Tag Archives: Reflection

EdTech 543: Final Reflection

Standard

Artifact Introduction:

During our final week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to reflect on our learning by:

  • Evaluating another group’s Social Networked Mini Curricular Unit
  • Developing a grading system for the evaluation
  • Writing a final reflection for the course about what we learned & plan to apply to our professional practice
  • Writing a self-assessment about our blog performance throughout the course.
  • Proposing a grade for our blog – out of 75 points.

Artifact #1 A: Screencast evaluation 

 

 

Artifact #1 B: Screencast & spreadsheet evaluation 

 

 

Artifact #2: Final Reflection

I absolutely loved this course & thought the benefits from taking it will affect my teaching practice in many ways. Below are the key components I learned from this course & how I plan to apply them to my professional practice.

  • Social Media Set Up (M. 1): When we first started the course I learned about several platforms that can be used for classroom communication that I had never really explored. Since the beginning of this course, I have created a class Google site for my classroom & have requested our school to create a Facebook page to keep parents in touch!
  • PLN & PLE (M. 2): When starting I had no idea what these acronyms meant & now I understand their importance and significance in the classroom. I appreciated that we got to create a PLN in the course & that we expanded our learning using these resources. This is one of my biggest takeaways!  I also loved working with Ally, Katie, & Ben the members of my PLN!
  • TweekDeck, Live PD, & Digital Footprints (M. 3): This was my favorite part of this course. Very eye opening! I had no idea that Twitter was such a resource. The live twitter chats & webinars that I participated in were so helpful. I plan on participating in more of these twitter chats in the future as I found them to be very beneficial and they expanded my PLN significantly. I want to share this with all of my colleagues as there is a wealth of information waiting on Twitter!
  • Content Curation (M. 4): I loved using  ScoopIt to curate content.  I thought that of the ones I explored it was the most user-friendly and allowed for easy curation and comments. Curation was something I had never previously considered & it even seems like a job I might one day want to look into.
  • PLE Diagram (M. 5): By creating my PLE diagram, I realized all the different things that make up my personal learning environment. This course helped my PLE to expand significantly & I hope that it will only continue to expand!
  • Research & Social Media Policies (M. 6): I loved having the opportunity to explore the policies other teachers employ to use social media in their classrooms. I loved synthesizing all of the things I learned in order to create my own policies. I liked working with my PLN & loved how our social media policy came out using the ABC’s.
  • Social Media Mini Unit (M. 7):  I think my PLN worked very well together and I love having the opportunity to use technology to collaborate. I think the unit we created is going to be very useful and that we employed social media effectively. I loved going through the peer review process through a screencast, I had never used Screencast-o-matic before & it was very user-friendly. I want to employ this wonderful idea that allowed me to see what other groups did for their  mini units in my own classroom since it was so easy to use.

I am excited that I have learned so much throughout this course that can be immediately employed in my own classroom. I know my students will greatly benefit from me being exposed to such great information. I give myself  75 out of 75 points on my blog posts because every post is very thorough. I made sure I included all that was expected by outlining the requirements at the beginning & then including a reflection/connection to the standards at the end of every post.

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:

AECT Standard 4.3  Reflection on Practice: In this assignment, I analyzed and interpreted data & artifacts & reflected on the effectiveness of the design, development & implementation of technology (social media) in my work in this course, in order to support instruction & learning to enhance my professional growth.

AECT Standard 4.4 Assessing/Evaluating: In this assignment, I designed & implemented assessment & evaluation plans using screencasting & a spreadsheet to align with learning goals & instructional activities (provided).

 

Resources:

 

 

EdTech 543: Digital Footprints

Standard

Artifact Introduction:

During our third week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to explore digital footprints take a call of action by:

  • Research our own digital footprint
  • Reflect upon our lives in a world where digital footprints are inevitable
  • Share what we discovered when researching our own digital footprint
  • Research digital footprints in academic articles
  • Formulate a plan (10 individual strategies with supporting references) to develop a positive professional online presence & ensure that your reputation remains “safe” and positive.

Artifact Part 1: My Digital Footprint

Upon researching my own digital footprint, the only thing I found is this blog site I am writing upon today, with my educational technology portfolio. After narrowing down my search by including “Boise” (the city where I am from) in my search, I found a couple other articles that referenced me. One is the meeting minutes of a square dancing club here in Boise with notes to contact me if anyone in the square dancing club would like to volunteer in our fourth-grade rendezvous event. Another is the meeting notes to the Board of my high school that includes a petition for me to graduate a year early.

I have a 2 Facebook accounts, an Instagram, 2 Twitter accounts, and a SnapChat account among others. I have found that having two Facebook accounts, one for my professional use and another for personal use helps me ensure that I am cautious of my posts. I also have made all of these accounts private and regularly ensure that nothing is visible unless you have specific permission. That being said, living in the USA is now synonymous with “living in a digital world”, my parents who did not have social media accounts until last year, have been on Facebook for many years prior on other people’s posts. It is no longer simply a manner of ensuring that you

That being said, living in the USA is now synonymous with “living in a digital world”, my parents who did not have social media accounts until last year, have been on Facebook for many years prior on other people’s posts. It is no longer simply a manner of ensuring that you only post what you would feel comfortable being “broadcasted on the daily news” but that your behavior, in general, is one that you feel comfortable sharing. Being in education brings that up a notch, as our public image is one that we can never truly escape, everywhere we go we can encounter a student, colleague, parent, or prior students, colleagues, or parents. Because of the wonderful impact we have on

Being in education brings that up a notch, as our public image is one that we can never truly escape, everywhere we go we can encounter a student, colleague, parent, or prior students, colleagues, or parents. Because of the wonderful impact we have on so many lives, we are also in the public eye of so many people, that is something we should remember. Students and everyone around us have a glimpse of our lives, based on our digital footprint.

Artifact Part 2: Digital Footprint Plan

  1. Who is the digital you?: To begin creating a plan to create/ensure a positive professional online presence you must first begin by finding who you are online by “Googling” yourself. This should be done regularly on various different search engines. (Linaker, 2016)
  2. If it’s not nice…nothing at all: “Accentuate the Positive” (Creating, 2015) by avoiding wording that can come across as unreasonable, illogical, or closed minded by avoiding harsh criticism and keeping language positive.
  3. Use it: Creating online lessons such as webquests, video lessons, interactive lessons, etc are the exact type of things you want your signature on online. These online lessons & the sharing of these lessons via networking are the keys to our positive digital footprint as educators and demonstrate our professionalism. (Costa & Torres, 2011)
  4. Build the Brand: “Building a teacher brand can feel like an act of hubris that goes against a core teacher value: humility.” Teachers are known to be selfless givers and “tooting ones own horn” is tough to do for some however if you share what you do online others can benefit and it serves as a form of self reflection which is vital for growth. (EdSurge, 2015)
  5. Find your Tribe: The internet serves many purposes but one of the most powerful is it’s enabling of making connections. Using the internet to join groups for various different purposes being personal or professional has the power to change the world. When forces are joined, change occurs. (Creating, 2015)
  6. Go Old School: A good connection online can take you places, there is no doubt about it. However, there still is something about that face to face connection. Don’t forget to publish your work and then let others put your face to your name by being present at conferences and even taking it a step further by presenting! (EdSurge, 2015)
  7. Evolve: Mother Nature and the internet both do a wonderful job of modeling evolution. Encouraging us to “be a flexible, life-long learner, willing to accept and embrace change, willing to make a mistake and be wrong” (Stansbury, 2011). The internet facilitates and demands that we evolve, we must seek change, growth, and move with the motions if we are to succeed.
  8. Paint the Best Picture: Paint the best picture of yourself, not an inaccurate picture but the best picture. What you want people to see and ultimately judge you by, because this is what will be occuring. Keeping personal information off the internet is best practice, the internet is not a personal journal of self reflection but a record of your life as others will perceive it. (Kuehn, 2010)
  9. Lead: The children of today know not of a time before the internet, before their lives were broadcasted (without their consent and even knowledge), before selfies. Therefore, it is our job to be the example, beign a part of the online world is what we owe to our children, so we can help them navigate the digital world we created for them. (Kuehn, 2010)
  10. Prepare & Plan: Always have a plan for when things don’t go as planned. The internet is the digital world and things never go as planned in the world. Being prepared for criticism, spreading of false informatin, and for the times when “things don’t go as planned”. (Wainwright, 2012)

Standard Connection:

AECT Standard 5.3 Collaborative Practice:In order to write this blog post and conduct this reflection I had to research and ensure that I continuously practice using accepted professional and institutional guidelines and procedures.

References/Resources:

Costa, C., & Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of digital identity in the networked society. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias-ISSN 1646-933X, 47-53.

Creating a positive online presence. (2015). San Diego State University. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/2dsn32P.

How to Build Your Teacher Brand (EdSurge News). (2015, December 23). Retrieved September 26, 2016, from: https://goo.gl/n1E4gO

Kuehn, L. (2010). Manage your digital footprint. Teacher Newsmagazine, 23(3).

Linaker, E. (2016). How to develop a digital presence for professional success. Entrepreneur Middle East.  Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275398.

Stansbury, M. (2011). Five characterisitcs of an effective 21st-century educator. E-School News. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/vvMi1

Wainwright, S. (2012). 5 tips to build an online reputation. Business to community. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/Mju2LP

 

EdTech 543: #Tweet #PD

Standard

Artifact Introduction:

During our third week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to engage in professional development using Twitter by:

  • Explore professional development hashtags that we were interested in following
  • Follow five hashtags by using a Twitter client such as Tweet Deck
  • Share the hashtags we are following & explain three new things we learned by following them
  • Formulate our thoughts  about using Twitter as a form of just-in-time professional development via our blog post

Artifact: 

Upon much exploring and spending countless hours on Twitter & still not being able to narrow it down to five hashtags, I decided to follow:

  • #duallanguage
  • #langchat
  • #TESOL
  • #latinoedu
  • #ipaded
  • #multiliteracy
  • #edtech

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I teach fourth grade dual language (50% curriculum in Spanish & 50% curriculum in Enlish), we don’t have the resources necessary to “reach” all children in this model, therefore, Twitter has provided me with an abundance of resources. The #duallanguage hashtag allowed for me to find some excellent research based articles on dual language including triumphs and doubts. I also learned about a US Dept of Education talk that will occur later this week on multiliteracy & dual language. After exploring the #langchat hashtag I ended up re-writing my plans for the week TWICE. There was so much out there for me to learn to share with my students, for example, I am going to have my kiddos further explore Hispanic Heritage Month (which I am now also following on Twitter), that was a new one that I wasn’t following at the beginning of this post!). I found this super neat activity that is sure to engage my kiddos, let them use technology as a tool to expand their learning, and get the speaking, writing, reading, and using the language.

Based on the extraordinary amount of time I have spent learning and enhancing my educational practice because of the connections Twitter has helped me form, I cannot fully express how wonderful Twitter is as a tool for just-in-time professional development. The ability that it has to allow for conversations world wide, sharing of resources, and communicating ideas/concerns is so powerful. This is a tool that is ivaluable for educators in this day & age, in fact, how did educators ever survive without it? Gracias Twitter!

 

Standard Connection:

AECT Standard 4.1 Collaborative Practice: To create this creative reflection I analyzed COPs, PLNs & the theory of Connectivism & then used the knowledge I gained, to develop a Prezi that accurately portrayed my interpretation of these concepts & their interconnectedness. This helped me develop a deeper understanding of each concept and how they relate to one another.

In order to add to and organize my TweetDeck I needed to explore my resources which inevitably lead to my collaboration & professional development with peers and subject matter experts all over the world to analyze learners, develop and design instruction, and evaluate its impact on learners.

References/Resources:

 

EdTech 543: COPs, PLNs & Connectivism

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Artifact Introduction:

During our second week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to creatively express our understanding of:

  • Communities of Practice
  • Personal Learning Networks
  • Connectivism

This “creative expression”, needed to reflect that we understand that these concepts, while connected, are different. We needed to ensure that we used at least one symbol per concept & visually represent how they are related and connected.

Artifact: Creative Expression via Prezi

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:

This creative expression is a Prezi where I used the building blocks template to facilitate my expression of how I view these concepts. According to Wegner & Snyder (2000) Communities of Practice (COPs) are: “groups of people informally bound together by shared expertise & passion for a joint enterprise, however, people in communities of practice share their experiences & knowledge in free-flowing, creative ways that foster new approaches to problems.” This instantly reminded me of Facebook groups because most of the groups that are created are driven by a “machine” or a “purpose” all participants are there because they share an interest, experiences, or are all there to obtain similar information.

Similarly, Personal Learning Communities (PLNs) are more informal networks of people interacting within their personal learning environments. This reminded me of a traditional Facebook page a person may have where connections are made with Facebook “friends” that are all joined together in more random & serendipitous ways. Yet, many times people go to their traditional Facebook feeds to ask for advice, give advice, and suggestions.

Finally, Connectivism is each set of building blocks, Communities of Practice & Personal Learning Networks, put together to create a large tower of interconnectedness & power. Where “internet technologies have created new opportunities for people to learn and share information across the web and among themselves. (Siemens, 2005)

AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To create this creative reflection I analyzed COPs, PLNs & the theory of Connectivism & then used the knowledge I gained, to develop a Prezi that accurately portrayed my interpretation of these concepts & their interconnectedness. This helped me develop a deeper understanding of each concept and how they relate to one another.

References:

Siemens, G. (2005, January). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. Retrieved from: http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm

Wenger, E. C., & Synder, W. M. (2000, January). Communities of Practice: The Organizational Frontier. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from: www.rareplanet.org/sites/rareplanet.org/files/Communities_of_Practice__The_Organizational_Frontier%5B1%5D.pd

EdTech 543: The Journey Begins

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Artifact Introduction:

During our first week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to conduct a reflection focusing on answering the following questions:

  • What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?
  • What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?
  • What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?
  • What are your expectations for this course?

My reflection and answers to the above questions are found below.

Artifact: (Reflection)

What are your initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course? What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?

I am excited about using these social networks for this course, I am somewhat familiar with Diigo, as we used it in other classes, I just don’t feel like I have discovered it’s full potential. I use FaceBook regularly for my personal use and for professional development. It has probably become one of my regular sources for growth as a professional in the last couple of years. I am part of a group of fourth-grade teachers from around the world and we collaborate, help one another and share resources, it is wonderful! I also follow a lot of education-related sites on FaceBook for a plethora of resources and food for thought. I also have a Twitter account that I don’t use very often for personal use, although every once in a while I will browse and find some hashtags to follow and find great resources or enticing conversations on various educational topics. I feel that social media is THE professional development of the modern teacher. There have been so many occurrences of me learning much more from time on social media (especially when I have have an objective) than in a conference dictated by my district. Don’t get me wrong, my district has some great professional development, BUT nothing beats self-directed, self-motivated learning & that is what social media is in the professional development world.

What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment? What are your expectations for this course?

In the Spring of last year, I came up with a lesson for one of my courses using Social Media, so I have been exposed to social media as an instructional strategy. I decided to use Twitter and created the #KidsPoetweet hashtag (I was pretty proud) of my idea for kids to share their poetry with other children and adults around the world during poetry month (April). This was based on the #Poetweet hashtag that is widespread on Twitter. My students were thrilled to have the opportunity and I invited the teachers I followed on Twitter to follow suite, we didn’t have much success but I encouraged my children to not be discouraged because we had only very recently started using Twitter so we didn’t have access to a wide audience. Even though we didn’t get to read many other students poems, my students were still thrilled when they tweeted their poems. We also had a student post a Tweet (& often an accompanying photo) each day to tell what we had done in class. This provided a fun way for parents to be involved. I would like to really increase my knowledge on how to effectively implement social media as an instructional strategy in the fourth-grade classroom, I believe it has great potential but would like some direct tools, ideas, and guides on how to use it to its full potential. I would also like to learn how to help parents overcome their fear of this tool in the educational environment, as I had some problems with parents not allowing their children to be a part of our Twitter project mentioned above, which was a bummer for their kids.

I am excited to embark upon this adventure and anxious to see how my learning unfolds and impacts my student’s learning.

References: N/A

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:

  • AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To create this reflection I analyzed and interpreted my experiences with social networking as an educator for both professional development and as an instructional strategy. This helped me develop an understanding of my current knowledge and feelings of the subject.

PBL Reflective Blog: Let’s Debrief!

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Post Introduction:

During our final week in Technology-Supported Project-Based Learning, we were to make final changes on our site based on our peer-evaluation feedback.  Finally, we had the opportunity complete a self-evaluation using the BIE rubric on our final project. To debrief our experience in the class we were to answer the following questions:

  • What do you know understand best about Project Based Learning? What do you understand least?
  • What did you expect to learn in this course? What did you actually learn? More, less, and why?
  • What will you do with what you have learned?

PBL Blog:

Project Based Learning-Understanding:

Prior to this class, I had no understanding of what Project-Based Learning really way. I feel that now, after going through the process of creating my own project that I can use in my classroom, I feel like I’ve learned all the parts of the planning process and all of the required elements. In the beginning, I thought a lot of the “steps” were repetitive but after creating my own project, I have come to appreciate why each of the individual parts is essential. I feel like actually teaching a Project-Based Learning unit is what I understand least because I’ve never done it. For example, actually balancing the teaching and student inquiry will be a challenge but I feel that going through this extensive planning process will definitely help!

Project Based Learning-Learning:

I expected to learn about project-based learning and why it was an important method of teaching. However, I learned that and more, I feel that I actually understand and believe why it is an important teaching method because I created my own unit based upon it. I also learned how meeting the standards and accomplishing a lot of outcomes is possible and enriched with projects such as these.

Project Based Learning-Application:

I am very excited to implement my project-based learning unit of Choose Your Own Adventure in my classroom with my fourth-graders this coming school year. I plan on teaching the unit as I prescribed it in my detailed plans, adding materials and resources, and then modifying it as I see fit for the future. I also plan on creating many more units using Project-Based Learning as a guide once I have taught this first one to really get the full picture of what it looks like in action. I am very excited because I feel that my students are going to be immediately engaged and hooked to this new style of teaching/learning.

Reflection of Learning:  This assignment required me to delve into the rubric to assess my own Project-Based Learning project and that of a peer.  I got the experience to analyze another project and see how another person took the same instructions and guidelines and made them their own. This rubric helped me to conduct an in-depth analysis of my own project and the things I needed to change to make it easier to understaNnd and implement. Finally, I synthesized the information I learned to perfect my PBL project.

  • AECT Standard 1 Content Knowledge: Upon creating my Project Based Learning unit site I demonstrated that I have the knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies and processes.
  • AECT Standard 2 Content Pedagogy: Upon creating my Project Based Learning unit site I develop as a reflective practitioner that was able to demonstrate effective implementation of educational technologies and processes based on contemporary content and pedagogy.
  • AECT Standard 4 Professional Knowledge and Skills: While creating my Project Based Learning unit site I designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated sources to create a technology-rich learning environment (unit) within a supportive community of practice.

