All posts by Simply Primary

Trust: How to Build a Strong Coaching Relationship

This quarter, as part of my journey through Seattle Pacific University’s Digital Education Leadership program, we are investigating ISTE coaching standards. For this blog post I will be focusing my research on ISTE coaching standard 1: Visionary Leadership.

ITSE Standards for Coaches 1: Visionary Leadership: Technology coaches inspire and participate in the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment.

Indicator: d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms.

Background

Within my graduate program we have been discussing what it means to be an instructional and/or digital coach in schools. Through these discussions I noticed that many of the aspects of coaching are relative to building a strong relationship with another person. I began thinking of what exactly makes relationships so strong and what determines if the relationship ends up being long lasting? I also thought about myself and my own relationships I have with others and what aspects to the relationship made it a priority in my life. After pondering these questions I believe the answer comes down to one word, trust. I believe the ability to trust others and be trusted by others is a key ingredient to a healthy and strong relationship whether personal or professional.

After establishing that trust is an essential component to building strong relationships, I then had to think about how I would establish trust within an opportunity I will be having this quarter with a fellow colleague. This quarter I will be coaching a fellow peer within my school on how to implement technology into one of her lessons. This peer has had past coaches and has requested help from others before, but has expressed the concern of not wanting someone to simply come in and do it for her as much as she wants a learning experience in order for her to grow her own set of skills. With this knowledge at hand I came up with the following question to lead my investigation for this ISTE standard: What are the best practices and/or strategies to help build trust within a coaching relationship?

Defining Trust & Trustworthy Traits

For this investigation I have chosen to use Stephen M. R. Covey’s definition of trust as being, “the feeling of confidence we have in another’s character and competence.” (Covey, 2008) I think an example of trust would be feeling confident that if you told someone something in confidence that they wouldn’t go and share that information without your consent. Another example of trust would be feeling confident that the employees you hired to fix the plumbing in your home are competent enough to handle the situation within the agreed upon time.

Jim Knight, author of the book, Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected, goes deeper into analyzing trust by evaluating character traits people have that are either trustworthy or untrustworthy. (Knight, 2015)

Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. Chapter 9

As you can see above, Jim provides different traits that help determine the amount of trustworthiness a person shows through their words and/or actions. (Knight, 2015) I felt this was a very powerful chart as it made me reflect on my own personal traits and analyze the traits of others around me.

Laying the Foundation

Within Jim Knight’s book, Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected, you can also find a diagram he has made that helps introduce you to what he calls the, “five trust factors”. (Knight, 2015)

Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. Chapter 9.

The Five Trust Factors

Character

“We trust someone when we know they won’t do us harm. So, to build trust, we must be honest and transparent. When we hold back information or we lie, we demonstrate that we can’t be trusted.” (Knight, 2015)

Reliability

“People trust us when we do what we said we would do when we said we would do it. For that reason, we have to be careful not to over-commit. We can keep enough time to do what we need to do reliably by under-promising and over-delivering, saying no, and using organizational rituals.” (Knight, 2015)

Competence

“Promises don’t mean much unless we can deliver, and trust develops or is diminished depending on how well we do the work that we do. We can increase our competence by developing skills, gaining knowledge, or by being credible.” (Knight, 2015)

Warmth

“Another way to encourage others to feel safe and trust us is through personal warmth. We can show warmth in the authentic way we listen, demonstrate empathy, share positive information, and be vulnerable.” (Knight, 2015)

Stewardship

“The more people are focused on themselves, the less we trust them. However, the more people are committed to serving others, the more we trust them. Stewardship is embodied in a genuine focus on others, the way we communicate, the way we give credit to others, and the simple fact that we care.” (Knight, 2015)

Building Trust

“Without trust there can be no coaching” (Aguilar, 2013)

While reading The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation written by Elena Aguilar, I found the ten different steps/strategies she provides to build trust very insightful. I provided an overview of the first four steps she provides readers which I found relative to my first meeting with my coachee.

Step 1: Plan and Prepare

Essentially this step is all about being prepared for your first meeting with your coachee. What outcomes are you hoping for and what information do you need to have by the end of the meeting? Do you have questions ready? If not, here are a few from the book that I found helpful:

Background Questions (Aguilar, 2013)

  • What do you enjoy about your position?
  • What is challenging about it?
  • What do you think are your strengths?
  • What do you think are your areas for growth?

Relationship Questions (Aguilar, 2013)

  • How would you describe your relationship with your colleagues?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your students?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your students’ parents?
  • Do you have colleagues (on-site or off-site) that you trust? That you feel good about collaborating with?

Professional Development Questions (Aguilar, 2013)

  • How do you feel that you learn best? Can you tell me about a powerful learning experience you’ve had over your time as an educator?
  • What is your understanding of what coaching is? Of my role?
  • What are your hopes and fears for our work?
  • What do you need from me as a coach?
  • Is there anything I should know that would help me in my work with you? That would make our work together more effective?
  • Is there anything you’d like to know about me that would help make our work more effective?
  • What do you anticipate might be a challenge or get in the way of our working together?
  • How can I support you when those challenges arise?

Advice from Elena Aguilar: “It’s imperative that you feel confident, clear, and prepared. Your client will be watching you and listening to you very, very carefully. She/he will be looking for indicators of your competence, credibility, integrity, and character.”

Step 2: Cautiously Gather Background Information

This step warns us coaches to be careful of the information you gather about your coachee before meeting them. Even though you want to know them better in order to help them, sometimes asking others of their knowledge can lead to unhelpful opinions and impressions of the person you will be working with. It is better to build trust by starting off on a clean slate and getting to know each other by asking questions directly with one another. To sum it up, try not to gather background knowledge unless you know the person you are asking is unbiased and a trusted individual. (Aguilar, 2013)

Step 3: Establish Confidentiality

From the beginning of the relationship you should make sure you are establishing confidentiality with your coachee. You will likely need to remind them of the confidentiality agreement you are providing them with multiple times within your first meetings. One way to phrase this would be, “Before we get started, I want to return to what I shared in my e-mail about the confidentiality of our conversations. Our conversations are absolutely confidential. I will not discuss what we talk about with your supervisor or anyone else. If I ever need to e-mail your principal or supervisor about something we talked about, I will CC you on it. I would speak to him or her in person about you only if you are present.” (Aguilar, 2013)

Some of you may be wondering what happens when a principal or director asks about how the coaching is going and how you provide them with an answer and continue to keep the trust you are establishing within your coaching relationship. Elena Aguilar suggests making the coachee aware that you will only share what she calls the four T’s with their supervisor.

T– The teacher’s name that is receiving the coaching.

T-How much time is spent with the coachee each week or month.

T– The topics that are being worked on. (Example, “Mrs. Brown and I are looking at formative assessment strategies for academic vocabulary.“)

T– The tasks that she is doing with the coachee. (Example, “I am observing Mrs. Brown and offering feedback. We read an article together.”)

Step Four: Listen

Listening is a core component to building trust. Coachees will be watching to see if your engaged and interested in what they have to say. For the first few meetings Elena suggests using active listening where you paraphrase or restate what the coachee just finished saying to ensure you are both on the same page on what is being shared. (Aguilar, 2013) Elena also suggests to make sure you are always using deep listening when working with coachees and not being distracted by what happened before the meeting or what you have going on after the meeting.

Suggestions

To end this blog post I decided to share three personal suggestions that I have learned from my own experience that has helped me build trust with my peers at work. I hope they can also help guide you in your adventures!

  • Remember that actions speak louder than words. Your coachee will be looking for those trustworthy traits I discussed earlier and will be determining how much they share with you based on how you make them feel.
  • Remember that relating to your coachee is a great way to build trust. It is okay to show that you are not perfect, in fact allowing your coachee to hear about stories of your failures may help build the bond and allow them to open up even further.
  • Remember to smile and look approachable to others even when you think they are not watching, because they are. If you look and sound friendly then more people are likely to be willing to ask for your assistance then if you look busy and unapproachable.

Resources

Aguilar, Elena. (2013). The Art of Coaching, Effective Strategies for School Transformation. San Francisco, CA. Jossy-Bass.

Covey, Stephen M. R The Speed of Trust . New York: Free Press, 2008.

Knight, Jim. (2016). Better Conversations, Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected. London, UK. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Community Engagement Project: Connecting with Parents Digitally

Background

For my EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments class, I choose to create a workshop on Connecting with Parents Digitally for my Community Engagement Project.

During my presentation I will be helping teachers improve their parent teacher relationship by learning the different ways they can digitally connect with parents. Some of these ways are:

  • Reminder apps such as Remind
  • Digital Portfolio tools such as Seesaw
  • Microsoft tools such as Skype Video Conferencing and Microsoft Translator

Workshop

Audience

Professional Development Workshop

Location- My Private School’s Main Campus

Date- Friday, August 30th, 2019

Attendees- All Pre-K Teachers, Directors, and Founders of all four campus’

2020 WAEYC Annual Conference

Location- Lynnwood Convention Center

Dates- October 22-24, 2020

Attendees- Early Childhood Educators

Length

  • Ideal length will be between 45 minutes- an hour for both my schools PD and the WAEYC conference.
  •  I will be taking time during the first part of the conference to do a poll everywhere which should take about 10 minutes for them to watch the video and answer the questions. 
  • The remaining time will be spent focusing on the presentation and showing them how to find and use the recommended tools from the presentation.

Digital Tools

One of the following will be required for the technology workshop:

  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Smart Phone

Goals

The goals of the workshop will be to teach and demonstrate how to use technology to:

  • Keep Parents aware of the happenings of the classroom and/or school events
  • Build a home-to-school connection with parents
  • Bring new digital communication apps into the classroom

Active Learning

  • I have planned a flipped classroom activity for when the participants enter my workshop. Participants can find a link to a video they will watch as well as a poll everywhere questionnaire I would like them to fill out. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • At the end of the presentation they will get to collaborate in a Padlet on how the digital apps they learned about today affects the home-to-school connection between teachers and parents. 

Addressing Teacher Needs

I will provide all attendees with a link to the powerpoint presentation, the padlet, and the poll everywhere results for them to access after the presentation.

FAQ:

  • How do I help parents create accounts on the apps presented?
  • How do I set up my class on the apps presented? I.e Remind, Seesaw
  • How do I record videos and send photos through the apps?
  • What payment is needed for these apps?

I will also be providing links to the FAQ’s found on the apps website that can help give them a step-by-step guide to answering most of these and other questions.

Collaborative Participation

  • We will have a group discussion on the Poll Everywhere results which will help determine where everyone stands with incorporating digital communication in their classroom. 
  • Attendees will also be working together to set up accounts on the digital apps presented and test run some of them with one another to get a feel for how they work. 
  • Attendees will also comment on a Padlet near the end of the presentation and we will share ideas and feelings on how digital communication can help build a strong parent connection.

ISTE Standards

Educator Standards

  • 1. Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.
    • 1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
    • 1b. Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator Standard 1 by allowing educators to explore different technology communication applications and tools. During the workshop educators will also participate in a professional learning network where they can be actively learning practices that can be implemented into their classrooms.

  • 2. Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning.
    • 2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator 2 by offering educators an opportunity to identify and evaluate new digital communication applications and tools for educational settings. Educators will also get a chance to explore and adopt any of the new digital resources/tools for their classroom/school.

  • 4. Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.
    • 4a. Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
    • 4d. Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator 4 by presenting educators an opportunity to collaborate with each other and improve their relationship with parents digitally. Through our collaboration, educators are discovering new apps/tools, sharing ideas with one another, and ultimately solving the problem of how to achieve effective communication with parents.

Coaching Standards

3. Digital Age Learning Environments

  • 3a. Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3a by introducing educators to digital communication tools and resources in a collaborative learning environment. Educators will collaborate in a hand-on workshop that will prepare them to implement digital communication apps to create a technology-rich learning environment within their school.

  • 3b. Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3b by allowing educators to add new and effective digital tools and resources for parent communication to their tech libraries. Within the apps/tools presented, Seesaw allows students to be active learners within a technology-rich learning environment and promotes student voice within the classroom.

  • 3c. Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3c by providing educators with an opportunity to come together and collaborate in a learning network environment. Within the workshop educators will collaborate on ideas and choices to better integrate digital communication into their classrooms. This is a great way for educators to get a hands-on experience in a professional development setting.

  • 3d. Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3d by introducing educators to a variety of new technologies that will assist in building strong parent relationships within their classrooms. Among the apps presented, Microsoft Translate is a great assistive technology to help support student learning by providing a way for educators and parents to communicate with their native languages effectively.

  • 3e. Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3e by incorporating a hand-on experience for educators to explore and dabble with the new digital apps presented in the workshop. This gives time for me to evaluate and assist any problems that may arise within the programs being explored.

  • 3f. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3f by presenting a variety of digital communication apps/tools that educators can choose from to adopt within their classrooms/school. I have chosen apps that I have used before in my classroom and have found to be effective tools when connecting with parents. All tools presented within the workshop can also be found within common sense media’s database as effective communication tools for the classroom.

  • 3g. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3g by teaching educators different strategies and apps that help build effective communication and collaboration with parents. The workshop focuses on 4 different apps that provide educators an opportunity to build a strong effective relationships with parents within their classroom/school.

Supporting Documents

PowerPoint Presentation/Video:(Click Start Slideshow for Voice-Over) :

https://1drv.ms/p/s!AhUaoqeEVJkEiFTGkOlSeM3EUUOq

Poll Everywhere:

https://pollev.com/brittanybump776 or Text BRITTANYBUMP776 to 37607

Padlet:

https://padlet.com/bumpusb/7ak24e42g5aa

Reflection

Throughout the process of creating this community engagement project, I have gained many skills and knowledge that will help me grow further within my career as an educator and a digital coach. I will be presenting my workshop during one of my school’s professional development days and submitting my workshop as a proposal to WAEYC’s 2020 annual conference. Even if not accepted for the WAEYC conference, I feel proud of the knowledge I have gained throughout this project and hope others can also benefit from my hard work.

Implementing Global Experiences into the Classroom

While taking Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments course, we are asked to investigate the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

3. Digital Age Learning Environments:  Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

Within ISTE Coaching Standard 3: Digital Age Learning Environments, I focused my research on the following indicator:

3g. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

What digital resources and technologies can teachers use when implementing global projects into the classroom?

In the past I have researched how to build diversity into the classroom by using Skype as well as conducted my own global project using Skype Collaboration. Feel free to go read more about my research and experience with using Skype in the Classroom; for this blog post I choose to focus on other platforms and/or technologies that can assist educators in implementing global projects into their classroom.

When beginning my research I found this wonderful article written by Julie Lindsay called, “5 levels for taking your classroom global”. In the article Julie introduces 5 different levels of how educators can implement global opportunities in their classrooms for the students. I decided to go along with the 5 levels and find resources that will help educators implement global learning into their classrooms.

Level 1: Online interactions 

This level applies to asynchronous communication and involves sharing online learning via digital platforms for others to interact with. Examples include class and individual blog posts as well as digital artifacts posted online for others to view and comment on.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 1 Apps

Buncee – “Create and share projects or participate in the global pen pal program.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Padlet- A virtual cork board for sharing projects.” (Asia Society, 2019)

SeeSaw-Platform for digital student portfolios” (Asia Society, 2019)

Level 2: Real encounters 

The goal of this level is to connect in real time using whatever tool is available to those connecting. Synchronous interaction means learning is instant and participants can ask questions, share media and build understanding of each other in a very short time.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 2 Apps

ePals“A community of collaborative classrooms engaged in cross-cultural exchanges, project sharing, and language learning.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Empatico“Is a free online tool that connects students aged 7 – 11 to
classrooms around the world using video conference technology.”
(Asia Society, 2019)

Global Nomads Group“Videoconferencing, virtual reality, and other interactive technologies bring young people together across cultural and national boundaries to examine world issues and to learn from experts in a variety of fields.”(Asia Society, 2019)

Level 3: Online learning 

“The aim of this level is to encourage learning through digital interaction and sharing of artifacts. It applies to the development of online communities to support curriculum objectives and may be localized (between classes and schools in the same geographic region) or be more global. The learning focus is asynchronous interaction, although some serendipitous synchronous communication may take place, such as a chat facility for participants.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 3 Apps

PenPal Schools“A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that builds global awareness and collaboration skills by facilitating authentic, cross-cultural PBL experiences.” (Common Sense Media, 2019)

Level Up Village- “STEAM curriculum that connects students to partners around the globe.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Level 4: Communities of practice

“This level is designed for specific learning objectives as a global community of learners. Communication can be both synchronous and asynchronous. The community of practice would normally have a shared objective, such as a global collaborative project and probably a set timeline that dictates workflow and communication patterns.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 4 Apps

Global Read Aloud“Pick a book to read aloud to your students during a set 6-week period and during that time try to make as many global connections as possible.” (GRA, 2019)

Hour of Code– “The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.” (Hour of code, 2019)

Level 5: Learning collaboratives

The purpose of this community is a little harder to grasp, but it’s basically about fostering learner autonomy for online global collaboration. Each member of the collaborative (educator, student, community partner) has the confidence and ability to initiate collaborations and co-creations within the collaborative. The learning paradigm is redesigned to encourage students to take leadership roles and, in doing so, co-create solutions to global problems and challenges.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 5 Apps

Global Kids– “Using interactive and experiential methods, the program aims to educate youth about critical international and foreign policy issues. Through its professional development program, GK also provides educators with strategies for integrating a youth development approach and international issues into their classrooms.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Taking It Global- “A global online community that seeks to inspire, inform, connect, and empower youth to take action in to improve communities locally and globally. “ (Asia Society, 2019)

Resources:

Asia Society. Technology Tools for Global Education. Retrieved from https://asiasociety.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/technology-tools-for-global-collaboration-edu.pdf

Common Sense Education. Pen Pal Schools. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/penpal-schools

GRA. The Global Read Aloud. Retrieved from https://theglobalreadaloud.com/

Hour of Code. (2019). What will you create? Retrieved from https://hourofcode.com/us?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-b7qBRDPARIsADVbUbXNYZXmUVzHJlKNdHLXPrCTk6KtwuY9Xvsg3OEEnwwlUxf78jaNqa8aAqgrEALw_wcB#

ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Lindsay, Julie. (2016, July 19). 5 levels for taking your classroom global. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/In-the-classroom/5-levels-for-taking-your-classroom-global

Choosing Digital Tools for the Classroom

This quarter as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments class, I investigated the question: “What are the best practices for choosing digital tools and content for the classroom?” My goal was to find information on what educators are wanting from digital tools and to learn how to choose digital tools that fit within your classroom/ school environment. Through research, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

3F. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.

Finding the “Right” Tools

When beginning my research I found an article written by Meg Hamel where she compares how to find the “right” tools to planning a meal for your family.

“To make a great meal for your family, you’ve got to factor in budget, individual schedules, food preferences or sensitivities, flavor, and nutritional value. The same kind of planning should happen when beginning a search for edtech products. Administrators and teachers must build a shared understanding of the specific goals for teaching and learning for their school.”

Meg Hamel goes on to recommend building a list of “What you have versus what you need” and to evaluate what has been successful within your classrooms and which areas could need more digital support. In a study by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Bill, 2015) shows that most teachers see the value that using technology can have in the classroom and prefer tools that:

  • Are consistent, inviting, and easy for teachers to use
  • Are intuitive and easy for students to use.
  • Saves teachers time and is simple to integrate into instruction.
  • Allows both teachers and students to continually tailor tasks and instruction based on individual student skills and progress.
Chart from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on What Teachers Want from Technology

The chart above is sorted by grade level as well as by subject that shows the different ways digital technology can be used in the classroom. As you can see the higher the grade, the more digital technology goes from simply a new way of delivery to more of a supportive role in the classroom. (Bill, 2015) Teachers also shared how technology could be tailored for more student-driven or teacher-driven learning in the chart below:

Chart from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In the link below I also provided some recommended apps/resources by Liz Kolb who sorts her digital tools into four categories: Social Use, Higher-Level Thinking, Value-Added, and Authentic Context.

https://www.iste.org/explore/Toolbox/4-tips-for-choosing-the-right-edtech-tools-for-learning

Through my research I also found two edtech databases that help teachers narrow down what they are looking for in an app/resource. These databases are Edsurge and Common Sense Education. After learning more about these databases, I feel they can be helpful in choosing new technologies and assist teachers in finding an appropriate resource without feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of digital choices they have to choose from.

Resources

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (K-12 Education Team). (2015). Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want From Digital Instructional Tools. Retrieved from http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/resource/what-educators-want-from-digital-instructional-tools-2-0/

Hamel, Meg. (2017, September 24). The Secret Sauce to Choosing Edtech? Find Tools By Fit, Not Feature. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-09-24-the-secret-sauce-to-choosing-edtech-find-tools-by-fit-not-feature

ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Kolb, Liz. (2016, December 20). 4 tips for choosing the right edtech tools for learning. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/Toolbox/4-tips-for-choosing-the-right-edtech-tools-for-learning

Blended Learning: Implementing the Station Rotation Model

As part of Seattle Pacific University’s Digital Education Leadership Program, we are learning about ISTE Coaching Standard 3: Digital Learning Environments . For this standard I wanted to investigate how to help teachers who may not be familiar with technology learn how to implement a blended learning model into their primary classroom (K-6).

I choose to investigate this topic as the new technology communication specialist for my school. It is my job to meet with teachers and help them begin implementing technology into our curriculum. I am aware that many of the educators at my school are nervous about the implementation of technology within their routines and I want to be able to show them how they can continue their routines while also implementing technology.

Through research and interviews, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following standard indicator:

3a. Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments

Blended Learning Models

Blended learning can be defined as, “an innovative model of education that combines the best of face-to-face instruction from the teacher with adaptive technology to give students a more personalized learning experience.” (Anthony, 2019)

Heather Staker and Michael Horn classify 4 different models of Blended Learning shown below:

The Station-Rotation Model

For this blog post I will be exploring the Station-Rotation Model which can be found under the first blended learning model labeled the Rotation Model. (Staker, 2012)

Jenny White explains, “Station Rotation is one of the most popular blended-learning approaches. The model isn’t new or unique to blended learning; teachers have been using learning activity ‘centers’ in their classrooms for decades, particularly at the elementary level. What qualifies Station Rotation as a blended model is when at least one station involves student-led online learning. By definition, the model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, typically established by the teacher.”

Many teachers I know including myself have been using learning centers for quite a while now and are quite familiar with the foundation of a rotation model. The key difference of the station-rotation is “the rotation includes at least one station for online learning, while other stations might include activities such as small-group or full-class instruction, group projects, individual tutoring, and pencil-and-paper assignments.” (Staker, 2012)

Image found at https://www.blendedlearning.org/models/

Elizabeth Anthony provides us a visual by detailing,“If you walked into a blended elementary classroom, you may not immediately realize it’s blended. In a blended classroom, students are using online programs that continually assess their knowledge and skills, and adjust instruction accordingly, to work on material at their “just-right” level.  The key is what the students are doing with technology and how teachers are using the data they receive to inform their instruction. “

To see an example of what a blended learning station rotation would look like, feel free to watch the video below:

Jenny White provides 3 “secrets” that have helped her begin implementing station-rotations into the classroom:

  1.  Spend Small-Group Time Strengthening Relationships With Students.
  2. Use Data To Drive Direct Instruction, But Consider The Tools.
  3.  Make The Model Your Own. (One size does not fit all)

Some Helpful Advice

While researching about the station rotation model I came across some helpful advice for teachers who are just beginning to implement blended learning into the classroom:

  1. Define Blended Learning in Your Classroom (Shorr, 2014)

I found this list of questions that Jeremy Shorr suggests educators should answer to help them define what blended learning means to them and their classroom:

  • What will the infusion of technology look like in my classroom on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
  • Will student opportunities for collaboration increase or decrease due to the amount of time that devices are used?
  • Based on the technology tool that I have, what is its optimal use?
  • What does assessment look like?
  • How do I know if students are learning?

