My Learning Journey

Name: Carmen
Campus: Lower School
Role: Teacher Librarian

Transformative Ideal to "First 5"
My ideal: strong digital citizens who understand how to behave online and basic steps for being safe. Students feeling facile with using technology for sharing their thinking and learning. Students become researchers who think critically about information they find, ask deep questions and have a toolkit of strategies for finding answers.
1. My learners will need more time using technology devices to build fluency. If kids are using tech more frequently, such as in homerooms, they should become more comfortable. Lots of discussion and practice with digital communication, with feedback from peers and teachers, will help kids build a positive digital culture/understanding of how to behave in an online environment.
2. Treating others with respect in person and owning one's learning process are already part of our culture in the real-world environment, so they have the foundation. Some kids are fluent with typing, but this is a barrier for a lot of them who are still hunt-and-peck typers and struggle with getting their ideas across in limited time. Lots of kids have foundational research skills that we're building on with common language and practices that are scaffolded every year.
3. Definitely typing and basic computer navigation skills for about half of the kids. Critical thinking and depth--slow learning! Time for slow learning and depth!
4. Spending more time in the homerooms at the beginning of the year helps a lot. I did that this year and it made a big difference with feeling closer to the homerooms/students and understanding the cultures of the homerooms. Conversations as we form digital citizenship understanding (like Lisa plans to incorporate this into classroom agreements--join them and use this as a model for others!). Getting kids on computers to begin gaining fluency with some of our tools (blog, Destiny Quest, etc.) so they learn to log in and put something out their to the world, with pretty immediate feedback. Also lets us see a baseline to compare beginning of year to end.

My Destination Postcard:
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From our brainstorm list of possible topics (or others that have surfaced in your thinking):
  • Which interest you? blogging and podcasting (students as content creators), genius hour, questioning, information literacy, reflection, digital citizenship

  • Which pique your personal/professional curiosity the most?
    • Collaboration between students and between teachers to reach higher and more complex/authentic/meaningful levels of learning and productivity. Supporting teachers with any projects/initiatives they want to embark on
    • Genius Hour--how to find this time in the schedule for kids to explore their interests in a meaningful and in-depth way, with plenty of time for reflection, revision, exploration, and discovery, as well as creation, sharing, and getting constructive feedback.
    • Digital Citizenship
    • Information literacy (all aspects of research and information usage)
    • Students as digital content creators--difficulty of managing this (pretty much independently) for 80 kids at a time (per stage) or even the entire student body. So much to manage!

  • What questions surface within the topic(s) and with specific regard to your practice? To your own learning? To student learning?
    • Limits of technologies that we may not have available/not enough for the numbers of kids. Also unreliable sometimes?
    • Time limitations, especially with my schedule--how to give enough time for thinking, development, and follow-through. Should we switch to one or two overarching units that cover lots and lots of skill sets so kids can strengthen these skills and reach greater depth? Would this work?
    • Variations in kids' internet and computer skills--meeting kids where they are in terms of using online information resources (finding, using, citing, interpreting), digital citizenship (social media, etiquette, footprint), and even simple typing, navigating, and Microsoft Office skills
    • My (honestly) limited comfort/expertise with social media platforms. And how to help this come from the kids, not be a scare-tactic, didactic kind of unit.


Planning Stage

Influenced by:


The element of my practice I'd like to tinker with citizenship


  • Goal - The goal of my effort is to...grow healthy habits of thinking and behaving in an online environment--even when not monitored--so that students move into the world of social media and adolescence aware of the consequences of their choices for themselves and for others.

  • Question - The fundamental question I will be exploring is... (draft a focus question and subquestions; be prepared to revise these throughout the challenge) how to do this! subquestions: forums to use, approaches to this learning, how to help the kids own it, how to assess this as so much would be occurring outside of class time.


What artifacts of learning might I collect as evidence of growth...?

  • anecdotal records
  • student reflections
  • teacher reflections
  • student work samples
  • iterations
  • observations
  • peer/colleague feedback
  • assessment data
    • rubrics
    • other formative pieces...
  • surveys
  • counts
  • more...
external image Audacity-icon.pngThe reason for doing action research is to improve future action.
–Richard Sagor, Guiding School Improvement with Action Research, (ASCD professional development program)


My learning network will include (books, articles, websites, people, other):

Our Diigo Group

  • @TheRoeperSchool
  • #RoeperR&D