Main | October 2006 »

September 18, 2006

Hughes draft

I realize that teachers have various kinds of knowledge...pedagogical, content and technology. I now see how important it is to address each of the overlaps in the Professional Knowledge Constructs. I think that by strengthening the TPK, the PCK and the TCK, the TPCK will be stronger and this is really where we want to be when we integrate technology.

Zhao et al "Conditions for classroom technology innovations"

The "Conditions for classroom technology innovations" article brought to the front some of the same views that I have experienced in teachers integrating technology. It seems almost as though instead of looking for the reasons some technology integration succeed, we instead look at why some fail. I am not sure that is the correct approach to take when looking at anything. Sure it helps to find the problems, but just because we find the problems doesn't mean we have found real successes.

I agree with the fact that the Innovator makes the most difference. The education always falls back to the teacher and how the teacher responds to the issues. The teachers proficiency, pedagogical compatibility and social awarenss will make it easier, but that is true for any aspect of the classroom, not just the implementation of technology. It is all in how the teacher responds and handles any situation.

I know they said "the quality of a project increases success", however I would think ahead of that is the context..."does the actual technology infrastructure work well enough so we can try a project?" I have seen more teachers excited to try something and then only to find out that we either don't have the technology or "it's been ordered" only to have it take months to arrive. This frustration by a teacher will definitely "deflate the balloon of excitement".

I also agree that the most success comes from a decreased distance from and dependence on technological resources.

Most of this is common sense...
*If you stay close to what you are comfortable with, your project will succeed.
*The fewer people you rely on, the less problems you will encounter.
*A good teacher will teach, no matter what the subject or how much technology is used or not used.
*It is hard to keep a positive attitude and a successful project going when other staff people do not believe in what you are trying to accomplish
*Some projects are successful just because of the quality of the projects designed by the teacher. When the students are excited about the project and they don't realize they are learning is when it works the best.

Hopefully the goal would be to eliminate the obstacles so teachers will at least try a few things and not be too discouraged.

NETS for Students

I am glad that there are some technology standards available. I currently teach a computer application class and actually had another teacher question me this past week about whether my course was still required for graduation. I couldn't believe she said that, not because I am the teacher, but because this is the only required computer class for all of our students and it is only 12 weeks long.

I agree that many teachers are using technology and now need to move toward having the students utilize the technology to increase their learning. I was impressed at some of the examples that I looked at because of how the technology was utilized. The recalculating of the presidential election uses technology to help boost student understanding of the electoral votes vs. the actual votes. I think using a spreadsheet with this activity allows the student to understand more about voting than what could happen without the use of technology. The other social studies example using the students as historian in the Gettysburg Address activity really makes the students work together as a team as well as helping them to understand the work of historians.

I wish all teachers were moving toward the NETS-S. I know using the word all is dreaming.

September 12, 2006

Technology Integration Definition

My current definition of technology integration: to use technology where appropriate in the curriculum to help increase or strengthen student learning and student efficiency.

September 11, 2006

Random Ideas #1

It will be interesting to see how all of the other "hats" in my life relate to this class.

I am in a Technology Learning Community with a few other staff member in my school. I will tell you that we will be trying out a wiki in my learning community to see how it works.

Learning in the 21st Century

During workshop day prior to the start of the school year this year, our principal divided us up into groups of 8 ro 9 and had us come up with a list of skills that our students should have by the time they graduate if they would go straight into the workforce or if they would go to college. After each group compiled their list, we shared. Our principal then told us that we would be working with this information in our staff meetings to come.

When I started to read "Learning in the 21st Century", I felt like I was reading the results of our staff meeting again. In fact, when the article organized the information into a chart and narrowed it down to the 3 categories: Information and Communication Skills, Thinking and Problem Solving Skills, and Interpersonal and Self-Directional Skills, I began thinking to myself...."Wow, we won't have to do anything at the next staff meeting because it is already done for us right here!".

As far as the 21st Century tools, I find myself between a rock and a hard spot trying to determine which direction to take and what is best for kids!
Things like school e-mail address for students are not allowed in our district right now, but I struggle with the fact that we are not teaching students how to properly us e-mail and I feel as though that is a disservice to our students, mostly because I know they will us e-mail in their future schooling and in their jobs. I have already heard a colleague complain about the capitalization, grammar, puctuation and salutation in an e-mail from a student this year.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding social networking in the media and I struggle to decide if their is another way of approaching the topic other than to ban the sites from school and then "discuss" with the students the potential dangers associated with these types of sites. I do not think the "discussions" are having much of an impact.
We've recently banned the use of personal listening devices during our school day. The policy was established mostly because of theft, but there is also the ability to "cheat" using these devices and the knowledge regarding the use of these devices is better known by our students than by our staff. Socially, I agree the devices should be eliminated from school, however I do think we should look into the benefits of possibly recording information on the listening device for review at a later date. I do know that if I were to come up with a reasonable lesson involving the positive use of the devices, students could bring them to class. I also struggle to find the time to learn it myself and then teach it. It would be cool to have a "tour of our building" on an ipod, though.

Jonassen...Computers as MindTools

Along with being a high school teacher, I also teach computer classes after school to my colleagues. Our district technology instructional staff struggles to find the appropriate classes to teach so my colleagues will us the available technology in the classroom. By using technology, I mean to use it to increase and strengthen student learning and understanding, not just to use technology for the sake of using it. I think this article has valid points in it that will result in increased student learning.

I again found myself wanting to try out all of the available software mentioned in the article. I did download 2 of the programs and I was disappointed to find the science program was no longer available. It was interesting for me to work through the Model-It example from the 10th grade English class covering Lord of the Flies. It took me a few minutes, but when I figured out their example, I was very impressed by the ability of a class to come to a concensus on the functions of the program. It makes me wonder if we are doing this in our school district.

The one major flaw that I find in working with teachers in general is that there is a reluctancy to give up the time to have the students "discover their own solutions" because of the push to get ahead. What if it takes the students 2 weeks to accomplish the task rather than the 1 day it would take for me to "tell them". It will be interesting to discuss this time crunch vs. process during class. Don't get me wrong, I am a visual and a kinesthetic learner and I do benefit for finding things out myself, however it seems as though the question always goes back to "how far in the book did you get this year".

1st Class

I'm really excited about this class. I am glad that I have the opportunity to spend 3 hour a week with other people who will discuss tech integration with me. I'm excited about the changes that it will bring to my teaching and to that of the other staff members in my district.

I found myself struggling because I wanted to try out all of the programs/lessons that we were givend during the first night of class. I know it would have been impossible to try them all during classtime myself so I am anxious to hear what others say about the lessons they tried out.