WK 8: Reflection/Final Blog Post

When I began my GAME plan with my first blog entry, admittedly I was primarily concerned with properly implementing the GAME plan steps that Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) suggest: setting goals, taking actions, monitoring the progress that one is making, and evaluating and extending one’s learning to different situations. If I could successfully use those steps with some of the International Society for Technology in Education’s (2008) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), like facilitating and inspiring student learning and creativity, I knew I would be able to meet some of my course requirements- which were my highest priorities at that time. The GAME plan steps seemed obvious to me; I assumed that I would not learn much from implementing them.

However, through the process of exploring each GAME plan step through my weekly blogs, I noticed that unforeseen complications began to manifest themselves with my goals. For example, when I tried to meet the International Society for Technology in Education’s (2008) NETS of promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility, I found that during my taking action’ phase of the goal’s GAME plan, I could not get my school administration’s approval to test a proto-type in-school suspension (ISS) blog. Although I then came up with a back-up plan to test the ISS blog scenario-idea on students with a paper and pencil response format, and discovered that the students responded more enthusiastically to the scenarios than I originally assumed they would, I never did implement the ISS blog.

In order to meet the International Society for Technology in Education’s (2008) NETS of engaging in professional growth and leadership for another GAME plan goal, I successfully created my own ISS blog for teachers with out any difficulties. However, during the ‘monitoring’ phase of my GAME plan for this goal, I noticed that I was failing to attract people to post on my new blog. After receiving advice from my professor and colleagues, I am hoping to have more people post on my ISS teacher blog in the near future; however I have yet to attract outsiders to my blog.

Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) stress the essentialness of meta-cognition with self-directed learners that use approaches like the GAME plan theory to reach their goals. As a result of the different complications I had during the different steps that I implemented with the various GAME plans goals I created, I began to contemplate not only my ideas but also what my thought processes were with those ideas. By the end of my blogging experience I realized that while I did not completely fulfill any of my GAME plan goals, I had become a meta-cognitive thinker and learner; and that this way of learning and thinking would serve me well when I eventually acquired an instructional practice where I had less restrictions with GAME plan creations and innovations.

In my first blog post I referred to Prensky’s (2008) concept of digital natives and digital immigrants, and how I fit the description of the latter over the former. During the reflection of my GAME plan experience, I also realized that while I will always be a digital immigrant, steady exposure and purposeful practice with different technologies, like the blog experience I had with this course, will give me the opportunities to acquire the skills that digital natives possess.

Unfortunately, between my school administration’s traditional views on ISS, and how most ISS students complete their ISS assignments within a school week, I am severely limited with making any immediate adjustments with technology integration in my classroom. However, provided I obtain a social studies position, I would like to develop and implement into my teaching the technologies and learning techniques that I acquired during this course, such as: social networking, digital storytelling, blogs, wikis, Universal Design for Learning, problem-based learning, and self-directed learning. Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) state that “…learning to teach generally, and to teach with technology specifically, are lifelong journeys” (p.1). I agree with Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer’s statement, and while I know that I still have a lot to learn now and in the future about teaching and technology, I realize that the self-actualization my students will experience as a result of my learning will be worth the efforts that I will endure.

Theo

ISS MS

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom       use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA:    Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational                   technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved from             http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS  T_Standards_Final.pdf.

Prensky, M. (2008, March). Turning on the lights. Educational Leadership, 65(6), 40–45.

Wk 7: Using GAME Plan Process w/Students

As my colleagues already know, in regards to my ISS position, I am limited with what GAME plan process I can execute with my students in order to have them develop proficiency in the technology standards and indicators outlined in the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S). As I noted in my previous blogs, these limitations are mainly due to my school administration’s view of how ISS should be conducted. My administration insists on implementing a punishment model for ISS, which focuses on punishment writing and teacher’s class work. In addition, since my classroom is permitted to have only one computer for student use, I do not have the means to realistically address many of the NETS-S standards in any depth. While in my previous week’s blog I submitted GAME plan ideas that would make ISS a more rehabilitative experience and would also meet NETS-S standards, these ideas will not be considered by my schools’ administration, and as a result, have no chance to come to fruition.

My undergraduate degree’s specialization was not ISS; it was secondary social studies. While after years of being a substitute teacher I am grateful for the opportunity to have a salaried position with health benefits and cost-free education, after obtaining my masters, my goal remains to secure a position in my area of specialization. Once I realized that I was at an impasse with implementing a GAME plan that would help students meet NETS-S standards in my current position, I reviewed my professional goals and came to the conclusion that perhaps I would be better served with focusing on how I might integrate a GAME plan in a social studies position that I may eventually acquire in the future. Focusing on standard 3.b “collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation,” in last week’s blog entry I suggested that I should begin a new GAME plan where I would survey students, parents, colleagues, and the Internet in an effort to find ways to maximize my potential with a history blog.

However when I read the obligations for this blog post I became concerned because it appeared to require input about how one would implement a GAME plan in one’s current teaching situation. The survey and eventual creation of a history blog may beneficial to me and students I might have in the future, but I had no way of making or using a GAME to help students develop proficiency in the NETS-S in my current teaching situation. Then I realized a possible solution. My school district, as well as many others in my state participates with Blended Schools.net (2009), which is an organization that provides school districts with a way to have teachers instruct its students on-line. Students who usually learn through Blended Schools have various reasons why they can not physically attend regular schools, such as illness or behavior issues. Blended Schools.net also offers teachers professional development, access to on-line curriculum packages, and technology assistance. By becoming a Blended School teacher, I would create a separate teaching practice and as a result, I could make a GAME plan that would help students develop their proficiency with NET-S immediately.

