Saturday, July 30, 2011

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.

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