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Month 2 MLT Week 2 Blog Assignment

1. After evaluating your professional environment, what area(s) of interest have
you focused on for your Action Research Capstone project?

– parental involvement

– multiple intelligences

– technology

– strategies for success

– student engagement

2. Why have you chosen this direction?

I have chosen this particular direction because of my interest in the different tools and resources technology offers as well as trying to find other ways to reach those ‘unreachable’ parents and assist students.

3. Describe your target audience. How do you anticipate them playing a role in
ensuring that your results will make a difference in your environment?

The target audience for this project is: school staff and administration, parents, and students.  With regards to the school staff and administration I see them providing the role of communicator in terms of giving feedback and collaborator as they assist, if needed, with implementation or evaluation.  From there, they can see a new venue to pursue and it may get them motivated to make other related changes as far as the school goes.  The school parents and students will be the “go-to” people so that I can gauge success/issues based on their feedback and involvement in the process.  I want this to be a growing and learning experience for all involved.

4. You should have started researching the current literature surrounding your
topic, please describe any challenges/difficulties you are having with this
process and/or any helpful hints/tips that you have discovered to make this
process easier.

Challenges/Difficutlies:

– topics are not readily found in a cohesive article (in other words, the article may be about parent involvement and technology but not success)

– many articles are based on specific demographic

Helpful hints/tips:

– ask peers and those experienced in the field or topic area for information (first-hand knowledge)

– focus on one area of technology such as multimedia, the Internet, or educational software

Month 3 Week 4 TMD Blog Post

1. Who are your critical friends? What role do you anticipate your critical friends will play with regard to your AR project?

At the school:

The critical friends that I have are the vice principal and two teachers. The vice principal because she has some time available that allows for me to ask questions and receive feedback with project direction and applications that can be used school-wide. She is also familiar with and seeks to find ways to make communication better amongst the school, parents, and community. The two teachers are close friends of mine who I have known for over five years and are very helpful in providing constant reassurance, feedback, and suggestions. One of the teachers has been teaching for about 20 years now and has worked with students on the junior high level. She provides me with information about changes in communication techniques as well as how to deal with issues that arise as an educator trying to communicate both school and classroom related topics. The other teacher has been teaching about thirteen years and is the teacher I go to with regards to parental involvement. She has experience in home visits and other types of communication methods besides the basic report card conference or back to school night.

At home or elsewhere:

My FSO team members are my other critical friends. I am able to contact them at just about any time and in many ways. Because we are in the same boat with regards to our education and our projects are somewhat similar in nature we are able to share useful information with each other. I am able to reach them using online communication methods–e-mail and Google+ and phone–regular calls and text messaging. I believe that as I complete more of this project these “friends” will be the most crucial in making sure that I stay on track and complete tasks associated with the project as well as sharing resources, if applicable.

AR Timeline

Months 1-5 (June to November)

** All done/completed **

1-  Selecting the focus for research was one of the most difficult areas with regards to preparing for action research.  A lot of time was taken to select some themes and subjects and then narrow that list down.

2-  The two sub-topics related to the literature review were researched.  I found this to be quite easy especially with the information and resources I learned about in the courses during that time.

3-  During this month, finalizing elements of the literature review is done.  A peer critique will aid in fine-tuning the review.

4 and 5-  I hope to have provided my target audience with initial assessment tool of a pre-survey and present them with the online technology that they will assessed on and with during the action stage.

Months 6-9 (December to March)

** Month 6 is done; will continue to work on and address the remainder found in the timeline**

6-  This will be Christmas Break so there will be limited access to students or parents who are the target audience.

7-  Working within the first cycle, I believe that some issues will arise especially if the information is not able to be gathered efficiently and if I have made the assessment tool too difficult to provide sufficient results such as percentages.

8- After practice and implementing of the first cycle, hopefully things will flow easier during this part of the process and data and results will be evident.  If problems arise, I will have to seek out assistance from critical friends and resource people.

9-  I plan on beginning the analysis of data collected during this time.  This will be time consuming and may take a month or two to complete.

Months 10-12 (April to June)

10-  During this month I will review the parts of the action research and address any problem areas.  I will also work on a summary of what was learned about and what issues came about and changes that could be made moving forward.

11-  I plan on reflecting on Literature Review in order to help with project to publish.  Just like when I was looking for initial research articles I am sure that unless I am very precise in what I am looking for that this will take a bit of time to accomplish.

12-  Wow! The final presentation will be presented and all of the hard work will be shared.

Month 5 Week 4 EDE Blog Post

Because this is Cycle 1, I will address the pre-assessment tools.  The primary tools used were a survey for parents about technology and learning resources and learning websites for the students that record their progress.  The survey was very useful for me in terms of gauging technology knowledge and expertise and willingness to take part and implement the Internet for communication and learning purposes.  Some of the parents even offered to assist with the learning links in the classroom to better assist me as I work on completing this AR project.  I was surprised at this since most parents in my personal experience don’t tend to be as hands on and involved within the confines of the classroom.  The students and their use of the learning resources has not gone to well.  I was hoping that more than half would use the resources more not just in the classroom.  However, due to technology limitations and limited time in which to interact with the Internet at home they have not.

During this initial cycle I have not relied on my critical friends as much as I could have.  I know that as I continue to work on this worthwhile project that I will make sure to provide them with opportunities to observe what we are doing and to provide them with written or verbal feedback from which I can make changes and any needed adjustments.

There are some things that I need to work on moving forward.  One of those it to make sure to communicate more with my critical friends just as much as I do with the parents and students.  Another thing is to look for some more ways in which to provide parents with communication tools not just online but offline.  Third, is to print out the progress reports of students who are actively using the resources along with their parents.  Last, I need to prepare for Cycle 2 and the post-assessment and follow up so that I can conclude this project in a positive and complete way.

In terms of doing the same thing for Cycle 2, I can honestly say that I will have to make some minor adjustments especially with regards to those who can not reasonable gain access to the Internet and use what is being provided to them.  I will more than likely add a few more things to the post-survey too because I am sure that something else is going to come up over the next few months that I will need to address.  The data itself was good during the initial cycle but I want to gain more from it quantitatively.

Month 6 Week 2 DAE Blog Post

* How is your AR project unfolding for you? When will you begin Cycle implementation in your environment?

So far the initial stage of the project is going as well as can be expected.  I have done the survey and gone through the data as well as try out some communication tools with the parents.  Over the next few weeks, I hope to implement a little bit more the learning resources with my students so that I have other feedback and assessments from which to evaluate the process so far with regards to communication and learning.

The first cycle was started at the end of October to allow enough time between now and February at the latest to get some activities implemented and start the second cycle with enough time left to make adjustments and modifications.

* How are you planning to track your data?

I plan to track the data not only through a combination of surveys, interviews, reflective posts, and possibly videos but through coding and written transcripts of those interview logs.

* What happened in your research that you didn’t expect? Explain.

What I did not expect initially was the lack of complete involvement and interaction.  I thought that due to the nature of the age of the students and the parents being new to the school that they would embrace the purpose of my research and be more involved.  I also realized that I need to plan or map out more activities/lessons to garner more data.

* How has this month’s course (so far) helping in shaping your ARP?

Because I am just starting DAE, I can not properly address how it will shape my ARP.  I am sure after a week or two I will be able to post something of meaning and address how it has aided in the process.

Month 6-7 Update

Currently re-working the purpose of my AR project.  I have to figure out which avenue will be best to travel as I streamline the topics of communication, parents, and students.  I think I am going to go with the second option that was suggested and that is “providing students with necessary learning information and/or tools to communicate effectively.”  There are many emergent technology tools out there as well as many interactive resources online that will help in this effort.

I will make sure to get this squared away so that I am all set in Cycle 2.

