Technology Integration Plan: Waterford Village Elementary School

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1 Technology Integration Plan: Waterford Village Elementary School Meghan Callahan Introduction: Vision, Outline, and Goals This is a plan for how I envision myself implanting technology in my internship placement at Waterford Village Elementary School. I currently do not know the grade or teacher I will be working with, so I designed this plan to be flexible enough to cater to grades 1-5, even though it is best suited for an upper elementary classroom. My technology integration plan involves three phases that I will implement throughout the year as my involvement in the planning and teaching of the classroom increases. The first phase is to create a classroom blog and Google calendar that is updated daily with classroom news, assignments, and special events. The second phase is to create a class web page to display student work on projects, papers, and other contributions. This website will serve as the foundation for the third phase, which is for students to work collaboratively to create, pantomime, and digitally capture a story to be showcased on the class website. The phases work together to achieve three major goals: 1) to prepare students to lead capable lives in a technological world by exposing them to appropriate and practical uses of technology 2) to create a community of learners in which students, teachers, and parents work together to support children s learning by bridging communication gaps between parties 3) to add authenticity to children s assignments by providing an audience to view their work. The technologies I chose to implement these phases also support these three goals. Blogs are one of the most popular technologies in the last five years with increasing numbers of individuals and organizations using them for daily transmissions of information. Students will gain exposure to this new and growing technology, and parents will have one more avenue through which they can stay involved and informed on their children s learning. Google tools, such as calendar, are also on the cutting-edge of recent technologies and, when utilized, give students practice in using technology to organize their lives. Creating, using, and navigating websites is a vital skill students must have to succeed in this increasingly technological world, and they provide a way to capture student work in a timeless and authentic way. The combination of these technologies will give students exposure to important tools and skills that will be useful the rest of their lives. More specific ways the individual technologies support my goals for this proposal are discussed in the description of each phase. To describe this plan, I will explain each phase in terms of what it involves, what technology it requires, what students have to gain from it, and what goals it achieves. Connections to the Michigan Department of Education Educational Standards and Expectations will also be cited as support for the validity of this plan. To remain flexible as to what age group I teach, I include grade level adaptations for upper and lower elementary students. Phase One: Blog and Calendar What it Involves The first phase of my technology integration plan involves creating a classroom blog and Google Calendar. Before school begins, I can create a free classroom Google account which

2 provides access to Blogger, Google s free blogging software. Using Blogger, I can create a blog specifically designed for my classroom. Each day, I will make a post that contains information on what we did in class that day, what assignments students have to complete, and any special news of which they should be aware. A sample post might be: Today was a busy day in room 12! We continued learning about fairy tales by reading The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and then comparing elements of the story to the more familiar version of The Three Little Pigs. Then we wrote some questions we would like to ask the Big-Bad (or not so big and bad!) Wolf if we had the chance. Share the story with your friends and family; whose story do they believe, the pigs or the wolf s? Why? Today s homework assignments are: 1. Study for Friday s spelling test 2. Chose a person to research for your American Hero report 3. Finish answering the questions about our science experiment on colors Don t Forget, field trip money and permission slips are due on Friday! Parents, if you would like to chaperon, please indicate that on your child s permission slip when you sign it. Happy Tuesday! Ms. Callahan As indicated in this sample, I will use the blog to communicate with parents about what their children did in school that day and provide some conversation starters to deepen the monotonous so, what did you learn today? that is so often part of a family's dinner routine. I also provide a way for students (and parents!) to check their homework to stay on-top of assignments. Lastly, I used the post as a way to communicate with parents about ways they can get involved in their children s schooling. Because the nature of blogs is such that the most recent post is listed first, students and parents can easily check and see when a new post has been made rather than riffling through a traditional website. They can even subscribe to the blog and receive notification via or other updates when a new post has been made. Another feature of the blog is that it offers a place for students and parents to write a comment or ask a question about each post. For example, if a student has a question about a homework assignment, they can ask it on the blog and other students or teachers can respond to it. Parents can also post comments to stay involved in their children's learning. For these reasons, blogs are a technology very conducive to this type of daily communication. In addition to the classroom blog, phase one also includes the creation of a Google Calendar. This is another free tool available through the classroom Google account, and I will use it to create an online calendar complete with due dates of major projects, special events (assemblies, field trips, vacations), school-wide activities, and topics studied in class. Students and parents can subscribe to this calendar and stay up-to-date on the major events in the classroom and school. I will link this calendar to the classroom blog so it is easily accessible to all interested parties. Google tools are becoming increasingly useful and widespread, so students

