Saturday, June 16, 2012

Monitoring my GAME plan

For my GAME plan, I have focused on improving collaboration both in class and outside of class.  I have been able to increase the collaboration in two different ways.  First, in class, I have had students discuss problems and solutions more frequently.  I feel this has been helpful.  However, there is more work to do.  I have created my Edmodo page for my studetns moving into AP Physics for next year.  All of these students have joined the page, and have answered a quick survey course.  I feel it is important to mentally take a break from academics for a short period of time.  I did this with my club level softball teams as well as we play almost 12 months out of the year.  I feel it is necessary to take a short break.  Between the end of school and the beginning of new assignments, I will post updates on a regular basis.  Students know they are to check the Edmodo page regularly, say every couple days if not daily.  I can tell they have been checking the updated based on who is answering the simple poll questions.  Once I start assigning work, students will be able to use the forum for communication purposes.  They can ask each other questions and they can ask me as well.  This medium will help enhance the collaboration I am looking to achieve through technology.  I am hoping this will also carry over into next year’s class.  I want them to be comfortable with the environment so it will not cause any hindrances during the school year.  Also, for next year, I would like to introduce two more sections of classes to Edmodo.  As I progress, I am hoping all of my classes will use Edmodo.

The other focus of my GAME plan is to improve upon my formative assessments.  My AP Physics class will begin using WebAssign this summer.  Last year’s class used WebAssign, and it worked out great.  Students were able to see their results immediately and I was able to see a summary of which questions students performed well and which ones they did not.  For all of my classes, I would like to increase the types of labs and demonstrations used in my class.  I could include more problem based learning activities.  From week 4’s learning resources, there are a number of activated I could implement.  Some of them, I already do on a small scale.  However, there are so many possibilities that I have not even scratched the surface.  We do not have the number of computers in class yet to consistently use simulations, blogs, wikis, or interactive online practice sessions.  Currently, students would be responsible for this at home.  When we move to a one-to-one classroom in 15 months (hopefully), we will have many more opportunities to perform these tasks during class time.

From many of the classroom videos and discussions with classmates during this class, it appears many students have access to their own computer/laptop during school time.  In many schools, however, that is not the case.  I always remember someone telling me a few years ago that it is not the technology that drives the curriculum.  The standards are still the driving the force.  As teachers, wer are in a major transition time.  We still need to prepare our lessons as if we do not have the technology available.  However, we need to prepare for future years when the technology is available.  We do not want to be be caught off guard when the technology becomes available, but are not ready to use it because we are not prepared. 

Tim Trotta

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