In “Promoting Self-Directed Learning with Technology,” Dr. Katherine Cennamo introduces the concept of creating a GAME plan, which supports self-directed learners in creating a strategy for personal growth and development (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). It is important for teachers to constantly assess their own learning and make a plan for how to improve their practices.
When reviewing the National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T), there are two indicators I would like to strengthen. I would like to improve on Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, specifically, the indicator that states teachers should, “Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources” (International Society for Technology in Education [ISTE], 2012). I currently teach seventh grade Pre-Algebra and do not utilize technology to enhance student learning in authentic situations like I can or should.
The second standard I would like to improve on is Standard 3: Model Digital Age Work and Learning, indicator: “Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media formats” (ISTE, 2012). I have a classroom website to communicate with parents, and a blog to communicate with my peers, but I am currently lacking a way to communicate with my students.
In order to achieve my goals, I will need to take action. When it comes to improving on Standard 1, I will first need to analyze my curriculum and find areas where I would like to emphasize authentic problems. From there, I will research technologies that can enhance the learning experience. I will use search engines and conversations with my colleagues to gain ideas. Once I have developed a lesson plan and found a technology to use, I will implement my lesson.
In order to achieve my second goal, I will create an account on Edmodo. Edmodo is a social network specifically designed for schools, which allows teachers and students to connect and collaborate (Edmodo, 2012). The best part about Edmodo is that it will not only offer a way to communicate with my students, but will also act as another mode of communication I can use with parents and colleagues. The actions I will need to take are creating an account, setting up my Edmodo page, and sharing how to use it with my students.
In order to monitor my progress while working on my two goals, I will set up a time frame for each component of my action plans. My personality prefers structure, and I am very good at accomplishing my tasks if organized in a “checklist” type of manner, in which certain tasks must be done by a certain time.
To evaluate if I have strengthened Standard 1, I will evaluate student progress and engagement. I will use surveys to gain students’ opinions on the activity and technology I implement to see if they feel it was a valuable learning experience. I will also use informal observations of my students to determine if the technology I have implemented is enhancing or hindering student learning. One thing I will be looking at is whether or not the technology I use is a placeholder for an older technology or actually brings something more to the lesson.
To evaluate if I have strengthened Standard 3, I will use my Edmodo page to see if I have more open communication with my students. My page will offer immediate feedback on whether or not students are actually communicating with me outside of the classroom in an open and educational way. If students are not utilizing Edmodo, I will have to determine if it is how I have my page set up or due to student access to technology outside of the classroom.
For both of the standards I want to improve on, the biggest thing I will have to do is reflect and analyze what worked in each situation and what did not. From there, I will have to reevaluate my goals and either make new action plans or continue using the practices I have developed.
I am hoping my colleagues can offer how they use technology to enhance technology in authentic math lessons. Also, if anyone has used or is using Edmodo, what are your main uses of it? Another question I have is, how do you encourage students to utilize Edmodo?
Edmodo. (2012). About. Retrieved from http://about.edmodo.com/
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Produce). (2010). Promoting self-directed learning with technology. [Webcast]. Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2012). Nets-t. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers