Leslie Gale's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Standard 10 Meta-Reflection: Technology March 16, 2013

Becoming more familiar with the National Educational Technology Standards has probably been the most relevant piece of technology information I have learned in our EDTC 6433 class. The ISTE NETS for teachers (NETS-T) and students (NETS-S) provide a defined framework through which I can effectively address the necessary technology standards for myself and my students. Consideration of these standards as well as developing goals for both my students and myself is becoming an integral part of my curriculum planning.

One of our first tasks in EDTC 6433 was to complete a survey evaluating technology integration as it is currently practiced in our classrooms. Through this survey I was able to recognize that I was fairly strong in the NETS-T #4, Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility. Specifically, I am confident that I can address the diverse needs of my kindergarten students by “using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources” (ISTE NETS Survey for Students and Teachers, 2011). Students routinely access a variety of digital tools on a rotating basis to engage in and accomplish tasks such as calendar time, MimioSprout™ Early Reading Individualized Instruction, LWSD technology use student survey, and guided technology exploration with their buddy class.

The technology integration survey also indicated to me that I could do more to strengthen my skills in NETS-T #2, Develop and Design Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments. My technology goal was related to NETS-T #2-a,” …promote student motivation, learning and creativity through relevant learning experiences using digital tools and other technology” (ISTE NETS Survey for Students and Teachers, 2011). I decided that I would like to design more authentic learning experiences that provide motivation for students as they use technology to create and present evidence of their learning. I would also like for them to be responsible for and take ownership of the management of their projects. These goals align with NETS-T #2 (referenced above) and NETS-S #1, “My students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology”. I wanted students to be able to log on to their student accounts with little or no assistance as well as create, save, and later retrieve word documents that show some creativity and familiarity with sight words using font size, style, and/or color variations. In the Artifacts section below I have included links to a written description as well as a PowerPoint presentation that outlines how I integrated this technology in my classroom.

As I continue to critically examine technology integration in my classroom, I feel better equipped to identify areas where I can improve my practice and more effectively provide students with technology experiences that will enhance their learning. I am also more aware of ways that I can use technology to further develop methods of communication to students, families, colleagues and the community at large. Along these lines, I am thinking that my next venture into improving technology integration in my classroom will involve providing a variety of communication forums to students and parents such as Haiku discussion pages and a comprehensive class webpage. I also plan to expand students’ exposure to and use of technology tools that allow them to present their learning in a variety of ways, such as PowerPoint, as well as tools that enhance my own instructional presentations such as Glogster and the use of Voicethread.  So much technology and so little time!

Finally, as a result of this class I am better equipped to search for and evaluate curriculum that supports the technology NETS. One such find is a technology curriculum by Kali Delamagente (2011) that provides a comprehensive scope and sequence for kindergarten technology as well as links each learning experience to one or more relevant NETS. Another useful resource is Jacqui Murray’s article and lesson for kindergartners titled “How to Teach Digital Citizenship in Kindergarten” (2012). This blog entry contains a lesson and links that support NETS-t number 4: “Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility:  Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.” (ISTE, 2012) Effectively crafting and evaluating technology curriculum is a particularly useful skills for educators as it perpetually enhances learning, teaching, and collaboration within the educational community.

Artifacts:

Tech Integration Write-Up

Tech Integration PPT

Resources

Delamagente, Kali. “Kindergarten Technology: 32 Lessons Every Kindergartner Can Accomplish.” Scribd. Structured Learning, 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2013. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/16535675/Kindergarten-Technology-32-Lessons-Every-Kindergartner-Can-Accomplish&gt;.

ISTE NETS Survey for Students and Teachers. (2011, September 22). In Haiku Class Overview and Documents. Retrieved January 7, 2013, from https://lms.lwsd.org/rsnyder/edtc6433/cms_file/show/6949138.docx?t=1357161828

The International Society for Technology in Education . (2012). NETS. In ISTE. Retrieved August 12, 2013, from https://www.iste.org/standards

Murray, J. (2012, October 4). How to teach digital citizenship in kindergarten. In Ask a teacher anything. Retrieved June 30, 2013, from http://askatechteacher.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/how-to-teach-digital-citizenship-in-kindergarten/

 

EDTC Week 6 – Creativity Through Movie Maker February 24, 2013

Filed under: Standard 10. Technology — lkgale @ 9:53 pm
Tags: ,

The use of video technology in the classroom is a powerful medium through which students can show their learning as well as share a part of their lives that would otherwise not be available to their classroom communities. As I thought about how I could use video making in my kindergarten classroom I immediately thought of the “All About Me” unit I do each Fall at the beginning of the year. Ordinarily, I have students create a poster that depicts certain details about their life, likes, and dislikes and share it with the class. This activity allows students to get to know each other and provides the teacher an opportunity to become familiar with the make-up of the class. Given the diversity in our school community, the sharing of our personal stories also serves to promote an atmosphere of acceptance and respect. Having students create a video introduction of themselves would encourage inspiration and creativity on the part of the student and deeper engagement on the part of the audience (NETS-S  #1). Ideally, the video would be created at home with the support of parents. I am frequently looking for different ways to enhance home-school connections and video seems like a great opportunity to do this.  Alternatively, if families do not have access to a video camera students can interview each other via a video camera in the classroom. To culminate the unit, our gallery of video clips could be posted on our class Haiku page!

 

Week 5-Digital Collaboration February 16, 2013

This week we explored the world of digital collaboration using an online wiki. So often I have used email to collaborate with colleagues and parents which can be cumbersome and difficult to keep up with. Usually, it was simpler to have everyone meet at one location to get the job done (often this was at Starbucks). Using a wiki is a great alternative. If I could introduce wiki’s to the parents of my students, signups for events would be so much easier. Wikis would also make collaborating with teachers across the district and across the globe much more feasible.

I was also able to look into using the Today’s Meet chat space. I am thinking that it may be a good venue for my kindergarteners and their parents to post comments in the evening regarding the school day, similar to Twitter comments. Using the Today’s Meet forum would eliminate the need for “following” a person in order to see their posts as you do in Twitter.  Today’s Meet posts will all be on a chat board that is specific to a day or week. I think it would be insightful to get a peek at the conversations that go on at home about the school day! I imagine that there would need to be clear parameters regarding the purpose of this forum in order to keep the content appropriate and useful.

 

Educational Technology Week 4- Research February 12, 2013

The concept of gathering research has taken on new meaning after sifting through this week’s material and discussions! I appreciated learning more about the Big 6 process of research as it guides us through six logical steps towards gathering research in support of a topic of study. The point was well made that this process can be useful in any situation when information needs to be gathered – be it in our personal or professional lives. After completing the Task Definition step #1 for our technology project I already felt much more organized and able to focus on and define the task at hand. In fact, after completing the Task Definition questions provided in our Haiku class discussion, it was necessary for me to go back and further define my goal in my Growth Plan.

The exercises we completed as we explored various search engines enabled me to be purposeful as I searched for information on my topic. I have to say, though, that I found this particular step challanging. It was difficult to find adequate sources that would support my technology goal. I am particularly having trouble finding information that specifically addresses skills that would support young students (Kindergarten) in logging in to their personal computer accounts. I will be spending more time on this task. I do recall that during my class, Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I, we were introduced to Cindy Strong, the liasion librarian for the SPU School of Education. She was fantastic in guiding us in our searches for literature using a variety of databases, many of which were available to us only through our SPU logins. In case you have not tapped into this great resource, here is the link to her information: http://www.spu.edu/library/subject-guides/education

 

Educational Technology Week 3 – Presentation February 3, 2013

Filed under: Standard 10. Technology,Uncategorized — lkgale @ 8:21 am
Tags: ,

Our topic for week 3 in Educational Technology is presentation. Currently, I use technology to present information on a daily basis in my kindergarten classroom. This is mostly via the Promethian Activboard (Activinspire) during whole group instruction as well as during our student run Morning Meetings. This week’s topic has introduced me to a variety of other methods of presenting that are readily available to educators and serve to engage and motivate students. One such method of presenting is through Glogster at http://www.glogster.com/. I can see great potential for using this type of technology in the classroom as well as for presenting information to other audiences such as parents and colleagues. Glogster allows the user to incorporate different types of media in a presentation such as photos, video, URL links and audio clips. I was also impressed with infogr.am at http://infogr.am/beta/ This is a site that enables you to make free infographics. As I was playing around with it I realized that it would be ideal to present data on a graph to kindergarten students after engaging in a class survey.

I am still grappling with one drawback to relying on technology to present information… That is technology failure! The past two days my presentation computer (the one that interfaces with my Activboard) has been malfunctioning. I know that help is on the way, but for now I must resort to presenting the old fashioned way – a dry erase board and chart paper.

 

Vocaroo Sound Recordings for Phonemic Awareness Practice January 22, 2013

During week 2 in our Instructional Technology class we were introduced to a wide variety of technology tools that educators could use to communicate to a variety of audiences. Some of these include posts on Twitter, blogs, podcasts, or posting sound files. As we were exploring Vocaroo and practicing posting a sound file I was impressed with how applicable this was to our kindergarten curriculum! I currently have several students who are in need of support in phonemic awareness. One way to give them practice at home as well as keep them engaged through the novelty of technology would be to record individual phonemes for familiar words and post the Vocaroo link on a blog or website. For example, I would say /f/, /r/, /o/, /g/ separated as distinct phonemes and the student would put them together and say the word to an adult at home.  I could also say a word and have the student write down how many phonemes he/she hears in the word. I have created a sample of what this may sound like and have included the Vocaroo links here:

Putting phonemes together:  http://vocaroo.com/i/s1NQn9QOfsZu

Separating phonemes:  http://vocaroo.com/i/s137uXlxvpP4

As I consider actually using this in my classroom, I know I would have to have them practice with it first in class. Also, I think the recording is a little bit distorted and some of the sounds are not as clear as I would like. This could be a problem with such an activity since the pronunciation is critical in order to detect the phonemes. I would also need to ensure that each child who is to participate has a computer at home. All in all I believe that sound recordings have great potential in my kindergarten classroom!

 

Technology Standards For Students and Teachers: NETS-S & NETS-T January 14, 2013

Filed under: Standard 10. Technology — lkgale @ 7:19 am
Tags: ,

The thing about technology in the classroom is just when I think I have implemented ground breaking experiences in technology for my kindergarteners (as well as for me) I find that I have only touched the tip of the digital iceberg! As I dig deeper into the ISTE NETS for students and teachers and research how other professionals are integrating technology into their curriculums I realize that I have a long way to go, but I am up for the challenge.

Taking the ISTE NETS self-assessment allowed me to see specifically where my strengths and weaknesses lie. In regards to NETS for students (NETS-S)I believe that our classroom environment is strongest in the area of digital citizenship (ISTE NETS-S #5). Students have learned about and consistently exhibit proper care and use of Netbooks. Specifically, they understand that no food or drink may be in the computer area, they use only a gentle touch when using the keyboard, they ask an adult to troubleshoot when needed, they use headphones so as not to disturb others, and computer savvy students offer friendly support to classmates when asked. One area I plan on focusing on in my classroom is NETS-S # 6, Technology operations and concepts. An immediate goal is to utilize the support of our 4th grade buddy class to familiarize my students with logging in on their own school accounts. From here, I hope to work on ISTE NETS-S #1, Creativity and Innovation, by teaching students the basic functions of Microsoft Word and having them write their sight words using different fonts, sizes, and/or colors.

As for the NETS for teachers (NETS-T), the self-assessment revealed to me that I am strongest in NETS-t #4, Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility. I guess this might be what leads to digital citizenship being the strongest NETS-S! An area I would like to improve on is NETS-T # 2, Design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments. In particular, I would like to implement assessments using Activotes. One thing that is holding this up is obtaining enough working Activotes for each student in my class. The immediate feedback this technology provides will allow me to record results and adjust my instruction immediately.