Textbook Chapter 1, Sections 1-4


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Textbook Chapter 1, Sections 1-4

  1. 1. What is Technology Integration? Technology integration is when teachers design experiences that require students to use technology as part of their learning activities in ways that make learning more active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and engaging. Definitions for what constitutes effective technology integration have changed over the last three decades. At one time, placing computer labs in schools was thought to be a quick solution for preparing students to use technology. During these times, teachers largely used their single classroom computers for administrative tasks and left student technology training to computer lab teachers. Even when a classroom had several computers, these machines were often housed in the back of a room where they collected dust. Students used computers in isolation from the classroom and disconnected from the curriculum. It was soon realized that for technology to be used meaningfully, teachers had to use it in the classroom and use it with a definite purpose—to engage students in learning. When this kind of use occurs, technology becomes just another tool in a teacher’s repertoire of resources. This evolution in “technology integration” presents us with the substantial need for more effective teacher training, which has remained a challenge to this day. While there seems to be consensus that technology should be moved from computer labs into the classroom, there are still many teachers who have yet to adopt the use of technology. Undoubtedly, adding technology to the already complex task of teaching will not be accomplished quickly but the rewards can be tremendous. Why Do Teachers Need to Know How to Use Technology? 1. 21st Century World and Workplaces – The World is Different Because the world and workplaces are so different, today’s teachers need to know how to use technology so they can prepare students for a 21st century world and workplaces that demands greater skills. The world is much different than just a few decades ago and the demands of the 21st century workplace have grown exponentially. Due to shifting demographics, the United States workforce is growing at a slower rate than in the past. Other changes, such as the rapidly increasing pace of technological change and the expanding economic globalization are making it necessary for companies to recruit workers outside the U.S. At the same time, Asia and Europe are turning out significantly more graduates than the U.S. in fields that are critical for economic growth, thus adding to the competition for jobs (Karoly&Panis, 2004). Just as globalcompetition has increased, there has been a steady growth in the share of jobs that require higher level 21st century skills and more “Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.” Edutopia (¶ 2, 2008)
  2. 2. education. 21st century skills include among other things, abstract reasoning, analyzing, problem- solving, innovating, communicating, and creating. Jobs also call for individuals who have strong technological abilities, and these are rapidly changing as new technologies become more prevalent. For example, visual literacy skills are more important as most of our information is accessed on the visually-rich Internet. Also, new and powerful modeling software is used to solve problems in a variety of occupations requiring spatial literacy, or an awareness and understanding of how things work in relationship to space. The rapidity of technological change, which is only expected to accelerate in the future, demands that we are adaptable, flexible, and ready to learn and relearn as required on the job. It is easy to see how in a 21st century world there is a greater need than in the past for more workers who are well educated, have high-levels of skills, are tech savvy, and adaptable. 2. 21st Century Digital Students – Students are Different Watch this video:A Vision of K-12 Students Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8&playnext=1&list=PL167717714B944373 Because students today have grown up with technology, they learn differently than in times past. Many states understand the magnitude of this difference and believe that we must take serious measures to refocus our schools for 21st century learners. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), an advocacy organization whose goal is to define 21st century education to ensure every child’s success as workers in the 21st century world, has led the initiative to help schools in this refocusing effort. West Virginia, the second state in the nation to join P21, defined 21st century learners appropriately and the role teachers will play in educating them. A 21st century learner is part of a generation that has never known a world without the Internet, without computers, without video games and without cell phones. They are digital natives who have grown up with information technology. To these students, life without digital technologies seems alien. Their aptitudes, attitudes, expectations and learning styles reflect the stimulating environment in which they were raised. For most, instant messaging has surpassed the telephone and e-mail as the primary form of communication. Control, alt, delete is as basic to them as learning their ABCs and 123s. Twenty-first century learners are always on, always connected. They are comfortable multitasking. They sit at the computer, working on their homework while listening to an iPod. At the same time, they may have 10 different chat windows open, be playing a video game or surfing the Web while a TV blares in the background. To them, technology is only a tool that they can customize to access information and communicate. “School should be less about preparation for life and more like life itself.” John Dewey
  3. 3. Twenty-first century learners are multimedia oriented. Their world is Web-based. They want instant gratification. They are impatient, creative, expressive and social. They are risk-takers who thrive in less structured environments. Constant exposure to digital media has changed not only how these students process information and learn but how they use information. Children today are fundamentally different from previous generations in the way they think, access and absorb information, and communicate in a modern world. To cross the digital divide and reach these students, teachers must change not only what they teach, but how they teach. To do so, educators must acknowledge this digital world and educate themselves about it. To truly understand them, educators must immerse themselves in the digital landscape where the 21st century learner lives (West Virginia Department of Education, n.d.). While some states understand that today’s digital learners are different and departments of education in these states are proactive about changing their education systems, there are still reasons to be discouraged about the current state of education. Statistics show that many students in this generation are not engaged in their learning. Amidst strong global competition, U.S. students score much lower than many countries on achievement inmathematics, reading, science, analytical thinking, and problem-solving (OECD, 2010). The current model of education, which was built in the 20th century when individuals obtained their knowledge early in life and used that knowledge for careers that lasted many years (Karoly&Panis, 2004), is failing 21st century students who are living in a world of increasing change and greater demands. Students must learn to be lifelong learners, willing to adapt in a changing world. To add to the dilemma, while this generation is exposed to and regularly uses a variety of technologies—computers, the Internet, instant messaging, downloading music, social networking, cell phones, etc. they are significantly deficient in the types of 21st century technological skills needed in the workplace (Lorenzo &Dziuban, 2006). We are living in critical times when students need to know how to use 21st century skills that inherently utilize technology. These concerns are expounded when one considers the narrow conception that our educational system still has of technology. In most schools, where technology is used only as a means to develop students’ computer skills in lab settings, meaningful content and learning is separated from the use of technology. Technology is viewed simply as a set of tools that allows us to function in a digital world. This perception of technology may be part of the reason that widespread classroom use is not yet a reality. Despite what many people believe, educators are not widely using technology. In fact, Vockley (2008, p. 3) noted, “It is shocking and inconceivable—but true—that technology is marginalized in the complex and vital affairs of education.”Besides this narrow conception, other obstacles preventing widespread computer use include the scarcity of time for training, few technology resources, insufficient computer access, inadequate technical or administrative support, time given to standardized testing, and teachers’ attitudes and beliefs (Hew & Brush, 2007). This situation is a travesty when research shows that students learn more when engaged in meaningful, relevant, and intellectually stimulating schoolwork and that the use of technology can increase the frequency for this type of learning (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 2003). Technology provides students with unique opportunities that would be impossible otherwise. Among other things, students can tap into the knowledge of experts; visualize and analyze data; link learning to authentic contexts; and participate in electronic, shared reflection (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999). For this kind of learning to occur, technology must be made an integral part of
  4. 4. educational operationsjust as it is intheworld of business. When this happens, teachers can offer a more rigorous, creative, relevant, and engaging curriculum where students must developand practice 21stcentury skills. 3. 21st Century Teacher Preparation – Teaching Should be Different Because today’s world and students are different, teachers need to know how to use technology so they can teach differently and model the appropriate use of technology for students in the classroom.However, learning to use technology requires that teachers are given time for appropriate training relevant to their classroom situations. Preservice teachers need effective training that enables them to envision how technology can be an effective and motivating resource in their future classrooms. In college courses where preservice teachers learn methods of instruction, professors need to model the use of technology in their teaching and plan assignments that require preservice teachers to do the same. Research shows that modeling the integration of technology is one of the key factors that influences whether or not a preservice teacher will use technology in their future classrooms (Brown &Warschauer, 2006; Fleming, Motamedi& May 2007). It is not enough simply to know how to use the technology, but teachers need to know how toleverage the technologies to help their students develop 21st century skills (Lambert &Cuper, 2009). Only as this happens on a regular basis will our youth be prepared for the changing demands of this 21st century world where technology is indispensable. Watch this video:Teaching the 21st Century Learner [Link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTWTKDdw8f4&feature=related] 4. 21st Century Standards – Standards are Different According to professional standards, Teachers need to know how to use technology so they can design learning experiences for students that make use of these tools.Any textbook should be based on current standards in the field, and this book is no exception as it supports the national technology standards for teachers and students (See standards at the end of the chapter). Carefully read and reflect on the national technology standards to become acquainted with them and their relationship to 21st century skills. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) published the National Educational Technology Standards for Students 2007 (NETS-S) (ISTE, 2007) and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers 2008 (NETS-T) (ISTE, 2008). The most recent versions of these standards represent a significant step forward in meeting the demands of 21stcentury learning. This textbook also requires students to investigate and support their respective academic content standards in each activity. This practice will help students understand that the course is not just for learning the technical skills of using technology, but rather, it is for learning to use technology in the context of the classroom. In this way, preservice teachers will learn the real meaning of technology integration when technology is simply the means to help students learn in more exciting ways. 5. 21st Century Skills – Skills are Different
