Reflection: Final Blog Post

As I reflect on my GAME plan to create authentic learning experiences that meet students’ diverse learning styles and needs, I am able to recognize an area that I have improved as a professional.  An area that I have improved in is reaching out to other professionals for help.  Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer (2009) stated that the GAME plan forces teachers to be self-directed learners as they think about what they need to do in order to integrate technology into instruction.  As I focused on my GAME plan, I realized that the best way for me to create authentic learning experiences that also meets students’ diverse learning needs was to ask for help from my colleagues.  I was absolutely amazed with how many ideas I was able to gain from my collaboration with my colleagues.  The ideas I gained helped me integrate technology into an authentic lesson about animal habitats with several different strategies for meeting the students’ diverse learning styles.

The impact the GAME plan is going to have on my instructional practice is that I will be more willing to collaborate with colleagues for ideas on how to integrate technology into my instruction.  This collaboration is going to help me continue to develop confidence as I incorporate technology into teaching content.  Peggy Ertmer (Laureate Education, 2009a) explained that teachers who integrate technology must have confidence and a supportive culture in order to be effective.  In the past, I have integrated technology into my instruction without help from colleagues.  Besides a few adjustments, the majority of these lessons proved to be successful.  However, I still often approached technology integration into curriculum with hesitation because I lacked confidence.  My collaboration with my grade-level team, instructional coach, and district librarians helped me realize how much support I have for technology integration, which aided me in building my confidence.

Based on my progress from the GAME plan, I want to revise my GAME plan to focus more on classroom management of technology integration.  I now have some great ideas for creating authentic lessons using technology and for meeting students’ diverse needs, but I need to improve on time management.  I am able to provide extension activities for students who finish early and allow these students to be helpers for other students who need more guidance.  However, I am finding that the projects I do with my lower level students often require more time than I allot.  I want to focus GAME plan on finding ways to help my lower level students complete the assignments in the time I provide them.  This might include creating alternative activities for these students or creating a small group.

I think students would benefit tremendously from having their own GAME plan.  One way I would like to do this is by utilizing the class blog.  I want students to set a personal goal of improvement in their work over time.  Katherine Cennamo (Laureate Education, 2009b) stated that students are self-directed learners as they use digital portfolios to monitor progress over time.  By allowing students to post work throughout the year and monitor their progress using the GAME plan they set for themselves, they are more likely to make improvements in the work they post to their portfolio.

Immediate adjustments I am going to make to my instructional practice regarding technology integration in my content area as a result of learning from this course are to seek more opportunities to integrate technology into my instruction.  In my weekly Professional Learning Community (PLC), I am going to add problem-based technology integration into the agenda.  The purpose of doing this is to collaborate with my team and focus on integrating technology into at least one content area a month.  I would like to aim towards having students create at least one digital story a month to share with the class on the blog.  Students’ posts to the blog will support them in sharing projects about content they have learned as well as improve their reading fluency.  Arnie Abrams (Laureate Education, 2009c) explained that student creation of digital stories aids them in improving reading skills.  By having students create digital stories and post them to the blog, they will monitor their own reading skills as well as their peers’ as they leave comments.

References:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009a). Integrating technology across the content areas: Enriching content area learning experiences with technology, part 1. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009b). Integrating technology across the content areas: Promoting self-directed learning with technology. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009c). Integrating technology across the content areas: Spotlight on technology: Digital storytelling, part 2. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 

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Monitoring Your GAME Plan Progress

My GAME plan is focused on creating authentic learning experiences that allow students to explore their interests and creating diverse learning experiences that meet students’ different learning styles and needs.  Last week I identified what actions I have already taken to meet my goals and what resources and information I still need to achieve my goals.  Although, I have a good start on reaching my goals, I found there are resources available to help me find more information for achieving my goals.