For example, by creating units that dealt with problem-based learning, I could realize the International Society for Technology in Education. (2008) NETS-S “facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity.” Since all learning would be on-line, I would have many opportunities to address the NETS-S “design and develop digital-age experiences and assessments [and] model digital-age work and learning” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008).  By employing some of the social networking techniques I learned from this week’s resources, I can fulfill the International Society for Technology in Education’s standard “promote and model digital-age citizenship and responsibility.” By becoming an online teacher I will be put in a position to influence other teachers to become Blended Schools teachers, and then I will realize the NETS-S “engage in professional growth and leadership” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). Provided that I can obtain a position with Blended Schools, I will have the opportunity to experience success this school year with a GAME plan that develops students’ NETS-S proficiency. However, if I can not obtain that position, I have no back-up plan. I would be grateful for any suggestions made by any of my colleagues regarding this concern, or any of the ideas I posted in this blog.

Theo

ISS MS

References

Blended Schools.net (2009). Providing robust, engaging learning environments. Retrieved from http://cd.blendedschools.blackboard.com/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_7_1

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational       technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_            T_Standards_Final.pdf.

Wk 6: Revising Your GAME Plan

Currently, with my ISS classroom I am following the punishment model that my school’s administration requires. With this model, students must complete a certain amount of punishment writing and all of their regularly scheduled teachers’ class work. Except for when I give ISS students some degree of informal counseling on their behavior,  discuss their reflective writing , or assist them with their teachers’ assigned work, they must remain silent at all times, and must be working at all times. Due to the nature of the punishment model that I must employ I must constantly be vigilant for off-task students. As a result, I am very limited with applying what I have learned thus far through my blogging experiences to my classroom practice.

However, I have realized that theoretically, I could apply most of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-T) that the International Society for Technology in Education (2008) suggests with my in-school suspension students, if I would be permitted to change the nature of my classroom. Instead of using a punishment model, I would like to employ a more pro-active, rehabilitative model that uses some of the constructivist learning ideas of which Gagnon and Collay (n.d.) are proponents. In order to be successful with the rehabilitative model, I would require the following: being relocated to a larger room that could be partitioned, having additional computers set-up in the partitioned area, and having a teacher’s aide assigned to my room full time (like other teachers who have many students with IEPs and emotional issues), with guidance counselors also spending one to two periods working with ISS students on a daily or semi-daily basis.

If I could make these changes, I would implement more behavior programs. For example, while a teacher’s aide assisted students with their teachers’ class work on one side of the partition, guidance counselors could implement Gagnon and Collay’s (n.d.) concepts and NETS-T with other students on the other side of the partition, with me rotating between the two sides to assist all students. The counselors could discuss with a group of students a misbehavior that they might all have exhibited, such as defiance. Then, they could employ Gagnon and Collay’s concept of bridging by requiring the students to construct a thorough definition of what they consider defiance on a class wiki. After having students create their definition, counselors could continue with Gagnon and Collay’s concept of bridging by giving the students some type of simulation or scenario to research, and then requiring them to construct a solution for the simulation or scenario. The counselors and I would then both have in-depth responses and discussions with them about their solutions through their wikis, individually, or as a group in a class discussion.

With behavior programs like the constructivist bridging activity, I could meet the NETS-T (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008) such as: facilitating and inspiring student learning and creativity, modeling digital-age work and learning, and promoting and modeling digital-age citizenship and responsibility. Rather than receiving punishment only, students could be disciplined while also facing and analyzing their misbehavior in an in-depth manner. In addition, they would be improving their NETS-T skills. As a result, my ISS classroom would have a greater chance at extinguishing repeated, unwanted behaviors, and improving students’ academic and technology needs. Unfortunately, due to my school district’s budget constraints and school administration’s attitude toward a rehabilitative model being implemented in my ISS classroom, at present, my ideas not feasible. While I am confident that this situation will eventually change as more educators embrace technology and the constructivist ideals into their teaching practices, for now I must create a new goal that may be realized in the more immediate future.

In my previous week’s blog entry, I stated the goal to discover ways to attract additional people to my ISS…for Teachers! blog. I also alluded to creating a world history blog, with rationale that having one might assist me with obtaining a social studies teacher position, and also make me a more effective teacher once I began my new teaching practice. Based on the International Society for Technology in Education’s (2008) standard 3.b “collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation,” I have decided that my new learning goal should be to collect information, ideas, and opinions about what would make an effective ISS or world history blog from the sources mentioned in the International Society for Technology in Education’s 3.b standard. This learning approach is somewhat different than my previous approach to developing and creating blogs, because in addition to seeking ideas from peers and Internet sites, with my new goal I will also be seeking out the people upon whom the blog will have the most effect: students, parents, and community members. I am not certain what the best approach or approaches would be with this new goal. Should I make a survey, or have informal conversations with the people that I will target? Any and all suggestions from my colleagues are welcome as well as their opinions on the advantages and drawbacks of my rehabilitative ISS model.

Theo

ISS MS

References

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational       technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved fromhttp://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_            T_Standards_Final.pdf.

Gagnon, G.W. & Collay, M. (n.d.), Constructivist learning design notes. Retrieved from http://www.prainbow.com/cld/cldn.html

Wk 5: Evaluating GAME Plan Progress

When discussing the evaluation process of GAME plans, Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) state that, in addition to determining how successful one has been with one’s goals, “…you…[should]…extend what you learned from…[your] …experience to your future learning efforts” (p.5). Originally, through my GAME plan goals I wanted to realize NET-T standard 4.C “promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information,” and 5.D “contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). At this point in time, I view that I have been partially successful with meeting both standards.

My school’s administration denied me the opportunity of fulfilling NET-T standard 4.C (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008) by not allowing me to begin my own in-school suspension (ISS) class blog. However, I discovered that after giving ISS students different fictional scenarios of student misbehavior, every student responded positively to the scenarios by writing detailed, relevant, practical advice and constructive criticism, which occasionally contained empathy. Therefore, while I did not create the class blog, I learned that the concept would most likely work in my ISS room. Provided that my school’s administration would change their attitude toward an ISS class blog, I have little doubt that I would be able to apply NET-T standard 4.C to my instructional practice.