  5. 5. Teachers need to know how to use technology because these are the tools that will compel students to practice and learn 21st century skills those skills needed in today’s world and workplace.There is a growing movement worldwide to redesign classrooms by focusing on 21stcentury skills (Commission of European Communities, 2008; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009a; Vockley, 2008). One example is the Partnership for 21st Century Skills that is working to design American high schools for 21stcentury learning and achievement. In these schools, students would acquire knowledge in their core subjects but they would also intentionally and purposefully acquire 21stcentury knowledge and skills in the context of learning academic content. 21st century skills are those skills needed to be successful in today’s world. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009b) proposes that 21st Century curriculum and instruction: Focuses on 21stcentury skills discretely in the context of core subjects and 21stcentury interdisciplinary themes Focuses on providing opportunities for applying 21st century skills across content areas and for a competency-based approach to learning Enables innovative learning methods that integrate the use of supportive technologies, inquiry and problem-based approaches and higher order thinking skills Encourages the integration of community resources beyond school walls Curriculum should be designed to produce deep understanding and authentic application of 21st century skills; include models of appropriate learning activities; clearly identify 21st century skills as the goals for learning; and be embedded with performance-based assessments. Instruction should connect essential concepts and skills, coach students from teacher-guided experiences toward independence, offer real-world opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of key concepts and 21st century skills, and connect curriculum to learners’ experiences (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009b). In this textbook, the curriculum is designed around 21st century skills that will produce deep understanding of what it means to integrate technology. 21st century goals are clearly identified in each chapter so that preservice teachers can learn about them and understand how to promote these same skills in their future classrooms. What the video below and then read about each of the 21st century skills that you should integrate in your future classroom. Watch this video:21st Century Skills in Action: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, and Problem Solving [Link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s6PIrXwt7M] A. Creativity and Innovation Creativity is using existing knowledge and originality to generate and develop new ideas or products. Innovation is acting on creative ideas to make a tangible contribution to society.Today’s intelligence involves much more than acquired knowledge; rather, it is the capacity to create, produce and apply learning to new situations.Students need these skills so they can use their creative ideas and contribute new ideas and products for society. B. Communication and Collaboration
  6. 6. Communicationis the ability to convey one’s thoughts effectively to others for a range of purposes using variety of media and technologies. Collaboration is demonstrating the ability to work together effectively, assuming shared responsibility for the work to be accomplished, and contributing to a project team to solve problems. Students need to be able to communicate and collaborate so they can interact and contribute to the teamwork in a group project. C. Research and Information Literacy Research and Informationliteracyinvolve the ability to analyze information critically; determine what information is needed; locate, synthesize, evaluate, and use information effectively. Students need these skills especially today to access the abundance of available information efficiently and effectively, to use the information accurately, and understand the ethical issues related to the use of this information. D. Critical Thinking Critical thinkingrequires the abilities to analyze, evaluate, synthesize, interpret, and make connections between bits of information.Bloom’s early taxonomy of cognition included six graduated levels of thinking that move from knowledge, to comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and, finally, evaluation (Bloom, 1956).As Bloom’s taxonomy was updated, the higher levels of thinking were identified as analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Thus, the same three skills continued to be considered the higher level thinking skills. The order of the top two skills was reversed, and the name “synthesis” was changed to “creating” to reflect the importance of the creative process (Anderson, Krathwohl, Airasian, Cruikhank, et al., 2000). The higher levels of thinking—analyzing, evaluating, and creating—are key to critical thinking and form the basis for developing all other 21stCentury skills (Levy &Murnane, 2004). Students need these skills to identify and ask questions, collect and analyze data, and use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to obtain answers to solve problems. E. Nonlinear Thinking Linear thinking is a process of thought following a step-by-step progression in one direction.Linear multimedia tools generally progress from one slide to the next and are commonly used by instructors as a supplementary teaching aid. This form of multimedia tends to limit learning potential because it does not require active participation.Nonlinear thinking is “human thought characterized by expansion in multiple directions, rather than in one direction, and based on the concept that there are multiple starting points from which one can apply logic to problem” (Chuck’s Lamp, 2009).Nonlinear thinking is required when reading or working in a hyperlinked environment such as the Internet where hyperlinks allow a viewer to navigate in multiple directions. Multimedia nonlinear environments, such as are found in electronic CDs or the Internet, offer viewers the choice to navigate wherever they like using hyperlinks among information containing a variety of complementing media such as text, audio, graphics, animation, and/or video. These kinds of environmentsprovideviewers interactivity, control of progress, and choice in their construction of knowledge. While multimedia classroom tools offer classroom teachers multiple ways of engaging students in the learning process, they also present challenges for teachers. One of the challenges lies in the fact that certain multimedia tools promote far more active learning and student decision-making than others (Jacobson &Archodidou, 2000). Even with these challenges, students need to know how to navigate in
  7. 7. nonlinear multimedia environments because these are so prevalent today. Students also need to know how to create their own nonlinear multimedia projects because this will allow them to use their creativity, critical thinking skills, and construct their own knowledge. F. Visual Literacy and Visual Thinking Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, make meaning, and create messages from information presented in the form of images (Wileman, 1993; Heinich, Molenda, Russell, &Smaldino, 1999). Visual thinking is the ability to turn information of all types into pictures, graphics, and other visual forms to communicate information by associating ideas, concepts, and data or other verbal information with images. Visual forms of communication include diagrams, maps, videos, gestures, street signs, time lines, flow charts, symbols, etc. Increasingly, text-based languageis being replaced by videos, images, audio, graphs, illustrations, and other forms of electronic media as the Internet, handheld digital devices, and social networks are the predominant modes of literacy for students. Visuals can be powerful forms of communication as they capture attention, evoke emotion, engage, and provoke inquiry and higher order thinking, provide creative outlets for writing, aid in problem solving, and enhance reading. For example, McVicker (2007) uses comics for instruction because they can help students develop visual literacy skills by inferring meaning from text and images. Sorensen (2008) uses primary sources to teach world history enabling students to look for patterns in historical events and evaluate the unspoken assumptions that provide insight into a civilization. Moline (2006) uses graphic organizers because they can provide an ideal framework for writing especially since even young readers can interpret these long before they can read. Digital storytelling has become a compelling, engaging, and interactive way of letting students express themselves. George Lucas, a renowned filmmaker who made Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark envisions a new way of learning that incorporates cinema in the classroom. They [students] need to understand a new language of expression. The way we are educating is based on nineteenth-century ideas and methods. Here we are, entering the twenty-first century, and you look at our schools and ask, 'Why are we doing things in this ancient way?' Our system of education is locked in a time capsule. You want to say to the people in charge, 'You're not using today's tools! Wake up!' We must teach communication comprehensively, in all its forms. Today we work with the written or spoken word as the primary form of communication. But we also need to understand the importance of graphics, music, and cinema, which are just as powerful and in some ways more deeply intertwined with young people's culture. We live and work in a visually sophisticated world, so we must be sophisticated in using all the forms of communication, not just the written word. (Daly, 2004) While the benefits of integrating visuals, particularly technology-based visual forms in the classroom are numerous, visual forms of communication are being used to persuade, bias, profit, and manipulate students. Media uses beautiful people to attract attention and sell products. The tactics of fear, humor, sentiment, and intensity are used to stimulate feelings and promote solutions to common problems. Flattery persuades viewers to love something or some object. Names are associated with negative symbols to make you question the worth of some idea. All these negative aspects of visual forms of media make it essential that
  8. 8. teachers incorporate visual literacy in their instruction. Students need these skills so they can recognize, evaluate, and interpret the visuals they encounter and understand how these images shape their personal lives as well as a culture and society. G. Spatial Thinking Spatialthinking is a set of cognitive skills that require individuals to have an awareness of space (National Research Council, 2006). It is the concept of space that makes spatial thinking a distinctive form of thinking. Students need to use spatial thinking to understand space and its properties (e.g., dimensionality, continuity, proximity, and separation) that can be used to interconnect all knowledge. Studentscan also understand how the properties of space can help them structure problems, analyze information, find answers to problems, predict patterns present in data, and express and communicate solutions to problems. Silverman (2002) developed the concept of the visual-spatial learners to define those learners who think mainly in images. Visual-spatial thinking is often characteristic of creative individuals. Some at-risk students tend to have a preference for visual spatial thinking, which is actually faster and more powerful than auditory sequential thinking. Silverman found that some students had extraordinary abilities to solve problems presented to them visually and excelled in the spatial tasks of intelligence tests. Thus, teachers sometimes overlook some of their students’ potential if they do not teach in a way that allows these students to capitalize on this ability. H. Digital-Age Reflection The concepts, “reflection” and “reflective practice”are entrenched in teacher education literature (Ottesen, 2007) with good reason. Reflection is a vehicle for critical analysis and problem solving and is at the heart of purposeful learning. Reflective observation focuses on the knowledge being learned (i.e., curriculum) as well as the experiential practice (i.e., pedagogy); both are important aspects of the learning process (Kolb, 1984). Through metacognitive examination of their own experiences, preservice teachers are encouraged to take a closer look at what they are learning and to explore their own growth in greater depth. Experiencing the power of reflection in their own learning, they are more likely to encourage similar reflection on the part of their students. When reflection has been included in instruction, it allows preservice teachers to address uncertainties in their own learning, develop new approaches to learning, and document their growth as reflective practitioners (Capobianco, 2007; Moran, 2007).While reflective activities have long included journal entries or narrative writing, technology can facilitate and enhance the skills of reflection as electronic reflections can be readily archived, revisited, updated and shared in exciting and creative ways. Students need to know how to reflect on their learning so they can critically analyze what they’ve learned, address uncertainties, examine misconceptions, develop new approaches to learning, and document their learning.