A couple of weeks ago, I established some "self-directed learning" goals for myself (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 2),
for learning about technology. My approach to meeting these goals is through a G.A.M.E. plan; that is, setting goals, taking action to meet the goals, monitoring progress toward the meeting the goals, and evaluating whether the goals are met and extending learning to new situations.
At this point, I am monitoring my progress and determining what I need to do as I continue to follow this plan.
The G.A.M.E. plan strategy is working well to keep me on track in my independent learning, and it is a strategy I will share with students. One of the skills I want to impart to students is metacognitive thinking, so that they develop an understanding of how they learn best, and of how they can set and meet their own learning goals. This is an opportunity for me to model this process, as well as learning about technology tools and resources.
1. "Model Digital-Age Work and Learning: Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation" (NETS-T, 2008).
2. "Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility: Develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools" (NETS-T, 2008).
Actions I Have Taken:
Explored resources about digital storytelling.
Shared videos about digital storytelling here on my blog.
Created my own digital storytelling project as a model (currently under construction.)
Joined "Our Media," a social network to advocate for causes to improve the world.
Learned about FlatClassroom and Digiteen projects, aimed at teaching responsible global digital citizenship.
Created a link list for resources on digital storytelling and a link list for resources on global digital citizenship here on my blog.
Created a website to encourage cross-cultural collaboration, www.juniorenvironmentalists.blogspot.com.
Joined National Writing Project (read a lot about digital storytelling here.)
Joined November Learning (read a lot about digital storytelling here.)
Discovered iearn Collaboration Centre (read a lot about global collaboration here.)
Actions I Still Need to Take:
Design a digital storytelling lesson plan for a middle school language arts class.
Develop a plan for sharing the Junior Environmentalists website with students in other classrooms worldwide, and other ways to communicate and collaborate with students outside our classroom.
M. Monitoring My Progress:
I have learned a great deal about digital storytelling, and this is something I need to make time to continue working on. I found plenty of information about digital storytelling, as well as examples modeling its uses in the classroom. The time-consuming part is integrating digital storytelling with my language arts content in a meaningful way. I do not need to modify my plan for meeting this goal except to set aside an hour each day to work on it.
I have found many resources about engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures through digital communication tools; but I haven't spent as much time on this goal so far. That is because I have been busy with the digital storytelling project, which is really fun. Thanks to my classmate Kathleen, I have found an interesting site to share with students, at rockourworld.org, where they can collaborate with students around the world to write a song. I have also found several sites, mentioned above, where students can collaborate with others around the world to complete learning projects and even service projects. I need to set aside an hour each day to work on this goal, as well.
E. Evaluate and Extend
Potentially, these two learning goals can build on one another, as students could create digital stories and then share them as a way to build connections with students from other cultures. Also, many of the global citizenship opportunities I have found for students involve taking action to improve the world in some way. Digital storytelling can be a tool students use to communicate their ideas as they work on these types of projects. Digital storytelling projects are a great way for students to share and explore different perspectives, with is also one of the objectives of making connections with people from diverse cultures.
As far as my own learning habits go, I need to follow a schedule as I continue with my G.A.M.E. plan. There are many distractions, since there is so much to learn, when exploring online resources. I plan to devote one hour to each goal every day, rather than getting carried away with one and forgetting the other from day to day. Again, this is a strategy I will share with students--having them schedule their activities when working on self-directed learning.
Cennamo,K., Ross, J., Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Mason, Ohio: Laureate Education, Inc., Cenage Learning.
ISTE (2008). NETS for Teachers 2008: Standards. ISTE: online. Retrieved November 10, 2010 from http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-teachers/nets-for-teachers-2008.aspx