Acceptable Use Policies

Acceptable use policies are a proactive tool school districts can use in order to prevent unwanted images, audio, video and text from reaching the student population.  After reflecting about acceptable use policies, I was motivated to explore my school’s AUP as well as my districts’ AUP.

To help deal with concerns about students accessing inappropriate materials, many school districts are developing and implementing acceptable use policies for their teachers, staff, and students. These policies describe what the school system deems ‘acceptable use’ of technology for educational purposes. These policies help protect school systems from any liability incurred by allowing students, teachers, and staff access to the variety of information on the Internet (commtechlab.msu.edu).

At my school, the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) Immokalee Community School, RCMA supports instruction through the use of educational and administrative computers. The responsible use of computers and computer networks is a powerful tool in support of the instructional program (RCMA AUP).

In order to reflect upon the effectiveness of AUP and the differing perspectives of AUP’s among districts and schools, I have included links to the following AUP for organizations similar to mine:

1. RCMA AUP

2. Collier County School District AUP

3. Naperville District 203 AUP

4. Lee County AUP

5. FLVS AUP

Works Cited:

Developing a School Acceptable Use Policy. Retreived from http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/letsnet/noframes/teachers/art/b9u1l4.html

Redland Christian Migrant Association (RCMA)
Internet Security and Safety Policy. Retrieved from http://www.edline.net/files/_fWChg_/8cf440b725f61eeb3745a49013852ec4/RCMA_Internet_Safety_Policy.pdf

 

 

 

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Technology Integration Vision Statement

When asked to make an inference about the definition of technology integration in the curriculum, I am confident that reading the course text and other available resources related to the topic have provided me with a frame-work that is expandable and up-to-date in the field of educational technology.

Technology integration in the curriculum can be observed from multiple view-points and countless educators offer various opinions related to the specificity and integration of emerging technologies in the classroom curriculum.  However, I will infer about the use and successes of technology integration in physical education.

As stated by Edutopia (2007), technology integration is the use of technology resources — computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications, the Internet, etc. — in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school.

My career offers me the opportunity to explore technology resources in daily practice.  Technology can be used as a meaningful tool in physical education in order to motivate and explore physical fitness concepts, FITT principles, manipulative skills (striking, dribbling, catching, throwing etc), non-manipulative skills (balancing, rolling etc).  

Moreover, my vision for technology integration during physical education is one that overcomes the implications and builds upon the importance and future of learning.  As stated by Kapp (22), traditional methods of learning are losing favor.  Time and attention of learners is limited and learning professionals must focus on providing engaging and goal oriented solutions to technology dilemmas that can be overcome with practice. 

Successful technology integration is achieved when the use of technology increases engagement, relevance and immersion and assists with the transfer of learning to the applicable situation (22).  

Nevertheless, I look forward to the opportunities to further explore technology integration during physical education in order to increase engagement, relevance and immersion and assist with the transfer of learning.  In closing, I am confident I will become a more effective educator as a result of critically thinking about technology integration in the curriculum.

Works Cited:

Kapp, Karl. (2012). The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. Pheiffer.

Edutopia. (2007). What is technology integration? Retrieved fromhttp://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

Post Project Reflection: PBL

The culminating event is over, the project presentations have been presented, groups and peers have been evaluated, reflection journals are in. Is the PBL experience really over? Absolutely not. One of the most powerful forms of assessment and project evaluation is the post project reflection. Reflecting upon the resources from this week that assisted me in debriefing the PBL experience I will actively reflect upon the following questions:

  • Who will you involve in the process?

As a reflective and active facilitator in the PBL process, I will involve the students, parents, staff and administration in the reflection of the PBL unit and their experiences.  I think that constructive feedback from differing perspectives will enable me to develop better PBL units and assessments that work to assess the understanding and cognitive development of the students related to the successful achievement of the driving question.

  • What will your process look like?

In order to get feedback in a timely manner, I will rely upon a variety of resources.  I will be able to use surveys, Google forms and other feedback methods in order to gather critical feedback.  I think that making the process simple and efficient for the person giving feedback is critical to getting quality and timely feedback.  By reflecting upon the quality and critical feedback of my peers, I can make more effective PBL units.

