Monday, September 26, 2011

iPad 2 PD

Our school has bought over 20 iPad 2s and a syncing cart for the grades PK-2 to use. Middle and high school students are required to have and use MacBook Pros. 3rd to 5th grade students are allowed to use one of four MacBook Pro carts for classwork. Grades PK-2 attend my computer class twice a week, but they do not having any computing device that they can use in their classrooms. So the administrators decided to provide these grades with an iPad 2 cart. 

So I have decided to lead a professional development on the use of iPads in PK-2 grade classrooms. Through informal observations of my colleagues, I used the ACOT Stages to see what stage of technology adoption most of them were in. Then I used Roger’s Adopters to see what level of the innovation spectrum they were in.  Next I performed a needs analysis that focused on iPad use in the classroom. I administered a seven question survey to all nine PK-2nd grade teachers and three specialist teachers. Here are the questions the survey: 

  1. What do you know about iPads and their purposes?

  2. Do you think iPads can be beneficial to the classroom? Why or why not?

  3. Choose a number that you feel describes your ability and skill level in using an iPad. Choose number 1 if you have no idea hot to use an iPad. Choose number 5 if you feel you are a near iPad expert. 

  4. Provide an example of how you would use an iPad in your classroom.

  5. Would you like to be informed on how to use iPads, their benefits to student learning, and how they can be implemented into your curriculum?

  6. Do you have any worries about using iPads in your classroom (e.g. classroom management)?

  7. Is there anything you would like to see be included into iPad training and development?

The results revealed the following: 

  1. Majority of the survey participants who answered this question knows what the iPad is and what they are used for. Only two teachers stated that they did not know much about the device. 

  2. A teacher thought iPads would be useful during library timeA few teachers thought that digital media would be their primary use. The iPads would be easier to use for younger students than laptops.

  3. 100 percent of the teachers believed that iPads can be useful in their classroom.

  4. 33.3 percent believed their ability and skill level was ranked as 1. 33.3 percent believed they ranked at 3. Only one teacher (11.1 percent) ranked themselves as a 4 and two teachers (22.2 percent) believed they were near iPad experts. 

  5. Some suggestions for the use of iPads included group station work, digital art creation, portfolios, photography, writing drills, stop motion animation, and read-along stories.

  6. 88.9 percent of the teachers wanted to be informed on how to use iPads, their benefits to student learning, and how they can be implanted into your curriculum. One teacher was not sure. 

  7. Only one teacher was concerned with classroom management when students use the iPads.

  8. Two teachers wanted to know about different useful apps that are available, and one teacher wanted to know if there would be a projector adapter.

For the professional development session, I would like to divide it into three sections. The first section will be a quick demonstration of how to use an iPad and show the different features it contains. The second section will involve information on how iPads can benefit student learning. This would then lead to demonstrations of different educational apps for specific subject areas. 

I think I may ask the PK-2nd grade teachers one more question to find out what academic areas students are struggling in their classrooms. The answers to this question will provide me with a focus in my research. I would research specific apps and iPad activities that would help students who are struggling in specific academic areas. 

  • Do you see any struggles in specific academic areas from your students that would benefit from extra support?

I have emailed my principal and technology director asking if I could conduct the PD and if I would be able to have access to the iPads soon. I would also like to have access to the school’s credit card account to buy some apps onto my iPad to test them out. Hopefully I will be able conduct the PD within two weeks.

I will hopefully have permission to conduct the PD by the end of this week, and have access to the iPads the next week. I will also conduct more research for the PD during the same week and conduct the PD the following week. I hope to conduct it after the department meeting on Monday in my computer lab. The materials I will be using will be my laptop, projector, iPads, and PD handouts. I hope to provide pizza and beverages to guarantee attendance. I would ideally like for someone in my school who has been conducting PDs for many years to attend and evaluate my performance. He or she could provide me with helpful suggestions to improve my PD conducting ability. 

This whole process of conducting a PD will definitely benefit me in my handbook. For my handbook, I hope to explain how to integrate iPads into classrooms to benefit the students and teachers. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Master Project Reflection #3

I have grouped all the resources I will use into two groups.

  • Rationale for implementation

  • Process of implementation

The resources that focus on the rationale of implementation includes articles about student benefits such as, higher achievement in writing and the increase in proficiency in 21st century skills and literacy. The process of implementation includes articles that describes step-by-step method of implementing a 1:1 computing program, and also its rationale for these steps that are backed by research. I also hope to cite the textbook I am using in my EDEL 590 called The New Meaning of Educational Change by Michael Fullan. This book discusses numerous strategies that bring successful change, in this case would be the implementation of the 1:1 program. A summary of chapters 1 and 2 is in my previous post titled History of Change in Education and Strategies for Change.

It was quite confusing in the beginning to know where to cite my resources. I first thought that all my research articles would be placed in the lit review, but this was not true.

Goal of the week: I hope to at least complete 3/4 of section 1.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Here is a picture of how my New Tab page looks like. I also created a theme (background) using the Theme Creator app (its a picture of KIS). You need to go to the Pack tab and click on the “Pack and install theme” button to activate the theme. 

Google Chrome Apps Synced

So this morning Mark, the 3rd to 5th grade computer teacher, came up to me and with great enthusiasm told me about the free Google educational apps that were made for elementary school students. He also explained that these apps could be downloaded onto your Google Chrome web browser (New Tab page) and can be synced to any other computer that has Google Chrome. He thought it would be great for students to go to one place and be provided with numerous educational apps.  A web browser with numerous educational apps is a great place for students to go to after they complete the objectives of my lessons. It would be a reward and a learning opportunity for the students who use the apps. Apps are also great because they usually focus on one aspect of their education. If I know a student is having trouble in math, I can instruct him to go the math app after he finishes the objective of my lesson. This New Tab page would be used similarly to bookmarking utilities, but I think the process of downloading apps from the Web Store is much easier than looking around for different websites with learning activities on the Web.  

So that’s what I spent most of my afternoon doing, installing Google Chrome onto all the computers. First I updated Java and Adobe Reader on each computer. Second I created a new gmail account so that I could use it solely for the purpose of syncing apps. Next I downloaded as many free educational apps I believed would be beneficial to my students onto the main computer of my classroom. Then I installed Google Chrome for every computer and synced it to the new gmail account. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Master Project Reflection #2: Rationale of 1:1

So I just finished Skyping Tim Green about my master’s project. He seemed to be okay with my new topic. However, he told me to alter one aspect with my plan. He told me my focus should be more on one topic. I told him that I wanted to investigate the benefits of 1:1 computing programs, and also investigate the most effective method of implementing a program like this. Tim explained that the benefits of 1:1 would be the reason why educators should implement the program. This concept should be included in the rationale, with citations of resources, and not in the actual handbook. The handbook would be only about the effective implementation process. 

He also asked me to email him with my edited version. This leads me to what I want to accomplish for the rest of the week. 

  • Email Tim with new revised questions.

  • Use the questions to make a new outline (questions will guide the process)

  • Finish a 1st draft (hopefully)

Let’s see how it goes. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who Am I ? Where Am I?

Here are two models that will help you to see where you are as a tech educator. 

Stages of Adoption ( ACOT)

(Sandholtz, Ringstaff and Dwyer, 1997)


  •  Entrytraditional technology being used and introduction of  computers makes teacher uncomfortable

  •  Adoption  -  less time being frustrated and beginning to attempt to incorporate technology into direct instruction practices 

  • Adaptationtechnology is being used as any other teaching and learning tool

  • Appropriationunderstand technology and using it naturally and purposefully

  • Inventionhow did I ever do it the ‘old way’?

I think I am currently between adaptation and appropriation. I lead a computer class for PK-2nd grade students. We only use technology (mostly iMac computers) in the class and I strictly use digital media to present and teach 21st century concepts and skills. However, I don’t think I use technology in a natural and purposeful way yet. I am surrounded by technology and its use, but I belief this characteristic only truly appears with much more experience. I do know that I am improving in the way I use technology to enhance learning everyday. 

I think I have just arrived in this level of the spectrum. I first experienced edtech in my teaching credential program. It was an edtech cohort that had implemented a 1:1 computing program. Lessons and assignments involved technology, such as media presentations or Web 2.0 tools. I don’t feel intimidated by technology and use it like any other tool. I have become more effective in using technology at appropriate times, but I believe I haven’t entered the appropriation stage quite yet. 

I would love to be in the invention stage. I want to incorporate technology in EVERY aspect of teaching and learning. However, I am not saying that I want to use technology for the sake of using technology, but incorporate technology that is effective, facilitates learning, and produces the best student results. I believe most of my colleagues are in between the entry and adoption stages. I sense fear from some of the veteran teachers who are not familiar with the current tech-integration. I sense frustration from teachers who are being forced to implement technology into their instruction and curriculum. 

Ideally, it would be great for all teachers at my school to be in the invention stage. I believe, however, that most will reach the adaptation stage in a few years, and if they continue to teach, they will be the appropriation stage within five to ten years. 

KIS wants to be one of the leading international schools in technology. However, I don’t believe we have enough PD involving education technology where teachers feel comfortable using technology in their instruction and classroom. I hope that KIS’s goal of becoming a leading school in education technology becomes true within the next few years. The school has invested large amounts of money in hiring an IT department, and an edtech-integrationist for each school level. We are starting a program soon to have daily PD meetings on edtech so that all teachers can attend. I can see a bright future for this school in terms of being a leader and innovator in technology integration.

Rogers’ Adopter Categories

Diffusion of Innovations ( 2003)

  • Innovators (venturesome) - first to try it, ‘the geeks’ who many have trouble relating to even if they respect their innovativeness

  • Early Adopters (respect)respected by others for the willingness to try new things. Not the first to dive in, but not far behind. Others look to this group with ‘if they can do it, then I’ll try it’ mentality.

  • Early Majority (deliberate) - adopt the innovation just before the majority. Not considered leaders in innovation adoption

  • Late Majority (skeptical)adopt the innovation just after the majority, usually out of necessity or requirement.

  • Laggards (traditional) - see limited relative advantage, compatatiblity, complexity, trialability, and observability of the innovation

I believe I am an Early Adopter because I am always looking for something new and better that would help me in my teaching. I continually try to find new tools that will motivate students, raise comprehension and retention levels, and keep the attention of students. However, it seems that I am never the first to find these new technological tools. For this reason, I don’t think I am in the Innovators category. 

Before entering the edtech teaching credential cohort, I was definitely a laggard. I did not want to have anything to do with technology. I despised computers as a child because it took away from my playing time outside. In my college years, when I decided to pursue teaching, I thought that I would have a little technology integrated into my classroom. The main reason was that technology to me seemed foreign and a daunting. However, being forced to use a laptop and other different types of technology in the credential cohort, I became aware that technology was not here to make my life more complicated, but it exists because it makes things convenient. 

People don’t like change. They like having routines and being familiar with procedures. I know that I would only change an aspect of my life if I have a realization that the change is beneficial. This leads to the motivation factor. Realization that change is beneficial can be the biggest motivation to take action. For Laggards, I think forcing them to implement something they feel uncomfortable with is the worst thing that can be done. For these people, they need to be given quality information and have them decide on their own. 

Late Majority types are much more easier to convince I think because if you explain to them logically and thoroughly the benefits of change, they would probably make it. The persuasion has to be convincing. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

History of Change in Education and Strategies for Change

I began reading a book called “The New Meaning of Educational Change” by Michael Fullan. I plan to summarize what I read so that I retain the information better. Additionally, I would like to state that what I write may not be what the author was trying to say. It is the interpretation of what I read that I am documenting. 

Chapter 1: A Brief History of Educational Change

The pre-1950s era was considered the “progressive period” because of the educators and education intellectuals, such as John Dewey who wanted to change pedagogy using practical and intellectual principles. In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s the U.S. government spent large amounts of money to make these reforms occur. However, schools and districts appeared to reform, when in fact most were not actually taking action. Since the 1980s education reform has been a focus, but little has actually been done to actually bring reform to action. Reform in education needs to happen because of the current globalization that is occurring. Students need to be able to learn and work in a complex global world, as well as in local settings. 

The chapter describes the too-tight and too-loose problems. Schools who use too-tight method for reform find immediate change, but it is relatively short and to a certain point. Schools using too-loose method of reform appear to take action for reform, but it is actually just an appearance. There needs to be a good balance of these problems sot that change can occur effectively. 

The main reason change is so difficult is because of the weak infrastructure. Teachers, schools, districts, and the state government are not in the right page with one another, and each part of the infrastructure is not working and helping each other. 

Chapter 3: Insights into the Change Process

Motivation and reflective action are huge factors in bringing educational change (“bias for action”). What is strange about change it is generally difficult for people to change without true motivation. The author provides the example of people who undertake bypass surgery for coronary disease that initially change their living conditions, but within two years go back to their normal ways. A study was also done to see whether or not people would rather change or die. Findings showed that most people rather die than change. 

The author lists ten strategies that bring successful change.

  • Educators and administrators need to make the goal of closing the gap their “overarching goal.” This is an ongoing process that involves monitoring and appropriate action. 

  • Schools and teachers need to have students be sufficient in literacy, numeracy, and well-being by the age of 12 years old.

  • Make sure to use respect and people’s dignity to create motivation for change.

  • The most qualified and passionate people should be used to solve problems involving change.

  • Strategies for change involve either social or action foundations. Social-based involves strategies that try to develop positive and productive relationships. Action-based strategies promotes the idea of actually doing rather than just conducting painstaking and detailed planning. 

  • There needs to be an assumption that people need to be taught how to take action for reform or be taught that reform can happen. 

  • There needs to be correct direction led by capable leadership to make sure that everything is on track. 

  • There needs to be interconnected internal and external accountability.

  • The reform environment needs to consist of positive pressure from teachers, schools, districts, and state governments. 

  • The previous nine strategies should be done to also have the public have a positive view of the change that is being made.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Master Project Reflection #1: 1:1 Computing!!!

For my last semester of my master’s program, I am taking EDEL 594: Research Seminar, which will be taught by Tim, Green, Ph.d. On the syllabus, it states that “learners in this course will complete their culminating project, which synthesizes the knowledge and skills acquired during their Master’s program and which presents a new product that can benefit the profession of education.” For the culminating project I plan to create a handbook that describes the most effective process of implementing a 1:1 computing program into a school. 

I am extremely excited about this master project. I currently work at Korea International School that has already implemented this type of program for the middle and high school departments. I hope to see first hand the benefits of 1:1 computing and also its unproductive aspects (My guess would be the access to social network sites). 

I believe creating a handbook that describes the framework implementing a 1:1 computer program will benefit my career as well. I would be attractive to schools who are thinking about using this type of program. I can supply my handbook to a school and be part of the implementation process. I believe 1:1 computing is the future for all schools. I think a person who knows the ins and outs of this program would be valuable to any school.  

What I am nervous about is the lack of research that has been done on this topic. This topic is not fairly new (I found some schools have used 1:1 since 1993), but there hasn’t been much research. I have found a couple of articles, but I don’t think they will be enough for a lit review. 

The obvious questions I have for this topic are:

  • What are the benefits of having a 1:1 computing program in a school?

  • What is the most effective process of implementing this program into a school?

I also would like to know whether 1:1 computing is a necessity. This program can be expensive to implement. So if there are only small benefits that come out of having this program, is it really worth the high cost? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fantasy Soccer League

I got an email today from the ES principal informing all teachers who would like to lead an after-school club to send him an email with details. So here was the process of choosing what type of club I wanted to lead:

  • A topic that would interest both my students and me: When I teach a concept or skill, I like to use examples that I know my students would understand and find interesting. These examples range from Pokemon to Korean-pop groups. However, the examples that get the most excitement are the Korean sports athletes (Kim Yuna for the girls and Park Ji Sung for the boys). Examples with soccer players would get the greatest reaction. This is the same reaction I have when I get involved in a conversation about soccer. I follow soccer religiously, checking ESPN five times a day. Soccer as the subject was a very easy decision.

  • Technology: Being that I am the computer teacher, I thought that it would be appropriate for me to implement some type of technology into the club. But what? My first idea was to create a blog that the students would use to discuss the latest soccer news, giving their opinions on game outcomes, transfers, and other soccer related issues. However, I thought this would be better for students who were in the upper grades because they have better writing fluency. I think it would be difficult for some elementary students to write posts with enough content for a blog. Then I thought up the idea of having a fantasy league club. Fantasy league would be great for students because it involves research, statistics, and strategy. Students will need to research the players that they think would do well for their fantasy team. Students will also need to compare and analyze player and team statistics to help them make smart decisions. Finally students will need to be strategic in their decision-making as well so that they will have the chance to win the league!

I think this club would be very unique. It provides a way for students to use skills that they are learning in their classes in a meaningful way, but also be involved in a subject they find interesting. Now I just have to wait and see if I get any interest.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Elementary Edtech Source

Yesterday, I created an edtech bookmarking page for KIS’s elementary school using Portaportal. During the first meeting for the Tech-Integration Committee, teachers expressed their frustration of not having a convenient source that teachers can access that provides educational technology resources. They stated that they did not know what Web 2.0 tools or online resources they could implement into their teaching or curriculum. By creating this bookmarking page, teachers can link to numerous resources that I have found in the past few years and also add their own links if they come across great edtech resources. 

Here is the url to the edtech elementary school Portaportal:


Monday, August 15, 2011

Holding Lessons

On Monday, it was Korea’s Independence Day; the most productive Independence Day I have ever had (Professional Development Day for KIS). As a result, some of my classes will only see me once this week. If I continue my lesson planning without addressing this situation, these classes would fall behind. 

Mr. Page suggested that I have “holding lessons” when holidays or unexpected events like assemblies come along. These special lessons have students do activities that utilize software or Web 2.0 tools that they already know how to use. The purpose of these activities is to practice technology skills and utilize their knowledge to create work. An example of this would be to have students go onto their own blogs and reflect on their learning for the day. Another example could be for students to create a multimedia presentation about a topic or interest that they are familiar with.

These lessons hold back classes, while students practice their skills and utilize their knowledge, so that the other classes who have less time with me can keep up.

Thanks Mr. Page!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monitors Off!!!

During teacher prep week, I think the one thing that Mr. Page kept emphasizing was the importance of classroom management for the first week of school. However, during that week, I put most of my focus on the basic skills I wanted to teach my new students. I think this happened because I was so excited to use the knowledge I gained from my edtech master’s program for my computer class. 

After finishing my first week of teaching, I realized I should have focused more on classroom management. My first class with my kindergarteners was hectic because of the lack of training the students had with my classroom procedures. Many students did not stay in their seats or line-up correctly. Some students kept going to their neighbors’ computers so they could not stay on task. As a result, I restructured my lessons throughout the week to focus more on my classroom expectations, rules, and procedures than basic computer skills. This change in focus made my classes more productive and less disruptive toward the end of the week.

Mr. Page told me about a classroom management technique that he uses when he wants to gain the attention of his students who are working on the computer. When he says, “Monitors off!”, all the students turn off their monitors and face him so that he can give more instructions. After he finishes his instructions, he says “Monitors on!” All the students turn on their monitors and go back to what they were working on before. I taught my students this technique and practiced it throughout the week. Gaining the attention of the students and providing them with more instructions were extremely easy to do when I used this technique.

For this week’s classes, I will need explain to the students the difference between “log out” and “monitors off.” Some students turned off their monitors and looked at me when I stated “Log out.” 

The principle goal of education is to create men and woman who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”
-Jean Piaget

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Captain and the Crew

I taught yesterday’s lesson today to my other classes and I saw an improvement after each class. I realized that each time I taught the lesson there were less interruptions and I had more time to give instructions and model difficult skills.

I added a new aspect to the lesson by comparing my computer lab to a control center of a spaceship. I first asked if the students ever watched a movie with a spaceship in it. Then I had them describe the features and characteristics of a spaceship control center. They stated that a captain and crew worked together in separate workstations to accomplish different missions. The captain gave orders to the crew and the crew worked diligently in their positions. Crew members were never off-task, eating and drinking in their workstations, or participated in any type of foul-play. I explained to the class that the teacher of the computer lab is the captain and the students are the crew members. They learned that they should behave in my classroom the same way crew members behave in the control center of a spaceship.

First Day of School!

Welcome to my teacher reflection blog. I plan to document my progress in teaching a computer class for the first time. I hope to reflect on my lessons and teaching methods to help me become an effective educator.

Last week’s KIS Faculty Inservice was an awesome time for me to get situated into KIS, the elementary school department, and especially my computer classroom. This would not have happened without the presence of Mr. Page (Mark), my master teacher and the person I am taking over for the 1st and 2nd grade computer class. He has taught me the procedures of running the computer lab, numerous classroom management skills, and the different teaching strategies that would make my instructions more effective. Additionally, his energy and passion for educational technology motivates me to become the best computer instructor I can be.

Well, I did it! I finished my first day of school. I met my awesome new students and I am excited to start a yearlong journey with them.

The lessons I taught did not go exactly as planned. It was great however that I was able to teach 2nd grade twice today because it gave me the ability to make some necessary changes to my lesson. For example, in my first class, some of the new students who did not have any experience with the computer lab before were having trouble logging in and out of the computer. So for the next class, I made sure to teach every step slowly and in simpler terms. After, I asked each new student to come up as a “teacher” and demonstrate how to log in and out. I made sure to stay beside all of them during the demonstations to guide and facilitate them into completing the task. I saw that they gained more confidence, especially accomplishing it in front of the class as a “teacher.” It can be daunting for a new student to perform any task in an unfamiliar environment, particularly in a setting with technology.

Mark observed me during my first class and had some helpful suggestions:

  • Explain white space for the log-in process (this was helpful in the second class because there were fewer students who were having trouble logging in)

  • Mention Pop-ups

  • Make sure to stop a student when his or her comment is off topic

  • Ice breaker to learn names if there is time left

The presentation I presented to the class about myself seemed to have created a connection between the students and me. I presented pictures of my family, interests, and my dog, Muffin. I think the presentation made me relatable, which is not always the case in a teacher-student relationship.
One day down, 191 days more to go!