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January 12, 2011


The first standard I would like to strengthen is NET-S 3(c) “communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats.”  I believe this would be a good standard to improve upon first because I could use some of the tools that are already at my disposal. 

My goal would be to facilitate information to parents and students using a variety of technology.  My first goal would be to create an e-mail list with all my parents e-mail addresses.  I would then proceed to send out a weekly “newsletter” of everything that is going on in the classroom.  (Upcoming assignments, test, homework, etc…)  I would also direct the parents to my webpage, which is my second goal…

My second goal would be to start using and maintaining my webpage on the school website.  On this page is a calendar I could update so parents can stay up to speed on due dates and upcoming assignments.  I can also upload to the page previous assignments.  So when students are absent, they can simply go to the page and print off a copy or look at the assignment. 

There are some immediate actions I must take to be successful.  First, I must take the time to create a distribution list of all my parents e-mail addresses.  The only way I know how to do this is to manually go through and type in each one.  Once I am finished with that, I need to take the time to write the news letter each week.  My plan of action for that is to set aside 20 minutes every Monday morning to type up and send out the news letter.  After typing my newsletter, I will spend the rest of Monday’s planning updating, uploading and working on my webpage. 

The way to monitor my action is to keep a simple checklist.  “Did I send out the newsletter?”  “Did I update my page?”   These are two simple questions I can ask myself every Monday before I leave school.  If the answer is no to either one, I simply sit down and take care of it.  I will evaluate my goals by assessing the amount of feedback or interaction I have with both the parent and the student.  Am I making fewer copies?  Are students turning in their assignments on time?  Fewer questions asking for make-up work?  Improved test scores because parents are seeing, from the newsletter, their student has a test Friday and has them studying a little every night.  These are some of the questions I will assess and reflect upon when evaluating the strengthening of standard NETS-T 3(c). 

The second standard I would like to strengthen is NETS•S 2 (a) design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.  This standard deals with the direct implementation of technology into content learning.

My goal is to effectively use technology tools to expand content learning.  My first plan of action is to become confident with all the programs that are available.  If I strengthen my knowledge on technology I will be better suited to integrate it appropriately and not just use it for the sake of using it.  Through my Walden classes and my own exploration, I will develop a level of expertise in programs or technologies such as blogs, wikis, audacity, concept mapping tools, skype, voicethreads, etc…

After I have developed sufficient understanding of a technology tool I will implement it into my content mastery.  I need to be mindful about just using it to use it.  I need to make sure that the technology is expanding or strengthening the content mastery.  Through the implementation of the technology I can monitor and asses the success of it.  As with all lessons, I will evaluate and adjust after the lesson to ensure my goals are being met.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2011 12:38 pm

    I love your ideas for an electronic newsletter and keeping your school website up-to-date. Standard 3C was also one of my NETS-T to establish a GAME plan for! Knowing the time constraints of teachers, this is what concerns me about keeping up with an email newsletter AND website. School websites are great because most typically have the calendar feature you are talking about. You could also post a tutorial schedule so if parents know their child is falling behind, they know immediately what your schedule is and can help their child plan to be there. Posting past assignments is also a great idea, but think about posting upcoming assignments as well. I had many students who knew they would be out for sports, or family reasons and needed to get a head start on their work so they wouldn’t fall behind. I wouldn’t post too far ahead; maybe a week or two at the most. This causes a little more work for the teacher for pre-planning. If you already have your agenda/scope and sequence of assignments, this shouldn’t be too much of a struggle. The big thing is to remain flexible. Sometimes my students would take longer on an assignment than my students from the previous semester, so I would have to adjust my assignment calendar accordingly.

    The newsletter sounds like it might be more of a “here’s what’s happening this week in my class.” If that’s the case, maybe creating a blog attached to your website with an RSS feed might work best. You can still gather the parent email addresses and sign them up to the blog. Whenever you post, the parents will receive an automatic email. What’s nice about attaching an auto-email sender from your website, is that the email will generate a link back to your website to promote parent involvement and encourage communication. Just an idea of something to think about.

    Shanna Falgoust

    • January 16, 2011 8:27 pm

      Thank you for your advice… I like the idea about a blog instead of an e-mail. I know this may sound bad, but an e-mail seems to be a little—-“childish.” :0) The purpose of our program is to start using technology tools. I definitely need to use a blog instead of an e-mail…

      • January 16, 2011 10:53 pm

        There is nothing wrong with email! What I like about blogs is that it can send automatic emails to people registered to your blog whenever there is an update. The added benefit, however, is that you have an official log (with categories if you set it up that way) of everything you’ve done right at your fingertips; you don’t have to go searching through your emails to find what you sent and when. You just go to your blog, use the search feature if you need to, or scroll through the postings. No one can ever say they didn’t know about something when it was emailed to them AND posted online! :o)

  2. Teresa Grote permalink
    January 16, 2011 4:16 pm

    I love the idea of the weekly newsletter. I started sending out a weekly newsletter my 2nd year teaching and what a difference it made in my students progress! Parents really appreciated the time I took to type up what was coming up and any big assignments that would be due soon. We now have E-chalk, which is a webpage that we update daily/weekly and post homework, notes, quiz and test dates, and any other important news. It seems to keep those parents that are truly concerned in the know and they really do appreciate it! I highly recommend the newsletter!!

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