Saturday, April 19, 2014

GAME Plan and Course Reflection

I have been working on a GAME plan over the last several weeks. I set three large goals for myself. I wanted to manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment, use technology resources to engage in ongoing professional development and lifelong learning, and use technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community in order to nurture student learning.

In my last post, I discussed some challenges and successes I faced while implemented my GAME plan. I have squeezed as much technology into my classroom as I can. I have a projector and one computer that I use daily. I show videos, create voice threads, and facilitate the creation of online concept maps. I have learned that using technology now can be more helpful than no technology, or waiting until the time is “right”. I have been successful in finding new professional development opportunities. I am interested in learning more about technology in the arts, and have found many classes that I can sign up for during the summer. My biggest challenge in my class has been to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community.

I will continue to work on some of these goals through the rest of the school year, and amend a new GAME plan that can be implemented when the new school year rolls around. I believe I will have more success with a flipped classroom, and communicating with students, peers, parents, and the community starting from Day 1 of a new school year. I believe attaining parent contact info will be easier. Students will know exactly what to expect from a flipped classroom.

The GAME plan process can be used in the classroom, with students. Explaining the course objectives within the GAME plan structure, acting on these goals, monitoring progress, and evaluating learning can be done over the course of a marking period. Using this model will give students a guided plan through the course.

This course has challenged me to implement the technology I have available to me in meaningful ways. I have made an effort to push my lessons deeper using technology. This has created more rigor in the classroom, while holding students a new, higher level of achievement. I have confirmed my believes that good teaching covers multiple subject areas and that engaged students will expand their own learning possibilities. Problem-based learning has always been used in my classroom. Social networking/online collaboration and digital storytelling will be used in my classroom more frequently. I also will be sharing these strategies with my colleagues. I hope my efforts will bring forth advocacy for technology in the classroom.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Monitoring My GAME Plan Progress

Over the last week I have taken steps to research for my game plan. Here is a summary of my progress. 
There are some pretty neat videos on the subject of art history on the Kahn Academy site.  I joined the flipped learning network. I started a board on Pintrest devoted to technology in the art room with a focus on flipped classrooms.
The professional development opportunities in the city were mixed. PAFA and Tyler School of Art  had no workshops scheduled. Moore College did not have much that appealed to me and their site was somewhat out of date. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has wonderful programs offered. My plan is to see which program best fits into my schedule.
While making my phone calls home I started asking parents for their cell phone numbers and email addressed to communicate with them through text message and email. Parents are very hard to contact. Half of the phone numbers I have for parents are incorrect, shut off, or missing. It is rare that I get to speak with a parent at all. The parents I have talked to were somewhat hesitant to give out their cell phone numbers or email addresses. Students are also weary about connecting with my professional twitter site. Student are willing to give me their email addresses although I am not sure how frequently they actually check their email.

My question is how can I realistically get all the numbers and email addressed of parents and students to make contact home using technology?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Researching For My GAME Plan

The following research will need to take place to best inform my GAME plan. 

To support a flipped classroom I need to update my blog and find/create supporting videos that will benefit students learning. These supporting videos can be demonstrations, screencasts or voice threads. I will also need to assess my student’s access to technology at home. I will then research different platforms that work best with their devices. For example, my student’s phones might not support flash, but the Youtube videos play without trouble.

I will need to search for professional development opportunities offered by the local arts colleges, Moore College, University of the Arts, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. I will search the National Art Education Association site for professional developments. 

To communicate with students and parents using technology I will need to assess if students and parents have email addresses and cellphone numbers through surveys home and conversations.
I will research Google plus and its networking capabilities. I will register for a Remind101 account to communicate with parents and students through text.

I have only started to collect student’s emails. I have entered the emails into a spreadsheet for future use and am starting to send them emails to set up accounts to view the online grade system.

To guide my GAME plan more, I would like to research urban education and technology within my grad school’s research library. I believe this research will help take my learning to the next level.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Developing a GAME Plan

As a teacher, I understand that I must step back and analyze my teaching practices and dispositions. I believe in order to grow there must be reflection and self-assessment. Although I am a technology native, I have not had much formal training on using technology in the classroom. The International Society for Technology in Education has compiled a list of technology standards and performance indicators. I have taken a look at this document and have identified areas where my practices can improve. I have found three areas I believe I can strengthen. My goal is to grow in the following areas.

3d Manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment

5a . Use technology resources to engage in on going professional development and lifelong learning

5d Use technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community in order to nurture student learning

My actions for 3d are:
¡ Utilize student’s cell phones/ home technology for lessons (photography lessons, audio rescoring,  posting to blogs)
¡ Keep an updated classroom blog for a flipped classroom model and to benefit students with poor attendance.

