Sunday, March 31, 2013

Storyboard and Scrip for Flipped PD


Our Flipped PD will be demonstrating the use of the Confer app.  The more I learn about the app the more I realize it is a great tool to measure data.  Whether you are a teacher or an administrator this app will be useful.  We have prepared a Google document for our storyboard and our script.  We decided to use Google documents so that our entire group would be able to access and contribute to the documents.  Our final presentation will be uploaded into a video via Camtasia.

Each member of the group had a responsibility in creating our final product.  Lindsay who has first hand experience using the Confer App will be working on the actual script for the final product.  Each member has the responsibility to download the Confer APP from the apple store and start to explore its contents.  This will provide each of us an opportunity to learn Confer first hand.  Sarah and Jason were tasked with the building and creating of the actual storyboard via Google Presentation.  We all have experience with this method of presentation and found it a good way to build our storyboard and easily share it with everyone.

I was tasked with the putting the Storyboard and Script into its final product by using Camtasia.  Over the last couple months I have had the opportunity to explore and learn how to create documents in Camtasia.  I find the use of Camtasia an excellant tool to use for many deliveries methods.  I have actually giving short tutorials to my staff on how to use Camtasia as a tool to delivery their content and share with their students.  I especially encourage using this tool as a method to develop substitute lessons.  What a great way to explain to their students the days lessons when they cannot be there.  

Please click on the two links below to explore our progress with our storyboard and script.  


Script


The Flipped PD process has been valuable to this point.  Our Google Hangout which lasted for over an hour was useful and we were able to layout our steps for the final presentation.  We did have a follow-up Google Hangout on Tuesday to check-in and make sure we were ready for our final product.

It is my plan to use this Flipped PD with the staff at Saline Middle School once we have completed the process.   Being able to actually use what we create during CEP 812 is a bonus that my colleagues can benefit from as well.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Web-Conferencing


Web-Conferencing

Our web conference tool was Google Hangouts.  This was only my second time using Google Hangouts, the first was introduced during our CEP 812 class meeting.  Before we started our Google Hangouts session, I googled how to record a session.  I learned that I had to check the “embed” box and then get approval from Youtube before the session would be recorded.   During our session on Google Hangouts we, as a group, had an opportunity to explore many of the functions that Google Hangouts provide.  The most beneficial feature was the Google Drive tool.  This gave us the chance to open up our google document for the entire group to view and discuss the contents.  We used the chat feature so that we could communicate with one of our group members who couldn’t get his microphone to work.  He was able to see and hear us, but we couldn’t hear him so he wrote his comments.  Another group member didn’t have a camera so we were unable to see her, but she was able to see and hear us.  We also had a chance to play with the google effects, which was mostly for fun adding hats, sounds and other effects.  One area that I found interesting was that whoever was speaking would appear in the main screen.  This didn’t happen in the class hangout, but it just demonstrates how smart the tool is. 

Our session lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes and was very productive.  The group was able to work through the assignment and then we designated individual pieces of the assignment to be completed for both this week and next.  We are planning another Google Hangout session for this coming Tuesday night to review what we have done and what needs to be completed for our final PD Flipped session. 

As an administrator I have found Google Hangouts to be a very useful tool.  Being in a district with eight different buildings and a number of administration meetings this tool will be very helpful.  I have already had a chance to discuss this with my Superintendent about possibly using this in place of an actual meeting.  It is valuable for the building administrators to be present in their respective buildings and Google Hangouts can accomplish most of the needs we perform during our administration meetings.  Ultimately, our goal would be keeping the building administrators in their buildings in case there is a situation that requires their immediate attention.  Google Hangouts would allow us to do this.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wicked Problem Part A




The educational need or opportunity
My wicked problem within the Saline Middle School is not being able to provide sufficient individualized instruction due to the 69-minute time constraint per class period.     Teachers can "flip" their classroom instruction, which allows students to view podcast lessons at home and receive individualized instruction with the teacher focused on clarifying the level of understanding when they return to class.  Our schedule is limited; therefore I need address this issue with instructional strategies and technological tools in order to successfully meet all the differentiated learning styles of our students. 

Your technology-integrated strategy
We have a lot of different technology available to our staff at SMS.  The staff would need to use any form of podcasting that they are familiar with.  They have access to Camatasia and Garage Band which is supported by our district.    Potentially, training would need to be provided to our teachers so that they are comfortable using the many tools they have available.  For our students, they would need to be taught how to access the materials that the teachers have provided.  They would have to know how to obtain this knowledge inside the school and outside the school day.  The awareness of Google docs, moodle, weebly, webcasts, blogs, tweets and more would have to be understood. 

