~My GAME Plan Reflection~

Engaging in Professional Growth and Leadership has been the central focus of my GAME plan during this 2011-2012 school year. By following my GAME plan, my colleagues and I have come a long way from our PLC meetings in September. What was once nonstop complaining has now turned into a collaborative gathering of the minds. Seriously, we have accomplished so much in these few short months. Students in all grade levels have learned the resources both the school and town library have available to them and how to find credible sources for their research projects. By reaching out to my colleagues and taking small steps to accomplish our goals, goals have been accomplished. Students are now learning the essential content necessary to succeed at each grade level.

When thinking about my GAME plan and how far I feel my colleagues and I have come with our research process and outline (the students are off and writing their rough drafts), I am now trying to see what area we should approach next. After learning more about digital storytelling and being exposed to not only my lessons but that of my classmates, I feel this would be a great topic for our Monday meetings after school with all my colleagues, not just the English department. In doing this, we are continuing to “explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning and contributing to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of our school and community” (ISTE, 2008). By showing staff the “Daily Lesson GAME plan” template and content area examples Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer (2009) share, teachers can begin to understand the effectiveness of this learning model. They can practice using this GAME plan of setting goals, taking action, monitoring their learning, and evaluating and extending their progress. Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer (2009) put it nicely when they stated: “As a self-directed lifelong learner, you’ll be able to respond to the rapid and continuous technological changes that inevitably will occur during your professional career, keep your skills up-to-date, and better meet the needs of your students today and in the future” (p. 7). Students can then be exposed to this plan and use this as a guide when completing their own projects and assessments guiding their self-directed learning (Cennano, Ross, & Ertmer,2009).

This course has taught me a great deal about the kind of teaching environment I want to make sure my students have; providing them with authentic instruction is a must. As an inclusion teacher working with two content areas, I feel it is my responsibility to reach out to these teachers and see what can be done to establish a better learning environment for my students. Implementing problem-based learning, social networking/online collaboration, and digital storytelling into my instruction and my colleagues’ instruction is going to be my main goal. After seeing the way students became engaged in my online collaboration lesson proved to me what a positive learning experience it was. Students were actually coming into class talking about the conversations they had the night prior; they were still engaged and continuing the dialogue from the night before. It was such a wonderul feeling to see the positive effect technology can have on a student’s learning. Students are already exposed to multiple technology tools; the more students are provided with these authentic experiences, the more content knowledge they are gaining while learning how to apply it to the real-world.

References
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx

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