ED 668 Week 5

EDET 668 Week 5 What are your thoughts about learning in the collective?

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown write, “Embracing Change means looking forward to what will come next. It means viewing the future as a set of new possibilities, rather than something that forces us to adjust. It means making the most of living in a world of motion.”

When I think about learning in the collective, I think about learning using Internet resources and new technology. This technology can be anything from an Apple product (smartphones, iPads, T.V.’s…), kindles, and you get it. According to an article written by Aaron Smith, 2/3s of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% rely on it for accessing online services, information, and staying connected to the world.

The new culture of learning is based on three principles:

The old ways of learning are unable to keep up with our rapidly changing world. (2) New media forms are making peer-to-peer learning easier and more natural. (3) Peer-to-peer learning is amplified by emerging technologies that shape the collective nature of participation with those new media (Thomas, et.al, loc, 577).

I learn a lot from the media. I like that I can go online anytime (Twitter, Facebook…) and catch up on current events. Thomas and Seely Brown explain that collectives are not forms of public spaces. They are built and structured around participation (loc, 682). Participation is key in this “learning in the collective.” That’s why I agree with teachers who want to use social media as a tool in the classroom. I know when I was younger, I wouldn’t answer questions the teacher asked because I was too shy. If we allow our students to use digital resources to express their thoughts and opinions, everyone gets a say in the matter.

I don’t mind blogging, I think that it’s both a personal and collective. I get to share my experiences and knowledge. “People are not just learning from one another, they are learning with one another,” (Thomas et.al, loc 854).

Resources:

Learning in the Collective – Hybrid Pedagogy. (2013, April 17). Retrieved September 30, 2015, from http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/learning-in-the-collective/

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.: [CreateSpace?].

U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. (2015, April 1). Retrieved September 30, 2015, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/

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Week 4 Reflection ED 636

I had a little bit of a challenge writing my literature review. I wanted to introduce what Class Dojo was first, before I dove into the review part. I think the first part of what I talked about will be used as my introduction to my classroom research. I also wasn’t sure about my research questions.

My classroom is not authoritarian; I give my students options all the time to make better choices and chances to change their behaviors from negative to positive. I think this is why Class Dojo works so well for me. However, because I do have such a young age group, I chose what my students would earn points on. I don’t show my “red” points, which are the negative points for bad behavior. They hear the ding and know that students are not on track, and sometimes immediately change their behavior.

I learned that technology based management systems are important as adults of the future need technological skills. Less than half my parents are signed up for Class Dojo. I’m still trying to get the rest to engage. I think the reason some parents haven’t responded is they don’t have Internet access at home. I’ve heard positive remarks from parents who do use it.

I think reading others literature reviews really helps with writing your own. I was struggling getting started, but the more research I did, and reading my peers literature reviews, really helped me.

Week 4 EDET 636

Literature Review

This is my first year using Class Dojo as a way to manage my classroom. It’s is a free on-line behavior tracking system for teachers in any grade level. This tool works on any smartphone, iPad, or computer. It allows us to give immediate and long-term feedback to our students for both positive and negative behavior. The students are given a username and password, which both students and parents can view to track their behaviors. We can choose which positive behaviors to reward students on, for example: persistence, being on-time, turning in homework, on-task, participation, completing the task… and we can choose to record and track the less desirable behaviors like talking out of turn, being disrespectful, off-task, not raising your hand, or running in the hall (usually things we want our students to work on). Class Dojo addresses a widespread of behaviors that provides the students opportunities to reflect on their behaviors, choose to make the right choices and make improvements. These improvements can be anything from a decrease in interruptions, an increase in work turned in, or walking quietly in the hallway. Class Dojo allows us to work closely with the parents to establish clear goals and expectations for their child. We can message them any time of the day to let them know how their child is doing; we can upload classroom pictures or use it as a newsletter for upcoming school events.

Marzano said that the key to student achievement is classroom management and students will not learn in a poorly managed classroom (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). B.F. Skinner (1987), theorized that student behavior can be understood through the motivations, reinforcers and punishments given by the teacher. Student motivations can be influenced by the teachers system of reinforcements and punishments to increase student engagement and learning.

Chance (1993), also believed that a reward system based on Skinner’s theories of reinforcement (external reward system) is an effective, learning classroom management strategy. He advised that the rewards given to the students be used with care.

