Prompt: What is your leadership vision? (Draw connections to your school's vision, as well as the vision you articulated for your school's plan of professional development.)
As you begin this semester, in what ways do you see your root beliefs and leadership vision impacting your school's culture and the structures within it?
My Vision: Guardian Angel School is a place where all children will learn the technological tools such as incorporating technology with multiple subjects, use of the internet for research, and programs designed to enhance their presentation skills which are all needed to evolve with an ever changing world and become productive members of society.
Current Vision: Guardian Angel School is a place where all children experience the love of God, see the beauty of creation and are taught to find the truth.
For my vision, I decided to touch up on the vision that already was in existence at my school. I enhanced my school’s vision with what I felt were the needed skill sets that could be learned in the classroom to enhance not only their learning, but for life beyond the 8th grade.
As I began the new school year, I came to find the entire school community excited about the new changes that await our student body. I find the teachers to be very enthusiastic about all the possible new technology tools that are available to them both in the classroom and outside. Teachers have been accepting of the new additions and have been willing to learn. As for the students, they have been very excited to use the new tools that have been made available to them so far. The students excitement has lead to students wanting to learn. Students have realized that their learning can be done in new ways.
What I see happening at my school is that without them knowing, students are evolving into productive members of the 21st century. They are learning the skills needed to grow with an ever changing world both inside the classroom and outside of it.
Prompt: Please post the process of taking your colleague’s lesson and supercharging it with tech as your Blog reflection.
For Rene’s lesson plan, I realized he had formatted into a 3 day lesson. My job was then on Supercharging a lesson plan about Earth Science: Layers of the Earth and their properties.
Standard: Earth Science Grades 6
#1b: Students know Earth is composed of several layers: a cold, brittle lithosphere; a hot, convecting mantle; and a dense, metallic core.
My first recommendation about this particular lesson was that Rene incorporate more internet into the lesson so that students could do some of their own research.
I recommended that Rene use Kahoot for the assessment. This would allow Rene to see the students comprehension of the lesson being taught. This tool would also create some excitement about the lesson.
I recommended that students go to the following link:
After watching the video, they would take the online assessment to check for understanding.
I finally recommended that the students create a presentation using google slides so that all students would be able to share what they learned with their teacher as well as with the class.
As I look into my school’s vision, I have come to the realization that we have one that discusses the overall student loving god, and finding the truth. However, we currently don't have one in place which incorporates technology into the vision. What I do know is that we have begun to discuss incorporating technology into our school’s vision. We will write one which includes students learning the tools needed to become productive members of an ever changing world.
I have also begun to take an in depth look into the many barriers that I feel will prevent our school from making our new vision a reality. What I have realized is that some of my assumptions that I made at the beginning of this program were totally wrong while some barriers I have begun to see now, never existed before. The biggest barrier to making our vision a reality is related to funding. It is true that we have donors who are willing to pay for our school to have new chromebooks for our students to begin using during blended learning. However, these donors are not willing to begin buying these computers until we can prove that we have the proper internet service up and running. This then becomes a problem with our infrastructure. Our school is now waiting on funding to begin working on the infrastructure that will help us begin rolling out the blended learning model of learning.
What I have realized through this process, and I am only speaking for my school, is that there are many teachers who have years of teaching experience and are willing to give blended learning a try. There is no doubt that they will struggle with learning the new tools needed for incorporating blended learning, but they are willing to learn. However, I feel like this is something that can only be done if the senior teachers are approached properly. There is no questioning that incorporating blended learning will be a learning process for all of those involved, but it is not impossible if and when all of the materials needed for the incorporation of blended learning are in place.
As a teacher who will be leading the technology department at my school, I have begun to realize that changing my teacher’s mentality about technology in the classroom is going to be challenging. However, I don't feel like it's going to be an impossible task. What I feel will be the most difficult part will be changing the mentality of the veteran teachers who have never been asked to use technology in the classroom. For this, I know that I will have to stop by the teacher’s classrooms and ask them how they are doing with the incorporation of technology in the classroom. I will need to walk them through the steps of certain programs, and spend countless hours in teaching them how to use these programs. But it isn't only about teaching them how to use these programs that I will need to do to change the mentality of the teachers. I also plan on having teachers stop by during my lessons and see how fun, interactive, and easy it is for students as well as teachers to use these programs. I must also continue to attend as well as teach Professional Development meetings with to our teachers so that they can see first hand that I am very passionate about Blended Learning and that I will do everything in my power to see that they learn and incorporate Blended Learning into the curriculum. For those teachers who are believers in Blended Learning but still need guidance, I will continue to research with them, the numerous programs that can be used along with their curriculum to foster student learning with the use of technology. The biggest task with these teachers will be to find programs that are exciting and will get the students interested in learning. I will also have to spend time teaching the teachers at my school how easy it is to get student results and see where students are succeeding and where they are struggling.
At my school, students are very interested in using technology in their classrooms. Students have responded very well in the few opportunities they have had to use technology, in particular the computers in the computer lab. However, many of our students still need the guidance of a teacher to help them with their learning. Some students still need help with basic learning skills such as addition, subtraction and multiplication facts, as well as basic writing skills and reading skills. After having visited a catholic school in Glendale that has already begun using Blended Learning through the station rotation model. After our observation, and after watching the in-class youtube video on the station rotation model, we have felt that this model is the one that best fits our school make-up. This particular model will allow our teachers to schedule different working stations throughout the day. The teacher will be able to provide the students the one-on-one assistance they need to clarify any problems they might have about a certain topic. The students can work together at a second station in which they can help each other conduct research or help each other find solutions to problems, and in the third station they might be able to work independently while typing a paper, doing their own reading, and conducting their own research at their own pace. This model will work best for our school because we have concluded that our teachers still have control of the learning, while giving the students some of that power. Through the use of the programs designed to be used on a computer, students can all learn at their learning level without feeling the need to catch up to the rest of the students in the class.
As far as how we will introduce Blended Learning will be introduced at our school: it is my goal to have Professional Development Meetings to go over some of the many websites used for learning and assessing student learning. We would make sure to use only those websites that work for certain grade levels and that teachers felt comfortable with. Because we are still in the beginning stages, I would first like to roll out Blended Learning in a certain subject like math or language arts for the first half of the school year so that its not a shock to the students and the teachers can feel comfortable with implementing Blended Learning. I would then gradually begin to use it with other subject so that much of our school day could include the use of computers in our classroom.
What I am hoping takes place at my school is that all students, from the lower grades to the middle school, are able to have a one-to-one device that they can use for their learning. This will include some type of tablet for the younger students to a Chromebook for students in the upper elementary and middle school grades. These devices can be used by the students to be able to work on their reading, mathematics skills through the use of online videos and games, and more importantly, to conduct their own research and be able to present it instead of just writing it down. This is something that is not currently in place at my school so this will be something new to all my fellow teachers. However, I hope that I can teach the teachers how beneficial these gadgets are to the learning of the material for the students. What I am afraid of is that many of the teachers are not willing to give some of the power over the class to the students. Teachers at my school must be willing to allow the students some power to do their own research, be able to adjust their classroom so that students have the time to work on their computers, and that the teachers are willing to take the time to learn what I have to offer them.
I believe that all teacher’s have the students’ best interests in our school. We all have high expectations for our students. Most of us are continuing our education to see that we learn the best practices for student achievement. However, in order to create a culture for learning at my school, I believe that all teachers need to work together. Many of the teachers have great ideas. The problem is that no one wants to collaborate and come up one way of doing things. There are a total of 3 textbooks being used for mathematics and language arts. We also have a problem with teachers not wanting to do the extra work in terms of going to professional developments. Teachers are not willing to go out on weekends to learn new things or if they are not getting compensated. Some of the teachers at my school complain about problems we face as a school but are not willing to do anything about it. For my school to have a culture for learning, we must have more professional developments that can be incorporated into the curriculum immediately. These changes must include technology and be made easy to use by our teachers. But more importantly, the teachers must also be compensated for attending these professional developments. Even if it means having these professional developments during our staff meetings or creating some type of reward system where teachers don’t feel like they are wasting there time.
As I conclude my first week of the Technology Integration Specialist Certificate program at LMU, I have come to realize that there is so much for me to learn. Before I began the program, I felt like I was a very tech savvy individual. However, I am starting to realize that I might not be a digital native but more of a digital immigrant. But I still haven't determined that. However, I do realize that many of the teachers at my school are digital immigrants and that can pose a problem. This means that these teachers have a lot of learning to do about technology. Part of the problem will be convincing them that the use of technology in our classrooms will be beneficial to our students learning. And then it would be getting these teachers to learn how to use computers in an effective way as well as the programs that come with them. It is for this reason, that I am very motivated to help change my teachers perspectives about technology and transform them from digital immigrants and to digital natives. I feel like this transformation will motivate not only the students but the teachers themselves. Teachers can finally learn new ways to teach the curriculum and make it exciting not only for the students but for the teachers themselves. I hope that as continue my growth in technology, the teachers and students at my school will also gain a lot from it too.