 I did give myself the opportunity to successfully meet NET-T standard 5.D (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008) by creating the In-School Suspension…for Teachers! blog. However, except for one Walden colleague who kindly wrote a response on it, I attracted no other people since making the blog functional three weeks ago. Our professor gave me a way to add my blog’s URL to Google, and this may increase my chances of having more people view and interact with my blog. However, I will not consider myself completely successful with applying NET-T standard 5.D until I have more people responding to my new blog on a regular, or semi-regular basis. As a result of trying to realize NET-T standard 5.D, I have learned the importance of making people aware of my blog’s existence. I will apply this awareness when I create blogs in the future. 

 Although through this class I have refined my knowledge about blogs and blog creation, I still have a lot to learn before I will be satisfied with the appearance and functionality of my blogs. Visionary Blogging LLC (n.d.) gives many pieces of advice on how to improve blogs, such as suggesting that one links-out more, uses tools like Jing to record and share screencasts and screenshots, and loads post templates for faster, superior blog content publishing. However, from that advice, new questions arise for me in regards to how one carries out that new knowledge. Not being a digital native, I prefer to have someone explain to me, in person, how to implement new technological ideas and functions. Since often I do not have anyone that can help me in person, I must find ways around my technological shortcomings, so I can improve my blog making on my own. Admittedly, due to professional obligations and the rigors of master work, I often do not have a sufficient amount of time to explore and experiment with all the different ways I can improve my blogging skills. Despite these challenges, I will adjust my plans by making new goals. For my first new goal, I will allocate time to slowly educate myself, in a fashion similar to a digital native, so I can improve my knowledge of blog making. Although I am not sure how much time I will require in order to realize my first goal, I know that I will need some degree of mastery with it in order for me to extend what I have learned to my second new goal of creating a world history blog. Creating a world history blog may assist me with obtaining a world history position, and will also serve me well once I am teaching. I would appreciate learning any of the opinions or advice that my colleagues have in regards to my new goals.   

 

Theo

ISS MS

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_            T_Standards_Final.pdf.

Visionary Blogging LLC. (n.d.). Blog improvement tips by visionary blogging. Retriveved from http://visionaryblogging.com/services/blog-improvement-tips/

WK 4 POST: Monitoring GAME Plan Progress

Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) state that “as you take action to achieve your learning goals, you’ll need to monitor whether you are making sufficient progress toward  your goals and reflect on whether the strategies you have chosen are working” (p.4). As I monitor my progress toward my goals, I find myself increasingly obfuscated by my results. On one hand, I know that I have learned some useful information, and made progress toward being successful with one of my goals. On the other hand, I have the apprehension that I may have to abandon one goal and create another. I also realize that I will most likely require advice from my colleagues in order to actualize the potential of my second goal.

Duke and Sanchez (2001) note that sometimes, when one assigns grades to students’ written work, one damages the rapport one has with his or her students, and as result, their quality of writing suffers. They then state that when one focuses “…on the construction of learning through bridge-building, guided learning, and informal, yet constant, assessment,” (Duke & Sanchez, 2001, p.68) teachers have the opportunity to improve students’ quality of writing. When I originally read Duke and Sanchez’s ideas about writing, I was not convinced that their ideas had much merit. Due to the preferences of my school’s teachers and administration, students often do not have the opportunity to engage in the kind of writing of which Duke and Sanchez are proponents; and so for me their ideas appeared to be alien, unrealistic and impractical.

However, while waiting for approval for my in-school suspension (ISS) class-blog, I implemented a written prototype-version of my class blog, and discovered that students put forth a great deal of effort in to their responses to student-behavior scenarios even though they were not being graded. For one writing assignment, I gave five ISS students the following scenario: a student is frequently given ISS for arguing with teachers and other students. What would you write to this student in order to get him or her to change his or her behavior? While the scenario was fictitious, and the responses that students gave were very rough drafts that would need to be edited, I was surprised at the length of students’ responses, and how many different ideas they had for the fictitious student. I then came to the conclusion that Duke and Sanchez’s (2001) ideas had merit, and that by having students write to each other on a class blog, they could not only support each other with behavior improvement, but also gain an appreciation for writing for enjoyment rather than a grade. Further, with me having them edit their work, they could improve their writing skills, and perhaps ultimately improve my school’s state standard scores.

Excited, I went to my school’s administration and told them about my ideas and opinions on my class blog, but they had decided that they most likely will not allow me to pursue that goal. While I still am still holding some hope for them to change their minds, I have to accept that most likely, I shall not be able to realize my goal of a class blog. My administration pointed out that I would be allowed to continue to have students write about fictitious scenarios as I had done with my written prototype-version of my class blog. However that would require no technology, and also would not have the students supporting each other. As a result, I would not realize my first my first goal’s NET-T standard 4.C “promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). Having to most likely abandon my first goal, I have yet to come up with a new goal which would address a NET-T standard, and also be relevant to my ISS classroom. I would welcome any suggestions for new goals from my colleagues.

For those of you who have accessed my new blog, In-School Suspension…for Teachers!, you know that since I could not locate an internet site that has been created strictly for ISS teachers, I did make my own blog to address that need. While I enjoy what I have created, I did not receive any responses from anyone. A technical-savvy colleague informed me that I had to have ‘tag’s for my blog, so when people searched for the tagged word, my blog would surface in their searches (J. Frat, personal communication, January 26, 2010). While I had encountered the technical word ‘tags’ previously, I was not sure what they did. Following her advice, I created and applied several similar tags to my blog, such as:  in-school suspension, ISS, ISS for teachers, discipline, ISS help, and school discipline.

I then tried to search for my In-School Suspension…for Teachers! blog on the Google search engine. November (2008) notes that the Google’s search “…algorithm takes into account numerous factors including…the…domain name, the title of the Web site, the meta-information contained within the background of the site, the text on the page, and the number of links coming into that site from others” (p.22). Despite the different combinations I used on my Google search for my new blog tags, my searches came up empty- even when I used quotations with the words ‘in-school suspension for teachers.’ Perhaps I did not apply my tags properly with my blog, and so as a result, Google could not access the meta-information I have on it? Or do I misunderstand what tags’ purposes are? Perhaps I do not understand the information to which November is referring?

I went to the Edublogs Help and Support (2010) site, but I found their definition of tags to be ambiguous for me. To my knowledge, on my blog’s site administration, I have selected the option to make my blog searchable to Internet users. Is my blog searchable for the Internet search engines? I need a colleague to assist me with this, because if my site is searchable, and no one is accessing it, then perhaps I need to make more changes in order to attract people that would be willing to interact on it. If it is not searchable, then I need someone to help me with my lack of technological competency so I can have people find my site through search engines such as Google. I hope to receive your input as soon as possible, so I can get closer to realizing my second goal!

Theo

ISS MS

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Duke, C. R., & Sanchez, R. (Eds.) (2001). Assessing writing across the curriculum. Durham,           NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Edublogs Help and Support. (2010). Retrieved from: http://help.edublogs.org/

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational       technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_            T_Standards_Final.pdf

November, A. (2008). Web literacy for educators. Thousands Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

EDUC-6713 WEEK 3 POST: Carrying out your GAME Plan

As many of you will most likely remember, I had two goals for my GAME plan: to create an in-school suspension (ISS) class blog for students to share experiences and encourage each other with their behavior, and to join an ISS teacher blog, where I could share my experiences and learn from the experiences of other ISS teachers. If I could not find an ISS teacher blog, my alternative course of action would be to create my own ISS blog for teachers. As a result of realizing my goals, I would fulfill International Society for Technology in Education’s (2008) (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for teachers (NET-T) 4.C and 5.D.

 Originally, I was somewhat apprehensive about completing a GAME plan for ISS, even though ISS was my professional position. I was unsure if my colleagues would view it as a legitimate teaching experience. With their feedback, my apprehensions were alleviated. Not only did they view my position as legitimate, but they were also supportive of my goals. In addition, they gave me useful input to contemplate, which I appreciated- some of their ideas about my goals were ones that did not occur to me. For example, one colleague expressed concern that having students blog may be such an enjoyable experience for some of them that they may try to get ISS, so they can spending more time blogging. Since ISS is supposed to act as a deterrent against future misbehavior, my colleague’s point is a valid one. Another colleague suggested that I take the students to my school’s computer lab for one day every week. While I know that my school administration would never allow this (see my response in last week’s blog post for details), I appreciated the originality of the idea.

For the ‘taking action’ phase of the GAME plan, Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) suggest that one should reflect on what resources and information one needs, and what learning strategy one should use before taking action. Fortunately, I already had all of the resources needed to carry out my GAME plan goals: a working computer with high-speed internet access is already in place in my ISS classroom. However, I needed additional information in order to be able to fulfill both goals. After speaking with a colleague at the school at which I teach, I learned that for my ISS class blog, I would need to ascertain what my school district policy was on students blogging, because according to her, even if the blog was password protected, it was still a public venue. After investigating school district policies, I discovered that they did not have any information specifically on the act of students blogging. However, when I inquired with my school’s administration, in addition to needing their approval with the activity (they told me that they would have to consider the matter), I would need parental permission before their children blogged. In addition, while students already have been given basic on-line safety instructions, I would most likely have to come up with specific guidelines for blogging and etiquette for my ISS class blog.

I was not prepared for the complications that arose with my meeting with my school’s administration. Despite my setback, I decided to assume that I would soon obtain permission to initiate an ISS class blog. While I was waiting for my approval, I would create a set of on-line safety instructions and specific guidelines for blogging and etiquette for my ISS class blog. For assistance in this matter, I turned to Willard (2007), who has some wonderful recommendations, including having students sign an internet-contract which would contain reflective questions that they must complete, such as “I will protect my personal privacy…[and]…reputation by…I will treat others…[on the ISS class blog]…in the following way…[and] I will ask…[the ISS teacher] for assistance if…” (p.300). Another idea I had was to create a practice blog response-exercise. After students would answer my guideline questions and read my sample post, they would respond to them on paper, and then I would discuss their responses with them.

While I realize that due to the nature of ISS, my learning strategy with teaching students my guidelines for blogging and etiquette for my class blog would have to be one on one, I know must also take into consideration that I will have students with different learning styles. CAST (2009) discusses how students are inspired and acquire and express information in different ways. Perhaps I may, in order to address different learning styles, make a podcast, or video cast of my guidelines for blogging and etiquette for my ISS class blog? Or maybe there is some way that I could have students use art as a form of expression with the ISS blog posts? Should I pose my questions differently on my guidelines for students with different learning and ability styles? What other questions should I consider for my internet contract and guidelines? Since I am waiting for approval for my ISS class blog from my school administration, I have the luxury of welcoming any suggestions from my colleagues in regards to my questions.

For my second goal, I tried different searches in an effort to find an interactive ISS teacher site or blog. Some of my search phrases included ‘ISS + chat,’ and ‘ISS + forums.’ While I did find some discussion threads on the subject of ISS, they were listed on other sites that also contained other different discussion threads and information that had nothing to directly do with ISS. Surprisingly, although I instigated a more in-depth search after my brief one that I held last week, I did not find one interactive site or blog for ISS teachers. Therefore, I decided to create my own: In-School Suspension…for Teachers! If you wish to subscribe to the In-School Suspension…for Teachers! blog, please note that there is no orange icon on which to click. Instead, click on ‘RSS,’ located under ‘Meta,’ on the lower left-hand corner of the blog.

