The story of an elementary library media specialist’s journey through Capstone. By Patricia Rideout
Once upon a time, in the land of S.P.Morton, there was a media specialist named Patricia. She was very experienced in the business of education. After all, she was a classroom teacher for 16 years and had been a media specialist for 15. But she was never satisfied, she always wanted to know more because she was curious and easily bored. And so she began a quest to replace the old worn out tools in her teaching toolbox with new and exciting tools. Her quest was named Capstone. Digital Toolbox Professional Growth and Leadership Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Learning and Creativity Learning Experiences & Assessments Work and Learning
And the beginning of her quest was called Capstone Introduction. She was joined in this quest by 17 other adventurers. And she began by assessing her personal knowledge and usage of technology.
And what she found was an old toolbox that contained a few well worn tools...email, portaportal, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Athena, and Unitedstreaming videos. Microsoft Word Email Athena Unitedstreaming videos
And this mission led her to examine Technology Integration, Teacher Use of Technology, and Empowering Students with Technology. Then she began to Plan the beginnings of a Technology Portfolio. And after this first step on her quest, she spent a considerable amount of time contemplating what she had learned and how she needed to proceed with this knowledge to reach her goal.
After much time of contemplation ( a whole semester), the second voyage of her quest began. It was called Capstone I. This journey was entered by only 6 brave souls.
This journey began by investigating and seeking Professional Learning Communities (PLC). While many PLCs were located, only two were deemed worth of the quest, ElementaryTechTeachers and TeacherLibrarianNing . In these two, groups of participants exhibited the true dedication necessary for a successful quest.
The use of Professional Learning Communities as resources for collaboration began. She sought the assistance of her peers and shared the knowledge that she had gained.
She began to blog about her thoughts and experiences related to Capstone and the use of technology in education. It was a challenge to honestly put her thoughts out there in cyberspace and so she password protected them for the facilitator’s eyes only.
She examined Project Based Learning, Universal Design for Learning, and Multiple Intelligences. She explored the Top 100 Tech Tools and Web 2.0 Tools. And she found many new and exciting tools to add to her toolbox. Learning and Creativity Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Professional Growth and Leadership Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, edu.glogster.com , blabberize.com, Build Your Wildself Digital Toolbox
She began to collaborate with her partner using Googledocs, email, and even the telephone.
As a part of Capstone I, she created a research project for her second grade students called Bears, Bears, Bears. And this project was the basis for her Capstone I portfolio. And her students loved the research project and were so proud of the Power Point presentations that they created.
She began to reexamine her ideas about using formative and summative assessments in her library program. She began to create rubrics, and checklists, and Promethean flipchart assessments for use with Activote devices. She also began to ponder on and discuss the creation and use of student online portfolios with the division’s technology department.
As a part of Capstone I, she examined fostering creativity. And she contemplated the questions, “Do schools kill creativity?” and “Do I?”. And the answers that she found were disturbing. Something else to challenge her to rethink her teaching methods and techniques.
She examined Digital Citizenship and Responsibility. She had been teaching internet safety since the beginning of the I-Safe initiative but had she taught about crediting others for the use of their ideas. And she realized that she must make an overt effort to be more effective in the way she taught and modeled this for others. The clipart used in this presentation was imported from Microsoft Office and Promethean Planet. The screen shots were from ElementaryTechTeachers , TeacherLibrarianNing , Googledocs, my Capstone blog, and www.ted.com .
And at the end of Capstone I, she realized that her toolbox was filling up nicely with all sorts of technology tools for teaching and personal use. Learning Experiences & Assessments Learning and Creativity Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Professional Growth and Leadership Digital Toolbox My Studio, Rubistar, Quizinator, Teach-nology, Teacher Tap
Just as suddenly as Capstone I had ended, Capstone II began with renewed acquaintances and new challenges. Professional Learning Communities were refreshed and Student Learning and Creativity were once again in the limelight. And her toolbox was beginning to overflow with many wonderful tools. Learning and Creativity Solvr, Wordia, Comic Creator, Skitch, Decide Already, Storybird, Makebeliefscomix Digital Toolbox Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Professional Growth and Leadership
Digital Toolbox Learning and Creativity Learning Experiences & Assessments Work and Learning Digital Citizenship and Responsibility She continued to explore digital citizenship and with the collaboration of a black bear expert from Calgary, Canada (and a few local black bears, too), her third grade students extended their research project that was begun in second grade. They sought to find out if black bears were predatory to humans. This project became the basis for her Capstone II portfolio. The students collaborated across the grade level and created a professional looking brochure warning visitors and residents of the dangers. Email, internet, Isafe, I Keep Safe. Org, safekids.com, getnetwise, wiredkids.org, yakitome, Monster global project, Edmodo, IERN, global education on a dime, research citation for elementary students
Digital Toolbox Learning and Creativity Learning Experiences & Assessments Work and Learning Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Professional Growth and Leadership She examined and explored digital age work and learning, not only with her students but in a Parent workshop entitled “Webs aren’t just for spiders, finding educational resources on the world wide web” Edublogs, wikis, Big 6, Primarywall, portaportal, email, googledocs, epals, global school net
Digital Toolbox Learning and Creativity Learning Experiences & Assessments Work and Learning Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Professional Growth and Leadership The final drawer in her toolbox, like all the others, was beginning to overflow with tools to use and share. She would begin sharing with this presentation at her next staff meeting. Throughout the rest of the year, she would attempt to share the wealth of knowledge that she had gained in Capstone with her colleagues and the Professional Learning Communities in which she participated. Elementary Tech Teachers, Teacher Librarian Community, Capstone learners, PBS, Promethean Planet, Technology Integration in Education, Global School Net, Making Curriculum Pop, Smartboard Community
At the end of her journey, her head was full of ideas and her toolbox was overflowing with new and exciting digital tools. And although her quest called Capstone was over, the journey of using technology effectively in teaching was only beginning.
Clipart – Microsoft Office online, Promethean Planet screen shots- ElementaryTechTeachers , TeacherLibrarianNing , Googledocs, my Capstone blog, and www.ted.com Toolbox pictures-photography by Patricia Rideout, toolbox compliments of Lowe’s I would like to acknowledge the dedication and help of my teacher assistant , Ms. Paige, throughout Capstone I and II. Without her assistance and support, my survival would have been impossible. Also thanks to Ynez, for her collaboration throughout Capstone I and II. And a special thanks to the black bears of the Dismal Swamp in Tidewater Virginia for providing me timely material for my portfolio lessons. THE END