My actions for 5a are:
¡ seek professional development opportunities focusing on technology
o   online
o   in the city
¡ Continue to read blogs
o   Implement findings/ideas from blogs in the classroom

My actions for 5d are:
¡ Require students to have an email address and online grade book login
¡ Keep a classroom blog that is linked to the community
¡ Reach out to parents using technology
o   Celly (text service)
o   Email
o   Social media

I will monitor my growth in these areas by keeping a checklist and journal. I believe keeping these documents will help me hold myself accountable for meeting these goals. I will also map out specific steps I need to accomplish before meeting these goals.  For example, I will need to get parent’s cell phone numbers and email addresses to communicate with them using technology.

I will evaluate my completion by referring back to my checklist. If I have completed items on the checklist, that will be a measurement of growth. I hope that my development will improve my classroom environment.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Final Reflection for Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology

After reflecting on my personal learning theory from the beginning of the course, my beliefs have evolved to incorporate my new knowledge. I would add more teaching strategies, and learning activities that correspond to promote deep learning in my classroom. I have learned the cognitive reasons that support learning strategies, and technology that corresponds to these strategies.

I have already started to add more strategies to my teaching tool belt. Instead of using a verity of strategies throughout the school year, I used a multitude of strategies in each lesson. I have also started to explain the reasoning behind the different learning activities and teaching strategies to my students. My students are receptive to the explanations and are willing try new types of activities.  

My school focuses on six instructional strategies that they feel are most important to see in the classroom. After taking this course, I am able to understand these strategies from a new perspective. All of the strategies my school pushes are ones we covered in class. I feel that I am more equipped to teach using these strategies in partnership with technology. Incorporating these instructional strategies based on what I learned in class will help me stand out as a proficient teacher.

Earlier in the course, I took my students on a virtual field trip and created a graphic organizer online. Thee two tools will enhance students learning. Bringing art to my students will create new real world experiences for them. My students will gain cultural experiences in which they can use to connect new information to. Online graphic organizers were a hit in my class.  This tool gave my students a cause to learn in a collaborative group. The students also were willing and eager to participate in class discussions without getting distracted.

Two long-term goals I have to improve my teaching practice in regards to technology are to utilize technology with my students outside the classroom and to update/ transforms my best lessons using technology. I would like to create more flipped classroom experiences for my students. My class is project heavy, and students can learn, and get assessed outside the classroom leaving class time for the creation of projects.  I would also like to implement an online classroom environment where students can have discussions, share ideas, and also be a part of a larger artistic community beyond our school. I will start this goal by first making a link to all students through the online grade book system. I will be able to communicate with my students and share new information with them. I will also conduct research about my student’s technological resources at home and plan based on my findings. Every teacher has lessons in their arsenal that are highly successful, engaging and fun. I would like to take those lessons I have and update them using technology. This may be as simple as adding a virtual field trip to the lesson, more complex by adding the construction of a Wiki page.  My goal is to start adding bits of technology as I learn them. I will then take the time over the summer to assess and keep what worked and re-think what did not. This lesson overhaul will take some experimentation and time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Social Learning Theory and Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is something I am no stranger to. My school has highlighted six particular teaching strategies, two of which fall under the social learning theory.  These strategies are collaborative group work, and classroom talk and were mentioned in their week’s resource video (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

This week, in our resources we explored social learning and technology within collaborative group work. When student work together the learning is enhanced (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012).  The zone of proximal development can be stretched when working with others (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). The key factor when placing students in groups is the grouping itself (Orey, 2001). Students who are placed in balanced groups will all learn in an extraordinary way.

Students working in groups can benefit by using technology.  There are two main ways technology can be used when student work in groups: as the form of communication and as the product of their group work. Students can communicate using technology through social media such as Facebook/Fakebook, Edublogs, Skype/FaceTime. The use of technology can ease the hassle of getting together for group meetings outside of class. When using Facebook and Edublogs students can communicate at times that suit them. This would be helpful for students are on a sports team, have a job, or other obligations that would prevent them from attending group meetings. Students can meet at real time from anywhere using Skype and FaceTime. When students use technology as the product of the group work, the possibilities are endless. Students can create blogs, YouTube videos, websites, a Second Life environment, VoiceThreads, etc. When students are working on a large project together there are many problems that come up, and students must learn how to solve these problems and learn from one another. Learning from others and/or the environment is a fundamental aspect of the social learning theory (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


This week, I used voicethread to introduce a problem-based lesson to my students. I would like feedback and comments before I  use this voicethread in the classroom.