George Mason University – Graduate Council Graduate Course Approval Form

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George Mason UniversityGraduate Council Graduate Course Approval Form

All courses numbered 500 or above must be submitted to the Graduate Council for final approval after approval by the sponsoring College, School or Institute.

Graduate Council requires submission of this form for a new course or any change to existing courses. For a new course, please attach a copy of the syllabus and catalog description (with catalog credit format, e.g. 3:2:1). The designated representative of the College, School or Institute should forward the form along with the syllabus and catalog description, if required, as an email attachment (in one file) to the secretary of the Graduate Council. A printed copy of the form with signatures and the attachments should be brought to the Graduate Council meeting. Please complete the Graduate Course Coordinator Form if the proposed changes will affect other units.
Note: Colleges, Schools or Institutes are responsible for submitting new or modified catalog descriptions (35 words or less, using catalog format) to Creative Services by deadlines outlined in the yearly Catalog production calendar.
Please indicate: New___X____ Modify_______ Delete_______
Department/Unit:_Elementary Education__ Course Subject/Number:_EDCI 546___
Submitted by:___Lynne Schrum_______________________ Ext:_3-4047____ Email:__lschrum@gmu.edu________

Course Title:____ Integrating Technology in Elementary Classrooms: Literacy _____

Effective Term (New/Modified Courses only): _Fall 2008__ Final Term (deleted courses only):___
Credit Hours: (Fixed) __1_(Var.) ___ to __ Grade Type (check one):__X___ Regular graduate (A, B, C, etc.)

_____ Satisfactory/No Credit only

_____ Special graduate (A, B, C, etc. + IP)
Repeat Status*(check one): _ ­­­ NR-Not repeatable RD-Repeatable within degree RT-Repeatable within term

*Note: Used only for special topics, independent study, or internships course

Total Number of Hours Allowed: _______
Schedule Type Code(s): 1. LEC LEC=Lecture SEM=Seminar STU=Studio INT=Internship IND=Independent Study 2.____ LAB=Lab RCT=Recitation (second code used only for courses with Lab or Rct component)

Prereq X Admission into Elementary Education graduate program

Coreq X EDCI 556

Note: Modified courses - review prereq or coreq for necessary changes; Deleted courses - review other courses to correct prereqs that list the deleted course.
Description of Modification (for modified courses): _________________________________________

Special Instructions (major/college/class code restrictions, if needed):_____________

Department/Unit Approval Signature: _____Lynne Schrum_____________ Date: 11/19/07

College/School Committee Approval Signature: Ellen Rodgers, Associate Dean Date: 11/19/07

Graduate Council Approval Date: _______ Provost Office Signature:_________________________

George Mason University Graduate Course Coordination Form

Approval from other units: This course is part of the elementary licensure and masters program and thus, does not impact any other units on campus.
Please list those units outside of your own who may be affected by this new, modified, or deleted course. Each of these units must approve this change prior to its being submitted to the Graduate Council for approval.



Head of Unit’s Signature:



Head of Unit’s Signature:



Head of Unit’s Signature:



Head of Unit’s Signature:



Head of Units Signature:


Graduate Council approval: ____________________________ Date: ____________

Graduate Council representative: ________________________ Date: ____________
Provost Office representative: __________________________ Date: ____________

EDCI 546 Integrating Technology in Elementary Classrooms: Literacy (1:1:0) Prerequisite: Admission into Elementary Education graduate program; Corequisite: EDCI 556. Studies the development and integration of technology in the Elementary Education Literacy curriculum.

Course Rationale:

As part of the elementary education redesign, the faculty decided to integrate technology throughout the program. To accomplish this, the Elementary Program will offer a series of one credit hour courses to be taken in conjunction with specific methods courses. These three one credit hour courses will replace the current three credit hour course currently taken at the end of the licensure program. The integration of the technology courses with the Methods courses will enable the teacher candidates to explore a variety of technologies appropriate for the specific content area, in line with current research that suggests this is a more appropriate way to prepare educators for teaching 21st Century learners.

EDCI 546: Integrating Technology in Elementary Classrooms: Literacy will be taught in conjunction with EDCI 556: Literacy Teaching and Learning in Diverse Elementary Classrooms II. EDCI 546 will focus on a variety of resources and technologies for teaching Literacy concepts.



EDCI 546

Integrating Technology in Elementary Classrooms: Literacy
PROFESSOR(S): Debra Sprague, Lynne Schrum


  1. Prerequisite: Admission into Elementary Education graduate program.

  2. Corequistite: EDCI 556.
  3. Course description from the university catalog: Studies the development and integration of technology in the Elementary Education Literacy curriculum.


