Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Delving into my GAME plan, I was able to self-evaluate my instructional strategies and identify the strengths and weakness.  More importantly, not only was I was able to identify my weakness, but I was able to specifically address those shortcomings.  Working with the GAME plan enabled me to set goals and develop a plan to meet those goals.  As an educator, I am constantly evaluating the learning of students to ensure their skills and knowledge are growing.  However, as an educator I also need to continually evaluate my own learning to promote my growth as a leader in the classroom.  While developing a GAME plan may seem difficult and time consuming, the reality is that educators are already evaluating their strengths and weakness in one way or another; however, the GAME plan is more precise and systematic. It is crucial to take ownership of one’s own learning and growth.  Tasking ownership of one’s own professional growth enables educators to act in response to the ubiquitous nature and role of technology, ensure our instructional skills are current, and finally be better equipped to address the needs of the students (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2010).
            Furthermore, with continuous change of technology and the impact technology has on today’s students, it is essential to consider how technology can support and extend learning beyond the classroom.  According to Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, (2010) it is critical to integrate technology to enhance the learning experience.  Combining technology into a lesson is unbeneficial to students if the process can be accomplished with out the use of technology.  In addition, Vikki Davis, (2009) indicates that technology should allow us as educators to “connect to other people’s resources and cultures from around the world.”  Moreover, technology should not be integrated for the sake of incorporating technology in the classroom (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). Considering all the changes in education, expecting educators to examine all the changes and initiate the necessary changes to better meet the needs of our students is unrealistic and unproductive for the students.  It is far more productive for me as an educator to smart small and examine previous lesson plans and discover ways that technology can enhance students learning in the classroom.   Another transition that has been made is developing more lessons that are problem based learning lessons.  Dr. Peggy Ertmer, (2009) suggests that problem based learning enriches students learning experience by allowing students to use technology to collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.  Most notable, is the opportunity students have to incorporate authentic tools, language and methods in finding a solution (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009).
            Finally, it is important to understand that incorporating technology does automatically create authentic instruction or 21-st century learning, but it serve as a powerful platform for engaging students in authentic learning experiences (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2010).

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. D., & Ertmer, P. A. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Spotlight on technology: Social      networking and online collaboration part 1. Baltimore, MD: Vikki Davis.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Spotlight on technology: Problem-based learning part 1. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Peggy Ertmer.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monitoring Your GAME Plan Progress

This week I have been monitoring my progress toward the goals in my GAME plan and have extremely fortunate to be working with a well versed media specialist.  This week we have working on facilitating wiki’s and web forums so that I can provide my students with constructive and timely feedback.  One of the challenges I am facing is a lack of student participation.  Although their participation is factored into a grade, there is not enough incentive for them to actively engage and collaborate.  In my attempt to gather additional information and materials I came upon Flip Your Classroom, which details how to create a digital instructional setting.  In this environment, students receive the majority of their instruction through video and online presentations outside of school (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).  Class time is then spent on the application of skills and mastery of content (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).  . Through reviewing the information form the book I was able to gather new ideas and tools I could implement into my lesson and further my GAME plan.  Beyond these insights, Flip Your Classroom has opened a new arena of teaching which I had not envisioned before.  Their concept of mastery is so intended with my pedagogy, that I now have a blue print to execute a flipped classroom. Although my GAME plan goals do not necessarily reflect a need to integrate technology into my instruction, the flipped process aligns seamlessly with my goals of meeting diverse learning needs and creating reflective and collaborative environment for my students. I was concerned that initially I would have to completely rework my plan, but I found that the flipped process was easy to implement and my students have been more willing to engage in the virtual collaboration and instruction.

As I reflect further I have come to realize that I need to be more patient and allow the process time to work.  Because of the time of the year, I was hoping for more instantaneous result and an increase in engagement.  It was disappointing that the student initial response and level of enthusiasm did not match my own, but I needed to take a step back and evaluate what changes needed to take place to benefit students.  Once I made adjustments, and gave the students time to explore the process, I found that engagement increased along with student enthusiasm. There is always going to be a small population of students who do not buy into the instruction and there is no silver bullet to remediate this behavior.  With this new instructional approach tough, I am able to focus more on the individual needs of the students and provide added support (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).

In the coming weeks I will be able to better determine the overall benefits my students have been able to reap from this activity, but I need to begin to explore addition professional development opportunities and resource.  In order to do this I will need to seek out resource outside my school district, but I am unsure of what is available and will be useful.  This uncertainty is what will drive my subsequent questions and alterations to my instructional practices.


Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: reach every student in every class every day. Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education
International Society for Technology in Education. (2013, March 10). NETS. Retrieved from International Society for Technology in Education: http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/nets-t-standards.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

In the 21st century classroom it is essential that teachers remain current and relevant by integrating technology into their instructional practices.  Although this can be a challenge, especially in districts that are under served and lack the resources to provide staff and student with updated technology tool, it is a challenge that must be addressed and not allowed to be pushed to the side with excuses.  As I mentioned last week in my game plan outline, I have identified the following ITSE goals as being areas I need to increase my proficiency in:  by week seven, “ I will increase my proficiency of student reflection by promoting and providing students opportunities to reflect using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes”,  and by week seven, “ I will increase my proficiency of customizing and personalizing learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources” (International Society for Technology Education, 2008). 

In order to increase my confidence and proficiency I know I need to expand upon my current practices and seek out support within my building.  There are a number of resources with in my district that I can utilize to assist in my implementation of my GAME plan. I have been meeting regularly with my buildings media specialist, who has been teaching me how to create and develop the online forums and blogs I detailed in my action plan. We currently use Google Doc and School Fusion both of which I am still attempting to master.

I have also reached out to our district IT supervisor to help upload and develop digital resources for student to reference and access.  Many of these require prior authorization and are not things I could have done on my own.  Beyond using my colleagues as a resource, I have altered the way in which I plan my instruction.  In addition to the differentiation that is currently a part of my lesson, I am searching online forums for ideas and examples I can integrate into my instruction.  In particular I am looking at ways in which my students can gain greater independence in their learning and express their ideas in new and unique ways.  I plan to continue searching for resources well beyond the end of class, but I think I will need to get some guidance of what additional information is out there and available.


International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE): NETS for Teachers 2008 http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx