Category Archives: ISTE Coaching Standard 3

Tech Etiquette ~ a framework for building classroom community in a technology rich environment

Before students can learn within the digital age learning environment, the environment needs to be one that is community minded, with clear expectations that students have created, agreed upon and are understood in full, with routines that are second nature and where all students have engaged in creating a safe space for all to flourish in. Tech Etiquette is critical for building and maintaining an environment that focuses on respect, learning and connecting with each other, not just the use of devices and technology.  Educators take time to create a positive, supportive and well-mannered environment within our classroom while offline and the same tenets need to apply when devices and technology are being used. This may seem obvious but I have yet to see this focused on as deeply as how students learn to log on to a device, how they carry the device, learn to type, creating digital portfolios or get to an app. Focusing on Tech Etiquette in the classroom will provide the framework needed for technology to enhance learning, collaborative relationships and a creative classroom that uses design thinking. This is important at any age.  I believe diving deeper into Tech Etiquette strongly supports ISTE Coaching Standard 3 for those reasons, at the very least.

For my graduate program, Digital Education Leadership at Seattle Pacific University, I have chosen to focus on creating a presentation about the importance of Tech Etiquette in classrooms. It has been an eye opening experience to think more deeply about what it means to teach students about Tech Etiquette inside and outside of the classroom because this is not an area that I have seen focused on. We often teach students about digital citizenship, how we act online and our digital footprint, but how we act with each other while using devices in the classroom is not focused on as often. There is not one right way when it comes to etiquette which is why it is important for educators to tap into what their classroom needs and what makes sense culturally, is age appropriate and what students want as part of their tech etiquette agreement. Below, is my reflection on what my presentation will look like if accepted into a conference or how I would present it as a Professional Development for other educators.

Length:

The length of my presentation or workshop will depend on the audience and location. If I was accepted to the NCCE, it would be for 10 minutes. If I were doing it as a PD for staff/families at my school, it could be up to 45 – 60 minutes. 

Active and Engaged Learning:

I would like to have role playing or real life scenarios as part of the presentation.  For example, starting with everyone writing down (or using an online platform to gather these thoughts in real time) 1-2 things they notice bothers them about tech etiquette and use in the classroom, workplace or personal life or take a poll using a tool like sli.do to determine if many of the issues are similar. From there, connecting to basic manners that we expect from students (and that we give to them!) and how we need to role model for them when applying these manners in a technology rich environment – looking up from devices when someone is speaking, tone when working together, taking turns, stopping when the activity is over (no sneaking!), how to hold, handle and take care of devices, stamina when things go wrong or get confusing, awareness of surroundings and others when using a device and more. Audience members could role play these scenarios or create solutions to share with the group as a whole with small groups working together.    

Using Prezi as a way to present and interact with audience and then create an action plan using Mural so that everyone will have the ideas and work created to look back to.

Content Knowledge Needs:

Common Misconceptions: Touch on the idea of digital citizenship being not just online behavior but how we interact with those in our physical space when using digital tools and resources

Specific content standards/objectives: 

  • ISTE Coaching Standard 3 – Digital Learning Environment
  • ISTE Student Standard 2 – Digital Citizen and Standard 7 – Global Collaborator 
  • ISTE Educator Standard 3 – Citizen, Standard 5 – Designer and Standard 6 – Facilitator

Address Teacher Needs:

Make the Prezi available to all so educators can look back at it, add to it and create a community to interact with as they implement the ideas into their classroom

Educators leave with clear ideas on how to introduce, implement and maintain tech etiquette within their own classrooms. The Mural tool will keep these ideas in a collaborative space.

Provide a video of in-class examples of teaching students these tools (this would be something done at a later date when I teach my own class, video tape it and provide closed captioning for educators to review and then fine tune for their own classroom)

Anticipated FAQ:

  • Home to school connection with tech etiquette
  • Breaking bad habits that students have already learned
  • How to train student tech mentors
  • What does a tech mentorship program look like, sound like, feel like
  • Dealing with adults and friends who model behaviors that counteract what we are trying to teach them to do with tech etiquette. 
  • Growth – it takes time to learn these skills and to be aware of when we are not having tech etiquette – the point is learning these skills so focus on the skill not the ‘bad behavior’ or ‘wrong way’. Positive reinforcement and helping students learn to be aware and shift is key.

Collaborative participation:

Student input, discussions and collaborative decision making around tech etiquette in their classroom will be critical is making tech etiquette meaningful.

Collaborate with other classrooms who are embarking on this topic and connect via Skype or another platform to see how it is going, what others are doing that is successful, what is not going well, the opportunities and successes. This could be done by connecting with other educators who are a part of the presentation or having a living document that educators can go back to and update each other and reach out for support when needed. 

Students could create images, media, and more around the topic to then use to teach other students which will promote student agency, motivation and pride around being stellar tech etiquette role models for each other and outside of the classroom.  Teaching awareness around how they engage with tech is a huge part of this.

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.

