Students are surrounded with technology everyday outside the classroom. For education to be successful, and learning to take place, we have to meet students where they are the most engaged, and that is with technology. Bringing technology into the classroom gives students the confidence they need to take on the new challenge of learning the content knowledge. As they come into the classroom already knowing how to use a variety of tools, and feeling comfortable using them.
I am a technology teacher, and as such, I can say that I know a bit about technology. However, there is always room for improvement, and to help me determine where those areas are, I visited the ISTE website and investigated the NETS-T standards and performance indicators posted there. I found two performance indicators in which I can use the GAME plan (Cennamo, et.al., 2009, p5) to improve my technology skills in the classroom. The two performance indicators are: NETS-T #1c and #1d (2010).
1. Facilitate and Inspire student Learning and Creativity
c. Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.
d. Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face to face and virtual environments.
GAME plan for indicator #1c. – Promote student reflection.
Goal: Learn more about Voicethread, a Web 2.0 application that can be used as a collaborative and reflection tool by students, to document and reflect upon what they have learned.
Action: (1) Go to Voicethread.com and read about the application. (2) Watch video tutorials provided by the site to learn how to create and use Voicethreads in a safe and effective way. (3) Sign up for a free account and practice creating a Voicethread prior to using in the classroom. (4) Browse existing Voicethreads to get ideas on how to use this application in class.
Monitor: (1) Did I do enough research about Voicethread to consider it a useful tool in class? (2) Did I learn how to create a Voicethread properly? (3) Is Voicethread user friendly and easy to use?
Evaluate: (1) Was I successful in creating a Voicethread? (2) Practice using Voicethread with a small class to debug the lesson and work out unforeseen flaws.
GAME plan for indicator #1d. – Collaborating in a virtual environment.
Goal: Research how wiki’s are being used as a learning and collaborative tool in the classroom.
Action: (1) Use the internet to research how other educators are utilizing wikis in the classroom. (2) Ask colleagues for suggestions and example lesson plans. (3) Look for a teacher from another school district that would be interested in partnering up to create a collaborative wiki between our classrooms.
Monitor: (1) Will using a wiki engage students? (2) Was I successful in finding a way to use a wiki creatively in class? (3) Was I successful in finding a partner school?
Evaluate: (1) After using a wiki with one class as a practice test, how successful was it? (2) What worked well using the wiki and what didn’t?
The GAME plan helps to keep you focused when researching and implementing a resource. Exploring technology and perfecting how to use it well enough to be used in a classroom takes alot of dedicaton, self-directed learning, motiviation, perseverance and time. I am open to using any method or tool that will enable my success in this arena.
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 (2010), The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers, Retrieved September 2010, From: http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf