I have been doing a lot of reading in the last week about Teaching in the Digital Age and I have realized that I have so much to learn. I have been getting my toes wet when it comes to technology in my classroom, but I can do so much more.
There are three goals I am going to be focusing on in the next two months. The first is to have my students be more collaborative. This falls under ISTE 2a, to interact, collaborate and publish with peers. I collaborate with my colleagues all the time, so why shouldn't my kids do it too? When I have my kids on their iPad, it's usually just them researching information on a report we are doing. My goal is to take this a step further and to have them help each other create movies and presentations about what they are researching. I want them to learn from each other and create something special to share with their peers. I don't know a lot about the iMovie apps or other applications I can use, but I have a teacher next door who does. So I will be collaborating with her to learn how to teach my kids. The Del Norte School District has many talented teachers who are excellent resources to help me and my kids learn new apps that will have them collaborating with each other.
I enjoy showing my kids the data I have on their learning. They have Data folders we regularly use to track their multiplication goals, fluency goals and Common Core State Standard goals. All of that data is in a folder on paper, I would like to change that and transfer their data online. This goal would be ISTE 3d, process data and report results. I think they would really like entering in their data and how much they have grown in an online setting. They love seeing their progress and growth and I think they would love it more if they had their very own way to do it online. I feel like we are a goal directed classroom, but going digital would be a huge step, more for me than them. To accomplish this goal I will need to find out what kind of goal orientated apps/website are out there. I need to ask our Data Coaches if they have any experience in these applications and if they have any suggestions on where to start. For now, a Google and app store search is a good place to start my research.
My third goal falls under the "Active" section in the Technology Integration Matrix. Throughout my four years of teaching, I feel like I have progressed from Entry level which focuses on typing programs to Adoption where I am regulating their activities. I think this stems from a lack of knowledge on my part. I don't feel comfortable just being the guide and letting them do their own thing. By nature I like to control things, with some of these sites/apps I don't have that control and they do. I know this is a good thing and that is how they learn, because I know it's how I learn. So to improve on my kids taking an active roll in their learning I need to focus on some concepts where they get to explore and discover what they can. I need to learn to be the guide and let their learning be self directed. I am going to really rely on other teachers to direct me to what kind of subjects work best. I know there are math apps out there were they can design their own house and this would cover many standards we have been working on. This goal aligns with ISTE 1b, create original works as a means as personal or group expression.
After reflecting on the components of the Technology Integration Matrix, I know I have a lot of areas where I can grow as a teacher and learner. There are so many wonderful sites and apps I can use in my classroom. I need to take advantage of the teachers in our district who know to do the things I don't. I am not one to ask for help, and I need to do that. I expect my kids to do it, so I need to do it too.