My action research plan was to improve technology in the classroom while enhancing student learning. The various steps to complete the plan enabled me to work closely with campus administrators, technology coordinators, and classroom teachers. Through the action research I was able to identify a problem area that needed to improve in order to help classroom teachers meet state technology standards; and I was able to help develop and implement various technology trainings that enabled teachers to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively utilize and integrate technology in their daily lessons. I worked on my action research from October 2012 through May 2013, the project’s allotted time provided me with ample time to evaluate, implement, and modify the project’s ultimate goals. The surveys, walkthroughs, pre and post evaluations, professional development trainings, and the ongoing collaboration of all participants were vital for the project to be successful. Serving as a technology facilitator also allowed me to assist teachers during classroom instruction to help them during the technology integration part of their lessons; I was also able to provide them with useful applications and site suggestions that they could easily align into their daily objectives. By the culmination of the action research, teachers and students were more comfortable and knowledgeable of the unlimited ways they could utilize the available devices and applications. Students with different learning abilities were able to participate and collaborate in group activities with less teacher guidance and teacher were also able to observe their students learn in a less traditional manner.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
This course has given me the opportunity to truly understand what a group leader is and how it can help me improve myself as an individual. Since week 1 I decided to take the risk and create the first requirements for the class, a Google Doc and a Google Site; I was not sure if I was doing either one correctly but with the helpful resources that were included in our weekly assignments and the unlimited amount of how-to online videos available I was able to successfully create both. My group was composed of five diverse, dedicated, and knowledgeable individuals; each of us had different teaching backgrounds from elementary to technical college level. I believe that our unique experiences and levels of expertise were the foundation to our group project. Since most of my teammates had more experience working with high school level students we decided to focus our project on high school Anatomy and Physiology. I was personally afraid of completing this task, I did not feel well-versed in this area and I was afraid of disappointing my team, fortunately my team mates were very understanding and helpful. I feel that this project gave me the opportunity to see how sometimes leaders/administrators need to give others the opportunity to teach them. I was able to play two roles during the five week course in some occasions I was a leader guiding and organizing my teammates through the weekly assignments and on many other occasions I was been taught and guided by them. This course help me understand that true leaders need to give their staff the opportunity to become mentors and leaders, I truly believe that this can only make schools more effective. The weekly reading and videos provided me with many useful resources to integrate into my daily lesson; the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) site and the UDL eBooks site are both extremely useful resources for any classroom, both are easily accessible and anyone can use them. Teachers can develop lessons to accommodate every learner in their classroom; they can definitely create simple and useful eBooks for their diverse students. I felt that the UDL eBooks were so simple to create that teachers could easily assign students to create their own unique eBooks to assess their learning in any given subject area.
Cast.org (2009). Model UDL lessons. Center for Applied Special Technology. Retrieved from http://udlselfcheck.cast.org/
Cast.org (2009). Cast UDL book builder. Center for Applied Special Technology. Retrieved from http://bookbuilder.cast.org
Google Docs in Plain English, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA
Creating a Google site, YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwrf_koGSJk or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1B_q_EiVHI&feature=PlayList&p=DCE07F20A6117BC0&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=6 .
Edit a Google site or add pages, YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW3OElLssgE&feature=PlayList&p=DCE07F20A6117BC0&index=7; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKXFDdwLLgA&feature=PlayList&p=DCE07F20A6117BC0&index=8
Share a Google site, YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDxXWf4OXzU&feature=PlayList&p=DCE07F20A6117BC0&index=9
In this week’s readings and videos I learned two very important quotes; the first quote, “Effort is the wisest choice for someone who intends to achieve success or maintain it, as it is the only one within an individual’s control,” was very meaningful because I believe that when we try our very best in everything we do the results are accompanied by success. Our students need to understand that their effort does improve their achievement; if they do not place sufficient effort into the assigned task the results will not be as good as they expected. The second quote “success comes in cans; failure in can’ts,” I felt that it was very significant because our students need to understand that their willingness to accomplish a task will ultimately give them the satisfaction of been successful. Students need to be reassured that they can accomplish things on their own; they should be encouraged to stay motivated and not to get discouraged when facing difficult situations. Students need to understand that they can overcome any obstacle if they don’t give up and try their best.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 155-164.
Friday, March 22, 2013
“As Thomas Friedman notes in The World Is Flat (2005), we are living in a time when learning and innovation are increasingly global. To be prepared for the fast-paced, virtual workplace that they will inherit, today’s students need to be able to learn and produce cooperatively.” I feel that this quote is significant because students should learn at an early age that it is imperative to have the ability to communicate and work collaboratively with a group of people in order to succeed in today’s workforce. Teachers should instill this trait in their students, it will not only allow them to work more efficiently while in school, but it will also be a necessary when they embark in any given profession. We need to prepare students for today’s ever changing workforce, we should not focus only on getting students prepared for the upcoming six weeks test, semester, end of course test or state standardized test, we should focus on preparing our students for their future as productive working citizens.
Citation: Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 139-154.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Creating a lesson following the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) template was an extremely helpful learning experience. Before using the template, I created my lesson on Bones, Muscles, and Joints using the CAST UDL Lesson Builder site, it guided me through the creation of my lessons. I really enjoyed creating the lesson on the site, because it provided me with more information and specific examples of the different elements that needed to be incorporated in the lesson. Using the program was very simple; I just had to follow the steps and input information in each of the spaces provided. I was able to incorporate multiple ways for students to acquire new knowledge, by participating in class discussions, viewing a video, working collaboratively to search the web, create and present a PowerPoint presentation, and practice their knowledge on the topic by using an interactive site and a practice quiz site. I also included various ways for students to express what they learned, they were given the opportunity to participate in two class discussions, work collaboratively in a group, create and present a PowerPoint presentation, and complete an online practice quiz that required students to write their answers on paper then conduct a self-check by looking at the site’s answer bank. The lesson included multiple ways of engaging, the class discussions and video helped activate students prior knowledge, utilizing an actual skeleton model to locate and describe bone functions, gave students the opportunity to make more meaningful connections. The various lesson activities offer students different opportunities to demonstrate their skills, learn and reinforce what they know about the names, locations, and functions of the different bones, muscles, and joints in the human body. The different web base activities also provide students with the opportunity to work independently and practice without been timed or judged for their knowledge.