How was your holiday weekend? Did you do something fun? I hope you are not overwhelmed by papers that you need to write and read like me…I need to apologize that I didn’t finish reading all your e-portfolios yet and even haven’t started reading your reflections. I found a bad “emergency” that I need to deal with and I am still working on it…Please give me a few more days and I will try to finish reading everything asap. Thanks!
WHAT ARE YOU TEACHING?
I have mentioned in our first class that you need to think about a grade level and a subject that you want to work on for the projects during this semester. Hope you all have that in mind now. You need to work on the content by yourself, no matter it is science, math, social studies, literacy, music or PE. Today, we are going to talk about the “what” in a more general and broad way. Before we move on, I want you to take one minute to fill out a form in which you will let your classmates and me know what your choices are about content area and grade level. In this way, maybe you can figure out who you can work with for some future projects.
When you are a teacher, you have already chosen a major that you want to work on. It can be math, science, social studies, language arts, music or PE. You are the professional in that field. And you also learn how to teach children. You learn how to do class management and assessment. Then we think about today’s kids, we say, as a teacher, we’d better learn how to use technology as well. A model called TPACK (or TPCK) is proposed to understand a teacher’s preparation for his/ her instruction. Let’s watch this short clip to get the basic idea about TPACK.
Now, do you understand what TPACK means? Let’s take a look at this Presentation.
If you are interested in knowing more about TPACK, you can find more detailed introduction on Dr. Matthew Koehler’s TPACK website.
To me, TPACK is not a difficult concept. However, how to apply it in the educational setting is an art. Learning something abstract is always difficult. In Chinese, we have a saying that it is like you are talking about martial arts on the paper. A coach can’t always use simulation or imagination to teach his players to play a good game. Therefore, let’s take a look at how some teachers put TPACK into practice. This video introduces five projects, so we are not going to watch the complete episode. We will watch the project done by my classmate. He is such a wonderful teacher! Then if you are interested in how other teachers use technology in their content area, you can grab some finger food and enjoy the video in your cozy apartment.
I also want to introduce you a matrix created by University of South Florida. The matrix will actually be very helpful for you when you are designing some learning activities or projects this semester, because it covers the major themes that we are going to talk about.
As teachers, we don’t really choose what we are going to teach. This is mandated at the local, state, and national levels. In the state of Georgia, curriculum standards are called “Georgia Performance Standards” and they are written for every grade level K-12 and most subject areas.
You can view the Georgia Performance Standards, or GPS, by clicking on the link in the right navigation bar on this blog or go to: http://www.georgiastandards.org . Click on the Georgia Performance Standards tab and then select your subject and grade level. If you don’t see your subject area listed (subjects such as health, family and consumer science, character education, and a few others) you can click on the link right below the Georgia Performance Standards tab to view the QCC standards – the predecessor to the GPS (not all subjects have made the conversion yet). If you’re interested in Mathematics or English/Language Arts, you might refer to the Common Core Standards. Here are some possible standards to use if you are interested in speech therapy and special education.
It’s time to decide your focus for the rest of the semester. What grade/subject do you want to teach? View the GPS (or QCC) for that grade and subject. Send me an email if you’re having trouble choosing something or can’t find what you are looking for: email@example.com
It’s not just content standards that need to be addressed while teaching. There are national educational technology standards (NETS) for K-12. In my opinion, these standards focus on good teaching and learning – not simply on technology use. Your text is based on these national standards and contains a chapter that addresses the first four standards (we’ll talk about 5 and 6 all semester):
- Creativity and Innovation
- Communication and Collaboration
- Research and Information Fluency
- Critical thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
- Digital Citizenship
- Technology Operations and Concepts
Except for these standards, there is another one that I like to use a lot. The organization is called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. What they try to focus is also what we focus in EDIT 2000. You can find some resources on their website.
- Relax and catch up with what you have missed in this classroom.
- Read the resources in the Teacher Boot Camp website. We will talk about this next week.
MUST (By FRIDAY, Jan.25)
- Your 4th reflection on digital generation is due this Friday. Read the four articles listed above and answer the following questions.
- Do you see yourself as a digital native or a digital immigrant? Why?
- How does the idea of a digital generation impact your potential to meet the needs of your future students?
- How do you think about the problems raised by this kind of divide?