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Integrating Gaming and Simulation in the Elementary Classroom

Janet Chen
jchen4@westga.view.usg.edu
Constance Hinely
chinely1@westga.view.usg.edu
Brent Johnson
bjohns59@westga.view.usg.edu
July 11, 2016

Abstract
Students of all ages enjoy playing games. According to Watson, Mong and Harris (2011),
students that use video games show an increase in student engagement and motivation. Quin and Clark
(2016) report that it is evident that gaming increases critical thinking skills and collaboration. These
twenty-first century skills are evident in coding. Coding demands problem solving, critical thinking skills
and collaboration. With the adoption of the Georgia Milestones test, students are required to use twentyfirst century learning skills to develop short answer questions and essay questions in all subjects. This
includes Social Studies. A recent survey of Fulton County elementary teachers indicates they feel they
need more professional development in the areas of technology integration and Social Studies. This
professional development grant proposal aims to assist the educators in this area of need. The co-project
directors for this professional development are Janet Chen (jchen4@westga.view.usg.edu), Connie Hinely
(chinely1@westga.view.usg.edu) and Brent Johnson (bjohns59@westga.view.usg.edu).
The professional development workshop will take place during the summer of 2017. It will consist
of five eight hour sessions. During the five day sessions, teachers will be trained on basic coding skills
along with how to utilize coding in instruction. The goals of the professional development are to: 1.) Teach
twelve teachers in the Central Learning Community of Fulton County how to effectively use coding to
enrich instruction in the classroom and to 2.) Instruct teachers how they can utilize coding to enhance
student learning about United States history. Connie Hinely, Janet Chen, and Brent Johnson will each
share a role in providing instruction during the workshops. Each co-director will also be responsible for
supporting the participants during the small group segments. During the first day of the summer session,
Tanya Cheeves (cheeves@pd.code.org) with code.org will be instructing teachers on basic coding blocks
and creating games using coding. This partnership is an integral part of the success of the professional
development. She will also serve as a consultant as needed.
During the professional development workshop, our activities will directly align with the objectives.
Teachers will be given the opportunity to explore and learn how to code. Teachers will also better
understand the necessary content for fourth grade United States History. Teachers will explore creating
lessons with coding that will enrich technology and vocabulary skills for fourth grade students in the

Fulton County area. There will be three follow up sessions that will give teachers the opportunity to share
their successes and discuss areas needing improvement. Teachers will also be able to share the coding
lessons they have created to determine the effectiveness of the professional development. Dr. Carl
Westine, a professor at the University of West Georgia, will be responsible for analyzing the data from
each phase of the project and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the professional development. Dr.
Westine will also prepare the final evaluation report for this professional developmental program for all
stakeholders.

Introduction
Elementary teachers encounter challenges on a daily basis engaging students in subjects that
are required, but may have very little interest to students. Common Core standards and Georgia
Standards of Excellence quickly dictate what must be taught and when it should be accomplished. While
this can be frustrating, by utilizing innovative technology strategies, learning can become more engaging
and student centered. This is quite different than the traditional teacher centered lessons. Todays
students are digital natives. They are born with technology in their hands. Educators must embrace the
technology initiative and provide students the opportunity to learn the way twenty-first century students
learn best. Studies have shown that utilizing gaming and simulations can increase student achievement,
motivation and engagement (Akpinar & Aslan, 2015).
The following grant proposal is designed to provide a detailed description of the needs of
elementary schools in Fulton County, Georgia. The first section explains the demonstrated need of the
schools, based on data gathered the previous three years. Partnerships within the district and
surrounding areas are explained. The goals and objectives section outlines the two goals along with the
objectives for each goal. The plan of operation explains how the goals, both content and pedagogical, will
be met on a daily basis. The evaluation section will explain how the activities will be assessed in order to
determine effectiveness of the professional development. Finally, a detailed budget summary explains all
expenditures required for the professional development workshop.

Demonstrated Need
When it comes to integrating technology into the curriculum, it is a struggle that many teachers
face. There is a lack of knowledge, lack of professional development and a concern regarding financial
restraints. This need is evident based on Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) scores and
College & Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores for Fulton County. Based on the information
gathered from the individual schools Title 1 plans, the administration and staff feel that if these schools
were provided with professional development, funding and time, these scores could change and the
students could benefit academically. Based on teacher interviews, Fulton County is an interesting county
based on location and school demographics. The northern end of the county has more funding and

generally more involved parents, while the southern end of the county faces funding concerns, less parent
involvement and there is more diversity in the area. Fulton County breaks their school groups into
learning communities. An area of Fulton County that is considered high need is the Central Learning
Community. The Central Learning Community is composed of four elementary schools; Hapeville
Elementary, Parklane Elementary, Conley Hills Elementary, Hamilton Holmes Elementary. All four of these
schools are also currently Title 1 schools.
All four schools are very similar in demographics and test scores. For data and comparison
needs, Hapeville Elementary will be used as the primary data example.
Fulton County currently has three main goals they are working on throughout the school district.
1)

Identifying and prioritizing opportunity areas to improve student achievement results.

2)

Creating plans to achieve specific student performance gains and meet student needs.

3)

Increasing transparency and accountability.

Table 1: College and Career Ready Performance Index Scores (CCRPI) 2013-2015
Year

Hapeville
Elementary

Parklane
Elementary

Conley Hills
Elem

Hamilton
Elementary

Average in
State

2013

64.5

58.8

70.5

56.6

77.8

2014

61.7

58.4

73.5

49.5

72.6

2015

64.2

48.5

80.2

49

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Hapeville Elementary is placed within the airport community and many of their families, work for
the Hartsfield Jackson Airport. This airport is known as one of the busiest airports in the country. Within
Fulton County, the district is broken up into learning communities and this is how the district divides up
resources. The building that the elementary school occupies used to a high school building and was
originally built in the 1930s, it was renovated in the late 1980s. Hapeville is comprised of many different
cultures and the median household income for the school is $29,840. In Hapeville 25% of the population
is below the poverty rate. The example of Hapeville is comparable to the other schools.

Table 2: Fulton County Georgia Milestone Scores for Spring 2015

GRADE 4

English Language
Arts

Mathematics

Science

Social Studies

Number tested

7085

7103

7100

7054

Mean Scale Score

517.8

527.9

513.3

511.3

Standard
Deviation

56.4

54.3

53.0

50.4

%Beginning
Learner

23.5

16.7

25.9

25.8

% Developing
Learner

28.7

34.2

33.0

33.8

% Proficient
Learner

31.9

33.2

29.7

29.1

% Distinguished
Learner

16.0

15.9

11.4

11.2

% Developing
Learner & Above

76.5

83.3

74.1

74.2

% Proficient
Learner & Above

47.8

49.1

41.1

40.4

Based on the title 1 plans for Hapeville Elementary, their major concerns and needs were related
to the following areas. Overall their lexile scores for their students did not meet CCRPI goals. The third
graders had a goal of 650 or higher, only 49.4% of their students met this goal with a 13.8% gain. The fifth
graders had a goal of 850 or higher and only 39.8% of their 5th graders reached this goal, and this
subgroup had a drop of 1.3%. The administrative team and staff felt that students in all the grade areas
struggled with vocabulary terminology which affected all the core content areas, especially in Science and
Social Studies. This published plan also noted that students at Hapeville have limited access to
Technology which affect the fidelity of data that is gathered from online assessments which was one of
the formats for the milestones. It also limits a high interest learning tool for students. Their plan
continued to list a comprehensive needs as well with a statement regarding technology and the need for
increase in teaching training regarding technology, specializing in the student use of computers for
learning.

Their rationale as an administrative team for why their scores were low included the following for
technology and the focused subject area for the proposal:
Technology Use: Teachers lack strategies for teaching: technology integration FOR student learning, use
of technology for data monitoring, and increasing capacity using the Technology Integration Matrix.
Social Studies: Teachers lack strategies for teaching: social studies vocabulary acquisition, close reading
strategies for comprehending social studies texts, and writing of social studies text based questions.
Due to the struggles indicated in integrating technology with core subject areas, this grant would
focus on the use of gaming and simulation for the cores academic areas of social studies for the fourth
grade level. If technologies are used to foster meaningful learning, then they will not be used as delivery
vehicles. Rather, technologies should be used as engagers and facilitators of thinking (Jonassen,
Howland, Marra & Crismond, n.d.). One way to integrate technology into the subject areas and
curriculum, is through coding, which is a form of gaming. The students we are teaching are digital
natives. It is critical that educators focus on twenty-first century learning skills in order to produce students
who will be productive in the real world. Based on a case study conducted by Bunch, Robinson and
Webb (2015), a serious digital game is one that provides a wonderful opportunity for engaging learning.
According to Watson, Mong and Harris (2011), more and more educators believe that using video games
can increase student engagement and motivation. However, more research is required to determine if
student achievement increases with the use of gaming. Quin and Clark (2016) report it is evident that
gaming increases critical thinking skills and collaboration. These twenty-first century skills are evident in
coding. Coding demands problem solving, critical thinking skills and collaboration.
While integration of any form of technology is beneficial these days for students, the avenue of
gaming and simulation can impact this school district in many ways. Due to the lack of funding this district
has and the location of their learning community, students need to be pushed and engaged even more so
than others. Based on the demographics and the household median income, many of these students
come home to working parents and do not receive additional tutoring, homework assistance or even after
school activity opportunities that the other schools within the county may receive. Research and literature
shows that gaming and simulation can benefit multiple subject areas and has many other benefits, such

as realistic involvement, and engagement. This form of technology can also help with real world
experiences that can lead to much more meaningful lessons (Bunch, Robinson & Webb, 2015).
With gaming, their vocabulary within this subject can improve and engagement for students in
these areas that have shown weak data may improve. Social studies and simulation would also be
beneficial for this area due to their poverty level. Many students have the technology so that they dont
need to just read about how history has impacted our present and future, however for a school whose
population most likely will not be able to afford trips away, gaming and simulation is a way for them to be
present without leaving the school building. As a learning community the professional development will be
geared towards fourth grade social studies teachers while integrating coding as an instructional strategy.
It would provide engagement and access to real life examples and allow them to integrate the vocabulary
into the games.
Goals and Objectives
Today we are fortunate to be able to teach students who are tech savvy. According to Jones,
Students today are social by nature and very connected by their digital collaborators such as mobile
phones, tablets, and social media webpages and apps (2016, p. 24). These students come to our
classrooms with a great deal of knowledge about different applications that are available, whether they
are web based tools or apps to employ on iPADs. These types of technologies need to be integrated into
the curriculum so our students are engaged and involved in the learning process. Students also need to
be encouraged to use twenty-first century learning skills such creativity, collaboration and problem
solving. Jones has stated, Collaboration is a dynamic, learned skill critical for success in the twenty-first
century workplace and one well within our scope to provide our students for lifelong success! (2016, p.
26.)
Gaming and simulation are engaging instructional technology strategies that educators have
begun utilizing in their classrooms. However, with the Georgia Milestones Assessment being introduced
as a new standardized high stake test, we must be vigilant in determining what instructional strategies will
be applied in the classrooms so that all students needs are met. Gaming and simulation advocates
believe that this type of instructional strategy improves engagement, which ultimately increases academic
learning (Quin and Clark, 2016). This professional development will provide instructional strategies that

