Menlo-Inspired Project Management Board

Organization, Project Management, Tech Integration

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I am trying a new Menlo-inspired Project Management Board. I recently finished reading Joy, Inc. by Richard Sheridan (our autographed copy from the Ann Arbor Tech Trek last spring). I found a lot of parallels between the Menlo high tech anthropologist position and my role as a technology integration specialist. I have to remain in touch with the classroom and the needs of students and teachers (our end users/ clients) and also be able to translate their needs to our technology department to be able to design the best teaching and learning experience.

My new project management process involves carrying around index cards! Every time I get a new project, I will fill out an index card. I write down who the project is for, a title for the project, necessary steps for completion, approximate completion time estimate and the date that the project was created.

I then arrange my projects based off of my time estimates for completion and continue to move them appropriately throughout the week if needed. I note if a project takes more or less time than I anticipated. I am hoping that this will help me to more efficiently manage my time so that I can only take on the amount of projects that I am able to fit in the course of a week. It has already helped with being more realistic about the time frames of projects that I take on.

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CEP 813: Growth Plan for Tech Integration (Formative Assessment Design Version 1.0)

Assessment, Backwards Design, Formative Assessment, Tech Integration

This week I have been tasked with beginning a draft of a formative assessment that I can use in my work as a Technology Integrator. The link below outlines the purpose for the assessment and how it will inform my work with educators while relating it to effective instructional design including the principles of Backward Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. This assessment was also influenced by several coaching and leadership models introduced to me in a coaching training this week. I’m very excited about executing the concepts of Laura Lipton, Bruce Wellman, Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard.

Growth Plan for Tech Integration (Formative Assessment Design Version 1.0)

CEP 813: Critical Review: Conversation as Formative Assessment in Technology Integration

Assessment, Backwards Design, Formative Assessment, Tech Integration

This week I looked critically at an assessment genre that is typical of my context and discipline and applied it to my understandings of our readings on Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe as well as formative assessment to both explain and evaluate its validity. In the non-traditional role of technology integrator, I have identified formative feedback through conversation both digital and verbal as one of the most utilized assessments in my practice.

Critical Review: Conversation as Formative Assessment in Technology Integration

CEP 813: Annotated Assessment/Evaluation Exemplar

Assessment, Collaboration, Creativity, Learning Theory, MAET Year 3, Tech Integration

Assessment of Student Perceptions of 21st Century Learning

K-1Next-GenStudentSurvey-February2015-page-001The assessment that I have chosen to analyze was designed for Kindergarten and first grade students to self-assess their learning and learning environment in Saline Area Schools Next Generation classrooms. The Next Generation classrooms utilize 1:1 technology, flexible learning spaces and emphasize effective pedagogy with the development of 21st century skills. The assessment was designed and developed with feedback from the Next Generation classroom teachers, the Instructional Technology Director and myself. This assessment is a series of statements that were read aloud to students while they had a paper copy in front of them. They had to circle the smiley face if they thought that the statement applied to them most of the time, the straight line face if they thought that it sometimes applied to them and the sad face if they felt that the statement never applied to them. The assessment was anonymous in order to promote honesty and objectivity but which classroom each assessment hailed from was identified. The assessment was intended to be administered both mid-year and end of year.

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Purpose and Alignment to Professional Standards

The purpose of this assessment was to provide feedback to the Instructional Technology Director, teachers, students and the district about how Next Generation classrooms are incorporating 21st century skills particularly creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Standardized assessments do not measure the soft skills like creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication but we know that their development is crucial for students to be successful in the workplace and can potentially have impact on student achievement. In analyzing the data received from this learning environments assessment combined with data from standardized assessments, we could begin to present evidence of their impact on student achievement. It also was designed to allow students to reflect on their learning experiences in the unique learning setting and how it has impacted them as a student this year.

The assessment aligns with the ISTE Standards for Students and the Partnership for 21st Century Learning’s Framework for 21st Century Learning. The goal was to measure students’ perceptions of their opportunities to be creative, critically think, communicate, collaborate, the impact of their flexible learning environment and access to technology for learning. Because the assessment was anonymous, the results will provide feedback on class-wide and program-wide student perceptions on the impact of certain activities on their learning. The way the assessment is currently administered does not provide specific results for each student.