Richardson (2009) notes that blogs can “promote critical and analytical thinking, be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking, [and also] be a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information…” (p.20). I wish for my ISS teacher blog to fulfill the possibilities Richard discusses. To that end, I have some ideas for different categories on my blog which would encourage discussion, such as: challenges ISS teachers face, ISS policy ideas, empowering students with their behavior decisions, behavior reflection ideas, and tales from the other side: reflections from students and parents. For the time being, I have created those categories on my blog. However, there may be other categories, or other ways my blog could realize Richardson’s ideas. As with my first goal, I wish to have input from colleagues on my second, so I can build a blog that will attract pertinent responses. I look forward to your opinions and ideas!

 

Theo

ISS MS

 

References

CAST. (2009). What is universal design for leaning? Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational       technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers.  Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_            T_Standards_Final.pdf

Richardson. W. (2009). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Willard, N. (2007). Cyber-safe kids, cyber-savvy teens: Helping young people learn to use the internet safely and responsibly. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

EDUC-6713 POST:

Week 2: Developing Your Personal GAME Plan

As many of my colleagues already know, although I am certified to teach social studies, currently I manage an in-school suspension classroom (ISS). Consequently, the most unfortunate aspect of my Walden University experience is that I am often unable to directly employ the application ideas that I create in my Walden classes with my own teaching practice. For example, for the week one EDUC-6713 application, which required one to create a lesson that used technology to support authentic instruction, I came up with a lengthy social studies lesson that included a filming activity. Since my administration requires me to have students complete their full-time teachers’ assignments in ISS, students do not have the time in my classroom to participate in a social studies lesson, let alone a lengthy one which requires them to produce a film. As I progress through my Walden program, I have been growing increasingly concerned that I will not have the opportunity to use much of what I have learned until I obtain a social studies teacher position- which may not occur until the 2011-2012 school year.

However, after viewing the International Society for Technology in Education’s (2008) (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for teachers (NET-T), I began to perceive that there were goals that I could set for myself that would meet NET-T, improve my expertise in technology areas in which I am not confident or proficient, and could also be used in ISS. Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009) have an impressive, systematic way for assisting one with meeting goals. Having the acronym GAME for their plan, they break their system down into four steps: setting goals, taking action to meet the goals, monitoring one’s progress toward reaching the goals, and evaluating whether the goals were met and then extending one’s learning to new situations (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009). By using the GAME plan to meet NET-T, I hope to improve the functionality of my ISS practice, while giving students, as Prensky (2008) recommends, “…the opportunity to use technology in the classroom” (p.45).

For my first goal, I wish to fulfill NET-T standard 4.C “promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). While I have learned a lot about this standard through my readings with Walden, I have never had the opportunity to engage it with students in a classroom setting. As Lentz (2007) notes in his own blog, teachers, like students, learn by doing. There are certain concerns that one can only know about and rectify when one actually implements a learning experience with students. Therefore, my goal would be to create an ISS class blog, with private access, where students would practice digital etiquette and responsible social interactions with each other. With the blog, students would discuss their misbehavior, and what their opinion is of the resulting disciplinary action .They would then have the opportunity to respond to other ISS student posts and offer advice, support, or similar experiences. I would then be able to offer my perspective as a teacher. Other teachers would be welcome to join the blog and give their input as well. Some ISS students do not have a safe-environment to express themselves, and perhaps after gaining a new perspective with their blogging experience, they may alter their behavior.

In order to realize my ISS class blog goal, I would have to obtain permission from my school’s administration. Since I only have one computer in ISS, I would have to initiate the project on a limited basis, and with students who were serving multiple days. In an effort to not have one student on the computer for a prolonged period of time, I may have to require my students to hand-write their initial posts first. Another concern is time- ISS students will have to complete their full-time teachers’ assignments before blogging. However, provided I could address those concerns, monitoring the ISS blog on a daily basis, or perhaps after each student entry would be a way to discover whether the students are engaging the idea of an ISS blog. I would then evaluate if I met my goal by the writings ISS students produced, how I responded to their work, and ultimately, if the blogging students eventually changed their behavior. I would extend my learning experience by using an ISS class blog during the next school year, and also by creating a class blog for my social studies class, after I acquired the position.    

For my next goal, I would like to address two NET-T standards in which I currently do not participate: 4.C “promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness” [and 5.D] contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2008). This goal would be more directly related to ISS teachers, although if the goal would be realized, ISS students would ultimately benefit as well. The goal would be to join and contribute to an internet site or blog dedicated to improving the performance of ISS teachers. After briefly searching on the internet, I found many sites which dealt with the improvement of ISS, like the one where Delisio (2008), shares her ISS advice- but I did not find a site where ISS teachers could meet, express ideas, encourage each other and share frustrations, solutions, and advice.

If, after instigating a more intensive search, I discover an interactive ISS site, than I plan on monitoring my progress with my goal through noting my own level of participation and interest. If, after a certain amount of interaction, I deem that the site or my contributions are not assisting me with reaching my goal, then I may need to try to find another site. However, if, after searching, I can not find an interactive site for ISS teachers, my plan of action would be to create my own blog where ISS teachers would have a place to interact. In that case, I would monitor my progress by noting how many people participated with my blog, how useful their posts were, and what opinions they held of what I was trying to accomplish. The input I had from people and my own personal opinion of my results would be how I would evaluate the progress I was making. If I would have few postings or negative reviews, I would most likely have to find another avenue to fulfill my goal. Similar to my first goal, an extension of this blog idea would be one that I would pursue after becoming a social studies teacher. As with every other instructional area which has its own unique problems, my social studies blog would investigate problems that are particular to social studies teachers, such as: how does one make ancient history interesting and relevant to students, while meeting state standards and NET-T? That blog would be assessed in manner similar to my ISS teacher blog.

