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.

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8 thoughts on “Carrying Out My GAME Plan

  1. Stephanie,
    After reading your post, I feel that you have made some significant steps towards accomplishing your goals. I also recently started a classroom blog with my third graders. What is your overall experience so far with the blog and how are your students responding to it? My students have only had a chance to practice using it by introducing themselves to their classmates and learning how to leave comments to each other. They are eager to see their comments published on a website where a larger audience is able view them. I also love your idea of having students work cooperatively on project-based learning activities. This allows students to build their 21st century skills with working as a team to complete assignments. I agree that colleagues are great resources to use when determine effective ways to incorporate technology. I have one particular teacher who has a lot more experience incorporating technology and is constantly exploring new digital tools. I meet with this teacher regularly to discuss ways to implement technology with my students.

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    • Nicole,

      My experience with using a blog in my classroom has been fun. My students love posting their work and commenting on their friends’ work. A few challenges I have encountered with using the blog is providing students with enough time to post their work and leave their comments. To address this challenge, I am having my students focus more on getting their work posted each week for the beginning the year. By having students focus on one aspect of the blog, they can master the technology skills of posting their work now and focus on adding comments later. However, I still want students to receive feedback and recognition on the work they post. In order to ensure their efforts are recognized, I allow students who finish early comment, but I have not made it a requirement. I am also working with my principal to comment on a couple of srudents’ work a week.

      Stephanie

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  2. Stephanie,
    I like that one of your goals has to deal with exploring your students interest. Your lessons will become much more engaging and meaningful to your students when it has to do with something they are interested in. Students will take pride and ownership in their work when the subject appeals to them and is personal. I also like your other goal of designing learning experiences to meet diverse students’ learning styles and needs. I just had a meeting with our school on how it is important to make sure we include everyone and give all of our students the best opportunity to be successful. Every student can learn and it is our duty as teachers to make sure we meet the needs of all our students. We as teachers need to be creative as well as our students.
    A class blog is a great idea to utilize. I have always been a fan of blogs. I like the idea of letting our students input their results and be able to monitor their own progress. Parents can also see how their student is progressing and get involved more to ensure their students are successful. Without allowing students to monitor their own progress I feel that they will not care as much on individual assignments as much. By sharing their work students are able to take pride and ownership in what they have accomplished and be able to show the rest of the class what knowledge and skills they were able to gather.
    Gaining access to classroom technology is basically a must in today’s classrooms. If students don’t have access to the new technology tools that are available they are learning at a disadvantage. It is foolish as a teacher not to take advantage of the great technology advancements and tools. Having access to IPads is awesome. Students love to use IPads and it is almost like they feel they are playing a game when using them. The applications available for the IPad are great.
    I think taking advantage of the district librarians is a great idea. That is great that they are available to aid teachers in teaching content with the integration of technology. I would maximize the benefits of having that option available to you. Building a good community of peers to help each other out and offer opinions and views on lessons is a great benefit. I would recommend you have teachers watch and view your lessons and give you input on the positives and negatives they were able to discover form your lesson. Sometimes you will see that they will offer ideas that you may have never even thought about before.
    Chris Seekings

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    • Chris,

      The blogs are beneficial in motivating students to do their best work. When my students first started posting their work, they were so excited about seeing their work on the blog that the quality of the work was not the focus. Now that students have realized that others can view and comment on their work, I have seen the quality of their work increase tremendously.

      I like the idea of not only working with others to develop authentic lessons, but also having them observe them in action. I think execution of the lessons are just as important as the planning. With feedback from my peers, I can create successful authentic learning experiences.

      Stephanie

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  3. Hi Stephanie,

    I love your idea of using a blog. As you are working out details before you implement your game plan, have you looked into your district’s policy when it comes to blogs? The reason why I ask is that I am aware of a number of districts in my area that do not allow blogging at all and others that do not allow it until students are in high school. The reasoning for this is the whole “stranger danger” issue and that fact that anyone can interact with students on blogs and what they post may not be appropriate. Does your district have a policy about blogs and students?

    Also, what blogging platform are you planning on using?

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

    Thanks,
    Nicole Britton

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    • Nicole,

      I do not think my district has a policy about blogs. My principal is working with me as I develop my class blog and encouraging the use of it. I hope there is no policy that or forbids it. I may have to look into it further. The blog I am using is kidblog. One thing I like about this blog is that I can set it up so that students’ posts are shared only within our own classroom. Since blogging in the classroom is so new to me, I have only allowed students to share within the class blog or with other class blogs within the school building. I feel that this can limit the purpose of a blog, but it also allows for safe sharing of student learning.

      Stephanie

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  4. Stephanie,
    You have taken good steps in meeting the desired results of you GAME plan and think that you have thoughtfully considered what tools might be of greater use for your students. The only suggestion that I can give you is more in the delivery of your instruction and that would be to engage students in Project Based Learning or Problem Based Learning. I have made use of these two methods of instruction and have seen the impact of students driving their own learning and the overall impact on the depth of the discovery and learning. Try and use as many project based learning opportunities for your students in the engagement of technology tools so that they students are meeting the desired results of your GAME plan. Also, you say that you have 12 IPads but would it be possible for students to possibly use their cell phones as well? Just curious.

    Cody Gabriel

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    • Cody,

      Thank you for the feedback Cody. I am working on integrating project-based learning into different content areas. I am finding that every time I do this, the outcome is better. I think the cell phone is a great tool to help students access technology. I work in a low income area though and I am not sure that enough students in second grade would have access to this type of technology that they would be able to bring into the classroom. It would be a great resource if they did.

      Stephanie

      Like

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