The resources I have taken advantage of as I work towards reaching my goals are the district librarians, my grade level colleagues, and my instructional coach.  I discussed my goals for creating authentic instruction and meeting students’ diverse learning needs.  They agreed to work with me to create an authentic science lesson that integrates technology and writing.  In this unit, students will learn about the different animal habitats and then research information about different animals.  After completing their research, students will use an organizer to write down why an animal could or could not survive in a certain habitat.  Once students complete their organizers, they will turn their learning into a narrative book using the Book Creator application where an animal tells about its habitat.  Computer applications are mindtools that support students in sharing what they have learned in a unique way (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).  The Book Creator application will enable students to use an iPad as a mindtool to share their new knowledge.

In this lesson, they have also helped me in developing ideas to meet the diverse learning needs of students.  When teachers are flexible in using instructional strategies, resources, and assessments, the diverse learning needs of students are more likely to be met, which can lead to better understanding of content (Cennamo et al., 2009).  In my collaboration with my colleagues, we decided that it would be a good idea to focus on creating different learning activities that would activate Gardner’s multiple intelligences.  As we introduce the habitats, we will use images, videos, and a song about habitats to support the musical and visual learners.  Students will also be allowed to work in partners as they work on the project.  Working in pairs will support the linguistic and interpersonal learners.  Students will also use an organizer and a Book Creator application to create their books, which will support students’ logical and kinesthetic intelligences.

From working with my colleagues on my GAME plan, I have learned several ideas for creating authentic instruction that meets the diverse learning needs of students.  I have also learned strategies for integrating technology throughout a lesson.  I have realized that I might need more help with classroom management as I implement authentic learning experiences with technology.  For example, I need to create procedures for situations when more than one student has a question and I am busy working with another student.  Cennamo et al. (2009) suggested that students should ask neighbor peers for help or teachers can assign technology leaders to support other students.  A question I still need more information about is how to effectively manage time for authentic learning experiences.  I know that if I can fine tune my classroom management skills for these types of learning experiences, I will enjoy teaching them more and my students will increase their learning from them.

 

References:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

For my personal GAME plan I have set two goals that align with The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for Teachers. My first goal is to develop authentic learning experiences that allow students to explore their interests, and the second goal is to design learning experiences that meet diverse students’ learning styles and needs. I have already taken several steps in my classroom to aid me in accomplishing my goals, which include creating a class blog, gaining access to technology, and purchasing applications to support authentic learning experiences. To effectively carry out my GAME plan, it is important to identify the specific steps I have already taken to reach my goals and what information and resources I still need.

One step I have already taken to help me in reaching my goals is creating a class blog. A class blog supports an authentic learning environment because it provides a way for students to share their work with people in and outside of the classroom. By sharing work with others, students can engage in real conversations about the content they are learning. A class blog is also beneficial in supporting the diverse learning needs of students. A class blog can serve as a tool to share learning for the day (Laureate Education, 2009a). By posting instructional information to a class blog, students are able to review what they have learned. Communication tools allow students to express their ideas at a pace that is comfortable to them (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009). A blog also supports students’ diverse learning needs because it supports students who struggle with expressing their learning, such as English Language Learners (ELLs), by providing them with an alternative way to communicate.

Other steps I have taken that will help me in reaching my goals in my GAME plan are gaining access to classroom technology and purchasing applications that support project-based learning. In my classroom, I have access to 12 classroom iPads funded by a school priority grant. These iPads make it possible for students to work in cooperative learning groups of two on one iPad. Students can use technology as a toolkit to share their learning (Laureate Education, 2009b). With the iPads and applications I have purchased, such as Book Creator, Haiku Deck, and Educreations, students can present their knowledge in project-based learning activities.

There are still resources and information I need to accomplish my goals. One resource I plan on taking advantage of is the district librarians. In my school district, there are district librarians available to aid teachers in teaching content with the integration of technology. With their help, I can increase my knowledge of ways to create authentic learning experiences with technology. I also plan on using my colleagues and my instructional coach as a resource as I work on my goals. My colleagues will serve as a good resource because they can share information about what they have done in their classroom to meet the needs of diverse learners. My instructional coach will also be a great resource because she can help me access information about other iPad applications that will support authentic learning experiences as well as the diverse learners in my classroom.

References:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009a). Integrating technology across the content areas: Meeting students’ needs with technology, part 1. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009b). Integrating technology across the content areas: Meeting students’ needs with technology, part 2. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Developing My Personal GAME Plan

Teachers should constantly set goals and make plans to improve their instruction.  Technology is becoming an increasingly important tool for enriching instruction in the classroom.  In order for educators to effectively prepare today’s students for the future, they need to become self-directed learners and set goals to integrate technology into instruction.  Teachers can set learning goals for integrating technology into their classroom using the GAME plan.  The GAME plan supports teachers as they engage in lifelong learning through goal setting and improving important skills (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).  To increase my technology integration skills, I will use the GAME plan to set goals for designing and developing 21st-century learning experiences.

The goals I want to set for myself align with standard two, indicators b and c from The International Society For Technology in Education (ISTE) for teachers.  This standard encourages teachers to design authentic learning experiences using different technology tools in order to increase student learning (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008).  In order to set goals to improve instruction using the GAME plan, teachers should ask themselves what they already know in order to develop a strategy for meeting their goals (Cennamo et al., 2009).  I already know that it is important to provide students with meaningful learning experiences that meet each student’s diverse learning needs.  Based on what I already know about this standard, I can create my personal learning goals.  My first goal is to improve in developing authentic lessons that allow students to explore their interests related to content.  My next goal is to create learning experiences that address students’ different learning styles and needs.

After setting goals, it is important to take action steps to achieve them.  In the GAME plan, teachers are responsible for developing and creating experiences that will aid them in reaching learning goals (Cennamo et al., 2009).  The first action I will take as I work towards reaching these goals is to design authentic learning experiences that support instruction of content with the integration of technology.  The next action I will take is to identify the diverse learning needs of my students based on their interests and learning styles.  The final action I will take is to research strategies for meeting students’ diverse learning needs with technology.

Teachers should monitor their progress as they work towards achieving their goals.  Journals are an effective tool for documenting learning progress (Laureate Education, 2009).  I will monitor the progress I make in reaching my goals by keeping a reflective journal.  In the journal, I will reflect on the authentic learning experiences I implement and the effectiveness of those lessons in supporting content instruction.  I will also reflect on the success of differentiation strategies I incorporate into lessons in supporting students’ diverse learning needs.  These reflections will serve as a reminder of successes and areas needing improvement in my journey to improve in teaching with technology.

The last step of the GAME plan is to evaluate the successes I have in achieving learning goals.  It is imperative to evaluate the achievement of learning goals because it enables teachers to identify effective methods and resources for future instruction (Cennamo et al., 2009).  I will evaluate my learning goals by reviewing my reflective journals and noting which strategies were successful and which strategies need improvement.  Based on this information, I will continue to set new learning goals to continue my growth as an educator in meeting the ISTE Teacher Standards.

References:

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas: Promoting self-directed learning with technology. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

Students gain a deeper understanding of content when they actively engage in what they are learning. To increase student participation in the learning process, teachers can incorporate the social learning theory into their classroom practice. The social learning theory engages students in discussions with their peers to create an artifact (Laureate Education, n.d.b). There are several instructional strategies that promote successful student collaboration. The integration of technology tools improves the quality of conversations students have about their learning. Educators enhance the social learning theory using cooperative learning instructional strategies along with social networking and collaboration technology tools.

One instructional strategy that relates to the social learning theory is cooperative learning. In a cooperative learning environment, students reflect on what they learn and develop a shared understanding of a topic by engaging in conversations with others (Pitler, Hubbel, & Kuhn, 2012). Teachers can promote successful cooperative learning environments by placing students in groups according to student interests, skills, or backgrounds. One cooperative learning group I like to use in my classroom is Jigsaw. In a jigsaw group, individuals explore a part of the topic and later come together to share their learning with other group members (Orey, 2001). This type of group aids students in gaining a deeper understanding of the material as they explore and teach about a topic.

