Friday, December 25, 2009

Reflection: Technology Integration

Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society is a course through Walden University that has equipped me with information that will help me to integrate technology in my classroom. Before this course I do not think I understood how much of an impact technology had on my students. With the help of Dr. Dede and Dr. Thornburg, I feel that I have opened my eyes to a whole new world of learning, 21st century learning, with Web 2.0 tools.

The opportunities we have today with Web 2.0 tools are endless. I have developed an understanding of blogs, wikis, and podcasts. All of which I did not know prior to this class. Richardson states in his book “Blogs, Wikis Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms” that these skills “are relatively easy for anyone to employ in the classroom” (2009, p. 7). After this course, I would completely agree. Technology is something that I am very interested in; however, I was having trouble finding ways to incorporate it into my classroom. With the technology skills that I have developed in this class, I feel that I am more than prepared to utilize these skills in my classroom.

My goal is to increase student achievement; therefore I plan to continue to learn more about technology by keeping up with new and upcoming programs that are offered through technology use. I will have to read more about technology as well. I also plan to try more things in my classroom using technology as a strategy for teaching. I want to see myself as “a connector”, as Richardson describes, and show my students how to use technology effectively. Teacher modeling is one of the most powerful ways to teach; therefore by using technology myself, students will see the need to using technology other than for pleasure, such as games, etc. There is a “growing gap between what today’s students do in school and what they do at home” (Miners & Pascopella, 2007, p. 27). Before this course I was aware of this, but not to the extent that it truly is. For students to spend 27 hours a week on the internet at home, compared to 15 minutes a week at school there is obviously something missing here. Technology over the years has changed how students perceive things. Students today are classified as “digital natives” and according to Mark Prensky that means they are “native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet” (2001). As an educator, this should change the way that I teach. My lessons need to be based on how my students learn best, and based on the above information that means using technology to reach them.

In the next two years, I plan to create a classroom blog that will allow students to openly discuss classroom learning. This would be a place for students as well as parents to view content material. I will include websites that could help students when studying a specific skill, as well as have a place for students to comment. I would like to be able to add “pictures and quotes” as Richardson suggests in his book, and give the students an opportunity to add their own thoughts about a particular subject. In addition, I would also like to make podcasting a regular part of my instruction. I think using a podcast would be the perfect way to teach my students the importance of technology, as well as their other state standards. Through podcasting I would have to first teach my students how to use the computer program, and how to post it onto our classroom blog. I teach three reading classes each day, and I think it would be great to have my students create a podcast and compare and contrast it with the other classes. By allowing my students to participate in a blog and develop a podcast, I am helping them to build those 21st century skills that they need to possess such as; critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, creativity and innovative thinking, and information technology (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008).

Resources:
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). 2008. [Motion picture]. Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society. Baltimore: Author.

Miners, Z., & Pascopella, A. (2007). The new literacies. District Administration, 43(10), 26–34.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2004). Retrieved November 26, 2009, from http://www.21stcenturyskills.org

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5).

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wiks, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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