Sunday, June 24, 2012

Action Research Lesson Reflection

Action Research Lesson Reflection

This lesson plan was originally planned and implemented for my K-2 class for students with multiple disabilities. I completed this lesson with my students during the month of May (2012). I also did a “mini version” of this lesson with my own children, ages 6 and 4 as part of this action research project. Reviewing the lesson with my own children help to remind me of the process I used with my students as well as provide me with model for developmental processes of a 6 and 4 year old. My reflection is based primarily on the implementation of this lesson with my students. Modifications to the lesson that I used with my own children are in italics.

The Lesson
The students are introduced to various animals through whole group instruction using various websites, videos and SMARTBoard files. Animal fact files will also provide information for students when conducting their research. Animal file sheets were not used with my own children.

Used with CC permission - Flickr user
The students are given time 1-1 with an adult to complete research on an animal of their choosing. The specific (teacher made) research pages contain questions to answer regarding the information that the students are looking for. Research pages were not used with my own children. In replacement, we bookmarked webpages that contained the information needed for the animals they chose.

Once the initial research is complete and the student has reviewed the information the teacher models taking the “paper research” and putting it into the online format. After this has been modeled with the students, the students are paired up with a 5th grade “tech buddy” to help navigate Glogster (online multimedia poster creation site) to create their animal presentation poster. I did not create a glog (online poster) with my own children; we reviewed the glogs that my students created.

My Classroom
When this lesson was implemented with my class, the project took place of the course of 3 weeks. Students completed activities at least 3 times a week for up to 45 minutes. The lesson was completed with 4 students in a classroom for students with multiple disabilities. One student is close to grade level and will be transitioning to a different intervention specialist next year. Two students are verbal, but rely heavily on visuals to participate within classroom activities; they are functioning at least 3 years below grade level. The last student is non-verbal, although can effectively communicate with familiar adults through gestures, some sign language, and vocal approximations. She is functioning at least about 3 years below grade level and requires augmentative communication opportunities to allow her to participate fully within classroom discussions.
Transferring written research to online poster.

The students from my class were very engaged in the lesson. They retained much of the factual information about his/her individual animal and were able to report out to the class. The use of multimedia really assisted in the engagement and retention piece for the students. The collaboration with the “tech buddies” was a great experience for all the students. My students were more verbal, active in ‘telling’ the 5th graders how they wanted their poster to look, and took ownership of the poster. They were very proud of their work and enjoyed working with the older students.

As for the essential questions, I was able to discuss similar questions with my students; however, the high order thinking of “what if animals switched habitats” was a little more than the students could process without moderate guidance. The question that I asked/discussed with my students was: How would you describe the best habitat for your animal? The students were able to take information from their research and answer the question without me asking about specific facts.

My House
When implementing the “mini lesson” with my own children, the lesson was completed within a week, completing the activities for about 30-45 minutes each night. My children enjoyed the lesson and it paired well with two recent trips to the local zoo. As previously mentioned, using my own children as a model for developmental skills for their respective ages, help me reflect on whether some of the activities were developmentally and/or age appropriate for the students.

Students’ Learning and Understanding
Though this experience, the students were able to explore animals and animal habitats. The students, who often are expected to produce work that is specific to IEP goals/objectives, were able to work on those personal goals through this lesson. All students met their individual learning goals that ranged from tracing letters to fill out part of the research sheet to making a choice between two pictures to cutting out a picture staying within the given space. If we look at the grade level standards with varying complexities (see previous lesson plan assignment for Ohio Extended standards), the students also met the standard in relation to the respective complexity. Aside from the standard measurements, the students were able to demonstrate what they know on a more authentic and engaging platform through the use of technology. From planning to implementation, this lesson took into account the unique learning needs of the students.

Throughout the lesson, the students had access to photographs, videos, website resources, and paper resources that guided and supported their learning. Each student was provided with an animal fact file sheet and all information collected was organized in a folder with the help of the teacher. In addition to “content” learning, the students also learning about management of personal belongings as they were responsible (with some assistance from teacher) to keep track of their research folders.

