October 3, 2006

Digital Divide

Few years ago, when I was taking TOFEL test in front of computer, the first section of this test was teaching me how to operate the mouse and the keyboard. I felt ridiculous at that time, the first idea flashing in my head was: how come in this world has people who want to take a TOFEL test and don't know how to use computer?

As I studied at the United State, I heard of "DIGITAL DIVIDE" first time in my life and realized how much effort has been made in this country although I don't know how the actual effect is.

Maybe it's because the city I lived in Taiwan, Taipei, is the business center and the wealthiest area of whole country. I never thought that availability to assess the Internet is a issue. As a secondary school teacher, problems confused me probably were how fast can I type, how to use Microsoft Word and Excel, and how can I get a retired computer from school and set it in my classroom.

The Tapscott's article pushed me to think deeper. In this era, we not only have material pauper but also knowledge pauper. In other words, knowledge is money and money is knowledge. Because of today's technology, the rapid of knowledge conveyance increase. If we don't have those kinds of resourses, the knowledge we earn probably be geomatrically cut down.

In order to understand the condition of digital devide in Taiwan, I browsed the Internet and try to find some information: according to the Digital Opportunity Index, DOI reported by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) on June 2005, Taiwan ranked #7 in the world. It seems we are not in a very bad condition. Taiwan government has an integral plan for bridging digital devide since 2005. For example, the Environmental Protection Administration brought up Task of reclycling and transtering used computers plan. They wish to collect 18000 second-hand computers in this year and transter them to schools of remote districts. The Ministry of Education also plans to increase the grant of telecommunication and technology infrustructure for rural schools. Let's see if they will complete in two years.

I'm surprised to read how succeeful of Plugged-In project in this article. It's like an utopia for me. However, I know behind this successful story, lots of projects failed because of numerous reasons. If technology can enhance the learning environment and decrease adolesent violence problem as Plugged-In project, it definitly is the most important aspect we should focus on today's education.

Related web pages:

September 26, 2006

Reflection of 4 Technology Learning Principles

Now the level of our discussion about k12 technology integration has reached to analyze the mental condition of preservice and In-service teachers who want or don't want to emerge technology into their pedagogy. In NETS for teachers, we saw lots of standards, suggestions and demonstrations of tech integration; in Zhou's article, we saw qualitative soft data of sample teachers' situations if they recieve a grant and put it into practice in a period of time; in Hughe's(2004) paper, due to a lacking vision of this issue, she brought up four priciples and discripted how they work and listed the advantages and limitations of them.

The Technology Integration Process of Junior High Schools In Taiwan

When I was reading this article, my memory flashback to the time when I was a student teacher. At that time, the goverment of Taiwan began to push the policy of technology integration in k12 school. I was not sure if there was a structured standards such as NETS to support this command. The faculty of the school I serviced is combined of 3/4 aged 50 or above teachers who are going to retire and 1/4 teachers who just graduated from college and began their teaching career. You may imagine: most practiced teachers in our school even didn't know how to operate a mouse. Some young teachers like me, all we know about teachnology is probably using work processing software to type students' work sheets and test papers.

The so-called "Technology Integration" at that time, unless on my understanding, had two main goals: one was to train teachers use PowerPoint to assist their teaching; the other was to promote teachers establish their personal educational websites. The PowerPoint exercise was successful, because its accessblity, but the websites movement was almost totally failed. The technology person in our school held several workshops for teachers in our school in order to teach them how to edit webpages and how to upload them into school's network. But it's really difficault to explain basic web editing skills in a very short time. Some teachers couldn't follow the instruction so that they forget all the steps when they came back to the second session of workshops. The webpages movement ended up with only teaching teachers how to use a simple signed web pages template and lost focused on how to maintain and manage them. Most teachers' personal websites remained the condition for only few pages and never update for three years.

If you ask me whether this is technology integration in padagogy, I will definately say no. I seldom saw any of my colleage used their websites to facilitate students' learning. Those websites probably only could be called a temporary teacher electronic portfolio. You can see my website for example. So far as PowerPoint, most design and use of it was a technology tool of replacement if teachers just put their handout in electronic way. These kinds of phenomenons had lasted before I went to the United States.

