Carrying Out My GAME Plan
After reading and listening to this week’s resources about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), it is clear that there are a great deal of tools and resources available to teachers in order to reach all students in the classroom (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009). Just to refresh my colleagues, my GAME plan is focusing on increasing project-based learning through the use of technology and increasing parent communication and involvement through the use of technology.
In order to carry out my GAME plan, I will need a great deal of resources, many of which are already at my disposal and the disposal of my students. For my first goal of increasing project-based learning, I have almost everything I need for resources because my students each have their own laptops for 1:1 classroom learning capabilities. In the budget project example I gave in my last post, students are now able to communicate with experts and conduct research to find out how much they could expect to pay for items such as rent, food, clothing, insurance, and daycare. The only information I need is more research and development from continued inquiry and dialogue with colleagues at work and in my Walden community. As mentioned before, I am already involved in an authentic and realistic project with my students and I have several other “real-world” projects in the work such as a stock market project that involves students buying and selling stock on a virtual stock market site.
The second part of my GAME plan involved increasing parent and student communication using technology. Again, students have many of the resources they need to help carry this plan forward, especially through the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) that my district now has. For parent side of communicating with technology, I would like to have more training and dialogue with other educators about how they communicate with parents through digital mediums. I do have a Facebook page and email for just school but not all parents have those available. After some informal conversations with colleagues, the suggestion of Edmodo was given as another means of communicating with students and parents. I am going to continue to pursue more ways of connecting with parents using technology and I feel I have made some progress as I get more additions to Facebook and I do still get emails from parents. However, I feel I have a long way to go even though I have taken steps to dialogue with parents as much as possible.
One question I have for my Walden colleagues: Some of my students and parents do not have wireless internet at their house. How do I maintain communication with them using technology? In this case, I have resorted to phone calls but are there some other ways I can communicate using the latest technology? I have thought about using data and texting through cell phones but that would mean giving out my cell phone number freely. My phone number will not work on Google Voice. I feel like I am on the right track but I wanted to see if there were any suggestions that I may be missing or forgetting.