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Internet Assignment Mary Morgan Bellarmine University

The Internet assignment I created to help students learn how to search effectively using keywords is a product of my current content, pedagogical, and technological knowledge. It represents a synthesis of my understanding of social studies core content standards for fifth grade, Kentucky Core Academic Standards for informational reading, effective practice in meeting the needs of English learners, and my developing expertise in the effective use of technology to facilitate student learning. All of these elements combined resulted in a product that is novel when I consider my past and current instructional practice. Many times I found myself mentally juggling multiple sets of knowledge, skills, practice, and experience from my years as an instructor and a resource teacher. I could feel myself pushing my own boundaries as I worked to complete an assignment unlike any I have attempted in the past. The assignment addresses IRA standard 2.3; Candidates use a wide range of texts from traditional print, digital, and online sources. It also addresses IRA standard 4.2; Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in practices that positively impact student knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity. IRA standard 2.3 is met through my use of digital and online sources. For example, the assignment was created through the use of a webpage and students utilize search engines to locate information on a guiding question, and use online tools to deepen their understanding of key vocabulary. Since this assignment was created specifically with English learners (ELs) in mind, it also meets IRA standard 4.2. First, the assignment incorporates informational reading in the content area of social studies. It allows students to collaboratively research and ultimately share information about the elements of their own cultures. The assignment also addresses instructional accommodations for English

learners including building background through vocabulary development, teaching and modeling metacognitive processes, simplifying language, using visuals and organizers, and providing interaction opportunities. Writing is used in as many ways as possible since this is the language domain that ELs typically need the most practice in. The Internet activity I designed to help students use keywords efficiently in an Internet search meets NETS*S standard 3b, Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media and standard 3c, Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on appropriateness to specific tasks. These standards are met throughout the lesson as students are guided step by step to understand what keywords are, how they are used, and how best to select keywords for an Internet search. The students have the opportunity to search using one, two, and three keywords and to note the results. They blog about their experience, so all students have access to everyones thinking. Kentucky Teacher Standard 6 is also addressed in my Internet activity. Standard 6.2, Uses available technology to implement instruction that facilitates student learning is one that many teachers find difficult to address. This is due to many factors including availability of technology and teacher training and expertise with available technology. This is the first assignment I have ever had that has required me to think beyond my content knowledge and understanding of pedagogy to add an additional layer of technological knowledge. To be honest, after attending the Universal Design for Learning institute at Harvard a few summers ago, I was really excited to share what I learned with teachers who are consistently stretching themselves to differentiate for students from many different language and educational backgrounds and literacy levels. I found,

however, that many teachers didnt trust technology. Read & Write 10 for example, is loaded onto every computer in JCPS, but many teachers had a negative experience with older versions of the program. When I showed them how they can create vocabulary organizers with picture support for content using this program, they were amazed. But even this type of understanding didnt go as far as the assignment I just did in which technology content knowledge has equal weight with content and pedagogical knowledge. Thats what I believe KTS 6 is getting at and now I have a better idea of why it is so important. Finally, in regards to standards, the assignment I designed to help students effectively use keywords in an Internet search, also addresses Core Content and Kentucky Core Academic Standards For English learners (and many other students) tying standards together thematically to help students encounter content in multiple ways over a period of time is effective practice. Core content for social studies grade 5, SS-05-2.1.1, Students will identify early cultures in the United States and analyze their similarities and differences is addressed. In addition, KCAS standards RI.3.5, Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, side bars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic effectively and RI.5.4, Determine the meaning of grade level general academic and domain specific words and phrases relevant to a grade 5 topic or subgenre. It wasnt difficult to connect KCAS to the other standards to meet the needs of the students in content, pedagogy, and technology. In some of the readings, we read about how states dont value what they dont test and that adding curriculum to adopted common core standards is allowable as long as they are tested (Leu, 2011). But I found that looking at TPACK and NETS allowed me to integrate KCAS with technology

without additional standards added to KCAS. I do believe that many teachers wont prioritize increasing their technology content knowledge, however, unless this is given equal weight to other tested subjects. Leu (2011) also discussed how the most disadvantaged students usually have a curriculum that is most focused on the state test. That puts them at a greater disadvantage when it comes to convincing administrators and teachers to take technology content knowledge seriously. On the other hand, my work with UDL also taught me that disenfranchised students are also the ones who most need universal design strategies that engage and motivate them, allow them to learn content in a differentiated manner, and that provide opportunities for multiple ways for students to express what they know. To summarize, this assignment helped me understand how I need to grow in my understanding of technology content knowledge (TPACK) so I give equal weight to this when compared with my career-long work at developing content and pedagogical knowledge. I am content and pedagogy heavy and technology content light! Even with my enthusiasm for new technology that helps me as a teacher and that helps my students access content and show what they know. I used the work of Laurie Henrys article on the SEARCH strategy (Henry, 2006) to help students think about how to select keywords. I also drew on Sally Drews thinking in Opening Up the Ceiling on the Common Core State Standards (2012) to consider the implications of what is NOT in KCAS and how to address important technology learning when it doesnt have the weight of state standards and assessment behind it. All of this led me to create an assignment pulling together multiple standards and learnings in technology for the first time!