Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reflection EDUC 6712

New literacy skills need to be included in the curriculum to prepare 21st century learners for diverse forms of communication. New literacy is changing rapidly and educators need to be able to address the ever changing landscape of literacy in our classroom. Students are now required to question and evaluate information for accuracy. They need to be able to conduct searches for information that will be used to answer questions that have been generated. Once students have researched various pieces of information, they must then synthesize information to make sense of all sources and combine them into an understandable idea (Hartman, 2009). The final component in the new literacy is to communicate the new synthesized information (Hartman, 2009).

The knowledge and experienced gained from this course that will influence my teaching practice is implementation of inquiry based projects that will provide students with rich learning experiences. The students will learn to develop questions to guide their inquiry. They will begin to search for information using different multiple search engines and strategies that will produces relevant information for their topic. Next they will incorporate strategies that will enable them to make judgments based on the ABC’s of evaluating a website which will be modeled by the teacher (Phillips, 2009).

One professional development goal that I will pursue which will build upon my learning in this course is to develop my technology skills. I will address the need to elevate technology skills that will address the needs of 21st century learners. The steps that I will take to accomplish this goal are working with administration and staff to plan the technology the district needs to implement 21st century strategies. The next step will be to introduce and model one digital tool each month in the classroom. Then the students will begin to use these technological tools to complete their projects. The field of technology is rapidly changing and as educators we need to adapt and change the way we educate our students (Warlick, 2009). Therefore, I will participate in workshops, seminars and blog feeds that discuss integrating technology across the curriculum.

Hartman, D. (2009). New literacies. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Phillips, B. (2009). A teacher's perspective: Evaluating information online. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Warlick, D. (2009). Skills for the future. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reflective Final Blog Post EDUC 6713

Photo National Geographic

As the course draws to a close, I have reflected on the strategies for guiding students to be self-directed learners. Reflecting on the Game plan that was developed in this class will allow me to set goals that will address the needs of the diverse learners. When lesson plans are created, technology will be integrated into the content area to meet the needs of all students. The Game plan provided me with a direction for the integration of technology into the classroom which provides flexibility in learning content area material (Ross, 2009).

In the fall, I will implement the Game plan lesson template when creating content area lessons and integrating technology. Through the use of the Game plan, I have learned the importance of engaging students in content area concepts that implementing digital tools such as social networking, digital storytelling and problem-based learning. As John Ross (2009) summed up in the course DVD, technology reaches students who may need additional support to ensure academic success.

When implementing my Game plan in the classroom instruction and assessment needs to be customized to meet the needs of the students. The impact my new learning will have on my instructional practice is to have my students include digital storytelling, problem-based learning and online collaboration as they engage in discovering answers to questions they create in response to content material problems. Students will be encouraged to learn and follow the Game plan to promote self-directed learning as I model the Game plan format in the classroom.

The immediate adjustment that I will make as a result of this course is to engage my students in a collaborative project. I will begin having my students use wikis to collaborate with other students about course content. Students will be involved in collaborating with other students through E-pals. The contents of this course have inspired me to connect with other colleagues who incorporate technology into the classroom and continue to learn from them. The strategies from the course will promote self-directed learning and critical thinking. Integrating technology will enhance my diverse learners to enrich their content-based learning experiences.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monitoring Game Plan Progress Week #7

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.
Chinese Proverb

Teachers need to ensure that students are equipped with 21st century skills so they are actively engaged as a self-directed learner. Throughout the course developing a Game plan has enabled me to customize lessons that incorporate the components which allow students to grow as self-directed learners by setting goals, monitoring learning and evaluating progress (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009).

Implementing the Game plan with my students will allow me to work collaboratively and model for student how to set goals, implement the steps to meet these goals, monitor their progress, evaluate progress and revise goals as needed. The National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) outlines that students learn the following skills:

Creativity and Innovation
Communication and Collaboration
Research and Information Fluency
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
Digital Citizenship
Technology and Operation Concepts

In order to address these skills in the classroom, I will need to design lessons which integrate digital tools such as wikis, blogs, social networking, power point, Microsoft Photo Story 3, etc. to support curriculum concepts and develop a community of self-directed learners. Incorporating problem-based lessons that are based on real life concepts, will create motivated, engaged learners who are fluent in 21st century literacy skills. I am committed to creating an environment that will support student motivation as self-directed learners.


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 Education (2010). National Educational Technology Standards for Students. Retrieved August 10, 2010 from

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Revising My Game Plan Week 6

If you plan is for one year, plant rice;
If you plan is for ten years, plant trees;
If your plan is for a hundred years,Educate children ~ Confucius

The Game plan is strengthened each week as strategies are explored to integrate technology into the content areas. Progress is being made toward achieving goals in my Game plan as I implement technology into my unit plan. Designing a unit plan that involves a problem-based, collaborative and digital story telling lesson has enabled the evaluation of the effectiveness and understanding students will achieve during a unit plan.

The Game plan will be revised after observing the needs of my students and their reactions to the technology being implemented. A revision will be to implement the use of the Game plan lesson template to prepare lessons that will address implementation of digital tools. This template will help me structure meaningful learning experiences for 21st century learners.

The strategy that I have learned so far that will be applied to my instructional practice in the fall is implementing problem-based learning into my content area. Dr Peggy Ertmer (2009) describes benefits of using PBL in the content as developing the student as a self-directed learner. Students also learn to work collaboratively in an authentic context (Ertmer, 2009). I learned to create a content area unit plan that develops a technology integrated problem-based lesson using social networking and collaborative tools that helps student understand content area concepts. Finally, I learned to use technology to customize instruction and assessments in my culturally diverse classroom. The goal that I am still working toward is to learn about digital storytelling and how this tool can be use to enhance instructions for my students.

After reviewing the NETS-T, one new learning goal that needs to be set is to model digital citizenship. It is important to model responsibility and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of technology. As student interact on a more sophisticated level using different forums, students need to be equipped to handle situations that are not safe. Students also need to be directly taught how to ethically use information. They need to be aware of copyright laws and how to correctly site digital photos, website, and other forms of media that has been retrieved to develop their point. It is important that students are aware of proper conduct using educational networks and how to maintain their own safety.

The learning approach that I will try is using educational networking with my students. In this week’s DVD, Vicki Davis (2009) discussed the benefits of educational networking. Through educational networking students and teachers can interact using a variety of media with experts around the world and give and receive feedback. In an effort to increase my understanding, I will need to research blogs and complete internet searches regarding educational networking for elementary students. I would like to evaluate some sites that used educational networking to engage students from different geographical locations. Many challenges face teachers as we use technology to enrich learning experiences for student through technology the Game plan will help me progress toward these challenges.

Davis, V. (2009). Spotlight on technology: Social networking and online collaboration, Part 1. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Davis, V. (2009). Spotlight on technology: Social networking and online collaboration, Part 2. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Ertmer, P. (2009). Spotlight on technology: Problem-based learning, Part 1. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Ertmer, P. (2009). Spotlight on technology: Problem-based learning, Part 2. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).