• A vision statement for technology in education, including both the promises and pitfalls,
both now and in the future
VISION STATEMENT FOR TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION
“Educators have slid into the 21st
century—and into the digital age—still doing a great many
things the old way. It’s time for education leaders to raise their heads above the daily grind and
observe the new landscape that’s emerging” (Prensky ,9). Times have changed, and with the
increase in technology, educators need to recognize that they need to teach to the digital natives.
Digital natives, as Prensky describes, refer to today’s students (2001). As he states, “They are
native speakers of technology, fluent in the digital language of computers, video games and the
Internet” (Prensky, 9). For the digital native student, technology is a motivational tool to keep him
engaged in class material. It is up to the teacher to take advantage of our technologically
advanced students and implement varying teaching strategies that “speak” to them. To be a
teacher is to be a lifelong learner. If one learns how to keep students engaged using technology,
student participation will increase. “If educators want to have relevance in this century, it is crucial
that we find ways to engage students in school” (Prensky, 11).
In order to increase student success, teachers need to feel comfortable implementing
technology into their pedagogy. “Teachers’ technology knowledge should be integrated with their
pedagogical knowledge” (Zhao, 7). At this day in age, technology should be incorporated into our
pedagogy. School districts are currently sending teachers to professional development
conferences in order to broaden their knowledge base of technology resources. I foresee more
professional development devoted to technology in schools. This year, at Lakeland High School,
we had a professional development day devoted to learning about Turning Point, an interactive
polling system to be used in our classrooms. To learn more about this technology visit
www.turningtechnologies.com. It is as easy as creating a PowerPoint. If educators do not know
how to effectively implement various Web 2.0 technologies, the educational tool may not improve
student learning. With the increase in technology there needs to be an increase in the knowledge
of teachers with respect to incorporation of technology as a tool rather than an object. When used
correctly technology can be a powerful source to enhance student learning and improve
comprehension. Zaho stated, “Since most technologies introduced to schools have not been
developed as educational tools—tools that solve problems teachers face in their work—very often
they remain expensive artifacts rather than useful tools because teachers do not consider them
solutions to their problems” (Zhao, 3). A Computer is just a “monitor” or piece of equipment sitting
on a desk until utilized to its fullest potential. When a computer is connected to implement
knowledge in a constructivist fashion or even a traditional approach, it is then that it serves as an
educational tool. If teachers are given the opportunity to attend professional development in order
to implement technology in a more powerful fashion, they will feel more comfortable introducing
new technologies and their students will be more successful.
Using Technology in education promotes inquiry based learning “Constructivism and reflective
inquiry learning principles challenge teachers to provide authentic learning experiences or
excursions that encourage students to construct concrete understandings of abstract concepts by
allowing them to analyze ‘real’ situations” (Dills, 106). Teachers who do not continue to learn new
approaches to reach their students are slacking. As teachers it should be our aim to be the best
educators we can be. This means continually learning how to inspire, motivate, and educate our
students. Blogging is one example of inquiry based learning and will become more prevalent in
schools. Weblogs, or blogs, are Web pages often likened to online personal journals. They are
noted for being the "unedited, published voice of the people" (Winer 2003). Ferdig, R., & Trammell,
K. (2004) Content Delivery in the 'Blogosphere". T.H.E Journal. Using blogs, teachers could utilize
the constructivist model, which promotes inquiry based learning. Teachers could pose an open-
ended question that would require much thought and analytical review. Students would have to
respond to the question as well as other student’s blogs. This is considered active dialogue, which
promotes inquiry and much thought. Questions pertaining to real world scenarios would actively
engage students to respond to blogged questions posed by the teacher. Blogs itself are a
motivational tool for learning. Using the constructivist approach insightful thoughts documented by
students support the constructivist strategy. Learning through blogs is an active process; therefore
the constructivist approach is a strategy that fits well. However, if one does not have the
technological knowledge to implement blogging in a correct manner, the environment where one
might be successful will decrease.
PROMISES of Educational Technology
• Increases student motivation and participation
o Energetic and imaginative teachers who currently are able to teach their classes in
a manner that motivates and excites their students to higher levels of achievement
will find computers and the Internet a valuable new tool in their daily task”
• Increases student engagement to learn material
o Many schools around the nation are using computers to make schoolwork exciting
and challenging rather than tedious. The most successful of these schools use
computers and the Internet to engage students in projects that show them how
their knowledge and skills can be used in the real world” (Bennetts, 2003).
• Blogging improves student writing
• Increase student interest – students are more eager to learn
• “Assessment, information access, collaboration, and expression are four areas where
educational technologies demonstrate particular promise…”(Honey, 2004)
• “Technologies also create new opportunities in which kids can express and communicate
their ideas. It is no longer uncommon for schools to encourage reports in multimedia
format or for students to build web resources that can be used by others” (Honey, 2004).
• Increased Parental Involvement
o “One of the areas that new computer technology is making a difference in student
education is by helping to increase parental involvement in their children's
education. Either via a school web site or by utilizing computerized voice
messaging, parents can find out first hand what their children are learning about
on a daily basis—even see when their home work assignments need to be
completed” (LeFevre, 2004).
PITFALLS of Educational Technology
• With an increase in technology, comes an increase in cheating.
o Cheating has been taken to a higher level with the increase in technology.
“Some students use iPod-compatible voice recorders to record test
answers in advance and them play them back, said 16-year-old Mountain
View junior Damir Bazdar. Others download crib notes onto the music
players and hide them in the "lyrics" text files. Even an audio clip of the old
"Schoolhouse Rock" take on how a bill makes it through Congress can
come in handy during some American government exams.” (Boone,
No longer do students need to hide answers in their calculators, or write on their
hats, or make a cheat sheet to tape to their water bottle or slide into their clear
pen. With the advanced technology, it is harder to catch students who are being
• Educational Technology can be expensive
o “Many school districts located in less affluent areas of our country will not be able
to afford providing the same level of technology as their richer neighbors, even
with federal and state help. What then can they do to help their students have
access to the latest technology?” (LeFevre, 2004)
• Creditability of sources on the Internet
How I currently employ technology in Physical Education and Health Courses
“Today’s students grow up in a technology-mediated world and their thinking, behavior,
and emotions are heavily influenced by new technologies” (Zhao, 8). In other words, students
grow up in a highly technological environment; therefore, we need to use this to our benefit.
Accept the increase in technology and create lessons that use technology as an educational tool.
We need to become “fluent” in technology and speak our student’s language. Listed below are
ways in which I currently employ technology to speak to my digital native students.
• Heart Rate Monitors:
Studies conducted at various schools across the nation have produced results worthy of
recognition. Medina High School has successfully taken physical education to the next level. Bill
Turner, Medina High School physical education teacher, has proven heart rate monitor
implementation a beneficial.
“The results -- which make up about 30 percent of the students' grades -- are right there on the
watch, as well as the computer screen on Turner's desk. A few clicks of the mouse and Turner
pulled up one freshman boy's results, showing that he was in his zone for 14 minutes during a
recent class and out of his zone for six minutes” (Wheeler 2006 pg 1)
Mr. Turner was given immediate feedback on his student and could then objectively assess his
progress. It was stated by Kert Boedicker, principal,
"It's not competing against the other kids, it's competing against yourself. What a healthy
perspective for these students to learn: If I can (stay in this zone), I can be physically fit. With this
device, it's right there in front of them" (Wheeler 2006 pg1)
With the implementation of heart rate monitors, the focus is on self-improvement rather than
competition against other students. With the use of the monitors, each student is competing
against himself or herself, striving for self-improvement.
Another school that has seen improvements with the heart rate monitor innovation was
“Meghan Jinguji, a PE teacher at Antelope Crossing, said she has seen ‘huge improvements in
mile times’ as a result of the heart- rate monitors. ‘It's really increased the children's awareness of
their bodies,’ she said” (Lofing 2007 pg 1).
It was also expressed that with the increased awareness of physical activity students have been
more motivated to stay active. One student was quoted by saying "It helps me keep going the
whole time," she said. "It's a really good pacer” (Lofing 2007 pg1). Heart rate monitors are a fun
motivational piece of technology that allow students to receive immediate feedback about their
fitness levels. As proven by Medina High School and Antelope Crossing, heart rate monitors are a
beneficial piece of technology to incorporate into the physical education setting.
From researching the topic of heart rate monitors I have come to realize how imperative it
is to incorporate heart rate monitors into my pedagogy. Not only does this piece of technology
prove to motivate students, it is tied to a goal-oriented assessment as well as allows students to
utilize problem-solving strategies. The days of measuring effort in physical education classes by
being first to the finish line are no longer. All of our students enter the gymnasium with an array of
innate physical prowess. Effort can now be determined by the student’s ability to stay in his zone.
Student success is measured by self- improvement and self-competition. With the implementation
of heart rate monitors, it is a reality that all students strive for their personal best by acquiring the
information that will help keep them in their zone and propel them to a healthful future.
I have incorporated heart rate monitors into my Physical Education curriculum as it helps
students remain in their target heart rate zone. When students partake in various cardiovascular
activities the heart rate monitor watches are worn. The watches that my district purchased did not
come with a computer program to enter student heart rates like the aforementioned schools.
However, I am grateful that we were able to purchase heart rate monitor watches in order to
A motivational tool that I use in Physical Education is the use of an iPod. In an effort to
motivate and increase active participation on my class I play music throughout the hour. The
gymnasium in which I teach has a state of the art sound system. I connect my iPod, with
school appropriate play lists, using a special cord that attaches to the player. Using a piece of
technology, such as an iPod, keeps students active and on task.
