Technology Enhancing Our Classrooms

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  • Teacher is at its heart about the love of learning and the engagement it provides people. Teaching is about differences and honoring thinking, approximations and sometimes the poignant lessons of failure that may or may not eventually lead to success. When considering the use of technology in the classroom, it is no different. Good teachers make learning relevant and meaningful to the lives of their students. Good teachers create classrooms that are safe-havens for creative thinking, expression, and experimentation. Good teachers invest time in the lives of students who come to our schools from broken homes, scheduled days, and media saturated entertainment and information. We are faced not with the question of whether we should be using technology in the classroom , but rather the question of how can technology enhance and be integrate into the existing lives of our students and their schools. Good teachers know their students and know technology has relevance in the lives of their students.Quick point to think and ponder on: There are - 7 billion people on the planet; 5 billion cell phones. 2 billion people on the Internet. 500 million people on Facebook. 200 million on Twitter. 85 million on LinkedIn. 5 billion photos on Flickr; 50 billion photos on Facebook. 17 million Wikipedia articles. 500 billion mobile phone apps were downloaded last year. 6.1 trillion text messages were sent last year. Apple will sell 20 million iPads this year. 35 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute (or 176000 full-length Hollywood movies each week). When are we going to start integrating technology into our schooling lives like we do in our personal lives and in our non-school professional lives?
  • The role of the teacher is not replaced by technology, but rather the role of the teacher becomes paramount in guiding the development of students’ higher-order thinking skills during learning using technology. Dr. Michael Wesch, a member of the Advisory Board for 21st Century Schools points out that although today’s students understand how to access and utilize these tools, many of them are used for entertainment purposes only, and the students are not truly media literate. In 1998, Harold Wenglinsky determined that technology can have a positive effect on students’ mathematics scores. His study was to take a look at the NAEP math scores for fourth and eighth grade students. After adjusting for class size, teacher qualifications, and socioeconomics, he found that technology had more impact on middle schools than in elementary schools. In eighth grade, where teachers used technology to simulate applications of concepts (using higher-order thinking skills), those students performed better on the NAEP that those students who were in classrooms where the teachers used the technology for drill and practice. (Cradler, et al.) This research reflects that changes in pedagogy that comes with using technology in our classrooms – teaching with technology to enhance student achievement means one has to be reflective in practices and strategies used, responsive to students and their unique needs, and to be student-centered not teacher-centered in the classroom allowing for discussion and application of concepts. (Foltos; Cradler, et al) So what is our role? How do we encourage our learners and teachers to be indispensible to our communities and to future?
  • Today our students are immersed in a culture where emerging technologies and globalization also provide unlimited possibilities for exciting new discoveries and developments for energy, medical advances, the environment, communication and exploration in the depths of space and our oceans. The possibilities are endless, so shouldn’t our classrooms be the a part of this? Teachers are working with students whose entire lives have been immersed in the 21st Century media culture. As you can see on the screen, our students and teachers need to make changes in how we learn and we go about learning. Our classrooms cannot be places where our teachers are the dictators of the information and curriculum but rather need to be the facilitators of information and curriculum for our student to have a more active role in their learning – through interdisciplinary, integrated, project-based classrooms. Technology can enhance this change in our classrooms. It is important to note that 90% of our students in grades 6-12 have access to technology on a daily basis. Is this true of our schools? For our students?
  • In a study done by Jay Sivin-Kachala (1998) where he reviewed 219 research studies done from 1990 – 1997 to assess the effect of technology on learning and achievement across all learning domains, he found these three positive findings. What this research also showed was that the level of effectiveness of educational technology is inconclusive in regards to how it is influenced by specific students population, the software design, the educator’s role, and the level of student access to the technology. Since 1998, much research has been conducted to delve more into the role of the educator in the way technology affects students achievement. Both Les Foltos and John Cradler had found that on-going, curriculum- practical professional development not skills development provided the most impact on how technology enhanced student learning. In Missouri, a state wide program was designed to get technology into classrooms for teachers to use with their curriculum. A key component of this program was to provide comprehensive assistance to teachers who agreed to join this program which would provide on-going professional development for two years. The professional development was designed to assist teachers in integrating technology so that inquiry-based teaching and the emphasis on problem-solving was paired with technology.
