Mystery Skype: Design Phase

This quarter we are exploring the ISTE Teacher Standards and in order to take that learning to the next level, in knowledge and practice, we are planning and facilitating Global Collaborative Projects (GCP). I introduce the project and give an overview of my plans in a previous post, check it out here. In this post, I outline my design for the project and review the 6 A’s of project design:

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6 A’s of Project Design

Authenticity
My students attend a small non-secular school where they participate in a Hebrew immersion program for half of their school day. I was talking to a student recently and they mentioned that it was hard to do their Hebrew homework because they didn’t have anyone at home that spoke the language and could offer assistance. This lead me to realize that my students are part of a very small community and it would be a great opportunity for them to see that there are other students from around the world, that they have things in common with.

By connecting my students to another Jewish day school, they can learn about another school, while noting the various similarities and differences. This can help them

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ISTE Teacher Standard 5: Create Individualized Opportunities for Professional Development

In my final week of exploring the ISTE Teacher Standards through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University, I examine the fifth standard: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership. In an effort to move into a coaching and mentorship role, I reflected on the following question: “How can teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources?”

Keep Educating Yourself (1)

I work at a private school where many of the teachers are not formal educators; they come to the school with a strong background in the school’s cultural and religious beliefs, but not in classroom teaching. I have noticed that many of them do not pursue professional development opportunities that could help them advance their skills in classroom management, assessment, or effective teaching. Blogger and widely respected technology integration specialist, Vicki Davis states, “Professional development is a vital part of improving your technique as a teacher. Learning best practices and practicing best practices are both important. You can make a school better by improving its teachers. Effective [professional development] can do that” (2015). With this in the forefront … Read More

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ISTE Teacher Standard 4: Roll Out a Successful 1:1 Program Through Phases

This week I explore the fourth ISTE Teacher Standard: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and I examine how I can implement the following question into my own practice: “How can teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices?”

My school recently revisited our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) after not having revised it in over two years. We found several discrepancies and have noted that several parents, while they signed the document, still had an array of questions about the one-to-one laptop program and what the laptops should (and shouldn’t) be used for both on and off campus. With this in mind, the school’s Tech Task Force debated the idea of requiring students and parents to attend an orientation in addition to just signing the AUP. I reviewed the policies and procedures of several other schools in an effort to find what works best for the majority. It seems, there is no majority. All schools approach this issue differently, with varying levels of success. What works for one school, doesn’t work for the … Read More

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ISTE Teacher Standard 3: Helping Teachers Choose the Best Tech Tools

This week I explore the third ISTE Teacher Standard: Model Digital Age Work and Learning through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and I try to answer the following question: “How can teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society?”

My classmates, professors and I discussed the idea that this particular standard covers a very broad range of topics and can be hard to digest, therefore, I made sure to pay particularly close attention to the sub-standards this week:

a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.

b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.

c. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats.

d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning (Source: ISTE Teacher Standards).

After ruminating on the standards for a bit and looking at my own current workplace challenges, I decided to focus … Read More

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Mystery Skype: Planning Phase

I like to think I’m pretty “in the know” when it comes to educational technology. Then I spend time with my brilliant classmates and professors (I lovingly refer to them as “The Great Brain”) and I realize I don’t know nearly as much as I’d like to think. In the last two weeks they have shared with me a treasure trove of tools that I had no idea existed. This quarter we are exploring the ISTE Teacher Standards and in order to take that learning to the next level, in knowledge and practice, we are planning and facilitating Global Collaborative Projects (GCP). The overview of the project follows:

Global collaborative projects help students become connected learners and provide them with authentic opportunities to learn from other people and experiences. These types of projects also provide students with new, diverse perspectives and help prepare them for an international workplace. In this project, you will collaborate with others outside of the Digital Education Leadership program to design and implement a global learning experience utilizing digital tools.

As I did some brainstorming for this project, the Great Brain told me about Mystery Skype. How did I not know this existed? If you’re … Read More

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Exploring the ASSURE Model Through Teacher Education

This quarter in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University, I have been working together with my classmates to explore the ASSURE Model, an instructional model used to design lessons that effectively incorporate the use of technology to enhance student learning. This model identifies six steps in the planning process and those steps form the acronym, ASSURE:

Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org
Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org

What Does This Look Like?