I have implemented my TechQuest and created a safe blogging site for my
students (www.lakelandhealtheducation.blogspot.com). The first post to my blog
welcomes students to the site and states expectations and objectives of incorporating
blogging into my Health curriculum. In order to have the blog unblocked at school, the
website had to be submitted and voted upon. Following the vote, the district web manager
opened the site. Since it took longer than expected for the site to be unblocked, my
students will begin posting next week. A thought provoking question will be posed in
relation to the current unit being studied. I plan to continue using blogging in my health
classroom as an inquiry based tool to motivate students.
As stated by Richard E. Ferdig, Ph.D., and Kaye D. Trammell, University of Florida, there are
four benefits of student blogging :
1. The use of blogs helps students become subject-matter experts.
2. The use of blogs increases student interest and ownership in learning.
3. The use of blogs gives students legitimate chances to participate.
4. The use of blogs provides opportunities for diverse perspectives, both within and
outside of the classroom.
WebQuests are a great interactive inquiry based assignments that utilize
scaffolding and also relate to the “real world.” I created a Nutrition WebQuest for my
Health class in order for my students to utilize a Web 2.0 technology.
• United Streaming
Huron Valley School District has access to United Streaming. I use various videos
in order to give students real world examples. United Streaming is just one way in which I
teach to visual learners
In order to reach varying learning styles, I have created PowerPoint slides for units
such as stress and mental disorders. Each PowerPoint slide contains pictures,
hyperlinks, as well as a small amount of information. Too much information per slide is
overwhelming for students. When a PowerPoint presentation is discussed in my class,
students are given a guided note sheets in order to sustain focus and also ease the
note taking process. Students are given a guided note sheet with blanks to fill in as
they listen and view the presentation.
When creating a StAIR, re-teaching methods can be employed through the use of
an interactive PowerPoint. Showing video clips as well as adding hyperlinks to other
websites can also enhance learning through technology. I created a StAIR to reteach
the first part of the digestive system. This method is successful, as students actively
participate and test their knowledge on previously learned information.
o Prentice-Hall: Teens Talk Video Series
The health publication came with DVDs that relate to each chapter of the
book. The DVDs speak to the students, as real life examples from peers
their age allow students to comprehend and understand material
presented in Health Education. The videos feature real teens facing real
issues in their daily lives. The videos relate to the National Health
I show the following movies as they relate to health standards and
benchmarks to enhance student learning. The district approved each of
the following movies.
• Super Size Me (Nutrition Unit)
• Rudy (goal setting)
• Save The Last Dance (Conflict Unit- bullying, prejudice)
• No One Would Tell (Lifetime Movie on dating violence)
• Consider Your Options (Sex Education)
My own plan for enhancing and increasing my use of technology in work in education,
including a timeline with required own learning and skill development
Experience helps one grow as person and broaden their horizons. My teaching experience over
the past two years, in the physical and health education domains, have far out weighted any
lessons I have learned in undergrad. I have applied the knowledge gained in various courses to
improve my pedagogy, however true teaching experience comes when one is in front of about
thirty-five wondering adolescent minds. Keeping students focused, void of off task behavior, is a
difficult task to undertake. In an effort to motivate, encourage, and increase student engagement, I
have employed a variety of technology in the courses I teach, and will continue to find ways in
which to enhance and increase student learning with the use of technology.
• Continue to employ technology that I have implemented in order to enhance and increase
student motivation and comprehension of material.
o Physical Education
iPod (connection of iPod to sound system)
Heart rate monitors
• Research other technologies in order to promote lifelong physical activity through
o Nintendo Wii Fit
o Nintendo Wii sports
o Dance Dance Revolution
• Attend professional development conferences to expand my knowledge and use of
technology in each of my domains
o Podcasting in classrooms
o Attend MAHPERD (Michigan Association of Health, Physical Education,
Recreation and Dance) conference
• Align standards and benchmarks with technology enhancing materials that can increase
learning and participation
• Continue subscriptions to educational magazines
o Michigan Education Association
• Implement turning point (www.turningtechnologies.com)
• Implement my TechQuest (Blogging) in Health Education
• Learn about podcasting
• Research Nintendo Wii and speak to the PTA about donating one to my Health Education
• Attend clicker training for Turning Point
• Take grad classes toward MAET
o CEP 800
o CEP 815
o CEP 822
• Research professional development conferences
• Gain more knowledge and apply course learning objectives to my domain
• Take CEP 820 (in order to attain an NP endorsement)
• Continue the implementation of Blogging in Health Education
• Attend MAHPERD conference
• Attend professional development conferences
• Take CEP 807, which will be my final course in attaining a Master of Arts in Educational
• Continue learning and researching more technologies to implement in my PE/Health
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Dills, K. (2000) Using technology in a middle school social studies classroom. International Journal
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New pulse of PE: Heart-rate monitors motivate kids for exercise at school
Niesha Lofing. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. Washington:May 9, 2007. p. 1
Physical fitness stays in the zone: Medina High School uses heart- rate monitors to measure and
grade progress in gym classes
Tracy Wheeler. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. Washington:Dec 5, 2006. p. 1
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