Archive for January, 2010

GAME PLAN update

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2010 by derrickmgreen

It has been over two weeks since I outlined my GAME PLAN for this year and, as of now, I feel as though I am making progress on my goals and working through the steps in order to accomplish each.

Are you finding the information and resources you need?

Overall I am very happy with the amount of information that I have been able to find throughout my research. The internet has provided vast amounts of research-based data with which I can use to continue to work towards my goals. Also, I have been in communication with co-workers as well with other educational professionals within my district who have provided me with a plethora of information and ideas to help me reach my goals. Many of the professionals that I have spoken with have been helpful and more than willing to assist in my endeavor.

Do you need to modify your action plan?

As of right now, I feel that my action plan is on-track and acceptable. Although initially, after designing my plan, I felt as though I would not have much success towards reaching my goals, I have discovered, over the past two weeks, that there are a multitude of resources for professional educators and all it takes is time to sort through the information and patience to develop the human connections to make progress.

What have you learned so far?

Thus far I have learned a great deal about the benefits of technology in the classroom. Many research studies that I have read expound upon the positive affects that technology can have on student motivation, student product development and student engagement within the classroom. I have begun to share this research at monthly staff meetings and weekly department meetings to attempt to influence the decision making with my school. Also, through the communication that I have begun to have with other educators at various schools throughout the country, I have begun to understand just how important inter-cultural communication can be. Although my goal is to help my students connect with students of other diverse cultures, using technology, the discussions I have had with other educators regarding the development of such communication has led to great idea sharing and greater lesson development within my own classroom. I have started to incorporate more diverse texts into my curriculum, upon recommendation, and have been working to develop projects that expose my students to various other cultures.

What new questions have arisen?

As of now, the new questions that have arisen are research-based. As I look over the various scholarly journals and research studies that debate the impact of technology within the classroom, I am forced to seek out alternative points of view, particularly if the data used within the study does not appear sufficient. Since the topic of technology in the classroom is so highly-debated, I have found myself reading similar studies that come to wildly different conclusions. Through the reading of such studies, I have been forced to research even deeper to better understand the various affects technology has had on other students to better inform my school leadership and co-workers.

GAME PLAN RESOURCES

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2010 by derrickmgreen

In order to complete my GAME plan and effectively meet my pre-set goals, I have to ensure that I have all the appropriate resources and information necessary.

Resources Needed

Initially, to complete my plan I will need to communicate with experts in the fields of 21st century technologies, Web 2.0 systems, 1-to-1 laptop program directors, as well as scholarly researchers within each of these fields that can provide me with the data necessary to bring to meetings to influence the decision-making processes within my school. I will also have to confer with my direct colleagues within my building as well as other colleagues with my district, state, and regional school systems. Each of these experts will provide invaluable resources and information as I work to convince my school that 21st century technologies are necessary in today’s educational environment. Also, each of these resources can provide me with tools and techniques to help the others within my school to become more technologically literate and begin to include more technology into their lessons and outcomes. Finally, I will need to contact various Language Arts department heads from around my region to begin to establish relationships and develop an idea bank for how to creative culturally-relevant connections between my own students and others.

Information Needed

Beyond the resources of the various types mentioned above, I will also require scholarly information to ensure that each decision I make and action I take is data-driven and research based. Such information will come from research studies detailed in the most-recent educational research journals. Also, staying up-to-date on the newest technologies coming into the classroom will allow me to remain ahead-of-the-curve when lobbying for new technologies with my school.

Steps Taken

Although it has only been a few days since I first outlined my GAME plan I have already been able to take comprehensive steps toward reaching my goals. I have become a member of various educational technology related websites such as; eschoolnews, fno.org (From Now On), Educationweek.com, and edutopia.com. Websites such as these provide an invaluable resource basis for educators looking to strengthen their technological prowess as well as provide weekly e-newsletters with links to the latest research articles and real-life stories of teachers using technology effectively to promote student engagement and understanding. I have also been contacting various principals and assistant principals from various neighboring schools that are more culturally-diverse than my own to establish relationships and begin communication with other middle school Language Arts teachers. Finally, I have been keeping a log of all my contacts and information gathered that has allowed me to reflect on what I have done and make decisions for how to move forward. Although this is a long process, it has been enjoyable so far and I look forward to seeing how much I can accomplish in the coming weeks.

Technology Standards

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 by derrickmgreen

I have recently examined the National Education Standards for Teachers from the International Society for Technology in Education and have realized that although I would describe myself as technologically sophisticated and an educator who attempts to incorporate technology into my lessons for the benefit of my students, I still do not fully meet with some of the indicators outlined within the various standards.  With that in mind I have decided to dedicate my time to working on two particular standards, “Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership and, develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools” (ISTE, 2008) by developing a GAME plan (Cennamo, K, Ross, J, & Ertmer, P, 2009) to monitor my progress and ensure that I am achieving mastery of each indicator.     

GOALS

1. I desire to become a more outspoken and confident leader in technology integration within the curriculum and the classroom within my school and cluster group.

2. I desire to more effectively use digital-age communication technology to create learning experiences for my students that incorporate diverse cultural groups and experiences.

ACTIONS

                In order to become a more effective technology leader with my school, I need to begin by speaking out more, particularly administrative meetings, about he importance of effectively training teachers in Web 2.0 systems such as, social networking, wikis, blogging, classroom websites, digital story-telling, etc, and providing them with technologies, such as interactive whiteboards, laptops in the classroom, digital interactive devices (voting/texting). To promote these technologies, I will attend meetings and provide scholarly data that displays the benefits and cost-analysis of such technologies. I will also research other school districts that have incorporated similar innovations and even invite other teachers or educational leaders to come speak about the benefits of such technology and professional development within my own school.  Through attending meetings and researching the real life implications of 21st century technology within the classroom I can begin to influence decisions being made about financial allocations and teacher training using said technologies.

                Within my own classroom, in order to more effectively develop educational environments that incorporate cross-cultural communication between my students and other students, I need to build relationships, either in person or digitally, and make connections with other educators from various, diverse locales ranging from neighboring school districts to other schools from around the world. By developing such relationships and establishing long-term communication with my cohorts within other schools as well as the administrations within said schools, I will be able to create socio-educational connections between my own students and other students. These connections will allow for digital collaboration between students and educators.

 

 

MONITOR

                To ensure that I continually move toward my two goals, I will monitor my progress by keeping a detailed log of events and times, as well as outcomes. This detailed log will provide a source of insight as to how much I am accomplishing and how fast I am moving towards my goal. This log will also indicated meeting times of various staff and administration so as to ensure that I attend each meeting possible and describe the benefits of technological integration in the classroom.  Also, by detailing meetings, and social networking, either digital or face-to-face, that occurs between myself and others at local, regional, national, and international schools, I will be better able to develop engaging, student-centered, cross-cultural, lessons and activities for my students.

EVALUATE

                After some time dedicated to reaching towards my goals and monitoring my progress, I hope to be able to see that I have had positive impact on my school community by influencing the administration to lobby for more funds to be allocated toward technological investment and infrastructure. If this has not been the case, I will reevaluate my communication strategy as well any need for additional support for my goal from other professionals within the building.  I will also look to see that I have made, at a minimum, one valuable connection with another teacher/classroom at a school with a predominantly different culture population than my own.  If I have been unable to complete these tasks within the time frame set out for reaching these goals, I will need to reevaluate how I am communicating with my colleagues and the community as well as devise more actions that will better allow for each goal to be met.

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.

ISTE. (2008). National Education Technology Standards. Retrieved January 13, 2010, from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf