Practicum 590 Blog #1

Since I was young, I wanted to read.  My mom would read to my brother and I before we went to bed, and when I was too young to read, I already had the desire to find books and dive into another world.  I began reading in kindergarten, and I was fortunate enough to always have a good library at school, in my county, and at home.  Reading is a true passion of mine that might keep me up all night finishing a book.  I know I was sleep deprived at an early age because I wanted to finish my book, so I’d wait until my parents were asleep to read.

As I enter my last semester of Graduate School to become a librarian, I think about how I had access to TV, movies, and games as a child, but I loved reading more.  Today, we are similar situation with even more access to TV, movies, and games anywhere with mobile devices.  When I traveled as a child, I would always bring a book with me.  One good part of the technology in regards to reading, is that you can multiple books with you wherever you go, and even read them in the dark without a light.  But how do we get students to enjoy reading and want to read.  Some kids, like me, naturally want to read.  Some are encouraged by family and friends, while others found the books that made them readers.  What do we do to encourage other students that haven’t found a reason to read, yet?  This is one thing I spoke to my supervising librarian about.

This is my 4th year at BGJHS, and the last 2 years I have spent time observing in the library for my LME classes.  Since I currently teach Related Arts, and my supervising librarian is considered part of the Related Arts Team, I have gotten to know her well over the last 4 years.  We have discussed books, as I also check them out of the library to read, and we have discussed technology since that is my current teaching position.  After discussion of encouragement, we collaborated to have students create book trailers for my class.  Students could choose any book, and my supervising librarian and I worked together to help those students that did not like to read, find a book that might spark their interest.  We talked to the students to find out their interests.  We suggested specific book series based on what books other students had checked out in the past.  The students also spent time in the library to read their books so that each student had the opportunity to explore the library, since the librarian has a flexible schedule, and few teachers bring the class to the library to check out books on a regular basis.

After reading the books, the students spent time in my class creating book trailers to encourage others to read the books.  I will share these trailers with the librarian to see if she would like to use these in the library in some way, in hopes that others will be encouraged to read more.

 

Here is an example of one of the book trailers:

 

 

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20% Project

I created a website for my school for technology integration.  It will continue to be a work in progress to fit the needs of the teachers in my school in order for the site to be used.

BGJHS Tech Resources

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Why Aren’t We Listening to Modern Educational Thinkers?: World Class Learners Blog 4

Why Aren’t We Listening to Modern Educational Thinkers?

My Prezi shows how Common Core Standards and standardized testing education is viewed in comparison to modern education reform.  One major difference is the curriculum and style of assessment.  While Common Core Standards do not require standardized testing, the education in the USA with Common Core Standards, typically uses standardized testing to assess.  With educational reform, the focus is not on the content, but the processes, which is what Common Core Standards states is what is important.  Educational reform also looks at the individual, while Common Core requires all students to be taught and assessed all standards no matter their interests.

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References:

Common core states standards intiative: Myths vs facts. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/

Common core states standards intiative: What parents should know. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/what-parents-should-know/

Kelley, D. (2012 March). How to build your creative confidence. TED. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence

Meyer, D. (2010 March). Math class needs a makeover. TED. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover

Robinson, K.  (2006, Februrary). Do schools kill creativity? TED. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity

Summerhill-an overview. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/an-overview.php.

Zhao, Y. (2012). World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin.

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The Entrepreneurship Gap: World Class Learners Blog 3

Create a lesson plan or design an activity for your grade level that uses gapminder.com. It needs to be at least at a CReaTE level 3 or higher across all four components.

Content: Technology

Grade Level:8th

Standards:  ISTE 3. Knowledge Curator, 6. Creative Communicator

3a Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.

3b Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
3c Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
3d Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
6d Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

 

The teacher will introduce the students to the GapMinder website showing students how the graph works.  The teacher chooses a specific topic to show on the graph, then the teacher asks students why they believe the data changes as it does over time and between areas.  The teacher shows the students different areas they can explore, then assigns the students to choose data to graph on the map.  The students have the choice to narrow the information to a specific country, region, or the world to compare the data to one another or over a period of time.  The students will research possible reasons for the data.  After researching the data, students will create a visual story (student choice: video, infographic, timeline, etc.) regarding their data.  Students will make recommendations for what they think should be changed or continued based on research of their topic for the best results (e.g. Lowest Mortality Rate in the USA).  Students may work with partners or alone.

Cognitive Complexity: Student interaction with content at an ANALYZE level (Differentiation; Organizing; Attributing), EVALUATE level (Checking; Critiquing), or CREATE level (Generating; Planning; Producing).  Students are analyzing the data, then researching to evaluate the data, and producing a depiction of the data using technology.

Real World: Learning simulates the real-world.  Student analyze data and researches to determine trends and reasons.  Many careers use similar data to evaluate and make recommendations for changes based on the data.

Technology Integration: Students use technology for Analyze, Evaluate, or Create thinking tasks.  Students analyze data from the gap minder website, evaluate research from online sources, and create visuals using technology.

Engagement: Student choice for tasks posed by teacher differentiated by content, process, and/or product (such as addressing learning preferences, interests, or ability levels) AND Variety of formative assessments of learning.  Student choice of creation allows for students to choose what is best for their interests.

Zhao says, “China cannot have a Steve Jobs”, and he goes on to explain why. What drastic changes would China need to make in their educational system so that an entrepreneur like Steve Jobs could survive and start a company like Apple? Could the 826 Valencia program work in China? Explain.

One characteristic of the educational system in China that deters entrepreneur mindset is the lack of significance placed on or fostered for innovation and creativity.  Prensky (2013) listed the old and new regarding the core subjects.  The old core centered on subjects such as math, english, science, and social studies, while the new related to thinking, actions, relationships, and accomplishment.  While the USA still focuses on the old core, they have also begun adding the new core, while China is still very focused on the old core integrating little of the thinking behind why the students are learning what they are learning.  Lee (as cited by Kang in Khao, 2012, p. 101) acknowledges that students in China can calculate and explain equations, but they do not know why or how to use the information they have learned.  Zhao (2015) says that while China has one of the best education systems, but it lacks creativity which helps create an entrepreneur mindset.

Confidence is another characterisitc that is different from China to the US.  Zhao (2012) notes how many students performed well on tests, but had low confidence overall.  While this confidence might not have affected their scores, it shows how confidence might not be valued in the country.  Without confidence, students are less likely to try something innovative or risky.  Students will play it safe, but will not be successful entrepreneurs.

In order for entrepreneurs to survive and start companies in China, the education would system would have to change so that creativity was seen as valuable, and students were confident in their abilities.  Education is not the only area that lacks creativity and self-confidence, but it is part of the culture.

The 826 Valencia program would probably not work well in China with the same way it is run in the USA.  One reason relates to the home life of students in the USA compared to the home life of students in China.  Eggers (2008) discusses how he built relationships with the community in order to get the students to begin coming to the center, but things in China are very different.  When they began the program, they seemed to focused on language learners and those students that needed extra help.  According to an anonymous article quoted by Khao (2012), Steve Jobs would have had low self-esteem because of his home life being born out of wedlock.  Just like Jobs, many of the students going to the center would be looked down upon, and might not go to the center based on how others treated them.  The author goes on to discuss how the way education works in China with rote memorization, Jobs and other creative minds would not have made it through.  While the students have ample amounts of homework in China, I am not sure that others would volunteer or that students would accept help.  Teachers might be open to asking professionals to come into their classroom, but it would be very strict based on laws of freedom.  Students created a newspaper, broadcast, or book would be censored, unlike the journalists and students in the USA.  In the video of 826 Valencia, the noise level and what appears to be a somewhat lack of structure would be very different from that of school in China typically.  The environment would be similar to that of school, and I am not sure that students would gain the same experience that students get in the USA from the program.

I worked in a Christian school run by my denomination in Hong Kong in  2014.  We had many freedoms to discuss and teach, but this was also in Hong Kong in a Christian school run mostly by leaders related to our church.  We were told that the government was still involved with the school, but they did allow Christian schools in Hong Kong, so there was a little more freedom.  826 Valencia would have worked in the neighborhood we taught in in Hong Kong because the students were very independent and took buses and trains to school.  The students also were very intrigued by us and the school supported us.  One concern would be about volunteers from the community helping students.  I am not sure if that would be something that would work as well as in the US.

References

Eggers, D. (2008, February). My wish: Once upon a school. TED. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/dave_eggers_makes_his_ted_prize_wish_once_upon_a_school#t-1449873

Manson, T. (2007, July 13). A day at 826 Valencia. [Video File.] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0809zOgc10

Maxwell, M., Tassell, J., & Stobaugh, B. (2014). Create excellence framework. Retrieved from http://create-excellence.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CREaTe-Framework.pdf

Prensky, M. (2013, March 22). ECIS technology conference: Keynote address. [Video File.] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t2K9xyFE-o

Rosling, H. (2009, June). Let my dataset change your mindset. TED. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_at_state/transcript?language=en

Zhao, Y. (2012). World class learners: Educating creative and entrepreneurial students. Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin.

Zhao, Y. (2015, October 25). Who’s afraid of the big bad dragon? [Video File.] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHmt51cNxYM

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What makes an entrepreneur?: World Class Learners Blog 2

Entrepreneur Spirit

Infographic

entrepreneur-sp_172_deb26077f4557a787fe66f75025ab4ad2299c598.png

Reading the text from Zhao and watching the videos with Robinson & Pink, led me to believe that all three would agree that education is focused on standardization for all students which prevents students from having an entrepreneur spirit.  Also due to the standardization, there is little opportunity or encouragement for students of focus on what they like or find their passion because they do not get the opportunity to explore.  How can students be free thinkers when they are continually being conformed to one way of thinking?  How can students find their interests if they are never allowed to explore outside the box of successful careers?  How can students find a passion that will continue throughout their lives if they are not exposed?  How can students figure out how to use the passion they have as part of the future career?  How can we as educators lessen the stress of assessments to allow our students the time to develop an entrepreneurial spirit with all the requirements that we are given?

 

Zhao discussed many aspects of our changed world and the reason for such high unemployment rates all over the world, even among those with a college education. Research some changes in education over the last 25 years and discuss how they have affected the unemployment of many teachers and/or why many leave the profession.

Education changes often.  Various programs and assessments are implemented, changed, or never heard of again.  Sometimes the programs and assessments come back around and continue changing.  Educators find this very difficult with the constant changes and added programs and assessments.  One statement that resonated with me was from Croft, Roberts, & Stenhouse (2016):

Stories of school curricula narrowing (i.e., “teaching to the test”), inadequate funding and depleted human resources, and psychological costs to students and educators have been the telltale results from high-stakes testing and education reform. (p. 82)

 

One noted change in the last 25 years is the increase of high-stakes testing.  Croft, Roberts, & Stenhouse (2016) state that never before in history of education in the USA has there been as much testing and pressure for testing.  The testing is pressured by the government to the school districts to the schools.  The article mentions how students are losing sleep and getting sick from the pressure, while also losing interest in school.  Educators are losing their jobs over scores.  I personally know of teachers in other states that receive scores before the year is over, have been let go over test scores.  Losing a job over test scores can have an impact on finding a new job, but it can also impact the passion the teacher has for teaching.

Another noted change was the evaluation systems.  Croft, Roberts, & Stenhouse (2016) noted that with reform has been a change in the evaluation system for teachers that has increased pressure for the teachers.  While the reform was meant to encourage and help teachers, many times the reforms have the opposite effect.  When student scores are part of the teacher evaluation, it is difficult for teachers to not teach to the test, which is not the best way to teach.

Skaalvik & Skaalvik (2011) listed emotional exhaustion as a reason for leaving the profession.  With educational reforms adding more requirements with more assessments and various evaluation systems, teachers are under more and more stress leading to emotional exhaustion for many teachers.  While there may be other factors besides educational reform that increase stress for teachers, I believe that constant changes in education add a good amount of stress that is unnecessary.

While Boles & Troen (2000) did not discuss education reform in relation to teachers leaving the profession, I believe they brought up an important point.  Many times teachers do not have an opportunity for growth within the profession.  Without growth, many people feel unfulfilled in their careers, and this includes teachers.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, an English as a Second Language Endorsement, a Master’s in Educational Technology, and soon I will have my Rank I in Library Media.  I have these degrees to have multiple job opportunities, and hopefully with the experience in multiple areas, this will come in handy for a position in the future that will be a promotion of sorts.  Since I began teaching, I have taken on additional roles within the school, and it’s not about the raise for the extra jobs, but the growth and passion for those positions.

Boles, K., & Troen, V. (2000). Why new teachers quit. Teacher Magazine11(7), 59.

Croft, S. C., Roberts, M. M., & Stenhouse, V. S. (2016). The Perfect Storm of Education Reform: High-Stakes Testing and Teacher Evaluation. Social Justice42(1), 70-92.

Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2011). Teacher job satisfaction and motivation to leave the teaching profession: Relations with school context, feeling of belonging, and emotional exhaustion. Teaching & Teacher Education27(6), 1029-1038.

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Update on 20% Project

Everything is on track with the 20% project, I am planning to work with my STLP students this week.  I would like to have the first version ready by the beginning of November.  I would like to talk to the PLCs or grade levels to get feedback on what they want to see.  I will also continue working with one of the assistant principals and our district technology  resource teacher.

I am looking at different options for feedback from the website.  I have considered a google form so that only teachers from my district would be able to send feedback.  I think having feedback on the site will be better than having just my e-mail for contact purposes.

Any thoughts on what others have seen or are doing in your district or school?

Update #2 Oct. 23

Thinking about the layout and considering which site to use.  The STLP student has already created a Weebly, and I have decided to let her create her own, and have a link from my site to her site instead of having her work on my site directly.

I want to discuss options with the current TRT in our district to see what his thoughts are on the site.  I want to create the site this week, and send to a few colleagues for feedback.

Update #3 Nov. 6

Considering Blogger, WordPress, and Weebly to use for my site.  Looking into various plugins on the platforms.  Deciding on creating videos or links to current videos or both.  Sent videos from out current TRT’s help page to a colleague this week which made me realize that my colleagues are not looking for help on sites.  How can I get them to use the site?  Hoping to get more input from colleagues to decide how I can get my colleagues interested in using the site.  Perhaps posting on Social Media will help.  Maybe having a Pinterest linked?  I want the site to be a site that is used instead of useless.  This will be the hardest part of the site.  Creating the site will not be a big issue, but getting others to use it might be difficult.  Any suggestions?

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20 % Project

For my 20% project, I will focus on educators.  I want to create a website that provides additional resources, help videos, and a place for educators to submit their specific questions.  Since I have recently taken on the position of School Technology Integration Specialist, my administrators have asked me what I can do to help our teachers integrate more technology in the classroom in which the students are using the technology.  We also want to provide support and resources for the teachers, but not overwhelm them.  My job is to figure out a way to provide this support so that adding technology does not seem like more being added to their job, but rather invigorates the lesson.

I plan to use my school site to host the page, but depending on the settings, I might change to a google site.  I hope to complete this website with multiple resources by the beginning of November, but to continue adding to the website throughout the years.  I am also hoping to include my STLP students in this project.  They might be able to find resources for their class, provide feedback on ways to integrate technology in their current classes, and have students create short tutorial videos.  Students have previously held “classes” for the community and presented at our district TeachMeet.  There was low attendance which was discouraging for the students.  This might be another project that is similar, but is more rewarding for students and more beneficial for educators.

Since I was on the committees at the district level for integrating technology with students using the technology and the long term technology plan, I have an idea of what the district wants, but I need to have more in depth conversations with those in my building to provide the support for my teachers.   My plan is to meet with each PLC at school to get their specific needs.  Since this site is for the staff at my school, I want to ensure that I have their feedback and needs, rather than create a site that no one will use.  I also plan to use the SAMR model since that was one big push in our district last year.

I am excited to take on this new role, and I think this site will be a perfect way to begin providing the support without overwhelming them.

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