Common Core State Standards:
For my capstone project, I covered an array of standards. Because mathematics was the content area I focused on, the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics were heavily focused on. I used the math curriculum adopted by the Napa Valley Unified School District entitled Bridges in Mathematics. This program is a Common Core aligned math curriculum created by the Math Learning Center.
21st Century Skills:
The Napa Valley Unified School District places an emphasis on teaching 21st Century Skills in the classroom. These skills are vital to teach students to effectively collaborate, create, and communicate in the digital age. These 21st century skills include creativity, innovation, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, character, and global citizenship. These skills take our students out of the passenger seat of their education, and place them in the co-pilot seat as teachers guide and facilitate their learning beside them. This empowers our students to eventually fly solo. These skills are necessary in order for our students to thrive in their future careers, and helps students take ownership of their own learning.
TPACK is an effective model for 21st Century teaching and learning. TPACK focuses on Content, Pedagogy, and Technology. The Content focuses on what is being taught. The Pedagogy focuses on how to teach it. This includes facts and concepts. Technology includes the tools that allow students to represent ideas and share them with one another. The transformation of content due to technology is drastically different in all content areas than it was just a decade ago. With access to technology, students can experience alternate forms of learning. This includes web based videos and support, a flipped classroom model, and providing multiple ways for students to demonstrate their learning. As educators, we know that students learn in many different modalities. Technology is a tool that can be used to help students learn in a more individualized way. It is important to remember that technology is a support to content, not a replacement of content. It should be used to strengthen our lessons and support student learning and understanding. The "sweet spot" of teaching is when all three pedagogical contents areas overlap.
Technology was a major part of my capstone project. The ISTE Standards focus on empowering the learner through a student-driven process. Digital Citizenship is a pillar of these standards. I focused heavily on instilling Digital Citizenship in my students through programs like Google’s Be Internet Awesome. This taught my students to be safe, respectful, and responsible internet users before interacting with standards-based technology. In addition to internet safety, the ITSE Standards focus on teaching students communication skills and innovative design skills.