I feel that my goals are very similar to those of Touro. As a classroom teacher I am serving the community with continuous support to diverse learners in order to meet the needs of society that is constantly changing. I have high personal goals for my third grade students and what my 21st century classroom will look like next year upon entering my classroom. I envision students working in groups with a constant stream of noise and sometimes the higher pitch sound of excitement as students persevere and complete their task. I want to see that students are effectively collaborating, using technology to share how they problem solved, creating story retells, learning how to use technology, support students in small groups and so much more. This is a huge overhaul that is changing how I deliver content and how student show mastery of content standards.
My follow cohort members can support me with conversations about a task that I am struggling with. Sometimes I have difficulty seeing the whole picture. Talking through what I have done can sometimes be just the thing that I need to take my work to the next level and persevere through the assignment. As a supportive member in this cohort, I hope that I am able to return the favor. Asking clarifying questions to someone else’s project might just be what they need to overcome their hurdle.
I will support positive cohesion within my cohort by offering suggestions to those who might become frustrated. I myself get overwhelmed and it is easy to agree that something might be challenging, but there is often something positive that follows that low point. Either another solution appears or you are able to look at the situation in a different way after taking a break. I think that acknowledging someone's frustrations is supportive and can be turned into a positive. This is the process of innovative learning. The one norm that is important to me in this online class is honoring the end time commitment. Overall, I have enjoying the comforts of home while still being a part of a respectful and professional cohort.
I have learned a lot this semester, but I also leave overwhelmed and frustrated. Technology is paving a new path for me as an innovative thinker and designer. I constantly have new ideas that I want to try out in my room, but well over half the time I hit a road block. I get so far in my planning and then it hits, money. Every time that I find something good it is just that. It’s too good to be true. All my hard work comes to a screeching halt because something doesn’t work as planned. I am forced to abandon lessons and start all over unless I pay a monthly fee to continue. The frustrating part is that each activity takes me over an hour to create and then when it doesn’t work with my students I am frustrated and have to change my plans last minute. I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened to me over the past few months. I have spent hours upon hours just trying to figure out how to use a specific technology tool or countless hours on lessons that I can’t use. What I can take away from this experience is that I am modeling failure for my students. They need to know that failure is okay; you learn from your mistakes and never give up. I will continue my quest as an innovative thinker and designer, but man I sure hope that I start to have more successes than failures pretty soon.
Gamification is the process of using games and game design to aid students in learning how to solve problems. Gaming sounds great, but how can you incorporate it into your classroom? Well, using class badges just might be one way for students to make connections to their own academic learning. Using different programs like SumDog, Istation, and Freckle are all great ways to engage students with content, but there still seems to be a disconnect from the games that they play to their grade level assessments. Badging might just be the tool that can help bridge the gap for students. Earning academic badges is engaging and might just be the perfect way for students to monitor their academic growth.
Jane McGonigal’s TED talk was inspiring! I love how she talked about using gaming to solve real world problems. This has inspired me to look into different game options for a few science units that I am working on. After teaching about animal endangerment, I was disappointed in my Earth Day clean up activity. Not even one student showed up for an activity that they seemed to be excited about. Finding a game that allows students to help our Earth through gaming might have a greater impact for my third graders and create a lasting impact. Gaming might just be the way for students to think that school if fun! If I could get the test results that Gabe Zichermann spoke of during his TED talk, I’m sold! The results that he spoke of showed almost 2 year’s growth in reading and math in just 18 week. That is amazing!!!
Where do you see transliteracy? You see it in 21st century classrooms. Teachers are now starting to use technology more and more every year. Teachers are finding new ways to deliver content, engage students, and use adaptive programs for differentiation within a classroom.
I looked at the Power of Video in the TesTeach website. This was a great reminder of how to use educational videos as a way to connect content, engagement, and motivation all at the same time. The Power of Video suggests that teachers gather content related videos that are 5 minutes or less in length. Finding short videos may pose a problem for teachers. These videos become a reward for the class based on their behavior. They select a video to watch from the bank of preselected videos. I can already see how powerful this strategy can be in science. When teaching a unit that is social studies based, finding engaging video might show to be more challenging. While this is a great brain break activity, it should also be connected into the unit that you are teaching. I plan to create a hyperdoc with links to videos for each GLAD unit that I create. This is a great addition to unit that I have already started working on.
I chose to look at Voki, Vibby and Adobe Spark. The Voki website allows you to create avatars that you can use within your teaching. I plan to use an avatar to deliver comprehension questions and a google form to grade them. The biggest barrier with this website was figuring out how to import them into documents. It is doable, it just takes a little time. Overall, there are a lot of great how to videos that walk you through each step.
I also looked at Vibby. This website was very frustrating because I tried searching for videos that would relate to the standards that I teach and I came up empty handed. Needless to say, I was not impressed with what videos I had to choose from. I then decided to look at Adobe Spark. Here I was able to create my own video using pictures and individual voice recording for each slide. I did have a few problems creating my video. For some reason, I had multiple voice recording for the same slides when I would view the video. When I tried to delete the voice recording it fixed the problem and there was only one voice until I shared the link. Then those slides didn’t have any voice recording. I ended up deleting the slides and starting over. I also had trouble when adding my own picture. While saving, the program automatically switched my picture from landscape to portrait, so that is why I have a sideways picture in my video. Another note is that your link doesn’t automatically update, so if you make changes to your presentation you have to manually update it. Overall, I think that my students will be excited to learn about how they can help our environment.
Students should not just be ‘watching’ a video for homework or classwork. They need to be interacting with the content by answering questions throughout the video, using a graphic organizer for note taking or completing a Google form/quiz at the end of the video. These strategies help bring meaning into the video that you are assigning.
The idea of sense making and the TPACK framework is becoming clearer as I move through my own learned curve. Before starting this program I tried to implement technology into my classroom, but I found it extremely frustrating. How do I teach third graders how to use technology in the classroom? I am now learning how to effectively incorporate technology beyond paper and pencil or white board work. Technology is not only the context in which I teach, but the motivator for my students to succeed.
This process of designing a prototype has been challenging for me. I know what I want to achieve but I didn’t know how to address this huge task. Asking me to create something when I am still learning seemed to be a huge hurdle that I had to overcome. With guidance during my one on one appointment, I now have an idea of how to expand my project. Today I have spent all day working on school work and I finally had time to play around with technology to determine what my final piece could possibly look like. Using avatars as a different way to assess students is fun and can easily be added to Google forms or as an assignment in Google Classroom. I now have a direction that I feel confident in creating a final product for my Capstone.
After reading Baggio and Clark I have a clearer vision of how to deliver new content to my students. The SITE model is a great reminder that students need to be connected to the material that is being delivered. It is important to think about the learner as a whole. What are their interest, family background and community influences? When designing a poster, a PowerPoint presentation or just the standup delivery of a lesson, having mastery of a prerequisite skill is important. While analyzing the ‘Technical’ part of SITE, I realized how important it is to collaborate with the grade level below and above the grade that you are teaching. This type collaboration will be helpful to designing a lesson that flows, uses prior knowledge and allows for chunking of new (grade level) material.
Baggio reminded me of how important it is to design a layout with minimal text, flowing from left to right and top to bottom. I feel that this is starting to come more natural to me as I design slides to deliver new content. I know that just in my last presentation, I feel that the slides looked cleaner and more visually pleasing. The hardest part about this design method is trying to find the right image and that supports the message that you are trying to deliver. Someday that too will become more natural and less time consuming.
I chose three completely different types of Google forms for this assignment. The first one was a simple four question math quiz. I used 4 questions from the district assessment and found similar graphics to go with each question. Using Google forms as a formative or summative assessment is something that I have not done before. I am looking forward to quick results to guide my next day’s lesson.
The next form that I created was a book sign out/sign in sheet using the Checkitout add-on. I always have students who want to take chapter books home to read, but I have never really found the right way to keep track. I have tried a paper sign out sheet and names on the board but neither are a systematic and simple way to keep track until now. I have posted this Google Form in the ‘About’ section in my Google Classroom for easy access for student use all year long. This add-on will forever change my organization in the classroom. I can see using this feature a lot.
The last form that I created used the elimination add-on. We are reading a story called Stone Soup, so my student came up with a list of items that they wanted to bring to make our own Stone Soup this week. I can see how using this add-on is a great way to have students sign up for things in a timely and organized manner.
I see how using Google forms can help organize data and get feedback from students. As I start to use different technology tools to help with reading comprehension I might consider asking my students what technology tool they believe helps them to learn the best. This will help to determine my next steps in my action research that might provide me with significant gains in my test results. It will also provide a list of different technology tools to use as resources for my project.
I feel torn as to who my audience is for my research project. I feel that my end user profile should be geared towards students so that I can figure out how to best serve them. On the other hand, my final results will help guide teachers that have students who are not at grade level in reading and continue to struggle year after year. I have been so focused on the action research and what I can do to help them that I lost sight of my end goal. Yes, I want to see progress in student reading comprehension, but that will only happen if I can figure out how to show significant gain in my test results. Then and only then will I be able to share this information with others and have a continuing impact in education.
Just as Baggio references her yoga teacher, I too need visuals. I keep reading and reading this portion of the assignment and I am really struggling with what to write. I don’t understand what the final product of a resource page looks like. I tried looking up Touro’s capstones online so I could get a visual and I wasn’t able to find any. I also looked in the class folders and I couldn’t anything about Capstones. I know that we were briefly shown one, but I can’t recall the details or how to get back to the completed capstone projects.
My project is all about how technology impacts reading comprehension, so I would imagine that it might be a list of different technology tools that aid in reading comprehension. I would use the use of heading, visuals (icons), hyperlinks and chunking of text to show several different technology tools, not just the one that was used in the study.
Social media can be used on a professional level if you keep it strictly professional and don’t allow your personal business to intertwine. It seems that a lot of good collaboration can take place in the comfort of your own home. As a primary teacher, I see social media more as a tool for the teacher, not the student. I think it would be neat to reach out to authors and allow the students to communicate with people that they would never have met in person, but posting about assignments on Twitter or Facebook don’t seem to be the best for third graders. I have been using Remind to communicate with parents and Classroom to communicate with students. Remind is now linked to classroom, so as I get more comfortable with Classroom and I can share assignments with parents through remind. This seems to be the best way to provide a smaller version of social media that is safe for all students to use.
If I came across something inappropriate that a student wrote, I would not address the post directly. I would take a picture of the post and contact their parent/s and my administrators. Depending on the post, I might be able to address the problem in a general way to the class by teaching a lesson about digital footprints and/or digital citizenship. It would be a good reminder to all students that what they say and do is out there for everyone to see. At the time is might seem cool, but later on there could be consequences.