to organize and store information. In the video resource this week Dr. Orey discussed how we do not forget information, we simply loose the connection to information that has been stored in our memory. When this happens to our students we give them cues or ask them leading questions to help them find the connection that is temporarily lost.  If our cues and questions are not helping then the can refer to the information in their graphic organizers.  The wonderful thing about technology is that there are thousands of graphic organizers available online that can be used depending on the subject matter and content.

Summarizing and note taking are used in the classroom by focusing on how to understand, process, retain, and use information.  During lecturing or discussion, we summarize information by highlighting the important material, substitute information by providing examples for our students and analyze how this information can be used. During note taking is it important to summarize information because we want our students to organize the information so it is easier for them to understand. Because each student processes information differently, it is helpful to use advance organizer to allow students to structure their own notes in their own way so they can retain and learn information.  Summarizing and note taking, as well as cues, questions, and organizers, can all be effective learning tools when used properly.

Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Behaviorism in Practice

Every teacher desires to become effective. In order to become an effective teacher we develop a plan for our classroom and our student. This plan includes instructional strategies. These instructional strategies guide how the content will be taught and how our students will learn.  Instructional strategies are also used to guide behavior.  How we teach can determine how our students behave.  When deciding on which instructional strategy to use, teachers must also decide on how to monitor, control, reward, and correct behavior. These factors are a part of the behaviorist theory. The behaviorist theory is composed of two factors; reinforcement and punishment.  Reinforcement is used for positive behavior and punishment is used for negative behavior.

When a child does something wrong, they are punished. The same practice occurs in the classroom; when a student misbehaves in the classroom there is a consequence for their action.  This week Dr. Orey talked about remediation as an instructional strategy and how it is viewed negatively. When a student cannot demonstrate what they have learned we use technology as a form of remediation.  During this stage, students go through online programs and tutorials to learn skills and concepts.  It is viewed negatively because the student has no interaction or engaging experiences with others.  Because they are being forced to sit in a lab on a computer for hours with no interaction with others, students view this as a punishment. However, what they learn is the right behavior promotes effective learning and negative behavior decreases learning which leads to a consequences or punishment.

The other side of the behaviorist theory is reinforcement for positive behavior. For any teacher, this is the most desirable theory to have in the classroom. This form of reinforcement guides students through content questions or small activities where if they do something correctly they are rewarded by moving to the next step or if students are incorrect then reinforcement occurs. Reinforcement can take many forms through the use of technology weather it is practiced in programmed instruction or online tutorials.  These strategies are effective because by completing these activities not only are students engaged but it also gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and practice what they are learning. Positive reinforcement leads to positive behavior.  When student exhibits a positive or learned behavior then they are rewarded weather that reward is given by the teacher or it is a personal sense of satisfaction for the student.  Reinforcement is a better instructional strategy than punishment. The use of reinforcement creates a positive engaging environment for our students which will only enhance their learning experience.

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reflection on Technology

Because of the curriculum I teach and the amount of technology I use daily, I would like to think of myself as a digital native. However, this course has exposed me to new forms of technology and has taught me new and creative technology skills I can incorporate into my classroom. I was familiar with blogs and wikis before, but had never completed one or used one in my classroom before this course. These technology tools have taught me how technology can be used to teach and enhance 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, and information technology. These tools have also deepened my knowledge of the teaching process with using technology in the classroom. With these forms of technology my role in the classroom has changed from instructor to facilitator. There is no doubt that our students are familiar with technology at the social level but this course has taught me innovate ways to expose students to technology from an academic standpoint. I have learned how to use new forms of technology to teach students to build their communication and teamwork skills to interact and learn from their classmates to build a more learner-centered environment where students are taking charge of their own learning. I will continue to expand my knowledge of teaching and learning with technology by taking the resources, suggestions, advices, and comments I have received in this course and incorporating them into my classrooms. I have thoroughly enjoyed the weekly discussion board assignments where I can interact, discuss, and communicate with other educators about the ways they are using technology in their own classroom.

One goal that I would like to set for transforming my classroom environment into a more technology-friendly classroom is finding and securing new forms of technology to use in my classroom. Acquiring funds to purchase technology is a challenge for many classroom teachers but I do believe that there are a variety of free and affordable forms of technology I can use in my classroom. My hope is that once a month I can find a new form or type or technology to introduce to my students from an academic standpoint.

A second goal I would like to accomplish in my classroom is to incorporate a web 2.0 tool into my classroom that can be used throughout the school. I would like to create a classroom blog or discussion board where students can ask questions or post comments about what they are learning in class. Sometimes students are embarrassed to ask question in class or need additional assistance outside of class so this web tool could be a great resource tools for my students. This activity would reiterate 21st century skills such as communication and information technology. Since students feel like they use technology more at home than at school, this allows students to take their school work home with them.

