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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