I believe that technology is the future of education. I also believe that technology cannot replace the educator. Technology is a tool that can be harnessed in many different ways and included in every teaching style. It can also be a tool that engaged students into learning while traditional methods such as lecture and worksheets struggle to create engagement. Technology is many of our student's first language and although many teachers still feel a real struggle when it comes to incorporating it, with the right support, I believe that every teacher can find a useful way to incorporate technology into their teaching. Whether through use of an interactive lesson, gamification, simulation, augmented reality, or even virtual fieldtrips, technology opens doors that historically have been shut and knocks down walls to a world that used to be only explored by the wealthiest people. It is the future of education and how we will take out students into careers of the future. Technology is the great equalizer for a more equitable education system.
I'm a huge believer that technology can provide equity to students and their learning. Using technology, students gain access to the internet and the world. Any question, any math problem, any spelling word can be solved using the internet. "Hey Alexa, How do you spell Equity?"
Under the disguise of the internet lies many opportunities for students to interact with unethical users. Technology teachers should be a resource for students to learn to recognize fake website, false information, and cyberbullying. Students should be taught about copyright rules, and online etiquette.
As educators, Becki and I take the roll seriously. We know students find our social media accounts and look to our example. Because of this we make sure to post many pictures of the exciting and interesting opportunities we get to do. We hope to inspire and encourage future travelers and even more then that. We want them to be better citizens.
Educational Technology Research
Lesson cast in a website for teachers looking for new ideas. Teachers submit ideas they have for lesson, videos, to help other teachers. Experienced teachers then compile the ideas and put them in a format for other to utilize. This will include ideas of educational technology to use within the lessons.
Flashcard Machine is a website that students and teachers can utilize to create flash cards. Once the flash cards are created they can be shared for others to use. The flashcards are great for practicing terms, spelling, and answering questions. This is always improving and evolving to help teachers and students learn new approaches and uses of educational technology.
Glogster is an application that can be downloaded to any device to create images, videos, text, and graphics. The students can complete research projects on the app and create a Glog about what they researched. Teachers can also create their own Glogs and share their ideas with other teachers on the educational technology that they are using in their own classrooms.
Methods for Integrating Educational Technology to Facilitating Student Learning
One method to integrate technology into the classroom is to utilize presentation software like Prezi, Google Slides, and PowerPoint. Presenting on these platforms can be entertaining and engaging for the students. Modeling a presentation using one of these platforms is a great way to introduce the students to the platform, and then, as an educator, you encourage them to use the platform to create their presentations. These presentations will facilitate them organizing and presenting their learning.
Another great method to get technology into the classroom is to use clickers. Clickers can be simple devices used by each student in the class to give the teacher immediate feedback. When asking whole group questions the students can each answer individually. That data then calculates and may provide the teacher with the information needed to either reteach or move onto more of the lesson. This feedback will help facilitate student learning because the leacher will be able to make adjustments in real time to scaffold a deep level of learning in all students.
Prodigy is an internet based game that uses gamification to do math. Students complete math problems to collaborate with peers or battle against monsters. The math problems completed in the game are aligned with state grade and curriculum standards. The teacher can integrate this learning activity into the daily learning block or as needed and guided by the instructional design of the curriculum map and standards.
Formative Assessments- Students can practice the learning activity Prodigy game on a daily basis. The teacher can assign new concepts and even assign concepts that a students needs to develop. This can be used to help make instructional chooses and give feedback on who might need further intervention.
Summative Assessments- Because Prodigy uses gamification to get student engagement students can be given a Summative assessment and enjoy taking the assessment. When the teacher assigns the assessment the student is not notified they are taking a test. Only the teacher can choose to tell the student if they are taking a test. This can minimize stress and anxiety from taking a summative assessment. It also given the teacher a summative class report identifying overall class strengths and weaknesses on a concept.
Data- Prodigy will provide a breakdown in data of how each student performed on the assessments. In that data the teacher is able to locate opportunities for reteach and advancement for the students that are able to show deep understanding of concepts. It also gives whole class feedback so a teacher can look for trends in learning across groups or classes including by standard or objective. This is available anywhere you have access to the internet which is one huge benefit of a technology based learning activity.
Assistive Technology Fostering Independent Learning
Examples of Educational Technology Tools
Many students, teachers, and parents have been thrown into the proverbial deep end of the education swimming pool in 2020. Because of this change, many student have shifted to online schooling like Florida Virtual School and Khan Academy. These virtual learning classrooms provide an asynchronous learning for individual students. In Florida Virtual School and Khan Academy the students log onto school from home each day and complete their assignments without ever going to a physical classroom. This development of independence can work great for some students, but not all students can succeed in this environment.
Teachers can learn from these successful programs and implement some of the concepts into their classrooms. Things like creating a Canvas page or Class blog that allows the students to locate what will be completed each day in class is an example of this self-directedness. This fostering of independent learning should also translate to them being able to locate what assignments or activities they missed if they did not attend school that day.
Another example would for teachers recording their lessons and posting them to Youtube.com or their personal class blog. Providing the recorded videos may help stakeholders like the parents and students remember what was said in the lesson. Many parents are not comfortable with the "New Math" idea and they could use the recorded lessons posted to YouTube to help them understand how to help their child with homework each day. If a student feels confused or forgets they can use self directedness to review independently as a refresher of the content.
Examples of Assistive Technology
Technology can be the great equalizer for students in the classroom. Google Chrome has created some amazing extensions to help struggling learners and ELL students. One Chrome extension is called Vocaroo. On Vacaroo students can record themselves speaking then can share that recording with their teacher through a unique link. This extension is a great tool for students trying to explain their thoughts or learning. It could also be used for students that aren't proficient with the use of a keyboard or lack the motor skills typing requires.
Another Chrome extension that is an example of assistive technology is Screen Reader. Using the Chrome extension Screen Reader the students can have their computer screen read to them out loud. This is an excellent tool for students that may not be reading at grade level or who have good listening comprehension but lack effective reading comprehension.