Part 1: Reflect on your process of building your website in terms of design, putting content and what you can now do…
Part 2: How can you take what you’ve learned from this master’s program out into the world and into your classroom immediately?
Part 3: Finally, how do you plan to use what you’ve learning from this program in the future?
Part 1: Well folks, it’s Monday morning of my Spring Break and I’m sitting in my classroom at my desk working furiously and feverishly on Capstone pages, blogs, videos, storyboards, infographics, posters, blog responses, video scripts, reading, references, how-tos, standards, and iCARe document checklists all while fighting off strep throat and trying to manage my three kids via text at home while they’re supposed to be working together to get the pig pens ready for 7 pigs that come next week...I need a break from my spring break!!! I will say that I’ve learned so much in this process, I just wish we would’ve started building our Capstone pages from the very first day of 792...having those extra few weeks would be very helpful. I’m currently done with 4 pages, almost done with 3 more, but there are several that I haven’t even started yet. The pages that I’m most nervous about are “Learn More” and “Design” as they’re the meat of my project and I want them to be informative and of high quality when they’re complete. They also seem very similar to each other, so that makes me nervous.
Part 2: I’m not the vocal kind of teacher that is comfortable talking and sharing stuff with my whole staff, but I have to say I’ve really enjoyed bringing many of the tech things I’ve learned in the last year to my PLC and my department...it’s really cool walking by other math classrooms during my prep and looking in the windows and seeing teachers participating in tech or activities that I told them about. That’s a good feeling.
Part 3: At this current time, I have two plans for the future with some of the apps that I’ve explored. With Kahoot! I want to do two things...1.) I want my students to get more proficient at making Kahoot! Quizzes themselves, in fact, when we get back from spring break I’m going to assign groups topics from the entire year, to make Kahoot! Quizzes to start studying for our Spring Final. 2.) There is a new feature on Kahoot! where I can record their scores. I want to start doing this to hold my students more accountable, so far, all of our Kahoots! have been for fun this year, and some students have started to not take them seriously.
BLOG: Write a blog related to your journey or your topic. Something that’s on your mind that’s been triggered through this journey.
I apologize to the Cohort for the tardiness of my blogging...
Capstone Website Reflections:
Blog: What does being a good critical friend mean to you? What do you expect or would you like from others?
The day we shared our first drafts of our Logos in the class was a prime example of what I think critical friends should do for each other. I walked away from that evening's class with some great compliments and some supportive feedback for possible changes. (none of which I've had the time to do anything about yet, but that's for another date!) In the end, our Capstone is about what we want, so we're going to make the final decisions about whether we're going to listen to that feedback, or stick with our original ideas...but the fact that we were open to listen to each other and give feedback to each other shows a lot of trust. I have been involved with the proper protocol of "critical friends" several times, but I don't think we need to follow that protocol in order to be critical friends to each other. I think as long as we come from a positive, helpful place, letting each other know that our feedback isn't meant to be criticism, but constructive input, then that's the critical friends that I would expect from others.
Blog: As a member of this Master’s program, you are helping shape the future of your school with regards to its 21st Century technology practices. Please research what your school’s educational technology mission statement is. Is there one? Is technology mentioned at all?
In your blog, please write your school’s mission statement that incorporates technology and comment on it. How does their statement align with your personal practice? Does it meet the goals for your capstone?
When I searched up and down all through Napa High’s website, I couldn’t find an educational technology mission statement. Here is our overall Mission Statement:
Mission StatementOur vision is to transform lives and instill lifelong learning. To actualize this vision we are committed to three goals:
NAPA HIGH Driving Question: How will we work as a truly collaborative TEAM to realize our NTN & AVID goals of a culture that empowers, teaching that engages, technology that enables and AVID instructional strategies that support all?
As you can see, it makes mention of “technology that enables,” but doesn’t get into specifics about actual practices or goals.
