Technology That Guides Learning

Using technology in the classroom

Time Out! GAME Plan Progression September 26, 2012

I feel that sometimes working toward a goal is often harder than coming up with a goal in the first place. This week we have been asked to determine how we are doing with regards to progressing through our goals that we established two weeks ago.

My first goal includes being able to improve how I “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity” (ISTE, 2012). I have already begun planning a lesson that will allow me to offer my students an authentic way of learning and require them to really use some creativity. I have been using internet resources to find unique ways of introducing this lesson and keep my students engaged. It has really been fun finding all these resources that are so adaptable to my classroom. Even lessons that are originally made for pencil and paper format, I am able to tweak them to include technology. While I feel confident that my lesson will allow my students to show their creativity, I always have the question of “will they get it?” I am currently working on my template to make sure that everything is well planned out so my students have no questions about what is expected.

Secondly, my other goal for this year is to become more comfortable in “design[ing] and develop[ing] digital age learning experiences and assessments” (ISTE, 2012). I am trying to incorporate technology into my lessons whenever I can. So far, I have been able to use overhead projectors and laptops for word processing. One problem I am running into is that when I plan out my lessons, I generally do it one month at a time. I sign out laptop carts for the days that I think we’ll use them, but by the time we get to that point, I have been forced to push back other lessons due to necessary extended time. Since my school only has six laptop carts, it becomes difficult to ask for them a few days in advance. I need to remind myself to plan for more time on lessons to avoid this type of problem. On the other hand, in order to learn about new digital tools that I can use, I am in weekly contact with our school’s technology coordinator to learn of new tools that I can use in my classroom. Sometimes I ask her for a tool to use with a specific lesson or student and other times she will share new technology that she has read or attended a conference about.

Overall, I think my progress is going fairly smoothly and gradually. I have implemented what I can, and I have begun planning for what I see my students doing in the near future. I am very excited to introduce my students to these new lessons and technologies, and I hope that they embrace them as much as I have!

ISTE, I.S. (2012). Nets for Teachers. Retrieved September 12, 2012 from:
http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/nets-t-standards.pdf?sfvrsn=2

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21st Century Skills – How do we stack up? January 29, 2012

Filed under: Education,Technology — emilypartyka @ 8:52 pm
Tags: , ,

This week, I had the chance to explore the website Partnership for 21st Century Skills, also referred to as P21. As the home page of the website explains, “The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national  organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student.” The website is designed to give educators the tools and skills necessary to help students in the United States stay competitive with the innovation of technology among the world.

The following graph, which is P21’s framework, shows how the organization views 21st century teaching and learning with the support system to help our students obtain the skills needed to succeed in this innovative era.

To help myself understand what the framework actually means, I explored deeper into the website. I found an assessment that helped me to get an idea of where I personally thought our school district was with regards to implementing and understanding 21st century technology. At the end of the quick assessment, I learned that we are at the very infancy of what P21 considers to be successfully implementing these skills. I was certainly not surprised by the results, as our school district does not have the funds to invest in the technology that P21 feels is necessary.
Another section I stumbled upon was my own state’s initiative pertaining to P21. It showed that Ohio has taken a step toward training individuals in this particular framework. However, I have never heard of it before this assignment, so I think that more steps need to be made.
The last sections I found most beneficial were the 21st Century Skills Maps and the ICT Literacy Maps. I focused on English for both of these and found useful information on how to implement and promote 21st century skills. While the maps do not show all grades, they are all available for purchase through the website. I think having the chance to really be shown how to use different technologies and skills would be the most beneficial to me, rather than simply reading about them.
I am grateful to now have this resource in my repertoire. It helps me to see where I need to be, as well as what I have done to promote 21st Century readiness to my students.