  • Is it just a one-time assessment?

Feedback will not be a one-time assessment.  I will assess the PBL unit once per week.  SInce I am actively reflecting as an instructor and facilitator during the PBL unit, I think that feedback weekly can be beneficial to the ongoing learning and revision of the PBL in order to create more effective and meaningful learning experiences.

PBL Role of the Facilitator

One of the greatest challenges for an instructor in a PBL unit is to adapt to the role of facilitator. I will actively reflect upon the following:

  • Will my role in the teaching/learning process change?

As a facilitator in the PBL experience my role in the teaching and learning process will change.  I will do more to connect learning experiences with the student and make sure that learning is on-going and reflective during the entire unit.  It is my goal as an educator to ensure that students understand what is expected of them and succeed in a fun, safe and reflective learning environment.

  • What are the skills of effective facilitation?

I think the skills needed for effective facilitation include having control over time, classroom management and authentic assessment.  Balancing all three elements will enable instructors to focus more upon student learning and the development of a developmentally appropriate learning environment.

  • Will the students develop the competancies and skills needed to be successful?

In order to ensure that the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful, the instructor needs to facilitate learning in a way that is safe and fosters the critical development and skills required to be successful.  In our project, we have students working in small collaborative groups.  I think that small sided groups will allow the students to reflect with one another about what is being learned and provide critical yet supportive peer critiques.

  • What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?

In order to become more of an effective facilitator in the PBL unit, I will need to actively reflect upon my teaching experiences in the classroom more regularly.  I think that reflecting upon the items that work, those that can be improved and the level of understanding related to the authentic assessments will make me more effective at facilitating the PBL unit since the learning is ongoing and can be modified depending on my experience in the classroom.

Designing Integrated Curriculum: PBL

After watching the video below on Designing Integrated Curriculum and reflecting upon the benefits of interdisciplinary projects and the challenges in implementing them, I have a better understanding of the skills required for effectively implementing interdisciplinary projects in my classroom.  Interdisciplinary projects enable core subjects to be taught to students related to data and benchmarks standards and assessments related to teaching to mastery.  Beginning with the end in mind is a fantastic method or thinking and will allow me to explore the various standards and other content areas.   Each content area and its standards can overlap in an interdisciplinary unit and help educators improve their practice and self reflect upon the success of student learning.

In order to make this a reality in my school, I will ask the administration to create a collaborative groups of educators per grade in order to brainstorm content standards and information that must be learned.  Groups will be working harder and smarter in order to meet all of the content benchmarks in a timely fashion for grades K-6.  I think that interdisciplinary units will allow for students to do real world learning that is real and relevant that will have positive implications for learning.

Nevertheless, project based teams of educators that believe in the real world education of students can make meaningful gains in education and create more units that are engaging and motivate students to learn and achieve more.

I look forward to creating more interdisciplinary units of instruction at my school and presenting the information I have learned in order to better the understanding and professional development of my peers.

Works Cited:

Designing Integrated Curriculum Video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VzhStQwQSI

PBL Assessment Reflection

After reviewing the key principles of assessment and developing the assessments for our PBL project, I have a better understanding of how assessments are a critical aspect to an effective PBL unit.

After reflecting upon the Seven Principles for Developing Performance Assessments by J.S. McTighe, I think that our assessments for the virtual pioneering unit will

  1. Establish Clear Performance Targets
  2. Strive for Authencity in Products and Performances
  3. Publicize Criteria and Performance Standards
  4. Provide Models of Excellence
  5. Teach Strategies Explicitly
  6. Use On-Going Assessments for Feedback and Adjustment
  7. Document and Celebrate Success

Furthermore, I wanted to create an effective assessment that was for the student.  Our assessments were created with the student in-mind and allow for the student to reflect upon their experiences while virtual pioneering.  Once the students complete the authentic assessments, they should display more confidence and ownership in exploring the concepts related to orienteering and navigation.