will guide teachers in developing effective gaming strategies they can effectively integrate into their
curriculum. Coding is one type of gaming in which this professional development will focus. According to
www.codeconquest.com, Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and
websites.
Instructional technology needs to be integrated into the curriculum so our students are engaged
and involved in the learning process. Many teachers are not aware or comfortable with creating a learning
environment integrating these tools. This professional development will provide an opportunity to help
teachers effectively utilize coding in the classroom in order to enhance learning of history. This
professional development will provide teachers with instruction on utilizing coding, an instructional
strategy, that will guide them in developing effective gaming strategies they can effectively integrate into
their curriculum.
The purpose of this professional development is to accomplish two goals. In order for our goals to
be effective, they must be SMART goals. After reviewing articles on SMART goals, we were taught that
these goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals. (Srivastava,
2015, p. 30). This is a very intimidating subject to many veteran teachers because they have not had any
experience with coding. With the increasing knowledge that our digital natives bring to the classroom, we
must meet them with innovative strategies, like gaming and simulations, in order to keep them engaged.

Goal 1: Twelve teachers in the Central Learning Community of Fulton County will be taught how to

effectively use coding to enrich instruction in the classroom.


Objective 1: Teachers will become familiar with basic coding commands using tutorials from code.org.
Objective 2: Teachers will learn how to create their own game so they will be able to integrate coding into

their curriculum.
Goal 2: Instruct teachers how they can utilize coding to enhance student learning about United States

history.
Objective 1: Teachers will be able to effectively create games to meet instructional needs in the

classroom.
Objective 2: Teachers will work collaboratively to create a game based on the fourth grade US History

standard, SS4H3: The student will explain the factors that shaped British Colonial America.
Objective 3: Teachers will increase their knowledge and best practices for creating games that can be
integrated into the curriculum.
Plan of Operations

The following professional development workshop is designed for twelve Fulton County fourth
grade teachers. The twelve teachers will be selected from the following schools; Hapeville Elementary,
Parklane Elementary, Conley Hills Elementary, and Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary. The training will
include five full day sessions in the summer of 2016. There will be three follow-up days that take place in
the 2016-17 academic school year. Two of those follow-up sessions will be held on Saturdays in the fall. A
final follow-up session will be held in the spring of 2017 where a report of progress will be completed.
Based on the goals and objective previously stated, the following schedule has been developed for the
professional development workshop:

Table 3: Plan of Operations


Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

(Goal 1,

(Goal 1,

(Goal 2,

(Goal 2,

(Goal 2,

Obj. 1)

Obj. 1 & 2)

Obj. 1 & 2)

Obj. 1 & 2)

Obj. 3)

8-8:30

Welcome
Brief Orientation

Brief
Orientation

Brief Orientation

Brief Orientation

Brief
Orientation

8:30-9:30

Explanation of
program goals
and objectives

Small groups
established
for
collaboration

Create games
using coding
with small group

Review of
progress with
coding and game
creation

Participants
finalize game

9:3010:30

Pretest on
content and
technology

Code
practice with
groups

Create games
using coding
with small group

Small group work


on creating game

Lesson Plans
finalized

10:30-

Overview of

Effective

Share game

Small group work

Lesson plans

10

11:00

standards to be
covered for
technology

strategies for
implementing
in curriculum

with another
small group

on creating game

finalized

11-11:30

Coding
Specialist will
demonstrate
basics of
coding blocks
and sequences

Suggest
strategies for
lesson plans

Peer
collaboration:
suggestions

Collaboration with
whole group

Group
collaboration
lesson plans

11:3012:00

Set up coding
accounts for all
participants

Finalize
plans and
share

Peer
collaboration:
suggestions

Group discussion

Group
collaboration

12-1:00

Working Lunch

Working
Lunch

Working Lunch

Working Lunch

Working Lunch

1-1:30

Experiment with
hour of code for
practice

Instructional
Strategy
practice with
small group

Begin
developing story
board for
lessons

Small group work

Question and
Answer
session

1:30-2:30

Lets learn to
code

Instructional
Strategy
practice with
small group

Begin
developing story
board for
lessons

Small group work

Best practices
review and
sharing

2-2:30

Code

Instructional
Strategy
practice with
small group

Design lesson
using content
standard and
technology

Small group
collaboration
lesson plan

Review
expectations for
the fall

2:30-3

Group Debrief
Daily Survey

Group
Debrief
Daily Survey

Group debrief
Daily Survey

Group debrief
Daily Survey

Posttest

Day One
The first day of the workshop will begin with a brief orientation and welcome session. This will
provide information on the goals and objectives that will be covered during the professional development.
Connie Hinely will introduce the participants to the personnel, Janet Chen, Brent Johnson and Tanya
Cheeves. The goals and objectives of the workshop will be reviewed for clarity. Participants will be given
a pretest on the content standards that will be used for the final lesson. Janet Chen will facilitate this.
Participants will also be given a survey that will allow facilitators to understand previous experience and
knowledge. A coding specialist from code.org, Tanya Cheeves, will be facilitating this training with
instructions on basic coding. Participants will be separated into three smaller groups, so that all co-