"Tech Buddy" helping organize glog.
Learning took place by scaffolding the learning activities and providing models for the students. Since this was the first type of lesson for these students, I needed to be the model and guide them through the steps of the lesson. I modeled how to research information, how to find information on the common drive, and how to create a glog. I organized the research pages as to create an organized way to collect the data that was on the students’ instructional level. In the end, the students worked together with the 5th grade ‘tech buddies” to create the online poster. This was extremely powerful as a method of the social constructivist theory. The students had to interact with other students and communicate with the “tech buddies” which isn’t always “a strength” for my students.

This lesson was created to supplement the existing curriculum. Recently, the state of Ohio released Ohio Academic Content Standards – Extended intended to provide a framework for giving students the access to the curriculum. As a way to familiarize myself with this new set of extended standards for students with complex needs, I decided to use this one of the strands to plan the lesson. This lesson was intended to use a Life Science standard from the OACS-E to provide overall framework, incorporate student interests, and to differentiate the content so that the individual student goals were also addressed.

Before starting this lesson, teachers would need to have basic computer knowledge, know how to access the Internet, place items on a common drive accessible to students, effectively utilize Google search, and have a glogster account with student sub-accounts. The teacher would also need to know the students’ individual needs and be able to structure the lesson according to their needs. The learner would have to have basic computer skills and a basic knowledge of categories, i.e., animals. Various adaptations, such as picture cues, communication devices, and modified worksheets are incorporated to meet the needs of each student.

Student assessment took place throughout the lesson by observation, direct questioning, task competition, and project presentation. Providing these various assessments allowed myself multiple opportunities to assess students throughout the lesson. It is also helpful that I have a small class and could work 1-1 with the students to get a better assessment of their understanding through dialogue with them. The students were held accountable for all aspects of their work. Expectations for each session of the lesson were identified. Due to the structure of the classroom, the students knew that they needed to complete the requirements before they could move to the next activity.

I consider this lesson to be one of the most successful and engaging lessons of the school year. The students mastered the content at their individual level and a few even surprised me with processing of the content. I feel the high level of interest for this lesson by the students helped increase engagement and the scaffolding of the tasks helped each student feel success and achieve their goals.

Students’ Technology Use and Understanding
For this lesson, technology played a supporting role to the content of animals and animal habitats. Using the technology to explore multimedia about the animals supports the content, helps set the groundwork for the lesson as well as accesses prior knowledge of some students. The use of technology supports the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that I try to incorporate into my lessons as much as possible. The multimedia also provides a variety of modes of representation for the students, especially when watching videos that bring the animals to life. Using technology to research the animals also provides students with various modes of engagement as well as representation. For a couple of the students, the use of the written research paper provides enough information on assessment. Using the technology to complete the online poster provides an opportunity to display their knowledge independently more than they might be able to complete the written assignment, which provides the students with multiple ways of expression.
"Tech Buddy" taking directions from student.

My expectation for technology use was that the most students (all, but one) would tell an adult what to do with the laptops and the adult would be the one manipulation the computer.  My students struggle with visual-motor component of using a mouse and manipulating on the computer without some adult guidance. To my surprise, the students were very interested and more independently with the laptops than expected. The students were interested in learning how to save pictures on the iPads and navigating glogster as independently as they could. All, but one of the students were able to use the touchpad mouse effectively which was a revelation for me. Due to the time constraints of the “laptop schedule” my students to not use the laptops, instead they use the classroom desktop computers or iPads. This lesson also provided me with evidence that the touchpad mouse may be a more viable method of accessing the computer than the traditional mouse. In the end, this lesson took a little longer than expected due to the teaching of how to use some of the technology that I initially did not think some of the students were ready to manipulate independently.

I definitely think that the students made sense of the content. Each student was able to tell me (verbally or through the use of a communication device) about his or her individual animal as well as answer some basic questions about peer projects. I even had a student who told a visiting parent about her project using the iPad and an AAC app that we recently began using.


If you have time and want to check out our "glogs", here are the links!

Kamaiya's Elephant Glog created with the help of Joey from 5th grade.
Kearia's Giraffe Glog created with the help of Maggie from 5th grade.
Malone's Kangaroo Glog  created with the help of Jeffery from 5th grade.
Jacob's Emperor Penguin Glog created with the help of Lucas from 5th grade.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lesson Plan using Technology

This lesson was created as a part of the Life Science strand of the Ohio Extended Content Standards for Students with Disabilities. The goal with the extended standards it to ensure that ALL students are expected to meet grade level requirements and will assessed on these as their peers working on regular content standards. The Ohio Academic Content Standards – Extended or OACS-E can be found on the Ohio Department of Education website.

My TPACK discussion and Lesson Plan can viewed HERE.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Digital Storytelling

This is my digital storytelling project for CEP 800. This project describes my first attempt at a problem based learning activity with students in a special education students (K-2 students with multiple disabilities). Click here if the video does not play.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Audio Interview

This is the audio recording of the interviews I conducted for CEP 800. The interviews were conducted with two 5th grade students. Questions were related to their recent trip to Washington DC and US Government.

Click on the following link. The audio recording is the first post under projects - entitles CEP 800 Summer 2012.

US Government Interview

~ Melanie

Technical information:
The separate recordings were done in Garageband (my first attempt) over several days and combined together to complete this podcast.


This post separates where my MSU EdTech certificate course end and my MAET courses begin.......

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

WPP Part D - Findings and Implications

Let’s start with the problem:

My school is very fortunate to have SMART Boards in every classroom grade K-5; however, due to staff changes and limited professional develop time devoted to SMART Boards, these boards are often only used to project images and worksheets. The “interactive” portion of “interactive whiteboard” is just not there. My goals were to create and implement professional development opportunities to make the staff feel a little more comfortable with the SMART Board technology and provide guidance on using the SMART Board as a interactive tool within the classroom.

The solution and Implementation:
My solution for this problem was to “pre-assess” the staff to determine needs, create and implement one mini-workshop regarding introduction to the SMART Board and related resources, and provide the staff with information to guide their continued learning. My hope was that this mini-workshop would lead to additional sessions at the staff’s interest. So, did my project get implemented as planned. I would have to say yes, the bulk of my project was able to be implemented with positive comments for additional information and sessions from staff.
The implementation of the mini PD session focused the two top “vote” getters from the preassessment survey - Use of the Gallery and Importing media AND using the SMART Board to support  UDL principles. The staff were engaged in the lesson and were asking thoughtful questions. When questions were asked, some staff offered to answered them for me which I felt was a great way to have staff connect and get to know each other’s strengths with using the SMART Board.

Throughout this session, I incorporated TPACK while teaching the staff - simply by modeling the session similar to an interactive lesson I would do with students. The technology portion was obviously the use of the SMART Board as well as providing the staff with some websites for guided research if they chose to pursue that. I structured the lesson to incorporate screenshots, videos of some of the topics, as well as text descriptions. I invited staff to come up to board to follow the steps to “create a slide” by adding photo or video.
To review:
Technology - using the SMART Board as an interactive tool; however, use of Google Forms, PollEverywhere, and You Tube also demonstrated the use of tech tools within a lesson even though they were not the tech focus
Pedagogy - staff were engaged and taught using lesson built within SMART Notebook software that incorporated text, pictures, videos, real classroom examples, hands on time with the SMART Board, and websites provided for guided extension
Content - staff were given some control of the content covered by having the opportunity to fill out the pre-survey. Also by providing the screencast and videos, it provided the staff opportunities to review and explore the content on their own
Knowledge - the session provided time for questions which for some staff was review, it gave staff the opportunity to share and demonstrate skills with the SMART Board that they already have to staff who may no be as comfortable

For the future, I will be working on a bring your Q &A session as well as creating a session that will lend itself to a more authentic learning experience.
If I were to do a similar project, I think I would make surer that the time line was appropriate for the activity and possibly hold leveled sessions so the teacher who need extra help on the 'technical end' can get what they need, while the emebbers and response question makers can learn together. 
Although the Wicked Problem project was not totally sollved, I feel the implementation made some staff start to think about their own practices and helped begin the conversation on how we can increase student interaction with the SMARTBoards. Since the session, I have witnessed a teacher allowing the students up to board to write answers on the worksheet. Although this wasn’t exactly the most ideal interactive activity, the students were getting a chance to get up and touch the board. However, just today, that same teacher went into the gallery, found the dice, imported them into a slide, and had the student coming to board to 'roll' dice, create a number sentence, then create the reversal. Seeing this was evidence of success for me!

