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.


  1. It sounds like you have a solid plan in mind and have found some great resources for implementing. That is great that Edmodo provides resources for helping you introduce it to students! As far as the data you still need to collect, maybe you could use technology for that as well. There are learning style quizzes out there like this one from Edutopia: http://www.learningscience.org/psc2apropchangmatter.htm. Having your students take one or more online quizzes would give you some fast data about how they prefer to learn. You could also give them a survey to collect data on their current technology usage. You could even do the survey electronically using a resource like http://www.surveymonkey.com. Just some ideas!

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  3. Tasha-
    I think that you have some really interesting ideas about how to use social media and technologies to increase communication and learning. I have heard Edmodo is a fantastic site for this and although I have used Facebook with limited success, I think that trying to promote online communication, collaboration, and responsibility is a fantastic goal. I think one of the biggest challenges you might face, which has been my experience, is that not all students have access to the technology all of the time. My students have great access during school but the school issued laptops students have may only be used for word processing if students do not have internet access at home. In looking for more information about students, I have used Google Docs surveys to find out more about student learning styles and preferences. That has helped me in the past find out what activities work best and what adaptations I need to make. Nice work Tasha, thanks for sharing!

  4. Tasha,

    You have some wonderful ideas to help incorporate technology into your curriculum. I have never used Edmodo before, but I am very interested in seeing how it works. I also have heard wonderful things about it, and would be very interested to see it applied in the classroom. I do know that it used to be blocked in my building (oddly enough) because of its social nature. One of my colleagues advocated strongly for the site, and it is now blocked. Your post has inspired me to seek out my colleague (who I have limited interaction with) to ask about her implementation of the site. The biggest drawback in my building is very limited availability to technology. Advanced planning is extremely critical to access to the computer.
    Your GAME plan is certainly well underway. Your attendance at workshops is certainly a big reason why you are comfortable not only with the technologies, but also with your district acceptable use policy. You certainly are becoming a tech leader in your building.

    Thanks for sharing!


  5. Latasha, while I don't have knowledge of Edmodo, I do have experience with social networking in the classroom. I have a classroom website which has a welcome page, links page, and blog page. The students are frequently asked to answer a question I put on the blog page. They do this willingly, but I will say many answer in text message style. In other words, expect lowercase i instead of I; expect phonic spelling instead of spell check. Don't expect proper punctuation. I know this sounds counter productive, but if you demand too much proper writing in Edmodo, then you won't get any at all!
    What I do think will work in your favor is Edmodo is NOT a Facebook or Tumblr account. Students will probably realize it's a step above these programs. Social networking for school should have different expectations than Twitter, etc.
    Try Edutopia's "What's your learning style quiz?" The quiz asks 24 questions and then after SUBMIT, your students get a cool bar chart showing Naturalistic, Visual, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Bodily Kinesthetic, Musical. My students love this quiz! Some of them have gone home and asked their parents to take it.