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directors can work with them in smaller groups for more personalized instruction. The first days session
will focus on accomplishing goal 1 and objective 1.
During the working lunch participants will be encouraged to experiment with coding using
www.code.org. Ms. Chen will facilitate the working lunch hour. The hour of code lessons are designed for
introductory students. Participants progress at their own speed, which works well for differentiation.
Students will then be given the opportunity to move through the lessons at their own pace. During all
sessions of the workshops, lunch will be provided. Lunch is considered a working time where participants
are able to share and collaborate. This is also a time where participants are able to work together,
brainstorm, and come up with some ideas that may be beneficial for the lessons they are preparing. A
group debriefing will take place at the end of the day for questions and answers. Mr. Johnson will be
responsible for the debriefing. The afternoon session will work towards goal 2, objective 2.
Day Two
The second day of the professional development will allow teachers to work collaboratively with
others to create lessons to enhance instruction. Ms. Hinely will review the previous lessons and address
any questions or concerns, based on the debriefing. Ms. Chen will initially conduct instructional strategies
lesson for implementing the coding into the curriculum. Janet Chen, Connie Hinely and Brent Johnson will
facilitate this training using their smaller group instructional strategies. By utilizing the coding from day
one, students will move to the tutorial lessons where they will be able to work at their own pace. Basic
coding commands will be shared. Participants will be able to practice coding to create simple games. At
the end of this day, the small groups should have a basic idea of the lesson they would like to create and
the coding commands they will use. A group debrief, led by Mr. Johnson, will allow for questions and
answers from our lead facilitator. The second day will focus on accomplishing goal 1 and objectives 1 and
2.
Days Three and Four
Ms. Hinely will begin days three and four with a review from the previous lessons and
experiences. Questions and concerns will be addressed. The third and fourth days will focus on allowing
participants to focus on the lesson they would like to create and integrate into the curriculum. Mr. Johnson
will lead the instructional lesson on creating games, with the assistance of story boards, design layout

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emphasizing the content standard and technology. Janet Chen and Connie Hinely will facilitate assist Mr.
Johnson with the personalized instruction on these days, based on individual need. Based on the history
standard of focus, participants can create a game that will show application of content and new
instructional strategies. Two days are given for this activity in order to allow adequate time for coding
practice and content integration. We have learned that teachers lack adequate time for practice what they
have learned during professional development. (Sweigart, Landrum, & Pennington, 2015). Therefore, time
is built in the professional development workshops for this collaboration. As participants move through
day three and four, they are encouraged to collaborate and problem solve together. Group discussion
time will be available at the end of the day. Lessons and programs will be created. Debriefing will be
facilitated by Mr. Johnson. These two days will fulfill the need to meet goal 2, objectives 1 and 2.
Day Five
The final day of the summer session will consist of developing the two lessons that will be
incorporated into the curriculum. Connie Hinely will review the goals and objectives of the workshop.
Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and express needs at this point so they can be
addressed individually during this last summer session. Participants are encouraged to work together. If
two lessons are created and time allows, the participants should begin creating the game using coding.
Participants will be encouraged to share their games with the whole group. Once lessons are shared,
there will be a final group discussion time for clarification of expectations for the fall. Following the group
discussion, there will be a post-test to determine knowledge gained for content and technology integration
of coding. Ms. Chen will facilitate the post test. Goal 2, objective 3 will be targeted on this final day.
Follow-up Session One
The first Saturday session scheduled for the fall will consist of teacher collaboration. During this
five hour session, participants in the workshops will gather together to share what has been successful
and what needs improvement. Teachers will share successful games they have created during the school
year thus far. Connie Hinely, Janet Chen and Brent Johnson will share the responsibility of facilitating this
session. The first follow-up session will focus on goal 2, objectives 2 and 3.
Follow-up Session Two

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Data will be gathered and analyzed from the participants students. If changes need to be made in
the objectives, they should be addressed at this time. Janet Chen, Connie Hinely and Brent Johnson will
be responsible for reviewing the data and making suggestions for adjustments. Lesson plans and games
will be shared at this time to encourage collaboration. Participants will be given time to collaborate and
plan possible lessons for future use if time permits. The second follow-up session will focus on goal 2,
objectives 2 and 3.
Spring Follow-up Session
The final session in the spring will be held to determine how effective the use of gaming has been
on student achievement. All of the participants will complete a survey that will determine if this strategy
was effective. All lessons and games will be combined and shared in an electronic portfolio. Teachers will
share their perception of the summer workshop and if it has been beneficial for their teaching. This will
conclude the professional development session. Stipends will be issued to all participants who have
completely fulfilled the professional development workshop. Dr. Carl Westine will analyze all data to
determine effectiveness of the professional development workshop. Upon his review and
recommendation, reports will be finalized and submitted to all stakeholders. The final follow-up session
will complete goal 2, objective 3.
Evaluation Plan
Evaluation is the systematic investigation of merit or worth (Joint Committee on Standards for
Educational Evaluation, 1994, p. 3). Many programs are evaluated for different reasons. By thoroughly
gathering and analyzing data, the effectiveness of professional development can be assessed. Detailed,
precise instruments should be used in this process. The following plan details how this professional
development workshop will be evaluated.
The external evaluator for this project will be Dr. Carl Westine. Dr. Westine is a research
professor in the Department of Educational Technology and Foundations at the University of West
Georgia. Dr. Westine is a highly respected professor who teaches educational research and evaluation at
the University of West Georgia. Dr. Westines professional experience will bring credible data analysis and
validity to the evaluation process. Dr. Westine will be responsible for analyzing the data from each phase

