Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Reflecting on the NETS-Cs (part 4)

This is my final posting about the NETS-Cs and my reflections on how I can best help and support teachers as they integrate technology into their classrooms.  For me I also think that this standard is the most important one on a day to day basis as it deal with teaching, learning and assessments.  I think that if I am able to successfully demonstrate knowledge and skills in these areas, this will have the most impact on student learning.

Teaching, Learning and Assessments:  Technology coaches assist teachers in using technology effectively for assessing student learning, differentiating instruction, and providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning experiences for all students.

Specifically this standard calls for the coaching of teachers in and the modeling of the effective use of technology for the following:

  • Design and implementation of technology enhanced learning experiences addressing standards.  This year I've taken the lead in the new Independent Studies sessions in Grades 3-5 where students are given the time to follow their own passions.  I've tried to model the inquiry cycle and how the ICT in the PYP strands can support this (investigate, organize, collaborate, communicate, create and be responsible digital citizens).  As well as this I've helped out with the media lessons in Grades 1 and 2 and modelled and supported teachers in class and with small groups of students.
  • Use a variety of research-based, learner-centred instructional strategies and assessment tools to address diverse needs and interests of all students.  I think I can do better with this and next year I will definitely be trying to introduce more technology differentiation into the summative assessments for each unit of inquiry.  While some grades have definitely encouraged many different ways for students to express their understanding, others have been more comfortable with all students in the grade using the same tool.  My goal is to increase student voice and choice in their assessments.
  • Engagement of students in local and global interdisciplinary units in which technology helps students assume professional roles, research real-world problems, collaborate with others, and produce products that are meaningful and useful to a wide audience.  When I read this through I put a star beside it because I think out of all the standards this one has the most power to transform learning.  While teachers have worked hard on researching real-world problems, I've worked with a number of grades to try to increase global collaboration, sometimes in collecting data and sometimes in sharing our learning.  I think we have a way to go on this, but we are definitely on the right path.
  • Designing technology-enhanced learning experiences that emphasize creativity, higher-order thinking skills and processes, and mental habits of mind.  Creativity is one of our goals this year.  I think I need to be constantly aware in planning meetings as to how we can use technology to encourage creativity.
  • Implement differentiation including adjusting content, process, product and learning environment.  Reflection:  I need to work more with class teachers but also our student services department on this.  We do use technology such as Google Translate to help our students who are learning English.
  • Incorporate research-based best practices when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences.  I think I do a good job of keeping with with the research and of communicating it to teachers in various ways though I think we should be more intentional about this in our planning.
  • Continuously assess student learning and technology literacy by applying a rich variety of formative and summative assessments.  We discuss assessment at our PYP collaborative planning meetings, but again I feel we could do more to increase the variety of assessments.
  • Systematically collect and analyze student achievement data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning.  Data driven decision making is another of our goals this year and we have involved our students in a number of different assessments that will generate data for us to use.  Apart from giving technical support during the actual testing process (which was all done using a computer), I haven't really been involved much in this and think I definitely need to be more involved next year.
Self-assessing how we are doing as an IT team on implementing the NETS-Cs has certainly been a useful way of reflecting on my evolving role during the first half of the school year.  I'm hoping that I can generate some personal goals from this to help me move forward and support our teachers even more.

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

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