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Runninghead:IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

ImprovingTechnologyUseinanElementarySchool

InternshipWebsite:
http://flancbaumintern.weebly.com/

MarkFlancbaum

March31,2015

UniversityofColorado,Denver


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

IntroductionandProblemStatement
IamafifthgradeteacheratBrownInternationalAcademy,anurban,K5elementaryschool.I
amcolleagueswithapproximately40teachers,specialists,andinterventionists.Accessto
technologyvariesfromclassroomtoclassroom.AllteachershaveaccesstooneChromebook
labandoneMacdesktoplab.Teachershaveanassortmentoftechnologyintheirclassrooms
includingChromebooks,iMacs,iPads,PrometheanBoards,anddocumentcameras.85%of
BrownsstudentshaveaccesstotheInternetathome.

MydirectsupervisoratBrownismyprincipal,LynnHeintzman.Shewasalsomysupervisor
formyinternship.ThroughoutmyinternshipIworkedcollaborativelywithmysupervisor.I
alsoworkedwithourtechnologycommittee,thecurrenttechnologyspecialist,andnextyears
technologyspecialistwhenappropriate.Formyinternshipmysupervisoraskedmetoimprove
thetechnologyuseofourstaffandstudents.Ihadthetaskoffiguringoutwhatthatmeant.

Ourschoolrecentlyincreasedtheamountoftechnologyavailabletoteachersandstudents.One
problemisthetechnologyisnotbeingusedaseffectivelyaspossible.Themainusesof
technologyarecurrentlyresearch,typing,andtesting.Means(2001)said,Despitecountless
networkingandinteractivepossibilities,themostcommonlyassigneduseofclassroom
technologyduring199798waswordprocessing,followedbyInternetresearchandinformation
gathering(p.57).Iwassurprisedtofindourschoolin2015wasisinthesamesituationMeans
describedin199798.Manystaffmemberswanttousetechnologyeffectively,butdonotknow
how.Asaresult,studentsinourschoolaremissingoutonpowerfulwaystechnologycan
enhancetheirlearning.Inmyinternship,Iworkedtomoveourschooltowardmoreeffective
technologyuse.

PurposeandGoals
Thepurposeofmyinternshipwastoimprovethetechnologyuseinourschool.Althoughmany
ILTcompetencieswereaddressed,myfocuswasoncompetency6:Professionallearningand
leadership.Ibeganwithoneobjectiveinmind.AsIstartedmywork,thatobjectivebecame
threemajorobjectives.Thethreeobjectiveswere:

1. Teachclassroomteachersstudentstoimprovestudentandteachertechnologyuse.
2. Deliverprofessionaldevelopmentandprovideindividualizedsupporttoimproveteacher
technologyuse.
3. Assessteachertechnologyneedstoimproveschooltechnologyuse.


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

Phase1:Teachclassroomteachersstudents
Workingwithclassroomteachersandtheirstudentswasmyoriginalgoalforthisinternship.I
plannedtoteachclassessotheirteacherscouldseeeffectivetechnologyinstructioninaction.I
aimedtosupporteachteacherinawaythatwouldbemostbeneficialtowheretheycurrently
wereintheirtechnologyinstruction.

Intervention
Iworkedwiththreethirdgradeteachersandtheirstudents.IchosethirdgradebecauseIfound
theyhadopentimethatcoincidedwithmyplanningperiod.Thisallowedmetoteachclassesin
thelimitedopentimeIhadduringmyday.Inaddition,IchosethisgradelevelbasedonRogers
(1995)theoryofdiffusionofinnovations(seeimageA).Iknewallthreethirdgradeteachersfell
intotheearlyadoptersorearlymajoritycategories.Becauseofthis,Iwasconfidenttheywould
makestrongstartingcandidates.

ImageA:RogersDiffusionofInnovations

Constraints
ThemajorconstraintIhadwasavailabletime.Inordertoteachotherteachersstudents,ithad
tobedoneduringatimewhenIdidnothavestudents.Myplanningperiodwastheonlyperiod
longenoughwherethiswasthecase.Ialsohadtoconsidertheotherteachersschedules.Time
toteachtheirstudentswasalreadylimited.Itwasnotpossibleforthemtogiveuplargeamounts
oftimefortechnologylessons.Evenwiththeseconstraints,Iwasabletomoveforwardwith
thisgroupofmotivatedthirdgradeteachers.


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

Procedures
Tobegin,Iinformallycontactedeachthirdgradeteachertogaugeinterest.Aftergettingthe
greenlight,IsurveyedtheteachersusingGoogleFormstocheckschedulesandneeds.Fromthe
surveyandinformalconversationsIwasabletodeterminewhichteacherwasmostready.I
createdascheduletomeetwitheachclasstwiceoverseveralweekstime.Ialsodetermined
whatlessoneachteacherthoughtwouldbemostvaluable.Thishelpedmetoplanthecontentof
eachsession.

Inmyfirstsession,Iconsultedwiththeclassroomteacherandfoundshehadastrongdesireto
usePowToonwithherstudents.PowToonisawebbasedprogramusedtomakeanimated
videos.Theteacherwantedherstudentstolearnhowtousetheprogramsotheycoulduseitfor
futureprojects.

Becausethiswasagroupofthirdgradestudentswithlimitedtechnologyexperience,and
becauseIhadlimitedtimewiththem,IcreatedPowToonaccountsforeachstudent.Duringthe
twolessonsItaughtthethirdgradestudentsthebasicelementsofPowToon.Eachstudent
createdtheirownbasicPowToon.IusedteachingmovesIhavefoundtobeeffectiveinmyown
technologyinstruction.Thiswasforthebenefitoftheclassroomteacherwhowaswatchingthe
lesson.

Irepeatedasimilarprocesswiththeothertwoclasses.Inthesecondandthirdclassesweused
ourtimetosetupsharedGoogleDrivefolders.Thefolderswesetupweresharedbetweenthe
studentandtheclassroomteacher.Itaughtstudentshowtocreatedocumentsinsidethefolderto
sharewiththeirteacher.Ialsotaughttheteacherhowtoefficientlyaccessthesefoldersand
providemeaningfulfeedbackusingthecommentingfeatureinGoogleDocs.

Findings
Overall,Phase1ofmyinternshipwassuccessful.Teachersgavepositivefeedbackwhenasked
abouttheexperience.TableAhighlightssomefeedbackgivenbyteachers.

TableA:ClassroomTeacherFeedback

Teacher

Feedback

Carly

"ManyofmystudentsareusingPowToonsforourupcomingsummative
assessmentinourheroesunit.Theyfeelconfidenttocompletethis
independently.Also,thetimespentwithusernames,passwords,and
logginginhashelpedmakethemmorecomfortableonotherwebsites."

Amy

"SomeofmykidsdotheirreadingresponsesonGoogleandsharethem


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

withme.Also,Ihavekidsworkingonprojectsforendofunitassessments
inGoogle,andtheywillbesharingthatwithmeaswell.Iwouldlove
someadviceaboutthebestwaytosetupfoldersfornextyear."
DianeE.

"IhavebeenabletouseGoogleDriveinsmallgroupsinreading.Students
respondtoreadingandIamabletogivethemfeedback.Thanks!"

Teachingthreeroundshelpedmetorefinetheprocess.Inhindsight,Ibelievethesessionson
GoogleDriveweremorepowerfulthanthesessionsonPowToon.Inoticedthroughoutmy
internshipthatwhenteacherswereclearlyshownhowtouseGoogleDrivewiththeirstudents,it
hadthegreatestimpactoneffectivetechnologyuse.

Ialsobelievestartingwithasmallgroupofmotivatedteacherswasasmartdecision.Itmadethe
processmanageableformeandforthem.Iwouldliketocontinuewithothergradelevels,
howeveratthispointthatisnotafeasibleoption.Perhapsinthefuture,ifmytimeconstraints
weretochange,Icouldpursueexpandingthiswork.

Phase2:Deliverprofessionaldevelopmentforstaff
InPhase2ofmyinternshipIdesignedanddeliveredaprofessionaldevelopmenttoteachers
aboutdigitalfeedbackinGoogleDocs.Duringastaffmeeting,teachersweresharingmethods
offeedbacktheyusewiththeirstudents.IsharedhowIuserealtimecommentingwithmy
studentsinGoogleDocs.Thereseemedtobealotofinterestfromstaffmembers,andsomy
principalaskedmetoteachaprofessionaldevelopmentonthetopicforourstaff.Iconsidered
herrequest,butaskedforonemodification.Iaskedifwecouldmakeitpartofadifferentiated
professionaldevelopment.Klemmer(2013)said,
"Differentiatedinstructionissomething
practicedandlaudedwithinclassroomsacrossAmerica.Yet,wedontpracticeanytypeof
differentiationwhenitcomestodevelopingourbestteachers.