Teachers in my building view my ISS room as a detention center and me as a baby-sitter who also tutors middle school subjects. While I do informally counsel students and have them complete behavior reflection assignments, at times I do see myself as the role that teachers in my school assign me. King-Sears and Evmenova (2007) state that “…educators must capitalize on using technological equipment as an integral part of the way that instruction occurs in their classrooms” (p.6). By implementing my goals, I predict that for the first time in my current teaching practice, I would be able to capitalize on using technological equipment as an integral part of ISS. As a result, I would then have a greater chance of making ISS, in my classroom and in other schools, less like a baby-sitting detention center and more like a caring center where students would a have a greater chance to alter their misbehavior. Or are my predictions and ideas unrealistic? I submit to my colleagues: what are your thoughts and ideas about ISS being a legitimate teaching position that could also alter students’ behavior, teachers’ perceptions, and meet NET-T? I sincerely hope to get guidance on this matter. Thank you for reading my first EDUC-6713 blog post!

Theo

ISS MS

References

Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom   use: A standards-based approach (Laureate Education custom edition). Belmont, CA:    Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Delisio, E. (2008). In-School Suspension: A Learning tool. Education World. Retrieved

from  http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin329.shtml

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). The ISTE national educational       technology standards (NET-T) and performance indicators for teachers.

Retrieved from

http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_            T_Standards_Final.pdf.

King-Sears, M., & Evmenova, A. S. (2007, Sep/Oct). Premises, principles, and processes for integrating TECHnology into instruction. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(1), 6–14

Lentz, B. (2007). Teachers, like students, learn by doing: Project at learning at Envision             schools. Lentz’ Blog. Retrieved January 13, 2010 from          http://www.edutopia.org/envision-schools-PBL-professional-development

Prensky, M. (2008, March). Turning on the lights. Educational Leadership, 65(6), 40–45.

EDUC-6712D-1 Class Reflection

EDUC-6712D-1 Class Reflection

EDUC-6712D-1 has been one of most informative classes that I have taken at Walden University thus far. Being to some extent dated with the newer web applications and information and communication technologies (ICT), I learned many skills for the internet and ICT that will be invaluable to me as both a learner and an educator. Examples include the techniques that I learned from authors such as Eagleton and Dobler (2007) and November (2008), who explained how to decipher the legitimacy of an internet site, learn who owns an internet site, access back-links, and accurately employ Boolean phrases.

Since learning about podcasts, I discovered through Kolb (2008) that certain options are only available with certain types of computers. According to Kolb (2008), only Macintosh software can support the Power Point ‘make movie’ option. This is important information for me, because next year I plan on purchasing a new computer. Originally, I had no choice: I was going to have a personal computer built because I am more familiar with windows applications.Now, at the conclusion of this course, I am contemplating how I could apply ICT to learning, and as a result I am considering purchasing a Macintosh because of the information I learned through Kolb (2008) and other sources.

Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, and Cammack (2004) stress the importance of students being able to “…identify problems…locate useful information…critically evaluate [and] synthesize that information…[and then] communicate their solutions…” (p. 1576-1577). I agree with Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, and Cammack’s (2004) and other sources that expressed a similar sentiment toward new literacy skills. However, before this course and during the first part of it, I had the apprehension that if the focus of learning was on the new literacy skills, internet, and ICT, teachers would not often have the opportunity to teach the knowledge that they had to share. Instead, they would always be regulated to the role a facilitator. While I saw the value in facilitation, I also wanted to be able to share my personal experiences and expertise with my classes.

Fortunately, during this class I had a revelation: while at times I would have the role of a facilitator with the new literacies, there would also be many times when I would have to instruct students with the knowledge that I gained on the internet or ICT. There would also be times when I would have to educate my classes on how to practice safe, legal, and responsible use the internet and ICT, like Ribble (2008) promotes. I also realized that the knowledge and experience that I gained from this class will give me more opportunities to share my personal experience and expertise, and not less as I originally feared.

Most of the teachers at the school at which I teach have internet pages on our school site, but do not put much information on them. If I receive permission from my school’s administration, I plan on using the various skills and knowledge that I gained from this course to elaborate on my own in-school suspension school page. Perhaps I would set up a really simple syndication (RSS) feed on it, so parents could be notified of changes in in-school suspension policy, or if a password could be created, receive updates on their child’s behavior. Provided that I eventually obtain the social studies position that I desire, I can create podcasts, videocasts, and other ICT applications for my class site that will give me previously unavailable opportunities to share my expertise with students in a way that will be very engaging for most of them.

Finally, in order for me to realize my ideas for implementing the new literacies, and using the internet and ICT, I must have the professional development goal to commit myself to developing and practicing the new skills I have learned. Otherwise, I will never become proficient in those skills, and when I eventually have the opportunity to use what I have learned in this course in a classroom setting, I will not be adept enough to make a practical application of the skills I have learned with my students. Therefore, I must carry out ways to maintain my new found knowledge and stay abreast of the new developments as they happen, such as: practicing those skills with the required equipment, exchanging information with other teachers who also value the new literacies, internet and ICT, and reading new literature via the internet, education and technology magazines, and books written by experts on the subject.

References

Eagleton, M. B., & Dobler, E. (2007). Reading the web: Strategies for internet inquiry. New

York: The Guilford Press.

Leu, D. J., Kinzer, C. K., Coiro, J. L., & Cammack, D. W. (2004). Toward a theory of new    literacies emerging from the internet and other information and communication          technologies. In Ruddell, R. B. & Unrau, N. J., (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (5th ed.). (pp. 1570-1613). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Kolb, L. (2008, September). Enhanced podcasts: A new twist on an old tool. Learning &

Leading with Technology, 36(2), 33-34.

