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  1. 1. • 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 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
  2. 2. 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” (LeFevre, 2004)
  3. 3. • 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, 2007) 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
  4. 4. dishonest. • 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. PHYSICAL EDUCATION • 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
  5. 5. 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 Antelope Crossing. “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
  6. 6. motivate students. • Music: 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. HEALTH • Blogging I have implemented my TechQuest and created a safe blogging site for my students ( 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. • Webquest
  7. 7. 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 • PowerPoint 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. o StAIR 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. • DVDs 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
  8. 8. presented in Health Education. The videos feature real teens facing real issues in their daily lives. The videos relate to the National Health Education Standards. o Movies  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. Teacher Objectives: • Continue to employ technology that I have implemented in order to enhance and increase
  9. 9. student motivation and comprehension of material. o Health  Blogging •  WebQuest •  StAIR  United Streaming  Turning Point  PowerPoint o Physical Education  iPod (connection of iPod to sound system)  Heart rate monitors • Research other technologies in order to promote lifelong physical activity through technology o Nintendo Wii Fit  Strength training  Flexibility  Yoga o Nintendo Wii sports  Tennis  Basketball  Bowling 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
  10. 10. • Align standards and benchmarks with technology enhancing materials that can increase learning and participation • Continue subscriptions to educational magazines o o o Michigan Education Association • Implement turning point ( Timeline: Spring 2009: • 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 classroom • Attend clicker training for Turning Point Summer 2009: • 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 Fall 2010: • Take CEP 820 (in order to attain an NP endorsement) • Continue the implementation of Blogging in Health Education • Attend MAHPERD conference Spring 2010: • Attend professional development conferences Summer 2010:
  11. 11. • Take CEP 807, which will be my final course in attaining a Master of Arts in Educational Technology • Continue learning and researching more technologies to implement in my PE/Health Curriculums REFERENCES: Bennetts, Leslie. "Computers Can Make Students More Interested in Learning." At Issue: Computers and Education. Ed. James D. Torr. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. West Bloomfield Township Public Library. 18 Apr. 2009 Boone, R. (April 27, 2007). Schools Banning iPods to Beat Cheaters. Idaho Statesman, n.p. November 30, 2008 from SIRS Dills, K. (2000) Using technology in a middle school social studies classroom. International Journal of Social Education. (15). Ferdig, R., & Trammell, K. (2004) Content Delivery in the 'Blogosphere". T.H.E Journal. Honey, Margaret. "Technology Has Improved Education." Opposing Viewpoints: The Information Revolution. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. West Bloomfield Township Public Library. 18 Apr. 2009 LeFevre, Andrew T. "Technology Alone Has Not Improved Education." Opposing Viewpoints: The Information Revolution. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. West Bloomfield Township Public Library. 18 Apr. 2009 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 Prensky, Marc. (2006) Listen to the Natives. Educational Leadership. December 2005/January 2006. Zaho, Y., (2003). What Teachers Need to Know About Technology? Framing the Question. What Should Teachers Know about Technology? Perspectives and Practices. Research Methods for Educational Technology Series. Ed. Zaho. Information Age Publishing: Gre