3 will benefit from early exposure to these helpful organizers. Required Technology A computer with Internet access A free Google account - Google Blogger - Google Calendar What Students Gain Ownership over their learning: students can become advocates for their own learning by using the site to stay organized with assignments and informed on upcoming events Parental involvement: students can reap the benefits of parents who are informed daily about classroom activities and expectations Homework help: students can pose questions on the blog about specific homework assignments A venue to discuss and communicate with classmates and teachers: students can feel the support of a community of learners outside of school doors Privacy protection: only authorized parents, teachers, and students can view the blog and calendar What Goals it Achieves Goal #1: Students gain experience with using technology as a practical resource to enhance and organize their learning while being exposed to an appropriate and safe use of online publishing. Goal #2: Parents are informed of the daily activities and expectations of their children, and both parents and students are provided with a convenient venue to discuss school matters with the teachers and one another. DOE Standards and Expectations: Social Ethical and Human Issues: 2. Discuss how information and communication technology supports collaboration, productivity, and lifelong learning. Technology Communication Tools: 1. Use basic telecommunication tools (e.g. , WebQuests, IM, blogs, chat rooms, web conferencing) for collaborative projects with other students. Grade Level Adaptations Upper elementary: each day, it can be one student s job (IE: the daily helper) to update the calendar and type in the blog posting. This involves the students in the process and gives them some ownership over the blog. Lower elementary: I will make the blog post and calendar update each day, but students can have a say in the design of the blog and what I information I post.

4 Phase Two: Website What it Involves Later in the year, as students begin completing units and major projects, I will create (or work with a group of students to create) a class website to showcase student work. I can use either NVU (a free web publishing software) or Google Page Creator (another free tool available with a Google Account) to accomplish this task. Since the blog contains daily information about the classroom, the website will be a place to showcase on-going, quality student work and achievements throughout the year. Thus, information on the website will be more timeless than posts on the blog. Depending on the nature of the classroom and the projects they embark upon, this website can hold pictures or write-up of science experiments, field trips, stories students compose, plays they put on, or other student contributions. Throughout the year, the website will provide a way to permanently capture "teachable" moments that arise in the classroom. Required Technology A computer with Internet access Downloaded free NVU software OR Google Page Creator through classroom Google account What Students Gain An audience for their work: friends and family around the world can see their projects An authentic purpose for their assignments: students will know that their projects are designed to inform others A sense of community: students will see their contributions as part of a collective effort made by their classmates to produce this work Preservation of their work: students contributions will be permanent markers of their thinking at a specific time and place in their schooling What Goals it Achieves Goal #1: Students experience how to responsibly publish work to the Internet and become versatile in viewing websites as a source for collecting and organizing quality projects Goal 3#: Student work becomes authentic, for they know people will be viewing their projects and contributions all around the world DOE Standards and Expectations Technology Communication Tools: 2. Use a variety of media formats to create and edit products (e.g. presentations, newsletters, brochures, web pages) to communicate information and ideas to various audiences. Grade Level Adaptations Upper elementary: students can help create and maintain the website, adding new projects and displays as they arise. Lower elementary: students can direct me as to how they would like the site to look and what they would like published on it, but I would facilitate the technical work in creating and publishing the site.

5 Phase Three: Web-Literacy Project What it Involves: When I begin lead teaching in more subject areas and eventually lead teaching the class in its entirety I will implement the third phase of my plan. Students will work on a literacy project in which they read a story (relevant and appropriate to the grade-level and class progression) as a group and either re-tell it with their own spin or re-create the story entirely. For example, the class could read a book like Al Capone Does My Shirts and then break into groups to collaboratively write their own version of the tale, changing characters, settings, events, outcomes, etc. as they desire. This portion of the project will strongly emphasize literacy skills, and students will be expected to employ the writing process to produce a high-quality piece of work. Next, students will turn their stories into creative dramatics pantomimes in which the groups create costumes (using masks or hats to cover their faces if school policy restricts publishing pictures of children on the Internet) that bring the story to life. They can design background sets to further enhance the story. Students will then use digital cameras to capture the scenes of their story in a series of photographs to serve as the illustrations for their digital book. For the lower grades, students can use more photography and less detailed text to convey the story, depending on their writing levels. The photographs and accompanying text will be published as a web page the students create using Google Page Creator that is linked to the class website and blog as the final step of this project. Required Technology Several computers with Internet access A classroom Google account Google Page Creator Several Digital Cameras What Students Gain An opportunity to connect creative movement, literacy, and technology together Experience taking on a valuable role in a group: students can chose a job in each group that best suits his/her creative tendencies, such as director, photographer, actor, costume/set designer, etc. An authentic audience and purpose for completing the project: people can view and enjoy the products students make world-wide An outlet for creative expression What Goals it Achieves Goal #1: Students participate in responsibly producing a project to the Internet while experiencing first-hand the variety of resources and services the Internet provides. They also gain experience using digital cameras, the method of photography most used in current society. Goal #3: By sharing their work with friends and family world-wide, students take ownership over and responsibility for the quality of their work.

6 DOE Standards and Expectations Technology Productivity Tools: 5. Collaborate with classmates using a variety of technology tools to plan, organize, and create a group project. Technology Communication Tools: 2. Use a variety of media formats to create and edit products (e.g. presentations, newsletters, brochures, web pages) to communicate information and ideas to various audiences. Grade Level Adaptations: Upper elementary: students can produce the website themselves using Google Page Creator. Lower elementary: I can assist students in creating their web pages, but they will direct me on how they want it to look. Conclusion: Other Considerations There are two other considerations or issues to address related to my plan. The first is in regards to the safety of students. This is always the primary concern in the classroom, and parents, teachers, and principals can rest assured that this plan takes children s online privacy into consideration. Alterations such as making the blog viewable only by approved, subscribed members will help to create a safe space where children are free from online predators. No last names will be published on the any work either, and if parents and administrators feel more comfortable, students can chose nicknames to put on their published pieces instead of their first names to further conceal identity. Depending on the preferences of parents and the policies of Waterford Village, pictures on the website can be just of students hands or focused on the work they are engaged in rather than students' faces. Using masks or hats to conceal faces is another option for concealing identity in the final phase. Every effort will be made to ensure the use of technology in this plan is safe and responsible for all those involved. The second consideration deals with access to computers outside of school. Ideally, parents and other interested parties can read the course blog and website daily from a work computer or a home computer. Effective use of the blog also requires regular student access to it outside of school. While I am not familiar with the socio-economic demographics or the prevalence of technology in the Waterford area, I am considering how often students and parents will be able to access the tools to utilize them in the ways discussed in the plan. If families do not have home computers with Internet access, it is my hope they can go to a neighbor s or a local library to reap the benefits of the proposals set forth in this plan. With the support of my CT and school principal and access to the necessary technology my three-phased plan can be very beneficial to students and parents. It exposes students to appropriate uses of technologies, fosters communication and involvement of parents and students outside of school, and creates an authentic audience for the work children produce.

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