November, A. (2008). Web literacy for educators. Thousands Oaks: Corwin Press.

Ribble, M. (2008, December). Passport to Digital Citizenship. (Danish). Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(4), 14-17.

Reflections on Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society

     The following is a reflection on a Walden University technology graduate course entitled ‘EDUC 6710: Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society.’ As of the date of this post, I am entering my final week in this course. EDUC 6710 has been a great learning experience for me as a teacher and as someone who is interested in incorporating more technology into his private life. Before starting this course, I had read about web 2.0, but was not exactly sure how web 2.0 differed from the Internet that I knew. I thought I understood what blogs, wikis and podcasts were. I was unfamiliar with ‘RSS aggregators.’

 

    Through the many articles and excerpts from books that I read during this course, I clarified and expanded my knowledge of web 2.0, blogs, wikis, podcasts and RSS aggregators. While all the sources I used were informative, I found chapter six, “Expanding the Boundaries: Blogs, RSS, Podcasts, and Wikis” of Web Literacy for Educators (2008) and the entire book ‘Blogs, Wiks, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms’ (2006) to be extremely enlightening.

 

     However, despite how much the reading had enlightened me, I am certain that I would have quickly lost that knowledge if I would not have used the technology skills that I had learned in some sort of application. Fortunately, EDUC 6710 required its students to create a blog, wiki and podcast, and set up an RSS aggregator account, so that I had the opportunity to apply what I learned. As a result, my technology skills as a teacher have a sound base, and will make me more efficient when I implement those skills with students. 

 

     EDUC 6710 has also deepened my knowledge of teaching and the learning process by requiring me to read several articles and view other sources about the twenty-first century learner. In particular, the articles I digested high-lighted and expanded on the works of Marc Prensky, and his concepts of the ‘digital native’ and the ‘digital immigrant.’ According to Prensky (2001), “…as a result of…the sheer volume of their interaction with… [technology] …today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors” (p.2). Some of my other sources, such as Dede (2008), did not believe that the influence of twenty-first century technology causes actual differences in students’ brains; instead they submitted a more moderate view of today’s students having certain strengths and preferences.

 

     Regardless of the viewpoint, all of the sources EDUC 6710 exposed me to the idea that today’s learners would greatly benefit from certain learning processes and skills, which would be heavily laced with twenty-first century technology. The learning skills found in ‘A report and mile guide for 21st century skills’ (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, n.d.) are typical examples of the ones purported by the EDUC 6710: information and media literacy skills, communication skills, critical thinking and systems thinking, problem identification, formation and solution [skills], creativity and intellectual curiosity, interpersonal and collaborative skills, self-direction, accountability and adaptability, and social responsibility” (p.9).

 

     Before I became a teacher, I was an auto-collision repair specialist. By the time I finished my schooling and embarked on a teaching career in 1997, I noticed that teaching was already starting

to move away from being a mainly teaching centered experience to more of a student centered learning experience. However in my school district, many of the teaching-centered learning practices still remained in place because of teachers’ lack of knowledge and experience with student-centered practices, or limitations with student centered learning tools and technology.

 

     After being exposed to and gaining more knowledge about the learning skills and twenty first century technology through EDUC 6710, I now see much more potential with student-centered learning experiences, and plan to incorporate those experiences whenever possible. For example, before the EDUC 6710, as an in-school suspension (ISS) teacher, I would only consider using reflective writing with my students, in an effort to have them become more conscious about their behavior, so they could then take steps to change it. Although each student submitted his or her own input, the exercise was essentially teacher-centered. All information and interaction went through me. As a result of the application requirements I had during EDUC 6710, I would now prefer to do some type of interactive blog exercise with students, which would give them a more meaningful, student-centered learning experience.

 

     Eventually, I hope to secure a Social Studies teacher position. However, they have always been difficult to obtain in my part of the country. Therefore, I will most likely be an ISS teacher for the next few years. Assuming that I will continue in the same position, I do have two long-term goals that I hope will transform my current one. The first goal is to have every student have access a computer, with internet access, so I can implement some of my student-centered activities in my classroom. Currently, I have only one computer in my ISS classroom, which frequently malfunctions. In order for me to obtain more computers, I shall have to convince the school board, and also most likely have to direct some fund-raising activities, so this goal can become a reality.

 

     My second goal is to obtain the cooperation of the following school district teachers and personnel: ISS, Language Arts, School Counselors, School Principals, and Technology. If I can achieve district-wide cooperation, then there will be many different types of student-centered twenty-first technology related activities that I will be able to accomplish. Realization of these two goals may take a few school years, but the positive impact that they will have on the behavior of ISS students- especially the chronic repeat offenders- will be worth the effort.

 

     Currently, my position does not afford me opportunities to use the type of learning that I wish to implement. Since my long-term goals may take one to three school years until they are attained, despite having a strong base of knowledge through practical application, I am confronted with the possibility of eventually losing some of the knowledge I recently gained from EDUC 6710. In order to prevent this, and also acquire additional knowledge, I must find ways to not only practice my new skills, but also learn ways acquire new ones.

 

     I did my first audio podcast during this class. I would like to practice this skill by creating additional ones. I also plan to try to make video podcasts, and experiment with other web 2.0 Internet sites and applications, such as Delicious and  Flickr. Although I maintained my first blog during EDUC 6710, I only had the minimal skills to do what the course required of me. In the future, I will try to maximize the potential of the blog by exploring its different options and applications. In addition, I will purchase web 2.0 software, technology devices and guides, and educate myself with their applications. In this manner, regardless of whether I remain an ISS teacher or obtain the Social Studies teacher position that I desire, when I finally have the opportunity to implement the skills and technology that I learned during EDUC 6710, I will be ready to do so. 

