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.