Building Collaboration, Communication and Independence with Padlet

For the final module of our summer EDTC 6104 course, we were focusing on ISTE coaching standard 3. More specifically performance indicators e and g:

 

E – Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

G – Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger community

 

As a teacher, a goal I have is to empower my scholars with strategies they can use to solve their problems. Not only does this help things run smoothly in the classroom but it also lets scholars know they are in control of their choices, and learning. Performance indicator G emphasizes using digital communication and collaboration tools to do some of this work. I began thinking in terms of my own experience in the classroom and how digital communication and collaboration tools empower scholars. There are many tools designed to do such things. Some I use are Flipgrid, SeeSaw, and Google Classroom. One tool that I have dabbled in is Padlet. While working with another 3rd-grade teacher in Pennsylvania on a collaboration this upcoming year for Global Read Aloud we were discussing which digital platform to use. She has been doing the GRA for a couple of years and mentioned that Padlet had seemed to work the best for her scholars; stating that is was organized, easy to use and understand by 3rd graders, and had many options for how students could enter the conversation or add to other’s thinking.

Introduction to Padlet

Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where scholars and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links, videos, pictures, and ideas in a secure location. Teachers and scholars can use Padlet in a variety of ways. One way I want to explore Padlet is as a curation tool, which can then also lend itself as a collaboration and communication tool to be used within the classroom and with families. 

Padlet for Curation

As I began exploring more of the capabilities of Padlet my ideas shifted more from collaboration globally and thinking about it also in terms of our classroom. Specifically, as a way for scholars to access resources or ask for/ share help with others. 

 

As a teacher, you could use Padlet to post pictures of anchor charts from your room, helpful videos, links, documents, and other resources. You could have the Padlet link available for kids or print off a QR code for students to scan and pull up the resources. For example, here is a Padlet you could use if scholars are doing a research project on animals or this resource you could use to send home to families to support multiplication. Another advantage of using Padlet to curate resources is that you can also share these boards with families and keep them as reference for upcoming units or years. 

 

To shift the focus on scholars’ taking ownership of their own learning you could also embed an area on your Padlet for scholars to post their names when they feel they have mastered the learning objective and are willing to help or answer questions from others. Additionally, you could have a Padlet or place on the Padlet for scholars to post questions or think about embedding Classroom Q.

 

Padlet could solve another problem I have been grappling with which is limited physical space. This past year in class I had a scholar who expressed to me that too much visual stimulation in the room distracted him from his learning. My classroom is pretty well organized and I try to keep only relevant anchor charts up around the room. However, at times I felt like there just wasn’t enough wall space in my classroom for the material we were covering and all the student work. This made me wonder if what I thought was helping my scholars (anchor charts + student work) was instead be having other more negative effects. 

 

Edutopia’s article: Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations cites research suggesting that, “Classroom walls should feel warm and lively but not overcrowded—keep 20 to 50 percent of the wall space clear, and fill the rest with student work, inspiring pictures, and learning aids.”  When thinking about the pace of which teaching and learning occur if I were trying to abide by the 20-50% rule this means that anchor charts or other visual stimuli would be constantly changing. For scholars who need review or who may need further assistance, it would be helpful to have a place to go to.

 

Keeping in mind the research suggesting that classroom stimuli can become distracting, I believe the same can apply on a Padlet board. Michael Hubenthal and Thomas O’Brien in their research Revisiting Your Classroom’s Walls: The Pedagogical Power of Posters found that “the visual complexity caused by an abundance of text and small images can set up an overwhelming visual/verbal competition between text and graphics for which students must gain control in order to give meaning to information.” (2009). Thus, if applying this research when creating your Padlet board, being mindful about what and how you organize/ present the information or resources is important. 

 

Additionally if using Padlet as a tool to bridge independence and facilitate independent learning remembering to balance it with teacher support is important. Clear modeling, guidance, and in-class support will enhance student independent learning (Hocking et al., 2018). Research, also showed that when working on building students autonomous learning scholars preferred, “dependency ‘weening’” meaning that teachers start the year with clear, structured and direct approaches and as the curriculum or year continues the scaffolds and support begin to lessen (Hocking et al., 2018).

 

Whether or not you are using Padlet to curate resources to share with scholars and families or using it to collaborate with scholars from around the world Padlet has the potential to shape and maximize the learning of our scholars. If you are looking for some ways to try Padlet out in your classroom these blogs are some helpful places to start:

 

20 ways to use Padlet in your class now

30 Ways to use Padlet in the classroom

Using Padlet in the classroom

Educational ways to use Padlet 

 

References: 

Hockings, C., Thomas, L., Ottaway, J., & Jones, R. (2018). Independent Learning–What We Do When You’re Not There. Teaching in Higher Education, 23(2), 145–161. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ1167712&site=ehost-live 

 

Hubenthal, M., O’Brien, T., (2009). Revisiting
 your 
Classroom’s
 Walls:
The
 Pedagogical
 Power
 of
 Posters, 1-8. Retrieved from https://www.iris.edu/hq/files/programs/education_and_outreach/poster_pilot/Poster_Guide_v2a.pdf

 

Terada, Y. (2018, October 24). Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/dos-and-donts-classroom-decorations 

 

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

Be a Troubleshooter to Transform Your Technology Integration

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.

E – Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

Question: How can coaches best support teacher and student stamina when learning how to incorporate new technology into their classroom?

