Walden EDUC6713 Integrating Technology Across the Content Area (Week 2 Application)
As I reviewed the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers, I could see where I need improvement in every indicator. For this GAME plan (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009), I chose the following standards and indicators:
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Teachers:
b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S. Teachers:
b. develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.
My plan is as follows:
G – Set Goals
1. In almost every Math class, someone will ask “when will I ever need this again?” It is not always easy to come up with a concrete, real-world application for every skill or concept. My goal is to do a better job of seeking out these applications and creating authentic learning experiences using the available technology.
2. By integrating more digital tools and resources into my lessons, I hope to provide a learning environment in which each student can explore the concept through their various interests and choose to complete an assessment based on their preferred learning style.
A – Actions to Achieve These Goals
1. For each unit, I will review resources from various sources to find relevant real-world applications and authentic assessments. These resources include, but are not limited to, fellow teachers, curriculum materials, internet research, professional organizations such as NCTM and PBS, current events, and the students themselves.
2. I will begin to reconstruct unit plans to place more emphasis on student-centered learning. By shifting to activities that focus on exploration and discovery rather than instruction and practice, the students will be more responsible for their own learning. A concept that I have been toying with is the idea of a semester-long project. Rather than teaching each lesson from the textbook, I believe it is possible to cover every Math standard within a single project if it is planned well. Possible projects might be starting and developing a small business or simply earning, budgeting, saving, and investing money. If the students are engaged in the project, they will learn the content without getting bogged down in doing pages of practice problems every week. That may be a difficult goal to accomplish, but I definitely think it is worth spending more time to research.
M – Monitoring Progress
1. It will be fairly easy to monitor my progress in reaching the first goal. With middle school students, it doesn’t take very long to know if a real-life application is actually “real” to them. It is the same with creating authentic assessments. If a student feels like an assessment is a waste of their time, then it is not authentic to them. While monitoring will be fairly easy, achieving the goal will be more difficult.
2. While I believe I have done a fairly good job of integrating technology, we have not yet reached an environment in which all students can pursue their individual interests in each unit. To monitor my progress in having the students set their own educational goals and manage their own learning, I believe the best indicator will be workload. When the students are doing more work in the classroom than I am, there will be progress!
E – Evaluating and Extending My Learning
1. While I am engaging the students and creating authentic assessments, I must be sure that they are learning the content and standards that are required by the state. To do this, I will ask my co-teachers to review my lesson plans and observe when possible. It always helps to have the opinions of others when doing a thorough evaluation. Having a completely-engaged class is not enough if they are not acquiring the knowledge they need to be successful in the next grade and in life.
2. To evaluate whether I have created a learning environment in which all students can pursue their individual interests, I need feedback from the students. I will let them know that I am interested in their opinions and open to any questions or suggestions they may have. To be sure they are setting appropriate goals and managing their own learning, I will hold individual conferences with them to review and evaluate their own progress. At the beginning, these conferences will need to be frequent. As they adapt to this method of learning, conferences may be held less often, along with weekly reviews of their documented work.
I am looking forward to reading your comments and suggestions on my proposed GAME plan.