ePortfoilio, Resources, Videos, Reflection, and Development
This website is all about the integration of technology into the classroom and finding a healthy balance in its usage. The website touches on useful sites like Googledrive, Googlesites, and Edmodo and how to integrate them in the class and how to share them amongst colleagues. The webpage is a basis for all grade levels of teaching. Technology can be easily accessible and usable in a K-12 classroom. "Technology and Teaching: Finding a balance" covers ISTE standards 2, 5, and 6 (Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, and Technology Operation and Concepts.)
This webpage discusses the effects that technology has on students inside the classroom. The webpage touches on some very interesting points. For example, how technology has helped students become more active in the classroom rather than simply relaying the teacher talking to memory. The page shows statistics on how the integration of technology can increase self-esteem and motivation. This webpage can easily be used in the K-12 classroom as the benefits of technology extend to all grade levels. This webpage covers ISTE standards 1, 2, and 5 ( Creativity and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, and Digital Citizenship.)
ABCya! is a website created by a teacher and has been featured by Apple and in the New York Times. It includes games for grades K-5. The games cover topics such as letters, numbers, addition subtraction, telling time, counting money, and many more. ABCya covers ISTE standards 1, 2, and 4 (Creativity and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, and Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making.)
Cellsalive! is an interactive website that focuses on cell biology, microbiology, immunology, and interactive diagrams of cells as well as puzzles and games. This webpage can be very interactive and useful for science teachers. This website would be most beneficial in grades 6 and up, due to the criteria that is offered. Cellsalive! covers ISTE standards 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Creativity and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, Research and Information Fluency, and Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making.)
Brainpop is an interactive website that offers such subject areas like Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Arts and Music, Health, and Engineering and Technology. Brainpop offers interactive videos that are fantastic for learning and keeping students involved in the material. Brainpop is mainly used in the K-5 classroom but is also very useful in the higher special education classrooms. Brainpop covers ISTE Standards 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Creativity and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, Research and Information Fluency, and Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making.)
This webpage discusses Piaget's social constructivism theory of learning. He discusses the many stages that an individual goes through when it comes to learning. These stages range from the sensory motor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage, and lastly the formal operational stage. Piaget believed in a hands on approach allowing for students to have more interaction with elements of the classroom.
This website discusses the social constructivist theories of John Dewey. John Dewey believed that students shouldn't have a classroom where they are being "taught" at and simply instructed. Dewey believed that students should focus on the real world aspect of the classroom. Students should have opportunities to think for themselves instead of information simply being given to them.
This webpage discusses the theories of famous constructivist Lev Vygotsky. Vygotski has several ideas that are similar to Piaget but also some that conflict. For starters, Vygotski believed that social interactions had a huge impact on learning. As teachers, we need to understand and accept this theory. Students with positive social interactions are more likely to be at a higher education level then those with negative or minimal social interaction. Now of course this is only a theory and has been proven to some extent however there are always exceptions.
This website discusses the constructivist theory of Jerome Bruner. His theory differs from the rest because he believes that learning is heavily affected by an individuals current and past experiences. He believed that learning must be in tune with an individuals experiences in order for them to remain interested and overall, learn. This is important to remember in the classroom. Activities should be interesting to our students and attempt to make a connection with every individual in the classroom. If students are actually interested in what they are learning then they will retain information much better.
This webpage discusses the constructivist, David Ausubel. Ausubel believed that learning is greatly affected by what the learner already knows. This belief relates to almost every teacher because as teachers we teach (most of the time) sequentially. For example, in Math we begin with a simple equation and by the end we use that and more to solve another bigger problem. If we did not know the simple equation we would not be able to figure out the answer that came many lessons later. This fits into Ausubel's theory because we already know the simple equation thus we must build on top of that to attain higher learning.
At the beginning of this course, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I truthfully believed this program would just help me plan lessons using technology, such as a SmartBoard. However, I was taken on a journey that far surpasses the technological limits of just the SmartBoard; and I am extremely grateful for that. I have learned how to use instructionally sound technological tools, such as Smore, Kahoot, and many more. I made my first Padlet, and I learned how to have meaningful discussions through the Internet. I will admit that, at the beginning of the course, I felt like technology in education was being completely blown out of proportion. I had the preconceived notion that, not too far into the future, teachers would be replaced by computers or robots. Now, in the last week of this Foundations course, my philosophy of instructional technology has definitely been altered in a more positive way. Therefore, my philosophy of instructional technology includes the belief that students and colleagues who are exposed and correctly taught how to utilize technology in the classroom will be successful and prepared in school and in the real world.
Even though it is only my first year of teaching, I have already discovered how diverse a class can be. In my classes, I have students who learn better through kinesthetic movement or through visual cues or by just me saying something and them remembering it. Thus, I know my lessons have to be just as diverse as my students. In order to do this, I am constantly switching up my lessons. I never do the same thing twice in a row. One day I use pictures to describe perfect form, and then the next day I will incorporate a video or myself actually doing the skill into the lesson. As a result, all of my students are benefitting from instruction because they are able to relate to the material. Also, I can benefit from all the professional development workshops that are available. Workshops like "Digital Storytelling- Beyond PPT and Prezi" and "New Educator Series- Do You Speak Information Technology and Integration" help broaden my horizons as a technology coach.
