I looked to examine and self-reflect upon my teaching pedagogical skills compared to those put forth by the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S). I read through the five indicators of proficiency (www.iste.org), and ranked them in order from my best to my weakest. I have always felt that I can relatively proficient in technology, especially in the areas regarding computers, software, and their application into our lives. Of course, I would like to improve my skills, and starting with my weaker points would make total sense.
Of the five indicators, I felt I am weakest in two areas. The weakest would be the promotion of model digital citizenship and responsibility. I have not been as strict with resources, their citations, and giving credit to the publishers of information. To explain further, I feel as if I have always cited and credited my sources for my personal work, but I have not enforced the crediting of sources for the work of my students. Perhaps this was because my lessons were suited for the creation of material, such as spreadsheets or slide shows. However, this past year one of my projects was a slide show where the students outlined their purchases if they were to spend a fictional million dollars. Most of the students used the Internet as the source of their pictures, and I did not require a section where the students would cite the pages for their pictures. I have used a resources page previously, but not for the pictures, just for information. In order to achieve this goal, I will be introducing the requirement to cite all sources within a student's work, including items that I previously omitted like pictures. Instead of waiting for a project that we have already done, I will be creating a project that will concentrate on the citation process. This exclusive project will ensure that the students realize the importance of citing their sources, and will allow them to practice. That way, the correct resource citing will be ready to be used when the students come to their next project, regardless of their subject class. I will also be working with the other teachers in our team group to ensure that they know and align their rubrics to include the proper and complete resource citing process.
Another area where I have the potential for improvement is the design of digital-age learning experiences and assessments. I do incorporate the use of a Smartboard in my classroom, and I strive to make sure I utilize it as more than just a glorified whiteboard. With all the potential of the Smartboard, I need to be continuously improving and integrating knowledge, skills, and resources beyond my current pedagogy. This year I included a set of responders, or clickers, and the students' level of engagement was way higher. While it may appear that my class and my students is far ahead of most others within my school and district, I believe that there is a vast potential to keep moving forward to incorporate the latest technology and tools. The challenge will be to keep the mathematics in my class the primary subject, not technology. Monitoring this incorporation of technology will be a key element in my improvement. I am a mathematics teacher first, and I would be failing to teach my students the proper subject matter if we concentrated on the technology at the expense of learning algebra. I will need to continually check my class progress compared to the curriculum map which paces the class over the course of the year. I will also need to monitor the student learning as we progress to ensure that the students are actually learning the material.
I have been the beneficiary of my continual desire to improve over the course of my career. I like to be an early adopter of technology, which has been painful at times. Instead of learning from others, I have been the volunteer to test something out, and this continues after my career switch to become a teacher. It is been mutually beneficial to my school and to me. They get a tester, and I get the opportunity to adapt new items to our community and culture. I look forward to the opportunity to improve my teaching practices and stay on the forefront of technology in my classroom.
It has been a while since I posted. Thanks for visiting!
Resources for this blog entry:
ISTE. (n.d.). NETS for teachers. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from ISTE Standards: http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx