Monthly Archives: July 2013

Week 7-Reflect and Perfect

This is the week to put it all together and polish the project.  I think we have a great foundation and we have worked hard on putting the project together.  With the feedback we  receive we will be able to make the project sound.  One part of this week that is important and helpful to learning is giving feedback to others.  I found that many things that they have missed we have too.  It’s an effective process for learning.  Even though the PBL process is coming to and end, we have been asked to consider these important questions:

  • Who will you involve in the process?
    Since I teamed up with another classmate we will work together to provide feedback on a project.  I was able to find another student that was willing to review our project and gave some excellent feedback.
  • What will your process look like?
    We used a rubric provided and discussed through a forum.  I also gave my opinion based on the rubric of how to improve the project.
  • Is it just a one-time assessment?
    In this case it is for us.  I’m sure the project will continue to be improved and assessed but for the purposes of this class it will be a solitary one.
Categories: -5.1 Problem Analysis, -5.4 Long-Range Planning, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 6-Managing Your Project

This week we focused on the role of the teacher as a manager or guide in the project development process.  We looked at important and essential strategies to help make sure the teacher isn’t the whole show but rather a director.  One of the most important ways to help “check” your facilitating is to think in the terms of the student.  I think of it as the “I” or “me” syndrome that students often have.  What does this have to do with me?  What do I get to do?  Thinking this way helps me stay in the management role rather than the “sage on the stage”.   Some questions we were asked to reflect on help also with achieving a teacher/guide role.  The questions and my responses are below:

  • Will my role in the teaching/learning process change? I think depending on the activity I will have to be open to my role changing frequently.  There will be some teacher presentation moments as I help students understand the tools we will be using.  I will also become a team member/observer as I let students create their virtual maps.  Flexibility and availability is the key to success in PBL.
  • What are the skills of effective facilitation? The skills of effective facilitation have been outlined as:
    -Student centeredness
    -Understanding the role of the student
    -Managing activities
  • Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful?  I think some students will have an easier time at this than others obviously but overall I think they will be successful.
  • What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?  I think one major change is understanding when to facilitate and when to collaborate.  Getting the right balance is the key to success.
Categories: -4.1 Project Management, -4.3 Delivery System Management, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 5-Planning and Preparing

This week we focused on planning and preparing our project by focusing on the tasks and activties of the project.  We also looked at estimating time and preparing resources. We were given 2 options to post in our learning logs, I decided to go with option 2 and post about an article by Jamie Mckenzie titled, Scaffolding in PBL. I thought this article was so great I’ve inserted it here:

I think scaffolding is key to effective PBL.  I have often wondered how to “let my students loose” without making the activity purposeless and unfruitful  On the other hand there’s the challenge of being to restrictive.  I strongly agree with McKenzie when she explains, “We should have learned by now that exploration by students progresses most effectively when those students have been well equipped, well prepared and well guided along the path.” (McKenize, 1999).  There has to be some guidance in order for effective learning to take place.  I think the analogy of the guardrail of a mountain highway fits well with the whole concept of scaffolding in PBL, it doesn’t road block the learning process but guides it safely and effectively.

I have pondered this issue in our project already.  Using Google maps and other Edtech tools will require some major guidance and I have worried about being too constricting in the creative process.   One thing we have done is narrowed down the tools to the most effective and simple to use.  We haven’t put a limit on the tools and have encouraged in our project the opportunity to use other tools.  I think scaffolding in PBL is worthwhile and its principles should be considered in other teaching activities as well.

Categories: -1.3 Instructional Strategies, -3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, -4.1 Project Management, -4.3 Delivery System Management, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 4-Plan the assessment

Week 4 is an important week.  We are to plan the assessment and evaluate how it meets the key requirements for effective assessments.   We planned our assessments around the key requirements so they should line up well.  After reviewing them I have made a sort of checklist from the data from “What Kids Can Do“.  Here is that checklist.

Key Principles of Assessment

Assessment is for students.

√  Has personal relevance for students (e.g., provides a tangible product they can use).

√  Students become more confident and articulate about what they know.

√  Students feel ownership over the process as well as the product of their work.

Assessment is faithful to the work students actually do.

√  Notebooks, works-in-progress, and routine presentations are basis of assessment.

√  Occasions for reflection and discussion are integrated into ongoing project work.

√  Students are assessed on what they know and do, not what they don’t.

Assessment is public.

√  Students’ goals are solicited and become part of those assessed.

-I will add that this area can be improved, we need to add some more specific goals.

√  Criteria for judgment remain visible and accessible to students from the beginning.

√  Performances are viewed and judged by a broad group of people.

Assessment promotes ongoing self-reflection and critical inquiry.

√  Teachers and students both speak of the qualities of good work, and how to attain it.

√  Standards used reflect those of adult practitioners in the field.

√   Categories and criteria of assessment remain open-ended, subject to challenge and revision.

Looking over the key principles of assessment I think we should add some more goal oriented activities for the students and this way more student input can be included.  Overall, I think we are on track with the assessment!

Categories: -1.3 Instructional Strategies, -1.4 Learner Characteristics, -3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, -3.4 Policies and Regulations, -4.3 Delivery System Management, -5.1 Problem Analysis, -5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 3 Part 1 and Part 2-Develop a Project Idea and Write a Driving Question

Week 3 I feel like has been a very important week for the development of the project.  There were two parts to this week.  The first part was to develop a project idea.  I scanned through various projects and as I mentioned on the last post the idea of creating a scouting activity would be great.  I offered to team up with anyone in the class (collaboration) and Zach Fodor liked the idea and we ran with it.  A few tweaks and this is what we came up with.

After putting the idea together the next part was to come up with a driving question.  Zach and I had the same philosophy of using technology to enhance the experience in nature. The driving question we came up with was “What technological tools will enhance my experience with demonstrating, documenting and explaining various subjects of nature?”  I think this question will be appealing and relevant to teacher and learner.  This generation of students are so technological and sometimes teachers try to restrict its use that it just causes frustration for them.  I have found that students will embrace and enjoy the idea of using technology and teachers won’t feel like they have to fight students to enjoy learning.

Other items addressed were the content standards students will be able to use and the 21st century skills that will be taught and addressed.  The standards we used were adopted by the San Mateo Education Standards which I think is appropriate based on the goal.  A visual project organizer was also created to help visually see the steps to take.

Overall, the project seems to be coming along well.  I am really happy to be working with Zach, he has really helped to put it all together.

Categories: -1.3 Instructional Strategies, -2.2 Audiovisual Technologies, -3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, -3.4 Policies and Regulations, -5.2 Criterion-Referenced Measurement | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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