Tag Archives: edcuation

A Long Year and the Importance of Administrative Support

I wish I could say it doesn’t seem like a year since I last posted, but sadly it does. Where have I been?  You could say I have been learning the hard way just how important administrative support is to integrating technology into the classroom.

I began my new school year in 2013 totally pumped up from my Education Specialist classes and ready to implement new strategies. I was working on finishing up my research project on Internet Safety for Elementary Students and wanted to share those results. My enthusiasm was curbed in the first month of school with my new school principal and TOSA (teacher on special assignment).

The focus of instruction became focus on test scores. The driving force behind that was to read from the provided curriculum.  The more I tried to implement technology, the more specifically my hands were tied.  Teaching to the script would be the answer!  Technology was to be drill and practice with administrative provided sites. Creativity was out the window as we needed to practice for tests by using technology to make and give more tests.

It was the most miserable year of my life.

I fought relentlessly.

Long story short, I transferred schools. The first meeting with my new principal included a conversation on the importance of free play, and project based learning! Students must learn from mistakes and given opportunity for authentic learning!  A rise in test scores will come if students are motivated and engaged!

After a summer of renewing my own spirit, and presenting technology integration at various conferences throughout the state, I am now ready to teach again!

 

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Filed under New Year/New Beginnings

Teachers and Technology Integration

Interesting research was conducted by Coleen Moore-Hayes at Cape Breton University (see link under articles).   She found that teachers with a positive self-efficacy about technology were more likely to integrate technology into the curriculum.  Teachers need more than access to technology. They need training on the technology itself.  That makes absolute sense to me.  I do consider myself rather tech savy, and I like to explore new websites that I can use with my students.  But before I even introduce the site to my students, I at least play around with the site to get a feel for it.  I do this way before I ever consider ways I could use it in the curriculum.  Most teachers in the survey wanted to learn more.   So if we agree that more technology is needed in our schools and that students should be using technology throughout their coursework, then the question is how do we get our teachers trained so their self-efficacy raises?  Simply putting technology in the classroom or in the hands of the teachers and students is not enough.  Even if the teacher’s job will change from leader to facilitator, they will still need training.  It only makes sense.

My school district went to 1:1 technology this year.  The teachers received training on implementing the publishers software.  Most teachers now feel comfortable having students read text online and watching the publishers short videos of weekly skills.  Is this truly integration?  I think not.  Do many teachers want to do more?  Absolutely.  But who is going to train them?  What kind of time is allowed for the training?  Those are just some of the questions that need to be answered as we move forward in this new age of learning.

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Filed under Technology Articles

Chapter 9: What Does It All Mean?

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The Gamer Generation is here.  Whether anyone likes it or not, technology is here to stay, and kids are already proficient users.  Children spend more time playing games than any other activity. Now there are some down sides to this.  But as we look at harnessing the powerful draw of technology to a new generation, we need to exam gaming for some positives.  Gamers are problem-solvers.  Many companies use gaming simulations to train their employees. 

The Internet also offers individuals a chance to connect with people all over the world that share their interests. This is happening now outside of the classrooms. And in some cases, it may be happening without parents knowledge.  More parents are using that knowledge to home-school their children, leaving public education by the droves.

Change is all around us. Learning is all around us now.  Learning no longer happens just in schools or through parent interactions.  As technology leaders, we have to recognize that change and be the voice to bring all that technology has to offer into public schools.  I believe we can make a difference.

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Filed under Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology Discussion