Internship Week 7: P4 – Practice the Integration of Appropriate Technology with Instruction

P4 –– Practice the integration of appropriate technology with instruction.This program standard places an emphasis on teacher candidates being able to use technology that is effectively integrated to create technologically proficient learning. The evidence presented is a slide utilizing our smart board for one of my math lessons. This is extremely beneficial for teachers and students alike; the ability to write on what is projected is convenient in order to record student response, for clarification purposes, and students can even write their own response. In addition to this, I can easily print off or save student recordings for future reference.

Smart Board Presenation Slide

The picture displays the lessons introductory question which will tie into the lessons objective. Not only does this provide a great visual representation of the mathematical problem, but it also allows for easy manipulations. Teachers and students alike can simply pick up a smart board pen and highlight the important information, record their response, and explain their solution. You can add and move around images or be able to infinitely clone an image. All very useful tools in presenting materials in a learner centered fashion. This is the case because students are able to get a visual representation along with learning how technology can be implemented within the classroom. More importantly, technology adds another exciting aspect to a lesson and can be utilized in a way to have more student involvement. Using the smart board in my lesson planning has allowed me to appreciate the benefits technology can be for teaching concepts and having interactive learning. Students are more engaged because I can record their response immediately and want to share more in case I allow a student to write their response on the smart board. Incorporating technology into instruction is an interactive, fun, and beneficial method for all students. It allows for a hands-on and visual representation of a concept.

In the future, I would like to create more opportunities beyond the use of smart boards in order to utilize the technology within my classroom. We have access to a cart of laptops and I would love to promote more use out of the laptops and to show their work on the smart board. Many students in my classroom do not have access to computers at home, thus making it even more important using technology for helping students learn about the lessons concepts and also giving students the opportunity to become proficient in using technological tools.

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EDTC 6431: Learning Tool Exploration 3 – Slideshare

For my third learning tool exploration I decided to take a look at slideshare. Slideshare is an online community where the user can share their presentations, documents, PDF’s, videos, and webinars. Slideshare is free to sign up but does offer a “pro” version for an additional fee. On slideshare you can upload your presentations either publicly of privately and download or view presentations shared by other users.

Slideshare home page:

Slideshare Main Page

What I valued most about this tool is the ease to use and the ability to share your own presentations. As a teacher I can upload my documents and power point presentations on slideshare where students could refer to. I can simply give the students my user name and then students will have access to any presentations I have shared on slideshare. This can be extremely useful for students who may be slower at taking notes or maybe needed a reminder on a certain presentation. Students can also print off slides or lectures prior to class which will help in note taking. Instead of emailing students presentations or notes, simply stating that all my documents are on slideshare will save the hassle of trying to get the documents out.

Sample of a shared lesson:

Sample Lesson

Another great feature about the tool is the ability to search for presentations shared by other users. Many of the presentations are sample lessons, teaching tools, and workshops taught. As a teacher these presentations shared by others will help me continue to learn about various topics as well as provide supplemental materials that could be used in my classroom.

Sample of a search result:

Sample Search Results

The one feature I wished it had is a more detailed organizational method. Currently, the user can organize by presentations, documents, infographics, and videos. It would make things easier for example if under presentations, you can organize those files into categories like subject or class. Other than that I find this tool extremely helpful in presenting materials in a quick and efficient manner that can be easily accessible to my students.

EDTC 6431: Students as Teachers

Textbooks are something that has been a part of education for some time now, and I personally do not see that changing anytime soon. More and more texts are available online, but I still do not see actual texts going anywhere. I agree with Christensen and Johnson’s (2011) frustration with the current education using textbooks. Christensen and Johnson (2011) mention that the industry focuses on creating and commercializing books for the large undifferentiated masses of students (p. 2296). Furthermore, textbooks by their very mature are fixed and static (p. 2296). In the course EDU 6133: Diversity in America, I was given an assignment to review a textbook. What I found about the textbook is that the material presented followed the traditional or typical elementary social studies texts for the information that was introduced. Just as Christensen and Johnson (2011) is that textbooks are typically fixed and static meant for the majority of the population. Those students who excel at reading and interpreting information from texts will learn from utilizing textbooks, but what about those who struggle in this academic area?

