Monday, July 18, 2011

Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

The two standards and performance indicators of the National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) that I plan to focus on in order to implement my GAME plan are “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity, and engage in professional growth and leadership” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). Teachers need to realize that lesson plans should be flexible and always geared towards helping students achieve success.                                                                      

More resources and information are needed for implementing the GAME plan. Besides including the Universal Design for Learning (UDL)  principles in the lesson plan, the resources that that would be needed are a rubric  and assessment formats. Assessments could be done by using formative or summative assessments. There are four kinds of assessments formats - forced-choice, open-ended, performance-based, and project-based (Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. 2009). These assessment formats would be the resources and information upon which my GAME plan is built. “Assessment is more than the assigning of grades and serves a critical role in monitoring and evaluating the academic progress of their students” (Cennamo, K., 2009, p. 163). After the teacher gets the information on how the students do on the assessments, an alternative plan should be set up to help students who have had difficulty with the content being taught.
The action plan needs to be modified to add the four assessment formats and include a rubric for the lessons. It would be difficult to create a rubric for every lesson, but by taking small steps, this can eventually be achieved. The lesson plan also needs to be modified to incorporate technology with the assessments. The forced-choice assessment format could be implemented by using Study Island  to give students multiple-choice questions to track their progress. The technology the students could use for the other three assessments formats (open-ended, performance-based, and project-based) could be blogs , wiki, Skype, podcasts, voice thread and digital story board. In order to implement all these technologies, students need to be familiar with all these web 2.0 tools.

The GAME plan has taught me to be flexible and change the plan according to what the students need the most help. Technology does help foster learning and it makes the lessons interesting for both teachers and students. Teacher collaboration makes it easier for implementing the plan. One of the questions that have arisen as a result of monitoring my GAME plan is how a single teacher could work on this GAME plan on her own. Putting the plan together is a difficult task for a teacher. Planning the action plan, creating rubrics, deciding on the correct assessment to use, and integrating technology with all the lessons, is a daunting task for just a single teacher. The best way would be for teachers to work within their grade level and collaborate among each other to write this GAME plan. Teachers could also Skype with other teachers in the district so that all of them are on the same page.

By monitoring my GAME plan, I am able to integrate technology into my content area instruction. Technology also helps in working through the process of developing, implementing, and evaluating my personal GAME plan. Keeping a reflective blog would facilitate making this GAME plan a success and would be instrumental in inspiring my students’ learning and creativity. By pursuing a Masters program at Walden and creating a teacher collaboration blog and a wiki  to help collaboration in my school, I am engaging in professional growth and leadership, and progressing toward the goals in my GAME plan.

                   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: Retrieved on July 19, 2011 from

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carrying Out My GAME Plan


Teachers need to create a GAME plan to organize themselves with their lessons. The use of technology in a classroom is imperative, especially in the digital world that we live in today. “Technology can be a tremendous asset that helps teachers support the diverse learning needs of children” (Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. 2009. p. 109). Along with the GAME plan, teachers should adopt the  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. UDL has three principles of learning, and these are recognition networks (the "what" of learning), strategic networks (the "how" of learning), and affective networks (the "why" of learning).

Resources needed for the GAME Plan
 For the GAME plan to be successful, the UDL principles would need to be incorporated into my lesson plans. For the recognition networks process (the “what” of learning), I created a word document for students to fill in the KWHL chart.doc. They would work in cooperative groups to find out what they ‘want’ to learn about the topic. Students would also use the Internet to get their information and view the YouTube video to make sure the information they get is from a reliable source. In the strategic networks process (the “how” of learning), students work in collaborative groups, look for a video on their topic from Khan Academy, and do a few cooperative activities to get comfortable with the topic they are working on. The cooperative activities will help students get a handle on the “how” part of the strategic network. The affective networks process helps students with the “why” of learning. Students finish their KWHL chart and write about ‘what they have learned’ about their research topic. Upon reflecting on this chart, they would be able to ponder as to why they think getting this information was important for them. Students would post a reflection on their assignment on the classroom blog, they would create a voice thread with pictures of artifacts that they might have collected for this assignment, and finally Skype with someone who is knowledgeable about their topic to get any unanswered questions resolved.

Additional Information needed 
In order to get the additional information needed for the game plan, I would need to go through all the records of my students. If a student has an IEP, the guidelines will need to be followed for it. All students need to be reached in this GAME plan, so it would be helpful to know their strengths and weaknesses. Students could also post concerns about their project on the classroom blog so that peers could help each other. Students also Skype with different classes or with an expert in the topic they are researching. The teacher would need to find the appropriate person to Skype with so that students would fully benefit from it.

Steps taken to incorporate the GAME plan 
Steps taken so far include the creation of a classroom blog and wiki. The blog would be a good place for student’s reflections, while the wiki would be for students to collaborate on their work. I would also be collaborating internationally with the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) and would interact with them on a regular basis.

The resources and information needed to carry out my action plan include the use of UDL principles in my GAME plan. This would help enrich the learning experience for my students. “UDL focuses educators on developing flexible curricula that provide students with multiple ways of accessing content, multiple means for expressing what they learn, and multiple pathways for engaging their interest and motivation” (Howard, K. L. 2004.p. 96 )

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.
Howard, K. L. (2004). Universal design for learning: Meeting the needs of all students. Learning and Leading with Technology, 31(5), 26–29. Retrieved from the ERIC database.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Developing my Personal GAME Plan

The process of developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating my personal GAME plan took some deep soul-searching. There are so many strategies that I would like to implement into my lesson plans. In the video, Promoting Self-Directed Learning With Technology, Dr. Katherine Cennamo discusses a GAME plan for teachers to adopt. According to her, a GAME plan stands for Goals - creating a lesson plan, Taking Action - teaching the lesson plans, Monitoring - monitoring student’s learning, and lastly, Evaluate - evaluating student’s progress (Laureate Education, Inc.). Integrating technology into the classroom is essential for the digital learners who are exposed to technology right from the day they are born. Keeping the current generation of students in mind, teachers need to change their ways of teaching. Being a technology enthusiast, I always included technology in my lesson plans and constantly saw an improvement in student’s performance. This also motivated me to become more involved in learning new technologies on a regular basis.
The National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) has five standards and performance indicators for teachers to follow. Of these five, I plan to focus on two standards in order to implement my GAME plan. The first standard that I would like to focus on is:
Standard 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.
C. Teachers promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative process (International Society for Technology in Education).
Goal: My goal for strengthening this standard is to create a lesson plan enriched with content knowledge and technology integration. Before starting the lesson, students would work on a KWHL chart. “A KWHL chart identifies what students Know, what they Want to know, How they will learn the topic, and what they Learned in the lesson” (Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. 2009. p. 86). Using this chart before every lesson would help me tweak my lesson and gear it towards student’s learning.
Action: After finishing the KWHL chart, students explore the Want to know part of the lesson. They would use web 2.0 tools to find their answers. Students would be assigned project based learning assignments and this would help foster creativity among students and help advance student learning, creativity, and innovation. Students would Skype with experts to get some answers for their project. By taking these actions, I plan to use technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning.
Monitor: Students would be divided into cooperative groups. This would help to promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking.Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject” (Cooperative Learning). By playing an interactive game on the computer would help them learn the content material. I will monitor my progress by keeping a reflective journal to see how the lesson progressed. For this reason, I created a blog to keep track of my teaching strategies.
Evaluate: Students are evaluated by posting a reflection about their learning experience on the classroom blog Blogs can be used to achieve instructional goals. “Blogs can help students practice and demonstrate different types of communication, especially through writing” (Cennamo, K. et. al p. 74). Students comment on each other’s posts, and this helps the teacher evaluate their learning. By maintaining a classroom blog and my own reflective blog, I would be able to evaluate my teaching methods.
This GAME plan is still in the planning stages and I would revise it as I start implementing it in my lesson plans. By following the GAME plan for this standard, I plan to strengthen my confidence in this NETS-T standard.
The second standard that I would like to improve on is:
Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership: Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources
B. Teachers exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others (International Society for Technology in Education).
Goals: Learning new and emerging technologies are very important to me, and I chose this standard for this reason. My goal is to help teachers who are not very confident with technology and work with them to improve their skills.
Actions: By pursuing my Master’s degree from Walden University, I am modeling that I am a lifelong learner. To create collaboration and help teachers get comfortable with technology, I orchestrated a blog and wiki for our school Starting in September this year, I will be responsible for guiding teachers on how to maintain a blog and use a wiki for collaboration.
Teachers will also be invited to my classroom to see how I maintain and use the classroom blog to help integrate technology in the classroom
Monitor: I will monitor my progress by using my reflective blog every week This will guide me to change my instructions to teachers, and help them to become comfortable with technology.
Evaluate: By conducting a blog survey (using Google docs) given to teachers and to students to evaluate my teaching strategies, I would be able to assess my strengths and weaknesses in integrating technology in the classroom.
Next month I will be attending a three-day seminar on Google docs and hope to learn everything about this subject. Later this year, I am required to teach professional development classes to teachers to help them learn about Google Docs. I felt honored when I was one of only three teachers chosen from our school to go for this training.
I am a little closer to achieving standard 5 than standard 1 of the National Education Standards for Teachers. By following a systematic GAME plan for both these standards, I am confident that I will be able to strengthen my proficiency for integrating technology into my content area instruction.

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.
Cooperative Learning: Retrieved on July 6, 2011 from
International Society for Technology in Education: Retrieved on July 6, 2011 from
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas: Promoting Self-Directed Learning With Technology [DVD]. United States: Producer.