My classmates and I created a face-to-face session for educators who are interested in incorporating technology into their classroom but are looking for basic management techniques to help them be comfortable and successful. The design of this lesson took place over an entire quarter, working on one of four phases and then seeking feedback from the professors before moving forward. This format allowed us to gain outside perspective, make revisions to the lesson plan and then use that feedback as we transitioned into the following steps of the ASSURE Model.

Here you will find our plans for the project, including the handouts that will be provided to session participants:

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Reflection on the Process

What worked well?

I really enjoyed being able to meet … Read More

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Talking Technology

I recently sat down with my Head of School to discuss her thoughts on the role of educational technology at our school. Our school puts a great emphasis on a top-down, bottom-up approach towards incorporating technology into the classroom and this conversation illuminated a great deal for us both. Below I share my process, thoughts and findings…


Digital Readiness Project (2)


Questions

  • Based on the link I shared with you earlier this week, can you tell me what you think the term “Digital Citizenship” means? (Provide a copy of the ISTE Citizenship in the Digital Age, if needed).
  • What role do you think technology plays in today’s classroom?
  • Can you tell me your perspective on where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going, in regards to digital citizenship and educational technology? Are you comfortable with the rate at which we are progressing?
  • What challenges do you find that we’re currently facing with educational technology?
  • Do you have any concerns regarding access to the use of technology? Do all families have equal access? Are there concerns regarding families who are resistant to bringing technology into their home? If so, do you have a plan of action you would like to see
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Guiding Principle Three

Create opportunities for project-based learning experiences that incorporate connections that flatten the walls of the classroom.


In my mission statement, I write that I hope to “[Create] authentic experiences that foster a sense of joy for learning” and in the 21st century classroom, one way to make that happen is to encourage project-based learning. Melissa Jacobs-Israel, School Library Journal contributor describes project-based learning as an opportunity where “[students] are learning how to develop intriguing questions for further discovery and research, investigate a topic, construct new meanings, develop opinions and supporting arguments, apply new understandings, create final products, and reflect on what they learned” (Jacobs-Israel, 2013). There could be no better place for this to occur, than in the library. In fact, journalist Suzie Boss argues that librarians should be at the forefront of project-based learning experiences in their school: “A key player to invite into these collaborative conversations is the school librarian or library media specialist. Their understanding of information literacy and digital citizenship can make a difference across the arc of projects. What’s more, librarians may know about students’ out-of-class interests through their reading choices or online interests” (Boss, 2013).

Through project-based learning, students are provided with authentic experiences … Read More

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Guiding Principle Two

Provide students and staff with instruction and resources that reflect current information needs and anticipate changes in technology and education.


In 2009, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) developed a set of guidelines to help “define the future direction of school library programs” (p. 7) and those guidelines were then published in Empowering Learners : Guidelines for School Library Programs. When looking back on my mission statement, I realized there is one passage that I wanted to specifically target and further articulate: “[U]nearth ways to mirror what is happening in the classroom with the outside world” (Todd, 2014). This principle, as written by AASL, exemplifies precisely what I am hoping to convey to my patrons; a library experience that is rich with print and digital information, where both exposure and instruction are equally important.

I recently posted my mission statement on my blog and solicited comments from readers across the globe and one reader provided me with some very insightful feedback: “Could another librarian take your mission statement and would it represent who they are equally well? It’s like the mission statements of libraries or colleges. Many of them sound the same. We all are committed to creating … Read More

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Guiding Principle One

Model the effective and appropriate use of print and digital resources to help answer questions and find solutions.


A group of librarians met in 2010 to discuss the future of school librarians and at the core of their discussion was the need to make libraries relevant in the future. These librarians determined, in order to do this, the goal behind their group would be to change the face of librarianship in the 21st century. Their mission, to help librarians around the globe “ensure that students are effective users and producers of information and ideas” (Bartow, 2010). While this may sound like a lofty ambition, one simple action comes to mind that will help me personally make this goal a reality: turn my screen so it is easily accessible to both myself and my patrons. When a student comes in a with a question, I do not simply provide the answer, I invite them to stand next to me and walk them through how to find the solution.

Not only will this allow me to model the behavior I am hoping to see in my students, it also touches on a number of other elements in my mission statement:

  • model a
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