  • Since 1998, much research has been conducted to delve more into the role of the educator in the way technology affects students achievement. Both Les Foltos and John Cradler had found that on-going, curriculum- practical professional development not skills development provided the most impact on how technology enhanced student learning. In Missouri, a state wide program was designed to get technology into classrooms for teachers to use with their curriculum. A key component of this program was to provide comprehensive assistance to teachers who agreed to join this program which would provide on-going professional development for two years. The professional development was designed to assist teachers in integrating technology so that inquiry-based teaching and the emphasis on problem-solving was paired with technology. (Foltos, 2009) The paring of technology and inquiry –based learning was directly reflected in the test scores of more than 6,000 third and fourth grade students who had recently taken the Missouri Assessment Program test. It is crucial that we understand the importance of rethinking our current beliefs about technology and the classroom practices we use.
  • 21st Century Learners will need to be able to achieve these areas of higher-order thinking skills. The quality of instruction that students receive has a monumental impact on how well students achieve. In order for today’s students to compete in a global society, student achievement must be improved. Our students must be able to thrive in a digital age. Because learning is a life-long process, technology will play a vital role in encouraging all stakeholders to be knowledgeable about the latest trends. (Harvey-Woodall, 2009) The key higher-order thinking skills needed from our 21st Century students are: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence Agility and Adaptability Initiative and Entrepreneurialism Effective Oral and Written Communication Accessing and Analyzing Information Curiosity and Imagination (Harvey-Woodall, 2009)
  • In the research doneby McRel, a study was conducted to see how best to build better instruction in our classrooms by using these nine research proven instructional strategies (Marazano) while integrating technology. To highlight a few and how technology and higher order thinking skills can enhance student performance and achievement:Summarizing and Note Taking – requires students to distill information, to analyze the information at a fairly deep level and therefore strengthening their understanding (The use of One Note in the junior high and senior high in classes for daily work)Homework and Practice – mastering any skill takes lots of practice, research from Marazano’ study showed that students need to practice a skill 24 times to reach 80% competency, with the first four practices yielding the greatest effort (online work through Moodle and Blogs for English readings and papers)Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback – it establishes a direction for learning, and along with specific, timely, and regular feedback students enhance their learning. (online work through Moodle and Blogs for English readings and papers, electronic portfolios for written pieces which can travel from grade to grade and be used as a showcase or growth folder for students)Generating and Testing Hypotheses – this requires students to generate and test, invent, experiment, and make decisions based on these investigations.
  • HaroldWenglinsky (1998) in his study, “Does it Compute: The Relationship between Educational Technology and Student Achievement in Mathematics,” found through data collected of fourth and eighth grade students that resulting fact for improvement was in the professional development that teachers received. He found that professional development was the difference between those teachers who used skill and drill software and those who used software that could create simulations. (Foltos, 2008) If we expect teachers to use technology in ways that enhance and enrich students achievement, we must provide professional development that would develop their own confidence and skills in the use of technology supports standards-based instruction. (Foltos, 2008) Researchers are focusing their research on examining the potential discrepancies between the intended curriculum, the implemented curriculum, and the attained curriculum. (Harvey-Woodall,2009 ) Technology cannot afford to be an add-on but must be used as an on-going and reflective piece to help teachers enhance their practices and hone their craft to ensure student achievement.
  • Using technology requires teachers to rethink their existing teaching patterns. When these teaching patterns rely on higher-order thinking skills, student discussion, feedback and evaluation, application and analysis, the quality and quantity of discuss and learning increases in the classrooms. Technology can be used to enhance not only the student’s achievement but also the teacher’s achievement. (Harvey-Woodall, 2009) There is a huge qualitative difference between learning something, which requires only information, and learning from something, which requires that the learner enter into a rich an complex relationship with the subject at hand. (Monke, L.)
