Week # 5

Content for Lab #1

I am a coordinator of the Child Study Team. With that label, comes the responsibility for a portion of the professional development for the various teachers who educate students with special needs. I have picked special education, middle school language arts literacy for my area involved in this training. (You had mentioned that we should make this lab 'meaningful', and although I am a bit outside the boundaries, I think that I will be able to use this in the future, and also make it work for this lab assignment.)

Special Education: I want to add my thoughts as to how some of these sites relate to special education - SO many times, teachers find that a student has really weak reading and/or writing skills, but is wonderful 'on the computer'. I think that a 21st Century Collaborator needs to (can I say it?) think outside the box when developing skills for students with special needs. Many of our middle school students are already doing some of the skills stated in this site, but it would be wonderful if this could be related into their area of studies.

1.) Evaluation; Site # 1
Bloom's Digital Taxonomy - Origami

  • I chose this site (and it is very similar to the second site) because although I loved the rubrics and instruction for actually completing the tasks, digitally on site # 2, this site was so much easier to get through. It is reader-friendly, and not as scary as the second site. This origami site basically states the digital taxonomy.
  • I would include this site as an on-line article to read prior to a training session. I think that automatically, teachers think of the original Bloom's Taxonomy, and this includes the background of the taxonomy, but for the 21st century learner. When I read it, I was amazed at the components that the authors were presenting.
  • The whole article is about assessment. In order to assess special needs students in a variety of settings, a teacher must use a variety of assessment strategies. This site orders assessments.
  • This site lends itself to collaboration by directing the teacher to additional sources for review.

2.) Evaluation; Site # 2
Bloom's Digital Taxonomy

  • I chose this site simply because it is the "meat" of the content to which I must present. Also, collaboration as a topic is fully discussed here. (I think that this article is an eye-opener to anyone who is not that technical, as well as anyone who thought they were somewhat technical, and are very wrong.) It is the information that I need to convey to the teachers. I love the notation regarding the usage of nouns vs. verbs. I think it is a very strong statement.
  • Honestly, this is a lengthy, but important article. Again, I would present this article ahead of an actual training session in order to give staff the time to focus on the material. I would ask the staff to use some of the links to help themselves, i.e. creating/organizing bookmarks, tagging information, etc. to get the feel of what a digital taxonomy is all about.
  • The whole article is about assessment. Rubrics are a main portion of the article, and directions are specifically given as to the assessment in the digital taxonomy.
  • Within the school, as well as outside of a school, this site is totally collaborative.

3.) Evaluation; Site # 3
Nerdy Teachers

  • Okay, I admit it, I was drawn to the site as soon as I received notification that you had posted it last week. But, upon investigation, I found that there is a wealth of information, all in one place, that any content area or instructional level teacher could use in the classroom. This site is an extensive list of linked resources. I often see teachers scribbling down web site addresses during a faculty meeting for future use upon recommendation of a collaborating peer. I think this is a great site (and a great springboard) for the easy access to on-line information and collaboration.
  • During a training session, I would ask teachers to search this blog site, explore the links that have to do with their area of expertise and share the information with the rest of the staff. This demonstrates collaboration in the face-to-face real world, as well as in the digital world, as teachers can collaborate all over the world through a blog. I especially liked a site (see Site # 4) that is in blog format.
  • Although this site is essentially a resource list of blog sites and in and of itself is not about assessment, there are blogs listed there that have to do with summative and formative assessing in a 21st century classroom.
  • This is a wonderful site to promote collaboration in the educational field. I found myself clicking onto links... and then into other links. I kind of got lost (and reminded myself of my daughter who can get lost on facebook for hours). Using a blog is also collaborative.

4.) Evaluation; Site # 4
Creating Lifelong Learners

  • This blog site is about digital writers. I chose this site because although it is in blog format, I immediately recognized many of the strategies used in pencil-to-paper writing, and thought that it may be important to incorporate many strategies when training staff to new ideas. There are many entries for different grade levels of writers, and how to use digital writing as a motivational tool.
  • I would use this site to provide teachers with practices about a few areas in the taxonomy such as, applying, analyzing and evaluating.
  • There are assessment techniques within the blog, and opportunities to discuss assessment in an language arts class.
  • Like on Site # 3, this blog site is collaborative. I would love (as a supervisor) to see face-to-face collaboration among teachers when describing the usefulness of this site.

5.) Evaluation; Site # 5
Backward Design

  • Lastly, this is a site we spoke about in class the other night. It is based on G. Wiggins' "Understanding by Design", a tool with which many of the teachers in my district are familiar. It promotes planning by identifying desired results, determining acceptable evidence, and finally, planning learning experiences and instruction. I chose this because I felt that the training should include a vehicle for the incorporation of digital lessons and assessment.
  • I would assist the teachers in the utilization (or re-utilization) of this techniques to plan out a digital lesson to use in their language arts literacy classroom.
  • This site provides teachers with practices regarding assessment as Wiggins has described. Teachers would need to thoughtfully investigate outcomes prior to planning, while incorporating evidence, or assessment into their plans.
  • Although this site doesn't lend itself to 21st century collaboration as do the others, I think that it is a usable form of assessment for the training, as well as another tool for the teachers to continue to use in the classroom.