Ionlywantedpeopletocometo
mysessioniftheywerereadyandmotivatedtoimplementthisstrategy.Iaskedthisofher
becauseIhavedoneothertechnologyprofessionaldevelopmentswhereonlyahandfulof
teacherswerereadyfortheinstruction.Ididnotwanttowasteteacherstime,andIwantedto
focusonthosewhoweretrulymotivatedandready.

Intervention
Ihadeightmotivatedteachersattendmyprofessionaldevelopment.ThemajorgoalsforthePD
were:

1. Teacherswillexperiencefeedbackasastudent
2. Teacherswillseeonewaytostructurestudentsharedfolders
3. Teacherswillunderstandthreedifferenttypesofdigitalfeedback


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

Constraints
ThemajorconstraintinthisphasewastheexperienceoftheteachersattendingthePD.All
teachersweremotivatedtolearn,buttherewasawiderangeofreadinesstoreceivethe
instructionIwaspresenting.Duetothisconstraint,severalparticipantswerenotreadyto
implementwhatIwasteaching.However,theparticipantsdifferentcompetencylevelsledto
powerfulindividualizedsupportafterthePD.

Procedures
ThePDwasuniqueinthatIdidnotknowwhowouldbeattending.Toprepareforthis,Isetup
myclassroomtoaccommodate20teachers.Thisincludedsettingup20computersandprinting
20GoogleDrivelogins.

ThroughusingGoogleDrivewithmyownstudents,Ihaverefinedmymethodsofproviding
realtimedigitalfeedback.Iwantedmyparticipantstoexperiencefeedbackasiftheywerea
studentinmyclassroom.Iknewexperiencingtheprocesswouldbemoremeaningfulthan
hearingaboutit.

IhadeachteacherlogintoGoogleDriveasoneofmystudents.Inorderrecreatemyclassroom
environment,IwalkedateacherthroughtheprocessonthePrometheanBoardsothatother
teacherscouldseeandhearthesteps.Ithenhadeachteachercreateanewdocumentinthe
sharedfolderandtypeashortparagraph.JustasIwouldinmyclassroom,Iquicklypoppedinto
eachsharedfolderandprovidedformativefeedbackontheparticipantswritingastheywere
typing.

ThroughoutthisprocessIswitchedbackandforthbetweenteacherandpresentermode.This
allowedmetoshowmyparticipantshowIprovidefeedback,andalsowhyIusethemethodsI
do.

Afterprovidingteacherswiththestudentexperience,Ididaquicktutorialonthreedifferent
waysyoucanprovideformativefeedbackinGoogleDrive.

1. Commentonasectionoftext
2. Usesuggestingmodetomakeedits
3. BringupastudentsworkonthePrometheanBoardanduseitasatoolforproviding
formativefeedbacktothewholeclass.

AttheendofthesessionIaskedteacherstofilloutabriefsurvey.Fullerton(2013)said,I
wouldsuggestthatifwewanttoeffectsystemicchange,wewoulddowelltoinvolve
practitionersinthedecisionmakingprocessandtovalueandsupportthatprocess.My


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

objectiveingivingthesesurveyswastoinvolvemyparticipantsindecidingwhattheyneededto
learnnext.TwoexamplesofsurveyscanbefoundinAppendixB.Therestcanbefoundonmy
internshipwebsiteat:http://flancbaumintern.weebly.com/pdartifacts.html

Findings
IbelieveIhadasolidplantodeliverthecontentofthisprofessionaldevelopment.Theteachers
whowerereadytoreceivethislevelofinstructionhavestartedusingdigitalfeedback.TableB
highlightstwoteacherswhoareusingdigitalfeedbackintheirclassrooms.

TableB:ClassroomTeacherFeedbackDigitalCommenting

Teacher

Feedback

Julie

"Iamgivingabouthalfofmystudentsfeedbackduringguidedreading.I
havecreatedfolders,shareddocumentswiththem,andposedquestions
thattheyhavetoanswerusingevidencefromthetextweareworkingon.
MystudentshavealsousedGoogleDocstotypetheirfinalwritingprojects
andsharedthemwithme.Theyseemtobesoproficient."