On the other hand, other researchers believe having a behaviorist reward system may have its disadvantageous. Mader (2009), indicated that students may become demotivated by external rewards because they start to focus on short-term goals, fail to make long-term goals, and lose their internal motivation to learn. Kohn (1993), claimed that students lose their independence, determination, and eagerness to learn, when they’re familiar with a system of rewards. Freiberg & Lamb (2009), argued that the behaviorist approach has failed to expedite student self-direction and discipline.

Self-Brown and Matthews (2003), compared student goal-setting in three classrooms with three different classroom management systems. What the authors concluded was that students in the contingency-contract controlled classroom, had set more learning goals, while students in the token economy classroom (without a specific classroom management system) set more performance goals. Students in the contingency contract model were also more likely to set goals and be more independent and express individuality.

In a person-centered classroom management system, both the teacher and students are responsible for establishing a climate in the classroom and developing student-teacher connections and relationships (Doyle, 2009; Freiberg & Lamb, 2009). Each student is responsible to participate in engagement, curriculum, relationships, development and discipline, while the teacher is responsible for providing opportunities in all five parts. As students focus more on participating, behavioral issues decrease (Hickey & Schafer, 2006), because participating students are less likely to be bored.

Why incorporate a web-based management system? Researchers continue to emphasis the importance and relevance of technology in the lives of current students (Bolick & Cooper, 2006; Kimmel & Deek, 1996). The different kinds of technologies used in the classroom as learning resources requires a shift from teacher-centered classrooms to constructivist instruction because of the nature and intended use of technologies. Bolick et al. (2006), identified technology as a tool for student learning and teacher organization. Using technology as a tool for learning is an important lesson for students, because as Bolick says, “The successful adults of the future will need knowledge of and the ability to use a wide variety of technology.”

Research Questions

  1. What motivates students to earn points throughout the school day/week?
  2. What demotivates students to earn points?
  3. What classroom behaviors encourage students to stay engaged?
  4. What classroom behaviors discourage students to stay engaged?

Resources:

Bolick, C.M., & Cooper, J.M. (2006). Classroom management and technology. In C.M. Evertson & C.S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 541-558). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Breaux, A.L. (2003). 101 Answers for new teachers and their mentors. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, Inc.

BYRNE R. Classroom Management Made Fun. School Library Journal [serial online]. November 2012;58(11):15. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.

Chance, P. (1993). Sticking up for rewards. The Phi Delta Kappan, 74 (10), 787-790.

ClassDojo. ClassDojo Opens Classrooms to Parents, Adding Instant and Meaningful Communications Between Teachers, Parents, and Students. Business Wire (English) [serial online]. 1:Available from: Regional Business News, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.

ClassDojo Helps Teachers Easily Manage Classroom Behavior. Curriculum Review [serial online]. October 2012;52(2):5. Available from: Professional Development Collection, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.

Lacher, Angela and Zich, Mary, “High Student Achievement Through Classroom Management” (2014). Masters of Arts in Education Action Research Papers. Paper 61.

Doyle, W. (2009). Situated practice: A reflection on person-centered classroom management. Theory into Practice, 48 (2), 156-159.

Freiberg, H. J., & Lamb, S. M. (2009). Dimensions of person-centered classroom management. Theory into Practice, 48 (2), 99-105.

Henerson, A.T.; & Mapp, K.L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory Annual Synthesis 2002. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf

Hickey, D. T., & Schafer, N. J. (2006). Design-based, participation-centered approaches to classroom management. In C. M. Evertson & C. S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of         classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 281-308). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Kohn, A. (1993). Rewards verses learning: A response to Paul Chance. The Phi Delta Kappan, 74 (10), 783-787.

MacLean-Blevins, A. (n.d.). Class DoJo: Supporting the art of student self-regulation. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://aprendercom.org/escola21/file/download/3513

Mader, C. E. (2009). “I will never teach the old way again”: Classroom management and     external incentives. Theory into Practice,48 (2), 147-155.

Marzano, R.J., & Marzano, J.S. (2003, Septemeber). The key to classroom management. Educational Leadership, 61(1), 6-13. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educationalleadership/sept03/vol61/num01/The-Key-to-Clasroom-Management.aspx

Marketwired. ClassDojo Mobilizes More Teachers to Build Students’ Character Anywhere With Version 2.0 of Its Popular iOS and Android Apps. Marketwire (English) [serial online]. August 15, 2013:Available from: Newspaper Source Plus, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 24, 2015.

