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Helen Haskell

Digital Learning Environment Inventory.



1. Tools, software, operating systems, and equipment available at Sandia Preparatory
School and classroom:

Our school is a multi-platform school, using PCs and Macs for our operating
system. We are a BYOD (Bring your own device) school, but there are limitations
with this that will be discussed later.
With regards to software, we are leaning towards a cloud based system for
communication and productivity. We use many tools via Google Aps, although
this is teacher dependent. Some teachers use an online grading tool.
All teachers are required to use our LMS (Learning Management System), but the
extent to which it is used by teachers varies. The LMS allows teachers to share
documents, communicate assignments and research tools, create and maintain a
blog, have a multidisciplinary calendar for each student, and email students,
parents and faculty.
In terms of equipment, many teachers have access to smartboards, document
cameras, digital cameras, chrome books, net books, i-pads, a computer lab, and
a COW (computers on wheels system) and many classrooms have projectors.

2. Sandia Preparatory Schools website
As stated before, all teachers, beginning in 2013-14, are required to use our LMS
for communication with students and families. The extent to which an individual
teacher uses it varies.
The school website has streamlined over recent years to combine information
for current families as well as provide information for interested families.
Teachers are able to access gradebooks, attendance and other tools via the
website.
Students and families are able to access information such as calendars,
assignments and other pertinent information from the website and LMS.

3. Current technology in my classroom.
On a daily basis I use the LMS site to post assignments, bellringers, calendar
events and other items of interest for families.
On a daily basis I use the projector in my room for the bellringer activity.
In the 2013-14 school year, the science department bought chromebooks for use
by the science classes as access to the computer lab is tricky due to the number
of teachers wanting to use it. However, despite a strong internet connection, not
all the chrome books work well all the time and I am struggling with whole class
usage of the system at present.
Myself and the two other 7
th
grade teachers collaborate on curriculum and
wanted to integrate technology in to the classroom more and so created a
lesson where students took photos using their own devices (about half the class
had a cell phone that took pictures) in our school garden. We then received an
email that we were not allowed to use phones for any class purposes as there is
a push by the school to stop middle school students having access to their
phones during the day, in order to encourage personal communication and limit
cyber bullying. The lesson was abandoned mid way through due to this, and it is
an ongoing discussion as to what will happen in the future.
My colleague is working on the flipped classroom and did a summer class at the
Klingenstein Institute and is teaching me her new learning.

4. Global e-learning sites and access
The following sites are accessible from school:
Skype www.skype.com (although I need to get a camera/microphone for my
computer)
iEARN www. iearn.org
ConnectAllSchools http://www.connectallschools.org
Peace Corps Speakers Match http://wws.peacecorps.gov/wws/speakersmatch/
ePals http://www.epals.com
Global Nomads Group www.gng.org
Omprakash http://www.omprakash.org/about
Primary Source www.primarysource.org
Edutopia http://www.edutopia.org
Outreach World http://www.outreachworld.org
The UN Works http://www.un.org
Global Education Conference http://www.globaleducationconference.com
Online Newspapers http://www.onlinenewspapers.com

If we have sites that are not currently accessible from school the IT Director will unblock
them.

5. Sites and tools my colleagues in my building are using: (Annotated)
www.Engrade.com: this site allows for an online grading program that has
optional accessibility by student and their parents. It allows students to take
more initiative and responsibility in learning about their grade and reduces the
need for paper reports printed by teachers for students. It allows for more time
to be spent working on teacher-student communication in the content areas and
lesson planning by teachers.
www.usgs.gov (Geology): This site can be used daily by my Geology class. It
allows us to get instant updates on earthquakes around the world; students can
access real data and use it directly. It also reminds them about the importance of
using good websites to get scientific information. Students are able to pinpoint
specific geologic events around the world, both historical and current.
http://www.pinterest.com Prior to joining TGC I had actively avoided Pinterest,
but as we began to use it I realized how useful it was in serving as a place to put
all of the ideas and thoughts that I come across but dont always have the time
to review when I first discover them. The challenge now is figuring out whether it
is feasible in class or whether it is just another step in the process and is not
necessary for students use, but just a teacher resource.
http://www.npr.org/2007/05/01/9943298/episode-1-its-all-about-carbon NPRs
series of five cartoon videos about carbon and climate change have proved a hit
with the 7
th
grade and really help them understand what is happening on a
chemical level and on a global level. The next step is to look at local and global
events and changes that may be as a result of climate change.
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org and
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/ are sites I look at regularly both
for my own education and to supplement what I am teaching in the classroom.
The diversity of choices and variety of media to use with students is great
(videos, visuals, images, etc) and I can count on the science being accurate and
relatively up to date.
Adobes CAPTIVATE
Social bookmarking
Delicious/Diigo/Scoop it/Prezzi
The main one I use is the simulations at PhET.
http://phet.colorado.edu/ : Radioactive Dating Game, Build an Atom, Alpha
Decay, Beta Decay and Projectile Motion simulations. I have worksheets that
I've made up to go with them, and I treat them like labs. They do a nice job of
modeling concepts that are hard to do in a secondary wet-lab setting.
Science News and Science Daily websites for the current events research paper.
Webelements and the Los Alamos Interactive Periodic Table for their element
project.
NetFlix account to show clips and or whole Nova films: Becoming Human last
year and Hunting the Elements this year.
YouTube to find a video of the Japanese Tsunami from 2 years ago, the guy who
free fell from near-earth orbit last year, Chris Hadfield the astronaut talking
about living in space, video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse, and the
astronauts on the moon proving Galileo was right by dropping a hammer and a
feather:
apps on my ipad....Human anatomy..a biological system, Human Body,
3D4Medical images and Animations, Virtual Human Body, Enlightened Human
Anatomy...I use these as references, but haven't used them in class yet. I use a
speed anatomy on my iphone which I have used in class (they have an android
version too. I use Edheads for a virtual knee replacement surgery, I use Adam* in
class often, and the University of Minnesota has a website called webanatomy
that I have used for several years that is fantastic. They have games/quizzes,
practice rounds, competitions that you can play against others and general
information.

6. Systems for evaluating student technology literacy at Sandia Preparatory School
Currently there are no formal assessments that are beyond an individual
teachers classroom.
Individual teachers may or may not assess students on their technology literacy
when it is embedded in assignments.
Several years ago, 6
th
grade students had a study skills rotation that was
phased out as it was deemed ineffective. In speaking with my son this week who
went through the program six years ago, he stated that he thought the class was
very useful. While he learned typing skills playing Runescape, an online
roleplaying game, he felt that he went over the baics. While for some, it was a
reiview, he learned about RAM and memory and how things worked. They
practiced using different program (such as photoshop). As he states, it was a
crash course in the basics, but for someone like him, it was a refresher and
reinforcement and an opportunity to better his skills.
The TLC (Technology Leadership Committee) is working on embedding digital
citizenship and literacy in to the curriculum. In the 2013-14 school year, the
acceptable use policy was updated and put in a more proactive manner where it
encourages students to do things rather than not do things.


7. Examples and suggestions from students on their ideas for integrating technology into
their learning.
EXAMPLES
Current examples
o Skype with students in Critical Issues class to bring in outside resources
o Google drive and docs on a regular basis
o Podcasts verbal and short films that were lessons on verb tenses and
literary devices (metaphors etc.) in Spanish classes. The creativity aspect
made it more interesting and made the students more enthusiastic about
the assignment. While the work got monotonous, the spin made
students more willing. Also, students realized they hand to know their
stuff in order to make the podcast.
o In Spanish 5, students are recording oral presentations and putting them
on You-tube and doing self-evaluations of the speeches. You are able to
see what you did and did not do and realize things that you did or did not
see in coming out of the classroom.
o Unconventional ways of giving notes - Pinterest and Prezzi.
o Chatroom style having a conversation.
o In English class, students had to create a presentation with few
parameters so some made movies and some did power-points, instead
of just poster-board.
o Graphing calculating plug in so that everyone can look at it and help
understand more complex graphing calculations.
SUGGESTIONS
o Teachers need to be more technologically literate
o Creative projects using technology to spark a greater interest in the
students. It would allow students to work harder as they would have to
really know their content and harness the content (as per my son)
o Continued use of Skype to get opinion from others, especially in the
discourse of history

8. What tools that are not presently available, would help to achieve district objectives?
While technically we are not part of a district, our school policies hinder access
to usage of technology. Recent bans on middle school class usage of personal
devices have impacted science classes at the 7
th
grade level and perhaps others.
(Note since the first writing of this inventory, the ban on use of personal phone
devices in the classroom for middle school has changed and it is at the teachers
discretion although middle school students are still not allowed phone access
during the regular school day outside of teacher classroom lessons)
The TLC are currently authoring the schools first technology strategic plan that
will hopefully allow for better integration of technology and stronger technology
literacy of our students.

PART 2: Using your Digital Learning Environment Inventory, develop a solution or
suggest an improvement customized to your circumstance and curriculum. Create,
implement and evaluate one change in a globalized lesson plan to use technology for
learning in a meaningful way. (To document and reflect on this change, please submit
two paragraphs (include these in the same word document as the Digital Learning
Environment Inventory):
one paragraph describing your creation and implementation of one change in a
globalized lesson plan to use technology and one paragraph evaluating what you
learned in the process of creating and implementing one change in a globalized
lesson to use technology.

This week, I had a guest speaker come in to the classroom to talk about biodiesel. He
currently is part of a small cooperative of 8-10 people who make biodiesel here in
Albuquerque. Prior to his visit, as a class we read an article on Rudolf Diesel, his
inventions and connections to biodiesel and began to discuss renewable and non-
renewable resources. After his presentation in which students also made biodiesel from
used oil from a local restaurant, students still had many more questions. That evening I
spent time online and discovered the following group and website,
http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/education/education-teaching-resource-biofuels, with good
lesson plans associated with the ethics of biofuel and issues related to it such as
deforestation, child labor, as well as more information on the carbon cycle.
Yesterday (10/23/13), I modified the lesson and used the biodiesel consequence cards.
Students had to put them in two piles, determining if the consequence was a positive or
negative consequence. Then groups of students received a card detailing information on
a person somewhere in the world that is associated with biodiesel, and they had to role
play that person and give a persuasion speech as to whether there should be increased
biodiesel production. Students quickly realized that it is not a black and white issue.
One outstanding moment was listening to two students debate the life of an agricultural
worker from Malaysia and debate if he should sell his land or continue to work on it and
grow biofuel crops, given the hard working conditions. Others realized that providing
jobs in multiple areas (agriculture, science and technology) is a valuable advantage, but
that the increase in deforestation may offset these advantages.

In the class today I was planning on having students write a response in their
composition book regarding their position with biofuel, and to share their thoughts and
ideas about what they have learned. However, based on a technology staff meeting
discussion yesterday and this assignment, I decided to use the schools LMS and start an
online discussion with my students. This was also in part due to the conversation with
my son last night and the use of technology in his senior classes. I have provided the
students with guidelines and while I am gone on the backpacking trip for four days, it
gives them ample time to go on the site, provide their opinion, and then comment at
least twice on someone elses ideas and thoughts. I have asked them to form their own
opinion on the use of biofuel in lowering carbon emissions overall and to consider it
from multiple viewpoints of individuals around the world who are associated or affected
by the industry. I will admit to initially struggling with the prompts and need to
comment for this class, but I am finding that it is easier and the more I do it the more I
learn too. I hope the same goes for my students. I will have a bigger perspective on
Tuesday when I return from my trip and have looked at the results of this technology
modification. It may be a small change but I think it is the start of a potentially very
useful tool in mine and my students lives.

On reviewing the online comments, many students visited the site several times and
most got the concept that they were supposed to post their own thoughts, using
evidence and data they had learned about. Some of the students went a step further
and began asking each other questions. I was excited to see the results - especially as I
was not on campus or available online to guide them, and when I asked them directly
today, many appreciated the change in format. It is definitely something I will do again.