Tag Archives: students

Chapter 8 How Schools Can Cope With the New Technologies

This chapter really struck a nerve with me.  Once again I find another author that is for technology in education proclaiming the downside to standardized testing.  I am so frustrated that this is the direction technology integration has taken.   The authors state that this emphasis on testing is totally against what technology integration should be……customization, interaction, and motivation.  This is totally taking away the creative uses for technology that students long for and will prepare students for the 21st Century.

This week, in my classroom, I am making a stand to do what I have been reading about to integrate technology.  I am walking away from the Pearson Bible of Teaching and teaching authentically and integrating some of the tools I have been researching.   I have four students who are performed below benchmark on the last standardized test, and they are pulled out of my classroom for a total of 4- 5 hours every week to be retested or given a practice test.  I am going to take a stand and have them stay with me, doing authentic learning.  I have spent all afternoon looking at the standards that need to be taught this week and thinking of how I can use technology, cooking, real world examples, etc. to make my classroom alive this week.

I am not sure if that is what this chapter is describing for education of the future.  But I do know that I don’t like the way my teaching of the present has been going this year, as I have been trying to follow rules based on getting the students to test well.   My kids deserve to learn in a fun, motivating way.  I have the tools.  I am going to apply them AND cover the standards. hmmmm imagine that.

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Teachers and ICT Research Article

A study was held in Nigeria to review teachers’ self-efficacy and teacher competence in integrating technology into the classroom.  I have posted a link to the article on this blog, and recommend the read to anyone who finds an interest in teacher integration of technology in the classroom.   A couple of key points really caught my attention.

First, the study found the best way to train teachers in technology integration was in small groups over a period of time.  One day inservice training or summer workshops are not as effective as small group training over time.  Recently, I sent a survey to the staff members at my school on their attitudes about technology integration.  85% of those who answered the survey indicated they preferred to be trained in inservice or workshops.  Zero participants replied they would want to be mentored or have continuous training.  But sometimes the way we want to do something may not be the best way.

Secondly, the study found that once teachers gained new technological skills, they were able to find ways to integrate it into the curriculum and demonstrate its use to others.  Positive self-efficacy of technology skills are essential to teachers using the technology with students!

With these two facts in mind, and due to the requirements of a mentoring course,  I have decided to create a mentoring plan for my school.  I decided in order to do that, I needed to learn some new technology skills myself.  Last night, I attempted to create a podcast.  I had never made a podcast before. Now I have heard of a podcast before but wasn’t really sure I could tell you a definition for it. Sooooooooo…

I Googled podcast and found a definition.  Now I consider myself pretty techy, and I am the technology leader at my school.  I know.  You would think I knew this stuff already.  My point is that it took me two hours from the time I Googled the definition until I was ready to make a podcast.  Two hours.  I finally had my first podcast created and saved and went to bed.

I woke up this morning, luckily very early, and spent another hour figuring out how to get that podcast onto this blog. Finally satisfied, I drove myself to work, and during that 45 minute drive, my mind was thinking of ways I could use the podcast with my students.   This ties in this article perfectly, although not intentionally.  I had to spend a large amount of time self-teaching myself one technology skill that I am sure is not the best way.  And only after I had “mastered” that skill could I even begin thinking about how to use this with my students.

As technology and teacher leaders, we need to take the reigns and share with other teachers what we know.  They need to share with us what they know.  We need to sit down and brainstorm ways we can use these new tools with our students.  The new Common Core Standards are all about educating our students in meaningful ways to meet the needs of a 21st Century workforce.   I am living proof all this takes time, is not so easy, and we need help.   But we need to do it for our students.

Aduwa-Ogiegbaen, S.E. (2009). Nigerian inservice teachers’ self-assessment in core technology competences and their professional development needs in ICT. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education 26(1). Retreived from http://www.iste.org

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Chapter 1: How Education is Changing

Technology is bringing learning out of the classroom and into every day life. People of all ages are using the Internet and other forms of technology to chose what and how they want to learn.  Technology has become increasingly important in all types of careers.  And students are becoming less motivated to learn by traditional methods.

Teachers are being are now becoming responsible to keep up with the demands of technology. Many who enthusiastic about emerging technologies are left on their own to learn methods to incorporate new methods into the curriculum.

I find that to be true at my school and district. I am seeing many expert teachers retiring early because of the new demands being placed on classroom teachers.  Changes brought on by Alabama adopting the new Common Core Curriculum along with demands for technology integration has left many of us frustrated and overwhelmed. I agree with the author that teachers today are living in the midst of change.  As educators, I believe we have to try to embrace the change and learn new methods of teaching. How to best accomplish this and bring other teachers with us is the question.

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