Sunday, March 3, 2013

WPP Part D: Findings and Implications_CEP 812

Formatively, the project did get implemented and used as planned. I very much enjoyed the idea of online bell work and it was a relativelysimple way to get kids accustomed to using Google docs. As I said in Part C, there were some annoyances in terms of there being too many google docs to keep track of. I was able to, at the end of the Julius Caesar unit see all of their responses--all kids, as I checked them in on Friday, did a great job copying the question and their response in order by date. They were all in the same place, and onyl a few kids missed some of the questions. Their answers were much more thoughtful than the in-class/written responses had been in the past few years. I really enjoyed the process and kids thought it was very cool that everyone got to see their answers. This way, even though it was anonymous, they knew the whole class would be seeing their answer the next day, and they wanted to be one of the answers we discussed.

Summatively, I can gauge kids' success when addressing the problem of practice by their ability to easily follow the plan. Every night there would be a question that related to the reading in some way or another and it was their job to write an anonymous response, but then to also post to their own individual google doc that is shared with me. I had certain requirements in terms of length or examples. They could also edit down their response if the answer was too personal when posting to the class' Doc.

Given what I have learned throughout this process, I would approach another project of this type differently in that I would have only one Google Doc, meaning they would have to write their name/initials next to their response. It was just too difficult as there were then about 58 individual Google docs I had to check at the end of the unit that were shared with me. I think it may be easier to not have the anonymity, but still maintain the process.

Lessons learned that others might benefit from knowing about are concerning the annoyance of requiring individual Google docs, and I also may engage a new requirement in terms of having kids have to comment on at least ONE other student's response. Perhaps they would have to do this the next day after all responses are entered.

I will most likely endeavor to do the same project again. I will change it perhaps in what I said above-I will get rid of the individual doc requirement, and make sure they label their name next to their post. This will save me some headaches. There could always be a day where I tell them not to put their name next to their response if it is a personal question. I can play it by ear.

Some conclusions and recommendations I can make to others after going through the process of addressing a "wicked problem" are to have kids respond to the use of Google docs. I had them evaluate the process, so that I could see if they liked the idea of sharing their bell works and with using this web-based program instead of paper and pencil. I also had them evaluate whether they would start to use Google docs in the future with other assignments/drafts of essays/etc.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

WPP Part C: Implementation_CEP812

WPP Part C-Implementation:
            In terms of my implementation plan of utilizing Google Docs in my classroom I have had a lot of good surprises. A lot of kids already knew how to use Google Docs and were aware with most of its features. Things have gone surprisingly well. We moved to a completely web-based form of bell work so far (we’ve had sort of a packed unit with Julius Caesar/snow days/mid-winter break last week), but basically instead of coming in and doing their bell work first thing, they are doing it online/at home and typing their response. I have shared a Google Doc for Bell Work with them (we still call it Bell Work J) and each day I type in the entry they will answer that night. It’s been a bit more thoughtful considering there’s no rush and they know only I know what they, specifically, wrote. They’re excited each day to see what I will post when I put all of the responses onto the screen using the projector. As of right now they are not leaving their initials next to their post. What they are doing is kind of cool and easy for them. They are then creating their own Google doc that is only shared with me and I can simply see all of their individual answers. They just copy and paste into the class Google doc. Some kids will volunteer answers, but most of the time they get to comment without fear of sharing, which goes along with that whole idea of back channeling and giving a voice to those who don’t normally vocalize theirs. Surprisingly enough, based on a survey I had them complete, they find this process much more compelling and interesting (although it does sometimes take longer when sharing). My plan, moving forward with Google Docs, is to have them each, at the end of the Julius Caesar unit, share their Google doc’d Julius Caesar Persuasive ACT-style essay  with me since they now all have my gmail email. Below is a screenshot of their responses to a Bell Work question.

            In terms of unexpected bumps, there haven’t been too many. The kids who do not have computers/internet at home have been able to get to the LMC before leaving school, or they can use another lab’s computer to complete the assignment so they don’t have to worry. The other “bump” is the annoyance of having to check so many Docs (I have 58 sophomores). It’s a lot to keep track of, but as of right now, I’m managing—especially since I don’t have to check their individual bell work documents until the end of the unit. It also gives them time to go back and make up any they didn’t do. In terms of revision, I’m thinking I would make them put their initials and I would start asking them to comment on at least one other person’s post. That way I don’t have to check through 58 separate Google Docs.
            With delights, I have generally been delighted with the use of it. I think, especially with the Caesar essay coming up promptly, they will have no excuses when they say they haven’t completed drafts because having it shared with me I can provide feedback as they’re going through the writing process. I think I touched on my delights with the surprises.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mobile Learning Lab_812

I spent some time exploring Classroom 2.0 and liked the various features (webinars, recordings, etc.) that are available for educators. I added it to my RSS feed, and I'm looking forward to reading more posts when I have some extra time. Below is the screenshot of a post regarding iPad use in the classroom. Our building just got iPads for each teacher (1 per teacher) and we will be getting WiFi sometime in the near future (fingers crossed). 

Additionally, with exploring the various roles mobile learning can have in the classroom, I created an initial survey question that I normally use along with other related reading questions on a written survey for all of my students to help me get to know them as a reader. The focus of all the questions will be on reading. What I like about this particular website is that there are many ways to poll students. For instance, it can be an online website, polled via text messages, embedded into a Prezi, etc. I have attached a screenshot of what the "text message" poll looks like.

I was first told about text message polling through a colleague at MSU who tried it for one of her case studies. She did say that it was a bit time consuming to get permission from the principal and from parents (in regards to text messaging rates), but thought it was well worth it. This was two years ago, and most Acceptable Use Policies have been modified since then to accommodate for mobile technology in the classroom. I know that the high school where I teach plans to modify our AUP for this fall. I think using text messaging polls/surveys can be beneficial for gathering inventory on students for particular purposes (i.e. opinions about reading) or for short answer questions. For instance, I could see this being a great "quick quiz" tool for grammar or vocabulary. Prior to using this in my class though, I will have to get permission from my principal, check the new AUP, and okay it through parents. I'll also have to have alternatives for those students who may not have text messaging capabilities or a cell phone. Most of my students would be able to partake in this kind of survey/poll as most have smartphones, if not iPhones, and are very capable of doing all things technology. We are also right now in the stages of having green-red-yellow light classrooms in terms of cell phone and other technology usage varying by teacher/classroom. Overall, I really liked Poll Everywhere over other websites I have used because it offers a variety of choices to educators, as mentioned above, and I look forward to introducing it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Data Visualization_CEP 812

For this lab, I visited Karl Gude's Wiki: and spent some time interacting with different visualization tools. At first it was overwhelming with all the different categories to click on to visit. As I started thinking about some things I want to improve on in my classroom, it became easier to narrow down what I might actually use. One tool I already use and love is Diigo. After seeing it on the list I realized it would be equally beneficial for my students. We do a big research assignment in each grad level to work on incorporating research into their writing and having a Diigo would be a great way for students to keep track of their resources. They wouldn't have to copy them down or email them to themselves, they could bookmark it and log-in from anywhere to work on their project. I really think some of my students would love this tool. 

I also checked out Bubbl which is allows students to make a bubble chart. I liked it for something like brainstorming, where students could take an idea and break it down into smaller parts. It would also work well for something like a character map where students could make a family tree or just explore characteristics of a character. I also checked out Animoto, which is a place where students can turn photos and music into videos. I often have students use MovieMaker tocreate videos based on their "Where I am From" poems. When they use MovieMaker they have to work from one computer or transfer their workaround. If they use Animoto, they can work from anywhere and access the project online. All of the tools I played around with would make a promising addition to my students. I finally decided on Glogster because I could make an interactive assignment for my students and also give them an example so they could later create their own Glogster. One of the units we do in Honors English 9. We discuss a lot about the impacts of technology on our society, schools, etc. and we also read and discuss a lot about advertising and product placement and its implications. There is a lot of reading of articles with annotation, note taking, reflection and responses, and it can get a bit tedious and redundant, so I decided for this exact reason a Glogster would be perfect. It was fairly easy to use and put together. It took me awhile to get a hang of the features, but once I did it was fun to put together. This represents visual representations of the articles they will read prior to looking at examples of product placement to help them more clearly understand what it is and what its implications are in terms of advertising and our society. Certain "ah-ha" moments came when I was searching more videos to place on the Glogster. There were so many excellent examples both satiric/overt and covert. They will have a lot of fun watching these and incorporating references into their response to the articles they've read. This will also contribute well to our follow-up discussion.

Product Placement Video Assignment for my Honors 9 English students during their Non-fiction Media Unit.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flipped PD_CEP812

Our group's final Flipped PD presentation deals with the use of Google docs in the classroom. It depicts for teachers basic and advanced functions. Before the PD day we may ask teachers to fill out the following Pre-Presentation Survey so we can gauge where they are in terms of their Google Docs knowledge. Just as it's always important to know your students, in this way we will know how much knowledge they have before we get to the PD day. They will then use our instructional video to begin reviewing or learning the functions and purposes of Google docs. The PD's agenda would then be about reviewing those concepts and discussing uses within the classroom. While they watch the Final Flipped PD Presentation they will have the opportunity to practice skills as they go. As it tells them to there will be moments for them to pause and try what is being asked of them. Each teacher will be able to assess their learning while providing feedback to the PD instructors using this Google Docs Feedback Form so we can see if they have any questions as they're working or any challenges they are facing and then they can be addressed during the PD session. The PD time will then be for answering any and all of their questions. They can then breakout within departments for work time and brainstorm time for how these tools can be used in the classroom. Each department's goal should be to create a workable/usable Google doc that can be immediately implemented in their classroom. The next step will be to have teachers take a Post-Presentation Exit Survey so we can see what needs to be improved upon for next time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

CEP 812_Mullins_WPP Part B REDO

            The problem is that students do not have a place that they can share simultaneously with other students on the web that is safe and secure, and they do not have a place that they can always access whether they are home, away, at school, or on their phones. This is where Google docs comes in. The following podcast will revolve around TPACK and the associated innovative ideas teachers can use when incorporating Google Docs into their classroom.