GAME On!

Recently, I have been reading “Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use, A Standards Based Approach” by Katherine Cennamo, John Ross, and Peggy Ertmer. Although I am only on Chapter Five, the GAME plan that is explained and referred to in this text has given me reason to reflect on some of my practices in and out of the classroom.

The GAME plan is quite a simple concept: Set goals, develop an action plan, implement and monitor those actions, and evaluate what went well and what may need some attention to make it better.

As I reflected upon my own practices this week, it made sense to review the ISTE NETS for Teachers: http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers.aspx. It is always good for me to revisit these standards, sometimes it even puts me back on course. Other times it causes me to target specific standards in workshops and professional development with participating teachers. And sometimes it causes anguish and disappointment as so many schools and districts have so far to go.

With that in mind, and the task of creating a GAME plan, I will share two standards that I wish to concentrate upon and also my plan to accomplish those goals.

GAME Plan #1:

  • Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
    • Benchmark: a. participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.

My goals to better achieve and meet this standard are quite simple. Join and participate in some professional communities. Currently, I have joined and frequent many professional communities, but my participation is quite limited. Although I lurk and consume much of the discussions and information in places like Twitter, Ning, and LinkedIn, I very rarely contribute to the conversations. My goal, therefore, is quite straight forward: don’t just consume, but contribute!

My action plan consists of continuing to frequent these sites that share similar visions and interests, but instead of just consuming the content, I will attempt to join a meaningful conversation and add relevant content.

Monitoring my progress will be the easy part. Since this leaves a digital trail behind, the monitoring of my progress should be quite simple.

Evaluation is where I will need the help. Those involved in the discussion and those who may happen to read this post will become my evaluators. Don’t worry, I have thick skin.

GAME Plan #2:

  • Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
    • Benchamark: d. contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community.

My goal in regard to this benchmark is also quite simple. Be positive. So many times while visiting schools, teachers voice their concerns and frustrations when trying to use technology in their classrooms. Many times it is not necessarily teachers who are at fault, but a system that struggles to tow the line between accountability and safety and exploration and authentic learning. Simply put, I need to feel more compassion for those who are making valid efforts.

My plan of action is also quite simple. Show compassion, offer support and encouragement, and let teachers know that their struggles and frustrations are being felt by teachers all over.

Monitoring this goal will be a bit more difficult, as will the evaluation of the success of the actions. I plan to keep a journal of the discussions and communications between teachers and document feelings as well as my reactions to those discussion. Maybe I can find some sort of relevance in that information.

I realize that technology is not the end all, be all, but I believe technology is becoming more deeply embedded into our society, our culture and our everyday lives. Thus, it should also become an important part in the process of educating our children to become valuable participants in our society. While technology is not essential to creating authentic, learner-centered instruction, it offers a powerful resource for engaging students in authentic experiences, typically increasing both their motivation and their learning (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2010, pg. 51).

Resource:

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

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~ by Dean Phillips on May 11, 2011.

4 Responses to “GAME On!”

  1. I like that you have a think skin. It’s really important that your colleagues know this as well. Many times people feel badly about speaking their minds for fear that they may hurt feelings. It is up to the you to maintain that you are looking to get better at your craft and that sometimes learning what you’re not doing is beneficial to your students and you as a professional.

  2. Hey Brandon, thanks for the comment. Learning is the key… I continue to learn from every teacher that I visit with. Technology integration seems simple on the surface, but it is much deeper than just using tools with your students or using devices to help you teach. A connection to the content is critical as well as an identified purpose. If I were asked to give one piece of advice to new and young teachers trying to use more technology in their classrooms, it would be just that…identify your purpose for using the technology. Many lessons have become less effective by the use of technology whose use and purpose has not been identified.

    • I agree, we all have a bag of tricks that we use and many other teachers may need to know about them. I think many times we think everyone would be able to figure things out themselves, but borrowing good ideas is always a positive. Why reinvent the wheel?

  3. […] I reflect on my progress of my GAME plan, posted two weeks ago, I find myself almost in the same position as when I created the plan. I have […]

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