Leveraging technology in our classroom


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This is a PPT presentation developed as the basis for a class introduction and discussion about integrating technology and Web 2.0 into our classroom more.

I've had some reluctant students in past semesters who have not taken to some of the tools I've introduced because either:

a) they weren't confident with technology and sought to avoid using it
b) perceived that these sorts of tools and approaches didn't belong in the classroom (a view I think we teachers are guilty partly to blame for).

So I created this as an intro for the new semester to provoke discussion and hopefully get all students on board, even those from the above two categories. :)

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  • This is a presentation designed as the basis for a class discussion introducing the concept of using technology tools in a more integrated way in class to provide more enriched and valuable learning experiences for students. It is hoped this presentation and accompanying discussion will provoke students to:Consider their current learning environment – at school and at home – in light of the nature of our world today.Identify the relevance and importance of developing strong digital skills for all areas of involvement in society today.Acknowledge and reflect on the potential benefits of using technology in a more integrated way in classes.Develop an understanding of how we’ll be using technology in our work over the semester.
  • Before starting the video, prepare mentally to consider what you believe the video clip’s overall message is. There’ll be a few reflection questions afterward.
  • Spend 5min writing a brief response to each question, and then discuss with the rest of the class before continuing.The relevance and influence of digital technology today is demonstrated in this infographic…
  • Any comments? What strikes you about the statistics here?The message of the video we viewed is reinforced by the following key quotes…
  • If we’re being honest, I think we all understand and accept the truth of statements like these. Just consider how you use technology yourselves. How do you share music? Games? Movies? How do you keep in touch with friends? What do you do when you need to do research or find out about something? Odds are technology is heavily involved.In all areas of life digital skills are becoming important. If I buy something and it stops working, more and more I need to get help on the web. The dominant way conversations about current events are shared is via Facebook and Twitter (shown with the number of TV shows now that encourage viewers to “tweet in” their responses to what they’re viewing).The reality is that no matter where you end up and what you end up doing (career or otherwise), being able to connect, communicate, collaborate and create online is essential.
  • To be successful and empowered in your future you need 3 things:Firstly, to be an independent learner. We’ve already discussed this in a previous class. An independent learner is self aware, self motivated and self directed. They take initiative and are able to make decisions about their own learning. They seek help and support from teachers, mentors and peers when necessary but take responsibility for their own learning.The second thing you need is traditional resources and skills. Being able to read, write, think and communicate effectively in social situations in as important as it has ever been. In our class the traditional resources of textbooks, paper and pen, student diary, and other print materials are still important and necessary.However what we need to see as equally important are digital resources and skills – necessary to leverage and use to enhance learning experiences for you guys in the classroom; necessary to develop and refine so that you’re empowered in your lives beyond school in a world that is now very much a digital one.All three of these factors are important for your success now and in the future.
  • But let’s begin with looking at now. As a student and a learner there are many immediate potential benefits from using technology in a more integrated way in the classroom. These are…
  • So what are the practical implications for you in our class this semester. Well, first of all, traditional materials are still important and must be brought to class every lesson: textbook, novel, folder or exercise book, pencil case and student diary. On the other ide we add digital resources that we’ll tap as effectively as we can in the context of our work: computers and laptops, a smartphone if you have one (though not in class, in accordance with school policy), earphones and a USB flash drive. We’ll talk about some smart phone or ipad apps that you’re encouraged to install and use to help you gest the best out of this class, though this will be voluntary. You will need to have internet at home or else to access the online tools we’ll be using at school between classes (e.g. at lunchtime) when necessary. You will be expected to have your earphones and USB flash drive in class with you every lesson in case they’re required.
  • The main technology tools we’ll use as part of classwork are outlined here. Edmodo is a education-focused social network where our class will have a private and secure online space for work, discussion and assignment tasks. Think Facebook, but for school. In addition to this, more as reference resources, you’ll be able to access sites that I have provided for you: a class wiki, Youtube channel and Netvibes page.Psychology students will be using StudyBlue as a study tool to help them revise key information and prepare for unit tests.
  • If you have a smart phone, you’ll be able to access Edmodo using the iphone or android app – or simply using your web browser.
  • And there is a StudyBlue app too – so any study materials you create will be accessible anywhere (on the way home on the bus, for example).
  • There may be other tools we’ll use more infrequently from time to time, where it’s the most effective and appropriate way to approach a specific activity.
  • To conclude, as students and teachers we must acknowledge that digital skills are essential. That using these tools in class helps you improve your technology skills and digital literacy for the future, but it also presents many opportunities to work smarter with your current schoolwork here and now. It’s not about the technology but what it can do for you.And I need to assure you that we’re not going to overnight turn the classroom on its head. Some lessons won’t involve technology or computers at all, when a more traditional approach is still the best one. Our class is going to be a bit of a hybrid, with some of the old and some of the new. And where we do anything new, I’ll explain clearly and demonstrate and give you time to become confident and comfortable. I know using new technology can be daunting, and that things don’t always work perfectly. Of course this is true of many things, not just computers and technology. I’m patient and willing to help with anything we do, during class or outside of it.
  • So my challenge to you this semester:In your focus on the immediate demands of VCE or Year 10, don’t lose sight of the fact that life doesn’t end with the VCE. School, and your time here, needs to equip you to be empowered and actively involved in your world throughout your life – and a digital skill set is an important facet of that.So do be open-minded, adventurous and persistent. Seek my help if needed. If you genuinely take this challenge on and do happen to have some minor setbacks here and there, you’ll find me patient and tolerant. I hope that by using technology in new ways you’ll find our class more engaging, interesting, relevant and enjoyable – and also build a set of skills that will be useful after the semester is over.
  • Leveraging technology in our classroom