Both Matt and I created assessments that would allow the student to actively reflect upon their experiences in virtual orienteering.  The assessments are faithful to the experiences and work that the students complete and allow the student to reflect upon their works in progress.

Finally, the assessments allow for the student to promote ongoing self reflection and critical inquiry.  Allowing for the student to reflect upon their experiences using a variety of methods can ensure the success and cognitive understanding of the students involve.

In order to meet the requirements for effective assessments, I will adjust my instruction in order to accommodate the learner and the student needs.  I will ensure assessments are based upon the students in order to foster critical thinking and the development and understanding of skills necessary to be successful during the PBL project.

WORKS CITED:

Key Principles of Assessment, http://goo.gl/IIMxjs.

 

PBL Article Reflection

I recently discovered the article, A Review of Research on Project Based Learning by John W. Thomas, Ph.D.  The article can be found by clicking here.

The article discusses the defining features of PBL, underpinnings of PBL, evaluative research: research on the effectiveness of PBL, the role of student characteristics in PBL, implementation research: challenges associated with enacting PBL, intervention research: research on improving the effectiveness of PBL, conclusions, and the future directions for PBL research (Thomas, 1).

I found the article to be most interesting based upon the challenges associated with enacting project based learning in the classroom.  The article divides the challenges associated with project based learning into those that can be attributed to students or teachers.

Challenges included students with difficulty (a) generating meaningful scientific questions, (b) managing complexity and time, (c) transforming data, and (d) developing a logical argument to support claims. More specifically, students tended to pursue questions without examining the merits of the question, they tended to pursue questions that were based on personal preference rather than questions that were warranted by the scientific content of the project, they had difficulty understanding the concept of controlled environments, they created research designs that were inadequate given their research questions, they developed incomplete plans for data collection, they often failed to carry out their plans systematically, they tended to present data and state conclusions without describing the link between the two, and they often did not use all of their data in drawing conclusions (Thomas, 22)

Challenges for teachers implementing PBL in the classroom include the (a) effective collaboration among students requires more than involvement, requiring the exchanging of ideas and negotiated meaning; (b) the effective use of technology required so that technology be used as a cognitive tool, not merely as an instructional aid; and (c) that effective Project-Based Science requires not that all the concepts and facts of the curriculum are covered, but that students construct their own understanding by pursuing a driving question (Thomas, 24).

After reflecting upon the article and thinking about how PBL can impact my classroom instruction, I have formulated some ideas to be a more effective instructor.   I think that effectively planning  and including elements related to time, classroom management, control, support of student learning and the use of technology as a tool and assessment value will enable me to be a more effective instructor while using PBL in my classroom.

As I research more into PBL and explore the elements associated with the cognitive theory, I am excited to begin my project.  A peer of mine, Matt Hoge and I will most likely work together on the PBL project since we are both interested in implementing the outdoors somehow into the project.

I look forward to further developing the project and I am thankful for the knowledge gained after reading the scholarly article related to PBL.

Works Cited:

Thomas, John W., (2000). A Review of Research on Project-Based Learning.The Auto Desk Foundation, http://goo.gl/1iQUzf.

What is Project Based Learning?

This discussion explores Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning occurs when students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking) (What is PBL?, n.d.).

One of the key differences between Project Based Learning and Problem Based Learning is that during Project Based Learning, the student has control of what the subject will be about and what kind of information will be relevant to the project.  The learning is more student centered and allows for students to create their own paths to learning and problem solving.  Problem based learning occurs when an educator provides a generalized idea for all students to research.  All students are given the same idea.  Students are able to work in small sided groups or partners in order to develop solutions to the main idea(s) or problem (Problem-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning, n.d.)

Teachers should consider incorporating PBL in their classroom because it is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real world problems and solutions (What is Project Based Learning?, n.d.).  PBL also provides a format for implementing several very powerful instructional principles, including differentiating instruction, scaffolding instruction, and facilitating socially constructed knowledge. 

PBL can provide a safe environment for differentiated instruction.  Since every student is different — has different background knowledge, forms and degrees of intelligence, learning styles, interests, goals, and motivation — teaching all students at the same level and in the same way and maintaining the same expectations, and using the same reinforcement structures for all students makes little sense (Why Use Project-based Learning, n.d.).  PBL allows educators to use differentiated instruction in order to match the level of backround knowledge and reading proficiency, all which influence the motivation and success of a student and their learning.

