Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reflection on Integrating Technology into Content Areas

Reflection on Integrating Technology into Content Areas

Throughout this course of integrating technology into the content areas, I have learned a variety of ways to include technology into the classroom. In this process, I created a few GAME plan goals to help me learn technology better. According to Cennamo, Ross and Ertmer (2009), “The GAME plan requires you to think about and take steps to direct your learning process, specifically while learning about technology and how to integrate it into the curriculum.” (p. 3). During these past seven weeks, I have been working on a couple of Game Goals to aid in my learning process.

The first GAME plan I have worked on during these last few weeks was to use Google Forms more in my classroom. In this goal, I really wanted to start using Google forms as a way for my students to reflect on their learning. Reflective thinking promotes development and growth (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009). I have used Google Docs in the past for collaboration, but I have not used Google Forms. Since beginning this goal, I learned how to create a form and send it out as a survey to students. One way I have used this form was to survey my Technology Club students to see what they are interested in learning about while in Technology Club. I also intend to give these students a reflective form asking for honest feedback and reflection on learning on Technology Club on the last class. This is the first year I have done Technology Club and I am interested to see what students liked, learned and thought could have went better about the club so I can improve this club next year. I have yet to implement this into my regular classroom, though I intend to use it as a reflection on a future book project. I see Google Form as a wonderful resource to help analyze students’ results. I really like how it is easy to look at the forms and see the results. Not only can I use these forms as a survey, but I would also like to use them as pre and post assessments of units, and check in with students to see how they think things are going in a variety of areas in the classroom. I see this improving my instructional practices by giving me timely feedback to adjust my instruction to better meet the needs of my students.

My second goal was to learn how to use wikis and implement them more in my classroom. At the beginning of this class, I was excited to explore and learn more about wikis. I created a school wide wiki to promote communication with my colleagues. This wiki,, has not been much of a success. Only about one fourth of my staff actually has joined. I discussed this with my principal and we talked about maybe implementing this more next school year as a beginning of the year objective. I work with a staff that is not very technological and who tend to be resistant to any need tools or changes.  I still intend on pursuing this as a way to promote communication and collaboration among my colleagues.

After using wikis more, I realized that it might not be the best reflection tool for me to work with my students. First of all, I found with Google Docs that my students often deleted each other’s work. Most of this was not intentional, but by editing a page at the same time, students would overlap each other and sometimes delete each other’s work. This could really be a problem with a wiki. I have found two people cannot edit a wiki page at the same time without overwriting and deleting each other’s work. I really see the potential of this tool with students working together on a wiki page to collaborate ideas. I think I may even start different wikis for students when we begin our ancient civilizations literature circle groups. When doing this, I will make sure each group has it’s own page or even one wiki with different pages to avoid too many students trying to edit one page at one time. In my attempt to do more of a collaborative reflection process: however, I have actually strayed a bit from this goal and begin working with blogs with my students.

Since I realized that wikis might not be the best tool for students to reflect and respond to each other, I went on a search for a tool to better meet my needs. After some research I came across the site What attracted to me to this site is that it was an easy to use blog that allowed teacher control over students’ blogs. All of the students’ individual blogs are under the teacher’s account with access to all blogs on the same home page. Another bonus is that if your students do not have email, this site does not require student emails. Our classroom blog site

This GAME plan process has been successful in helping me improve instructional strategies into all subject areas. I would like to use a similar strategy next year with monthly goal setting with my students. By having students actively work on and reflect on their goals, I believe they are more likely to achieve their goals. Not only do these technology tools help improve my instructional practices, but they also motivated my students and helped establish a stronger community in my classroom.

It is this enthusiasm that really helps me see the benefit of integrating technology into the classroom. According to Vicki Davis, technology tools give students an authentic audience, collaboration opportunities, a voice and added excitement for learning (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I foresee myself continuing to work with blogs, wikis and Google Forms in my classroom. I really see wikis and blogs as excellent ways to promote collaboration among students, especially as they work on Problem-Based Learning projects. This will also give them the skills to contact experts via blog or wiki to get additional information during research projects. I also see Google Presentation as an easy to use tool to help students collaboratively work together to do digital storytelling. All of these digital tools I have used throughout this class can easily be used to better implement successful teaching practices into all subject areas. Therefore, making technology a helpful tool, not just another thing we have to teach our students. I look forward to learning more ways of implementing these tools in my classroom in the upcoming years.

-Jill Morris


Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful
classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Spotlight on technology: social networking, part 1. Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GAME Plan Update

GAME Plan Update

When creating a GAME plan it is important to take steps to implement that plan (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2010). Honestly, I have had some difficulties taking steps to implement both of my GAME plans. First of all, these past two weeks have been report card weeks. I just sent students’ mid-year report cards home today. Also, I have been planning outdoor school. This has taken at least 40 hours of my time in the last three weeks since we will be gone most of next week to camp. Yes, these are excuses, but this is the reality of an educator. We often spend many hours outside our workday to do the work we need to do. Alas, I have yet to discover how to clone myself and thus my GAME plan has been neglected.

At this point I began using a Wiki,, for my school building. I have hit a few snags in this process. The first snag is that I have timed starting a Wiki during a time where all of my coworkers are only focused on report cards. Thus, out of the 30 plus staff members I invited to the Wiki, only six have joined. Those who have joined have not had a chance to explore the wiki yet. Also, a few staff members have had issues creating accounts and logging into the wiki. I am still trying to figure out how to fix some of these issues. I have learned how to format and adjust the wiki and to create new pages. I am excited about the potential the wiki holds and look forward to learning more and continuing with my wiki GAME plan.