2. We Are All Learners (Shorr, 2014)

Times have changed and asking for help from other educators or even your own students is completely acceptable and understandable. Not one person has answers to every question or scenario and maybe it is time for us to take our own advice and focus on the process rather than being solely focused on the product.

3.  It’s Not Failing, It’s Learning (Shorr, 2014)

So what, it didn’t turn out perfectly the first time, it never does! Teaching and learning can be messy and frustrating but learning from your mistakes and finding what works best for your group of learners is what all of this is about. As educators we aim to do our best to provide students with the best education and sometimes that means taking a step back and analyzing why something isn’t working the way it was planned out to. Don’t give up and remember to reach out to others in your school and community, they may have answers or need your support as well.

Blended Learning Tools

Working with young learners can be extremely rewarding, but sometimes finding technology tools that are designed around younger grades can be difficult. Many times I find myself trying to scaffold models down to my young learners levels, so when I found this resource I knew I had to share it:

https://conference.iste.org/2018/program/search/detail_session.php?id=110863279

Resources

Allen, S. (2017, September 27). What Blended Tools Are Developmentally Appropriate For Young Learners? Retrieved from https://conference.iste.org/2018/program/search/detail_session.php?id=110863279

Anthony, Elizabeth. (2019. March 11). How to Implement Blended Learning in an Elementary Reading Classroom. Retrieved from https://ace.nd.edu/blog/how-to-implement-blended-learning-in-an-elementary-reading-classroom

Blended Learning Universe (BLU). (2019). Blended Learning Models. Retrieved from https://www.blendedlearning.org/models/

Edutopia. (2017, October 3). Station Rotation: Differentiating Instruction to Reach All Students. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg38A1ggYiE

Shorr, Jeremy. (2014, September 17). Blended Learning in the Mix: The Proactive Teacher. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/blended-learning-proactive-teacher-megan-kinsey

Staker, Heather and Horn, Michael. (2012, May). Classifying K-12 Blended Learning. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED535180

White, Jenny. (2019, March 21). 3 SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL STATION ROTATIONS. Retrieved from https://www.blendedlearning.org/3-secrets-to-successful-station-rotations/

Supporting Technology Integration Within Schools

This quarter as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 course, I investigated the question: “How can I support technology integration in my school and assist teachers in using technology to engage, explore, create, and communicate in their classrooms?”

My goal is to find information and resources on strategies to support teachers on integrating technology into their classrooms. Currently my school is incorporating more technology and has asked if I will take the position of technology lead to assist teachers who may be struggling with the new technology and need guidance on how to integrate technology into their classrooms. Through research, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

2E: Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product and learning environment based on student readiness levels, learning styles, interests and personal goals.

2h: Coach teachers in and model effective use of technology tools and resources to systematically collect and analyze student achievement data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning.

Models for Integrating Technology

The TPACK Model

The SAMR Model

Barriers You May Face

While researching about digital integration in schools I found a chapter written by Michael Phillips that makes aware of two types of barriers teachers have been having when integrating technology within their schools.

First-Order Barriers

The Extrinsic Barriers to Effective Integration

  • Lack of access to computers and software
  • Insufficient time to plan instruction
  • Inadequate technical and administrative support

Second-Order Barriers

The Personal Barriers to Effective Integration

  • Beliefs about teaching
  • Beliefs about computers
  • Established classroom practices

The Think, Feel, Care Protocol

When integrating technology it is easy to focus solely on your own thinking, but Beth Holland introduces a new “protocol” that will help allow technology supporters to look at the situation from the receivers point of view. This protocol is called the “Think, Feel, Care Protocol” and incorporates the following questions:

Think: How does this person understand their position in the school and their role within it?

Feel: What is this person’s emotional response to the change/technology/idea and how it affects their position?

Care: What are this person’s values, priorities, or motivations? What is important to this person?

This strategy helps others consider the “different and diverse perspectives held by the various people who interact within a particular system.” (Harvard, 2015)

“The goal of this routine is to help others understand that the variety of people who participate in a system think, feel, and care differently about things based on their positions in the system. ” (Harvard, 2015)

Some questions you may need to reflect on before attempting to assist teachers who may be reluctant to implement technology:

1.”What is the greater purpose of the technology? ” (Holland, 2018)

In other words where would technology fit within their instruction. Many teachers may feel they are to busy to implement technology into every lesson, but may be more open to using technology as a response tool for assessments or a communication tool for parents.

2. What are the teacher’s concerns? (Holland, 2018)

This questions refers back to the “Think, Feel, Care Protocol” I mentioned earlier. It is important to figure out what it is that is causing the teacher to feel uneasy with integrating technology in their classroom. This could be a multutitude of reason including,

  • They may not feel they have the time for technology.
  • They may not know how to use technology effectively.
  • They may feel overwhelmed with the use of technology.

3. How can the teacher make a gradual shift to technology? (Holland, 2018)

Keep in mind that when implementing technology we should encourage a gradual shift to others who are more reluctant. More often then not it is better to begin with one or two new programs or uses of technology in the classroom and be patient to see if and when the teacher is ready to implement more.

Resources

Common Sense Education. (2016, July 12). What is the TPACK Model?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMQiHJsePOM

Holland, Beth. (2018, October 8). A Better Way to Integrate Edtech. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/better-way-integrate-edtech

Philips, Michael. (2015, June 10). Digital Technology Integration. Retrieved from http://newmediaresearch.educ.monash.edu.au/lnm/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Ch25-Phillips-Digital-technology-integration_p318-331.pdf

Spencer, John. (2015, November 3). What is the SAMR Model and what does it look like in schools?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC5ARwUkVQg

Cultural Responsive Pedagogy: Transforming Learning

This week as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 class, we were asked to investigate the following ISTE Educator Standards:

ISTE 3-Citizen: Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.

ISTE 6- Facilitator:Educators facilitate learning with technology to support student achievement of the ISTE Standards for Students.

While researching these standards I decided to focus my attention on Culturally Responsive Teaching and learn how to transform my mindset to be more responsive in the classroom. This blog post will serve as a way for me to demonstrate my learning and share the research I have found on how to become a responsive teacher as well as address the following standard indicators within my program:

3b: Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.

6d: Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

How is it different than multiculturalism?

Many people (myself included) have confused Cultural Responsive Teaching with multiculturalism. While multiculturalism is important element to bring into the classroom, here are the main differences between the two:

Zaretta Hammond: Dimensions of Equity

Zaretta Hammond explains that the purpose of Culturally Responsive Teaching is, “to help traditionally marginalized and under-served students become empowered, independent learners. ” She also suggests beginning with the responsive part of the pedagogy and try “building rapport, getting to know students as people.” To do this you must “first humanize your interactions with diverse students who are struggling or feel like school is a hostile place.” (Hammond, 2018)

Where to begin?

One place to begin is to look at your current classroom structure. Zaretta Hammond has created an observation guide with thought provoking questions to help scaffold you in the right direction.

Hammond: A Quick and Easy School Visit Observation Guide

Another way to begin is to consider how you are already incorporating this pedagogy into your teaching already? Geneva Gay has created a leveled chart to help you determine where you are first starting out:

Level 0

  • No culturally or linguistically relevant materials were included in my class.

Level 1: Contributions Approach

Heroes, holidays, historical events, & discrete cultural elements are incorporated into class lessons.

  • I linguistically code switch to establish rapport.
  • I linguistically code switch, as needed, to facilitate understanding.
  • I include major figures, contributors, or historical events from cultures other than the dominant culture into the lesson.
  • I include cultural or artistic works (literature, music, visual and performing arts/artists) from cultures other than the dominant culture into the lesson.
  • I include research contributions from cultures other than the dominant cultures into my lessons.

Level 2: Additive Approach

Multicultural content, concepts, themes are incorporated to the lesson from multi-cultural students’ perspectives.

  • I include resources and texts that (e.g., reading, film, etc.) present multicultural perspectives in the lesson.
  • I include lectures/discussions that present multi-cultural perspectives my lessons.
  • I teach a unit that presents multi-cultural perspectives into my curricula.

Level 3: Transformation Approach

The structure of the curriculum enables students to view concepts, issues, events & themes from the perspectives of diverse ethnic, racial, & cultural groups.

  • I provide resources and instruction that enables students to view concepts, issues, themes and problems from several multi-cultural perspectives.
  • I provide resources and instruction that enables students to view class concepts being studied from multiple perspectives, frames of references from various groups and various individuals within those groups.
  • I infuse multiple perspectives, frames of references, and content from various groups and perspectives to extend students’ understandings of the nature, development, and complexity of the society in which they live.
  • I introduce the “canons” of my discipline and augment them to reflect the complex synthesis and interaction of the diverse racial/ethnic/religious/cultural elements that comprise our society.

Level 4: Social Action Approach

Students make decisions on important social issues & take action to help solve them.

  • My teaching encourages students to identify existing social problems or issues from multi-cultural perspectives.
  • My lessons and assignments encourage students to gather pertinent data from multicultural perspectives on existing social problems or issues.
  • My teaching encourages students to clarify their values and make decisions about existing social problems using multi-cultural perspectives.
  • My teaching encourages students to take reflective actions to help resolve social problems.

Is there a Framework?

Yes! Zaretta Hammond created a framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching:

Hammond: Ready for Rigor

My Takeaways

Through my research I learned about what Cultural Responsive Teaching is, how it differs from multiculturalism, and ways I can begin recognizing how responsive I am in the classroom. I also found many great resources and strategies to try in the classroom such as:

  • “Building Authentic Relationships”
  • ” Using the brain’s memory systems for deeper learning” ( Connecting new content through music, movement, and visuals strengthens the neural pathways for comprehension )
  • ” Acknowledging diverse students’ stress response from everyday micro-aggressions”
  • ” Using ritual, recitation, repetition, and rhythm as content processing power tools. “
  • ” Creating a community of learners by building on students’ values of collaboration and connection”

Resources

Hammond, Zaretta. (2018, February 7). Culturally Responsive Teaching: It Begins with Responsiveness. Retrieved from https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2018/02/07/it-begins-with-responsiveness

Hammond, Zaretta. (2017). Dimensions of Equity. Retrieved from https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/dimensions-of-equity/Dimensions-of-Equity.pdf?inf_contact_key=53f3dd61a9a9bb17dc3832ad9c257c49680f8914173f9191b1c0223e68310bb1

Hammond, Zaretta. (2013). Ready for Rigor: A Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching. Retrieved from https://crtandthebrain.com/wp-content/uploads/READY-FOR-RIGOR_Final1.pdf

Hammond, Zaretta. (2013). A Quick and Easy School Visit Observation Guide. Retrieved from https://crtandthebrain.com/wp-content/uploads/CRT-Walk-Through-Observation-Guide.pdf

Hammond, Zaretta. (2013). Five Key Culturally Responsive Teaching Moves. Retrieved from https://crtandthebrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Five-CRT-Teaching-Moves.pdf

Re-Imagining Migration. (2019). Culturally Responsive Teaching Checklist. Retrieved from https://reimaginingmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Culturally-Responsive-Teaching-Checklist_Re-Imagining-Migration.pdf

Personalized Learning: Giving Students a Voice

While taking Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 class, we are asked to investigate the following ISTE Educator Standards:

Designer: Educators design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability.

Analyst:Educators understand and use data to drive their instruction and support students in achieving their learning goals.

While first researching these standards I was curious about technologies role on supporting personalized learning in the classroom. I had a brief idea of what personalized learning was and set out to find out more on how to integrate personalized learning into my classroom with the support of technology.

  • 5a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • 5b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • 7a. Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.

Personalized Learning

One Size Does NOT Fit All

Personalized learning differs from the traditional models of teaching in that it is “specifically tailored to students strengths, needs, and interests while ensuring the highest standards possible”. (Grant, 2019) Instead of teaching every student the same, you are looking to see what each student needs in order to grow. This may also mean that students are learning at different paces and ability levels in order to ensure each student is getting what they need in order to succeed.