Teachers can also use technology to support the social learning theory. Some social networking and collaboration tools teachers can utilize to increase student conversations and successful constructions of artifacts are blogs, Wikis, and VoiceThread. Blogs and Wikis are tools students can use to present and discuss ideas as they work together (Pitler et al., 2012). A VoiceThread is a virtual photo album that allows students to interact with visuals through text, video, audio, and phone comments (Laureate Education, n.d.c). Student sharing of artifacts is made easier with this technology. These tools also support the connectivism learning theory. Connectivism defines learning as creating networks of information (Laureate Education, n.d.a). With these collaboration technology tools, student conversations and learning can expand beyond the walls of the classroom.

Students’ learning increases when they have the opportunity to engage in conversations about the material. The social learning theory promotes student discussion to create a product. The cooperative learning instructional strategy offers a variety of grouping variations to encourage effective student collaboration. To increase conversations and share student work, the use of social networking and collaboration tools improves the social learning theory. Teachers who use this theory in their classroom increase student motivation and provide students with opportunities to practice skills that are necessary for future success.

My VoiceThread

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.a). Connectivism as a learning theory [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.b). Social learning theories [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.c). Spotlight on technology: VoiceThread [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Constructivism in Practice

It is imperative that teachers establish a purpose for what students learn in school. Student motivation for learning increases when learning is meaningful to students. Teaching is effective when students can connect individually to content and apply it to their lives (Orey, 2001). Teachers can help students relate to what they are learning by allowing them to become active participants in the learning process. The generating and testing hypotheses along with the use of problem-based learning tools permits students to engage actively in their learning. Educators can successfully implement the constructivist/constructionist learning theories in the classroom using the generating and testing hypotheses instructional strategy and online graphic organizers.

The constructivist/constructionist learning theories engage students in their education through the process of producing an artifact (Laureate Education, n.d.). These theories change the role of teachers in the classroom because they become the facilitators in the learning process. Constructionism originates from the constructivist learning theory because students participate in creating their knowledge (Orey, 2001). When students are in charge of what they learn in the classroom, they can focus their learning on information that is meaningful to them. Teachers can guide student learning by providing students with multiple resources to solve authentic problems.

To aid students in finding a solution to a realistic problem, teachers can utilize the generating and testing hypotheses instructional strategy. Students enhance their understanding of a topic when they generate and test hypotheses because they engage in critical thinking about the content (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012). A problem-based learning tool students can utilize to generate and test hypotheses is a graphic organizer. Students can use online graphic organizers, such as Kidspiration, to scaffold higher-level thinking (Pitler et al., 2012). These graphic organizers can provide students with a visual as they construct their knowledge.

Teachers provide students with meaningful learning tasks that expand their knowledge about a topic when constructivist/constructionist learning theories are used in classrooms.  Student motivation increases in this learning environment because they actively engage in their learning.  The generating and testing hypotheses instructional strategy is beneficial when students engage in challenging assignments. Students can use online graphic organizers as a tool to organize information they gather.

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Cognitivism in Practice

Students learn when they process information in various and meaningful ways.  Information processing is the center of cognitive learning theories (Laureate Education, n.d.a).  Using multiple senses to present information increases learning (Laureate Education, n.d.a).  Educators can enhance students’ ability to process information using cues, questions, and advance organizers, and summarizing and note taking as instructional strategies.   These instructional strategies are even more efficient with the integration of technology.  Teachers can effectively incorporate the cognitive learning theory and instructional strategies into their classrooms through the use of virtual field trips and concept mapping.

The use of cues, questions, and advance organizers is one instructional strategy teachers can utilize through virtual field trips.  Cues, questions, and advance organizers enhance students’ skills for remembering, using, and organizing knowledge about a subject (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012).  When this instructional strategy is used before, during, and after a virtual field trip, students have a way to arrange old and new information.  Orey (as cited in Laureate Education, n.d.b) stated that virtual field trips produce episodic experiences, which connect to the cognitive theory.   An episodic experience is one type of information stored in long-term memory (Laureate Education, n.d.a).  Virtual field trips make it easier for students to access the information at a later time because the information is stored in long-term memory.

