Sunday, May 3, 2015

Module Three - Foundations

I am fortunate to have been using Ipads in my PE/Health curriculum for the past two years. We transitioned from a classroom book to Ipads during textbook adoption. My school is going 1:1 during the 2015-2016 school year and I feel a bit ahead of the game to have a two year head start on the process. My department was given a classroom set of Ipads to be shared with all students in our classes. Having to share has presented many problems, but it has also given us a opportunities to try tools out and see what works and what does not. With that being said I reviewed the Technology Integration Matrix Grade Level Index to see what my two years has afforded me. I have spent a lot of time researching apps and incorporating their use in my curriculum. Some projects have me at the ADAPTATION level, as I introduce new ways to use technology in their lessons, which then grows into the Infusion and Transformational Level. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national organization advocating for 21st century readiness for every student, explains the outcomes of this transformation as fusing the traditional three R’s with four C’s: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration (Blair, 2010). My goal is student engagement. I strive to have an interactive classroom. I want it to be very theoretically based and I know exactly what I want my students to learn. 1:1 will put technology in every student's hand. This will give my students daily access to technology and an endless bounty of free educational web 2.0 sites and apps. These tools empowers me to innovatively craft digital learning experiences that promote discovery and creation. My district has Technology Standards that are clearly spelled out for teachers and at what grade level those expectation should be met. These are driven by ISTE. Most of my lessons are project-based; inquiry based. Inquiry based projects are another way to get students to think rather than memorize. These group projects also help students build important skills such as communications, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. Technology can help with these projects and skills. Students can create things such as web sites, blogs, and multimedia presentations as part of their projects. They can use the web for research and as a resource. They can connect with students at other schools and do collaborative work with them. They also learn technology skills while doing these projects. My students are my teachers. Many students certainly know more than I do, and more readily adapt to the use of new technologies. I have had to work very hard to get to where I am today. Education has shifted from teacher-centered (the one who knows all the answers) to student-centered. Any answer is at a student's fingertips and technology can unlock the path to it. It becomes the great equalizer. It will be a life long journey to achieve Transformational levels in exciting journey I might add. Digital tools enhance and add to student’s inherent creative skills. I believe that it is my job as a facilitator of learning to foster and nurture that growth. I want to provide real-world activities that promote collaboration and classroom problem solving, made easier through new technology. This can only be achieved through the sharing of knowledge, resources, and pedagogy. Teachers need time, opportunity, and resources to meet these goals. School systems need to provide the assistance that each teacher needs. Teacher learning needs to be differentiated, just as our own students do. We come from different places. I graduated with my first degree in 1976. A computer was some big mainframe thing on campus - now it's held in your hand, your watch, or positioned on your eyeglasses. The SAMR model maps out a path for us. Researchers have determined that technology integration typically moves through specific levels. The higher the level of an activity the greater the educational benefit (Oxnevad, 2013). Real success is found with the efficient use of digital tools - tools that are appropriate for the task. It is the path we can comfortably use to re-define the way that we learn. I have a Passion Topic project that culminates my health learning. It is a semester long project where students may choose any topic in the world they want to learn more about as long as it affects their health or the health of others. This encompasses just about any topic that you can think of. The rubric spells out levels of success, but students are empowered by their own inquiring and interests. Technology is a tool they utilize to get answers, make contacts, collaborate, and present. I would be very willing to share this project under the Transformational Index in its entirety. There is a lack of Physical Education/health projects as content. Blair, Nancye. "Educational Technology." : RSA3: Technology Integration For The New 21st Century Learner. N.p., 2012. Web. 03 May 2015. Oxnevad, Susan. "Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line - Getting Smart by Susan Oxnevad - 1:1 Program, Apple, Edchat, EdTech, SAMR, Technology." Web log post. Getting Smart Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line Comments. N.p., 04 July 2013. Web. 03 May 2015.

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