Reflecting on my GAME plan

My passion for technology came when I was in middle school and my computer teacher opened the computer lab up at night so the public could use the internet. I was always trying new tools and programs because it really interested me. Naturally, I took that into my classroom. I try my best to stay on top of all of the new tools and try many of them out with my class. My passion for technology and what it can do for students and teachers alike has bubbled over into getting other teachers passionate about it, too.

My GAME plan, as stated in my previous post, has morphed to a GAME changing plan.This is an uphill battle for many reasons. One main reason is the time factor. Many teachers believe that a lot of technological tools take too much time to utilize. I am always asked how I find the time time to update our class twitter and Facebook page or how I have time to try out new tools. That question frustrates me, but I love technology and have loved it for long time. Not everyone has that mindset. I have to be able to meet those people where they are. When I find a new tool or new website, I make sure that I have tried it out and know it inside and out before I share it with my colleagues. If I want to convince the teachers around me to try something new, they have to know that I will stand by them while they try it and that I will make sure that all of their questions would be answered.

If I am well-versed in something, I cannot keep it to myself.

If I feel so passionately about something, I cannot keep it to myself.

Becoming a GAME-changer

Because of the nature of my GAME plan, progress will be never-ending. This is an on-going process and because technology is ever-changing, staying current is a daunting task for some. Personally, I am driven by the changes and improvements that are made in technology. I am also driven by lack-luster teachers who need a little “kick start”.

I just recently finished a two-part conference at Notre Dame, called “Teaching Digital Media and New Literacy”. Overall, this conference was very beneficial although it was nothing like what I expected. During discussion time, I was extremely surprised (and maybe I should not have been) at the negative tone almost everyone had about technology, youth and education. Going back to what drives me, teachers who are not willing to adapt their preconceived notions of students and technology is what is wrong with many educational systems. There needs to be a shift of mindset. My goals align with aiding in that shift.

I am working with a high school teacher on doing an educational technology “Tweet-up”. The idea is that local teachers get together on a Saturday and share all of their technology ideas and what they are doing in their classroom. This forum could be used for professional development points which will be a great way to get people in the door. Opportunities like this make education and teaching a more global community.

My goal is sharply focused on my colleagues and all teachers for that matter.

I want to take my GAME plan and become a GAME-changer in education.

That may seem like a lofty goal, but I am passionate about changing the mindset of those teachers who are stuck in their ways-those teachers who still want complete control in the classroom. In essence, my GAME plan is taking on a new life. It is becoming more of LIFE plan than a GAME plan.

I want to be a GAME-changer.

I have a GAME plan…Now what?

I have many goals for my students. I have outlined a few in my previous post. My overarching goal is to remove myself, the teacher, out of the equation. That may seem odd, but I want my students to be able function on their own. As their teacher, I should give them all of the tools they need to complete any task and help others in completing that task. Each class is different, but the class I am currently teaching can basically function without me.

As long as you have a desire to accomplish your goals, you cannot be stopped.

The integration of technology has been easy for me because I have grown up with the transformation. I have always been intrigued by what is new in educational technology and love trying those new tools in my classroom. My goals are focused on providing the tools to my fellow teachers to incorporate just as much technology within their classrooms. To achieve these goals, leadership training and technology conferences are a must. I am attending a two-part technology seminar at Notre Dame University. This, I believe, will give me more credentials when speaking with teachers. It is one thing to enjoy technology, but it is another take steps to learn more and truly understand the programs being used.

As I have stated before, Twitter has been a crucial resource for me. I have found many of my ideas through links shared by teachers on Twitter. Instead of keeping all of these links to myself, sharing them with my colleagues is beneficial for all parties. Teaching fellow colleagues the importance of a resource like Twitter goes right along with my GAME plan. Instead of just “spewing resources” to my colleagues, I need to try them out and be able to demonstrate how to use them. Being that many of our tools need to be researched based, I need to be informed in that area as well. To do that, conferences, Twitter and personal research are the key to accomplishing my goals.

 

Developing a GAME plan

For teachers who have been in the game for a long time, it may be time to revive some of those dusty, old lesson plans with a little technology. 

The standards that teachers are being held to are drastically changing. Along with content standards, educators need to be incorporating technology standards into their lessons. For teachers like myself, this is second nature, because many have grown up with technology. Through my experiences, I have developed a passion for its integration in my classroom.

To insure that I stay on top of the ever-changing world of technology, I am going to make a GAME plan for myself (Cennamo, et al, 2009). This will keep me accountable and ensure that my students are learning the skills they need for when they get out into the real world.

ISTE has provided a great resource for all teachers. I have chosen two NETS goals provided on the ISTE site, to guide my goal setting.

2.Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS·S.

3.Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

G-Setting GOALS

Without setting goals, educators can lose focus. The goals I have for myself guide the way that I run my classroom. For me to reach each standard listed above, I need to focus on creating technology and content enriched lesson plans. Researching programs that have worked in other classrooms is a great way to start.

My students should be able to experience tools that they will be able to use throughout their school career and beyond. The tools presented to them should not be isolated to second grade students. They should be tools that can be adapted to fit any topic or venue. My goal is to provide my students with tools that a) they can use in my class and b) they can know inside and out to be able to teach their fellow classmates and/or teachers in the future.

Through Twitter, I have been able to connect with teachers across the world. My goal is to utilize this tool and be able to provide my colleagues with a plethora of tools. Being passionate about technology, I have utilize everything that it has to offer me in my everyday life. I am constantly researching and reading about new ideas and concepts. I want to bring that into my school.

My goal is for more teachers to understand that education is a global concept and an easy way to incorporate that global mindset is through technology.

A-Taking ACTION

Goal-setting is a great thing, but if one never takes action, those goals were set in vain. I am lucky enough to have been selected to go the Teachers as Scholars conference at Notre Dame University. This conference, Teaching New Media and Digital Culture, will help me with my goals by providing tools that I can use when I return to my classroom. The best way to “take action” is to dive in and just try new tools and techniques. The conference I am attending, as well as, my passion to want to learn will guide me to accomplishing my goals.

M-MONITORING

Getting caught up in the everyday tasks can make anyone lose site of their goals. One of the best ways to monitor whether your goals are being achieved or not is to have them written down somewhere that is visible to you all day. When you are constantly reminded of your ultimate goal, you are more likely to focus on it and achieve it. Another way is to let a colleague know what you are trying to accomplish. You can be held more accountable when you have colleagues checking in with you.

E-EVALUATING

Meeting goals when talking about technology will never be fully achieved. With technology constantly changing, my goals need to adapt to those changes. Through Twitter, education blogs like Edutopia, and technology magazines like Tech and Learning, I am able to stay on the front all that is new in educational technology.

Every educator needs to develop a GAME plan to stay on top of all that is changing with technology and education.

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2011). http://www.iste.org/welcome.aspx

Using Aviary for Podcasting w/ Your Students!

Aviary is a fantastic site that allows you to create just about anything! I love the podcasting feature which is what I’m going to show in this screencast!

Here are some examples of what my 2nd graders were able to do on their own! (Seriously, I didn’t help them at all).

Students reading Skating on Thin Ice

Student reading Twosomes: Love Poems from the Animal Kingdom

Check out my other post on how to use Podcasts in your classroom!

Screencasting!

If you are looking for a way to record and share the lessons that you do on your SmartBoard or ActivBoard, look no further!

There are many sites out there that allow you to take a “screencast” of what is happening on your screen while recording your voice. The site that I really like using because it is simple and free is Screencast-o-matic.

Here is an example of a screencast my students did as they led the “Math Meeting” (It is a little long, but it gives you the idea) :

Pros and Cons of Screencast-o-matic:

  • Con-The free version doesn’t allow you to save on that site, but you can upload your videos and save them to your youtube account.
  • Pro-You can only record 15 minutes. (Personally, I think that is plenty of time).
  • Pro-It’s free!
  • Pro-It is very easy to use!
  • Pro-When recording, it allows you to pause and resume.

Give it a try!

I want your feedback! Do you have a screencasting site that you like using?