References: N/A

Ed-Tech 504: Final Reflective Journal

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Artifact Introduction: During our final week in Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology, we were to reflect upon our learning and experiences in this course. Specifically, we were to compose our final reflecting journal-learning log and answer the following questions:

  1. What were the most important things I learned this semester?

  2.  How was my teaching (or thoughts about teaching) impacted by what I learned or experienced this semester?

  3. Did I (or will I) use the projects, skills, or ideas from this course in my teaching, training, or professional practice? If so, how?

  4. Select three of the projects/assignments you created/wrote in this class and read the description of the related AECT standard. Then answer this question: How do these projects/assignments demonstrate my mastery of the AECT standards?

Artifact: 

References: N/A

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: Included within artifact above.

PBL Reflective Blog: Perfect & Reflect

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Post Introduction:

During our fifth week in Technology-Supported Project-Based Learning, we were to perfect our project and reflect on our final project. We also closely analyzed our assessment plans and made any revisions or additions. Finally, we had the opportunity to participate in  informal peer reviews. We were to:

  • Read & review various resources on managing the process
  • Finalize our project & add any new content to our PBL project site.
  • Revise & refine our assessment plan to better reflect any changes we’ve made to our project – especially changes in student outcomes or standards addressed.
  • Use the Project Design Rubric as a guide for providing feedback to the project of one classmate in the discussion forum
  • Reflect on the following questions:
    • Who will you involve in the post-project reflection process?
    • What will the process look like?
    • Is it just a one-time assessment?

PBL Blog:

Post-Project Reflection Process:

BIE describes “debriefing” as the multi-person process will assist you in understanding how you can apply your current project experience to projects you may attempt in the future. I will engage in this post-project reflection process with my grade level team because we teach students of the same population and have similar struggles. I know I can count on them to get an honest evaluation of my work. This will look like them reviewing the project beforehand and suggesting any changes or adjustments that they notice. It may even include ideas on how to improve or modify for our students This is not just a one-time assessment, we will do this continuously throughout the process as inevitably things come up or ideas are developed, especially once the children are involved as they have a say in the project as well. After the project has been completed in the classrooms, we will come together once again. In order for this process to be successful,  I need to graciously receive their suggestions and apply it to my project. This is a continuous reflection and modification as that is how projects are perfected and become unique to ourselves.

 

Reflection of Learning:  This assignment required me to delve into the rubric to assess my own Project-Based Learning project and that of a peer.  I got the experience to analyze another project and see how another person took the same instructions and guidelines and made them their own. This rubric helped me to conduct an indepth analysis of my own project and the things I needed to change to make it easier to understand and implement. Finally, I synthesized the information I learned to perfect my PBL project.

  • AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To further delve into perfecting my project-based learning project and refletion I analyzed and interpreted the rubric and a peer’s project. This helped me enhance my own project to meet both mine & my instructors expectations.

References:

PBL Reflective Blog: Managing the Process

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Post Introduction:

During our fifth week in Technology-Supported Project-Based Learning, we were to further delve into Project-Based Learning and explore managing the process of our project and help us tie loose ends like technology, differentiated instruction, and reflection methods. We were to:

  • Read & review various resources on managing the process
  • Develop our Products and Performances page with information on our Culminating Activity, Assessment for my Culminating Activity, & Reflection Methods
  • Develop our Teaching and Learning Guide with information on Differentiated Instruction & Technology Support
  • Reflect on criticism & rationale for implementing PBL by considering the following questions:
    • What are some potential criticisms that you might receive from administrators, parents, and colleagues?
    • How will you respond to those criticisms?
    • What rationale can you give for incorporating PBL into your repertoire of effective instructional strategies?
  • Reflect on the change in our role of a teacher & the skills of an effective facilitator by considering the following questions:
    • Will my role in the teaching/learning process change?
    • What are the skills of effective facilitation?
    • Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful?
    • What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?

PBL Blog:

Criticism & responses upon implementing PBL:

Upon implementing PBL there may be some push back from administrators and parents concerned with student evaluation. The grading system is different in project based learning because worksheets & traditional evaluation methods (quizzes & tests) are eliminated from the picture. Parents may also be concerned with differentiation. The response from the teacher to this push back could be that students are instead being evaluated based on long-term learning and teacher evaluation is included in summative and formative formats. The teacher could then show the administrator and parents the rubrics and additional evaluation methods in place and assure that the teacher will be facilitating and therefore conducting a lot of interviews and check-ins that could include running records. The teacher could demonstrate how differentiation is included in the planning process to ensure all learner’s needs are being met. Criticism from colleagues could include that students are not “learning” the curriculum and that the teacher is not “working” and “teaching” or addressing the standards because teaching in the PBL world looks very different than in the traditional classroom. The response from the teacher could be to invite colleagues to familiarize themselves with project-based learning and the extensive efforts that go into planning projects to ensure standards are being addressed. The teacher could also educate their colleagues on the role of the teacher in a student directed environment vs a teacher-directed environment and the benefits of letting students explore. Finally, the colleagues class could come see the final presentations (if applicable) to understand the depth of knowledge the students acquire through PBL.

Rational for implementing PBL:

 

Project Based Learning (PBL) changes the role of the educator from one of a teacher to a facilitator, but it also changes the role of the students. In PBL students are much more engaged because they are in the driver seat to learn in practice and applicability through projects with real life connections, not just theory.  Since the classroom environment changes from a rigid format to a more open and flexible learning space, it allows students to feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, solving problems, and finding connections between what they are doing in the classroom and the real world. Project based learning creates an environment where students enjoy learning & that is always the goal of a classroom teacher! 

The teacher’s & student’s role in PBL & effective facilitation:

In Project Based Learning, the role of the teacher moves from one of a vessel of knowledge to that of a facilitator of knowledge. The students role in learning changes from a dictated learning of concepts and regurgitation of information to an inquiry process. In this process, students base their learning on driving questions and often times develop further questions along the process. This teaches students and teachers that learning is a fluid continuous lifelong process. In order for the teacher to be an effective facilitator, they need to a person who:

  • Is a great, detailed and thorough planner
  • Frames the learning effectively by having thorough plans
  • Works on Idea development and sparking student interest & creativity
  • Is constantly scheduling consultation & allowing continuous revision
  • Provides opportunities for self and peer feedback
  • Organizes a presentation for the school or community

If the teacher follows through with their role as a facilitator and ensures that they have planned extensively the entire project and all of the components students will develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful. This is because great care has been taken by the instructor to ensure all of the details, possible hurdles, and extensions have been thoroughly analyzed and preplanned.

Myself as an effective facilitator in this project:

In order for me to become an effective facilitator in my PBL unit, I have already gotten started down the right path by ensuring that I have thoroughly analyzed all aspects of the project and have planned each component extensively. Furthermore, upon teaching, I will need to practice playing the role of a facilitator and not giving students the answers to all of their problems but instead letting them truly learn by using inquiry by posing a question back at them to extend their critical thinking. I will also need to be sure that I’m making myself available as a mentor and guide for their learning by providing opportunities for reflection and revision throughout the project.

Reflection of Learning:  This assignment required me to delve into several articles and websites to develop a thorough understanding of effective implementation of  Project-Based Learning.  I got the experience to analyze several articles with information and opinions on teacher’s roles in PBL. Then I viewed many examples of teachers teaching PBL to be able to conduct an indepth analysis of my own role in my project. Finally, I synthesized the information I learned to decide upon my role as a facilitator of PBL.

  • AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To further delve into effective implementation of project-based learning and identify the role of a facilitator in PBL, I needed to analyze and interpret various examples and reflect on the effectiveness of their design to enhance my own project.

