As I read this article I couldn't help but think back to my college days when I was required to take a technology course. The course involved learning how to use various "basic" technology resources that could be found in a school. This course was mildly helpful, but most of the information could have been self taught or learned in the course of a mini-class. Instead, a course that would have encompassed technology infusion into the core subjects would have been a welcome alternative.
Now, as a teacher I find that the district does just as the article speaks; a 20 minute staff meeting every once and awhile to teach us something new in terms of technology. Often times no time is given to explore the technology and many of the teachers leave the meeting not giving a second thought to how they could integrate this approach into their classroom.
I agree that a change in teacher training is needed in terms of infusing technology. I like the idea of connecting technology instruction in context with the subject matter. This provides teachers and pre-service teachers with "real-life" use of how each approach could be used in their classrooms. Getting teachers to be technology integrationists could be a daunting task, however revamping the way that technology learning is approached today is a great first step.
I found this article interesting and a confirmation of what I know is to be true in education. Using technology and especially project based learning is such a solid way to engage all learners and to enhance motivation and learning. I have found that my struggling students (a.k.a. "at-risk") are often the kids who find their niche in using technology. It may be the first time that they shine in the classroom and are able to tutor other students as to how to use the needed technology. Our at-risk students need more time spent on exciting, new ways to approach learning because the "old ways" sometimes simply don't work for them. And as the article states, PBL and infusing technology into a classroom is beneficial for ALL students and is a great way to boost learning, motivation and encourage independent learning.
I loved this article! I thought it had some excellent points about how providing kids and the public in general with computers is not enough. I am passing this on to a past professor of mine to read and discuss. I couldn't help but wonder as I read, what can I as an educator do? Thoughts occured such as getting the word out about the need for corporate funding and support in terms of tech instruction and help. I also thought about how many teachers adapt or don't even attempt lessons in which their students need to access technology and the web because they are conscious of those students who may not have access to these tools at home. Is this the right approach? Should all students have to suffer because of a problem that could be solved through some creative thinking and allowing those students without access to tools that should be available to all. So much to discuss....
I am excited for this weeklong submersion into technology integration coming in July. Of course a little bit of nerves go along with this excitement in just knowing what the course will be like and if I will have enough background knowledge to fit in.
I am hoping to gain new insight into some of what current research says about technology and children as well as how to best integrate various types and modes of technology into daily class activites and interactions. I am interested in learning about new technology and ideas that I can start using this fall when I return to my fifth grade students. I am also interested in learning about some of the assistive technology that exists for students who struggle with the "traditional ways" of teaching and learning.
As I write this first entry into my first ever blog I can't help but think that it is a good sign of the great things that wait for me during our class.