TL Standard 12

TL Standard 12

When looking at standard 12, teachers are asked to evaluate and use technology for teaching and learning. After taking EDTC 6433 I feel like technology is not nearly as intimidating as I made it out to be. Walking into this class in the beginning of the quarter I was nervous, and intimidated. I have always felt that I am pretty tech savvy with the items that I use outside of my classroom, but when it came time to implement technology into my classroom, I didn’t know where to start. During the first class session we spoke about our final project and took a NETS self-assessment to see what areas we could use improvement.  After leaving class the first day I have to a say that I was pretty skeptical. Reading over the NETS and taking that self-assessment truly felt like I was trying to (and not succeeding) read a different language. The self-assessment showed me that I truly had a lot of room for growth in all areas. I teach kindergarten, I have 22 five year olds who are just learning the letters of the alphabet and learning how to read and write. My original outlook was, what in the world could I possibly take from this class and make applicable in my room? “These projects and NETS don’t really apply to me”. I am proud to say, that I was so very wrong! Whether I am teaching 5 year olds or seniors, teaching technology is possible and very doable at any age! My overall technology goal was to focus on NETS-S 2: Communication and Collaboration and NETS-T 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity. I would improve technology integration in my classroom by using Haiku as a space to allow my students to share their animal research projects in June. Students would use our classroom Haiku page to demonstrate their research and use of PebbleGo and a voice recording system to create their project. Although I knew this project would take several months to implement, I feel I was effective in setting my students up for success on this project. I spent a lot of time teaching my students about the basics of using netbooks. I worked hard teaching my students how to log on, how to navigate to their sites, how to adjust volume, use headphones and how to log off. I also did a lot of preloading with my students on how to research using graphic organizers and using the basics of PebbleGo. I learned so much about how to introduce complicated technology skills so early in the year with kindergarteners. You can see my Final Summary Project and what my students were able to accomplish! My biggest takeaway from this class is twofold. One is how many technology tools and resources can be modified and used with my kindergarteners in class. The second biggest takeaway is the capability of my kindergarteners using technology, especially so early in the year. With enough practice and careful teaching my students were able to meet extremely high expectations that I set!

One component of this class I feel I grew the most in was digital citizenship. Before this class I didn’t know much about digital citizenship or what it even looked like in primary grades. The words Digital Citizenship hold a lot of meaning, but what does it look like in a classroom? After class discussion and research, to me, digital citizenship is communication, appropriate use, research, collaboration, and any type of interaction online. My professor, Richard Snyder, did a wonderful job of breaking down such a large term into 4 major focus points. In his PowerPoint Snyder shared, “Big Points of Digital Citizenship are: 1. Respect for copyright and intellectual property. 2. Access to appropriate tools and resources. 3. Digital etiquette and 4. Global awareness (slide 11).” After looking into what the words meant, as any teacher would, I wanted to know what that would look like in my own classroom. Being a kindergarten teacher, some of these big points of digital citizenship seemed a little intimidating and far-fetched for my 5 year olds. I was excited to dive in and see what was available and applicable for my classroom.

There are two ways I would like to support and promote digital citizenship in my classroom. One of my goals this year is to teach digital citizenship to my students by showing them how to access appropriate resources online. I would like to use PebbleGo in my reading and writing workshop to allow for my students to pull information on multiple topics from a source other than a book. Students in all grade levels are no longer asked to complete a project using only pen and paper or from a book in the library. Technology has now become incorporated into everything we do. I especially look forward to using this tool during my nonfiction lessons in reading and writing workshop. This will allow my students to pull information from a research database as well as several text to supplement their nonfiction writing project. How wonderful will it be for me to help my students get a head start on how to properly access the correct resources to help them be successful?

My second goal for teaching digital citizenship in my classroom is to give a number of very generalized lessons on how to live in a digital world. What that means, looks like, and the importance of that, through their eyes. After researching online, I found several websites that had great free lessons on teaching digital citizenship to kindergartners. In all of the lessons I found, they all basically covered the same important parts/issues. Those teach points were:

  1. Computers are used for several different purposes and to visit faraway places that help us learn new things.
  2. Safety using the internet. The idea that, staying safe online is very similar to staying safe in the real world. Right vs. wrong decisions. Connecting this issue to what they have been told many times by parents and teachers, don’t interact or give personal information with someone you do not know, etc.
  3. How to safely navigate on the internet. How do you avoid problems? How do you know what is safe vs. harmful?

I feel that teaching these skills listed above to my class is very doable as well as age appropriate goals. Digital Citizenship doesn’t have to be an intimidating phrase. With all of the smart work that others have already done on this topic, all it takes is a little research and pulling from your resources to create age appropriate lessons for your students. Oh wait! Using appropriate tools and resources!? Sounds familiar! Like the   we watched, digital citizenship is everywhere!!!

During this class, I learned about several different programs that have been extremely useful and helpful in my classroom! A part of this course that I enjoyed was the fact that majority of the programs we got to learn about and use in class are all able to be scaled down to use at different grade levels. I also feel that I gained a wonderful foundation of resources and tools for my future years of teaching. Not only did I find new programs and technologies that I am able to use with my students, I learned about new technologies that will benefit me in my journey for my graduate degree! I look forward to seeing how I can continue to use these programs with my students and in the future as well!

Resources:

Be a Digital Citizen. 11 Jan. 2012. YouTube. Web. 5 Oct. 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdEXijFXfD8

“The Emergent Reader Research Solution.” PebbleGo. Capstone Digital, Web. 5 Oct. 2013.

Murphy, K., McNamara, E., & DePasquale, R. (2003). Meaningful Connections: Using Technology in Primary Classrooms. Beyond the Journal.

Murray, Jacqui. “How to Teach Kindergarten Digital Citizenship to Kindergarten.”4 Oct. 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2013.

Snyder, Richard. “EDTC6433 Week 2 Digital Citizenship Powerpoint.”1 Oct. 2013. Web. 5 Oct. 2013.

Starr, L. (n.d.). Encouraging Teacher Technology Use. Retrieved May 10, 2015, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech159.shtml

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EDTC 6433: Final Reflection

I am happy to say that I am leaving this class feeling like I have learned a lot and also feeling like technology is not nearly as intimidating as I made it out to be. Walking into this class in the beginning of the quarter I have to admit that I was nervous, and intimidated. Yes, I feel that I am pretty tech savvy with the items that I use outside of my classroom, but when it came time to implement technology into my classroom, I didn’t know where to start. During the first class session we spoke about our final projects we would create and we touched on the types of work we would do in this tech class. We also took a NETS self-assessment to see what areas we could use improvement.  After leaving class the first day I have to a say that I was pretty skeptical. Reading over the NETS and taking that self-assessment truly felt like I was trying to (and not succeeding) read a different language. The self-assessment showed me that I truly had a lot of room for growth in all areas. I teach kindergarten, I have 22 five year olds who are just learning the letters of the alphabet and learning how to read and write. My original outlook was, what in the world could I possibly take from this class and make applicable in my room? “These projects and NETS don’t really apply to me”. I am proud to say, that I was so very wrong! Whether I am teaching 5 year olds or 75 year olds, teaching technology is possible and very doable at any age! My overall technology goal was to focus on NETS-S 2: Communication and Collaboration and NETS-T 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity. I would improve technology integration in my classroom by using Haiku as a space to allow my students to share their animal research projects in June. Students would use our classroom Haiku page to demonstrate their research and use of PebbleGo and a voice recording system to create their project. Although this project won’t be completed until May/June of 2014, I feel I was effective in setting my students up for success on this project. I have spent a lot of time teaching my students about the basics of using netbooks. I have worked hard teaching my students how to log on, how to navigate to their sites, how to adjust volume, use headphones and how to log off. I have also done a lot of preloading with my students on how to research using graphic organizers and using the basics of PebbleGo. I have learned so much about how to introduce somewhat complicated technology skills so early in the year with kindergarteners. My biggest learning and takeaway from this class is twofold. One is how many technology tools and resources can be modified and used with my kindergarteners in class. The second biggest takeaway is the capability of my kindergarteners using technology, especially so early in the year. With enough practice and careful teaching my students were able to meet extremely high expectations that I set!

During this class, I learned about several different programs that have been extremely useful and helpful in my classroom! A part of this course that I greatly enjoyed was the fact that majority of the programs we got to learn about and use in class are all able to be scaled down to use at different grade levels.  I also feel that I am leaving with wonderful resources and tools for my future years of teaching. Not only did I find new programs and technologies that I am able to use with my students, I learned about new technologies that will benefit me in my journey with SPU for my graduate degree! I already used one 2 of the programs I have learned about in my projects and presentations for finals this quarter! I look forward to seeing how I can continue to use these programs with my class this year and in the future as well!

Something I always need to remember is how important technology is and how it allows for creativity in my classroom. Student choice is so important. It allows for students to be more engaged and take ownership in their learning, and technology really aids student choice. Technology has really opened the door and alleviated stress for the kiddos in my room who struggle with fine motor and writing skills. It has allow for my students who rarely participate in conversation and give me a large sigh when it is time to get work done,  to be excited to pull out the netbooks or recording system to get started on their work! Technology is supporting students with many different avenues to access information and support learning! I will definitely be continuing the use of technology in my classroom!

Creativity

Creativity holds a lot of meaning in my eyes, especially in education. Over the last 4 years of teaching, I have learned the importance of engaging students and student choice. Within that, there are a lot of opportunities for students to find ways to incorporate creativity within their work. I am lucky to say that my school is well known for exposing our students to the arts and encouraging creativity in every aspect of the classroom. Recently, I have been incorporating drama into my teaching. My students are using props and acting out stories daily. Last year, I provided my students with an opportunity to put on a play presentation that we invited our parents to. The students got to pick the story they wanted to act out. As a class we sat down and picked roles for the story then the students then wrote their own script for the play. Once the script was written the students then created their own costumes and after a lot of rehearsing, we performed on our stage for the parents and a few classes within the building.

What I learned from this experience is how much interest and ownership the students took in their own work and learning. They were dedicated and motivated to make it the absolute best they possibly could. After watching my students use creativity in a way that boosted learning and performance I have been intrigued to find other ways, programs to get the same results.

