Integrating Technology More into Your Classroom

  • Integrating Technology More into Your Classroom
  • Differentiated Instruction: Getting Personal with Technology
  • Grace Rubenstein
  • Rubenstein, G. (2011, August 4). Differentiated Instruction: Getting Personal with Technology [Online]. Available:http://www.edutopia.org/stw-differentiated-instruction-technology-elementary
  • Over the last ten years at Forest Lake Elementary School, in Columbia, South Carolina, technology has increased into all the classrooms.  After becoming one of the NASA Explorer Schools nationwide, the school committed to instill classes with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum.  The grade-level team meets together biweekly as well as monthly for staff meetings to work on pre-testing, lesson plans, questions, etc.  The teachers try to differentiate and challenge each student at his/her individual level by using the technology (i.e. interactive whiteboards, internet-enabled computers, digital cameras, remote-response systems, and other tools) and customize each of the student’s lessons.  The children work independently most of the time; therefore, a typical classroom would have children working on several different activities at once.  Assessment is taken at various levels and using various tools.
  • This technology based school is a completely new concept to me.  I know that a lot of public schools are trying hard to integrate technology into their curriculum; however, this school is having the students do almost everything they learn using technical tools.
  • I love the idea of this school using so much technology to teach the children, and on an individual level!  We live in a society now a days that everyone needs to know how to use the technical tools; however, I do not think that every lesson should be done on a computer, interactive whiteboard, etc.  I think the children also need to learn the good old fashion reading and writing out of a book and using pencil and paper as well.  Maybe find a good medium of using technology (60%) vs. pencil and paper (40%) that will work best for the students.
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Take a Risk and Teach Technology to Your Students

  • Take a Risk and Teach Technology to Your Students
  • Teaching In The 21st Century
  • Created by Kevin Roberts
  • Roberts, K. Teaching In The 21st Century [Online]. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=OTIBDR4Dn2g&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_992282
  • Teachers can only provide so much to students (i.e. facts, dates, information, etc.); however, students can find information anywhere and at any time using technology.  Since technology is so powerful and useful to the students now a days, the teachers need to be the ones to teach the students how to use it, responsibility, reliability, and integrity with technology.  Students need to be creative and digital tools allow them to do this a wide variety of ways.  The work that the teacher assigns needs to be relevant, challenging, and engaging to the student.  These tools are not for entertainment, but for engagement!  Teachers need to take a risk and start somewhere!
  • I found the quote in this video interesting that stated how teachers are not the source of information now, but merely the filter.  It is amazing how much we as adults and students rely on technology in our everyday lives, even at school!
  • I enjoyed watching this video and the information that it had to offer.  It has been an eye opener to me at how young the students are that use technology and how advanced they are.  This video was also a reminder to me that I need to incorporate digital tools more into my classroom.
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Education Should Adapt to Keep Up With Today

  • Education Should Adapt to Keep Up With Today
  • 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada
  • 21stCenturyNB
  • 21stCentruyNB. (2010, March 28). 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada [Online]. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjJg9NfTXos
  • Technology has and is changing on a daily basis.  In the next ten years, many of the things that we use every day will become obsolete.  Students now a days will use a multitude of technologies to do various tasks for school and work.  Students are also so use to technology now, that we need to continue to use it in the classroom to keep the students interested and engaged with their learning.  The video ends with motivating the parents/community to get involved in helping all the schools become technology enriched.
  • There were several interesting facts in this video.  Some of them I just haven’t taken the time to realize how much our world has changed over the past several years.  It is amazing that a lot of the things we use today will be obsolete in about ten years!
  • We have become a very technology enriched society; therefore, we need to teach the skills to our students in school so they can/will succeed when they graduate.  I agree with everything in this video; however, I do not want to completely take away the pencil, paper, and books from our students, no matter what grade they are in!  I feel that technology is very important and should be taught at every grade level; however, I think that we should never completely get rid of books and some of the core essentials that are a part of the school setting.
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Share the Power with Your Students

  • Share the Power with Your Students
  • Giving Up Control
  • J Bevacqua
  • Bevacqua, J. (2011, June 9). Giving Up Control [Online]. Available:http://figuringitouted.blogspot.com/2011/06/giving-up control.html
  • This is a great article about a high school principal who is teaching a law class and decided to do an experiment with his students.  He created an assignment that was very open-ended.  He started the assignment with an initial question, “I want to know more about……”  The students could choose their topic on what they would like to write about and present to the class.  He also did not give out a rubric or told how he would grade; however, the students were so interested and involved in their own topic of choice and research, grading did not even cross their minds.  The assignment was a success.  The students came up with very fascinating and remarkable topics while using multiple resources to do his/her research.  The students were intrinsically motivated by the topics that they chose.
  • I found this very interesting.  I don’t think this is a new concept that teachers are hearing, to give up control in your classroom, but I think for a lot of teachers it is a very hard thing to do.
  • As an early childhood teacher, this would be very difficult to do, but for older grades, I think this is a wonderful concept to engage the students in and have them research about topics of interest.  It is always hard to do something like this because I think we always feel so pushed to get all the standards in for the “big test”; however, if you narrow it down a little to a specific topic such as transportation or the seven continents, then the standards in that particular grade can be covered and the students can still do a project that is open-ended.
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Response to NETS-T Standard #5

  • Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers (NETS-T #5)
  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers:

a. participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning

b. exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others

c. evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning

d. contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community

  • Teachers need to further their education on a regular basis in order to stay current and/or improve their teaching strategies.  This will also help teachers to assess and reflect on technology that support student learning.  Teachers should also be a role model and leader in his/her school and community by endorsing and showing the effective use of technology and resources.  This also includes contributing to the teaching profession, the school, and the community’s success, efficacy, value, energy, and much more.
  • My strength in this area is the continuous professional practice.  I feel like I have not taken a break from school my whole life!  I also try to always be a good role model in my school and community, as well as take on a few leadership roles in my school.
  • My weakness in this area is exhibiting leadership in the professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of technology and resources.  I try to be a leader in my small school; however, I do not go out in the community or globally and speak or do anything active like I should.
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Response to NETS-T Standard #4

  • Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers (NETS-T #4)
  • Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. Teachers:

a. advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources

b. address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies and providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources

c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information

d. develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools

  • Teachers should know what is going on around them in public, community, and world.  It is important that teachers are aware of what is going on so he/she can answer any questions the children might have and also to use global issues as a teaching tool in the classroom.  It is also essential for the teacher to teach the children right from wrong in all areas, including copyright laws, documenting sources, etc.  The students should be allowed to use technology sources in a variety of ways in order to learn and further his/her education.  It is also necessary for the teacher to model proper etiquette to show the children how to be responsible learners when using technology.  Lastly, teachers have a duty of participating with colleagues and students so he/she can learn, develop, model, interconnect, and work together with a multi-cultural group of people.
  • My strength in this area is in addressing my student’s diverse needs using a variety of tools and resources.  I also communicate with my parents and colleagues using digital-age tools.
  • There are many weaknesses in this area because I have not taught my first graders any digital etiquette, their responsibilities, etc. when it comes to technology because I don’t use very much of it in the classroom.  We do not have much access to technology in my school; therefore, I have not spent time on teaching it.
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Mistakes are a Learning Tool!

  • Mistakes are a Learning Tool!
  • Hey – I’m not messing up – I’m learning!
  • Vicki A. Davis
  • Davis, V. (2011, January 26). Hey – I’m not messing up – I’m learning! [Online]. Available: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2011/01/hey-im-not-messing-up-imlearning.htmlhttp://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2011/01/hey-im-not-messing-up-im-learning.html
  • Hey – I’m not messing up – I’m learning! is an article that was written to inspire teachers.  The author starts the piece with inspiring words about how we can all learn from our mistakes.  She backs this up with evidence such as vulcanized rubber, Post-it notes, and penicillin, which were all created by making mistakes.  Then the article goes on to motivate teachers to be aware of how we act in the classroom, our arena.  She reminds us that we are “noble and admirable”.  However, we need to act like it at all times.  Lastly, I loved one of her ending quotes . . . “We can’t do everything but we can do something.”
  • I found a few of her quotes very interesting and inspiring.  One of my favorites was . . . “It is a mistake not to tolerate mistakes, Just don’t tolerate NOT LEARNING from mistakes.”  I would love to hang this in my classroom as a reminder to myself and others.  I also found the evidence that she came up with to back up her theory (of not all inventions are mistakes) very interesting.
  • I enjoyed reading this article.  Although I feel as though I am pretty strong in this area, it is always refreshing to hear reminders of what we should be doing as teachers.  I am an early childhood educator, and we are always teaching the little ones that it is ok to make a mistake and to try again.  I think it is much harder as adults to accept this concept than children.  I also believe that I am noble and admirable (have gracious, goodness, and decency).  I teach in a private Christian school and we are consistently making sure that we are being good role models for the children as God would want them to be.  Whether you are teaching in a private Christian school or in public school, I believe the teacher should always be portraying a positive role model for her students.
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