The solution that Christensen and Johnson (2011) foresee in the near future is through the usage of integrated software. Integrated software “can incorporate pathways for different types of learners as methods for teaching in these different ways become understood” (p. 2333).  In essence students can learn from other students as well as share their findings or methods to others on the network. I am not totally sold on this digital approach, but I do believe that these efforts to meet the needs of the individual students are extremely important. Christensen and Johnson (2011) best puts it by saying “we often learn better when we teach than when we listen to a teacher” (p. 2437). Students need to be actively engaged and this can be achieved by having students teach their classmates. I really like the idea of students sharing what they have discovered or how they came for their answer. Some students just learn better when other students articulate their answers rather than listening to the teacher. Online learning is not the only way to differentiate instruction, teachers can still create lessons that stray from the traditional elementary approach of worksheets or high school lectures. I believe there is no denying the potential towards these online approaches and even in the next five years it will be interesting to see their educational impact.

Dropdown Bar

I feel totally comfortable and familiar with using the eReader now. A new feature that I used this week was the dropdown bar in the notes and markings section. It makes it much easier to find the specific note, highlight, or bookmark by organizing through the specific category. Instead of having to scroll through all my notes and highlights to find the one bookmark, I am able to view just the bookmarks. This function especially now that I have a bunch of markings comes in handy.

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.

EDTC: Online Learning

Chapter 4: Disruptively Deploying Computers left me with mixed feelings. I agree with much what Christensen, Johnson, and Horn (2011) mentions in this chapter. For instance, the story about Maria who wanted to learn Arabic is a great example for how effective online learning can be. I believe that these types of online courses provides a useful alternate for schools that do not offer classes, students who are home-schooled, who need to make up credits, or schools that do not have the proper funding or staff to offer various courses.

Christen, Johnson, and Horn (2011) states four factors that will accelerate this substitution for online learning. These four factors are online learning will continue to improve, online learning fits the learner’s needs, help with the teacher shortage, and the cost will fall as the market for online learning increases (p. 1790-1797). All these factors are strong indicators for the acceleration of online learning within our schools. Yet, I am not totally convinced if this approach is beneficial for our schools, teachers, and students.

The first concern I have with online learning is the simple fact of communicating with the professor or teacher becomes more difficult. Yes, one can email, skype, or chat online but I feel that ability to talk with your teacher before or after class and especially during class is a substantial advantage. The teachers or professors for online classes are not always available to talk or as prompt with responding to emails. Many times I feel that it is simply easier to talk in person rather than trying to explain your question through emails. I know the programs such as skype could solve these issues, but until the teachers for online courses are available throughout the entire school day, these problems will remain. Secondly, I feel that online learning will allow for more opportunity to cheat on tests and homework. What is to stop a student from looking up answers on his test online? Are students really learning the material or simply answering the questions just to pass the class? Are there test taking programs that do not allow students to minimize or open other programs? If this class were taken at home the student can use another computer or other resources to find the answers. My final concern is one that was mentioned by Christensen, Johnson, and Horn (2011) is with these virtual labs students are not experiencing the experiments hands-on (p. 1872). To me there is no comparison with doing a science experiment hands-on versus through some type of simulation software. The experience is completely different between the two and students will be missing out on the opportunity to actually complete an experiment hands-on. With time these problems will most likely be solved or minimized, but right now these are reasons I feel I would shy away from online learning.

eReader Highlight

What I found that came in handy with the eReader was the ability to download the software and have it on multiple computers. My wife had started her summer classes this week and she has to bring our newer laptop to class (she is at class all day) leaving me with our old and slow laptop. I love the fact that I can have this program on multiple sources; this makes it very convenient when a computer is being used so that I have an alternate method to accessing the eReader.

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.

EDTC 6431: Computer Use in Classrooms

I have to admit that Chapter 3: Crammed Classroom Computers was a little bit disheartening to read. Even with all the financial investment schools have spent to integrate technology into our classrooms, achievement scores have not improved. The text states that over the last couple of decades, schools have spent well over $60 billion to equip classroom with computers. Even with the implementation of computers, no measureable improvements in achievement scores have been noticed (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011). Though I did appreciate it mentioning that the next chapter will discuss how schools can deploy computer-based learning, otherwise it would have been frustrating hearing the downfall of computers without strategies to use.

It is true that typically computers in our classrooms today are used for word processing, searching the internet for information, or to simply play games. In several elementary classrooms I have seen the teachers use http://www.coolmath-games.com/ as a supplemental teaching tool when students may be finished with their homework or during “computer use” time. I really never thought about the actual teaching implications this indicates. Yes, students may be learning and refining their math skills, but beyond that is anymore occurring? Students are using the computers as a supplemental tool that is reinforcing existing teaching models when in reality these computers can and should be used to revolutionize classroom experience (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn, 2011). Though not something totally revolutionizing, the use of concept maps, especially the ones available online can help students do something more on computers. Concept maps help students construct meaning and making sense of the information through consciously or subconsciously integrating these new ideas with their existing knowledge (Vanides, Yin, Tomita, & Ruiz-Primo, 2005). Students are not undertaking the task or writing or typing out their lecture notes. Concepts maps help students illustrate and tie in ideas together. One can make the argument that making a concept map on a computer is still a supplemental tool, but how often do students truly articulate information in the form of a map? Students will be required to look and think about the information at hand in a whole new light in order to make critical connections. I hope that I can utilize computers in my classroom to their fullest potential and not some supplemental tool students’ use. I look forward to reading what the Christensen, Johnson, and Horn (2011) text has to say about computer-based learning in schools as a “disruptive”, rather than “cramming” tool.

As for the eReader, I continued to use it in a similar fashion as the first two chapter readings. Because of the ease of navigation, highlighting, and bookmarking I find myself doing these things more often. One new item that I had not previously noted was how it identifies sentences that have been highlighted numerous of times. More times than not, this indicated a key point of the chapter and I found myself highlighting these sections as well. I found it helpful to see what other people have been highlighting in the text.

Highlighting

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.

Vanides, J., Yin, Y., Tomita, M., & Ruiz-Primo, M.A. (2005). Using concept maps in the science classroom. Science Scope, 8, 27-31

EDTC 6431: Technology & Information Fluency

Christensen, Johnson, and Horn (2011) walk through the educational development from the late 1800’s to the early 2000’s. This chapter references “Sputnik” and the resulting educational push for American math and science education. In other words, for America to be competitive in technology and innovation – at the time with the Soviets something must be changed with the educational system. This resulted in schools providing more rigorous science and math courses. The article written by Brian Grismore (2012) states that students and educators need to know and become efficient with technology and information fluency, which are necessary skills for today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce. Each reading was in reference towards a different time period, but each had the same implication. Both are indicating the importance of technology and information literacy in our schools. It is not only for students to become familiar and efficient with technology, but for teachers to be able to teach and share these technological tools. Technology is one of the fastest evolving industries in the world, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Thus it is important as educators to be up to date with current technological trends. More and more classrooms are equipped with smart boards, computers, iPads, or laptops – with the amount of resources out there; it would be a waste not to utilize these tools. Furthermore, I see technology as a great way to differentiate instruction by allowing various ways to do one task. Technology is not going anywhere, and as teachers we must be ready to effectively integrate these tools in our curriculum.

Highlights and Bookmark

This week’s experience with the eReader was much more pleasant than the previous. Overall, I still would prefer a book in my hand – this may not be the case if I had a kindle or a specific eReader as I am doing the readings on my laptop and I don’t have the luxury of reading wherever I please. One new tool I used this week was book marking specific pages that I thought were particularly important. What I like about any markings done on the eReader, is the notes & markings tab where all markings done is clearly referenced. I can easily go back and see what I have marked or made notes on. As I become more familiar using the eReader, I can see how it can be a lot more efficient than reading and highlighting an actual book.

 

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.

Grismore, B.A. (2012) Information literacy skills: comparing and evaluating databases. Unpublished Manuscript.