For example, if you look at the images below you will see three individuals trying to watch a baseball game. On the left you see that each individual was given the same amount of boxes, this can also be equivalent to a teacher giving the same instruction to all students. There may be those who succeed within the lesson similar to the taller individual, but there also may be those who struggle to understand similar to the individual on the right struggling to see.

Similar to the right side of the picture above, in a personalized learning model students are given access to “tools and feedback that motivate them to capitalize on their unique skills and potential” (Grant, 2019) to be successful. Personalized learning empowers students to take a stand in their education and make it meaningful to their lives and interests. By personalizing students education you are preparing them for the 21st century world we live in.

What does this look like?

In Peggy Grant’s book, “Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology” she provides the following characteristics to a successful personalized learning initiative:

How is this different than Individualization?

When I first began researching personalized learning I was quite confused on how this was different than individualization. Luckily for me Peggy Grant provided the following chart to help me better understand:

Implementing Digital Tools and Resources

Digital Tools

Digital tools encourage student-centered learning by giving students:

  • More control over learning methodologies that fit their best learning style (Grant, 2019)
  • A sense of ownership when choosing how they learn best (Grant, 2019)
  • Accountability for how they choose to learn (Grant, 2019)

“Digital tools also helps students demonstrate 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity through the creation, consumption, manipulation, and sharing of digital content.” (Grant, 2019)

Digital Resources

Literacy Resources-“Ebooks, blogs, and discussion boards help students learn as they use their preferred learning styles and interests, as well as 

introduce them to multiple texts on similar topics.” (Grant, 2019)

Web Tools- “Podcasts, wikis, and media editors, allow students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. Using these tools not only helps students develop important 

technology skills, but also provides ways for students to share their work and benefit from the motivation of an authentic audience.” (Grant, 2019)

Digital Information Resources- “Provide students with immediate answers. Instant access to encylopedia sits, podcats, expert websites and blogs, as well as to social media sites, ensure that students are able to interact effectively with content and experts. “(Grant, 2019)

Learning Management Systems- “Help teachers organize instruction and communicate with students and parents to support personalization by providing a platform for accessing content and keeping records of students’ progress. ” (Grant, 2019)

Khan Academy-Personalized Learning

Resources:

Edutopia. (2017, September 21). Supercharging the Classroom: Using Technology to Support Personalized Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlhxpU5QdM8

Grant, Peggy. Basye, Dale. (2019). Personalized Learning, A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology. Retrieved from
https://books.google.com/books/about/Personalized_Learning.html?id=p8RSoAEACAAJ

ISTE. (2019). ISTE Standards for Educators. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators

Edcamp Unconference: A Professional Development Model

While taking Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 class, we are asked to investigate the following ISTE Educator Standards:

Learner: Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.

Leader: Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning.

While researching these standards I saw an opportunity to connect what I am learning within my MEd program to a struggle I have been experiencing within my school. In our school we are actively searching for ways to enhance and develop engaging professional development opportunities for both new and experienced teachers. I have attended a few professional development conferences and workshops before, but one that I always felt I learned the most from was an Edcamp Unconference I attended with a few of my cohort members. This blog post will serve as way for me to introduce the Edcamp Model to my school as well as address the following standard indicators within my program:

  • 1b. Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
  • 2a. Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.

What is an Edcamp?

For those of you who have never heard of an Edcamp Unconference before, you are not alone. Before joining my Med program I also had no experience with this type of professional development model. In one article on professional development I found the word “Unconference” defined as ” Voluntary, informal learning experiences that reject traditional conference structures such as a predetermined slate of speakers and sessions.” (Carpenter, 2016)

This definition fit well with my experience for when you first enter the unconference there are no pre-planned sessions or speakers rather there is a place for you and others to write about what you want to take away from this experience and learn from one another. Once everyone wrote down their ideas we worked as a group to determine which concepts could be merged into one session, and the order the sessions would take place. In my experience there were 3 different time slots with 3 different sessions happening at the same time. As a participant you would then select which sessions you would like to attend and the best part was if you chose one session, but then felt the conversation wasn’t what you expected, they allowed you to simply walk out and join another session! The experience itself felt catered on what you wanted to learn and what was going to help you grow as a leader within your school.

A photo of sessions being built during an Edcamp Unconference.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/education/learning/edcamps-teacher-professional-development.html

In a New York Times article written by Katherine Schulten, she defines the Edcamp Model as a place where “Teachers teach themselves”.(Schulten, 2018) In every session during an Edcamp you see educators working together to share resources, advice, and personal experiences with one another. The collaboration is unlike any other and till this day I use the resources that were shared in each session. What I also liked was that you also had access to sessions you did not attend and the leader of that session would write about what was discussed, the topics covered, and any resources shared within that session. At the end of the session we grouped back up and each shared something we learned or took away from the experience. It shocked me that this Model involves no fees and is solely based on the participants interests. The experience as a whole is unlike any other; you gain knowledge on a variety of concepts and only need to bring a laptop to access the information shared!

Edcamp founder Kristen Swanson explains, “Since Edcamps are free by design, they draw people together for face-to-face interactions. These types of interactions help teachers to build relationships with colleagues facing similar challenges in similar systems. This makes the learning opportunity uniquely different from traditional ‘sit and get’ workshops or widely dispersed online professional development programs.” (Getting Smart, 2012)

Impact on Student Learning

Kriten Swanson states that, ““Edcamps strive to provide space for teachers to learn from each other. They give everyone a voice and a forum to explore new ideas and strategies”. (Getting Smart, 2012) The impact on teacher learning is clear, but how does this type of professional development impact student learning?

In a book written by the Edcamp Foundation, the authors describe the success of an Edcamp as having influenced a “change in teacher practice and classroom learning.” (Edcamp Model, 2014) They then pose this question to anyone who has attended an Edcamp Unconference before: “Has an Edcamp session significantly impacted your practice?” (Edcamp Model, 2014) Here are a couple of real responses from Educators on how Edcamps impacted their classroom and their students learning:

  • Craig Yen: During his Edcamp experience Craig learned about global collaboration and resources such as Mystery Skype and Global Read Aloud. He began implementing these resources into his 5th grade classroom. He explains that these resources allowed his students to think more about “geographical terms “in order to successfully answer questions they were given through Mystery Skype, such as ” Are you Landlocked?” (Edcamp Model, 2014)
  • Sean Wheeler– Before attending Edcamp Sean was planning a “deign-centered unit” for his high school students. One of the sessions that was agreed upon during his Edcamp was “Human-Centered Design”. Through that session Sean gathered information and resources to help plan a beneficial unit for his learners. (Edcamp Model, 2014)

Through these examples it is clear to see the correlation between what teachers learn from Edcamp Unconferences to how this knowledge is then presented into their classroom and ultimately impacting the students learning.