Intended Use

The assessment is formative in nature as “evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet student needs” (Black and Wiliam, 1998, p. 140). The data is compiled and analyzed and the Next Generation teachers meet individually with the Instructional Technology Director to discuss the results. The student data from this soft skills perception assessment is combined with standardized assessment student data to determine correlations particularly in analyzing achievement gaps and student growth. The discussion consists of reflection about positive correlations and highlights things that the teacher is doing well as evident in both sets of data and also addresses areas of improvement and what adjustments and changes that teacher might make to their learning environment and/or instruction to address those areas. The assessment is again administered at the end of the school year and the process is repeated. The information from this assessment combined with the other assessments created for the other grade levels of Next Generation classrooms and the standardized assessment data was also used to inform the Instructional Technology Director about current trends, areas of improvement and correlations between soft skills and academic achievement that are evidential support and data visualization for furthering the efforts of Next Generation programming within the district.

Assumptions Embedded within Assessment

In administering this assessment, we assumed that all students understood the prompts when they were read aloud and could match the written numbers with the spoken number prompt. We also assumed that students clearly understood the meaning of the smiley face, straight face and sad face and what they represented when they selected each. We assumed they could physically circle the response they chose. We assumed that each student would be honest when responding to the prompts. We also assumed that students would not be influenced by peers, the teacher or the assessment administrator when responding to the prompts. Finally, we assumed that this was an appropriate amount of prompts to gain enough information within an appropriate time-frame that did not extend past the attention span of the students.

Potential Challenges

This assessment could prove difficult for struggling readers as the students needed to have at the very least an ability to correlate what number was said to what was written on the paper. The assessment could definitely be challenging for ELL students as the prompts were written for a general education audience and did not include any picture supporting prompts to help with unfamiliar vocabulary in the statement portion. The smiley faces may also potentially be confusing to an ELL student as the cultural connotations may vary. This assessment also proved difficult for students because it was survey and responses were to be based on opinion and the students struggled with the idea that there was not a right and a wrong answer.

Implications for Assessment Re-design

This assessment echoes some of Lorrie Shepard’s suggested strategies for developing informative and useful assessments (2000, p. 10). It is on-going and administered at multiple points throughout the year, although it could also be administered at the beginning of the school year as a baseline and to provide transparency and set clear expectations for both teachers and students. This assessment provides insight into student perceptions that are used to provide feedback for the teacher. I think that in doing that we are gaining valuable information but we are also potentially overlooking the teacher’s perspective and prior knowledge. If the teacher identifies that they believe that they are really strong at allowing students to use technology to show what they know but the student responses show the opposite perception, being able to see and connect that data has the potential to lead to a more meaningful discussion and reflection on what the underlying cause of that is. A potential improvement could be to create a matching assessment that is designed to gauge teacher perceptions of their own teaching of this material. Currently, we are providing a self-assessment for students but not creating that same self-assessment piece for teachers.

References

Black, P. & Williams, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessments. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-144.

Casner-Lotto, J., & Barrington, L. (2006). Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century US Workforce. Partnership for 21st Century Skills. 1 Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2015). Standards for Students . Retrieved 31 May 2015, from http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-students

Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (2015). Framework for 21st Century Learning – P21. Retrieved 31 May 2015, from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4-14.

Three Little Pigs Creativity Project- Kindergarten & First Grade

Creativity, Innovation, MakerEd, STEM, Tech Integration, TPACK

Beginning with the framework that we used with fourth grade, we created a simplified and shortened version of the creativity project to use with our kindergarten and first grade Next Generation classrooms.

We did a quick think-pair-share retelling of the traditional Three Little Pigs story.

Then, we read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and talked about similarities and differences in the two versions of the story.

We discussed the strategies the three little pigs used to keep the pig out and then revealed their challenge. The students needed to design a house that would stand up to the big bad wolf. IMG_1355

Within the time constraints of an hour, we had students go through a brainstorming process and create a design either on paper or their iPads. Working collaboratively to create one unified design was more challenging for this group of younger students compared to fourth grade but after some questioning they developed strategies for creating a design. One group had everyone create their own design and then shared them and picked the best one. Another group took parts of everyone’s design to create one design. This was probably the most time consuming part.

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After their design was approved, the groups were given their materials to start building. We did give different materials to this group and gave them a base to put their structure on to help them develop sturdier structures.

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It was extremely interesting to see how the different groups created their structures. Some groups were very detail oriented- worried about chandeliers, signs, furniture and a yard. Other groups tested their structure by all blowing towards the structure at the same time to see if it would stay up.

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After about 20 minutes of work on their structure, we had each group come up and present their structure and tell us about why they did what they did. They had some well thought out reasoning! We then had the Big Bad Hairdryer come out and test the design to see if it would withstand the huff and puff.

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Finally, we self-reflected as a group using the K-2 BIE Creativity Rubric.

 

 

 

Three Little Pigs Engineering Design and Creativity Project

Creativity, Innovation, MakerEd, STEM, Tech Integration, TPACK

After our Creativity and Innovation professional development (Next Gen Teacher Academy) training, the tech team pushed into Next Generation classrooms before Winter Break to tackle some creativity projects.

In designing this creativity project learning experience, I used TPACK to create the most effective learning experience.

Pedagogy: First, I considered the pedagogy that would help stimulate and develop creativity. In project or problem based learning, students are solving a complex question or problem that does not necessarily have one correct answer so it really lends itself to thinking creatively to solve problems. It was important to consider other best practices such as Backwards Design, UDL, differentiation, scaffolding and inquiry based learning and they seemed to complement a project based learning approach to the creativity project.

Content: Next, I considered the content that would frame the creativity project. We pushed into Kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade classes for our creativity project so we needed content that could be adapted to be applicable to all grade levels. Making interdisciplinary connections, I settled on a STEM and literature project. I worked backwards to design essential questions for a fourth grade creativity project.

Big Questions: What is the Engineering Design Process?

How can you design a solution to a problem?

What strategies does a write use to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes?

How do folktales provide insight into other cultures and teach us lessons for our daily lives?

Objective: Students will engage in the steps of the creative process including defining the creative challenge, identify sources of information, idea generation and refinement, openness and courage to explore, working creatively with others, creative production and innovation and self-reflection.

Context: Next, I considered the context. We are pushing into Next Generation classrooms which have one to one iPads and flexible learning spaces. We also wanted to design a lesson that would adaptable to several grade levels.

Technology: Finally, after considering all of the above did I start to think about the ways in which technology could enhance the creativity lesson. The technology used for this lesson needed to provide a tool for collaboration, for publishing and sharing and also for engagement and creation.

The Three Little Pigs Engineering Creativity Project

Hook: To quickly engage students, we told them a little about how they would be using some engineering skills combined with a story they would be familiar with but that they would have to use some creativity as well. We showed The Three Little Pigs advertisement from The Guardian & discussed the different points of view within the video.

Retelling: We then moved into a retelling of the traditional Three Little Pigs story through a Think, Pair, Share. We found that there was some confusion so decided to just read the original folk tale aloud to clear up any misconceptions.

Then, we read aloud The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, the version of the story told from the point of view of the wolf.

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Compare and Contrast: We asked students to think about the different points of view found in the three different versions of the same story and had them discuss with partners. We then had them create Venn Diagrams on their iPads.

On Day 2 of the creativity project, we began to shift our thinking towards engineering and how that played a role in this story.IMG_1414

Ask (Define the Creative Challenge): Students were shared a Google Doc to begin to explore engineering and what an engineer does. They were provided with this What is Engineering? ThingLink to help them start to define their creative challenge.

Here is what the Google Doc looked like with the red text being the student feedback summarized:

We had a fantastic discussion while sharing out what we had learned during our exploration time.

Driving Question: We wrapped up this discussion on engineering by asking the students “If we were engineers designing a house, what is the potential real world problem we would be trying to solve in our design?”.

Students determined that they were trying to design a structure that could withstand strong winds from hurricanes or tornadoes and thus designed their driving question for this project.

Imagine & Plan (Identify Sources of Information/ Idea Generation & Refinement):

Now we introduced the groups and materials to the students. Each group had a bag of materials that they were able to use to create their structure. They were also provided with a ThingLink with resources  on wind power, architecture & engineering that they could explore if they chose.

Groups had to brainstorm and create a general design either on paper or iPad and be able to explain it to one of the teachers in the room. If the design was approved, the group received their building materials and could begin building their structure. If their design was not approved, they had to make changes using the teacher’s suggestions before the group could begin.