Students in this course will participate in individual and group activities that focus on the integration of technology by using computers in class.  Students will also participate in large group discussions led by the instructor and in small group discussions and activities with their classmates.


This course is designed to enable teacher candidates to:

  1. plan interdisciplinary learning experiences that enable elementary students to integrate knowledge, skills, and methods of inquiry within the Literacy curriculum;

  2. identify how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners;

  3. select appropriate materials, tools, and technologies to achieve instructional goals with all learners.

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS: This course addresses the following National and State Standards:


6. The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

Other INTASC Standards identified on rubric are addressed in the companion method course.
The Virginia State Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel:

  1. Instructional personnel shall be able to demonstrate effective use of a computer system and utilize computer software.

  2. Instructional personnel shall be able to apply knowledge of terms associated with educational computing and technology.

  3. Instructional personnel shall be able to apply computer productivity tools for professional use.
  4. Instructional personnel shall be able to use electronic technologies to access and exchange information.

  5. Instructional personnel shall be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and use appropriate instructional hardware and software to support Virginia's Standards of Learning and other instructional objectives.

  6. Instructional personnel shall be able to use educational technologies for data collection, information management, problem solving, decision making, communication, and presentation within the curriculum.

  7. Instructional personnel shall be able to plan and implement lessons and strategies that integrate technology to meet the diverse needs of learners in a variety of educational settings.

  8. Instructional personnel shall demonstrate knowledge of ethical and legal issues relating to the use of technology.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards:

  1. TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS - Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts. Teachers:

    1. demonstrate introductory knowledge, skills, and understanding of concepts related to technology (as described in the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Students).

    2. demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies.

  1. PLANNING AND DESIGNING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND EXPERIENCES - Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology. Teachers:

    1. identify and locate technology resources and evaluate them for accuracy and suitability.
  1. PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE - Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice.  Teachers:

    1. use technology resources to engage in ongoing professional development and lifelong learning.

    2. continually evaluate and reflect on professional practice to make informed decisions regarding the use of technology in support of student learning.

    3. use computer-based technologies including telecommunications to access information and enhance personal and professional productivity.

    4. apply technology to increase productivity.

    5. use technology to communicate and collaborate with peers, parents, and the larger community in order to nurture student learning.


Resecco, A. and Orrill, C. (2008). Integrating Technology into Teaching. Houghton Mifflin Co.


  1. Requirement #1: Students will attend a TappedIn discussion related to Language Arts (see and click on calendar for list of topics. Be sure to change the time zone to Eastern Standard Time). Students will post in Blackboard one new idea or resource they learned. (30 points)

  2. Requirement #2 – Students will explore three technologies for teaching literacy in the Elementary classroom: Digital Storytelling, Blogs, and Wikis. Students will post in Blackboard ( their own ideas and opinions about each of these tools for developing literacy skills. Postings done on time (within the week requested) will receive 6-10 points. Postings a week late will receive 1-5 points. Postings more than a week will not receive credit. (total points possible 30)
  3. Performance-based assessments: Students will design and create a Digital Story. The digital story should be original and appropriate for Elementary children to view. The digital story will be graded on originality, creativity, and impact of the story. (40 points)

Criteria for evaluation: Since this is a graduate level course, high quality work is expected on all assignments and in class.  Points for all graded assignments will be based on the scope, quality, and creativity of the assignments. All assignments are due at the beginning of class.  Late assignments will not be accepted without making arrangements with the instructor.

Points will be assigned to all graded assignments using a rubric process.  Both class participants and the course instructor will be involved in assessment of graded assignments.  Prior to the due date for any assignment, the class will participate in the development of an assessment rubric.  This rubric will result from a discussion of applicable course objectives and an elaboration of qualities and components associated with excellence in completion of the assignment.

The following criteria will be used in the form of a grading criteria sheet or a rubric:

              Is the required information presented?

              Is the content of the submission accurate?
              Does the paper cover the issues discussed in class and in the readings?
              Are the ideas presented in a thoughtful, integrated manner?
              Does the project show creativity and original thought?

Grading scale: 94-100 = A 90-93 = A- 86-89 = B+ 80-85 = B

70-79 = C below 70 = F

All students must abide by the following:
Students are expected to exhibit professional behavior and dispositions. See for a listing of these dispositions.

Students must follow the guidelines of the University Honor Code. See for the full honor code.

Students must agree to abide by the university policy for Responsible Use of Computing. See

Click on responsible Use of Computing Policy at the bottom of the screen.
Students with disabilities who seek accommodations in a course must be registered with the GMU Disability Resource Center (DRC) and inform the instructor, in writing, at the beginning of the semester. See or call 703-993-2474 to access the DRC.



