Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Final Reflection

Reflecting back on both my GAME plan and blogging about the integration of technology into my classroom, I feel the growth I experienced was substantial on numerous levels. Two indicators from The National Educational Technology Standards that I have been striving towards improving in my art room setting are

-Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

-Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

My GAME plan was to start small and work my way towards meeting larger criteria. By this I joined a committee in our building that is developing the requirements placed on our staff for integrating technology into our classrooms and teaching with 21st century skills in mind. This was important because it aligned with my goal of engaging in professional growth and leadership. By using what my masters has taught me, I feel I am implementing tools and leading my colleagues in this direction. It has been an intense process and one that I am glad I have joined.

The other goal I set for myself was to become better acquainted with the tools in our building that we received through a technology grant. This aligns more with developing digital age experiences and assessments. By doing this I am integrating one technological vehicle a week (mimio, flip video camera, classroom blog, laptop and projector) in order to enhance my classroom. This is where I believe I am starting out small and working my way towards larger endeavors. At first when all of these tools became available to me I wanted to implement them into every lesson every time and that was unrealistic. It got to the point where I was more enthralled in implementing the technology tools than getting to the crux of the lesson and making sure my students were making progress. By downsizing into using one tool a week these goals have been manageable and successful. There is evidence of this on my classroom blog at Each week I update parents on what we are learning and how technology made it possible. I especially love my current fifth grade lesson. It is a paper mache project that ties in artist Wayne Thiebaud and to kick it all off I create a multimedia presentation through to introduce my students to this type of work.

The learning that has taken place in my classroom as a result of my goals with the above indicators has been intense. Particularly blogging about my experiences held me accountable to what I was trying to implement and provided great feedback through my peers. I experienced every emotion as I authentically tried to make these goals come to life, from frustration to elation.

As I continue on, some immediate adjustments I will be making will be to find further workshops and professional development sessions based on the tools that are in my building. This will only better myself as an educator and my students overall.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Using the GAME plan process with my students

All the in the all GAME plan process which stands for:


has turned out to be vital tool in my educational tool belt for striving towards better teaching especially with 21st century skills and integrating technology in mind. I developed a GAME plan nearly seven weeks ago in which I was going to be a better instructor in the world of art while simultaneously meeting two National Educational Technology Standards: Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments and secondly, Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership. Because of the GAME plan I was able to break my large goals and alterations to my classroom into smaller manageable steps which led to quality success and integration in my classroom.

Turning the table now I would like to challenge myself to helping my students develop their own GAME plans in becoming avid users of technology in our classroom. With a traveling Mac lab in our school, mimios, projectors, and flip videos at hand, I feel as though the sky is the limit. My students are in grades three through six and the GAME plan I believe we should work towards as a whole is using our computers for one digital art project per grade level per nine weeks. Never have I created art outside of the typical and traditional mediums and I believe now is as good as time as ever to take on this challenge and make this GAME plan with my students. Involving them would require brainstorming at each level for what our product will look like, as well as the process which is where our goals, actions, monitoring and evaluation will come into play.

What do you think? Has the GAME plan process allowed me to evolve into a teacher that centers her instruction around project based learning with student directed activities in mind? Could developing a 21st century GAME plan with individual grade levels expand the growth of my children and nurture their artistic expressions at the same time?

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Supporting Information Literacy and Online Inquiry in the Classroom. Baltimore: Author.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Revising my GAME Plan

As I have concentrated these past five weeks on integrating two technology indicators, # 2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments and # 5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership into my classroom, I have learned many things along the way. First of all, I have had to start small and work my way up. As a teacher in a new performing arts school with many technology tools available sometimes it is true what they say, “less is more.”

I was ready to jump right in with integrating flip videos, slide shows on the projector, blogs, and my new mimio board. Trying to do all of this at once often left me with quantity in presentations, but not quality. Taking a step backwards and just working with one tool at a time has seemed to prove more efficient for this process. These tools were not available to me last school year and so although I was eager, I was not always successful in what I was trying to accomplish.

Recently, I have been working hard on getting my class blog up and running for our art room ( I have been taking digital images and adding them to various tabs while also writing about what is going on in our classroom. I also started to really promote our blog in our school newsletter so that parents and students could start to follow what we are creating and what is happening in our art room. I would love to have students start authoring certain portions of our blog in the future. This is my next goal.

Some learning approaches that would improve my steps towards meeting my goals are having patience with my integration process. I have big ideas, but not always enough time to do everything I want to with my new tools. I have to remember that many teachers build their resources over time and this process reminds me much of starting as a first year teacher and building lesson plans and files. I now have to begin again with what I have and integrate technology a little at a time.

My second goal will help me with this process because I now have a strong support system at my school of newly hired teachers who are also eager to integrate technology. We have formed a committee to set goals for our building and their endeavors in doing this.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Evaluating my GAME plan

I am developing the end portion of my GAME plan. The two indicators that I would like to look at and strengthen in my classroom practices are: # 2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments and # 5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership.

This week I am looking at letter “E” of my GAME plan which stands for evaluating. The actions that I took previously to meet my goals need to be looked at objectively to see if I am making adequate progress.

Action steps that I monitored this week in accordance with goal #2 was to design digital learning experiences. This ran closely hand-in-hand with goal #5, to grow professionally. I challenged myself to start putting into practice the benchmarks my school committee has set for our building when it comes to the integration of technology. It is Tuesday, and already I have used technology for two different grade levels this week. Furthermore, I have been able to spark the interest of my colleagues by emailing them the link of a Prezi that I made for my fifth graders. I found (through another masters course) which allowed me to grow professionally in the world of technology by creating a presentation about artist Wayne Theibaud that my fifth graders are studying. I was able to include pieces of his art, biographical text about his life and even a youtube clip of him working in his studio that I found online. The interaction that took place between my students when I was able to project my Theibaud prezi was magical. Simultaneously, many teachers asked me how I created my prezi and to stop by their rooms after school and give them some pointers. If you have not tried this program, check it out!

With all this said, I believe that I can evaluate myself with high regards this week. I feel I am setting obtainable actions steps and sticking by them for the betterment of myself and my children.

Robyn Peterson

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Spotlight on Technology: Problem-Based Learning, Part 1. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Spotlight on Technology: Problem-Based Learning, Part 2. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.