Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reflecting on the Impact of Technology

Technology skills are no longer the wave of the future.  They are the norm of the present and can be the deciding factor of success in higher education or the workforce.  The demands on education have increased in the world of Web 2.0.  Technology surrounds our students daily.  We must take time to advance our technological abilities, as well as find ways to engage our students and integrate these tools in the classroom.  We must not forget that our leadership must extend beyond the classroom as we work to break down the barriers administrators have placed on our education system.  Teachers need the support and the tools to teach 21st century skills.  We must work together to uncover the possibilities that technology holds for our future in education. Take a look at my journey as I begin to understand the impact of technology on education, work, and society.


video

The journey through this course has been challenging, but it has given me the opportunity to reflect on my initial skills and practices regarding technology in the classroom. There are multiple answers that have changed with completion of this course.  The teaching practice from which I have seen the most improvement deals with learning goals.  I have enabled students to take responsibility of their own learning by creating a wiki project with specific deadlines and expectations.  As a teacher leader, I have implemented the use of technology in my classroom.  This use will be shared with colleagues as a way to spark their interest in various media tools. I always felt that I could do more with technology in the classroom, and this course has opened those doors.

References
Jackson, Camille. (2011). Your students love social media. Teaching Tolerance, 39, 38-41.
Koenig, Darlene. (2011). Social media in the schoolhouse. Teaching Tolerance, 39, 42-45.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Programs 1-23. Understanding the impact of technology on education, work, and society [DVD]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
November, A. (2007). Banning student “containers.” Technology & Learning. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/article/7468

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Profiling the Students of Today

Teaching is not only lesson plans and assessments. A large portion of time is spent becoming familiar with the learning styles of our students as a way to base our instruction. No matter what subject area you teach, it is important to introduce skills that are going to benefit the students and allow them to become productive citizens. A small survey of freshmen students has confirmed that technology is an everyday use in their lives. They have admitted to spending hours of time on their cell phones, computers, IPods, and various gaming systems. They have expressed their wish to use some of these tools in the classroom, and express that most are prohibited. Why do school systems continue to remove the media that students are most familiar with?

Students today are multitaskers and need a fast pace environment in order to stay engaged in the classroom. It is our responsibility as educators “to explore the power of these tools” (November, 2007), and use them in ways that motivate and engage our students. Students come to our classrooms ready to learn, but are bored by the use of old tools that teachers continue to use (Laureate, 2010). So what can we do to engage our students? I disagree with the idea that students do not want to learn. I believe they want to use the tools they are most familiar with and mesh them with their education. These tools include technology and a wealth of media. Is this a distraction or the wave of the future? I am convinced that, as educators, it is time to ride the wave and engage our students by intertwining entertainment and education.

Profiling Students: A podcast discussing students and technology.

References
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Program number 16: Millenial learning styles. [DVD]. Understanding the impact of technology on education, work, and society. Baltimore, MD: Author.

November, A. (2007). Banning student “containers.” Technology & Learning. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/article/7468