Student Learning Profile Survey

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Walden University – Course 6714: Week 2 Application

Learning to Love Assessment

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Walden University – Course 6714: Week 1 Discussion

Assessing Diverse Learners in the Classroom

I can relate to Carol Ann Tomlinson’s early years as a teacher. I did not like assessments, and only gave them when I had to. However, reading through her ten understandings to classroom assessment, I realized it was not assessing students that I disliked so much, but the singular method through which I might give assessments. We all have our preferences for how we communicate. By broadening the scope for communication, students can demonstrate their understanding via a method they are most comfortable with; like a written essay, verbal or visual presentation, etc. (Tomlinson, 2008).

The fourth understanding described by Tomlinson (2008), “Informative assessment isn’t separate from the curriculum,” has recently impacted me in my work by how I develop curriculum. I used to create lessons first and then build my assessments from what was covered in my lessons. This was backwards. I did not realize at the time that I could not successfully measure my students’ understanding of information if I did not first define my goals and outcome. Covey (n.d.) discusses the importance of knowing first what you should be focusing on so that you can visualize and make connections; “begin with the end in mind.” By clearly identifying lesson goals (what they will learn) and the outcome (what they should be able to do) from the beginning, students have a higher chance of successfully learning what is being taught. Additionally, assessments given during units of study become a more accurate form of evaluating and determining student understanding.

This new insight has helped me develop a template for creating lessons. I first identify the purpose; this is the “overall” reasoning for the lesson. Next, I identify the goals, or objectives, for the lesson which are the key points the students will learn. Lastly, I identify the lesson outcome. This clarifies tasks, or what the students will be able to do with the new knowledge and/or skills. By mapping out my lesson purpose, objectives and outcome(s) from the beginning, students do not have to guess at what will be coming next. They know what to expect, are better prepared for the activities, and more likely to formulate personal connections that will aid in their learning.

Shanna Falgoust

References:

Covey, S. R. (n.d.). The 7 habits of highly effective people, habit 2: begin with the end in mind. Stephen R. Covey: The Community. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit2.php

Tomlinson, C. (2008). Learning to love assessment. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 8–13. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

GAME Plan Reflection

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Walden University – Course 6713: Week 8 Reflection

Reflection on my GAME plan:

I developed my GAME plan based on parts of the NETS for Teachers, 3C regarding effectively corresponding with parents through the use of current technologies, and 4A concerning teaching “legal and ethical use of” technology and online content (ISTE, 2008). During this course I discussed my thoughts and plans with my colleagues and came to a decision to create a class blog where I could add parent emails and manually sign them up to received emails anytime I posted an update regarding assignments, assessments, projects, etc. It was a bit difficult to collect parent email this late in the year, and therefore had to seek other means to obtain this information. Another obstacle presented itself once the blog was set up and the emails were added, which was manually changing each users’ settings to auto-receive these update emails. It basically came down to the parents “signing up” for this feature, which was a little disappointing to me. However, as one colleague pointed out, some parents would prefer to check the blog site themselves, than to receive these automatic emails. In the end, I believe I was successful in providing an open channel for relaying information to parents.

As for, teaching legal and ethical issues, I believe that having a quick MLA style guide for myself has made it easier and more convenient for me to check student work and therefore I have consistently been adding an assignment requirement for students to include in their projects the resources from their research. Additionally, I have witnessed my students voluntarily pulling out their MLA Style Guide reference cards to assist them during their assignments.

New learning that resulted from your following your GAME plan and impact it will have on your instructional practice

By using the GAME plan I was better able to focus on specific needs I had and goals I wanted to accomplish. Once I identified a goal, I had to plan ways to accomplish that goal. Through constant monitoring and evaluation, I was able to determine if my action plan was working or if it need to be modified my plan in any way. This has given me new insights into how I can integrate this learning strategy with the student-led method of learning in order to better help students form their own questions, come up with their own solutions, then monitor and decide if that solution is appropriate or if they need to think of another approach.

Are there any immediate instructional practice adjustments regarding technology integration in your content area(s) as a result of your learning from this course?

My main instructional practice adjustments would be to use more social media tools online, as allowed by our district. It’s a great way for the students to communicate, collaborate, share ideas, and explore new options…just like educators use in their “professional learning communities.”

Shanna Falgoust

Resources:
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). NETS for teachers 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx

Using the GAME Plan Process with Students

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Walden University – Course 6713: Week 7 Application, Part I

A NETS-S technology standard that I can incorporate into a lesson, using the GAME plan process, falls under the heading of Creativity and Innovation.

