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Using Technology to Support Literacy in Lower Elementary Classrooms for Active WV Educators
 
Course Description
    

During this course, participants will explore how technology can support emerging literacy development in kindergarten through third grade. Participants will investigate tools that can help build phonemic awareness and word recognition. Participants will also explore strategies for integrating reading and writing with meaningful project-based activities, and learn about software tools for publishing student work and creating class books. Session Projects will include 1) determining the role of the educator when considering how and when to use technology in an early childhood classroom and determining the strengths or weaknesses of online tools vs traditional instructional methods, 2) evaluating the current week’s lesson plans, specific to reading. Describing the materials, resources, computer programs/apps you are using this week specific to each of the five elements of reading, 3) Describing how you will use the technology hardware and/or software above with your students in an introductory lesson to promote literacy learning in the selected area, 4) creating and implementing a Reading Language Arts Lesson Plan based on a technology based publishing tool or website, and 5) incorporating authentic assessments into classroom instruction that supports literacy in the lower elementary classroom.

*This course is appropriate for WV teachers of  who are currently employed to teach teaching grades K-3 in a WV school/classroom..

 
Course Syllabus
    

 

 

Overview

During this course, participants will explore how technology can support emerging literacy development in kindergarten through third grade. Participants will investigate tools that can help build phonemic awareness and word recognition. Participants will also explore strategies for integrating reading and writing with meaningful project-based activities, and learn about software tools for publishing student work and creating class books. Session Projects will include 1) determining the role of the educator when considering how and when to use technology in an early childhood classroom and determining the strengths or weaknesses of online tools vs traditional instructional methods, 2) evaluating the current week’s lesson plans, specific to reading. Describing the materials, resources, computer programs/apps you are using this week specific to each of the five elements of reading, 3) Describing how you will use the technology hardware and/or software above with your students in an introductory lesson to promote literacy learning in the selected area, 4) creating and implementing a Reading Language Arts Lesson Plan based on a technology based publishing tool or website, and 5) incorporating authentic assessments into classroom instruction that supports literacy in the lower elementary classroom.

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • understand ways technology can be used to support literacy in a developmentally appropriate manner,
  • understand cautions of using computers in place of more traditional activities,
  • determine when to engage students in literacy activities using technology,
  • understand the five essential components of reading,
  • understand the importance of each component to the reading process,
  • understand how to use technology programs and applications to enhance student acquisition of reading skills,
  • review assistive technologies and software programs that support literacy, 
  • describe how assistive technologies support the unique needs of students,
  • determine how assistive technologies and software programs could be integrated into the literacy curriculum,
  • investigate how technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning,
  • take an inventory of the technology hardware and software available at their school which can be used to improve literacy, 
  • develop a plan for integrating technology into the literacy classroom,
  • review technology tools and software applications that permit student work to be published online,
  • create your own planning document based on a publishing activity,
  • understand the positive impact publishing student work can have on your own classroom,
  • review technology tools and software applications that permit student work to be published online,
  • create their own planning document based on a publishing activity, 
  • understand the positive impact publishing student work can have on their own classroom, 
  • plan to use several strategies to assess literacy in the classroom ,
  • gain knowledge about assessment strategies for literacy that are supported by technology, and 
  • explore portfolio-based assessment.
Course Organization
This course includes several different activity components, all of which are described below. During each session, you will participate in a unique collection of these activity components, depending on the particular focus of that session.

Read
When you see this icon you will be reading relevant articles, resources, and instructional materials that will help inform your online course development process.

Activities
When you see this icon you will be completing activity-based curriculum and inputting various components of your course content into course project.

Discuss
When you see this icon you will be using the online discussion board to share ideas, resources, and thoughtful conversation with your fellow course participants and facilitator.
Prerequisites
This professional development course is designed for currently employed K-12 teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists and administrators. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience. Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet and navigating through computer files. 

Microsoft Word is required in order to read, edit and/or create documents for this course. If you have a WVDE k12.wv.us email account, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, etc. as part of Microsoft Office 365. You should see your school/county technology support person if you need help in using/installing Word and/or other Office applications. 

If you do not have a k12.wv.us email account, Word must be acquired through other means.  One way to get access to Word Online at no charge is by Creating a Microsoft Outlook Account with Access to FREE Office Online

Format and Requirements
This workshop is divided into an Orientation Session and six one-week sessions which each include readings, activities, and an online discussion among workshop participants. The time necessary to complete each session is estimated to be 6.5 to 7 hours.

The outline for the workshop is as follows:
Session One:  Supporting Literacy with Technology
Session Two: Using the Internet to Build Emergent Reading Skills
Session Three: Building the Literacy Skills of All Learners with Software and Assistive Technologies
Session Four: Planning for Technology Integration in Your Literacy Program
Session Five: Publishing Student Work
Session Six: Assessment Strategies and Tools
Session One: Technology, specifically computers, are here to stay. It is important to know and understand how they can be used to enhance opportunities in the early childhood classrooms, but also, the pitfalls that come with replacing hands-on learning and conversations. During this session you will be reading articles that will ask you to think about the appropriate use of technology in early childhood classrooms and the educators role in providing technology based activities.  The session project will ask that you objectively review instructional websites and other computer-based instructional programs and compare them to traditional instructional activities. By the end of the session you should be able to articulate why and when you would use technology instead of a traditional instructional activity.

