Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I was very pleased overall with the professional development plans that the students completed. For the most part, their goals were very specific and attainable. Many mentioned that they would like to keep track of their progress towards their goals with a dedicated page in their e-portfolios. I thought this was a great idea and decided to make this the assignment for the professional development plan revision. I explained to the students what I thought should go on this page - their original goals, the progress they've made thus far, links to evidence (screenshots, photographs, web links, etc.) of their progress, and plans for the future. The students' reactions to this assignment was positive, expressing that they felt it would be more useful to them than simply revising their original plans.

The students seemed to appreciate the segment during last week's lab on making our W200 pedagogy transparent, that is, sharing tools and tips as one teacher to another. The tool I shared was Poll Everywhere. This week, I shared three other tools that I had found helpful in my professional teaching tasks - Google Calendar, Twitter, and Umbrella Today. I demonstrated how they can use their cell phones to send and receive "tweets" and explained how Twitter is being used to share insights during conferences. I also shared how I have been using Google Calendar to manage my schedule and how I have set up to receive reminders on my cell phone so that I won't miss meetings or appointments. I then showed the students who were interested how to set up the option to receive SMS (cell phone text) reminders. I introduced Umbrella Today as a tool that simply sends SMS reminders when the forecast calls for rain. This can be helpful to a busy teacher who has a lot on the mind when heading out the door to school each morning.

I then modeled how they might make technology integration decisions using the SNOWY decision making process. SNOWY stands for Standard, Needs, Options, What, and Why. After modeling this process, I asked the students to join with one or two classmates and create a Google Doc that outlines the SNOWY process as applied to an 8th grade science case. Having the students in groups was very beneficial in especially the Options step, as they bounced ideas off one another for possible activities (or Options) that they could use in this case. The groups then wrote learning objectives that incorporated the option they chose. At the close of class, each group presented their Google Doc, some of the Options that they found, and their learning objective. I was able to provide specific feedback on their proposals to each group (and the whole class). I hope that this workout will lead to better proposals in the coming weeks.

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posted by SG @ 12:51 PM  
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Location: Houston, TX, United States
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I am attempting to develop practical instructional applications of developing technologies and provide educators with tools to implementing instructional technologies effectively.
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MUVEs, Web 2.0, assistive technologies, digital video

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