Self-Brown, S. R., & Matthews, S. II. (2003). Effects of classroom structure on student achievement goal orientation. The Journal of Educational Research, 97 (2), 106-111.

Skinner, B. F. (1987). Upon further reflection. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Week 4 EDET 668

What does the way you play have to do with embracing change and how does this impact you as a professional?

When I think about playing in the classroom, especially at the kindergarten level, I think about playing with building blocks, linking cubes, or anything that’s hands-on. I don’t think about playing on the iPad. We have some apps, i.e. ShowMe, Splash Math, Vocabulary Spelling City, Doodle Buddy, … to name a few. My kindergarteners school day ends at 1:30, so I barely have time to “play” with them. I don’t know about the other kindergarten teachers, but I hardly ever give my students “free time.” I remember reading how playtime is an important aspect to learning through technology. “In a world of near-constant flux, play becomes a strategy for embracing change, rather than a way for growing out of it,” (Thomas, loc 560).

My first graders however, are on the iPads daily. They practice their math, spelling, and sometimes do their social studies/science projects on them. This isn’t necessarily playtime, but it’s more of an additional supplement, and the kids enjoy it. For example, Vocabulary Spelling City, it’s a game about learning to spell. There’s hangman, fill the in the blank, compound words… it’s engaging, fun, and the students have a good time. Sometimes I’ll use Doodle Buddy with both K-1, to practice writing letter sounds, and sight words.

There are three basic principals in this new culture of learning, (loc, 577) which Thomas describes: 1. The old ways of learning are unable to keep up with our rapidly changing environment. 2. New media forms are making peer-to-peer learning easier and more natural. 3. Peer-to-peer learning is amplified by emerging technologies that shape the collective nature of participation with those new media.

Gamifi has a lot of interesting, educational games in all subjects for all ages. I have heard a lot about Minecraft, however I have never played it. I heard teachers integrating games such as Wii into their curriculum. They believe games solidify learning, and introduce students to the new world. “Why gaming,” was the question in the “Primary Years and Early Childhood Educational Panel” video on Gamifi. A lot of the teachers said that they should incorporate games because kids love games, they’re engaged and enrich the classroom environment. Some primary grade games include how to care for something, responsibility, as well as physical motor skills, using the Xbox.

I want to find games that my students will love and stay engaged. I think that it’s important to incorporate both physical and digital games into the curriculum. I will definitely be playing with my students, because not only will they be learning, I’ll be learning.

Resources:

GamifiED OOC – Google. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2015, from https://plus.google.com/u/0/110129890717354735708/posts

Primary Years and Early Childhood Education Panel – Why Games? – Google. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2015, from https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7ge6sj9scrhnh4tmgi4jrjurv4

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.: [CreateSpace?].

EDET reflection 3

This week I learned that learning how to use technology in the classroom as a tool for teachers and students, isn’t a burden, it’s adapting. We are in the 21st century and it’s all about technology. I think that if we’re not making an effort we are not keeping ourselves and the students, current. Technology is going to keep getting better and better, and as teachers I think its our responsibility to stay up to date. I’ve been trying at least one new thing a week with my iPads or computer, and I learned that it takes patience and practice. I know that my students will benefit in the end.

Reflection week 3

I noticed there are two different questions for week three. I talked about what we need to know before beginning our action research. What I learned is that whatever we want to research has to be something we want to change and make better in the classroom. I feel like it should be something we are really interested in because it’ll make the research process more meaningful. I learned a lot about the steps and the prerequisites before starting our research. I have already chosen a topic and I think my question is somewhere along the line as: how does using class dojo affect student behavior?

Week 3 EDET 668

How different is your current classroom from the one in which you learned when you were a student?

Technology in the classroom has changed drastically since I was in elementary, middle and high school. In my elementary grade levels, (1997-2001)? I believe the only technology we used was TV, VHS, and overhead projectors. I remember thinking it was real cool to use the overhead. We mostly used it for Daily Oral Language. I forgot when I used my first desktop computer. It had to have been in elementary.

When I was in middle school (2002-2004)? I believe we used the overhead projector, radio/CD player, desktop computer, and VHS. One of my middle school teachers, his name was Mr. B, was doing a unit on poetry. He made it very engaging and fun! We listened to song lyrics, analyzed them, and then were asked to create our own song lyrics. I remember my sister-in-law was my partner and we took the beat from one of Eminem’s songs and rapped. I remember my cousin used his guitar and sang one of Alan Jackson’s song. I remember typing up a lot of papers, and following the writing process.