 

     Finally, in the first week of the EDUC 6710 course, the students were given a checklist, which had two categories: practices that support twenty-first century skills and developing technology skills for the school and workplace environments. Now in the final week of the course, we must revisit that checklist, to see if any of our answers have changed. The practices part of the checklist has not changed for me because of the limitations I currently face with my position. However, I will now seek out other professionals and promote certain practices in technology integration, so my students will have the greatest chance at being exposed to and learning from all that the twenty-first century learning skills and technology have to offer.

 

 

References

 

Laureate Education Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Dede, C. Program: 14. In “Debate: Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants” [Educational Video]. Los Angeles: Solution Tree.

 

November, A. (2008). Web literacy for educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

     Copyright 2008 by Sage Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Sage Publications, Inc.

 

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/images/stories/otherdocs/p21up_Report.pdf      

 

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5).

 

Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wiks, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

 

Partnership for 21st Century Skills: A Website that Every Teacher Should Promote!

When I initially explored the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2004) website, I became skeptical of its creators and their agenda. In the website’s history I ascertained that a lot of its founding organizations were ones that make their profits from technology, such as: Apple Computer Inc., Dell Computer Corporation and Microsoft Corporation (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/). After viewing that information, I mused, would this education site be in de facto some thinly disguised business endeavor for corporations to expand their margin of profit?

 

Skimming through the Partnership for 21st Century Skills site’s (2004) “21st Century Student Outcomes” in the “Framework for 21st Century Learning” area, with the exception of the “Information, Media and Technology Skills” section, initially I did not see any novel concepts (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php? option=com content&task=view&id=254&Itemid=119 ). All the other sections, such as “Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes…Learning and Innovation Skills…[and]…Life and Career Skills” appeared to offer outcomes that I remember, to one extent or another, approaching as a student in the 1980s.

 

During this initial exploration of the site (2004), I also noted that a lot of the “21st century student Outcomes” appeared to be closely aligned with the use of technology (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/). While one would be hard-pressed to find reasons to not integrate technology with today’s students, I wondered, does this apparently ever increasing push for more technology not exclude some learners’ strengths? Does this not contradict the multiple intelligence theory of learning, and the advice of Kottler, Zehm, & Kottler (2005), which suggests that as educators we should “…nurture all multiple intelligences, which should include existential and spiritual intelligences…” (p.33) as well?

 

However when I took a second, more in depth tour of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2004) website, and started exploring some of its tools and resources, the site surprised me; I discovered that it had much more to offer educators than I originally suspected. While I currently manage an in-school suspension (ISS) classroom, I am certified to teach Social Studies in my state, and hope to teach that subject in the future when the opportunity arises. In the “List of Publications” part of the web site, I found an impressive ICT Literacy Map of Social Studies, which gave several practical examples of tools, technology and learning scenarios for twenty-first century learning, thinking and outcomes that Social Studies teachers could use (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/images/stories/matrices/ICTmap_ss.pdf).

 

When I went to the “Route 21 Snapshots” part of the website (2004), I found a link to the Edutopia internet site, which I surprisingly found to be produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (2009). While investigating Edutopia, I watched a video entitled “Taking Class Outdoors with Environmental Education” (http://www.edutopia.org/school-environmental-studies-video). The presentation showed a progressive Minnesota school that has some unusual practices: no classrooms, students working in small groups on hands-on projects, and then working in their own cubicles when they wanted work alone, a community that helps grade students’ presentations and students routinely doing useful community service projects. The video specifically focused on students that were doing long term learning projects with the local environment. One group of students was observing changes in plants and a pond. Eventually, those students taught the information they learned to first graders in their school district. Another student was noting observations of animals in the local zoo. Care-takers of the zoo later used her information to track the health of the animals she observed. These students used twenty-first century technology during their projects and afterwards during presentations to peers, teachers and local community members.

Through this video presentation of “Taking Class Outdoors with Environmental Education,” (The George Lucas Eductaional Foundation , 2009) I was able to actively view an example of twenty-first century education practices in progress- rather than passively read theories about them as I usually do. I watched students develop the expert thinking and complex communication skills that Levy & Murnane (2006) attribute to being mandatory for students in order for them to successfully compete in the twenty-first century job market. I started to hold the opinion that while the new technology that the twenty-first century has to offer is now an essential part of learning, there are many other competencies being implemented in ways that are new and very different than how I ever experienced them as a student in the 1980s. Students with different multiple intelligence learning styles can thrive more now than ever before in this new style of learning that the Partnership 21st Century Skills (2004) website and other sites and sources offer.

If we take nothing else from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2004) website, we should realize that the world’s ways of living, learning and doing business are changing quickly and dramatically. Therefore, contemporary educators must keep pace with these new dramatic changes and ways of learning or become obsolete. Often I hear some of my peers complain that there are so many ‘learning fads’ that seem to quickly pass in and out of vogue, that they hardly give any new educational ideas any consideration any more. Teachers that are proponents of the new learning style must start to convince others teachers who are like my peers that the skills and ways of learning listed in the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website and other similar sources are not a fad, but a wave of the future, which is already starting to manifest itself in the present. Further, they must lead by example, so the skeptical teachers will observe first-hand the success teachers can have with the new learning style in this new century. Finally, they must do what they can to convince parents and society about what must change with the educational system. Only when everyone becomes proponents of the information and ideas on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website will students’ education reach its maximum potential, and as a result give the students of today the best chance at succeeding in their tomorrow. 

References

Taking Class Outdoors with Environmental Education (2009). The George Lucas Eductaional Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2009 from http://www.edutopia.org/school-environmental-studies-video

 

 

Kottler, J., Zehm, S., & Kottler, E. (2005). On being a teacher: The human dimension (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

 

Levy, F., & Murnane, R. (2006). Why the changing American economy calls for twenty-first century learning: Answers to educators’ questions. New Directions for Youth Development, 2006(110), 53–62.

 

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2004). Retrieved March 25, 2009 from http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/