The screencast of my Wicked Problem Project. I did the presentation within Keynote, then used Screencast-O-Matic to create the screencast as it was too long for jing. Once the screencast was complete, I published it to You Tube. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Group Leadership Project

For the Group Leadership Project, our group chose to create our project around the ShowMe iPad app. For our project, many tools were used to create the end product. First, Bill, Randy, and myself created our individual ShowMe's using the iPad app and uploaded them to the ShowMe website. As a group we used Google Presentation to storyboard and begging the script for the project. Sarah acted as the director. She took the storyboard and script ideas and created a narrated, powerpoint presentation. From there, I took the presentation and imported into Keynote and embedded the ShowME videos. Next, I imported the Keynote presentation into iMovie to create the final product. So, in short, the final production was done in iMovie and uploaded to You Tube for easy sharing and embedding.

The final product development took a little long than I anticipated mostly because I am new to using a mac, but I wanted to explore and learn about this programs available. I learned that powerpoint imports very well into Keynote with most of the formatting intact. I learned that it isn't always easy to export from Keynote and have the finish product what you are expecting. I learned how to use iMovie and I am now a HUGE fan. I can't even imaging how I could have done a project as easily and with the a similar result on a PC.

If I were to create a similar project, I would begin creating it in iMovie from the beginning. The options for adding pictures, videos, and audios were so much easier (or at least easier to learn) than anything I have ever used. With that being said, I'm to sure that using iMovie or even powerpoint is the best for creating a multimedia, collaborative project. I need to explore other options for multimedia collaborating when working with a group of people.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

WPP Part C - Implementation

This podcast/vodcast describes the implementation phase of my Wicked Problem Project regarding SMART Board use within the classroom.

SMART Board pre-training survey displayed below. Results can be found here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mobile Learning Lab

For the Mobile Learning Lab, I explored use of a flip video camera, PollEverywhere, and use of mobile devices (iPad and Smartphone) during my WPP training session.

For the Flip video camera, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop session at eTech Ohio Conference about creating your own common craft style video. The simple point, click, and video of the flip camera makes it perfect for using within the classroom. Here is the finish product of our Fun Fractions common craft style video.

My next tool to try was the use of PollEverywhere. I thought the use of the PollEverywhere during my SMART Board implementation would help give me an idea the audience. I know most of the teachers, but not exactly sure of their experiences as well as get a feel for if additional trainings were something they would be interested in attending. I also thought that incorporating the use mobile technology within the session might begin the conversation of using mobile technology in the classroom. The results are as follows:
poll taken before session started

poll taken after the training was complete

As for my classroom, I think that mobile technology will focus around using iPads/iPods within the classroom as devices to explore and create. I would like to explore the use of iPods to develop the student's independence through visuals schedules and communication apps. I also see the use of flip video cameras for video modeling or the use of mp3 players as a way to provide greater access to the general education curriculum. At this point, the use of other mobile technology tools, such as PollEverywhere or Smartphones, are not appropriate for them.

One mobile technology I would like to see used in middle and high school is the use of "back-channeling" using a twitter hashtag. I experienced the power of "back-channeling" this past week while at the eTech Conference. While attending my sessions, I was tweeting with the hashtag #oetc12 sharing session notes and web links. Others where doing the same thing. By the end of the conference, I had resources for many more sessions that I could have even attended myself. I can't help but think of the implication this would have for the classroom. Students could send comments, questions, and share links via the class hashtag. It would also allow for all the students taking the specific class to interact even if not in the same class period. My comment in Classroom 2.0 reflected this idea of "back- channeling".

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Data Visualization

For my data visualization, I chose to use the "Show Summery of Responses" option in Google Spreadsheet. I was interested in gaining the visualization of this data because it was related to the results of the survey I created for my Wicked Problem Project. For me, I was a much easier to way to see how the respondents responded. According the the survey, 5 respondents were not interested in a lesson demonstration within their classroom; whereas 4 were interested. The second questions was related to observing my students using the SMART Board within in my classroom. Here 8 respondents showed an interest in observing within my classroom.