14

of the project and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the professional development. Dr. Westine will
also prepare the final evaluation report for this professional developmental program for all stakeholders.
The project consists of three phases during its implementation. The first phase consists of a pretest. The pre-test will be given during the first day of activities. The pre-test consists of content that will be
covered in the final lesson. The pre-test will be used to determine what the participants already know and
serves as a means of collecting baseline data. Debriefings will also be held at the end of each day to
continuously check for the participants understanding of the content and to uncover whether or not
anything needs to be re-covered during the next days activities. They will also be given a survey that
helps the facilitators determine their prior knowledge and level of comfort with using technology.
Phase two consists of a post-test. The post-test will be given at the end of the day during the last
summer session day. The post-test determines the content knowledge gained during the 5 day workshop.
Phase three will take place during the two fall sessions and the one spring session. Phase three
consists of a survey that the participants will complete to determine the effectiveness of the professional
development. The participants will also provide data from their lessons that demonstrates their students
completed work. This data will be used to determine the students knowledge of the content.
The specific data collection activities that will cover each program objective are outlined in the
table below. For each objective, there may be multiple data collection activities. This assists the evaluator
with analyzing the data so they may triangulate information for increased findings.

Table 4: Evaluation of Program Objectives


Program Objectives

1. Teachers will become familiar with basic coding commands using tutorials
from code.org.

2. Teachers will learn how to create their own game so they will be able to
integrate coding into their curriculum.

3. Teachers will be able to effectively create games to meet instructional


needs in the classroom.

15

4. Teachers will work collaboratively to create a game based on the fourth


grade US History standard, SS4H3: The student will explain the factors that
shaped British Colonial America.
5. Teachers will increase their knowledge and best practices for creating
games that can be integrated into the curriculum.

A) Transcripts of Debriefing Notes: A group debriefing will be held at the end of each session during the
summer, the two fall days, and the one spring day. This will be a time for the participants and facilitators to
discuss the lessons, activities, review any misunderstandings, and ask relevant questions. These notes
will be used to document key findings, big ideas, trends in misunderstandings, and to provide information
to the facilitators on how to address any issues or concerns during future professional development
workshops.
B) Daily Surveys: Daily surveys will be taken at the end of each debriefing session. Participants will have an
opportunity to share their thoughts with the facilitators on the effectiveness of the PD. This data will be
used to determine the format of future professional development workshops.
C) Teacher Instructional Plan: During the workshop, the participants will work with a partner on developing
lessons and eventually creating a game. On the final day of the summer workshop, the participants will
create a lesson for their students to engage in during the fall semester. Data from this lesson will be
analyzed during the two fall follow up days. A quantitative analysis that shows the pretest and posttest
scores for the participants students will be conducted to show the effectiveness of their teaching
D)

principles and methods as well as the effectiveness of their lesson plan.


Pre and Post Workshop Survey/Assessment: A survey will be given to the students at the beginning of
the workshop to determine their knowledge with coding and using games in their instruction. The students
will receive a post-test at the end of the summer workshop to determine the content knowledge that was
gained during the summer workshop. The students will also complete an open-ended Likert Scale survey
at the end of the two day follow up sessions to discuss what worked well with the lesson or what needs
improvements. Lastly, the participants will complete a survey at the end of the spring session to identify
the effectiveness of the professional development workshop.
Partnerships & Project Planning
The Central Learning Community of Fulton County has initiated planning for this proposal. The
Elementary schools administration and staff have acknowledged the need for technology resources and

16

the necessity of professional development and training to integrate technology and vocabulary into the
curriculum. The administrators of the Central Learning Community are excited to help assist with this
professional development training.
A partnership is being coordinated with Code.Org. This organization will help train teachers the
methods of coding and how to involve students in this engaging lesson. The administration for these
school have noted a severe lack of technology compared to other schools within their. They are aiming to
change this image. The administrators for each school will be the key recruiters for this project within their
own school. The teachers participating in this professional development are the fourth grade teachers
from the five elementary schools, along with the corresponding administrator. Since Fulton County
focuses on learning communities, the Central Learning community will also be supported by their head of
office staff, the local school technology coordinators and the technology support technician will also be
available and a part of the training to assist in troubleshooting any technological concerns. Staff from the
Fulton County Assistive Technology department will also be participants and a part of the planning to help
assist with the student with special needs and working on differentiation and access.
Timeline
July 2017: Proposal submitted for review
Summer 2017
-

May 5 Connie Hinely meets with Tanya Cheeves to discuss the professional development workshop and

her role during the first day.


May 12 Janet Chen meets with the AT personnel to discuss the professional development workshop and
their roles during the workshop. Brent Johnson will meet with the facility director to make sure our dates

are set for the location of the workshop.


May 19 Janet Chen, Brent Johnson, Connie Hinely meet to finalize the plans of operation for technology

integration.
May 26 Janet Chen will confirm lunch plans for workshop. Connie Hinely will finalize plans with Tanya

Cheeves for workshop. Brent Johnson will finalize plans for location of workshop.
May 26 Janet Chen will confirm with participating administrators and AT consultants to ensure their

participation.
June 12 - 16 professional development workshop
September 16 first follow up session 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
October 21 second follow up session 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
March 2018 last follow up session 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

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Conclusion
The purpose of this project is to enhance the instruction within this learning community by
properly integrating technology such as coding into the elementary school setting. Based on the literature
available involving gaming and simulation, it is evident that it can encourage and increase student
engagement within a lesson and provide life like examples for those who may not be privileged to have as
many experiences as others. Many researchers have been involved in this process and have encouraged
the use of gaming and simulation in lessons. The activities that have been outlined within this proposal
ensure that there is proper professional development for the teachers participating in the project. Our
overall goal of measurement for success is that student engagement is increased and teachers begin to
develop more lesson plans with coding practices in mind. It is the hope that the surveys that have been
created will gather this data and show that it has been a success. The proposed projects success with
the central learning community in Fulton County can help guide other communities within the county to
incorporate coding into their subjects and ideally it can lead to other counties adopting the same
strategies.

18

References
Akpinar, Y., & Aslan, . (2015). Supporting childrens learning of probability through video game
programming. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 53(2), 228-259.
Bunch, J. C., Robinson, J.S., & Webb, A. W. (2015). Walking the pens: A case study of secondary
agriculture teachers experience using a serious digital game in an introductory animal science
course. ResearchGate.
Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (1994). The Program Evaluation Standards
(2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Jonassen, D., Howland, J., Marra, R., & Crismond, D.) How does technology facilitate learning? (n.d.).
Retrieved July 05, 2016, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/how-does-technologyfacilitate-learning/
Jones, V.R. (2015). 21st century skills: collaboration. Childrens Technology & Engineering, 20(1), 24-26.
Lim, C. P., Nonis, D., & Hedberg, J. (2006). Gaming in a 3D multiuser virtual environment:
Engaging students in science lessons. British Journal of Educational Technology. 37(2), 211-231.
Panoutsopoulos, H., & Sampson, D. G. (2012). A study on exploiting commercial digital games into
school context. Educational Technology & Society, 15(1), 1527.
Srivastava, A.K. (2015). Do smart goals lead to better performance? Performance Management, 30-33.
Sweigart, C.A., Landrum, T.J., & Pennington, R. C. (2015) The effect of real-time visual performance
feedback on teacher feedback: A preliminary investigation. Education & Treatment of Children,
38(4), 429.
Watson, W. R., Mong, C. J., & Harris, C. A. (2011). A case study of the in-class use of a video game for
teaching high school history. Computers & Education, 56(2), 466-474.

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What is Coding? http://www.codeconquest.com/what-is-coding/

20

Appendix A: Budget Summary (Attached separately as a PDF)


Appendix B: Budget Narrative
The proposal is aligned with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics initiatives
in the State of Georgia and funding is requested for a year.

Personnel
Connie Hinely, Brent Johnson, and Janet Chen will be serving as the co-directors and facilitators
for the workshop. As co-directors each person will collaborate on developing the ideas for the grant
proposal and the daily operations of the workshop. Connie will communicate with the partners and
stakeholders of the project and coordinate their involvement in the activities of the workshop. The
stakeholders include members of the University of West Georgias Department of Education, the Central
Community of Fulton County, and the Fulton County Schools district. Connie will also recruit teachers
from the four partner schools. The partner schools being consulted for teachers needs in effective
teaching of social studies standards within the fourth grade curriculum are Hapeville Elementary, Conley
Hills Elementary, Parklane Elementary, and Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary. Connie will recruit 12
teachers from the four participating schools. Connie will also communicate with the course evaluator and
coordinate meetings with him as necessary. She will also will serve also serve as a facilitator during the 5
day summer sessions (35 hours) and the 3 follow up sessions (21 hours). Grant funding will be $5,000 +
$1,250 for fringe benefits (25% of 5,000) for Connie serving as the co-director of the program. Half of the
funding will be paid after the summer workshop, the other half will be paid after the 3 day follow up.
As co-director, Janet Chen will coordinate with the South Learning Facility for the purpose of
reserving the lab for the workshop for the summer session and follow up sessions. She will also oversee
operations of the summer workshops. Janet will serve also serve as a facilitator during the 5 day summer
sessions (35 hours) and the 3 follow up sessions (21 hours). Grant funding will be $5,000 + $1,250 for
fringe benefits (25% of 5,000) for Janet serving as a co-director of the program. Half of the funding will be
paid after the summer workshop, the other half will be paid after the 3 day follow up.
Brent Johnson will also be serving as a co-director and facilitator during the professional
development. Brent oversee operations of the 3 follow up sessions. This includes communicating with the
schools to ensure that the participants are aware of the training and have submitted a request for leave

