Re: POST #2: Challenges to Using Iowa AEA Online Resources
I find myself agreeing with an issue I read in several other educators' posts. Finding the TIME to explore and becoming efficient in using the various resources will be the biggest challenge for me. After digging a little deeper into these resources through this online course, I am able to see great value in some of the sites, for my students' use and my own. I see myself devoting more time during the school day and even in my after-school work time to learn more about each resource and how to incorporate them into our classroom activities...and into my lesson-designing process. Knowing how well students respond to technology in general also motivates me to spend more time on AEA's website and resources.
One challenge to using AEA Online in my district will be having the time with students to teach them how to use them effectively. While I have it better than many of my colleagues in small districts, I am still split between two buildings. I am hoping to have a more flexible schedule this year to allow me to be where and when I need to be, rather than working at one school the first half of the week and the other the last part of the week. I think that continuing to advocate for the AEA resources and training teachers to use them will encourage more students to use them as well.
While access won’t be an issue at the MS/HS building (1:1), it can be difficult at the elementary. Each grade level has a laptop cart to share - usually between 3-4 classes. If any of those classes or any other “specials” teacher needs them, I would have to scramble to find enough for a class. Early planning will be the best way to handle that challenge.
Because there are so many resources. I think finding the right resources to use. I don't have a lot of free time. So, finding the time to dig more into each resource will take time. After taking this class I feel I have little better idea what each resource can do.
I can solve this by on early outs. We have the option to stay and work or go home. I'd stay and work. Pick one resource take time and go thru it. Watch videos, read blogs etc to learn more about the resource. After taking this course hopefully I wouldn't need to spend a lot of time going thru the resource. I would then try the resource with 3rd graders. Since they are more patient if I ran into trouble they would be more app in waiting for me to find the answers. The more I use the resource more comfortable I get then I would want to use it with 2nd graders and on down. Then pick a different resource and go thru it.
I think my biggest challenge in using these resources is finding the time to teach the kids how to use them. This coming year, I wil be teaching 5th-8th grade students. I do not yet have a schedule, but in the past, I have had my JH students and elementary students at the same time. The JH kids might be doing math while the elementary students are doing reading or language. I have to do short lessons with my students so that I can move onto the next group before they need to leave. I am hoping to have time with either all of my reading or writing kids in the room and not have math kids at the same time. That way we can focus on the resources without having to hurry so much.
My biggest problem will be remembering all the different resources available to me. I have used a few already, but I was not aware of all the others out there. As teachers, I think we can get into a routine and teach the same thing the same way over and over again because that is how it has always been, and let’s face it, it’s comfortable and easier for us. As technology changes and students change, however, we as teachers need to change as well, and I need to remember to utilize these resources to help me with this. I know I sometimes struggle with trying something new, so that is my challenge!
My plan is to pick just one or two resource and force myself to just try it. Most of the students are so good with technology that I won’t have to teach them how to use it, just where it is at. For example, just showing kids where Soundzabound is at, they can then figure out how to use it. I would also like to use BookFlix and show kids the book trailers to interest them for independent reading! The best time to familiarize myself with these resources will be the beginning of the year when I am already planning and prepping for the upcoming year. Since I will already be working on lesson plans, this will fit in nicely. I just need to jump into the material!
I think the biggest challenge for me is always the same when using technology, finding enough for each student and having it work properly. We have a computer lab but getting students in to it and having enough computers that work properly is always a challenge. I need to do a better job of working with our technology staff to plan ahead and make sure I will have the tools needed to complete a planned activity.
Another challenge will be selecting the right resource for the project we are working on. There are so many amazing resources through the AEA. I want students to be able to use them to their full capability. Investing in resources with budget restraints is always a complication but using what is provided is essential. I need to spend more time teaching myself and exploring to best utilize what is available to my students. We could really enhance the projects we do and the learning involved.