As I dug more, I found our Policies on Digital Citizenship (no need to read them all, you’ve seen them before and you get the idea):
Students are expected to embody BEST values by following the guidelines listed
below when using electronic devices and digital learning tools in any and all
classrooms during school hours. Teachers will communicate clear expectations during
the opening of school about how and when devices may be used instructionally.
At Napa High, we are RESPECTFUL
❖ Create user names and use profile pictures that are appropriate to the public
❖ Use a respectful tone of voice when posting comments or using online digital tools
❖ Collaborate and share ideas with other students using appropriate academic language
❖ Demonstrate respect for a speaker by giving them full attention and putting flaps of laptops down or tablets/phones face down
At Napa High, we are RESPONSIBLE:
❖ Use digital tools in academically appropriate ways during class hours
❖ Use digital tools to discuss school-related, academic content only
❖ Be aware and mindful of classroom teacher’s guidelines about when and how to use technology
❖ Take care of devices – school provided or your own
❖ Bring your device everyday
At Napa High, we are SAFE:
❖ Cite other people’s work and ideas: give proper credit when using other people’s work and/or copyrighted information
❖ Access websites that are academic, reliable and safe
❖ Stand up to any forms of cyberbullying and make an adult aware of these incidents
❖ Protect personal and private information by not posting inappropriate photos, comments, videos, telephone numbers, addresses, emails, etc. This includes keeping personal login/passwords secure
As far as my personal practice is concerned, I don’t spend much time front loading digital citizenship, but we do discuss topics as they come up when it pertains to many of the bulleted items above. I’m currently really frustrated with the lack of technology at Napa High, we are a BYOD school striving for a 1:1 ratio in the classroom, but I am nowhere near that at this time, so it is impossible for me to use activities, websites, apps, etc. in class that I want to when we don’t have the devices to support it. I would say at this time that our current technology status at Napa High doesn’t meet the goals of my capstone, as some of the goals of my capstone include 1:1 ratio, using apps and interactive websites on personal devices to increase engagement in my high school math classes.
Blog: Having explored several capstone websites, write a blog about who you think the audience of your capstone is going to be and why. Also, what content do you think you will need to have on your website in order to engage and teach them about your research.
Currently I’m really thinking that my audience focus will be narrowed to high school math teachers. I know it’s a smaller, more specific group of teachers, but it feels like a more manageable way to focus and direct my capstone project. I’ve really been doing a lot of thinking about how to keep math students engaged by using technology, more specifically personal devices, and I’ve been experimenting with a stations type model during my block periods at Napa High.
Content that will be on my website that will engage and teach my audience includes a list (and links) of resources that I’ve used, several of which have had kids asking, sometimes begging when we’re going to do “that” again. Here’s a short list off the top of my head, I’ll be adding more to it.
I also imagine somewhere on my capstone site will have demonstrations, video of student engagement, skeleton outlines of how to run a high school stations block day, other resources and sites I’ve found sucessful, descriptions of teaching protocols that engage students.
Session 1 Blog: Blog about your own goals relative to the the goals of the program. What hopes/thoughts do you have on how fellow cohort members can support you with completing your capstone and how you can support them? How will you work to support positive cohesion among your
cohort? What is important to you in terms of group norms?
When I started reflecting about how my goals relate to the goals of the Touro program, I decided to look up the mission statement of our graduate school of education, and this is what I found: To promote social justice by serving the community and larger society through the preparation and continuous support of professional educators to meet the needs of a constantly changing, challenging, and diverse student population. I think it goes without saying that we serve the community, but what struck me most was the last part of this statement; the constantly changing, challenging and diverse student population. I think the fact that we’re exploring how to be innovative in the classroom to keep up with the changing technology and changing learning styles of our students harmonizes nicely with this goal.
Listed below are several more of my reflections when thinking about goals for this semester and program.
Goals for my teaching and classroom:
Goals for myself and my Touro cohort: