Archive for the ‘(06) Communication:’ Category

Capstone–Standard 09 Meta-Reflection: Cultural Sensitivity

Standard 09 Meta-Reflection: Cultural Sensitivity–Capstone

Establishes a culturally inclusive learning climate that facilitates academic engagement and success for all students. 

Initial reflection during C & I Orientation:

Regardless of the range of differences in race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity and exceptionality represented by the students within my care, I must model respect for diversity and promote a learning environment that is free from bias. Specifically within my school setting, I must be especially mindful and responsive to the unique interests of students who belong to one of the two Native American tribal communities represented within our school district.

EDU 6525 Culturally Responsive Teaching

Please note: The requirement for this course was fulfilled via transfer credits earned through another university. I am grateful for SPU’s acceptance of my petition, however, regret not having the opportunity to take EDU 6525 Culturally Responsive Teaching*. I earned an A in the SEI/500 course entitled, Structured English Immersion which focused on the following: ELL Proficiency Standards for Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, data analysis and application, formal and informal assessment, learning experiences with SEI strategies, parent/home/school scaffolding, and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP).

*In the context of taking Survey of Instructional Strategies through Seattle Pacific University, however, I briefly addressed the topic of Culturally Responsive Teaching in a blog, entitled: Cultural Competence—A Work in Progress:

As a special education teacher in a largely inclusive high school where nearly 40% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, I am currently working with special education students —ranging from the context of individual student appointments to one or more class periods per day—based on their IEP needs.

Over 10% of our total student population represents families from two local Native American tribes which have teamed together with our district in multiple ways within the past three decades to facilitate significant progress toward many of the goals highlighted within the readings this week.

While I have had the privilege of participating (both as a teacher and a parent) in a wide variety of creative activities designed to bridge the cultural gaps, including parent conferences held at tribal education centers, community dinners, reading celebrations, etc. –I still feel the personal need to improve my ability to connect with and embrace cultural differences within my own school and community (we live right on the boundary of one of the reservations).

Within the Synthesis of the Recommendations for the 2008 Achievement Gap Studies, many suggestions are offered for developing relationships between school districts and tribes. One particular thought that caught my attention was, “Teachers, educators and school administrators need to understand that disengagement from the school or not understanding how to help their children with homework does not mean “a lack of commitment to education” (section III, #2). This helps me to see some of my current students’ challenges in a different light. Perhaps it is like having a goal in mind, but not knowing how–or not having the tools to create realistic steps to reach that goal. For example, just because someone is struggling to create or maintain a workable plan to become physically fit, does not automatically mean that a person does not value or desire a healthy lifestyle.

As a teacher working to help my students to make progress and complete steps toward graduation and beyond, I found the following characteristics noted in the Synthesis of the Recommendations for the 2008 Achievement Gap Studies to be familiar…”(a) provide encouragement, support and respect for their cultural identity; and (b) be flexible and adaptable to help Native students make up for absences and missed assignments due to family issues, losses and cultural opportunities outside the classroom” (p. 12).

I am encouraged to see so many resources highlighted to address the cultural competency need and look forward to gaining new insights.  I so often feel like I’m “just beginning”—despite my status as a veteran teacher. My number one goal is to see my students as individuals in the context of “their world”–and to be willing to try to see “the world of school”, through their eyes.

In another SPU course, EDU 6655: Human Development and Principles of Learning, I responded to an assignment prompt by suggesting a service project through which students might work together with local fisheries personnel and local Native American tribes to assist and monitor the restoration and health of fish-bearing streams of North Kitsap County.In the midst of researching the benefits of organizing a community effort on this nature, I noted that according to Smith (2008):

Service learning presents many opportunities for adult participants to:

  • develop and maintain close relationships with other people,
  • give care to those in need
  • balance one’s needs with a responsibility to care for others
  •  …(possibly) contribute to an “ethic of care” as a consequence of being in a helping, caregiver, or service provider role (Smith, p 10).

I believe a project involving the local Native American tribal community with students in my school could strengthen existing and create new, healthy connections for all involved. I have often observed among the families of my Native American students, a strong emphasis on bonds between generations and sharing traditions with others in our community. Not only would this project reflect cultural sensitivity, but it would also serve to address the psychosocial needs of my students. “A particularly relevant dimension of psychosocial maturity is development of generativity among adults… Generativity concerns the ability to care for and provide for the next generation” (Smith, p. 10).

Artifacts for Standard 09:

I have selected two artifacts for this standard—both from University of Phoenix, however, since digital copies are no longer available, hard copies of these papers have been scanned and uploaded. Please note that in the conversion process, some of the formatting has been distorted.

Artifact 1: Artifact–Assessments for English Language Learners

Artifact 2: Artifact–Make a Difference Proposal

References:

Closing Opportunity Gaps in Washington’s Public Education Systemhttp://www.k12.wa.us/Cisl/pubdocs/AgapLegReport2010.pdf

Cross, T. L. (2001). Gifted children and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Gifted Child Today, 24(1), 54-55,61.

James, L. G. (2011). EDU 6655 Human Development and Principles of Learning, Seattle Pacific University. Service Learning for Gifted Students and Adults  Retrieved from  https://lpettengilljames.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/service-learning-for-gifted-students-and-adults/

James, L. G. (2012). EDU 6526 A Survey  of Instructional Strategies, Seattle Pacific University. Module 1 Reflection: Cultural Competence—A Work in Progress. Retrieved from https://lpettengilljames.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/cultural-competence-a-work-in-progress/

Smith, M. (2008). Does service learning promote adult development? Theoretical perspectives and directions for research. New Directions For Adult And Continuing Education, (118), 5-15.

ISTE NETS for Teachers – Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership—Goalview IEP System–Training to Become a Trainer

EDTC 6433: ISTE Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership—Goalview IEP System–Training to Become a Trainer

Goalview screenshot

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

  1. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
  2. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
  3. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
  4. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching.

Within the first couple of weeks of this course, EDTC 6433, I noted that our district was in the midst of selecting software for creating and managing online IEPs . I also shared a screen shot of one of the options, Goalview. As of today, I am now in the midst of training to become a trainer for other teachers within our district on how to implement Goalview. Having served on the software adoption committee 15 years ago and teaching others to use the software from then to the present,  I am delighted to have once again been selected to represent the high school team of special education teachers. I am eager to move beyond the “test site” we experienced today. Due in part to what I have learned within this course, today I was able to ask insightful questions during the training, move ahead to see a sneak preview of the benefits of this program, and envision ways that I will provide support to my colleagues as we go “live” within the next month. I definitely see myself actively engaging in part b. of ISTE Standard 5.

In the article, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology1, authors Collins &Halverson (2009), state:  “The revolution that is occurring in education will alter not just the lives of students, but the entire society”. I am continuing to realize that as a public school educator who has served for over three decades, the changes I have already witnessed may be just the beginning. Thankfully, I am not dismayed by this fact, but rather, encouraged.

Recently a colleague complimented me for being recognized and validated as evidenced by my district selecting me to be trained to become a trainer for the new IEP software being used nationwide. Today, during our second day of training, it was easy to see huge advantages to the new features we discussed. A couple of us laughed as we recalled the “IEP system” we used at the beginning of our teaching careers—5-part NCR forms which I later experimented with feeding into the “cutting edge at-the-time dot matrix printers”! Ironically, I need to remind myself to be patient as we make the transition to the new system and agree with my colleague,  David Spencer, that “It is amazing what we can do and learn from each other as educators when we are given/take the time to discuss topics”.

1  Excerpted from our book Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The

Digital Revolution and Schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press, 2009.

EDCT 6433: Participation in an Online Educational Community –Blog

Participation in an Online Educational Community –Blog

During this EDTC 6433 Teaching with Technology course, taught by Professor David Wicks, the new experience of using Google+ as a regular means of participating in an online community of educators has opened my eyes to seeing new opportunities for personal and professional growth. As much as I hate to admit to this, I am a person who is rarely even on a social networking site such as Facebook (perhaps twice a year) the extent of my participation in an online educational community has been limited to interacting within the Blackboard setting for classes for my master’s in C&I program. Honestly, I rarely even text. Now, it is like I have been introduced to traveling on the “freeway” as opposed to taking the “beaten path of the backroads”. Although I  must say I have felt a significant degree of stress in the process of adjusting to the high speed and seemingly endless options of on-ramps and off-ramps, I have begun to feel more comfortable with navigating my way forward.

One of the greatest benefits of this online community interaction has been to engage in the weekly Google+ Hangouts” presented and/or facilitated by Professor Wicks. I fact, if I am not mistaken, I took part in each and every hangout. The two-way interaction with other classmates and our professor and the advantage of seeing the “live screen traversing” has been invaluable to me. I anticipate that in my final capstone class next quarter as I finish up my degree, I may use the connections established with others in this community as well as others such as Schoology (an online educational community joined recently along with a few other teachers in school) to assist me in the preparation of  my SPU C & I Portfolio, my current participation  in my school’s pilot group for the new teacher’s evaluation  process, and most of all–my teaching.

On a slightly different note, but related to engaging with educators around technology, I have recently been selected to become of trainer in my district on the new IEP software, Goalview. This is a web-based management tool to create IEP and track student progress and is currently in use nationwide. Our first “training of trainers” was today and I am enjoying the opportunity to be among the first to learn to use this new tool.

Here is a clip (below) noting one instance of my participation in Google+ Hangouts within EDTC 6433:

 Laurie James

Feb 21, 2013 (edited)  –

Hangout

–  Limited (locked)

EDTC 6433 Week 8 Thursday Night Live Hangout

3 people hung out with you

Only you can see this post


Thanks +Laurie James for participating in today’s session. If you enjoy seeing technology teachers struggle with technology then you should watch today’s session. 🙂  Digital Storytelling Workshop Part 3 of 4.

EDTC 6433: Career Interest WebQuest–A Quest for the Best~

#EDTC 6433, #ISTE 2, #WebQuest, #Culminating Project, #Senior Portfolio, #Career Interests Assessments

woislogo_sm

In looking over the requirements for this course, Teaching with Technology, I was eager to learn that I would engage in the process of creating a WebQuest as one way to address ISTE Standard 2: Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments –Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S.

In previous courses, I had read numerous articles about the benefits of using WebQuests, however, did not have first-hand experience with completing one as a student nor had I been exposed to the step-by-step templates as found within QuestGarden. I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of detailed options available to assist teachers in creating lessons that provide the type of structure that benefits all students, yet is vital to many. I find the extremely structured nature of the WebQuest templates rather appealing, although the design options can seem overwhelming (at least to me as I juggle the current responsibilities in my life in addition to attending two memorial services this week–one for a teacher friend with whom I have worked for 20 years, and the other for my brother-in-law).

The particular focus for this WebQuest is to assist students in completing the preliminary steps for their senior portfolio and culminating project required for graduation. I have utilized online resources from Kingston High School’s website including WOIS.org. Our school district used WOIS for quite a few years, then we were without it for the last couple of years. It has been nice to have it back. Actually, it was used at both the junior and senior high level along with a program called Navigation 101—focused on preparing students for their culminating project. Decreased funding has led to an extreme paring down of opportunities. There had been hopes of requiring each student to create and maintain a full online portfolio, however, we simply do not have the enough access to computers to facilitate this comprehensively. I would love to use this tool for each of my students with IEPs because the process creates a wonderful way to address their Transition Plan–a legally required component of their IEP. The beauty of a WebQuest format is that it provides a wonderful guide for students that can be customized as needed to address a wide variety of needs.

Here is the link to my WebQuest: http://questgarden.com/156/32/7/130316001901/

#EDTC 6433 Digital Poster: Watch your Step and Stay Safe~

#EDTC 6433         # ISTE 1 – Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, ISTE 2 – Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, ISTE 4 – Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility > Digital Citizenship Poster – Created Using Glogster

Digital Poster for EDTC 6433

Digital Poster for EDTC 6433

Here is the link to my Glogster.

In creating this Glogster, I used materials and information provided by Seattle Pacific University professor, David Wicks, for the class EDTC  6433. This assignment is based on an article from Ribble, Bailey, and Ross, “Digital Citizenship: Addressing Appropriate Technology Behavior.”

As a high school special education teacher who works primarily with students on an individual basis or in the context of a Learning Strategies class, I decided on a format with a “checklist” theme focused on appropriate steps for students to take—in this case, when thinking about their digital footprint. The specific text used is from: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html. Photos and the video used in this poster are from Google and U-tube, respectively.

I believe that my role as an educator includes preparing students to successfully interact in the digital world—both now as students and in the future as adults.

EDTC 6433: Digital Storytelling Project—The House at Windmill Loop: A Story for My Grandchildren

EDTC 6433: Digital Storytelling Project—The House at Windmill Loop: A Story for My Grandchildren

by Laurie James

I made the decision to create a story for my grandchildren to document a very exciting event in our family. In the spring of 2012, my husband, Gary James, and I made the decision to sell our family home after 28 years and through joint ownership with our oldest daughter and her husband, build a new house that would be large enough to accommodate the collective nine members of our combined families.

On January 4, 2013–The same day as the beginning of this class, EDTC 6433, we moved in to our new house at Windmill Loop. I was delighted to learn that for this digital storytelling project, we could select a personal topic, because this opportunity to blend together the tools I am learning to use this course along with the events in my family has proved to be very motivating and timely in helping me to document a major event. My grandchildren, Gabriel, Haylie, and Makenzie, have been very intrigued and involved in the process along the way as I have been preparing this story over the past several weeks.

Music: My entire family has enjoyed listening to my musical selections which I found in the Sound Cloud portion of the Creative Commons site. Due to our “Celtic” roots, I looked for Celtic music and came across two songs performed by an artist named, James Calmus. The first song is used as the background for the series of photos showing the building of the house and is entitled, A touch of epic: https://soundcloud.com/james-calmus. The second section of the video displays photos and a couple of brief video clips taken after we moved in and is set the song entitled: Celtic https://soundcloud.com/james-calmus

Photography: As our house was being built, many photos were taken by, Packy Rieder, the chief sales person in our new Quadrant Homes neighborhood. He regularly posted these encouraging images on Facebook for our family and friends. My digital storytelling project includes Packy Rieder’s photos as well as additional photos taken by both of my daughters, Melissa Butler and Britannia James, and my son-in-law, Michael Butler.

Script: Although I originally planned to narrate throughout the video, selecting my grandchildren as my audience, I made the decision to record a voice-over script at the beginning only. My reasoning was that I did not want to detract from the natural “storyline” provided through the sequence of pictures I selected. I found that as I was in the midst of drafting my project and my grandchildren would watch it with me, they were quick to provide their own narration such as: “There’s a picture of the loft! There’s the kitchen before the refrigerator! Look at the fireplace!” Each time they would hear the music playing, they would run over to me to see what new picture I had added to the project. As they get older, they will develop a better understanding of the building process and be able to reflect on the photos—picking out many more details than what I could have begun to note in a script. I believe that additional narration would actually limit their ability to focus on what will become important to each of them over time.

Ditigal Storytelling tool: At first I was intending to use Movie Maker, because I like the built-in transition features, however, decided instead use WeVideo, due to the multiple tracks feature. I chose the “Classic” background and elected not to play with the additional aspects of transitions, fading, etc. in light of the time it took to upload, sequence, and place nearly 60 photos in the timeline. (Don’t worry, my video is just a bit over 5 minutes long!) My son, Alex James, and son-in-law, Mike, helped me through a couple of technical issues which I subsequently learned may stem from the fact that the WeVideo program is “cloud-based”—creating a bit of the delay factor when dragging and placing images in the timeline. The perfectionistic part of my could have spent even more time than the significant number of hours and days this project took—to refine, edit, and elaborate, however, I will officially declare it “done”, and consider this to be a very positive beginning to what I hope will be many digital stories to come. I must say I am so thankful for what I have learned throughout this digital storytelling project—not only for its application to my work in school with my students, but perhaps even more importantly—for documenting events in the lives of my family members.

As I reflect on ISTE Standard 1   Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, I believe that this project will indeed continue to impact the individuals who are currently the most important students in my life—my grandchildren. It is certain that as they grow older and enter into formal classrooms, the technologies available to them will be far different than those I have used in this project, however, I believe they will reflect on the process they participated in with me regarding a pivotal time in our lives. With regard to my students in my classroom “away from home”, I will be more ready and able to teach processes, support creative endeavors, and understand their needs as learners.

My link to my digital story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g7PtqRPZjY

Our new home: The James and Butler Families--January 2013

Our new home: The James and Butler Families–January 2013

References:

https://soundcloud.com/james-calmus

https://soundcloud.com/james-calmus

EDTC 6433: ISTE 3 Module 3 Communicating Effectively with Confidentiality to meet Individual Needs

EDTC 6433: ISTE 3 Module 3 Communicating Effectively with Confidentiality to meet Individual Needs

#ISTE3    #communication   #individual education plans (IEPs)   #confidentiality

Within Module 3, our challenge has been to address ways in which we as educators can model the effective use of technology in the midst of our work and learning. My initial question posted for this module focused on how can I as a special education teacher, use technology to assist me in effectively and efficiently writing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that are compliant with state requirements, streamlined for gathering staff input, and presented in a “user-friendly” format for students and parents? The specific aspect of ISTE 3 that is especially high on my priority list is: c.Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats. Both prior to and during IEP meetings, my desire is to focus more time and energy on my students and their specific strengths and needs rather than “fussing” with processes and documents that are confusing and distracting. One of the software programs our district is considering purchasing is Goalview. Here is the link: http://www.psesd.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=718&Itemid=736

In response to my posted resource, Professor David Wicks, asked if I was familiar with another online IEP system entitled, Goalbook. Following the link he provided, https://goalbookapp.com/goals/goals, I watched a sample video of the program in action and was impressed with what I saw. Just this week, however, the decision in my district was finalized and Goalview has been selected. As I have begun to investigate the Goalview software, I have learned that some of the positive aspects include autotext and drop-down menus throughout the program, multiple goal bank options, and a variety of use-friendly printing features. I am encouraged by a remark from one of my friends who served on the selection committee that she does not think that the learning curve will be too steep. Additionally, our new assistant principal used Goalview in her previous district and has very favorable comments about its use and functionality.

Throughout Module 3, I found myself drawn to posts referencing organizational tools for teachers, however, I noted that again this week I was becoming overwhelmed by the volume of available resources. I would click on a site, and sometimes sign up for free access, then after spending a considerable amount of time experimenting with the digital tool, I would find that some feature was not as user-friendly as I had hoped. In one of our readings, the need to be discerning was especially noted by author, Louise Starkey. In her article, Evaluating learning in the 21st century: a digital age, Starkey shares, “Relatively quick access to a wide range of information means that the user needs the ability to critically evaluate the validity and relative value of information accessed (2011, p. 6).

Also, I must share that when considering signing up students for using online tools I have reservations regarding confidentiality. My concern is that every one of my students has an IEP, so just the mere process of having their name being added to a class list of mine—makes it a known fact that they have a disability. The issue of confidentiality reminds me of a time when our current IEP system was brand new and in the process of the training we discovered that we could create a PDF of each page of the IEP. I was excited to try this feature and with parent permission, sent a draft of an upcoming IEP to a parent via email. In discussing this action later with my special education director (at my initiative) I was asked to not continue this practice.

Unfortunately, what was possible in a technical sense, was considered unwise for the situation, and while I clearly understand the reasoning behind the directive to not email the contents of a student’s IEP, it seemed ironic that the use of such a time-saving tool was prohibited. This illustration is also ironic to me, as I consider the results of a study by Jia Rong Wen and Wen Ling Shih: Exploring the information literacy competence standards for elementary and high school teachers, which found the dimension ‘‘attitude’’ (to be) the most powerful force for promoting teachers’ information literacy competence and their willingness to apply information technology in teaching”. I believe my attitude is one of openness and willingness to embrace technology—especially if it can streamline communication between all parties of an IEP team, however, I must be thoughtful and discerning in the decisions I make—ensuring that the individual needs of my students always trump other factors of consideration. I wonder if confidentiality is one of those issues around which practices must be altered to keep up with the ever-changing needs of society? After all, consider online healthcare and financial records.

Resources:

Starkey, L (2011) Evaluating learning in the 21st century: a digital age learning matrix Retrieved from: https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-828829-dt-content-rid-1286046_1/courses/EDTC6433_27233201232/evaluating%20learning%20in%20the%2021st%20century%282%29.pdf

Wen, J. & Wen. (2008): Exploring the information literacy competence standards for elementary and high school teachers. Retrieved from https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-828836-dt-content-rid-1286048_1/courses/EDTC6433_27233201232/Exploring%20info%20literacy%20competence%20standards%20for%20elementary%20and%20high%20school%20teachers%282%29.pdf