As I think about using the resources from AEA online the biggest challenge that I see is time. Finding time to use what is provided. AEA online has so many great resources that it would be hard to pick which ones to use and then using them to get the most out of it. To overcome these challenges I will start off with using one or two of the resources at a time. I will get familiar with using it and save what I really like. I will continue to use more of the resources as I get more familiar with others. The most important part is saving what I really like to save time of finding it again.
Well, at this point in my teaching not having a classroom would be my biggest challenge in implementing these online media resources. Let’s pretend I have a classroom or still am a substitute teacher. During my time teaching in a classroom I have never come across a situation where there were instructions to use these online media resources, but because of this course I would be able to navigate the resources provided to me in the lesson plan if needed. This course has enabled me to get to know the resources that teachers have at their disposal. It seems to me that teachers spend a substantial amount of time creating lesson plans or collaborating on what to do in class. If I had a classroom I would set aside time, say one hour daily, to learn how to navigate these different resources. I am nowhere near what you would call technologically savvy, so this would point me in the right direction hopefully.
I was very surprised at what all Heartland online has to offer. After teaching for 23 years, I wish I could have taken this exposure course a few years ago. What a great survey course of what you have to offer. There are many things I feel I could add to my art classroom. We are currently going through curriculum review and would be nice to incorporate 1 or 2 of the areas into our curriculum. I would like to pick a couple of areas to learn more about and then look for some professional development on how to use in the classroom.
I see my biggest challenges as a substitute teacher and using the Iowa AEA online resources as things that sound simple, but offer challenges as a substitute teacher. First, I do not always have password access to utilzie the technology in the classroom. Sometimes you can login as a district substitute teacher and use that specific password. However, this password does not always work and then I am unable to use the technology in the classroom. My next biggest challenge is that in my role as a substitute teacher I need to follow the specific teacher lesson plans that have been left for me. These lesson plans do not always allow for use of Iowa AEA online resource materials.
My goal for trying to overcome my first challenge is to let building administration know when the substitute teacher passwords do not allow for access on the computers in the classroom. This is the best way for me to handle this challenge since I am not a contract district employee with a specific login. My goal to overcome my second challenge is to simply use an AEA online resource if I have time in the lesson. I could also leave a suggestion in the teacher's lesson plans for possible online AEA resources that he/she could use in the future. I would only do this if I felt that I had a comfortable realtionship with the teacher to make this suggestion.
As a sub it would be difficult to work many of the resources into a class I only step into for a day or two. It was disappointing as I was reading through all of these wonderful opportunities/resources AEA provide to realize how few of them are used by teachers around Boone. Last year I was the full-time Sub at Boone HS so I was in many different classrooms throughout the year I don't think any teach was taking advantage of these resources. I think a profession development session explaining these options to the staff may yield increase usage. The only exposure I had to AEA was near the end of the year when the kids had to do their I Have a Plan - and as I think about it that's through a State of Iowa site, not AEA.
Another difficulty I see is that if I ever have my own classroom, it will be a Math classroom. It is more difficult to find outside sources to enhance a math lesson in my opinion. I'd love to find movie clips that would show kids how they would use various math concepts in their everyday world. I'm sure these AEA resources would help me in my search though.
The biggest challenge i would face is that i am a Para/Library Associate and trying to find the right content on a subject that the teacher is looking for could be tricky. Everyone had a different thought so trying to be helpful and find things could just be a big waste of time for me if its not what they are looking for.
I can also see a challenge in teaching students to navigate the resources. I really like that the AEA offers so much wonderful information but sometimes it can be very overwhelming to me. So if i feel like that, i wonder if some of the students could feel the same way? Its not every day that students get a change just to explore or be taught how to look things up so when they do they may forget what or how the next time they get on.
My biggest challenge will be finding age appropriate resources for my students as some of the online resources might be over their heads. In order to fix this problem, I will have to take the time after school and on weekends to look through the resources geared for the younger students. I am overjoyed to use the online resources in my classroom, but remembering which site they are on through AEA might be a challenge. I will spend much more time looking through the resources to find things for my students. One way to remember what site each one is on will be to write down the steps I went through to get to the resource. I am in awe at all the various resources offered by the AEA and how I can use them in the classroom. It will be a great expansion to my classroom.
