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 Even lessons that are originally made for pencil and paper format, I am able to tweak them to include technology.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:


GAME On: Carrying Out My GAME Plan September 19, 2012

As I begin the process of breaking down my GAME plan into smaller chunks, I need to determine the resources and additional information that I need in order to carry out the plan. As I stated in my previous post, I want to be able to improve on assisting and encouraging my students’ creativity as well as constructing and developing digital lessons and activities.

In order to find success in my goals, I will need access to specific information and technology tools. In cultivating creativity among my students, I need to become more familiar and comfortable with technology tools that will allow my students to express themselves via audio, video, and project presentation software. I am familiar with programs such as VoiceThread, iVideo, and powerpoint, but I think that a visit to our school’s technology coordinator would be a great way to learn new types of technology and to also become more accustomed to using the tools I already know.

Constructing and developing digital lessons will also lead me to using our technology coordinator, but I also think that researching this type of planning will also lead me to a variety of ideas from different teachers. Subscribing to blogs is a definite way to stay on top of new ideas and discover how others have implemented their digital lessons into the classroom.

In addition to finding my resources, I also need to determine what my students are capable of with these different technologies and how comfortable they are with learning new tools. In my Resource classes, it is much easier to learn this information because I have about ten students per period. I have also had several of the students before, so I know what they are capable of doing. My Inclusion classes will be more challenging due to the numbers and my unfamiliarity with them. Through class discussions and observations, I think that I will find out any restrictions in due time. Plus, having a co-teacher will absolutely aid in attempting to teach the new technologies that we incorporate. In the first five weeks of school, I have already begun the process of learning what my students are capable of doing. I hope to discover even more as we begin implementing more of these tools.



Flipping Your Classroom February 26, 2012

Every Wednesday during the school year our district participates in “Late Start Wednesdays”. This gives the district, and each individual school, a chance to discuss the current happenings, review testing data, or learn a new tool. This past Wednesday we had a colleague (Kathy) present to us all the new tools and gadgets she learned about at a recent eTech conference. While she mentioned several fun and innovative tools to use in the classroom, she also mentioned the idea of “flipping your classroom”. When I first saw this projected on the board, I thought to myself, oh, she must mean when you only use technology in the classroom and get rid of paper and pencils. I was excited to hear what she had to say because my recent Walden University class had mentioned this theory, and I am interested in working on this in the future. However, my assumptions were a little off.

What our colleague explained to us is that by flipping your classroom, you flip your instruction and homework. Kathy gave us the example of when the student is in the classroom, and the teacher is going over how to do a problem, the student thinks he understands it. But once he gets home to do the assigned homework, he all of the sudden has no idea how to do it anymore. By flipping your classroom, you assign your instruction (reading a chapter, reviewing a formula) to be done at home. Kathy even suggested assigning this work on a classroom Moodle (I’m still a little new to this web tool). The students can access the chapter needed to complete the instruction, then take that knowledge into the classroom the next day. Since the instruction was completed at home, the time spent in class is used to actually apply the new material. Rather than struggling to complete the assignment at home with no support, the students now apply their learning to the work done in the classroom. I think this concept could make the learning much more meaningful and certainly less stressfull to students and teachers alike.

My only questions is, if I can’t get a student to do homework now, then how do I assign instruction to be done at home? If my students don’t buy into the flipping, then the classroom remains like it was before. I’d love to hear suggestions on how to make this more of a reality.

I realize this isn’t necessarily a technology-that-guides-learning type of post, but it is an innovative way to structure a classroom. Plus, technology tools can definitely be incorporated to make it more technology-friendly.

I already mentioned using Moodle to assign work, but can you think of other tools that could make this classroom flipping more realistic?

(I thought the post needed more color. Thanks, Google Images!)