Throughout the Digital Education Leadership (DEL) program at Seattle Pacific University, I have noticed that my own learned helplessness when using new technology was much more ingrained than I had realized. When our cohort was asked to use Coggle to create a Mindmap from our readings during the first quarter, I became frustrated and told myself multiple times that I am just the type of person who is better at using pencil and paper for this task – more specifically, “that is just who I am”. The rigidity around the idea of “that is just who I am” morphed into a learned helplessness that I could not do it well because it wasn’t suited to what I was already proficient at. I am incredibly thankful that throughout learning the Coggle tool and being a part of the DEL program, I realized that by tapping into a growth mindset, I eventually saw and appreciated the value of expanding my skills and not stopping as soon as I had to put effort into something new, uncomfortable and challenging. Luckily, the DEL program coached me through these challenges by having an atmosphere of support and patience with what it takes to learn these skills. This is exactly what I expect and hope my students will aspire to every day in my classroom.  How unfair not to grow with them and this had led me to expect it of myself, first and foremost.  Coaches and the educational environment we are all part of needs to have this same patience and perseverance in order to gain the stamina to succeed in the always evolving technology rich culture we all live in.  

Many of the issues that surround implementing technology in the classroom result from a fixed mindset from educators, administration, district demands around testing, parent fears and students who have been exposed regularly to one ‘right way’.  When connectivity and basic hardware/software issues pop up, it is easy to sweep away what you were attempting to implement in the name of needing to teach a standard. This challenge becomes not worth the time, effort and resources. Sure, time may be spent differently than you anticipated but in the long run, you and your students will learn critical life long skills that our students need to learn for the 21st century and beyond. Our stamina around implementation of new technology, as coaches and educators, is critical to the success of these skills for our students.

When looking at the Life and Career column of these 21st century skills, these are the skills that will help all the other skills take root, grow and maintain footing in all contexts.  Each one of these has been critical in my own growth with implementing digital education and technology and to grow with my students while moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. While researching ways to inspire stamina for other educators as a coach, I came across a great article about common issues that arise when using technology.  This list can help coaches teach educators what to do with common problems while using technology in their classroom. I would also extend this idea into creating a living document (a document that is always changing, being added to and being updated) style list with the classroom community adding to it as issues arise. The classroom community, as a whole, is part of problem solving the issues that are sure to come. There have been many times that a student shows me how to solve an issue occurring in class…what an invaluable opportunity for students to become leaders and mentors and this has the opportunity to create a safe environment for solving problems and collaboration between students and adults. In addition, this can help students and teachers to move past learned helplessness and into an eagerness to solve problems as they arise.  

In the Edutopia article, Avoiding Learned Helplessness, Andrew Miller lists out ways educators can shift students into a growth mindset. Miller states, “We, as educators, are often responsible for learned helplessness, and we have a responsibility to change it. How can we empower our students to be self-directed learners?”

  • Curate and Create Learning Resources (Wakelet if a great resource for this!)
  • Using Questions to Drive Learning
  • Stop Giving Answers
  • Allow for Failure

“We need to take responsibility for empowering our students, and to scaffold the process of self-direction. Self-direction doesn’t happen overnight, especially when many of our students have been trained through specific structures of their schooling to be helpless. Although we can take steps as individual educators to avoid learned helplessness, we need to reexamine the systems of schooling, from curriculum to assessment and instruction, to allow for empowerment rather than always getting the right answer.”

~ Andrew Miller

Miller reminds us that specific structures of schooling trains students to be helpless.  In order to counter these structures, consider the idea of Productive Failure (Maun Kapur) as a way to shift from learned helplessness to seeing challenges as an opportunity for authentic learning and a more engaging learning experience that frees students up to wonder, problem solve and have multiple opportunities to try out ideas.  This applies heavily to how teachers can view troubleshooting technology issues, as well, and showcase this pedagogy to students.

“This pedagogy [Productive Failure] requires students to manage an open-ended process of challenge and exploration, so they may feel less confident in the short term. The approach helps them to become more creative and resilient over time.” “For productive failure, the order is reversed, so students try to solve ill-structured problems first, and then receive direct instruction.”

https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating_pedagogy_2016.pdf
https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip-6-4-productive-failure/
A peek into Manu Kapur speaking about Productive Failure

Throughout researching how to build stamina for teachers and students, I keep coming back to the idea that we as educators need to model a desire to approach challenges.  The more we run from using digital resources and technology because there are bound to be issues, the more we are modeling learned helplessness for our students – exactly what we are trying to steer them away from! At the heart of this ISTE 3 Coaching Standard 3E, is the word troubleshooting. The Marian Webster definition of a troubleshooter is:

a person skilled at solving or anticipating problems or difficulties

Coaches have the opportunity to inspire the stamina it takes to implement new ways of teaching by providing resources that give educators the skills to anticipate problems or difficulties rather than focusing on how to do it ‘right’ the first time. Solving and anticipating problems and difficulties are key aspects to be ready to grow as an educator and meet students in the educational world they are growing up in.

How have you lost or gained stamina when using technology in the classroom? When have you given up? When have you pushed through? Who have you seen rise to technology challenges and who has helped you to push through? Have you seen students push through issues/challenges with perseverance and stamina and what was the sequence they went through? In what ways have you been successful or not successful with teaching growth mindset to students? Have you tried approaching learning from a Productive Failure pedagogy? Learning from each other, connecting with the challenges of stamina, perseverance and growth mindset for students and ourselves and being inspired by each other is how our community can become stronger and more supportive. I would love to hear your perspective!

Resources:

Diplomatic Courier. (2017, Jan. 29). Interview w. Manu Kapur at GTS 2017. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fosOJ_4Fqxk

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

Kapur, Manu.  Productive Failure.  Retrieved from https://www.manukapur.com/productive-failure/

Metropolitan State University of Denver. (2018, Feb. 07) SIP 6.4 Productive Failure: Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?  Retrieved from https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip-6-4-productive-failure/

Miller, A. (2015). Avoiding Learned Helplessness.  Edutopia blog: Teaching Strategies. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/avoiding-learned-helplessness-andrew-miller

Murray, Jacqui. (2013) Solve Those Tricky Classroom Tech Problems. Tech Hub. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/how-solve-tricky-classroom-tech-problems

Famularo, Lisa. (2011, April 29). Developing 21st Century Leaders: Creating Paths to Success. National Partnership for Educational Access.  Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/NPEAConference/integrating-21st-century-skills-into-teaching-and-learning-preparing-all-students-for-success-in-college-career-and-life

National Institute of Education: Singapore. (2016) Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. Retrieved from https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating_pedagogy_2016.pdf

Giving Students a Voice

ISTE Coaching Standards

Coaching Standard 3- Digital Age Learning Environments: Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students. Indicator b: Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.

How can I help teachers maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources that help promote student voice/agency?

This quarter we are not only concentrating on the ISTE Coaching Standards, but we are looking at them through the lens of Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy. The term culturally sustaining requires that our pedagogies be more than responsive of or relevant to the cultural experiences and practices of young people—it requires that they support young people in sustaining the cultural and linguistic competence of their communities while simultaneously offering access to dominant cultural competence. (Paris, 2012) To be honest, I have been struggling a bit in understanding what this looks like in the classroom. That is until I met Selvin at an engineering class I took this week.

Selvin’s Story

Selvin and his mother moved to the United States from Honduras when he was six years old. Selvin had a loving mother who worked hard to support him as best she could. She had to drop out of school at an early age and was unable to help her son with his education. Selvin grew up with modest means.

In sixth grade, Selvin’s math teacher gave the students a culminating project to show their understanding of the math vocabulary. He took his list of words home and decided that he would create a booklet of terms. Selvin looked around his house and thoughtfully used what was available to him, newspapers. He found his math words and symbols and patiently cut them out and glued them down on his notebook paper. Selvin carefully hand-wrote the what the words meant to him and he added color to the booklet with some of his colored pencils.

Selvin was very proud of his work and the effort that he put into the project. He thought for sure that he would earn a “B.” When Selvin arrived at school that morning, he was amazed at all of the projects. He saw over-sized posters, hanging mobiles, and dioramas, some were typed, all were brightly colored. Someone even brought in a cake!

Selvin turned in his project. A week later, the teacher returned their graded projects. As the teacher placed his booklet on his desk- she said to him that it didn’t look like he put much effort in the project. He was devastated with his failing grade. As he told his story, his eyes were welling up with tears. He said that it had taken him a long time to get over that experience.

As we sat their processing the story that he told us, each of us crushed that a teacher had made him feel this way, we asked him if he ever had a teacher that made him feel special? His eyes instantly lit up! Without hesitation he said my first grade teacher, Mrs. Lince. Selvin told us she was always positive and smiling great big smiles. He shared that she empathized with his situation and made him “feel level to everyone else.” Selvin is passionate about sharing his story with educators to ensure that we understand that everyone has a story and it is our job to learn them!

Danez Smith’s Story

One other story I would like to share with you is Danez Smith’s. In his TEDx Talk, he brings to life the power of a question.

To me, this concept of Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy is a huge one to tackle. As I am just beginning to learn about it, I have a created a “working definition” as starting place to make a conscious change in the way I teach students. What I understand Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy to mean is that we need to encourage our students to share their cultures and let them know we value who they are and invite them to express themselves authentically. When students believe their voices matter, they are more likely to be invested and engaged in their schools. (Quaglia, 2015)

So, how do we empower our students?

In the video above, Danez gives us three age appropriate scenarios in which to draw ideas from. All of them begin with a question.

Learning that is characterized by learning agency recognizes learners as active participants in their own learning and engages them in the design of their experiences and the realization of their learning outcomes in ways appropriate for their developmental level. As such, learners have choice and voice in their educational experiences as they progress through competencies. Harnessing his or her own intrinsic motivation to learn, each learner strives to ultimately take full ownership of his or her own learning.

-Education Reimagined, 2015

In my research for this weeks blog, I have come up with a few tech tools that will help level the playing field for your students. All of the tools can work with k-12 and I have shared some example projects (from the cites) that you can use with your students to promote their voice.