Month 7 MTA Blog Post

Review your timeline; mark what tasks have been completed. Evaluate the proposed completion dates for your implementation and respond to the following prompts:

Are you still on target to complete both implementation activities? If not, why? Analyze any potential hurdles, how do you plan to address these conflicts that may postpone your implementation?

As of right now, I am on target with regards to elements of my AR and its implementation with regards to video, data collection, interview preparation, and student learning activities and lessons.  One of the main hurdles that I have encountered so far with regards to the implementation is the changing of the focus of the research; it had to be more refined and pinpointed to one and not two areas of focus.  The data in the form of surveys and the items listed above have been completed with some minor issues due to things like limited access to the Internet.  For those with this issue, I have provided them with printouts of what I was able to give to them related to their and their child’s feedback on technology, communication, and learning resources.

Estimate how long will each implementation take to complete.

The Cycle 2 element will take in my estimation at least a month.  I want to make sure to provide enough time to gather data, do interviews and other elements of implementation, and finalizing the data collection records for a final report.  I don’t want to rush the process.  I feel that the amount of time listed will be suitable for all those involved and will still provide me with a window of a little over another month in which to make any other changes before the final presentation.

Will you be completed with the implementation process by month 9?  If not, why?

I feel as though I will be completed the implementation process by month 9.  I have several holidays during which to figure out any finite details that need to be adjusted as well as to take time to review and make sure that I have completed all that it is that I need to do.  I hope that no “hurdles” as they were called arise and things will work out quite well.

Should I not be able to complete the process by then, I will make sure to contact the necessary people.  I will also try to do my best to get things done within a month or so of that time frame that was put in place and hopefully that works.

Month 8 FPE Blog Post

What changed in your set up from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2?

One major change in the set up from the first cycle to the second is that I have had to prep more to get the recording elements lined up so that I can have enough time to record, edit, and post the interviews, feedback, and other information related to my project.  During Cycle 1, the main set up was that of my data collection tools and getting ideas together in order to work with my students and their parents on the learning tools and resources.  Now that I know more precisely what my purpose is and what my expectations are, moving forward I can better keep things going on schedule and finish up the elements of the project and the process.

What’s happening that you did not expect?

So far the actual involvement with the students is more than that of the parents. I was hoping that because it is something I believed is worthwhile for all involved that they would be more proactive and responsive but have not been.  It takes quite a bit of nudging and reminders to get them going and keep the parents involved.  The students on the other hand from the very beginning have fully embraced this experience along with all the highs and lows and everything in between.  They have shown just as much growth through this process as I have and I think they are changed positively because of it.  Finally, I have to say that I appreciate the input and positivity from my critical friends (both at school and work).
How are you tracking data differently?

In terms of tracking the data, I am trying to find other software/programs such as MS Excel to record data as well as getting scripts and short blurbs together to put into podcasts about my data collections experiences thus far.  Finding the time, is the primary issue though right now seeing as I am teaching full-time, prepping for accreditation (at the school that I teach), and trying to balance home/personal life.  I will keep others in mind too when looking for other ways and means in which to track the data.

How has FPE contributed to your Action Research project?

From the first assignment till now, it has helped me to see my project in my work in a new light.  The commentary activity got me to thinking of how do I want others to view my AR work, not just all the text that is on the pages of my WordPress.  I want them to see that I tried to address the data collection, blogs, reviews, and videos with a focus on points of view, voice, and emotional content which are some of the elements of digital storytelling.  It has also inspired me to want to change the video on my homepage that I put together early on in the program at FSO.  I see now the ways in which to make it better and more appealing and not so stagnant and plain.  The other thing is that the storytelling information that I have learned about has helped to guide me to wanting to re-work some parts so that it is more evident where things begin and end as well as what is important and what I think should stand out above all else.

Month 9 GSM Blog Post

1. Describe in detail the methods, quantitative, qualitative or a mixed approach, you used for Cycle 1 data collection.

For Cycle 1 data collection, I primarily used the quantitative method to gauge needs of students and parents.  This was in the form of a Google docs survey and a few website assessments from sites like ixl.com and http://www.cooImath-games.com. I used the qualitative method via observations of my students and their interaction with technology based learning tools (i.e. websites) as well as feedback from parents to promote the involvement and interaction necessary.  They both served there purpose for this first of two stages and the information that was received will help in directing the second cycle.

