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.


  1. Many school district IT departments are short-staffed and it takes time to get things done. Do you need them to install the software because of an authorization issue? Installing software is fairly simple to do yourself and we are fortunate enough that our district allows us to do that. It seems like your IT department could get more done if they allowed teachers, or at least one person in each school, to install software. They could then use their time to solve more difficult technical issues.

  2. Tiffany,

    You have picked a great piece of technology to use for your GAME plan. The SMART Response controllers are so awesome to use just as a review or even as an assessment. I just got my own set this year and I use them at least twice a week if not more. My students are always coming into the classroom asking if we are using the clickers today. It is very interactive for the students and instant feedback for us teachers. I definitely think going through training is an excellent idea. There is so much that you can do with the clickers. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me. Trying new technology can be overwhelming but very rewarding :)

  3. I think that it is a great tool the SMART response clickers. It is awesome to be able to get instant feedback on what the students have and what they still need more clarification with. The thing with the shortage of technology staff is true for a lot of districts. I have been able to use the clickers in my class and the students ask every day if we are going to be using the clickers and it is great to see their faces when they get a good grade on an assignment. They feel as thought they have accomplished something.

  4. Susanna,

    Our IT Department does not allow us to do anything. Apparently we can not be trusted :-)

    Emily and Desiree,

    I can not wait to get going with using the controllers. I am so glad we are all incorporating these into our plans.


  5. Tiffany - I'm sure the IT department has what it considers valid reasons, but they are doing themselves and teachers a great disservice. You may consider recommending that each school has at least one person who can be "trusted" to take care of these less-complicated tasks. Of course, you may also then be volunteered to become that person!

  6. I have found that as well susanna. It seems when ever you express an aptitude in a particular area you become nominated to be the new trainer. One thing that I do to circumnavigate the IT department beurononsence is just plain face to face persistence. I find it is harder for them to ignore you when you stop in two to three times per week.

  7. Tiffany,

    You said, "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."

    I don't know about SMART boards, but the Promethean Board I have in my classroom is a great resource even for math. The software developers for Promethean Boards offer a wealth of resources on their web site. The program is pre-loaded with basic math tools such as rulers, protractors and calculators. But you can also download additional tools from their web site. I have done this with my music classes as music symbols are not on a regular keypad either. I'm sure SMART Boards have similar capabilities. That might be a place to start some of your research while you wait for your IT department.

  8. Tiffany,

    In your GAME plan you mention using SMART controllers and I was wondering if these are similar to the Turning Point response systems. I know there are a few different response systems available now. I have a Mimio board and have received very little training and I know that I am not using it to it fullest potential in my classroom. There are so many applications and so many ways to integrate it into my lessons but I either can't figure it out on my own or have trouble finding the time to set up the lessons. Also the Mimio Boards work with SMART software and therefore was wondering if the SMART response systems may also work with the Mimio Board. In order to complete my GAME plan, I also need much more training. I love that I have available technology but need some direction in how to implement it effectively.