ISTE Standard 3 requires educators to, “exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.” While researching this standard I am compelled by the one of four components of that asks teachers to, “model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.” Kumer and Vigil (2011) findings show that digital natives, people born after 1984 who expect effective integration of digital technology into their educational experience, are not likely to transfer use of technology in creative ways unless their teacher training programs required this of them. As a result of being a preservice teacher who is required to be an active creator of digital content, I am inspired to personalize my exploration of ISTE Standard 3 by asking myself, “how can I provide early primary students with opportunities to be innovative in the digital world?” One of the answers to this exploration is the idea of collaborating on a class blog with students. Professor David Wicks suggested a free web resource called Kidblog. This website allows teachers to create a class blog, or individual blogs for each student. It requires a password to ensure that the teacher, families, and students are the only people who have access to it. I would create a collaborative blog with my 1st grade reading group where students could post on a topic for the week as part of their reading home link. I think students would need an adult to assist them in doing their blog post, not so much for how to use the technology, but to compose one or two sentences for their post. I think this would be a nice alternative to having families and students maintain the weekly paper reading log. Families would have easy access to what other children in the class are reading through this community blog. Furthermore, I could post on this blog to share what we are learning in reading group at the moment. In Figure 1, I share a link to Kidblog. Here I share an example of a blog post prompt that I would send to families at the beginning of each week.
Another aspect of modeling active creation of digital content is sharing curriculum amongst colleagues. As teachers we put an abundance of time and energy into creating excellent curriculum. With current technology it is easy to collaborate on lesson planning amongst our professional communities. Figure 2. is a link to a resource called Common Curriculum (resource shared by Andrea Nichols on Google Plus).
This web application facilitates the process of planning lessons that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Teachers can collaborate in the planning process, ask for feedback from one another, and share lesson plans with one another. I think this web tool could help teacher teams to budget their planning time more efficiently, and optimize the quality of the lessons they are teaching. Common Curriculum would also be an efficient way to save lesson plans for future use.
I feel fortunate that my teacher training program is challenging me to transition from a passive consumer of technology to an active and innovative creator of digital content. My commitment to ISTE Standard 3 is two-fold: to be innovative in creating and sharing excellent curriculum with professional communities; and to provide opportunities for students to be innovators of digital content.
Common Curriculum- http://www.commoncurriculum.com/
Kumar, S. and Vigil, K. (2011). The net generation as preservice teachers: Transferring familiarity with new technologies to educational environments. Journal of digital learning in teacher education 27(4) 144-153. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ936543