Thursday, October 28, 2010

Final Blog Reflection

The creation of my GAME Plan will forever be a guide to integrating technology into my lessons. The integration of technology positively influences my student’s learning and makes my lessons more effective. As I constantly continue to implement more technology, the goals I set from my GAME Plan will continue the shift from traditional lesson to technological lessons.

The biggest influence the GAME Plan has had on my practice is goal setting. My goals have set the direction for incorporating more and more technology into my lesson planning and allowing students choices to complete their assignments. My first goal was to implement five new technologies into my curriculum. I currently am working on integrating digital storytelling and using flip cameras into language arts. In social studies, we are using timelines and virtual field trips. It takes more planning time when using technology, but the students will benefit from its use. The GAME Plan has also given me more confidence when using technology in the classroom and I am always thinking of ways to replace my textbook lesson with tech. I also have set a goal that when my five goals for this class run out that I will try to implement one new tech per month as long as I am a teacher. Hopefully my aspirations do not pass up the technology my district can provide!

With the GAME Plan now guiding my use of technology in my lessons, I have made many adjustments to my teaching. Now, my main focus is teaching 21st century skills in language arts and social studies without hesitation. My students will benefit from mastering web 2.0 tools and other technology and the experience that will prepare them for the rest of their lives. I also am more willing to allow students technological choices to complete assignments. I know that students, who create artifacts for learning, learn more than students who complete worksheets.

All in all, with the GAME Plan as my guide, my students will learn more, be more engaged in lessons, and prepare themselves for their futures. As a teacher, reflection after lesson completion has become a part of my growth as a teacher using technology. All the knowledge and experience I am gaining using technology in my classroom is making the use of technology the traditional way I present content.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Using the GAME Plan Process with Students

My GAME Plan process had two goals: one was to incorporate five new technologies into my lessons (using ideas from Walden and elsewhere) and giving my students choices on how to complete assignment with their choice of technology. I recently have begun writing book talks for the book “Jennifer Murdley’s Toad”. For assessment, I offered my students choices. They could write the talk, type it into Word, and create a podcast using Audacity. They could do a ten-slide digital story. Or they could create a video book talk. They could pick the way they could complete this project and I would assess their mastery of the material. I have to admit giving students this much freedom was difficult at first and I think the results will be great, but it is hard to let go for some projects.

I have also found that the more technology we use in my classroom, the more comfort, confidence, and eagerness is instilled into the students. They are becoming more proficient with the technology and almost want me to eliminate any “traditional” lessons. They want to learn using 21st century skills even though they are unaware that what we are doing is learning with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the future. After the completion of this course, it will be my goal to keep up with new technology and that means setting a goal of incorporating one new tech into my lessons per month. I think that learning with technology will be a great asset to my students and I want to give them the best chance at success.

Many comments I have received from my learning community have been mostly about creating hands-on lessons using the free technology of web 2.0 tools. Through websites like Free Tech For Teachers,
there should never be a shortage of the new tech ideas that can be used in the classroom.

In conclusion, ditch the text and worksheets and bring in the tech!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Revising My GAME Plan

As I continue to implement more technology into my lessons I am realizing more and more that is so beneficial for the students. I have just begun using some of the tech tools that I have set as goals with the students and the results are impressive. If I would compare learning the traditional way versus to incorporating technology, the technology side would be almost unanimously preferred. This week in social studies while studying Latin America I showed my classes using Google Earth, they were astounded. I would never have received any positive feedback when showing them a map from our text. Technology has a wonderful affect!


NETS-T #1 – Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity--engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.

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

After reflecting back on the two goals I set for this class, I feel that I am still in the process of completing my goals and would not need to set new goals at this point but work on completing my existing goals of finding five new technologies and using them in my classroom, replacing traditional learning methods. If I master the five new technologies that I have chosen, I will set a goal of integrating one new technology into my curriculum per week. Currently, I feel that I need to continually work on becoming more comfortable and proficient using the new technology that I have chosen (VoiceThreads, using Flip Cameras, Digital Storytelling, using Google Earth, and Interactive Timelines). Sometimes it is a slow process but I need to keep in mind that I have to be flexible with the new technology.

To improve the chances that my goals with be successful, I have started to take notes on the new technology that was incorporated. I want to list the positives and negatives of the lesson so the next time I use it I will increase the chances of success and this will benefit my students.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Evaluating Your GAME Plan Progress

Thus far I have came up with four new ways I will incorporate technology into my classroom: using flip cameras, Google Earth, VoiceThreads, and digital storytelling. I have began playing with and researching ways to use Flip Cameras. There are so many ideas! I downloaded Google Earth and began marking interesting places that we are studying. I plan to "fly" there using the software and showing my students the locations. What an impressive tool! For my VoiceThread, I am going to use it as to check my students background knowledge of WWII before we read "Number the Stars". Students can post and learn from each other. For digital storytelling, I have looked at a few sites but have not looked into it too much but it seems to a pretty popular tool to use. I have a lot to learn about digital storytelling.

My final goal for implimenting technology into my classroom is creating a digital timeline. I looked on the Internet and have found countless number of web 2.0 tools that create timelines. Using timelines will be great in not only social studies but in language arts too. I hope to pick one timeline generator by next week and become more familiar with it. I am not to concerned how to use it but want to find one with the coolest options.

My first goal of finding five new technologies that I will incorporate into my teaching fits with my second goal of finding more ways for my students to meet objectives. If I can get comfortable with the new technology from my goals, I can give my students some new tools to complete their work. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to eliminate worksheets and replace it with technology in one form or another.