Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My GAME Plan is falling into place

Well, I finally got the updated software installed on my computer. Now all I have to do is learn how to use the SMART Response controllers. I was messing around with them a little bit the other day and from what I was able to do, they seemed to be pretty awesome. The one thing I was a little disappointed with was that the controller program did not have a "math" toolbar. While I was able to do a lot, I was not able to put every type of problem in a question. I guess for the majority of the test I can use the controllers, and for the problems that I can't put into a question on the controllers, I can have the kids answer those on a paper test.

Overall, this technology will really help drive my instruction. We have a couple teacher's in the building who use similar controllers (CPS series) and the kids seem to really enjoy it. If nothing else it will break up the monotony of the day for my kids.

Here's hoping things go well. We have a training next week and then I'm sure it will be difficult to get a set of controllers to use because more people will be interested in using them. I hope I can at least use them once or twice so I know what I can do with them. My Principal said that if there is a good response from teacher's using the controllers, he would try to get every teacher in the building their own set. As awesome as that would be, I have a hard time believing it will happen until I see it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My GAME Plan in Action

As I work toward carrying out my GAME Plan, I realize there are a few things I need in order to make it work. First, some resources I need are the actual SMART Response controllers. Without them, my GAME Plan will be a bust. Second, a training session is something that would allow me to use this system to it’s fullest and third, I need the software to be installed on my computer. That will be the trickiest part because my IT Department has to do that, and I’m sure as we all know … they do thing when they want, not the other way around. It also doesn’t help that the IT Department is so short staffed and in the middle of updating the districts computers (9 elementary schools, 2 junior highs and 1 high school) so I am definitely not a priority. Being able to talk to my colleagues that have all of these things already will be something to keep in the back of my mind when I finally have all the pieces in place.

The additional information I will probably need goes along with a training session or two. Knowing what all this system can do will really help me not only use it to it’s fullest potential, but help me drive my instruction to really focus on the concepts that my kids are struggling with. From what I have seen briefly, it’s an awesome tool. I am a little concerned that I won’t be able to use it with everything I teach however, because I do not think it supports a math toolbar. There are quite a few symbols I use that are not available on a keyboard.

The steps I have take so far to get my GAME Plan underway is begging the IT Department to get the software installed. As soon as that is done (hopefully by weeks end) I can start exploring how it can be used. The other thing I have do is to get a training session set up. That will happen in a couple weeks. I am sure 2 hours won’t be nearly enough to really get into what I can do with this system, but it will be a start.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


My GAME plan

G: The two areas of the NETS-T that I need to work on are “Designing and Developing Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments” and “Modeling Digital-Age Work and Learning.” Since everything is moving towards data collection to drive instruction, designing digital experiences and assessments is a must. SMART Technologies is making this very easy with the use of their SMART Response system. These tools will help to meet the indicators that incorporates digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity and provide students with multiple and varied assessments that combine technology standards. Using the SMART Response system will also help me work on modeling the work and learning for my students. More specifically they will help me communicate relevant information to my students, parents and peers.

A: What I am doing to achieve these goals is trying to use the SMART Response system as much as I can for quizzes and tests. Doing this is not only a different way for my students to take a test, but it will give me immediate feedback and results before my students even leave my classroom.

M: Monitoring will be a little more difficult because of time mostly. I really will not know how well using the SMART Response system will be until I can compare the results to my students next year. The data I collect will help me teach differently on a day to day basis because I will be able to see immediately if I need to spend more time on something, but the true data will come from the comparison from one class to the other.

E: Looking at the difference between classes is one way I will be able to evaluate the use of the SMART Response system. I will also be able to see if my students are really grasping a concept or just guessing on what they think the correct answer is.

National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) located at http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf.