Wednesday, December 14, 2011

PSA Cyberbullying

EDLD 5363 Group Project:  Public Service Annoucement (PSA)


EDLD 5363 Week 5 Web Conference Reflection

I have learned more in this past five weeks  through this multimedia class than I ever thought was possible.   The collaborative effort of my group was outstanding.  We were able to “go with it” as  Randy Nelson said in the video we watched this week.  The class was created with a scaffolding approach to learning.  Each week laid the foundation for the upcoming weeks.  Dr. Abernathy provided us with the global look at the entire course from the beginning.  She encouraged us to not fret over the group project but to “go with it” and each week would see how we would be acquiring the necessary skills to complete the course.  Several times throughout the course we had glitches in the EPIC course instructions.  Not to worry, we were told to complete the assignment and everyone would receive credit.  After the week of Thanksgiving, I was a little disappointed that I would not receive feedback and a specific grade for my pod cast.  I truly wanted to know how I did  and if I created the product that was requested.  I learned how important it is to provide timely feedback to students.  I also learned that when we set out on a project, we should not change it in midstream.  Every time this would happen during this course, I would get a little frustrated.  I would have to tell my self, “go with it”. 

The group project was one that I was hesitant to tackle.  As soon as we were informed of having a partner assignment and then a group assignment, I reached out to one of my classmates that I had been communicating and collaborating with this semester.  Since Lauren was in Connecticut, I was not sure how we would be able to work as a team or a group.  Next we added two other partners, Laura and Allison,  from east Texas.  The four of us truly changed my mind about distant collaborative projects.  If we were able to collaborate on this project, how much easier will it be to collaborate on a project within the same room.  Personally, I think we created a stellar PSA and cannot wait to share it with everyone. 

As soon as we began the third week, one of our members took the lead and initiated the conversation of the project.  We all agreed that our topic should be technology related since we were all in the EdTech Masters program.  With that said, Lauren generated and the idea of cyber bullying.  We all agreed and Lauren took the lead by writing the script and the scene schedule.  Each of us claimed a task and began the process.  Everyone was professional and thorough with their assignments.   All of us were eager to assist each other and to volunteer for tasks as they appeared. 

Dr. Abernathy went above and beyond her responsibilities as a professor.  She added additional web conferences, provided us with her personal email and cell phone numbers.   During the web conferences, she allowed each of us to ask questions about the assignments and about software issues.  She encouraged us to answer other student’s questions if we knew the answers because we were all learning.  I was glad that she encouraged us to use the free software that is available and she shared how she goes for the free software whenever it is possible.  She allowed us to modify the assignment and use other software we found during our research if we wanted to.   

This class taught me that I can personally learn new multimedia editing software if I take my time, put forth the effort and ask questions or watch the tutorials when provided.  I also learned that a collaborative process is similar to improve according to Randy Nelson.  You must accept every offer and go with it or it becomes a dead end.  Our PSA on cyber bullying is an example of how four people in four different locations in the United States can collaboratively create an exceptional product.  I am proud to have been in a group with Lauren, Laura, and Allison.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

5363 EDLD Week 4 Web Conference

5363 Week 4 Web Conference Reflections

December 5, 2011 was my fourth web conference for this class.  I must say, I enjoy the web conferences much more than I have with the other classes.  It seems we are more focused on the class assignment and curriculum than on information about the administrator’s test.  I am sure I will be as interested as the others have been when it is my time to take the exam.  This week we learned we should have included our blog and wiki posting on Week 3 assignment.  It’s not too late to email it to Dr. Abernathy with your Instructional Asst. name.  She will get it to them.  I only wished it had been in the overview and the assignment.  At times, I feel we find out things after the fact.  The Overview and the Assignment were different for Week 2 and there seemed to be a lot of controversy.  I will say, I have found irregularities in every class I have taken.  We should all do a better job at proofing, myself included. 

This week, Week 4 there are no discussion board postings!  Just production of the PSA!  Next week it should all be put together with narration and audio and then music with the title, closing credits, etc....

Also, we have to post either 2 or 3 web conference reflections.  She said she would take either.  I love the flexibility Dr. Abernathy has.  Learning is the main focus.  She is always available for her students to email or call her.  She is also  extremely supportive in teaching us new aspects of technology. 

We discussed the outside supervisors....Some people like me have one, some have two and one person has three.....Dr. A said we only need one....and we must meet with them 3 times.  That is all.

Carol Evans shared a free music site and all we have to do is credit the website at the end of the PSA if we use something from there.  I explored it and it is awesome.  So many ways you can search for music:  by topic, mood, title, theme, etc… 

Tonight’s web conference ended too soon!  We are learning so much!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

EDLD 5363 Week Three Reflection

This week I was able to attend a couple of web conferences with Dr. Abernathy.  They were excellent in clarifying the assignment and helping students with questions regarding to software requirements.  Our group started out of the gate immediately, thanks to Lauren.  She took the lead and established the dialogue, we choose assignments.  Even though the four of us have not met face to face, we feel very comfortable working together.  During the beginning of this course, Lauren and I became partners and then added Allison and Laura for our PSA project.  When Lauren presented the topic of Cyberbullying, I was in total agreement because I was just reading an article about cyberbullying and contemplated this idea for our group.  This project will take place over the next three weeks and I liked this week’s assignment.  It is the pre-production process.  It reminds me of teaching writing when I would tell my students that the preplanning stage is the most important stage in writing.  Spend time here and the rest is a piece of cake.  You fine tune the product.  I feel that the work that has been done this week in the preproduction assignment will be the same.  Dr. Abernathy is so reachable and has made it known that we are to contact her and not struggle through this class.  That is very comforting.  I am also thankful for my group and their willingness to collaborate together.  I can’t wait to see the final project!  This coming week, I will begin to tape the audio so that it will be ready for the video. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

EDLD 5363 Week Two Assignment

This week has been the most stressful week in a long time.  To begin with, we had a video editing project that seemed a little intimidating to begin with.  The day we started the project, I twisted my left knee and could not straighten my left leg.  After several days of pain, an xray, and MRI we are waiting for the results to confirm a torn meniscus.  Then family from both sides arrived for 5 days of Thanksgiving Festivities and the last A&M and Texas football game on Thanksgiving.  (Of which I had to stay behind) 
I explored several different video editing software programs and decided to use Adobe Premiere Elements for my project.  Once I created a video to edit, I began learning the software. 
Next, I downloaded Jing to use as an extension.  This extension allowed me to video my screeen and tape my audio at the same time.  After several days of frustration, I finally created my podcast. Because I downloaded the free version of Jing, I could not get it to post on any free web hosting sites.  I explored the conversion process and after converting it from a SWF file to a MP4 file, the video was not what I wanted.  So, back to the production.  I then purchased the Jing software to be able to create it in MP4 file as soon as it is made.  After this, it was easy to download it to several differnet sites.  I loaded it to You Tube, Teacher Tube, and Podomatic for this assignment. 
I learned a lot this week in the area of patience with learning a new program and having a house full of guest and  a bummed knee. 
Life is good!  I am  now finished and ready to enjoy my Sunday evening.

EDLD 5363 Week Two Web Conference


I participated in a web conference on Tuesday, November 14, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. Members of the conference discussed their questions with Dr. Abernathy concerning the details of the assignment for Week1 and 2 in the Multimedia and Video Technology course. We were also told we would need to form groups for a
PSA project in weeks 3 to 5.  Dr. Abernathy encouraged us to identify our groups soon.  Immediately, groups began to form for the PSA project. Most of the time the web conferences have not been extremely beneficial because students are nearing the graduation and control the conversation with questions in regard to certification, etc…  Tonight’s web conference was different.  All the conversation centered around questions about the week’s assignment and the responsibilities of having a partner.  We also discussed the group work and requirements.  I always read the manuscript after the conference and find information that I missed due to having side conversations with some of the students.  My only regrets for this conference were that I was traveling and had not read the week’s assignments or the course overview.  There were times I began to panic, but Dr. Abernathy reassured each of us we would be able to complete the assignments.  I am looking forward to working with my partners during this course. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