As it is with creating lesson plans in general, there will also be somewhat of an issue with time in sifting through the resources that will be most beneficial to a given class. There can be so many uses for these resources, but the last thing that needs to happen is for a teacher to use a resource just for the sake of using a resource. This process will most likely be time consuming and will need to be planned around in order to make sure that the process has been worthwhile. I could also see overthinking becoming an issue. Sometimes we like a resource so much that we are willing to stretch the limits to make it fit in with a particular concept when it really shouldn’t.
To overcome these challenges I will need to be very organized in my planning and be sure to set aside time to find a resource that fits well within the framework of the specific concept that is being taught. I also will have to be conscious of the multiple resources at my disposal without getting locked in on my favorites over and over again. Hopefully this will provide for some very successful lessons.
As I read other's post I feel time is my issue too. Being a Title I teacher, my time is limited to teach my students how to access some of the resources. I do have computer's in my room but I hope that they will be able to have the hardware/software they need to utilize the features that some of the sites provide. I find that I will be able to use the resources when planning my lesson which can provide different genres, instructional materials and providing choice. As I was watching the different modules I was thinking about collaborating with my classroom teachers. It will be nice sharing with them the AEA online resources for my students projects. I love that many of the resources were age appropriate which is always difficult for an elementary teacher. Having the lexile levels on the materials makes it easier for me to chose appropriate material for my Title I students. Getting my homeroom teachers to see the value in the material might be a way to have students utilize these resources. We can work on projects together and using the many activities that are provided my the AEA.
My biggest challenge is time. All of our core blocks are not to be interrupted. It leaves very little time in the day for anything else in our curriculum. Right now, I only have 15 minutes for science and 15 minutes for social studies and that is not consecutive . I am hoping to be able to incorporate more technology into the reading core with research, listening to books, and reading books on AEA online. We also have Technology Coaches who can come in and help out. I am hoping she will have more ideas!
The biggest challenge is using the AEA online resources for myself is that there are so many to pick from. Right now as dropout prevention coordinator there are many that I am not able to use in a classroom setting but rather to assist student's in their academic and emotional needs. Also as a substitute teacher there are many times that the lesson plans left for us do not include any digital resources. When they are left for us at times it is challenging to navigate and therefore I will turn to the tech savvy student in the classroom to assist.
I think my biggest hurdle would be to get students and teachers informed that Google is not the end all of searching for materials. The AEA Resources offer filters and saves so much time with finding the information. In overcoming this my plan is to teach students in their library classes all of the resources available. Teach parents as the need arises. That takes care of hundreds of people. As I share this info with students they can share it with their teachers.
Just using as many resources as possible to get the word out about all the resources that are available.
Several challenges actually come to mind. One for my area would be actually using this material with the blessing of the original teacher. Here i find that the teachers have a specific lesson plan that we must follow. If we have time to incorporate anything beyond what the teacher wants to happen, I feel they would be happy to see that extra offering to assist the students learning the material. However, I have tried this in the past with minimal success. Both schools I work for require detailed lesson plans with little room for extra time. I also seldom have time before the class starts to look it up. I hope to find a way to come to the class earlier then I have in the past to work on the lesson plan to see if I can add anything that my help. Time is my biggest asset but my biggest challenge. Emergency subbing I think I will find the recourses to be the greatest benefit,
As others have already stated it is difficult to use these wonderful resources as a substitute teacher. We basically follow the plan we're given. There have been times, however when there are only vague plans, in which case this information could become invaluable to a substitute. The school librarian is not always available for consultation on passwords and such but other teachers would probably fill me in on the necessary information. I now have knowledge to use the material available to regular teachers. Again, however, when i am only there for a limited time it would not be used to its full value.