New and Emerging Technologies Reflection

This was an interesting course for me. I really enjoyed being ‘forced’ to think a bit deeper about the use of technology, and what technology I can use in the classroom. While I may not agree with implementing digital gaming and MUVEs into my classroom, the course did make me question and consider why I don’t want them implemented. I do think that, in some areas and in the future, digital gaming and MUVEs will have a place in the classroom. At the moment, however, there are not enough subject-specific (art) games that I would consider using as a serious learning tool (rather than an extra, or at-home, activity). I also feel very strongly about students representing themselves as an avatar. Many students use avatars as a way to present themselves in a non-realistic way, or how they imagine they would like to be, rather than who they truly are. I think we have enough problems with self esteem in school, and I think avatars have the ability to lower self esteem.

Moving forward from this course, I will keep a closer eye on MUVEs and digital gaming. I think they would be a fun and interesting addition to a classroom, in the future. I’ll also be more open to new kinds of technology, and would like to actively search for more new and emerging technologies to add into my classroom. I’ll also be more active in promoting new technology to my coworkers, and in proposing the adoption of technology that will help our students learn.

Week 8 Reflection

At the beginning of this course, I thought that DI and UDL was for the kids who had special needs, and needed adapted programs or classes.  Knowing now that UDL and DI are for all students, and is intended to make every student succeed, I feel more confident about applying some of these principals to my classroom.  As I wrote in my last application, I can see how I might use UDL and/or DI to the learning part of my instruction, although the end ‘product’ might not change.  Being in an art room, especially in the middle school, I am trying to teach specific art skills (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc) and do not want to change that.  However, I would change how I present my information to students.  Rather than just teaching, I might assign the students to become the teachers- using a presentation style of their choice.  This is where I see UDL and DI fitting into my classroom the most seamlessly.

I hope to use the resources my fellow classmates posted in several different ways.  First, I’ll use them as resources to my students.  There are several sites that I would like to use in the classroom.  Second, there were several sites that I think will benefit my learning and will help me learn more about UDL and DI.  I hope to spend some time this summer looking through all the resources I’ve bookmarked, and become more familiar with them.  Because we are near the end of the school year, I don’t know that I will make any immediate adjustments in the classroom, but I will be watching for areas that I could improve with technology.

Reflecting on the GAME plan

In reflecting on my GAME plan, it was nice to set several goals, and work towards fulfilling them.  It was also great to hear from teachers that are in different situations than myself, and get their suggestions.  This helped me to think outside of the box for ways to meet my goals.  To be honest, I don’t know how much I’ve learned from my GAME plan.  My first goal was to become fluent in several different areas of technology- this is a long process, and will (in my opinion) take longer than 6-8 weeks to accomplish.  Perhaps then, a more accurate statement would be that I have not seen any immediate learning, but can anticipate long-term learning.  My second goal was not a “learning” goal, but more of an “implementation” one.  I knew that I was meeting the NET-S, I simply needed to consciously apply them and state them in my lessons.

I think that using the GAME plan will be more effective with my students-rather than myself.  I have methods that I know work for my personal learning style, but my students do not.  By providing my students will several different goal-making plans, such as a GAME plan or SMART goals, over the course of the year, they will have a variety of tools to use.

My most immediate change in teaching is making sure I am consciously incorporating the NETS into my lessons, and working to add other technology tools to my non-technology lessons.  Because I’ve learned about several new tools, I can continue to create 21st century skills in my students.

The GAME plan and my students

I can really see using a GAME plan with my 7th grade advisory (homeroom) students.  Because I see them for a 1/2 hour every day, we can work as a group to develop either individual, or class goals in relation to technology.  I would introduce to them the NETS-S, and we could discuss what areas we need improvement on.  Once we determined one or two standards that need work, we can develop a GAME plan for the class.  Students could then individually work to reach their goals.  Similar to this online class, we could devote one day a week to discuss our GAME plan, figure out where we are with meeting our goals.  This would be a great way to ensure that the students are working towards their goals, and supporting them wherever they are.

Without using the NETS, I think using the GAME plan method would be a good way to create goals at the beginning of the school year.

Revising my GAME plan

As mentioned several weeks ago, I have had to revise one of the goals in my GAME plan.  This goal was to become fluent in various pieces of technology.  Since starting, I have decided to limit the number of new technologies to 2-3 between now and the end of the year.

One of these technologies is Google Wave.  I’m still working through this, and trying to figure out how to best incorporate it into my art classroom.  A second technology is using screencasts.  I think in my high school classes, it would be interesting for the students to create screencasts of the artists that they are inspired by, and post them to our ning.  While we used screencasts in a previous course, I feel that I am not yet fluent in creating them.

For my second goal- adding the NETS to my technology lessons, I don’t think I need to modify that one.  It’s been relatively easy to put a name or standard to the lessons that I already teach.  Rather than being implied, I am stating what standards I’m meeting.