  1. Instead of having your students prepare a handwritten poster, have them create an interactive one using Buncee. Buncee offers multiple ways to help students visualize, voice, and communicate their learning – helping build their confidence and engagement. Here is a link showing some ideas of how you can use Buncee in your classroom.
  2. Flipgrid gives students the opportunity to develop voice and to learn how to present themselves online and to use their voice to connect ideas to their own experiences. Here is a link to a k-12 guide on how to use Flipgrid in your classroom.
  3. The visual aspect of comics, posters, and diagrams make Storyboard That an excellent tool for all students, especially English Language Learners. As written language is often difficult for students learning English, this tool helps students master concepts in all areas by scaffolding with images!

Here are a few screen grabs of some ideas that you can use in your classroom to promote student voice/agency.

BUNCEE: For all students, young ones in particular. https://app.edu.buncee.com/ideas-lab
Using Flipgrid for middle grade and older students. https://admin.flipgrid.com/manage/discovery/11873?ns&=&subjects=17&
Storyboard That:Students can storyboard what they are thinking. https://www.storyboardthat.com/blog/e/dialogue-between-two-friends

One last idea to inspire student voice

One last idea that I came across was a film project called Student Voice where students created a short film about based on a theme, ‘Activating Change.’ This is a project that I think students could work collaboratively to produce their stories. Here are three videos created by students that I think were powerful examples of student voice.

Middle Grades Winner
Film Title: In Another’s Shoes
Filmmakers: Trinity Schley, Madison James, Caleb Rackley, Charlie Le and Quang Dinh
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXK2uSF7XkI
Honorable Mention
Film Title: In My Shoes
Filmmakers: Galen Getz, Quinn Getz and Bryce Gauthier
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmMfZ0j4Vwo
Honorable Mention
Film Title: Split In Two
Filmmakers: Gitanjali Mahapatra 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UaF8A7U9S8

I imagine that if a student were able to participate using one of these tools to amplify their voice, powerful learning would be happening in your classroom.

Sources:

  • Paris, D. (2012). Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy. Educational Researcher,41(3), 93-97. doi:10.3102/0013189×12441244
  • Quaglia, R. J. (2015). Student voice: Ensuring a sense of self-worth for your students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
  • Spencer, J., & Juliani, A. J. (2017). Empower: What happens when students own their learning. San Diego?: IMpress.
  • Stevens, K. (2016, April 22). 5-Minute Film Festival: Student Voice and Choice. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/film-fest-student-voice-agency
  • Cooper, R. (2017, November 06). How can educators best promote student agency? Retrieved from https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-can-educators-best-promote-student-agency/508050/
  • Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://studentvoice.org/

Evaluating Digital Tools

Our DEL 6104 class’s objective this module was to come up with a question based off ISTE coaching standard 3 performance indicators b, d, and f. The standard states, “Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students” (ISTE, 2014). The indicators d, and f focus on evaluating digital tools to enhance teaching and support student learning. 

My inquiry for this module focused on finding ways to evaluate digital tools to enhance teaching and learning. What I’ve learned from my research is that there are many common technology integration frameworks that are used to help teachers better understand the process and objectives of technology integration. However, it may not be as simple as it sounds. There is no one straight forward answer in how to evaluate your teaching and/or tech integration.

In the remainder of this post, I provide an overview of two frameworks that I feel are a good starting point.  In understanding these two frameworks (and others that exist) it’s important to create your own understanding of the research behind them and explore their strengths and weaknesses or limitations. It’s my goal that the overviews provide a basis for teachers to continue investigating, build on their understanding and begin thinking or using the frameworks to integrate technology in meaningful ways in their classrooms.

TPACK

The TPACK framework was introduced by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler of Michigan State University in 2006. It focuses on three primary forms of knowledge: Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), and Technological Knowledge (TK). Mishra and Koehler acknowledged that there has been a tendency to look at the technology and not how it is used. The TPACK framework works to combine the three forms of knowledge teachers need for successful technology integration. 

Source: Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org

TPACK layers the content, pedagogy, and technology and helps relay the importance of all three for successful integration. It shows us that there’s a relationship between them and that the purposeful blending of them is key. Also, TPACK assumes that when you look at content and pedagogy that you will then think about the technology that supports it. 

Mishra and Koehler’s research showed that “given opportunities to thoughtfully engage in the design of educational technology, teachers showed tremendous growth in their sensitivity to the complex interactions among content, pedagogy, and technology, thus developing their TPCK.” (p. 1046). You can use the TPACK framework to look at all three parts and analyze, reflect or plan meaningful learning with technology integration, and also can apply the framework when planning PD around technology. I find that the framework is a great place to start building an understanding of the importance of all three components. The Triple E which is explained below can be used with the TPACK to further develop strategies to successfully blend content, pedagogy, and technology.

TPACK Resources

TPACK Lesson Planning Template 

Examples/ Possibilities for Technology Use (based on the types of learning activities that each digital tool or resource best supports)

Example of 7th Grade ELA Lesson using TPACK

Triple E Framework

Triple E Framework was developed in 2011 by Professor Liz Kolb at the University of Michigan, School of Education. It focuses on analyzing how technology can help scholars achieve the learning goals and is based on what research has shown to be best practices when integrating technology. The framework is broken down into the three E’s: Engage, Enhance, and Extend and explained in the image below.

