My goal during my next teaching year is to learn about and use online tools that I’ve never heard of or have rarely used. I would like to become proficient in two technologies that my school district is using.
- Create a list and learn how to use online tools that are successfully used in the classroom.
- Impact on Learning – My hope is that using these tools will better engage students in their own learning and then allow them to use these tools in other areas of their life as well as in other classes.
- I would also like to become proficient in the use of Moodle and Google Apps For Education (GAFE).
- Impact on Learning (Moodle) – Learning all the features found in Moodle will allow me to be a better educator. My school district uses this Learning Management System (LMS) for the delivery of their online courses. If I ever get my own class using this LMS, the students learning would be greatly impacted if I came in only knowing what I know now. This system allows students to work at their own pace and revisit lessons at their will. There are many other great features in Moodle, like a messaging system, that enhance learning
- Impact on Learning (GAFE) – Google and the apps associated with it are very popular and widely used by students, parents and educators. As time goes, I believe that the number of regular users will increase and I’m glad to see that our district sees this and is moving in the direction of adopting them into their technology plan. I think that using apps that are popular will better engage students and allow them to be more productive while at the same time producing quality work that demonstrates their learning. The portability, availability, instantaneity and cost of using GAFE is a huge advantage to all users going forward.
Formal and Informal Learning to Achieve Objectives
- Enrolling at TRU to complete a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning is my first step to achieving Objective 1. My hope is that during my time in this program I will be exposed to and learn of many useful online tools. From what I’ve encountered so far, I think this objective will be met. Then in my own personal time, I can explore these tools in more detail.
- During my time as a teacher on call (TOC) and in my role as a supporting teacher for our district’s online school, I’ve had the opportunity to use Moodle. My use has been limited, but as time goes by I am getting better with the features offered. I will continue to do this as a TOC. I am also enrolling in a Moodle certification course that starts near the end of June. The organization that I’m taking this course through offers many other Moodle certification courses and in the future I may take more of them if the need arises. I also recently participated in Pro-D day that showed me how to set up a class in Moodle using courses from the BC Learning Network (BCLN).
- GAFE offers online training and certification for the use of their applications. I will be using my personal time as well as any self-directed Pro-D days to get myself certified. I would like to be fully certified within a year when my courses at TRU are completed.
Community Members Involved in My Plan
The following people will be involved in my plan:
- Staff and students involved with TRU’s Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning.
- Teachers working at our district’s online school. These people are especially knowledgeable with Moodle and have had practice with GAFE as well as other online tools.
- Other teacher in our school district who are using GAFE or have successfully used other online tools in their classroom. My 10 years plus TOC experience has allowed me to form many relationships with teacher in all the schools in our district. I feel comfortable approaching them and tapping into their knowledge whenever the need arises.
- Members of the educational blogosphere that I come across along the way.
Indicators to Evaluate Impact on Learning
I think the best way to evaluate how these technologies impact learning is to try them and see students respond. Monitor their quality of work and take any feedback I get from them. One way to ensure feedback is to require a reflection on their learning after they have used these technologies. I also think that listening to teachers who have used these technologies and can give their own evaluation on how it has impacted their students could minimize the hurdles along the way. I am very open to suggestions anyone may have in the indicators used to evaluate the impact these technologies have on learning.