Because my first goal is still a work in progress, I’m not planning on adding any new goals at this moment, however I am keeping the NETS in mind as I plan my lessons.  In the future, I’ll also work with my IT staff, and the technology coordinators to make the most out of the technology I plan on using.

my GAME plan, week 5…

I have to admit that I slowed WAAYY down on my progress this week.  I haven’t done much since the last post.  Life got busy!  Hopefully you all can forgive me.  🙂

I’m learning that I still have a lot to learn.  My Google Wave partner and I are still working through many things- I finally figured out how to add my own gadgets to our wave.  I’m also finding that the more I learn about Google Wave, the more I wonder what it can do…  Not in a bad way, just a “wow!  there’s so much out there; what am I missing?!” way.

Standards have also been added to my Photoshop project.  So, I guess I’ve done more that I thought I had.  It just seems like so many things have gotten in the way this week!  Hope other’s weeks were more productive than mine…

Monitoring the GAME plan, week 4

As my GAME plan progresses, I am finding a lot of information and resources.  Almost too much!  The more I look, the more things I find I need to become fluent in.  As a result, I am looking to modify my GAME plan a bit.  I’m realizing the my first goal (becoming fluent in technology tools) is too general, so I’m going to modify my goal to learn 2-3 new technologies over rest of this school year.  As an extension, I’d like to learn at least 2 new technologies each school year.  I think this will be more difficult once I am finished with this master’s program.

So far, I’ve been able to begin learning about a new technology called “Google Wave.”  As mentioned in the last post, I have a co-worker who is will to explore Google Wave with me.  We have slowly been adding to our “waves” and experiment with all the various gadgets and tools.  It’s been interesting to figure out!

I’ve also just began a lesson using Photoshop, so I’ve been working on adding the various standards to my lesson plans.

Overall, I think I’ve been very successful in my GAME plan, so far!

My GAME plan, updated

First off, I need to read our assignments closer!  Sorry for the late post…

I feel that my GAME plan is getting off to a slow start.  I’ve added the suggested link to eschoolnews.com from the previous post, and have glanced at it.  I’ve been working with a co-worker on developing a professional development workshop on new technology (what better way to become fluent than to have to teach).  The making a of a workshop gives me a great way to make sure I meet my goals by a certain date- I have no excuse in putting it off!  I’ve also just begun a Google Wave with a different co-worker, so hopefully we can figure that out.  (I did just accidentally delete the whole thing, so we’ll have to start over…)

Additional resources are coming from colleagues and experts, as well as several video and screencast tutorials.  I’ve also been referring to the NETS-S to align my curriculum to the standards.

While I’ve had enormous support in becoming more fluent in technology (almost too much!), I haven’t been as good about aligning my curriculum or assessments.  Part of this comes simply from the fact that my current art projects are not technology-related, and we’re at the end of the semester.  As this new semester begins next week, I’ll be able to work more towards that goal as each new project begins.

“ISTE | NETS for Teachers.” International Society for Technology in Education | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2010. <http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/NETS_for_Teachers.htm>.

My GAME plan

After reviewing the NETS-T (National Educational Standards for Teachers), I felt that I am strong in quite a few areas.  However, there are several areas that I could also become more comfortable in.  One area is within standard 3, “Model Digital-Age Work and Learning.”  In that standard, it states that a teacher should “demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.”  While I do demonstrate fluency in some areas of technology, I lack fluency in others.  The second area that I wish to improve is in standard 2, “Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments.”  I would like to work on “providing students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.”  Again, I do some of that- I align my assessments with art standards, but not necessarily the technology standards.  So here’s my GAME plan

Goal: to improve my fluency across all area of technology, and to align my assessments with both art and technology standards.
Actions:
To improve my fluency, I will speak with my technology coordinator about new technology and begin incorporating those skills into my lessons.  I will also spend more time on various art or technology education websites (by subscribing to their RSS feeds).  To align my assessments, I will need to start by looking at all my lessons.  The ones that use technology will be connected to the NETS for students, and I will look for ways to create measurable technology lessons.
Monitor: To monitor my progress, I’ll need to first discover what areas of technology I need to improve on.  Once I’ve figured that out, I would work with the technology coordinator on a weekly basis to become fluent.  Outside of working with him, I will also create various lesson plans that incorporate the new media.  This will be hard to monitor on a regular basis, as some areas of technology will require more work than others.  To monitor the assessment piece, I’ll work on one project a week to incorporate technology into my assessments.  This progress will be easily measured by how many projects I am able to finish in this class.
Evaluate: Evaluation for both areas will likely come at the end of the school year, when I can compare first semester to second semester.  Once I am fluent in more areas of technology, I will be able to incorporate it more into my lessons, which will result in more assessments being connected to the technology standards.  As technology is constantly evolving, becoming fluent in it will be a never-ending process.  In addition, teaching is a constantly evolving process, so I will always be looking for new ways to add technology to my projects.

Does anyone have any good sites to learn about new technology?

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). 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.