2. Describe, synthesize, and compare the data found for Cycle 1 and Cycle 2. If Cycle 2 is not complete, please talk about what your predictions will be!

In Cycle 1, the data found was gathered through observation and completion of a pre-survey.  The information being asked for had to do with preferences for technology, communication, and learning resources on the part of the parents.  Overall, the input that they gave was useful and allowed me to focus on particular types of resources and ways in which to stay in contact.  It is essential in the next cycle to gather more data to compare and contrast through interviews, videos/audio, and to check back in with those involved to make sure that I am meeting their needs and accomplishing the goal of my AR project.

Cycle 2 is being worked on currently (March, 2012).  The cycle should be completed shortly, and most definitely before the end of the month 9 course.  So, therefore at this time, I am unable to successfully address the synthesizing and comparing of the data from the two cycles.  Over the next few days I hope to complete the above mentioned items and will post the responses accordingly.

In the mean time, here is a listing of what I will focus on and plan to complete during Cycle 2.

–  get data collected from post-survey and then synthesize and compare it with that data from Cycle 1

–  garner suggestions and opportunities for change moving ahead that will continue to aid parents and students in learning and communicating

–  looking for long-term ideas to come from the project and experience

–  create graphs and other visuals to share the information with school and classroom families

3. As a master’s student, you are expected to utilize the tools given in sync sessions, readings, and other source materials and apply them to your Action Research. Describe the ways that GSM contributed to your Action Research. You are expected to find a connection between this class and your Action Research project.

Connection:  Student Learning Resources

The course has provided me with some useful terms and tools that I can apply to my AR.  One of those is the term participation which can be found in the Aldrich text.  Without participation, I would not and will not be able to successfully accomplish the goal of my project.  I need the input and information from all involved, from parents to students to course peers to critical friends.  Another term is interactivity; the students use of learning tools at school and at home will help them to work towards either successes or failures and create growth and movement in learning.  The other is fostering collaboration through gaming.  Teamwork is beneficial to the working unit as a whole, both the school and family.

The tools that I can use to apply to my AR from GSM are the acrostics offered by the course instructor.  Each serves a purpose during each stage and can be used in some way to build knowledge, a story, or even a new and innovative game.

4. Provide feedback to other student’s blogs in the comments field.

http://rodolfofernandez.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/month-8-fpe/#comment-9

http://davidmouri.wordpress.com/blog/#comment-9

http://cyndeetaresh.wordpress.com/blog/#comment-18

http://cynthiamadanski.wordpress.com/blog/#comment-14

Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan (Month 9 Assignment:  GSM Blog Post)

Title:           Crack It Up

Subject:       Technology/ELA

Type of Game:     Logic and Literacy Game

About the game:

Students (and parents) can use this game to familiarize themselves with the communication tools used by the teacher.  They will use the game as a tool to  experience the websites that the teacher has created and be rewarded for their responses.  Having it in a gaming format, changes up the engagement and involvement of the participant.

Objectives:

  • to use game for the purpose of learning
  • to have fun
  • to interact with technology
  • to incorporate reading skills
  • to respond to questions
  • to work with others (a partner)

Materials:

  • computers
  • mouse
  • speakers
  • Internet access

Procedure:

1)    Follow the directions on each page.

a)     SchoolNotes (http://new.schoolnotes.com/xpages/view/85667 )

i)      Page 2:       Pick the color that is on the page. (crack 1)

ii)    Page 3:       What are their pictures of on the page? (crack 2)

iii)   Page 4:       Where are the class websites we play on and with? (crack 3)

iv)   Page 5:       What are the first three words on the page? (crack 4)

b)    Google website (http://sites.google.com/site/gr8start2kindergarten/home)

i)      Page 6:       Which of these is not on the first page? (crack 5)

ii)    Page 7:       What fun activity are we doing in April– check the “Announcements” page? (crack 6)

iii)   Page 8:       What is the name of the movie on the “Take a Look” page? (crack 7)

iv)   Page 9:       How many “Technology Resources” are there? (cracks 8 through 10)

2)   When you follow the directions carefully, you will make a crack in the window.  If you do not, then you will get a chance to try again and after three tries it is your partners turn.