    1. 1. LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY IN OUR CLASSROOM21ST Century Learning for a 21st Century World
    2. 2. Consider… Video by xplanevisualthinking. Original source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U. For more information visit: http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com
    3. 3. Reflection In one sentence, write what you think the message of this video is. Write down something from the video that caught your attention. This video was made in 2007. What do you think has changed since then? What are the implications for us today – and beyond?
    4. 4. Your Future “Increasingly, technology skills are also critical to success in almost every arena, and those who are more facile with technology will advance while those without access or skills will not.” NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition, p. 4.
    5. 5. Your Future “learning to collaborate with others andconnect through technology are essential skills in a knowledge based economy.” 2011 Telstra Whitepaper on Education, p. 16.
    6. 6. Success in Your FutureIndependent Learner Traditional Technology and Resources and Digital Skills Resources; Digital Skills
    7. 7. Benefits of Leveraging Technology  More engaging  Helps develop your tech skills  Resources available anywhere, anytime  More collaborative  Gives you more control over learning and more choice  Real world relevance  Leverages tools and approaches many of you already use in other areas of your lives
    8. 8. Questions and Comments What questions do you have about what we’ve covered so far? What ideas and comments would you like to share?
    9. 9. Your Learning Materials for Class and Home internet-connected textbook computer mobile device (smart phone, ipod folder touch, ipad) pens / pencils USB flash earphones drive
    10. 10. Core Technology Tools Central online class space Class wiki for Netvibes for RSS links andVarious resources relevant resources Youtube channel Study Flashcards tool (psychology classes only)
    11. 11. Smart Phone / Ipad Apps (optional)
    12. 12. Smart Phone / Ipad Apps (optional) (psychology classes only)
    13. 13. Potential or Incidental Tools Tag Galaxy Stixy Etherpad Bubbl.us
    14. 14. Conclusion  Digital skills are essential.  It’s not about technology itself, it’s about how it can make your learning more:  Engaging  Personalised  Efficient  Relevant  I’m available for support.  Traditional approaches and resources aren’t being replaced.
    15. 15. Your Technology Challenge Don’t lose sight of the long view. If you have strong tech skills, take advantage of them to enhance your potential to learn. If you don’t, take the opportunity this semester to be supported in developing crucial skills for your future. Help each other and work together. Give it your best! Be adventurous, take some risks, persist.
    16. 16. Consider for Discussion What do you see as the biggest potential benefit for you of using technology in class as discussed? What reservations or concerns do you have? Are there any other ideas, comments or questions you’d like to share? You’re also welcome to discuss your ideas, questions or concerns with me privately or via email.