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Create (Creative Production & Innovation, Working Creatively with Others, Openness & Courage to Explore):

Students worked very hard creating their house the first day.

However, on day two of building we introduced some constraints in order to really stimulate some creativity and create some roadblocks that had to be overcome. First, we introduced the Pig Depot. Each group now had a budget and had to purchase the supplies that it was using to create their house from the Pig Depot adding some layers of math that had to be considered.

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When the groups were reading, they   could test their structure using the Big Bad Hairdryer. If their structure did not stand up to the Big Bad hairdryer, they needed to make improvements.

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Finally, we introduced the bigger badder fan that students had two chances to try and get their structure to stand up to.

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 Self-Reflection: After all groups had tested twice on the bigger badder fan, they had to reflect as a group and individually using the Saline Area Schools creativity rubric that incorporates the Buck Institute for Education Project Based Learning Creativity Rubrics and the EdLeader21 Creativity Rubrics. Each group presented their house design, whether or not it stood up to the bigger badder fan, their successes and failures throughout the process, what they would do differently and how they worked as a team.

The feedback that I got from the fourth grade teachers was that they were really excited about how the project engaged and hooked some of their normally disengaged students and how the students seemed to gain a recognition of how valuable collaboration was for solving a complex problem. The students made tons of cross-curricular connections and all developed unique structures with supporting rationale. We then took this activity and adapted it for our Kindergarten and first grade classrooms.

Using Technology to Support Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism, MAET Year 1, Tech Integration, Tech Tools

Autism Spectrum Disorders & Implications for

Learning with Technology

http://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/8588684441/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/8588684441/

With a relatively light background in special education, I am always trying to learn more effective ways to support all of my students in the classroom. Given the freedom to choose a topic, my immediate inclination due to its prevalence and variety was to pursue more information on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Definition

The Autism Science Foundation (2013) define autism as “developmental disabilities that cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with ASDs also have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, and reacting to different sensations. The thinking and learning abilities of people with ASDs can vary—from gifted to severely challenged. An ASD begins before the age of 3 and lasts throughout a person’s life.” This great variance in the spectrum has made it challenging for me as a teacher to grasp how to reach, react and support students with ASD.

Causes

The causes for ASDs are still being researched. So far there is “no known cure” and “no single factor that’s been identified as the cause” (Whelan, 2009, p. 31). For a while it was widely believed that vaccines were an environmental cause to ASDs but “after a tremendous amount of research, scientists have concluded that vaccines do not cause autism” (Autism Science Foundation, 2013). Because the causes of ASD involve such a a complex system,  the brain, it is difficult to pinpoint exact causes. Scientists have found several gene mutations which lead to a predisposition for ASDs usually combined with some environmental or external factor (Autism Speaks Inc., 2013). There is treatment such as therapy and medications available for ASDs and scientists agree that early intervention leads to significant improvement in skills (Autism Science Foundation, 2013).

Implications for Learning

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We have students in our mainstream classroom already diagnosed with ASDs and on specific behavior or treatment plans. However, especially in an early elementary setting, we are also teaching students who may be on the spectrum but have never been diagnosed for a myriad of reasons. Above is an image of some of the more commonly seen behaviors amongst students with ASD.

As Whelan (2009) states, because there are so many unique qualities to each child, “there is no one-size fits all approach to supporting children with autism”(p.34). However, much research supports that technology has created new opportunities that were not previously possible for students, teachers and families affected by ASD. It is also a common conclusion that many people with ASD feel more comfortable interacting with technology than another human being (Autism Speaks, 2013). Currently, the Autism Speaks organization is sponsoring an initiative called “Hacking Autism” stemming from the Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative. The organization put out this documentary describing the immense impact technology has had in breaking down barriers for children with autism. I found it a very touching description.

After watching I Just Want to Say , I was struck by the impact of the invention of touch screen monitors versus a regular computer and keyboard for children with ASD. Tablets, touch screen monitors, iPods and smart phones with their ability to be controlled with one action and simplicity in design open completely new worlds for these students. Dr. Temple Grandin has a list of recommendations for teaching students with autism and specifically refers to them as being “visual thinkers” and having a need for structure (Grandin, 2002). Technology has afforded us with the ability to make visual thinking and structure for those students a possibility every day. For example in a study by Carlile, Reeve, Reeve, & DeBar (2013), autistic students used an iPod as an avenue to schedule their leisure time through structured pictures. The potential to develop skills that were not possible before has led to a boom in ideas of how technology can help autistic children. The following is just a short summary of the variety of ways technology is helping address the social interaction, communication and behaviors and interests in people with ASD.