As for my second GAME plan of Google forms, I have not worked a great deal with this yet. However, today in computer lab, I worked with several students on using Google Presentation. Together we figured out how to do a presentation simultaneously by sharing the presentation with partnerships. I think from this experience, I would like to adjust my GAME plan to include learning how to use all of the Google Document options better. I intend to use Atomic Learning to figure out how to best use these tools. I also still want to find videos and create my own online learning on these tools.

Overall, I have obtained new information and skills on both wikis and Google Documents. I still have a huge learning curve and look forward to explore both of these digital tools more and follow through with my GAME plan.


Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making my GAME plan work!

Making my GAME plan work!

According to Dr. John Ross, technology provides a way to reach more students with a variety of needs, talents and backgrounds (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). As a teacher, my primary purpose is to better meet the needs of my students. In my previous post, I listed two technology goals I wanted to work on to help me reach more students.

My first goal was to better utilize Google Forms to promote student reflection. To learn how to better use Google Forms, I need to do many things. The first thing I need to do is experiment with forms. At this point in time, I have made a survey for my technology club students, but have yet to implement this into my classroom. I also want to use my Atomic learning account to watch a tutorial on how to use Google Forms. Since I am in the middle of report cards, I have yet been able to do this. Once I have figured out how to successfully use these forms, I need to research practical and academic usages. I intend to use Google Forms to help me analyze student feedback to better meet the needs of all of my students.

My second goal was to use a wiki to promote collaboration with students, coworkers and parents.  Communication is important to me as an educator. Currently in my school district, we are focused on promoting positive student talk where students have time to process and learn from each other. I believe that a wiki could be a great way to promote student talk using technology. I also think a wiki is an excellent way to facilitate collaboration among colleagues. Currently, I am planning outdoor school with four staff members. I am constantly sending emails to communicate all of the details that go into science camp. I wish at the beginning of this process we had used a wiki. This would be a great way to have facilitated important discussions without having to take too much time.  In my school building, we are going through many changes. The biggest change is that my building may be closed by the school district. This has left a lot of miscommunication and rumors. To promote positive communication in my building, I just began a school wikispaces account . After explore wikispaces, I was able to get a wiki started. I still need to watch help videos and find ideas on how to successful implement a wiki with my students. However, I think this is a good start to my goal of using wikis to promote collaboration.

I am excited about these goals and looking forward to learning more and making these technology tools common in my instructional and professional practices.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Meeting students’ needs with technology, part 1. Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Teachers

The main reason why I decided to work on integration of technology in the classroom for my master’s program was because I knew I had a lot of growth opportunity in that area. I often feel as if I tiptoe into the technology realm, but never really fully immerse myself into fully integrating technology into my classroom. Also, one of our primary goals as a district is promoting student talk and collaboration. Since this is a goal I am currently working on in all areas of my classroom, I wanted to focus on these goals to better meet the NETS indicators.

The goals I want to focus on are:

Goal #1-

NETS 1.            
Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes (ISTE, 2012).

GAME goal-

G (goal)- I want to learn how to better utilize Google Forms to promote student reflection.

            A (action)- To learn how to use Google Forms, I will:
·      I go through Atomic Learning to see if there any instructional guides on Google Forms
·       I will look for tutorials on YouTube and other websites.
·      I will practice and create a weekly reflection form for students.

            M (monitor)- To monitor my learning, I will:
·      Check to see if forms actually work, but creating simple forms initially
o   I will adjust my forms as I practice forms
o   I will ask a focus group of students to give feedback about format and give suggestions of any changes.

            E (evaluate)- To evaluate my learning, I will:
·       I will have students evaluate form and analyze their feedback on forms
·       I will then incorporate forms into other content areas and part of the curriculum.
·       I will write a reflection and keep notes through the process to help me evaluate my learning.

Goal #2-

NETS 3.            
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.

GAME goal-

G (goal) I want to use a wiki to promote collaboration with students, coworkers and parents.

            A (action) To learn how to use wikis, I will:
·       Research different wiki sites available.
·       Practice using these sites to determine which would work for me.
·       Use Atomic Learning to develop skills to using wikis.
·       Do research on how to best use wikis in the classroom.

            M (monitor) To monitor my learning, I will:
·       Do a test wiki with grade level coworkers to experiment with wikis and see how it can promote collaboration and communication.
·       Start with a fun basic wiki about students’ thoughts and feelings about going to outdoor school camp. Invite parents to join conversation as well.
·       Create an assignment for students to collaborate wikis on a research project on ancient worlds.

            E (evaluate) To evaluate my learning, I will:
·       I will have students evaluate wikis and analyze their feedback on Google Form.
·       I will then incorporate wiki into other content areas and part of the curriculum.
·       I will write a reflection and keep notes through the process to help me evaluate my learning.


ISTE (2012, March 6). The ISTE NETS and performance indicators for teachers. Retrieved from

Monday, February 27, 2012

The next few week blog posts for EDUC 6713I

For the new few blog posts, I will be fulfilling assignments for Walden University course: EDUC-6713I-4 Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas. I look forward to blogging back and forth with many of you!