Monday, October 18, 2010

Using the GAME Plan Process with Students

Delving into the goals established in the NETS-T has helped me to become a better teacher and a more responsible member of the online community.  I believe that the NETS-S goals can do the same for our students.  The six goal topics listed below all coexist to ensure that students are well rounded in their technology education.

·       Creativity and Innovation
·       Communication and Collaboration
·       Research and Information Fluency
·       Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
·       Digital Citizenship
·       Technology Operations and Concepts

By receiving an education in all of these arenas, students will be able to navigate their schooling in a dynamic and exciting way while preparing themselves for the workplaces that they will eventually enter.

In order to ensure that these goals will receive appropriate care and attention, I believe that the GAME plan will allow students to develop their skills while still playing a part in their education.  Though the teacher will establish the basic goals, students will be able to help shape the actions that they take within the goal.  Ideally, I, as the teacher, will be able to shape their activities so that the students can help to determine their foci and activities.  I believe that the monitoring and evaluating aspects of the plan would be shared equally between teacher and student.  Though of course the teacher needs to monitor, adapt, and evaluate the classroom procedures, the role that the students play will be even more meaningful and effective.

I believe that it will be necessary to approach one topic at a time and in conjunction with curriculum topics that offer opportunities to incorporate technology and the specific goals.  As with almost any other curriculum, these goals should be part of a spiraling curriculum so that students are regularly revisiting these topics and applying them in increasingly sophisticated manners.  The topics can also be approached as “essential questions” or “essential themes” throughout the year.  After working towards these goals over the course of the year, students would be able to answer questions like, “How can spreadsheets help you learn” or “How could you creatively use technology to share your learning?”


National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) located at:


  1. Nancy,
    It is interesting to see how teachers are now including the same skills into their lesson plans, but through the use of technology. I know that when I plan, I have a separate area in my lessons that includes technology. Technology should be used as an aid to further understanding of concepts being discussed in class, and not the main idea. I believe you are right in saying we need to assess their understanding of the use of technology. In your closing to this week's post you give great example of questions that help you assess their understanding.

  2. Nancy,
    I like your idea of creating essential questions for using the NETS-T standards. I am definitely going to use this idea in my classroom. I have a feeling that my sixth graders will be able to answer these types of questions because it is new, relevant, and exciting to think about. Your example: "How can spreadsheets help you learn" illustrates a perfect application process for students. They will be thinking of the past, present, and future before using it in the class.

    In my room, I have a list of programs we have used on the computer so far. This list is more than just the names of the programs, but instead, I have created a poster inthe hallway that outlines the icons for each program we have used. After reading your post, I have decided to add a phrase at the bottom of the poster: "When will you use these in your life?"

    As usual Nancy, you are thinking outside the box! Keep it up-

  3. Wendy,

    It has been a pleasure for me to find ways to incorporate technology in my lessons. However, I do understand that it can be tempting to throw in technology simply for technology's sake. The students do not benefit from that and likely miss the curriculum content if the focus is on the tech rather than the content. Kudos for finding ways to incorporate technology without making it the sole focus. I personally tend to get a little lost in the bells and whistles of technology and it seems like your plan of delineating where technology fits in is a wise way to incorporate tech without having it take over!


  4. Josh!

    Thanks! I appreciate your comments and vote of confidence. It seems like the use of these essential questions reminds the students as well as the teachers that these technology incorporations are serving to develop skill sets that will enable our students to both work effectively now and to prepare for future interfaces. Though we cannot teach them about what has not yet been created, we can ensure that they are well versed and fluent in the technology of today. In doing so, they will have developed foundational understanding that will allow them to advance in new technologies.

    As I have commented before, a few of my students have started their own blogs after seeing what I do for our class blog. The other day during class, one of these enterprising youngsters asked me about the "coffee stain" at the top of my screen (the Jing sun). I explained to the whole class that it was a screen capturing tool that I sometimes used to take "pictures" to include on my blog. The next day, she came in to school and said, "I downloaded and installed Jing. It's so cool; wait until you see my blog today." Not only was I impressed by her enthusiasm and skill, I had to laugh because I sent a school-wide email to the entire staff roster, over 80 people, about the benefits of using Jing. I included a short bit of information as to what it could do, the address, a screen capture of what the home page looked like, and how to watch the informational tutorial. After a week, I got one response (from the computer teacher) saying, "Looks cool, but I don't get it!"

    It is clear that our students not only know how to use technology, but they understand why we use it. Though the entire teaching staff basically dismissed this program, an eleven year-old realized that it would make her blog "much cooler."

    I imagine that as you ask those essential questions of your students, they will answer them in more creative and diverse ways than we can imagine. I am sure that I will learn so much more from my students' use of technology than I ever could on my own.

    Thanks again for your comments!