A New Idea of Technology Integration in My School

I was thinking to form a study group of technology integration in the future: I want to gather some volunteer teachers in my subject matter area of my school. We can meet every one or two weeks and share useful technology tools for educators such as tools I've learned from CI 5351. Most of the tools are userfriendly and the most important, they are free. We can discuss how to apply them into ecucational practice and begin to design our own curriculum and share our "products" to each other. We don't need lots of participants and the place such as computer lab which is usually hard to book. All we need are personal laptops and a comfortble places, for example, a wi-fi provided coffee shop. This is the only idea that is practicable I cooked.

September 19, 2006

How Do I Use Technology Integration Model to an Individual Lesson

I am not sure whether this topic is the topic Joan assigned or not... In this entry, I want to brianstorm a procedure if I need to integrate technology to a lesson.

1. Look at my academic calendar, choose lessons that may suitable be integrated with technology.
I know think all lessons are necessary be integrate with technology. Due to some time consuming reasons, I will choose several lessons that I want to emphasize.

2. Examine what kinds of technology tools that can be used in those lessons.
Joan's RAT model may be a useful concept to help me access what kind of tech tools I've already been familiar with and what kind of tools I've never used but want to try in this semester. I will list possible tech tools and match them into lessons I chose and think of possible assistant resources.

3. Focus on a single lesson plan, browse for other resourse on the web or in the library.

4. Start to design a lesson plan, choose the main content or idea I want to focus and develop learning activities.

5. Estimate the portion of tech-integration activities in a whole lesson plan.
Use RAT or other models to access tech tools that I want to apply. What kind of mind tool is? How can I use those tools to facilitate learning?

6. If the lesson plan is huge, try to collaborate with other colleages who teach same subject or seek for interdiciplinary resources.

9/12 Reflection

This week I spent more time on ZHAO's article than any others. Because I take the Practicle Research class in this semester in the same time, I focused on the research method when I read this paper. The researchers combined both quanlitative and qualitative method to conduct this research and qualitaive method played a main role. When I read some experiences of 10 groups of teacher particated in this project, I felt very familiar. Those dilemmas happen in Taiwan k12 school as well. Although it'd been published in 2002, the condition of technology integration doesn't change a lot today. I found that most obstacles appears because of lacking communication, especially innovators and school administrators. Some teachers who seek to innovate and integrate technology into their teaching overlooked check the technology resource in advance when they applied for grants. Particularly when they plan to use those grants to purchase additional technological infrastructure in school and don't know that buying behavior in school needs a lot of complecated procedures and usaully takes time.

Another assigned reading, NETs for Teachers, provides an explicit guide for helping teachers become a teachnology integrator. It's very interesting because it focuses on teacher preparation a lot. The article made me remember the years in college when I decided to be a teacher. We scarcely put technoology into our consideration when we designed a lesson plan or made teaching materials. Insdead, we made vacabulary cards or posters by hand and used markers and magnets to completed them. I spend a little time to browse the course lists offered by the education program of the college I graduated and suprisely found technology integration classes have become core classes that future k12 teachers must take. The world changes a lot! For first-year teachers, the most important information they want to know probably is what software or application they need to know or can be used in their future teaching. Several tools and models listed in session one such as webquest, multimedia presentation can be a good resource for them.

September 12, 2006

My definition of "Technology Integration"

Technology Integration means "applying appropriate technology tools to facilitate teachers manage their teaching, improve their instructional skills, enrich their instructional design and helping students learn cognitively and effectively via technology. "

September 5, 2006

First Day Reflection

Hello, everyone! I am the Taiwanese girl JingHuey. It's nice to meet you in class!

The first class is interesting and exciting for me. Although we are a tiny class that only has six members, it has good diversity. I am sure we can run it well. Our first class focused on a "technology exploration" activity. We spent about an hour for dozens of technology tools that can be used in k-12 classrooms. Some of them is familiar to me: I've made a couple of webquest and edit some webpages on Tom's class; I also learned how to use Inspiration as a mind tool in Aaron's class; Blog is definitely my thing because I've blogged for three years. I was also surprise to see more tools and software that I am not familiar with, such as Geometer's Sketchpad, eZediaMX, Fathom......etc. I guess it's because I am a literature art (in Chinese) teacher so that I couldn't know them very well in a short time.

This week I spent lots of time to the reading Joan assigned. Both of Jonassen's and NETS inspired me a lot. I love NETS sample lessons plans for English lit. class, though some of them I think they are overwhelming to prek-2nd graders. In Taiwan, some k-12 teachers use PowerPoint as a tech tool when they are teaching and some of the slides are wordy, boring and hard to read to students. Other teachers even resist to use any because it takes time and classroom facilities are not user friendly.