Technology Tools:

List of Autism Apps– Autism Speaks

This website has a list of over 200 Autism related applications for tablets. It is separated into categories like communication, social skills, recreation, ect. This is a great resources for teachers who have access to tablets in the classroom.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-apps

Robots (Social & Communication Skills)

Many times, people with ASD are described as robotic so why is interacting with robots making such break throughs in communication and social skills? Many people with ASD have difficulty interpreting social situations and facial cues. Simple robots like the Keepon, Bandit and NAO, have very few and simple emotional cues to interpret and therefore are less intimidating to interact with than a human being for a person with autism (Autism Speaks, 2013). Following are several examples as to how robots are being used for developing social and communication skills in people with ASD:

Autism & Robots Special on The Today Show:

http://www.today.com/video/today/50007872#50007872

There are many technology tools being used in the classroom to assist students with ASD.
At the Learning Technologies for Autism website, there are specific links with assistive technology for each skill that may need developing in those affected by Autism. Some of my favorites that I found at this website were Vsked a visual scheduling tool and Vizzle a software that helps teachers create evidence-based interactive visual lessons that correlate and track IEP and curriculum goals.

Learning Technologies for Autism Site

References

Autism Science Foundation. (2013). Autism Science Foundation. Retrieved from http://autismsciencefoundation.org/

Autism Speaks Inc.(2013). Autism Speaks. Retrieved from http://www.autismspeaks.org/

Autism Speaks Inc. (2013, February 26). I Just Want to Say [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/Iu3c8fqBQcA

Boser, K. (n.d.) Learning Technologies for Autism Site. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/autismtechnology/

Carlile, K. A., Reeve, S. A., Reeve, K. F., & DeBar, R. M. (2013, May). Using activity schedules on the iPod touch to teach leisure skills to children with autism. Education & Treatment of Children, 36(2), 33+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA335190146&v=2.1&u=msu_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, March 29). Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/autism/facts.html

Gifford, T. (2013, April 25). A Story of Robots and Autism. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/nwJsxLOilcc

Grandin, T.  (2002, December). Teaching ASD Children and Adults. Retrieved from http://www.autism.com/index.php/advocacy_grandin_teaching

Schilling, D., & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). Alternative Seating for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Effects on Classroom Behavior. Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 34(4), 423-432.

V., W. W. (2012). iPads & Autism. Technology & Learning, 32(7), 28.

Whelan, D. L. (2009, August). The equal opportunity disorder: autism is on the rise, and it can affect any family. Here’s what you need to know. School Library Journal, 55(8), 30+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA205566146&v=2.1&u=msu_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

Technology Integration Survey

MAET Year 1, Tech Integration

I sent out the following survey to my colleagues about a week ago. Unfortunately, I was not able to get everyone’s summer contact information in time for this posting so I would say I got a sampling of about one quarter of our school staff in my responses. I plan to give everyone longer to respond so I can at least get a sampling of about half of the school staff when I present the findings to my colleagues in the fall.

To be honest, I had planned on sending a survey out to my colleagues without the prompting of this assignment sometime before school began. We do not have a designated Educational Technology coordinator in my K-8 building  and have been implementing technology in a way that is coming from all sorts of different directions and sources perhaps lacking a unified vision because there is no one person to lead the way who is particularly focused on technology. I have been interested in jumping into the role of managing and helping to lead our technology integration efforts across the building. We have such a vast array of teaching styles, available technology, technology comfort levels and student needs that although we have many interested and motivated teachers, we struggle as a building to implement technology as a connected community and sometimes lack the realization that technology, pedagogy and content knowledge are interconnected.

