Tag Archives: teacher leaders

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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We Need More Than Websites

As I begin looking at my Technology Issues project, I know the goal has to be more than just show and tell my faculty a list of websites for students.  Over the last several weeks, especially, I have done just that.  The question for me now is “Ok, now how do I incorporate those sites or skills into the curriculum I am required to teach?”

As I really begin to think about what is the best way to encourage teachers to use the technology available, I realized I need to include examples.  I am going to start with connecting technology with the Common Core Standards for English/Reading.  This will require a little more work.  I am going to have to examine the desired objectives and match the technology with those skills.  If I don’t I can imagine teachers walking away saying, “Well that looks cute, but I don’t have time,” or “When would I ever use that?”

I have to create something that will inspire teachers and make it doable for them as well.

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Chapter 10: Rethinking Education in a Technological World

Where do we go from here?  Several ways of thinking need to change

  • Learning- now a society of life long learners
  • Motivation- what motivates our students to learn
  • What is important to learn- not rote memorization but HOW to learn and communicate
  • Careers- most people will have multiple careers throughout their lifetime
  • Transitions from learning and work-not just for college any more
  • Educational Leadership- collaborate with others to embrace new technologies

I love the way this chapter ended.  As educators in the Teacher Leader program, we are the leaders of the future.  Even if our interest areas are not technology, we must recognize the importance of integrating technology.

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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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Chapter 7: What May Be Lost and What May Be Gained

Once again, I found the most awesome FREE site to summarize my findings on this chapter.  This one will let students create trading cards on a topic.

Even when not attending school, I spend a great deal of time online through my hobby of photography. I absolutely agree with the authors that technology can lead to less interactions with our real life friends and family as online we find people with similar interests.  Through discussions with my EdS peers, I can see the digital divide clearly.  While my school district has adopted a 1:1 initiative with technology, some geographically close districts still struggle with connectivity because they are so remote.  Other districts do not have the funds.

This chapter was full of questions. I think as Teacher Leaders, we need to think of those questions and how we will lead the educational system in the future.

Check out my link with my card!  Look to the right for a link to the site.

Chapter 7

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Chapter 6: The Three Eras of Education

Three main areas of US education are the apprenticeship era, the universal-schooling era, and now the life-long learning era. We can compare these three eras looking at these components”

  • Responsibility
  • Expectations
  • Content
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment
  • Location
  • Culture
  • Relationships

Each of these components of education have changed as our society changed.  The question is not whether the components were bad or good for any era.   We are now entering the life-long learning era because society is changing and the world is becoming more connected through the Internet.  Schools will change because we cannot stop change. Society will demand it.  I think we are living in the exact moment of change, and I believe we have a choice to make. Do we want to sit by and watch?  or Do we want to have a voice and help lead?

 

 

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Chapter 5: The Seeds of a New System of Education

New Venues of EducationSchools are staying the same, but education in society is changing.  The graphic organizer I created shows some of the different learning opportunities now available to us.  Besides public education, people now have choices to how and what they want to learn.  While public education still remains in the forefront of education, there are growing options even for adults.

I created this web by using https://bubbl.us/, (see link on right) and I must say this is the best website since sliced-bread! Students can create all sorts of webs and graphic organizers all for FREE and without signing up for a user account!  My third graders had a blast with this today.   The files are easily saved as a jpg so can be uploaded as any graphic.

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