Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My GAME Plan


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

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


  1. Danielle- I think you have some really good ideas about how you want to improve your use of technology in the classroom. I especially like your idea of using Edmodo has a means of communication with students and parents. The district where I work has implemented a new Learning Management System (LMS) called Canvas that allows teachers to communicate with students often but I do not think parents are given an account as well. I would like explore Edmodo more but I do have a Facebook page set up just for my classroom/educational activities and parents have responded to that well. I have parents send me messages about their students through Facebook as well as email and it has really helped keep parents well informed. I think with the goals you have, you are on the right track in doing some reflection so you can evaluate your goals and if you have made progress. Nice work, you have some great ideas!

    1. Scott,

      My district is scared of Facebook. They have piloted a district page, but are fearful of negative comments. What kind of information do you post on Facebook? Edmodo is essentially the same concept, but specifically for educators. I want to use my Edmodo account for student discussions, but am also interested in using it as a way to keep parents up-to-date with what we are doing in the classroom.
      Thank you for commenting.


  2. Danielle,

    I currently teach 9th grade, Coordinate Algebra in the Common Core curriculum. This is the first year that Georgia is rolling out this curriculum. In the case of mathematics, this curriculum was rolled out for grades K-9. Like you, I have not successfully implemented technology or used it to enhance the learning experience of my students. I will admit that while I am confident with math and technology, and I am not certain about the curriculum since I have been teaching a different one for the last four years.

    The second standard you chose to focus on is a big one for me as well. I too would like to develop a plan to continuously communicate with students, parents, and the community. The blog that I am currently using through our district's teacher websites is not interactive. Students have the ability to post comments to me, but not much interaction is happening between myself and my students. I would like to use a blog that gives students the opportunity to interact and collaborate with one another concern the math content. I think that Edmodo is a great idea and it may be effective with your students. Do you plan to share this with just the math department in the future?

    As you mentioned, reflection is key. Self reflection is imperative for teachers as they work to perfect their craft. Teaching is a never ending job because teachers are life-long learners. Additionally, I like the time frame component. Providing yourself with a timeline for goal achievement will help to the teacher or student focused on the task or tasks of focus. What are your currents practices towards reflection?
    Great post!

    Liana G

    1. Liana,

      At my school we are grouped into teams based on grade level. As of right now, my plan is to share Edmodo with my team so they can create their own for each subject. I think if we use Edmodo in each content area, students will be used to checking it regularly.

      An area I struggle with is reflection. While I do reflect on my practices, I do it informally. For instance, I may reflect on a lesson while driving home or grading exit slips. I need to have a formal practice of reflection. I recently bought a journal to use for reflecting on my teaching practices and professional growth. My next step is to designate a time every day to use it.


  3. Danielle,

    As a math teacher, I can see where Standard 1 Indicator 2, will help us both in bringing real-world issues and solving authentic problems. When we apply more project based learning into our curriculum our students will gain a deeper understanding of the content. Once you sit down and analyze your curriculum especially those areas where students are struggling in, you will be surprised at the different real-world problems that you can come up with. Our course text offers some great ideas on how to start, check out this site:

    By choosing to use Edmod for your second standard is an excellent choice. I have used Edmodo before, and my students loved it, especially since it had an interface similar to Facebook. Edmodo allowed students to have a voice outside of the classroom, and my shy students loved it. Another website you may consider using for collaboration and communicating with parents, students and peers is It is somewhat of a collaboration tool, that allows you to text, leave voice-mails and collaborate. This is just an idea.

    To answer your question on "how to encourage students to utilize Edmodo?" What I did when I used it, was to post a question, dealing with the content we learned that day or week, and the students would have to post the answer or send me a direct message. I would also attach a grade to it, that was my way of encouraging students to utilize Edmodo. Hope that was of some help
    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Kerris,

      Thank you so much for sharing those sites. I particularly like the website which offers examples of project based learning (PBL) in mathematics classes. Under the pressures of testing, I often forget how easy it is to integrate PBL into my math classes without taking away from the content.

      Also, thank you for the ideas about how to use Edmodo. I think attaching a grade to it will be a good motivator for most of my students. I will just have to decide how to work with those students who do not have access since I work in a low socioeconomic area.