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 http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx