Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Developing My GAME Plan

While exploring the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) National education standards for teachers (NETS-T) this week I reflected on where my strengths and weaknesses lie currently. Based on these thoughts, I have decided on two goals I will be working on to strengthen my confidence and proficiency.

The first goal is based on NETS-T standard 2a, which is: “Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity” (ISTE, 2008). My goal is to design more labs that utilize online simulations. I will be limited to the simulations available that are relevant to the content I am expected to teach, so that will determine how many labs I am able to create using these at this time. I am hoping to be able to create at least one digital lab per unit of study. In order to reach this goal, I will begin by searching for simulations that address the concepts I teach. Next, I will create procedures and questions that guide students through the simulation and help them to reach an understanding of the concept. I will monitor my progress by setting the timeline of one digital lab per unit in order to keep myself on track. I will evaluate my learning by monitoring student learning and creativity to see if my work has had a positive impact.

My second goal relates to the first and is centered around NETS-T standard 1d, which is: “Model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments” (ISTE, 2008). I will share the digital labs I create online with peers. I often use internet resources as a jumping off point when creating learning experiences, so it is time I started providing resources that other teachers may be able to use. I will take action by posting each lab I create on the website where I found the simulation used. I will monitor my progress by ensuring that I have uploaded one lab or lesson plan for each unit. I will then extend my learning by finding other ways to share my lessons with colleagues.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from


  1. Holly,

    The goals you have set integrate nicely and I am intrigued by the idea of using online simulations for lab. I am not a game player nor am I familiar with what is available for simulation games that could be used to support education. I did a quick Google search and discovered there are quite a few resources available for the subjects I teach in Family and Consumer Sciences. As you explore available simulations that connect to your content, it will be important to make sure that you evaluate them for how well they promote creative thinking (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009, p. 60). Accessing online simulations will provide students with an enriching experience during class that might inspire some of them to continue with it at home and according to Coulter (2008) this will “ensure that all students have the benefits of educational technology,” and can help students develop the skills they need for academic success and future job opportunities (p.14).

    Have you decided how you will share the labs you have created or obtain feedback from students and peers? It might be fun and beneficial to blog on your experiences and get feedback that way or join a discussion community that shares similar goals. Another idea might be to have students create their own blog or wiki to share their experiences with the lab simulations and provide feedback that way.

    Great post!



    Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

    Coulter, B. (2008). Bridging the gap with technology. Connect Magazine, 22(2), 14–15. Retrieved from the Academic Search Complete database.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Lauri. As of right now I am planning to share the labs I create on the website where I found the simulations. Most of the ones I use are from PHET, which allows teachers to upload their lessons to share. That may not be an option if I manage to find other simulations on other websites, so I definitely plan to blog about those lessons here on my blog.

  2. What grade and topic do you teach? There are alot of great online labs and tutorial simulations. I use PhET alot with my physics and matter and energy students. However,they have math and other sciences as well:

    There are also several sources which have grouped sections of online resources:

    Also as part of my own reasearch to create simulations I found a blog from a teacher who is part of the North American Network of Online Labs (who honestly knew there was such a thing). His blog contains some interesting information about online lab structure and what NANOL is doing to expand online education:

    1. I teach 8th grade science and I am a huge PHET fan! They have so many great simulations that apply to what I teach but I have been looking for more, so thank you for sharing these other resources!