Kathleen

"Mark,IimmediatelybeganusingtheGoogleDocsimultaneousteaching.
Thathasbeengreatformeandforthekids.Ialsobenefittedfrom
consultingwithyouaboutwhatIcanandcan'tdeleteIimmediately
becamemoreconfidentaboutcleaningupmyaccount.Thanksagainfor
thehelp."

ThesurveysinAppendixBprovedtobethemostpowerfulpartofmyinternship.Thesesurveys
askedhowIcouldsupporteachteacherintheirtechnologyuse.Ifoundeachteacherhadvery
uniquenextsteps.TableCshowsthewayinwhicheachteacherdesiredsupport.

TableB:ClassroomTeacherFeedbackDigitalCommenting

Teacher

SupportRequested

Julie

Iwanttogivemystudentsanopportunitytotypemoreintheclassroom
whenwehavealimitedamountoftime.

Jamie

PuttingPDUdocumentsonGoogleDrive.

Kate

Iwouldlovetocreatesomedocuments,sharethosedocumentsinsmall
groups,andthenhavethemworktogethertorevise/edit.Ialsoneed
supportwithfolders.


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

DianeS.

IfeellikeIhavesomegoodideasalready,butcouldusesomehelpwith
acquiringtechnology.Grants?

Shelley

Yes!IneedhelpwithlearningGoogleDrive.Brainstormingbestwayto
setthingsupformystudentsandcollaborationwithteachersalso.Ialso
needsupportsettingupmynewKindleFires.

Lindsey

Yes!IneedtoknowhowtoaccessthedrivesthestaffatBrownusessuch
ascomputerlabsignupandsharedfoldersofdifferentgradelevelteams.
Thanks.

Michelle

Wouldyourstudentsbeabletosharetheirfolderswithme?HowcanI
keepthemorganizedbyclass?

Kathleen

CanyouhelpmesetuptheGoogleDrivelike5thgrade?Orapagefor
me?Iwouldliketohavearesourcewherekidscouldaccesscontent.Ido
notunderstandhowweareallconnectedatthesametimeononepage.
Also,Ineedtocleanupmydrive.Canyouhelp?

ItwasclearIwasworkingwithadiversegroupoflearners.Idecidedtosetupaoneonone
meetingwitheachoftheeightteachers.Thesemeetingswerehighlysuccessful.Iwasableto
workwitheachteacherintheirzoneofproximaldevelopment(ZPD).Itriedtolistenwell,and
thenhelpeachteacherthebestwayIknewhow,followingupwhennecessary.Thefeedback
fromTableBalongwiththefeedbackinTableCshowsomeofthesuccesses.

TableC:ClassroomTeacherFeedbackIndividualMeetings

Teacher

Feedback

Shelley

Iamintheprocessofprogrammingthe10KindleswithAmazons
educationprogramWhispercast!OnceyougotthemallconnectedIhave
beenusingthemforresearchexclusively.Iamexcitedtogetsomesafe
readingandlanguagegames.Iamalsolearninghowtoputcertainbooks
andgamesonsometabletsandnotothers.

Lindsey

"IfeelsomuchmorecomfortableonGoogleDrivenow.Icanactually
participateinmeetingswithoutfeelinglost!

DianeS.

Iappliedforagrant.Crossyourfingers!

Overall,theindividualizedmeetingsallowedmetodifferentiatetotheneedsofmylearners.I
workedwiththeseeightteachersinresponsetotheirsurvey.However,throughoutmyinternship
Ilearnedofseveralothertechnologyneedsintheschool.Imetwithotherteacherstosupport


IMPROVINGTECHNOLOGYUSEINANELEMENTARYSCHOOL

themwiththeirtechnologyneeds.Althoughtimeconsuming,theindividualmeetingswere
worththeinvestment.

Phase3:Collecttechnologydata
InPhase3ofmyinternshipIcollectedtechnologydata.Iconductedtwodifferent
surveys/inventoriestoinformdecisionsfornextyear.Thesesurveysweredoneincollaboration
withmyprincipalandnextyearstechnologyspecialist.

Intervention
Twodatacollectionneedsaroseduringmyinternship.