PBL can provide a safe environment for scaffolding instruction. External support can reflect a three stage process as support shifts from initial teacher mediation, to peer-mediation, and eventually to student self-mediation (Why Use Project-based Learning, n.d.).  The learning process can appropriately shift from WE can do it, YOU ALL can do it and finally YOU can do it.  

During the WE can do it process, the teacher and the students co-construct the project. The teacher acts as an expert member of the project-development team, and performs essential tasks with students, providing just enough modeling, structure and guidance to allow other team members to actively participate in performing the tasks (Why Use Project-based Learning, n.d.).  

During the YOU ALL can do it process, teams composed of student peers work together to develop the project. Support and guidance comes from each other. The teacher is largely removed from performing any of the tasks, but may provide occasional prompts, cues, or feedback as needed or when invited by the team to do so. These prompts rarely are “directive” (i.e., “You should do this…”); rather, they are “reflective” and usually come in the form of questions designed to prompt student-reflection (i.e., “What might be another way of doing that?”) (Why Use Project-based Learning, n.d.).

During the YOU can do it process, students perform project work largely independently. They are responsible for self-mediating their investigation. Peers can be used as consultants and for feedback on an “as-needed” basis (Why Use Project-based Learning, n.d.).

PBL also allows for facilitating socially constructed knowledge.  Students develop understandings of reality out of their experiences, feelings, and information as they assimilate or accommodate personal knowledge and experiences with new information acquired. This process can be greatly enhanced via social interaction. A number of powerful learning-enhancing activities occur, such as exchanging information, opinions and interests, elaborating on the ideas of others, challenging other’s perspectives on a topic, collaborating to organize, confirm, and consolidate, extend or apply findings (Why Use Project-based Learning, n.d.).

Neverthelss, there are essential components to PBL.  The essential components of a PBL approach to instruction are divided into two categories, significant content and 21st century skills.  Essential components of PBL are:

  • is intended to teach significant content. Goals for student learning are explicitly derived from content standards and key concepts at the heart of academic disciplines (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. To answer a Driving Question and create high-quality work, students need to do much more than remember information. They need to use higher-order thinking skills and learn to work as a team. They must listen to others and make their own ideas clear when speaking, be able to read a variety of material, write or otherwise express themselves in various modes, and make effective presentations. These skills, competencies and habits of mind are often known as “21st century skills,” because they are prerequisite for success in the 21st century workplace (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • requires inquiry as part of the process of learning and creating something new. Students ask questions, search for answers, and arrive at conclusions, leading them to construct something new: an idea, an interpretation, or a product (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • is organized around an open-ended Driving Question. This focuses students’ work and deepens their learning by framing important issues, debates, challenges or problems (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • creates a need to know essential content and skills.Project Based Learning reverses the order in which information and concepts are traditionally presented. A typical unit with a “project” add-on begins by presenting students with knowledge and concepts and then, once gained, giving students the opportunity to apply them. Project Based Learning begins with the vision of an end product or presentation. This creates a context and reason to learn and understand the information and concepts (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • allows some degree of student voice and choice. Students learn to work independently and take responsibility when they are asked to make choices. The opportunity to make choices, and to express their learning in their own voice, also helps to increase students’ educational engagement (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • includes processes for revision and reflection. Students learn to give and receive feedback in order to improve the quality of the products they create, and are asked to think about what and how they are learning (What is PBL?, n.d.)
  • involves a public audience. Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher – in person or online. This “ups the stakes,” increasing students’motivation to do high-quality work, and adds to the authenticity of the project (What is PBL?, n.d.)

Nevertheless, PBL is a powerful and meaningful tool that when implemented with a thoughtful purpose allows for students and educators to learn, grow and develop their understanding of real world concepts and ideas. 

