I am a lifelong learner. I am driven by self-motivation to do what I need to do to master the many uses of my camera, cell phone and Facebook account. Self-directed learning is driven by one’s own desire and actions to learn something new. Self-directed learning can be divided into four steps called the GAME plan. The “G” stands for set goals, the “A” for take action to meet the goal, “M” for monitor progress towards the goal and “E” for evaluate if the goals were achieved and extend the learning (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009). As an educator and lifelong learner, I am making a GAME plan to self-direct my learning towards integrating more technology into my content area with more confidence and proficiency.
I have chosen for my goal to strengthen two of the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S). The two standards are to use technology to provide thinking that is more critical and problem solving in addition to providing more opportunities for my students to demonstrate creativity and innovation using technology (National Education Standards for Teachers, 2009). I understand the content knowledge and I understand the uses of technology. My challenge that I would like to overcome is how to integrate the two areas together. When I meet this goal, my students will be able to self-direct their learning while they solve a problem of interest to them and create a digital product that displays their learning process. These skills will teach my students how to be critical thinkers of information and apply what they have mastered. These skills will help prepare my students for jobs of the 21st century.
I will take action to master this goal. I need to know more about how to integrate the two areas and what this type of learning looks like. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a part of my state’s “Race to the Top” grant. I could attend professional developments and research STEM websites to learn more information. In addition, I could observe other educators modeling inquiry-based learning and ask other educators questions on educational social networks. I would consider co-planning and co-teaching an inquiry-based unit with technology. When I feel comfortable enough to venture out and teach my own inquiry-based lesson, I would ask another teacher to observe the lesson to provide feedback for me later.
I will need to monitor my progress towards this goal. I can do this by keeping a journal of information that I learned from professional developments, online teacher social networks and STEM websites. In addition, I would monitor how many lessons I co-teach with other educators. The more hands-on practice I have, the better I will be able to do it on my own. In addition, I would record in my journal how often I observed other teachers and the critical things that I learned from each observation. As I review my progress, I would continue to assess if I am ready to facilitate my own inquiry-based unit using technology. I would need to be objective and know when to push myself out of the safety of the nest and fly on my own. If I find that I am not able to do that after a reasonable time, I would need to reevaluate my sources and look for new ones.
Finally, I would evaluate if I met my goal. My goal is to integrate inquiry-based learning using technology into my math classroom. If after a reasonable time, I have not at least started co-teaching a unit then I would need to reevaluate my goal and strategies. When I can successfully facilitate a lesson, I will know that I met my personal goal to integrate critical thinking and creativity into a lesson to provide a better learning opportunity for my students. To extend my learning and goal, I would look at the other NETS-S to assess how I might be able to strengthen those in my classroom using the same strategies or different ones.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use: A Standards-Based Approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Hargadon, Steve. (2010). Classroom 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.classroom20.com/group/classroom20beginnergroup
I-stem. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.istemnetwork.org/resource/educational/lesson.cfm
National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/
US Department of Education, . (2010). Delaware and tennessee win first race to the top grants. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/03/03292010.html