Responses to questions from SMART Board survey for my WPP 

I also did a visualization of my diigo tags. I have been using diigo as a social bookmarking tools for about 8 months. I bookmark for a variety of educational topics so I was very curious on how the sites I bookmark were distributed. Here is a screenshot of my diigo tags. My top tags relate around technology, AT (assistive technology), web 2.0 tools, and education. You can also see that i Pad and sped (special education) are also frequently tagged.

I'm not sure that I had an AH-HA moment while creating these visualization. I think that my AH-HA moment came when I was watching the TEDxLansing video. So many times I think that we (educators, society) get caught up in the words. That video really made me think on how sometimes a picture or graphic would make the difference between a student "getting" a concept or not! I will be discussion UDL with some teachers over the next couple weeks and I plan on discussion this concept, possibly showing part of that TEDx video.

GLP Part B - Storyboard and Script

For our storyboard and script, we utilized Google Presentation to organizes the project. I found this to be a very effective way to collaborate on the storyboard as we all could view and edit the presentation. The speaker's notes section worked out as a section to create the script. As I created a slide for the storyboard, I would then type what I would say if I was "talking" about the slide.

Each of the team members with iPads (Bill, Randy, and myself) created a ShowMe video relating to our given subject area. We posted the link into the storyboard. Sarah was the "stage manager" of the group. She organized the production "how to's" of the presentation and transferred the information into a powerpoint presentation for final production.

In an effort to have the script all in one place, I copied and pasted the "speaker notes" into a doc. Here we can continue to collaborate and fine tune the script in preparation for the final production. The script can be found here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

WPP Part B - Application of TPACK

Application of TPACK within my Wicked Problem Project

The technology I chose for the WPP was developing teacher skills in using the SMART Board (interactive whiteboard) as a student interactive tool. WIthin my building, almost all classroom are equipped with a SMART Board; however, students are not having the same experiences using the board from classroom to classroom or grade to grade. The methods that I chose to implement are directly related to what I see as being needed to support the teachers in making this transition. The "direct" mini-workshop approach is needed for the teachers who need to the visual of the SMART Board in use. I wanted the teachers to feel a little more in control of the sessions and planning; therefore I incorporated the use of a survey to poll them on there needs and what they want to learn. I also used this tool as a way for the staff to reflect and assess on their strengths with using the SMART Board.

The use of the interactive whiteboard technology (IWB) creates so many classroom possibilities and allows for various presentation methods. The use of the IWB allows for opportunities to engage the recognition, strategic, and affective networks which are the principles of Universal Design for Learning. By engaging these principles, all students will be able to participate and engage in the lessons. Using the IWB to display information, such as videos, websites, photos, the recognition networks will be engaged. I find that with my students, just the mere fact that the SMART Board is larger than they are, helps them focus on the content. Developing a graphic organizer or manipulating data for a meh problem would incorporate the strategic networks. Lastly, using the IWB to create excitement over a topic or allow the topic to become "real" related to the affective network.

The pedagogical choices for the WPP create an accessible learning environment. The solution (WPP plan) utilizes various assessment and teaching strategies. The mixture of direct instruction, time for reflection, peer modeling, and model lessons allow for all individuals to be involved as well as choose which learning method would be best for them. With the direct interaction, the staff will see how the basics of the SMART Board and be able to ask questions. The survey allowed for staff to reflect on their own needs and relay needs on an anonymous basis if they chose to do that. I think this is important for some people who are interested in learning, but are afraid to say they might need help. (Yes, there are still people out there!) The peer modeling and model lesson were something that I think is necessary to truly understand how integration of an IWB can happen. I foresee these are the two sections of the plan will be the most uncomfortable for staff.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

GLP PART A - Brainstorm Session via Web Conferencing

The web conferencing session was a little difficult from most of us having trouble finding the link to trying to conference in a small hotel room with children sleeping. We used the adobe connect "classroom" so that we would have the opportunity to use the video, audio, and screen recoding capabilities. We experienced issues with audio. (We could hear a member, but he had difficulty hearing us.) I also lost internet connection for a few minutes which resulted in having to reconnect and enter the room. Adobe connect is new to must of us (I think) and our experiences have been limited to the MSU sessions. I think for next time I would choose a conferencing tools that I am more familiar with such as Skype or Google or facebook chat.

