Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monitoring My GAME Plan

Keeping up with my goals has been a difficult process.  I have been trying to stick with the philosophy that I have read so many times over this course, technology needs to become a part of the curriculum and not just included for the sake of adding technology.

As with any goal, it is always a work in progress.  My goal of using more virtual tours and Skype sessions is starting to take shape.  I was able to have students take a tour of Yosemite National Park for our reading story.  So far, I have learned that it is very difficult to find exactly the type of tour I want.  Getting the right connection at school has also been a challenge.  In the next couple of weeks I will be using the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill website for virtual tours as my students start studying the southeast region.  As for the Skype sessions, it seems that most organizations want a fee so that will probably not be possible. However, I am looking for a classroom from the southeast region to communicate with via Skype.  (Kelly B., I sent you an e-mail!)

My global experience is coming along much slower.  I have not heard from my Russian teacher partner for ePals in a couple of weeks.  I tried to e-mail him two days ago but have not received a response back.  I may need to adjust my action plan.  If I do not hear from him soon, I will be looking for another class partner.  Due to this, I do not want to spend too much class time studying Russia if they will not be our partners.  I am wondering if any of my Walden colleagues are from another country or know another class that would be interested in using ePals?


Macmillan/McGraw-Hill (2006). Macmillan/McGraw-Hill social studies-virtual field trips and state resources.  Retrieved from

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Continuing My GAME Plan

Continuing my GAME plan is taking careful planning.  I want to make sure that I am adding meaningful technology to my curriculum.  Last week, I stated that my goal was to incorporate virtual field trips into my curriculum. The first topic I choose to start with is animals because this is our current study in science.

Resources- I will need my SMARTboard to start my virtual tours to model for my students.  Then I would like them to explore the websites on their own in our computer lab.

Additional Information- I am still trying to find a website that will allow us to actually talk to an expert through Skype or web conference.  Most of these conferences have a fairly large price tag.

Steps I have taken- So far, I have found three websites that will at least give my students a glimpse into an animal’s life. 

Last week, I discussed incorporating the website ePals into my curriculum for promoting cultural understanding and global awareness.  I was enlightened this week in reading Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).  I have learned that cultural understanding requires more than just e-mailing students from another country.  While this is a good start, I will need to take steps to help my students understand another culture and just like in America, not everyone has the same upbringing, views and beliefs.

Resources-On my path to promoting cultural understanding and global awareness, I will have my students create a voice thread about their own lives.  This will give students from our corresponding country, Russia, as chance to see, through text and pictures, and hear about the lives of my students.  I will need access to a scanner, computers, and will need to make sure our global partners will be able to access our presentations when finished.

Additional information-I would also like my students to research about the area of Russia our friends are from.  Cennamo et al. discuss at length the various aspects of another culture that could be different from our own. I do want my students to learn mainly from their e-mail partner but I also do not want to offend anyone right off. I would also like to talk to the other teacher and see if their class can create a presentation about themselves.   

Steps I have taken-In the last week, I have found our global partners.  We will be communicating with another fourth grade class from Russia through ePals hopefully starting next week.


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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The GAME Plan

Being a reflective learner is an important quality for people to have. It is equally important to model this quality for students.  One way to do this is what Cennamo, Ross, and Etmer (2009) have named the GAME plan.  The GAME plans stands for “set Goals, take Action to meet those goals, Monitor progress toward achieving goals, and Evaluate whether the goal were achieved and Extend your learning to new situations” (p.3).  Reflecting on my own teaching, there are two goals I would like to focus on. One is ISTE Standard 1D Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity- model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.

 Goal- My goal is to incorporate virtual field trips and more Skype sessions into my classroom to inspire student learning.

 Actions- I need to evaluate my curriculum to determine which lessons lend themselves to virtual fieldtrips. I need to research the Scholastic website, historical and science museums, zoos, etc. to find resources geared for elementary students. Many of these places also provide Skype sessions.

 Monitor- Monitoring the quality of information on the virtual field trips is important for establishing factual information. It is essential that the field trips or Skype sessions actually engage my students since my ultimate goal is to inspire their learning.

Evaluate and Expand-I can evaluate the factual information my students gain through assessment and observation.

 Another standard is 4D: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility.  This is to develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools

 Goal- My goal is for my students to have an understanding and global awareness of other cultures.  Also, I would like them to learn how communicate respectfully through e-mail.

Actions- I plan on incorporating ePals into my curriculum. It is essential that I thoroughly investigate the ePals program to make sure that it is has the approved settings set by my school and is safe for my students.  Another step is to connect with administration and parents on communicating globally through e-mail. I also need to find a classroom through ePals that is willing to be partners with my class.

Monitor- I need to monitor e-mails that are going through to students of another ethnicity.  Students should be respectful at all times. I also need to make sure students are not putting any personal information on the web.

Evaluate and Expand- I will evaluate the activity through discussion and parent feedback. It is important for students to understand and be respectful of other cultures and customs. This is the best way I know for students to establish global awareness when they do not come in contact with other ethnic backgrounds in their daily lives. Hopefully, students and parents have a wonderful experience and I will be able to expand this into a yearly communication project.


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.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from