Source: Triple E Framework by http://tripleeframework.weebly.com

What I like about incorporating the Triple E framework into your planning or reflection is that it can be a tool used in conjunction with TPACK. The framework is very user-friendly and simplifies the way to assess your technology integration by asking reflective questions that can help guide you to its effectiveness (or its strengths and weaknesses). The Triple E website and planning templates also offer instructional strategies to enhance or strengthen areas of weakness.

Triple E Framework Resources

Acknowledging Complex Learning Environments “ecosystems” and Limitations within Frameworks

While TPACK and Tripple E Frameworks work as tools to simplify how to “effectively” integrate or assess your integration of technology in the classroom they also have their limitations. The models work well as straightforward, starting points. However, do not provide a holistic picture of our classroom environments. For example, in 2016 research done by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) looking at how can technologies and digital learning experiences be used to support underserved, under-resourced, and underprepared students, found that learning outcomes are “often narrowly conceived in terms of academic achievement, but our analyses have indicated that this idea is somewhat shallow. Instead of solely academic outcomes, research indicates that learners‘ experience results fall across four domains: affective, behavioral, skill-based, and cognitive.” (p. 7). They also found that “the context for learning is equally relevant (to technology and learning outcomes) and thus constitutes the other major sphere of influence in the Digital Learning Ecosystem.” (p. 8). The context is subdivided into three categories: the learning community, the goals, and objectives for learning, and the actual activities that learners engage in as they are using the digital tools. This framework breaks down digital learning environments more complexly, broadens the factors contributing to scholars success towards the learning goals and provides yet another lens to reflect on effective technology integration.

Digital Learning Ecosystem Explained 

Source: © 2015, Molly B. Zielezinski, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Acknowledging that your classroom or “ecosystem” is complex and that using one model or framework to assess your teaching or learning does not provide you with a holistic picture allows you to challenge the way you talk about, understand or imagine your classroom, as Zielezinski and Darling-Hammond from SCOPE state:

“There is utility in knowing what are widely considered to be promising practices, but these are only the starting point. The end point is when you find what works for your students in your school(s) with your technology today—especially if what is working today is preparing your students for the world they will encounter tomorrow and the day after, let alone the world they will inherit in the years to come.” (p. 27). 

References

ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2019, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches 

Kolb, L., Professor. (n.d.). About the Triple E Framework. Retrieved July 29, 2019, from https://www.tripleeframework.com/about.html 

Kolb, L., Professor. (n.d.). Triple E Lesson Planning. Retrieved July 29, 2019, from https://www.tripleeframework.com/triple-e-planning-tools.html 

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017–1054. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.523.3855&rep=rep1&type=pdf 

Zielezinski, M. B., Darling-Hammond, L., & Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). (2016). Promising Practices: A Literature Review of Technology Use by Underserved Students. Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Retrieved from https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/scope-report-promising-practices-v1.pdf

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

Evaluate and Curate!

ISTE Coaching Standard 3: Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

B – Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments

D – Select, evaluate, and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning

F – 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

With so many digital tools and resources available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones are best for all students, integrate well into standards/curriculum and are considered acceptable to use by your district and/or school.  A survey by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation revealed that teachers rely primarily on recommendations from other teachers when deciding on what technologies to incorporate into their classroom. This led me to the question:

What are evaluative practices that I can use to curate digital resources and tools and where can students and teachers access this curated list easily? 

Having a checklist of questions to guide teachers through the evaluation process for digital tools and resources is a great way to start evaluating. This Digital Tool Protocol Overview can be a starting point for how to evaluate the tool or resource you would like to use.  In addition, adding questions that focus on culturally sustaining pedagogy, culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally relevant teaching can be added in as a teacher, school community and/or district can fine tune how they want to evaluate digital tools and resources.  In the article, Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms With Digital Content, Dr. Karen Beerer states,  Cultural responsiveness through “going digital” is about being able to answer yes to these questions throughout all classrooms in your school:

  • Is instruction relevant to students’ lives and the world around them?
  • Is your teaching preparing students to be future ready?
  • Do the instructional resources enhance students’ learning?
  • Do the instructional resources reflect the students in any way?
  • How is what you’re teaching going to impact or change students’ lives?

Beerer also mentions “…seven ways educators can use digital content to implement culturally responsive teaching effectively’:

  1. Integrate digital content into your instruction.
  2. Ensure the digital content is high-quality.
  3. Use digital activities such as high-quality graphics, games, virtual labs and robust math and science challenges to motivate students.
  4. Build students’ vocabularies with a variety of different digital resources such as videos, animations, and images.
  5. Engage students in experiences, such as a virtual field trip to the North Pole, that they wouldn’t ordinarily have, or perhaps may never have, to build understanding of others.
  6. Close the “belief gap”.
  7. Know your students and the communities you serve.

Beerer goes into each of these principles in detail, explaining more in-depth how each principle connects to students and the classroom community.  Teachers can use these questions and principles as best practices to meet all students in their classrooms, including students with disabilities, under-served populations, students of color, ELL students and neurodiverse students.  Including these ideas into tech evaluations is critical to best meet your students where they are at and to make learning accessible to all.

One of the most exciting parts of using digital tools and resources in a classroom is the chance for students to take agency over their own learning. I found this video very inspiring as a reminder of how to tap into the curiosity, creativity, diversity, culture and heart of every student.

Brian Lozenski states, “Diversify the avenues that we offer for students to participate.” I really connected with Lozenski’s idea of ‘reversing the poles’ by focusing on ways of participating versus knowledge acquisition instead of the other way around. It made me reflect on how digital tools and resources could be used to inspire “ways of participating” in education not “just acquiring the knowledge”. A digital tool or resource could help to open a pathway of inquiry, connection to self and environment and in turn, lead to more student driven learning and excitement. 

After teachers evaluate the digital tools and resources they want to use, implementation is next. It is important for teachers to give themselves and students time to become familiar with the tool.  Re-evaluate the tools and resources as time goes on to determine if what is being used is, in fact, best for students. I like the idea of SELFIE, a digital technology feedback tool that has been put out by the European Commission.  Schools can use SELFIE to get feedback from students, teachers and staff about how digital tools and resources are working well or not working.  Also, it is anonymous and free making it available to all and participants can feel safe in knowing that they can give an honest opinion.

Then what? If educators generally look to others in the field of education for resources, tools, ideas and insight, how can we broaden the community educators have to draw from in order to start or improve their digital age learning environment?  Digital education coaches and educators who are using technology regularly could curate a list of resources to share with other educators – locally and globally. A resource that I have found very helpful this year is Wakelet

A bulleted list of digital tools and resources is often overwhelming (and boring!).  Educators are busy and need a place to go to easily find a tool or resource that works for a specific grade or subject matter. With Wakelet, the curated list can include videos, photos, written descriptions and be broken down into categories that then have multiple resources. This makes the experience more inviting and engaging for those interacting with the content curated.  There is also opportunity for students to interact with the tools and resources a teacher has compiled. This opens the possibilities for students to choose what they would like to use which supports student choice and interest. I highly recommend this digital tool because it is easy to use, the opportunity for connecting with others and it is free!

In order to get to the evaluation and curation stage of digital tools and resources, finding the best ones to look more closely at is another task in and of itself.  Here are a few starting points so you can start evaluating and curating!

Resources:

Beerer, Karen. (2017, Feb. 20) Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms with Digital Content. Retrieved from https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/02/culturally-responsive-classrooms-digital-content/

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2015). Teachers Know Best. What Educators Want From Digital Education Tools. Retrieved from http://edtech-production.herokuapp.com/reports

Common Sense Media. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Dynamic Learning Project. Retrieved from https://dynamiclearningproject.com/strategymenu

European Commission. SELFIE. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/education/schools-go-digital_en

Feedspot. (2019, July 5). Top 75 Educational Technology Blogs and Websites for Educators. Retrieved from https://blog.feedspot.com/educational_technology_blogs/

Lozenski, Brian. (2012). Bringing Cultural Context and Self-Identity into Education: Brian Lozenski. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX9vgD7iTqw

Johnson, Karen. (2016, March 15). Resources to Help You Choose the Digital Tools Your Classroom Needs. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-03-15-resources-to-help-you-choose-the-digital-tools-your-classroom-needs

Wakelet. Retrieved from Waklet – https://learn.wakelet.com/

Culturally Responsive Teaching, Art, and Digital Learning Environments

Our first module for EDTC 6104 was anchored around ISTE coaching standard 3, which states, “Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.” After doing some of the required readings I wanted to focus on the “all” in the standard. Specifically, how culturally responsive teaching could guide my work supporting all scholars.

 “Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning” (Landson-Billings, 1994).

I’ve come to understand culturally responsive teaching as mindset, a way of being or thinking; a foundation that guides our practice and manifests itself into doing. This understanding brought me back to the ISTE coaching standard 3; I wondered how culturally responsive teaching and digital age environments intertwined and how I could model or coach others in creating digital learning environments that nurture scholars culture, potentials, and abilities?  Approaching culturally responsive teaching in terms of a mindset, it can not be boiled down to a specific list of strategies, lesson plans or curriculum due to the individuality and diversity of each classroom. It can, however, ground our teaching and learning environments digitally (or not). Art is one grounding approach that can meet culturally responsive teachings goals.

“Arts education is one way to provide a culturally relevant experience for students because the arts allow individuality to flourish (Acuff et. al, 2012). Further, the arts provide an avenue for expression that moves beyond the realm of the written word, thus potentially allowing for complicated themes related to race and culture to be addressed. Reif and Grant (2010) state that the benefit of employing the arts to make meaning in classrooms is clear, and that overall, students who engage deeply with the arts have, “better reading and language skills, mathematics skills, thinking skills, social skills, motivation to learn, and a positive school environment” (p. 102).” (McCarther, Davis, 2017, p. 110).

Modeling or Coaching Art and Digital Learning Environments

There are many approaches to art that can be used to honor scholars’ voices and expressions. For the duration of this blog post, I will share ways you could model or coach teachers on infusing art and the digital world, and provide some ways to do so through a culturally responsive teaching lens. 