References:

PBL Reflective Blog: Driving Questions

Standard

Post Introduction:

During our third week in Technology-Supported Project-Based Learning, we were to further delve into Project-Based Learning and explore driving questions to help solidify our Project Idea and help us formulate our own driving question. We were to:

  • Decide upon our driving question
  • Develop at least 10 sub-questions
  • Identify characteristics of a quality driving question
  • Explain how our driving question has the characteristics of a quality driving question
  • Describe how an entire unit can be created around our driving question by explaining our list of sub-questions.
  • Reflect on what we’ve learned this week, as we’ve have settled on an idea for our project.
  • Comment on the tools we are using or the resources we have reviewed

PBL Blog:

What are driving questions: Driving questions are the foundation of either a successful or unsuccessful PBL project. There are two different types of questions:

  1. Directed: low-level questions with one correct answer
  2. Open-ended: high-level questions that do not have merely one correct answer.

Driving questions are open-ended questions. According to Edutopia’s article “How to Write a Driving Question”, they serve many functions throughout the PBL project for both students and teachers and help to: 

  • initiate and focus the inquiry
  • capture and communicate the purpose of the project
  • guide planning and reframe standards
  • create interest and a feeling of challenge
  • guide the project work
  • helps students answer the question: “Why are we doing this?”

The driving question must be complex and extremely open-ended because the idea is that in order for students to answer the question they must participate in multiple activities, synthesize information from numerous sources and eventually create a final product that answers that question from their own perspective. Therefore according to the BIE (Buck Institute for Education’s webinar on writing driving questions, some of the essential components of Driving Questions are that it must be:

  • open-ended
  • engaging and intriguing for students
  • aligned with the teacher’s learning goals
  • have a real-world connection *ideally*

Driving question in this PBL project: The driving question that students will explore throughout this Idaho History/ELA PBL project, focused on the relationship between Idaho History & students personal history, is: “What makes people take a risk?“. This driving question is open-ended as it can have multiple correct answers because it is open-ended and taps into student’s lives it is engaging and intriguing for students. This driving questions also aligns directly with the Idaho State standards for Idaho History where students explore migration in Idaho and what risks people took  since students will be interviewing family members it will also have a real-world connection to their own lives. This driving question along with the following sub-questions will facilitate an entire unit:

  • What is an immigrant?
  • What is migration?
  • Why do people all over the world migrate?
  • Who were the first immigrants to come to Idaho?
  • What were the industries and jobs available in Idaho in the past?
  • Why did people come to Idaho in the past?
  • What were the risks people faced when migrating to Idaho in the past?
  • Who are the immigrants coming to Idaho now?
  • What are the industries and jobs available in Idaho now?
  • Why do people come to Idaho now?
  • What are the risks people face when migrating to Idaho now?
  • Why did my ancestors (family) come to Idaho?
  • Why do some people take risks why others choose not to?
  • What is probability?
  • What is the connection between probability and risk taking?

This question &  great driving questions: Students will need to begin this unit by exploring what is an immigrant and what is migration by delving into their textbook and other related short stories and novels. Then students will delve into Idaho History to learn about immigrants that came to Idaho and why they did so. Students will need to fast forward to today’s world and see if the reasons and risks associated with people coming to Idaho have changed. Students will conduct interviews to learn about why their own families came to Idaho and synthesize what they’ve learned with a partner to develop their own stories with the probability of risk.

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to delve into several articles and websites including Edutopia’s article on Driving Questions, a webinar by BIE (Buck Institute of Education) on writing Driving Questions, and the PBL Online tutorial on writing Driving Questions, among others to develop a thorough understanding of Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning.  I got the experience to analyze several articles with information and opinions on writing driving questions. Then I viewed many examples of driving questions to analyze if they were effective or not. Finally, I synthesized the information I learned to decide upon my own driving question and sub-questions.

  • AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To further delve into what role driving questions have in project-based learning and identify necessary features of driving questions, I needed to analyze and interpret various questions and reflect on the effectiveness of their design to enhance my own questions and set of sub-questions.

References: