Share the Wealth~My Capstone Journey By: Deana Hubbell November 2011
What is Capstone? “This year–long professional development program is designed for teachers who have experience integrating computer–based technologies into their K–12 classroom practice and want to earn certification in the ISTE 2008 National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS*T) while further developing their knowledge and skills. “ ~PBS Teacherline
What are the National EducationalTechnology Standards for Teachers(NETS*T)? Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity Standard 2: Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments Standard 3: Model Digital-Age Work and Learning Standard 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Me: Pre-Capstone I thought that I had a grasp of technology integration and was meeting the needs of my students for 21st Century skills, creativity and problem solving. Wow! Was I wrong! I was only grazing the surface of technology integration in a true and relevant fashion!
Capstone I - Overview Habitat Research Project – 3rd Grade Students selected a habitat that was of interest to them to research. They then choose an animal which would live in that habitat to research. Research took place via online sources. Students then wrote a script and created a “blabber” of the animal and spoke from the animals point- of-view of living in the habitat.
A completed Blabber!Click the“Play” buttonto see astudentBlabber!
What did my students think? Wow! This is fun! ~Eric Can we do more research like this? ~Janiya This is the best thing we’ve done all year! ~Noah I loved seeing everyone else’s Blabbers! ~Kha’AliyahIt was with statements like these, that I realizedthe power of relevant technology integration.Creating PBL assignments which integratetechnology engages my students in a meaningfulway which has my students asking for more!Capstone I was my springboard to developingfuture projects to excite my students whilelearning.
Capstone II - Overview Economics Wrap Up – 3rd Grade This project was a final review of our study of economics. Students created a city map and then discussed the goods and services within their city. Students chose a letter of the alphabet to help create an ABC Book of Economic Terms. Students created pictures on Kid Pix and then provided an explanation of their picture through a Voice Thread.
Completed Voice Thread This was my first attempt at a Voice Thread. I’m not sure it is something I would have attempted had it not been for my engagement within the Capstone courses. This is an ABC Book of economic terms. Students drew the pictures, wrote a script and created a recording.Click the“Play” buttonto view theVoice Thread.
What did my students think? This was so much fun! Can we make another Voice Thread? ~Nicole Making the map was cool because we all had something different. ~Andrew I like how we all had a chance to record our script and make our own picture on the Voice Thread. ~Israel I love economics! I was never bored! ~OwenOnce again, these studentstatements are very powerful tome. Never before had I hearda student admit to enjoyingeconomics! The technologywas integrated in a relevantand meaningful way. Nostudent scored below a “B” onthe unit test either!
What else am I taking away from my Capstone courses? Professional Learning Communities!Before Now: I knowCapstone: that there isI was unlimitedworking access to likealone, and I mindedwas hard educatorspressed to through myfind like- professionalminded learningeducators in communities.mybuilding.
More Growth: Creativity!I now can clearly appreciate the fact that my curriculum does notafford itself to the aspect of creativity. It is my job to find waysto allow my students to express themselves in ways beyondpaper/pencil assignments. Word Cloud created for a character study on the book Clementine.
Digital Tools and Resources!Not only do various digitaltools and resources engagemy students, but it alsoallows me to easily adaptmy lessons to differentlearning styles. Theopportunities are plentiful!
Global Opportunities! I have put my interest out in the ePals community in the hopes of finding an Italian or Greek class that my students could communicate with. I have participated in a descriptive writing collaboration with a school in Indiana. I have found opportunities to collaborate with those outside the U.S. through my professional learning communities.There is much to be learned outsidethe scope of Virginia Beach. Capstonehas afforded me the opportunity toresearch and investigate suchopportunities for myself as well as mystudents.
Collaboration! Working to research the topic of red wolves. Students: Students can collaborate to expand their learning. Working together allows them to pull on the strengths of one another. Teachers: I have found that I can collaborate with like-minded educators to create worthwhile learning opportunities for my students – within my school and also in a virtual environment. Taking part in a Video Conference!
Me: Post Capstone This has been an incredible journey! I did not imagine all that I did not know. By breaking down and exploring the NETS*T standards, I have been able to implement relevant, worthwhile, and engaging technology opportunities for my students. No longer am I merely implementing technology for the sake of saying I integrate technology. Now, I have deep selected reasons behind the use of the technology. Most importantly, I can see the growth in myself as an educator, and I can see the growth and engagement in lessons on the part of my students.
Finally, some quotes on the use oftechnology by those who matter most – my students:
Technology does a lot of things, such as keeping me from getting bored, and that is the main thing I like about technology. ~Owen I like technology because you can play games and you can search important stuff to help you with anything. I learned that you have to treat the device really careful. ~Alex I like technology because it helps me find facts about red wolves. ~Angelica I think technology fun because instead of writing, you can type. ~Cody I think technology is fun because you get to go online, get info, and get to do fun games. ~Nicole I think technology is fun. I like how there can be fun stuff on it, and stuff you can learn about. ~Soleil I like technology because we use the remotes. ~Lewis Technology helps you learn about things. It helps to entertain yourself. It helps you to connect. ~Andrew ~From the mouths of third grade students!
Thank you! Thank you to my Capstone coaches/instructors as well as my fellow Capstone learners. This has been a wonderful journey where I have learned so much from every one of you! It’s been a lot of work, but worth every amount of effort that we all expended. As educators we cannot afford to become complacent or stagnant. We are here for the children, and this journey has provided us the tools to continue to enhance the learning of our students in the best possible ways. I hope that we all continue to learn and grow in the use of technology for the best interests of our students. Plan to be better today, but don’t ever plan to be finished. ~Carol Ann Tomlinson