Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Developing my Personal GAME Plan

http://www.mnsu.edu/cetl/teachingwithtechnology/teach_with_tech.png


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 http://myreflectionweblog.blogspot.com/ to keep track of my teaching strategies.
Evaluate: Students are evaluated by posting a reflection about their learning experience on the classroom blog http://myblogatlp.blogspot.com/. 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 http://lpcollaboration.blogspot.com/. 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 http://myclassatlp.blogspot.com/
Monitor: I will monitor my progress by using my reflective blog every week http://myreflectionweblog.blogspot.com/. 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.


References
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 http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/intech/cooperativelearning.htm
International Society for Technology in Education: Retrieved on July 6, 2011 from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas: Promoting Self-Directed Learning With Technology [DVD]. United States: Producer.

7 comments:

  1. Preeti,

    I have such respect for your commitment to planning. Your use of the KWHL chart has inspired me to incorporate this into my program in September. This will be the first time working with high school students, so I think using the KWHL, they way you have described will provide a vast amount of insight. I think I will tweak my use slightly by putting a KWHL on a wiki for students to create together. This will allow the entire class to see areas their peers are confident in, and areas in which they may be able to provide assistance. My hope is that by having students share their strengths, weaknesses and areas of interest, they will be in a stronger position to take control of their learning. When we begin new projects, they can refer to the wiki’s KWHL chart to find classmates with common or complimentary interests. Because this is the first time I will be working with wikis with students, I will likely start them off with a set of ‘best practices’.

    I enjoyed your post, and appreciate your inspiring work.

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  2. Preeti,

    I really like the lesson ideas you had to administer your first goal. You used a lot of different strategies and I like how you incorporated a KWHL chart, cooperative groups, and technology. The best way to ensure that all of the students in a classroom get an equal opportunity to learn is to use a lot of differentiated instruction and you certainly did that on this assignment.

    David Broom

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  3. Preeti,

    Your opportunity with Google Docs, both as a learner and a facilitator of other teachers is very exciting. I honestly believe that online programs are the future of all things computer related. All one needs is an internet connection and you can have access to word processing documents, spreadsheets, and dozens of other applications. Couple that with online storage of files and add the ability to collaborate with peers and one can easily see the future of learning.
    My school has a very limited use of Google Docs because it is a bit untrusting at the present time. I do understand the risks associated with web 2.0 applications, but the reward is so great. One of the readings for this weeks' class really hit home with me about this (Prensky - "Turning on the Lights"). It was quoted that students are hooked into the digital world at home but must detach themselves when they get to school. That is really a sad commentary on our times (albeit fairly accurate). Teachers must push students to the edge of the internet to best prepare them for what they are actually going to do in life, not just how they are going to socialize.
    Michael

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  4. Response to David,

    I have always used a KWL chart but I think that a KWHL chart could go a step further to enhance students’ understanding. Cooperative groups work very well in my classroom. I try to group students with different ability levels so that they are a help to each other. One thing that I plan to start doing is to introduce students to a rubric for cooperative groups. This will give the students a clear understanding on how to work in cooperative groups. This is the rubric I plan to use in my class http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson95/coop_rubric.pdf

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  5. Response to Deanna,

    Wikis are a great resource and an excellent Web 2.0 tool. I like your idea of students sharing their strength and weakness on the wiki. I have only used KWL with my students but plan to use the KWHL with them next year. It will give them a better understanding of the concept.

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  6. Response to Michael,

    I am looking forward to the three day Google docs training. Fortunately, our district is very involved with technology integration in classrooms. I have become so used to teaching with technology that if it were taken away from me, I would have a tough time teaching without it.

    In order to get the parents on the bandwagon of technology, I make a big deal during open house on how important technology is for their child. This helps parents in supporting me with students using technology at home for assignments. Luckily, last year all my students had a computer at home. Next year, if any of the students do not have a computer at home, I plan to give those students extra time on the classroom computers.

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  7. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

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