Logistics of a solution
Podcast, Screencasts, Flipped Classrooms are examples of solutions that can be used to help provide more time for the teacher to work with students one-on-one or in small leveled groups.  Removing the lecture time or time needed to instruct students and use that time to check for understanding and deeper learning.  Most teachers spend a could portion of their 69 minute class period instructing, thus leaving very little time to check for understanding. 

 Research, which supports your strategies
There are many sources that can help support this approach.  Dan Spencer from the Jackson, Michigan ISD put together a very comprehensive resource guide “Flipped Resource Guide”.  Khan Academy is another strong resource. 

Also, having the teachers track their data in their classrooms with the use of their common assessments.  Comparing their student’s scores prior to turning their lessons to online learning and using their class period to dive deeper into individualized student learning. 

In Saline Area Schools we use a database that collects all our assessments and tracks our students from the time they enter Saline Area Schools.  Also, our teachers can provide soft surveys to their students and parents to gather feedback on their experiences. 

A plan based on research for implementation, indicating the portion to be completed during this course and after it is over. 
Over the next few weeks I plan on providing training time for the staff to learn about the instructional technology tools they have within each classroom.  They then can develop at least one podcast lesson to be placed online for the students to view or listen to.   Then they will be expected to utilize their classroom time for working with their students on the lesson taught the previous night.   The advantage for the teacher is to create online libraries where students and parents can have on-demand access to class content that is rewindable and reviewable. 

We need to identify the technical pieces that will help with this initiative.  We would also need continued support from our tech department.  The use of I-pads, Camtasia, Elmo projectors, Epson projectors and classroom computers will be accessible. 

Indications of a successful project
This idea will be successful on many levels.  For one, this is an opportunity for teachers to maximize their 69-minute classroom instructional time.  Secondly, the teacher can get off the stage and begin to engage more individually with their students.  This will enable them to get to know each student and understand how he or she learns best, therefore differentiating their teaching.  For the student learner this will provide an opportunity to learn at their own pace and timing and climate.  In turn, being able to have individual attention with their teacher to ask questions, clarify lessons and explore deeper learning. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Final CEP 811 Reflection


1.     What are some things that you have learned about effective teaching strategies when integrating technology?

CEP 811 has been one of the most valuable classes I have taken.  As the building principal creating lesson plans haven’t always been my main focus.  However, during this class being exposed to the many uses of technology has opened my eyes to what is available as effective teaching methods.  Using the UDL as a direct way to guide your lessons.  With so many diverse learning styles and in most cases only one teacher delivering the content, using the UDL practice can help to have a sound lesson plan.  Also, I really appreciated the StAIR assignment, which showed me that there are many creative ways to present a topic.  I was able to tie this into a staff meeting and expose the middle school teachers to think outside the box in their delivery of the content. 

2.     How did integrating web-based technologies help you think about and evaluate uses of technology?

There is just so much out there that can make learning fun and creative.  That is my main purpose for pursuing my MAET degree.  As the building leader it is my job to continue support and guidance in learning new methods for our teachers.  Seeing first hand, how integrating technology can impact the learning for our students is invaluable.  It is apparent that our teachers need to be more creative and many are exploring new methods.  We no longer can just do a PowerPoint, keynote, YouTube video or other simple forms of technology.  More importantly creating StAIR lessons, WebQuests and tying multiple technologies into a best practice lesson. 

3.     How have you met your own personal goals for learning about technology integration?

I would say I have learned a lot during this course and at this time my goals continue to grow.   However, I continue to seek more information that can make student learning more valuable.    What I am finding is there is so much more I want to gain from technology education. 

4.     Do you have any new goals? What are your plans for reaching your new goals and your long-term goals after this course is over?

I have new goals for the middle school staff and students, which is to create educational technology within all classrooms.  More importantly, having the staff share their creations with each other during school-wide professional development.  For myself reaching my new goals I need to become a tech specialist that staff come to for support.  For this to be possible I need to continue my learning about educational technology.  After completing two courses within the MAET program I see that there is much more to learn.  Long-term goal is to gain entrance into the MAET program and earn my Master’s degree in Educational Technology.