In my gymnasium, I want my students to acquire basic recreationally competent skills in a variety of sports. I do not expect them to be completely fluent, but I do expect them to be able to participate in situations in the real world. For example, I expect my students to be able to play in a game of basketball or baseball at a local park and be successful in this environment. Therefore, my goals for my students are to be able to incorporate their kinesthetic skills into the real world.
Now that my strategies and goals have been explained, someone might wonder how technology can be incorporated into them. As a first year teacher, I believe that I am at an advantage. Since day one, I have been incorporating technology into my lessons. I am fortunate to work in a school district that has technology available in every classroom. As a result, I take full advantage of this technology. I use it to show the proper form for a variety of activities and skills. For example, if I am fielding a ground ball compared to Derek Jeter up on the screen, students will feel more compelled to actually try and succeed. I also use it to show activities and pictures that help enhance the lesson. I also use the technology to project videos or music videos. In order to help my students become familiar with the technology, I allow them to interact with whatever technology I am using for the day. With this technology, it helps my students enhance and strengthen their skills in the physical education setting. Therefore, I plan to integrate technology into my lessons in order to help my students become successful in high school as well as in the real world.
As I stated at the beginning, I thought that computers and robots would replace teachers in the future. However, now that I have almost completed this Foundations course, I know this is impossible. Teachers will always be needed in the classroom because they need to teach students by correctly integrating technology to enhance instruction. As a result, I believe that technology will not completely alter classroom practices but, rather, enhance them. If you are an effective teacher without technology, then imagine the possibilities with the incorporation of iPads, a SmartBoard, or a class blog. Many teachers see technology as a nuisance rather than a useful tool. Therefore, in the future, I believe teachers will begin to incorporate technology into their lessons because they will finally begin to realize the benefits of technology integration in the classroom.
Aligning individual teaching practices with the mission of your school is important for the growth of the school, the teacher, and the student. At Monroe-Woodbury, I strive to match my teaching philosophy to correspond with the mission statement of the district. Monroe-Woodbury's mission statement is as follows:
"We are committed to academic achievement and success for all students in a safe environment. In partnership with families and our community, our mission is to promote confidence, inspire a passion for learning, and to prepare our students to become responsible global citizens. We believe the primary purpose of our schools is to provide an education program which will challenge each child to develop his intellect to its capacity. Each individual should be accepted into this program as he is and be provided with opportunities and learning experiences appropriate to his individual ability level, learning rate and style, in a stimulating environment. These experiences should allow each student to develop his skills in creative thinking, logical reasoning, problem solving, dealing with abstract concepts and practical application of knowledge. It is essential that the inherent desire to learn be nurtured so that each student will develop a desire for learning which will be maintained throughout his lifetime. Underlying all educational endeavors must be the development in each child of a feeling of self-worth and self-respect along with the acquisition of pride in work and the development of good character."
As a substitute teacher and former student teacher of the district, I have been raised through the ideologies and success driven program. I believe in the saying that "teachers wear many hats." This means that, not only am I an educator, I am also a record keeper, coach, role model, therapist, nurse, and many more. As a record keeper, I am responsible for the updating and collection of students' grades. With this I can see where students' strengths and weaknesses lie as well as use their grades as my own reflection tool to see where I can improve. As a coach, I am responsible for instilling the ideals of good sportsmanship and respect toward the sport they are playing. As a role model, I am showing students that even at a young age you can work hard and be very successful no matter where you may come from. As a therapist, I listen to my students' problems and help them find a solution that will benefit them. Lastly, as a nurse, I make sure my students stay safe and if an injury arises that they are taken care of quickly and effectively.
While schools strive for perfection day in and day out, concerns and frustrations do arise. One issue is parent involvement. As many parents that are involved with the school there are the same, if not more parents who remain uninvolved. As a staff we have to ask ourselves several questions regarding the parents and guardians of our students. How come parents aren't as involved as they should be? How can we, as a staff, make them more involved? How can parents still be involved if they work all day? How can we make parents see that their involvement has a correlation between their child's educational success? These are some questions that will always arise within a district and have to be dealt with at some time. Another concern is making sure I "challenge every child to develop his intellect to its capacity." This fits perfectly into the definition of differentiated instruction. As a teacher, I have to push my students to become as physically, mentally, and intellectually competent as they possibly can be; however, I have to understand that each student has his/her certain limitations. Students are not all cut from the same piece of cloth. Some are amazing artists, mathematicians, athletes, writers, etc. and I have to understand how hard I can push some students while others may be at their breaking point already. This arises several questions. How can I get students to feel challenged but not "burn" out? How can students be successful overall but remain individually competent in their own special area? How can I bring out the best in everyone I teach? How can I teach to the strengths of my students and help them understand everything in their own way? Supporting the mission of my school may not always be easy but it is something I strive to achieve every single day I walk into school.
