You’re either near the start of a new academic year or halfway through it. It’s a good time to set/revise your goal for technology integration in the classroom. Setting a goal helps you clarify your intention and can focus your energy when using technology in the classroom.
Goal-setting is the process of determining and planning what you want to accomplish. Goal-setting tells your mind what to expect, and is useful for evaluating your progress, and transferring your learning. There are many different approaches that you can take to planning for goal-setting. The SMART (Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) approach to goal setting is popular, and you’re welcome to use it. I would like to share the WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan) approach, which is useful for technology integration, where mindset and attitude are often what’s keeping us from taking the first step, or keeping to the path. It’s also more accessible in education than SMART, because we may not know exactly what’s realistic when engaged in action research, and other experiments for innovation and transformation.
The WOOP System
When using the WOOP system, it is important to maintain the integrity of the system. This involves two concepts: do the steps in order, and visualize the steps as you carry them out. First, you will decide on one main wish for using technology in your classroom. Then you will complete the outcome step. In the outcome step, focus on student learning and add specificity to your wish. If you’re using the SMART method instead, you may need to use the 5 W’s to help you come up with an appropriate goal. Then you will consider what internal obstacle is most likely to stand in the way of you achieving your wish/goal and write it down as the obstacle. The final step is to plan how you will overcome this obstacle, using an if, then format.
Choosing a Goal/Wish
Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble coming up with a goal or wish that pleases you. Often, teachers tell me that they would like to use more technology in their classroom. The visualization stage in the outcome will help you clarify your purpose for choosing that wish. If you recently got a set of new technology devices in your classroom and are still learning when and how to use them, choose one of the indicators in the ISTE Standards for students to start with. Standard 3c “Students curate information from digital sources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions” (ISTE) could become a wish to help students select reliable sources of information online for use in each of their research papers.
Complete the Steps in the WOOP System
Once you have a goal or wish, write it down in a notebook or in an electronic document. Then complete the other steps of WOOP. Here is a handy template for your use.
It’s useful to have a file or notebook to help you plan and document your technology integration journey. Documentation is important to give us data and information for evaluating our progress. It’s also useful for replicating our experience, and for sharing it with others. When you’re in the process of experimentation and experience, it’s easy to forget details or to lose sight of the whole picture. Documentation will help avoid these problems. The next post will share some suggestions for realising your wish.
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