Below is the prototype of this website. Planning, designing and imagining what the website might look like helped to organize my thinking and hopefully make the actual website design more clear, concise and user-friendly.
Logo Design Process
Content Design Considerations
Visible Learning for Literacy by Nancy Fish, Douglas Frey and John Hattie altered the course of my capstone content and design. Their book discusses research-based strategies to improve language arts instruction. I used their research to decide which strategies to include in the capstone project. Their focus on feedback, scaffold and deep learning alter the content and design of my website. Click on the video below to learn about their book and research.
SITE Model Analysis
A good idea does not get very far if you can't communicate your idea to your audience. The focus needs to be on the learner. This comes from Dervin, Clark and Baggio. I can preach all I want about the content, but if I ignore the needs of my learners my content will never reach them. What does the teacher want? What challenges or hurdles do they see? What prevents them from trying a new strategy? What would make a new strategy stick? Thinking about the audience, their needs, questions, abilities, background, and experiences will help to focus the information I include in this capstone project.
Sociocultural Context- This learning will be designed as professional learning opportunities for teachers. As an academic specialist, I will be sharing this resource with all grade levels at my site and possibly other sites within NVUSD. My school is interested in increasing student talk. The reality is that teachers do most of the talking out of habit. Teachers have years, sometimes decades, of teachers leading the instruction. Most of us have been conditions by a teacher lectures, a student listens. ELL shadowing, inquiry-based learning, and research-based instruction is proving that students should do more of the talking, however, it is a hard habit to break. Another challenge is that teachers feel the pressure of "getting through the standards" and feel more in control of the topics if they are doing the talking. Putting the learning and talking onto the students also means releasing some control. Another contributing factor is the noise level, 33 students talking can get loud and "feel" out of control. Providing structured, intentional talk task will help the students and the teacher see talking as a learning strategy.
Informational Context- What information do I want my audience to learn? 1. Student talk is learning. 2. Increasing intentional student conversations can increase academic achievement. 3. Increasing student talk = decreasing teacher talk. 4. Student talk must be planned, focused and intentional. 5. Decreasing teacher talk is a difficult habit to break. 6. Student talk needs to be monitored and assessed for it to be effective. 7. Scaffolds need to be used to increase student talk. 8. Scaffolds need to be removed in order for students to use these strategies on their own. Challenges: 1. Breaking the habit of teacher talk. 2. Releasing control of the learning to students. 3. Noise adjustment. 4. Talk must be monitored and assessed.
Technical Context- I would like to create a website to house sample lessons, videos and data. I need to provide the why and the how. Why is talk important? How can we use talk to improve student achievement for all students? I will show student work from lessons with very little student talk. Then show that same student's work using the same lesson but with increased student talk. The website will demonstrate student talk in Math, Reading, Writing & Inquiry. Teachers can choose which content area they would like to investigate on their own. Teachers can also choose tech tools and apps that will help increase student talk. For example, using Toontastic to help students narrate a story before writing their story. There will also be less "techie" options for teachers who do not feel as comfortable with technology.
Educational context- Most people agree that when learning a new language, speaking and listening comes before reading and writing. However, in school, we often overlook speaking and listening and jump right into to teaching kids to read and write. After conducting EL shadowing, we realize that many of our EL students speak very little, and even the EO students speak much less that we predicted. Most of the speaking is done by the teacher.