Session Two: Reading is a process which can be broken down into five essential components. Participants will read and watch videos to learn about the five essential components of reading. They will explore several Internet sites which may be used to enhance lessons in reading. Participants will be identifying web-based activities for each of the five essential components. These web-based activities could be used in daily lessons with their students even when the content changes.

Session Three: In this session, you will explore some assistive technologies and software programs that will support teachers with the implementation of technology to meet the needs of their student. Most of these programs were designed to support students with disabilities but can also be used to build literacy skills of all emergent readers and writers.  When looking at these technologies, you will explore what is accessible to you within your classroom, and what may be available to add to support instruction.  As you explore these technologies, think about how you would integrate these tools into your literacy curriculum.  As you work in this session you, will see the benefits of implementing assistive technologies and software programs to support literacy.

Session Four: In this session you will explore several resources to learn how you can integrate technology into your literacy classroom. You will learn about the dos and don'ts of using technology in the classroom and some important things to consider as you plan to utilize technology in literacy teaching. The activities in this session will guide you in completing portions of your session project. The session project will involve taking an inventory of the technology software and hardware available at your school and will require you to focus on a core literacy component to develop a plan for integrating technology into your literacy teaching and learning. Discussion will expand to also include ideas for overcoming these challenges and obstacles that we face.

Session Five: During this session, you will explore a variety of technology applications that will allow you to publish student work online. You will read about the positive impact this may have upon your classroom. As you explore these technologies, think about how you would implement these ideas into your own literacy curriculum. By the end of this session, you will create a planning document based on a publishing activity and share it with the other participants.

Session Six: In this session, participants will explore literacy assessment strategies. Participants will also investigate using authentic assessment ideas for implementing literacy in the lower elementary grades classroom. Plans for the use of specific literacy assessment strategies with identified technology support or delivery will be developed. Participants will also develop an implementation plan for an electronic literacy portfolio in an early elementary classroom.

Assessment

Each session includes readings, activities, and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete weekly. This is a three-hour graduate level course and will require 45 hours to successfully complete the tasks. Participants should plan to spend 6.5 - 7 hours weekly to read assignments, complete activities including and participate actively in the weekly discussions.

Orientation Quiz: During the Orientation Session, participants are expected to complete the Orientation Quiz. The quiz may be completed as many times as necessary to score at least a 90% accuracy. 

Readings and Activities: Participants are expected to complete the required course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Optional readings may also be completed, but are not mandatory.

Course Products/Assignments: 
Session One:
Session One Project Template, Session One Project Rubric, Session One Peer-Review Rubric

Session Two: Session Two Project Template, Session Two Project Rubric, Session Two Peer-Review Rubric
Session Three: Session Three Project Template, Session Three Project Rubric, Session Three Peer-Review Rubric
Session Four: Session Four Project Template, Session Four Project Rubric, Session Four Peer-Review Rubric
Session Five: Session Five Project Template, Session Five Project Rubric, Session Five Peer-Review Rubric

Session Six: Session Six Project Template, Session Six Project Rubric, Session Six Peer-Review Rubric

Copyright: Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities. All work associated with the course project is to be the original work of the course participant. Fair use does not apply to the course project.

Discussion Forum: Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session by Sunday evening. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session by Monday evening. They are to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session by Tuesday evening. Postings will be evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited and overall quality.

Read the Discussion Guidelines and the Checklist for Evaluating Discussion PostingsYour facilitator will follow these guidelines and the checklist when evaluating successful participation in the course Discussions. You will also be asked to peer review other participants' projects in the Discussions during Sessions One through Six using the peer-review rubric for each session. The Rubric Review Help Guide will assist you in completing this successfully.

Grades: All grades in the course gradebook must be a "C" for successful course completion. A grade of "C" indicates that all work has been completed and the work meets the expectations for that assignment.

 Pre and Post Workshop Surveys: Participants are expected to complete both surveys. The Orientation Survey is to be completed by Sunday during the Orientation Session and the Final Survey is to be completed by Sunday during Session Six. 

Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of this course, Using Technology to Support Literacy in Lower Elementary Classrooms, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant via attachment to the Session Six Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.
Graduate Credit Information

Participants in this course are eligible to receive non-degree graduate credits from either West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University, or Concord University. Credits will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the course occurs. Additional information is available on the course News/Welcome Page.

Content and Technology Standards

The West Virginia Standards for English Language Arts will be referenced in the sessions' projects. 

This course, Supporting Literacy in the Lower Elementary Classroom, will help participants meet the ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (http://edtechleaders.org/documents/NETSAdminTeachers.pdf), especially Standards II, III, IV, and V. For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org

About this Course

This course was developed by the West Virginia Department of Education (http://www.state.wv.us).

Original design (before format modifications) by EdTech Leaders Online (http://www.edtechleaders.org), a project of Education Development Center, Inc, © 2007.  All rights reserved.