Thoughts On Taking Educational Technology

I have had a great experience taking this course, and I have learned a lot of ways that I can incorporate educational technology into the classroom. Taking this course has allowed me to see the various ways we can incorporate technology like audiobooks, apps, educational TV, videos, and virtual field trips to make learning exciting and fun for students. I now know so many different ways I can include technology in my lessons, and I realized when teaching my own lesson using tech that it can actually be a lot of fun for the teacher too! As future educator, I want to make sure I continue to implement technology in my lessons so that students are not only more engaged, but also so that they can learn and express their responses in a different mode making them more diverse learners.

I used to think negatively about using educational technology because I often heard how people have difficulty setting it up in the classroom and working with the technology. I think it is important that teachers address their hesitation on technology and get themselves more equipped on how to use it. Teachers need to start incorporating technology into the classroom because we live in a technological world. The ISTE standards we went over last week are proof to show that we need to evolve our instruction to include technology because students need to be better equipped on using technology in their careers. If teachers implement the use of technology early on, this will allow students to be able to move on and do more advanced work with technology which will get them ready for the real world.

Therefore, I am very grateful that I have taken this course and I think it is actually one of the most beneficial courses I have taken at college. This course has taught me how to incorporate technology into my lesson and it also made me want to continue to find and work with different tech so that my students can ultimately learn what I am teaching them.

 

 

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Reflecting on EDU 470

Looking back on this semester, I really enjoyed this class and found it incredibly useful for my future classroom.  I have always wanted to use technology because I have seen how it engages students and will enhance the quality of a lesson over all.  Two of the biggest take aways for me that I will definitely incorporate in my future classroom are the apps to help students learn, and the methods of formative assessment.  After playing around with Hooked on Phonics, and other applications that practice oral reading fluency, spelling and comprehension, I think these could greatly benefit a classroom.  I’ve thought about when students could use these applications, maybe use it as a reward for after students complete their classwork or as a warm up into a literacy lesson (if students have headphones).  Children love playing with iPads, so we as teachers might as well take that interest and use it to help them learn.  These applications are a fun, engaging way for students to learn and practice, review or work on their reading or math skills.  As for technology with formative assessment, I think the Kahoot especially would be a great warm up activity into a lesson, to review from the previous days, or simply to refresh students’ minds or get their brains focused again on the topic of that particular subject.  Kahoot is a very open ended assessment, that teachers can use for any subject.  It is a very simple, less intense and more of a fun way to assess students without the stress and anxiety of a formal quiz or test.  I will definitely be using applications on iPads and technology formative assessments in my classroom, to keep my students engaged and interested in the lessons.

Class Reflection

Technology in education has been one of the classes I have most enjoyed thus far in my second semester. I felt I have gained a lot of new perspectives on ways to incorporate and better use technology in my future classroom. I enjoyed having these weekly blog post, as I could read and learn from my fellow classmates post, and relate it to a way I could use to my advantage/ expand my thinking. Another aspect of this course that I liked in particular was the use of the class’ time, I liked having the group presentations, and then learning from Dr. Zipke- as the class was not only listening to a lecture but actually having an interactive hands on class- that actually got to use these various technology.

I also felt that my knowledge of incorporating technology in the classroom has expanded of just the basic use of technology regarding showing videos and using power points. I have found myself after this class thinking of interactive ways that my students can use, that helps their learning grow and personally change the way they may think/learn. I think by introducing technology in a fun interactive way motivates students and makes the classroom an advancing learning place. I will miss having this class, as I thoroughly enjoyed taking it, and learning about various kinds of technology, such as distance learning, assistive technology, different learning apps, and blog sites, etc.

Final Blog

This semester has taught me a lot about technology in the classroom. I had no idea that there was so many different ways to bring tech to my students. This class has made me consider more possibilities in this area. It has broadened my view of tech in the class and will allow me to think more outside the box for my future lessons. One of my favorite units was learning about all the different ways apps can be used. These days there is literally an app for everything, so seeing all the incredible education apps was really eye opening.

I really enjoyed the classroom environment during the semester. Our use of class time always felt relaxed and stress free, which made learning much more enjoyable. Hearing everyone present on different forms of ed tech was a great way to expose everyone to new ideas. Overall I really enjoyed the way this class was set up and organized. I hope to take what I have learned in this class and use it for years to come.

 

ISTE Standards: What Teachers Should Know

Last week in class, we discussed the new standards that are thoroughly centered around technology. These standards which are known as ISTE standards literally mean “International Society for Technology in Education”. As its abbreviation stands around this technology center, we examined in particular the standards, both for students and teachers. I appreciate having standards that are centered around technology, given the nature of society and its prevalence and daily use. However, I couldn’t help but consider my mother- who has been a teacher for more than 25+years. With her given experience she has enough knowledge on technology and with my help-can manage. But then I also began to wonder how these standards would effect teachers of my mother’s generation, and those that aren’t tech savvy.

Although training for these standards are probably going to be enforced,I kept this in mind as the saying goes “Can you really teach a old dog new tricks?”.  As I am all for technology and its use in the classroom as a resource towards new achievement and forward thinking for the future, I still appreciate an ‘old sense’ of having physical homework, and or textbooks that I can physically touch etc. Technology- don’t get me wrong is capable of making learning so much more accessible-but I argue to an extent- as I am afraid that is technology keeps advancing in education; classrooms and teachers altogether might slowly disappear. But as that is an extreme, I like focusing specifically on these ISTE standards.

I found an article from Concordia University, that listed “5 Things Teachers Should Know About ISTE Tech Standards”. I wanted to share this article and the five aspects a teacher should know when implementing these standards into their curriculum.

*note: below information is taken from the website from Concordia University* just formatted in an easier way to read!

http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/educator-tips/5-things-teachers-should-know-about-iste-tech-standards/

  1. ISTE standards 
    • Though technology is at the root of the ISTE standards, the program is about more than online research and learning to use new media.
    • Three of the five ISTE goals reflect changes in the way students learn in general.
    • This includes teaching based on students’ collective and individual needs, creating a project-based learning environment, and promoting critical thinking skills.
    • The ultimate goal is to get students prepared, at all stages, for a career in a global economy.
    • On a school-wide level, the plan is to create digital learning spaces and teaching models that are appropriate for the time and reflect recent developments in technology.
  2. Available professional resources
    • Teachers and administrators working to implement the ISTE in their own schools can turn to various resources, both online and in print.
    • Webinars and online courses can be found at the ISTE website with information on best practices for meeting and using technology standards across the board.
    • Books and courses range from broad curriculum planning tools to specific topics, like blogging and classroom management.
  3.  Administrative responsibilities 
    • In order to create the ideal learning environment, the ISTE has developed a list of essential conditions: steps that must be taken by administrators and policy makers so that teachers can effectively run a ISTE friendly classroom.
    • Among the conditions required are adequate funding and support from the school, which covers everything from ongoing learning courses to accountability and incentives.
    • The plan cannot succeed without a top-down vision and plan for ISTE implementation; principals and teachers should meet and agree on the practices, staff, and technological tools needed.
  4. Leading by Example 
    • One of the most important aspects of the ISTE standards is also one of the most overlooked.
    • Though teachers are expected to create a certain environment for the students, they are also required to model that behavior.
    • Educators, in many situations, are a student’s first exposure to digital technology. They have a responsibility to present knowledge and showcase ethical behavior.
    • The new generation is faced with almost unlimited access to information and media; now they can learn about intellectual property and piracy as they learn how to cite their sources.
    • Teachers also model lifelong learning by keeping current with new technologies and show students that education is a process.
  5. Technology & Creativity 
    • There are several learning models that tie together technology and creative thought:
      • Real world problem solving
      • Unique teaching tools such as games, videos, and interactive presentations
      • Collaboration and group planning
      • Pursuing curiosity and answering questions through digital media
      • Online testing and writing assessments.

       

    • Digital tools enhance and add to student’s inherent creative skills.
    • By creating a safe online space for exploration, teachers can encourage students to try new things and innovate.
    • The ISTE standards can seem imposing at first. The requirements and goals are numerous and cover a wide range of skills and topics.
    • Fortunately, there are many resources available to clarify the program, which ultimately boils down to a quest for improved learning in an era of faster-than-ever information availability.
    • It represents a change from old-fashioned ideals of lecture and repetition toward collaboration and classroom problem solving, made easier through new technology.

Educational Television

I am sure everyone at some point in their childhood vividly remembers a television show, that they loved, and can still recall its importance and mark it left on you. I can remember growing up, and having PBS Kids and Disney Channel be the networks with the top shows I would watch. These television shows captivated me and entertained me while also teaching me something… or did they? Was I aware of the lesson being taught unless my mother or father stressed it?  This raises the question: what makes a television show educational, and effective? I recently read a news post from the college of Vanderbilt, as they did a study to find if young children- specifically preschoolers learned anything from educational shows, and could regurgitate it back to their parents. Brasher, who is the author of this site had very interesting results.

“In a first-of-its-kind study, parents were trained to pause, ask questions and encourage the child to tell parts of the story while they watched educational videos together. When evaluated, the 3-year-olds whose parents used this simple technique—known as dialogic questioning—showed significant gains in vocabulary and comprehension over those who watched alone.” (Brasher)

Essentially after the four weeks parents spent with children, the results were that children in the dialogic questioning group actually scored much higher on story comprehension and expressive vocabulary than the other groups that didn’t ask questions or encourage the child to recount the show.

Thus saying researchers concluded that parent-led questioning offered a distinct advantage over the other methods, particularly allowing children to watch unsupervised. The results from the group using a dialogic actress were better than watching alone, though not as effective as the parental involvement.(Brasher) 

I also upon exploring this study, watch the short video on how parents can actually help their children learn from television- which was quiet resounding and interesting.

I argue that this debate of ‘if educational television is actually beneficial’ all depends on how the parents apply and teach its lesson and skills to the child.

Class Reflection

Looking back at this semester, I have loved this class. As a rising senior, this is the first class that I have had that is interactive, hands-on, and discussion based every week.  I enjoyed being able to try out different programs, apps, and websites that we had been talking about.  While I was comfortable incorporating technology in my lessons before, I am now more willing to take “technology risks”.  Creating a blog with a concentration prepared me in blog-making, and also finding resources for specific types of students.

Looking ahead to my future classroom, I can see the benefits of incorporating technology into my classroom, and am now more aware what types of technology are most effective (specific audiobooks, apps with certain features, etc.).  I am very grateful that I took this class, and am looking forward to implementing what I have learned in student teaching next year!