In my pursuit for a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Technology at Walden University, I have learned about a variety of digital tools that can make a 21st century classroom more engaging and help reach the needs of all students. Creating podcasts, Voicethreads, wiki’s, blog’s, bookmarking sites, student response systems, and graphic organizers, are just some of these digital tools to name a few. I have also learned that as a teacher you should offer an “a-la-carte” of options that a student can choose in order to meet class expectations and objectives. For example, to demonstrate student knowledge and learning; a student should have the choice of doing it in writing using a word processing program, or a Power point presentation. If writing is not their strong point, then they could narrate a Power point or a Voicetread. Students should be given some control over their learning, and a teacher can provide this by letting them pick the vehicle they are best at to demonstrate their learning. Up until now, in my instructional practice I only offered students one vehicle to demonstrate their learning, Going forward, I will ensure that students have at least a couple of options to pick from to showcase their learning.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working towards achieving my GAME plan goals. One of these goals was learning and using Voicethread, the second was creating a classroom wiki and partnering up with another school to collaborate with. I have accomplished the first goal, and I am still working on the second goal. I have amended the second goal as I have been unable to find a local school to partner with. Therefore, the wiki will just be for my classes for now. The GAME plan (Cennamo, et.al., 2009) method has taught me to outline and focus on precisely what I need to do in order to complete a goal. I find that when applying this method, I can organize my thoughts on paper much better, and reach my goal more effectively and efficiently. This is yet one more thing I have learned and will bring forward into my instructional practice in order to carry out future goals.
Based on the NETS-T standards 3b – Collaborating with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation, and 3c – Communicating relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats, a new learning goal that I would like to achieve would be to have a classroom website. This website will be used to collaborate and communicate relevant classroom information with students, and parents. In creating a class website, I will be able to offer one more tool to help students reach educational expectations not only in the class, but outside the classroom as well. This tool will also provide parents with information to help guide their students achieve that success.
The learning approaches that I will use next time to improve my learning will be to continue to research online for ideas on how to use social networking applications in the classroom in a productive and creative way. I will also stay connected using my own blog to communicate with peers, as well as ask my colleagues about the ways they use social networking sites in their classrooms. If anyone out there has an idea on how to use social networking in a computer applications class, please leave my a comment.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
International Society for Technology in Education, (2010), NETS-T, Retrieved: October 2010, From: http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx