Monthly Archives: December 2010

Team Tanuki rocks!

Currently I am in Siem Riep, Cambodia getting ready for the Cambo Challenge which is starting tomorrow. Me and my husband will be driving a tuktuk for 10 days covering 1450kms. We are taking this challenge to help build a water supply pipeline in a village called Chambok.

Please check our blog and follow our adventures. Go Team Tanuki go!

http://www.teamtanuki.com

Cheers!

Team Tanuki

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Reflection on ‘Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas’

For the past two months I have been focusing on ‘Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas’. During this course I designed a GAME Plan for myself, set goals and created unit lesson plans to support my goals and integrate technology in the classroom. I had the chance to look into NETS-T and NETS-S standards and integrate them in my daily lesson plans. (NETS, 2010).

My Game plan had the goals of professional development, teacher and student support. In order to integrate technology in the classrooms of elementary grade levels from kindergarten to Grade four effectively, I first had to have the teachers equipped with the right kind of technological tools that they needed for their classroom usage. Being a part of the school’s IT team, I had the chance to deliver their needs to the IT department and find the appropriate tools for their integration. This was the first challenge I had because the classrooms were not equally equipped with the right tools and in order to have an effective integration first I needed to solve this problem. After having some research done and going through negotiations with the IT department and the administration, the classrooms were well equipped. We supplied fifteen iPads and fifteen laptops for the Grade levels Kindergarten and Grade1. The grades from two to four needed some softwares to be installed into their laptops and some classes needed projectors, cameras and headphones so we ordered them as well.

The second challenge was to level the teachers’ knowledge on integrating technology in their curriculum. With the assistance of the curriculum coordinator, being present in the grade level unit planning meetings, we integrated technology in their daily lesson plans. This took a lot of time and effort. But in the end every grade level had projects using technology in their units.

The third goal was to assist the teachers and students using technological tools in their classrooms. Some of the teachers were resistant using these tools due to their low self-esteem and lack of experience in integration. I started to run technology morning meetings with every week with a good amount of attendance. These sessions helped a lot of teacher to gain confidence and be compatible with new technologies. A good amount of them started their classroom blogs and documented student work and shared their classroom experience with their peers and the school community.

The last goal of mine was to improve my knowledge and experience in the field in order to be more helpful to the teachers and students. I was lucky that in the second week of November I attended a workshop run by Alan November (November, 2008). In this workshop we had discussions on web literacies and one to one integration in schools. As I had studied his teachings in my last course in Walden University, this workshop was a good supplement to my studies and gave me ideas to implement more creative projects in the classrooms.

To sum up, this course gave me insight on how to effectively integrate technology in the classrooms and ways to support teacher and student learning. I am still working on improving my GAME plan and goals. I believe as long as we have goals and plans for a better integration, the classrooms will serve better and more effective learning for the 21st century students we work with.

References:

NETS (2010). Standards for Global Learning in the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf

November, A. (2008). Web literacy for educators. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

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Using the GAME Plan Process with Students

As my classmate Tammy indicates in her blog post this week, the NETS standards are pretty similar when we try to compare them.They match each other perfectly. I list both standards below:

NETS-T NETS-S
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity 1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments 2. Communication and Collaboration
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning 3. Research and Information Fluency
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility 4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership 5. Digital Citizenship
6.Technology Operations and Concepts

When I look at these standards both students and teachers’ standards are complimenting each other. For example the students become more aware of the digital citizenship if the concept is modelled by their instructors.

In my GAME plan one of my goals was to model digital citizenship to other teachers as well as students. I think I made a big progress in my goal. At the end of first term, which was last week, another grade level agreed to run their class blogs when the school reconvenes. They have had a couple of projects integrating technology such as shooting some videos and recording some voice which led them thinking of sharing the student products with parents and community. With some encouragement from me and some other colleagues, they came familiar with the idea of blogging and they are eager to learn. In’t that amazing?

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