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 http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf
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.