NETS-S standard 1D, the Goal of the GAME plan, states that students will identify technology trends and forecast possibilities (ISTE, 2007). The Action students will take is to research current technology trends, choose one, then blog about why they feel it is considered a trend and forecast the possible evolution of this technology trend in the future.

Students will Monitor their progress by continuing to blog about any new research they may find. In addition, they will blog about interviews they conduct regarding the use of this trend and any other technology or concept that might contribute to the possible evolution of this trend.

Students will Evaluate their own progress by later using this data and synthesize their thoughts to give a projection on the feasibility of their prediction. In addition, students will evaluate each other by posting their thoughts to 3 of their peers’ blogs regarding the projections made on future trends.

Resources:

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). NETS for teachers 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx

Evaluating My GAME Plan & Looking Beyond

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Walden University – Course 6713: Week 6 Application, Part I

What have you learned so far that you can apply in your instructional practice?
I like the idea of posting class information in one common area. Instead of typing up my daily agendas for my students, I think have a class wiki would be a great place to post these agendas. Students would know immediately where to go to find that day’s activities and can immediately get started on the “bell ringer” assignments. Plus, if students are out sick or know they will be out for a school activity, they know they have a resource to find out what we will be doing that day so they can stay up with the work.

What goals are you still working toward?
I am still looking for tools that give me the greatest access in modifying privileges based on teacher, student contributor, student facilitator, parent, etc.

Based on the NETS-T, what new learning goals will you set for yourself?
I am continually looking into Moodle and the various add on modules available to create a media-rich educational environment that provides tools for differentiated learning. This personal goal follows the NETS-T (2b) standard: develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress (ISTE, 2008).

What learning approaches will you try next time to improve your learning?
I will definitely continue to seek insights from my colleagues and other professional educators by remaining involved in local and national professional organizations such as TCEA, ISTE, etc. where I can attend conferences, webinars, sign up for news feeds, etc.

Resources:
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). NETS for teachers 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx

Evaluating My GAME Plan Progress

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Walden University – Course 6713: Week 5 Application, Part I

My NETS-T goals were to (1) effectively correspond with parents through the use of current technologies, and (2) provide additional avenues to teach “legal and ethical use of” technology and online content. In reflecting upon my progress, I feel my actions have helped me to meet these goals.

  • I sought out and collected parent emails from the front office files;
  • I set up a blog with a categories feature that allows postings to be searched by general course information, assignments, tests, projects and announcements to readily provide information to my parents and students; and
  • I created a “Quick MLA Reference Card” for my students and myself, and have implemented more assignments requiring research with a works cited page.

I have learned that my parents love the added communication resource. The blog news postings allows them to stay informed of course happenings and be actively involved with their child’s academic life. I have also learned that having a quick MLA style guide for myself to check student work against has made me more confident in assigning projects with research. In addition, I have observed my students readily utilizing their reference cards during their assignments.

Although my parents like the blog as a new information resource, the parents have had to voluntarily sign up to receive posting updates. I have been working with the email settings, but I have yet to find a way to automatically subscribe parents, whom I have manually added as users of the blog, to receive emails when updates are posted. If I am unable to set this up, I may look into creating a blog on my Moodle system and transferring the data there, or researching other possible communication tools that might fit my purposes better.

Game Maker Lite vs. Pro (Network Traffic)

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Testing and Evaluation Results

Game Maker Lite is the free version to Game Maker Pro. Both allow you to design and produce games, however, the Lite version has fewer pre-programmed, drag-and-drop, action features. In addition, the Lite version “talks back and forth” or sends and receives information from two countries; one being Russia. Russia is known for its high volume of Malware (known as malicious software) traffic over networks. As this creates obvious concerns for school districts looking to implement game development courses, I worked with Alan Duerr, Network Administrator for Hays Consolidated Independent School District, to test Game Maker and see if the same was true for the paid Pro version. After running several test scenarios, from designing games to running and playing those games, the Pro version proved to have absolutely no communication with outside countries. An additional benefit we discovered during our testing concluded that there was minimal traffic being sent and received which slows down District networks.

Monitoring My GAME Plan

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Walden University – Course 6713: Week 4 Application

I have decided to go with a class blog, after careful consideration from research and discussion with my classmates regarding blogs, wikis, and even a class newsletter. At this time, it is the most convenient way for me to communicate with my parents through the use of current technology (ISTE, 2008). Later, I would like to add a newsletter option, but that will require a fair amount of pre-planning and organizing before I would be ready for that step.

