Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review my GAME plan for my Technology Skills

The two areas that I selected for my technology skills were the promotion of digital citizenship and improving the design of digital-age learning experiences. While these are realistic goals, I feel as if they are ongoing practices as opposed to a finite improvement. For these two areas of improvement, I have the resources either already in hand or relatively easy to obtain. Since the improvements are separate in their scope, I will break them out as such.

For digital citizenship, I will need to model the proper method of citing resources. In order to do this, the students will work on a new project, and will be required to properly cite all the sources used. Some resources that are already available are the use of our computer laboratory, and scheduling the project within the existing curriculum for the remainder of the year. Since there are quite a few days already accounted for in the year, this may seem more like using a shoehorn to pry this lesson in. By keeping the overt lesson relatively small, the covert lesson of the proper citations can take a larger role; therefore, it can be more meaningful and hopefully the value of the lesson will be grasped. There is some additional information that I will need, and it comes from my Language Arts team teachers. I need to use the same resource citing protocol that they use in order to remain consistent within the school. I will rely on the Language Arts teachers' expertise, and honestly speaking, I do not want to impose my mathematics world into an area that is primarily handled in Language Arts. If I follow their protocols, and rely on their expertise, it will appear as if I am simply enforcing a process that should be done anyway. I have already reached out to the two valued Language Arts teachers, and we will be meeting to ensure that I am on the same page as them. They expressed some forward gratitude that I was even thinking about incorporating something from their classrooms into my lessons. Now if I can just get them to learn a little Algebra!

The other area where I intend to improve is the design of digital-age learning experiences and assessments. I have a Smartboard in my classroom, and I believe I am proficient in its use. It is always treated as more than a glorified whiteboard. I already have many of the hardware resources that I require to improve, such as the Smartboard, the software from our textbook, a set of responders or clickers, and a set of graphing calculators. The resources that I need to find, or develop, are the lessons that use this technology along with their associated electronic files. These lessons should be based on the existing curriculum, with the incorporation of the technologies. I have started to use the clickers on a semi-regular basis; the drawback for moving to a more frequent use if the amount of time I have to adapt, prepare, or adapt and prepare the lessons from the existing lessons and files. This lack of time should be alleviated with the completion of my master's work, so it may not really be fully realized until this fall. However, I have reached out to many online resources, exploring the various files which incorporate the technology. I have found several good resources from the Internet, but I have yet to find a site that really stands out. Most sites I have found, including the ones sponsored by the Smartboard manufacturer, have more shallow lessons and files which do not incorporate the appropriate skill levels of the class with the proper technology. I find files with great technology integration, but are not really on the mark with the mathematics content. I also find good content, but then need to push in the technology. Which brings me back to the most valuable resource that I need, the time to do this incorporating. Between now and the end of the school year, my goal is to adapt one class lesson per week. When the new school year begins, I will increase to three lessons per week.

I do not want to make my goals unrealistic, especially with the integration of technology into my classroom lessons. This should be an ongoing process as opposed to a one-time event. The adage of running fast setting the pace, but slow and steady winning the race might be the best advice.

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