Another instructional strategy that incorporates the cognitive learning theory is summarizing and note taking.  Summarizing and note taking is an instructional strategy that helps students arrange information in a brief new format (Pitler et al., 2012).  In this strategy, one way to present information is by making a concept map about the information.  To enhance this instructional strategy, teachers can have students use concept mapping tools online.  Concept mapping tools aid students in organizing information and linking between concepts by replicating the network model of memory (Laureate Education, n.d.a).  When students use concept maps online, they can quickly add information about a topic and make changes as necessary.

These instructional strategies will help me teach for understanding because they provide a format for students to process information.  Virtual field trips provide students with a visual experience of what they are learning, and this information is organized using cues, questions, and advance organizers as an instructional strategy.  Concept maps are a way for teachers to integrate the summarizing and note taking instructional strategy into their classroom.  Both of these strategies combined with the use of technology help students organize information and develop a deeper understanding of the content.

References:

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.a). Behaviorist learning theory [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.b). Spotlight on technology: Virtual field trips [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Behaviorism in Practice

Teachers are responsible for motivating students to learn. Behaviorist learning theories provide teachers with a variety of strategies to help them with motivating their students. Educators have used behaviorist methods for years to encourage desirable behaviors and decrease unwanted behaviors (Orey, 2001). Teachers can increase desirable student behaviors by establishing consequences for appropriate and inappropriate actions in the classroom. Teachers can also support student behaviors with the use of technology. Educators can successfully implement behaviorist methods and instructional strategies into their classrooms through the use of blogs and online educational games.

The use of a blog is one way to incorporate the reinforcing effort and providing recognition instructional strategy into the classroom. Posting outstanding student work online can provide students with recognition opportunities from classmates, families, and teachers (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012). Students can post their work to a blog and receive comments and feedback from others. Behavior changes occur when students associate work with something positive and receive recognition from people they respect (Orey, 2001). When students receive positive feedback, they are likely to continue their efforts on subsequent tasks. This also motivates other students in the class because they want the same recognition of their work.

Another instructional strategy that correlates with the principles of the behaviorist learning theory and supports the use of technology is assigning homework and providing practice. To strengthen the homework and practice strategy,the use of technology provides a vast amount of resources to assist students in learning outside of school (Pitler et al., 2012). Some resources students have access to outside of school are online educational games. The students in my classroom have accounts for IXL Math, Reflex Math, and RAZ Kids. These games allow students to practice math and reading skills they learn in exciting ways. Positive reinforcement, such as incentives and praise, are essential to motivating students (Smith, 1999). Each game rewards students with points they can accumulate and use to receive medals of accomplishment or money for a store within the games. These incentives and the game format for learning motivate students with a desire to practice what they are learning at home.

Behaviorist learning theories aid teachers in motivating students in the classroom. The incorporation of technology in education supports the use of instructional strategies and the behaviorist learning theories to enhance student learning. Class blogs can provide recognition to students who do well on assignments, and online educational games can motivate students to continue practicing at home.

References:

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Smith, K. (1999). The behaviourist orientation to learning. In The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/the-behaviourist-orientation-to-learning/

Reflection

Technology provides students with unlimited access to vast amounts of information outside of the classroom. The easy access to information makes it necessary for teachers to make changes to instructional practices to meet the needs of digital natives. Educators are still teaching in traditional ways, even though, the students in today’s classrooms are ready for 21st-century learning (Prensky, 2005). Teachers need to reflect on their current teaching practices and make a shift towards teaching 21st-century skills in order to make an impact on digital natives in the classroom.

This course has helped me develop my technology skills by engaging me in learning how to use the tools I want my students to use. To effectively teach with technology, teachers need to learn how to use the tools themselves (Richardson, 2010). In this course, I have become familiar with using blogs, wikis, and podcasts. Now that I know more about how to use these tools, I have the knowledge and skills to guide my students in using them effectively. I have also learned the advantages these technologies can have on learning based on my experiences.

I have deepened my knowledge of the teaching and learning process by learning about 21st-century lifelong skills. These skills combine reading, writing, and arithmetic with critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, cross-cultural understanding, communication, computing, and career (Trilling, 2005). To teach these skills, the role of the teacher changes. Teachers are no longer the source of information for their students; instead their responsibility is to guide students to think critically about the material they find (Laureate Education, n.d.).