Works Cited:

n.d. Problem-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning. Improving Mathematics Education . 6/12/13. From http://pages.uoregon.edu/moursund/Math/pbl.htm.

n.d. What is PBL? Project Based Learning for the 21st Century . Retrieved 6/12/13. From http://www.bie.org/about/what_is_pbl/.

n.d. What is Project Based Learning? Project Based Learning . Retrieved 6/12/13. From http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning.

n.d. Why Use Project-based Learning. Calhoun.K-12 . Retrieved 6/12/13. From http://www.calhoun.k12.al.us/makes%20sense/Adobe%20Reader/DO%20NOT%20OPEN%20program%20files/Instruction/Designing%20Lessons/ACTIVITIES/PBLS/Why%20use%20PBL.pdf.

School Evaluation Summary

For this assignment, I was able to research and observe an educational institution in order to determine the maturity level of technological use.  The pseudonym of the institution I observed will be called the Dragon Academy.

I was able to determine and observe some characteristics and trends related to the use, implementation and support of educational technology.  All levels of school maturity were evaluated in 5 categories.  The five categories were administrative, curricular, support, connectivity and innovation.

One major setback for the Dragon Academy was the professional relationship between the school administration and the IT department.  I was able to observe how connectivity, innovation and curricular support are affected by this divide.  It seems that one department does not collaborate with the other. I was able to determine many of the benchmarks to be in the emergent and islands stages of development, two of the lowest maturation scores possible.

I was also able to observe how the educational institution was able to begin to develop a technology use plan in order to bridge the divide among departments.  I think that a technology use plan in phases could help bring more integrated and intelligent maturation scores.

In closing, please observe my Maturity Benchmarks Survey document that is embedded below.  Also, please take the time to evaluate my School Evaluation Summary also embedded below.

Maturity Benchmarks Survey Sheet

School Evaluation Summary

Artifact #2: eBook

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Electronic books are simple, yet viable options for educators to use in order to learn, create and transmit course content.

Artifact #2

For my second artifact, I created an electronic book (eBook) for educators to use that is related to a health and wellness app called AFit.  As a tool to teach the importance of nutrition and physical activity to a class or group, AFit is used almost daily in my classroom as a method for students to learn, log and understand the MyUSDA food plate and health conscience nutrition habits.

While collaborating with my former professor, also the developer of AFit, I was able to build an electronic resource for staff to use in order to train themselves about the content and functionality of the app.  In my effort to close the digital divide that stems from the access to relevant technology and the teachers that use it, I inferred that it would be better to develop an understanding of how appropriate use of technology during classroom instruction can successfully occur via mobile apps by using a format that can be readily available to educators any time of the day.  An eBook, presented itself as the most viable option.  Many staff at my school have access to Apple iBooks or similar Android book-reader applications, making the accessibility of the information immediate and everlasting.

While developing the eBook I made sure to include the basic skills and information I concluded would be necessary for educators to seamlessly implement the app with students.  I also included teacher resources in the format of lesson plans that are aligned with the state of Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) and the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) standards.

In addition to creating the eBook complete with example lesson plans for each food group, I was able to effectively implement at least one educational experience during my physical education class.

Small groups of 1st grade students, collaborated with one another in order to create brochures about each food group.  Students had access to iPads with the AFit Pro app installed.  After a set induction prepared the students for appropriate use of the technological resources, each group used the AFit app in order to research, find and document facts related to each food group.

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Students using the AFit app during physical education

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I was able to use mobile devices as effective methods of instruction during physical education in order to teach nutrition and physical activity standards.

After researching and documenting relevant information about fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and protein using the AFit app, student groups were able to create informational brochures.

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Student informational brochure, front cover.

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Student informational brochure, inside.

Nevertheless, creating the AFit eBook was eye opening and very resourceful.  During my experience developing the eBook using a free tool called ePubBud, I was able to research and collaborate with professional colleagues while learning more about how educators perceive technology and its use in the classroom.

Please download and read the AFit eBook in order to learn more about the importance of nutrition and physical activity.  Users can access the eBook by scanning the QR code or clicking here on their mobile device.  Apple users need to make sure to have the latest version of iBooks updated.

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Use a QR Code Scanner to scan and access the AFit eBook.