Working with peers to achieve the overall mission of the district goes far beyond sharing an office or team teaching. It includes weekly meetings to discuss the progress of different students, how well units are progressing, any upcoming events, etc. Communication between the entire department is key to making sure students as well as us teachers stay on the same page. As physical education teachers, our classes generally are larger than most other general education classes. Planning out units and accommodating for lack of space, bad weather, and scheduled events allows for a smooth transition thus, maximizing teaching time. We must all work together and plan out an effective year long, tentative plan for how units will progress. Choosing activities that are not only fun and exciting but challenging with a probability for success. Planning activities for students that may have a physical limitation or IEP definitely factors in. As stated in the mission statement, "we are committed to academic success achievement and success for all students in a safe environment." Making sure all ranges of students show success and are always being safe is a major area of the mission statement we strive for. Also CSE meetings amongst certain students let us know how specific students are doing in other classrooms. Working with the principal, other general education teachers, a translator, as well as many others, allows colleagues to help students with extra needs achieve the overall mission as well.
Technology within any classroom always has the potential to be an excellent tool. Within my gymnasium I use mostly videos to help benefit the class. I use videos to show correct form of several skills using the pros themselves. Whether it be a Michael Jordan jump shot or Derek Jeter's ground ball form, students almost always take well to the videos. Also, depending on our unit at the time, I may come in and show a video of something amazing that happened related to our activity. For example, if my classes are in a baseball unit and a major league pitcher throws a no-hitter or perfect game, I can use this as a teachable moment. I can ask students does anyone know what a no-hitter is? A perfect game? Who was the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter? The question can keep continuing and hopefully getting students more involved in the unit. In physical education class, having the opportunity to sit down and do a technology lesson is not always in the plans. Most students who come to physical education in Monroe-Woodbury, want to be there. Sitting students down in front of a computer will most likely agitate most of the students. However, introducing videos into my gymnasium has allowed me to teach using technology and keep students interested in the task at hand.
A sound and formidable mission statement is the backbone to any district. The mission statement is what every educator attempts to instill within their classroom. Using the statement, educators can easily guide their classrooms to best fit the needs of every student in the classroom. Although mission statements may have some flaws and imperfections, they are the guidelines for everyone within that school with a task to educate or be educated.
Professional Development Workshop
- Workshop Description
In this workshop, the main focus will be collecting interactive resources to use in the classroom. Teachers will be able to follow video tutorials on several websites as well as create lessons using the websites from the workshop. This workshop will incorporate group work to create authentic, real-world lessons and activities as well as individual work to research more websites pertinent to teachers' grade levels or content areas.
- Workshop Summary:
a. Anticipated length: 3 hours
b. Description of the format: Face-to-Face, takes place in a computer lab
c. Target participant group: All teachers
d. Anticipated size of the participant group: maximum 15 participants
- Learning Outcomes for Participants (ISTE Standards for Teachers)
Standard 1: Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
1d: Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.
Standard 2: Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments
2a: Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.
2c: Customize and personalize learning activities to address students' diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
Standard 5: Engage in professional growth and leadership
5c: Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
- List of resources used for workshop
- Print/electronic resources:
- Presentation files
Prezi presentation of the different websites
- AV equipment:
SmartBoard (or any other interactive whiteboard), computers, headphones
- Participant activities
1. Introduction of participants-Teachers will introduce themselves by stating their name, the school they teach in, what subject area they teach, and what level they teach.
2. Introduction of websites-Presenter will introduce the following websites: brainpop, prezi, and padlet. With these websites, the presenter will share links ofnvideo tutorials of the listed websites. As a result, participants will be able to follow the directions in the videos to sign up for the websites.
3. Individual time to navigate through the websites-Participants will be given time to familiarize themselves with the websites. They can add certain lessons to their favorites and write notes down about certain activities and interactive tools.
4. Group work to create lessons-Teachers will work in groups using the websites and the notes and lessons they accumulated during their individual work time. Teachers will create a lesson that can be shared with the rest of the class. Then lessons will be created using Google Docs so it can be shared with all of the teachers. Groups will then create a presentation summarizing the main parts of the lesson as well as demonstrate where to find the resources on the websites.
5. Presentations-Teachers will present their lesson presentations and answer any questions about the website(s) or topic(s) covered in the lesson.
6. Evaluation survey of the workshop-Participants will complete an evaluation survey based on the workshop. The survey will be created through Google Forms.
For the evaluation of this workshop, I created a survey through Google Forms. In this survey, I ask the participants whether they found the workshop beneficial or not helpful at all. I also asked what websites they liked the most and whether they would recommend this workshop to their colleagues. The results of this survey will help me, as the presenter, create a more constructive workshop in the future.