Thursday, August 1, 2013

PLEASE POST YOUR PROPOSAL HERE! so we can comment and help


  1. How do I attach a file as a comment? Do I have to do it as a separate post?

    Did anyone else fill out the conclusion section, or is that for later when we actually finish implementing our projects?

  2. I would just copy and paste the text of your proposal in a post. Then we can comment on each proposal below.

  3. Here is my project proposal. I have to do it as two posts because of the length,sorry! I look forward to hearing everyone's ideas/suggestions.

    Project Description: My project uses a software program that our district has purchased to support our initiative of Mass Customized Learning. By using the Educate program, I can create a “Pathway” to guide my student's learning, track their progress, and include necessary resources. I would like to create a Pathway in Educate for a math unit that has the capacity matrix, tasks, assessment options, video tutorials (made by me), and a list of extra resources all available in one place. A pathway in Educate is a way to show the entire scope of a unit at the beginning and allow learners to personalize their learning progression based on the given learning targets. Parents, students, and teachers all have access to Educate, so we will all be able to monitor a learner's progress and serve as learning coaches. Teachers, advisors, parents, and students can login at any point and see what learning targets have already reached proficiency and what is the next task. Students can also submit their pieces of evidence electronically so that they are linked and archived to specific learning targets, automatically creating a digital portfolio.

    Transparency is achieved through my Pathway because learners and parents will be able to see how every component of a unit helps us achieve the end goal. Learners will also be able to gain independence through reverse teaching by utilizing the resources within the pathway. I will create my own videos/screen-casts that introduce/re-teach material for learners and be available at all times along with other resources I (and other students) have found as well as student created exemplars. Students will also be able to make informative decisions when it comes to voice and choice because they will be able to see how their choices effect their individual learning progression. Learners will be able to make daily and long-term goals based on the pathway and learning targets.

  4. Rationale: This academic year, our school district is abandoning the PowerSchool program and trying to move away from Moodle as Educate is much more powerful. In simple terms, we describe Educate as a the super-child of Moodle and PowerSchool. It is an incredibly dynamic program that is synced with our curriculum and learners progress will be monitored K-12. I need to dive in and start using the features that this program offers. This will be my second year in my school district and last year I felt that I did more “mass” than “customized” learning. I think that I focused more on aligning all evidence and assessments to the standards and grading based on proficiency. Now, I want to transition into really personalizing my learner's experiences while keeping high standards for work quality and rigor. Using the Educate program effectively will help me achieve this goal.

    Intended Outcomes:
    My goal is to create more transparency for learners and give them ways to become the directors of their learning path.
    My plan corresponds to one of five focus areas in the RSU 18 Mission/Vision Statement: Developing a Customized Learning Environment.
    I also want to be able to give students more ownership in their learning through technology and not limit the students to needing to be in the classroom to learn. With this, I think that students will gain independence and their learning experiences will be more creative and reflective of who they are as individuals.
    My plan aligns to the following ISTE-Nets Teacher Standards about using technology to
    Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
    Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
    Model Digital Age Work and Learning
    Methodology and Timeline:
    During September, our team will be working with all students to get them familiar with the Educate program and get them in a routine of checking in daily where they are on their learning progression. We will also work on submitting evidence through Educate and how to access the resources available. I will be working on building the pathway, adding resources, and creating videos during this time.
    After NECAPs are complete in October, I will be sharing the Pathway with all of my students. I will ask for feedback frequently from students and parents about how it is working and what more they need from the program/me. Essentially at this point, my entire plan book, curriculum, and file cabinet of hard copy and digital resources are accessible for students and parents.
    ** Hopefully sometime within the first couple of months of school, I can attend an Educate training and discuss with my colleagues the ways that they are using Educate in their classrooms.

    In November, we will be wrapping up our first unit and starting to unpack the standards for our next unit. At this time, I will consult with students as I begin to create my next Pathway with them. We will discuss what resources were helpful to them in the first unit and we will work together to link information to the learning targets they need/want. I hope to be able to have three or four different sub-groups in my classroom that are working their way through different pathways and different learning targets.

  5. Evaluation:
    I will evaluate my first goal of creating more transparency in my classroom and allowing learners to be in charge of their learning by ensuring that everything I do in my classroom and provide to learners is available somehow digitally (ideally all within the Educate portal). Using our district's “parking lot” format, I will have my students provide feedback to me about the effectiveness of the Educate pathway and what changes could be made.

    I will be able to gauge if I met my ISTE-Nets goals primarily through student feedback and my self reflections. I will use student surveys to check-in with learners about how they are using the Educate resources and portal and if they think their learning could be as successful without it. I also will ask them to reflect about their experiences so far this academic year compared to other years. I would like to know if they find themselves to learning at a deeper taxonomy level (we have done work about evaluating taxonomy levels) and in a way that resonates more with their personality and learning style. My fear is that students will choose what they perceive to be the quickest/easiest options for evidence to complete. We are looping with our 7th and 8th graders (we are on a 6th -8th grade team), so I have had 2/3 of our students before. This will allow be to reflect and compare each student's progress this year with the use of Educate and the Pathways to their progress last year.

    1. if they know parents and fellow students can see this they tend to not do just quickest/easiest way. Especially if you have students outside your class or school....

  6. Project Description
    I am going to start a blog for my students, parents, and even the community to go to. I have a team teacher who I am going to share this blog with as well. I plan on posting pictures/videos each week to show what my students are learning and to show their work. I also want to import Google calendars to keep parents informed/reminded of field trips, units of study, homework, and school calendar. There will be a place for different links/documents for parents and students to access, such as blank reading logs, our schedule, and lesson hints/help. I want my students to post what they have learned each week in my classes, as well as in Ms. Burtt’s classes. I would rotate them every week to create a post. I also want students to take pictures during the week of their learning to put on the blog.
    Reverse Teaching
    I would like to record lessons of me teaching as well as students teaching. This can be used as a way to teach a lesson to the class, a re-teaching tool, a way to access my instruction when there is a sub, and for students/parents to access from home. Students will hopefully be involved in the recording.


    This project is educationally significant because my teaching will be transparent, communication and involvement with parents will be promoted, and students will be more invested in their work because there will be more people viewing it than just me. This is also important because the use of technology in this way will benefit students, parents, and teachers.


  7. Methodology Timeline

    • Get Blog up and running
    • Create tools for students that allow them to create blog posts (a chart to record what they learned at the end of each day to help them when they go to create the blog post at the end of the week)
    • Get the logistics (time, space) together to help students be successful at this task (creating blog posts, photographs, videos)
    • Introduce blog at the Learning Commons on August 13 when some students and parents come to see Ms. Burtt and I
    • Plan with Ms. Burtt on who will be responsible for which parts. We will also use this time to “play” around with the blog features
    • Communicate with parents about our blog
    • Lay out expectations with students about how this classroom “job” will work, how to create a good blog post, and expectations around taking photos and videos (I will probably start with photos only)
    • Discuss how to be a good/appropriate digital citizen
    • Start implementing blog posts and photos taken by students
    • Continue to post weekly blog posts and photographs from students
    • Slowly start having students video tape my lesson
    • Create a survey for students, parents, co-workers, and principal to complete in order for me to measure my effectiveness in using the blog

    • Survey parents and students on their use of the blog
    • Self evaluate to see how I feel I did at meeting my intended outcomes

    1. Just be prepared to adjust as your timeline may have wrenches thrown in it.