I remember in my eighth grade year, our high school’s volleyball and basketball team made it to state. To listen to the games, I had to tune into the radio. Now, ASAA has live stream.

High school was pretty much the same as middle school, technology wise. My senior year of high school, we finally got our own laptops. I remember we made our school’s first video yearbook. I still have the disk and like to watch it sometimes.

Throughout my undergraduate years, I was always asked, “How can I integrate technology?” My classroom is way different now than it was 5-10 years ago. Each elementary student in our school district, along with the teachers, have their own iPads, each middle/high school student, has their own laptop. I use ELMO in my classroom to project my screen on my iPad thru AirPlay, and my computer screen. I use a lot of online resources such as BrainPop, ThinkCentral, the Weather app, Class Dojo, I do all my lessons on Planbook, and I use Skype to communicate with those at the district office.

I love integrating technology into my curriculum. It’ s a whole new kind of learning, and the kids love it too. I remind my students, we use the iPads to learn and have fun at the same time. “… while the new culture of learning focuses on learning through engagement within the world,” (Thomas, loc 360). I think what he means by this, is our classrooms are adapting to the new change, and we include students in this change while learning at the same time.

When I was student teaching, my mentor used Edmodo. We were able to communicate with students and parents outside of school. Right now, I’m using ClassDojo to communicate with parents. It’s very efficient, I can message them anytime throughout the school day. I am planning on doing my mentoring project with ClassDojo, to help another teacher learn how to use technology (because she never does). I’ve used online blogs several times to share my teaching experiences, this is my first time using Twitter, and on Blackboard I’ve responded a lot to other classmates.

Resources:

ClassDojo. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2015, from http://www.classdojo.com

Connect With Students and Parents in Your Paperless Classroom | Edmodo. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2015, from http://www.edmodo.com

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.: [CreateSpace?].

Week 3 EDET 636

What will you have to know and do to begin your research?

There are several things a person must know before beginning their classroom research. The first thing is the topic. Merriam advises when choosing a topic, the first place we look at is our daily lives, whether it’s our workplace, family, friends, or community (page 73). A place that raises curiosity, a place where something has happened that puzzles you, or a place where you wonder why it is, the way it is. Initially, your research topic naturally comes from observing something, and asking questions about our everyday lives (Merriam, 75). For me it’s in my classroom, and in my classroom, we use ClassDojo all day, everyday.

The next part a person has to know before beginning their research is the problem. You cannot start a research study without identifying the problem first. “ A problem is anything that perplexes and challenges the mind so that it makes belief uncertain,” (Merriam, 76). I automatically thought about how my students’ behavior, mood, or persistence changes when they don’t earn points like everyone else. According to an article written by Ronald Chenail (page 1716-17), you want to write a sentence or two explaining your curiosity and relevance of the topic and why it’s worthy to study. This allows you to begin addressing the purpose statement right away.

After you’ve identified and chosen the problem, you want to give your readers a background on your topic. This is where you research and find out what has already been done on your topic, what studies already show, and what are the key concepts in your study. This is sometimes called the “Background of the Problem,” (page 79).

Once you have acknowledged the background information, you can write your purpose statement (Merriam, 77). Your question is usually “the gap” in your topic. It’s what is unknown or what hasn’t been researched. You would pose your statement as, “The purpose of this study is to…” (page 77).

After the purpose statement is addressed, you follow by asking a set of “research questions.” The research questions are like subtopics, or your body in a paper. Merriam suggests 3 or 4 questions a decent amount (page 78). These questions usually determine how data will be collected. Chenail uses the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions because they pose as open-ended questions.

Next, you introduce your problem. The problem statement is short and is a summary of the introductory section (Merriam, 79). There are three factors in the problem statement (page 79): 1. The context of the study, or the topic and question 2. The gap in the study- what we don’t know and will address in our research 3. Stating the significance of the problem.

Choosing a topic, creating a purpose statement, posing research questions, and introducing the problem statement are things we need to understand and know, to begin our classroom research study.

References:

Merriam, S., & Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The Qualitative Report Volume 16 Number 6 November 2011 1713-1730 http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR16-6/chenail.pdf

Week 2 EDET 668

What role does professional satisfaction play in the effectiveness of a classroom?

Professional satisfaction plays a huge role in the effectiveness of a classroom. When a teacher comes to school with positive energy and is excited to teach, not only does that benefit themselves, but to their colleagues, students and the community as well (Burgess, Loc 1772). Students know when you’re passionate about something. They pick up on your level of excitement and want to work. According to the article “Motivating Students,” students who are not motivated will not learn effectively. They won’t retain information, they won’t participate and some of them may even become disruptive. I think that when a teacher comes to school with a negative attitude, it demotivates the students to learn. Teaching a class full of motivating students is satisfying for both the teacher and the students.

Burgess talks about reasons why some teachers hesitate to be great. His first example is the fear of failure. I agree that as a life-long learner, you cannot grow, advance, or move forward without making mistakes and learning from them (Burgess, loc 1860). Another point Burgess makes is lack of focus. All teachers talk about not having enough time in the day. Great work is not done in a day, and allowing our students to do their best work is more meaningful. One of the things he talks about, that I confess is one of my weaknesses, is fear of criticism (loc, 1929). During my first year of teaching, I was afraid of being criticized by parents. In the end I learned that they loved what I was doing. “The best way to solidify your commitment to achieving your goals is also to take action” (Burgess, loc 1997).

In the article “Motivating Students,” it talks about five effective ways to engage students. Which are, encourage students, get them involved, offer incentives, get creative, and draw connections to real life. When I was reading this article, I thought if a teacher does these things as well as the student, everyone is satisfied.

I have been very blessed to work with awesome colleagues. One of the things Burgess talks about is collaborating with other teachers (loc, 2018). “Collaboration can make all contributors better teachers as they are exposed to others’ ideas…” Whenever I’m stuck, or need advice, I go to my colleagues. Everyone is creative in their own way, and sometimes its good to get ideas from people who think differently. According to the article, “Teacher Collaboration in Secondary Schools” teachers who work together, reduce their individual planning time, and at the same time, create a “pool of ideas and materials.” Another benefit that came from teacher collaboration was a decline in staff turnover by providing assistance to all new and veteran teachers. This is especially tough in rural Alaskan schools because teacher turnover is high. If we can improve our relationships in school (and outside) maybe that rate will decline.

Resources:

Burgess, D. (n.d.). Teach like a pirate: Increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator.

Motivating Students. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from http://teach.com/what/teachers-change-lives/teachers-motivate

Teacher Collaboration in Secondary Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from http://ncrve.berkeley.edu/centerfocus/cf2.html

Week 2 How is Qualitative Research a good lens through which to view classroom research?

EDET 636 Week 2

How is Qualitative Research a good lens through which to view classroom research?

Qualitative Research is a good lens through which to view classroom research because the individual (teacher) doing the research wants to understand their (students) experiences, how they construct their worlds, and what they characterize their experience as (Merriam, page 5). The idea is to understand something.

The basic steps in qualitative research are exploring issues, understanding experiences, and answering questions by analyzing and making sense of the data collected. According to QSR International Pty Ltd’s website, all data is unstructured. Data can come from open-ended survey responses, interviews, audio recordings, videos, pictures, web pages…

Merriam talks about the different forms of qualitative research. The three forms of research are positivist, interpretive and critical. A positivist assumes that reality is observable, stable, and measurable; interpretive research assumes reality is socially constructed (page 9) and lastly those who engage in critical research build their questions in relation to who has power (page 10). The way you frame your research questions influences your view towards how the world is constructed. For instance, if you have a positivistic view, you adhere to factual knowledge and you concentrate on facts, according the article “Positivism.”

When I think about doing qualitative research in the classroom in the form of positivism, I think about researching my students’ behavior. Why students behave the way they do, or why during certain times of the day their behavior changes. My research would consist of learning about my students’ experiences at home and in school, collecting data from what I see and hear (in the form of surveys, interviews, audio recordings), recording my observations, creating and implementing the plan, and then drawing conclusions.

We focus a lot on behavior and cultural values in our school/district. This is my first year using ClassDojo as a way to creative a positive classroom atmosphere and manage my classroom behavior. I’ve heard great things from colleagues, who recommended I use it for primary grades. If ClassDojo works for my kids, and in the end have positive attitude, I would recommend it to other teachers.

References:

Merriam, S., & Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Positivism – Research Methodology. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://research-methodology.net/research-philosophy/positivism/

What is Qualitative Research? (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://www.qsrinternational.com/what-is-qualitative-research.aspx