EDLD 5363

Week One Reflections:
At the beginning of this week, I felt a little overwhelmed.  I could not get the Story Telling Cookbook to download, I was in a hotel with terrible internet connection, I could not understand have the web conference, and I was scared to death about making a digital story. 
Once at home, I was able to download the cookbook, thanks to Creighton Gann, and I was off to read about this digital story I was to produce. 
My partner and I SKYPED on Tuesday night to discuss each other's story.  We used Google Docs and send each other our transcript.  Using different colors, we were able to comment and make suggestions.  This was the first time for both of us to use Google Docs in this way.  I am looking forword to using it in future collaborative projects. 
I decided to tell my adventure story about teaching in Uganda.  This is a passion my husband and I both share.  Together we travel with a group to Uganda each summer to teach students and model for teachers best practices.  I am not sure who receives the greatest blessing, us or them.
I am glad this week has come to an end and looking forward to what next week's assignments will bring.  Until then...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October is Here!

Well, this journey is going way too fast!  I can not believe I am enrolling in my fourth class for my masters and I am behind in this blog.  I guess I never clearly understood the purpose of this blog.  Maybe I will in a year from now when I look back and I am completing the task.  Maybe the information I am reflecting on in this blog will help me "remember" what I did in each class.

Since I am behind, I have to ask myself, do I start now or back up and look at each of my assignments in each class and write an entry?  I hate the idea of going backwards so for now, I think I will start today, October 4th, first week in my fourth class:  School Law, 5344.  Let's see what I will learn this week!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Region 16 Spotlight Education: 1,000 new laptops for Pampa High School students

Region 16 Spotlight Education: 1,000 new laptops for Pampa High School students: As technology continues to evolve so do the ways that school districts are integrating it into the classroom. Pampa High School is doing that by placing laptops in hands of all students and teachers this school year.

Go Harvesters!  I am a 1975 graduate of Pampa High School and at this moment, I could not be more proud of my hometown.  Pampa's high school has stepped out into the 21st Century.  Love the idea of the Green and Gold Geek Squad.  Students empowered to help with technology problems.  This is a giant leap and many other schools need to follow suit!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quality Indicators for Practitioner Research

Quality Indicator 1

Context of Study: 
As the principal-researcher, I will need to provide explicit information about the context of the research.  This will include but not be limited to information about the school, district, teachers, students, content, and curriculum. It is important to provide background and surrounding information in the action research inquiry. Clearly, one needs to identify and be very forthright about the context of the inquiry. Have I provided enough context for my research for others to understand?  In what ways have I considered the context in the design of the inquiry?  These are questions I can ask as I complete my research inquiry.
To ensure others will be able to understand by research, I will need to thoroughly evaluate my context of study.  Will others be able to understand my context for the inquiry and how it might transfer to similar situations?  If the context is clear and complete information is provided in the action research inquiry then others will be able to possibly apply the outcomes research to their own circumstances (Dana, 2009, p. 179-180

Quality Indicator 2

Wonderings(s) and Purpose:

“Principal –researchers explain the root of their question(s)/wondering(s) in detail (Dana, 2009, p.180).” This quality indicator focuses on the conception of the question(s)/wondering(s).  The research will need to provide detail explanation that will provide a convincing argument as to its importance and relevance.  All stated wondering(s) should be connected to literature in the field of study.  The researcher’s intent and questions should be “clearly articulated, free of educational jargon, focused inward, and open ended (Dana, 2009 p. 180.)”
As I work through this indicator, it will help me to focus on my inquiry and not that of others.  I will learn to ask the questions that will keep my inquiry focused and appropriate to literature and other research in the same field.   While I am pursuing the answer to the questions in my research inquiry, it will encourage me that I have  provided enough information that others will understand what led me to the wondering or inquiry. While assessing the quality and transferability of others’ inquiry, I will  as several questions as Dana suggested in relation to “tension, dilemma, issue, or problem of practice” that the inquirer faced.”  This quality indicator will show others how determined and passionate I am about my topic and wondering.  (Dana, 2009, p. 180-181).