My first question in my survey addressed how teachers are currently using technology in the classroom. Here is a summary of the responses:

forwhatpurposesThe other options were listed as: Math Practice & Accelerated Reader

This data shows that the most common purpose for using technology in the classroom is as a presentation tool or visual aide. This proves that teachers are comfortable using PowerPoints, other presentation tools and websites to visually support, organize and analyze new concepts for students. This is positive finding as Universal Design for Learning stresses the importance of allowing for multi-modal representations of information for learning and using technology as a form of visually displaying information does just that. The second highest data points regarding technology classroom use are as a research tool, for differentiation and for informal assessment.  The data points that currently show no teacher use are using technology as an accessibility tool, note taking tool, flipped learning and formal assessment.

My second question addressed the issue of how do we implement technology more effectively in our school:

The response was overwhelming and it was to be expected in my opinion. Last year, we were thrown many different technologies with unique purposes, some required and expected, some suggested, some optional. I was very curious to find out what my colleagues thought. In response to this push for technology use, the trend teachers expressed was there needs to be a focus on one or two relevant technologies and that there needs to be ongoing training on those technologies. Along with this there needs to be explicit explanation as to exactly WHY the tool is valuable and how it can be tied with pedagogy and content to enhance learning and increase twenty first century skills. Teachers expressed frustration with the one and done trainings on technology tools that may or may not have been relevant to what or how they teach.

The third question related to the second and asked specifically what kinds of tangible courses of action could we take to improve technology integration for teachers:

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Obviously there were many concerns about how we could be implementing technology more effectively in our school environment. We could sit and talk back and forth all year about the best way to integrate technology but actually accomplish nothing so for this question, I chose to have my colleagues pick something tangible that we can actually begin starting this fall. The overwhelming choice was something that I had heard my Twitter PLN discuss before, offering Tech Tuesdays before or after school where teachers vote on a technology tool each month that they would like to focus on and there is a learn, explore, create portion of the workshop where teachers have sessions once a week to play with the tool, troubleshoot and ask questions. It allows teachers who understand or are already familiar with the tech tool to attend the first session as learners and maybe attend the other sessions as mentors to teachers who are still learning and becoming familiar with the tool. Since we have not had very many collaboration opportunities related to technology tools, I think this plan of action might help teachers discover the value in working together on technology integration. My hope would be that it would eventually help to spur more collaborative efforts on other technology tools within content area groups or grade levels without the needing the formalities of “training sessions”.

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If we are going to find creative solutions to technology integration, we are more likely to do it together than separately. No room for silos.
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Tech Tuesdays is something with my administration’s blessing and hopefully a few willing colleagues, I would like to begin in August. I think it will address many of our staff’s concerns about tech tool relevancy (they choose the topic and you do not need to go if it is not relevant to you) and time to master the tool (month long sessions).

The second highest response was attending technology conferences. This is an interesting response because we are blessed enough at our school to be able to! This year we had six teachers attend the MACUL conference and all teachers that attended were inspired in all sorts of ways to incorporate technology into their classes. Maybe an implication for next year is that we ask that one representative from each grade level attend MACUL and share out what they learned with their colleagues.

The last question addressed in this survey was asking about specific technology tools that teachers would like to receive training on:

As K-3 teachers are receiving 5-6 iPad minis for their literacy centers this year, they have obviously expressed an interest in being trained in how to use this new technology and applicable apps for use in the classroom. However, this particular question was lacking in results otherwise. Only one specific technology tool (Mimeo Board) was actually listed but it was suggested in the results that teachers are not really aware of what is available for them to use and how it is relevant to their students learning.  Also, teachers expressed concern that the technology tools that they receive training on must be actually available to use in their classroom. For example, I know in my own experience, in certain parts of the building, wireless connectivity is slower or nonexistent. This results in some classrooms being able to easily use certain technologies and others attempting to use the same thing but are unable or it is not worth the effort to try to get it to work. If we are going meaningfully incorporate technology use, we must have the technical strategy and infrastructure to support it.

Although it was low on the response list, I still think it would be a great idea to compile a collaborative website of annotated technology tools that we can share amongst ourselves. It might take a while to catch on, but I find that if the resources are there for me and the correlations to my content or application to my classroom have already been made, I am much more motivated to try it out. I know that my colleagues share my concern of a general lack of time as a teacher and if there is a compiled list of resources out there it will eliminate some of the frustration of finding the time to sort through the seemingly endless amount of tech tools available.

I think sharing the findings from this survey will lead to some changes for more effective technology integration at our school. I am excited to share and take action with new solutions to get more of our teachers preparing our students with the twenty first century skills they will need for their future.