Wednesday, April 11, 2012

GAME Plan Reflection

Kids are exposed to illuminating concepts all day now (Prensky, 2008).  Today, when they enter school as students, their fervor for learning is relatively diminished from what it once was.  This is why it is important to learn how students learn and what makes them tick.  During the time spent with this course, I have crafted my GAME Plan, which centered on the use of video analysis within activity to better assess comprehension and implementation.  I have researched various options and the ramifications of them and developed a better understanding for the options that are available.

In this course, I learned that it is imperative to create a scenario by which student reflection is necessary (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009, p. 51).  Technology aids in the synthesis and analysis processes (Laureate Education, Inc, 2010), which led me to video analysis process.  Throughout the class though I have discovered that video cameras are too expensive, limited in availability, difficult to get an understanding of and are too bulky for consistent use; this has forced me to adapt my GAME plan to video analysis through recording on cell phones.

Assistive technology can help almost any student (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010) and by allowing them to use their phones to record video, they are incorporating a tool that not only are they are comfortable with, but have an affinity for using, especially with their friends.  Not only can this recording help my assessment process, it can give the student the ability to self-assess, providing them with the detailed feedback that comments or demonstrations may not be able to do (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009, p. 156). 

I also learned this week that just because students are active does not necessarily mean that they are engaged in authentic learning (Cennamo, Ross & Ertmer, 2009, p. 311).  Helping students to find something that they are interesting in doing outside of class is more in line with physical education goals.  Video helps when class sizes are large by helping to individualize instruction (p. 317) and can be reflected on using social networking sites or similar platforms.

Going forward, I would like to take these components of the GAME Plan and incorporate it into more digital storytelling.  Digital storytelling allows for a wider audience to add incentive that before was either impossible or unreasonable (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  Video editing can take a while in this process but I feel that the cell phone approach removes the tedious middle steps and allows for the possibility for collaboration, particularly at home, in a shorter time frame.

As long as students are in line with privacy laws, I will strive for an increase in video recording in my classes to keep students engaged and expand their learning potential.

Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content

Prensky, M. (2008). Turning on the lights. Educational Leadership, 65(6), 40–45.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monitoring my GAME Plan

Developing a GAME Plan that might be implemented into a physical education class and would aid student learning was not a major issue, but it is somewhat more arduous to get the ball rolling on it.

The idea of plan to record physical activity through a phone to self-assess seems plausible.  Over the last week, I have taken notice to what type of phones students were carrying around and realized that not as many as I thought have a smart phone.  Without a smart phone, the video quality would just not be strong enough to warrant recording with.  On a positive note, I also noticed that many students that do not have smart phones have something like an iPod Touch that has similar recording capabilities.  This would be just as effective for the application, but the wording of the plan will have to be adapted.

I have not received promising responses in regards to ensuring that proper permission has been granted when peers are recording.  I know that I can control my use of the video but not having a complete plan yet regarding how students can watch clips and then dispose of it so it does not end up in the wrong places.  I considered having students sign an pledge to not redistribute or show the video outside of class, but I still feel that such an oath would not cover me or the school in case it did leak.  Even if the student got in trouble it would still be problematic for us. 

This inquiry has taught me that as much as I want to implement technology, I still need to take the appropriate steps to incorporating it so it does not become a larger issue down the road.  Because of this, I am on a quest is to see if there are alternatives to having peers record this technology and then properly dispose of it, a question I hope to have an answer to in the near future.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Carrying Out My GAME Plan

In my posting about creating a GAME plan, I harped on the fact that there is a void in the amount of technology I incorporate to my lessons.  One of the points of emphasis that I felt could help me in this process was video assessment and analysis.  In order to make this possible though, I would have to get away from the cumbersome cameras that require tapes to film and move to the sleek digital cameras that are available at the school.  I took this step to inquire about using such cameras but I found out that they are not available all that often and I could only borrow it some of the time.  This changed my direction to seeking another form of technology.

The technology that I found that could work for analysis was the cell phone.  The phones today have great video capturing capability and since I have one and most of the students do as well, the ability to have it in the gym or classroom at any time is not an issue.  By using the cell phone, students can record themselves or their peer in an activity and then be able to see what improvements need to be made.  If you do not understand this, consider that in math when a student is struggling with a concept, their work on the paper is a point of reflection; this is not possible with physical activity without video.  Another use for the video would be for me to shoot and then be able to reflect on the lesson as well as assess the students with very little difficulty.

There are a few points that concern me however, including the rules of the school involving cell phone use.  Basically, cell phones are not allowed during the day in middle school and often the students do not even have them on.  In phys ed class, they typically keep them in their locker and so bringing them to class could create an issue where they would not have a spot to put the phone “away”.  I also need to find out how this technological implementation would conflict with the privacy rights each student has.  Would it be a problem recording a student for assessment purposes or having a student watch themselves in action?  The answer to this is likely no, but I wonder if I would have to delete the video immediately or make sure no students are recording their classmates for later broadcast.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My GAME Plan for Teaching

It is becoming evermore clear that students need to work in unison more consistently with the advances in technology to be effective going forward.  It is critical that they learn how to use these tools appropriately so they can be a model of the 21st Century learner.  As crucial as their understanding is though, it can be very difficult today for students to get an appropriate education with us as teachers learning how to incorporate these tools into our instruction.

After examining the National Education Standard for Teacher (NETS-T), I realized that as a physical education teacher and emphasis and focus must be placed on meeting these standards or they could perhaps be forgotten.  There is no question that I am innovative in my lessons, or teach ideas that are aimed to last a lifetime, but often times, technology is left out.

One area where I feel I must improve in order to meet the NETS-T standards deals with the designing and development of digital age learning experiences and assessments.  I feel I really struggle in my pre-lesson attempts to incorporate technology that may be beneficial so it is my goal to at least consider the technological options that I have, particularly in the assessment area.  There are options available for me to incorporate assessment tools that are atypical to standard physical education grading but by utilizing tools such as video assessing, my students can gain from this step.  One reason I do not videotape often is that I usually use my camera, which is old and bulky, so I will use the one available from the library that is very small as well as digital, which will speed up the turnaround time of the assessment.  Hopefully from this action I will find that I can chart an increase in student activity and competency.  I also plan to research how other physical education teachers have utilized video assessment and what minor details I can pick on for improvement.

Another area that I recognize needs improvement is promoting or modeling digital citizenship.  I do not often use PowerPoint presentations, but when I do the respect for copyright is never given.  It is my goal to make sure I am not being hypocritical to what I expect out of the students, so my action will be to include the source on any copyrighted work that is used.  Additionally, I will need to maintain legal use of any video I record going forward; rarely do I share it but even so, I would need to gain permission.  With my PowerPoint presentations, I usually just rush through them or reuse slides year after year; in this area it will be on me to proofread each not just for grammatical errors but for plagiarized content as well.  Once again, the only way to get students to learn correctly is to conduct myself correctly, and this awareness is a big part of it.

I would expect that others of you out there share the same struggles and that we can all work together to meet these standards.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Final Reflection for 6711

When looking back at my Week 1 Application, it was hard to believe that I wrote that piece in this course.  Just six weeks ago I had a much more narrow-minded approach to student learning.  While my Personal Theory on Learning has not over gone a radical alteration since that time, it has definitely become more detailed and included more strategies.

It is still my belief that particularly in Physical Educaton that practice and repetition are the foundation by which content becomes instilled in the mind of a learner.  Learning also occurs when the learner makes an emotional connection with the content (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  In addition to these prior beliefs, though, the importance of a social component can not be ignored.

Throughout this course, concepts such as social constructionism and Connectivism were introduced and stressed the importance of cooperative learning.  Cooperative Learning is a cornerstone in Physical Education because of the many activities and games that are practiced using partners or teams.  While this is quite beneficial, technology allows for further collaboration.

The ability to incorporate video, either through a collaborative suite or a Virtual Field Trip is a great tool to have at my disposal.  Virtual Field Trips are a great way to provide more accurate and detailed information to the student then ever could be achieved within the confines of the classroom.  At first, I struggled to grasp what VFT could fit for Phys. Ed., but once I realized that exercise workout routines, yoga workouts and other expert-led lessons were possible, I could grasp a wealth of potential trips to plan.

In addition to incorporating more video into my lessons, another immediate adjustment to be made has to do with incorporating of VoiceThread.  I really liked this interface and felt that having students collaborate on videos would be an ideal homework for my content area.  This leads into my long-term adjustments that have come from this course.  Homework has always been tricky for me to implement because so much of what is taught needs activity.  The VoiceThread allows for collaboration and a better understand of how to perform the activities themselves and therefore sometime that I want to maintain for a long time going forward.  By utilizing web video, students can stay active in class but collaborate on concepts when activity is not possible.

The other technological tool that I would like to instill in my FitnessGram and Weight Training units is a spreadsheet.  The data that is available from these units is massive and if I can focus on getting this information back to the student, it can benefit them.  Additionally, if I can uncover the areas where students are lacking, it will help me better construct my lessons to improve on such areas.  Just the other day I found out that FitnessGram has a smart phone Application, and I plan on looking in to how I can utilize that.

In Physical Education, having the students get enjoyment out of an active environment is the best way that they will maintain a healthy lifestyle, but by incorporating the technology discovered in this course, I can further aid these students for memory, cooperation and fitness.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program two: Brain research and learning [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

Cooperative Learning is not just a function by where students must work together to meet a goal, its true intent is that the collaboration will foster deeper learning (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn,, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 139).  The focus becomes cooperating in an effort to excel (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 143), by where students can work cohesively on something that otherwise could not be accomplished as efficiently independently (Orey, 2001).  If done correctly, it forces the student to better think through what they are learning (Orey, 2001).

Through group work, formulated using a variety of grouping methods, cooperative learning builds on the social component along with knowledge.  Items such as positive interdependence, promotive interaction, group processing and individual accountability are strengthened through this technique (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 140).  Motivation will also be fostered from the accountability, which can in turn increase self-efficacy (Orey, 2001).

As is the case in many arenas, new technology provides for exciting new pathways for knowledge to expand and venture off to.  Incorporating multimedia naturally aids cooperative learning (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 141).  It gives students the ability to consult and review professionals (p. 144), use tools such as a WebQuest to dive deeper into an issue without taking as much time to research (p. 145), or building a website together (p. 147). 

As long as clear expectations, rolls and responsibilities are established, the teachers roll in cooperative learning is needed only as a monitor, assistant or as reinforcement (Orey, 2001). There are some potential issues that we must be on the lookout for such poor attendance, vast differences in learning ability and students not taking accountability in their task. (Orey, 2001).  These potential roadblocks could severely hamper a group’s effort, especially on an activity that spreads across multiple class periods.  Personally, when in a team games unit, attendance can definitely effect the flow of the class.

Aside from possible pitfalls cooperative learning is extremely beneficial when working near full power (Orey, 2001). 


Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Childhood Obesity VoiceThread