Quality Indicator 3

Principal Research Design (Data Collection and Data Analysis) :

This quality indicator stresses the validity of data collection and analysis from multiple sources.   When conducting a research action project, it is imperative that one use quality data. The researcher must provide “detailed explanations of all procedures and a timeline for data collection, as well as an explanation of how data were analyzed.”  (Dana, 2009, p. 181)  This explanation should include what sources were used to collect the data and how the researcher analyzed the data.  
In the evaluation process of data collection, I will use several of the suggested questions to help focus on my efforts to gather accurate, up-to-date, credible information instead of data for data sake.  I will make sure I explain all procedures associated with the inquiry and describe any changes or adjustments that were made in my inquiry procedure.  All of this will help me maintain the research for the time needed to complete my project.  (Dana, 2009, p. 181-182)

Quality Indicator 4

Principal-Researcher Learning: 
A Principal-research should articulate clear, thoughtful statements abou5t what they learned through the process.  I will need to provide statements and reflections about the action research project that are relevant.  I should follow up my statements with pertinent readings and findings that will support the data collected and analyzed.  This detailed process will provide clarity for my reader and those that want to transfer the findings to their situations.  
I will not only discuss what I have learned, but will reflect on my own journey as well so that I remain unbiased in my thinking.  I will need to remain focused as I gather the data, document my experiences and findings, and share my readings that relate to the action research project and process (Dana, 2009, 182-183).

Quality Indicator 5

Implications for Practice: 

This quality indicator requires the researcher to give “detail examples of change they have made or will consider making based on what they learned through their research.’  (Dana , 2009, p. 183)  This is critical throughout my research in order evaluate what they have learned in the process.  This discussion will provide information for future action research based on what was learned in the process.  Detailing the changes that have or will take place is critical throughout the process. All changes should be based on research and outcomes of the action research project.

During the action research project, I will keep the wonderings and questions that have been spurred from the literature read and the data analyzed as a result of my inquiry.  In the future, I will use this quality indicator to further my questions or wonderings.  (Dana, 2009, 183-184).
Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press

EDLD 5301 Week Five Final Reflections

Research for research sake!  At the beginning of this class, I thought I would be researching an assigned topic just for the sake of researching.  Through the lectures of Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Arterbury I began to learn what an action research project would involve.  Their discussions on the  videos were produced with such quality.  It made one feel they were sitting in the office transferring their knowledge or action research.  The information I gained from the text, the videos, and the discussion boards, helped me to formulate my project. 

At first, I was a little hesitant about the research.  Research for me was something I had done in my last undergraduate class back in 1979.  To my surprise, I discovered that this action research was simply, “systematic, intentional study of one’s own professional practice.”  (Dana, 2009, p. 9)   This is a practice I have done the last twenty years while reading and studying myself.  I have posed questions and had wonderings that led to collecting and analyzing data while making decisions that would lead to change in my classroom and my school. 

Through our readings, I discovered that the things we are passionate about can become the source of our questions and wonderings.  As a professional development provider, I have been involved in the more traditional approaches to staff development.  Chapter 1 of the Dana text revealed the movement to change the traditional professional development practices to that of the practitioner inquiry movement.  At first, I was a little hesitant to think about how this would affect my career, but then I read the following from Dana’s book.  “The ultimate goal is to create an inquiry stance toward administrator practice.  This stance becomes a professional positioning, owned by the principal, where questioning one’s own practice becomes part of the principal’s work and eventually a part of the culture within the principal’s school.”  (Dana, 2009, p. 10).  This became a reality while working with McComb School District this past month.  The administrators wanted me to analyze their data and tell them what professional development they needed this next year.  I soon discovered I was using the very knowledge I had gained from the class and the readings about inquiry research.  To my amazement, I lead the administrators in developing their questions/wonderings and developed an action plan for researching to find their answers.

One of our assignments was to develop a personal action research plan.  This plan was to be birthed from something we were passionate about and one that our advisor would approve as a project.  In chapter 2 of The Passions that Drive Your Journey, Dana explained in depth the nine passions that drive researchers. Before reading this chapter, I had not realized that these nine areas would lead to the “wonderings and questions” that one would have in their profession.  What are your wonderings in each of these areas, and what burning questions do you have about your administrative practices?  These were questions that began to develop in my mind and in the discussion with my advisor. 

In the EDLD 5306 class, we began the journey of reflective processing with the creation of a blog.  This made it easy to continue into this class.  Dana’s text in chapter 5 supports the significance of a blog and how important they are in the action research process. Dr. Abshire required each of us to keep up with our postings and to comment on each other’s action plans that were posted.  As we read each other’s action plans, it reinforced the importance of sharing information with others and soon our class began to collaborate more than before.  We were also required to post weekly reflections to chronicle our journey through the process.  As a result, we each became more open with each other and our thoughts. 

Each week we would post our reflections to questions on the discussion board. During the process, I realized how important it was to post early in the week and then continue to read the postings of others.  I learned valuable pieces of information from my colleagues.  At times, I would catch myself thinking, “I don’t remember reading that.”, only to go and search the text and reread the information.  Sometimes when reading it through the first time you focus on a specific detail of the text and find yourself wondering in depth.  Before you know it, you have skimmed right over something that someone else gleamed valuable information.  The discussion board allowed us to reflect, wonder, and inquire with each other throughout this entire course. 

As we collaborated with each other, I found myself feeling responsible for analyzing my cohort’s action plan just as they had analyzed mine.  Nancy Halwell recommended I change my question to one that did not have a definite answer.  This was something I was pondering and her suggestion reaffirmed I needed to restate my question, which I did.  Alfroze pointed out in one of my blogs that I had made a reference to Dana’s book when it should have been Harris’s.  Wow!  I was delighted to know someone had actually taken the time to read thoroughly the blog and would share with me for my benefit.  Allison Wells read my action research plan and noticed where I had copied a line twice in two different locations.  I was able to go back and delete the two extra lines.  Everyone in the class became a unit as we read each other’s plan and shared our thoughts.  The entire process was uniting. 

Now, it is the end of the fifth week of my second graduate class and I am excited about implementing the action research project plan.  Tomorrow will begin my first meeting with the staff at the high school where I will share the plan that I have developed.  My hopes are that the teachers and the students at San Marcos High School will benefit from my research and that other schools will be able to transfer the findings to their schools. 

Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Harris, S, Edmonson, A., Combs, J. (2010).  Examining what we do to improve our schools, Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

EDLD 5301 Week 4 Reflections

During this week, we had the opportunity to read other colleague’s Action Plans.  While it was both informative, it was a time for us to choose to read deeply and assist aother colleagues in their plan.  I found I was at times hesitant to recommend or question someone’s plan.  Then, at other times, it was not difficult. 
While reflecting on the process, I discovered my own insecurities in my attempting to carrying out my plan.  The feedback was slow at first, but after a few days, we all started to send emails inviting others to read our blogs.  It was at this time, I became motivated to check and see what others commented on my blog and on others.  This week, I realized we were growing into a collaborative group of learners and that we would become stronger as we journeyed through this next year of action research.  I am so fortunate to have such GREAT fellow educators in this class and journey with me.  I do hope some day I will be able to meet them in person.
Allison’s words of encouragement affirmed my thoughts of the plan.  I know they were detailed but it was good to see that the information was considered by others as having the ability to “see each  step”.  I was glad she saw some duplications in my action plan.  I looked as those entries and several times when creating the document and never saw the duplication.  I appreciate Allison taking the time to read carefully and show me those entries.  I have deleted the duplications with her recommendations.
Nancy made the following recommendations of which I explored the other survey option.  At this moment I have not made a decision on which site I will use.  I did like the example of a student’s survey on Nancy’s site.  This gave me valuable information as I prepare my surveys.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"No man is an island....."

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”  John Donne

This journey we are on is reminiscent of a travelogue.  We are sharing with each other and collaborating on assignment clarifications.  The ripples are landing all across the field of education.  At first, I was extremely hesitant to share and post my assignments in fear of rejection.  In my past, education had a one right answer for the teacher type of instruction.  Opening my writing to my colleagues as empowered my thoughts and also allowed me to reflect deeper on the research. 
My audience will be special education teachers in the secondary area who are trying to use handheld electronic devices to engage students and increase student achievement.  I am beginning to gather the appropriate background information about the iPods and their use in secondary schools.  
I hope to be able to share my research through the blog, the campus I am working with, and possibly through others in the field.  In my current position as a consultant, I am accustomed to oral presentations and feel extremely confident when asked to present information orally.  But, when it comes to presenting in a written form, I remain hesitant.

It is my desire to achieve confidence in participating in the Masters program which requires sufficient amount of writing and reflection. 

Week Three Assignment Reflections

Wow, I never that I would have so much trouble posting my assignments to my blog!  I have learned today I need to save them as Rich Text Format when I am working on my laptop.  In the past, I worked on my husband's Mac and there had not been a problem.  I am surely growing synapsis today!

Working through the action steps made me aware of the process the SIP and CIT teams go through when a school in in corrective action.  It makes me think!  What if we follow this process when we have an area that is disfunctiona, whatever it may be?  I feel that all involved would look at the situation from a great advantage point.  They would be able to research what is already happening in the field of education.  Learn from others.  Collaborate with other schools that have "been down the same road."  Yet, I find, we try to solve everything with a quick fix.  We want a program or a person with the next best thing to sweep into our schools and get us to exemplary in a year.

When schools and district make action plans without going through the 8 Steps that S. Harris, S. Edmonson, and J. Combs identifies in, Examining What we do to Improve our Schools:  8 steps form analysis to action.  Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, their decisions will be made on impulse instead of research and data.  Realizing the time involved in the process, I can see why larger school districts have a Research person on staff for the district like we heard from Dr. Timoth Chargois, Director of Research, Planning and Development in Beaumont ISD. 

I have also been reminded of the collaborative effort that this Masters program is incubating.  Colleagues that have never met are working collaboratively together.  This sense of community will be a treasure I will hold dear throughout this journey.

Week Three Assignment, Part 3 - Steps to Follow in My Action Research Plan

8 Steps to Follow in My Action Research Plan

How to increase student engagement and achievement with the use of iPod Touches?

1. Setting the Foundation: I decided to research the use of iPod Touches when I was visiting with my mentor about my internship plan for EDLD 5306.  Since I was working toward a Masters in Educational Technology Leadership, I felt the need to lead San Marcos High School in the implementation of the use of iPod Touches in the Co-Teach classrooms.  The iPod Touches have been on the campus for almost a year and a half without being used.  The students at San Marcos High School are “digital natives” and will embrace the technology before the educators. 

2.  Analyzing Data:  Currently, I am researching schools that have already implemented the use of iPod Touches.  I will examine the strengths and weaknesses of their programs in order to glean information the implementation.  I will collect data from surveys, attendance, and grades. 

3.  Developing a Deeper Understanding:  To develop a deeper understanding of the use of iPod Touches during Co-Teach classes Ito research what apps should be imported to the iPods and how to empower students to independently research lesson topics.  I will conduct a pre and post survey to collect additional data on student engagement.    In addition, I plan to conduct informal classroom observations during lessons using the iPod Touches

4.  Engage in Self-Reflection:    After I have researched the use of iPod Touches in the classroom and other schools that have implemented this technology, I plan to compile my findings in a report to my mentor and the high school special education teachers involved. As I begin this journey, I will admit I am a little fearful.  Can I do this?  Do I understand the action research fully?  Can I change?  Will I be able to lead the teachers in the most effective and time efficient ways to include iPod Touches in the classroom?  I’m sure I will answer all those questions along the journey

5.  Exploring Programmatic Patterns:  During the next couple of weeks, I will need to spend the majority of my tie research the appropriate apps we should use at the beginning of the year.  I do not want to make all the decisions on which apps because I want to involve the teachers in researching which apps would work with their curriculum projects.  I know we need to create a set of guidelines for the usage and check out procedures.  My goal is to increase student engagement and achievement through the use of the iPod Touch.  This I will need to keep in mind throughout this project. 

6.  Determining Direction:  After meeting with my mentor, we attempted to meet with the district technology person.  The technology person arranged the meeting and failed to attend due to another meeting she scheduled.  The special education director, my mentor, made the decision to proceed since the de vices were purchased with special education funds.  The next step is a meeting with the special education department chair at the high school.  We will meet in two weeks to review the plan and to assess the equipment that is in the storeroom.  We will schedule monthly meetings with the co-teach team to review progress and address challenges. 

7.  Taking Action For School Improvement:  After studying the process of action research, it has steered me to a deeper understanding of the process.  Everything we do should guide us in the direction of school improvement.  I know that technology and specifically handheld technology devices are second nature for our students we call “digital natives”.  Through this process of analyzing the steps, I am ready to set up the action plan and commit to following through the process.  I know I will make adjustments along the way, but a written plan of action will provide for me a roadmap for the journey.   

8.  Sustain Improvement:  I will continue to stay current in the research through daily monitoring technology and education RSS feeds that I have established.  All through my experiences as an educator, I have been involved in researching and inquiring best practices.  My hope is to extend the program beyond the high school to the two junior highs in our district.

Action Research Projected Plan

Mary Thrasher’s Action Research Plan
Goal: iPod Touches in the Co-Teach high school classrooms will increase student achievement and engagement.
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Meet with mentor/advisor and technology director

Mary Thrasher, Kathy Hutto, Special Education Director, and  Rhonda Stonecipher, District Technology Coordinator
July 26, 2011
Action Plan and Calendar
Determine how to involve the district technology person to facilitate the district’s technology plan.
Determine which special education teachers at the high school will be involved in the project.

Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, Special Education High School Dept. Chairman
July 28, 2011
Class Rosters and teaching assignments
Determine which teachers serve the highest number of special education students in co-teach class sections.

Create a pre-project survey for both the general education students and special education students involved in co-teach sections in this project. 

Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair, and Michelle Darling, San Marcos High School Principal
August 8, 2011
Completion of survey ready for submission and approval of high school principal.
Gather iPods and carts
Mary Thrasher and Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Char
August 9, 2011
SMHS library and AV room
Identify the number of available iPods and carts.  Make assignments.
Download Literature to the iPods
Mary Thrasher, Kathy Hutto, Special Education Director, Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair.
August 10, 2011
English I, II, III, and IV literature selections on CD, iPods and downloading carts.
All literature selections will be downloaded for all English classes.

Meet with Special Education Department, General Education Teachers, and administrative staff to present the action research plan
Mary Thrasher, Kathy Hutto, Special Education Director, Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair.
August, 2011
iPods, carts,  Mac laptops, security codes, and action plan
All concerns will be addressed and clarified.  These will be used in conjunction with the teacher surveys to determine exact future professional development and support needed.

Create a blog for this Action Research Project to use with both students and teachers.
Mary Thrasher
August, 2011
Create a name and set up a blog to be used by both students and teachers during project.
Pre-project  survey teachers and students
Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair, and project teachers.
September, 2011
80 – 90% completion of survey by those invited to participate.
Introduce the plan and opportunities to the entire SMHS faculty and staff.
Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, and Michelle Darling
September, 2011
iPods downloaded with the PowerPoint Presentation.
Sheets of teachers and staff in attendance.

Monthly meetings with teachers involved with project
Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, and iPod Project Teachers
Monthly, September – May, 2012
Agenda, Introductions of new apps, sample lessons
Sheets of teachers in attendance.
Monthly classroom observations of iPod usage in the classrooms.
Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, and iPod Project Teachers
Monthly, September – May, 2012
Pre-determined schedule for classroom observations, camera, and iPod/iPad.
Scripted notes, photographs, and videos
Monthly Blog posting for the project
Mary Thrasher
Monthly, September, - May, 2012
Blog site entries
Entries and feedback

Create a post-project survey for both the general education students and special education students involved in co-teach sections in this project. 

Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair, and Michelle Darling, San Marcos High School Principal
April, 2012
Completion of survey ready for submission and approval of high school principal.
Post-project  survey teachers and students
Mary Thrasher, Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair, and project teachers.
April, 2012
80 – 90% completion of survey by those invited to participate.
Evaluate surveys
Mary Thrasher, Kathy Hutto, special education director,  Gail Gonzales, Special Education Dept. Chair, and project teachers..
May, 2012
Survey results from
Survey monkey report with data.  Determine the results of implementing the project.
Presentation of  preliminary Action Research Project results
Mary Thrasher
May, 2012
Data collected, surveys, photos, videos, agendas, etc…
Documentation of results of project.
Written Action Research Project Results
Mary Thrasher
August, 2012
Data collected, surveys, photos, videos, agendas, etc…
Documentation of results of project.

Format based on Tool 7.1 from Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools
(Harris, Edmonson, and Combs, 2010)