I love ideas and I am rarely at a loss for ideas…I often have too many though and I often cannot choose which one I like better… This is no different as I prepare for Course 4 Final Project. I even tried to seek guidance before writing this post by posting to this blog, Instagram and Twitter in an effort to gather thoughts from others. However, I didn’t get any more clarity this way so I am still in the ideation phase. In this post, I will explain and outline the 4 ideas I have and hopefully this process will help me select which idea is best suited for my CoETaIL Final Project! If not, hopefully I will get some insight from you!
In a Perfect World
If I could have my way, I would love to tinker with the ideas I have been synthesizing since I began teaching and which I have spent almost all my efforts endorsing on this blog. Specifically, my hopes to reimagine and redesign education. In a perfect world, I would facilitate a club or after school learning session where I was able to embrace some of the pedagogical theories that I believe so deeply. I would love to facilitate a self-organized, student-led, and inquiry-based learning environment where students could harness their own interests and develop a love of learning, build creativity, channel innovation and problem solve critically.
However, in reality, I am a technology integration coach who does not work with students in the same way a homeroom teacher would. Plus, my after school hours are so consumed with other projects such as TEDEd Club and #ThisIsMySchool which I describe in more detail below. For these practical reasons, my dream to really tinker with this type of teaching and learning environment will have to wait.
Now, onto some projects that I can actually accomplish. Here is a graphic that I made to outline the 4 ideas I have for this project!
Tech Coach Effectiveness
To be honest, this was the idea I thought I would be running with since I began course 4, however, I have some reservations about the idea now that is making it hard to decide.
Firstly, my thought to measure the effectiveness of technology integration began because I have changed the format of technology integration in the ES at my school and I was curious to try and see if it is, or perhaps, isn’t working. This year more than any since I have become a technology integration specialist, I have been taking on more of a coaching role and if you read anything about coaching, student achievement is the number one purpose of the whole process. I wanted to see if the work I was doing with teachers was not only assisting them to create teacher technology rich environments but also enabling or supporting these teachers to create technology rich learning environments for their students as well.
Now that I think about it more deeply, the part of the idea that I am a little nervous about is how I gather the data. What questions can I ask teachers in order to get authentic responses? How can I measure student technology use as a tech coach? Specifically, how can I measure their access, use and application of learning with technology as related to work I might have done with teachers? I have come to think that these questions are becoming potentially personal and subjective. I wonder whether the teachers will give me honest feedback. I wonder if I can accept the feedback? I wonder if they will think that I am trying to take all the credit for the tech integration in their class? I wonder if once I gather the data, whether it will be uncomfortable writing about my work with my colleagues as a potential audience. I know I mentioned that coaching is supposed to be student-centered but I am having a harder time measuring student use of technology as a result of my coaching. I want to keep it objective but I am not sure how this might be done…Thoughts?
TEDEd Club and TEDx
The next idea I have is to use my role as a facilitator of our ES TEDEd Club as a potential platform for CoETaIL course 5 Final Project. Our school has been accepted to organize a TEDx event and so our participation in TEDEd Clubs is working towards this end goal. TEDEd Club and our TEDx will provide ample opportunities to create a 21st century learning environment where students can develop their intrinsic motivation as they discover a topic they are passionate about. It will work well to integrate technology throughout the entire process as they will be able to access, synthesize, create and share their idea worth spreading. This idea will focus on the ways that I can create a learning environment that allows students to become passionate about a topic and work through the process of honing in on their idea and sharing it with a larger community.
#ThisIsMySchool is the next big K-12 project that I have designed. It is modeled on all the Lip Dubs I have done over the years. I found that the Lip Dubs, however amazing and exhilarating, didn’t showcase all of the talent and learning that happen at our school. I have launched a video to enlist and gather representatives from every grade level to showcase our school with little 10-30 second vignettes. We are looking for athletics, academics, singing, dancing, acting or otherwise to show the variety of things we have going on at our school. Once we gather all the submissions, they will be plotted long a route and work towards presenting them all in one consecutive shot! See the #ThisIsMySchool launch video below:
Update the Eagle News Network Broadcasts
I have been so successful bringing my idea of Anything TV to our entire elementary school via the Eagle News Network broadcasts. Take a look at this playlist to see the ENN’s from this year. I stated in this blog before, “in my role as the iLearning Integrationist, these ENN’s have become the exemplar for the Broadcasting workflow. This is one of the handful of workflows that I have outlined to both staff and students as a go-to option to showcase learning and present digital stories to their school and global communities.”
This year, I have found that students have been doing better and better with the ENN’s as they have seen more and more of them and I have circulated to almost every one of them at least 1 time. However, I still wonder if more can be done. We are often limited in time because these are meant to be weekly news and updates for the school so students usually only get 2-3 days to work on it. Teachers too often feel stressed on the week they get the ENN because it takes time from every day curriculum. Sometimes too because we are constrained by time, the experience in script writing, filming, editing and making the ENN is cut a little too short. My idea for this project would be to redesign the ENN’s in an effort to explicitly teach the technological skills and the communication skills in a project-based format. I would seek ways to improve this process both for effective communication and for student learning.
So what’s next?
I am at a loss for which idea to invest my time in. As I write them all down here, I am tempted by each and every one! There are pros and cons for each. TEDEd Club and TEDx and ENN’s are very student-centric whereas Tech Coaching Effectiveness and #ThisIsMySchool are more subjective and personal. Some excel at meeting the 21st century skills and criteria of this project while others are unique in the way they address some of the pedagogies shared in CoETaIL. What do you think? Any idea seem more valid or lucrative than another? Thanks for your time, consideration and comments!