Currently, I have acquired my class blog at falgoust.wordpress.com and will be adding a theme and editing the features. I also added a page which will house a copy of my MLA Style Guide once complete. The page includes links from some websites I found useful. I will use these references, and others if necessary, to compile my classroom guide for students.

One time-consuming task is obtaining parent emails from the school nurse’s student records. I have to go in, one by one, and pull my students, and record the data. Those parents who did not put an email address on this card, I will contact by phone to see if they would like to include an email address to get assignment, project and test updates for my class.

I do not see a need yet for modifying my action plan, therefore I will continue with what is on my agenda. However, as mentioned above, I have learned of a way to make a class newsletter work. It will require preliminary work to get set-up, which can be done over the summer, as well as gaining the support of several dependable and trust-worthy students to continually help lay out the document during the school year. One question that has arisen through peer discussions is, “in what instance might an educator create a wiki that allows parents to collaborate by adding to and editing a class wiki?” Any suggestions?

Resources:
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). NETS for teachers 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

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Walden University – Course 6713: Week 3 Application, Part 1

As previously stated in my GAME Plan, my goals are to provide a blog (or possibly wiki) as means to inform parents of upcoming assignments, projects, tests, etc., as well as become better familiar with MLA style formatting.

The resources I will need in order to carry out my plan include:

    1. Internet access for research and to create and update my blog/wiki,
    2. Blog or wiki to to post class information to for parents and students,
    3. MLA style guide(s) and/or online MLA style guide resources to research formatting for commonly used reference materials,
    4. Microsoft Word to create a quick MLA style reference guide sheet,
    5. Adobe Acrobat or CutePDF to create a portable document format of the guide sheet that can be opened without the need for Microsoft Word, and can be referenced by students.

    Additional information I will need to obtain are parent emails to add the parents as users of the wiki/blog.

    Currently, I am look up the pros and cons of wikis and blogs regarding the levels of user access. I want the parents to contribute, but not have access to change information in certain areas, which I know can be done on a wiki. There is a little more research to be done, before I decide, but that is what I am currently looking into.

    Developing My GAME Plan

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    Walden University – Course 6713: Week 2 Application

    Developing My GAME Plan: Enriching Content Area Learning Experiences

    The National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) cover many important markers in which teachers must strive to achieve in an effort to stay abreast of technology advancements and meet the needs of 21st century learners. After examining the NETS-T, I feel fairly confident regarding my proficiency in these areas as a technology teacher, however there are two indicators I would like to develop a GAME plan for.

    The NETS-T: A part of standard 3C states that teachers must effectively correspond with parents through the use of current technologies, while a section of standard 4A addresses teaching “legal and ethical use of” technology and online content (ISTE, 2008). Although I am proactive in communicating with parents at the beginning of each semester–the time when I get new students–I do not have a tool in place to keep parents up-to-date on assignments and projects happening throughout the semester. In addition, although I am familiar with the practice of citing information, I have never placed much emphasis on it. Therefore, these are the two areas I will build my GAME plan for.

    The following are the four steps I will use to develop my GAME plan:

    1. Goal setting
    2. Action planning
    3. Monitoring progress
    4. Evaluating/extending progress

    Goals & Actions: The goals I will set for myself will be to provide a way to effectively and efficiently inform parents of upcoming assignments, projects, tests, etc., and become better familiar with MLA style formatting. To achieve these goals I will create a course blog where I can easily post pertinent curriculum information, and research and create a classroom reference guide for citing sources in MLA format.

    Monitor: For the blog, I will monitor my progress by logging in to the site and posting assignments, projects, tests, etc. at least one week in advance, while updating information on past assignments regarding completion dates. In order to better familiarize myself with MLA formatting, once I have created a reference guide, I can monitor my progress by creating at least one research assignment a month where students must applying MLA citations to their work. Each assignment can utilize a different type of resource so that I can practice recognizing proper MLA formatting.

    Evaluate: Through my regular methods of communication with parents via phone, email, conferences, etc., I am able to gather their feedback and suggestions regarding the course blog and make any necessary modifications to better this form of communication. By continuing to develop assignments for students where they must cite their sources and I must verify their resource formatting, I will become better acquainted with MLA style and should be able to easily recognize the various parts and sequencing of this style. In addition, through these assignments, I can also assess student understanding of this practice and if I need to make any modifications to help them master the practice of MLA citing.

    Resources:

    International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). NETS for teachers 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx

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