Blended Learning and Art

Blended learning and art complement each other very well. For the matter of understanding blended learning, because I have found there are many different interpretations of it, I broadly define it as an educational program in which scholars learn in some part through online learning. Art through blended learning can take on many forms, and there are many avenues that you could take. Learning from teachers or coaches who have implemented blended learning into their art instruction may help you visualize and plan how it could be used to support scholars in your classroom. 

Watching Instructional Videos

Through this approach, students watch directions, methods, etc. presented and are able to self-pace and review or reflect on such. If you are creating the video yourself ScreenCastify is a great application to explore. There are also many blogs and videos already created, it may be worth taking a look before you create your own. 

4th grade students using I-pads to watch art instructions and practices. (Codilla, 2016).

Online Formative Quizzes

Depending on your learning goals you could use a blended approach to assess whether students have a foundational understanding of the material before beginning the art assignment or project. See here for an abundance of online formative assessment tools you could use. 

Middle school teacher uses online formative assessments before her students begin working on art (The Arts, 2018).

With Technology Possibilities are Endless

Scholars can also use technology to read about, observe, study or analyze: art, artists, methods or literature before during or after working on an art project. Some examples include: 

  • Scholars choose an artist or method to study that can be as simple as introducing to them to selected artists or as in-depth as unit studies based on specific artists or methods. There are many resources for such work, Emily’s blog post on the Ultimate Guide to Home School Artist Study has some resources that could get you started. 

  • Many museums also offer virtual viewing options. Here are some museums that have digital showcases, lesson plans, and so many possibilities. 

  • National Gallary of Art

  • 10 Amazing Virtual Museum Tours

  • Virtual field trips and skype- Microsoft in Education Skype in the Classroom has virtual field trips, guest speakers and resources to connect you with artists and more virtually. 

Curated Youtube video playlist of famous artists biography and artwork (Free School, 2014).

Showcasing and Interacting with Art

Using technology to showcase and interact with artwork opens the door to possibilities of honoring scholars voices, interpretations, and ideas. It allows windows and mirrors into scholars lives, it also provides a place for students to interact and reflect on their own and others art and interpretations. Common Sense Media has compiled reviews of digital portfolios in which you could research and find one(s) that best meet the needs of your class: Student Portfolio Apps and Websites

High school teacher and students use Artsonia to showcase their artwork (Millis High School, 2019). See more on her blog post Digital Art Snapshot

Involve Families in Learning

Involving families in their child’s learning is a core part of almost any culturally-responsive teaching approach. Parents act as the main educators in many societies and can provide cultural context. (Guido, 2017)
 

Using a class website, Seesaw, Flipgrid, Class Dojo, Google Classroom or any other online platform (it could be the platform you chose as a digital portfolio) that showcases scholars artwork encourages family engagement. This opens the door to family participation and features voices from scholars lives’ outside of the classroom. 

 

Learning First, Technology Second

Research shows that technology has more impact on K-12 student learning when it supports student learning goals (Tamim, Bernard, Borokhovski, Abrami, & Schmid, 2011). Another point supporting this claim found in a research article examining the role of technology in preservice teachers art education found, “Students achieved success when they learned the technology specifically to enable them to develop their artistic projects in creative, diverse ways.” (Black, Browning, 2011). Blending technology into your art education can have many benifits, but remember to first begin with compelling, imaginative and conceptual ideas to create your learning goals and drive instruction, then infusing technology to support the learning second. 

 

Culturally Responsive Teaching Art Integration

There are many art projects and ideas out there which align with the goals of culturally responsive teaching. Deirdre Moore’s blog post, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Arts explains four strategies for culturally responsive arts integration in the classroom:

  1. Connect through story

  2. Highlight art and artists from various cultures

  3. Ask questions (and listen deeply)

  4. Create to learn

 

Additionally, if you’re wanting to try integrating arts, blended learning (or both) into your classroom or school talk to your colleagues, coaches, district professionals and most importantly get to know your students: their culture and their wants, needs, and goals.

References:

 

Black, J., & Browning, K. (2011). Creativity in Digital Art Education Teaching Practices. Art Education,64(5), 19-34. doi:10.1080/00043125.2011.11519140

 

Blended Learning: Art Teacher JoAnne Vogel Creates Classroom Clarity. (2018, January 19). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://magazine.micds.org/blended-learning-art-teacher-joanne-vogel-creates-classroom-clarity/

 

Codilla, W. [Wil Codilla]. (2016, November 4). Blended Learning in the Art Room [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0dFwlnwj7w 

 

Free School. (2014, November 10). Vincent van Gogh for Children: Biography for Kids [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/qv8TANh8djI

 

Guido, M. (2019, May 06). 15 Culturally-Responsive Teaching Strategies. Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.prodigygame.com/blog/culturally-responsive-teaching/

 

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.

 

McCarther, S. M., & Davis, D. M. (2017). Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Twenty-Plus Years Later: How an Arts Approach to Teaching and Learning Can Keep the Dream Alive. American Educational History Journal, 44(2), 103–113. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ1158560&site=ehost-live

 

Millis High School. (2019). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=65964 

 

Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What Forty Years of Research Says about the Impact of Technology on Learning: A Second-Order Meta-Analysis and Validation Study. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 4–28. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ920988&site=ehost-live