21

during those days. Brent will also coordinate with Tanya Cheeves and Code.org prior to and during the
workshop. Brent will serve as a facilitator during the 5 day summer sessions (35 hours) and the 3 day
follow up sessions (21 hours). Grant funding will be $5,000 + $1,250 for fringe benefits (25% of 5,000) for
Brent serving as a co-director of the program. Half of the funding will be paid after the summer workshop,
the other half will be paid after the 3 day follow up.
Tanya Cheeves from Code.org will be serving as a facilitator during the day one activities. She
will introduce the participants to Coding, the services of Code.org, and provide instruction for creating
games and simulations using coding. Her day one activities also include an Hour of Code, setting up
coding accounts for the participants, demonstration of basic coding blocks and sequences, and the lets
learn to code block. Grant funding is $300 for the one day training with an additional fee of $300 for prep
time for a total cost of $600.
Participants
There are a total of twelve participants in the professional development training. Each of these
participants lives in the metro Atlanta area. One Assistive Technology Specialist that supports the South
Learning Community and one administrator from each of the four participating schools will also be
participants in the workshop. The participants must attend the five day summer session and the three day
follow up session to complete the training. Participants who complete the entire eight day training will be
given a stipend of $500 to be paid at the end of the professional development. Grant funding is $500 x 17
participants for a total of $8,500. This will be paid after the 3 day follow up sessions.
Travel
The training will be held in the South Learning Center in Atlanta, GA. The participants all reside
within a 30 minute radius of the center, thus they will not receive a mileage reimbursement. Connie Hinely
is travelling from Savannah, GA. (250 miles, 500 miles roundtrip). She will be travelling to Atlanta from
Savannah for the summer session, the two day fall follow up session, and the one day spring session.
She will receive a mileage reimbursement of about $825 (1500 miles x $0.55/mile). Connie will be lodging
in the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel for the 5 day summer session and three follow up sessions.
Accommodations are $168 per night. The total for Connies accommodations are $1,344 ($168/night x 8
nights). Connie will also be renting a car during the workshops. She will be renting a Kia Rio from Payless

22

Car Rentals at $34 per day. The total amount needed for renting the car is $272 ($34/day x 8 days). Total
grant funding for travel is approximately $2,441.
Meals
Boxed lunches will be provided to the participants and served during a working lunch each day
during the 8 day training. Boxed lunches are $9 per person. The twelve participants, three
directors/facilitators, AT specialist, and two administrators will be receive a boxed lunch for each day of
the training. Grant funding for boxed lunches (18 people x $9 x 8 days) is $1,296. Tanya Cheeves will be
in attendance during the first day of the PD, thus she will receive a boxed lunch for one day ($9). Grant
funding for meals is $1,305.
Supplies
Consumables needed for the PD are a pack of pens (1 60-pack= $4.12), 3 packs of copy paper
for printing the course materials and other resources (1 3-pack= $12.88), and folders for course materials
(3 6-packs x $13.86= $41.58). Grant funding for supplies and consumables is $58.58.
Evaluation Costs
Dr. Westine will conduct the evaluation of the professional development. Dr. Westine will serve as
an external consultant to the grant project. He will provide analysis and administration of the data
collected from the pretests, posttests, end of course survey, and data submitted by the teachers after the
summer session. Dr. Westine will be given a stipend of $4,000 for his services. Grant funding needed for
evaluation costs is $4,000.
Other costs
Since the training will be held at the Fulton County South Learning Center, there is no cost for the
venue for the training. The South Learning Center has computer labs with enough computers for all of the
participants and Wi-Fi. The curriculum guides, teacher guides, worksheets, and other resources for
Code.org and Scratch and Code are free for educators to access. They will be provided to the participants
at the beginning of the PD.

Appendix C: Capacity (Project Team)

23

The following qualified professionals will make the project team for this grant proposal. These
members have willingly agreed to take part in this effort. They will all serve to prepare the professional
development workshop as well as take part during the five day workshop. Additionally, they have agreed
to participate in the three day follow up sessions in the fall and spring.
Janet Chen
Janet Chen is currently an Assistive Technology Specialist with Gwinnett County Public Schools
in Georgia. Prior to becoming an Assistive Technology Specialist, she was a middle school interrelated
resource teacher who taught multiple subjects including; science, math and language arts. Ms. Chen
received her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University in Special Education and Early
Childhood Education. She received her Masters degree from Brenau University in Special Education and
is currently studying at the University of West Georgia for her Specialist degree in Instructional
Technology and will complete her degree in the fall of 2016.
Connie Hinely
Ms. Hinely is a Technology Lab teacher at May Howard Elementary School in Savannah,
Georgia. She is currently in her thirteenth year of public education. Ms. Hinely has experience teaching all
elementary aged students. She earned her Bachelors degree in Management with an emphasis in
Human resources from Georgia Southern University in 1989. In 2003, she completed her work earning
her Masters degree in Early Elementary Education from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Ms. Hinely
will complete her Education Specialist degree in July 2016 from the University of West Georgia. Ms.
Hinely understands why it is critical to infuse technology into instruction, especially in the elementary
years. As a technology lab teacher, she feels if students are given the opportunity express their creativity
and work collaboratively, they will be more prepared to become productive citizens.