This week I was able to explore a new program called WeVideo.  I was pleasantly surprise at how easy and fun this program was to use.  I was asked to film small clips equaling 10 minutes of footage about my life. Using WeVideo, I clipped the footage down to a 3 minute video. Video editing was all new learning for me and I was very happy to realize its simplicity. I feel that this program could be a fun way for my students to use. Being Kindergartners, they would need a little assistance from their parents with recording. However, it would be very doable for us to put a small clip from each student into one video and work together on it. It would also be fun to take small clips during the school year, field trips etc. and then at the end of the year put it together to make a small video montage of the kindergarten year that I could send home with each child. It would be a simple and fun way to remember some of the best times in kindergarten!

Collaboration

Collaboration has always been a very important part of my school as well as within my school district. Over the years the district has provided teachers with several different tools to collaborate within our teams, buildings, and district. A few years ago, OneNote was the program that our school district required teachers to use. My team and I personally made great use from this program. We would use OneNote as a place to upload any documents, notes from meetings, projects, and collaboration ideas. We would often create flipcharts and post them on OneNote and share access with other surrounding schools to support the work smarter, not harder idea. OneNote was great for the first year or so, but the program quickly faded out.

Last year, LWSD introduced a program called Haiku. In my eyes, Haiku was designed 100% around communication and collaboration. This year, every teacher is required to have a Haiku page live and active for parents and students to access. Teachers have the abiltiy to make it as complicated or simple as they would like. You are able to upload assignments, projects, newsletters and much more. My team, administrator and school are using this program for much more than just parent and student communication. My team has created a kindergarten haiku page for just the teachers. On this page, we upload and collect data for our CIP goal every month. We use this information in our monthly meetings with our principal to share our progress in meeting our goals. We track our level 4 students and our students that are not meeting standard and the students that are approaching standard. We collaborate and provide strategies and methods for helping to meet the needs for our students. Haiku has become a wonderful and easy way to communicate, collaborate and access all types of information needed with my kindergarten team, administrator, students and parents. I hope my school district decides to keep Haiku around for many years to come, I feel there is wonderful potential in this newly adopted program.

 

Week 5 Research

This week I explored many new ways to include technology into research. I spent time viewing and using different search engines to see how useful they were in finding applicable information on my research topic. I also looked into how using technology in my classroom aids learning in early childhood. I also spent a lot of time looking into the benefits of student choice. Research shows that students are more likely to be engaged and complete their work when the are able to decide what they are studying. It also mentioned that too many choices can demotivate them as well. It is important to find that happy medium.

I am excited to incorporate and tie all of these things into my classroom for a project in the upcoming months. I will allow my students to pick an animal to study. They will then research their topic using a online research database. They will have the choice of using technology to create their presentations or doing a hard copy. All students will be presenting their projects to their classmates.

This week, looking at the research behind the benefits of project-based learning rather than taking an assessment, and allowing student choice really confirmed my choice for how to present material and the steps the take to research are helping their learning. This overall will allow for better retention and recollection of the information they researched. As well as the information they hear from other student presentations.

Week 3: Communication with Technology

The concept of communication has come a long ways over the last 50 years. We are exceptionally lucky to be apart of a day and age where communication comes so easy. We no longer have to wait days or weeks to get a letter in the mail. With the click of a button we have the ability to email, instant message, or even chat face to face online via Skype or Face Time with anyone, anywhere in the world.

Today, with the capabilities of communication online being endless, as an educator, it is important to be aware of what methods of communication fit and also benefit your students and parents. I got to experience and learn about the basic functions of Podcasts in my undergrad program. This week I really enjoyed learning different features that go along with Podcasting. I can think of several different uses in older grades where students could benefit using a Podcast to present a project or new learning. However, in kindergarten, I don’t find this form of communication a good fit.
The form of communication that I am excited to use in my classroom is Vocaroo! I already know of 3 ways I would like to use this free recording program in my classroom. I will have my parent volunteers pull students to do readings and story comprehension using this program. I will then be able to go in and listen to how my students are reading and comprehending different levels of text. Second, I would like to use this program for my students that struggle with fine motor skills. These students will benefit from using the program because the worry of getting letters on the page correctly will disappear. Students will have the option of being able to record their voice rather than writing. The last way I would like to use this communication tool is by having my high readers record themselves reading a story. They can then listen back to their recording to check for fluency, and expression in their own readings! They have never had the opportunity to hear their own voice played back while reading a book. We can use examples and collaborate as a group of areas to work on for each student!

I will continue to use email and Haiku to communicate with parents. I currently use email daily with parents to discuss important issues and events. I am slowly trying to transition into using mainly Haiku for communicating with my parents. I am now uploading all of my Friday Newsletters and volunteer calendars on my site. I might look into scanning in and uploading all of my weekly homework assignments as well.

I look forward to learning new tools that I can apply into my Haiku to communicate with parents and student. I also look forward to learning new types of communication tools, that I can try to incorporate into my classroom!

NETS-T
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

NETS-S
2. Communication and Collaboration