Course 5/Option 2/Here we go!

It has been a great learning journey thus far, and I’m sure more is in store! Hard to believe that four courses have gone by, and I’m all the better for it. I think that’s why narrowing down ideas for Course 5 has been a bit of a challenge.

Upon rereading my posts as well as all the notes I’ve been keeping these last months, I came up with a slew of topics:
1)Service Learning through global collaboration
2)Developing technology-rich environments
3)Digital/e-portfolios
4)Redesigning iPad use in the classroom
5)More deliberate planning/instruction around digital literacy
6)Blended Learning
While I’m interested in all of them, I spoke with our elementary tech integrator and came up with two! Essentially, I want to focus my attention on a project that will impact the entire school as well as the students. Something that many can benefit from. Drum roll, please…
Topic 1-Create and implement a digital/e-portfolio system
Topic 2- More deliberate planning/instruction around digital literacy.
Now, let’s have a look at each of the topics.

Topic 1: Design and implement a digital/e-portfolio system

The project will be designed with a number of purposes in mind. It will also involve research around digital portfolios like articles such as Abigail Garthwaite’s E-Portfolios: Documenting Student Progress. Members of the elementary leadership team will help to lead the initiative starting in August. Our targeted objectives will focus on:

-help empower and support students to be engaged in their learning

-help teachers with assessments and therefore inform/adapt their instruction and hopefully lead to more personalized learning

-help teacher become more digitally/tech savvy

-help parents understand what their child is learning about and capable of doing

-keep a timeline of growth and progress

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

Throughout the coursework, I’ve been looking/learning through the lens of an administrator. The idea of digital/e-portfolios picks up from my Course 1 project. Additionally, this project ties in with many of the topics around digital literacy as well as 1:1 programs.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

Eliminate the archaic portfolio paper system that we currently have. Create an interdisciplinary artifact for each student. Assist students and families as they transition our school
Improve student self-evaluation, metacognition and goal setting

Why do you think this idea is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?
Tangible outcome, pools knowledge base, plenty of resources and support from COETAIL. Incorporates learning around digital and visual literacy for students. It also represents how the learning landscape continues to change.

What are some of your concerns about choosing this topic?

I don’t have any concerns about the project because it is a practical endeavor that will benefit many stakeholders. Perhaps one of the concerns is adding another thing to our work plate, but I see this project as a one to two-year plan that we can stagger if needed.

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

As far as pedagogical shifts, I don’t see many. What I do foresee is the redesign/development of new rubrics related to student work for the portfolios. This would include both curricular and student self-reflection type rubrics. Additionally, we will have to come up with collective agreements and expectations for the portfolios.

What skills and attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

Students will learn to be more reflective, be able to set goals and make their learning visible. utilize during student-led conferences
Teachers will be able to design new rubrics, articulate growth and areas for improvement, evaluate student artifacts.
ISTE standards 2a and 3c will be addressed.

Topic 2: More deliberate planning/instruction around digital literacy
Describe the project:
Currently, we have a part-time tech integrator who oversees many of the instructional elements of helping students become more digitally literate as well as supporting teachers with tech projects in the classroom. While the current formula is working, I question how effective it is, and believe we can improve upon what we’re currently doing. To do this, a tech assessment of our program would have to take place first. One of the resources could potentially be using TUPS. Once the initial analysis is complete, a strategic plan would be put together by myself and the elementary leadership team. The strategic plan would cover a two-year span with incremental and targeted goals and multiple reflection points. The primary objectives would focus on creating curricular units (using UbD) that incorporate more/new technology elements, as well as train/teach teachers to utilize technology in their classroom more effectively.
How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?
This project encompasses many facets of my learning ranging from how to improve student learning in the digital world, to utilizing resources that support teacher tech development and building their capacity.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?
To improve the student and teacher competency around digital and visual literacy. Bring the ISTE standards to life. Collect data to help our tech program continually grow and develop as a technology-rich environment. Ensure our students are digitally literate and have robust and up to date tech skills.

Why do you think this idea is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?
I think this project encompasses the majority of the topics that have been covered during the COETAIL coursework, so there’s access to the latest research around digital literacy to support the project. ┬áThis project will help teachers, students and eventually parents too.
What are some of your concerns about choosing this topic?

Finding funding for teacher professional development. Maintaining momentum of the project with teacher transition/turnover.

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?
Moving away from more traditional teaching and resources. Understanding how to facilitate learning with technology.
What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from teachers and students? Open-mindedness, Risk-taking, Reflection

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