Sunday, June 28, 2015

Digital Citizenship - An Eye-Opening Lesson For Me (MTI 562)

In my online class, "The Tech Infused Teacher" - MTI 562 this week we investigated Digital Citizenship and Internet Search/Research.  This is an enormous topic and requires a lot of time to digest.  As a digital learning specialist it is my number one job to teach my students and teachers the proper way to use the internet in all areas.  This spans across many platforms - from researching state landmarks or the butterfly life cycle to staying safe online during video gaming and social networking.  Topics range from stranger danger to plagiarism.  We just scratched the surface and my head is spinning.

Our Week 4 Project is to digitally research a tech ed topic that interests me.  Well, they all interest me!  I have spent numerous hours researching many different topics.  Here is my thought process:

Idea 1:  Digital Citizenship...Staying Safe on Line:  Next year, one of my main focuses will be teaching Digital Citizenship to students in Kindergarten to 6th grade. As you can imagine, this is a major undertaking.  Yes, we do introduce digital safety and guidelines starting in Kindergarten.  Then, as they transition into the next grades, they will feel comfortable and empowered by their skills.

Click HERE for an article on teaching Digital Citizenship.

Idea 2:  Using Educational Technology with Common Core:  A majority of my job is to use programs and apps to enhance the curriculum.  Teachers must follow the standards for their curriculum and make a plan for how to teach those standards.  I work with them to see how technology will assist them in this.  I use the SAMR model to integrate technology into our classes.

I found some great websites for Ed Tech and Common Core:

Click HERE for an article on what the Common Core says about tech integration.

Idea 3:  Giving Credit Where Credit is due.
After really searching for some good topics, I decided to discuss the use of blogging in the classroom to integrate and really use technology to enhance the curriculum.  Blogging has proven to be an amazing platform for students to incorporate 21st century learning skills into their lessons and the curriculum.  This is a way that students can share their writing with an authentic audience in a creative and collaborative way.

I have a personal blog as well as a professional blog, as you can see. I worked with several teachers this year to incorporate blogging into their classes.  I created a compilation of materials to share with teachers to help them with all aspects of blogging with their students.  I put all of my resources into one place using the online program, "Blendspace". I felt really satisfied with my materials.  They range from my personal notes and resources to online websites, articles, and videos.

Here is the problem...During this week's online class, I learned about the legalities of copyrighted materials.  Of course I know not to plagiarize someone else's work, but I didn't really consider giving credit to these sources when I use them for my lessons.  Wow, my mind is blown.  So, instead of researching how blogging helps teachers with Common Core, I went back to my Blendspace and gave credit on all of my resources.  It was a difficult and time consuming task.  I had to go back and try to find these resources online to be able to cite them.  I started off with the intention of storing these sources for myself, but decided to share them with others.

There are "Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers" where we can use some materials and information for educational use, but it is not extremely easy to understand or decipher.  There is a great chart, but I'm not sure if I can legally share the chart.  I'm really shocked by the information that I'm learning about copyrights and penalties that I'm scared to share it.

Here is a link for lots of resources.

Below is my Blendspace compilation of Blogging Resources that I used with teachers last year.  You'll see my personal meeting notes along with many resources to understand and use blogging.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Math Workshop in 3rd Grade (MTI562)

Student work books created with "Book Creator".

Massachusetts Standards for Grade 3 Math

Measurement and Data  
3.MD Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.
1. Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g., by representing the problem on a number line diagram.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

MTI - 562 Assignment - Tech Problems

Source of Image

Our assignment for my online class, MTI - 562, is to blog about a tech problem that I have experienced as a teacher.  I know that this topic is meant to discuss technical issues that we face in our school.  I'd say that my biggest obstacles center around iPads.  To begin with, we don't have as many iPads that we need to have all of our teachers using this technology.  I am working with teachers to use several iPad apps to create projects with the students in all subject areas.   A full cart of iPads is needed for me to teach a whole class activity and scheduling these is difficult.  Other teachers are using several iPads for their centers or remediation activities which leaves my full cart not so full.  My other problem with the iPads is that they don't get updated often enough and when they do get updated, there are issues with the update.  Sometimes the entire cart doesn't get updated and the IT guys don't catch it.  Right now, I'm currently unable to email projects easily off of the iPads which is a major problem for me.  I have to set up Gmail on each iPad every single time I use them.  This process takes a long time and is very frustrating.

Although it's not actually a tech related problem, one major issue that I face as a Digital Learning Specialist is helping teachers get over the mindset that tech integration is just "Another thing on their plate."  Technology needs to be viewed as a positive enhancement for our lessons.  A challenge that most teachers face when using technology is adapting and designing technology-enhanced curricula to meet the students' needs.  We have to ask ourselves "What does technology offer my students in terms of developing concepts and content?"  "How does it help them carry out processes such as inquiry, collaboration, and problem solving?"  And, "How can we use technology to develop authentic learning?"

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Getting Professionally Developed - MTI 563: TheThe 21st Century Digitally-infused Teacher

MTI 562: The 21st Century Digitally-infused Teacher

Teaching is an evolving profession.  It seems like everywhere you turn, there's something new to integrate into your classroom to help our students learn and grow!  Our heads are spinning trying to learn this program or that new technique.  But, as any educator will tell you, if it helps even one child, it's totally worth it!

So here I am, taking an online course to help me help my students.  I have been a classroom teacher for 19 years and have taught every subject within that time frame.  This past school year I have taken a new journey as the Digital Learning Specialist for my school district.  I never would have considered the job if my principal didn't believe in me.  She said that they were looking for a "Teacher first" and the technology would come over time.  When we interviewed my principal I knew that she would be someone who I could grow professionally with and her faith in me for this job has inspired me to work hard and dedicate every day to this journey.  I also want to thank my superintendent who also had faith in me and gave me this position.

I have been very fortunate to have a mentor, Paula Klipfel, who guides me and is the one I call with my questions.  We have formed a support group the fellow Digital Learning Specialist, Samantha.  Together we attend conferences, professional development opportunities, and frequent meetings to help guide the teachers we work with.

Now I'm enrolled in this awesome class to take the learning to another level.  "The 21st Century Digitally-infused Teacher".  I'm learning so much right out of the gate.  We have some amazing people in the class to collaborate with and share ideas. Everyone has a blog and we have been assigned to read them and get to know each other.  This builds our PLN - Professional Learning Network.  We are going to learn so much from each other.

Lots to learn!  I'm excited to learn some new technologies to help teachers with while working with students.  I've already been stretched out of my comfort zone which is a great thing.  The professor said that it's okay to "fail" some techniques and projects as long as we keep moving forward and never stop. Well, that's me...Never Stop!