1. Aninventoryofexistingtechnologyinclassrooms
2. Analysisofteachershopesforourtechnologyspecialnextyear

Idecidedtotakeonthisprojecttosupportmyprincipalandnextyearstechnologyspecialistin
theirdecisionmakingprocess.

Procedures
Thetechnologyinventorywasrequestedbymyprincipal.Shewantedtohaveaclearerpicture
ofwhattechnologyteachershad.Shewouldusetheinformationtohelpinformpurchasing
decisionsinthefuture.Icollaboratedwithmyprincipaltobetterunderstandwhatinformation
sheneeded.Basedonourcollaboration,Idesignedaninventorytocollecttheinformation.The
completedinventorycanbefoundinAppendixC.

Ibegancollectingdatathroughemail.IknewIwouldnotgetinformationfromallteachers,but
abouthalftheteachersreturnedmyemaildetailingtheirtechnology.Ithenstartedvisiting
classroomsofteacherswhohadnotresponded.IwasabletogetallofthedataIneededthrough
thesetwomethods.

Thetechnologysurveywasacollaborativeeffortbetweennextyearstechnologyspecialistand
myself.Nextyearstechnologyspecialist,Michelle,doesnothavealotofexperienceinthe
technologyfield.Shewasmyfifthgradeteammatethisyear,andismovingintothetechnology
rolenextyear.Iofferedtocollectdatatohelpherplanforinstructionnextyear.Shewantedto
knowwhichtwotechnologyskillsteachersthoughtweremostcrucialtosuccessattheirgrade
level.Idesignedaformtocollectthisdata.ThecompletedformcanbefoundinAppendixD.

Findings
ThisdatacollectionphaseofmyinternshipproducedwhatIexpected.Attheendoftheprocess
IhaddatathatIwasabletopassalongtothepeoplewhoneededit.Icouldhaveanalyzedthe


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data,butinthissituation,itwasnotmyrole.Instead,givingthedatatotheappropriatepeople
willallowthemtomakemoreinformeddecisions.Ibelievethiswillimprovethetechnologyuse
atourschool.

Conclusion
Mygoalduringmyinternshipwastoimprovetechnologyuseinmyschool.Ibeganwiththe
ideaofteachingotherteachersstudentstomodeleffectivetechnologyinstruction.Icompleted
thisobjective,butwasnotabletotakeitasfarasIhadplanned.Thisallowedmetobranchinto
otherobjectives.

Myinternshipincludedavarietyofdifferenttasks.Onthesurface,thesetasksdidnotseemto
havemuchincommon.However,Ibelieveeachtaskcamebacktomyinitialgoal:toimprove
technologyuseatmyschool.

IrecognizethestepsImadeduringthisinternshipweresmallones.Changehappensslowly.
However,eachsmallimprovementisastepforward.IhopethesmallgrowthImadewillbuild
momentumintolargergrowthatourschool.AsFullerton(2013)said,Ifwecanestablish
learningcommunitiesinourschoolsinwhichteachersfeelthattheyhavevoice,thattheir
concernsarebeingheardandaddressed,wheretheyfeelsafetotakerisks,wecanbuildaculture
oflearninginschools.IhopethecultureoflearningatBrownhasbeenstrengthenedthrough
mywork.


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References

Fullerton,T.t.(2013).Areflectiononmyexperiencesengagingteachersinprofessional
developmentontheintegrationoftechnologyintotheirpractice.
McgillJournalof
Education,48
(2),443448.

Klemmer,T.(2013).Help'AList'teacherswithdifferentiatedPD.
EducationWeek
,
32
(28),27.

Means,B.(2001).Technologyuseintomorrow'sschool.
EducationalLeadership
,
58
(4),5761.
Retrievedfromhttp://www.researchgate.net/publication/234606681_Technology_Use_
in_Tomorrow%27s_Schools.

Rogers,E.M.(1995).
Diffusionofinnovations
.SimonandSchuster.


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Appendices
Thefollowingappendicesareartifactsfrommyworkinthefield.Moreartifactsandinformation
canbefoundat:http://flancbaumintern.weebly.com/

AppendixA:GoogleFormsSurvey


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AppendixB:ExamplesofTeacherSurveys


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AppendixC:ExistingTechnologyInventory


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AppendixD:TeacherHopesforNextYearTechnologySpecial