Classroom Observation Assignment

Assignment Overview: 80 points

For this this type of assignment, it would be ideal if you had an opportunity to observe good 21st century lessons in action. Unfortunately not everyone will have access to teachers and classrooms and this early in the semester you may not have enough background to discern low and high level uses.

Therefore, instead of live classrooms, I have found some classroom videos I’d like you to view. They were compiled by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida as part of their own efforts to train teachers for the 21st century. They developed a matrix not unlike the one from Porter (http://bjpconsulting.com/spectrum.html) but with things broken out a bit more. To fill their matrix, they selected videos they felt exemplified each cell,

For the assignment, please view 2 videos of your choice from the entry / adoption / adaptation end of the spectrum and 2 from the infusion / transformation end from any grade level in which you are interested. You may end up watching more than these 4 as you “shop around” for the ones you like.

Link to all videos: http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/gradelevel.php

After selecting and viewing the 4 videos (you may want to watch them more than once), consider the following:

  1. How do teacher behaviors differ between entry/adoption and infusion/transformation levels (or in Porter’s terms literacy/adaptive and transforming uses)? Give clear examples.
  2. How do student behaviors differ? Give clear examples.
  3. How does technology use differ? Give clear examples.
  4. If transforming uses of technology is the goal (and it is), consider how one of the entry/adoption level lessons could be improved to be more transforming and/or 21st century (tech is not always required and can be ineffective or inappropriate). Describe your ideas.
  5. Finally, consider whether or not the upper level lessons truly fit as examples of good 21st century teaching and technology integration (it’s possible they couldn’t find a great example and used what they had). State your opinion and  use clear examples to support it.

Be sure to include active hyperlinks to the videos you chose. Write everything up in a Google Document and share it with me (use the email address in the syllabus for this and future assignments). Be succinct. Give enough info to make it clear but avoid being too verbose. You will also share it with two others. See below.

This is a 100 point graded assignment and equal in weight to other projects (but split 80/20 as outlined below). There is no rubric as this is open-ended and exploratory. There are no right or wrong answers. Instead, you are expected to make your own meaning (a constructivist approach). As long as you fully address each of the five parts above you will receive full points. You will lose points in the event your write-up does not not fully address all of the above questions or you do not fulfill the peer review expectation. There is no length requirement, but 1-2 paragraphs for each question will likely be sufficient.

Peer Review: 20 points

As you move into your teaching career you will begin to hear more about “professional learning communities” and we are going to emulate some aspects of a PLC here. Furthermore, research shows learning happens best when it is social and interactive. In order to bring elements of social interaction into this project you will be peer reviewing two other students as well as receiving feedback from two others and myself. I will randomly assigned you your peers in class.

We will be using Google Drive (aka Docs) to facilitate this and for some other projects as well. To that end, you will need to set up a Google account if you do not already have one or if you wish to use a separate account for school. Information on Google Drive and setting up an account is located in the link at the top of the site.

Your write-up is due by 9/27. Share it with me and your peer group members, giving everyone edit rights, using their email address (you will need to communicate which email address is associated with your Google Account). You have one week following the 27th to complete your peer review (by 10/4). To complete the review, select a color for your comments (except blue which is what I will use throughout the course) and provide your own insights and feedback. You do not need to reply to everything. Instead, look for opportunities to add your own thoughts to something they said that provides a different perspective or perhaps confirmation about something. Again, this part is open ended as well. That might be a bit frustrating but it is also part of 21st century learning. Your own students will also benefit from being given opportunities to explore and make meaning without being told precisely what to do. We are modeling that here. As a guideline, plan to give at least 3 good comments.

You can view this example to get an idea of what the assignment looks like and a sample of the kind of feedback you might give. Again, it’s just a sample so don’t simply do what I did.

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