Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monitoring Your GAME Plan Progress

At this point, I have found two ways to incorporate technology into my classroom, using flip cameras and incorporating VoiceThreads into social studies. To help me accomplish these goals, I have downloaded Audacity onto some work computers. Also, the sixth grade recently purchased a video camera and I brought in my flip camera.

This week I have found two more ideas that I want to add to my goals. The first idea is digital storytelling and it will be developed through the class I am enrolled in at Walden University, Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas. After reading ahead and learning that we are going to create lessons for digital storytelling, this is a no-brainer. I am thinking about my options for this project, I could have students complete it in the lab or we could use IPod touches. The other idea I want to add to my list is using Google Earth to supplement my social studies class. Today on the site I read an article on ten US history Google Earth tours. This is a perfect way to supplement my ten year old texts that lack substance.

I still need one more goal but I am starting to spend time thinking about how to put my four ideas into action.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Carrying Out My Game Plan

In order to strengthen my confidence and proficiencies to integrate technology in my instruction, I have begun to compile a list five goals to incorporate technology into my class. I looked back through my texts from previous classes I took at Walden and continually look on the Internet for new ideas. I am looking for virtual field trips, simulations, and interactive web-sites that I can incorporate into my curriculum. On the site Free Tech 4 Teachers,, I have begun looking for ideas how to incorporate flip cameras into the classroom. I found an article that gives 20 ways to use flip cameras into the classroom. Awesome! I am going to try to do a video book-cast later this year. From previous classes, I want to incorporate Voice Threads into my social studies curriculum. I will use the Voice Thread for the forum for current events discussion. I want to stimulate debate between my students about current issues, maybe the November election or the US position in Afghanistan. The Voice Thread hopefully will influence some of my quiet students into participating in a much bigger way than a discussion.

For my other goal, I will give students many options to complete assignments, promoting creativity. This is going to begin in our next project, when students pick a Canadian province/territory and give a report. The students will be given the option to do a wiki page, a video cast, a podcast, or to pick any of the web 2.0 tools from the site This will really force me to learn new technologies and to create rubrics to assess the projects. To create rubrics, I will use some of the information I gained in a previous Walden class and use Rubistar has become a huge part of my teaching because it is so easy to use. I literally can create rubrics in minutes because simply by following the directions on the site. This will help with projects that use technology.

Some of the additional resources I will need to accomplish my Game Plan are flip cameras and computer lab time. The rest is up to me to find on the Internet or in texts and implement. I set the goal of implementing five new ways to use technology in my classroom and currently I have found two ways and am always looking for new ways.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Developing My Personal GAME Plan

Technology is changing so fast that it is impossible to keep up. There are countless, free web 2.0 tools that create slideshows, podcasts, other widgets that are great to incorporate into my curriculum. In order to learn and use technology in my curriculum, I need to learn the new technology on my own. Self-directed learning (SDL) is the basis for the GAME Plan or the way I will learn new technology that I will use in my curriculum.

After reading, examining, and reflecting about the National Education Standards for Teacher (NETS-T) from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), I have found some standards that I want to improve upon.

NETS-T #1 – Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.


I want to create virtual environments to expand learning outside of my classroom. I will give students many options to complete assignments, promoting creativity.


In order to accomplish this goal, I will change my social studies curriculum by adding virtual field trips, simulations, and interactive web-sites. This will take some planning but will result in better instruction and more student engagement.


I will keep records of unit assessments and compare results of traditional teaching versus digital learning. I will keep notes concerning student engagement and motivation.


I will ask students their preferences. Do they prefer digital or traditional lessons? I will also reflect upon what went well and what did not, in order to improve the lesson.

In the video from week one, teacher Lacey Segal stated that teachers who are creative or foster creativity are incredibly flexible but are comfortable watching traditional boundaries dissolve (Laureate, 2009). Technology is the perfect vehicle for change because today’s students are so technologically skilled. If I achieve this goal, the traditional lessons will be replaced with digital lessons.

NETS-T #2 – Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

b. develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress


I want to create a listing of five new technological tools that I can use in my classroom and pair them with content to create effective lessons and have the ability to use the five technologies in any setting. I also want to incorporate the tools I learned from this Walden program into my curriculum (VoiceThread for example).


I will read the blog on a daily basis to keep up to date with the latest technology and its educational application. I will review past Walden courses to find technology that I could use in my classroom.


After each new lesson I teach using a technological skill from my list, I will reflect in writing about the lesson. Listing the positive parts and parts that need improvement. If I successfully meet my goal of five new applications of technological tools, I will add another tool to my goal list. If I am unsuccessful using a new technological skill, I will attempt to use the technology in another lesson until I achieve success.


I will constantly ask students their preferences. Do they prefer digital or traditional lessons? I will also reflect upon what went well and what did not, in order to improve the lesson.

The main objective for improving upon this standard is to use the technological skills I have gained at Walden and continually learning new technology and implementing it in my classroom. Technology provides many opportunities for students to engage in authentic learning activities and to be creative in different environments (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009). This will increase student’s engagement and excitement and hopefully increase learning.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use: A Standards-Based Approach (Laureate Education custom edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas. Baltimore: Author.

National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at: