Setting a game plan to improve personal and student confidence and competence based on the International Society for Technology in Education National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (that’s quite a mouthful) or the ISTE NETS-T, is a necessary step in continuing my growth and development in the teaching profession. The game plan or G.A.M.E. plan, suggests that I set Goals, take Action, Monitor progress and Evaluate whether the goals are achieved
Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).
I cannot work on all five standards and be effective, so I have chosen
standard 1.b and standard 2.a. The standards are as follows:
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.
b. Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources (ISTE, 2008 para 5)
2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS·S.
a. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity (ISTE, 2008 para 10)
I do not currently work as a classroom teacher, but as the Educational Technology Coordinator at our school. This position allows me to work with teachers to support them in integrating technology into their teaching day. This game plan will be somewhat odd, because I am writing it not only for my personal growth, but to help me guide the growth of teachers I work with. I want to focus my work with teachers such that it helps them positively impact student learning through changes they make to their teaching practice. I also want to insure that the changes are not onerous, but make teachers more efficient and effective. We have had technology available in each classroom for the past two and half years, however there was little professional development of the type that would encourage teachers to use it to do different things. Those who used it just did things differently
(Thornburg, 2004). I have not had the
opportunity before this year to work one-to-one with teachers as I would have
liked. Now I am and I think it is making a difference in how teachers feel
about technology and using it in their lessons.
Facilitating and inspiring student learning and creativity through Project Based Learning (PBL) and incorporating digital tools is part of our strategic plan and a focus for teachers for the next three years. Supporting teachers in creating and carrying out PBL is a natural focus for me and based on my reading and understanding should improve student learning. My action plan for these standards will include co-planning and co-teaching PBL mini-units with individual teachers because I interpret “real-world issues and solving authentic problems” (ISTE, 2008 para 5) as PBL. I think the important part of that statement is mini-units. Designing and carrying out a PBL unit is complex and can take a lot of planning. I believe every bit of the planning is worth it, but trying to complete a long-term project out of the chute is a bad idea. Neither students nor teachers are prepared for the role shifts required for a successful PBL unit, and both must practice the required skills necessary to complete a unit successfully.
I have already begun to work on this plan, and have had the great joy of hearing the teachers I have worked with excitedly sharing with other teachers how much fun, how great, how exciting the experience is. We have a small teaching staff of K-12th grade teachers, only twenty-two teachers. I have had the opportunity to work with five teachers so far. The experience has been wonderful, and I have enjoyed it immensely. Monitoring part of my progress should be fairly easy. I need to look at how many teachers I work with and how many PBL units of any size we complete. I also need to look at teacher and student use of technology, which can also be measured fairly easily with walk-through mini-observations. The most difficult part of monitoring is the impact these units are having on student achievement. I need to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and that will be a bit more difficult.
I have not yet designed a way to measure success quantitatively. I asked teachers to complete a technology use survey at the beginning of the year. I will ask for it again soon and then again at the end of the year. This will give me a subjective measure of how much technology teachers think they are using, but will not necessarily show if the hoped for additional use of technology will impact student achievement. Being able to isolate reasons for student success or failure is a task beyond my ability and beyond my job. Trying to measure student creativity objectively is also very difficult. I think the measurement focus should be on teacher use of technology, student use of technology, and number of PBL units/lessons taught as a result of my co-planning and co-teaching.
I believe adding the G.A.M.E. plan to my ongoing work will be invaluable. It will help me focus my work on my goals instead of straying afield. By monitoring what I am doing and looking at successes and failures I will be able to modify my plan, change how I am interacting with teachers, and add or change actions I am taking to make sure I am still working towards the standards I have selected to work on.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use: A Standards-Based Approach. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
ISTE. (2008). NETS-T. Retrieved from International Society for Technology in Education: http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/nets-t-standards.pdf
Thornburg, D. (2004). Technology and Education: Expections not Options. Executive Briefing Number 401, 1-12.