Since teachers are no longer the source of information, my perspective on learning has changed from teacher centered to learner centered. Changing from teacher-centered learning requires teachers to become facilitators, and instruction becomes more focused on problem solving than lectures (Keengwe, Onchwari, & Wachira, 2008). I want to allow my students to construct their knowledge using the technology resources they have available to them. Teachers in the 21st century need to value what their students already know and take into consideration how they learn (Prensky, 2005). My students are digital natives, and I need to acknowledge their experience with technology and provide them with learning opportunities to use it.

To continue to expand my knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology with the aim of increasing student achievement, I plan to keep using blogs, wikis, and podcasts. Teachers are coaches who demonstrate the skills students must master to reach success and encourage them to reach their potential (Richardson, 2010). The more I experiment and play around with the technology, the more comfortable I am going to feel in bringing it into my instruction.

To support 21st-century learning in my classroom, I have created two goals I would like to achieve in my classroom in the next two years. The first goal is to have a class blog where students can contribute from their individual student blogs. A collection of student work is created online using a blog (Richardson, 2010). Ideally, I would like to involve the entire school in blogging so that students can create portfolios of the work they have done in their time at the school. I plan to accomplish this goal by starting a class blog, a school blog, and student blogs for my students. I will use the school blog to encourage other teachers to blog by sharing the work and learning of my students.

Another goal I have for transforming my classroom environment is to create more project-based learning opportunities that combine the three Rs and seven Cs of 21st-century learning. As students collaborate on these projects, I will become a facilitator in the learning process. Students’ engagement and learning increase when they collaborate on technology projects (Prensky, 2008). I will accomplish this goal by communicating with my administrator about the benefits of this type of learning. I will also collaborate with my second grade team to develop the projects across the curriculum.

At the beginning of this course, I assessed my current practices on the integration of technology in my classroom using the assessment checklist for technology integration practices (Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society, n.d.). Before this course, I felt like I could improve my teaching practice by increasing opportunities for student self reflection and providing more opportunities for students to use technology tools to share their learning. Since I have taken this course, I feel more prepared to engage my students in self reflection through the use of blogs. Blogs facilitate reflection by archiving the learning of students (Richardson, 2010). I also generated ideas on how I can involve the use of more technology tools for my students to share their learning using blogs, wikis, and podcasts. I also improved as a teacher leader. I am promoting the development of leadership and technology skills in my students and colleagues by sharing what I have learned about the advantages of using web 2.0 tools in the classroom in faculty meetings. Web 2.0 technology values participation, collaboration, and distribution (Knobel & Wilber, 2009). I am also starting to seek out other professionals to further my knowledge about the use of technology in the classroom through blogging.

Students no longer come to school looking to teachers for all of the things they want to learn. Web 2.0 technologies are tools students can use to practice 21st-century skills they will need in their futures. Teachers need to act as a guide in helping students use this technology to collaborate with their peers and access information. Changing from a teacher-centered to a student-centered environment will help prepare digital natives for success.

References:

Keengwe, J., Onchwari, G., & Wachira, P. (2008). The use of computer tools to support meaningful learning. AACE Journal, 16(1), 77–92. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=28513453&scope=site

Knobel, M., & Wilber, D. (2009). Let’s talk 2.0. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 20–24. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.or/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login/aspx?direct =true&db=ehh&AN=36666620&scope=site

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). The changing role of the classroom teacher: Part 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Prensky, M. (2005). Listen to the natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8–13.

Prensky, M. (2008). Turning on the lights. Educational leadership, 65(6), 40-45. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=31926035&scope=site

Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society. (n.d.). Assessment checklist for technology integration practices. Retrieved from: https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201540_04/MS_EDUC/NCATE_EDUC_6710/Week%201/Resources/Resources/embedded/6710_Techchecklist.pdf

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Trilling, B. (2005). Towards learning societies and the global challenges for learning with ICT. TechForum. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/techlearning /pdf/events/techforum/ny05/ Toward_Learning_Societies.pdf