What inspired this project?
Being a first year teacher, I struggled with how to create an innovative learning environment. How could I bring 165 7th and 8th grade students, who had an endless amount of substitutes the year before, into 21st century learning? Well, I certainly tried. From having iPads to the classroom, to getting a class set of Chromebooks, to having all students 1:1, I advocated for technology in my classroom. Once I had technology in the classroom, I thought "Wah-lah! It's a 21st century learning environment!" Only to realize I was simply substituting the work. I knew when I started the program that I wanted my research to focus on technology in the classroom, but with a broad idea of where it would go. When I started reading other research on technology in the classroom, I found that very little research was being done about the communication and collaboration aspect. When my administrators started focusing on academic conversations in the classroom, I knew I wanted to explore how technology could effect student's collaboration and communication skills.
National, state and district data show that a majority of students are not meeting proficiency in English, reading and writing skills which shows they are not prepared to enter a 21st century workplace. The literature showed that Google applications do provide a learning environment that support positive attitudes from students and allowed them to participate in the writing process with ease. The 4 C’s of Common Core: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity were created and grouped together because they serve a purpose to each other, one skill helps benefit the others.
Analyzing the needs of the learner from the sociological, instructional, technnological and educational needs of the learners. Prototyping and feedback loops.