Browse Month: January 2015

Continuing the Transformation Process

Following up with last week’s information, I will share steps four and five in  “Part Two: Transforming Past Lessons for the 21st Century Digital Classroom.” from Michael Gorman’s Blog.  If you chose a lesson while reading the first three steps, you can continue to process of transforming this lesson by developing an engaging title and questions, and deciding what technology you will implement in the lesson.  If you would like a planning sheet to record your ideas as you work through these steps, download it here.

I’m sure you’ve already picked up on the fact that these suggestions for transforming your lessons are not solely based on the use of technology.  Technology is a powerful tool for transforming learning, but as you know, the mere presence of technology will not change anything without thoughtful, intentional implementation.  These fact that these steps focus on why technology is used before how it is used makes them useful as we continue to address our building technology goals.

Mel and I are making final preparations for the EdTech Chef Challenge to be held on February 13, and we are looking forward to a day of collaborative learning.  As you think ahead to the day, remember that you are not producing a complete lesson plan script, but a general plan including the why and how you will use your technology ingredients.  The main focus of the competition rubric addresses “why” technology is used.  Why is it used to transform? Why is it used to differentiate?  Why is it used in the formative assessment cycle?  Does this technology use truly enhance the lesson or simply replace another tool or process–or worse yet, hinder learning through unnecessary use?  As you participate in the event, don’t get bogged down in the details (the “how”) of making the technology work perfectly or figuring out every step necessary to setting up a successful assignment–there won’t be time for that.  Begin with your content standard and ISTE Student Standard, then get an idea of what the tech tools can do, and then ask the question “How can we meet our content and ISTE standards along with the requirements of the competition rubric using these technology tools?”  Utilize the strengths of your team and create a truly collaborate result that can be shared with the entire faculty.  Be creative and have fun, but remember that your presentation should be usable in an OTMS classroom.  We hope that the preparation and presentation portions of this competition will be valuable learning experiences, helping us reflect on why and how we currently use technology within instruction, and where our next steps in the process of transformation lie.

 

STNA-S Results and Transformation

checklist-154274_1280Thanks for participating in the School Technology Needs Assessment (STNA) during our PD afternoon on January 16.  The results are encouraging and point out many positive ways that technology is embedded within instruction at OTMS.  Your responses also indicate where additional resources and professional development are needed in the future.  The leadership team looked at the results of the faculty and student surveys during our meeting on January 20 and we will use the STNA data, along with other resources, to create a technology plan for the 2015-2016 school year.  This plan will address student needs, teacher PD, funding/equipment needs, and access concerns.  I will talk more about the STNA results and the technology plan on February 13 after our EdTech Chef competition.  The PLC leaders should be contacting you soon to help organize your teams for the challenge.

The Student-Led PD event was a success.  Two students presented Duolino and Lastpass to several faculty members in attendance.  Due to the success of the event and positive feedback from those who participated, we may host another student-led session in the future.

Continuing our conversation of transformation, I will share the first in a four-part series titled “Ten Steps. . .Transforming Past Lessons For the 21st Century Digital Classroom.”  These articles are from Michael Gorman’s blog “21st Century Educational Technology and Learning.”  This first article walks you through the first three steps of picking a lesson you want to transform, declaring the standards you want to cover in the lesson, and choosing at least two 21st Century skills to incorporate into the lesson.  I will share steps 4-10 of this process in future newsletters.

ISTE and the ISTE Technology Standards

What does effective technology integration look like?  Am I integrating technology appropriately?  How can I tell if elements of a lesson employ technology beyond replacement?  What is the next step I should take when implementing technology?  Will I know transformation when I see it?

These are some of the questions that come to my mind when I strive to be specific about instructional technology.  While attempting to answer these questions, it is easy to become quickly inundated with sources, opinions, examples, lesson plans, and philosophies–some of which do not always agree.  One of the best sources I have found as a starting place to answer these questions is the ISTE Student Standards.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) “serves educators around the world through professional development, advocacy, and the creation of standards for teachers, administrators, coaches, and students.”  The ISTE Standards are not meant to be a evaluation tool, but rather a source of guidance when asking the question “Am I effectively integrating technology into instruction?”  Think of the Standards as a compass that can help keep us on the correct instructional course, rather than a stopwatch that enforces deadlines and specific requirements.  As we strive to move beyond using technology for only replacement purposes, the ISTE Standards can serve as a guide to advancing our technology integration to the next level.

The ISTE Student Standards are organized in six main categories.

  1. Creativity and innovation
  2. Communication and collaboration
  3. Research and information fluency
  4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
  5. Digital citizenship
  6. Technology operations and concepts

You likely noticed a column for the ISTE Student Standards in the discussion document that we used during Wednesday’s faculty meeting.  I included this column in the document to encourage us to reflect on our technology use in light of the ISTE Standards.  If our technology integration aligns with one or more of the standards, we know we are on the right course.  Although we did not address the ISTE standards on Wednesday, they will be included in future conversations.  Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the ISTE Students Standards in preparation for these discussions.


During the PD afternoon on January 16 PD, the faculty will be taking the School Technology Needs Assessment (STNA).  Students will be taking the student version (STNA-S) this month during Computer Lit classes.

The STNA and STNA-S are intended to determine the collective needs of a school, from the teachers’ and students’ perspectives, related to the use of technology in education settings. The STNA and STNA-S provide information to help planners—administrators, technology and media specialists, and school or technology planning team members—make purchasing, resource allocation, or other decisions relating to technology. They also provide decision makers and policy makers with data to guide building- and district-level decisions about resource allocation, professional development, and school readiness for technology initiatives.

STNA results are not scored or reported for each individual respondent. Instead, each person’s responses are combined with those of other educators in their building, and reported at the school level in terms of how many times each possible response is selected for each item.

Both the faculty and student assessments are taken online, and we will be provided the results shortly after the assessment window closes.  I am anxious to see the results and utilize them as we strive to meet our building technology goals and apply the ISTE Standards to our instructional planning.

If you haven’t submitted your proposal for the speed table discussions on January 16, there is still time.

Mr. Schuler is looking for a few volunteers to provide an instructional video for administration training purposes.  If you are interested in helping out, please contact Mr. Schuler or me.  I will record and process the video, so you don’t have to provide anything except the opportunity to share what is happening in your classroom.

  • The clips will be fairly short, between 5 and 7 minutes generally
  • The clip will need to show evidence of ‘teaching’ (the teacher presenting/talking to the class or a group of students) and ‘learning’ (students responding in some way to what the teacher is saying or demonstrating)
  • We are interested in clips ranging across all grades and subject areas
  • We would like to have at least one clip from each building
  •  We don’t plan to identify the teacher or the students in the clips, and they will only be used for training purposes within the district

Fa</con> Tech, the student technology leadership group here at OTMS, will be hosting student-led professional development during early out Thursday on January 22.  The format will be similar to our speed table discussions on January 16.  Please attend to support our students as they share their knowledge with us.  I will provide more specific information as we get closer to the event.

STNA information from http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/selected-resources/stna/

ISTE Standards · Students
ISTE Standards for Students, Second Edition, ©2007, ISTE® (International Society for
Technology in Education), iste.org. All rights reserved.


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