Brent Johnson
Brent Johnson is a special education interrelated teacher with Atlanta Public Schools. Prior to
working with Atlanta Public Schools, Brent worked with Gwinnett County Public Schools for three years in
the same position. Brent received his Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies from Bethune-Coomkan

24

University in 2009 and Master of Arts in Teaching from Georgia College and State University in 2015.
Brent is currently enrolled in the Education Specialist in Instructional Technology program at the
University of West Georgia and is expected to graduate in the fall of 2016. As a special education teacher,
Brent has experience supporting teachers as a professional development facilitator. Brent also served as
a department chair for the special education team and has led several meetings.
Tanya Cheeves
Tanya Cheeves is currently an elementary school teachers with over twenty-five years of
classroom experience. Currently, she is working in Forsyth County School System as a Gifted Education
Instructor. Ms. Cheeves is passionate about introducing students and teachers to the world of computer
science. She believes that all students, beginning with elementary age students, should have the
opportunity to learn computer science. Additionally, Ms. Cheeves uses Code Studio courses to instruct
many elementary students. She is highly qualified and eager to assist with the professional development.
Dr. Carl Westine
Dr. Carl Westine will serve as the external evaluator for the professional development workshop.
Dr. Westine is currently a professor at the University of West Georgia. He received his Doctorate degree
in Interdisciplinary Evaluation in 2014 from Western Michigan University. Dr. Westine brings a great deal
of knowledge to this project with his expertise in evaluation plans and instruction. Upon Dr. Westines
evaluation of the professional development workshop, we will be able to determine strengths and
weaknesses of the plan.
Facilities
The professional development workshop will be held at the South Learning Center for Fulton
County Schools. The center contains a computer lab with enough computers for each participant,
restrooms, a break room, and free parking. The facility is located in the metro Atlanta area and is within a
15 mile radius of the participants.

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Appendix D: United States History and Technology Survey


1.)

Do you believe it is important to integrate technology into your instructional strategies?

2.)

How comfortable do you feel integrating technology into your daily lessons?

3.)

Do you believe technology can improve your instruction?

4.)

How often do your students use technology in the classroom?

26

5.)

How often do you use technology to instruct in the classroom?

6.)

List three factors that shaped British colonial America.

7.)

How was life different in the New England Colonies compared to the Southern Colonies?

8.)

How was life the same in the New England Colonies compared to the Southern Colonies?

9.)

How did people make a living during the founding days of the United States?

10.)

What is the difference between a farmer and an artisan?

The student will explain the factors that shaped British colonial America.
a. Compare and contrast life in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies.
b. Describe colonial life in America as experienced by various people, including large landowners,
farmers, artisans, women, indentured servants, slaves, and Native American.

27

Appendix E: Post Workshop Survey


Please rate the following statements from 1 to 5, 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being highly agree.
Thank you for your active participation in this professional development workshop. Your answers will be
completely anonymous.

I feel more comfortable with using technology as an instructional method in my classroom.


1
2
3
4
5

I feel confident using coding as an instructional tool.


2
3
4

I completely understand the standards related to 4 th grade US History.


1
2
3
4
5

I feel comfortable using coding and gaming as strategies to enrich instruction in the classroom.
1
2
3
4
5
Please feel free to make comments that would make this professional development more effective for
you. We appreciate your honesty.
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

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Appendix F: Daily Reflective Survey


I learned something new today in regards to technology instruction.

Yes

No

I learned a new way to integrate technology in instruction.

Yes

No

I feel comfortable with the lessons covered today.

Yes

No

These are some challenges I encountered today: ___________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________

These are some things that were missing today that would be helpful tomorrow: ___________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________

Suggestions for things to review tomorrow:


___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

Appendix G: Responsibilities of Co-Directors


29

Brent
Developing ideas for the
grant proposal
Overseeing operations of
follow up sessions
Coordinate follow up sessions
with partner schools

Daily Group debriefings


Tuesday Small Groups: Code
practice
Tuesday Instructional
Strategy Practice with Small
Groups
Wednesday Create games
using coding small groups

Connie
Developing ideas for the
grant proposal
Communicating with partners
Recruit teachers from partner
schools
Coordinate with the course
evaluator
Daily orientations
Tuesday Small groups: code
practice
Tuesday instructional strategy
practice with small groups
Wednesday create games
using coding small groups

Wednesday Peer
Collaborations: Suggestions
Wednesday Develop Story
boards
Wednesday Design lesson
using content standard and
tech
Thursday Small groups on
creating gaming
Thursday small group work
Thursday small group
collaboration: Lesson Plan
Friday finalize lesson plans

Thursday Review progress


with coding and gaming
Thursday Small groups on
creating gaming
Thursday collaboration with
the whole group

Friday group collaboration:


lesson plans
Friday review expectations
for the fall

Friday group collaboration:


lesson plans
Friday best practices review
and sharing

Thursday group discussion


Thursday small group work
Thursday small group
collaboration: lesson plan
Friday Finalize game

30

Janet
Developing ideas for the
grant proposal
Overseeing operations of
summer workshops
Coordinate with the South
Learning Center

Facilitate working lunch


Tuesday Small Groups: Code
practice
Tuesday Instructional
Strategy practice with small
groups
Tuesday effective strategies
for implementing in
curriculum
Tuesday Suggest strategies
for lesson plans
Tuesday finalize plans and
share
Wednesday Create games
using coding (small groups)
Thursday small groups on
creative gaming
Thursday small group work
Thursday small group
collaboration: lesson plans
Friday group collaboration:
lesson plans
Friday Q&A
Friday posttest

31