#SEACCR Week 3: Collaboration

The topic of my research project is the impact on student reading fluency scores when using the iTalk app to record and listen to their reading. iTalk is an iPod/iPad app that allows users to record their voice. My district supports teachers using iTalk, allowing students to record and listen to their reading, in the hopes that it will increase student’s AIMSWeb fluency scores.

This year I was hired as an Instructional Technology Teacher, which is similar to a technology coach for teachers. Teachers sign up for me to come into their classrooms to assist or support with the integration of technology into their classroom. My goal as a technology coach is to share technology resources with teachers in the hopes that student engagement and tech skills increase. To be productive at work and accomplish my goal I will need to collaborate with a variety of staff members from multiple schools. To be successful I will need to collaborate with teachers to learn their teaching styles and needs for helping them incorporate technology. The technology skills of the teachers I work with vary and it is my responsibility to support teacher’s technology needs in their classroom.

As a result of my new position I will rely on collaboration in order to complete my research project. I believe collaboration is important in education for teachers to learn and grow from one another. According to Phillips and Hughes (2012), “In our experience, the best professional development comes from those already in our schools. When engaging in inquiry or lesson study, teachers draw on their shared trust, expertise, and experiences to improve instruction.” In the Edutopia video How Teachers Collaborate Online and in School, educators in Vail, Arizona use an online Wiki source to share and find resources for content. They are taking collaboration to another level and not only connecting teachers with in a school, but across the district. My plan for completing this research project is to assist and support a regular education teacher in using iTalk in their classroom and assess if their student’s fluency score increase.


Edutopia. (2014, April 13). How teachers collaborate online and in school. [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/stw-differentiated-instruction-budget-resource-collaboration-video

Phillips, V., & Hughes, R. L. (2012). Teacher collaboration: The essential common-core ingredient. Education Week, 7, 37. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/05/13hughes.h32.html


6 thoughts on “#SEACCR Week 3: Collaboration

  1. Alison,
    I am so jealous of your school! We would love to have an Instructional Technology Teacher in the building. We don’t even have a tech. in the building. They rove around from school to school. Having that ability to get into the classroom and do one on one training with your staff members must be amazing. They must get so much out of it, and you must be constantly learning new things about technology. How fun! I agree, collaboration is extremely important. We learn so much from each other, and as they are always telling us; don’t try to reinvent the wheel. By hearing what our colleagues have done, we can incorporate that into our teaching. New ideas sprout from these conversations. I love the idea of working on fluency by having the kids record their own voices. People don’t realize what they sound like until they hear a recording of themselves. Even teachers can benefit from a video of them teaching to see what they are doing and what they need to change.

    • It is an amazing job, but at times can be overwhelming. Since it’s my first year I am feeling a little more overwhelmed than amazing right now. I work at 4 elementary schools, so I am at one school one day a week. You are correct it is great that my district employees coaches for the schools, we are a great resource for teachers and students.

  2. Alison,
    What a great idea! I had not hear of the iTalk app. I know that the new reading program at our school does have students read into a recording to increase reading fluency. But only the 7th and 8th grade students are using is program, so this app would make recording easier for more students to read into an ipad. This gave me an idea. I could go to AIMSWeb to download the progress monitoring pages at different levels and have students use these for a cold read, then 2 or 3 practice reads and a hot read—like Read Naturally. I could set up the files and put the app on ipads for teachers to use.

    I am in a similar situation where I will be relying on collaboration with teachers to complete my research project. I believe I may be going into the 7th/8th period class a few days per week to help with the small group portion of the Read 180 class. This is where I will take notes, make observations, interview students and the teacher who is already in there.

  3. All I can add is that there are teachers at my school who have done the exact same thing (recording voices on iPods to improve fluency) and found it to be very effective.
    I don’t know if they documented any of it as research, but I’ll ask around. Maybe even an email discussion could be a good resource/source.

  4. What a great idea! I have done something similar with students in Spanish so they can hear themselves. We have just used Garage Band, but I look forward to trying something new. Where I have been a little stumped is where can kids share their recordings so they can listen to others as well. Do they re record to correct mistakes?

    Grat job!

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