Edcamp Resources

Offical Edcamp Website: https://www.edcamp.org/

Edcamp Puget Sound: http://www.edcampseattle.org/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/EdcampUSA

References

Carpenter, Jeffrey. (2014, August 18). Unconference professional development: Edcamp participant perceptions and motivations for attendance. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/19415257.2015.1036303?needAccess=true

The Edcamp Foundation. (2014). The Edcamp Model, Powering Up Professional Learning. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=IXhZDwAAQBAJ&hl=en&pg=GBS.PT4

George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2016, April 12). Resources for Organizing an Edcamp. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/edcamp-organizer-resources

Getting Smart Staff. (2012, January 23). Edcamp: Innovation In Professional Development. Retrieved from https://www.gettingsmart.com/2012/01/edcamp-innovation-in-professional-development/

ISTE. (2019). ISTE Standards for Educators. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators

Schultan, Katherine. (2018, June 5). Edcamps: The ‘Unconferences,’ Where Teachers Teach Themselves. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/education/learning/edcamps-teacher-professional-development.html

Selak, Bill. [Bill Selak]. (2012, December 18). EdCamp. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=68&v=gr7teMAk-hA

Swanson, Kristen [Tedx Talks]. (2011, July 27). TEDxPhiladelphiaED – Kristen Swanson – EdCamp. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVDUIoMavLM&feature=youtu.be

Global Collaboration Project using Skype Collaborations

This quarter as part of Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6103 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 2 course, I investigated the question: “How can we use Skype Collaborations to connect us with others both locally and globally to solve real-world problems?” My goal was to find information on Skype Collaborations as well as answer questions I had about creating a Global Collaborative Project. Through research, my focus for this investigation was to cover the following ISTE Educator Standard:

4c: Use collaborative tools to expand students’ authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.

What are the benefits of Global Collaboration?

Renewed Sense of Purpose:

“Students see the real effects that their creation can have on others” (Ripp, 2016)

Renewed Sense of Community

“Students yearn to see where they fit into the world” (Ripp, 2016)

Renewed Understanding of the Digital Footprint: “Engaging Students in global collaborative projects means that they see the footprint creation as well as the effect their online interactions can have on other people” (Ripp, 2016)

Before Creating a Global Collaborative Project

Questions to Think About

In Pernille Ripp’s book, “Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration: Create Globally Literate K 12 Classrooms”, he recommends thinking about the following questions before creating your Global Collaborative Project:

  • Which subject areas will this project influence?
  • How much time can you devote to this project?
  • What are your preferred digital or analog tools?
  • Do students have a say in what you share?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish from participating in this global project?

Tips to be Successful

Ripp also give the 10 following tips to a successful Global Collaborative Project:

  1. Be simple
  2. Make sure the idea is easily translatable
  3. Don’t make too many rules
  4. Invite others to contribute ideas
  5. Don’t get stuck in a rut
  6. Use technology tools for the right reason
  7. Create a community
  8. Be accessible
  9. Trust other people
  10. Make it fun!

Using Skype Collaborations as a Collaborative Tool

One tool I found while researching Global Collaboration Projects was Skype Collaborations. I found many projects that were available that I could join that varied on subject area and grade (age). It was enlightening to see other projects and get a grasp of what a real Global Collaborative Project should look like. Here is an example of one:

With the video above and the available global projects available with Skype Collaborations, I was able to see some examples of successful Global Collaborative Projects, The next question that came in mind is if this type of tool would be suitable for the younger ages (Pre-K and Kindergarten). I was pleasantly surprised on the amount of projects that were suitable for little learners! Karina Bailey, who is a Kindergarten teacher from Georgia, even shares some of her favorite collaborations she does with her class:

One document I found in my research on Skype Collaborations was a guide to help answer some questions you may be having about using Skype Collaborations in the classroom. Here are a few that helped me:

“How can I find the right Skype Collaboration for my classroom?”

Browse through or use the filter to view available Skype Collaborations by:

  • Age group
  • Subject
  • Location
  • Dates and times available

“How long does a Skype Collaboration session last?”

“As Skype Collaborations are run by teachers, it can vary, and depends on the nature of the Collaboration- whether it’s a one-off call or a longer-term project you’ll be working on together. Usually Skype sessions are between 30 minutes to an hour to fit in with the school lesson timings.”

“How do we get connected on Skype?”

“The host will normally send you a contact request via Skype before the session. If the host has provided you with their Skype ID, please go ahead and add them as a contact on Skype and wait for them to accept the request. If this is your first call, we recommend having a test call- either with the host, or if they are not available with another contact (even a teacher in another room!)”

“What age range are Skype Collaborations suitable for?”

“We have options for all age ranges- use the filter to find those available for your students ages. You can also include some information in your message to the host as to your students needs and what they hope to gain from the session. Generally as you’ll be working with another class, the students on both sides are usually around the same age.”

Resources

[Skype]. (2015, August 11). Kansas Students Solve Water Crisis for School in Kenya over Skype. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weXOfQNX1X8

[Skype Classroom]. (2017, February 23). Kindergarden. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy42GzMs8PQ

[Skype]. (2019). Skype Collaborations. [Web]. Retrieved from https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/skype-collaborations

[Sway.Office.com]. (Viewed 2019). Guide to: Skype Collaborations. [Web]. Retrieved from https://sway.office.com/E1NIYIVGTsN8L5Ad?ref=Link&loc=play

[ISTE]. (2019). ISTE Standards for Educators. [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators

Ripp, Pernille. (2017). Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration. [Web]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781945349294/cfi/0!/4/4@0.00:14.2