Determining how to best use technology in the classroom is a problem that can be more challenging than someone might expect. At the beginning of the course, we set goals for our growth and technology use, and then worked through the course to achieve our goals. Our learning through the course supported our goals work, and we were able to take our weekly classwork and apply it directly to our classrooms. At the beginning of the course, I felt I had a reasonable proficiency with technology and I wasn’t sure how much I was going to be able to learn. However, as I worked through the course I realized just how much I had to learn. This learning can be seen in my weekly blogs.

My reflection on my growth as related to my goals is below:

- My digital citizenship goal was, “I am going to intentionally teach students appropriate digital communication skills and appropriate usage of resources found on the internet. I will do this by providing 3 10 minute lessons on appropriate usage of digital content by December 2014.” I met this goal moderately. I found it incredibly difficult to present lessons of any length not directly related to the content, so instead, I chose to teach this while embedding it into assignments. In my Foundations for Calculus class, we had these conversations when they worked on their problem solving PowerPoint presentations and Law of Sines and Cosines problem assignments. As I introduced these assignments, I reminded students of appropriate use of materials, and as I worked with individual students working on these projects, I reminded them of appropriate usage, and how to give credit for work that was not their own. This class is predominately seniors, and many just needed a reminder that the rules that apply in English and history classes still apply in mathematics. For my Algebra 1 classes, I accomplished this by introducing the concept of an infographic by having the students read and explore three different infographics all related to digital citizenship. Students really responded well to this introduction. As with my Foundations for Calculus class, I also worked with students individually as they worked to create their infographics.
- My collaboration goal was, “ Create 1 Haiku Wiki assignment for students to complete by December 2014.” I met this goal, but I used a discussion board instead of a wiki because I felt it worked better for the assignments. Students created presentations or problems, and then posted them to a class discussion board, where they responded to their peers work in a specific way.
- My communication goal was, “Find at least 3 resources for each new unit that I can post to Haiku that will help parents and students understand the concept and connections to other units and real world situations.” I was able to accomplish this goal for Unit 4 in Algebra 1, which was the only full unit I taught since the setting of my growth goals. I will continue to do this as I got great feedback on it from students, colleagues and families.
- My presentation goal was, “Create an assignment where students create 1 infographic related to Unit 4 Algebra 1 material by December 2014.” This was a success. My Algebra 1 students really went above and beyond in the creation of their infographics, and I feel that they understand the way a function can be modeled in the real world so much more than in previous years.
- For professional growth, I had two goals:

- Participate in one twitter chat related to secondary math education by the end of first semester.
- Present information about one technology tool to my department by the end of the year.

- I really tried to participate in a twitter chat, but unfortunately, nobody chatted on the day I tried! I will be doing more research in finding another twitter chat related to secondary math teaching and I will prevail! I have not yet presented a tool to our entire department, but I have shared many resources with the department members who are on the same content team as I am. I will continue to do this, and will be presenting to the entire department before the end of the year.

I worked hard to find technology projects that would extend the teaching I was already going to do. I wanted to make the assignments authentic and not to just add technology. I also wanted to find ways that I could make my life as a teacher easier by using the technology. To achieve that, I focused on picking goals that would help my students learn more by adding technology. The infographics that I used really allowed students to master the concept of a function that models a real world situation. The problem solving PowerPoint assignment was an extension of the normal problem solving process that we use in class, and it allowed the students to use technology to communicate their results in a different way. I chose to do this because in the future, those students will have to be able to communicate using technology in the workplace on a daily basis. As far as my professional growth goal, I just was not able to figure out what to do with a twitter chat. I think if I had found a chat that was more “chatty”, it would have been easier to do, but since nobody appeared to be chatting, there didn’t appear to be a moderator, and there was nothing for me to say, I wasn’t able to participate.

I really don’t like not being able to complete a goal, so I am committed to figuring out a twitter chat. I will do some more research to try to find a chat that is active and related to my content, and I will participate. Additionally, I am going to try to find more ways to integrate technology in a way to make the abstract concepts in Algebra and Calculus more concrete. I’d like to find ways to use technology to investigate future concepts. Overall, and on a broad scale, I am committed to working to add one technology activity per unit to each class this year. Next year, I’d like to do the same thing. By doing this for a few years, I should have a good mix of learning techniques, and I can continue to work on making the projects and activities applicable and authentic. I anticipate being able to gather some ideas for those activities from twitter chats, once I can figure them out.

I feel my role as a teacher leader with technology is two-fold. First, I think my role is to continue to explore and try new technology. Trying technology can sometimes work really well, and other times, be a complete disaster, but you will never find new tools until you try to see how they work in your classroom, with your students, and with you facilitating the activity. Second, my role is to share what I learn and experience with my colleagues both in my department and as a school. Technology can be scary for teachers to try, and I have found that teachers are much more willing to try new things if it comes from a colleague who says it’s valuable. As I continue to experiment and share my results with my colleagues, I hope that they start to feel comfortable exploring and trying out new technology on their own. I feel that is the mark of a good leader; someone who can show and guide others, and also inspire confidence in others to try new things.

Some additional artifacts are:

Tech Final Presentation – Ewart

Sources:

Gallagher, K. (2014, April 27). How Real Kids Create Real Infographics. Retrieved

November 4, 2014, from

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-04-27-how-real-kids-create-real-

infographics

Manners Matter Infographic. (2014). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from

http://www.knowthenet.org.uk/infographic/be-careful

trolling-can-happen-anyone

Tolisano, S. (2011, September 6). Creating Infographics with Students. Retrieved

November 4, 2014, from

http://langwitches.org/blog/2011/09/06/creating-infographics-with-students/

Wong, D. (2013, February 26). 5 Inforgraphics to Teach You How to Easily Create

Infographics in PowerPoint. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34223/5-Infographics-to-Teach-You

How-to-Easily-Create-Infographics-in-PowerPoint-TEMPLATES.aspx