3)   As you complete each question, your progress will be recorded (Assessment).  Each question until the last one is only worth one crack in the window.

4)   Make sure to pay attention and focus on what is being asked (use the key words and link headings).

5)   Share your experience with other classmates and parents.

———————–

Pacing:  What is the pace of your lesson or game?  Who will go first?

The pacing of this particular lesson is based on turns taken by each player.  So until they answer the question with an appropriate response, they will not be able to move forward.  The time limit helps increase the amount of tension felt by the player because they will only be given at least 5 minutes to respond.

The person who goes first is going to be based on their number pulled from a deck of cards.  The person who has the ace or king goes first and the person who pulls the two will go last.  The numbers and letters in between them will go in sequential descending order.

Instructions:  How will your learners learn how to play your game?

The students will be introduced to the posted directions and we will go over each to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what is expected.  After the instructions are given, a description of the ways in which to progress through the game will be given in the form of what controls to use, how their progress will be tracked, and where to look for help and hints. With this type of game, it would probably be best not to use the try it and learn method of game play in which you let them try the game out and learn about what to do with it during their experience.  The use of text, visual, and verbal clues would be of benefit too to properly prepare for the learner.

Controls:  What will the learners manipulate in your game?

The learners will use the mouse to click and pick a response.  The mouse provides them with a way in which to control the speed of play and movement.  They can also use speakers to have the question read to them if the wording is too difficult.  (One good example of this is the Math site: www.ixl.com)

Knowledge:  What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game? What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson? What do you expect them to know when they leave?

Prior knowledge:

  • Familiarity with computers and digital technology (such as websites, searching options of computer programs and links…)
  • Knowledge of teacher communication methods

Learn about through the game:

  • Ability and familiarity with tools like the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and speakers
  • Be able to use thinking skills associated with technology and ILA

As a result of the game:

  • That technology is helpful
  • That communication takes many forms
  • Show a comprehensive understanding of searching or going on a quest through websites
  • Being able to seek and use relevant information
  • That learning and fun occurred

Achievements:  What are the short term and long term victories for the learner?  How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson?

Victories

Short term:  learning and application of knowledge through play; motivation through interaction

Long term:  coming away from the experience with a successful mindset

Operant conditioning:  crack in the window (positive reinforcement) is a reward for the correct answer or response along with other optional visual rewards; reset and clearing of response lessens the negative reinforcement

“Young children who are thrilled by their power to destroy things will evaluate the tear of the brittle page of a book as a good result and seek other brittle things to tear.” (Gee, p. 97, 2003)

Story:  What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world?

Background

Technology is more accessible and used today that it has been in the past, especially in education.  It is important to be able to use it properly.  There are many benefits of using digital technology and this game is just one way to learn about it using the communication websites of a teacher.  These websites can easily be replaced with those of other teachers or other types like edublogs and webquests to enhance the learning and play experience.

Breaking the window is like breaking down those barriers that sometimes technology or people put in our way.  It is the participant who can make a difference in the movement and growth in the applying and using of information.  Also, working together for a common goal builds a sense of community among partners.

Endgame:  Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end?  What is the final outcome?  Is there an ending to your game?

In this particular game, there is no evil character.  The focus is on learning and growing and answering questions.  The desired final outcome is that the participant will want to play more and work on other levels and learn more from the page searching, use of digital technology, and ILA skills (to be created).  The end of the game stops when all possible responses have been recorded and an assessment provided to the learner.  The assessment will be in the form of percentages.

Assessment:  What are the built in assessments to your game?

  • chimes for responses
  • recorded responses saved as progress is made (smiley face may be shown as a visual reward)
  • self-assessment (how well did I do?  how do I figure this one out?)
  • progress is not made till suitable response is given
  • focused questions to try and aid in learner success and forward movement

Timing:  What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go faster or slower?

On average a game with at least 5 minutes per questions, should take about 1 hour.  The navigation through the pages and clicking of the mouse slow down the game at points and therefore gives the control to the learner.

Fun and Motivation: Why is this game fun and why would your learners like this game? What motivation theory does your lesson address?  What operant conditions are in place?

Fun:  I think that deep down each of us has wanted to smash something up.  In this game, they get to smash a window without having all the mess and clean up just by answering a few questions.  It allows them to interact with something that is familiar to them and that should be accessed  on a regular basis for communication, learning, and interaction.

Motivation:  They get to choose their response, which puts the power in their hands and the ability to make their own decisions.  They also are able to use websites with little to no difficulty because of easy access.  Outer motivators create that sense of power and success and wanting to be involved.

Operant conditions:  Positive reinforcement in terms of creating a crack in the window (which counts as a success), external motivators through visuals and game movement.  There is also a chain of events of ‘like’ elements that focuses the responses for the participant and ensures that the learning is focused and directed.

Month 10 AR Blog Post

There is a connection between the data the research from the Literature Review.  The data collected and analyzed focused on digital technology, parental involvement, cognitive theory, and motivation/success.  In particular, the digital technology tools used helped to focus on the other areas listed above.  Because of their multipurpose, they can be used to not only address a particular but a multitude of needs at one time.

I think that overall the AR project went well.  It had some stumbling and roadblocks but for the most part I accomplished what I set out to do.  I know that I want to and need to continue with the project and process because I still see that we have not accomplished all we needed to in this process.  As a practitioner, I think this project has improved my practice in that I now realize the need in having data to support a focus and the tools to make it happen, whether it is a website, paper, or person.

The LMS Schoology was used at the tail end of my project, so yes I could see this as part of my AR project in the future.  I like all that it offers and it doesn’t cost a thing.  I like having a place where I can post and provide information as well as have the data that is collected graded for me.  That is a plus for me.

Month 11 MAC Blog Post

The assignments and activities were necessary to finalize the AR project.  They enabled me to work out the details as well as build a better understanding of leadership and presentation skills.  Being able to prepare the AR for viewing in the form of a journal article or presentation shows the step up academically in what is possible and the best ways in which to share with a wide audience something that can benefit a number of people.

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25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. EMDT Action Research
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 18:09:59

    You have selected amazing topics that would greatly approve your environment. It seems these topics fall under one improvement that is using technology to improve communication. You may want to consider selecting one group students, parents, or educators initially and then branching out in cycle 2. A smaller group is more manageable. . Also after cycle 1 is completed you will have the data results to make improvements and implement cycle 2 with more groups. You will be more comfortable and your cycle will be stronger based on the improvements. Your research will fall into place as you gather and organize your articles into subtopics. As you are discovering you will not find all the information in one article. Wouldn’t that make research easy! That is one of the main reasons we require 20 articles. Well done, you are on the right track.

    Reply

    • Dara Easterling
      Aug 14, 2011 @ 22:08:50

      This feedback is extremely helpful in setting up a focus and gearing the AR in the right direction. I will make sure to keep the target group small and use the kindergarten parents and students since I will be in constant contact with them on a daily basis and as you said to make things easier. I have also started working on a proper way to address this in the school setting (i.e. something in letter format so that not only are the administrators comfortable with the process but the parents and students as well). We will all grow from this process and experience.

      Reply

    • Kathy Craven
      Feb 20, 2012 @ 13:24:32

      Hi Dara,
      I enjoyed reading your month 8 progress. I’m glad to hear FPE has been valuable for you. Keep me posted and let me know how your project evolves.
      Kathy

      Reply

  2. Katherine Olivar
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 18:51:24

    Dara, I like the perspective you took with your “critical friends”. I didn’t even think about using my co-workers at school. I was going to ask them to participate in some of the implementation, but they were never an important asset in my initial planning. With your discussion, I can see how they could actually play a major part. Your timeline also affirms some conclusions that I have made about the progress of EMDT in general in conjunction with our Action Research Project. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Sep 23, 2011 @ 16:22:16

      Katherine,

      I consider my co-workers like family and just like family they will let me know fairly quickly if I am heading in the right direction or if something will not work. The timeline was more of applying what I saw on the EMDT WordPress site and what I have done and will do going forward with the AR project.

      Reply

  3. alysonpatrash
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 21:03:02

    Your topic choice for the AR project looks like something a lot of teachers could benefit from. It looks like you have a great support system as well in your critical friends. I am very interested in the idea of home visits and look forward to seeing if that is part of your cycles. I am personally a little uncomfortable with the idea of doing a home visit, but I don’t really know anything about them.

    Looking forward to more from you Dara!

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Sep 23, 2011 @ 16:25:03

      Alyson,

      More than likely, I will not be doing any type of home visits. One of the main reasons is the location of some of the students’ homes in relation to the school and where I live. Plus, time would be an issue too seeing as I am teaching full time and completing coursework here at FSO on most end of the week nights and Saturday.

      Reply

  4. Cynthia Madanski
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 22:57:19

    Dara,
    I agree that our team members will be most crucial as we continue on our Full Sail journey. I have been very lucky to work with you, David, Amanda, Tessa, and Justin. I think you have a great plan to involve parents, and can’t wait to see your plan in action!

    Reply

  5. tessaperlman2012fsu
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 23:28:28

    Dara,
    How do you plan to engage your kinders? I always think they seem to have very short attention spans. I would love to know how you plan to use technology to involve your parents also. What web based software do you plan to incorporate
    into your process?

    Thank you for your time.

    Photographically,

    Tessa Houck Perlman

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Sep 23, 2011 @ 16:30:34

      Tessa,

      In just two short weeks, I have noticed that my kindergarteners already have an affinity for technology so getting them engaged in some of the learning software more will not be an issue. Also, the parents have also shared that they are on board and are ready and willing; so I am very happy with that. The technology I plan to use with the parents as of right now may be Moodle, Edublog, or even my Wikispace (educational of course).

      Reply

  6. tessaperlman2012fsu
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 18:09:57

    Dara,

    My daughter’s teacher uses the educational wiki site. I think it is very safe and beneficial. I hope to offer you more ideas in the future for your kindergarten class very soon. Thank you for always being available to offer me your guidance concerning our technology assignments. I am lucky to have met you, and look forward to more assignments in the future.

    Tessa

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Sep 25, 2011 @ 20:10:24

      Tessa,

      Thanks in advance for offering some assistance with the choice of an educational wiki site. I also am glad that we can communicate often and help each other through this educational venture.

      Dara

      Reply

  7. Cheryl Jones-Gage
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 13:37:24

    Dara, I like your timeline. It looks like you really thought it through and you have set yourself up for success.
    I also really like the background for your website.

    Cheryl

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 19:04:00

      Thanks Cheryl,

      I tried to be as true to the project as possible with the timeline. As for the background, I settled on this one after trying out for a brief time two other ones but some of the buttons and tabs were not cooperating so I lucked up with this one.

      Reply

  8. EMDT Action Research
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 12:37:14

    Month 7 Comment: you are on target to complete both cycles by month 9. Expect the unexpected because surprises are expected. Based on your responses each cycle will take about one month to complete. This is a good timeframe to have a variety of activities and assessments to evaluate the results. Having one focus will help you manage this project.

    Reply

  9. jasongillett
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 17:38:18

    Month 6 Comment: It is unfortunate that you are not getting the level of help that you expected. This is a good reminder that the best laid plans can crumble to dust without the components needed. It looks like you are pulling together what you need without the high level of support you expected. Keep up the good work and stay on target with the timeline that you created earlier in the program. If you need to update it because of changes or adjustments, just edit the blog post to reflect your current schedule.

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Jan 08, 2012 @ 19:41:35

      Jason,

      Thanks for taking the time to view my updated blog. I will continue to work hard and get done what needs to over these next couple of months. I have also made sure to rely a lot on my critical friends to make sure that I am heading in the right direction as well as keep me motivated to keep trying even when roadblocks come up.

      Reply

  10. cyndee66
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:10:28

    Dara, I applaud your AR project. You have great goals and I look forward to seeing what your final results are. I can relate to your the challenges you mention as you have journeyed through these last 8 months. I have hit similiar snags with participation from my intended audience. I love that you haven’t become discouraged by the obstacles and unexpected surprises along the way. As you say, the kids “embraced” your ideas from the beginning, but the parents need much more nudging to participate on the level you were looking for.

    You sound like me, in that because we want to make a difference and we see a way to do it, so we don’t realize at first that others may not share our passion for progress, hence the “surprise” at the amount of nudging required at times.

    I can also relate to your take away from GSM with things we not only learned from our exploration of Aldrich and Kapp, but also from the Wimba’s and learning how to develop instructional games to help our students learn. After last night’s Wimba I am all pumped up about developing a game that I was previously skeptical about attempting.

    Thank you for participating in my Cycle II implementation, your great feedback, brainstorming on Bubbl, and for sharing your portal link. I am excited to check it out. I will check back in here to see how your Cycle II is coming and I will see you in Wimba.
    Blessings,
    Cyndee 😀

    Reply

  11. Cynthia Madanski
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 20:06:29

    Dara,

    I enjoyed what you said in your Month 9 blog about “fostering collaboration through gaming. Teamwork is beneficial to the working unit as a whole, both the school and family”.

    As a teacher of 8th grade but a mother of a kindergartener, I find it interesting how collaboration and gaming is crucial at any age. My 5 year old loves playing games and enjoys it most when he can use teamwork with his brother or friends to solve a complex problem. I know how hard you work with your kindergarteners, and I know they love gaming and working together. I am very impressed with how your AR project has come together, congrats!

    Reply

  12. rodolfo_fernandez
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:08:59

    Hi Dara;
    It is important to involve parents on their children’s learning process. Parents should take time at home to play with their children video games or by playing a sport. This way, the child sees their parents as playmates and also as teacher.

    Reply

  13. Rebecca Stuart
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:50:42

    Dara,

    I can clearly see what your Action Research goals are through your details. It looks like your cycles are coming along smoothly. You have given me a whole new perspective of the terms that you listed in question 3. Each of those terms also applies to my own action research project as well. I can’t wait to see your final results. Good luck with the rest of your Cycle 2 implementation.

    Rebecca Stuart

    Reply

  14. amandarhymer
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 23:07:50

    Dara,

    Your Cycle 1 is looking great! Just a few things I saw:

    In your summary: “After informing them of the those” just a typo. “surveys for the parents was the next step” surveys…were…

    “So in terms of record the data, took time to add each person’s feedback ” can I suggest: So in terms of recording the data, it took time…I know, I had to do the same thing!! Good point to add! “I will also in a few months administer the Cycle 2 the post-survey and provided a final assessment of how thinks went over all.” This sentence is awkward, mixed tense, I think you just got in a hurry!! And, “and are therefore have not use communicative” hmmm, and therefore have not used communication tools that were set up…??

    Great job with your data and your conclusions! Love the pictures and documentation from Cycle 1, keep up the great work!

    Reply

    • daraeasterling
      Mar 07, 2012 @ 16:19:23

      Amanda,

      Thank you so much for the focus on detail and pointing those mistakes out to me. I have made the adjustments on the Cycle 1 page. I appreciate your assistance and the other comments as well.

      Dara

      Reply

  15. Emdt Roxanne De Leon
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 21:50:48

    Month 9 great responses, you are on target. Data collection is consistent with the age level, well done.

    Reply

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