Topic/Learning Experiences

Readings and Assignments


Introduction to class
Review syllabus

Introduction to TappedIn

Introduction to Digital Storytelling

Center for Digital Storytelling

(connection to purpose of literacy, stories, and learning about reading)

Read Ch. 1: Introduction to Technology Integration

For those with Windows Computers, download and install Photo Story. This will enable you to work on digital stories at home.

Check out the TappedIn Calendar and find a topic. Mark the date and time (be sure to change the time to Eastern Standard Time).

Explore the Center for Digital Storytelling website. -


Introduction to Blogs

Blogmeister -

KidzBlog -

Begin working on the Digital Story – create storyboard

(connection to students’ perspectives in the digital age, multiple interpretations of writing, and links to Web 2.0 activities)

Read pg. 240 – 245

Read: The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in the Classroom by David Huffaker

(May be viewed in html format at

Read: Blogging? It's Elementary, My Dear Watson!

Post in Blackboard your views on using Blogs in the Elementary classrooms to support literacy.

Explore the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling website -


Introduction to Wikis

Wikipedia –

Wikispaces -

Work on Digital Story

(connection to lesson plans and writing, investigation of uses of digital literacy today)

Read Wikipedia article on Wikis -

Explore Wikipedia -

Post in Blackboard your views on using Wikis in the Elementary classrooms to support literacy.


Finish Digital Story

Post in Blackboard your views on using Digital Storytelling in the Elementary classrooms to support literacy.

Post in Blackboard about your TappedIn experience. – and


Share Digital Stories

Integrating Technology in Elementary Classrooms: Literacy

Digital Story rubric

Name: ____________________________________________ Date: _______________

No Evidence



(Limited evidence)



(Clear evidence)



(Clear, convincing, substantial evidence)



Is the digital story engaging?

Standard 1, 2

The digital story is not at all engaging. There is nothing to hold the reader’s attention.

The digital story includes a storyline that could interest the reader, but lacks other forms of engagement (sound, music, graphics, etc.)

The digital story is somewhat engaging. It holds most reader’s attention. All components are well integrated.

The digital story is compelling and engaging. The focus of the storyline holds reader’s attention. It draw the reader in.

Is the story appropriate for Elementary students to view?

Standards 1, 2

The story is totally inappropriate for Elementary students. The content has an adult focus. Music contains lyrics inappropriate.

The story does not take the interest of Elementary students into account. The content is more appropriate for older students.

The story is appropriate for Elementary students. Music and content are age appropriate.

The story is appropriate for Elementary students. Music and content are age appropriate. It is clear whether the story was designed for Upper or Lower Elementary students.

Does the story produce an emotional impact?

Standard 4

There is no emotional impact from the story. Reader is not drawn in emotionally.

There is very little emotional impact. Although the reader may feel some emotion, there is little concern for the main character.

There is an emotional impact from the story. The reader is drawn in emotionally and is made to care about the main character.

There is a strong, appropriate emotional impact from the story. The reader cares about the main character.

Is the story original?

Standard 4

The story is not original. It is adapted from a well-known story

The story is primarily adapted from a well-known story, but has some original components (i.e. changes the ending).

The story is primarily original. Although there may be components from a well-known story, the majority is unique or puts a different spin on the story (i.e. Hansel and Gretel from the Witch’s point of view).

The story is completely original and includes no adaptation of a published story.

Does the project include research-based best practices for literacy teaching and learning?

Standard 1

There is no evidence that research-based practices were considered.

There is very little evidence that research-based practices were considered.

There is some evidence that research-based practices were considered and attempts were made to include these.

There is much evidence that research-based practices were considered. These practices were successfully integrated in the story.

Is the music well integrated with the story?

Standard 6

No music is included.

The music is not well integrated and does not seem appropriate for the story.

The music is well integrated and is appropriate.

The music is very well integrated. The tempo fits well with the story.

Are the images well chosen and support the story?

Standard 6

Images are not well chosen. It is not clear how they fit with the story.

Images are not well chosen. Less than 50% appear to fit with the story. Images distract from the story.

Images are well chosen. Between 50-80% fit well with the story. Images enhance the story.

Images are very well chosen. 81-100% fit with the story. Images enhance the story and help to convey its meaning.

Is the narrative clear and loud enough to hear?

Standard 6

Narrative is unclear and not loud enough to hear. Narrator mumbles throughout.

Narrative is either unclear or not loud enough. Although narrator may speak clearly, the reader has to strain to hear.

Narrative is clear and loud enough. The narrator tells the story and captivates the reader.

Narrative is clear and loud enough. The narrator tells the story using appropriate inflections.


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