Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Watching the Game Plan

As I have been working towards my game plan, I have begun to gain information on the topics and logistics involved in wikis and using them as a tool for citizenship and school-wide unity.

While participating in our discussion last week, I had the opportunity to learn about google aps and the ability to give each of my students email accounts. This was the first of my hurdles in the logistics aspect of creating and implementing a wiki in the school and classroom. My students were unable to log in without an email, and the district was having difficulty maintaining them as our transient issues have become large in scale. With this new information I have begun working closer to fulfilling my game plan.

As a school-wide tool, I have begun bringing up the idea in our monthly school meetings and during our technology committee meetings. I have created a basic wiki for the students and have begun showing it to the rest of the teachers in order to inform them of the availability and the options that we can use to bind our school through the web.

I would like to research more on the different ways other teachers have used wikis, as often there are ideas that have been proven effective that can help more with the “how” aspect of this project. Rather than reinvent the wheel I will be asking other teachers in the district, as well as researching school district and college websites to find more information.

In following up with further research, I must be mindful to ask more and more, “how?”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carrying Out the GAME Plan

In the previous blogpost, my GAME plan was discussed as a way to incorporate the IST Standards for technology. This week, I would like to look into the ACTION aspect of the GAME plan to outline the resources, information, and steps that are required to accomplish these goals. Reincorporating a wiki as a classroom and whole school resource to promote digital citizenship and also to model digital-age work and learning requires more knowledge and cooperation than resources.

The information required incorporating the wiki into my classroom and school would require training from a conference to discover the intricacies and teachable tools that are available through wikis. In order to use a wiki as a citizenship tool, I would be required to advocate the website throughout the school and share the knowledge and tools I have knowledge of not only with students, but with other teachers and staff. These things would have to be the first steps to the ACTION aspect of my game plan.

Gaining information that is needed beforehand will require experts in the field, computer training, and colleague cooperation. While incorporating wikis into the classroom, I will need student emails, laptops for students, video/voice recording and transferring equipment in order to allow students to use the wiki to its’ potential. I would like to show students how to share videos, discuss math topics, and participate fully in the wiki using this equipment. Students will be shown one feature at a time in order to master the knowledge required. Discussion posts will be discussed and used first as a means to communicate important information.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Walk for Evan

This is for Evan...

Hello Everyone!

I'm writing to you to ask for your support in a very special cause.This year, I'll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children.

Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.That's the bad news... and yes, it's pretty bad.The good news, though, is that JDRF is making steady progress toward a cure. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds more type 1 research than any other charity worldwide.I'm writing to ask for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference

Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as you're able?

Together, we can make the cure a reality.

Thank you,
Jacqueline Ellis

Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The NETS-T developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) provides standard indicators for teachers who are working towards effectively integrating technology within their content areas and classrooms (2008). The following two indicators are areas of weakness within my own classroom. I have included a chart to map out my GAME plan (Cennamo, 2009) for improving my use of technology in the classroom.

3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

c. communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats


To obtain a constant, quality communication system that reaches parents, students, and teachers. Communication will be frequent, relevant, and varied in substance. Communication will also cross several formats for those individuals with different abilities and resources.


It is important to inject ourselves into our student’s lives in as many ways as possible, as our students are learning information (whether it be quality information or not) at every turn, due to the internet Prensky states, “It’s their after-school education, not their school education, that’s preparing our kids for their 21st-century lives,” (Prensky, 2008) With this idea in mind, I will develop and regularly update a classroom weblog and wiki that includes news updates about the classroom as well as showcases of student’s work that will be available for parental viewing. Because blogs and wikis can include picture, video and links, it may also be used as a study source and homework helper as it is also a discussion area. These resources can be utilized by other teachers in the school, as well as students during study halls. If there are ever any questions regarding what should be done in my class by other adults, the information will be available even when I am not.


The very idea of wikis and blogs is to digitally express ongoing projects. Thusly, teachers and students will make ongoing modifications to both as they modify their learning strategies. (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009) In this way, monitoring will occur as a community, while I mediate the progress and keep discussions on track.


At the end of each chapter or unit, students will be asked to utilize the digital resources in class as a review session. At this time, I will be able to see if my goal has been met as far as the students are concerned. Are they able to understand and use the resources independently?

I will also monitor the resources availability to parents and it’s effectiveness as conferences are formed with parents. Did they see the website? Were they able to understand it and how helpful was it? These comments will help form any final modifications.

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.

c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information


To teach and model responsibility and etiquette within the confines of a digital community, specifically within a wikispace and blogging atmosphere. To enable students to interact with one another without resorting to digital bullying, or other inappropriate social behaviors.


I will introduce the classroom wiki and blog slowly with “getting to know you” activities in order to practice communication skills without the stress of also having to accomplish an academic goal. In doing this, “they develop a deeper understanding of the perspectives of others.” (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009) The students will also begin to understand the necessity of communicating effectively as they are asked to collaborate on a digital scale when more and more academic collaborations are added throughout the year in the form of group discussions as well as individual posts and responses.


Each blog or wiki discussion post will be graded for participation (and then later on for content. A rubric will be used that includes an etiquette and appropriate participation section. This rubric will be discussed before the students are graded on it. If needed, students will have a conference, or teacher will discuss any inappropriate responses class-wide depending on the situation.


At the end of each marking period, students will receive a final grade on their participation on the wikis and blogs. As students have had opportunities to conference with the teacher as well as whole-class discussions on appropriate participation, the final grade will assess how well the student understands the impact of digital and global etiquette.

National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at

Prensky, M. (2008, March). Turning on the lights. Educational Leadership, 65(6), 40-45.

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.