After reviewing my checklist from week 1 I realized that my responses have changed concerning my teaching practices. I have a better understand of digital tools and how they can be used to For example, I have incorporated more student collaboration into my classroom. I have learned that collaboration is an excellent way for students to communication and learn from each other. It is also a good way to promote diversity in the classroom by having students work with different partners each time. Every student is different and learns differently so this is a good concept for students to learn. This new concept of collaboration and communication have also cause me to design my activities to build more student-centered learning where students can build, demonstrate, and practice their 21st century skills. I believe that these skills are important because they not only promote effective learning, but they are skills that students will need and use outside of the classroom. That is my goal as an effective teacher. To not only help my students become effective learners, but effective members of society as well.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Evaluating 21st Century Skills

I found the partnership for 21st century skills website very informative. The first thing you see when you view the website is the mission and goal of the site which is very well stated. The website was very colorful and grabbed your attention. The links were clearly labeled, easy to understand, and the entire website was easy to navigate through. It offered a variety of resources for everyone including educators, policy makers, community leaders, and parents. The website also provides several communication methods for collaboration and interaction including an organization newsletter, twitter page link, webinars, and video presentations. The information on this website clearly defines how important 21st century skills are in today’s society and offers valuable information on how these skills can be addressed and taught.

One piece of information on the website that I found very insightful and beneficial was the MILE Guide Self-Assessment Survey. This survey asked a range of questions that evaluated how effective your school and district is in addressing and teaching 21st century skills. The survey provides you with a  breakdown of how effective your school and district is in the areas of student knowledge and skills, education support system, education leadership, policy making, partnering, and continuous improvement. For each area rating, there is an explanation of what these results mean and suggestions on how these areas can be improved.  This information gave me insight how effectively my school addresses 21st century skills and how we can build on these skills.

Under the Learning Environment section, there is a link entitled Virtual Schools and 21st Century Skills. In this article there is a statement that reads:

“Eighty-four percent of employers say K-12 schools are not doing a good job of preparing students for the workplace “

I cannot speak for grades K-8 but I do know the high schools in our district, which teach grades 9-12, have certain courses and classes that focus on workplace skills and development. In our county we have a division called career and technical education. This department is made up of a group of educators that prepare and equip students with the skills they need to secure, maintain, and excel in the workplace. This department offers courses that teach basic workplace and job skills such as keyboarding, computer applications, small business, and business law. There are also courses that focus on a particular skill or trade such as medical careers, accounting, early child care, auto mechanics, and electrical trades. It is true that every job is different; every employer operates their business in a different way and looks for different skills and talents in each employer. However, I disagree with this statement because I do believe that most educators and most school systems provide students with some type of workplace preparation or at least the skills they need to enter the work force.

I believe that the website can be a great resource for me and many other educators. I believe this website offers a great overview and analysis of the 21st century skills needed in today’s society and how these skills can be accessed and applied to any classroom or curriculum. There is something on this website for every type of learner and a variety of different tools, suggestion, and recommendations for how to best teach these skills depending on our students and classroom environment. The information on this website implies that if students are supported with a system of a healthy learning environment, effective instruction, and a variety of assessment then they can effectively learn and master 21st century skill concepts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The 21st Century Disconnect

The multiple advances in technology are causing vast changes to not only our classroom structure but to society as well. Many businesses are using technology to reshape how their businesses are organized and ran.  More teachers are using technology in the classroom today to help prepare students for the technology they will use when they leave the classroom and enter the business world.  Regardless of the setting, weather in the classroom or conference room, technology is being used as a communication method and as a way to make things easier.

For example, in my classroom students learned about the six types of electronic communication.  Students are already familiar with email and text messages but with today’s technology we also discussed web cameras and video chatting sites such as Skype and Oovoo. This new form of technology and electronic communication will prepare them for the business world technology example of video conferencing. CEO’s and business people hold meetings daily regardless of their location thanks to the video chatting software and cameras we have today.

In my classroom, the changes in technology have taught me to incorporate basic computer skills into my curriculum since almost everything in the business world is done by using a computer. For example, I have a computer program called Microtype that teaches basic keyboard skills such as typing the home row keys and how to type in general. This program is divided up in lessons which are a class requirement for my students because in today’s business world at least 80% of jobs require basic keyboarding skills. Even a cashier at a grocery store uses a keyboard to perform their duties.  If you prefer to go through self-checkout instead of waiting in line you still use a touch screen computer. If I can teach students the basic computer skills then they can use what they have learned to keep up with technology and all its advances.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Utilizing Blogs in the Classroom

 The advances in today’s technology allow us to communicate with anyone and everyone in the world regardless of our location. We can communication through blogs, discussion boards, emails, or video chat. Technology can also be used to enhance any educational experience.  I would use my blog as a reflection and feedback forum. My blog would be a place where my students and I could reflect on a lesson, classroom activity, review what has been taught, and most importantly provide suggestions and advice on what could be done to improve. This type of communication would not only enhance the lesson, but the overall classroom and learning experience as well.  In order to become an effective teacher and ensure students are learning, it is important to reflect on any lesson to determine what worked or went well, what did not work, and how you can improve or enhance the next lesson. I teach Business Law and Microsoft Office 2010 to high school students.  I use technology in my classroom for variety of reasons. For starters, it is a part of my curriculum, but I also use technology because my students use technology daily outside of my classroom. Nearly all of my students walk around with an iPod, iPad, laptop, a smart phone or some type of electronic device. Because different types of technology interest my students it is a great learning tool to incorporate these technology interests into my lesson so I can gain my student’s attention and help them learn.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Technology in a Day.....

What would you do without technology? Have you ever thought about how much technology you use in a day? From our alarm clocks, cell phones, laptops, car alarms, and ipods; technology is all around us. Thought for today: think about how much technology you use in a day and what would you do if this technology no longer existed....