Within the classroom, I could see web conferencing being very valuable. I could see if being used to bring field trips "into" the classroom as budgets are getting tighter. I could see it being used to connect classrooms from around the city, state, or world. From a special education perspective, web conferencing could be used to hold meetings with parents when they cannot make it to school or help bridge the home/school gap when students are on home instruction. I think the most interesting use of web conferencing that I have recently heard about it speech therapy via Skype. Not sure the it is as good as face to face, but the potential to provide therapy when otherwise there would be none is something to think about.

For our Group Leadership Project, we are choosing to create a tutorial for the iPad app ShowMe. It is an interactive whiteboard app that allows you to record what is written on screen and voice. This presentation can they be posted to the web to allow for introduction of information, reteaching, or for extension activities. Show Me could be used within various subjects and across multiple grade levels.

Here is a partial transcript of the chat portion. The session was recorded as well, but due to  some of the internet issues in the hotel I was demoted from host. Thanks to Melissa for posting our Adobe session link.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

WPP PART A - Description of Need or Opportunity

The Educational Need
Within the school system today, the focus is shifting from traditional sit and listen tasks to activities that require thought, discussion, and interaction. All students are expected to make progress. Within the school system, educators are utilizing the principles of RTI (Response to Intervention), and UDL (Universal Design for Learning or AKA differentiation) to help all students reach their greatest potential. One piece of technology that is becoming more prevalent in classrooms is the interactive whiteboard (IWB).

As an intervention specialist, I get to see the education world as a teacher within my own classroom and as an observer while I am proving intervention services within the general education classroom. Within my classroom, my main job is to create a learning environment that supports the goals and objectives of my students whose academic skills range can be anywhere from 6 months (developmentally) to a student performing on grade level, but need some classwork or behavior modifications. UDL/differentiation is just a part of my classroom environment due to the range of student needs. While visiting the general education classrooms, too often I see students, unengaged in the paper/pencil lessons and wonderful technology tools being left untouched. I see students who would benefit from a slight change within the instructional strategies to incorporate a UDL principle. This has especially been the case for the past few years as our school slowly added SMART Boards to the classrooms.

As the school district begins focusing more on inquiry based learning (or PBL = problem or project based learning), I see missed opportunities for the students to get “involved” and use the technologies tools available. One of the best ways that I see students getting involved in an elementary classroom is through the use of an interactive whiteboard. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to receive a SMART Board for my classroom. Since that time, my method of instruction and student participation has changed drastically. Every chance I get, I structure lessons so that my students are the ones who are using the board. Now, it is impractical of me to think of using the SMART Board all the time. I still will use it for projection, but if a lesson can be created (or modified) to allow student manipulation of the activities, I do my best to accomplish that for the lesson. I also understand that: creating lessons takes time, structuring the lesson to incorporate student use of the SMART Board takes time, rethinking the classroom routine takes time and all of the above takes a change in the teacher mindset. However, once these routines and lesson structures are establish, some great things can occur.  A change in the current pedagogy is needed in order to meet the needs of all the learners and in order for the students to reap the full benefits of the SMART Board.

The Plan
As mentioned above, most teachers within my building have a SMART Board (with the exception of the PreK classrooms). In the past few years, the district has a history of rotating staff to different buildings resulting in new teachers to the building who have little to no experience with a SMART Board. With this change, the “new” teachers have been left unsupported with formal training of the basic “how to’s” of the SMART Board. It has been left up to the individual teachers to learn for themselves or for other teachers to step up and offer assistance.

This educational technology wicked problem needs to be address by starting with teachers beginning to feel comfortable with the technology that has been afforded to them. Teachers need time to evaluate how they can incorporate the SMART Board as well as time to discuss appropriate use as an interactive board versus a projection screen. Teachers also need to reflect on how the incorporation will impact the current pedagogy of the classroom.

In Embedding interactive whiteboards in teaching and learning: The process of change in pedagogic practice (2008), the authors identified a three stages of pedagogic change when incorporating an IWB.
Stage 1 -  teachers fitting new technologies into established pedagogies;
Stage 2 - teachers engaging in collaborative exploration of the new opportunities offered by the technologies; 
Stage 3 -  teachers using the IWB skillfully and intuitively in way that extend or transform their established pedagogic practices.

With that summary as framework, I will be addressed these stages of needed changes within my building. Creation and implementation of meaningful professional development opportunities that allow staff to see the pedagogic stage they are in and give them the tools to go to the next stage. I also think it is important to instruct the students on what type of tool the SMART Board is and how they are to interactive with it in a meaningful way. My plan for address this wicked problem was constructed by using the aforementioned paper by Lewin, Somekh, and Steadman (2008) as well as the Derek Kaufaman’s article from Distance Learning (Vol. 6, Iss. 2) How Does the Use of Interactive Whiteboards Affect Teaching and Learning? (Both resources were retrieved from

The Implementation
There will be a couple stages of implementation that will need to take place in order to work on a solution to this wicked problem . First, I will gather information and review journal articles regarding IWB use with elementary students. I will research various school district implementation ideas for IWB as well suggestions made my the SMART company in order to compare findings. Next, I will survey staff to see where they see is the greatest need when utilizing the SMART Board. Third, I will create timeline for implementation. This is an example of what the implementation could look like:
  • Create and implement one mini-workshop regarding introduction to SMART Board. Attendees will be pre-assessed and what they would like to learn in the class, possible incorporating leveled groups or pairing teachers who can help each other
  • Create and implement one “how to” lesson for the students within at least one general education classroom.
  • Demonstrate at least one “model” lesson on using the SMART Board either in my special education classroom OR within the general education classroom.
  • Create one screencast explaining how to search SMART Exchange website for pre-made SMART Board lessons.
  • About 4 weeks after mini-workshop, set aside part of a morning to have people come share a lesson that they created or downloaded from SMART Exchange OR I will set aside time to observe his/her lesson within the classroom setting.

Additional Resources - 6 Strategies for Using a Smart Board in Class - Technology Combined with Good Teaching Leads to Success (paper) - PRESENTATION AND PEDAGOGY: THE EFFECTIVE USE OF INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARDS IN MATHEMATICS LESSONS (abstract) THE IMPACT OF IWB ON TEACHER-PUPIL INTERACTIONS IN NATIONAL LITERACY AND NUMERACY STRATEGIES - Google Scholar Search Results
see MSU library research for addition documention

Was the project successful? How will I know?
Well, the long term effects may not been visible for a while as it will take teachers a while to feel comfortable with the pedagogic change not to mention the comfort level of using technology. Some paperwork items that would help me assess the success of the project:
  • compile feedback from staff to see if/what information presented was helpful
  • track how many users used the exchange screencast
  • compile information from sharing session or lesson notes from classroom observation
Additionally, some visible short term results I hope to see from this implementation are:
  • positive feedback from mini-workshop
  • teachers share with me an activity they have done or invite me into the classroom to show me what they have done
  • how many teachers attend the sharing session and have something NEW to share
  • lastly, and most important....student’s are seen accessing the SMART Board for an appropriate learning experiences!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hi! My name is...

Melanie. I am an intervention specialist and a budding, well maybe a blossoming, techie thanks to MSU.

Check my intro video to learn a little more about me and my passions for technology!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened With Technology...

As educators, we have all had at least one of the those moments that we think "I can't believe that just happened!". For me as an intervention specialist, I feel like these occurrences are daily; however, the context might not always be the same. Sometimes it is because a student writing his name for the first time, sometime it is a student saying a peer's name for the first time, sometime it is when all the students "decide" to have a meltdown at once while the principal is coming to do an observation!

Here is a audio clip created using Audacity about one of the recent "I can't believe that just happened" moments in my classroom....A Funny This Happened with Technology!