Counting down until August 12th. Not much time to finish all that my GAME plan (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2007) entails. To “stop teaching and start guiding” (Dyer, 2010) is monumental for one brought up in the traditional classroom, but I am hard at work to ensure that my students are provided with learner-centered authentic projects and authentic and appropriate use of technology this fall.
Do I need to modify my plan? My original plan spoke of Stiggins (2007) division of knowledge and skills and Eagleton & Dobler’s (2007) QUEST. I have since found that the “horse” (resources) must come first, and the “cart” (lessons) will come along in a few weeks.
The information and resources I need? So far at week three of my plan, “providing equitable access (not necessarily equal time) to appropriate digital tools and resources” (Cennamo et al., 2007, p. 171, 174) is my biggest concern and a challenge with the continuing “digital divide” or “troubling gap between those who use computers and the Internet and those who do not” (Mehra, Merkel, & Bishop, 2004). Computer access for upwards of thirty students with a supply of six classroom computers and an overwhelmed media center is tough, so I have contacted the technology department at the board of education and should have my projector with laptop and Internet both functioning and mounted (the plethora of wires stretch across the floor) before school begins. Too, as accessing any sites on the Net with images is nearly impossible due to the stringent district filter, useful sites with images must be identified and sent for approval ahead of time. I have compiled tentative lists for my first two units, and must finalize those and send for access. I have also requested authorization of my blog site for use as a conferencing tool, which “prompt[s] metacognitive reflection” (Cennamo et al., 2007, p. 71) in the classroom. I am unsure about specifics at this time, but prior knowledge, analysis, synthesis, and reflection can all be promoted through discussion and the ease and comfort of a blog (2007). Another activity I have begun is to evaluate the necessary websites for my British Literature class, including those with ancient British history and appropriate images for storytelling. These site will need submitted to be unblocked too.
After compiling and assuring resources is to develop my long term curriculum using the county calendar and a teacher planning resource such as Internet4Classrooms (i4c) (Brooks, S. & Biles, B, 2010). The six British literature units will correspond with literary movements and align with state standards. They will include continuous formative assessments and weekly or biweekly project-based assessments sometimes including performance. All units will include both traditional and authentic instruction to provide scaffolding (traditional) and creative thinking skills (authentic). Incorporating the UDL (Universal Design for Learning) will also allow active learning and differentiation through choice and flexibility of “materials, methods, and assessments” (Cennamo et al., 2007).
What have I learned so far and what questions have arisen? When I ponder the GAME plan pneumonic (2007), I find that the first two steps are a great impetus to planning, especially in the context of my studies. Yet when I ponder all that I have gained and questioned on this exciting educational journey, blogging does not allow for such depth and once again, time is of the essence. I will have to keep that to myself, in hopes that I do not frighten anyone away from reading my thoughts.
Brooks, S. & Biles, B. (2010). Internet4Classrooms. http://www.internet4classrooms.com/index.htm
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Mehra, B., Merkel, C., & Bishop, A. (2004). The Internet for empowerment of
minority and marginalized users. New Media and Society 6: 781–802.
Retrieved July 21, 2010, fromhttp://nms.sagepub.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/
Stiggins, R. J. (2007). Student-involved assessment for learning. New York:
Prentice Hall, p. 72.