  • How will we prepare our future? How will our future shape our lives now in the classroom?7 billion people on the planet; 5 billion cell phones. 2 billion people on the Internet. 500 million people on Facebook. 200 million on Twitter. 85 million on LinkedIn. 5 billion photos on Flickr; 50 billion photos on Facebook. 17 million Wikipedia articles. 500 billion mobile phone apps were downloaded last year. 6.1 trillion text messages were sent last year. Apple will sell 20 million iPads this year. 35 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute (or 176000 full-length Hollywood movies each week). When are we going to start integrating technology into our schooling lives like we do in our personal lives and in our non-school professional lives?Our kids live in a world in which they expect to be able to create publish share collaborate connect and have a voice. What can you do to tap into the educational power of your students as online collaborators creators sharers and contributors?
  • Teachers and all stakeholders involved in the education of our children should be asking: “Do I truly ‘get it?’ Am I doing what really needs to be done to prepare students for a hypercompetitive global information economy and for the demands of digital global citizenship?” In other words am I preparing students for the next half century rather than the last half century? Schools typically move at incremental linear rates of change. But everything around us is moving at an exponential revolutionary rate of change. It’s like the Industrial Revolution crammed into 15 years instead of 150. Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University. He also is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and in his research and studies has found that at the rapid rate our world moves, can schools afford not to develop and implement a plan for the use of technology in the classroom. This cannot be done without the on-going support and professional development of teachers. The need for teachers to be prepared to use technology effectively means schools and district’s have to adopt new models of professional development. Technology use in the classroom is not in the classroom simply so we can say we have used it, nor can we put the technology in the classroom without developing ways we can use it to fit with what our vision is for our classrooms: a learning environment that has a hum of energy from being in a learning community. (Foltos, 2008) One last argument for why technolgy and professional development are so crucial and important to enhancing our students’ learning. The President’s Commission on Web-based Learning found that the training that teachers received was many times too little and too generic to help teachers develop any integration into the teaching practices of these teachers. A survey done of public school teachers found that while most (78%) received some technology-related professional development, the training was brief and basic. Look at the data on the screen, no wonder we have 2/3 of our teachers unsure of using technology in the classroom. (Foltos, 2008)What about the 22% that received no technology training? How can our teachers and students prepare themselves if we don’t allow them? Again, technology can be used to enhance not only the student’s achievement but also the teacher’s achievement. (Harvey-Woodall, 2009) In order for technology to enhance students learning it must not just sustain practices but rather latter the existing patterns of teaching practices. Teachers who have training and skills use technology in ways to focus students and encourage and develop problem solving skills. It is important that all stakeholders, such as yourselves,establish and maintain an active role in the education of students. (Harvey-Woodall, 2009) It is vital and important for our students and teachers to prepare themselves for the learning we need to instill in our students for the future and for the new age of digital citizenship.
  • Technology Enhancing Our Classrooms

    1. 1. Technology Enhancing Our Classrooms:How It Affects Student and Teacher Achievements<br />Elizabeth Johnson<br />2011<br />
    2. 2. Good Teachers Integrated Technology<br />The more powerful that technology becomes in the lives our students, the more indispensable our good teachers are<br /> - Michael Fullan<br />
    3. 3. What Is Our Role?<br />
    4. 4. The 21st Century Student<br />Teachers are working with students whose entire lives have been immersed in the 21st century media culture. <br />21st century skills are learned through our curriculum, which is interdisciplinary, integrated, project-based, and more, include and are learned within a project-based curriculum<br />
    5. 5. All Ages of Learners<br />
    6. 6. Technology Paired with Thinking<br />Enhancing student learning <br /> requires three things:<br />
    7. 7. Student Learning Paired With Technology <br />
    8. 8. Classroom Instruction That Works<br />Nine Strategies to Improve Student Learning <br />
    9. 9. Teacher Professional Development is Key to Student Achievement<br />Technology in Our Classrooms<br />
    10. 10. Qualitative and Quantitative Classroom Interactions<br />There is a huge qualitative difference between learning something, which requires only information, and learning from something, which requires that the learner enter into a rich an complex relationship with the subject at hand. <br /> Lowell Monke<br />
    11. 11. 21st Century Workforce<br />
    12. 12. Are We Preparing Our Students for the 21st Century?<br />

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