Evidence: Final project – Build a technology implementation plan to guide integration of technology in your own setting (Dec. 21, 2013)
“Technology Implementation in an Adult Literacy Math Classroom”
OLTD Learning Outcome addressed: Develop skills to optimize learning experiences through personalization based on characteristics, needs, stages of development, current personalized learning mandates and misconceptions.
Reflection to Support Evidence:
I chose to design a technology implementation plan for my school as my final project for OLTD 502 (Nov – Dec 2013). I teach literacy math to adult learners and was interested in exploring the challenges around incorporating technology into my classroom. The outcome was a paper discussing my Central Inquiry Question:
Given that mathematics is a very challenging subject to transfer to a digital world, how (and what) math concepts can be learned in an online environment?
During 502, we were introduced to several different frameworks for designing online or blended courses. The framework that I chose to further explore to complete my implementation plan was TPACK (Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge). This framework outlines the importance of blending all three areas of knowledge to be successful in teaching and learning online. The model allows for personalization in each of the areas. In my paper, I discuss how adult learners learn differently than children (andragogy rather than pedagogy), the importance of Prior Learning Assessment to allow personalization of the content, and careful choice of online tools to reflect adult learners comfort with technology.
Writing this paper has also reinforced to me the importance of increasing my circle of knowledge in terms of technology and the tools that are available for my students. I am comfortable with both content and andragogical knowledge, but have limited knowledge of technology. This learning outcome also speaks to how I must consider my own learning mandates and misconceptions to optimize my learning experience as I move through the OLTD program.
Optimizing learning experiences for our students is one of the main jobs of an educator. Often students are not able to recognize what they need in order to grow and learn. Guiding my students by using carefully designed learning opportunities that address learner’s needs in terms of learning styles and stage of development will help them move towards success. I would also like to begin conducting formal Prior Learning Assessments to identify misconceptions early in my students learning.
Evidence: Lesson Plan Critique and Re-design (Dec. 9, 2013)
Critique of a Chemistry 067 (Grade 12) solubility lesson plan using the principles outlined in the Universal Design for Learning
OLTD Learning Outcome addressed: Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the learning environment and the learner
- Incorporation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles; and
- Selection of strategies and resources appropriate for the learning environment, learners, and learning outcomes.
Reflection to Support Evidence:
Although I consider myself a careful planner when it comes to creating a lesson, I have never really examined my lessons using principles of any learning theory. After being introduced to both Understanding by Design and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), I was drawn to the principles of UDL. I appreciated the basic principle behind this design; that everything I do in the classroom should be considered from the perspective of increasing access to learning. This includes multiple means of representation, action, expression and engagement. Considering one lesson plan in light of these principles made me realize that I could create much richer learning experiences for my students. For example, the example lesson plan addressed mainly one type of learner, text-based, but did not provide opportunities for other learning styles. I believe the evidence I have chosen to support the OLTD 502 learning outcomes illustrates that I have learned how to re-evaluate my approach to teaching and can, with careful consideration, choose strategies and resources that better suit a wide range of learners and learning styles.
Learning how to develop and design intentional learning activities that suit many different learning environments and learners is an important skill for any educator. As I move into an online or blended environment, I will have an increased number of multimedia resources to choose from to enhance my teaching practice. Being able to choose learning activities that suit my student population, and being flexible in how my students show me what they have learned, will go a long way towards creating a rich learning environment. Moving forward, I would like to apply the UDL principles to other lesson plans, particularly for topics where I know students struggle, to see how I can better support their success.