Monday, January 21, 2013

CEP 812 Wicked Problem Project

Part A: Identify a wicked problem of practice 
The description of the need or opportunity should be a written overview of what you plan to address. It should specify:

   * The educational need or opportunity:
As a high school English and journalism teacher, my students do a lot of writing, and there is a constant need for having their drafts available to them. My students need the ability to access their writing even if it is saved on their shared H Drive or for my newspaper students, saved on their N drive. My students often come in with late drafts because they may have forgotten to email a copy of their drafts to themselves or they left their flash drive at home when they needed it at school. I believe it will be important for creating a drive where they can access their material from anywhere. I believe it would be important in such a digitally-driven age for my students to each have a Google drive they can share with me and with their classmates. This would be perfect for having edits completed whether it be for their articles or during the drafting process for their English papers.

   * Your technology-integrated strategy:
I will have each student sign up for Google docs by creating a Google account. This way they can share their document with me and other students. The purpose is not only for access, but I could also then use to engage them in projects that requires them to share work with fellow students. We just recently did a Mash-up project in my honors English 9 class where they needed to be equally involved in the writing of the story that involved characters from all four of the novels we read this semester and also a visual component. If I had had them each sign up they could have been working on their project from the comfort of their homes and not only be able to get together in person when in school but over the computer when at home. 

   * Logistics of a solution:
A solution will be found when students are comfortable sharing their writing/blog/parts of projects with other students and with me. The integration of Google docs and other aspects of the Google drive into their learning will be logistically sound. We will begin by learning to collaborate on one doc they have requested to join and thus begin simply. I can prove the concept of the importance of a share workspace for drafting, working on group projects, and live editing within the Google doc. Although there are limits on who can edit at the same time, present at the same time, etc. the limit will not provide an issue for the cap on my classes is much lower than the collaborator limit.
   * Research which supports your strategies: In terms of those who have already used Google docs in their classrooms, by collaborating with one another in a shared workspace their work is then completely validated because it’s authentic learning, and it’s meaningful. Other teachers have noted the collective working abilities of google docs which is incredibly useful when collaborating with homework, projects, and the editing/drafting process. Also I can have students watch presentations that are published so it remains protected and locked for editing. Although I retain control, they can spend as much time as necessary looking over the presentation. They can do the same with classmates by inviting viewers and not collaborators. Research has also showed the importance of the chat window during a presentation along with the ability to share links and images. Research has indicated that for English teachers, when doing reading response journals (which we often do after silent reading on Wednesdays) they are much more likely to engage in questions when they know I am monitoring their responses at the time they complete them. They can also have a digital conversation instead of a verbal one in the classroom when less children are likely to participate. I believe student participation and students engagement will increase. I also believe it will be more likely students will be able to give appropriate and thoughtful feedback. 

   * A plan based on research for implementation, indicating the portion to be completed during this course and after it is over:
My plan involves having all students create an account and then within the contextual space of each class using it to present information to them, share important documents and have them collaborate with one another in a shared workspace. I can also require students to remark on others‘ presentation either in the chat window or below one’s presentation. The ability to provide feedback will be key. 

   * Indications of a successful project:
I feel like I will know this is successful when we continue to use Google docs as a class, my journalism students use it to edit their articles when outside of the classroom, and when my English students use it during the drafting process and when collaborating on projects. I will know it is successful when they continue to use google docs even when it is not required. I will see its success through their remarks and if they are even more engaged and motivated in using this tool. 

   * Relevant resources and citations: 
"37 Interesting Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom." 37 Interesting Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

"The Paperless Classroom with Google Docs - Apps User Group." The Paperless Classroom with Google Docs - Apps User Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
"Education Technology - Theory and Practice." : Google Docs for Teachers and Classrooms. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

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